Rumor Has It David Ross Is Already The Greatest Manager Of All Time (And Other Cubs Stuff)

Ho ho ho Merry Christmas fellas. Baseball Carl is slowly but surely getting into shape for the upcoming season and the rest of you filthy animals are coming with me. Per usual, I'll be rounding up the Cubs stories as they start to pour in from spring training. And per usual we can start getting worked up about things as soon as we want. There's plenty of things to keep us occupied so let's get started with some phenomenal news first. 

David Ross is batting 1.000 in pump up speeches. 

I wasn't in the room for it, but rumor has it Ross set the tone in ways Joe Maddon failed to capture. Make as much of that as you want, but we're here to celebrate small victories and spring training motivation is exactly that. It's a small victory, but we'll take everything we can get. 

Elsewhere, Joe seems to be settling in just fine with the Angels

There's a certain peace that comes with knowing I'll never have to decipher what "Intellectualizing the day" actually means. I can just shrug my shoulders from a distance and wish him well in his new endeavors. Personally, I'm grateful we're just doing baseball and baseball only on the north side this year. 

We're also going to work on being "accountable" this year.

Each and every quote from the club about the Joe Maddon era adds context to what needed to change. In this case we're talking about one of the most talented and expensive ball clubs in MLB grossly underachieving for a full season and a half. The same club that won a WS and seemingly had the baseball world in the palm of its hand. 

Not everyone handles success or the ensuing expectations the same way. It's obvious Joe wanted to maintain a loose atmosphere, but a lot of people are now speaking out against it. Notably, Javy Baez


That's fine and dandy to me if it's solely coming from Javy. Like that's part of his personal growth and development. But then he sneaks in a comment like this on behalf of his team and it the problem starts to swell.

I said earlier that we're here for small victories and if David Ross means the players will actually be prepared to play in the 1st inning then let's fucking go. That's another small victory. Add it to the list. 

- Good spring training speech

- Prepared to play a baseball game

Pretty soon this shit is going to add up. 

No cages during live batting practice + MLB Umpires = More Competition 

"Live batting practice" is the first game-level reps the players take in the season. GENERALLY, 3 major things are different than what the Cubs are doing. First, no umpire because that's a lot to handle Day 1. Second, use a batting-practice cage to speed up repetitions. Third, the pitcher throws behind an L screen for protection because it's Day 1 and your reflexes may not to be up and running full speed just yet. 


So instead of dragging the protection out to the mound and using the batting cage. Instead of giving pitchers the lead-in time to see an umpire and face the consequences of not locating a pitching. Instead of waiting and doing all that stuff, David Ross has just said Fuck It and is starting the party instantly. 

If you combine that with some of the comments swirling about not even being ready in the regular season then you start talking about a new attitude. You start talking new attitude then you start talking new and improved team. Ipso facto, it's a small victory so let's add it to the list. 

- Good spring training speech

- Prepared to play a baseball game

- Competition increased through live batting practice changes

What else do we got boys.

Jason Kipnis gets a beef.

I understand that Jason Kipnis has had a couple of down seasons, and with that I hold little expectations that he bounces back to All Star form. But I still can't help myself picturing him hitting 25 bombs en route to comeback player of the year and that's what I love about baseball. Jason Kipnis on the squad reminds me of a time when I looked at the Spring Training roster and said shit like

If Mike Fontenot hits 30 jacks this year we could be dangerous. 


Matt Murton is pretty good. If we get him going and Sean Marshall takes another step then we could be players at the trade deadline. 


Juan Pierre did it for the '03 Marlins…

I probably have somewhere between 200-300 more examples off the top of my head but I suppose we get the point: 

Jason Kipnis could be the X-factor that gets the Cubs back to World Series contention

I feel like baseball allows false hope like this to spread better than any other sport. And for that reason, I'm all in on Jason Kipnis being an impact player until he's clearly not. That's how this game works. 

Kris Bryant Is All In On The Haters

KB has been on a relative war path since he reported to camp. Reasons aside, I love it when he gets pissed off. Sometimes I get a sense that he's too much of a professional and I JUST WANT HIM TO CARE AS MUCH AS RIZZO. But then I have to remember we're all different, and KB is a laid back guy. That said I think we can all agree a little piss 'n vinegar goes a long way in the batters' box. If he wants to channel his disappointment and salt into a 40 home run campaign, I certainly won't stop him. 


But the salt didn't stop there. KB on Astros is an interesting take.

And as we're starting to see now, the commissioner's office didn't actually have the authority to punish players. Most experts say any efforts to punish individual players would have blown up into a massive grievance issue with the players' union. Using KB's own grievance as a recent example, it took 4.5 years to determine if he would be a free agent in 2021 or 2022. Now imagine the drag effect if they tried to suspend Altuve for a season. You'd be giving him a platform to be a martyr while drowning the league in even more bad PR. Thus in the battle of evil vs. more evil, you can argue Manfred didn't have a choice but to take less evil. 

BUT EVIL NONETHELESS - community college shortstops

At a higher level, it's nice to know KB would never be involved in a cheating scandal. Say what you want about his haircut or his eyelashes but don't you dare question his integrity. The man is a PRO and I mean it. Show some love and respect. 

Save Your Hate For The Marquee Network

For those of you keeping score at home, the Marquee Network will be available on AT&T and DirecTV but not Comcast, the overwhelming cable leader in Chicago. The (lack of) urgency from the Cubs has been anything but encouraging. Personally, I see this as a Mexican Standoff the Cubs simply can't lose. And in comparison, EVERYONE hates Comcast. This isn't foreign territory for them in the least bit. Getting shit on is part of life when you're Comcast.

On the other side of this is the Cubs, a notably sensitive organization that will go to great lengths to manage its image. Literally, you couldn't find two different entities to wage a battle of public perception. Gun to my head I see this as a losing battle for the Cubs but what do I know? 

I Know That I Don't Have $55 A Month To Watch The Cubs On Hulu


If you started today from scratch to sign up for Hulu, it would cost $55.50/month to get the package that would include Marquee Network. That's good for $666/year, which is just enough for me to think maybe this Sinclair Broadcasting people really are a biblical bunch. Maybe it's a sign. Maybe I need to repent to get the Comcast deal done?

Or maybe we can just be reasonable people and agree that WGN slaps different. Always has and it always will. 

¡Viva La Superstation!