Josh Thole to get a crack at the Mets' catching job

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The Newark Star-Ledger reported today that Josh Thole will
compete with Omir Santos to be the Mets’ starting catcher. Omar Minaya:

“I
think Thole is going to compete for a job in spring training. We’ll see how he plays coming off a very good year. He led the
league in hitting in Venezuela (winter ball). With Thole, where is he?
Do we rush him? Does he take the job?”

You’ll recall a few weeks ago that Jerry Manuel had said that Santos would be his preferred number one.  Hopefully Minaya’s comments here control the situation and, rather than handing the sure-to-be-godawful Santos, Thole is given a chance.  Thole is younger, for one thing. And unlike Santos — who has a career .258/.304/.348 line in many, many minor league seasons — Thole has shown some on-base skills in the minors.

Tom Ricketts says the Cubs don’t have any more money

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Cubs owner Tom Ricketts met the media in Mesa, Arizona today and said a couple of things that were fun.

First, he addressed the controversy that arose earlier this month when emails of his father’s — family patriarch Joe Ricketts — were leaked, showing him forwarding and approvingly commenting on racist jokes. Ricketts apologized for those serving as a “distraction” for the Cubs which, OK. He also said “Those aren’t the values our family was raised with… I never heard my father say anything remotely racist.” If you choose to believe that a 77-year-old conservative guy who loves racist emails — who once spearheaded an anti-Obama ad campaign that required a “literate African-American” as its spokesman — hasn’t said racist stuff a-plenty, that’s between you and your credulity.

More relevant to the 2019 Cubs is this:

The Cubs aren’t in the same position as some other contenders in that (a) they don’t have a cheap payroll; and (b) are not obvious candidates for the big free agents like Harper or Machado, but I still find that comment pretty rich for an owner of one of baseball’s marquee franchises in a non-salary cap league. If nothing else, it’s an admission by Ricketts that he, like the other owners, consider the Luxury Tax to be a defacto salary cap.