Jim Hendry thinks the Cubs will contend in 2012 for some reason


Look, optimism is always a good thing, but there’s a fine line between optimism and delusion.  Case in point: Cubs’ GM Jim Hendry who, according to Patrick Mooney at CSNChicago.com, thinks that the Cubs’ future is bright.

The pitching, he thinks, is right on track. He makes a few references to “tinkering here or there.”  He says that, given how the Pirates came out of nowhere to compete, that it won’t take a long time for the Cubs to turn on a dime and be right in there and be competitive for several years.

All of which would sound a lot better from a guy who hasn’t been on watch nine years ago and has presided over multiple failed rebuilding projects, peaking with a team of expensive veterans several years ago that he still seems intent on running out there, hoping that he can catch lightning in a bottle.

Maybe the Cubs’ future is brighter than all of that.  But I don’t think Jim Hendry has earned the right to be in charge of it much longer.

Miguel Cabrera, Dee Gordon win AL and NL batting titles, respectively

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Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera didn’t play in the Tigers’ season finale against the White Sox, but he has officially clinched the AL batting title with a .338 average following Sunday’s action. It’s Cabrera’s fourth batting title in his last five seasons.

Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon entered Sunday’s season finale with a bit more pressure. He was in a tight race with Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper for the NL batting title, trailing only by rounding to the fourth place, .3307 to .3306. Gordon went 3-for-4 in a loss to the Phillies while Harper went 1-for-4 in a loss to the Mets. As a result, Gordon officially won the NL batting title with a .330 average. It’s the first batting title of Gordon’s brief career. Hanley Ramirez was the Marlins’ last batting champion, doing so in 2009.

Report: Angels to announce Billy Eppler as new GM on Monday

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Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels are expected to announce Billy Eppler as their new general manager on Monday. Eppler had been serving as the assistant general manager with the Yankees.

Jerry DiPoto had been the Angels’ GM but he stepped down on July 1. DiPoto later joined the Red Sox in an advisory role, then was named the Mariners’ new GM last week.

The Angels lost to the Rangers in Sunday’s season finale, which eliminated them from contention for the second AL Wild Card spot. They finished 85-77. Most of their regulars are under contract for the 2016 season, but Eppler will have to decide whether to tender contracts to seven arbitration-eligible players while filling in the rest of the roster.