Yesterday, The Wife and I were returning from the second stage of our mini-vacation (the picking-up-the-kids-from-the-grandparents stage) when the Cubs DFA’d Carlos Marmol. Thankfully, although I was driving, I frequently ask The Wife to “check in” for me on various items across the ‘net. She saw the DFA news, tweeted it for me, and we quickly pulled off the highway at the next exit to frantically find some WI-FI. A nearby McDonald’s had it (even out in their parking lot), and The Wife surreptitiously snapped this picture as I typed from behind the driver’s seat. Even more thankfully, neither of the small children exploded in fits of fury with the car stopped.
- In part because of that harried set of circumstances, in part because of its relative position to the Marmol news, and in part because it’s about a AAA player whose time with the Cubs was clearly at a close, the Ian Stewart release didn’t get a whole lot of treatment yesterday (here or elsewhere). In that way, Stewart – who’d become the least popular Cub, behind even Marmol – probably avoided some ugly media attention. Was that by design? The timing of the two decisions could have been coincidental – the Cubs had to make the Marmol roster move yesterday, and Stewart’s suspension had just ended and the appeal had been decided. But the announcements coming at the exact same time was necessarily intentional. I doubt the Cubs were looking to protect Stewart by burying his release under the Marmol DFA, which everyone would have known would get more attention. And I don’t think they Cubs were trying to avoid any embarrassment. But you can’t deny that the whole Stewart saga is something of a black eye for the front office (you could argue that it is, to date, the only really clear mistake they’ve made), and it now will be discussed a great deal less than it would have been otherwise. Shrug.
- Kerry Wood found a body in Belmont Harbor yesterday in Chicago, which is newsworthy, but not jokeworthy. I know everyone wants to make the Andre Dawson joke, but let’s not. A 40-year-old man was reported missing from a nursing home, and then was found dead. That’s a sad story, not a funny one. I doubt Kerry Wood finds the episode all that funny either.
- Dale Sveum says that the celebration in the streets of Wrigleyville would be 10 times what it was for the Blackhawks if the Cubs ever won it all. I’m not going to argue with him. Mostly because I don’t want to feel the heart pangs associated with starting to let myself think about the Cubs winning it all …
- More on AA pitching prospect Kyle Hendricks, whose manager (at least) thinks he’s going to have a great deal of success in the future, and is underrated because he doesn’t light up the radar gun.
- Speaking of Tennessee Smokies starting pitchers, Alberto Cabrera is turning it on, and is getting some praise over at Baseball America. His second chance at starting has been going well so far – 3.53 ERA over 91.2 innings, striking out 9.2 per 9 and walking 3.3 per 9 – but, at 24 and having spent a lot of time at AA, the Cubs probably are eager to see Cabrera back up at AAA soon. He’s also already on the 40-man roster, so the Cubs need to know what they’ve got in Cabrera – i.e., can he be a plausible rotation competitor for the big club in Spring Training 2014?
- The Cubs have a couple Cuban defectors playing for the Boise Hawks, and their story is worth a read.