The calendar has turned to February, and, in our world, that means one thing: Spring Training is near. Pitchers and catchers report in two and a half weeks, and positional players a few days thereafter.
Those are, of course, merely the nominal report dates, as a number of players come much earlier (and, while it is probably unfair to do so, we instinctively “like” players who show up early just a little bit better), and, indeed, many Cubs players are already in Mesa, Arizona, where the Cubs Spring. Many have been participating in Camp Bussie (formerly named Camp Colvin, an offseason strength and conditioning program now named after strength and conditioning coach Tim Buss), while others have started baseball drills.
And, this time of year, if you’re looking for the latest from Mesa, Tim Sheridan’s Boys of Spring blog should be among your first stops. Sheridan is the Cubs’ PA announcer in Mesa, and he chronicles the Cubs’ efforts each Spring (I’ve also always got the sense that he’s a good dude, too). This week, he’s been writing about Dale Sveum’s early work with those guys who are already in camp, and also snapping off some great pictures.
Sheridan notes that the players in Mesa, in no particular order, include Darwin Barney, Tony Campana, Zeke DeVoss, Justin Bour, Jim Adduci, and Matt Cerda (I know that Jeff Samardzija has also been training in Mesa this Winter).
There will be no excuses for not doing something the right way.
Theo Epstein is one of the smartest people he’s ever been around, and that Theo will not accept mediocrity, not from himself, not from anyone.
Making excuses is caused by your own insecurities and lack of preparation.
So many games are won by one run and the Cubs will prepare and do all the little things the right way in order to be the team that wins those close games.
He also told the guys they are being given the greatest opportunity in all of sports, to be the players who win it all after 103 years.
All good stuff, obviously. Sounds very much like what Sveum has been saying in the media, as well, so no real surprises.
Hopefully more players will trickle in over the next couple of weeks, if for no other reason than we can see more pictures and get more stories of, like, actual baseball from Boys of Spring.