I woke up in the middle of the night last night – probably one of the kids stirring – and I immediately thought to myself that I had to come up with something to put in this space. It was a pretty odd impulse, given that I usually just open up a new document for the Bullets, and start typing. Strikingly little thought goes into what goes up here in the morning. But, for some reason, I was gripped by a feeling that I just had to think of something good. This was, like, 2am. Obviously I didn’t come up with anything, or I wouldn’t be recounting this bizarre meta layer. The end.
- Jed Hoyer endorses the way Ricky Renteria has been managing his roster with respect to the starting lineup. “I think Ricky has done a nice job with Mike [Olt],” Hoyer told Carrie Muskat. “I get it — I think people are excited to see him and people love homers. It’s fun when he’s in the lineup. I want him to play, too, but I also think matching him up and finding the right matchups, you want to make sure there are days when [Luis] Valbuena is in the lineup. There are days you really want [Darwin] Barney in the lineup because he’s our best defender. There are a lot of factors at play. Frankly, I think it’s helped Mike in the long haul adjusting to the big leagues and getting comfortable here.” I would say it better if I could, but I cannot. That’s pretty much exactly what I believed to be happening, and fully support that approach. I suppose I’d add only this: Olt will play more and more (just as he has been) as the season goes on, and particularly as he demonstrates that he’s getting increasingly comfortable.
- Hoyer offers this on the pitcher W/L stat (Cubs.com): “The wins thing to me is frustrating, because in general, it’s a stat that we’ve all moved away from.” In other words, Hoyer is telling folks to stop writing about the W/L stat because the W/L stat is stupid and nobody who actually works in baseball gives a hoot about it. I am so very glad I killed the win on this site before the season started. It was overdue by about 10 years.
- Mark Gonzales asked Hoyer about pitching prospect Gerardo Concepcion, the polished Cuban lefty on whom the Cubs spent $6 million a couple years ago, but who almost immediately struggled with injuries and ineffectiveness. Hoyer offered some general thoughts about how well-thought-of he was at the time, and how he’s dealt with some injuries since then. Concepcion isn’t quite entirely back on the radar.
- Jose Veras tells Cubs.com that he’s feeling refreshed and fully healthy. The Cubs activated Jose Veras from the disabled list last night, sending lefty reliever Zac Rosscup to the DL with shoulder soreness.
- A fantastic piece on the draft and on scouting the mental side of the game from Vine Line.
- BN’er Michigan Goat is fighting MS – in more ways than one – and he needs your support. Check out his story, and learn more about what he’s going through/trying to accomplish.
- The Ricketts Family is getting political, with Cubs board member Pete Ricketts winning the Nebraska Republican gubernatorial primary yesterday, and board members Laura Ricketts and Todd Ricketts each heading up a SuperPAC. To them, individually, I say: go forth, God bless, do what makes you happy. As intelligent, passionate, affluent people, political involvement is something of an inevitability. But, because I care about the Cubs, I do think about how the organization could be impacted. As we saw with the original Wrigley funding/Obama attack ad flap, there can be very real consequences borne by the Cubs when the political efforts of its owners touch upon the team’s world. There is also the potential for bad optics/bad stories, with unscrupulous media tying the political actions of a Cubs owner to the Cubs, as an organization, and damaging the brand in that way (“Cubs Owner Vetoes Cheese Bill, But Team Still Serving Cheese”). Although I am smart enough – and I think that you, dear reader, are also smart enough – to understand that these are entirely separate issues, I just get nervous about the political interplay here, especially in a city as, eh hem, political as Chicago.
- The marquee at Wrigley Field is green now (though it’ll be back to its usual red eventually) …