jake arrieta beard featureI haven’t had Taco Bell in forever. There was a time in my life – let’s call it middle school through about three years ago, so pretty much “all of the life” – when I wouldn’t go a week without having Taco Bell. It’s not like I didn’t know it was crap food, terrible for me, and all that. I just really liked it. I still do. But now I might have it a few times a year. The weird thing is that there was no conscious choice to have it less, and it wasn’t a gradual thing – I just stopped one week. I can’t even tell you exactly when it happened, because I never really thought about it. It just happened. I wish I could figure out the psychology behind making unconscious improvements like that so that I could package it up and use it in other areas of my life where I’d like to make better choices.

That said … I think I’m gonna get me some Taco Bell today. I’m not sorry.

  • More on the Cubs/Jake Arrieta talks here in a pretty comprehensive read at Cubs.com, with the full quotes from Arrieta and Theo Epstein. Everyone’s being pretty transparent, and it’s not really a surprise: Arrieta would like a six or seven-year deal, the Cubs would prefer a shorter-term deal. Given the deals that have been out there for pitchers of Arrieta’s ability, even at age 30, his perspective is pretty understandable. And, on the flip-side, given the track record for those kinds of deals (especially two years out from free agency, when the team is buying ages 32 and beyond), the Cubs’ perspective is understandable, too. Talks may continue from here, but we might not hear much more on it for a while.


  • Meanwhile, Arrieta will make his Spring Training debut today. The Cubs intentionally held back their front-line starting pitchers a bit this spring to limit their Cactus League innings, and save a little more for the season. The balance, of course, is making sure they’re able to ramp up effectively without risking injury (or ineffectiveness in April), but I generally dig the approach.
  • For fun, Arrieta’s opponent today is the Indians, who’ll throw Corey Kluber out there. (Also, nothing like going on and on about Taco Bell, and then immediately discussing one of the most fit, healthy players in baseball.)
  • Tommy La Stella (calf) is fine, according to both La Stella and Joe Maddon (ESPN). Were it the regular season, he’d be playing. For now, though, he’ll rest.
  • Michael mentioned the possibility yesterday in the MLBits, but the Cardinals might have an in-house replacement for injured shortstop Jhonny Peralta in the form of Cuban prospect Aledmys Diaz, who naturally went 4-4 with two doubles yesterday, immediately after folks started talking about his possible candidacy. It would be very Cardinals for a quality starter to go down, only to be replaced by a guy who wasn’t thought to be a Major League-ready starter, who then goes on to be an upgrade. The guy can literally knock the cover off of the ball, for crying out loud.
  • Is there a better arm in the game at third base than Manny Machado? Contrast how casual he is with his body after this diving play – knee on the ground! – with how much heat he gets on the throw. I think I’d probably go so far as to say best infield arm, not just best third base arm.



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