The Scotsman. You should listen to it. It is funny, and it’ll put you into the right mindset for the weekend (you can pretty much ignore the video part of it, as it actually kind of makes the experience worse – just listen).
- Dale Sveum continues to say that, for now, only Carlos Marmol and Kerry Wood are guaranteed spots in the bullpen. He talked up a handful of the competitors yesterday: “[Rafael] Dolis is very impressive, being able to throw a 94-, 95-mile-an-hour ball that sinks that much and with that kind of depth. [Marcos] Mateo’s slider is a swing-and-miss slider. [Blake] Parker throws a very heavy fastball with a good slider, as well. All these guys are in the running for these spots. It’s going to be interesting …. [Rule 5 pick Lendy Castillo] acts like he’s been out there before. He’s got a fastball that doesn’t seem to get squared up too much. He’s interesting.” Dale Sveum likes the word “interesting.” It’s going to be this year’s “obviously.”
- Speaking of Sveum and the bullpen, Carlos Marmol is quickly becoming a fan of the new manager. After a “talk” to calm Marmol’s nerves after a couple rough outings, Marmol was in good spirits. “I felt different,” Marmol said. “[Sveum] talked to me yesterday and I feel different. I was myself, I calmed down a little bit. It’s good the manager gives you the opportunity and he lets you know that he thinks about the players …. Every person has a different personality. Now, I think he’s a good guy, understands the players.”
- Shortly after yesterday’s post about the comments from the South Bend Silver Hawks’ owner’s hopes to bring a Cubs affiliation to South Bend – and, when I say “shortly,” I mean within a few hours – the Silver Hawks had re-upped their commitment with the Diamondbacks, and the owner was apologizing on Twitter to Silver Hawks fans for “the confusion” (not sure how there could be “confusion” when the owner said “the stars seem to be aligning” for a switch to the Cubs). He added that the Peoria Chiefs are a great organization, and he respects their affiliation with the Cubs. Methinks someone was cleverly leveraging a hot rumor for a better deal with the D-backs. (You’re welcome, Mr. Berlin. (I kid. Mostly. It’s equally possible that Berlin felt some heat from the D-Backs for his comments, and scrambled to appease them.)) It stinks for South Bend Cubs fans, and who knows what will happen long-term, but I’m sure the folks of Peoria are very happy. For that reason, so am I. (The story got some attention in the Peoria Journal Star, too.)
- Tim at Obstructed View offers a very interesting analysis of how much trouble the Cubs might be in (or not, actually) when it comes to revenue from ticket sales this year. The new dynamic pricing in the bleachers could prove to be a stroke of genius.
- In a weekly chat, ESPN’s Doug Padilla said (among other things) that, after checking in with folks in Vegas, the Cubs’ current over/under on wins this year is 72.5. Unfortunately, that sounds about right. You taking the over or the under?
- Bruce Levine interviews Brett Jackson, and elicits a few interesting bits, including Jackson’s affinity for Reed Johnson (“He has that certain awesomeness that you can’t pinpoint.”), Jackson’s appreciation for the coaching of Dave McKay, and a quote Jackson digs from Oscar Wilde (“Be yourself, everyone else is taken.”).
- Dale Sveum used to be quite the fox.
- MLBullets at BCB, featuring some awesomeness by the Tampa Bay Rays.
Blake Snell Just Dominated the Cardinals, Which Reminds Me to Talk About His Now-Unlikely Trade Future
Keegan Thompson Looked Incredible, Next Steps for Estrada, Mexican Talent Pipeline, Girardi, and Other Cubs Bullets
Hearing from the GM and HC, Players Hit the Ice Today, B1G Preseason Recognition, and Other Blackhawks Bullets