A League of Her Own

Chicago Cubs Headlines for Tuesday

MLB: APR 06 Cubs at Astros

Welcome back.

Hail, hail; the gang's all here:

Aramis Ramirez would like to take credit for what happened in the first three innings -- nine baserunners and four runs -- against the Braves on Monday night.

But the truth is, he was the only one in the Cubs' lineup, including pitcher Randy Wells, who didn't reach base.

Yet it is hard to put a mental measure on what it means -- finally -- for a baseball team to have an entire lineup together, sort of a comforting cohesiveness.

The 4-2 victory was the first time since Opening Day that the projected starting eight played at once.

Is that true? That can't be true. That's true?

Now that we're super-excited to have everyone back, Hendry's thinking he might be able to fly under the radar:

General manager Jim Hendry hinted on Monday the Cubs may not do much at the trading deadline, whether the Ricketts family is officially in control of the team or not.

"I've always said I'll wait until the owner is in place to talk about what he may or may not want to do," Hendry said. "At the same time, look at our roster today -- we have a pretty good team. If our guys all play like we're capable of, most of them, you don't have to do a whole lot of things. There aren't a whole lot of places to fit somebody in if we perform the way we're supposed to."

The Cubs have a payroll of just less than $140 million and could use some bullpen help, particularly a left-hander. Hendry hasn't spoken to Ricketts about payroll, and while manager Lou Piniella said he has heard Tom Ricketts is a "fine gentleman and will be a really nice owner," he has yet to meet his potential new boss.

Booooo! Boooo!!!!! Second base! Second base!!!!!

When will there be REEDZ?

Johnson watch: The Cubs won't face another left-handed starter on the homestand, so Reed Johnson may not get into the starting lineup. But when the Cubs do face a lefty, he's likely to replace Kosuke Fukudome in the leadoff spot. Piniella acknowledged after Monday's game that's the plan.

"That's been a spot where I've basically been my whole career," Johnson said. "From college all the way up to the big leagues, I've been in the top two or three spots in the lineup. That's familiar territory for me."

Booo! Boooo! Abs!!! Abs!!!!!

Okay, let's see. . . . more stuff about the sale. . . Crane Kenny ready for the sale to be over . . . mlb gets a look at the sale contract. . . yada yada yada . . . oh, here we go:

Soriano said he hasn't been told how long his move down in the order -- to sixth the last three games -- would last. But the longer-term prospects arose Monday when Piniella said he plans to use Reed Johnson in the leadoff spot vs. lefties after Sam Fuld and Kosuke Fukudome handled duties there five of the last six games.

Since the Cubs won't face a left-hander until they play at Washington after the All-Star break, that means the Cubs head into the second half with other leadoff plans besides Soriano. That assures more starts out of the leadoff spot for him than he's had since 27 starts in the 3-4-5 spots in 2006 with Washington. The last time he wasn't a regular leadoff hitter was 2005, when he batted mostly fifth for Texas -- and produced 36 home runs and a career-high 104 RBI.

''As long as I'm in the lineup, it's OK,'' he said. ''I like six. It's good for RBIs.''

Funny you should mention that, Fonzi. I think I once heard someone mention that having you lower in the order might account for more RBIs. Can'pt remember where, though.

Let's see . . .a couple of notes from Gordo:

The Cubs traded Ryan Freel -- designated for assignment Thursday -- to Kansas City, along with cash enough to cover most of his salary, for a player to be named later. They have until Oct. 15 to complete the deal.

The Cubs' pitching rotation for the St. Louis series this weekend: Rich Harden on Friday, Ted Lilly on Saturday, and then in Sunday's doubleheader, Ryan Dempster and Randy Wells (order to be determined).

Carlos Zambrano, slated to start Wednesday against Atlanta, could be available out of the bullpen by the end of the St. Louis series if necessary, Piniella said.

Um. . . what?

Can he play 2B?

Finally, if you missed Len and Bob's charming interview with Ponch last night, our buddies over at Wasting Away in Wrigleyville have detailed it all for you:

Tonight is the night dreams are made of here at WAIW. Not only did A-Ram return and the Cubs win, but there was one of the most incredibly awkward 7th inning stretch interviews with Erik Erstrada, everyone's favorite highway-patrolman.

An incredibly awkward discussion on child pornography and Ron Jeremy tends to be the items that the family friends Cubs broadcasts like to steer clear of. Len and Bob did their best, but clearly they did not know what to say. For those of you that read us regularly, you know that this is just the beginning of our coverage on such an event.

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32 Comments

Doc said:

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Um...Crane Kenney should be hoping this sale drags out for a long time...because I'm thinking he'll be the first guy kicked out the door when the new ownership takes over.

berselius said:

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Sandy Alderson, anyone?

flyball said:

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it was kinda nice seeing a lineup that resembled a major league team last night

Doc said:

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So, I had a thought last night while watching the game...

Fontenot is kinda sucky. (that wasn't the thought)

Soriano is going to have to play somewhere even during this sucky time.

Fox Trot is hitting well, and has (surprisingly) played well in the field.

So...

Put Soriano at 2nd base.
Put Fox Trot out in left.
Bench Fonteblow. (the w is silent)

Honestly, Fox can't be much worse than Soriano in left, and I'm more confident that Soriano will raise his average over .250 before Fonteblow will.

At least try this out until the league figures out Fox.

JulieDiCaro said:

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there was a lot of talk about this on sports radio yesterday.

soriano will be a butcher at 2B. fox will be a butcher in LF.

i guess this comes down to whether you're in the camp where you think defense matters (and to what degree), or if you're in the camp where you just put the best offensive team on the field and don't worry about defense.

millertime said:

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Everything is wonderful again!

Doc said:

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An interesting thing I noticed last night...

Here are two different stat lines:

Player 1:
AB: 217
R: 19
HR: 8
RBI: 27
BB: 34


Player 2:
AB: 218
R: 24
HR: 8
RBI: 33
BB: 27

Can any one guess who these two players are?
Player one is Geovany Soto.
Player two is NL All-Star catcher Brian McCann.

If it wasn't for his batting average, Soto isn't really that far off from being one of the better NL catchers this season...

Either that, or McCann is really overrated (which he is).

JulieDiCaro said:

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is it just me or did all our comments just disappear?

Doc said:

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you are seeing things.

JulieDiCaro said:

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yeah, probably.

Doc said:

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Honestly, Soriano's play in left field as of late has been horrendous. Unless he's injured, which outside of fielding poorly and batting poorly has shown no signs of, he would probably be at least as good of a second baseman as he is a left fielder right now...and Fontenot hasn't really be outstanding at the position either. I'm fairly sure, after watching Fox a little bit that he would be as good if not a little better than soriano out there.

It's probably a bit premature to say anything at this point. After another week or so, if this team starts to slump again offensively (hopefully not), that option should be considered.

JulieDiCaro said:

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i'm willing to consider anything to get fontenot out of the lineup, even though he's been better as of late.

i think making him a starter was a mistake.

Doc said:

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"i think making him a starter was a mistake."

Yes...even Steve Phillips and Orel Hershiser said that last night and that he would be best placed in a utility roll.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Fontenot this season:

.236/.314/.369

eesh.

i admit that we might be able to absorb that in a "regular" season, but not in a bizarro season like this one.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Dude:

"The southbound side of the Tri-State Tollway was backed up this morning near 95th Street after a box truck and a passenger vehicle were involved in a crash that left 9,000 pounds of Chinese food on the roadway, Illinois State Police said.

Neither driver was seriously injured, said Master Sgt. Robert Fierstein.

The incident occurred at about 6:35 a.m. and shut down two of four lanes. Traffic was slowed for about four miles behind the crash as crews tried to clear the road.

It was unclear what kind of Chinese food was involved, Fierstein said."

this makes me sad.

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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Don't be too sad... it was probably some crappy pre-made frozen stuff.

JulieDiCaro said:

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probably full of red peppers.

that makes me feel a little bit better.

berselius said:

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BOOOOOOOO red peppers

JulieDiCaro said:

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thank you!

red peppers in mexican food? fine.

red peppers in asian food? NO!

baturkey said:

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That makes no sense.

flyball said:

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julie's war on peppers makes no sense

but then I can't really trust anyone who doesn't like coffee anyway

JulieDiCaro said:

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i like espresso. does that count? i can handle lattes.

flyball said:

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its close, but you lose points if the latte is made with whole milk, especially an iced one

JulieDiCaro said:

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skim milk. i don't do iced coffee. that's what tea is for.

i also like cappucino. i just can't do the dark coffee from 7-11 or dunkin' donuts or starbucks thing.

but ask max; i twitched and jittered all the way across tuscany because i drank all the espresso i could get my hands on.

JulieDiCaro said:

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what? my pepper issue?

i don't like red peppers in sweet things. spicy is fine. fajitas = yes. veggie fried rice = no.

i HATE it that frozen food makers use red peppers as cheap flavoring in everything.

flyball said:

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is this a change in the pepper ban?

JulieDiCaro said:

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John Kruk still believes:

"The real problem with the Brewers (and Cardinals, too) is that they played well, probably better than everyone thought, but the Cubs are still there. They couldn't bury the Cubs. Chicago, despite its sluggish start, is going to be fine. Derrek Lee is starting to hit better and Aramis Ramirez is back from the disabled list, both of which should aid the Cubs in their quest for the division's top spot. They might have struggled for much of the season so far, but they're the best team in that division. And it's reasonable to expect their performance in the second half to be indicative of that."

flyball said:

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it is chocking that the Cubs are still in the running, it really feels like they should be 8 games back

Doc said:

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Hey Julie...sounds like we should have a diary for second half predictions.

JulieDiCaro said:

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already working on it.

jtbwriter said:

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Afternoon,all!

Not to have the final word on Red Peppers-but I only like them roasted and cold in antipasto. In hot food-ugh.

Frappachinos-anyone?:)

As for the Cubs-I think with one relief pitcher they can win the division. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it!

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