Did you know that yesterday was National Pancake Day? I mentioned it off-hand to the kids in the morning, and the two big kids apparently remembered it all day. As soon as I picked them up from school, they were gleeful: “It’s National Pancake Day! We’re going to have pancakes tonight!” So I made them pancakes (with spinach, fruit, and flax seed blended in, plus extra eggs – add some agave and cinnamon, and not only are the pancakes healthier for you, they taste fantastic).
- John Lackey made his spring debut yesterday, and, as a 38-year-old veteran, he has the perfect attitude for an outing like that (Tribune): “I don’t know [the pitch count]. Doesn’t matter. Whatever. We’ve got about a month before it matters. Make something up. Who cares?” He added that he was just “kind of firing some fastballs,” and doesn’t even care about the radar gun. This is all correct.
- Speaking of the starters, the Cubs appear to be transitioning into the mode where they’re going to be ramping up and other starters will be moving to the fringes: Mike Montgomery and Brett Anderson will pitch in Thursday’s game against the Mariners (Casey Kelly will start the “B” game against the Angels that day), and then the front four – Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, and John Lackey – will go, in that order, from Friday through Monday.
- A profile on Carl Edwards Jr. at the Tribune. With Wade Davis in tow this year, plus Hector Rondon, Koji Uehara, and Pedro Strop, it’s not likely that Edwards will get a shot to be the Cubs’ closer for a significant stretch, but it’s equally likely that the shot will come at some point in the future. Davis and Uehara are free agents after the season, Rondon and Strop could potentially be free agents after next season. Edwards has closer stuff (and then some), so it’s not at all hard to imagine a transition into that role starting next year, depending on how the Cubs want to handle the departure of Davis and final arbitration year of Rondon.
- Speaking of Uehara, the 42-year-old righty says he wants to pitch two more years in MLB, so that he’ll have pitched 10 here, and 10 in Japan (Cubs.com). Given his age and some injury issues, the Cubs will have to be judicious about Uehara’s usage, but I’m pretty excited to see him in the Cubs’ pen this year. The splitter is still nasty, and the way he uses his mid-to-upper-90s fastball and still gets whiffs, it’s fun to watch.
- It’s coming, baby:
- I thought it was an interesting juxtaposition yesterday that right as Michael was writing the MLBits, leading off with Noah Syndergaard’s comments about having no problem with Jose Bautista’s famous bat flip, Dave Kaplan was sending this out from Jake Arrieta:
Arrieta on a player bat flipping him after a HR. "If he's a vet + earned it no prob. If he's a young guy he might wear next one in the ribs"
— David Kaplan (@thekapman) March 7, 2017
- Let me say up front that I understand that this way of thinking is incredibly common in professional baseball right now, and even by his own words, it sounds like Arrieta would have had no problem with Bautista’s flip either. Good. This is far from the worst in-game-celebration-respect-the-game take I’ve ever heard. I do find it disappointing, though, that the response to a youngster expressing excitement in the moment about doing something huge and difficult would be to try to hit him with a 95mph rock. We spend so much time talking about baseball’s long-term interest problem and the need to improve pace of play (rightly so), but, man, weeding out this kind of thinking about spontaneous outbursts of fun and joy and exuberance would also help the game.
- Caveats: doing something way over the top or explicitly designed to show up the pitcher? I won’t defend that. Doing a huge bat flip every single time you homer, regardless of the situation? That’s too much.
- (Also: totally cool by me for pitchers to celebrate big strikeouts.)
- With those caveats in mind, I’m sorry, but I can’t help but enjoy these things:
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) March 8, 2017
- Michael is a weirdo, but he’s our weirdo:
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) March 7, 2017
- This is one of those very random plugs, but it’s on such a significant sale and so many people use them that I figured I’d share: it’s a very well-reviewed bathroom scale for under $20 at Amazon.
- Speaking of sales, this is a good one for a good-looking shirt:
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) March 8, 2017
- Meanwhile, for you Bears fans, we’ve got a fresh Rumor Mill this morning over at TYL, as well as the latest on the Bears and Mike Glennon.