Cleat Geeks

Wrigley Weekly Wrap-up

windshKyle Schwarber is already doing damage this spring. Peter Gesler watched Schwarber’s home run ball disappear over the fence then he heard a crash. “I didn’t know it was my car, although I suspected it was,” Gesler said. “I knew my car was parked in that general area. I felt like an idiot for parking there, because I should have known better.” Gesler became an overnight sensation when his Instagram post of his windshield went viral. Schwarber quickly took to Twitter to help Gesler out and an auto glass company turned the broken windshield into a marketing opportunity. They replaced the glass in the Cubs’ parking lot. Gesler also got to meet the young slugger, who signed what was left of the broken windshield – which the glass company has promised to mount in a shadow frame for him.

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This year will be catcher David Ross’ 15th big league season and his last. John Lackey, reunited with Ross, sent a text after he signed, telling Ross he wanted to finish strong. “Lackey said, ‘We’re going to do this thing,'” Ross said Saturday. “I told him this is my last one, so let’s give it a whirl.” But Ross doesn’t want this season to be all about him. “This isn’t about me,” Ross said. “There’s so much good going on here. I don’t think it should ever be about the backup catcher who is retiring who’s a career .220 hitter or whatever I am. If it’s about me, we’re in trouble. There’s none of that ‘last this, last that,'” he said. “I feel I need to prepare myself so I’m not the weak link on the team. I want to be a guy who contributes to this team. I want to have the best year I possibly can to fit in with this group. That’s how I’m looking at it.” Ross, 38, already has a World Series ring from 2013 with the Red Sox, but he wouldn’t mind finishing his career with another one. “I didn’t come into this going, ‘This is my last year and I want to do all this,'” Ross said. “It’s about that time for me to do whatever it is I need to do the rest of my life and start a new chapter. I really just want to get myself ready to play and help this team win and take in some more things, knowing it’s the last one. I want to take in the moments a little more and enjoy the highlights of the season and the guys.” When asked, why now, Ross had this to say: “There’s a number of reasons — there’s so many reasons why,” Ross said. “It’s time. I don’t want to be that guy who stays at the party too long. It’s time to get kicked out of the party.”

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Last year’s theme was “Respect 90” and this year’s theme will be “Embrace the target.” Manager Joe Maddon says the best way for his team to deal with the high expectations is for the players to handle their business the same as if they weren’t picked to win it at all. “It’s all about processing the day properly,” he said. “You never take anything for granted. You never get complacent. Coming off a really good season, there’s a lot to be proud of, but there’s so much more to accomplish.”

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