Cubs, White Sox Wednesday spring training report
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It’s time to let go.
Losing used to be a way of life at Wrigley Field. Cubs fans were wallowing in a culture of losing. Being “lovable losers” was a badge of honor that Cubs fans — somehow — wore proudly.
You’re better than that.
The Cubs are World Series champs. And no matter what happens this summer, they get to wear that title proudly all season. Let’s celebrate that and forget about the 108-year gap between titles.
The best way to forget: Take down that Eamus Catuli sign beyond the right-field wall. It has been there marking futility for more than 20 years. It was cute and fun and even Cubs nemesis A.J. Pierzynski thought it was funny — in a cruel, A.J. kind of way.
It long ago served its purpose as a puzzle. Eamus Catuli is supposed to mean “Let’s go, Cubs” in Latin, only if you failed Latin in high school. But we’ll go along with the premise as long as the Old Style is flowing. The sign also featured these cryptic symbols: AC (loosely translated to Anno Catulit or Year of the Cubs), then a series of digits.
Last year, the sign read: AC 0071108
The numbers meant years since winning the division (00), years since winning the National League pennant (71) and years since winning the World Series (108).
The folks at the Lakeview Baseball Club recently changed the sign to read AC0000000. Get it?
Here’s a better idea: Take it down completely. The Cubs need to close the book completely on their futile past. The sign assumes more failure in the future.
And if you trust the odds-makers, there should be no failure this season. Bovada has just released its projected win totals for all 30 major-league teams. The Cubs are projected to win 95 1/2 games, tops in all of the majors. The top seven after the Cubs: Dodgers (93 1/2), Red Sox (92 1/2), Indians (92 1/2), Nationals (90 1/2), Astros (89 1/2), Mets (88 1/2) and Giants (87 1/2).
As for the White Sox … they are near the bottom, tied with the Brewers for second-to-last at 69 1/2. The Padres are dead last at 66 1/2.
I PITY THE DANCING FOOL
Former Cubs catcher David Ross is teed up as one of the next contestants on “Dancing With the Stars” and is set to face off against Chicago’s very own Mr. T.
Of course, this news spread quickly through the Cubs’ clubhouse this morning in Mesa, Ariz. Anthony Rizzo’s advice to Ross: “Don’t suck.”
As Kris Bryant said: “We can’t get away from him. We’re going to turn on the TV, and he’s going to be there.”
Javy Baez has a fair amount of ink art to display, and his latest piece is a doozy: A Cubs World Series emblem for his left shoulder.
If you didn’t already love Baez before, you will now once you see his latest tattoo.
Our Rick Telander finds it amusing how ink has becoming the new gold medal in sports. A gem from Rick’s column: “In baseball, you’ve got heavily tattooed players such as Brett Lawrie, Josh Hamilton, Yadier Molina and former White Sox pitcher Mat Latos, whom I enjoyed ‘reading’ last year at spring training when he sat around one day in the locker room, shirt off, watching TV and chatting about his just-finished performance.”
By the way, it’s not baseball-related, but if you missed Rick Telander’s amazing series on the Orr Academy basketball team thriving in one of Chicago’s bloodiest neighborhoods, check out this powerful package.
ABREU TAKES THE STAND
Slugger Jose Abreu is out of the White Sox camp today and in Miami, where he is expected to testify as a prosecution witness in federal court at the trial for a sports agent and trainer accused of smuggling Cuban players into the U.S. so they could sign lucrative contracts.
Should be an interesting trial, so check our site for updates.
AROUND THE HORN ON TWITTER