Hoping to see more of these this season. - Ralph Freso
We all have the same valentine today - baseball. No need to send flowers or chocolates, this game will clean out your wallet in other ways.
As it relates to this column, what I love is having actual baseball stuff to link you to.
From Comcast SportsNet
- Jeff Samardzija is banking on a big season. That is, a long-term extension for him was tabled this offseason in part because Shark wants to be paid like a front-line starter. This season he intends to strengthen his case.
- Meanwhile, rotationmate Edwin Jackson will be in the middle of it all for the Cubs. That includes standing up for his teammates in a brouhaha.
- New Cub pitcher Carlos Villanueva sees the team going to the next level.
- Fitch Park is the land of opportunity. For now, that is, before the Cubs become a mega-team.
From Cubs Den
- Who will be the 25th man this year? My take? It doesn't matter who has the job at the end of March, it will be a different dude by the time May rolls around based on injury and/or performance.
- Shark doesn't feel he's worthy of a long-term deal yet. This seems to be a different spin than the article from CSN Chicago.
- Scott Baker is going to take it slow coming back from TJS.
- Easy Ed alert! Kerry Wood is in camp as a special instructor (also posted Wednesday by Al).
- Scott Hairston has reported to camp. He will be wearing a number familiar to the Chicago outfield.
- Travis Wood is eying a spot in the rotation.
- Brett Jackson took the retooling of his swing to heart.
- New Joe "Rock God" Mather alert: Dale Sveum likes the versatility that Brent Lillibridge brings to the table.
- Speaking of Kerry, he's just happy to help.
- Travis Wood was sharp on day one. He will need to be because...
- ...Competition will rule the back of the rotation.
- It's not all about the pitchers. First baseman Anthony Rizzo has reported to camp. He talks about his offseason, arriving early, and an outlook for this season (video only).
- Tony Campana was reportedly claimed by the White Sox... last August.
- Shark is already in midseason form.
- Welington Castillo is on notice. Catcher is a big question for the Cubs.
- (Video) Scott Hairston is happy to be a Cub.
- (Video) Dale Sveum discusses the state of Cub pitching.
- The Cubs Way, part II.
- (Video) Dale Sveum talks about Kerry Wood's new role.
- (Video) And let's keep talking. Shark talks about the next step in his career.
- The Cubs' first workout was subject to a big chill. It certainly was relatively cold, but I'm not sure they're going to get much sympathy from those of us stuck in Chicago.
- (Video) Brent Lillibridge talks about trying to make the team.
- The Darwin Barney experience: the second baseman looks to build on last season by adding to his repertoire. We know because he talked about it (video).
From the Chicago Sun-Times
- Edwin Jackson has a way of being in the middle of big developments.
- How long will Matt Garza be a Cub? The new CBA draft compensation rules could make it longer than some might think.
From the Daily Herald
- Lefty James Russell is a real good LOOGY.
Today's food for thought
- From the "aren't you glad baseball is coming soon?" files: you can watch a cool time lapse of three feet of snowfall in Connecticut and/or take a point-of-view ride down the slalom slopes with an Olympic skier, including a tumbling landing.
- And I couldn't help but add in a look at what happens when live animal mascots escape. Condor away!