Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

brett reading western skyI don’t do April Fools Day jokes. Instead, I will tell you – truly- that if you go to today, and look in the lower left corner, you can turn your own neighborhood into a playable Pac-Man game. It’s pretty awesome.

  • Typically, I like to reserve the top of the Bullets for whatever is the most main bullet-thingy – something meriting a fair bit of highlighting and discussion, but not quite its own post. Sometimes it’s an article out there, sometimes it’s a factual piece of information, sometimes it’s a short analysis, etc. Today, I don’t really have that, because I keep coming back to the fact that there are three articles I just really think you should read. Plus it allowed me to use that picture. I sure had a lot of stuff in my pockets that day. Sub-bullets!
    • This article in the Tribune explores the baseball impacts of the Wrigley Field renovation, including how the wind paths may change and how it may impact offense in the park. Obviously there’s a lot of speculation at this point in stuff like that, but it’s really interesting to think about the potential for change in the actual game play. You can bet the Cubs have invested heavily in research and studies about how the park’s play might be impacted.
    • This FanGraphs piece is just a lot of fun because the chart in it, on pitching projections, is interactive. It links back to the offensive version of the same thing. Check it out and you’ll see what I mean. It’s fun.

    • And this USA Today profile features a lot of discussion from Cubs owner and chairman Tom Ricketts on the state of the team, the Wrigley renovation, and on the process that got things to where they are.
  • Jon Lester discussed the decision not to have Kris Bryant with the big league club to start the season, and essentially said that it sucks for the players, but it’s part of the business (Tribune). And with Bryant going down, Mike Olt knows the score: if he hits, he’ll stay in the lineup one way or another (Tribune).
  • Phil Coke has a new delivery ( Rather than coming across his body, he now delivers more square to the plate. Assuming he doesn’t lose any effectiveness against lefties, that kind of change makes sense, as it would give righties just a little less time and visibility (and righties, especially in recent years, have feasted on Coke). Obviously it would be great if Coke could be a successful full-inning guy, but if he’s the only lefty in the pen – still a possibility – it seems he’d be more likely to see frequent strategic deployments, rather than full innings. (That said, even in that case, he’ll still have to face righties, for example, that are sandwiched by lefties, or when there is a pinch hitter, or when the bullpen is taxed, etc.)

  • Something mentioned yesterday when the Cubs were discussing the Wrigley renovations and debunking rumors: WI-FI at the park is being worked on in 2015, and probably won’t be available all year. To be honest, I’d never used it regularly before because it was so spotty, so that’s fine by me (especially if it means better WI-FI in the future). Cell service is supposed to be ready to go, though, which I hope will be improved by the various providers (though having no WI-FI makes me nervous, because then everyone could be blasting the same cell networks at once). As you know if you’ve been to a game, your cell data reception was usually decent enough at Wrigley for at least light usage, but inconsistent. For an Internet nerd like me, there was nothing more frustrating than being at the Cubs Convention this year, but being utterly unable to use the Internet on my phone because there were so many people accessing the same network at the same time (ditto at Sloan Park at times this Spring). We’ll find out how things look on Sunday, when the area is going to be packed with people. Fingers crossed.
  • Earlier this morning, I wrote about Matt Szczur’s power, if you missed it.

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