Greetings, VFTB faithful and welcomed guests! My name is the Daver and your gracious host, Joe Aiello, has invited me to share some morning news items with you several times a week. Some of you might know me as “Dat Cubfan Daver” from Bleed Cubbie Blue and Twitter. If so, I apologize for all the bad jokes and hope to do better in the future.
I’m going to try to keep these posts brief, to-the-point and, naturally, Cubs-focused (as opposed to MLB-focused). Don’t look for any rhyme nor reason beyond that. I’m just going to hit you with whatever interesting items catch my eye. And now – on to the news!
The Cubs’ future in Arizona remains uncertain. Now that we’ve got that whole pesky ownership thing figured out, we can start wondering (and, for some, worrying) about where the Cubs will hunker down for spring training. It’s desert vs. swamp in a no-holds barred schmoozefest. Stay tuned.
Ho-Ho has a new Grand Puba. In a related story, Hohokam Stadium has named Mark Gallo as the new stadium manager, replacing previous manager Dave “Don’t Call Me Adam” Dunne. Hey, I didn’t promise all of these items would be earth-shattering.
Next stop, Wally World. Another Cubs-related hiring – the team now has a new (deep breath) executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer (exhale). He is Wally Hayward and I love that name.
Cubs going all Scorsese on Horseshoe Casino. In case you haven’t heard, the team has erected signs in the left field bleachers to block Horseshoe’s unsurprisingly garish rooftop billboard across the street. Looks to me like whoever built the signs had some Home Depot gift cards leftover from last Christmas. I also think if the signs stay there, they’re going to piss off the ball hawks on the street below.
New USA Today Team Report! New USA Today Team Report! If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably noticed me passing along these USA Today Team Reports. To be clear, I’m no fan of the newspaper nor am I affiliated with it in any way, but whoever writes these team reports really knocks them onto Waveland. They’re great summaries of the Cubs current goings-on chock full of savvy stats and interesting items. Does anyone happen to know who writes them?
Twins still eying Harden. I know, I know – TWSS. But, seriously, Twins beat reporter Kelly Theiser notes that those pesky piranhas are still interested in the controversial strikeout master.
No rest for uberprospect Starlin Castro. After ripping up the Arizona Fall League, the Cubs much-talked-about shortstop prospect has moved on to Caribbean Winter Ball, playing for the Leones del Escogido. Hey, he’s young. Also note that former Cubs pinch hitter extraordinaire Daryle Ward is on the roster. Wow, really? (Thanks to Pitch F/X Ace Harry Pavlidis for passing this item along on Twitter.)
The Trib’s AFL wrap-up. For those of you who missed the Arizona Fall League action, the Chicago Tribune actually offers something (gasp) useful in this nice wrap-up of the Cubs big players. This is the first I’ve noticed this Tom Carkeek character. I shall keep an eye on him.
Jake the Rake in the DR! In other winter league news, it appears Jake Fox is playing left field for the Dominican Republic’s Licey Tigers. Hey, why not? It can’t hurt to get Jake some more defensive reps – maybe he could put in some time at third base and second base, too. Assuming he hits well, this could at least boost his trade value. (Please note: The linked article is in Spanish but includes a picture. If any cunning bilingualists out there wish to translate, please feel free. I’d run it through Google’s translator but I’ve really got to get moving along here.)