The Rundown: All Apologies, Minor-League Rosters Announced, Around the League Opening Day Performances
The bathroom debacle that was Opening Night at Wrigley Field has reached surprising levels, with people taking their proverbial pitchforks and torches to social media and talk radio.
Sunday night was a crazy scene, certainly the longest such lines I’ve seen at a Cubs game, but I feel it’s being a little overblown. And I’m not sure people would be as upset if the Cubs had raised the W flag at the end of the night.
I’m a bit puzzled as to why Cubs PR stories such as this one — or last year’s cake incident, for example — gain so much attention. But the fact is, they do.
The team issued an apology on Tuesday, in which Cubs spokesman stated:
We want to apologize to our fans for the huge inconvenience. Moving forward, we plan to supplement the existing restrooms with additional portable units and will continue to monitor wait times to ensure we can service our guests appropriately.”
Tuesday evening, Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney sent an email to season ticket holders, explaining that portable restrooms will be installed for tonight’s game. Four bathrooms should be installed by late May. Hopefully that will help with the congestion.
I’m also assuming the problems will be lessened with smaller crowds expected over the next couple weeks.
It’s a shame for Opening Night to be remembered primarily for this incident, rather than actual baseball. If the Cubs can string together a few wins, that should put some of this negativity to rest. (Please let that be the case.)
The Cubs minor-league affiliates have announced their respective rosters:
* South Bend Cubs (Low-A)
* Myrtle Beach Pelicans (High-A)
* Tennessee Smokies (Double-A)
* Iowa Cubs (Triple-A)
Initial reactions: The Iowa Cubs are obviously stacked offensively, especially in the infield. If Kris Bryant plays third base, you’ll be looking at an Iowa infield of Bryant, Javier Baez and Addison Russell.
The Smokies are by no means bereft of talent, featuring Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora, C.J. Edwards and Bijan Rademacher. I was slightly surprised to see Edwards starting the year at Double-A, but it looks like the Cubs don’t want to rush him.
Arguably the organization’s top pitching prospect, Edwards could be moved up in short order. He missed a lot of time in 2014 due to injury, so the Cubs probably don’t want to put too much stress on that young arm.
Myrtle Beach also has an interesting outfield, with Billy McKinney (who came over from Oakland in the Jeff Samardzija trade), Mark Zagunis and Jacob Hannemann.
Many of these players were on the Midwest League Champion Kane County Cougars last year. So expect this team to be pretty strong as well.
Shortstop Gleyber Torres, who could be a key upcoming prospect, will start the year in South Bend. He’s only 18.
Around the MLB
Opening Day for the rest of MLB featured (as usual) a number of great pitching match-ups and performances.
Phillies’ ace Cole Hamels, linked to the Cubs for the past year, gave up four solo home runs in an 8-0 loss to the Red Sox.
David Price pitched 8.2 shutout innings in a 4-0 Tigers win over the Twins. Price will be one of the most coveted free agent pitchers next year. I’d love for the Cubs to land him, but I’m thinking he’ll be too expensive. Especially if he keeps up the 8.2-inning performances.
Former Cub Jeff Samardzija gave up five runs and six hits in six innings in his debut with the White Sox, who fell 10-1 to the Royals. Shark had a rough couple of starts at the end of Spring Training. It appears he’s still not at his sharpest yet.
The Padres’ Big Game James Shields, who reportedly almost signed with the Cubs this offseason, struck out eight and gave up only two runs in six innings. He received a no-decision in a 6-3 loss to the Dodgers.
No real Cubs connection, but A’s Opening Day starter Sonny Gray took a no-hitter into the eighth inning against the Rangers. Sonny Gray is pretty good. He gave up only one hit on the night as the A’s won 8-0.
It was weird not having the Cubs play a game on the traditional Opening Day, but I still enjoyed it greatly. Ready for more.