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.