That’s a top ten strange headline in BN history, but it works. You’ll see. You’ll all see!
- See you at the crossroads:
— The Athletic (@TheAthleticCHI) March 6, 2018
- That interview is certainly worth a read, though The Athletic nailed it with the part they wanted to highlight there in that tweet. As Hoyer explained, the crossroads he sees is essentially the overlap between a player’s experience reaching a certain point, while also being at a good spot for his physical peak. And, yes, the Cubs are absolutely loaded with those types. Consider that all of the following players have at least one full year of big league experience and are in their age 25, 26, 27, or 28 season:
- The Cubs will obviously get contributions from guys outside that window, but those are the guys at that nexus of big league experience and peak physical years.
- A much less discussed former Dodger-turned-Cub debut yesterday was new Cubs closer Brandon Morrow, who was held back a bit at the outset of the Cactus League season in an effort to manage those innings after a long season last year, which came on the heels of years of an injury-then-rehab-then-injury-then-rehab cycle. The 33-year-old righty was gassing it at 95-98 mph, and he did that, he told ESPN, “without really trying to step on the gas,” so that’s good. He was even trying to pull back a big because (1) it was his first outing, and (2) he didn’t want his old mates thinking he was amped up facing them. (Tribune)
- Ben Zobrist also got into his first action of the spring after being slowed by a back issue. Joe Maddon says that, from a mental/excitement/energy standpoint, this is the best he’s seen Zobrist look in a long time (Cubs.com). Hopefully the body will come to match the mind, because whatever happens with playing time, the Cubs could still really stand to have Zobrist being one of the best bench players in baseball, or the best available fill-in starter if there’s an injury. (I will say, though, that I’m not entirely convinced that Javy Baez will be an everyday starter at second base right out of the gate. I think he’ll see more starts than last year, and will get into almost every game in some way, but a healthy Zobrist still probably gets some starts.)
- The Tommy La Stella polo-khaki uniform prank was just fantastic, and now La Stella explains a bit more about what happened:
To fully appreciate the #Cubs' culture, imagine a New England Patriots kicker parking in Belichick's spot, calling the boss "William" and then talking about his "package" with reporters: https://t.co/qVFUzSjhZj
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) March 7, 2018
- The “package” reference related to La Stella’s inability to squeeze into Hoyer’s khakis without cutting them a bit to create more space: “It was definitely a little snug in the back. I’d like to blame it on my package, but that’s not true. It’s got to be my glutes.” Cubs baseball 2018: Don’t blame the package. (Or: It’s gotta be the glutes.)
- I saw a particularly emotive Kyle Hendricks in the Tribune video here and I was inspired:
when you ask mom to make the pizza rolls and she says yes pic.twitter.com/GUkpEJ2POT
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) March 7, 2018
- If you go to the coupons section at Amazon, you can get 15% off M&Ms and Dove Easter candy. You’re welcome.