cubs azl spring training logoI’m headed to a wedding this evening, which is just about the only time I wear a suit anymore these days. I like the way one looks all dapper and decked out, but I really abhor the process of getting there. Neck ties might look nice, but they are the devil. I can’t wait for the part of the evening when you can unbutton the top button, and loosen the tie into a more casual, comfortable look. Can’t some designing and/or social pioneer make it so that loosened look is the new formal look?

  • Addison Russell’s Arizona Fall League season is over, but he went out with a bang – like, the homer kind. Russell hit a two-run shot in his final AFL at bat. Russell tells Cubs.com that he expects to take two and a half weeks off to rest, recharge, and visit with friends and family. Then he’ll get back at it. It’ll be very interesting to see how the Cubs handle Russell in the Spring, given that most think he’ll be big league ready by some point in 2015 (indeed, one projection has him as a league-average big leaguer if he started from day one). We know that he’s going to see time at other infield positions in Spring Training for purposes of versatility and the possibility of a future home, but will he see equal extra time at second base and third base? And, assuming he starts the year at AAA Iowa, at what point does he start to see time at second or third? If he does, will that be a signal for an impending promotion as it seemed to be for Arismendy Alcantara and Javier Baez? What if no one gets hurt or traded at the big league level for any significant stretch of time, and Russell rakes at AAA? Do the Cubs bring him up and implement a rotation? Do the Cubs then rush to make a trade? Obviously none of these questions are new, but it’s going to be a fascinating story all year if everyone is still in place come April. And I kind of hope they are. So much talent …
  • Speaking of that mix of players, Javier Baez is indeed playing in the Puerto Rican Winter League starting in December. Here’s hoping he’ll have a solid chance to work with Cubs coaches in advance of that league (there’s been talk of him working with Manny Ramirez in Miami at some point), so he can then play winter ball, rest up for a bit, and come to Spring Training in February ready to go.


  • A great read on Kyle Schwarber’s catching work this Fall, and the hope that he can stick there in the future. One part I particularly liked to see is the recognition that an early read on the pitch and proper receiving – being where the pitch is going to be before it’s there – is critical, and apparently Schwarber has some natural aptitude in that area. That means pitch framing.
  • MLB will try to implement a domestic violence policy by next season (Tribune), but it’s apparently not a lock. Everyone agrees that domestic violence is a bad thing (hey, pro sports leagues, so are DUIs), but the particulars of how to handle situations like the ones the NFL has faced recently can be a little tricky. Well, I guess the NFL ones have been fairly obvious, but they’re not all like that.
  • The Foo Fighters concert is going to have an all-Chicago feel:

  • For those who missed the latest BNTV video, it’s a look at Cameron Maybin as a possible trade target for the Cubs. Chris asked, so I answered:




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