Here's something to remember, everyone: If you go to a basketball officiating camp where there are 83 other referees whose experience is at a minimum several years of high-school work and you walk in with only three years of church league under your belt... you're going to look like an idiot.
While the other referees were busy fine-tuning higher parts of their craft, I was basically handed the Referee 101 book and started reading from the introduction. Everyone was very kind and very supportive, though, so I will give them all of the credit in the world for all of their positive feedback while I fumbled my way through three days of learning introductory mechanics like how to chop a clock and raise your arm when you blow your whistle.
But I know you're not here to read about "Three Days at Referee Camp", so let's get to the links:
From Comcast SportsNet Chicago:
- It was another subpar start for Jon Lester on Sunday, but Joe Maddon felt that Lester made a lot of progress.
- The promotion of Kris Bryant was a very emotional moment for his entire family.
- Maddon's goal for Bryant: Try to avoid overloading him with information.
- Was Saturday's 7-6 win a trend in the making?
- [VIDEO] In case you missed this one, a fan caught a foul ball on Saturday in her full cup of beer -- and then proceeded to chug the rest of it.
- How do you celebrate your first major-league hit? For Kris Bryant, it was a disco-themed celebration in the clubhouse. I wonder if it included platform shoes.
- Starlin Castro and Mike Olt were both impressed with Bryant's debut on Saturday.
- Phil Rogers examines the flexibility that Bryant provides for the Cubs' roster.
- Miguel Montero sees himself as one of the veterans whose goal is to guide the youngsters.
From ESPN Chicago:
- Jesse Rogers looks back at the first two weeks of the Cubs' season.
- David Schoenfield gives his list of five big things to watch in the upcoming week. One of those things may or may not have something to do with Kris Bryant.
- Jon Lester sees himself as the "loose end of the chain" in the rotation, but he's expecting that to tighten up soon.
From CBS Chicago:
- Lisa Fielding takes a closer look at the new video board in left field.
- Bruce Levine's thoughts on what impact Jon Lester will have this season: The jury is still out.
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
- How does Andrew Cashner feel the trade that sent him to the Padres for Anthony Rizzo? "It's really worked out for both of us."
- Kris Bryant is bringing a buzz to Wrigley Field that hasn't been seen since the debut of Mark Prior in 2002.
From the Daily Herald:
- When it comes to the impact that Bryant could make for the Cubs this season, Noah Trister says that the sky is really the limit.
From Cubs Den:
- Alex Walsh believes that Jon Lester is getting better and has data from Brooks Baseball to support his case.
- John Arguello is standing his ground on the inconsistent strike zone from umpires this season.
From Bleacher Nation:
- Sunday's Enhanced Box Score brings an important reminder: Don't overreact to what happens in one game.
- The news on the injuries to Neil Ramirez and Justin Grimm is relatively good. The same can't be said for Mike Olt.
- Dan Vogelbach was named the Player of the Week in the Southern League thanks to his .484 average and 1.192 OPS in 38 plate appearances.
- When might Addison Russell make his way to the big club? Brett Taylor thinks that it could happen very soon.
- Some moves have been made down at Triple-A Iowa that could have an impact on the big club as well in the not-too-distant future.
- So, about those bad calls in Friday's game... PITCHf/x shows that those calls actually weren't so bad.
From Chicago Cubs Online:
- Jed Hoyer spoke Monday with Spiegel and Goff about moving Addison Russell to second base at Iowa.
From Cubs Insider:
- Is the window about to close for Javier Baez?
- Miguel Montero has a new Cubs slogan: "#wearegood".
- [VIDEO] Anthony Rizzo stopped by the AOL headquarters to discuss topics including baseball, hecklers, and what to do if your girlfriend can't cook a Sunday sauce.
Today's food for thought:
- A 250-year-old clock claimed a Guinness world record and vindicated its designer.
- The rings of Saturn are being fed by the ice volcanoes of its moon Enceladus -- and slowly devouring the moon in the process.