I’m glad the Super Bowl falls when it does at the beginning of February. With college bowl season in the rearview and Spring Training just around the corner, the NFL playoffs and then the Super Bowl are a nice bridge between sports fandom stuff. I can enjoy the game on February 2, and then get unnecessarily geeked up about pitchers and catchers reporting a couple weeks later (well, 11 days later, if you’re counting).
- This year’s Cubs Caravan – an annual tradition before the Convention – looks to be service-oriented, and some of it will last all year. The Cubs are calling it the ‘100 Gifts of Service 2014 Caravan Tour’, and it will feature community projects, food service, and general make-good stuff all year long. The “100” part is a nod to the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field, which will also be celebrated all year. The tour that kicks off the year-long service effort is this week, on January 16 and 17, featuring stops at three local schools and three local hospitals. Cubs players, coaches, and other personnel will participate. You can see the full details in the Cubs’ release on the tour. Hopefully we get lots of pictures of smiling faces. Some things are just nice.
- Oh, and speaking of the Super Bowl, if you’re into the prop bet thing, SuperBowl360 has a list of common prop bets that sportsbooks will be putting up for Superbowl XLVIII. Give them a look if you have any interest.
- And speaking of football, head over to the BN Facebook page to see a picture that confirms that, whatever you think of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, he certainly has good taste in baseball teams. Or at least headwear.
- Tony Andracki begins a series looking at Cubs prospects in advance of the season, and today’s installment considers Dan Vogelbach, whom Jason McLeod calls a “baseball rat”. And if you can’t get enough Vogelbach and missed it last month, Luke also took a look at the first base prospect back in December.
- A little bit on the Cubs’ new ballpark in Mesa, and the first impressions some fans got this weekend when they came out to get tickets. Tim Sheridan offers a visual tour of the new facilities with a whole bunch of pictures.
- Jeff Sullivan wonders how you would do as a batter in the big leagues. Meaning, how would you perform if you never swung the bat. The answer? Terrible, but not nothing.
- Sullivan also looks at the impact of the pitcher on a catcher’s ability to frame well. No surprise: a pitcher with “good command/control” will make for a more successful framing catcher.