O yes they did!
Save the box tops.
- CBS Chicago: Personalized cereal launched for Anthony Rizzo -- RizzOs. Some of the proceeds of the cereal sales will benefit the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation. Jewel/Osco has the stuff. So does Amazon.com, supposedly. I didn't find it when I looked.
- CBS Chicago: Young Chicago baseball players take trip of lifetime. "Anthony Rizzo appeared via Skype and told them they’d be coming to Mesa, taking part in spring training and meeting the team," RBI coach Ernest Radcliffe said.
- Adam Nissen (Sports Mockery): Kris Bryant reveals personalized Adidas cleats for 2016. "The shoe company hit the jackpot in 2014 when they signed Bryant, who was a top prospect in the Cubs farm system, to a lucrative endorsement deal."
- Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Sports psychologist helps Cubs prepare for grueling season. Please, sir, I want some more.
- Rian Watt (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): The Jake Arrieta changeup: An old friend, not seen since Milwaukee. "Jake Arrieta’s three changeups broke an average of 5.5 inches, or three inches farther away from what gravity would do to them if he threw the pitch straight ahead without any backspin."
- Mike Bertha (Cut Four): Dexter Fowler's daughter seeing him on TV is too cute. Fowler's wife, Darya, and their daughter, Naya weren't on the trip to Los Angeles.
- Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Matt Szczur making his case to stick with Cubs. "The game has this cruel way of making its own decisions," Maddon said. "Let's see when that day happens, we'll make the appropriate decision at that time."
- Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Matt Szczur channels Villanova's hoops title in hot start. "Villanova wins the national championship, so I thought it was a good bet for tonight," Maddon said before the game, talking about putting Szczur in the starting lineup.
- Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Cubs see endless ways to utilize Trevor Cahill. Cahill can do anything -- start, relieve or close a game.
- Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): So far, so good. After all the hype, Jon Lester ready to roll with Cubs. "Physically, mentally, I’m light years ahead of where I was last year at this point," he said.
- Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Year 2 could be a lot different for Jon Lester (and David Ross). More comfort could equal better performance.
- Sean Sears (Sports Mockery): Jon Lester is an ace, stop saying otherwise. "...Lester was fantastic last year, and people don’t seem to remember that."
Rooster plays chicken.
- Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Cubs will face some interesting decisions with Jorge Soler. "The Cubs can’t afford to hand Soler 600 at-bats, let him learn on the job and hope he becomes more fluid in the outfield..."
- Gunther Dabynsky (Cubs Den): Off day musings on the bullpen and roster construction. Baseball is a game of constant adjustments.
- Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): On Matt Szczur's roster spot and Javier Baez' anticipated return. "As for Szczur, the primary question for his ability to stick in the big leagues...has always been whether he’d ever have enough power to keep pitchers and defenses honest."
Take it from the top.
- Bruce Miles (Daily Herald): Chicago Cubs have leadoff leader in Dexter Fowler. No matter what Maddon does in the middle and bottom of the batting order, Fowler is the guy at the top.
- Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Manny Ramirez on Cubs offense: 'This year is going to be way better than last year'. "The offense is awesome and the pitching is great," Ramirez said with a smile. "You saw how the city reacted. This is the place to be."
- Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times): Cubs count on April power to help bring champagne showers. "If the Cubs learned anything from their surprising surge to October last year, it is that the baseball sages are wrong when they say pennants can’t be won in April, but can be lost in April."
- Bruce Levine (CBS Chicago): Ben Zobrist's consistency, winning pedigree will be boon to Cubs. "The Cubs’ most important player may well change from day to day during the 2016 season."
- Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Cubs' veterans were more than willing to share the wealth. "They elected at the end of the 2015 season to issue 60 full postseason shares worth $122,327.59 apiece..."
- Neil (Chicago Cubs Online): Updating Cubs, Jake Arrieta contract talks. They keep saying they're not talking, but they are probably talking.
- CBS Chicago: Tom Ricketts: Theo Epstein's contract extension 'coming pretty soon'. "We’ve talked about it," Cubs owner Tom Ricketts said Monday evening. "We’ll get to a conclusion here pretty soon."
- Tony Andracki, JJ Stankevitz (CSN Chicago*): MLB 16 The Show: Cubs-White Sox World Series showdown.[VIDEO]
- Jim Bowden (ESPN-Insider [$]): MLB Position player grades. Chicago's offense a bit ahead of defense.
- Todd Johnson (Cubs Insider): Prospect profile: Meet Oscar de la Cruz, the Punisher. "For de la Cruz, failing as a position player is turning out to be the best thing for his overall growth."
- Ariel Cheung (DNAinfo): Sweet relief: Wrigley Field expands bathrooms, bleacher bar for Opening Day. A lot has happened after two years of construction.
- Ashok Selvam (Eater Chicago): What to eat at Wrigley Field. "You can't break curses on an empty stomach."
food for thought:
- Laura Sanders (Science News): Hippocampus makes maps of social space, too. "The hippocampus is an organizer," says neuroscientist Howard Eichenbaum of Boston University.
- Amy Dockser Marcus (Wall Street Journal): In science, inspiration can come from anywhere. A mom reached out to a scientist with an idea. Her hunch became a published scientific study.
- Mary Beth Griggs (Popular Science): Supermassive black holes are more common than we thought. Ignore that gorilla. Let's all talk about the elephants in the galaxy.