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Greetings from Arizona! Catching up with some Cubs news after a 3 day road trip

Greetings from Arizona!  Catching up with some Cubs news after a 3 day road trip
After travelling for 3 straight days, I just wanted to drop a quick note to say we have arrived.  We’ll be staying in Phoenix for a couple of months before moving on to the Gilbert/Mesa area. It was a tremendous trip that I enjoyed immensely.  We sort of shot through Illinois and Missouri then wound... Read more »

Lineup Notes: Baez sent to Iowa along with Bryant and Russell, Bryant Will Play More Outfield, EJax headed to the Pen?

Lineup Notes: Baez sent to Iowa along with Bryant and Russell, Bryant Will Play More Outfield, EJax headed to the Pen?
The Cubs take on the Giants today at Sloan today. Here’s the lineup: Today’s #Cubs lineup: Fowler CF, Coghlan LF, Soler RF, Rizzo 1B, Castro SS, La Stella 3B, Ross C, Hendricks P, Baez 2B. #LetsGo — Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) March 30, 2015  This lineup looks a lot closer to what we’ll see on Opening... Read more »

Baseball in the Movies – “The Natural” (Mike Pusateri - You Can't Be Serious)

Baseball in the Movies – “The Natural”  (Mike Pusateri - You Can't Be Serious)
Our second Guest post comes from frequent commenter Mike Pusateri — aka YouCannotBeSerious. He has some fun Monday morning reflections on a classic movie. Of all the great baseball movies out there, for me, “The Natural” stands alone. It has good guys, bad guys, sex, gambling, Kim Basinger, that guy from “A Christmas Story,” and... Read more »
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Wrigley Renovation Pictures and Cautious Optimism

Wrigley Renovation Pictures and Cautious Optimism
So after hearing the rumors all week about how Wrigley Field was not close to being ready for next Sunday’s Opening Night, I had to check it out for myself yesterday. I’ve seen other people’s pictures and reports, but I needed to see it with my own eyes. I had not been down to Wrigley... Read more »

Lineup Notes: Bryant Back in Left, Ex-Cub Released

Lineup Notes: Bryant Back in Left, Ex-Cub Released
The Cubs play the AL Champion Royals today at 3:05. It will be on Radio and TV in the Chicagoland area as well as available for MLB.tv subscribers. Today’s lineup is: Today’s #Cubs lineup: La Stella 3B, Russell SS, Montero C, Bryant LF, Sweeney RF, Baez 2B, Baxter 1B, Jackson P, Alcantara CF. #LetsGo —... Read more »

Guest Post: Dan Kiefer Looks At Spring Training Records

Guest Post: Dan Kiefer Looks At Spring Training Records
Ed Note: With John somewhere on the road between Chicago and Phoenix, we have some insight from Cubs Den readers. The first comes from Dan Kiefer who looks at whether the Cubs modest spring training record is reason for concern. Does spring training matter?   More specifically, do team won/lost records in Spring Training predict regular... Read more »
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Anarchists Brunch: Prediction Time!

Anarchists Brunch: Prediction Time!
It's hard for me to believe, but this will be the last brunch I write not on a Cubs gameday until October (and possibly into October). I do this on my hockey blog before the season begins, and I always tell the readers there feel free to copy and save these to hang me with in September. So same goes here. Let's see what I see into the future: Cubs Record: 89-73 This is the number I keep landing on. I know it's on the high side of what most project, which is somewhere around 84 or 85. I look a little rosier. We take this 73 win team from last year, and this time we're not cutting out two-fifths of the rotation midseason (though the replacements in Wada and Hendricks last year didn't exactly let anyone down). We hopefully eliminate any starts from Edwin Jackson. The Cubs won't need a month to sort out their pen this time. Soler for a full season, along with the potential of however the combination of Bryant, Baez, Alcantra, Russell, Olt, and whoever else works out. I'm then going to add a pinch of Joe Maddon managing, which has to be worth a few wins over Ricky Ticki Tembo, right? I don't think a 15-game improvement is that outlandish, even with how rarely it happens. In fact, I wouldn't be totally shocked if it was more than that. Is it enough to get into the playoffs? Boy, that's hard to say. I think it puts the Cubs on a pretty even plane with the Pirates but behind the Cardinals (though it might throw a scare into them and begin a I-55 Cold War for the next few years). Then again, the Bucs are counting on A.J. Burnett again and I don't know how many times you can go to that well. Is it enough to beat out the Giants or Dodgers? Probably not? The Marlins in the East? Maybe. All I know is the Cubs will be alive until the last week, which is all I've asked of this season...

Lineup Notes: Cubs Split Squad, Rizzo Leads Off, Doubront Released

Lineup Notes: Cubs Split Squad, Rizzo Leads Off, Doubront Released
The Cubs are going to play two with a split squad today. Both game start at 3:05. The team that will visit the Reds looks like this: #Cubs (SS) at #Reds: Fowler CF, Alcantara 3B, Soler RF, Castro SS, Lake LF, Castillo C, Olt 1B, Germen P, Baez 2B. #LetsGo — Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) March... Read more »

Around the League: Will Wrigley Be Ready?, Castillo Trade, Boras vs. Manfred, Aiken and Spring Notes

Around the League: Will Wrigley Be Ready?, Castillo Trade, Boras vs. Manfred, Aiken and Spring Notes
Eight days away from the first pitch of the 2015 season and there are questions as to how ready Wrigley Field will be next Sunday. Obviously the bleachers will not be completed in time for the opener, but rumors persisted this week that portions of the upper deck and main concourse may not be ready... Read more »
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Could Cubs plans be changing at 3B? Olt continues to look good while Bryant impresses defensively in LF

Could Cubs plans be changing at 3B?  Olt continues to look good while Bryant impresses defensively in LF
I missed the game live last night as we went out for a few drinks last night.  Thanks to those who came out and thanks for the drinks TTP !  It was a fun time. I’m catching up this morning and a couple things seem pretty apparent.   The first one is this: Mike Olt... Read more »