Morning Marquee: It’s Opening Night for the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals


Ernie Banks‘ statue returns for Opening Night against the Cardinals

It’s finally here. All the talk, predictions and speculation can come to an end as the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals will open up the 2015 Major League Baseball season. The “new” (but not quite finished) Wrigley Field is ready.

Jon Lester

will debut his $155 million arm against the team the Cubs will need to dethrone to live up to the hype that has attached itself to them. New skipper

Joe Maddon

will hopefully lead them to places they haven’t been in a long while.

This is the grand stage the Cubs would have asked for. Debuting the new team, in their renovated stadium against their biggest rival on national television. Even Kris Bryant will be there. Okay, he’s on a billboard across the street–but it likely won’t be long before he actually is there. This is the first of 162 games to see if Anthony Rizzo‘s prediction of a Central crown will be correct.

Maddon rounded out his rotation, officially naming Travis Wood as the last starter while Edwin Jackson moved to the bullpen. The move wasn’t a surprise, and really just needed to become official via the Cubs. After a 2013 All-Star season, Wood hopes to bounce back after a less than memorable 2014. Jackson should feel relieved to still be a member of the Cubs, although his hefty salary likely had more to do with it than anything else.

The statue of Ernie Banks has returned to Wrigley Field, and will be displayed right in front of the marquee. After his passing, the statue had been moved to Daley Plaza for fans to gather and pay their respects. Now as Opening Night arrives, Mr. Cub will be there to welcome fans to the “new and improved” Wrigley Field.

These and other stories from around baseball:

‘Wood joins rotation, Jackson moves to bullpen’ – Cubbies Crib

‘Ernie Banks statue returns home to Wrigley Field’ – Cubbies Crib

‘Lack of set closer isn’t necessarily a problem’ –

‘Expectations for the St. Louis Cardinals lineup’ – Redbird Rants

‘How will Edwin Jackson fare in his new role?’ – Cubbies Crib

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