MESA, Arizona — It wasn’t nearly as sunny or nice Friday in Mesa, and a forecast of rain could wash out the scheduled full-squad Cubs workouts over the weekend.
Still, I went over to the Sloan Park complex to watch some of the earlybirds take batting practice on Field 1, then headed to the back fields for more pitcher fielding drills.
There were a lot of people at Field 1 and the nearest parking lot was almost full. There must have been a couple hundred people watching, and there was a WGN-TV satellite truck parked nearby.
You can hear the music going as Tommy La Stella and Albert Almora Jr. take batting practice:
Then it was off to Fields 3, 4 and 6, which were hosting the same three groups of pitchers as Wednesday for more fielding drills. I took my Nikon camera to the field so I could get some better photos than I took with my phone the other day; you can see those at the top of this post. Matt Szczur stuck around after batting practice and signed quite a few autographs (photo 1).
Here are a couple more videos of pitcher fielding drills:
I particularly like the coach’s comment at the end of the second one: “All these people came to see me hit fungoes!”
After watching the workouts I went and had lunch with my friend Tim Sheridan, who is the P.A. announcer at Sloan Park. You might recall that Tim was attacked outside a bar after watching Game 7 of the World Series (I originally had heard he was in Chicago, but later found out this happened in Gilbert, Arizona). Just want those of you who come to Sloan Park and hear Tim’s voice every spring that he’s doing really well and will be back at the P.A. microphone next Saturday when the Cubs host the Athletics in the first spring game of 2017.
Just one week to go before the 2017 Cubs take the field!