2011 didn’t start on the highest of notes, but February brought the official start of Spring Training and the birth of the “Who owns the Cubs?” meme that has provided us with several good laughs ever since. So let’s get right to the nonsense:
February 2011: Pretty Much the Same as January, But a Month Later
February 1 – The Snowpocalypse strikes Wrigley Field and blows off a part of the roof above the press box. Sadly, no members of the mainstream media were present when it happened.
February 6 – Someone defaced the Harry Caray statue by writing “Sox” and then something fairly unintelligible. We don’t know whether it was a Sox fan, or a Cubs fan hoping to frame a Sox fan, but we are pretty sure the person is illiterate. Todd Ricketts has been cleared since the perpetrator used spray paint and not crayons.
February 7 – The Cubs realize nobody wants to buy 12 crappy tickets for every good game, so they roll out the 6-pack plan where fans only need to buy 5 crappy games for every good one and the march to handing out stupid t-shirts and $1 hotdogs goes on.
February 8 – The Cubs announce that 32 out of their 34 Spring Training games will be available on the radio, television, or streaming audio on mlb.com, thus assuring that we would all be sick of them losing before the season even gets started.
February 9 – Al Yellon publishes his first interview with the Cubs Executive Chairman, Tom Ricketts, where they discussed numerous thought provoking topics such as who owns the Cubs, who really owns the Cubs, and the identity of the Cubs owner.
February 13 – The official reporting date for pitchers and catchers arrives, but just about everybody is in camp already and running up hills with Ryan Dempster. It is later pointed out that only Houston has an actual hill on the playing field, so most of that training has been kind of a waste.
February 14 – The Cubs lock up Carlos Marmol for three more years of not knowing where the ball will go when he throws it while trying to protect a lead. But as long as hitters keep swinging at that slider out of the strike zone, everything will be fine, right?
February 14 – Ronnie Woo undergoes heart surgery while wearing his customary Cubs uniform. I can only surmise the surgery was done in a garage somewhere by a veterinary school dropout, since that is the only scenario I can imagine where his grimy, sweat-stained, pee-soaked uniform would be allowed anywhere near an open surgical field.
February 15 – The Cubs trade their 2007 3rd round pick, Tony Thomas, to the Boston Red Sox for Robert Coello, who never plays a single inning of baseball at any level for the Cubs in 2011. This really isn’t all that important, but I find myself hoping this is not kind of success the Cubs achieve in all of their acquisitions from the Red Sox this year.
February 15 – Carlos Silva remains positive he will be in the Cubs starting rotation after Dempster, Zambrano, and Garza when the Cubs break camp. He also insists he can still fit into his high school prom tuxedo if he just sucks in his gut a little.
February 16 – Albert Pujols breaks off contract extension talks with the Cardinals and nobody really notices or talks about it much.
February 16 – Keith Moreland is named to replace Ron Santo as the color commentator in the WGN radio booth. He got the job based on his ability to break down batting mechanics, game situations, and pitch sequences, also his hilarious pronunciation of “Carlos Peenya.”
February 18 – Paul Sullivan makes a point of mentioning that Starlin Castro and Aramis Ramirez have not yet arrived to Training Camp despite not being required to report until February 19. That’s awfully smug for someone who had not even done his taxes yet for the April 15th deadline.
February 19 – Aramis Ramirez and Starlin Castro report to training camp on time. Sullivan had lazily still not done his taxes.
February 19 – Tom Ricketts says he will keep an open mind about signing big free agents with the financial flexibility in the next offseason so it is obvious that Albert Pujols will be a Cub soon.
February 21 – The Cubs name Ryan Dempster the Opening Day starter to coincide with the Cubs Fake Rubber Vomit promotion that day.
February 22 – A post on Si.com recounts a story from Dusty Baker about someone dropping a deuce in the spot where Dusty used to stand in the Cubs’ dugout and I’m not saying they called for a curveball.
February 23 – St. Louis Cardinals’ pitcher Adam Wainwright goes down with a significant elbow injury. It will eventually require him to miss the entire season after surgery and assures that there is no way in hell that a team with Ryan Theriot AND no Wainwright could ever win the World Series.
February 23 – Two Cubs prospects make the Baseball America Top 100 list. Brett Jackson at #38 and Trey McNutt at #48. This is probably the last good news to come out of the Cubs minor league system all year.
February 27 – The Cubs open up a 4-0 lead in the first inning of their first Spring Training game and go on to lose 15-7, thus breaking the 2010 record of Earliest High Point of an Entire Season set when Marlon Byrd hit a 3-run HR in the 1st inning of the actual Opening Day game.
February 28 – The Cubs begin a search for a new Public Address Announcer prompting a five-post series from Al Yellon where he tries to determine if this is the position that would make public announcements and/or address large crowds about the Cubs.
Coming up next: March, as in Death March.
Previous Monthly Reviews: January