For the few days it was possible, I’d been driving to the coffee shop where I do most of my work in non-lockdown times. I would pick up my coffee – in the carryout area, and then, when they closed that, at the drive thru – and I’d park in the parking lot to do the morning Cubs Bullets. In a lot of ways, it was really silly. It’s a heckuva lot more cramped in my car (I would shift over to the passenger seat to write), and the WI-FI signal strength was so intermittent and poor that I usually had to tether to my phone anyway.
But in some other ways, it was nice. My brain space just seems to lock in a little more when I go to a place specifically to do a thing. I’ve also got a house full of vibrant kids right now, which makes focused writing a bit of a challenge at home. For about five days, I could kinda do my normal morning thing, all while observing necessary safety protocols. I’d found a way to live within the walls, so to speak, and still feel like myself. I hope you have found some little routine hacks like that, too.
Unfortunately, they closed the coffee shop today indefinitely. I suppose I knew in the back of my mind it was coming – it’s so hard for some businesses to stay open for carryout only, especially when so few people are actually going out to do their routines. Mostly I just hope everyone who works there will be OK through this time period. Yeah, it’s a chain, but I know the people there now. I figure almost all of you are also dealing daily with these little changes to the routine that upset the balance a little bit. It’s not a big deal, but it was a reminder of the times.
I’ll just get back into more frequently cold brewing. I went straight to the store – still open! – and grabbed a supply of some ground coffee. (This is the cold brewer I use, by the way – it’s cheap, easy, and gets the job done.)
- Speaking of attempts to stay with some modified version of your routine, I expect baseball players are all trying to figure it out right now. We know that this hiatus is going to be a long one, but we also don’t know exactly how long. So if you’re a pitcher, what exactly do you do for your arm right now? Rest it, and plan to build back up whenever you can head to Spring Training Part Two? Try to just keep it built up by throwing aggressively every two or three days in whatever makeshift place you can? For position players, do you seek out pitchers to hit off of? Can you realistically pull that off for months? Not everyone has a brother who’ll fire Nerf pellets at you to take swings at.
- I think a lot of these questions were just kind of left unaddressed by teams two weeks ago because we didn’t know whether it was gonna be “Spring Training can start back up in April to be ready for May 15” situation, or whether it was gonna be a “Spring Training Part Two is gonna be an entirely new process that won’t start until June or July” situation. Where we sit now? Just reading the national tea leaves? I think it’s clear that first possibility is out the window, and so I don’t think it’s going to be advisable for most players to stay in “game-ready shape” for the next several months before Spring Training Part Two beings. Most guys should probably treat right now like it’s November/December/January – do what you do then to stay in good physical shape – and then anticipate that you’re going to have some heads up about when you should kick it into February mode, and then there will be three or four weeks of March mode in some organized way?
- (And hopefully “March” can be in May? That seems like your best plausible case scenario right now, which would mean new infections appear to have peaked at some point in April. A peak in May probably pushes that Spring Training Part Two into June.)
- So, if this is November/December/January time, it’s too bad we don’t have trade and free agent rumors to tide us over as sports fans. But on the bright side, we also don’t have the Kris Bryant service time grievance decision for which to wait interminably. Not all bad!
- This is minor news and we’d missed it last week. Before MLB announced a league agreement that all teams would be paying minor league players their usual stipend/per diem/etc. through April 8 (with a plan for thereafter to follow), the Cubs actually were among the handful of teams that were already paying their minor league players those allotted amounts when Spring Training shut down (Sun-Times).
- Marquee was running Game One of the 2016 NLCS last night, which of course featured a lot of great moments (Javy stole home!), but the one that is always going to come to mind:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) March 22, 2020
Since it's 2016 NLCS Game One night, how about an in-crowd shot of the loudest moment in Wrigley Field history?
Miguel Montero's grand slam. pic.twitter.com/2Z477MjJ8d
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) March 22, 2020
- Some viewing today:
— MLB (@MLB) March 22, 2020
- This is magnificent:
First Saturday of sheltering in place in Illinois. Recreated Jose Bautista’s bat flip with Legos with the kids. pic.twitter.com/CdJSdaBhkO
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) March 21, 2020