Happy Home Opening Day! The Cubs have returned from a very successful road trip (and got to see their plush new clubhouse upon arrival), and now will open up Wrigley Field for the 2016 season. It’s always something of a holiday, and I’ll certainly be doing my part to enjoy it. If you’re around the area, there should be a group of us – including me, Michael, and Luis – at Bernie’s at the corner of Clark and Waveland before the game.
Then, at the game, we’ll be out in the right field bleachers, over toward the video board if possible. I’ll be wearing my blue and red shoes and a dark blue “CHICAGO” jacket if you want to say hello. I’ll also have on a blue BN shirt, but with the weather expected to be rather frigid, you might not see much of that. Hope to see some folks tonight!
- One of the best moments of a 2015 season filled with incredible moments was the moonshot homer by Kyle Schwarber in the Cubs’ clinching Game Four of the NLDS, which soared above the right field video board, landed on top of it, and simply stayed there. It was the kind of special moment that you cannot create – it just has to happen. For that reason, and for the great memory it provided, it was always my hope that the Cubs would figure out a way to preserve the ball and leave it up there on the board forever. Well, I’m not sure if this means it’ll be there forever, but Crane Kenney told Mully and Hanley that the Schwarber ball is back up there now, per Paul Sullivan.
- Folks in the upper bowl on the first base side should be able to get a look tonight and see for themselves – which is half of the fun of keeping the ball up there in the first place. Fans can show their friends and family the iconic ball, something that completely organically became part of the lore of the new era of the Cubs and Wrigley Field.
- Of course, it’s impossible to discuss the Schwarber Ball without a twinge of sadness, given that Schwarber, himself, is out for the year after suffering a serious knee injury. In some ways, having the ball back up there is a fitting tribute to a young man who will now have to miss what could be a very special season, and I also hope Schwarber is able to be introduced at tonight’s game with his teammates. You can read Schwarber’s thoughts on what happened and his road ahead here at Cubs.com. He’s as positive as any person could be, and it’s impressive when you remember how young he is. That positivity and that youth will certainly help him through the rehab process, and, like he says, I wouldn’t bet against him coming back next year even better.
- Jake Arrieta’s monster homer yesterday – 442 feet – was further than any he’s given up since 2011 (Yunel Escobar hit one 447 feet, per ESPN). ESPN also had Arrieta’s homer as the further pitcher homer since 2009! (Two of the next three on the list? None other than Carlos Zambrano.)
- Yesterday, Anthony Rizzo was punched out at one point … even though there were only two strikes.
- If you missed anything this weekend, make sure you catch yourself up here.
- Earlier today, Luke checked in on the Cubs’ minor league system … and food offerings.
- Just having a little fun:
- Um, OK:
— Baseball Is Fun (@flippingbats) April 11, 2016
- The latest Series Review is out, from the D-Backs series, and this one comes from Michael (with maybe a special cameo in there):