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Repping Chicago. Plus: Embarrables; Qbit; Schweinsteiger!; Kyle Fuller Is Transitionally It; The White Sox' $26 Million Man; The Happster; and a Cubs Web Special.
:30: Points Of Origin! Your Loyola Ramblers.
* Coffman: Ramblers 'R' Us.
Who they are and how they got here:
* Porter Moser: From Naperville, lives in Wilmette.
* Haugh: DePaul's Dogged Doug Bruno.
* Revere Park. It's all gym!
39:48: Illini On Ice.
* Brush Back, by Sara Paretsky.
"If you talk about what it means for Chicago, I just hope that more people love playing soccer and they love watching us," Schweinsteiger said. "We want the people getting in the car, drive 45 minutes to Toyota Park, sometimes an hour. Go there with the expectation that this team is enjoyable to watch."
Incredible that in a little over 24 hours, #cf97 will play their home/season opening game and there is still no word on a local broadcast partner for the match, This sort of negligence is the reason why soccer is seen as minor league in a major market.— Guillermo Rivera (@FireConf) March 9, 2018
* The Globe.
49:40: Kyle Fuller Is Transitionally It.
* Ryan Pace Trigger Alert: Free agency starts Monday.
53:54: The White Sox' $26 Million Man.
56:44: The Happster.
Cubs Web Special!
"The 25-year-old is a force in the field, and he has played six positions in his young career. He seems to be getting there at the plate, as well. Last year, he put up a line of . 273/. 317/. 480 with 23 homers and 75 RBI. He also walked only 30 times while piling up 144 strikeouts in 508 plate appearances.
"The Cubs would love to see Baez develop more plate discipline and get his on-base percentage higher. The OBP in 2016 was . 314."
"In 128 games, Zobrist had a line of . 232/. 318/. 375 with 12 homers and 50 RBI. In 2016, the line was . 272/. 386/. 446 with 18 homers and 76 RBI. Zobrist's line-drive percentage was down 6 percent last year, and his OPS-plus dropped from 121 in 2016 to 79 last year."
"I think he has his mental edge back," manager Joe Maddon said. "Two consecutive trips to the World Series (in 2015 and '16) and then almost again last year, it's not easy to do. I think he has been refreshed . . . I think he's really ready to rock and roll and I think you'll see a younger mental version of Zo."
But his back problems will be "ongoing." Will play a lot of outfield this season to take the strain off. So he's essentially your fifth outfielder and backup second baseman. (He's also getting in some work at first base to back up Anthony Rizzo, if need be.)
"Jay, who'll soon turn 33, is fresh off of another solid season. He has not been as productive of late as he was earlier in his career with the Cardinals, but gave the Cubs 433 plate appearances of .296/.374/.375 hitting in 2017. A quality baserunner who is at least a near-average center fielder, Jay would optimally function as a fourth outfielder at this stage of his career."
Meanwhile . . .
"Catcher Taylor Davis, a longtime minor leaguer who debuted with the Cubs last September, has been shut down the last week because of a concussion suffered when hit by a foul tip during live batting practice.
"The popular Davis only began regular daily activities, such as walking outside and eating a normal lunch, Wednesday, five days after being injured. As for when he'll return to the field, 'I have no idea,' he said. 'That's all out of my hands. I'm just thankful I feel better. [On Wednesday], I felt like a human being again.'"
"Maybe the most impressive number is that he played in 151 games last year despite pain from finger and ankle injuries. Those injuries, particularly the finger, may have contributed to the drop in power.
"Bryant's wins above replacement (WAR) of 6.7 was third in the NL behind Washington's Anthony Rendon and Miami's Giancarlo Stanton, both of whom weighed in at 6.9."
* THIS JUST IN: JOE MADDON CHOKED IN THE 2016 WORLD SERIES.
Forgot to get Pedro Strop up in Game 6.
* Jake Arrieta is still unsigned.
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