I’ve spent the last twelve hours trying to figure out what I missed while in a Tamiflu-induced coma for the last four days. Looks like it’s been a mixed bag as far as the Chicago Cubs are concerned. On the one hand, the Cubs managed to get everyone’s feathers aruffled about the (non-existent) possibility of them moving to Rosemont. On the other hand, Scott Baker, Matt Garza, and Ian Stewart.
Let’s dive in, shall we?
If you’re wondering where the big to-do about the Cubs moving to Rosemont started, look no further than Dave Kaplan, who wrote this little bit up yesterday:
Rosemont mayor Brad Stephens told me this morning in a CSNChicago exclusive that he is willing to give the Cubs and the Ricketts family a 25-acre parcel of land in the village that is a prime piece of real estate large enough to accommodate a new ballpark as well as parking and anything else the Ricketts family would desire to have as a part of the new complex.
This, hilariously, prompted Chet Coppock to tweet:
Which was mean and petty, but also very true. And so I laughed and laughed.
And laughed. Because, as much as you know Tom Ricketts is dying to stick it to Tom Tunney, the rooftop owners,and the jerks who moved into Wrigleyville and got all upset about there being, like, a ballpark there, no way in hell are the Cubs are moving anywhere. And they’re especially not moving out of the City of Chicago, because, to do that, they’d have to go through Rahm Emanuel. And as Eric Massa knows, you don’t want to have to go through Rahm, with our without his clothes on. Let’s take a moment to reflect on what Eric Massa thinks of Rahm’s. . uh . . . nature:
He reserved his most excoriating stuff for Emanuel, whom he called “son of the devil’s spawn” on his weekly radio show Sunday.
“He is an individual who would sell his mother to get a vote. He would strap his children to a front end of a steam locomotive,” Massa said. Illustrating his point, he told the story of how he winded up in an argument with the chief of staff while they were both naked in the congressional gym showers.
So we can debate and wonder and, dare I say, dream about what it would be like for the Cubs to build their very own Target Field-esque mega-ballpark at the end of the Blue Line, but let’s be realistic. Ten years from now, you’ll all still be hauling your tired asses to Clark and Addison. All we can do it hope for larger seats to put them in and some better food. And maybe a pennant banner or two flying over head.
Speaking of things falling apart, let’s turn our attention to the starting rotation, which has already done broke ‘n such. As some of you may have heard, Scott Baker lasted exactly six hitters before winding up in enough pain that the Cubs sent him for a “precautionary” MRI. At this point, I think it’s fair to beg the question of what, exactly, the Cubs think “precautionary” means, because everyone sent for a “precautionary” MRI winds up on the DL.
Stewart, meanwhile, was hurt in the first intra-squad game of spring training back in February. He played in a minor league game last week but felt too sore to try again. Sveum wouldn’t characterize it as a setback for Stewart.
“It’s definitely stalled,” Sveum said. “We have a small window for him to be ready, but obviously that window is getting ready to shut [as far as being ready] for Opening Day.”
Stewart signed a one-year, $2 million non-guaranteed contract in the offseason after missing most of last year due to wrist surgery. He can be cut before Opening Day for a termination fee but more than likely he’ll start the year on the disabled list. Luis Valbuena is penciled in as the starter on Opening Day. Infielders Edwin Maysonet and Alberto Gonzalez have a chance at making the team if Stewart can’t play right away.
Raise your hand if you can’t believe the Cubs haven’t cut Ian Stewart lose already. Is everyone’s hand up? Good. Now if we could only get Jed and Theo to raise their hands, too.
If Ian Stewart starting the year on the DL isn’t insulting enough, Matt Garza feels blessed to not have to pitch for the Cubs:
The Cubs shut down Garza for most of the second half of last season with a “stress reaction” in his right elbow.
“My elbow was fine in December when I first started throwing,” he said. “I wouldn’t have started if it wasn’t okay. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise, 24 days without throwing is more time for it to rest.
“So it’s kind of a bonus, but not the bonus I wanted.”
I feel him. My four-day flu coma was kind of a blessing, too. Four days in which I didn’t have to write about this shambles of a baseball team. It was kind of a bonus, but not the bonus I wanted.
And, because there isn’t a big enough dearth of players I actually want to watch on this team right now, the Cubs sent Soler and Baez away, presumably so that Cubs fans will stop getting so excited about all the fun things they’ve been doing so far:
PEORIA, Ariz. — Jorge Soler and Javier Baez, the much-ballyhooed future of the Cubs, got their first spring-training sendoffs with some praise from their manager and some advice from a veteran.
The prospects, 21 and 20, respectively, are expected to report to camp with Class A Daytona after they were officially trimmed from the big league clubhouse Monday.
In their final game, Soler batted third and Baez fourth.
Soler wound up hitting .222 in 17 games, including just two hits in his final 20 at-bats.Baez produced seven hits in his final 16 at-bats, counting his two-homer game in an exhibition against Japan. In 16 games, he tied for the team lead in RBIs with 10 and led the team with four homers, one short of the major league lead.
Edwin Jackson, on the other hand, seems to be the only person making any effort to keep us interested these days. He was great yesterday:
PEORIA, Ariz. — Edwin Jackson allowed one run over six innings Monday and Dave Sappelt hit a three-run home run as the Cubs defeated the Padres, 5-2, at the Peoria Sports Complex.
Jackson allowed one run on three hits with one walk and three strikeouts, as he won his first game of the spring. Jackson, who agreed to a four-year, $52 million deal with the Cubs in January, was also pursued by the Padres during this past offseason.
Monday was Jackson’s best outing of the spring.
“I’m just trying to progress as the season goes on,” Jackson said. “I’m just trying to get closer to game mode as we get closer to the end of March, and I’m just trying to keep the ball rolling in a positive direction right on into the season.”
Thanks for caring, Edwin.
So, to recap everything that happened while I was away, the Cubs stalemate with Tom Tunney will continue, despite Dave Kaplan’s best efforts to kick-start negotiations, the Cubs’ starting rotation has been decimated and Matt Garza feels blessed not to be a part of it, and Ian Stewart is sitting around collecting money for reasons yet undetermined.
But hey, it’s not all bad, Cubs fans! It’s March Madness, and the Indiana Hoosiers have the number one seed in the East. There’s still time to enter LOHO’s Bracket Buster challenge. Winner will get a Cubs prize to be determined by me. For what it’s worth, this is what I’ve got my eye on:
You know you want it. Enter here.
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