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We’re getting closer to real baseball game action."WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Chicago Cubs recapsChicago Cubs minor leaguesChicago Cubs essaysChicago Cubs game threadsWrigley Field renovationsFull archiveLibrary Bleed Cubbie Blue Community GuidelinesCurrent time in ChicagoBCB Specials & Site InfoWinter 2019 music threadsCubs StoriesScheduleRosterStatsYahoo Cubs newsYahoo Cubs team pageYahoo Cubs reportYahoo Cubs depth chartYahoo Cubs transactionsYahoo Cubs photosOdds Shop About Masthead Community Guidelines StubHub 鉁旵hicago Cubs newsChicago Cubs spring trainingCubs catchers take live batting practice [VIDEO]New Duane Kuiper Jersey ,14commentsWe’re getting closer to real baseball game action.CSTShareTweetShareShareCubs catchers take live batting practice [VIDEO]Al YellonMESA, Arizona — When I saw this tweet from Tribune beat writer Mark Gonzales early this morning:... I made plans to head over to Mesa and get there early, figuring there would be a big crowd watching.There wasn’t. And part of that was because I went to the back fields and... most of the big leaguers were over hitting on fields 1 and 2, so I missed that. About 75 people or so were gathered at the minor league fields by 10:30, and I did get to see Victor Caratini and Willson Contreras hit:Nice to hear the sounds of baseball, anyway, even if both hitters let many of the pitches go by. Pitching were non-roster righty Matt Carasiti and rostered reliever Rowan Wick . Here’s some video of Wick warming up:Catching on this field was the Cubs’ top catching prospect, Miguel Amaya, who has been listed in the top 100 in some national pre-season prospect rankings. Amaya likely starts this season at Advanced-A Myrtle Beach. I would not be surprised if he played in a big-league spring game or two, especially in the first week of camp.Fortunately, Mark Gonzales took some video of Javier Baez taking BP:On the other back fields, some Cubs minor leaguers were taking batting practice. I spotted one whose name you will probably recognize:Al YellonWeather permitting (and it might not), the first full-squad workout is scheduled for Monday. If rain doesn’t force the workout indoors, I hope to be there to shoot some more video. Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts is also scheduled to be in Mesa Monday for his traditional first-day talk with the team and media. The Winter Meetings are kicking off today. Let’s roll the dice!"Winter Meetings start today http://www.giantsfanproshop.com/authentic-evan-longoria-jersey , running through the 13th when the Rule 5 draft occurs. There is plenty of background out there.....and here.....but it’s not like the old days. Now, it’s more like the same ol’, same ol’, except that all the parties are in the same town using Twitter rather than in separate towns using Twitter...........-HaloLinks:A Little Bit Of Angels NewsWith the Winter Meets now upon us, what shall we look to be doing? Here is a bold revelation: pitching. And catching. “Maybe”..........Craig Calcaterra had himself one hell of a cab ride arriving in Vegas to cover the Winter Meetings. His cabbie swore that Rob Manfred promised Vegas a team.....But the part that was not in the linked article that is most fun, is what Calcaterra later tweeted. Maybe it was the same cabbie, maybe another. But this other cabbie let slip that local rumors are that the Angels are secretly negotiating to move to Nevada...........Jeff Fletcher with appropriate perspective, and food for thought...........Luis Valbuena, RIP, was a special legacy that was all ours...........Everywhere In Baseball Mike Napoli has finally retired.....The Napster will undoubtedly continue to lead his legendary life. We just won’t have insight into it any longer......After 12 years in MLB, Napoli finishes with 267 home runs (21 against us) and 27.4 bWAR. (Uh, yeah, Jeff Mathis is still ticking at 48 home runs and 1.1 bWAR. Across 14 years. Because, Lyle.).....By comparison Derek Holland Jersey , Mike Trout has 240 homers and 64.3 bWAR in only 8 years............Here is how Napoli launched his career. First at bat..........Lee Smith and Harold Baines...(who was extremely humbled to finally get in)...were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the The Week Before Last Committee. Not going anywhere is a long list that includes George, ‘The Boss’ Steinbrenner, who didn’t even come close. Which is surprising to me. While Curt Flood is the spark that created the warm fire of Free Agency, it was George Steinbrenner that backed up the truck of firewood that fueled the house of baseball ever since...............Congratulations to Kyler Murray on conquering College Football, winning the Heisman. He will be our problem soon, as his agent Scott Boras insists that Murray is heading to Oakland regardless......Joining MLB will make Murray the 3rd Heisman winner in the Majors.....Unless Tim Tebow makes it the The Show with the Mets first.............Louisville Slugger, the one that makes the baseball bats, and Wilson Sporting Goods, are on the verge of becoming a Chinese subsidiary. Lest you go off half-cocked, you should know that those companies are currently owned by the Finnish company Amer Sports............Well praise be! Congress spent a day doing something worthwhile for a change. The Senate passed a resolution honoring the first black American League baseball player, Larry Doby..........TIL: player agents are allowed to do pretty much whatever they want without worry that MLB will punish them for anything. No jurisdiction. That police work is reserved for the Players Union. So when agents are caught aiding in the cover up of PEDs usage by players, well, there is nothing MLB can do but wait for the MLBPA to meander around to thinking about doing something about it..........Sunday Night Baseball games will be starting one hour earlier starting next season. 4PM PDT. That’s MLB thinking of all the kiddies............Yep, it’s official. Chili Davis has hired on with the Mets as hitting coach..........With on major league left to close http://www.giantsfanproshop.com/authentic-evan-longoria-jersey , the NFL, MGM Resorts will be the 800 pound gorilla in the sports gambling influx............For those of you who are of the camp that Major League ballplayers are what they are, can’t learn new tricks, and coaches are next to meaningless: eat Patrick Corbin’s new curveball...........So let me see if I have this right. The formidable brain trust that leads the good people of the Washington DC area into the future are convinced that they can find a way to prevent any of their citizens from using whatever the f#%k app they want in order to place sports bets in the DC area (thus granting them full awareness and control of the money flowing)? AND, they are granting themselves exclusive geographical zones of monopoly over all sports betting within the zone, forcing citizens to visit their designated dens of inequity if they happen to be close enough when they wish to place a sports bet? What do they think this is, a telegraph?? As the famous old lady said: “That’s not how it works. That’s not how ANY of this works!!”..........Hot StoveThe Yankees have decided that they are not going to be the party who makes the $300 million mega deal for a Machado or a Harper. They like Machado, but not at that $300 price. If true, that would be really weird. Those kind of earthquakes were once the private domain of the MFY, and all the other franchises shook their frustrated fists at them.....Harper and Machado are still expected to be such earthquake contracts.....But elsewhere, and no Yankees? Just look at all of us...............The idea of the Yankees holding off on the mega contract - the very thing that used to make non Yankee fans wring their hands in disgust - is now being looked upon as an injustice towards the players. Blame the Yankees? No. Blame the Luxury Tax threshold. And for that, blame the Players Union...........That Nationals have given up on Bryce Harper...........Everybody wants J.T. Realmuto, so the Marlins are leaning back, lighting their cigar http://www.giantsfanproshop.com/authentic-evan-longoria-jersey , and just taking their time..........Wha? the Rays offered up a Top 10 prospect for Paul Goldschmidt, and the Diamondbacks turned them down. What they got from the Cards was Ok, but not spectacular.............Charlie Morton, anyone?...........The Duffle BagOh, geez. The Vegas 51’s are changing their brand, to The Aviators.........And their logo? Yikes!...........Which makes no sense, other than the merch money for the franchise owners...........(h/t UniWatch) This would be John Lennon, hanging out in the Mets locker room...........On your left, kids, is where we store all the hot dogs in Busch Stadium before each ballgame. And on your right is...is...is your new first baseman Paul Goldschmidt?!?...........Yasiel Puig parties pretty well. But odds are that his future parties will take place somewhere other than LA..........Trackman records lots and lots of event data, and you could be one of them data gatherers............

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