Two things in this life are assured: death and taxes. (Do I make the obvious Chicago Cubs joke?) Your taxes are due today, so get on it, unless you’re super responsible like me, and had your taxes in the mail all the way back at … yesterday.

  • The Cubs head to Miami today to take on the Marlins amid both fanfare and strife – Ozzie Guillen returns to the bench after a five-game, “I love Castro”-related suspension. Protests and demonstrations from some in the Cuban community are expected, so maybe the Cubs can ride the wave of distraction to a series win. Dale Sveum realizes there will be a lot going on, and I imagine he’s telling his guys the same. “I think there is definitely going to be added press and media and questions,” Sveum said. “It’s just an unfortunate incident that happened and hopefully it goes away pretty quick, but it’s not going to go away when we’re there.”
  • You’ll hear plenty about the Ozzie storyline this week, as well as the Carlos Zambrano storyline. The Cubs won’t even face Zambrano this week, but, yeah, we’re going to hear about it. A lot. I did enjoy this installment from Paul Sullivan, featuring thoughts from some of Zambrano’s friends who remain on the Cubs. Marlon Byrd, Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Marmol all kind of say the same thing: Zambrano screwed up, we’re still friends, but we’re Cubs now and he’s not. While we’re being nostalgic about Zambrano’s departure, it might be worth checking out my thoughts on the subject from when Zambrano was traded. I was pleased with how that one turned out.
  • OMG! It’s a Jorge Soler update! Except it’s in a Bullet, so you know it’s not a meaningful update. In fact, it’s a non-update. At present, teams say they’ve still not received word about Soler being free to negotiate with teams. We continue waiting.
  • Baseball Prospectus busts out an *awesome* new feature that allows you to track, daily, the stats of the team’s top prospects (per their rankings). Here are the Cubs, but you can do it for any team.
  • Fluff on Cubs’ first base coach (and former Cardinals coach) Dave McKay, including how he came to be a member of the Cubs’ coaching staff, and the role Tony La Russa played in that decision.
  • A little more on Javier Baez and the other young prospects who are playing/rehabbing in Arizona at extended Spring Training, including Trevor Gretzky who’s finally starting to play some ball after offseason shoulder surgery (which is part of the reason the Cubs were able to snag him in the seventh round in 2011).
  • I’ll be back in Chicago next week to take in Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s games from the bleachers (against the Cardinals). I’ve got an extra ticket to each game, and I’m trying to figure out how to dole them out (if folks want them at all). Maybe I’ll start this way – if I were just handing them out, are folks interested? (If lots of folks say yes, I’ll do some kind of mini-contest. If only a couple folks say yes, well, then, there you go.)
  • Stuart

    Funny how BP still has players who are no longer on the team on the list, (DJ Lemahieu, M. Gonzalez, R. Flaherty)

    • EQ76

      yeah, and no mention of Rizzo either.

  • deej34

    Brett – I’m going to the game Monday and Tuesday night. Rooftop Monday, somewhere in the 400s Tuesday. Let me know if you are going be at a bar before or after the game.

    • Brett

      Definitely will.

  • hansman1982

    If I had more warning about the dates, I could maybe volunteer to take a ticket off your hands…since they are such a burden.

  • Papi

    Mini-contest – and I found Rizzo still on San Diego’s team page of the Prospectus

  • Leo L

    make it a contest. even if i am the only one interested. it will make the tickets feel more special. (If i win dont tell me i was the only one in the contest)

  • Ash

    I’ll go Wednesday Brett, if it turns out you don’t get many responses. BTW, what was your final position in the DS game Friday? When’s the next one?

  • Dan

    Wow, Anthony Rizzo is not on the Baseball Prospectus list? Hmm, that’s a bad omen. Anyways, if you give me a ticket, I’ll make sure I pay you back with free drinks at the game. Sounds fair doesn’t it?

    • Luke

      He’s on the San Diego list.  BP is abysmally slow at updating things.

  • scottie


  • THEOlogical

    Hmmm, is that a slider or change up that Big Z is throwing in the pic? I can see that Rothschild was very impressed at how fast the glove was clocked.

  • Andrewmoore4isu

    Are bleachers 21+ only?

    • Shawon O’Meter

      Only on “Bring a Stripper to the Park Day”

    • Brett


  • RY34

    hopefully we can improve upon our standard of winning one game per series!

    • TWC

      Or only play two-game series.

  • JulioZuleta

    I’m off Tuesday. If you can’t find anyone else willing to sit next to you for that long, I suppose I’d go.

    • TWC

      Your enthusiasm speaks volumes.

      • JulioZuleta

        Haha just in case anyone didn’t catch it, that was pure sarcasm. Had the pleasure of going with Brett last Thursday and had a great time.

  • Tadek

    I’m off both days & it would be awesome to sit with u & pick ur brain!

  • Joey

    Hate to be the guy who makes it a contest, but it’s an opportunity I can’t say no to. I want in!

    • Tadek

      Contests are more fun anyways!

  • andoalex

    Contest, even though only the Tuesday game works with my class schedule.

  • Rynomite

    For a better tracker of minor league stats, try

    You can customize your page to track whatever players you want to track, milb or mlb, and it updates daily.

  • ferrets_bueller

    About Gretzky- now he’s an OF? First 1B, then 3B, now OF. It would be great if he could be a 3B, but OF is better than 1B. The versatility should be awesome. I really liked what I saw of his swing on YT.

    • Luke

      I think he has a smoother path of progression as an outfielder.  The Cubs are loaded at third and have two very good prospects at first.  Gretzky would have been blocked before he ever got started.

      If he develops the raw power the Cubs liked when they drafted him, he could emerge as one of the better hitting outfielders in the system.  I like the move… if he in fact stays there.

  • Myles

    Contest!!! Contest breeds content. For goodness sake, they are only a letter apart

  • hardtop

    oh my god. i just read the blurb on mckay.  if we could determine win-loss records on the strength of a team’s blogs, the cardinals would be dead last.  that was terribly written and formatted.  ugh. i guess i should be impressed that there is at least one semi-literate cards fan out there. (cardfan excluded from the sampling of course)

    no doubt brett would propel the cubbies to an easy division title.

  • hcs

    I’d throw my hat into the ring on any contest. Hanging out with Mr. Ace Brett would be the cat’s pajamas.

  • die hard

    Has anyone noticed that attendance has been down around the league? Could it be that the fans are worn out over the likes of Ozzie, Big Z etc?..Money needed to feed the kids and pay the rent is higher priority than pampering these prima donnas!!!