1. Pitchers and catchers report to spring training in mid-February, including Cubs free agent Marcus Stroman, a piece of the team’s rebuild. Will this one bring a title to Wrigley, like the 2012–16 rebuild?
2. The rebuilt Bulls, contending for a top playoff spot, are expected to shop before the Feb. 10 NBA trade deadline. They need a wing defender to replace Patrick Williams, out for the season with a wrist injury.
3. Hustle Chicago, a stair climb scheduled for Feb. 27 at the Building Formerly Known as the John Hancock Center, has been postponed to May 15 due to COVID. For safety’s sake, it will be held outdoors, at Soldier Field.
4. Will the polar vortex weaken, releasing Arctic air over Chicago, bringing temperatures in the double digits below zero? Possibly. Scientists reported less sea ice last year, a sign of global warming that, paradoxically, causes the vortex to sag.