Archive for December, 2012

Morning News: Goodbye 2012

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Cubs Rumors
There’s a rumor circulating that the Cubs turned down a Marmol-for-Peter Bourjos deal with the Angels, BEFORE the Marmol-for-Haren deal was even proposed. That might be part of the reason that you still hear the Cubs listed as a potential destination for Michael Bourn. Whether or not that happens, the Phillies and Cubs are seriously discussing a deal centered around Alfonso Soriano – but there is a school of thought that believes the Phillies want to wait for Bourn to sign first, supposedly his signing (location, contract) could affect how they choose to value Soriano. Bourn will be a costly acquisition no matter what his contract totals – his new team will be forced to surrender an early draft pick in order to sign him.

The morning games included the Bears (v. Lions) and the Giants (v. Eagles), both needing wins to keep postseason dreams alive. The Giants destroyed the Eagles in what was possibly Andy Reid’s final game as head coach of Philadelphia. But the Giants were eliminated when the Bears took care of business against the feisty Lions. The Bears victory forced the Vikings into a win or be eliminated home finale against Green Bay. The Packers needed a win to guarantee the NFC’s #2 seed.

Adrian Peterson needed an incredible 208-yard rushing yards in order to break Eric Dickerson’s NFL rushing record. He only got 199 yards; but the Vikings got their win and in doing so eliminated the Bears. The Packers fell to the #3 seed and as such will host the Vikings next week at Lambeau Field. Perhaps Discount Double Check and his teammates are consoled by the knowledge that their arch-rivals (Bears) and the team that has become their recent playoff nemesis (Giants) will be watching that rematch from their couches. But recent history indicates the Packers should be concerned about the Saturday playoff game that’s coming their way.

The final game of the regular season ended as all regular season’s should – with the Cowboys eliminating themselves. This time it was an errant pass from Tony Romo that sent the Cowboys packing. With roughly 3 minutes to go and the Redskins trying to wilt, Romo gifted them his third interception of the evening. Facing a 3rd and 7 on the ensuing possession, the Cowboys committed a roughing the passer penalty that essentially finished off Dallas.

The Falcons and 49ers get a bye, the Redskins host the Seahawks and the Vikings get their rematch in Green Bay.

The AFC was far less interesting; division winners were merely playing for playoff seeding. The Texans, who could’ve locked up the #1 with a win in either of the last two weeks dropped to #3 when they lost and the Broncos and Patriots both won. With Indy going to Baltimore and Cincinnati going to Houston (the four teams faced off in Week 17 with the wild cards each beating their division rival and winner), the AFC is increasingly looking to be a Manning v. Brady matchup in Denver for a chance at the Super Bowl.

New Year’s Eve
If you’re going to Times Square, let me save you time, money, and hassle. DON’T. I’ve done it twice. The first time arriving late on the 31st – and by late I mean around 7pm. So after waiting for five hours about six blocks north of the ball and penned in directly in front of my hotel, I somehow convinced myself that it would be infinitely better if had been in the midst of the craziness. So a couple of years later I got there before NYPD started shutting down Brodway and 7th Ave (mid-morning). This was a far greater mistake than I could’ve imagined. Remember while you watch tonight, those people directly in Times Square are 1) cold and wet, 2) tired and drunk, 3) mostly foriegners, who 4) have no problem with public defecation. It is NOT pleasant, it is NOT fun; it is strictly something you can be ‘proud’ to say you’ve done. But if you’ve done it (or done it twice!) proud is probably not a word you’d use to describe it.

It wouldn’t be the news (from me anyway) without a few links:

  • I’ll save you the suspense, your taxes are going up no matter what they do about the ‘fiscal cliff.’
  • Australia has a weird way of advertising cremations – though Seymour might like it.
  • I’m almost two weeks late on this, but I’m betting most of you have not heard about it – though you certainly would’ve if it had ended differently.
  • The man who penned the song “Gold Digger” now has Kim Kardashian as his baby’s mama. ¬†Perhaps the Mayans were off by a few months.
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Go: Auld Lang Syne

Saturday, December 29th, 2012

What will you be doing on New Year’s Eve?

Do you have a question you’d like us to feature in the Go! column? Send it to and she’ll see what she can do!

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Cubs Sign Hisanori Takahashi to MLC

Friday, December 28th, 2012

A quick minor move today as the Cubs agreed to terms with Japanese left-handed reliever, Hisanori Takahashi to a minor league deal. The signing includes an invitation to big league spring training to audition for a spot in the rotation. Takahashi came to the big leagues at the age of 35, and has pitched for the Mets, Angels, and the Pirates. He’s faced the Cubs in two games in his big league career, so it’s possible you may remember watching him pitch. He’s coming off a year in 2012 in which he made $4.2 million dollars and posted an ERA over five and a half in just over 50 IP.

MLB Trade Rumors lists that “Takahashi has held big league lefties to a .238/.283/.381 batting line with a 4.14 K/BB.”. With very few left handed options currently in the system, the signing offers a low risk lottery ticket for a guy who may help the pen in a LOOGY role sometime this season. If we see him in that role successfully, he could be moved for a younger prospect at the deadline.

Most likely, Takahashi will not make the Major League roster out of camp and will then decide if he would like to continue to pitch by accepting an assignment to minor league camp as he waits for his turn.


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Morning News: Evening Edition

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

In case you missed it, the Pro Bowl rosters were released yesterday. Guess who is starting for the NFC? That’s right, Aaron Rodgers. And, much to the chagrin of Patriots fans, Tom Brady is not starting for the AFC. Peyton Manning gets the nod under center to begin the game.

The Bears had 5 selections, including Brandon Marshall and Charles Tillman. I will say that the Bears Pro Bowlers earned their spots on that roster. Tillman is playing phenomenally. To see the entire roster, click here. I think Russell Wilson got snubbed. What say you?

Staying on the topic of football, is anyone a fan of Duck Dynasty? The patriarch of the family, Phil Robertson, was a top-tier athlete in his day, playing at starting quarterback ahead of Terry Bradshaw at Louisiana Tech University. You can check the whole story here.

The baseball world is abuzz with the Red Sox and Yankees making the headlines. The Red Sox bolstered their bullpen with the addition of Joel Hanrahan, the former Pirate, in a 6-player deal that sends Hanrahan and Brock Holt to Boston for right-handers Mark Melancon, Stolmy Pimentel, infielder Ivan DeJesus Jr. and first baseman-outfielder Jerry Sands. Boston is also in talks with Mike Napoli, but no official deal has been agreed upon quite yet. The Red Sox might get Cubbed on this one!

And finally, 2012 is winding down and Christmas is over. Did Santa bring everyone what they wanted? Did anybody get tickets to the Cubs Convention? It’s only three and a half weeks away! Now, if only Theo & Co. could get a semi-high profile player to sign…

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Morning News: Red Sox Trade for a Closer

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

Not much occurred in the baseball world on Boxing Day (by the way, we should really celebrate that here in the US) aside from a trade between the Pirates and Red Sox. The Pirates sent closer Joel Hanrahan and infielder Brock Holt to the Red Sox for relief pitcher Mark Melancon, first baseman/outfielder Jerry Sands, utility man Ivan DeJesus, Jr., and pitching prospect Stolmy Pimentel. After the Red Sox’s problems getting oft injured Andrew Bailey on the mound last year, Hanrahan provides them with a solution at closer with a better health history. And while Holt does not have DeJesus’ name recognition, at least some appear to believe that Holt has a better shot at being a useful Major Leaguer due to DeJesus’ limited offensive skills.

The return for the Pirates here was not that great. Pimentel has a pretty high ceiling, but a high level of uncertainty regarding ever reaching it. Melancon is a solid Major League reliever, but not a top tier one. Sands and DeJesus are bench players at best.

But what does this trade have to do with the Cubs? Because the Cubs are reportedly trying to trade Carlos Marmol, this could be a reference point, and not a particularly promising one. With that said, there will likely be significant contrasts in a Marmol trade that should point in the Cubs’ favor.

First, Hanrahan is likely to make about $7 million this year, and the Pirates have to be a lot more cost conscious than the Cubs do. As a result, the Cubs would likely be a lot more willing to eat a big portion of Marmol’s salary, potentially up to $7-8 million of Marmol’s $9.8 million 2013 salary.

Second, while the Pirates took quantity in return for Hanrahan, the Cubs are more likely to be looking for one good prospect in return. So hopefully the Cubs can at least get a more impressive looking return for Marmol, should they trade the closer, than the Pirates received from Hanrahan.

In other news, President George H.W. Bush is reportedly in intensive care. Whatever your feelings towards any president, party or their policies, respect for the office and remembering that politicians are human beings is important. I wish him a speedy recovery.

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