I can’t tell if the time between now and the start of Spring Training feels unfathomably short or interminably long. Time being a flat circle and all, I guess it’s probably both. We’ve only got three months before the Cubs open their 37-game Cactus League slate with a split-squad day against the Bay Area teams, with nothing but Cubs Convention and the hot stove to keep us warm in between.
For some of the highlights of the preseason, we turn now to the trusty news release:
The club’s 37-game schedule includes 17 games at Sloan Park, 16 Cactus League road games, two games in Las Vegas against the Cincinnati Reds March 25-26 and a pair of games in Houston to close out the exhibition schedule March 30-31 at Minute Maid Park.
The Cubs and White Sox play twice during Spring Training, Monday, February 27, in Mesa and Friday, March 17, in Glendale. The Cubs also will play two World Baseball Classic opponents at Sloan Park, Tuesday, March 7, vs. Team Italy and Saturday, March 18, vs. a team that emerges from the Asia bracket.
Spring Training is cool and all, and I’d love to get out there just to soak in the atmosphere, but the only thing that really gets me excited is that last line. I mean, yeah, I’m going to be very happy for live baseball and all that, it’s just that fake games with minor league lineups and starters going two innings doesn’t really move the needle for me. The prospect of seeing Shohei Otani, however, that is interesting.
There are a lot of moving parts that would have to fall into place for that to happen, but it’d be one hell of a treat for the folks in Mesa to have a chance to see that young man up close and personal in such an intimate setting. Wow, that phrasing was…yeah.
Sloan Park has already been home to record crowds since opening in 2014 and I’ve got a feeling there’ll be no shortage of fans trying to get their hands on tickets to see the reigning World Series champs this time around too. If you want to avoid what is sure to be a robust secondary market, make sure you’re ready on Jan 7 at 11am CT. Tickets will go on sale at the Sloan Park box office, Cubs.com, or by calling 1-800-THE-CUBS.
Or you can PayPal me the money you’d like to spend on tickets and I’ll use that money for airfare and accommodations for myself. I’ll be sure to broadcast the games on Periscope or Facebook Live or whatever, though, so it won’t be a total loss for you.