OK, Brett. You can do this. Get through the Bullets like every other day. The HYPE HYPE HYPE can be reserved for other places. Go …
- Cubs GM Jed Hoyer sat down with Jon Greenberg for a long, two-part interview, which you can and should read here and here. There’s simply too much good and interesting stuff to fairly delve into here, so I strongly recommend you just read them.
- I do want to touch on one thing that Hoyer admitted that really stuck out to me here on Opening Day. After talking about how the losses late last year were probably the best outcome for the Cubs if they weren’t going to win the World Series, Hoyer conceded that getting out to a hot start this year is probably more important than most: “It’s important we get off to a good start. I’ll say that. There are seasons where I feel like OK, let’s get into the season and see how things go. Sort of get conditioned to the season and then you take off. I feel like this is a year that I’ll be disappointed if we don’t kind of hit the ground running. I think it’s important for this division and I think it’s important for the psyche of this group after last season. Getting off to a good start is something that I think is really important.”
- We’ve seen that the past couple years, since the insanely hot start in 2016, where it felt like the Cubs were resting on their talent, knowing the wins would eventually come (and, to their credit, they did). But that missing sense of urgency might have cost them an early-season win or two, which is obviously something the front office has worked tirelessly this offseason internally to try to avoid this year. Given the very, very competitive division this year, every win is going to project to be critical.
- It’s also pretty critical that the Cubs get off to a hot start this year because the early part of their schedule features a whole lot of winnable out-of-division match-ups: Rangers, Marlins (twice), Diamondbacks (twice), and Mariners, all before May 2. You’ve just gotta crush those games.
- Ian Happ has started doing the minor league thing again, and he wrecked one:
— TheJerryEspinoza (@JEspinoza1634) March 27, 2019
- I hope Happ makes the adjustments he needs to, improves on his contact ability, and is back contributing to the Cubs by May.
- Speaking of working on contact up in the zone, David Bote’s issues there last year were REALLY pronounced, and he has worked to alleviate that.
- What a freaking bummer: the news originally reported by Cubs Insider is confirmed, and 37-year-old Cubs pitching prospect Luke Hagerty’s season is over. Elbow surgery. The incredible comeback story just got a really long new chapter, I suppose.
- This is very awesome and important:
Born with cerebral palsy, no one thought Tanner Salinas would live. Twenty-four years later, Salinas is a college graduate, working at the the Chicago Cubs @Cubs, thanks to the @UIREACHProgram. We are so proud of Tanner! https://t.co/L7L7MstmY8 pic.twitter.com/w2hBZMrhjQ
— College of Education (@UIowaEducation) March 27, 2019
- Now former Cubs pitching prospect Rob Zastryzny penned a farewell:
Thank you Chicago @Cubs.
— Rob Zastryzny (@RobZastryzny_8) March 28, 2019
From strength of schedule, ZiPS estimates the Orioles lose 2.2 wins relative to a league-average team by virtue of not being able to play the Orioles.
— Dan Szymborski (@DSzymborski) March 28, 2019
- Cubs and Rangers Series Preview is here. Other pre-Opening Day notes are here.
- Don’t forget to check out the beautiful and funny shirt I designed for Obvious Shirts.
- Indoor garden, tools, 3D printers, and more are your Deals of the Day at Amazon.
- OK, a little bit of HYPE to close:
— Cubs Talk (@NBCSCubs) March 28, 2019