Spring Training Miscellany: Darvish Works Out, Pitchers and Catchers Arrive, More

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Spring Training Miscellany: Darvish Works Out, Pitchers and Catchers Arrive, More

Chicago Cubs

Today was Pitchers and Catchers Reporting Day – the start of Spring Training! – but that celebratory affair was mostly overshadowed by another: the official arrival of new Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish.

The timing worked out very well for all sides, though it wasn’t entirely coincidental: Theo Epstein and Darvish each conceded that having this deal in place before Spring Training began was a priority. For Epstein and the Cubs, they wanted to be able to know where things stood and proceed with everyone all together for the Spring. For Darvish, similarly, he didn’t want to wait to sign well into the Spring, dropping in on his new team as a distraction after they’d already gotten started. It’s nice to see that was a priority for both sides, since we’ve all felt that way about getting new players in the house as early as possible so they have time to adjust to their new surroundings, get to work with a new coaching staff, and have plenty of time to safely ramp up for the season in a controlled environment.

It makes you wish there weren’t still so many unsigned free agents elsewhere.

Bonus, random thing: during that introductory press conference, I was nearly positive I heard Epstein refer to Darvish at one point as “Yu-san.” I knew enough from Hollywood to at least recognize the sound, but I have almost no real knowledge about Japanese honorifics and what they mean. So, I did some light Wikipedia’ing, and per that article, “-san” is similar to saying “Mr.,” though it is often attached to a first name, and it is a nice sign of respect. Nicely done, Mr. Epstein. And welcome, Yu-san.

  • Speaking of Yu-san, he got in his first workout today after the presser, naturally, and the good dudes from Cubs Insider were there to catch it:

  • A little more of Spring Training Darvish:


  • At his press conference today, Joe Maddon unveiled a new shirt, appropriate for the day, with the English translation, “Process is Fearless”:

  • There was no “theme” announcement yet for the season, but Maddon did drop hints:

  • That’s a huge Kyle Hendricks smile:

  • One thing that just won’t feel right this Spring Training is the absence of John Arguello, who passed away last year. You may know him as the dude who started Cubs Den, or the guy who was always getting great stuff out in Arizona. I remember those things. But I mostly remember that he was simply such a nice guy. The Cubs remember, too:

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Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami