A League of Her Own

Friday Morning-ish Headlines

I screwed the Sox AND I'm in cammo. Yesssss.

The most fun we've had when our team stinks in YEARS:

This didn't have the sting of a jilted lover as it did 1 1/2 years ago when free agent Torii Hunter chose the Los Angeles Angels, but the White Sox aimed high again, only to fail in their bid for Jake Peavy.

The Sox's four-player offer for Peavy, a two-time National League All-Star pitcher, fell short Thursday when Peavy exercised his no-trade rights to block a trade to Chicago.

"San Diego is the place for us," Peavy told reporters at Petco Park, one day before he's scheduled to face the Cubs. "We've made that decision for the time being."

So despite a massive financial commitment and a recruiting pitch by reliever Scott Linebrink, with the endorsement of general manager Ken Williams, the Sox struck out in their attempt to bolster their wobbly starting rotation and improve their chances in the flawed American League Central.

Honestly, I can't remember a time a player refused to waive their NTC in a done deal, but I'm SO happy it happened to the Sox!

Sigh. Back to our own stupid, no-hitting team:

After losing 10 of 14 coming in the series, the Cardinals pulled off the sweep, limiting the Cubs to two runs on 14 hits in three games.

The Cubs will get one of their best bats back in the lineup Friday night in San Diego, when Carlos Zambrano returns from the disabled list to face Jake Peavy.

"We've got 'Z' in the lineup [Friday], and go from there," Piniella said. "What can I say? No fun to watch."

You know what WOULD be fun to watch? What if Peavy decides to defect halfway through the game and runs sobbing across the field and into Lou's arms? THAT would be fun to watch.

Something else that might be fun to watch? (And by 'fun,' I mean 'amusing because of the utter tragedy of the situation.')

Lou Piniella has a contingency plan in case Mike Fontenot's hitting slump continues -- and his name is Alfonso Soriano.

Piniella said he could move Soriano to second base and stick Micah Hoffpauir in left field.

"Hopefully it doesn't get to that," he said. "But that's a measure of last resort."

Piniella wouldn't elaborate as to what has to happen for the plan to be put in place.
"We'll explore all our other options," he said. "I feel very comfortable with our outfield, but we've got to score some runs too."

Piniella put Fontenot back at second base Thursday in hopes that his hitting would improve by returning to his old position.

"You ask a guy to move over to a different position, and all of a sudden he starts to put a lot of thought into that, and it might detract from [his] hitting," he said.

Remember how I was shocked and appalled when we got rid of DeRosa and learned that Fontenot was going to start at 2B? And remember how I said that he wasn't a starter and wasn't proven as anything other than a PH? And remember how certain people got all mad at me and accused me of not liking him because he's short?


In happy news, Lou's annual implosion may be imminent, and it's Rasputin's fault:

Carlos Zambrano flew to San Diego on Thursday afternoon to get some rest before his start on Friday. But after telling the media Zambrano was at the ballpark, Piniella was perturbed that pitching coach Larry Rothschild did not inform him Zambrano had left.

"The amazing thing around here is the manager is the last guy to find out about things," he said.

Piniella wasn't upset that Zambrano had left but added: "I wish somebody would tell me these things. I think I am responsible for them. ... It makes you look a little stupid when you don't know where your personnel are."

If you think the Cubs players have forgotten about Peavy, you would be wrong:

'Heck, yeah,' shortstop Ryan Theriot said. 'You'd always want a guy like that on your team. That's not taking anything at all away from what our starters have done -- they've been lights out. But how could you not?'

The Cubs already know the feeling is mutual. Peavy, who is scheduled to start against the Cubs tonight in the series opener in San Diego, made that much clear during trade talks that nearly resulted in a deal at the winter meetings in December in Las Vegas.

At one point, Peavy was so confident a trade would get done, he sang 'Go Cubs Go' while at a Las Vegas bar with friends that week and signed autographs that included 'Go Cubs.'

'I thought for sure he was coming,' Theriot said.


'We're kidding ourselves if we say we don't need him or we don't want him,' outfielder Reed Johnson said. 'As far as having a desperation for a pitcher like that, I don't think we have a desperation like that. Starting pitching has been one of our strengths. But to say he wouldn't add an extra element to our team, any team could use that.'

So true. You know what else 'any' team could use? More time in the batting cages; less time standing around talking to reporters.

Z versus Peavy tonight. God help us if we can't beat the Padres.



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