Mmmm, beer. I don't drink much beer (I'm diabetic), but I wanted one with my burrito, so I hiked down to the liquor store to get one and ended up with a six-pack of Old Style. It's been seventeen years since I had one.
They're not so bad when they're really cold. I have five left. They'll probably last the rest of the year. I'll be optimistic and save one for when we win the World Series. I'll down it, and say two words of praise, Theo.
Inspired by this happenstance, I thought I'd throw you a change-up, for my last article this spring training. Here's Cub Tracks in the Old Style. And yes, I found the frog right away. And I put him back in the box, Chuck Jones.
*may have autoplaying video/audio, other annoyances like requiring you to pay for their services...
From CSN Chicago*:
- Patrick Mooney: The problem with technology. Why Joe Maddon doesn't need an iPad in the dugout.
- Patrick Mooney: Jake Arrieta ready to put his game face on. Silence!!!! There's no blister any more. Next question?
- Patrick Mooney: Bryce Harper, Kris Bryant, and how the Cubs can help a tired sport. They aren't particularly close and don't train together during the winter, but they are becoming faces of the game.
From CBS Chicago:
- Bruce Levine: Javier Baez aims for quick return, mulls best way to slide in. Baez said "I used to slide feet first, but I had trouble tearing up my upper leg. I am not sure what the answer is."
- Bruce Levine: Even with Javier Baez sidelined, Cubs like their versatility. "We are still versatile," Joe Maddon said.
- Cubs, Angels trade verbal jabs via twitter ahead of season opener. Mike Trout looks up to Anthony Rizzo.
From ESPN Chicago:
- Jon Lester has some remarks. [VIDEO]
- Jesse Rogers: Javier Baez "mad" he won't make it to his first Opening Day. "I’m mad I’m losing my first Opening Day, but, you know, I feel good," he said on Wednesday. "I hit two days in a row. When they come back (to Arizona) I’ll be ready."
- Rough 2016 ahead for John Lackey, Jered Weaver? Results of 2016 survey.
- Carrie Muskat : John Lackey looking to give Cubs a competitive edge. Lackey brings an attitude on the mound. He says "In between the lines, I don't care what the other team thinks about me. I'm there to win."
- Carrie Muskat: Joe Maddon to keep an open mind on iPad use. "This might sound nuts to you, but it might slow down the process," Maddon said Wednesday.
- Carrie Muskat: Javier Baez doesn't expect to be sidelined long. Cubs manager Joe Maddon said they're hoping Baez changes how he slides, and switches to feet-first to avoid re-injuring his hand.
- Carrie Muskat: Carl Edwards, Jr., should contribute to the Cubs in 2016. Edwards was a different player this spring, and he could be a factor this season.
- Jon Lester goes deep. [Video]
- Schwarber goes back-to-back with Lester. [VIDEO]
- Munenori Kawasaki gets the silent treatment.[VIDEO]
- Jason Hammel also goes deep. [VIDEO]
From The Chicago Tribune:
- Chris Sosa: Kris Bryant hates flying (he doesn't really like boats either). He prefers Batman over Superman. Interview included. [VIDEO]
- Mark Gonzales: Cubs' information highway remains firmly in Joe Maddon's back pocket. It sounds like he's been reading cyberpunk. "...when you need it very quickly, you almost have to wait for artificial intelligence to take over..."
- Paul Sullivan: Joe Maddon moves out of beloved RV as Cubs embark on their long journey. There's no room near Maddon's condo to park the RV, so it won't be making a trip to Chicago. The Cousin Eddie has 600 HP. My '71 Caprice had that when it was rodded. Lotta ponies.
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
- Gordon Wittenmyer: Top of Cubs' 2016 lineup: Dexter Fowler, Jason Heyward, and an Anthony Rizzo sandwich. Joe Maddon plans to go into this season with three of his top five spots locked in, and two hitters floating between the two other top-five spots.
- Gordon Wittenmyer: Javier Baez "mad that I'm losing my first Opening Day" to thumb injury. He'll be fine. He is, after all, in the best shape of his life™.
From the Daily Herald*:
- Bruce Miles: Nothing easy for Chicago in the tough NL Central. If it were easy, it wouldn't be worthwhile.
- Mike Imrem: Did we miss the Chicago Cubs parade last fall? Seriously? I avoid Imrem like I avoid Rick Morrissey, Rick Telander, and haggis, but I had to link this one. Enjoy.
- John Arguello: Joe Maddon's early task: rotate Jorge Soler into regular lineup and juggle a 4 man bench more about niche players than versatility. Ruminating about the lineup and chewing on the delicious possibilities afforded by the bench players.
- John Arguello: Cubs finalize roster, Arrieta tops A's, and more notes, photos from the backfield. To praise Szczur, not to bury him, and good news from the minors.
- Brett Taylor: Joe Maddon confirms top two in the lineup will be Dexter Fowler and Jason Heyward. The fun starts around three.
- Michael Cerami: Joe Maddon and Kris Bryant praise Anthony Rizzo beyond the field of play. He's the man, the leader of a potentially championship-bound ballclub, and he’s under contract for six more years.
- Brett Taylor: Anthony Rizzo featured prominently in promotion for MLB 16:The Show, released today. I pre-ordered. Mine arrives tomorrow. The commercials are pretty cool.
- Todd Johnson: Can anyone knock Gleyber Torres off the top of the Cubs' prospect mountain? Dylan Cease, Eloy Jiminez, Ian Happ are considered.
- Tom U. (Chicago Cubs Online): Iowa Cubs preview.
- Aldo Soto (Sports Mockery): Joe Maddon gives more insight on Cubs lineup. On Wednesday, he talked with reporters and said the top of the order is set with Dexter Fowler returning to the leadoff position, while newly acquired Jason Heyward will hit second.
- New technology expected to change the game of baseball. i(Pad) don't think so. Joe knows baseball.
- Grant Brisbee (SBNation): Every last scrap of Cubs magic this year was just wasted on a Jon Lester spring training home run. Brisbee throws us a frisbee low and outside. I say him and Al armwrestle.
- Nunzio Ingrassia (Fox Sports): Jake Arrieta reveals secret to his phenomenal career turnaround. Pilates. He's got body control and everything.
- Lindsey Foltin (Fox Sports): Anthony Rizzo impressed the Cubs with piano impression of Adele's 'Hello'.
- Myles (Obstructed View): Addison Russell: A love story. Not Ali McGraw and Ryan O'Neal. Please no. "...imagine a scenario in which Russell puts up 4 WAR this year and gets absolutely no attention..." Hmm. The first part, yeah.
- Matthew Trueblood (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Back-tap: How Miguel Montero rediscovered his opposite-field power. "Montero went to work with John Mallee and Eric Hinske, and remembered how to hit like a badass."
- Neil Greenberg (The Washington Post): NL Central preview: Why the Cubs are the best team in baseball. Because because because because because...
- Brian Cunniff (Shore News Today): Matt Szczur makes Cubs opening day roster. Lower Cape May Regional graduate Matt Szczur will begin the 2016 baseball season as a member of the Chicago Cubs.
Food for thought:
- Tim Bannon (Chicago Tribune): Weirdest baseball food for 2016. Burgerizza, anyone? I bet that'd go good with an Old Style. Really bad food. You might want to check with your cardiologist before reading.
- Manny Ramirez signs with Bears. If I'm Lion, I'm dyin'.
- Sports Mockery: Is Kyle Long the next two-sport Chicago athlete? He throws in the mid-90s and hits for power. He's also left-handed. Hmm.
The season begins Sunday. I'll be back with stuff pertaining to the Cubs opener, which takes place Monday in Anaheim. I can't wait for the season to begin. I'll be watching on the field of streams.