I was busy most of the week trying to appease my boss (not Anno, the real one) so we haven’t done much in the way of blogging lately. Not that there’s a whole lot out there to write about as spring training has barely started, and the stories being written about the Cubs in camp aren’t all that exciting. So honestly, you’re not missing that much.
We do have fun even during lack-of-news season, so here’s a bit of a recap from the shenanigans throughout baseball and also on our Facebook page. If you haven’t visited it yet, please consider clicking on that button you see on the top left corner of this page and join us.
Top Ten Random Shenanigans
10. Rice Cube’s boredom
With the lack of news, we needed some things to amuse ourselves with. What better way than to put novice Photoshop skills to the test? Most of the photos are on our Facebook page (you can check out the albums) but we included one here just for yuks. If you ever get a chance to see Jeff Samardzija without his hat on, you’ll know what I mean.
9. The Cubs are going to try to win the World Series.
As stated by intrepid Cubs manager Dale Sveum, the club is not necessarily in a rebuild mode, but rather a “build” mode. As such, their goal is still to win the World Series. This means that even though Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are going to keep trying to move players in favor of younger assets, Sveum is going to take the scraps that he’s given and try to build the best lineup and rotation he can. Most projections suggest the Cubs will win something like 75 games or so, but with improved pitching (especially if the #4 and #5 spots aren’t monopolized by pure crap), improved defense and some bounceback years, the Cubs may yet find themselves in contention. I wouldn’t hold my breath, but it’s nice to see that a team predicted to finish near the bottom of the division won’t lay down and die so easily.
8. The Cubs aren’t going anywhere.
Other than the obvious meaning (i.e. they’re probably not going to the World Series this year, but you never know), this one means that the Cubs are doing their best to quell the rumors and concerns that they might have to play somewhere else during a Wrigley Field makeover. This means you guys don’t need to freak out anymore about the possibility of the Cubs moving South for the summer. There is plenty of time to worry about that later, and plenty more to freak out about as we wait for this coming season to begin.
7. Justin Morneau might not be playing baseball much longer.
Former AL MVP Morneau is concerned that his post-concussion symptoms may flare up again and threaten his career. He’s going to tough it out, but he hasn’t played that much since his injury in 2010 and it will be intriguing to see whether he can return to form and help get the Twins out of the cellar. Health comes first, though, and everyone should wish Morneau the best as he works back towards being a MVP-caliber athlete, or decides to hang it up for the sake of his neurological health.
6. You can learn a lot of things about the Amish.
One of the goofy things that happens with conversations is that they inevitably lead to weird tangents. For example, did you know that Amish folks actually like baseball? Now I want to take a road trip down to Southern Indiana and partake in some of their fine pious cuisine.
5. Have you entered our contest yet?
You’re going to have to leave a comment in this thread to enter for a chance to win some swag from our store. I’m disappointed in the lack of faith in Tony Campana. Come on, the guy’s been working out, he can get one to the outfield. All it takes is a little extra wind and he’ll get that ball out of the park. But on the bright side, if he proves you right and can’t get one over the fence, most of you are eligible for the random drawing anyway, so why not just drop a comment?
4. Extensions, extensions…
As reported on MLBTradeRumors.com, several players, including Russell Martin, Yadier Molina, and Ryan Zimmerman, are negotiating extensions with their parent clubs. Zimmerman seems to be the best bet to land an extension, while Martin and the Yankees have tabled their talks and Molina is still working it out with the Cardinals. Bummer about Zimmerman as he might have been a fun sign by the new Cubs management had he made it to free agency.
3. OMG Tampa Bay WTF
Zim Bear. Enough said.
2. Bunt-fest 2012
The rage of spring training so far is Dale Sveum’s nifty bunt competition. In the first round, Cubs pitcher Lendy Castillo was the high points-getter. I like that the bunt grid is set up so that you get the most points by getting the ball to where the defense is less likely to make a clean play on the ball. A teaching tool that is also fun, how about that?
Now we’re waiting on the next groups to go. Seems like this competition will be done just as the spring training games are set to begin, and right before March Madness rolls around as well. I wonder if Sveum has similar teaching tools for, say, crashing into the ivy/brick walls to make a catch.
1. He may or may not be guilty, but Ryan Braun still looks like a lemur.
Yes, I know, this isn’t Cubs related blah blah blah. But Braun was able to win his appeal in the case where he got a positive PED test result, and earlier today held a press conference about it. I had no idea he was such a good speaker and could be so eloquent. Of course, he did have a statement in front of him, but he must have practiced it in front of a mirror or something because he made a lot of eye contact with the audience and didn’t stumble too much. I think it is a story that we should pay attention to in that it 1- pertains to all of baseball; 2- pertains to a division rival of the Cubs and 3- could pertain to the Cubs in the future should one of our players find himself in a similar bind with a (presumed) tainted sample or faulty PED test that results in a false positive. The situation has been blogged to death, but I’m sure you can find your way to an opinion or two through Google. Chances are that you may have made up your mind on this issue one way or the other, but try to keep an open mind. As for me, I have no idea if he did take a PED or not, and I don’t know what happened with his sample, but based on what I’ve read, someone done messed up. I’m not entirely sure who is to blame here, but the burden of proof should be on MLB, not Braun, and MLB goofed. Let’s leave it at that.
Now, we need some baseball already.