In the Single Digits

Congratulations to the New York Football Giants and their fans, Super Bowl XLII Champions. While many basketball fans might disagree, all eyes will now turn to Major League Baseball and reporting dates for pitchers and catchers.

Here is the latest from around the league, the new Under Armour commercial, a couple of rumors from Sunday and will this finally be the week Peter Angelos allows his past to give way to the future?

Erik Bedard and Brian Roberts

Larry Stone of the Seattle Times has begun to question if Bill Bavasi is doing the right thing by dealing three quality pitching prospects to Baltimore for Erik Bedard. Stone said the deal that could happen this week would be Bedard for Adam Jones, George Sherrill (hard throwing veteran left handed reliever), Kam Mickolio, Tony Butler and Chris Tillman. Stone indicated Adam Jones was not in Baltimore over the weekend taking a physical, as several rumors suggested.

The deal the Orioles would receive for Bedard is better than the one the Twins just received from the Mets for Johan Santana. Stone said this deal is a no-brainer for the Orioles but “is a high-risk, high-reward” deal for both teams.

Whatever happens this week, one thing is definite….the Orioles have taken entirely too long to deal Erik Bedard, not to mention Brian Roberts.

The Cubs

Just a couple of quick notes from the rumor mill courtesy of Bruce Levine, originally published on Sunday…. Jim Hendry is still looking for a right-handed option for the outfield. Levine said the Cubs would need this for about 40 games in center and be able to fill in for Kosuke Fukudome from time to time. Texas has not said “no” but has not said “yes” either on Marlon Byrd.

Levine said Jay Payton could be an option, either in an expanded deal for Brian Roberts or in a separate deal. On the Roberts front, Levine said Hendry is still very interested and could be done in the next week or so. As far as Andy MacPhail’s self-imposed deadline, Levine thinks the “real deadline” is more like February 15th….that is when the Orioles report to Spring Training.

Levine talked about Coco Crisp and the possibility of the Cubs trying to trade for him. He said Crisp is owed about $8 million dollars over the next two seasons. Levine indicated the Cubs could not afford to pay that amount for a part-time player, especially one that does not view himself as a part-time player. Crisp still wants to play everyday and probably would not accept the role of a bench player. The Cubs need a player that can contribute and also knows his place on the team.

CubsAZ.com is selling their ‘Boys of Spring’ DVD online and Tim Sheridan will be blogging daily with Cubs’ Spring Training coverage very soon.

The Chicago Sporting Zone mentioned a possible ‘Brian Roberts Controversy’.

SWB Yankees Blog talked about the National Leagues’ best and worst moves of the winter. For the Cubs…. The best move was letting Mark Prior go, “no need to keep clinging to the ghosts of what might have been.” Chad Jennings liked the signing of Kosuke Fukudome as well. The worst move, doing nothing up the middle. Jennings mentioned the Cubs should look to upgrade and do everything that they can to win now.

The Sacramento Bee recently interviewed Mark Cuban….in 24 seconds. Cuban talked briefly about the possibility of him becoming the new owner of the Cubs and compared their popularity to that of the Dallas Cowboys.

Valleywag.com also talked about the possibility of Mark Cuban becoming the new owner of the Cubs. They do not feel he has a chance, “Frankly, you and I have a better chance of owning the Chicago Cubs than Mark Cuban does, and Cuban knows this.

Under Armour has gotten into the shoe business. Their newest commercial aired during the Super Bowl and featured Alfonso Soriano.

New Numbers for a New Season

The Cubs handed out a few uniform numbers recently….and changed a few as well. Newcomer Jose Ascanio will wear #58 while Adam Harben was handed #59. Kevin Hart will wear #22, Tim Lahey #52, Jon Lieber #33, Billy Petrick #56, Carmen Pignatiello #63 and Geovany Soto was given #18. Sam Fuld was changed to #27 and Eric Patterson will wear #4.

Cubs 40-man Roster as of 02/04/08
Non-Roster Invitees to Spring Training as of 02/04/08

From Around the League

The Astros have “kicked the tires” on Bartolo Colon according to a report in the Houston Chronicle. But the “chances appear real slim at best” that the Astros will sign Colon.

Khalil Greene’s name had recently surfaced in the Cubs’ rumor mill, but all of that talk can now be put to rest. Greene agreed to a 2-year deal with the Padres on Sunday worth $11 million dollars. Greene surrendered two years of arbitration eligibility by signing the deal.

With the recent signings of Troy Tulowitzki and Khalil Greene, the Brewers are hoping to do the same with some of their young players according to a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Doug Melvin would like to lock up Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks and Corey Hart to long-term deals to avoid their arbitration years….and most importantly escalating salaries.

According to a report in Newsday, the Cardinals are set to sign former MVP, Juan Gonzalez to a minor league deal.

Video from CubsAZ.com
(note: contains adult language)

Vince Lloyd

Ferguson Jenkins

Finally…. The Chicago Tribune talked about fans of Chicago sports teams recently. The Cubs’ fans, according to the Tribune, received the ‘Broken Heart’.

Quote of the Day

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anais Nin
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