There has been some great news from Cubbie Nation this week.
Kyle Schwarber dinged the car of yet another fan. (who dared to park within 20 square miles of his bat) This time the Cubs very own incredible Hulk didn’t break a windshield but he did dent the roof of the BMW. I imagine growing up that he was forced to apologize for a lot of broken windows. Every time the doorbell rung at the Schwarber home I can imagine his Dad just assuming he needed to have Kyle go rake the leaves of the neighbor’s house for breaking their windows, and I’m sure his three sisters just loved having their brother greet dates at the door with his baseball bat. Then again they could’ve just shown the video of Kyle’s high school show choir days and perhaps their dates wouldn’t have been quite so fearful anymore.
Dexter Fowler is back! After initial reports of signing a three year deal with Baltimore it turns out the deal was never confirmed and in fact the O’s front office spoke a little too soon which seems to have stuck in the craw of Fowler and his manager Casey Close. No matter, because the Cubs picked him up for 8 million in 2016 with a mutual option for 2017 on Thursday. We know that in order to make room for Dexter on the 40 man roster the Cubs moved LHP Zac Rosscuscup to the 60 day DL with shoulder inflammation. Dexter and the Cubs may have broken the internet on Thursday when Joe Maddon and Theo Epstein orchestrated the surprise return of Fowler at a team meeting on the mound in Mesa. According to reports on MLB, some of the players were told there would be a surprise and they assumed it would be some weird circus animal, magician or fire eater because of Maddon’s penchant for cooking up ways for the team to truly enjoy their time on the team. Little did they know their former teammate and force to be reckoned with would be walking up to the mound with Theo for an excellent surprise to start the season with. Dexter was an integral part of the Cubs 2015 success, acting as the regular leadoff hitter, playing 156 games with an OBP of .346, 149 hits on the season and 102 runs scored, including two post season home runs. Dexter was going to be sorely missed both as a player and a great personality for the fans and around the Cubs clubhouse. You would be hard-pressed to find a Cubbie fan who is disappointed in this recent series of events.
The Cubs also dealt Chris Coughlan to the A’s earlier in the day Thursday in order to pick up RHP Aaron Brooks and to help make room to bring back Fowler. According to reports on MLB Joe Maddon said that Coughlan was “blindsided” by the trade. I don’t blame him, he was on a winning team for the first time in his career since his rookie season but he was losing playing time in the outfield to both Soler and Schwarber. Coughlan, at 30, has been a good all-around player for the Cubs, hitting 16 homeruns last season. Between losing time in the outfield to the young guns and the Cubs signing Zorbist in the off season, thus limiting Coughlan’s ability to make progress in the infield, as hard as the news probably was for Coughlan this was a good trade. The Cubs pick up a starting pitcher who they can send down to Iowa to get some real work in or use as a backup to add depth and the A’s end up with a great all around guy who doesn’t want to play just one position. Coughlan has been taking notes from Ben Zorbist, always an all field player Coughlan looks forward to filling that spot back in for the A’s now that Zorbist himself is gone.
All in all the Cubs are having an excellent week out in Mesa and I am incredibly disappointed that I won’t have any time to go to Arizona this spring. Single game tickets went on sale this week, and my box o season tickets should be arriving the week of March 14th so if anyone has ticketing needs here is my shameless plug Section 416, row 7 seats 103 and 104…..buy my tickets! I don’t live in Chicago and it is very very sad.
God Speed Cubbie Faithful!