Happy St. Patty’s Day, chums. Give it the ‘ole Mark Grace treatment, eh?

  • David DeJesus is your 2012 Chicago Cubs Bunt Tournament champion, taking down the winner from the pitchers’ half of the bracket, Casey Coleman. While it isn’t indicative of much, it is nice to see a guy who actually will have occasion to bunt win the thing, rather than, like, Kerry Wood, for example. On his win, DeJesus was humble: “There was a little pressure there — everyone’s watching, everyone’s rooting for their guy. I was able to stay relaxed and get points on every bunt.” It’s not quite, “You ready to be f*$@d, man? I see you rolled your way into the semis. Dios mio, man. Liam and me, we’re gonna f*@k you up,” but it’ll do.
  • Dale Sveum says the coaching staff takes care of issues it sees on the field immediately after they see it, rather than waiting until after the game or the next practice. “We’ve addressed being held accountable on the defensive end of everything,” Sveum said. “When something happens on the field, it’s taken care of right when they get off the field. You don’t have time for the mistakes or mental mistakes to happen again. Some people like to do say, ‘Well, I’ll take care of it after the game.’ What if there are six innings left and it happens again? If something goes awry on the field, you have to address it right then and hold people accountable for what goes on on the field.”
  • The Baseball Tonight crew has a run-of-the-mill season preview thing up on the Chicago Cubs, which, like, whateves. The part the jumped out at me was this story from Rick Sutcliffe, who is undoubtedly insane: “I used to love to light guys’ shoelaces on fire. I would get to the park early, take the laces out of their shoes, soak the laces in lighter fluid, then put them back in their shoes. That way, I could just walk by them, drop a light on them and they’re on fire up to their knees. What are they going to do about it? I’m 6-foot-7 and they’re not. So once, Chris Speier and Terry Francona decide they’re going to get me back. Speier is sitting next to me on end of the bench, and Francona is crawling on his stomach under the bench to try to light my laces on fire. But Chris is nervous, I can tell, he panics and says, ‘Tito is trying to get you!’ because he’s afraid I might kill him. I see Tito on his stomach, I picked up the Gatorade jug and threw red Gatorade all over him. He had to change his uniform and take a shower during the game.” I am hundreds of miles away from Rick Sutcliffe, a man I will almost certainly never meet, and I am going to start checking under my bed before I sleep.
  • Matt Garza is a serious leader. Serious. “I get on some of these young guys when they’re sitting on the bench to get up on the fence,” Garza said of his time in the dugout at Spring Training. “I asked [Jeff] Beliveau the other day. I think it was [Norichika] Aoki from the Brewers. I said, ‘Do you know Aoki?’ He said not really. I said, ‘What are you sitting back here for?’ I said, ‘If you get up here, this is who you’re facing, a lefty.’ I said, ‘You get up there and you focus on how you’re going to help us.’” Whoa. If leadership were crafted into feline sleepwear, well, I think you know where I’m going with that.
  • Buster Olney reports that Theo Epstein has some bonuses in his contract with the Cubs, including bonuses based on team performance, and on the conclusion of his time with the Cubs (his conclusion bonus with the Red Sox was $3.5 million, and was actually paid by the Cubs).
  • Doug Padilla pretty much sentences Matt Garza to an elbow supernova by writing a “the Cubs haven’t had many injuries this Spring” article. Thanks, Doug.
  • Bruce Levine with a short interview of Marlon Byrd.
  • ferrets_bueller

    I need coffee.  Its too early.  It took me two minutes to realize that the Big Lebowski quote was from you, not DeJesus. I was like…wow!! DeJesus knows about the Da Jesus joke, and likes the Big Lebowski.  New Favorite player!

    Alas….I was mistaken.

    • JulioZuleta

      I thought the same thing for a minute there. I was putting on my shoes to go get a DeJesus jersey. How awesome would it be if he actually said that. Come on Brett. You know you’re supposed to start a new paragraph when quotes changes.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        I stand by the way I wrote it, chumps.

        • bluekoolaidaholic

          Dude, there have to be rules! Am I right??
          Shut up Donnie.

  • butlerdawgs

    well that’s totally like your uh opinion or whatever, man.

  • Diego

    Hahahaha…..best movie ever, love that quote….

  • Evolution

    I still don’t roll on Shabbos…

  • Smitty

    Love that quote from Garza. That makes me want to keep him around even more, just for the fact the young pitchers will have that killer attitude. How can you not when your best pitcher is that way and is outspoken?

    • cjdubbya

      Was going to say the same thing. Please extend the heck out of this guy yesterday. A guy like that – that’s Pure Awesome.

      • DocWimsey

        Ordinarily, the “rah rah” stuff leaves me cold. However, pushing young guys on things that actually might help (i.e., studying a pitcher) is always good.

  • Spencer

    This whole article made me really happy. Happy St. Patty’s Day all!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      This was one of my favorite set of Bullets, to be honest. Had a skip in my step as I wrote.

      • Swaz46

        You were stepping as you wrote??? You are talented, my man.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Chewing gum, too. There’s nothing I can’t do.

          • MichiganGoat

            I prefer to think you came to kick ass and chew gum but you were all out of gum.

            • Stinky Pete

              You dominant male monkey mother f’er in a 50’s greaser costume….

  • Freshness21

    Love the stuff about Sutcliffe and Garza. Unless we get a batch of absolute STUDS we need to keep this guy in Cubbies blue. He is in it for the right reasons. You always see him on the top step of the dugout taking in the game and always the first guy out of the dugout congratulating his teammates or picking them up after they mess up. Solid teammate, good pitcher, and great leader – doesn’t come along very long.

  • LJ

    If the Cubs had to pay Theo his “conclusion bonus” then that should have been all teh Theo compensation required from the Cubs end.

  • Kyle

    If it wasn’t for the kind of talent he’s been able to attract to the organization, I’d think we overpaid. Two prospects and a huge compensation package? Not when there are tons of other bright, young, educated, driven, saber-savvy executives out there.

    But Epstein was able to bring in an amazing collection of front-office talent to work with him, so that makes it worth it. We still definitely paid retail.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      For what it’s worth, that was always what I anticipated would be the most valuable part of the hire (and even it has surpassed my hopes).

  • MightyBear

    I love the story about Garza. Now I am more inclined to give him an extension and build a great staff around him.


  • Kevin

    The Cubs have some major decisions to make. I like the idea of building the farm system for a few years until Theo and company can put all the pieces together at the major league level. The 2-3 years before that happens will give the Cubs to rebuild or refurbish Wrigley Field. I personally like the idea of playing at Soldier Field for a year.

  • Rob

    Brett, you really need to read The Baseball Codes by Jason Turbow. The stories about Bert Blyeven will make Sutcliffe seem tame.