The little girl is sick, so I’m playing nurse today. Don’t think me a bad father if you still see plenty of posts – I may have done some writing in advance late last night…
- The more he sees of Darwin Barney, the more Dale Sveum likes him. Having seen Barney from the other dugout in 2011, Sveum isn’t totally unfamiliar with his abilities, but notes that it’s different when you’re tasked with evaluating a player. Barney, who put on 20 pounds of muscle in the offseason, is expected to be the Cubs’ starting second baseman this year, and, if he’s to be a better than average player there, his defense will have to reach an elite level (because, I’m sorry, his bat will never be average). It’s not inconceivable: last year was Barney’s first as a full-time second baseman after a minor league career as an above-average shortstop. He could improve dramatically this year.
- Sveum plans on playing around with a number of lineups early in Spring Training, but we shouldn’t read too much into it. “I’ll probably have different lineups every day just looking at stuff,” Sveum said. “Like I told these guys, don’t look into any of the lineups I’m going to be throwing out there the first week or so because it’s just getting the feel for everything. Some of the guys in the lineup right now, there are not cut-and-dry guys, so there will be a lot of different lineups out there.”
- Cubs players believe they can win in 2012, which I suppose is the only appropriate attitude in March. According to Ryan Dempster, a part of the positivity is because the players want to look good for the new men in charge. “We know that we have those that doubt what we can accomplish but everyone is really trying hard to impress the new bosses and I really like the makeup of the team we have here in camp,” Dempster said.
- Fluff on Brett Jackson. He’s got the same good attitude about his immediate future as does Anthony Rizzo (who, like Jackson, will start at AAA Iowa). “I’m not looking too far ahead,” Jackson said. “I’m looking to play my game and play to the best of my ability. If people at the top like what they see, which I think they will, we’ll let them make those decisions. I like to focus on things I can control. That’s how I approach my work ethic every day – how early I get to the field, how long I spend in the gym, what I do in the cage and during practice. That’s what I’m focusing on now. I’m not focusing on trying to make the team or starting in Iowa. We’ll let those decisions be made. It’s baseball for me, and I’m always going to play 110 percent.”
- The outfielders are enjoying working with Dave McKay, who came over to the Cubs from the Cardinals.
- Fluff on David DeJesus. I have a feeling we’re really going to enjoy cheering for him this year.
- The Onion wins the Ryan Braun story: “Kids of Milwaukee Forced to Look Up to Ryan Braun on Technicality.“
- Paul Sullivan answers questions. Apparently folks still labor under the impression that Ryne Sandberg should have been hired, that Alfonso Soriano has trade value, and that adding additional Wild Cards is a bad idea (that last one is on Paul…).
- MLBullets over at BCB, featuring Grady Sizemore doing what Grady Sizemore does.
- Yesterday would have been Harry Caray’s 98th birthday. Cheers, Harry.