Dale Sveum and Jed Hoyer Discuss All Things Cubs on MLB Network Radio

Every spring MLB Network Radio (XM Radio) spends a day in a big league camp. Casey Stern and Jim Bowden have been in Arizona off and on since Spring Training began and finished their tour of the Cactus League with three hours Saturday in Cubs camp.

Casey Stern and Jim Bowden talked with several of the players, including Matt Garza, as well as Jed Hoyer and Dale Sveum … and created a little controversy in the process.

Jim Bowden and Casey Stern led off the show by discussing the patience that the fan base must have with the organization. They believe that Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod will build a winner but it is going to take time. Bowden really liked the trade that brought Anthony Rizzo to the Cubs and when the Cubs start making trades this season the goal will be to stockpile young talent like Anthony Rizzo. The goal of the new regime is to build the Cubs organization into a sustained winner … like the organization they built in Boston that led to the 2007 championship and is still producing for the Red Sox.

The moves the front office made in the off-season were by no means to make the team a contender this season. The goal was to build pitching depth, to improve the play on the field and to be able to compete day in and day out. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer want to see the Cubs play clean, solid baseball every time they take the field.

Dale Sveum
The Cubs skipper was first up on Saturday afternoon. Sveum said camp has gone well and feels his team has put in a lot of good work. He explained that it has been nice not to have any issues, especially being a first time manager. Sveum added he is also happy there have not been any big time injuries, with the exception of Marcos Mateo. He admitted they received a scare with Carlos Marmol earlier in the week but they have been rather healthy.

Sveum said that Marcos Mateo is going to be shut down for 10 days to two weeks and obviously will miss the start of the season.

As for the rotation, Sveum said four of the five spots are all but locked up with Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, Chris Volstad and Paul Maholm. Jeff Samardzija, Randy Wells, Rodrigo Lopez and Travis Wood are still in the mix for the final spot.

Rafael Dolis has really impressed Sveum this spring. Dolis has had a great camp and his 95-97 MPH fastball, power sinker and command of his slider have opened a lot of eyes. Sveum described Dolis as the kind of pitcher that hitters do not like to face … a lot of movement and velocity with every pitch. The concern with Dolis is how he will be able to handle pitching with the lead in the seventh or eighth inning … but a pitcher cannot get experience if he’s not given a chance to get experience.

Sveum likes what he has seen from Jeff Russell (yes, Sveum called him Jeff and not James) in his last few outings. After Carlos Marmol, Kerry Wood, Rafael Dolis and James Russell, they have spots open. The Cubs like Lendy Castillo. Sveum said he’s shown a lot of poise. They are working with Castillo on his PFP stuff and he has had trouble with signs.

Anthony Rizzo came into camp knowing that Bryan LaHair was the Cubs starting first baseman and he really impressed the coaching staff and Dale Sveum. Sveum explained that he made a lot of strides in his last 15 at bats with hitting velocity and balls all over the place. Once Rizzo makes it to the Cubs, Sveum thinks he will be around for a long time. Rizzo is a leader and does not like mediocrity and will not accept mediocrity from his teammates. Sveum did not realize how good Rizzo is defensively. He said that Rizzo does not move too well but he has soft hands and an impressive glove.

The Cubs starting first baseman has played a lot better of late. Bryan LaHair got off to a slow start but seemed to get on track in the minor league games and put together an excellent day on Friday against the Rockies.

No one knows how much raw power Ian Stewart has and how impressive he is during batting practice. Sveum does not think Stewart has had a bad at bat this spring and he is as good a third baseman as there is (defensively) in the game right now. Sveum thinks the big difference with Stewart is that he is healthy right now. Sveum pointed out how hard it is to find a power hitting third baseman that can field the way he can. The biggest thing with Stewart right now is for him to regain the confidence he lost last season.

Sveum said Starlin Castro has to slow things down defensively. Learning to play short is a process that takes a while and takes patience. Sveum pointed out that his best friend, Robin Yount, had almost 80 errors when he was playing at the same age as Castro and everything turned out okay for Yount. Darwin Barney is adjusting to second base and making a lot of progress. The Cubs like their athletic, young middle infielders.

In his discussion about the outfield, Sveum said that Alfonso Soriano has worked his butt off day in and day out all through camp.

Dale Sveum finished the interview by stating, “If you cannot understand how special it is to put on a Cubs’ uniform and play at Wrigley Field, then there is something wrong with you. Putting on a Chicago Cubs uniform is like putting on a Red Sox or a Yankees uniform. The Cubs are one of the most historic franchises in the game.”

Matt Garza
Matt Garza would like to carry over his second half of last season and what he did last year into the upcoming season.

Jim Bowden asked Garza about the off-season trade rumors and how the discussions with the Cubs on a long term deal is going. Garza responded with that he never had patience as a kid. He’s just happy to be playing baseball and to have a jersey in his locker.

Garza can tell a difference and a definite change between this spring and last year’s camp. “Everyone is excited to be here,” Garza said. The Cubs have a great group of guys and Garza really likes the coaching staff. The staff understands what it is like to play in the big leagues because they have been through the daily grind themselves. Garza explained that is huge for the players. The coaching staff is going to hold every player accountable for their actions.

Dale Sveum is serious and has been as advertised … all about business. Garza added, “He’s not going to shoot the sh*t with you.”

Garza likes playing at Wrigley and all of the day games. He does not drink coffee; he just has a lot of energy. Garza said that playing baseball is a helluva gig. He realizes that he is going to play in front of a full house and never wants to disappoint anyone at Wrigley. He wants to leave it all on the field every game.

Jim Bowden would not leave the trade or contract talk alone during the interview, asked Garza if it would be better for him to receive a five-year $100 million contract from the Cubs or for the Cubs to trade him to a contender. Garza said his goal is to make it to April 5 healthy and once he does he will be happy because he knows either way he will be pitching.

Jed Hoyer
The interview with the Cubs’ GM began with him discussing how camp has gone so far. Jed Hoyer thinks Dale Sveum has run a great camp. Sveum has stressed fundamentals, like he said he would. Sveum actually went to Hoyer and asked if they could send down several of the younger players early [that the organization was planning to send out anyway] so he could focus on fundamentals in smaller groups for longer periods with the players still in camp. Hoyer said he’d never had a manager ask for that in the past.

Hoyer went onto explain that all the things that Sveum said during the interview process about working on and stressing fundamentals have come true in camp. There has been a lot of excitement and energy early and throughout camp.

As for the remainder of camp, with two weeks left the big thing is to stay healthy.

Ian Stewart has gotten better as camp has progressed. The big thing with Stewart, according to Hoyer, is that he needed to know he was going to play every day and not go down to the minors. The Cubs can give him the opportunity to play at the Major League level daily and not worry about getting at bats or when he is going to play.

Hoyer said they really liked Tyler Colvin and D.J. LeMahieu but there are not a lot of third basemen in the league that can hit 25 home runs and that can field the position as well. The Cubs feel that third base has become a weak position around the league and there are not too many Mike Schmidts and George Bretts around any longer.

Hoyer is very happy with the adjustments Anthony Rizzo made with Dale Sveum and Rudy Jaramillo over the last two weeks. Rizzo adjusted his hand position and shortened his swing. The Cubs are aware they gave up a lot for Rizzo in Andrew Cashner and Hoyer hopes the trade works out for both teams. Hoyer has not put a timetable on when Rizzo will be called up.

Hoyer joked with Rizzo when they met Friday and told the first baseman to make it hard on us to keep you down there. Rizzo responded with that is what he did last year. The Cubs would like to see Bryan LaHair grab ahold of the position and keep Rizzo in the minors to develop. They would like to see both Rizzo and LaHair succeed.

As for Matt Garza’s future with the Cubs, Hoyer admitted once again Saturday that as they build the organization they need more Matt Garzas and he dismissed the question from Jim Bowden about possibly trading him.

Jed Hoyer said they would like to wrap up Garza in a deal that works for the Chicago Cubs. In order for the organization to be successful and win championships they need to be able to roll out five guys every day like Garza.

The June Draft is the most important day of the year for most teams and Hoyer agreed with Bowden that the upcoming draft will be very important for the Chicago Cubs.

The Cubs pick sixth in this year’s draft and they also have a couple of sandwich picks (from Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena leaving via free agency) that they might not have after this year. There is no substitute for the draft. Teams can make all of the trades they want and sign all of the free agents they want but the only way to get elite talent is to draft it yourself. Hoyer said he and Theo feel great about Jason McLeod running the draft.

Hoyer and Epstein knew Sveum from their time in Boston but the reason they chose Sveum was because he interviewed the best. The Cubs interviewed a lot of candidates but Sveum came in the most prepared and gave well, thought out answers. Players get along with Sveum but Sveum can also discipline them when needed. Hoyer explained that a player’s manager will allow players to run all over him while a disciplinarian is the exact opposite and players end up disliking him. They feel Sveum has the ability to be in the middle range of both types of managers.

Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein obviously have a good relationship but without a doubt Epstein is the boss. Hoyer admitted Epstein gives him a lot of autonomy but they disagree a lot and loudly. They both realize that in the course of their disagreements that at the end of the day the goal is to make the team better moving forward. Both Hoyer and Epstein just want to win and build a sustained winner.

Jed Hoyer spoke highly of the Cubs fans and pointed out the obvious, “These people want it so badly.” Hoyer cannot wait to get to Wrigley, see the place sold out for Opening Day and start their career there.

Several players jumped on the air with Casey Stern and Jim Bowden including Geovany Soto, Darwin Barney, Ian Stewart, Paul Maholm and Bryan LaHair. Plus Bowden shared some information he picked up concerning Matt Garza’s future with the Cubs. Here are the highlights …

  • According to Jim Bowden, the Cubs do not like the costs [numbers] they are receiving from Matt Garza’s agent in regards to a long term deal. The Cubs have spoken to teams about Garza and have not found a deal that would net them enough in return for Garza.
  • Geovany Soto really likes Rafael Dolis.
  • Ian Stewart said it is awesome being a Cub. He was not too excited when rumors surfaced that the Rockies were shopping him and was quite bitter because he did not want to leave Colorado. When the Cubs rumors popped up he changed his mind about possibly being traded.
  • Ian Stewart has tried to stay away from the ‘change of scenery’ cliché because he did not want to leave the Rockies. Last year was real tough on him due to the injuries but injuries should not be used as an excuse. Stewart brought up the wrist and hamstring injury and said there were other issues that were not made public.
  • Ian Stewart admitted that it is good to be with the Cubs and have a fresh start.
  • Darwin Barney said there was [and is] more to learning how to play second base than he thought. It is just not as easy as most people think. Barney concentrated on his conditioning this past off-season so he does not run down as the season progresses.
  • Darwin Barney admitted there is a big difference between this spring and last year but that is not meant to put down what Jim Hendry did. Hendry and the previous regime were great and they gave several players, including Barney, an opportunity to play. The best thing about the new regime is their pure honesty. Dale Sveum and is coaching staff have the respect of the players and on day one, Theo Epstein told everyone that the Cubs are going to play the game the right way.
  • Jim Bowden and Casey Stern thought Paul Maholm would end up with the Red Sox in the off-season. Both Stern and Bowden told Maholm they feel he was one of the better under-the-radar signings of the winter.
  • Paul Maholm likes Chicago and coupled with his familiarity of the division are two of the reasons he signed with the Cubs. Maholm believes if Sveum can give the team a swift kick then the Cubs can get things going this year.
  • Two of Paul Maholm’s personal goals are to keep his pitch counts low and go deep into games.
  • Bryan LaHair said he is starting to catch is stride and is close to being ready for the regular season. As for the promise Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer made him in the off-season about being the Cubs’ first baseman when the season began, LaHair said it was great what they did. It allowed him to take the pressure off himself and take time to find his stride.
  • The biggest thing Bryan LaHair learned last season in his brief time with the Cubs is that he can hit Major League pitching.

With less than two weeks to go in Spring Training, everyone that took time out Saturday to talk with Casey Stern and Jim Bowden sounded upbeat and ready for the season to begin.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

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  • jw

    I am excited to see opening day. Give em hell Cubbies

  • cubtex

    I say the Cubs try again to move Garza by the trade deadline. 

    • Richard Hood

      I think it matters on how quick realistically Theo thinks he can turn this around. If we can have the pieces to start building a winner next spring and still no long term deal it is a whole different conversation than right now or at the trade deadline this year.

      If you think you can turn this around without trading him then by all means lock him up now.  I think that the ball is in Garza and his agents court right now. Just please do not give him a no trade clause and escalators that can jump his salary to top level status without top level production.

      • John_CC

         I think you are right Richard. And I think they do want to lock Garza up, but as mentioned above the team and agent are still not close on numbers.  I haven’t heard the typical line about not negotiating once the season starts, so that is encouraging. But if we hear that one, then I think we’re screwed for holding onto Garza. 

        I think they are already turning the team around and by 2013 the Cubs will be a young and competitive team. In 2014, Garza would be what, 30?

        I hope they can lock him up. Then again, mid-year he could bring a haul.

      • cubtex

        I say this Richard because they do not have any front of the rotation starters in the majors or minors who will be there next year besides Garza. Theo and company could have sped up the rebuilding process this offseason by aquiring some with the trades of Cashner and Marshall. Unless he somehow picks up 2 top starters next year(which I don’t see why Cain or the others will want to sign with a team rebuilding) they should trade him.

        • Richard Hood

          That matters on how fast Maples starts to “get it”. He is a front of the rotation guy. The problem is he is right out of high school and may be 3 years before he is ready to make an impact.

          I kind of look at this team as a version of the 1990 Braves Which means we could be keep a hold of our Dale Murphy and other pieces or we can trade them for other guys that are going to help us for the next ten years.

          If we can get our young guys some playing time this year and still be competitive then make a splash with our version of the Bream/Pendleton signings in the offseason we can really start put the ground work in place for long term success.

          • cubtex

            that is my point. No one will be ready(except hopefully McNutt)

          • Richard Hood

            I personally think that if we can put Garza in the number 2 spot in our rotation the next 4 to 6 years we will be better off than trading him at this point. Not that I am against the kids but prospects become suspects in a hurry as Mitch Williams is fond of saying.
            Top of the rotation arms that have proven themselves on winning teams are a lot more valuable than most teams  can afford to pay.
            If we can get him signed then it needs to happen soon. If we have to trade him because he won’t sign then next off season is the time to do that.  I just think that trading him now or at the AS break is premature. Now if a Toronto or Detroit or whoever comes to us with a deal that makes management do a double take say 4 out of the top ten prospects for that team or something insane like that then it becomes a game changer. 
            I just think right now he is more valuable to us with his approach and the intangibles he brings to the younger guys than he would bring back in a trade.
            It is hard to imagine me saying that about a guy that a lot of people were scared was another hothead at this point last year.

    • Tony_Hall

      They can’t trade him now, I just drafted him in fantasy baseball    :)

      • cubtex

        that is funny :)

        • Tony_Hall

          I told Dorasaga (it’s his league), that I had to win the auction on Garza, just so I could tell you I drafted him :)

          Of course I must have World Series aspirations, as he is my #4 :)

          • Bredstik

            I always try to AVOID Cubs on my fantasy team. Only ended up with LaHair as a backup OF so far!

          • Tony_Hall

            Garza, Marmol (risky pick), Castro, and Soto are the only players on the Cubs, I feel, are  worth playing.  In large league or NL only leagues, you could see any of the regulars as options.  Lahair is definitely a player worth stashing, just in case, if you have enough bench spots.

            But yeah, there haven’t been many Cubs players for awhile that were worth owning.

            Good luck on your season.

  • John_CC

    That was a good read! Great column, Neil, thanks. I am really excited about the Cubs again, and it feels good. The past couple years…meh, maybe before the 2010 season I had the springtime hopeful jitters, but this is different.  The expectations are low yet so high.

    Low because if this team wins 75 games I would think great. But high because the direction the Cubs are headed finally seems real. 

    I have high hopes for Dolis. I’m very anxious to see what Starlin can do in his 3rd season and hitting from the 3 hole…the sky’s the limit. I hope that Maholm and Volstad surprise us all…I think that at least one of them will. I’m also pulling hard for Stewart – a player I’ve been down on and a signing I really did not like. Shark too, If Dolis can step into the late inning role and Shark can finally make the rotation and stick, that will great to see.

    And I’ll say it once again, I like everything I have seen – first hand and second, and read about Sveum. Until he proves otherwise with in-game managing, I think he is the man.

    Then there is the imminent arrival of Jackson and Rizzo…

    This season is gonna be a lot more fun than last.

  • cubtex

    Does anyone believe Yankee fans, Boston fans, Phillie fans would EVER say they would be fine and happy if their team won 75 games for a year providing they were going in the “right” direction????

    • cubs1967

      NO and that’s the problem.  Even Theo says cubs fans should demand a winner…………..yet everything he does is given a pass.
      look at today’s lineup; ST or not; why is dewitt in LF. last year this site went nuts when that happened.  NOW crickets.
      same thing with dewiit batting 3rd this spring; why? crickets.
      even jed saying this team will be highly competitive was explained on this site as he did not mean it that way?? huh; how else can he have meant it.
      yet when JH said 2 or 3 players away; eveyone went crazy.

      fact is; cubs draw 3M plus; yet payroll is about 107M according to the sun-times; full 38M from when ricketts took over or about 28% lower; attendance is down 10%; but whose fault it that?

      even worse; big Z at 15M, silva at 2M plus pena at 5M is 22M not on the team; so the cubs payroll is 85M this year on the field; the MLB avg is now 90M.

      yet; when i call ricketts pk mccaskey(the bears had the 3rd lowest payroll in 2011); i’m told there is NO comparision.

      really……….lots of facts here; all saying yes!! (and tickets are 3rd highest in baseball and higher than when tommyboy took over).

      just for a moment think about this:
      fielder gone
      marcum has should issues
      pujols gone
      carpenter is sidelined indefinitley-cards reporters thinking could be 2 months
      wainwright is back; but no one is as good 1st year from TJ as compared to prior year
      motte is 29; not exaclty a prospect to say he won’t have issues as closer; he got hot at the right time
      larussa is gone
      duncan is gone
      berkman/beltran are both injury prone at 35 plus
      reds lost madson
      if theo had not traded marshall to them; their closer would be nick massett or chapman; who at 6M per year and already paid 12m FOR 100 IP; THE gm WANTS him to start.
      5 teams make the playoffs

      2012 screamed; let’s be in the game;
      Instead we get the new marketing campaign: baseball is better.

      104 yrs and counting………there is NO grace period.

      • Scott

        And why is there NO grace period?

        • Richard Hood

          because he thinks he has been waiting personally 104 years

          • Scott

            I’m just curious because if he believes that there were really problems with the front office, issues with the major league roster and concerns with the minor league system, I want to know why and how he expects someone to walk in after the season and turn everything around instantly.

            Or, he didn’t think that there was anything wrong with the system and subscribed to Mr. Hendry’s belief that we were always a few players away from winning it all.

          • Richard Hood

            He hated on Hendry as well. I think that he just thinks he would be a better candidate.

          • Scott

            If the Cubs won the World Series in 5 games, he seems like the kind of person who would complain that we didn’t sweep or would instantly whine that it will be forever until we win another one.  Some people just won’t be happy no matter what happens I guess and will only look at things from a “glass half empty” point of view.

      • Bredstik

        Everyone went crazy when JH said we were 2-3 players away because we all knew better.  Theo knows better too, which is why he hasn’t said any such thing.  He, and most of the rest of us know that we are quite a few more players away, and it will take some time to get there. I’m ok with the grace period since I believe we’re heading in the right direction and finally have a plan.

    • gary3411

       Those organizations have been going in the right direction so they’re fan bases mental attitude is much different than others might be. But if say one of those organizations falls apart and stinks the joint for 20-30 or more years and they had a new regime change with new thought and a plan to get out of their woes, then yes I think they would be happy they were moving in the right direction if it meant a year of 75 wins.

    • Tony_Hall

      Yes, when their teams were bad and needing a turn around that was going to take more than 1 season.  

      And yes some teams can make a big turn around in one season.  It usually comes by having players, get it, or have many players have career years, who have under performed in the past.

      No one is saying that winning 75 games is fine and happy, it’s that I and others are excited about the baseball season and the fresh start the new regime is getting.  75 wins is the high side of realistic win projections for this team.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Let’s be realistic, Cubtex (or Riptex, or whatever your name is):

      The Yanks have had 21 losing seasons in their entire existance. Their fans are awful. Chicago is a “good baseball town.” We don’t mind the losing.

      And let’s see….the Cubs won 71 games last year, and we are so improved, that the fans see a nice 75 win season this year. I understand that: new 3B, new 1B, huge improvement in the bullpen, Jed trying to deal away Garza and Wells, Casey Coleman making the team and all…..who knows? Maybe Jed will heed the calls of some fans to cut DeWitt to replace him with the .185 career hitting Amezaga. That’s progress, ya know.

      • Richard Hood

        You must be able to remember the late 80’s early nineties Rip. When the Yankees spent good money after bad on free agents and stupid trades? IF not let me remind you how that worked out.

        1988 85 wins finished 5th in there division (remember only 2 divisions then) When your pitcher with the most wins is a 35 year old Rick Roden you got troubles.

        1989 74 wins Best player a 30 year old Ricky Henderson that blew a hammy in June. Best pitcher was a 29 year old Andy Hawkins that won 15 games. He was the only person on that team to get above 6 wins.

        1990 67 wins dead last in the AL EAST. Trade Ricky to Oakland for more over the hill pitching. Result top wins on your team is Tim Leary with 9. The bad news he had to loose 19 to get to 9 wins. This is rock bottom and they start going younger and getting some of there young players out of the system up to the big club then.

        1991 71 wins Scott Sanderson was a beast on the mound then the rest of there staff was being rebuilt throwing in a bunch of younger guys and hoping some of them worked out.

        1992 76 wins the rebuild is in full effect and they are bringing in Showalter to help teach the young guys. Pat Kelly, Bernie Williams, Gerald Williams, JT Snow, and Bob Wickman all seeing playing time before they were 25.

        1993 88-74 they went out and got a Wade Boggs and
        Paul O’neill to accerate the rebuild and it worked to some extent.

        .634 winning percentage and tops in the AL East when the season was called so all was right in Yankee land.

        So before you say that the Yankees and Boston have never been through this make sure you look at the right period of time. Every team goes through this at some point when they start relying on to many guys on the wrong side of 30.


  • cubs1967

    sonnastine chose FA.
    NO way can we see casey coleman start again.
    bombs away wood has been horrid;

    the SP depth is getting smaller.

    smardz has been a good RP For one year.
    wells has been good this spring.
    lopez has been decent………….

    starting to see this as the staff:

    marmol-wood-smardz-russell-maine-dolis-lopez (he may chose FA too) that pen could be decent if maine or dolis are close to ST stats as they have been.

    bombs away wood as the back-up plus lopez if need be. 7 SP. better than last year for depth, yes.

    not sure how wells/lopez can both be in pen………and not sure how either can be traded or lost via assignment refusal now either(lopez).

    i think smardz needs to fail as starter; cubs spent too much money to not know………….but the pitching staff is starting to take on the same problem the of/1b had; no room for bjax/rizzo now……..not so sure smardz can be risked in rotation w/o loss of another SP…….

    (maholm coming off injury and volstad nver going 200IP; 6 starters is gonna be needed even if everyone pitches at or above their best).

    • Ripsnorter1

      Cubs1967==don’t forget, they want Garza and Wells both gone. Such moves would greatly improve our starting staff.

      • Tony_Hall

        Who wants Garza gone? 

        If Garza won’t sign an extension, what would you do?  
        Let him walk in 2 years, or just pay him whatever he wants?

        • Dorasaga

          “Clark n Addison” needs to sign him an extension.

          Nice steal. I shouldn’t have made that instant noodle.

          • Tony_Hall

            I might keep him for a few years.  I was expecting you to be bidding on him. Kept waiting for the last second bid.  I am very happy with my team compared to last year.  I might even be competitive in your division.

            I was amazed I was able to win some players for as little as I did.  People were saving their money for later, to over pay for middle tier talent….I’m thinking JH was an advisor to a few of the teams :)

          • Dorasaga

            Yeah, to mine. Sadly, he was also selling my team some cup noodles for Cubs marketing purposes, instead of building a better front office to scorch the best talents on Earth, haha.

  • J Daniel

    OUTSTANDING POST, Neil!!!  Great information.  Go Cubs!

  • Dorasaga

    I watched the late game vs. Padres on WGN, and can’t resist these thoughts:

    – A Marlon Byrd who cannot hit 91mph fastball is like a college kid taking Calculus class not knowing how 1 + 1 results to. Not all Major Leaguers punish those fastballs, apparently.

    – Maybe Jim Hendry simply didn’t get that. There were “once Major Leaguers” and there are “To-be Major Leaguers.” Where was Byrd in 2011?

    – I’m glad Jed Hoyer talked about Bret Jackson on the show. He better be thinking hard on the CF issue!

    – I like how Jed was honest about the Cubs had the smallest front office in baseball. I like how he talked about turning the Padres around. I like how he appreciate Sveum and staff bringing in knowledge from other organizations within this Central Division. I like what I heard, but I want to see results!

    – The Cubs will suck this season, while this division also turned weak. 70-win is realistic here. But then, we might as well root for the Pirates winning the NL Pennant.

    – It’ll be 105 years after this season.