Cubs

Adam Warren brings 'World Series or die' mentality from Yankees to Cubs

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Adam Warren brings 'World Series or die' mentality from Yankees to Cubs

Adam Warren hasn't thrown a pitch in a Cubs uniform yet, but he's already dreamed about what it would be like to win it all at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs felt they needed to get a young pitcher like Warren in return when they flipped Starlin Castro to the New York Yankees at the winter meetings, the trade that opened the door to Chicago for Ben Zobrist and his championship pedigree.

[RELATED - Cubs hoping Arismendy Alcantara can hit the reset button in 2016]

Warren is used to great expectations after coming up with the Yankees and spending the last seven years in an organization with a "World Series or die" mentality shaped by those 27 titles.

"Absolutely," it would be special to win one here, Warren said during last weekend’s Cubs Convention. "I was asked the question if I'd dreamed about it and I said: 'I wouldn't be human if I hadn't.'

"But I hate to get ahead of myself. The team that's picked to win it at the beginning of the year always has a bad year, so we try not to fall into that trap. So we focus on spring training and then the one game in front of you.

"But, yeah, I've definitely pictured it. It'd be really neat for the team, the city, the fans who have been loyal through all these years. It's a fun thing to imagine. But at the same time, I don't want to get ahead of myself."

[RELATED - Cubs prospect Willson Contreras could be next core player to hit Wrigley]

Warren was vacationing in St. Lucia in the Caribbean islands when he found out he was traded to the Cubs, noticing the news on the bottom line of a TV screen at a restaurant. Before the deal, he and his wife already had a conversation about how they could see themselves living in Chicago.

Warren said he didn't know anybody on the Cubs when he was first acquired, but he's excited to play for manager Joe Maddon and be part of this young core.   

Warren also said he was told that he would get an opportunity to start. That probably means getting stretched out in spring training and being a swingman, at least for another season. The right-hander is 28 years old and under club control through the 2018 season.

"In talks, they said, 'We got you to be a starter. Whether or not it's this year, we'll see,'" Warren said. "But I think they're going to give me an opportunity in spring training to at least prove myself as a starter and see what happens.

"I'm not unhappy being in the bullpen. I'd rather start. But I've been in the bullpen for two full years in New York and loved it."

[SHOP CUBS: Get your Cubs gear right here]

Warren proved he could handle The Bronx and compete in the American League East, making 127 career appearances out of the bullpen (3.05 ERA) and holding his own in 20 starts (7-6 record, 3.98 ERA and 1.28 WHIP).  

"He's a high-character guy, a great teammate and a really amazing contributor, " Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said after completing the Castro trade. "It was a tough loss to lose him, but you have to give to get."  

The Cubs appear to have a full five-man rotation in place with Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, John Lackey, Kyle Hendricks and Jason Hammel. Plus, the bullpen will be filled with other pitchers who have significant starting experience in Trevor Cahill, Travis Wood and Clayton Richard.

But the Cubs essentially had no major injury issues with their rotation last year and they don't expect that to continue. So Warren represents one of the multiple backup options in place.

"Obviously, I want to start," Warren said. "But I've pitched successfully out of the bullpen as well. This is a win-now mentality with this team, so it's whatever we got to do."

Kyle Hendricks takes in a Blackhawks game with... Bastian Schweinsteiger?

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NBC Sports Chicago

Kyle Hendricks takes in a Blackhawks game with... Bastian Schweinsteiger?

A Cubs pitcher taking in a Blackhawks game in a suite is nothing special, but doing so with a World Cup winner is... different.

Kyle Hendricks was spotted by the cameras of Thursday's Blackhawks-Coyotes broadcast on NBC Sports Chicago. The guy he was standing next to was none other than Chicago Fire midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, a World Cup with Germany and Champions League winner with Bayern Munich.

Hendricks is known for being reserved on the mound and in his interviews with the media. Meanwhile, Schweinsteiger was filmed yelling "Bear Down" in the hallway of Toyota Park after a Fire practice earlier in the day.

There's no telling what inspired Schweinsteiger to do this, but he has definitely embraced Chicago sports teams since joining the Fire in March of 2017.

Makes you wonder what Hendricks and Schweinsteiger were talking about. Best places to get brats in Chicago?

Ben Zobrist provides a hilarious glimpse into how he's spending a free October

Ben Zobrist provides a hilarious glimpse into how he's spending a free October

Ben Zobrist won't win the Comeback Player of the Year award this winter, but maybe he can take home a Grammy for Best New Artist?

The Cubs veteran infielder/outfielder posted a hilarious video on his Instagram Wednesday night showcasing how he's been spending October after the Cubs were unceremoniously ousted from the playoffs after on the third day of the month.

It's a fantastic music video of Zobrist lip-syncing to Mumford & Sons' "I Will Wait" while he nearly knocks the TV off the wall of his home by swinging the bat indoors pretending to hit off Clayton Kershaw and frolicking around a field that looks shockingly similar to Hershel's farm from the second season of "The Walking Dead":

View this post on Instagram

It always takes me a few weeks to process the season and begin the offseason. Here are my thoughts.....along with a unique way of making light of the postseason that should have been......... (special thanks to @dimtillard for help with Video) Maybe you feel the way I do. It was a very quick and abrupt ending to a good season for us. It leaves a sour taste in my mouth. But let’s not forget all the good that happened. This game and this team gives us something to pass the time, to express our love and passion, to feel the joy of the wins and the pains of the losses, and it calls us to unity when we so easily can be divided about so many other things. Each game is a microcosm of life. The game itself is not Life, but it helps us deal with life in a way. I’m thankful for even the painful losses at the end. The game can be a great teacher. I felt privileged to play with this team and play for our fans all year. We were stretched and we grew in new ways as individuals and as a group and that is always a good thing. We strive to win championships, but more often the process is the goal. We will be stronger because of all that we went through this year. What will I do now? I will travel and watch my wife crush her book tour. I will be in and out of Chi-town. I just got back home to Franklin, TN. I will find joy in raising and watching my kids grow and continue becoming their own person. I will rest and begin preparing for next season. I will work hard in mind, body, and spirit. I will help other players with @patriotforward and @showandgo. I will focus on personal growth and charitable endeavors and become a better man, teammate, friend, and player. To Baseball and Fans: For the next 5 months until I play next year.... I will wait for you....

A post shared by Ben Zobrist (@benzobrist18) on

Zobrist also posted a lengthy caption on his perspective on the Cubs' disappointing end to the season:

It always takes me a few weeks to process the season and begin the offseason. Here are my thoughts.....along with a unique way of making light of the postseason that should have been......... (special thanks to @dimtillard for help with Video) 
Maybe you feel the way I do. It was a very quick and abrupt ending to a good season for us. It leaves a sour taste in my mouth. But let’s not forget all the good that happened. This game and this team gives us something to pass the time, to express our love and passion, to feel the joy of the wins and the pains of the losses, and it calls us to unity when we so easily can be divided about so many other things. Each game is a microcosm of life. The game itself is not
Life, but it helps us deal with life in a way. I’m thankful for even the painful losses at the end. The game can be a great teacher. 
I felt privileged to play with this team and play for our fans all year. We were stretched and we grew in new ways as individuals and as a group and that is always a good thing. We strive to win championships, but more often the process is the goal. We will be stronger because of all that we went through this year. 
What will I do now? I will travel and watch my wife crush her book tour. I will be in and out of Chi-town. I just got back home to Franklin, TN. I will find joy in raising and watching my kids grow and continue becoming their own person. I will rest and begin preparing for next season. I will work hard in mind, body, and spirit. I will help other players with @patriotforward and @showandgo. I will focus on personal growth and charitable endeavors and become a better man, teammate, friend, and player. 
To Baseball and Fans: For the next 5 months until I play next year....
I will wait for you....

Come for the Zobrist lip sync, but stay for the 37-year-old using a bat as a guitar while wearing a sleeveless shirt and rocking an old-timey top hat.

A year ago, Zobrist completely reshaped his offseason workout plan after three straight years of playing deep into October. It appears he's added another new trick to his winter workout — hopping over fences even though there is a clear opening just a foot away.

Hey, whatever works...