As Spring Training kicks into gear Dan (NorthSideIrish) and I will be providing updates on Cubs news twice a week. Dan as part of his around the league updates and me in this weekly piece. So let's get to the news.
Jonah Keri debuted his power rankings on SI.com this week. Perhaps not surprisingly, he has the Cubs ranked number one on his list. The normally wordy Keri is surprisingly succinct with his Cubs thoughts.
Mike Bryant father of Cubs third baseman/outfielder Kris Bryant talked to Cubs Insider about his son's growth from high school prospect to MVP. Mike, who trains baseball players in Las Vegas, goes into detail about the work Kris put in over the years to improve his game. Also included, are the adjustments the Cubs star made this off-season to attempt to be even better in 2017.
For those of you with HBO subscriptions: Joe Maddon was interviewed by Bryant Gumble for the aptly named Real Sports With Bryant Gumble. Joe invited Bryant to hop on board the Cousin Eddy and to see his Dodge van. Theo Epstein also is interviewed and gives his thoughts on Maddon's decision to pitch Aroldis Chapman in game 6 of the World Series. Here is a preview clip.
Speaking of Theo Epstein, the Cubs President took a little batting practice off of ex-Cub Ryan Dempster. Dempster is making a mini-comeback to pitch for team Canada in the World Baseball Classic. Theo made some pretty hard contact off of Demp. Not sure if that means Theo is good or Dempster thinks it's Game One of the 2008 NLDS (I may still be kind of bitter). Jesse Rodgers of ESPN showed Theo's batting practice homer to Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Javy Baez to get their reactions.
The Cubs victory tour continues this week with the news that David Ross will be a contestant on ABC's Dancing With The Stars. Not surprisingly his old Cubs teammates had a little fun at Rossy's expense. If you are wondering, will I watch? Let me be the first to say I love Grandpa Ross, but it would take some serious cash to get me to watch a dancing show.
Javy Baez displayed his new tattoo (see above) to John Antonoff @baseballinfocus this week. I'm not sure why but this tattoo really speaks to me. Maybe it's because the Cubs won the World Series. Also Javy took an interesting car to work the other day.
Finally, if I told you that Munenori Kawasaki starred in a Japanese soda commercial, is that something you might be interested in? This video features the commercial and some behind the scenes outtakes.