Technically, anything before noon is "morning" so this will have to do. I've been very tired slogging through this first semester of teaching and it shows:
Crud, I must be tired. Saw the word "apology" and thought, "isn't the study of primates called something else?"
— Rice Cube (@CubicSnarkonia) December 6, 2014
Anyway, on with the thinks...
Numerous outlets reported that former Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster, who I thought had retired earlier this year because he basically took the year off and told the Red Sox to keep their money in the final year of his contract, actually officially retired yesterday. He did the one-day contract thing with the Chicago Cubs and was subsequently hired to be a special assistant to Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, which was spectacular timing since the Winter Meetings start on Monday. Cubs Twitter was simultaneously amusing and reflective, with many folks remembering Dempster's long run of solid pitching in Chicago and the various silly things that happened during his tenure, including the "oopsy" celebration, his bad Harry Caray impression, and the trade drama in 2012 that turned Randall Delgado into Kyle Hendricks (not complaining).
The narrative suggests that Ryan Dempster can help convince his former teammate on the Boston Red Sox, Jon Lester, to sign with the Cubs. They did, after all, win a World Series in Dempster's only season as a Red Sox, but to be perfectly frank, Dempster didn't really help much in that campaign. But I imagine that they formed a friendship, despite Dempster's reputation among some fans of being annoying. As a player, Dempster was actually fairly popular in my recollection, and he was involved in a lot of charities and community activities. I assume that he will get a chance to do at least some of that in between doing the scouting and evaluating that special assistants do.
The Landmarks Commission approved the Cubs' revised plan to switch up some of the outfield signage on Thursday, and for the conspiracy theorists out there, it seemed that the signs would now be arranged in such a way as to block only the rooftops that hadn't caved to the Cubs' demands. As it is, the lawyer for the rooftops was particularly cranky during the hearing because the rooftops realize that despite their threats to sue and their much more publicized tensions since that hearing, the Cubs have all the leverage. It sounds like the rooftops are bleeding money as the Cubs continue having their way, which almost reminds me of a tourniquet that is cutting off the circulation of money away from Wrigley Field.
First, the Cubs will have to beat the weather and Opening Day to complete the bleacher rebuild. We'll find out sooner than that which team Jon Lester will choose.