It’s The Wife’s spring break, so we took the kiddos to a nature conservatory thing yesterday afternoon, which included this big butterfly greenhouse/chamber. I’m not sure exactly what to call it, but I keep thinking of it as a chamber, because it turns out: I’m kinda freaked out by butterflies. They have pretty wings and all that, but if you really look at them, they’re just like any other bugs, except much larger and they can fly at you. Put me in a room with hundreds of them flying all around … it was like a Hitchcock flick.
Still, we had a nice time.
- If you missed it this morning, Luke looked back at the Cubs’ 2014 draft – the year they took a hulking slugger with their first pick, much to the chagrin of many Cubs fans. (You were wrong!) A CSN write-up on Kyle Schwarber notes an internal scouting report at the time of the draft that compared Schwarber to Babe Ruth. It’s unsurprising, then, that the Cubs had him so high on their draft board, at a time when most outside evaluators pegged him, at best, as a mid-first-round pick.
- Speaking of Schwarber and draft picks, the CSN piece (which is a good, longer read on Schwarber’s path with the Cubs) offers the hilarious anecdote of how some of the Cubs’ scouting crew pranked him while prepping for the 2016 draft. As told by Jason McLeod at the Cubs Convention, Schwarber, who was helping the Cubs look at players in advance of the draft, was set up to watch a catching prospect that folks weren’t sure could catch, and put up huge numbers against crummy schools, but never against good ones. When the Cubs flipped on the tape, Schwarber found himself watching … himself. Heh.
- About all that, though: I’m not sure we’ve really given it enough attention that, while rehabbing his knee injury, among the million other things he was doing, Schwarber participated in helping the front office prepare for the draft. Schwarber was then just 23, a couple years out of college, and he’s in there like a scouting intern. That is just not something you see happening with players and front offices in quite that way. It says a whole lot about (1) Schwarber’s interest and appetite for baseball, (2) the front office’s approach to everything, and (3) how the front office feels about Schwarber.
- There were the latest round of cuts last night from Cubs camp, if you missed it.
- We’ll have to get into this in depth in a separate post, but good golly: read this fantastic Athletic piece on the Cubs’ pitching infrastructure from the pitchers’ perspective.
- Kyle Hendricks apparently got food poisoning in Las Vegas at Taco Bell, to which I have two responses, one joking, one serious: (1) food poisoning at Taco Bell? Strictly speaking, is it possible to get Taco Bell without some level of poison involved? (and, make no mistake, I love Taco Bell!); and (2) hopefully it wasn’t a bad case, because that can set you back physically for a while. Even though Hendricks won’t make his regular season debut until the fifth game of the season, I’ve certainly heard of high-level athletes still feelings the effects of food poisoning many days later. Even after you’re over the sickness in a day or two, the body is impacted.
- Gold, Jerry. Gold:
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) March 29, 2017
- No more Scooter Gennett on the Brewers … but he’s still in the NL Central, having been claimed off of waivers by the Reds.
- A really fun, exhaustive read over at CBS by R.J. Anderson on the steady flow of prospect writers over the years becoming scouts for MLB organizations (the Cubs’ own Jason Parks, now a Special Assistant to the GM/President, among them).
- More Kyle Schwarber! He was on ‘Pardon My Take,’ and yes, he’d be pretty good on your beer league softball team:
— Pardon My Take (@PardonMyTake) March 29, 2017
- Gotta love celebration pics:
— MBDChicago (@MBDChicago) March 29, 2017
- President Donald Trump has declined an invitation by the Nationals to throw out the first pitch on Opening Day, as many presidents have before him. Given that the president’s popularity is not especially high right now, he probably would have been booed rather aggressively, so this was probably the “right” decision.
- Over at TYL, you can see the Bears’ GM’s thoughts on his quarterback situation, and also some of the latest mock drafts.
- It would not be an exaggeration to say that 33% of the meals I cook for the family are made in our crockpot. It’s easy, you can do a range of things, and it makes a lot, so there are leftovers for lunches. You can get one at Amazon today at 43% off, for under $35.