Friday Roundup: The “Winter Meetings” Edition 1

During the podcast, I think we covered everything from Fujikawa to Sveum getting shot IN THE FACE, so I won’t bore you with recapping the fact that the Cubs signed a Japanese closer and Robin Yount shot Dale Sveum IN THE FACE. Except for that recap right there. The Cubs also got Nate Schierholtz, which is almost as impossible to spell as Kyuji Fujikawa, and reportedly re-signed Ian Stewart, effectively blocking Luis Valbuena from his run at a Triple Crown. Oh, and they also got some reliever named Hector Rondon in the Rule 5 Draft. He’s no Lendy Castillo. THANK GOD.

SoriaNO is Not TrollDempster 3

I love Kevin Goldstein. His Twitter feed is excellent, he’s patient with both dumb fan questions and dumber talk show host questions. The man can talk intelligently about nearly any minor league player in baseball. But he was dead wrong last night on the Score when he said fans were stupid to be mad about SoriaNO exercising his 10-and-5 rights just as we were stupid to be mad about TrollDempster doing the same. Wrong. Wrong wrong wrong. And not just for the reason that we can feel however the hell we damn well want to feel, because we’re human beings with emotions. No, the TrollDempster situation and the SoriaNO situation couldn’t be more different. Here’s why.

Oh, Nary!

At least that’s how I pronounce it. Theo Epstein’s Organizational Rehabilitation Project continued today with the firing of the Assistant to the Vice President of Player Personnel, Oneri Fleita. Whatever. Theo absolutely should be staffing the organization with his own guys, although he’s going to run out of friends soon if he keeps making them work for the Cubs. What I found interesting this morning, though, was connected to the braying jackass that is Bobby Valentine. Brace yourself for this tidbit, because it came from Barry Rozner’s useless gob.

Trade of a Clown 5

If you haven’t heard yet, hip hip hooray! Ryan Dempster is taking his stand-up act, his divorce papers, his stupid glove flip, and, I suppose, his pitching to Texas. I couldn’t stand Dempster when he was bad. I couldn’t stand him when he got good. I couldn’t stand him when he was bad again, and I couldn’t stand him when he got good again.

Troll Dempster 2

I was all geared up for a fitting sendoff to one of the most annoying Cubs since Kevin Millar farted his way around Spring Training that one year. But then TrollDempster, whose last great prank occurred during the 2008 NLDS, appeared. Dempster apparently was awakened from a nap to the SHOCKING news that the Cubs were trying to trade him. How this is news to him is staggering. Anyhow, I was hoping to report good news today, but instead I just have the internet’s 154th-newest meme: TrollDempster. Infinite hanks to Slak for this idea. Oh, and if you want to create your own TrollDempster, you can go here. Or tweet about him here.

Soler System 1

Did I beat everyone to that terrible pun? Because the Cubs are building a SYSTEM, and Jorge SOLER is now a big part of it! The Cubs won the bidding war for the 20-year-old Cuban right fielder today. He’ll sign after passing a physical.

Commit to Sucking Now 3

Is sixteen games into the season too early to take stock? Marlon Byrd and his .070 batting average are no longer Cubs. Ryan Dempster, the (shudder) longest-continuous-tenured Cub, and Kerry Wood, the longest-tenured Cub who everyone doesn’t hate are both shelved with injuries. Alfonso Soriano has eleven hits so far, and not a one of them went for extra bases. David DeJesus and Matt Garza are wondering just what the fuck they’re doing in Cubs uniforms. The best hitter on the team is Bryan LaHair. The recently-exonerated Starlin Castro is already setting pace to prove that, yes, he can actually hit. He’s third in the NL with 23 hits so far, he’s fifth in batting average at .365, and under the aggressive Dale Sveum, he’s already nabbed seven bases. He stole 22 all last year.

Today in Ryans I Hate: Theriot, Dempster 1

With “Play Ball!” Day rapidly approaching, fluff pieces about bunting tournaments and Alfonso Soriano leading off are giving way to real news. Like Ryan Dempster getting another Opening Day start despite Matt Garza being a far better pitcher, comedian, and human being.