The Cubs don’t want to wait until March 4th, and their first Spring Training game against the Athletics, so they are starting early. To finish off this week the Cubs will battle eachother in a set of intrasquad games. The games will take place on Friday and Saturday leading up to Sunday’s spring training opener. The intrasquad games with be open to the public (grandstand seating only) and will be free of charge. After 12 days of drills, workouts, and bunt tournaments, I’m sure the players and coaches are just itching to get started, and see what they have in real game situations.
On that topic of Spring Training games, don’t expect Dale Sveum to sit around and be happy with losses, or should I say losses that aren’t well
played games, “It’s not always what the final score dictates,” he said. “Can you go home at night and say you kicked the other team’s butt besides the final score? A guy can hit a walk-off, two-run homer on a great pitch and you lost the game, but you really won 8 and 2/3 innings, too.” It’s clear what Sveum and the coaching staff are looking for, they want to see which players have that attention to detail. Who on this squad, maybe a borderline roster guy, has been able to learn the right way of doing things, and then apply that to his and the teams game. Those kind of things will go along way in determining who makes this team and who starts elsewhere when the season opens up.
So, Sveum wants to see well played baseball, as most Cubs fans do, myself included, but I’m sure he wants a win more times than not, ‘‘I don’t care where you’re playing, winning is winning, and you want to win all the time,’’ Sveum said of his approach to spring-training games. ‘‘At the end of the Cactus League, is the record going to matter? Of course not. But I think the bottom line is to stress beating the other team every time you step on the field.’’ The word I keep coming back to after reading or hearing quotes from Sveum is, refreshing. There is a reason Epstein pegged Sveum as the new bench boss heading into the first year of the Cubs way. The culture has changed, the attitude has changed, and for the first time in what seems like forever, everyone from the top of the organization to the bottom is ready to embrace it instead of running away from it.
Thanks for reading
– George Cotugno