Good morning, friends. For the first time in three years, we get to be silly Cubs fans, gathering together in the depths of winter, and celebrating this sport that we love. It makes me happy. See you at the Cubs Convention.
We are all delightful weirdos, and I think it’s outstanding:
Oh, speaking of which – I was seeing all the player and prospect tweets and IG posts and what-have-you yesterday about them heading to the Cubs Convention and being excited, and it hit me: because there hasn’t been a CubsCon in three years, this will be the first Convention for almost every single Cubs player or prospect in attendance.
- Spring Training reporting dates are now officially official, and Cubs pitchers and catchers report in EXACTLY one month:
- This had been reported in the fall, but I guess it’s now even more widely accepted that it’s happening:
- Every Triple-A ballpark will use the system, though the games will be split into two buckets throughout the season (ESPN):
“The Automatic Balls and Strikes system, commonly referred to as ABS, will be deployed in two different ways. Half of the Class AAA games will be played with all of the calls determined by an electronic strike zone, and the other half will be played with an ABS challenge system similar to that used in professional tennis.
Each team will be allowed three challenges per game, with teams retaining challenges in cases when they are proved correct. MLB’s intention is to use the data and feedback from both systems, over the full slate of games, to inform future choices.”
- The challenge system is the one that is going to win out, by the way. It is not obtrusive, it’s a smaller initial step, and it might actually be an addition to the fun.
- Speaking of fun, Fergie Jenkins scoring goals for the Blackhawks (kinda). I mean, he’s Canadian so it only makes sense:
- Hey, sure, whatever, why not:
- From that video, a little something fun:
- META: We are stepping up our NFL coverage around here in advance of the playoffs, and Patrick has been doing great work. The NFL category is separate from the Bears (or Cubs or whatever) category, so you can see it all here or on the home page. We are working on the ability to pick and choose which categories you want to see on your own home page, by the way, so eventually you’ll be able to do that, too.
- This picture is, at first, incredibly cool. And then you sit with it for a minute, and it becomes wildly terrifying: