The Chicago Cubs highest-profile addition this winter was starting pitcher Edwin Jackson. The team and fans got their first look at him in game action yesterday, when Jackson threw two scoreless innings against the Colorado Rockies. How did it feel taking the mound for the first time as a Cub?
“Today was pretty much evaluation,” said Jackson, who gave up two hits. “I see where I am with (hitters ) and try different pitches. The first couple starts you come out with a lot of fastballs. A lot of hitters are tracking it and trying to stay up the middle. I try to keep the ball down, working on things whatever they may be.”
“I am pretty comfortable everywhere,” Jackson said. “This is not my first rodeo. I have been around the game. I have been fortunate enough to join loose clubhouses. This is definitely one of the clubhouses where everybody is having fun and taking care of business at the same time. That makes it easier to fit in and get acclimated with everything that is going on.”
Will he be taking a leadership role as one of the top starters on the team?
“If someone wants to give me that role that is fine,” he said. “I am not trying to come in and take over any ship. Everyone will be communicating, and I like to lead by example. I am not really vocal, but I can be if they need me. I just want to come in and handle business.”
Sounds like Edwin is serious about both handling and taking care of business.
In other news of taking care of business, MLB security officials met with Cubs players and gave them a few lessons, including being careful on social media (no word on whether Ian Stewart attended).
“Protect yourself against Twitter, protect yourself against domestic abuse, protect yourself against social media, protect yourself against this and that,” second baseman Darwin Barney said.
Protect yourself against Twitter. It only seeks to hurt you. I’ll bet they mentioned Manti T’eo, didn’ t they?
“They put up a picture about it, but they didn’t need to go into depth about it,” Barney said. “It was nothing we didn’t already know. It was just kind of ‘see what can happen.’ You just never know how much it can affect your life. Everyone is watching because of who you are and what you do.”
Darwin also informed us that the Cubs are paying cab fares for all players this spring. Hopefully any who go out and get ripped have the good sense to take them up on it.
“The Cubs have a program this year in Arizona,” Barney said. “They will cover all our fairs. They have a taxi driver that will come pick you up and drive you home in your car. And it’s for free. You have to be careful out here.”
That’s the “Don’t Be Mark Grace” program.