I pulled into my driveway this morning after working out (GET PUMPED FOR THE DAY!), and I had a friend waiting for me in front of the garage door.
A cardinal. I know it’s a bit on the nose, but I swear to you that it was a single, solitary cardinal, sitting and waiting. To be sure, cardinals are not uncommon in Ohio – it’s the state bird, after all – but I haven’t seen one in months.
I think it’s a sign that the Cardinals are going to lose today. Or win today. Probably one of those two things.
Also: it is really hard to write “normal” Bullets today. I’m already so itchy and amped up …
- Something to watch this season: although MLB’s formal plans to move the bottom of the strike zone up a bit were met with objection from the players, the zone might be moving anyway. Jeff Sullivan notes that the little bit of Spring Training data we have suggests that strikes at the bottom of the zone – in Spring, anyway – were called just a little bit less often than in recent years past. It might be a fluke, but we’ll see if the change carries forward into the regular season.
- The Cubs’ outfield defense projects to be third best in the NL, behind only the Padres and Reds, which is certainly an interesting grouping.
- Buster Olney writes about how the Cubs will “handle” Jon Lester now that David Ross is retired. We know that Willson Contreras will be Lester’s catcher, but will he develop the same knack for keeping Lester on track when calls aren’t going his way? Or will that responsibility fall to Anthony Rizzo? Just how important will that behind-the-scenes kind of skill be, anyway? We’ll see.
- The Yadier Molina extension is a done deal, and he’s going to get three years at $20 million per year (Jon Heyman). Is a near-35-year-old Molina worth $20 million per year for the next three years? To the Cardinals? Yes, he is. I can’t say for sure that he’ll produce that much quantifiable on-field value (and, in that way, this is a clear overpay), but given his work with young players, his work with pitchers, his value behind the plate, and I just don’t see any way the Cardinals could *not* make this deal.
- Your Series Preview for the Cubs/Cardinals tilt is here, by the way.
- It’s so very back:
- Michael’s got your seasonal tie-in:
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) April 2, 2017
- Old friend Neil Ramirez has made the Giants’ bullpen after a couple years trying to overcome the shoulder issues that ended his time with the Cubs. Good for him, and I hope he does well. Just not against the Cubs.
- As long as you’re not a no-fun-havin’ scouting obsessive, this is really fun to watch:
Breaking: Manny Ramirez back with Cubs…as Albert Almora. pic.twitter.com/9iFy1tysB1
— Cubs Insider (@realcubsinsider) April 1, 2017
- Speaking of Manny, he’s playing in Japan and just got his first hit there last night (age 44). He literally danced at first base.
- The Cubs’ quest for 2017 is to do something no NL team has done in 40+ years, and that they haven’t done in 109 years (winky face):
Only NL teams to ever win back to back World Series:
1907-1908 Cubs https://t.co/rFOwKhtjSH
— Mike Gianella (@MikeGianella) April 2, 2017
- Over at Baseball is Fun, some of the best Opening Day moments in recent memory, including former Cubs outfielder Tuffy Rhodes’ one-time breakout (but at least then he crushed it in Japan).
- Luis has your TYL Bears Bullets right here.
- For the baseball card fans among you, there’s a lightning deal at Amazon right now on 2016 Topps cards, which are 33% off (if you catch the lightning deal before they’re all gone, that is).