So, 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.