Good day, Cubs fans. Well, we’ve finally reached the last month of an agonizing season that has most of us focused on the future. So, if you’ll forgive my brevity, here’s a rundown of some pertinent “focus on the future” items:

Here come the callups! The concept of September callups is a little laughable this year, as the Cubs have been calling up (and sending down and calling up and sending down and …) guys since, like, May. But, nonetheless, we should soon get a look at, well, one new face: outfielder Brad Snyder. He’s expected to be called up along with Mitch Atkins (seen him), Justin Berg (seen him), Sam Fuld (seen him) and, gulp, Jeff Samardzija (oh boy, have we seen him). The reason they aren’t up for their respective cups o’ coffee yet: The Iowa Cubs are in the Pacific Coast League playoffs.

The Arizona Fall League beckons. The Cubs are sending seven players to the prestigious Arizona Fall League, where some of the better prospects in both leagues get a chance to get a little extra playing time. Representin’ for the North Siders this fall will be pitchers David Cales, Chris Carpenter, Jake Muyco and Kyle Smit as well as position players Josh Vitters (rehabbing from a hand injury earlier this season), Ryan Flaherty and Brett Jackson. They’ll be playin’ for the fightin’ Mesa Solar Sox.

And now, appropos of nothing and for no particular reason, my …

Top Five Awesomely Named Cubs Minor Leaguers

  1. Rebel Ridling 1B, Peoria Cubs
  2. Trey McNutt, RHP, Tennessee Smokies
  3. Austin Bibens-Dirkx, RHP, Iowa Cubs
  4. Cameron Greathouse, LHP, Boise Hawks
  5. Arismendy Alcantara, SS, Boise Hawks

Ahem. Back to the news …

A dark horse from the south. Most of us have dismissed Fredi Gonzalez as a viable candidate for the Cubs manager job but, in case you missed it, check out this recent Sun-Times article. It reveals that, though Gonzalez does indeed have a long-standing relationship with the Atlanta Braves, he also has one with Cubs GM Jim Hendry. Could he unseat Ryno for the top spot? If I were feeling a little more ambitious today, I’d do another “Cubs Next Manager Power Rankings” and tell you. In any case, perhaps we should not count Fredi out entirely. One thing about him I like: He speaks Spanish, which is likely a useful communication skill for any big league manager these days.

 The future for statues in general vicinity of Wrigley Field: Bright. Harry’s has been moved. Billy’s is comin’ in. So the Noodle is cursed — who cares? We shall line the streets with them. And the people will like it.

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