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Observations, News, and Notes from Cubs Spring Training 2/22

Observations, News, and Notes from Cubs Spring Training 2/22
Limited gallery and observations today as I had a follow-up appointment today with my oncologist and got to the fields late. The news is still good.  No more appointments until June. I did drive directly to the backfields from my appointment and I managed to catch some of the action. I did not bring my... Read more »

The Pasta Summit

The Pasta Summit
Amid a diplomatic crisis a meeting was held in a small Italian restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona. The other diners at Andreoli’s Italian Grocer had little inkling of the dramatic peace talks taking place at the nearby table. What were the stakes of these heated negotiations? Improved relations between the American and Cuban governments? Smoothing over... Read more »

Notes and Pictures from Spring Training 2/21

Notes and Pictures from Spring Training 2/21
A few quick observations and notes from today’s spring workout… Jose Albertos was running laps early as he attempt to get back into shape after making just one start before getting shut down.  He was just taking laps around Field 6. The catchers ran drills today, though not much to note there except that it... Read more »
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Dexter Fowler and "Property"

Dexter Fowler and "Property"
Dexter Fowler unwittingly swatted a hornets’ nest just a couple of days ago and in the process has once again forced us increasingly away from the comfort of looking at professional athletes as one-dimensional automatons who exist solely on the field and then disappear away to wait somewhere for their next on-the-field appearance. His comments... Read more »

Position Players Report: Photos and quick observations

Position Players Report: Photos and quick observations
This was the first full workout as all position players were due to report today.  I cannot think of a player I did not see except for Eloy Jimenez and Ian Happ, though they may have been working out separately. The biggest attraction was live BP and while it’s early, there were still some interesting... Read more »

Five Players to Watch: Rookie and Short Season-A Ball

Five Players to Watch: Rookie and Short Season-A Ball
Author’s Note: The faithful readers of Cubs Den may not be aware that for the past six preseasons, I have presented a series of articles profiling fifteen players that fall outside most Top Twenty lists that I feel can break through to that level of play. The players are broken down into three levels: rookie... Read more »
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Weekend Notes: Contreras, Lester, Schwarber, Arrieta, Bryzzo, and more

Weekend Notes:  Contreras, Lester, Schwarber, Arrieta, Bryzzo, and more
It was a rare rainy weekend as we may have gotten some of that California rain drift over here to Arizona.  Because of that, batting practice and other throwing sessions were done mostly indoors.  It should dry up on Monday but the weather will still be a relatively cool.  It should return to the mid... Read more »

Anarchists' Brunch: So Joe

Anarchists' Brunch: So Joe
I've written about it before, but I found the whole "unveiling" of the Cubs "slogans" this season weird, if not silly, if not downright stupid. And yes, having four slogans is stupid. I don't have to qualify that. You either have one or you just have things you say. In the end, it's probably about just selling t-shirts, which fair enough Maddon puts toward his charity. And there's nothing wrong with that. We knew when Maddon arrived here in the winter before the 2015 season he came from a different place. He didn't just see the game differently than any other Cubs manager, he saw life differently. And that's cool. We certainly can't argue with the results. He's put up exactly 200 wins in two seasons, and the small matter of a certain trophy the Cubs are trying to turn into the Stanley Cup. Still, I can't help but wonder if he's becoming a bit TOO Joe...

Tom Ricketts on the World Series Win, the Traveling Trophy, Construction, Pace of Play, and more

Tom Ricketts on the World Series Win, the Traveling Trophy, Construction, Pace of Play, and more
(Edited 10:30 AM CT) Over 5 years ago I had the chance to interview Tom Ricketts. This was before he hired Theo Epstein, back when the Cubs seemed so far away from the organization we see today.  On that day, he briefly outlined his plan to me, off the record, about how the Cubs were... Read more »
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Camp Competition: Szczur, LaStella lead battle for last position player spot

Camp Competition:  Szczur, LaStella lead battle for last position player spot
There aren’t many things to decide in this camp.  A lot of the competition will be for depth spots at AAA.  Not only will pitchers be vying for a roster spot at Iowa, but a good spring could establish them early at the very top of that depth chart.  While the Cubs have rotation spots... Read more »