The Rundown: Cubs Spring Training Schedule, Groundbreaking Ceremony, Royals to Re-Sign Shields?

It was weird not having any baseball yesterday. The playoffs have been so engrossing recently that it has become an evening ritual.

I know we are anticipating an exciting off-season for the Cubs, but it’s not too soon to start looking forward to Spring Training, right?

The Cubs on Wednesday announced the 2015 Spring Training schedule, which opens with two split-squad games on March 5 against the A’s and Giants.

The final scheduled Cactus League game is April 1 against the Brewers. Times haven’t been determined and more games are expected to be added.

I’m ready to get things rolling for next season already.

“1060 Project”

Danny Ecker writes that the Cubs will be hosting a groundbreaking ceremony for the Wrigley Field renovation project this Saturday, Oct. 11, at 9:30 a.m.

The Cubs are now calling the renovation the “1060 Project” (as in 1060 W. Addison — clever!). We’ll see how well that sticks.

Former Cubs pitchers Kerry Wood and Milt Pappas are expected to be at the ceremony, in addition to Bud Selig and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

I’m going to try and head over to the ceremony, so I hope to have some pics to share.

Other notes

* Wednesday’s Arizona Fall League game for the Mesa Solar Sox was rained out (it rains in Arizona?). The Sox lost their first game, with Addison Russell going 1-for-4 with two RBI.

Because of Wednesday’s rain-out, C.J. Edwards’ start will be pushed to Friday, Carrie Muskat reports. So we’ll just have to wait patiently an extra day for that.

* The Kansas City Royals will make a push to re-sign James Shields, according to Jon Heyman. Shields is one of the top pitchers in free agency, so this could have an impact on the Cubs if they are targeting him.

I’d personally be very happy with Shields on the Cubs if Jon Lester signs elsewhere. Heyman says Shields could easily be a $20 million-per-year pitcher, however. Signing him also would cost the Cubs their second-round draft pick. Shields had a 3.21 ERA (3.59 FIP) with 180 strikeouts in 227 innings in 2014.

* So Josh Beckett is retiring. Beckett, 34, was actually having a pretty good bounce-back season this year (2.88 ERA in 20 starts) before suffering a hip injury that apparently will end his career.

Beckett is one player I could never stop being mad at after the 2003 playoff series against the Marlins. He was so good in that series (well, not including Game 1) and so annoyingly arrogant.

And now after looking through the box scores of that series, I’m a little depressed. Anyway…farewell, Josh.

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