I’m heading home from Arizona today after a nine-day trip. I always feel so out of sorts at the end of such a long trip, and, while I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my stay – watching games at the back fields, spending time with family and friends – it’s going to be good to settle back in at home.

Thanks for putting up with what may have been an, at times, erratic posting schedule over the past two weeks, and hopefully you’ve enjoyed getting just a little extra touch of the Spring Training experience. A lot of that went directly into my Twitter feed, by the way, and it didn’t all wind up here. So make sure you’re following BN on Twitter, and scroll back through the videos and pictures if you missed anything.

  • So, here’s video of the play from yesterday when Jorge Soler got doubled off of first base. I’d caution that this version, unlike the CSN version I was watching at the time I defended the nature of Soler’s mistake, does not include a camera on Soler on the initial part of his retreat to first base. It’s then that, in my opinion, he looks back at the cutoff man, doesn’t see the ball in the air, and mistakenly believes the throw was going to the cutoff man (as it normally would from the wall), thus giving him tons of time to get back to the base (which is why, in this version of the video, which shows him later in his retreat, he’s casually trotting, completely unaware that the throw is on the way). It was an inexcusable mental mistake, but not a matter of Soler simply not trying. OK. Enough throat-clearing. If you want to watch it, here’s the play – a really nice one by Ian Desmond:

  • An unrelated reminder about Soler, and another legitimate issue on which he has to work if he’s going to reach his considerable upside:



  • Gonna be a fun one tonight, as Jake Arrieta is facing Madison Bumgarner in an ESPN game – 6pm CT.
  • Kyle Schwarber is a gifted physical athlete, and the Cubs will keep finding ways to get him in the lineup in the outfield and behind the plate (CSN).


  • Joe Maddon brought in a mime to lead morning stretch, naturally, and you can watch the video here.
  • Remember those beautiful 1942 Cubs throwback jerseys? Looks like there’s a set of them on a huge sale – 66% off – on Amazon.
  • Tricky, tricky, Albert Almora:

  • And the Taylor Family is headed home from Arizona, but not before The Wife and I summited Camelback Mountain:

  • You can’t see it in this picture, but the drop-off behind the rocks immediately behind me is basically a straight shot down, hundreds and hundreds of death-inducing feet. The Wife was not thrilled about taking this picture:




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