The Cubs have hired a new color commentator/Len Kasper wrangler for their TV broadcasts–longtime Astros broadcaster Jim Deshaies. To my knowledge, I’ve never heard Deshaies work a game before, so I can’t say how well he’ll mesh with Kasper (here’s hoping he’s not a fan of puns or lengthy digressions about obscure prog-rock bands). Cubs fans might be a little let down by the announcement, but new ESPN Chicago Cubs beat writer Jesse Rogers wants us to give Deshaies a chance. (If you’re not familiar with Rogers, he was formerly the beat writer for the Blackhawks, but the NHL lockout has opened the door for him to take over the job from Doug Padilla, who moved across town to cover the Sox.)

Theo Epstein is confident that the Cubs losing record won’t dissuade free agents from coming to the north side. And it sounds like he and the Cubs’ front office expect to get some offers for Carlos Marmol and Alfonso Soriano during the winter meetings in Nashville.

Some former Cubs agreed to new contracts Monday–Geovanny Soto re-signed with the Rangers for another year, Jason Marquis signed a one-year deal with the Padres, and Angel Pagan cashed in on a great bounce-back season with the World Series champion Giants. At $40M for four years, Pagan’s deal is the richest free-agent signing of the offseason.

Alex Rodriguez will miss most of the first half of the 2013 season due to hip surgery. The surgery will be similar to the procedure he had in 2009.

Robert Griffin III and the Redskins held off Eli Manning and the Giants Monday night, winning 17-16 at home. RG3 committed the most productive fumble in recent history. Eli made this face as he did the game clock math in his head at the end of the game. It was all fairly entertaining.

Further details about Javon Belcher’s murder-suicide over the weekend. That same day, a member of the Browns grounds crew committed suicide at the team’s practice facility.

Your three Heisman Trophy finalists have been revealed. No surprises here, although does anyone else get the sense that Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel might get the Mike Trout-treatment from the voters this weekend?

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