Bat-flip department: Dedicated to the writers, readers, and posters of BCB: Thank You.*
Happy belated 23rd birthday to Kyle Schwarber.
*denotes autoplay, video or audio, overprominent ads, and/or other annoyances.
The Lead-Off Man:
- Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Cubs buzz off hair for cancer research. Respect bald.
- ESPN: Joe Maddon and David Kaplan. [AUDIO]
- Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Give It to a Kid. Baseball fiction. Good stuff.
Toeing the Rubber:
- Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): Travis Wood insists on keeping a starter's mentality. "I'm going about the thing how I've always gone about it and we'll see what happens in the end," he said.
- Bruce Levine (CBS Chicago*): Travis Wood faces uncertain future with Cubs. "In a perfect world, the pitcher would be a fourth starter for another team. The Cubs are not likely to have a rotation spot open."
- Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Veteran Cubs pitcher Travis Wood has seen it all with Chicago. He is the longest tenured player on the big league team.
- Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): Kyle Hendricks trying to tune out all the noise in the rotation battle. Curtailing overthink and focusing on mechanics is his route to a rotation spot.
- ESPN: Jake Arrieta talks with Carmen and Jurko. [AUDIO]
- Chicago Tribune: Trevor Cahill on his spring debut. [VIDEO]
Swinging for Defense:
- Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): First base goes better than center field for Javier Baez. Baez is gonna need a bigger locker for all of them gloves. "My biggest concern right now with him is that he gets as much work in at a variety of positions as he can and just give him experience now," Joe Maddon said.
- Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): Cubs think Kyle Schwarber playing two positions will help boost his development. Joe Maddon thinks that Schwarber as a third catching option behind Miguel Montero and David Ross is an advantage for the Cubs and the organization doesn't want to stifle him.
- Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Tommy La Stella is the man in the pinch for the Cubs. "[He's] one of those dudes who can get up at three in the morning and hit anybody's anything. He's that good of a hitter." -- Joe Maddon.
- Tobey Johnson (Cubbies Crib): Addison Russell's chances of winning a National League Gold Glove. Not as bad as they were. Simmons is in the A.L. now. Brandon Crawford is the main competition.
- Neil (Chicago Cubs Online): Addison Russell making a lot of noise with the bat.
- Bob Roberts (CBS Chicago*): Wrigleyville residents accuse Cubs of chopping down trees without warning. Have you heard of the Thundering Herd? Blue Lot of noise from people along Seminary st. The Cubs technically own the lot where crews are working.
- Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): Kawasaki Karaoke: Joe Maddon 'abhors' monotony in Cubs camp. Japanese sensation Munenori Kawasaki warmed the Cubs up before Friday's workout with an Aerosmith cover. I love this stuff.
- ESPN: Dexter Fowler discusses Munenori Kawasaki.[AUDIO]
- NBC Sports: Kawasaki serenades the Cubs. [VIDEO]
- Jon Morosi (Fox News): Which locations make the most sense for Major League expansion? Not Cleveland, obviously. But Ron Manfred has expressed interest in two more franchises. I'd have more interest in about four less, but ok. This is gonna be a thing.
- Henry Druschel (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Cubs have no reason to trade Jorge Soler. Just because the Cubs have a lot of good players is no reason to get rid of any of them.
Safe at Home:
- Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): No question: Addison Russell knows he belongs now with Cubs. Russell only spent about nine months in the Cubs organization before making his big-league debut. He's grown a bit since then. "I think I deserve to be here," he said.
- Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Kris Bryant, 20 other Cubs ink one-year deals. Kyle Schwarber, Addison Russell, Javier Baez among the players with zero to three years of service signed for 2016.
- Paul Sullivan (Chicago Tribune): Ads can add up nicely for young Cubs cashing in on newfound fame. Not exactly news, but new revenue streams are available. Less car commercials. Shaving gear is now an option --Respect Bald.
- Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Anthony Rizzo looks beyond personal success to ultimate team achievement. "The best part about him is that he wants to be great, and the bottom line for him is winning," assistant hitting coach Eric Hinske said.
- ESPN: Anthony Rizzo and David Kaplan. [AUDIO]
Food for thought:
- Sarah Schwartz (Science News): Lizards locked in amber can provide clues to reptilian evolution. Some ancient lizards’ bad luck has become a gold mine of information for scientists.
- Elisabeth Pannisi (Science): Making a game of science. "...think beyond the standard routes in science training and take the initiative..."
- Hilarie M. Sheets (The New York Times): At MIT, science embraces a new chaos theory: art. "It’s important to be creative.
Weird. I sprinkle it on my pancakes. Thank you, Bill Lee.
"How do you like Astroturf?" Reporter to Tug McGraw.
Tug: "I dunno. I haven't smoked it yet." Ba dum tss.*
GET OFF MY LAWN, YOU KIDS.
Cubs Baseball on TV today. MLB Network for most folks. Fox Sports Arizona for me. 2 p.m. Mountain time (1 p.m. CT). Enjoy. See you in the funny pages.