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theo epstein about thatThere’s a Waffle House a few blocks from my hotel. I should totally get breakfast there, right?

  • Theo Epstein dropped a thoroughly Epstein analogy, off the cuff, on McNeil and Spiegel yesterday on the Score. When asked if he would consider giving Cubs fans the cookie of seeing Javier Baez break camp with the big team, Epstein said, “I was shaking my head at the notion that we should make baseball decisions based on giving our fans cookies. We’re cooking the whole meal. We want to give them an annual feast. The only way to make fans happy is to give them pennant races and October baseball if you can pull it off on an annual basis. Nothing is going to get in the way of that.” No cookies! Give them a feast! This should become a thing.
  • Notice that we haven’t seen James Russell in a game yet? Carrie Muskat reports it’s because he’s dealing with “dead arm,” a phenomenon a handful of pitchers experience at some point during a season (it’s just kind of a generalized weakness/soreness – throwing a baseball as hard as you can isn’t exactly a natural motion). Apparently Russell had earlier said he was dealing with allergies … in either case, Rick Renteria says he’s not worried. This is something to keep an eye on, particularly given Russell’s extreme workload the past two years.
  • If you read any singular piece on the Cubs adding Ted Lilly to the front office, as they did yesterday, you must read this piece from Patrick Mooney. In recounting Lilly’s Lilly-ness, Mooney drops this gem: “There was the time in 2010 when Lilly dove headfirst trying to steal second base … in an A-ball game … during a rehab start … five months after shoulder surgery.”
  • Mike Olt, who went deep yesterday, says he continues to perceive a difference in how he feels/sees this year versus last year at this time.
  • Starlin Castro sees no rivalry with Javier Baez, and figures the young shortstop will make the bigs at some point in the future, and he’ll play wherever he plays.
  • A little profile on lefty pitching prospect Eric Jokisch.
  • FanGraphs has calculated the 2014 cost of a win ($/WAR) in free agency, and it landed pretty much where folks were anecdotally projecting: about $6 million. That number is a little bit flexible, depending on whether you look at the average or the median figure, and whether you discount future dollars in contracts for inflation. But, for our purposes, that’ll be the benchmark referenced at this site going forward – at least until the market is re-set next year.
  • Also: $/WAR tends to be non-linear (i.e., a guy worth 5.0 WAR is probably worth more than $30 million, and a guy worth 1.0 WAR might not be quite worth $6 million), and that was the case this offseason, too.

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