If you’re going to be around Wrigleyville before the Opening Night game on Sunday and you want to hang out, make sure to be following me on Twitter. I’m not yet 100% where I’ll be, but I’m 100% sure I’ll let folks know on Twitter. Hooray for real life friendship!
- Former Cubs pitcher Arodys Vizcaino has been suspended 80 games after testing positive for a PED. You will, of course, remember Vizcaino as the pitching prospect the Cubs got from the Braves in the 2012 Paul Maholm/Reed Johnson deal, and then sent back to the Braves this past offseason in the Tommy La Stella deal. In between, Vizcaino recovered from Tommy John surgery, had a second elbow procedure, and did almost no competitive pitching for the Cubs. Although PEDs may not have been one of the risks the Braves understood they were assuming when making the trade, they were obviously well aware of the high risk, high reward on their end of the deal (they also got international bonus pool slots from the Cubs). I’m now waiting for the Braves to push MLB to investigate whether the Cubs knew Vizcaino was using PEDs before the trade. I say that with tongue in cheek, and I don’t think that’s even something MLB investigates, but given how frequently the Cubs’ moves are scrutinized from the outside – Maddon, Bryant, etc. – nothing would shock me. For now, what already looked like a good deal for the Cubs, dealing from a position of strength, now looks like a fantastic deal. That goes double when you consider how good La Stella has looked this Spring, and how poor Vizcaino looked before the Braves cut him from big league camp.
- Tsuyoshi Wada threw three innings in a minor league game yesterday, striking out seven, according to Carrie Muskat. Wada will begin the season on the DL (groin/hamstring issues), but, at three innings already, he could be built back up within three or four more starts. That could give the Cubs another pitching option by mid to late April.
- Sahadev Sharma writes at BP about how the job security Tom Ricketts afforded Theo Epstein and his front office over the past three years is what proved to be the organization’s competitive advantage. Agreed wholeheartedly.
- Will Leitch on the resumption of the Cubs/Cardinals rivalry, and, more specifically, wanting to see them face each other in the postseason.
- I share this Tribune article less for its content – Jason Hammel apologized for making an ill-advised Wrigley/Baghdad comparison, which, come on, he was speaking off the cuff and meant no disrespect – and more for the picture of the video board at the top. Holy crap that thing looks crisp and beautiful.
- Patrick Mooney writes about the season ahead, and the need for the Cubs to finally show some winning on the field.
- An interview with the Arrietas in Red Eye.
- I guess it’s clever enough for me not to cringe:
Remember the Cubs' tarp fiasco of 2014? Now, Wrigley will have a "Reynolds Wrap foil-inspired silver rain tarp." pic.twitter.com/Ait04DR78A
— jon greenberg (@jon_greenberg) April 2, 2015
- I wonder how much that kind of sponsorship pays. A couple hundred thousand for the season? That sound about right?
- Billy Corgan and Clark the Cub are buddies:
— Bernie Brewer (@Bernie_Brewer) April 3, 2015
- It’s a family business: in a Facebook post about the Opening Day contest, someone said something unnecessary about what I’m going to do with the signed Rizzo bat (no, not what you’re thinking), and The Wife, perhaps against her better judgment, couldn’t help but take him down. In this instance, dear, I approve.