It was a 10-0 loss to the World Series champs Kansas City Royals, but within that loss was something really good. Something really, really, really good.
Pitcher John Lackey stayed out for five innings stretching out the arm putting away seven batters in a row.
“I felt really good about it,” Lackey said. “It was a good test because it’s still early in spring and I’m still trying to establish the fastball and work on that. They are obviously a good fastball hitting team so it was a nice test for sure.”
Though there’s not much to talk about in the loss, these little victories are worth looking at.
Elsewhere, the Cubs have banned smokeless tobacco in the clubhouse. I’m on the fence about this, on one hand, it’s a freedom of choice but on the other hand it’s a disgusting habit.
“It is what it is. You can’t really control that,” Miguel Montero said. “For me, I dip and I do see that it probably would help me to quit. It’s a really bad habit to have. Obviously, I really don’t know because we are adults and know what is good and what is bad. But a rule is a rule and you have to follow the rules.”
The New York Yankees and Miami Marlins both have shaving rules, so a chewing ban shouldn’t be questionable. What I’d like to see is a Dubble Bubble ban. Yeah, there’s no harm in it and a sponsor pays the bills but promoting good health, especially amongst athletes is important.
Both chewing tobacco and chewing sugar gum isn’t very good for the teeth and the health, I believe it’s a matter of choice. Hell, I quit smoking 10 years ago but I’m not about to point my finger at someone else except to say it’s not as hard as you think it is.
“I know the pitfalls,” Maddon said. “But I’m into education. Educate the masses and let everybody make their own decisions. That’s what I’m about. Inherently, that’s what I’m about. To tell me what I can and cannot do as an adult, unless it’s illegal, is something different. So that’s where I stand.”
Ah, moving right along–
Today is St. Patrick’s Day. It’s a special day for the Irish and if you have some Irish heritage in your gene pool like I do, then it’s an amazing holiday filled with rejoicing and spirit. If you’re a Cubs fan, it’s an even better day because today the team will be fielding their lineup like they mean it.
Dexter Fowler, Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist, Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, Jorge Soler and Addison Russell take to the field.
“I don’t put so much emphasis on all those things. I do like bringing it more sharply and focused, regarding how we approach the day as we get closer,” Maddon said. “For me, it’s still kind of a wide spectrum right now that we are starting to bring in. You are going to play, hopefully, until November. ”
With two weeks left to go until the whole thing begins, the pencils are sharper and the focus is clearer.