Welcome to Second City Hockey, where we'll talk all about the Blackhawks and the NHL . . .Oh no. This is still Bleed Cubbie Blue. It's just there is more hockey-related baseball news than actual baseball news this weekend.
I'd tell everyone to make sure they get a flu shot, but I did get a flu shot and it didn't do me any good.
Who own the Cubs?
- Dodger Stadium hosted the first ever outdoor NHL game in California, amid a rollerblade track and a beach volleyball court. Oh yeah, KISS was there too. Matthew Kory lets you soak up the atmosphere.
- It didn't go off without a hitch, though, as the Dodgers official Twitter account made a Tweet that upset a lot of hockey fans. Other than that, and the fact that the Ducks won, it was pretty perfect.
- Not to be outdone, Yankee Stadium hosted the Rangers and Devils. There were a few more problems there, as glare on the ice forced a game delay. Also, the Rangers beat the Devils, 7-3. Who knew Yankee Stadium was a great offensive park for hockey, too?
- After a long delay, the Brewers finally announced that they had signed Matt Garza to a four-year deal. The hangup was apparently some incentive money and how some of Garza's salary will be deferred. But they hammered that out and everyone is happy now.
- Ryan Braun faced the media at the Brewers winter fanfest. He was apologetic and said that Brewers fans have been very supportive of him since his suspension. He also vowed he'd have his best season ever, without the "special enhancements." (h/t Hardball Talk)
- Anecdotally, at least, Brewer fans seem ready to forgive Braun. I doubt he'll find that much forgiveness away from Miller Park, though.
- For the first time since 2005, the Tigers will take the field with a manager other than Jim Leyland. Brad Ausmus talks about the challenges of filling the shoes of a legend. He feels he's up to the task despite precious little managerial experience.
- Some bad news for the Tigers. GM Dave Dombrowski admitted what had been speculated for a while: Justin Verlander may not be ready to pitch on opening day.
- Verlander and Kate Upton went to a Pirate festival over the weekend. Both dressed up like Pirates. Unfortunately for Andrew McCutchen, that just involved wearing an eyepatch, not a yellow jersey. And no, I don't have any gifs of Kate at the festival. And you better not have any either.
- Speaking of the Tigers, it doesn't look like Nelson Cruz is going to be one. Unless he goes back to school and enrolls at LSU, I suppose. Or takes up soccer and signs with Hull City.
- Jack Morris said he's glad the whole Hall of Fame debate is over. In this case, I'm on Morris' side. I don't think he was a Hall of Fame-quality pitcher, but he was a very good pitcher and it certainly wasn't fair to him that everyone had to publicly debate every little point of his career for fifteen years.
- Jerry Crasnick says that the Phillies are too old and are just getting older. But aren't we all, Jerry? Aren't we all?
- The Phillies big off-season signing, 36-year-old Marlon Byrd, says "Who are you calling old?"
- Brad Johnson explains why he thinks that a complete rebuilding effort, like the Cubs or Astros are doing, just wouldn't fly in Philadelphia. Hint: It's partly because Philadelphia fans are among the most understanding and patient fans in America. Or not.
- 21st Century Fox took majority control of the YES Network. The Yankees remain a minority owner.
- Tom Verducci explains how the Yankees got Masahiro Tanaka. The Cubs never stood a chance. The Yankees were always going to blow everyone else out of the water.
- Jon Paul Morosi says that having Hiroki Kuroda on the Yankees roster will help Tanaka adjust to America.
- Sandy Alderson wants to point out that the Mets signed a Japanese pitcher too. In his case, it was Daisuke Matsuzaka. This would be a much bigger deal if it was still 2007.
- When asked how Minnesota differed from New York, new Twins pitcher Phil Hughes said "Everyone here has been nice to me. It will take some getting used to."
- Joe Mauer is looking forward to being a first baseman.
- Rob Neyer says the Red Sox have not become the Yankees. The Red Sox have a farm system, for example.
- Former White Sox closer Bobby Jenks opened up about his addiction to painkillers.
- Jenks would like to make a comeback. He hasn't pitched since 2011.
- If Michael Young plays this season, he says it will be for the Dodgers.
- If he decides not to play, Rangers GM Jon Daniels wants him to not play for the Rangers. I really hope this "retire as a _____" thing doesn't become a thing, but I fear it will. I guess it's not hurting anyone.
- Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik wants to make a few more small moves this offseason. You'll need to do more than sign Scott Baker if you want to contend in the AL West, Jack.
- Terence Moore is upset that Greg Maddux and Tony LaRussa are going into the Hall of Fame with blank caps. Moore is from Atlanta, naturally.
- Might Ubaldo Jimenez be heading back to the Indians?
- The Indians are putting up a statue of Jim Thome outside of Progressive Field.
- Peter Gammons says the biggest issue facing the new commissioner will be leveling the playing field between the rich and poor teams.
- There's still a chance that baseball and softball might be reinstated for the 2020 Olympics.
- Adam Dunn: Oscar winner for Best Supporting Actor? No, but he did have a part in "Dallas Buyers Club."
- Nick Cafardo asks baseball people who the best coaches in baseball are.
- This will surprise absolutely no one. Carlos Zambrano got in the middle of a benches-clearing melee in a Venezuelan Winter League game and threw several punches.
- A look at how Major League Baseball is trying to appeal to a younger demographic through the MLB Fan Cave and a new show on MTV2. So far, advertisers are happy.
- Finally, John Shea talks to a 92 year-old Pacific Coast League legend who once hit a home run 613.8 feet. Or at least that's what they say.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.