Player Jobs, Making a Living, Lots of Fun Stuff and Other Bullets

matt murton cubsLovie Smith back coaching football in Illinois, eh? That seems to be all anyone on my Twitters is talking about this morning. It’s times like this that I realize just how Cubs/baseball-centric my focus has become. I cannot speak remotely intelligently about college football these days, even as I happily followed Michigan last year when I was able.

  • I really loved the interview David Laurila did with Matt Murton as part of his Sunday Notes column. Murton, 34, is back with the Cubs on a minor league deal, trying to transition back to MLB after several very successful years in Japan. Of his move to Japan back in 2010, Murton is very candid and human in his explanation of why he left the States, which was a surprise to many at the time. Among his comments that I found very striking: “It was either fight for a spot in a situation where I was out of options, or take something that was more of a guarantee. I was 28 years old, and as crazy as this might sound, I came to the realization that this is what I do for a living. I have a family to provide for, and it was a good opportunity to do that.” It becomes so easy for those of us who follow MLB closely and live here in the States to forget that (1) our professional version of the game is not the end-all, be-all of professional baseball in the world, and (2) players are doing a job where they have to make money to support themselves and their families. It’s not all glamor, and many, many players are simply trying to make a living out of this particular job. I think about that especially in the context of renewed player salaries in those first few years of a professional career – $500,000 is a lot of money, but if you had to stretch it over the course of a decade with a family? Laurila’s piece, as they so often are, is a really good read.
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  • Murton should be back in action soon after a badly-timed appendectomy, but is on the outside looking in at the Cubs’ roster picture. He could then head to AAA Iowa to try and show that he’s still got it, and hope for a shot with the big league team at some point if the need develops.
  • Jake Peavy, currently with the Giants, tells the Chicago Tribune he’s not happy to see Jon Lester, David Ross and John Lackey back together with the Cubs, because he knows how they drive each other thanks to his time with them on the Red Sox. I like to hear that.
  • The injury minor league pitcher Frank Batista suffered yesterday was a “tweaked” left quad, according to Jesse Rogers. That’s certainly more encouraging than a knee injury.
  • Adam Warren says he was a little anxious to make his debut with the Cubs yesterday, wanting to get the first inning out of the way (Cubs.com).
  • More wistful love for Adam Warren coming out of New York, as Jared Diamond writes about how the Yankees will miss the versatile righty.
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  • A college baseball team in Texas scored 33 runs in a game against a very good New Mexico team.
  • If you missed anything this weekend, catch yourself up here.
  • Also, early-morning leather-flashing from Cubs non-roster invitee Kristopher Negron, whom you might not know very well.
  • I changed a few light switch plate covers this weekend – just boring old off white. I hadn’t yet seen these Cubs ones.
  • Cubs players wore a “Try Not to Suck” shirt yesterday with Joe Maddon glasses on them, a nod to one of Maddon’s many slogans. And it’ll wind up benefiting Maddon’s Respect 90 charity:
  • Agreed:
  • Thick all the way – not sure that’ll wind up on a Maddon t-shirt (or at least not one benefiting a charity):
  • Beast:
  • written by

    Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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