It didn't take much. It took long enough, mind you, but it didn't take much to get the bad taste of the off-season out of my mouth. I knew the answer was there. In fact I had heard other people say it. But you need to hear it from the right people saying it the way it needs to be said. And now I'm ready to watch some baseball. God bless context. I suppose.
This week, the MacNeil and Spiegel show was in Arizona checking out training camp. And when they were at Cubs Under Armour plantation at Cubs Park part of the Wrigley experience or whatever it's called, they got to sit down with President Theo Epstein. Now I had usually enjoyed the heck out of Theo his first year or two. His words shined through the darkness that the Cubs were in and I could see the direction the organization was heading. But this off-season Theo was rather aloof, and you didn't know if the Cubs stagnant off-season was by design or by the hand he was dealt by upper management.
That ended Tuesday.
Dan McNeil asked Theo if the Cubs were playing lousy in the beginning of the season, would they consider "giving the fans a cookie" and call up a prospect like Baez or Bryant a little early. Fairly general question asked in a rather condescending manner. Theo first laughed. and Danny asked why he was laughing.
"I'm laughing at the idea that we should be giving our fans cookies. We're cooking a whole meal."
It wasn't that the analogy used cookies….MmMmMm cooooookies. But it was the "You simply don't get it" attitude with which he answered the question. Now Dan McNeil is not a Cubs fan, and he's kind of coasting in his job, as all peole who've been that successful for that long are. Heck, Howard Stern has had it on Cruise control for at least 20 years. So Danny doesn't care. But it was obvious that Theo cared. And that's what pricked up every Cub fans' ears.
Theo then went on to explain that it wasn't the Tanaka process that held up the Cubs off-season, rather it was every team being so rife with cash that it made what few FA's out there over priced that it was simply bad business to get involved, and now the Cubs off-seson makes a little more sense.
Now you turn your attention to these kids- not just the "Core four" but pitchers like Hendricks and Vizcaino. Players like Villanueva, Alcantarra, heck even Mike Olt and Josh Vitters ( Remember, Vitters is younger than Olt, and was just as highly thought of.) You look at all these kids and you realize that you need to get the RIGHT veterans in there to be mentors, guides, and other pieces to the puzzle. But it has to be right. And since you can do it through trade ( Kemp? Ethier? Maybe Jason HeYward…. if he's not part of the Atlanta future) or next year FA you could afford to sit it out a mediocre FA class like this one where every team is ready and willing to overspend.
So I'm really glad to get this season going. Maybe have a drink or two. While I wait for my meal to cook.
Odds and Sodds
Remember when Trey McNutt was too valuable to lose as compensation for Theo Epstien? Good times.
Disappointed in the Blackhawks lack of activity during the trade deadline this week. What was more aggravating was the press' not only defense of Stan, but attacking fans like me who wanted to see something done. I can't get too deep into it because this isn't a hockey blog. But I'll ask this- When Stan Bowman let's Mike Kostka go via waivers and tells the press "We didn't want to carry 8 defensemen going forward…" only to spend a 2nd round draft pick on an 8th defenseman, don't you owe it to ask why he changed his mind? Because no one did… Whatever. It'll be interesting to see if anyone says anything should the Hawks go out in the second round.
I'm really really glad the Cubs are in the National league because that means they won't play the Angels much and I won't have to listen to their announcing team.
So Edwin Jackson threw 54 fastballs and Bosio and Renteria had no idea that's what he was going to do? I mean, I know it's Spring training and perhaps it turns out to be a good thing. But after 25 or 30, couldn't you have gone out there and been like "Umm Edwin, the catcher needs work too……"
If one more person says that Darwin Barney is going to up his trade value by playing 5 games at SS in the beginning of spring training, I'm gonna scream.
Nice to read all the positive tweets coming out of the baseball-drinking mashup at Lincoln square with some of the Cubs Den crew, Harry Pavilidis, Shahadev Sharma and others. I didn't read much from Mauricio. I assume Harry drank him under the floor.
True Detective finale tonight. I'm expecting an off-kilter ending. I think there's too much to wrap up in one episode. In fact, I'd be disappointed if they did wrap everything up. If that makes sense.
The problem with Baez and Bryant hitting these home runs……kinda covering up for the fact that Major league Cubs aren't…..
Well, I woke up to Here comes the Sun, so Abbey Road gets the honors for Sunday music.