The Cubs didn’t lose yesterday! I kid. I’m not being pessimistic or cynical. Like any up-and-down Cubs fan, I’m genuinely excited about today’s game.
- Speaking of today’s game, Theo Epstein is a fan of today’s starter, Matt Garza, which is no surprise. Back-handed compliment de jure: “I think he’s a smarter guy than you’d think from across the field,” Epstein said. “And I don’t mean that the wrong way. You watch him and how energetic and extroverted and fidgety he can be looking at him from across the field, you get a certain impression about him that maybe he’s not always thinking things through. But the reality is that he actually has a method to his madness. He knows himself really well, and he understands the game really well. He knows how to prepare, and I think there is a lot more going on upstairs than people give him credit for.” Epstein wouldn’t comment on the Cubs’ efforts to sign Garza to an extension (he’s a free agent after 2013), but his comments tell me that, even if the Cubs ultimately trade Garza, Epstein thinks Garza is the cat’s pajamas.
- White Sox ticket prices dropped dramatically this year, primarily to combat flagging attendance, while Cubs tickets remained largely unchanged. That will remain the case until/unless the Cubs’ attendance falls precipitously, which doesn’t seem like an imminent threat (though, let’s check back in on this in August and September if the Cubs are as bad as some fear they’ll be).
- The Cubs’ proprietary data solution, built together with Bloomberg Sports, isn’t quite yet operational, and might not be fully complete (to the Cubs’ specifications) for a couple years. Until then, they’ll continue using a variety of products, as well as some of what Bloomberg offers.
- BN’er Hansman was at the Iowa Cubs’ home opener, and had a chance to chat with Brett Jackson, who offered this eye-opening quote: “Nothing against [former Cubs manager Mike] Quade, because he played – hell [Dale] Sveum played, too – but Sveum is a guy you would ride into battle with.” Sveum has been an outspoken fan of Jackson, too, so it’s fair to say that the two developed something of a bond at Spring Training.
- Randy Wells, who picked up the win in that Iowa Cubs home opener, is trying to make the best of what is probably a frustrating situation for him. “It’s not the most ideal situation you were looking for when you went into camp, but I can’t sit here and say poor me, poor me,” he said. “I pitch for the Iowa Cubs now. I want to do good here, and if they need me in Chicago, I’ll be ready to go.”
- No matter how much you hear about the wind at Wrigley Field, it’s hard to believe it until you’ve experienced it. Ian Stewart just learned that lesson on a ninth inning bomb that turned into a triple. “I watched it for a second because I thought I got it,” he admitted. “The next thing I know I’m running and I see [first-base coach] Dave McKay saying ‘Go, go, go …’ I knew I had to bust it out from there. When I saw it fall, I was just trying to get to third.”
- Another BN’er bit, this from Josh and SweetJamesJones, who demonstrate a way to guarantee your face appears in lights on BN. Wear your Bleacher Nation shirt at Wrigley Field like Josh did, and I will give you the Internet equivalent of a gigantic hug: