Today Was Supposed to Be Silly and Meaningless and Awesome and Other Cubs Bullets

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Today Was Supposed to Be Silly and Meaningless and Awesome and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

Today was supposed to be the opening of the Spring Training game slate, with the Cubs facing the Dodgers. When you consider what a Spring Training game actually is, being pumped about the opening of Fake Game Season is really silly. But, then, isn’t most of fandom really silly? We do this because we LIKE the silly. I love getting hyped for the Cactus League opener each year, as meaningless as it is, and I’m really bummed today that it isn’t happening. My calendar alert popped this morning and it made me really sad. Today was supposed to be awesome.

•   As for the state of baseball negotiations, some folks took yesterday’s (minimal) progress (on a minor item) as a positive step and a reason for optimism. I had trouble getting on board with that. I would still be shocked if a deal is reached by Monday (MLB’s stated deadline to have a new CBA before regular season games are cancelled). We’ll see what happens today when the sides meet again, starting at noon.

•   If you want to look at Monday’s deadline as a good thing, and view the negotiations through the prism of the players wanting to push this thing right up to the brink, this is a really good read from Hannah Keyser at Yahoo. And I do agree that she’s probably right: if the players wanted to make significant gains in this CBA, they were always going to have to force the owners to confront real and meaningful revenue losses. Where I find myself going, though, is that I don’t see enough owners actually being bothered by the loss of early season (less profitable) games to give up on their apparent plan to completely crush the union once again in a CBA negotiation. I could be wrong, and Keyser does suggest a good point that with experienced negotiators on each side, we could be misreading behavior on the outside. Again, maybe backs-against-the-wall was always the ultimate desire for both sides in this negotiation. (But even Keyser acknowledges that Monday might not be that wall, and it might take the loss of a lot of games to actually achieve the kinds of gains the players want.)

•   Ian Happ, the Cubs’ rep to the MLBPA, was on The Score yesterday:

•   Excellent news for those of you in Illinois who are planning to do the sports betting thing: there is another pre-registration bonus available now, this time it’s a bonus at DraftKings Illinois. It’s $100 just for signing up, in addition to whatever other bonuses they wind up doing at launch next Saturday.

•   Good point here that if this lockout does get resolved soon, we might have a lot of Dexter-Fowler-like moments this spring:

•   NC State freshman Tommy White has *7* homers in six games. I hope the Cubs win the draft lottery in 2024 …

•   Visuals:

•   I always really enjoy these:

•   What a picture:

•   META: For those who didn’t see his announcement yesterday, Mario is departing BN for a different opportunity, and I think you’ll be hearing more about it very soon. We’re excited for him, and thankful for his fantastic work over the last year as we started building out our Blackhawks coverage (it was, uh, not a particularly fun or easy time to be covering the Blackhawks … ). For the Blackhawks fans among you, consider this a heads up that you may notice adjustments/limits in our Hawks coverage for a little while as we get through the NHL trade deadline in a few weeks, and then set about finding a new long-term lead Blackhawks writer. We will do our best in the interim!

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.