Another programming reminder: I hope you enjoyed yesterday's final Fan Foil. Later this morning will be the final Fan Favorite. It's time to focus on the here and now of Cubs baseball.
From Comcast SportsNet
- Ricky Renteria is going to find out what the job of Cubs' manager is all about.
- The squad sees upside in Mike Olt and Ryan Kalish.
- The front office is focusing on now as camp ends.
- (Video) Anthony Rizzo says the club has a good mindset going into the season.
- (Video) Jed Hoyer says the rebuild is "getting there."
- Former Cub Tuffy Rhodes was impressive at a Houston Rockets' game. The link includes video of Tuffy's famous three-homer Opening Day off Dwight Gooden.
- Did the Cubs make the right call in sending down Javier Baez?
From Cubs Den
- There are reasons to think Jason Hammel will be the latest Cubs' free agent starting pitcher to get off to a strong start.
- This link includes the legend of Mike Olt. And more.
- The last spots in the bullpen either look better or compare to deck chairs on a famous ship, depending on the perspective.
- Jeff Samardzija's only focus is on competing.
- The team's present and future are colliding in the new Ricky Renteria era.
- Closer Jose Veras says the Cubs have the look of a winner.
- We don't like the St. Louis Cardinals. Therefore, we don't like Jason Motte. But when the Cards' hurler teams up with Anthony Rizzo to help fight cancer, we can make an exception.
- No link, since I saw this in the dead-tree edition of ESPN the Magazine (page 66 of the current issue, to be precise, as a sidebar in the Theo Epstein article), but it's a cool enough nugget to point out. Did you know that, thanks to new parks and moving in walls around baseball, that Wrigley Field has the farthest distance to the foul poles in baseball? Left field is 355 and right field is 353. So in pure distance down the line, Wrigley is the toughest park in the game.
- The Cubs are involved somewhere (Insider) in Jim Bowden's seven bold predictions. Since the first "bold" prediction is the Phillies finishing last, I'm not exactly thinking I'm missing anything in this article.
- (Video) Jesse Rogers thinks winning may have to wait behind other progress for the Cubs this year.
- In his "5 for '14" question series, Rogers asks when the prospects will arrive.
- Next question: Is Shark still a Cub when the calendar rolls to August 1? Most say no. I say yes.
- Here's your Cliff's Notes version of spring camp.
- The Cubs are letting Starlin Castro be himself this year. This article has cool charts.
From the Chicago Tribune
- John Baker feels validated by his promotion.
From the Chicago Sun-Times
- The bullpen is still somewhat in flux.
- The Cubs need Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo to be models. Fast.
- The city of Chicago wants fans to avoid foul behavior.
- Some good financial news! Rolling money over to next season could put the Cubs in line to make a splash.
- Mike Olt has answered questions in the field.
- He sure plays a mean guitar. John Baker will enjoy his spot in the Cubs' band.
- H/T to ESPN. But here's why Cub fans shouldn't be comparing the current crop of prospects to Gary Scott and Felix Pie. It's a good article with an interesting look at prospect rankings and why this time should be different.
Today's food for thought
- This is a supernova's triple halo explosion.
- The "motor" of a fly allows it to flap its wings 50 times per second.