Ah, the early morning. The very early morning. So early in the morning that you can’t even call it the butt crack of dawn. This is, like, the pre-butt crack of dawn.
WHICH MEANS I’M FEELING JUST A TOUCH CRAZY! BULLETS!
- The Cubs are holding a development camp for a handful of prospects this week (about which, more later), and they brought in a couple familiar faces to talk to the young players about the pressure of playing in the bigs: Kerry Wood and Mark Prior. Nobody knows more about the crushing weight of hype from the Cubs perspective, so I’m actually pretty pleased about this – even if it’s being used by most as a punchline.
- The World Baseball Classic rosters came out yesterday, and, as expected, Anthony Rizzo is on Team Italy. Pitching prospects Ryan Searle (Australia) and Yao-Lin Wang (Chinese Taipei) also made squads. Interestingly, Starlin Castro was not selected for the Dominican Republic’s team, which will have Jose Reyes starting at shortstop.
- Paul Sullivan offers his thoughts on a few of the panel discussions coming at the Convention.
- A profile on Michael Bowden, who’s getting a chance to participate in things like the Convention and the Caravan all around his old stomping grounds.
- Alberto Cabrera continues to pitch well in the Dominican Republic, in high pressure games, too. In his most recent start, he went four innings, giving up no runs on six hits, and striking out seven.
- Yahoo’s Tim Brown reviews the Cubs’ offseason to date, and previews the coming storm. A sampling: “From here on, it’s relative. In Year Two of Extreme Makeover: Cubbies Edition, progress is progress. Get out of the bottom three in runs scored and runs prevented, for a start. Pick one and start from there. See what you can do at the trading deadline (or before) for Alfonso Soriano, Matt Garza and David DeJesus. Maybe win 70, 75 games, assuming they can make something happen. Last place is coming probably. Fourth, at best. The organizational course to relevance is set. The North Siders seem to understand, though perhaps aren’t especially happy about it. The Cubs drew fewer than three million fans for the first time since 2003, so clearly there’s a line to be drawn between ‘in on The Plan’ and ‘here take my money.’”
- Jason Martinez of BP wrote at length about the Cubs’ window of contention, which he puts around 2015, primarily because of the talent lower in the Cubs’ system, and the lack of long-term commitments, which will allow the Cubs to spend when the time is right.