When the Marquee Sports Network hired Mark Grace they knew that they had a potential lightning rod on their hands based on the former first baseman’s history of boozing and off-the-field antics. While Grace promised to be on his best behavior upon his hire as a television analyst in February, he said nothing about how he may spread his “wisdom” to some young Cubs players if given the chance.

That opportunity arrived this past week, when Spring Training was placed on lockdown due to the coronavirus and Grace started up an online four-week course called “Get in the Groove with Gracie” for a group of 10 Cubs rookies to teach them what it takes to become a big leaguer.

According to the syllabus, each day of the week has a unique theme, including “Marlboro Mondays,” “Wild Wrigley Wednesdays” and “Thirsty Thursdays.” The course culminates with an all-day, all-night class field trip to Downtown Scottsdale where the pupils will test their skills learned in the course in what has been outlined as “Slump-Busting Saturday.”

Top prospect Miguel Amaya–who just turned 21 on March 9–is among the excited students enrolled in the course.

“Apparently Ryan Dempster is going to be a guest lecturer,” said a giddy Amaya. “I can’t wait to learn about ‘How to Fall Down the Stairs Wasted Off My Ass at Stanley’s,’ and ‘Bad Impersonation of Harry Caray 101.’”

Jeremy Barewin