Today marks the most magical day on the calendar (aside from Christmas and the day upon which I was born onto this dimension), pitchers and catchers have officially reported to camp for the Chicago Cubs. Baseball season is finally and officially back upon us!
Additionally, an extra pitcher reported to camp for one of the leading contenders for the NL crown; today, the Cubs signed former Royals relief standout Aaron Crow to a minor league deal with an invitation to Major League camp.
Luckily, I have this beautiful, reflective card from the 2011 Topps Diamond Anniversary parallel set on hand, just in case Crow flies high above the competition and successfully picks his way into the bullpen. I'm sure it's all been said, ad nauseam, but this might be the best parallel idea in the history of the concept - so beautifully shiny.
Secretly, I have my fingers crossed that Mr. Crow makes an appearance at the Major League level, just so I can add this lovely card to my CATRC binder; however, the odds are very much stacked against him.
The 29-year old joins a crowded competition for the last bullpen spots. A key part of the pen from 2011-13, he unfortunately scuffled in 2014, with his strikeout and groundball rates & velocity plummeting. KC didn't like what they saw and traded him to Miami, where he underwent TJ surgery before ever taking the field for the Marlins.
A potentially healthy Neil Ramirez and prospect Carl Edwards, Jr. will be amongst Crow's closest competition.
If his undesirable results from the 2014 campaign were linked to his eventual need for TJ, perhaps now that he is healthy he can rediscover his lost form and step to the forefront in an already exceptionally crowded race to be a Cubs reliever.
If successful, he'll have truly beaten the odds and have something to "crow" about. *ba dum tiss*
Alright, on that note, I'm outta here. I'll be here all week - don't forget to tip your waitress.