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.)