As the Chicago Cubs enjoy their off day while in transit to Cincinnati to play the Mighty Reds (who as of this moment are in a bit of an offensive funk of their own), I enjoyed a very nice baseball weather day of my own. It was in the mid-60s out with the sun smiling warmly upon us as we did infield drills and batting practice. One does wonder how it is to do the same drills on freshly manicured grass and tightly pressed dirt rather than the jungles of Chicago park infields and outfields, plus the potholes and divots of the infield dirt that make would-be routine plays veer perpendicularly away from a fielder. Alas, absent of paying a lot of money for a fantasy camp, I won’t ever get that feeling. But it was a good day.
It was definitely a better day because the Cubs won on Wednesday to end their home stand, and we did get a chance to squeeze in a quick Dreamcast to shoot the breeze about the Cubs saving their season. And it just so happens that I am tuning in to the MLB.tv free game of the day, which is between the Baltimore Orioles and the same Mighty Reds that the Cubs will battle this weekend. Should the Orioles decide to bust out their bats, then the Cubs would enter their series only half a game back of first place. It doesn’t mean anything in this small sample of games, but the Cubs are quite fortunate that even with their mini-slump (so far), nobody in the division has been able to take advantage.
Over a month later, the MLBTR folks ran their free agent rankings again, which reminded me that I wrote about the Cubs’ financial flexibility at that point. We also need to figure out what the Cubs intend to do with their enviable roster crunch, because there are some useful players on the bubble that will be on the outside looking in very soon. So every now and then I keep trying to finagle the roster in my head, adding and subtracting guys as their contracts expire, leave for free agency, or could potentially get traded. Maybe it will be easier to attract free agents now that the Cubs home clubhouse is a pleasure resort, and the team is built to win for years to come. And maybe they’ll just want to play for one of the most influential men in the world, even. Players who are dedicated to improving their communities might be interested in the fact that the Cubs helped raise over $2MM with their recent Bricks and Ivy Ball prior to traveling to Ohio.
Soon after the Cubs come home to Wrigley Field, I will get to see my first game at the improved ball park this season. But the weekend they are in Boston, I will be leading a troop of students to volunteer at the Race to Wrigley. I’m not looking forward to waking up in the dead of night to get to our volunteer stations on time, but I am excited about getting the kids to do something fun and supportive within their community. Maybe I can even get some of them to talk about their experiences on the Dreamcast. Plus, since there’s no game that day and the alderman can’t keep me out, I’ll be able to mill around the stadium and perhaps see the trophy and rings before I head home.
There are lots of good things still to come for us baseball fans this season, so especially on an off day, the anticipation really fuels me to get through the weeks until summer break.