Hello again, everybody. Baseball games are being played, some with Will Ferrell in them, others without. While spring has begun on the diamond it will be one week before it officially begins. With more daylight, better weather and the NCAA tourney a week away, the winter doldrums have lifted just in time to celebrate a great holiday and go do some Ramblin’.
And that with that, let’s get to it.
• So I go out on a limb, and predict that Jacob Turner will be the fifth starter and before I can hit send on my article, he is on the DL. Wow. That escalated quickly.
• Don’t act like you are not impressed!
• So, apparently a few home runs were hit the other day. Like three in a row? By certain individuals? Did anyone else hear anything about that? It didn’t seem to get a lot of coverage or airtime.
• What I wish most in regards to these three home runs is that I could have witnessed them while hearing Ronnie say, “Walgreens is going to make a BIG, BIG, BIG donation!” That would have really tied it together.
• I wrote last week about Maddon taking the heat and blame off of the players and putting it on himself as he did with Edwin Jackson. He did it again this week with Baez saying it was his fault and the team’s fault, and Baez goes out there the next day and hits a moon shot.
• Guys like playing for managers and coaches like that. They just do. And the Cubs really have one. I just hope they don’t show up for practice one day and a bunting tournament breaks out.
• I know I said Spring Training games don’t matter, and they don’t, but maybe these losses can help temper expectations. Will the Cubs be better than the past three years? Yes. Will they win the World Series? No. Will they make the playoffs? 15-1 at the best.
• If you have read this site for awhile, you know I am not a hater nor a downer, in fact, I am quite the opposite. However, this is not a world championship team yet.
• YET. Do I believe it will be? Yes, I believe the Cubs will be competing hard for the World Series for multiple years. This year is just not one of those years.
• Back to the now. What are they going to do with Castillo? Maddon and management are saying all the right things, but teams do not carry three catchers these days. They did not sign Ross with any intention of cutting him. Castillo will probably be gone.
(No, this is not a challenge to find multiple examples of teams with three catchers on the active roster. If you feel like you want to do so any … I won’t stand in your way.)
• With a surplus of arms, which I know, there is no such thing, but with a surplus of arms, do they ship someone off to Toronto or Texas? Or do hold tight given the events and injuries of the past few years?
• I do not think I have heard Castro’s name once in the past week. That is such a good thing. Such a very, very, very good thing.
• Jorge Soler is a beast. And the scouts and analysts and writers alike all love him. A group on MLB Network was praising his pitch selection and power, and that is a lethal combination. I am really excited about him.
• Seriously, if you can wait until April 17 and save an entire year of control over a Scott Boras client who is also a phenom, then you wait until April 17. There is really no question about it.
• In 11 at-bats, Mike Olt has two homers and five walks. Again, while I know that the spring does not matter, that is nice. He never has fewer strikeouts than walks. This is sure to change, but nice to see, for now.
• If you look as the Cubs hitting stats on MLB.com, Rizzo is literally three lines above Will Ferrell. At this point, all I can think of is the Catalina Wine Mixer!
• At least we know this Will Ferrell gimmick is a joke for a movie, unlike the last gimmick a non-baseball star pulled in Spring Training.
• The last star made us think it was for real, but we wound up realizing that he was playing minor-league baseball to keep busy while serving an 18-month suspension from basketball. Yes, I just went there.
• The Cubs fifth starter will be Tsuyoshi Wada. That is my prediction. If he gets hurt before the weekend, I will just give in and admit that it will be Travis Wood, but I am trying to hold out as long as I can.
Three weeks from Sunday, the regular season gets underway on Easter at Wrigley Field. While this might not be the year, it should be the year baseball becomes fun again on the Northside of Chicago. And because of that, for the first time in forever, when I say “Wait til Next Year” … I truly mean it.
And until next time …
Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!