Only 12 more hours until Cubs baseball for 2015! And Happy Easter, everyone!
From Comcast SportsNet Chicago:
- Patrick Mooney is apparently feeling a bit feisty. After an offseason full of discussions about renovations, Jumbotrons, attendance records, prospect lists and Kris Bryant, he says it's time for the Cubs to shut up and play.
- Mooney also takes a look at the making of Jon Lester and what drives him.
- Can the Cubs actually contend in 2015? One way or the other, Joe Posnanski thinks that they're on the right path. Well, that's good. I'd hate to think that all of the hand-wringing this offseason was just for show.
- And the winner of the final spot in the rotation is: Travis Wood.
- The final roster spots will be determined later today and depend largely on the health of Chris Coghlan.
- In case you missed it, Drake Britton cleared waivers on Friday and was assigned to Triple-A Iowa. The 40-man roster currently stands at 39 players.
- One big reason for optimism, according to Phil Rogers, is that the Cubs aren't really trying to do the impossible in 2015.
- What's the best division in baseball this season? Mike Bauman says that it's the National League Central.
- Lyle Spencer previews the primary catchers for each team in the Central.
- Dexter Fowler has a lot to look forward to this year and feels like he's more prepared than ever.
- Opening Night will feature many tributes to Ernie Banks. Joey Nowak has the full list here.
- Good news on the video board front: Nowak reports that it won't be used to encourage fans to cheer or make noise. There won't be a kiss cam, either.
- As for the hype surrounding the new video board, Joe Maddon thinks it will be talked about in the beginning and then go away.
- Following in the footsteps of the Cubs' "Let's Go" marketing slogan, Cubs Charities is adopting the slogan of "Let's Give" for their events this year. Carrie Muskat has the list of currently scheduled events for Cubs Charities and player foundations.
From ESPN Chicago:
- Continuing his "5 for '15" series leading into the new season, Jesse Rogers tackles the question of who the biggest surprise is for 2015.
- He also looks at whether or not Anthony Rizzo is an MVP candidate and who the better candidate is for the Cy Young Award between Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta.
- Rogers also looks back at the biggest storylines from Spring Training. You can probably name two of the three without even clicking the link.
- ESPN previews their 15 most intriguing players in the National League for 2015. Actually I think it's more of a marketing campaign for Topps, but you can be the judge.
- ESPN The Magazine gives its preview of the National League Central as well.
- Kris Bryant will be in Chicago on Opening Night. On a billboard across from Wrigley Field, that is.
From CBS Chicago:
- The beginning of a new season should provide a lot of excitement and hope but that excitement is being marred by the continuing discussion of Kris Bryant and the renovations, according to Tim Baffoe.
- The renovations are not as far along as vice president of ballpark operations Carl Rice would have hoped, but he's hoping that the improved roster and the tributes to Ernie Banks will help fans forgive the delays and the dust.
- Oh, boy. Evan Marinis and his friends went to Wrigley Field on Friday with his dwarf goat named Littleton in the hope that an Instagram photo of the goat in front of Wrigley will help to "reverse the curse". I'm just going to duck out of the way now. (The goat is pretty cute though.)
From the Chicago Tribune:
- Mark Gonzales rates the Cubs on a scale of one to ten in the areas of starting pitching, relief pitching, hitting, defense, and baserunning.
- The renovations may cause some inconveniences for the players, but they're not going to let it get to them.
- David Haugh writes that the Cubs finally have a team that is more compelling than the ballpark itself.
- From the "stirring the pot" department: Ed Sherman writes that despite both the Cubs and the White Sox having the same number of wins in 2014 and both making big moves in the offseason, only the Cubs are getting the attention from the national television market.
- And from the "not necessarily news" department: It's easier for the announcers to call games when the Cubs and White Sox are winning.
- Oh, and the tampering case still isn't over.
- After 15 years away, look who's back at the Trib... it's Bernie Lincicome!
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
- Gordon Wittenmyer writes that with a Cubs team as intriguing as this one is, now it's time to make it pay off.
- Dan McGrath writes that despite the upgraded roster, the Cubs will still fall short this season.
From the Daily Herald:
- All eyes will be on Wrigley Field today as fans get to see the construction work that has been done so far by Pepper Construction.
From Cubs Den:
- John Arguello looks at whether or not the Cubs would be able to successfully pull off the "Shortstop Switch".
From Bleacher Nation:
- Kris Bryant could be in some elite company among rookie third-basemen if he's able to reach the WAR projections that currently are out there for him, writes Luis Medina.
- With rooftop owner Edward McCarthy not planning to appeal the decision made in the lawsuit against the Cubs, where do things go from here?
- One more set of organizational rankings are in -- this time from Minor League Ball -- and once again the Cubs are at the top of the class.
- In parts three and four of his five-part series, Luke Blaize looks at prospects 17 through 24 and nine through 16 in his list of the Cubs' top 40 prospects.
From Cubs Insider:
- After four-plus years of meaningless baseball, Cubs baseball will matter once again starting today, writes Mark Jablonowski.
Today's food for thought:
- [VIDEO] Reason number 7,684 to not be a high-rise window washer: this kind of a crazy ride 91 floors in the air.
- Looking for something new to give that special someone for Easter? How about a megalodon tooth made out of chocolate?
- [VIDEO] And, finally... here's the story of Passover as told by an incredibly intricate Rube Goldberg machine.