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relieved happy catHere is your obligatory reminder to check out yesterday’s fresh BN Podcast episode, which features Baseball Prospect prospect guru Jason Parks talking about Cubs prospects for almost an hour.

  • Curt Schilling’s comments that he was encouraged to try PEDs by a Red Sox official in 2008 as a solution to his aging/declining career trajectory got a whole lot of play for obvious reasons: it could have been anybody, and it’s a pretty incendiary charge. Cubs GM Jed Hoyer, who was an Assistant GM with the Red Sox at the time, immediately denied in the strongest possible terms that he or Theo Epstein ever had anything to do with encouraging PED use. Well, it turns out that Schilling left out huge chunks of the story, including the fact that the person(s) making the PED suggestion was/were not “in uniform” nor in the “baseball ops” department. That would exclude guys like Hoyer and Epstein, but Epstein was already excluded: when Schilling heard the PED comment, the guy to whom he reported it was none other than Theo Epstein, who was required to report the issue to MLB. There was an investigation, and whoever the person(s) was/were, they weren’t even fired over the incident. It was a medical staffer, apparently. That context yesterday would have been helpful.
  • The front office really does seem to love everything Dale Sveum has done in his first year as manager of the Cubs, including his ability to take the daily media beating. Patrick Mooney writes about that, and about the pressure Dale feels to succeed on the field this year.
  • A Vine Line piece featuring thoughts from Cubs minor league catcher Michael Brenly is a pretty interesting one, demonstrating the mindset of the fringe roster guys. Remember when you tried out for your high school baseball team over the course of a week? Well, multiply that by five weeks, and then multiply the intensity and pressure by 100.
  • Speaking of which, Tim Sheridan’s Boys of Spring blog is rolling once again, and should become a regular stop over the course of the Spring. He’s got some pictures up of the early arrivers, which include Matt Garza, Jeff Samardzija, James Russell, Steve Clevenger, Darwin Barney, David DeJesus, Darnell McDonald, and Dontrelle Willis (presumably among many others).
  • OMGLOL DID YOU KNOW THAT THE CUBS HAVEN’T WON MUCH AT WRIGLEY FIELD LOLOLOROFL!!!!1!!1!!!! Rick Morrissey is here to pluck some low hanging fruit, in case you hadn’t heard.
  • Yes, Spice Adams, you have won the Internet for the day.
  • ETS

    Barney wore that shirt last year. ha.

    Sheridan’s Spring training photos are always my screen saver for the year.

  • BT

    Saw the Morrisey thing this morning on the train. Couldn’t get past the headline. Was shocked he could be that lazy.

    • Cub Fan Dan

      Thanks to insightful blogs – like this one here, writers like Morrisey & Phil Rogers are no longer relevant.

      • MichiganGoat

        Yup we are all better because we have BleacherNation

        • hansman1982

          All hail, Bleacher Repo…er, Nation!

          • Cubbie Blues

            I’m going to Report you.

    • http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/653cc0c5f0eded621ab13b4f631de7da.png Cizzle

      I almost made it through the first paragraph.

  • ncsujuri

    Is it just me or is that cat NOT wearing pajamas???

  • Hebner the Gravedigger

    I would be happy to mail you our cat to use as the BN mascot. He comes complete with a scratching post, toys, food….

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks, but we’re all set with our three …

  • MichiganGoat

    Um Brett I fear you are spending too much time on Pinterest- you go there for cat pajama ideas don’t you?

    • Hansman1982

      Is there any other use for Pinterest?

  • OlderStyle

    LOL on Spice Adams. I especially liked the beeper pic. thanks, Brett.

  • BluBlud

    Brett, any word on the 40 man situation and Hairston contract.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Nope. Status quo: he’s in limbo, and the 40-man is currently full.

      • JoeyCollins

        Do you think it’s possible they ride the time out and use the DL to make space? I think MLB would take issue with this.

  • BluBlud

    Also, any Idea what the Cubs will do when Rizzo needs a day off?

    • ncsujuri

      Heard DeJesus will be taking grounders and maybe Clevenger can backup assuming he makes the squad.

      • BluBlud

        Whatsup buddy. Tough times for us NC State fans huh. Good news is Julius Randle enjoyed his visit.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Hairston can probably cover it, too, from time to time.

        • hansman1982

          Clevenger can “play” 3rd, can’t he?

          • Edwin

            He can certainly stand near 3B, I guess.

          • Kansas Cubs Fan

            Soto could play third if he were still with us.

        • North Side Irish

          Lillibridge has spent some time at 1B too…if he wins the backup IF spot.

        • BluBlud

          Hairston is ideal considering he right handed. You can give Rizzo his days off against lefties and not lose much with Hairston offensively if he’s facing lefties.

          • BluBlud

            Who is slotted for the infield. Im guessing Valbeuna (unfortunately) is guaranteed a spot, but other then him, I don’t see any other sure things. Watkins maybe, but probably not until later in the summer.

            • Kygavin

              Personally I want Lillibridge to make the team. He offers a ton of versatility and has a 430 Slug% vs LHP in his career so that would help with him giving breaks to Rizzo, but he was also awful last year and has to prove he deserves a roster spot

      • hansman1982

        They could actually use Jeff Baker again, or his clone.

        • Cubbie Blues

          Sappelt *will* be his clone.

          • hansman1982

            Sans the ability to play 2B, 3B, 1B.

            • Cubbie Blues

              Well yeah, there’s always that. I didn’t know you were going to nit pick.

              • hansman1982

                So soooory to nitpick. Proceed.

            • BluBlud

              Im pretty sure Sappelt could play all those positions. The question is how efficiently can he play those positions. but there is no doubt he could play them. Hell, even Vogelbach could “play” them.

              • TWC

                I’m willing to be that even Hansman could… for a half inning or so.

                • hansman1982

                  I just choose NOT to…

  • North Side Irish

    Sounds like Rick Morrissey is trying to steal Whitlock’s Pulitzer…

  • ETS

    I didn’t know Garza was in the next Pirates movie.

  • hansman1982

    Dear sweet Jesus, why did I click the link. All I need to know is this:

    “But then I picked up my Sun-Times, and there it was, tucked away on Page 56 like a hidden, gold-bearing vein:”

    1. You mean to tell me that he is writing about the Cubs but had to read about their contest in the paper that is delievered to his home?
    2. Dear God, why do they produce at least 56 pages of garbage every day?
    3. Morrisey is far to close to Morrison in terms of spelling but on opposite ends of the universe in terms of level of talent.
    4. Sun-Times? In Chicago? Sun? Really? Do I need to say more?
    5. The line out of Billy Madison.

  • Rian

    Barney looks like he’s put on some muscle weight. No bad thing, if he combines it with better plate discipline.

    • CubFan Paul

      Or maybe that added muscle weight will translate to Slugging at least .400

      That’s more realistic than Barney learning to take walks all of a sudden.

      • Cubbie Blues

        Last year he did it so he wouldn’t get so worn down later in the year. His rookie year he was a shell of himself by the end of the season (insert joke here). He lost a lot of weight that first year and last year wanted to come in heavier and with more muscle so he could play through all the day games.

      • Rian

        Sorry, you’re quite correct. There was a missing “especially” in the second sentence: “No bad thing, especially if he combines it with better plate discipline.”

  • Muck

    They should kick Morrissey out of Illinois. He doesn’t deserve to live there.

    • fromthemitten

      I thought you were talking about the guy from the Smiths and I was going to get really defensive lol

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