Figuring Out Playing Time in Early Spring Training, Renteria's Exit, and Other Bullets

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Figuring Out Playing Time in Early Spring Training, Renteria’s Exit, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs News

I have been alerted to the fact that The Wife will be unavailable at a conference on Saturday, which means I will have the three kiddos to myself. Normally, that’s not really even a notable event for a weekend day, but Saturday is also the start of Cactus League play for the Cubs … and they have two games. Here’s hoping the kids are feeling nice and TV-watchy on Saturday (whether it’s the Cubs or something else, allowing The Dad to do his thing …. )

  • It’ll be interesting to see how the Cubs sort out playing time in the first few days of Spring Training, given the oddity of a split squad day on the first day. Joe Maddon admits it will be tricky, because you have to figure out who is going to play right away again on Sunday (Tribune). My guess is that we do see quite a few regulars playing on Saturday between the two games, but I would also guess they are in the game only for a brief appearance. Then some will do the same thing again for the one game on Sunday. Either way, I’d expect to see a whole lot of younger players and prospects, as well as non-roster invitee veterans, this weekend. And that’s fine with me. I want baseball.
  • Rick Renteria, now the manager of the White Sox, shares a bit more here at the Tribune about being fired by the Cubs as they took the opportunity to grab Maddon when he was available. He wasn’t ready to talk to Maddon right after it happened, but eventually the two connected, with some help from a mutual colleague Bud Black (now the manager of the Rockies, but who had spent time with Renteria in San Diego and Maddon in Anaheim). Each only had very kind words for each other, and Renteria harbors no ill-will about what happened or how it happened. For my part, I always felt like the Cubs’ front office absolutely did the right thing for the organization at that time, even if Renteria did nothing to deserve being fired after just one year. He was an excellent steward of the young, transitional 2014 club, and in that way, he should be a perfect fit for the White Sox. Hopefully he does well, they do well, and he gets to stick around thereafter to see the fruits of his labor. And maybe the Cubs can give him, like, 1/8th of a World Series ring. (Oh, I will also take 1/8th of a World Series ring because I would like to have that. Thank you.)
  • Kris Bryant is not a fan of seeing the four pitches for an intentional walk going away (that’s what’s reportedly set to happen). Bryant tells that he wants to keep any additional pressure on the pitcher, which is understandable for a hitter. Joe Maddon didn’t express a strong opinion either way, but he’s not too keen on worrying about the length of games anyway. More from the duo here at CSN.
  • (Obligatory note: shortening the length of games is mostly a byproduct/measuring stick of what MLB has indicated it is more interested in doing, which is increasing the frequency of “action” on the field – i.e., improving the “pace of play.” Reducing dead time should always be a consideration for professional sports leagues, and as MLB’s median fan age increases by one year every single year (think about that), it’s critical that they work proactively to ensure that the game is as enjoyable as possible BOTH to hardcore lifer fans, and newer casual fans.)

New Season: April 2, 2017.

Posted by Bleacher Nation on Wednesday, February 22, 2017

  • Nicely done, Brett:

  • Free advice, though: never put your face directly next to Kris Bryant’s face if you want your wife to look at you the same ever again.
  • I would so watch:

  • This is too good:

It was a busy day around here yesterday, so if you missed anything, catch up with a skim:


Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.