Training Issues, Home-Grown All-Star Droughts, Ridiculous Team Names, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Training Issues, Home-Grown All-Star Droughts, Ridiculous Team Names, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The kiddos are home today for the snow day, so it’s gonna be RAUCOUS at the Taylor Household. I can’t even hear the click-clack of my own keyboard …

•   A nice side benefit to having been a long-time pro in another country is that you can just slide into their Spring Training if you need to get ready for a season in your current country that may not have a normal Spring Training:

•   Now that we’re into February, and if the lockout extends well past Spring Training reporting, it’ll be interesting to see how various players ramp up. Some, like Ryu, will have great options. Others will have to just group up to organize the best they can. But even that is probably easier said than done for some younger guys who don’t live close to areas where there are groups ready to go. Imagine the youngsters who were just added to the 40-man roster – they may just have to latch on with local high school or college teams to train, if they have space.

•   The announcement of the Washington Football Team’s new name – the Commanders – got Daniel Shiferaw asking a great question: “what long-held team name would have been CLOWNED had it first dropped in the twitter era?” When you start thinking about it, there are SO MANY. Since I write about the Cubs, I will mention the Cubs as a team name: the name works and endures because it is old as heck and unique. I love it. Truly, one of the best names in sports, in my biased opinion. BUT IF it was a newly-announced name right now? I know the reaction, because I’d have it, too: “So, it’s like bears, but … babies? Is it a team of babies? Are you naming them the Chicago Teeny Tiny Babies?”

•   Other MLB names that would get torched nowadays: Yankees, Athletics, Royals, Padres. People would definitely rip the “Sox” part of those names, too.

•   A fun idea for an article right here, and can you guess the Cubs’ longest entirely-home-grown drought before you read:

•   The Cubs’ droughts, by the way, aren’t actually as bad as some other clubs out there, but some of them still really stand out. The longest is in the outfield (Kosuke Fukudome doesn’t count), where Rafael Palmeiro was the last Cubs entirely-home-grown All-Star outfielder back in 1988 (his final year in the position before becoming a first baseman for the vast majority of his career). You could say that Kris Bryant was an outfield All-Star last year, but he’s more thought of as a third baseman, so I understand the distinction Brisbee chose. It’s the second longest drought at the spot behind only the Giants (Chili Davis in 1986). Three spots, by the way. The outfield is three spots. And the Cubs have not drafted (or IFA signed) an All-Star outfielder in 36(!) years! Nuts. Here’s hoping Brennen Davis changes that soon.

•   Two other lengthy home-grown droughts for the Cubs: reliever (Carlos Marmol in 2008), and first base (Mark Grace, 1997). There is no excuse for that first one – the Cubs have long needed to be better at developing pitchers, though they’re getting there – but the second one is obviously a little understandable given the very good “imported” first basemen the Cubs have had since Grace, including All-Stars like Derrek Lee, Anthony Rizzo, and BRYAN LAHAIR.

•   Yesterday was National Girls and Women in Sports Day:

•   I hate this pitch so much, because it is so good and it is not on the Cubs (and is frequently used against the Cubs):

•   Extra clearance and free shipping happening today:

•   I will never not watch this video:

•   Marcus Stroman on his many fastballs, speaking to a special audience last night:

•   If you want some really nerdy stuff on Vertical Approach Angle, this is the best and deepest breakdown I’ve seen:

•   Hey, that’s me:

•   You have likely seen or heard about this by now, but if you haven’t, last night was VERY ugly for the Blackhawks:

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.