I asked Bard, Google’s new AI, to write an introduction to this feature:
Sure, here is an introduction for the “Outside The Confines” feature on Bleed Cubbie Blue:
Welcome to “Outside The Confines,” a weekly feature on Bleed Cubbie Blue that takes a look at the Chicago Cubs from a different perspective. Each week, we’ll bring you stories about the Cubs that you won’t find anywhere else, from interviews with players and coaches to behind-the-scenes looks at the team.
In this week’s edition of “Outside The Confines,” we’ll take a look at the Cubs’ new spring training facility in Mesa, Arizona. We’ll also talk to Cubs reliever Justin Wilson about his offseason workout routine and his goals for the upcoming season.
So sit back, relax, and enjoy “Outside The Confines,” your weekly source for all things Chicago Cubs.
Here are some other topics that we might cover in future editions of “Outside the Confines”:
The Cubs’ minor league system
The Cubs’ front office
The Cubs’ fan base
The Cubs’ history
The Cubs’ rivalry with the St. Louis Cardinals
We hope you enjoy “Outside The Confines.” If you have any suggestions for topics that you’d like us to cover, please let us know in the comments section below.
That is seriously terrible. And just plain wrong. And we’re not talking to Justin Wilson, whose offseason workout routine appears to be “recover from Tommy John surgery.” And he plays for the Brewers.
So I figure I’m going to get fired and replaced by this thing any day now.
- There was a scary moment on Saturday when Rockies pitcher Ryan Feltner took a line drive off the bat of Nick Castellanos in the head. (Don’t watch if you’re squeamish.) Feltner went on the injured list with a fractured skull and a concussion. He will not need surgery, fortunately.
- Because of Feltner’s injury, the Rockies called up right-hander Riley Pint, seven years after he was the fourth pick of the draft in 2016 and two years after he retired and then unretired. For years, Pint was considered a lesson of the dangers of taking hard-throwing high-school arms high in the draft. He threw 98-to-99 miles per hour in high school and was clocked at 102 on more than one occasion. But while you still wouldn’t take him with the fourth pick in the draft, at least he’s made the majors now.
- Can we handle any more of the Cardinals/Willson Contreras soap opera? If so, the Cardinals once again reversed course and announced that Contreras will be behind the plate and catching Jack Flaherty tonight.
- Alex Kirshner is reveling in the chaos that has made MLB’s “most pompous” team utterly terrible. I don’t need to tell you which team that is. It ain’t the Cubs.
- Are we tired of the Athletics and Las Vegas yet? John L. Smith writes that the A’s are playing the taxpayers of Nevada for suckers.
- Bradford Doolittle and David Schoenfield explain why the worst teams of 2023 are historically terrible. (ESPN+ sub. req.) And no, they don’t just mean the A’s, although they are the worst of the worst.
- The Mets are struggling as well, due in part to injuries. Jay Jaffe notes that the literal pain in Max Scherzer’s neck has become a figurative pain in the neck for the Mets.
- Zach Crizer reports that the Phillies are both amazed and inspired by Bryce Harper’s rapid return from Tommy John surgery and his positional move to first base.
- However, Harper got ejected from Sunday’s game with the Rockies after he started a benches-clearing altercation.
- Will Leitch has the ten biggest surprises so far this season.
- Leitch does not list the Orioles among the surprises, but I think some casual fans may have been caught off-guard by the now-good Baltimore team. Zach Crizer notes that the fans are starting to catch on in Baltimore and looks at the new “Splash Zone” in the stands at Camden Yards where fans can join in on the team’s “Home Run Hose” celebration.
- Orioles outfielder Cedric Mullins hit for the cycle on Friday. I suppose that led to a lot use for the “Dong Bong,” which the Orioles hate us calling their “Home Run Hose.”
- Dan Szymborski profiles rookie Giants shortstop Casey Schmitt, including the terrific start to his career and what we can expect out of him going forward.
- The final player still in San Francisco from that early-teens Giants’ dynasty, Brandon Crawford, could end up losing his job to Schmitt. But Bob Nightengale reports that Crawford isn’t going to worry about what his future might hold.
- Michael Baumann notes that the Kris Bryant who plays for the Rockies is a very different player than the Kris Bryant who played for the Cubs. Worse? Yeah, some. But not as much as you might think. But he’s become a very different kind of player.
- Esteban Rivera argues that the move of Jazz Chisholm Jr. to center field has worked out well for both the player and the Marlins.
- However, Chisholm is going to see a specialist about his turf toe. He may have to go on the injured list.
- Astros outfielder Michael Brantley has had a setback in his recovery from shoulder surgery.
- Mike Axisa has four underlooked effects of the new rule changes this season.
- Tom Verducci thinks the ban on shifting and a crackdown on the sticky stuff has made baseball a “fairer” game.
- Mark Feinsand looks at which teams could be selling at the trade deadline.
- Buster Olney has some questions that need to be answered as we get closer to the trade deadline. (ESPN+ sub. req.)
- The Reds announced their City Connect uniforms.
- Keith Law has a look at two LSU players who could be the first two picks of the upcoming MLB Draft. (The Athletic sub. req.) Plus some other potential high draft picks from the college ranks.
- Cole Jacobson looks at five “phantom ballplayers.” Those are players who were on a major league roster at one point, but never got into a game.
- The Guardians’ Tanner Bibee and the Angels’ Patrick Sandoval were teammates on the baseball team and Mission Viejo High School in California. Yesterday, the two faced off in the majors and both starters pitched into the eighth inning. Bibee and the Guardians came out on top.
- In case you forgot, yesterday was Mother’s Day. If you did, well, I’m glad I’m not your mother. But in any case, that meant we got a ton of “Mother’s Day” stories about MLB players. So here’s a collection of those stories. We’ll start with the Guardians’ Tyler Freeman, who drew inspiration when he was fighting through injuries from his mom Cindy, who was never expected to speak again after she had suffered a major stroke ten years ago. (The Athletic sub. req.) She did indeed make a miraculous recovery.
- The Royals Vinnie Pasquantino brought his mom on the road trip to Milwaukee this weekend. Not because it was Mother’s Day (although that was a nice bonus) but because the team was staying at the supposedly-haunted Pfister Hotel and his mom is a huge paranormal fan.
- When Mookie Betts was a child, Little League teams rejected him because they felt he was “too small.” So his mom formed a new team just for her son and the other kids who were rejected from the existing teams and that started his path to baseball superstardom.
- Phillies infielder Bryson Stott leaned to pay kindness forward from his school teacher mom. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Cardinals outfielder Lars Nootbaar got choked up when his mom joined him live on last night’s ESPN Sunday Night Baseball telecast.
- And finally, former Cub Jason Adam was convinced he gave up a game-tying home run to the Yankees’ Aaron Judge. The look on Adam’s face when he realized that it was actually a game-ending fly-out was priceless. (The picture above is not from that game, but it’s a reasonably-close approximation.)
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.