Hello again, everybody. It is nice to be back in the saddle with some actual baseball being played. Sure, the outcomes don’t matter, and the spring games really tell us nothing, but baseball is back, and Opening Night is right around the corner.
So, lets get down to the BRASS TACKS and going rambling on this fine, fantastic and fruitful Friday.
• Kyle Schwarber going yard for a granny on his birthday. Strong. Stylish. Strapping. Stud.
• I read the first bullet in my head with Jim Rome’s voice. It works a lot better that way. In fact, it’s … phenomenal.
• And Mike Olt with a bomb. As I said above, we don’t really learn a great deal from the spring, as proven by Joe Mather, Bobby Hill, Brian Bogusevic, etc. But Mike Olt could use this spring to prove me and many others wrong. I love contradicting myself. I’m really good at it, among other things.
• Olt is the classic afterthought being shown up by the latest and greatest. And no, he did not put up numbers like Kris Bryant, but he was once touted in many similar ways.
• In talking about E-Jax, Joe Maddon proved why he is loved by many and widely considered one of the best in the game. He supported him, and told the masses Jackson is still developing. He straight up helped and praised his guy when few would. He turned the story on its head.
• Thursday was the first day of games, and we are already seeing the mental advantage our dugout might have. Now this will be nothing compared to the schematic advantage Notre Dame had with Chucky Weis as their head coach, but it should still be something special.
• And when ESPN Chicago writer and self-appointed comedian Jon Greenberg doesn’t blame the Cubs, then trust me, it is not the Cubs fault.
• Greenberg has every right to his opinion. He is extremely tough on the Cubs and their organization, but after a thorough walk-thru of Wrigley, he was in awe about how much was actually being done. And he was very clear; the delays are not on the Cubs.
• Remember when the Ricketts family was terrible, broke and hated the Cubs? Ahhhhhhhh, good times.
• We are a little less than a month away from a huge debate. HUGE. If Kris Bryant has a good spring, and does not break camp with the big league club, the riots will be scene from space.
• However, according to Best Pal Sports, Inc. (BPSI), if the Cubs wait NINE games to bring him up, they will gain an extra year of control. That is an entire year. Remember, folks, Mr. Scott Boras is his agent. We do not know where this club will be in seven years, and I willing to go nine games to earn an extra year of control.
• I am very pleased with the team’s approach to the pen. Rondon was solid last year, and Ramirez was a workhorse. Strop has talent, and I am a fan of the Phil Coke signing.
• While other teams might have reached for relievers at $35 or $45 million, the Cubs have saved that money and can direct it to other resources, specifically starting pitching.
• And starting pitching is what the Cubs need. And starting pitching is what there will be a plethora of in free agency come November.
• $46 million, or $11.5 per year for David Robertson. That is a lot of money for someone who appeared in 64.1 innings last year, and has never logged more than 66.2 innings in one season.
• If baseball is going deep into the numbers, what is the return on investment for this signing. David Robertson will, at best, appear in 5% of the innings his team plays this year. And he will make $11.5 million for that. Amazing.
• All this is to say, that the Cubs approach to the bullpen is sound both fiscally and athletically. They have multiple guys that have proved themselves. Also, let’s be real, how many closers have had two great years and then fizzled out. Hundreds? Wow, I bet you guys weren’t expecting a Ramblings about bullpen matters on this fine day.
• Who wins the battle for the fifth starter? Speaking of, do you think Travis Wood regrets declining his contract offer? I am going to go with Jacob Turner. I feel he his Bosio’s next reclamation project, and if he can turn it around, what a pick-up and what a possible impact.
• Many of you that read the CCO know I have season tickets. I do not say this to brag, but I say it to tell a story about Thursday. I had a chance to call in for a season-ticket holder presale for all 81 games yesterday morning, in case I wanted to purchase any more tickets. I have a few friends who would love to go to Opening Night without paying $400 on Stubhub. I told them I would try to see what I could do. I logged in three seconds after it opened. There were approximately nine different pricing tiers. There were no tickets available that were next to each other in any tier in the entire stadium. Opening Day is the night of Easter Sunday. It will be 24 degrees. All I have to say about the excitement this team has generated in six months is … HOLY CUBBIE KOOL-AID!
Happy Friday and happy weekend to all of you. Be safe, enjoy the extra sunlight come Sunday evening … also, you’re welcome for not using “Spring Forward” in the headline today.
And until next time …
Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!