diamondbacks logoSo, I’m due to fly out to Arizona for Spring Training early Monday morning. The Wife just told me last night that we (in Columbus) are supposed to get some ridiculous winter storm, hitting hard on Sunday and carrying on into Monday. If that happens, and if it affects my flight – in March! MARCH! – I will be one pissed off dude.

  • Yesterday’s Cubs/D-Backs game was the most-attended in Cactus League history, with a sell-out crowd of 14,486. During the game, team owner and chairman Tom Ricketts announced that when these two teams meet again in Chicago on April 23 for the Wrigley Field 100th Anniversary Game, the Diamondbacks have agreed to play as the Kansas City Packers, a team in the short-lived Federal League that played at Wrigley back when it was first built (and known as Weeghman Park). The Cubs will play as the Chi-Feds (later the Chicago Whales), who faced the Packers in the first ever game at Weeghman Park. The Chi-Feds won that game 9-1.
  • Kyuji Fujikawa threw off the mound again, and it sounds like it all went well. I’m trying to dig up data on how long it takes for a pitcher to return to competitive ball after he’s throwing off of the mound, but that’s probably a silly endeavor, due to the idiosyncrasies involved in players’ bodies and roles. I did see that Stephen Strasburg was back about three months after he started throwing off the mound. If Fujikawa followed that timetable from when he started throwing, he could be back with the Cubs in late May (note that, as a reliever, the timeline for recovery/readiness tends to be a bit shorter than for a starter).
  • Jeff Samardzija discussed the fact that many scouts were out to see him yesterday, saying what you’d expect him to say (basically: whateves, I assume they’re there, I still have to do my thing). In that piece, Mark Gonzales indicates that scouts from as many as nine teams were in to watch Samardzija, who, to my eye, looked fine for his first Spring start.
  • Patrick Mooney on Pedro Strop, who sounds like he’s having a lot of fun with the Cubs.
  • A fantastic set of pictures from yesterday’s opener from the Tribune.
  • Tyler Kepner with a general piece on the Cubs’ rebuild for the New York Times.
  • Hit the ball out of Petco Park, win season tickets. Rarely do teams do promotions like this that some of their own players couldn’t win. Given that anyone who has ever played professionally or collegiately are excluded, I’m thinking the tickets are safe.
  • nate1m

    Does this mean I have to find another distraction from work today?

  • cjdubbya

    I hate to break it to you, but your wife is onto something. They’re calling for 5-8″ of snow on Sunday. We’re going house hunting in Ft. Wayne on Saturday, and I think we’re going to head back Saturday night instead of waiting until Sunday – expecting 6-10″ up there, starting late Saturday night. IN MARCH.

    Hey Mother Nature – FFFFFFUUUUUU

    • ChrisFChi

      Yeah WGN was saying the models are all over the place with 1-10″ predicted for Chicago. I’m sick of it. The only positive I see is the white sox opener may get snowed out.

      • blublud

        Man. You guys are lucky. I love the snow. We got 8 inches 2 weeks ago and I was in paradise. As a guy who skis regularly, and lives only a little less than 2 hours from the mountains, it feels good to be able to hit the slopes and ski on real snow. I wish we were getting some, I know where I would be Monday.

        • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

          Well you can have the 120 inches we’ve had this year. I’m okay if I never see snow and ice again.

          • jh03

            A-freaking-greed. I hated snow to begin with… but this winter has been nuts. I don’t care how much you like snow, there’s a limit on how much is too much. And this winter has been too much.

            • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

              Yeah snow is cool until you have to drive, plow, shovel, and scrape it 2-3 times a day. I haven’t seen grass in months everyday we get 1-2 inches, there are piles of snow 20-30 five everywhere ymrunning out of places to put it.

              • jh03

                “Yeah snow sucks always as it is, then you have to…” – ftfy

              • blublud

                I was with you MG, until the last sentence. :)

                • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                  Frost bitten fingers

              • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

                And obviously fingers are so frozen I can’t type or read clearly.

              • ChrisFChi

                Or walk thru waist high snow for two months straight. That sucks.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              We’ve had it pretty bad in the DC area, albeit not like the midwest. It’s not helped by colleagues in Alaska who taunt us about how warm their winter has been…..

          • blublud

            I would take it happily. Most years, a 2 inch snow storm is our biggest here in NC. I moved to Tennessee, thinking I would see more snow and slopes this winter, but ended up transferring back to NC. Maybe I should just move to Michigan during the winter.

    • Indy57

      Forecasters are predicting 6”-10” here in Indianapolis starting Saturday and ending Monday. I’m due to fly to San Diego Monday morning and hoping I can get out of this weather for a few days…although looks like lots or rain in SoCal.

      • Chad

        I fly out of Indy on Saturday evening for a conference in Dallas. I am supposed to speak at 1:30 on Sunday. Not going to be too upset if I do not make it I guess. I despise having to go to a conference on a Sunday! Make them during the week. Your jobs are not that important for me to waste my weekends on you!!!

        • Indy57

          Good luck getting out of here Saturday.

  • Edwin

    What type of a weak ass promo is Petco doing?

    “Throw 100 MPH, and we’ll give you a free oven mitt! Ages 5-10 only.”

    • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

      With their “Hit a Home Run and you get Season Tickets”?

    • Funn Dave

      And who the hell lets a five year old use the oven?

  • jh03

    This winter sucks, man. Our baseball season starts Monday, with our first game on the 18th. No way we will play until at least April 1, though.

  • Elden14

    Those are some awesome photos. Lake and Soler are gargantuan…

  • Soda Popinski

    Unrelated, but, man, Beede is looking great so far. 11 IP, 18 ks vs 2 (!) walks, 1 earned run. As I remember, it was his control in question. I’m glad to see him making strides. It’s never too early to start looking to July 😉 I’m pretty sure he goes again today.

  • Cornish Heat

    Dammit, Brett. Must I remind you again of the dual Cubs/Packers fans that follow your site?? Plus, you’re not even that big into football.


  • mjhurdle

    I wonder how much Ricketts had to pay Arizona for them to willingly suffer the indignity of having to have ‘Packers’ on their jerseys, even for a day.

    Maybe that’s the real reason for the delay in renovations, Ricketts has no money left after the cost of that bribery.

    If only the old Kansas City team had a more stand-up and classy name, like ‘Raiders’ or ‘Cowboys’, Ricketts would still have some money left over to start the renovations with…


  • Ryan W

    Brett – The Diamondbacks as the KC Packers is not necessarily breaking news. This was mentioned by Alison Miller at the Cubs Convention when rolling out the “Party of the Century” stuff.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Well excuuuuuuuse me. This was the first I’d heard of it. I guess I didn’t hear her say it at the Convention. :)

  • josh ruiter

    Reactions to the pictures:
    1. Soler is a grown ass man, and towering fella at that!
    2. Castro looks like a young man rather than a teenager this year (muscled up for sure).
    3. Travis Wood needs his flowing hair back.
    4. Brian Schlitter needs to make the pen…dude looks the part (if for no other reason than the long hair and bear…gotta love a grunge crew in the pen)
    5. Grimm may force the issue in the rotation – he looked good yesterday (SSS i know i know).
    6. Rizzo’s hands…love it that they are at the chest instead of the belly to start his swing, this year.
    7. Kalish looks like he belongs, and I hope he earns his spot
    8. Valbuena looks like a mini Ken Griffey when he swings…(Cubs could have a funny lil Griffey spoof following the lil Penny commercials a few years back)
    9. Our infield depth is in a spot where two of Roberts, Barney, Valbuena, Murphy, & Watkins need to go, whether waived, traded or something else is fine with me…the glut of meh infielders needs to be trimmed.
    10. I’m moving to Mesa, it looks warm and the park there is better than Wrigley Field!

    • mjhurdle

      In regards to bullet #4, do you think that having a bear might actually be a hindrance to Schlitter making the bullpen?

      I mean, that would introduce all sorts of legal and insurance problems that I am not sure the Cubs want to deal with.


      • josh ruiter

        well played sir….”beard” as you already correctly deduced I presume.

      • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

        If Ricketts were smart/not cheap he’d have Schlitter on the team just for the bear. Tie up the bear outside the rooftops until they agree to not sue.

  • http://www.draftday.com udbrky

    So jelly – have a great trip and enjoy some good weather!

  • 5412

    Hi Brett,


    Please drop us a note, maybe we can hook up for a bit. We stay in Scottsdale for the month.

    Best regards,

  • DrReiCow

    The AZ Diamondbacks willingness to play as the KC Packers totally makes up for the fact we aren’t playing a team with a meaningful legacy on the Wrigley Field birthday. I highly doubt a team with a long legacy (say, Yankees) would be willing to be the KC Packers for a day just for us. Kudos Dbacks! (Makes me even more excited for that game.)


  • Funn Dave

    Go Pack Go!

  • Funn Dave

    That timeline for Fujikawa would be fine with me.

  • Funn Dave

    From the pictures: “Darwin Barney works on grounders.” Stop. Pick up a bat. Learn to hit again.