On the eve of the season, I am hoping Dale Sveum channels Lou Brown.
"I’m not much for giving inspirational addresses. I’d just like to point out that every newspaper in the country has picked us to finish last. The local press seems to think we’d save everyone a lot of time and trouble if we just went out and shot ourselves. Me, I’m for wasting sportswriters’ time. So, I’d like to hang around and see if we could give ‘em all a nice, big shit burger to eat." -- Lou Brown
From Comcast SportsNet
- With the number two pick in this June's draft, the Cubs hope to find their own Justin Verlander.
- (Video only) Dale Sveum is confident this year's club is so much better than last year's.
- (Video) If the deadline passes, the mayor of Rosemont wants to meet with the Ricketts family. Side note: if you're not a Steve Stone fan, listen to the video to add more fuel to your fire.
- The Cubs see plenty of growth potential in Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro, and the rest of their young core.
- Like it or not, the Cubs need Theo to be the face of the franchise.
From Cubs Den
- Here's a scouting report on prep outfield star and probable high draft choice Austin Meadows.
- The Cubs learned a lesson when they traded Bill Buckner.
- Another draft update.
- In the Saturday game preview, it is noted that three familiar names were released by the Cubs: Michael Brenly, Dontrelle Willis, and Hayden Simpson. Clearly, Simpson will join the lore of Mark Pawelek, Ryan Harvey, Earl Cunningham, and Ty Griffin (among others, of course).
- The team is hoping chemistry makes them a better whole than the sum of their parts.
- Scott Feldman will stay behind in camp a bit to keep throwing. This might sound troubling, but it is just to get an extra start. And would you rather be in Arizona or Houston?
- Super-sub in training Steve Clevenger might get some work at third base.
- (Video only) The organist bid adieu to Ho Ho Kam Park.
- Jeff Samardzija is fulfilling his potential, in part, by taking the ball on opening day.
- Previewing the Cub infield, the outfield, and the bench.
- (Video) Beat writer Jesse Rogers says the team leaves camp with more questions than answers.
- Putting a wrap on spring training by crunching the numbers.
From the Chicago Tribune (register to see almost anything but videos)
- Brett Jackson is already plotting his return to the majors.
- The Cubs are brimming with optimism. They are, after all, tied for first.
- The club closed the book on Ho Ho Kam history.
- The Cubs are still trolling for talent.
- 9 questions facing the Cubs.
- The Cubs are probably on another "free pass" this season.
From the Chicago Sun-Times (can read a paragraph, register to read the rest)
- It's not time to write off Brett Jackson just yet.
- It's first and third for Steve Clevenger.
- The Cubs are drawing inspiration from last season's unlikely playoff runs by the Baltimore Orioles and Oakland A's.
- The Cubs used to give out the big contracts. Now they're watching others do it.
- Some scouts give their take on the Cubs and there could be good news ahead.
From the Daily Herald (registry required for all)
- This was a fun piece by Bruce Miles, though only loosely Cub-related (bonus: no registry needed!). As the Cubs begin their relationship with the Kane County Cougars, Bruce (with the help of a reader) takes a look at the all-time Cougars' team "against" the rest of the Midwest League All-Stars over the years. As someone who saw most of the early Cougars, this was a cool trip down memory lane. That 1993 team was a lot of fun with a 16-year-old Edgar Renteria (completely overmatched at the plate with an OPS of .500, that's no misprint, but dripping with potential) and Charles Johnson in beast mode (in retrospect, his stats don't look other-worldly, but gosh, was he a "man among boys" in the MWL). For the pitchers, I'd add Will Cunnane, who was absolutely dominant as a Cougar, with an ERA under 1.50 and WHIP under 1 for a full season at Kane County. He bounced around a bit in the majors, including a rather forgettable 26⅔ innings for the Cubs in 2002.
Today's food for thought