Chicago Cubs Putting It Together

Will Selva’s latest post about Hispanic Athletes.

baseball

The Chicago Cubs had a poor 2014 season. The team got off to a horrendous start and sold off assets like Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Oakland Athletics, Emilio Bonifacio to the Atlanta Braves, and Darwin Barney to the Los Angeles Dodgers. These moves allowed the Cubs to call up some young talent they had in their farm system to the big leagues. After finishing July 45-62, 17 games under .500, the Cubs went on to finish the regular season 28-27. The Chicago Cubs were one of the more exciting teams down the stretch in September having called up a lot of young talent to put on display and they delivered. Lets take a look at some of the young talent that was on display as well as some who figure to make an impact in 2015.

SS Starlin Castro – 24 years old
Despite being just 24 years old, Castro completed his 5th season in the majors. A career .284 hitter, Castro finished 2015 hitting .292 with 14 HRs and 65 RBIs. While Castro has produced, the Cubs have a plethora of young shortstops in the farm system and he may be dealt for another starting pitcher to add to the rotation.

2B Javy Baez – 22 years old
One of the guys the Cubs have that could replace Castro is now second basemen Javy Baez. Baez, who came up the farm system converted to second base in order to find playing time. Baez was called up on August 5th and made a huge splash. In his first game, he hit his first career home run, a game winner in the 12th inning. He went onto hit 2 HRs in his third game becoming the first player in over 50 years to hit 3 HRs in his first 3 games. Although he hit just .169, he did display some pop with his bat hitting 9 HRs and driving in 20 RBIs.

RF Jorge Soler – 22 years old
Soler was called up in late August and also homered in his first game with the Cubs. Soler definitely showed he can hit posting a .292 average with 5 HRs and 20 RBIs in just 89 at-bats. He figures to be penciled in as the everyday right fielder in 2015.

1B Anthony Rizzo – 25 years old
Rizzo entered the majors in 2011 with the San Diego Padres but did not create a role for himself. He came to the Cubs in 2012 and really carved his role as the everyday first basemen in 2014. Rizzo hit .286 with 32 HRs and 78 RBIs.

The pitching rotation looks to also shine in 2015. The Cubs signed one of the top free agents this offseason in Jon Lester. They inked the 31 year old left hander to a 6 yr $155 million deal. He finished last year 16-11 with a 2.46 ERA between the Red Sox and Athletics. He also struck out 220 batters. Jake Arrieta, the 28 year old right hander played all of 2014 with the Cubs and still managed a 10-5 record. He compiled a 2.53 ERA, a WHIP of 0.99 and struck out more than a batter an inning. Kyle Hendricks, a 25 year old right hander was called up in July and was spectacular for the Cubs. He finished 7-2 with a 2.46 ERA and a WHIP of 1.08.

The Cubs have a lot of great young pieces and with the addition of Lester, they figure to be a contender in the NL Central. Another name to keep an eye on, Kris Bryant. Bryant played all of 2014 in the minor leagues despite dominating. The number 2 overall pick in 2013, hit .325 with 43 HRs and 110 RBIs between AA and AAA. At age 23, he may be the best of the bunch that the young Chicago Cubs have to offer.

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Good News, You Can Stream the Super Bowl this Year

Will Selva’s latest post about Hispanic Athletes.

Don’t worry about paying for cable this month just to watch the Super Bowl. According to a report from Tech Crunch, NBC will provide an 11-hour video stream of the game on its website. You can tune in for the pre-game coverage and  the half-time show all from your laptop or tablet, but don’ try watching on your iphone… NFL has given the rights to live-stream on smartphones to Verizon Wireless solely. For you young city dwellers who have cancelled their cable subscriptions, this means you won’t need to camp out at your friend’s apartment or a loud bar to enjoy the game. You can begin streaming around noon on game day and finish watching at 10pm.

Super_Bowl_29_Vince_Lombardi_trophy_at_49ers_Family_Day_2009

NBC’s effort to live stream the event corresponds with an ongoing attempt to encourage widespread support for “TV Everywhere” in the industry. NBC seems to be in the forefront of this campaign with the Super Bowl stream. The network is working on live streaming content across the NBC stations. For the network, offering a live stream of the Super Bowl is one way to promote and advertise this new feature on a large scale. The reach here will be enormous.

But let’s talk more about the actual Super Bowl. This year, we will witness the Patriots play against the Seahawks in Glendale, Arizona. The Patriots have been to the Superbowl 7 times and the Seahawks have made two Super Bowl appearances so far.  A few basic facts about these two teams…

Patriots 

Head Coach: Bill Belichick

Owner: Robert Kraft

Home Base: Greater Boston Area

Super Bowl Championships: 2001 (XXXVI), 2003 (XXXVIII), 2004 (XXXIX)

2008_NE_Patriots_players

Seahawks 

Head Coach: Pete Carroll

Owner: Paul Allen

Home Base: Seattle

Super Bowl Championships: 2013 (XLVIII)

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Get Active in Los Angeles!

Will Selva’s latest blog post.

california-beach

You don’t have to be a tourist to appreciate the outdoors options that Los Angeles offers year round. The city’s moderate climate and temperatures during the majority of the 12 months leaves plenty of outdoor destinations choices for family, couple or individual day trips. If you are in need of a few options for your trip, I’ve included just a few of my favorites below. There are, of course, dozens of other outdoor attractions I have excluded but you can find a longer list of options here.

Franklin Canyon

Franklin Canyon Parks offers an escape from the city noise and commotion. It is a quiet escape from the city’s traffic and overwhelming concrete. The park hosts weddings, meetings and parties, but it’s also an easy option for a family day trip. There are plenty of places around the park to have a picnic by the lake or under an oak or sycamore tree. If you are seeking to bird watch, stop by the heavenly pond where you can feed passing ducks.

Beaches

It’s difficult to pin down just one beach to visit near Los Angeles, but just to name a few, check out: Descansco Beach, Crescent Beach, Pebbly Beach, Ben Weston Beach, Royal Palms County Beach and Manhattan County Beach.

Lake Piru

This Lake, which is located in Ventura County inside the Los Padres National Forest right next to the Sespe Condor Sanctuary. The lake is a great camping destination with its tidy restrooms, hot showers and a stocked stored for travelers to purchase all of their needs. You can even rent a pontoon boat to take out on the lake.

Angeles National Forest

Experience amazing scenery and a natural environment when you visit this forest. The forest offers fishing, hiking, swimming and even skiing areas. Check out the wilderness areas like Cucamonga, Magic Mountain, Pleasant View Ridge, San Gabriel Wilderness and Sheep Mountain Wilderness.

Equine Experiences and Trail Rides

You can horseback ride in Palos Verdes. Activities offered include; Cowboy Boot Camp, Trail Rides, Dinner Rides and riding Lessons.

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