What's better than a 5-1 road trip to begin the 2016 season? Coming home to a brand new, state-of-the-art clubhouse.
The Cubs returned from Arizona early Monday morning, and waiting for them in Chicago was the second phase of the team's $500 million renovation to overhaul Wrigley Field.
As you could have guessed, the team was pretty excited about the new digs.
The clubhouse has expanded from 11,000 feet to more than 30,000 feet, complete with a new locker room, strength and conditioning center, offices and a player lounge that includes a dining room, per the team's press release sent Friday.
There is also an underground batting cage behind the Cubs dugout.
The Cubs host the Reds tonight at 7:05.
In the second and final update before the first round of voting closes, the Cubs are still all over All-Star Game voting.
It’s basically status quo in the update. Willson Contreras and Javy Baez are still blowing away the field at their positions, with more than twice as many votes as the closest player.
Kris Bryant remains solidly in second at third base. Anthony Rizzo fell to third behind Freddie Freeman of the Braves, but he is still comfortably ahead of Max Muncy of the Dodgers for the top three spot that will advance him to MLB’s new Starters Election.
All three Cubs outfielders are set to advance as well. Albert Almora Jr. moved up from fifth to fourth and Jason Heyward moved up from seventh to fifth. Interestingly, Bryce Harper is the odd man out, for now, sitting 10th among NL outfielders.
That gives the Cubs seven players set to advance to the Starters Election. Voting for this round closes Friday at 3 p.m. CT. The Starters Election features the top three at each individual position and top nine among outfielders.
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Luke Stuckmeyer and producer Eric Strobel welcome Frederic, aka the Cubs' unofficial Director of Morale. Fred takes us through the origins and growth of his fandom and social media persona (1:30), before discussing how Jake Arrieta's dominance announced the Cubs as contenders (7:30) and the now-ubiquitous hard hats in the bleachers (16:00). Finally, Fred and the guys talk about this year's team, including the lack of strikeout stuff on the pitching staff (22:30) and the unicorn that is Javy Baez (30:00).
You can listen to the entire thing right here or in the embedded player below: