Around the Nation and Around the Internet
First, business. The Cubs have expressed interest in Xavier Nady and Jermaine Dye. Nady might not be a bad idea -- he's coming off of Tommy Johns surgery and likely to sign cheap. If that's the case, he'd made a decent pinch hitter / fourth outfielder type. Dye? Well, he's a mess-terpiece in the field, but his bat can still bring 25+ HRs with consistent playing time (wOBA .345ish). Still, I think the price tag is going to be too high for a guy we wouldn't need to be starting.
The fun stuff: Apparently 17 at bats is enough to be famous now. Yeah, some guy impersonated Tyler Colvin and stole a truck. Don't feel bad if you don't know Colvin, he has thus far only had a cup of coffee in the Big Show. In fact, I was present at his sixth career start in the majors (at home against Arizona, October 3rd), and the guy sitting next to me chuckled over his beer, "Colvin? Who the hell is that?"
[I leaned over to my wife and briefly explained Colvin's life history to her, but I don't expect such rigorous knowledge from the common fan. Or Utah car dealership.]
Shawn Goldman at Another Cubs Blog has begun to carefully dissect WAR for those anxious to learn. In many ways, his article is a convenient cliff notes of The Book, which provides the foundation of a lot of modern baseball statistics.
Somehow, December-January became the awards season for sabermetric writing. Beyond the Box Score has been calling for submissions and rating and ranking for a few weeks now, and today, at The Hardball Times, Dan Novick offered his take on the best sabermetric articles out there. If you have the time, every one of the article featured on both site are very good.
Lastly, RJ Anderson puts down the spreadsheet for a moment and philosophizes with us: to attend or not to attend? I think it's an interesting inquiry, because even though the Cubs have a better chance of beating the Pirates, I would rather see them play the Cardinals or White Sox. Maybe I derive enjoyment from rivalries even if we don't win? I don't know.