Wait, MLB has a “Mercy Rule?” You sure miss a lot when you are called away from the game you love for a few days.
I got a late start today due to some technical issues, I’m using Microsoft Edge for the first time in my life, and I missed a few days due to job requirements. That said, I’m just going to go through some time-honored clichés to start today’s column.
“I’m just happy to be here. Hope I can help the ball club.”
— Sporting News MLB (@sn_mlb) April 18, 2019
“I’m happy to get the first one [on Edge] under my belt. It’s, like, out there, man. Like, really, really out there, in a totally tubular sort of way.”
“I’m just happy to be here, and I hope I can help the Cubs Insider team.”
“I expect to contribute if given the chance, and that’s all I’m asking for really, is a chance.”
“I’m not exactly sure what to write about today so I’m just gonna take it one word at a time.”
“I’m just as valuable to the team when I’m on the sidelines as when I’m out here producing.”
“It’s a long season. Writers should be forgiven if they need to sit a day or two at times.”
“Sure the spring games are meaningful, but it’s what I deliver once the regular season starts that ultimately matters.”
“CI management has my back. Absolutely.”
“I never turned down a $200 million extension offer. In fact, no such offer was presented to me.”
“I’m not worried about an extension. When the time comes, my agent will sit down with Evan and Jon and I’m sure we’ll work something out.”
“The rumors that I am being shopped to other MLB blogs are patently false. The Brewers speculation is not true. I spoke with Evan after I got a mysterious text, he denied that anything was imminent, and I’m in a good place right now, looking forward to the ’21 season.”
“Sometimes you write, sometimes you don’t, and sometimes it rains. Think about that.”
Someone texted me yesterday and asked if I had quit writing here or had been fired, which I found amusing. I’ll be here until I die, I’m sure, hopefully a couple decades down the road.
In case you’re wondering, I did have a note for missing the last two days, and truth be told, I was really (wink, wink) meeting with a clandestine society of unnamed MLB executives to discuss the upcoming CBA.
“Please excuse Michael Edward Pedro Phillipo de Huevos Canter for missing his last two assignments. He was kidnapped by the jet-set and left tied up on a lawn in Winnetka.” Signed, Canter’s Mother
Cubs News & Notes
- Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot declined to give specifics on plans for attendance at both Wrigley Field and Guaranteed Rate Field, and may not approve fans for the start of the regular season.
- A limited number of fans are allowed to attend Cubs games in Arizona and that has provided a little bit of normalcy to the exhibition games.
- What is not normal is MLB’s “mercy rule” and games that can be completed after five innings at the discretion of the opposing managers.
- Members of the team’s core know they need to pick it up after last season to silence any notion that the Cubs may conduct some sort of “White Flag” sale ahead of this year’s trade deadline.
- Adbert Alzolay and Nico Hoerner had strong 2021 debuts in yesterday’s Cactus League action.
- The Cubs beat the Royals 3-2 in their Sloan Park Cactus League debut.
- It appears the Cubs are counting on Hoerner to win the job as the team’s everyday second baseman.
- The Cubs are one of 11 teams that will send representatives to a workout conducted by free agent outfielder Yoenis Céspedes and his agent. Seems like an unlikely fit.
- Shelby Miller believes he can help the Cubs this year, and signed with Chicago because he believes the team offers him the best opportunity to start or work in a swingman role.
- Ryan Tepera was added to the roster yesterday and the team DFA’d Duane Underwood, Jr. to open a spot for the returning reliever.
Odds & Sods
When I was a kid, I loved playing Bounce or Fly against our garage and Wiffle Ball in the alley behind my first home near 63rd & Kedzie.
“Old Days”One was used on City Streets and Playgrounds,the other,Popular in Backyards.Both were Spring and Summer Necessities.#1960s #1970s #Summer #BaseBall #nostalgia #Spaldeen pic.twitter.com/HuEIWr2Nxf
— Tom's Old Days (@sigg20) March 3, 2021
Spring Training News & Notes
MLB is reportedly delaying the start of the AAA season by at least one month and teams across the league will deploy alternate sites while their affiliates remain on mandated hiatus.
Cleveland manager Terry Francona is in PR recovery mode after allegations of more alleged sexual misconduct by Mickey Callaway while he was with the
Indians were made public by the manager’s son. Callaway was Francona’s pitching coach from 2013-17.
Francona countered, saying neither he nor the organization covered for Callaway.
Pujols has not made a decision about retiring, indicating that he is not even going to think about until this season is complete.
The Yankees have a switch-hitting 18-year-old shortstop in camp drawing comparisons to Mike Trout, which can’t make Gleyber Torres feel very comfortable about his long-term prospects with the Bombers.
We’re just a few days into the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues and writers are already speculating about potential mid-season deals. In case you’re wondering, the only Cubs player to make this particular list is Craig Kimbrel.
Play ball! pic.twitter.com/QLCTTUrolJ
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) March 2, 2021
They Said It
- “I think there will be a point sometime this season where you’ll see fans in the stands at both Wrigley [Field] and Guaranteed Rate Field, which I still call Sox Park. I think they’ve come up with very good plans, and when we are ready, we will announce what the future will look like for the potential spectators in the stands. – Mayor Lightfoot
- “I kind of got away from baseball, mentally. Our hunger kind of slowed down.” – Javier Baez
- “Whatever my role is, I’m always going to try to be a guy who can adapt to any situation. However I can help, I’m willing to do.” – Shelby Miller
Wednesday Walk Up Song
Take Me Out to the Ball Game by Dr. John – If you’ve watched Baseball by Ken Burns, you’re probably familiar with this wonderful version of baseball’s wonderful standard.