Apparently my vocabulary isn't what I thought it was. People start throwing around four-syllable words and I have to break out my copy of Webster's. That might explain why I'm such a numbers guy.
Here's the latest from around the web:
From Comcast SportsNet Chicago:
- Joe Maddon's philosophy of "Respect 90" has been spelled out along the first-base line of Field 1 in Mesa.
- Once Jon Lester signed his contract with the Cubs, he knew he was all-in. And his opinion hasn't been changed based on his last few weeks in Mesa.
- How happy was Javier Baez to hear that Manny Ramirez was back as a consultant? He took all of Manny's things and put them in his own locker.
- When asked what the Cubs might do with Arismendy Alcantara on the field, Joe Maddon replied with one word: Ubiquitous. (I'll admit it. I had to look it up.)
- Tom Ricketts isn't worried about a cable TV bubble.
- While no longer affiliated with the Cubs, the Kane County Cougars are making headlines in Chicago by becoming one of the first minor-league teams to have its own branded beer.
- Miguel Montero knows that he won't be able to play every single game, but he'd like to play as many as he can.
- Tsuyoshi Wada threw a live batting-practice session on Saturday and did not appear to be suffering any lingering effects from his left hamstring tightness.
- Jon Lester has his first batting practice session with catcher David Ross and they're already on the same page.
- In case you needed another reason to love Kris Bryant, here's one: He recently donated cleats and two sets of uniforms to his alma mater of Bonanza High School in Las Vegas.
- Lyle Spencer writers that with the recent retirement of Giants coach Tim Flannery, Joe Maddon now takes over the title as "The Most Interesting Man in Baseball".
- Apparently Javier Baez is keep track of the number of selfies he's taking in Spring Training. I'm just waiting to see him and Danny Rockett appear in the same shot. (Insert smiley face here.)
- And Joe Maddon is binge-watching "The Office" during his downtime in Mesa.
- After 14 seasons in the big leagues, Juan Pierre formally retired from baseball on Friday. He had not played in the majors since 2013.
From ESPN Chicago:
- Jesse Rogers sat down for a conversation with Kyle Hendricks, discussing topics including his major-league debut and the competition for the final spots in the rotation.
- It's Twitter Mailbag time again, this time with Dexter Fowler answering the tweets.
- [VIDEO] For the fans of fantasy baseball: Eric Karabell looks at the fantasy impact of Jon Lester as a Cub.
- [VIDEO] Karabell also gives a prediction of what to expect from Kris Bryant in 2015.
From CBS Chicago:
- With a bullpen that has a lot of talent but not a lot of experience, Bruce Levine writes that Jason Motte could add the perfect blend of veteran leadership to the Cubs' pen.
- Levine also writes that Javier Baez fears no pitcher based on comments made by Baez after facing Jon Lester in a batting practice session on Friday.
From the Chicago Tribune via RedEye Chicago:
- Despite all of the talk about Jon Lester and David Ross, Lester does want to work with the other Cubs catchers and downplayed the discussion of Ross as his personal catcher.
- Marc Gonzales writes that the Cubs have entered a new phase in which they will have to identify the right prospects to keep and the right ones to trade to acquire top-tier players.
- [VIDEO] Joe Maddon spoke on Saturday about several topics including using a digital tape recorder.
- Fred Mitchell turns back the clock to 1987 when Andre Dawson signed with the Cubs by virtue of a blank contract.
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
- Whether or not the Cubs face Adam Wainwright on Opening Night, they're not worried about it one way or the other.
- Gordon Wittenmyer writes that this season is a big one for Starlin Castro to become one of the most important pieces for the Cubs as they shoot for their first winning season in six years.
From the Daily Herald:
- Dallas Beeler and Eric Jokisch are both making the most out of Spring Training despite the stiff competition at the back end of the rotation.
- Barry Rozner isn't expecting to see Kris Bryant with the club on Opening Day even if Scott Boras doesn't like the reasons why it would happen.
- Well, he's already been called "The Most Interesting Man in Baseball" by Lyle Spencer; Bruce Miles adds on by calling Joe Maddon the most compelling coach or manager in the city of Chicago.
From Cubs Den:
- John Arguello looks at one of the changes that Javier Baez is working on with his swing: lowering his hands.
From Bleacher Nation:
- Michael Cerami introduces readers to Tim Huwe's favorite player: Gonzalez Germen.
- The 2015 draft bonus pools have been officially revealed by Baseball America. The Cubs' pool for 2015 will be $7,236,100. So who's the guy that'll get that last hundred?
Today's food for thought:
- On February 20, for the first time in seven years, it was possible to take a photo of the moon, Venus, and Mars all in the same shot.
- There are some pretty cool bars in the world -- if you know where to find them.
- And, finally... if you're looking for a way to make your beer more alcoholic than it already is, you can do so simply by freezing it.