One small part of office life I miss is the annual March Madness stuff. Pitching $5 into a pot and filling out a bracket. Sneaking some online viewing time in between projects. I could still do that stuff, obviously, but it’s not quite the same. Candidly, I also haven’t followed college basketball closely in about three years.
- Matt Garza tells Gordon Wittenmyer that he is “going to try to kick [the Cubs’] teeth in every time I get a chance,” which is what you would expect from an opponent. A tip for the Cubs? Bunt it. Repeatedly.
- Garza says that he was told by the incoming front office that, because they were rebuilding and because he hadn’t accepted an extension offer, he should not “get too comfortable.” It’s framed in the article like a bad thing (I can’t tell if that’s just editorial license or if Garza was actually upset by it), but isn’t that what you’d want your bosses to do if they knew they were going to trade you? Isn’t that the person-to-person nice thing to do? I guess the flip side is that it could be a distraction as you try and perform, but wouldn’t it be a worse distraction to see the constant rumors and hear nothing from the front office?
- Fans – of the Cubs, other teams, and baseball in general, probably – keep on coming out to Cubs Park in droves. Already having broken its own Cactus League record several times this year, the Cubs broke it again yesterday against the Dodgers with a whopping 15,191. Attendance figures to continue its marked slide in Chicago this year, but at least the Cubs are seeing a little bump in Arizona. They’re going to blow away the Cactus League season record this year, at least on a per-game basis (they lost a game to a rainout, which hurts the total).
- The rotation to follow Opening Day starter Jeff Samardzija will be Travis Wood and then Edwin Jackson (Cubs.com), which rounds out that opening series in Pittsburgh. The last two spots in the rotation will go to Jason Hammel and one of James McDonald, Chris Rusin, and Carlos Villanueva, most likely. Hammel is your likely Wrigley Field opening day starter.
- Jake Arrieta, who will be the fifth starter when healthy, threw his third mound session of the Spring, and hopes his next appearance comes in live batting practice. (Carrie Muskat)
- Jon Heyman compiles offseason winners and losers, good deals and bad deals, etc. It’s an extremely extensive piece, mentioning virtually everything that happened this offseason. The Cubs are mentioned … zero times. That’s pretty much the Cubs’ offseason in a nutshell: not terrible, considering the state of things, but pretty much not worth mentioning at all.
- Tony Andracki profiles Nate Schierholtz.