LoHere's the latest from around the web:
From Comcast SportsNet Chicago:
- When asked about the bullpen, Joe Maddon replied by saying that what was important was asking the right pitcher to face the right batter.
- What kind of crazy things can fans expect Maddon to do this season? According to Maddon, it's an organic moment.
- As for Jon Lester, he made his desires simple: He wants to win. And if he doesn't he won't be happy about it.
- And then there's Edwin Jackson, whose status with the team remains unknown. From his point of view, all he can do is get himself right and get ready to play regardless of what his role becomes.
- Also in the "can't worry about it" position is Welington Castillo, who still wants to be part of the team and wants to get better.
- Anthony Rizzo provided his take on the rooftop situation, saying that while the rooftops have been part of history for some time now the renovations, including the new signage, will be part of the new generation.
- While signing James Shields would have been the exclamation point to a monster winter, according to Patrick Mooney, not signing him could put the Cubs in a position to make a bigger deal this summer.
- Javier Baez is looking forward to taking great strides this season, noting that struggles during winter ball in Puerto Rico were due partly to making adjustments to his swing.
- When asked about his role in the bullpen, Hector Rondon just wants to be put in the game and isn't worried about whether or not it's as the closer.
- Another reliever who's just looking forward fill whatever role is needed is Drake Britton, who noted that the team seems like a lot of fun. Of course it helps that he has several former Red Sox teammates in the clubhouse with him.
- In case you're still wondering who might be the Opening Night starter, Joe Maddon's opinion is that is has to be Jon Lester. Unless for some reason Lester doesn't want to do it.
- Can the Cubs possibly carry three catchers during the season? Maddon says that it can be done, but it will take a lot of creativity.
- There were more comments from Lester as well including discussion of his role as a leader, pitching in the desert, and his first hole-in-one on the golf course.
- You probably know about Maddon's tendency to use many different lineups over the course of the season, and that won't change as the manager of the Cubs. As he put it, there will be a lot of haphazard stuff.
- The Cubs have hired sports psychologist Dr. Ken Ravizza as a consultant, and Maddon is hoping that having him as part of the organization will help to give the Cubs an edge mentally.
- Could Kris Bryant possibly be the Opening Day starter at third base? Theo Epstein didn't officially rule it out saying that anyone in camp could make the team and that in Bryant's case he's "really, really close" to the big leagues.
From ESPN Chicago:
- Another reliever looking forward to bigger things this year is Neil Ramirez who, after being sent down last season to help rest his arm, wants to be ready to go this season every time that his name is called.
- Several Cubs had less-than-positive things to say about the rules being put in place to help speed up the pace of games including Chris Coghlan, Jon Lester, and Jason Hammel.
- [AUDIO] Javier Baez spoke with Jesse Rogers about his offseason swing changes and weight loss.
- [AUDIO] Jason Motte spoke with Rogers about being with the Cubs after six years of playing with the Cardinals.
- [AUDIO] Joe Maddon spoke with the media to discuss the upcoming season and his first spring training with the Cubs.
From CBS Chicago:
- While there is that possibility that the Cubs could head to Chicago with three catchers, Bruce Levine doesn't see it as a realistic scenario.
- Levine also says that the front office is looking forward to its first winning season in Chicago and holding their heads up high in 2015.
- Tim Baffoe is ready to draw a line between the old Cubs and the new Cubs, saying that the old team that hasn't won a World Series since 1908 is dead and buried.
From the Chicago Tribune via RedEye Chicago:
- Javier Baez knows that he still has work to do and was very grateful for the offseason attention that he received from both Joe Maddon and John Mallee.
- [VIDEO] Dexter Fowler spoke about his expectations with the Cubs.
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
- While the kids from the Jackie Robinson West team may no longer have the Little League World Series title, Edwin Jackson and Anthony Rizzo hope that they still keep their heads up and that they still remember the positive experiences.
From the Daily Herald:
- What's one of the most important parts of Joe Maddon's day? The time when he's out riding his bike.
From Cubs Den:
- Continuing the "Spring Training stories to watch" theme, John Arguello presents his list of seven.
From Bleacher Nation:
- Seemingly lost in all of the talk about the rotation is Tsuyoshi Wada who is apparently coming into camp with a new pitch in the works: the cutter.
- Last week there was the humorous hype video for the Kansas City Royals; this week there's a nicely-made video for the Cubs. Disclaimer: If you don't want to be reminded of events from 12 years ago, just skip ahead a minute in the video.
From Cubs Insider:
- With all of the hype that has been surrounding the prospects, Drew Brown says don't forget about the guy who's already playing right field.
- I had presented this hype video a couple of weeks ago, but I liked it so much that I'm presenting it again here.
Today's food for thought:
- Astronauts aboard the International Space Station are preparing the station for a new type of visitor in 2017: Space taxis.
- Everyone likes a good picture of a puppy. Here's one of a puppy named "Blizzard" that was taken in 1912. In Antarctica.
- And sticking with the vintage theme, here's a chart of UFO sightings from around the world that was drawn up in 1969.