Today, the Indianapolis Colts would have had to pay Peyton Manning $28 million to keep him. Why is anyone even doing the song and dance about whether the Colts did the right thing or could have kept Manning? Of course they did the right thing.
- Jeff Samardzija agreed when asked if he was “on a mission” to make the Cubs’ rotation. “That’s 100 percent correct,” Samardzija said to reporters. “I hold a lot of stuff inside, I don’t say too much stuff. I have a big chip on my shoulder, especially the older I get and I slowly see my football skills diminishing [he was smiling as he said this]. I’ve got to understand I need to start pitching good.” I’m still rooting for Jeff’s success – as a starter or a reliever – and I can certainly understand, and even respect, his single-minded desire to start. He could say things a little more artfully (“I’m going to do everything I can to make the rotation, but if the Cubs feel I can help them best in the bullpen, I’m going to be the best reliever I can be. I just want to make the team and help the Cubs win.” – something like that), but I can’t really give him grief at this point. Not just because he pitched well, but because it’s early, and, right now, he’s very clearly in the heart of the rotation competition. He’s been working hard since November for this chance.
- Bryan LaHair is able to prepare a little differently in Spring Training this year. Instead of just trying to kill it in the Spring, he’s able to be working on video, and preparing for the regular season. We’ll have to keep that in mind when looking at his Spring numbers, and thinking about his role this season.
- The Cubs have released minor league pitcher Kyle Smit, who bounced around (High A, AA, and AAA) last year without much success (5.69 ERA, combined with just 47 strikeout and 35 walks in 61.2 innings). You may remember Smit as the third player in the Ted Lilly/Ryan Theriot trade, in which the Cubs received Smit, Blake DeWitt, and yet-unsuccessful pitching prospect Brett Wallach. Not one of Jim Hendry’s finer moments. Just 24, Smit will almost certainly catch on with another organization.
- Starlin Castro talks about his experience in the Dominican Republic coming up alongside Junior Lake, and talks about Lake’s future. A very good read from Patrick Mooney.
- The Cubs have revealed ticket pricing for the new patio/rooftop-style seating area, and, as expected, it’s pricey. The tickets sell in blocks of 50, and the per ticket price ranges from $125 (for lesser games) up to $250 (for premium games). You get food and drink with that price.
- Cubs Den hits the high points from a recent Hanley and Mulligan interview of Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio. He’s working on changing a host of minor things – grip, lower body mechanics, approach – that he hopes will net major results. He also wants the Cubs to pound the inside of the zone, and if guys get hit, they get hit.
- Want to see the Tennessee Smokies’ home opener? Want to see it for $1? That’s how much tickets are via a special promotion, in celebration of the team’s President’s Award (best franchise in Minor League Baseball).
- The Cubs are looking for ball boys and ball girls for the upcoming season. Applications are due by March 12. (The “boy” and “girl” titles are a bit arcane - you’ve got to be at least 18 to apply.)