A League of Her Own

Chicago Cubs Headlines for Friday

MLB: FEB 21 St. Louis Cardinals Season Ticket Reception

Huh?

For those of you lost in the Michael Jackson melodrama lo these past two weeks (Doc), you might have missed the fact that St. Louis rolls into town this weekend. Shockingly, Tony LaRussa is still ticked off at our beloved Ted:

Ted Lilly proved his true value to the Cubs last Sept. 10 at Busch Stadium when he barreled into catcher Yadier Molina during a collision at home plate, knocking the St. Louis catcher on his back and eventually forcing him to leave the game.

The Cubs had lost eight of nine games and manager Lou Piniella had just challenged his players to "get your damn shirts rolled up and go out and kick somebody's [butt]."

Though Lilly was tagged out, the charged-up Cubs wound up winning the game and ticking off the Cardinals.

"I'll let the other team talk about him," St. Louis manager Tony La Russa fumed afterward. "I have no comment about him."

The fact that Ted can make LaRussa so angry only makes me love him more.

As if we ever had any doubt, it looks like the news about Geo is not good, setting in motion the worst 1-2 catcher combo since Paul Bako and Rick Wrona:

Geovany Soto's MRI showed some minor damage in the lower left oblique, but the Cubs aren't expected to make a decision on his status until after this weekend.

Jake Fox will serve as the backup catcher for the four-game series against St. Louis, which begins Friday at Wrigley Field.

Soto, who was working out with trainer Mark O'Neal at Wrigley on Thursday, will be sidelined at least through the All-Star break.

The Cubs will opt to play a man short this weekend to get to the All-Star break and see if Soto's condition improves before the start of the second half Thursday in Washington.

Some anonymous Trib writer gives us three things to watch this weekend:

1. Lou vs. La Russa: The two old friends and rivals are both on edge, for various reasons. Tony La Russa dropped his lawsuit against Twitter Inc., so Cubs fans should refrain from mentioning it in mixed company. Lou Piniella doesn't want to discuss his sagging offense, so please don't ask him. Piniella has the overall edge since coming to the Cubs, with a 23-17 record vs. La Russa's Cardinals.

2. Soriano vs. Carpenter: Alfonso Soriano is sore after sitting Wednesday without a heads-up from Piniella, while Chris Carpenter's arm problems apparently are past and he has returned to form. Soriano is a .387 career hitter vs. the Cardinals ace, with two home runs in 31 at-bats.

3. Bradley vs. world: Cubs hitting coach Von Joshua broke down Bradley's left-handed swing and made some recommendations. But is Bradley listening? Piniella may drop him to the No. 6 spot against right-handers until he proves he's out of his left-handed funk.

Seriously? Carpenter still isn't hurt yet? Duuuuude.

In case knowing that we have to hit against Chris Carpenter wasn't enough to send you running for the scotch this morning, Gordo has an even more depressing take on what's ailing this team:

But here's the thing: While the Cubs, along with many media and fans, have maintained that this is a group of exceptional hitters who have simply underperformed all season, that's not true.

The fact is this lineup never was as good as it was billed. The fact is the expectations were more out of whack than the results have been.

And that's because those expectations were based on last year's extraordinary results, when the Cubs led the league in nearly every offensive category and won 97 games.

With many of the same hitters back this year, that made the team performance this first half look like an aberration when it was actually last year's performance that was the aberration.

You think that's the annual potential of this lineup? Come on.

Um. . . yes?

And HA! What did I tell you about Hendry going after BJ Ryan? Bruce Miles has my back:

Expect the Cubs to at least kick the tires on left-handed reliever B.J. Ryan, released Wednesday by the Toronto Blue Jays.

The 33-year-old Ryan will have to clear waivers, and once that happens, the Cubs likely will explore the possibility of signing him.

Insiders say any team that ends up with the former closer probably will want him to start out at Triple-A. The Blue Jays are on the hook for the approximately $15 million Ryan is owed through next season. The Cubs, or any team that picks up Ryan, will have to pay him only a prorated share of the major-league minimum salary this year and the minimum for 2010.

So that's the story, kids. The Cards are up by 3.5 with 4 to play before the ASG. Lord bless this rockethouse and all who dwell within the rockethouse.

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20 Comments

HoboHanson said:

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Sunday is gonna be a long day for ol' Toe Thumbs. I wonder if Fox will get into the second game?

flyball said:

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I totally forgot about the double header, thats brutal

flyball said:

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have you read Three Nights in August? LaRussa can definitely hold a grudge, he really doesn't like Prior either

also, while promoting his book he went on a radio show in Boston and just railed on Edgar Renteria, saying how he can't take pressure and all this other stuff, while the guy was trying to establish himself on the Red Sox, it was completely unnecessary and rude

JulieDiCaro said:

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i don't think my sarcasm came through. larussa holds a grudge against EVERYBODY. that was supposed to be a joke.

flyball said:

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oh, I didn't mean to be snotty, I got the sarcasm

JulieDiCaro said:

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i didn't think you were snotty. i thought my writing was poor.

JulieDiCaro said:

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LMAO over the next game box. Is that a dead cardinal? It looks like the chicken that's in love with Fog Horn Leghorn.

flyball said:

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also, I think perhaps Pedro, having dealt with Boston and New York, really only Philly will give you the next level of insults from fans, I mean Chicago is good and all, especially portions of the bleachers, but Philadelphia fans are in a different league

JulieDiCaro said:

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right. it's never really occured to me whip a battery at someone.

Doc said:

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it has occurred to me.

Doc said:

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let me add to that...

it has occurred to me...but against our own players.

JulieDiCaro said:

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i would be lying if i didn't grin gleefully at the idea of throwing an octopus at Korey's head.

flyball said:

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they do that too there, the new stadium has a tiered bullpen, and originally the Phils had the top one, that lasted about a week when the players requested that it be switched

Doc said:

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Drop Milton to sixth in the batting order vs. right handers?

Um...so we would actually move soriano up in the order? yuck!

I have an idea. Bench Milton vs. right handers...at least for a little while. He's bound to break out sooner or later. Right?

Doc said:

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It would be entertaining to see Uncle Milty play for the Phils.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Check out the hilarious post from Lou over at HJE, where I'm currently hanging on the shoutbox with the guys.

gravedigger said:

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whats HJE?

IrishYeti said:

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www.hirejimessian.com

thisyearcub said:

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Lineup para hoy:

Johnson
Theriot
Fukudome
Lee
Ramirez
Soriano
Fontenot
Hill
Harden

Doc said:

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are we in for a rain delay today?

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