Hello again, everybody. Real games are so close I can almost taste them. Well, to be fair, I just had some hot dogs, so I like, literally just tasted baseball. And yes, I am very well aware that is an erroneous use of “literally.”
The North Side is abuzz with the excitement of baseball, video boards and construction helmets. With the distractions of the offseason, it is hard to imagine real baseball is less than 72 hours away, but the year is here, so it is time to get down to BRASS TACKS and go rambling on the final Friday of the off-season.
• I love how I swore up and down a pole all off-season and through Spring Training that the Cubs would not break camp with three catchers on the roster. They are breaking camp with three catchers on the roster.
• Never go to Vegas with me.
• Well, actually, go to Vegas with me and do the opposite. Just be perfectly Seinfeldian, and you will win.
• While everyone drooled over Bryant, I must say my surprise of the spring was definitely Matt Szczur. He hit .362 with 5 homers, 9 RBI and 3 steals. He should be on that roster Sunday evening.
• No offense to Ryan Sweeney, but we know who Ryan Sweeney is in the Bigs. He is a serviceable fifth outfielder. We have no idea who Szczur is. I’d rather get to know Matt Szczur.
• I am really pulling for Mike Olt. I would love to see him rip apart April. Wouldn’t that be fun? I mean, really. How great would that be?
• I am also pulling for him because the lineup does not look very good without Bryant. There remains a heavy reliance on Castro and Rizzo. There is also a big assumption Soler is just going to be mashing from day one and not get hurt.
• To continue this thought, Fowler is a career .271 hitter. While his career OBP is an impressive .366, he is not going to change everything. After these guys, there could be a discernable drop-off in not just capability, but more directly, offensive production.
• If you are not already enjoying the annoying palaver over Kris Bryant and service time, just wait until Baez starts tearing it up in Iowa.
• This courtesy of BPSI: Baez currently has 55 days of service time. If the Cubs want to preserve another year, they only have to wait until June 10 to call him up. Just imagine if he is hitting .350 with 12 homers on June 1. The cacophonous sounds of the pundits will be downright shrilling. And that does not even include self-appointed Chicago comedian Jon Greenberg.
• With that said, the La Stella trade is looking better every day.
• Regarding service time, I do not recall this level of outrage over George Springer. Or how about Carlos Rodon and the White Sox?
• Or is this because the big bad Ricketts and their boy Theo have done a lot more right than wrong, and now that things seem to be on the precipice, it is time to start hating on the successful. Man, that just gets old so fast.
• Hey, remember when the Ricketts family was broke. Good times, guys, such good times. ****SARCASM****
• The fact that these apparently inaccurate statements could be made without any repercussion is beyond me. It is reprehensible and irresponsible. (And If I am wrong in the end, then shame on me. A big shame on me. And if it happens, I will own it.)
• I am very grateful that I will be at the game on Sunday night, but I am very curious to see how it will look on television. I drove by Wrigley yesterday, and while it is rather hard to imagine that there will be some 33,000 people there watching a game on Sunday, I really have no doubt it will work. (Yes, I enjoy using “I.” I will continue to make it about me as often as I can.)
• However, I must say, given the nature of the revelers on Clark Street, there best be an unbelievable amount of security surrounding Wrigley Field Sunday night, and throughout the entire season. The amount of construction is simply astounding.
• Alright, the season starts Sunday, so here are my two crazy predictions:
• Rizzo will be in the hunt for the MVP (not too crazy), and Arietta will win the Cy Young. (Off my rocker kind of crazy. Please accept the absence of hyphens.)
So there you have it. Give it to us. What do you think? I want to hear all of your crazy predictions below. Beyond the normal debates and discussions of the day, please take a minute to throw out some your thoughts and predictions. Please let us all enjoy them.
Happy Opening Weekend to all!
And until next time …
Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!