It’s officially less than a week until the start of spring training. Â The Cubs will be christening their newly named, year-old ballpark by giving away game used urinal pucks to the first 14 fans who attend the first workout.
If you get one, don’t beÂ thatÂ guy, treasure it, don’t go for the quick buck on ebay.
Sloan Field got its name when a toilet supply company paid big bucks to the Cubs, and its tempting to make a bunch of shit jokes about the Cubs because of it. Â Actually, given their century of pure ineptitude, it’s always been tempting to make shit jokes. Â As you know, we’re classy at Desipio, we won’t be going for the cheap laughs. Â We know you count on us doing so.
That said, I did think it was a nice touch that the Cubs have retired number two in honor of the Sloans new legacy partnership. Â Also, the stalls at the park will be full of educational opportunities for the occupants. Â Some stalls will have a handy chart to answer your inevitable, “When did I eat all that corn?” question. Â Others will provide handy tips on why your stool is or isn’t floating.
The Cubs also have a lot of interesting promotions this spring. Â Weekday games all include anÂ all-you-can-eat promotion. Â That’s one that’s very popular at minor league ballparks during the summer. Â The Cubs care about your health, however. Â The regular price to get all-you-can-eat access to the concession stands is $19 per person, but if you weigh more than Eric Hinske it’s $49. Â Even you, ladies.
The game March 11 versus the Dodgers is “Gout Awareness Day” and the first 1,000 fans will get to look at pitching coach Chris Bosio’s left big toe. Â Talk about getting scared straight.
The Cubs will still do those very lucrative 50/50 raffles during the spring training home games, but this year the winning fan’s share will be generously donated back to the team to help pay for Wrigley Field bleacher reconstruction cost overruns.
One lucky fan is going to end up taking Welington Castillo home after the last spring training game. Â The Cubs hope that lucky fan is Jon Daniels of the Texas Rangers.
This is still unconfirmed, but a small, but influential faction of Cubs fans nearly has Jed Hoyer persuaded to get completely nude and hug a Saguaro cactus as penance for trading Luis Valbuena.
(It wouldn’t have to be a Saguaro, because Jed is barely five feet tall. Â But it’s the thought that counts.)
And, these things always happen, it’s just a matter of who they happen to:
- Somebody shows up enough overweight that Otis has to dig out Billy Connors’ old pinstripe pants.
- Most likely candidate:Â Has Carlos Silva’s contract ever expired?
- Darkhorse candidate: How depressed is Welington Castillo?
- One guy is still wearing Ed Hardy t-shirts to the park
- Most likely: Travis Wood
- Darkhorse: Gleyber Torres has no idea who Ed Hardy is.
- Somebody always misses half of spring training with visa problems.
- Most likely: Pedro Strop (he was probably driving to the embassy when he ran his car into a wall)
- Darkhorse: Brian Schlitter, but it’s more likely that his Discover Card is maxxed.
- Elbow soreness ends up relegating somebody to the dreaded towel drill instead of actual throwing off a mound
- Most likely: Travis Wood, especially if trade rumors to the Rockies crop up
- Darkhorse: Is there a towel drill for Logan Watkins’ leg?
- Somebody is always “in the best shape of their life”
- Most likely: Edwin Jackson
- Darkhorse: Dan Vogelbach (if you consider pear a better shape than round)
- Someone is always charged with felony insurance fraud
- Most likely: Ted Lilly
- Darkhorse: (Oh, who are we kidding?Â Ted made me include this so people would think the ‘buy your RV insuranceÂ after you wreck it’Â thing has ever happened to anybody in baseball before.)
- A player will bat over .400 in the spring, then go hitless the first three weeks of the season
- Most likely: Mike Olt (if this was an actual Vegas prop bet I’d bet your house on it)
- Darkhorse: Dexter Fowler (living up to Valbuena’s legacy could be crushing)
- A pitcher has a spring ERA of 8.00 or higher and ends up with a sub 4.00 regular season ERA
- Most likely: Jon Lester (just to freak out the media for all of March)
- Darkhorse: Tsuyoshi Wada (Dr. K knows when to peak.)
- A guy has a huge spring, makes the opening day roster and three months later we all forget he was ever on the team
- Most likely: Adron Chambers (a bonus would be if his one big league hit this season was a homer against the Cardinals in the opening series)
- Darkhorse: Jonathan Herrera (I keep forgetting they even invited him to spring training)
- A beat writer is hospitalized for precautionary reasons when a series of incomprehensible tweets lead medical experts to believe he’s having a stroke or an aneurysm
- Most likely: Bruce Levine .
- Darkhorse: It’s going to be Bruce Levine .
And, of course, as always, if you go out to dinner in the Phoenix area and see Starlin Castro in your restaurant, you’re probably going to get shot by somebody.