Before we get into the news, and believe me there is virtually none to talk about, I wanted to share my feelings on the shootings from Friday. It sucks. That’s is the most blatant and honest thing I can muster to describe it, but it left me coming away with a few thoughts.

Warning: The following rant contains religious feelings. If that is offensive to you, please skip to Cubs talk below.

To be honest, I could care less how any of you feel about the issue of gun control. It’s not the issue here and to make it about anything other than the victims is irresponsible and tacky. It’s the equivalent of me, as an insurance salesman, crashing funerals to push my agenda to sell life insurance. It’s just not the time or place to do it (thought don’t think I haven’t given it some thought). When these things happen, because they will continue to happen, enough of the political BS. Just focus on the victims and their families and do what you can to comfort them. Case closed.

The other thing it reminded me of, and I don’t usually use a Cubs blog as my soapbox, is that we live in a fallen world. I don’t know where you stand on “religion”, but if you have read the site for awhile, you may know where I stand on it. What the events remind me of is that our world is broken and irreparable. There just isn’t anything that can be done to wipe out sinful acts in this world and to think we can is nothing more than a futile and pointless notion. I don’t know why the events that unfolded on Friday happened. I don’t know what would possess someone to do that. It doesn’t make sense in my mind. It makes me sad and scared and hateful all rolled up into one, and that’s OK. Looking on CNN today and seeing the faces of the people who were killed and reading a brief bio on who they were, I felt myself tearing up and thinking about my kids. It doesn’t make sense. People don’t believe what I do regarding Jesus and what he did for me on the cross will ask the question “Why would a loving God allow this to happen?” I don’t know the reason why he allowed this to happen. What I do know, is that because of my sin, I deserve to be punished with eternal separation from God but that he loved me so much that he sent Jesus to die in my place. Stop and think about that for a second. He sent him to die for everyone, including people who will ultimately reject him completely. He died even for the man that killed those people. Would you send your child to be killed to save that guy? I know for a fact that I would not. Let’s face it, I’m not even sending him to die for any of you fools, and I like you guys. What God did for us is so beyond comprehension that all I can do is trust that God has such a bigger perspective than I on these things. At any rate, I’m sorry if I’ve offended you. It wasn’t my intention. Feel free to send the hate mail my way at joe@viewfromthebleachers.com  I’m a big boy, I can take it. Now, on to the “news”

Insert Cricket Sounds here

Who Are the Locks?

So there is basically no news whatsoever today so instead I decided to look at who the “locks” for this roster are at this point. I’m defining a lock as someone who, barring injury, has a spot on the 25 man roster cemented in stone regardless of spring training performance. These are guys that can feel safe to work on things during the spring and not worry if their ERA goes to hell or their batting average sucks (not that batting average is a good metric anyway).

Anthony Rizzo – He served his time in AAA last year. No way he doesn’t make this team.

Starlin Castro – I really think this is a big step forward year for Starlin, especially in the power department

Darwin Barney – Dude won a gold glove…can you really send him to AAA?

Alfonso Soriano – I don’t think he gets dealt before the start of the season, so pencil him in.

David DeJesus – Not sure if he’ll be on this team all year, but he’ll be here to start it.

Wellington Castillo – Probable starting catcher, but may split time with whoever wins the job between Clevenger and Navarro

Matt Garza – He should be good to go since coming off injury

Jeff Samardzija – It’s crossroads time for Shark

Scott Baker – I like his potential

Kyuji Fujikawa – Just signed so he’s got to be there.

Carlos Marmol – I hate having to include him

James Russell – Don’t have any other legit lefties for the pen

Travis Wood – Good back of the rotation starter.

That’s all I see as locks. Who am I missing? Before you name someone, see if you can find a reason to talk yourself out of it. If you can, can we really consider them a lock? All I know is that I have 13 guys on that list, which means 12 open spots still to be claimed.

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail