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Opening Day is Here…Sort Of

Written by , Posted in General

It’s game day for the Cubs. Today is the first step on the journey to a repeat championship. Honestly, did you ever think you’d read that sentence? I sure did not ever think I’d type it when I started this blog back in 2003, but nevertheless we’re here. Let’s get you caught up on everything that went on in the news yesterday as we look forward to the action this afternoon.

The Lineup Card(s)

The Cubs have two games slated for today. One against the Giants and one with the A’s. Both games are at 3pm EDT and the game against the A’s will be on MLB.tv. The lineups for both are out and look like this:

Against the A’s – Mike Montgomery (SP)

  1. Jason Heyward – RF
  2. Kris Bryant – 3B
  3. Anthony Rizzo – 1B
  4. Ben Zobrist – 2B
  5. Addison Russell – SS
  6. Willson Contreras – C
  7. Jon Jay – CF
  8. Matt Szczur – LF
  9. Ian Happ – DH

Against the Giants – Rob Zastryzny (SP)

  1. Kyle Schwarber – LF
  2. Javier Baez – 2B
  3. Jeimer Candelario – 3B
  4. Miguel Montero – C
  5. Albert Almora – CF
  6. Chris Dominguez – 1B
  7. John Andreoli – RF
  8. Munenori Kawasaki – SS
  9. Mark Zagunis – DH

Strop Got Paid

The Cubs signed an extension with Pedro Strop to keep him in Chicago as long as possibly 2019. The new deal has Strop slated to make $5.85 mil in 2018 and then the Cubs have an option for 2019 with a $500K buyout. If accepted, the 2019 season will pay $6.25 mil.

I like Strop, a lot. He’s been one of my “boyfriends” since coming to the Cubs. We all have those guys that we just like and Strop has been that for me. I think he often gets overlooked as a piece in that deal with Baltimore that brought Jake Arrieta to Chicago. In his time with the Cubs, Strop has gotten under people’s skin with the titled hat thing,  but look at his numbers. The guy puts up great numbers. Since coming to Chicago, he’s got an ERA of 2.68 in 211+ innings of work, averaging almost 11 K’s per 9 IP.

Quick Hits

  • Baez has new ink. Call me old school, but I’m not a fan. I have one on my arm and wish I never would have gotten it.

  • The Cubs considered bringing in Chase Utley to play off the bench. Why?!?!?

  • Five Baseball Movies You May Not Have Ever Seen (Source)
  • Holes that need fixing for all 30 MLB teams. (Source)

Enjoy the action today. It’s good to have baseball back. Doug will be back around 3p with a tribute to Ron Santo

  • Doc Raker

    Play Ball! I stumbled across game 4 of the 2015 NLDS on the Cubs web site last night. I sped through it watching the important parts. What a game, that was fun. Schwarbs hitting 6th and Baez hitting 9th wowed the crowd and the broadcasters in the booth including Dennis Eckersley. You could tell the broadcasters had this “Who are these guys, these guys are off the charts good” revelation during the game. That game was the clinching game, the first playoff clinching game to be won by the Cubs in Wrigley Field EVER, EVER. To me it was the game in where I said to myself, “Self, this team has a shot at being great for a long time with guys like Schwarbs, Baez, Rizzo, Castro (wrong) and Bryant.” Castro played second base, Russell was not in the line up, Soler played right field and Montero was the starting and number 1 catcher.

    The weather at Wrigley was glorious, that beautiful twilight sunshine to start the game, the grass was very green and the ball was flying out of Wrigley, Schwarbs hit one over the Budweiser scoreboard in right field in which broadcaster Dennis Eckersley was shocked and awed. Fun game, great way to look back at how this team emerged into greatness and a great way to get you pumped up for 2017 Cubs baseball.

    83 jacks for Schwarbs in 2017.

    Great post Joe, Fly this Plane to Cuba.

  • Seymour Butts

    Random thoughts:
    Is one of these games considered the “A” game?
    Awfully big tat. Will the next decade cover his entire body?
    I’m fixing a hole where the rain gets it.
    Would not want Utley in any capacity.

    • Joe Aiello

      I would guess the A’s game is considered the A game given the lineup and SP

      • Far be it for me to speak for Butts, but I think his point was that this team is so talented we actually have to wonder which lineup is the A game.

      • Seymour Butts

        You can speak for me, and did so nicely.

      • JTBarrett16

        I was thinking the same thing. I saw the lineups and I was like damn we have that much talent.

  • Seymour Butts

    SHERM: send me an email. the address I have for you must be old.

  • Colin Kruse

    Why bring in Utley? If the Dodgers keep him then we have a guaranteed out every time we play them!

  • Doug S.

    Errands and chores all morning to be ready for lunch in a sports bar at noon and Cubs baseball. YES!!!

  • I love my tattoos and have never once regretted getting them. I suspect Baez won’t either. But honestly there are better artists on most city street corners, you’d think he could have had his pick. It really isn’t very good.

    • Brad Lyerla

      Serious question, Lizzie. What do you look for in judging the quality of a tattoo? My kids talk about tattoos and I can’t participate. I don’t know how to judge.

      • Seymour Butts

        Oh go ahead and judge…I do.
        I’ve seen thousands of patients with 40+ year old tattoos that are smudges of unrecognizable ink. More than 90% of these people regret it. Most say it was a result of peer pressure, alcohol and poor judgement. There are a few who still are happy with them. I have the conversation a lot as one of my stock lines is “I see the problem… ink poisoning!” Gets a laugh more than 90% of the time. A person needs to be real sure they want to look at an artwork for the rest of their lives. I don’t have that confidence, but a Cub tat might be the only one I would consider.

      • Doc Raker

        So judgemental, be careful you might be exiled from Greenpeace.

      • It’s no different than the art you were talking about the other day, sometimes it’s beautiful and sometimes it sucks. Highly subjective of course, just like any art. But Baez’s trophy is blurry, the lines above World Series that should be straight are shaky, it’s just not great quality.

  • Sherm

    If nothing else, the Baez tattoo gives the Cubs a little leverage in the future when negotiating with him…tough to sign elsewhere with THAT on your arm.