News and Notes: Garza, Soriano, Bourn, Sappelt, and the MLB Draft

News and Notes: Garza, Soriano, Bourn, Sappelt, and the MLB Draft

On the 31st anniversary of the Cubs trade of Ivan DeJesus for Larry Bowa and a prospect named Ryne Sandberg, here's a few late evening notes to take you into the new week...

  • Yesterday Jed Hoyer stated that this is the team that the Cubs are likely going to spring with.  As reader Ibleedcubbieblue reminds us, it doesn't meant they are going north with this roster.   There are a lot of optimistic teams at this time of year who have set up their teams with the expectation of contending.  But those best laid plans have a way of going astray in the spring.  A key injury to a rotation member or middle of the order hitter could open up dialogue with the Cubs again.  One interesting case is Matt Garza whom Jed Hoyer said has to get healthy and in the rotation.   According to Jim Bowden, Hoyer said that "could change because (Garza) not signed beyond this year and the Cubs need to collect talent"
  • Alfonso Soriano is another name to keep your eye on as the spring goes on and team get a better handle on their needs. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says he is still on the trading block and mentions the Orioles and Rangers as possible fits.  The Indians are said to be looking for another bat as well.
  • Cafardo also mentions that some GMs are surprised that Michael Bourn has been the odd man out in free agency.  Teams seems to be holding out for a bargain now, perhaps (and this has been my speculation), they're hoping to get him on a one year deal similar to Edwin Jackson last year, who just happened to be another Scott Boras client at the time.  Cafardo mentions the Mets, Mariners, and Orioles as fits for the fleet center fielder.
  • Julie DiCaro of AerysSports got into a twitter argument with Dave Sappelt and writes that ballplayers need to be more careful about what they tweet.  She argues the Cubs shouldn't be alienating any part of their fan base at this stage of the process.  You may remember Ian Stewart had a spat with a follower a while back as well.  There is no question that social media, for better or worse, has drastically changed the way we communicate with athletes.  Give it a read and let us know your thoughts on the subject...
  • Fellow draftnicks!  Cubs Den contributor Kevin Gallo has a great write-up on the Perfect Game MLK Tournament.   Kevin has a whole host of new names for us to follow.  You can check it out here.

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    I am not going to get upset because Sappelt doesn't write clearly on twitter (not many people do) just like I won't get mad if Felz can't play adequate defense in the corner outfield positions. Leave the kid alone.

  • In reply to Mike Mayberry:

    Writing clearly is really the key. I thought about what Sappelt would have just said if he simply made fun of his girlfriend's driving rather than generalizing an entire gender. The point and humor would have been the same and it would have come off as less offensive.

    I'd make fun of my wife's driving but she's better at it than I am. I drive like my hair is on fire.

    Felz's defense makes an excellent case for the DH.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Sounds like he was just picking at someone, trying to get a rise out of them. I have a little routine I do with my wife and daughters about "female drivers" and they get upset...even though they know I'm not serious. Very funny stuff.

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    Sappelt hasn't said anything here that a million others haven't said as well. There are a good many jokes written about exactly that. On the other hand, we do live in ultra-sensitive times, and he has to know, as a member of the Cubs organization, that someone is going to take anything he writes in the worst possible light. If that's bad, don't tweet it.

    I don't like jumping on this when Ray "Killer" Lewis is being hailed as a hero, but I do think Sappelt needs to be a bit more selective in what he tweets.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Some good points. I think one thing these guys should learn to do is just recognize the mistake when it happens. Most of the time the reaction I see is that they'll dig their heels in and make it worse. Admit it probably wasn't the wisest choice of words, apologize, learn from it, and then move on.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    I've dug a little deeper. If I were cynical, I'd say a good 20% of this kerfuffle is DiCaro trying to get attention for herself. But, of course, I'm not cynical.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Of course you're not :) In all seriousness, we could all use a dose of cynicism at times. Keeps us on edge!

    I do think this is and has long been an important issue for Julie (and many others, of course) and I certainly respect her opinion on the matter here.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Honestly, any attention that comes my way from criticizing players for this kind of thing isn't all that welcome, as it's almost always negative. My Cubs blog has been around way longer than Dave Sappelt, and he has hardly any followers, so getting into a fight with him isn't really the method I would choose to get attention.

    He just ticked me off, is all.

  • It just feels like Theo and Jed still have something up their sleeve and I can't stop thinking the Rangers are involved. Obviously they have a good relationship. Not only the Dempster and Soto deals, but also swapping out Barrett Loux for Jake Bringham. It had that feeling of a gentlemen's agreement. In addition you have the obvious fit... We all know the Rangers like Garza and the Cubs like Olt as it almost happened at the deadline. I know the media and fan base in Texas are not too happy with the rangers losing Hamilton to the Angels and losing out on Grienke. I just have the feeling that the Rangers are still going to do something and clearly they don't seem tok interested in the last decent free agent left in Michael Bourn. The Cubs have clearly loaded up on pitching and outfielders like they know Garza and Soriano will not be there in April and the position that they seem to be the weakest at right now is 3rd base. I just have a feeling we may look at 3rd base on opening day and see Mike Olt fielding the hot corner.

  • In reply to Ibleedcubbieblue:

    I do think that those two teams really work well together and it's been discussed as a possibility down the road, but given that good relationship, it seems likely to me the Cubs are willing to let Texas take their time and see Garza pitch before they ask them to commit to anything.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Agree here. I don't think it's at all a coincidence that in crunch time in the Dempster debacle they called the Rangers. Both teams knew each other well enough to get something done quickly, and trusted the other side not to deal in bad faith.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    The Dempster situation is another good example of how well they work together. Fair trade by Texas there even though the Cubs were in a tough spot.

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    In reply to Ibleedcubbieblue:

    Kind of a rephrasing of this: as you say, the Rangers have done nothing as their competition has gotten better. And this really is their window to compete. The question becomes: just what is left to do? Sori and Garza could be two very nice pickups for them. And, as we've discussed before, many GMs don't seem to believe that Sori's numbers were real. If this group does have a good relationship, it's possible Ryan and Daniels are listening when Theo and Jed tell them that Soriano is a good addition.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Thanks Mike I had a hard time putting all my thoughts into words on that one. Soriano to the Rangers might be a stretch. I'm more convinced that the Garza for Olt deal is far from dead. As John said, I agree the Cubs will give the Rangers every opportunity to make sure Garza is healthy but as you pointed out not only have they done nothing as their competition has gotten better, but they lost Hamilton and Young... it seems as they've gotten worse. So who knows, they could be discussing Soriano as well... He put up some pretty nice numbers when he was there. If anyone would think highly of Sori, why not them?

  • People always gripe when athletes give cookie cutter answers but it's the vocal minority like Julie DiCaro that will make it keep on happening. Sappelt saying, "Women driving me scares the dog shit out of me" rings completely true to me. That's what he felt and he shared it. I doubt even Julie would argue he felt it, she'd just argue he shouldn't share it despite feeling it. This reasoning is highly flawed because it forces Julie DiCaro's agenda onto Dave Sappelt The only way the thought police like Julie get away with it is that they do it with issues that will make the other person look bad if they argue against it. It's absolutist in the extreme, mental bullying at its worst, and completely ignores the fact that Dave Sappelt has every right to express himself on a medium THAT WAS CREATED FOR PEOPLE TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES. Julie telling Dave not to express himself is no more Julie expressing herself than putting a hand over someone's mouth is freedom of speech. She wants to push an agenda, she needs to do it somewhere else. /rant

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Hey Carne, let's keep this about the subject matter and not an attack on Julie. You can disagree with her and her opinion but let's keep it there.

    And it seems to me if you're for people expressing themselves, then why not afford Julie the same courtesy of expressing her opinion that what Sappelt said was offensive to a large part of the Cubs fan base? Or can people say whatever they want without having to deal with a contrary opinion? That seems like thought police to me too. Can't have it both ways.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I answered your question before you asked it but I'll quote it again. Very clear distinction:

    "Julie telling Dave not to express himself is no more Julie expressing herself than putting a hand over someone's mouth is freedom of speech."

    And I was in no way attacking Julie. If you saw that, you brought it to what I said. You can't have this conversation without mentioning Julie and her motives anymore than you can have this conversation without mentioning Dave and his motives.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    There is no freedom being infringed upon here. She didn't like the way he expressed himself, she's not telling him to stop expressing himself.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Of course she is. She talks about how players shouldn't be ostracizing 50% of their fanbase by expressing himself. That's telling him not to say it. It's not a contrary opinion like you seem to think. A contrary opinion would be "No, when women drive you, you don't get scared." See how silly that sounds? It's like offering a contrary opinion to someone's favorite color. She's telling him not to say something. That's not her expressing herself. That's her telling him not to.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Carne, I'm getting the sense that the abstract concept of the word "freedom" evokes strong emotional, ideological feelings from you. It seems to me you're using this as a vehicle to express a political point of view. That's not something I really care to discuss on a baseball site.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    No offense, but you seem to think a lot of people are off topic in their responses, John. Nothing political in what I'm saying, just a strong opinion about the topic you brought up, but I'm happy to agree to disagree.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    It was devolving into some debate on the freedom of speech. I'm okay with off topic subjects, but there are limits. I don't want to discuss the first amendment on a baseball blog.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    My motives were that he ticked me off. That's it. Seriously. Why would anyone open themselves up to this kind of criticism other than for something that he/she deeply believes in? It certainly doesn't make me any more popular.

    I'm a first amendment absolutist. I don't believe in any restrictions on the first amendment. But the first amendment prohibits the government from making laws about speech. It certainly doesn't mean that people shouldn't expect to be called out when they say something offensive. (And you can say it's not offensive, or it was a joke, but when you're a woman, you hear this kind of thing EVERY. DAMN. DAY) In fact, the argument against impugning freedom of speech is that the best defense against bad speech is MORE speech. Sunshine is the best disinfectant and all that.

    I have no problem with people disagreeing with what I said, but please don't attribute motives to me that I didn't have or accuse me of violating someone's right to free speech.

  • In reply to Julie DiCaro:

    You're telling someone they shouldn't have said what they felt on a site expressly dedicated to someone saying what they feel. This isn't you expressing yourself, this is you telling someone else not to. Try applying your sunshine disinfectant analogy the next time you see a kid screaming, "SHUT UP" at another kid because he doesn't want to hear what the other kid's saying. The kid would justify it the same way you did, that he got mad, but the end result is the same - it's not someone expressing themself, it's someone telling someone else NOT to. It's an ouroboros- free speech eating itself.

    If you really want to express yourself without strong arming someone else into not, stick to the content of the conversation. Why he shouldn't feel scared with women driving. Why he shouldn't feel women don't take long shopping, etc. Sounds a little silly to even say, because you'd basically be arguing against an "I feel" sentiment, which, like I said before, is like arguing against someone's favorite color. When you stop arguing content and start arguing that the person is wrong to say it, you've crossed that line where you're impeding people expressing themselves, no matter what your ideological beliefs are on free speech. If you're getting a lot of flack for this, which it sounds like you are, this will probably be underlined and bolded the next couple days as you'll have people who address what you said, but you'll also have that group of people who will attack you personally for saying it. The latter is wrong, whether it's them doing it you or you doing it to Sappelt. Don't be that guy.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    LOL-- how is me calling someone an idiot a "strong arm" tactic?

    And now you're telling me I shouldn't have said what I said. So where, exactly, is the difference here?

  • In reply to Julie DiCaro:

    Really? You don't see how attacking someone personally is a strong-arm tactic? I'm not sure I can teach that to you if you don't get it. Dangling sexist, racist, all those kind of labels over someone is also a strong arm tactic.

    Show me where I said you shouldn't have said what you said. (Also, take a shot for every time I said, "said.") Going by your own standard of being a "first-amendment absolutist," your actions don't match that. You don't magically sunshine disinfect free speech by using those strong-arm tactics any more than you do by
    shouting someone down. Sure, it relieves you of responsibility (I can say whatever I want!) but once you realize there are certain modes of conversation that promote free expression and certain modes that kill it, if you continue to adopt the latter, the only thing you're really showing is that you believe in free expression for yourself but not others.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Carne, please listen to John and leave this protracted argument off this site. I came here to read about Cubs baseball. "Take it outside, you two."

  • I saw that piece that DiCaro wrote earlier today. To my way of thinking, being an idiot is better than being a juicer or some other cheat, as long as he's a good team mate. I don't understand why she's writing about tweets that were made that weren't about her to begin with. She butted into a communication between Sappelt and someone else, because she said the wasn't following him. She also chose not to include what she tweeted to him, which I think is a little disingenuous on her part.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    It wasn't a tweet between him and someone else, it was a tweet he pushed out to the masses.

    His tweets weren't the result of what I said to him. Those were the tweets he put out there, unsolicited. And his tweets in response weren't directed just at me. There were a lot of people calling him out.

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    It's kind of unfair for her to only post Sappelt's comments without posting what was said to him that he responded too. Saying that he thinks he is entitled to be adored by the masses just seems to be the complete opposite of what Sappelt said. He said if you don't like it, then don't follow me. I'm sure if he offered an apology that they thought to be insincere he would have been roasted for that.
    She does have a point in mentioning that even though his views are not the views of the Chicago Cubs, that people who follow him might associate him and a dislike of him with the Cubs. If I were the Cubs, I'm not sure I would be all too worried, but perhaps a twitter policy might be in the making.
    What is interesting is that she is the Lead Chicago Cubs Correspondent and she did not know Sappelt was on the 40-man roster. I think the point of the whole article was to get herself some more attention and followers.

  • In reply to Denvil Farley:

    Thanks for pointing out that she's billed as the lead Cubs correspondent. Now I know I shouldn't take her seriously. Supports my theory that most reporters are lazy, especially in these cut & paste times. And to do a little cut & pasting of my own, she wrote "there aren’t a ton of reasons I want to go watch this team play right now". To me that sounds like she doesn't want to do her job.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Perhaps I wasn't clear enough and should have devoted more time and space to the subject. This is not how I had hoped this would go. I was looking more for a discussion on social media, the modern athlete, the fan, journalists, bloggers, etc. I didnt want this to be an attack on Julie by any stretch of the imagination. I respect her work a great deal and I think there's plenty of room to disagree without resorting to making this an attack on her.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I think you're being overly sensitive on perceived attacks on Julie. You saw it in my post too where none was present. Nothing wrong with you respecting her work a great deal. Nothing wrong with your posters disagreeing with you.

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    I'm cool with different opinions on this blog, not that it won't always stop me from thinking I'm right ;) We've had a few ourselves and it's always been respectful.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    We've been pretty good. You can tell we're both stubborn. When I start to get fired up, I always remind myself: Stay classy, San Diego. :)

  • In reply to Carne Harris:

    Ha :)

  • In reply to SFToby:

    LOL. It's not my "job." I wish it was.

  • In reply to Denvil Farley:

    For me it's also about how these guys handle things when things don't go smoothly. Personally I've said things that have come off in a different tone than I intended. Hard to express yourself well with 140 characters, but when it's happened, I've apologized for the misunderstanding, tried to clarify it, and tried to end it on good terms.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I'm not condoning Sappelt, but after looking through the twitter feed, it looks like harassment to me. She wasn't trying to offer a corrective, just trying to pick a fight. He said 'lol' which means to me that he's not saying grow up in a condescending way, but more like a 'is somebody I don't know and who doesn't know me really calling me out for this right now.' It seems like Sappelt figured out it was harassment and blocked her, which of course she makes joke about. None of this looks like she's actually concerned about anything other than trying to get more views for her page.
    Sappelt could have handled things differently, should have handled them differently, but I don't think I could ever read something by Julie after seeing how that went down. To me she showed a lack of journalistic integrity by badgering him about something that is completely unrelated to anything that has to do with baseball.

  • In reply to Denvil Farley:

    I'm cool with that. You can definitely disagree with the way she handled it as well.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Electronic communication, even without being limited to 140 characters is difficult to convey a tone, that's why sarcasm rarely works in print. When someone takes the time to write a blog post just to call someone a jerk, they need to take the time to not make yourself appear as one as well.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Agree there, Toby. It is extremely difficult to convey tone electronically. I've made that mistake myself, as we all probably have from time to time.

    And I do respect your opinion that you disagree with the way she responded.

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    I'm a long time Cubs Den reader. This is the best(by far) Cubs news/opinion website. You guys do a great job. The community is knowledgeable and respectful. This is my first comment. I saw the whole twitter beef this afternoon. Sappelt could of expressed himself clearer and reacted differently. Julie Dicaro came off looking unprofessional and petty. It causes me to question her journalistic integrity. As a fan of Julie's work, the whole thing disappointed me greatly.

  • In reply to chicagojay23:

    Thanks chicagojay23! I appreciate the kind words and I enjoyed hearing your opinion on this subject.

    Twitter doesn't lend itself to nuance very well and I think it's something we all have to sort of self-monitor. It's something I'm still learning how to do!

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Ultimately, this won't change my opinion of either Julie or Dave. Everybody needs to try to keep things in perspective.

  • In reply to chicagojay23:

    Well put.

  • In reply to chicagojay23:

    Actually, it caused me to stop following Julie. I have & will mostly continue to follow any other fellow Cubs fan. But I realized that I don't admire her work. Therefore if she brings me nothing of substance from her tweets or blog and there is the potential for her to pick a fight or take something out of context, I'd rather not be around her.

    Sappelt needs to realize that he is now on a MLB roster. This is NOT the Minors anymore. He has to be more careful "HOW" he says things.

    As great as the new FO has been. It's obvious they neglected a social media section to their new "Cubs Way" manual. But, I see an addendum prior to ST.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John-incidents like this show why I don't bother with social media period. Not Twitter, not Facebook. There are things we all like to keep private. Ive been married for 34 years, and my wife certainly wouldn't care much for me talking about her on Twitter. Progress is great, but with it comes responsability

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    I agree. I think you do have to use it responsibly and understand that you are not always just representing yourself when you engage in social media. i share some unimportant personal anecdotes but keep the truly personal things private and try to keep it as much about baseball as I can.

    In the case of ballplayers, people forget they are employees too and while they can say what they want, they aren't protected. If the Cubs don't like what one of their players say and think it affects their image and, subsequently their bottom line, they can do whatever they want.

  • See John. Another reason to cut Sappelt and keep Campana. Just kidding. Totally kidding. I could careless what the players say on Twitter. Well kind of. I mean the social media does help understand a little about their personal side I guess.

  • In reply to WillieG1:

    Ha! One point for Campana. The debate goes on :)

    Personally I don't follow a lot of players. I follow a few minor league guys so I agree with you. They're just kids and their tweets reflect that a lot. There's not a lot of insight into baseball-related subjects, which is what I'm most interested in.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Campana is the Hardee's Biscuit Maker of baseball.
    He's a one trick pony, but it's a heck of a trick.
    I vote for keeping him over guys who don't really have a trick.

    My view on Facebook and Twit are this... No!!!!
    I even Google my real name from time to time to may sure I don't come up in any internet search.

    And I'm afraid of people who drive with a cellphone in their hand.

  • Does anyone really doubt that he was just kidding about women drivers? Good Lord, do we have to be this careful that we don't offend anyone when joking around? Look at all the commercials that show the woman knowing just how to handle or solve something while the man is simply clueless. Does the general population of women see that as "offensive" to men? Probably not. Some people need to get a life.

  • In reply to cubs1969:

    I think he tried to be funny and it didn't work because it was too generalized. It causes some to take offense at what looks like stereotyping.

    I think those kind of jokes work better if you're specific. (ex. My girlfriend's driving scares the %#@ out of me!") and you let other people relate on their own experiences instead of clumsily trying to do it for them. I don't think he's a bad guy, just wasn't a well-dellvered joke.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Exactly. That's also the bit about context that I was referring to below. It's not clear that he was in a car with his girlfriend so we didn't know that is really what he was making fun of. It comes off as a broad generalization about all women.

    But also, can't we laugh at some of those stereotypes sometimes and be ok with it? Someone above mentioned the "clueless man" stereotype and truthfully, I think it fits most of us men from time to time (though not all the time) just as I'd guess the bad female driver might fit a number of women. That's why it's funny. We get it from experience. But there's a big gap between that and thinking/believing that women inherently can't drive and are incapable of being behind a wheel. People need to laugh at their deficiencies and flaws and stop being so ready to take everything as a personal slight.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    Ha! Some of those commercials make me laugh because I do some of those clueless guy things all the time. My wife just smiles and shakes her head.

    The bottom line for me is that these things aren't always clear cut.. I think it depends on the situation, the circumstance, and the perspective. People's experiences and particular sensitivities vary and in the end, I think that should always be respected.

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    In reply to Pura Vida:

    "People need to laugh at their deficiencies and flaws and stop being so ready to take everything as a personal slight."

    This was directed at me, wasn't it? I take offense at that!!!!

    (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

  • I think Sappelt's tweets were poorly written and poorly thought out. That is the danger of social media and these kinds of instantaneous communication that don't really provide context, tone (as SF Toby pointed out), or much time to carefully craft a message. I know that even on this board, I'll post something and then re-read what I wrote and think, "Boy, my point isn't really clear here" or "what antecedent is that pronoun referring to?" etc.

    With that in mind, I think that celebrities of any standing (A to F list) should probably take a sec before posting tweets. Maybe Julie is right in saying that she could teach Sappelt a thing or two about tweeting.

    On the other hand, we should all realize the limits and nature of tweeting and give people a little leeway and take what they say with a grain of salt. Sappelt was clearly joking, but he's no professional comedian and his joke was simply very poorly crafted. In the hands of Chris Rock or Chappelle or Maron, they might have been able to make that observation in a more nuanced/well crafted way.

    Finally, I also think people need to take themselves a bit less seriously. This goes for Sappelt digging in and Julie taking such quick and easy offense at a baseball players bad joke. Have a sense of humor about yourself and the world. It helps.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    Excellent post Pura Vida. Great look at the big picture.

  • This thread may not have been purely baseball, but shows well thought points and very interesting reading. The Deninator and his Denisons are generally engaged, respectful, and thoughtful. So much these days in all blogs is agenda driver that one based on fair analysts is a treat.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Thanks 44slug!

  • Social media definitely has its drawbacks. I rarely participate. But I love the topic specific blogs.

  • Garza / Soriano / $26 m for Olt, Perez, Neil Ramirez and Wilmer Font. That's my predictions, either right before spring training or very early into it.

  • In reply to apalifer:

    Hey, that's about baseball !
    Thanks.

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    wow...I just wasted about 30 mins of my life reading something Sappelt tweeted...really? If I got upset everytime I read something that is said about the white man then I'd be angry alot.

    Now on to baseball which is why I'm here....I like the way the team is looking right now going into ST and really don't see a positive in trading Sori or Garza until the deadline unless were sitting on top of the division or competing for a playoff spot. I'd then keep them and maybe add a power hitting 3rd baseman if we need it. Remember, We're in it to win every year.

  • Julie, he's a ballplayer. He was trying to be funny. I have been following him on Twitter this winter, he is a light hearted guy. If your looking for sophisticated, non crude humor, ballplayers are not the place to be looking.
    What really caught my attention of what you said, I don't feel like the Cubs fan base is all ticked off. Most Cub fans I know are really excited about where the team is going.

  • I totally agree! Baseball players are among the least educated athletes of all. Many don't go to college, much less finish it, and an awful lot come from third world countries. I read that football lineman are the most educated, because they've all gone to college and most have graduated. If you're looking for brainiac athletes, look elsewhere.

  • My sense of this tweeting incident is the problem arises due to having a blogger objecting to a tweeter via a tweet and then this getting discussed on another blog by another blogger and some commenters. To me, what is clearly needed to bring some kind of closure to the matter is to have someone texting about it, maybe a female texting her thoughts, maybe texting this while she is driving...

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