It’s Thursday which means it’s time for me to put finger to key and try to come up with something that doesn’t make you want to click away after three seconds. Hopefully you enjoyed the information we brought about the Matt Garza trade. I know Mark over at the Ray Area worked hard on his portion. Since that trade, it seems like there has actually be a few things that have come across my e-mail that I’d like to comment on.

Before we get to that, a quick tangent. How cool is it when you’re dealing with a company and receive a fair amount of incompetence and poor service to finally get a good representative that has half a brain and knows what their doing. All of a sudden it’s as if the heavens have opened up and God is smiling on you. It always makes me laugh because I really don’t know how to handle the person that provided said service. You feel like giving them a hug and thanking them 100 times. Instead I typically try to get their name and ask for a supervisor to let them know, though I’m sure that person is a reject and simply nods and hangs up. I had this happen with Sprint today and it made me wonder what you guys do when you get a particularly good customer service rep.

The Headlines


Reed Johnson’s Back!!! – First it was Kerry Wood that decided to come back to Chicago. Now, the Cubs announced that Reed Johnson, one of my favorite Cubs, has signed a minor league deal with an invite to spring training to compete for a reserve outfield job. Right now we know Sori, Byrd and Fukudome are locks. You’d figure Colvin is a lock as well. That leaves one spot in the outfield for either Johnson or Fernando Perez. I’ll be honest. Both are such good guys for a clubhouse that it’s hard not to want both of them to make the team. One option to get them both in there would be to have Colvin be in there as the backup first baseman. That would let him slot in there when needed but also give Quade some flexibility with being able to carry Perez and Johnson. Obviously all this is contingent on the fact that both guys would have to actually be able to hit the baseball. Failure to do that makes it moot, but I like both Johnson and Perez a lot. Perez has been here under a week and he’s already one of my new favorite Cubs. He tore apart a Cubs blogger that tried a pretty sad attempt at satire at his expense.

Some of my favorite quotes:

Hey “Ace” an ‘attendant’ is someone that is employed to provide service—you meant that I was an ‘attendee’; someone who attends something, like the Cubs convention for instance. If you’d have done your homework and had seen this, you could have actually went with ‘attendant’— that would have been sort of funny actually. You also spelled ‘heroes’ wrong but that one’s a toughie, I’m sure nobody caught it.

Ace, there are so many places you could have went with this. If it was going to be a college joke about me being molested in my adolescence, you might as well have called me a “fag” or something for my well-documented poetic leanings. Let’s see, well, I’m a little funny looking with my short torso, high butt and long arms, sometimes I end up tucking in my jersey numbers in my pants—nobody likes that. I was in a musical too. Thats pretty lame I guess. You certainly should have brought up my career stats. Not so great thus far. There’s also that ridiculous picture I consented to take for a magazine, where I’m holding a polo mallet. Ewwww. I was poorer then, and I thought I’d get to keep the jeans. I was duped! But that’s neither here nor there, its on the internet, it’s fair game, and it’s a really nerdy photo. The point is, Ace, I’m such an easy target, how could you blow this! (Full Post)

Koyie Hill gets PAID – Well, not much. The Cubs agreed to a deal for him that pays $850K. It’s not terrible, considering Robinson Chirinos is gone now and Wellington Castillo is not quite ready. Hill will compete with Castillo and newly acquired Max Ramirez for the backup spot this spring. My guess is that Hill will win the job. According to Carrie Muskat, “Geovany Soto and pitchers Matt Garza, Carlos Marmol, Sean Marshall, and Tom Gorzelanny are the Cubs’ remaining arbitration eligible players. Jeff Baker, 29, also was arbitration eligible but he renewed Dec. 2 on a $1.175 million contract.”

Paul Sullivan Gets to the Heart of the Story – “Quade also declined to name an Opening Day starter, saying it would be between Matt Garza, Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster.” Did he really just write that and try to pass it off as reporting? He couldn’t press the issue just a little. I could post that and never have even talked with Quade. Good grief Sully, you’re better than that. Don’t get lazy on us.

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail