Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

pierce johnson daytona cubsOn my drive into Chicago last night, I was thinking about how I’m not a music guy. Yes, I listen to it – as I was at the time – but it’s not a sensory passion for me. Some folks are just all about music. They’ve got it on all the time. They can sit down and just listen to music, with nothing else going on, for fun. I can’t do it.

I started thinking about how my thing has always been TV. I love it. I watch TV all the time. In our post-cord-cutting life, I’ve actually had the opportunity to enjoy better TV more often by way of Netflix/Amazon Prime/DVDs/etc. because I can choose a series, divorce myself from all other TV watching (i.e., shameful reality TV distractions), and get through the series in a quick blast. The most recent series I consumed was ‘The Shield,’ an early entrant in the Golden Era of TV dramas, marked by their grittier takes, stylish shots, and, frequently, an antihero male lead. I loved it.

And then I saw this tweet last night:

Shawn Ryan, for those who don’t know, was the creator of, and showrunner for, ‘The Shield’ (among other fine programs). Small world. (Hi, Shawn! Loved ‘The Shield’! I am available for a role in any upcoming sports blog-related show you might develop. I will do nudity if it is integral to the plot.)

  • FanGraphs dropped an interview with Cubs pitching prospect Pierce Johnson yesterday, and it is a fantastic read. Currently, Johnson throws a four-seamer (with movement, because of his arm angle), a slurve that tends toward curve, a slurve that tends toward slider, a changeup, and a cutter. That’s a very healthy mix, especially for a guy who can throw his fastball in the mid-90s. Read that interview – the Cubs’ effort to develop Johnson is readily apparent.
  • Billy Joel is coming to Wrigley Field next Summer, on July 18. Joel is now the first performer to do the Wrigley thing twice, having performed with Elton John back in 2009. Tickets go on sale January 25.
  • Carrie Muskat spoke to Cubs players and manager Rick Renteria at their Cubs Caravan stop yesterday, and Edwin Jackson said he’s particularly eager to get the season underway so that he can put 2013 behind him. Even a slight improvement in Jackson’s actual performance, together with expected positive regression, and suddenly he’s going to look like an entirely different pitcher (and his contract is suddenly going to look very nice).

  • Speaking, above, of guilty pleasures and of music, can I confess that my favorite karaoke song to do is the Backstreet Boys’ ‘I Want It That Way’? And now Anthony Rizzo, Travis Wood, and David DeJesus are my favorite karaoke’ers, because that’s what they sang last night at the DeJesus’s fundraiser for ALS research. TELL ME WHY-eee!
  • Keith Law chatted yesterday, and among his thoughts: (1) Law is still not a fan of Kyle Hendricks, whom he calls a fifth starter “if that”; (2) Law bets on the Yankees for Tanaka (without any inside information); and (3) Law prefers Jorge Soler to Joc Pederson as a future big leaguer.
  • It’s the first day of the 2014 Cubs Convention, and I’ll be in and out all day for that reason. If you’re around, look for me in my yellow and blue shoes, and come to Lizzie McNeil’s (just around the corner from the hotel) after 8pm for some drinks.

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