This is what Theo Epstein would categorize as external "noise," the stuff the Cubs front office has vowed to ignore.

The newspapers, cyberspace and talk radio have been trying to measure the Anthony Rizzo Effect since the organization's top prospect was promoted from Triple-A Iowa last week.

But on this level, even manager Dale Sveum can identify with anyone on the message boards, or any other first-time caller, long-time listener.