This is my first post on the baseball down here in Arizona. Some of you may know me from Cubs Den where we cover the Cubs organization from top to bottom with special attention from me on the minor leagues, scouting, and player development.
I am a lifelong Chicagoan but when my wife got the opportunity for a promotion that just happened to be in Mesa, Arizona, the spring home of the Cubs, we decided to start the next chapter in our lives.
Of course, there is more baseball here than just spring training. There is extended spring training and the Arizona Rookie League, where we get to see many players who were either recently drafted or just promoted from the Dominican and Venenzuelan Summer Leagues as well as the occasional rehabbing player from the upper levels. There is also the fall instructional league where lower level prospects hone their skills and, of course, the Arizona Fall League, where many of the game's best prospects convene as both a showcase and a chance to get reps against their peers on a day-to-day basis.
Up to now I have focused a great deal of attention on the Cubs but that doesn't mean I am not interested in all prospects. I just haven't created a forum to discuss them. That is the main reason I am starting this blog.
The other reason is simply this: I can't get enough of baseball. We all gravitate toward the things that bring solace to our lives. For me, one of those things is baseball. And down here, it is baseball in it's purest form. There are no flashing scoreboards, no beckoning vendors...not even a PR announcer. There are few distractions from the game on the field. It is quiet enough to hear the players chatter, mitts pop. and a loud crack of the bat can reverberate throughout the stadium. There are only the sounds of baseball.
And when you combine it all with the stunning beauty of the western skies, you will begin to understand why this, in a sense, is my church...
There are players chasing dreams and I will follow that pursuit the best that I can. We will try to put a face on all these hopefuls with observations, reports, videos, and photographs.