confused computerThe ground outside my window is covered with snow. It’s April 15. I cannot believe these things.

April 15 is an odd day this year – Tax Day, Jackie Robinson Day, and the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing. Many things on which to reflect, I suppose.

  • A great read on Alfonso Soriano and his mentorship of Starlin Castro. I’m sure there will be many hugs and well-wishes when the Cubs reunite with Soriano today in New York.


  • Tsuyoshi Wada, who pitched extremely well in the final month at AAA last year for the Orioles, has carried that forward to this year at AAA for the Cubs. Through two starts this year, he’s allowed just one earned run over 13.1 innings, walking one and striking out 18. That’s pretty much as dominant as it gets, and it earned Wada pitcher of the week honors in the PCL. Odds are good that, if the Cubs had need for another starting pitcher in the early going, Wada would be the guy, despite his mixed Spring Training. I wonder what Wada’s contract situation is; you’ll recall that he was briefly released at the end of Spring Training (he had the right to become a free agent) and then re-signed. Typically, veterans like Wada will have an opt-out built into their minor league deals, right around June 1. If he doesn’t get a shot with the Cubs by then, it’s possible he’ll be on his way. Alternatively, if there’s a really pitching needy team out there, we could see the Cubs swing a PTBNL deal like they did last year for so many of their minor league signees.
  • Arizona Phil at TCR reports that Kyuji Fujikawa left his scrimmage outing yesterday after 18 pitches, and a meeting with the training staff. Fujikawa is coming back from Tommy John surgery, and seemed to be doing so at an accelerated pace (if he was already pitching in games, early May was looking like a legitimate possibility). We don’t know that what happened was a setback, but it’s safe to say it’s rarely good when a TJS guy leaves an outing early. We’ll see if he gets back on the mound soon, or if he’s now got to take some time off. The timing could be unfortunate for Fujikawa, as he was potentially going to return with a closer’s job up for grabs. If he’s not able to come back until late May or June (or later), that job may have been secured. All that said: until we hear from the Cubs on Fujikawa, try to keep the nervousness to a minimum.
  • Here is Javier Baez on being placed on the DL with a sprained ankle:

  • I know that’s supposed to be reassuring, but, for some reason, it actually makes me clench even more. Hurry back, Javier (well, I mean, not too hurried, but, like, I mean, get better) …


META: The Sun-Times has elected to do away with comments for now. An animating quote from managing editor Craig Newman:

The world of Internet commenting offers a marvelous opportunity for discussion and the exchange of ideas. But as anyone who has ever ventured into a comment thread can attest, these forums too often turn into a morass of negativity, racism, hate speech and general trollish behaviors that detract from the content.

In fact, the general tone and demeanor is one of the chief criticisms we hear in regard to the usability and quality of our websites and articles. Not only have we heard your criticisms, but we often find ourselves as frustrated as our readers are with the tone and quality of commentary on our pages ….

Again, we are not doing away with comments. But we do want to take some time and work on the qualitative aspect of how they are handled and how we can foster a productive discussion rather than an embarrassing mishmash of fringe ranting and ill-informed, shrill bomb-throwing.



And every purveyor of internet content everywhere said, “Yup. I feel you.” That said, although we’ve had our issues with the comments here at BN, recently moving to a registration requirement (something just about every other site out there has long required), I think the community here remains generally quite strong. That’s particularly true when you compare our discussions to the “morass of negativity, racism, hate speech and general trollish behaviors” that you find most other places. I commend the Sun-Times for a bold move to try and improve their comments, and I hope they find success.

The internet is a marketplace of ideas, and a web site is at its best when it functions as a community. I’m pretty proud of ours, but we all have to take ownership of the things we say, and recognize that they reflect on all of us here. I don’t agree with everything the collective you posts here, and I don’t always think that what you say is the highest reflection of what BN is about. But I do think that the fact that you can say it without fear of reprisal, so long as you say it thoughtfully and respectfully, is a fantastic reflection of what BN is about. May we continue to be that place, and never have to take any drastic steps.


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