Cubs, Sox Monday spring-training report
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We are a week into spring training, and it’s already feeling like baseball season in Chicago.
Even with the cooler temperatures creeping back into Chicago, baseball fans are ready. To keep you warmed up, we put together a gallery of pics from Cubs camp, thanks to our Arizona-based photographer, John Antonoff. (Remember to click the red GALLERY box to begin the show.)
Check out our post today from Gordon Wittenmyer on left-hander Brett Anderson, who has gone from calling Cubs fans “[bleeping] idiots” to trying to win them over. If he does his job in the bullpen, that should do the trick. If he doesn’t … look out!
Just in this afternoon, HBO shared some clips of its upcoming segment of “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel” that feature president Theo Epstein and manager Joe Maddon. Great stuff from both on the hiring of Maddon and some of those decisions during the World Series.
Our Steve Greenberg continues his trip around Florida and caught up with Bryce Harper and the Nationals. Harper makes it clear he wants his National League MVP award back from Kris Bryant, and the Nationals are plotting to knock the Cubs off their perch in the NL.
While he was in Nationals camp, Greenberg also caught up with former Cubs manager Dusty Baker. As expected, Baker has plenty of thoughts concerning the Cubs and their historic World Series run last season.
Our Rick Morrissey examines how Cubs teammates saved Jason Heyward from the wrath of Chicago fans last fall. “Honestly, man, it’s tough to beat our fans in sports across the world,’’ Heyward said.
For all of us worried about this talk centering on Kyle Schwarber and catching, Schwarber has set the record straight. He wants all those reps behind the plate in spring training to make himself available as an emergency third catcher — not for any role greater than that. But there’s no question Schwarber considers himself a catcher.
OK, now a pop quiz: Name the first Cub to win the World Series MVP award? Time’s up.
Did you guess Ben Zobrist? It’s hard to remember, considering all of the valuable performances we saw last fall. (And remember, they didn’t have the World Series MVP award back in 1908.) Zobrist has been cruising around the Phoenix valley this spring training in his trophy car. And manager Joe Maddon says his Series MVP will be getting more rest this season.
Over in the White Sox’ camp, order has been restored, a year after the Drake La Roche affair. Our Daryl Van Schouwen reported this morning that there is a sense of strong team chemistry with the rebuilding White Sox.
Jose Abreu is wrapping his mind around the idea that he will be getting more rest, serving as the Sox’ designated hitter more this season.
The Sox got some bad news over the weekend with the injury to Charlie Tilson, who was the top candidate to steal the No. 1 job in center field.
Finally, around the horn on Twitter …