You’ve probably heard by now that Cubs’ closer Carlos Marmol has been accused of domestic abuse by a woman from his hometown in the Dominican Republic. Marmol gave his side of the story to the media at the Cubs’ training facility Monday. The short version is that he believes the woman and her representation are looking for a payoff, and that he’s actually the victim. It sounds like the Cubs are backing his side as well. I would have thought the players might have learned something from Starlin Castro’s legal entanglement last offseason, but clearly not everyone did. Here’s hoping Marmol is telling the truth, and that there’s not more to the story.

Matt Garza is eager to reestablish his value with the Cubs, and expects to earn a new contract with the team. With the abundance of arms Theo and Jed have brought in, it seems unlikely that Garza has a long future with the Cubs. I mean, realistically, how good would he have to be to make the front office ignore all offers and instead invest in him for the future? Whatever that level of performance might be, it seems hard to believe Garza will achieve it, especially on a team with so many other needs. Still, if he can pull it off, I’d be happy to keep him for the right price.

The Indians capped off a busy and expensive offseason by signing Michael Bourn to a 4-year, $48M contract. At various times, it seemed the Cubs had an interest in Bourn–along with most of the other teams in baseball–but with a surplus of outfielders already, there wasn’t much likelihood they would make a late push to sign him.

Remember the how everyone was calling for protective head gear for pitchers after Brandon McCarthy’s life-threatening injury last season? The new helmets/caps won’t be ready by the beginning of Spring Training, and might not be ready at all this season. Not a surprise when you figure it took them more than a century to add the fold-down ear flap for games in extremely cold weather.

Michael Vick signed a new, 1-year contract to stay with the Philadelphia Eagles. The deal–which could be worth as much as $10M–replaces the 6-year, $100M contract Vick signed in 2011. Ah, the NFL, where contracts don’t mean squat. No word yet if Vick will start in the new offensive scheme brought in by new head coach Chip Kelly, but he would seem like a slightly more apt fit than the Eagles’ other quarterback Nick Foles.

I don’t believe in karma, jinxes, or curses, but I’m a little hesitant to bring up just how well the Blackhawks have played to start the lockout-shortened season. With stellar performances from Patrick Kane and others, they still have not lost a game in regulation this season. Now watch–they’ll probably lose tonight and I’ll spend the rest of the week kicking myself for saying anything at all.

It seems the Pope has reached his expiration date.

Aspen stinks.

This one is super-weird: the fake beef in European supermarkets might not even be real horse. I suppose it’s a good reminder to only buy from legitimate horse meat vendors.

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