Maybe you were expecting this.
I'm actually not a fan of the Hall of Fame ever since they let Ron Santo dangle for 31 years before electing him.
It's politics and bullshit as much as talent.
And they've blown by Lee Smith so many times I gave up.
So I was A) caught by surprise and B) absolutely thrilled to hear the news that he'd been elected.
Maybe the Hall is changing how they pick or done something new I've chosen not to follow for the reasons above.
Anyway, it's huge and deserved and a good thing.
Last February I did this painting and stuck it out on social, and a friend in advertising, Joy (I hope she doesn't mind this little story and photo), reached out and said she actually knows Smith, was going on a trip out to Sloan Park and would I want this painting signed?
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!!!
Our deal is this: she'd get the painting signed and I also gave her another piece of paper to have Mr. Smith sign, and in return I'd do her a Smith painting on that piece of paper.
You guys know how often I tell you how busy I am?
Well, she and I STILL haven't gotten together, and I STILL haven't done her painting.
And I STILL haven't gotten the painting framed.
Luckily the holidays are coming and I'll get a break from work and be able to fix this situation.
Joy if you read this... sorry I'm such a boob and we'll HAVE to meet for joe or something within the next couple weeks.
Once we do and I get the other painting painted, I'll post.
Okay, what other surprises?
Management is doing everything in their power to lower our collective expectations on who they may sign this winter.
Jed Hoyer actually just did a little story with ESPN saying the Cubs are interested in an old guy with playoff experience who can help with club leadership like David Ross.
You and I weren't totally privy to Ross's leadership in the clubhouse, but we heard some of the stories and yeah there's no doubting he had a huge impact that way.
But he also hit really important homers and was really good behind the plate including making Jon Lester's lack of throwing-to-first-base ability sort of moot. Because Ross would throw guys out.
Anyway, the fact that looking for an old guy is a story on ESPN shows A) how desperate we are for news of anything about Cub trading and B) they're managing expectations.
All that said, last winter I was happily VERY surprised by the signing of Yu Darvish (and still think you're nuts if you believe that he's already a bust without seeing what happens this next season).
And all that said again, we still might be surprised by Theo and more importantly Mr. Ricketts.
I'm choosing, however, to follow Theo's lead and not expect players like Harper.
I lost my mind 10 years ago screaming that the Cubs needed to sign Jake Peavy.
I'm wiser now.
If the Cubs sign somebody huge then great.
Otherwise, take care of the pen.