Cubs Camp Opens With a Twist

By Richard Kagan

Cubring

Leave it to Chicago Cubs Manager Joe Maddon to shake things up. Yesterday he drove into Chicago’s Mesa, Arizona spring training camp with a 70’s era van, replete in a tie-dye T-shirt and bandanna.  Earth, Wind, & Fire music blasted from the van, as Madden’s prank stirred things up.

The Chicago Cubs are full of optimism this spring. And why not?  Loaded with off-season acquisitions, Ben Zobrist, John Lackey, and Jason Heyward, The Cubs figure to be  the front-runners in the NL Central.

Based on a torrid Summer, the Cubs made the wild-card and beat the Pirates behind Jake Arrieta’s brilliant game. Arrieta, who picked up the NL’s Cy Young Award, is back with a newly minted contract.

Left-handed pitcher Travis Wood is expected to take the ball for the opening game of the Spring Training season.  The frontline starters of Arrieta, John Lester, and John Lackey are not expected to see action until next week.

The Cubs want to start off this Spring Training — this –feeling out process — in a managed way. The team knows what it has. It just wants to start out slowly.

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