Surprise: I’m off to Arizona today to take in a couple days of Spring Training (before heading back out for a longer visit from March 16-24). There should still be a normal flow of articles around here, but you’ll also want to make sure to be following on Twitter and Facebook to get the full slate of tidbits from my time out west.
Naturally, my left ear randomly plugged up last night, and has not yet dissipated, which means my flight is going to be a nightmare of pain. Neat.
- Last night’s three-team trade rumor involving the Reds, the Blue Jays, and the Angels (Jay Bruce would have gone to the Jays, Michael Saunders to the Angels, and prospects to the Reds) is currently dead, according to Buster Olney. Apparently the medical review yielded issues with a non-Bruce player (Jeff Passan).
- Jason Heyward isn’t just a great hitter with upside, isn’t just a great defender, and isn’t just a great overall athlete, but he’s also an incredibly cerebral player (Cubs.com). Reading some of the quotes in there about the way he’s taking in the game as it unfolds makes me think immediately of Greg Maddux.
- Heyward is also an awesome dude, as he’s paying for a road suite this year for David Ross all season long (Cubs.com). Ross is retiring after this season, and the two players were lockermates in Atlanta when Heyward first broke into the league.
- If you can’t get enough Heyward love, make sure you check out last night’s Spring Training Miscellany, in which his body came in for some clever praise from Joe Maddon.
- I desperately do not want to discuss it in an even remotely meaningful way, so I briefly mentioned the Donald-Trump-ripping-the-Cubs’-owners thing over at Baseball is Fun. That’s all you’re getting. It’s dumb. It’s a non-baseball-story. It has nothing to do with the Cubs.
- Instead of looking at that or thinking about it, you should check out the crazy Nationals play Michael deconstructed at Baseball is Fun.
- Mark Gonzales notes that Tommy La Stella changed his diet this offseason – no, this is not a “best shape of his life” story – because tests revealed intolerance to certain foods that he’d been eating plenty of.
- Jeff Sullivan takes a look at the state of parity in baseball today, and it’s pretty ridiculous how much more competitive the AL is becoming at the same time that the NL becomes extremely tiered.
- At The Athletic, Sahadev Sharma looks at a series of questions facing the Cubs this year that will ultimately go to whether they compete deep into the season and postseason.
- Flipping through Amazon, this popped up on my recommendations, and I honestly thought Amazon was trying to sell me a home plate pillow. And I just figured it knew me better than I know myself. Wouldn’t you want to sleep on a home plate pillow?