The Old and the Young

I finally joined Instagram this week. I’ve been avoiding it for some time because there are only so many forms of social media I can be expected to navigate at one time. That being said, I joined Instagram for the greatest of reasons, the amazing account created by none other than Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant to honor their aged teammate David Ross. The account @grandparossy_3 is meant to document Ross’s 15th and final season in the MLB. David Ross, the 38 year old catcher, seems to be having a great deal of fun with his young teammates, hanging out with Clark, using a walker in the clubhouse at Sloan. Since joining the Cubs in December 2014 Ross has served not only as the personal catcher for Jon Lester but as a mentor to the many young guns on the team. Ross started 72 games last season as catcher, and two occasions served as a relief pitcher, both times pitching perfect innings. Ross became the first position player since 1991 to make multiple pitching appearances as a Cub. On the same day as his second day on the mound, July 26th, he also managed to crush a home run, his first of the season last year.

Grandpa Ross is living up to his name, only when he fools around with the fellas it seems. As far as his in game abilities he is no grandpa. Just yesterday he turned an incredible double play during the Cubs Spring Training home opener. Not only did he make a fantastic diving catch, in which his 38 year old body did a full tumble, he immediately popped up and fired away to get the out at second. If you haven’t seen the play yet, go watch it on the Cubs website, it’s fantastic and will be one of the best catching plays you see all year. Here’s hoping Grandpa Ross keeps it up and makes a memorable go of his final season, we’d love to see as much of his prowess this season as possible, and I hope he continues to be a guidepost for the young guys who seem to love him so much.

Speaking of the young fellas he is helping mentor, today is Kyle Schwarber’s 23rd birthday. Yes I said 23, dear lord what am I doing with my life, the Cubs very own incredible Hulk will start his first full season in the big leagues come April. He is not in the lineup for today’s spring training game, but that isn’t unusual for spring games, especially considering today marks game three for the Cubs cactus league 2016 appearances. Though it still seems uncertain where Schwarber will be put in for the majority of the season, reports are that he showed up to Spring training early to work with the catchers (his primary position in the minors) and continued to work his butt off everywhere Joe Maddon asked him to go. He spent a good amount of time in left field last season, and occasionally made some stellar plays, but it was obvious that he had not been bred as an outfielder so there were a few mishaps that would’ve been routine plays had someone else been at the post, that said, there was no way any of the other fielders could have matched him offensively, hence why Maddon played him there so often.  Earlier this week CSN Chicago noted that Schwarber had been working so hard at both catching, and fielding during spring training that Maddon commented the only problem with Schwarber was that he wants to work too much. There are those that will say Schwarber is destined to move to the American League to be a true Designated Hitter but Schwarber seems happy where he is, playing real baseball in the national league where pitchers have to hit and hitters have to field. With any luck the 23 year old will prove them all wrong. He caught 21 games last year, mostly while Miggy Montero was out on the DL, but he was very clearly a work horse and by all accounts still is. So Happy Birthday to one of the many young Cub heroes and here’s to many more seasons with the Cubs you great big beautiful home run hitter you.

By the way my shameless plug again, let me know if you need tickets and hey since I’m on Instagram now give me a follow @emkiza13 especially if you’re at all interested in seeing pictures of my swell dog Winchester J

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