The Rundown: Hot Stove Stream of Consciousness, Cubs Sign Another Pitcher(?), A Few Rumors

There is just nothing to write about and of course that’s not what you want to hear so I am going to take you on sort of an improvisational travelogue through the bowels of my Cubs Insider thought process for today’s column. Here goes…

Dang. Are you telling me that the only Cubs news from yesterday is a signing that Al Yellon broke AND he was cited by CBS Sports? The Cubs haven’t even dropped this bomb yet. Who the heck is Kyle Ryan? Triple-A contract, friend of Justin Wilson, former Detroit Tiger; not much to go on there. Why did I agree to write this column again? Oh that’s right: I didn’t agree, I asked. Dang again.

That was pretty cool how Evan put everybody in their place regarding the Manny Machado rumors yesterday. He even mentioned my name. That was a first. Maybe I should use bigger and more innovative words to get more mentions. I fear big words because I don’t want to use them out of context.

Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia – that’s a funny word that actually means “fear of big words.” Yes, someone created one of the longest words ever to define this phobia. Is that some kind of a cruel joke? I wonder if there is a support group. Wait, does the period come before the closed quotation mark or after? Why am I channeling Anna Kendrick right now?

My keyboard batteries are at 4 percent. Is that an excuse to call off today? Jose Cardenal missed a game in 1974 because his eyelid was “stuck open,” which prevented him from blinking. I don’t think that endeared him to his team or the fans and I don’t want to be saddled with that reputation. Wait, do I? No, crazy stuff like that sticks with you forever. I’m going to run across the street and pick up some batteries. Maybe that will relieve my writer’s block. Whoa, it’s cold out. Do they deliver? Can I get batteries on Prime Now? Oh, I can grab some from one of the 42 remote controls I have on my coffee table.

[5 minutes later] Battery issue resolved. Oh my, I mentioned Yellon at the beginning of this post. Evan will probably edit it out. How come nobody else has reported this signing? Maybe it is simply that insignificant. It’s not like the Cubs placed him on the 40-man or anything.

This is the worst winter ever. MLBTR broke out their annual pillow contract poll yesterday, two months ahead of schedule. That event is usually tied to the free agency leftovers, yet here we are with the top 10 free agents are still homeless. Hold on, I think something like 45 of the top 50 free agents are still available. I should do a count. No that’s a dumb idea. Everybody is doing that analysis. It’s tired, right? Speaking of leftovers, I still have so much food remaining from Christmas. I can’t eat any more mashed potatoes or I am going to die.

I still can’t find anything on Kyle Ryan. Hey, is that his real name? I should double-check. He sort of looks like Jon Voight in the movie Deliverance.

I know, I’ll peruse some of the past Cubs Insider columns for inspiration. True fact: we have some of the best writers in the business which is why I wanted to be part of this team, though at this very moment I am regretting that decision. Holy cow, the organization has a lot of second basemen. I can honestly say I have never heard of any of these players. My props to Todd Johnson, somebody should make that man a scout. Hmmm.

What would we call Bryce Harper-Kris Bryant-Anthony Rizzo? Brybryzzo? Somebody get Eddie Vedder on the horn, we need a new jingle. Hold the phone! What if the Cubs sign Harper next year and then Mike Trout in 2021?

I am going to make some maple and brown sugar instant oatmeal. Maybe some news will break while I am gone.

[14 minutes later] That stuff tasted a whole lot better when I was a kid. Next time I’ll try apples and cinnamon. Those apples used to taste so sour though. I should have made grits instead. Sue used to call grits “mosquito larvae.” Man I miss her, it’s been a long seven months without her. I hope the girls are warm today and they better let my car warm up a good five minutes before driving it. Sue never worried about things like that. I’ll text them.

Still no Cubs news. No baseball news in general. I give up. I’ve got nothing to say. Evan is going to have a tough time finding a lead photograph for this post. Maybe now he will start mentioning me more, hehehe.

Cubs News & Notes

The Southern League class AA test is coming for six highly touted Cubs prospects.

Alex Patt of Swerski Sports put out his all-time Chicago Cubs 25-man roster. It’s not an editorial piece and because his analysis is based on career WAR, nobody on the current roster makes the list. My all-time 25-man roster is the one that finished the 2016 season, hands down. Not even debatable.

Pitchers and catchers report in 48 days, which is Valentine’s Day as well. Too early in the year for a Joe Maddon theme day? Jon Lester would make an awfully cute cherub.

Jared Wyllys of Cubs Den is extremely high on Jose Quintana and I share his sentiment.

Sports Illustrated takes a look at the Hall of Fame Chances for former Cubs players Kerry Wood, Jamie Moyer, and Carlos Zambrano. While you’re at it, take a look at highlights from Wood’s 20K game on May 6, 1998, which should have been a no-hitter (we can debate at a later time).

Wednesday Stove

The move to oust Bob Bowman as head of Major League Baseball Advance Media had been in the works for awhile according to Fox News, citing a subscription-only article in the Wall Street Journal. In fact, the Journal reported that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred had opted to push Bowman out a month earlier after he received reports that Bowman had verbally abused a co-worker.

The Giants and Reds continue to work toward a Billy Hamilton trade.

Reviewing the Brew debates Lewis Brinson vs. Brett Phillips.

If you are a fan of the Hall of Fame — and I am not — Ryan Thibodaux has provided an excellent resource collecting public and non-public votes for the last five years in his Hall of Fame Tracker.

Speaking of Hall of Fame Voters, there was a war over WAR on Baseball Twitter yesterday. Here’s a good starting point.

The Tigers tuned down a trade offer for Michael Fulmer from the Yankees yesterday. The offer reportedly included Clint Frazier and two prospects.

Believe it or not, the Twins are shopping Miguel Sano in their quest for starting pitching.

Orioles closer Zach Britton may be considered for the starting rotation when he returns from his achilles tendon injury.

SI looks at the life of Jackie Robinson.

Sports on Earth looks at the Top 10 Baseball Stories of 2017.

If you play Fantasy Baseball, here are some Hot Stove Hot Takes to whet your appetite.

Thursday Walk Up Song

The Ball Game by Sister Wynona Carr. Thank you Jackie Robinson.


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