Random thoughts while wondering whether there is a difference between a fire sale and a going-out-of-business sale: With all the wheeling and dealing the Chicago Cubs did Monday (July 30), lost in all that must have been an announcement that they were going to convert right-hander Ryan Dempster to catcher if he doesn’t accept a trade.
* By trading away major assets for prospects, the Cubs have positioned themselves nicely to gain the No. 1 draft pick and use it on high school phenom Jabari Parker. Too bad Parker plays basketball. Then again, maybe the Cubs can trade Parker to the White Sox, who will send him to another Jerry Reinsdorf-run team that actually could employ him: the Chicago Bulls. Pure genius all around. Well, if you’re institutionalized or worthy of being so confined.
* If making trades was a competition, the Cubs would be among the league leaders.
* If the Cubs’ goal is to make first baseman Anthony Rizzo the face of the franchise for 2013 and beyond, consider that mission accomplished.
* The key for Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer will be to dispose of assets (that is the right word, right?) such as outfielder Alfonso Soriano, who reportedly turned down a trade to the San Francisco Giants. If Epstein/Hoyer can deal Soriano to a National League team rather than an American League team that could use him as a designated hitter, Epstein/Hoyer merits executive of the year consideration.
* Sending Geovany Soto to the Texas Rangers improves the catcher’s postseason possibilities. The Rangers have a four-game lead in the AL Central; the Cubs are 17.5 games back in the NL Central. Too bad Soto was 1-for-2 Monday before being pinch-hit for. Another hit and Soto would have improved his .199 batting average in a final-at-bat.
* Speaking of deals, the Chicago Bulls reportedly will sign veteran guard Nate Robinson. He is expected to fill the big shoes of John Lucas III in the role of shortest player on the bench. Small ball lives.
* Speaking of Robinson (a three-time slam dunk champ at the NBA’s all-star game), he will be the best player with that name whom the Bulls have signed since then-general manager Jerry Krause signed forward Eddie Robinson to a five-year, $32 million deal in 2001. Of course, that’s not saying much. The Bulls bought out the last two years of Eddie Robinson’s contract
Among those scheduled to appear at Wizard World Chicago Comic Con on Aug. 9-12 at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont are Brianna and Nicole Bella. They were known as the Bella Twins during their days with WWE. The lovely ladies have moved on from that wrestling organization. More information on the event is available here.
For those who prefer something more immediate, the visual-aid department at elliottharris.com tracked down some video of the Bella Twins (it’s what some of us like to think of as work):
Former Chicago Blackhawks PR guru Jim De Maria will be participating Saturday night (Aug. 4) as he rides in the “Carousel for Kids” in Barrington Hills, Ill., to help families with ill children. His goal is to raise $2,500. To check out the event, you can click here.
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