The Cubs got blown out by the Reds late on Saturday, but there were some positives. Edwin Jackson pitched better than his line suggested. I really liked the way he hammered the strike zone and the movement and zip on the pitches. Anthony Rizzo also did well against lefty Tony Cingrani:
Mike Olt got to play third base again but didn’t have a lot to do, only fielding one well-played bunt hit and not really making any throws. In minor league camp, Starlin Castro got in some work, including a pair of doubles while getting his legs under him:
Castro to deep right center for a double https://t.co/oDrX03Xbx8
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) March 22, 2014
Castro is expected to be ready for Opening Day, and should be getting more minor league at-bats while adding defensive duties to his workload. Some Cubs won’t be joining him though as the team made another round of cuts. Here’s some good news about Kyuji Fujikawa:
Neil Ramirez sent to Triple-A, roster now at 36..Fujikawa progressing…Live BP for him soon.
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) March 23, 2014
The Dodgers and Diamondbacks concluded their opening series Down Under. The Dodgers blew out the Diamondbacks as Adrian Gonzalez stole a base and a couple other guys got TOOTBLAN happy. Both teams used up nearly their entire bullpens since they have a week to get reacclimated to North America time, so why not (oh wait, both teams still have spring training games to play after their Opening Day series before playing in the regular season, that makes sense). Not really sure how folks stateside felt about this novelty series (that actually counts in the records) but the Aussies certainly seemed to enjoy it.
The Cubs visit the Oakland A’s on Sunday, first pitch at 3:05 PM Central. The game will be broadcast on TV at the old WGN, while the audio can be heard on MLB.com.
#Cubs vs A’s Bonifacio CF, Lake LF, Valbuena 2B, Olt 3B, Kalish RF, Roberts 1B, Kottaras C, Barney SS, Coghlan DH. Hammel P
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) March 23, 2014
Note Emilio Bonifacio in center field, that’s fun.
This was before the days of Wrigley Field, the era of Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and Frank Chance. The Cubs were defending their World Series title, and this was the third consecutive pennant for the National League powerhouse in the early going of the World Series setup. I wrote up something over two years ago, before Theo Epstein was officially hired, about what it might have been like to watch this World Series as the Cubs defeated the Detroit Tigers yet again.
The ironic thing I read is that despite the Cubs being such a strong, dynastic team, baseball wasn’t as big back then as it is now and so the 1908 World Series was actually the least attended of all time. Something about a ticket scalping scandal too. This is funny because scalpers these days are probably having trouble even giving away their tickets since the current incarnation of the Cubs are in a major rebuild.
In addition to the three infielders, Hall of Famer Mordecai Brown held up his end of the bargain in keeping the Detroit offense silent through most of the series. Orval Overall pitched in the clincher and appropriately also shut the Tigers out, even with one of the greatest players of all time in Ty Cobb. Joe Tinker had the only home run in the entire series, back when chicks didn’t dig the long ball as much (or maybe humans just weren’t as strong, the baseball wasn’t as juiced, etc).
It’s such a bummer that video didn’t exist back then, and that there weren’t more pictures. But nobody can ever take those back-to-back championships away from the Cubs. Now if they could just win another one for us long-suffering fans…
8 more sleeps.