The arrival of our son on Thursday wasn’t the only important familial news that day. My grandpa, Jim Taylor, passed away. He suffered for years with Alzheimer’s Disease, so his death was at once sad and somewhat welcomed. He had a great run, and I think he was ready. Grandpa was a long-time sportswriter here in Ohio, most notably at the Toledo Blade, which featured an excellent obituary for their former colleague. I’ll be heading to Toledo for his funeral today, so I’ll be absent for a large chunk of the day.
- Dale Sveum says Matt Garza is a “longshot” for the opening series in Pittsburgh, though he’s not ruling out Garza avoiding the disabled list. Still, it means you can probably count Garza out for being the Opening Day starter. Garza had another throwing session yesterday, but he’s still just long-tossing, as opposed to actually pitching from the mound.
- Scott Baker is on schedule for a mid-April debut with the Cubs.
- Paul Sullivan writes about three “types” of players you see in Spring Training – the unknown prospect looking to prove something, the grizzled vet with just a few years left, and the faded star trying desperately to come back. He looks at each type through the lens of a specific Cubs player (Christian Villanueva, Alfonso Soriano, and Dontrelle Willis, respectively).
- Dale Sveum took prospect Logan Watkins through something just short of hazing: he had to try food he’d never had before. Outrageous stuff like chocolate milk, blueberry pie, and oatmeal.
- Mike Trout’s agent is pissed at the Angels, and suggests his client is as well (from USA Today): “In my opinion, this contract falls well short of a ‘fair’ contract, and I have voiced this to the Angels throughout the process …. The renewal of Mike’s contract will put an end to this discussion. As when he learned he would not be the team’s primary center fielder for the upcoming season, Mike will put the disappointment behind him and focus on helping the Angels reach their goal of winning the 2013 World Series.” You can understand the statement about his contract rate given the year Trout had in 2012 (but them’s the breaks in the first three years of a player’s career), but that positional move one seems to suggest broader displeasure. Would Trout really sanction his agent saying that he’s not happy about changing positions for the theoretical betterment of the team?
- The Cubs Bunt Tourney has fallen off the radar a bit, but it’s down to the Sweet Sixteen, per Carrie Muskat:
David DeJesus vs. Starlin Castro
Anthony Rizzo vs. Logan Watkins
Brent Lillibridge vs Michael Brenly
Edwin Maysonet vs Andy Lane (bullpen catcher)
Edwin Jackson vs. Casey Coleman
Hisanori Takahashi vs. Tim Buss (strength coach)
Jeff Samardzija vs Blake Parker
Travis Wood vs Nate Halm (video guy)
- So, three of the sixteen remaining competitors are non-players, and two of the offensive players are guys you’d never want bunting in a million years. Good thing bunting isn’t terribly important …