Happy Moments Where You Can Find Them, NL Central Landscape, Big Z and Little M, and Other Cubs Bullets

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Happy Moments Where You Can Find Them, NL Central Landscape, Big Z and Little M, and Other Cubs Bullets

Chicago Cubs

The news out of Turkey and Syria is devastating right now. I know there’s only so much we can do from afar when there is a major disaster like the overnight earthquakes, but I hope that, when the time is right, those who are able to help in some way can do so. I cannot imagine what so many in the region are going through right now. A nightmare.

It is hard to transition from reading about that to things that matter so little by contrast, but it’s what we do. On to the Cubs Bullets …

  • Starting with something positive – I will always enjoy teams winning championships, and this is a great clip of the Adelaide Giants winning the Australian Baseball League title:
  • I love to see that joy and passion. The champions of Australia. Very cool. Take those happy moments where you can find them.
  • Jon Morosi breaks down the NL Central, in relation to both the offseason moves and the season ahead:
  • The team that could make the biggest jump in the Central this year, says Morosi, is the Cubs (and the hosts agree). Not a huge surprise, given that they actually have meaningful room to “jump,” and did have a very active offseason of additions. It behooves talking heads to include the Cubs with the Cardinals and Brewers this time of year, mind you, but I really do think they are the dividing line: the Cardinals look like the clear best team on paper in the division, the Brewers look better than average, and the Cubs look like a team that COULD be competitive with the first two (if this and if that). The Pirates and Reds, by contrast, have a different look. Not to say they couldn’t compete – very young teams with loaded farm systems sometimes surprise to the upside because several young studs click at the same time – but I think you would rightly place them at much longer odds than the Cubs.
  • Something in there to note:
  • And that doesn’t include the Josh Hader trade at midseason, which still feels like a roster difference from last season to this season. It all looks very lateral to me, and the way the Brewers will be MOST competitive this year is if their young outfielders (and Brice Turang) come up and rake, while the holdovers keep performing.
  • I tentatively expect we’ll be getting some more video and images of it, because this is always one of my favorite silly moments of the winter. The Equipment Truck has arrived in Mesa, Arizona:
  • Oh man, I totally forgot about this celebration – when Carlos Zambrano would hammer Mike Fontenot down, and then carry him around on his back:
  • Fontenot was with the Cubs from 2005 to 2010, hitting .270/.337/.411/94 wRC+ over that time (my how the offensive environments have changed … ). The defense was solid at second base, he had a little pop, and he didn’t strike out. Nice player to have.
  • Just kind of a weird thing: when the Mets’ luxury tax bill comes due this year (it’s going to approach $150 million … ), about $70 million of that will be distributed as revenue-sharing among the non-luxury-tax-paying teams. There currently project to be about 23 of them, including the Cubs. So the Cubs stand to get about $3 million dollars from the Mets this year because of the Mets’ spending.
  • Random fun fact found over at Reddit. Only two games last year ended on a strike-em-out-throw-em-out double-play, and the two guys at the receiving ends of the play are this year’s middle infield combo for the Cubs:
  • The most venerated losing play in baseball history:
  • Underscoring how one-of-a-kind Hack Wilson was, physically (not just his height, but look at his overall build, especially his lower half):
  • What a unique shot of Wrigley Field and Chicago, turning it into its own mini planet:

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.