MESA, Ariz. – Monday marked the first full day of workouts for Chicago Cubs position players.
How did it go?
“Wet,” manager Joe Maddon said, referring to persistent rain and cool weather in the Valley of the Sun. “Outside of that, I thought we did really well of adapting because it was awkward. We got the baserunning in. We kept looking at the weather map. It was supposed to stop raining. It kept raining. It stopped raining, and plus, it was kind of chilly. Plus, the dampness of the field matters. So we finally just said that’s it. Let’s simplify this whole thing, stay inside.”
The Cubs did much of their work in the batting cages or under cover.
“We actually did a lot for the day in spite of the weather,” Maddon said.
No harm intended: Third baseman Kris Bryant told reporters Monday morning that his comments about St. Louis being “boring” were taken out of context and that he meant no harm. Bryant made the “boring” comment during last month’s Cubs Convention during former Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster’s comedy show.
“It was taken totally out of context,” Bryant told the media. “I think we all know that. It was a comedy show with Ryan Dempster at a Cubs Convention, trying to get the fans excited for the season. I think it certainly did do that.
“There’s nothing really going on at that time of the year. It’s easy to grab on to it and run with it. … You never want to say the wrong thing. I think I’ve done a good job on the field to earn the respect of the players around the league. I do things the right way. I treat fans the right way. And at the end of the day, I know who I am as a person. And I know I’m a good person.”
Tell your stats ... : The Cubs don’t seem to be putting a whole lot of stock into Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA system, which has downgraded them from a projection of 82 wins this season to 80 and a last-place finish in the National League Central.
“You’re always looking for motivation, the bulletin-board [material],” Maddon said. “Again, it’s really entertaining stuff. There’s so much content necessary to fill all the hours in the day anymore so people start writing things like that. If somebody enjoys it, that’s fine.
“I promise you, I’ll forget about it in two days, so I won’t even remember that. When it comes to motivation, it doesn’t really stick with me, something like that. Motivation is that you got eliminated early last year. Motivation is that you really want to prove something this year. You want to play the game better than you did last year.”
No go for Zo: Veteran infielder-outfielder Ben Zobrist was not in camp Monday. Maddon said Zobrist had an excused absence. The Cubs said Zobrist had a “personal reason” for not being in camp.