The White Sox made a couple of late night moves to acquire former Cubs pitcher/wide receiver Jeff Samardzija and former Yankees closer David Robertson. So far, the Sox have been very active this offseason, picking up mostly a cast of mediocrities, so getting two real pitchers is a nice change of pace.
When MLB Network posted the list of Sox offseason acquisitions, something jumped out at me. And then, thinking of the offseason the Bulls (also owned by Jerry Reinsdorf) had…well, I’m sure this is just coincidence.
See if you can spot a trend:
Less than six months after trading him away, the Cubs have re-signed pitcher Jason Hammel. This time, Hammel gets a nice raise, a second guaranteed year and a third year option. I’m sure that’ll help console him next July when he’s packing his shit and leaving again.
Just when everything seemed to be going so well. The Cubs offseason had included getting the best manager in the game, bringing back Hank White, adding Dave Martinez to the coaching staff, and making an ambitious run at Jon Lester. Hey, they’d even seen the Blue Jays bail them out of what would have been an onerous contract for squatty little Russell Martin.
All of that is now drowned out by the thud that is the return of Ryan Dempster, Fart Joke Teller Extraordinare. Canada’s worst export since Nickelback, Dempster left the Cubs a three glorious years ago when his trade deadline hostage crisis finally ended with him being shipped off to the Rangers. We detailed that saga here, and it no doubt will be featured in season two of the Serial Podcast.
The Score’s baseball insider Bruce Levine gets his fair share of scoops. He’s plugged in with both Chicago baseball teams, the Cubs and the other one, and he has a pipeline straight to Tom Ricketts and his manservant Dennis Culloton.
Bruce also is a friend to many agents, and is good at getting info from them in exchange for floating ridiculous rumors for them when they ask him to (Pablo Sandoval to the Cubs, anyone?)
What Bruce is undeniably terrible at is Twitter. He can’t spell. He can’t type. He has no idea when to use to, too or two. Without taking the deep dive into his Twitter account that is so richly deserved, let’s at least get a quick overview of Bruce Levine’s (most recent) Adventures in Twitter. For a more comprehensive look at it, I’m going to need to drink…a lot. We’ll save that for later.
The Cubs announced today that the big videoboard in left field (the one giving hokey traditionalists the vapors) that will debut sometime next season, will bear the name of Wintrust Financial. Apparently that is a bank, or some shit.
Being a Cubs fan wouldn’t be all that bad if it weren’t for two things:
1) the soul-crushing losing
2) other Cubs fans.
Yesterday, the Cubs invited a gaggle of Cubs bloggers to sit down with Cubs Vice President for Business Mismanagement Crane Kenney. Apparently they didn’t have postal addresses for Hire Jim Essian or me. But, thankfully, our good friend Al Yellon did score an invite. He filed this report:
Remember a few years ago when the Red Sox went apeshit in the offseason and signed every free agent and then flamed out in September and fired Tito Francona and Theo left and then they hired Bobby Valentine and the team sucked and the Dodgers took all of those bad contracts off their hands and then they signed some lower priced guys and won the World Series? Apparently they don’t.
Today they signed Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval for a combined ten years and almost $200 million. This, despite the fact than Hanley can’t really play shortstop anymore and Pablo’s numbers have been declining in inverse proportion to his weight.
Granted, Hanley can still rake, and should make for a passable outfielder (but maybe they’d have been better off with a lower priced…outfielder), and the Panda has been pretty ridiculous in the last two World Series’ he’s played in. (Hanley’s postseason numbers are also great, though his NLCS numbers took a dive in 2013 after the Cardinals’ Joe Kelly ((his new teammate)) hit him on purpose and broke a rib.
But these are basically soon-to-be positionless players making a lot of money for several years. Since all we care about is how do things affect the Cubs…
how does this affect the Cubs?