As I motor on in my current (new) job and am about to take on another (part-time) job, I realized that I haven’t touched this blog since January, so it’s time to start doing something again, especially with the regular season almost upon us.
Since last we spoke, the Cactus League season appeared to start on time, and the weather for the most part has looked good down in Arizona. Alas, the pandemic continues to be an issue, and while the Cubs have been adhering to safety protocols for the most part, not everyone has been as stringent:
Pedro Strop is mostly there as a clubhouse presence and leader, but this unfortunately is not emblematic of good leadership. Very curious to see what he has to say about this, but Pedro isn’t the only person I’ve seen doing questionable things during a time when we should really be trying to avoid other people. Oh well. At least Cubs manager David Ross is keeping a tight rein on things in camp otherwise:
On the field, it is great to see the now-plethora of starting options doing well in their first tune ups of the spring. It is also great to see the hitters getting in their hits, particularly Nico Hoerner, who was a Gold Glove finalist last season and seems to be on a groove so far. Nico will be trying his best to argue his case for avoiding Iowa when the season starts, although once the minor league season does start, if he still needs work, I’m guessing that will be a real option for the Cubs.
I know the Cubs didn’t do a whole lot this offseason to improve the team, and did likely make the team significantly worse in the short run by trading Yu Darvish. The early projections don’t look all the good for the Cubs this season, but I do like seeing that everyone in putting in their work, and with the right breaks, this iteration of the Cubs could still be competitive in a still-weak division.
With Jake Arrieta starting on this press-time Sunday, I figure it might be time to restart our Dreamcast too. Now to just find a guest or two to hang out with me, which might be hard as I am at least two hours behind most everyone who dwells within the Cubs blogosphere, and I still have that day job. One really wishes that the Cubs and Marquee would televise every spring training game, although the pandemic may have something to do with that, but perhaps they will get that done before next spring when we hope things will be more normal, relatively speaking.
I, like many of you, spent the past year-plus afraid that I would catch the coronavirus, and even more afraid that I would inadvertently infect my family and friends. Unfortunately for myself and my wife, we are not afforded the luxury of working from home. Thankfully, with a stimulus bill on the verge of ratification and a vaccine pipeline that is ramping up, we might be able to feel just slightly safer. No, not safe enough to open everything back up like the before-times, but at least a reduction in the risk of contracting and spreading the disease further. Just today, my wife got the great news that she would be eligible for the vaccine, and we set an appointment in a week to get some new antibodies propagating in her system (YAY). My son and I probably won’t get anything until May, but we feel better knowing that at least one of us will be better protected. It’s also good to know that Anno and his family already got the vaccine and should stay safe on their end.
I don’t imagine that the reopening of Wrigley Field and whatever they call the Cell now is the best idea, particularly if they want to cram over 10000 fans (plus the hundreds of employees) in there even at limited capacity. But I do hope that everyone will take their proper precautions and try to prevent further transmission. I suppose we will see how the next month goes, and whether certain states deciding to open up soon triggers another wave, or if the vaccine will outpace any spread and variants by then.
As for this blog, I realize that it hasn’t been ideal for any of us (we here at WSD and you who continue to hang out with us). I’d like to try to write more, but I also realize that we are smaller and are relative white noise compared to the Cubs juggernaut blogs and the usual slate of beat writers. So whoever continues to hang with us, thanks, and I’ll try to do better as we continue to weather life during this pandemic, and just life in general. See you soon.