Jeff Samardzija is Inigo MontoyaIt would be nice to be able to focus on baseball and the home opener today, but the Wrigley renovation stuff casts a long shadow. Hopefully there’s some kind of official announcement, even if it isn’t the “a deal is done” announcement. That way, we can turn our attentions elsewhere.

  • Dale Sveum/Chris Bosio/Dioner Navarro are getting a little heat for not coming out to visit Jeff Samardzija yesterday in the fifth inning when it was clear that he’d gotten a bit of the hey-I’m-having-an-insanely-good-game yips. It’s tough to criticize that one, though, without knowing the interpersonal relationships. Mound visits are good for most pitchers, but there are some out there who actually respond very unfavorably to them – as in, they do more harm than good. So, unless you’re taking the guy out, don’t bother. I’m not saying Samardzija is one of those guys (I could see it, though), but that might be an explanation.
  • Speaking of his outing yesterday, Samardzija sounds like a veteran ace: “It’s a double-edged sword when you strike guys out like that,” Samardzija said, per Cubs.com. “Your pitch count gets up, you’re showing them a lot of pitches. It’s not a bad thing. I felt good, the pitches all felt good and a couple bad decisions there came back to haunt me.” That’s the delicate balance. Strikeouts are a great thing, but pitching economy is a good thing, too.
  • If you’re wondering whether Cubs pitching prospect Juan Carlos Paniagua has arrived to the States following his visa delay … he has not. Ben Badler reports that Paniagua is still in the Dominican Republic, waiting on visa clearance. Badler says it’s likely to come eventually this season, but there’s no timetable. That really sucks.
  • Per the Tribune, Dale Sveum says that the renovations to Wrigley Field will help turn it into one of the most attractive destinations for free agents in baseball. Right now, when considering coming to the Cubs, a free agent has the following calculus (assuming the money is even): Chicago, good. Wrigley Field, good. History of losing, not so good. Hilariously bad player facilities, extremely not good.
  • The players sound on board with a Wrigley renovation, and not just the things that directly help them (clubhouse, batting cages, medical facilities, training facilities), but also the JumboTron. Darwin Barney even told the Sun-Times that the extra light might help the fielders.

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