A League of Her Own

Chicago Cubs Headlines for Wednesday

US Postal Service Tests Segway
It's mailbag day!



The Rickettseseses have been in charge for a week, and already they're being courted like a princess with only ten fingers and one hell of a dowry. Mesa, Arizona is putting on the full court press in hopes of keeping the Cubs from jumping ship to the Grapefruit League.

Mesa's presentation featured a video selling the team on Arizona's scenery, sports venues and resorts where guests were pampered. Political leaders emphasized government and businesses will fight for the Cubs. Even Sen. John McCain spoke in a recording made in Washington, D.C. McCain wished the team a World Series victory and emphasized, with a comically timed cough, how much fans would appreciate that.

"Please stay with us," McCain said.


I think McCain's pitch would've been more effective if he'd allowed a single tear to roll down his cheek. How could you say no to a crying John McCain? We know that decisions involving the Cubs take forever, so this one should be no exception, right?


Tom Ricketts said he wouldn't announce any timeline on a decision, except to say he's looking to act "in a very short period of time."


But if he acts in a very short period of time, what other useless news will I have to post four mornings a week!? Maybe construction updates?


I gave you a mailbag teaser with the photo, and I've held back long enough. Now we'll segue into the mailbag with a little help from a guy who needs a lot of help.

Phil N. from Mesa, you're screwed.

If the Cubs stay in Mesa, Ariz., for Spring Training, is there any likelihood they will stay in the same area? We recently bought our house and it's within walking distance from HoHoKam Stadium. The Cubs are the reason we bought it. Who do I need to talk with to keep the club in my neighborhood?
-- Phil N., Mesa, Ariz.

You can send a letter to new owner Tom Ricketts, but it probably won't do any good. The team is going to move, and the only question now is whether it's going to Arizona or Florida. The Cubs have outgrown their current site in Mesa, which is why they're considering other options, including Naples, Fla.
Next up, Carrie has already solved next year's bullpen issues. I'm glad that's taken care of.


With Carlos Marmol moving to closer, there seems to be a gaping hole in the setup position. No. 1, will Carlos remain the closer for 2010? No. 2, if he is the closer next year, who is going to be our setup man? It seems like either way, you have a big hole that needs filling.
-- Zach B., Woodstock, Ill.

Yes, Marmol will be the closer. Secondly, I don't see a gaping hole. Some of the candidates for the main setup guy include Esmailin Caridad, Justin Berg, Angel Guzman, Aaron Heilman, Jeff Stevens, David Patton, John Gaub, and, probably the best choice, John Grabow, who is a free agent. E-mailers who have suggested the team keep Rich Harden for the setup job should forget that idea. The job requires a durable arm.

Do you think Carrie was offended that Zach B. told her she had a big hole that needs filling? Up next, Bob S. of the great state of Indiana has an alternative solution for second base:

Everyone is saying Mike Fontenot or Jeff Baker should play second base next year. Where's Andres Blanco in all of this? He's great defensively, a switch-hitter, and picked it up later in the season, taking his batting average from near .200 and finishing at .252 with a push. Why is no one talking about him?
-- Bob S., LaPorte, Ind.

Lou Piniella likes Blanco's glovework, but the infielder has to show he can handle big league pitching. He's doing well in Venezuela with Magallanes, and he'll get a good look this spring. Check out MiLB.com or my blog for Winter League updates.


To round up the mailbag, Carrie shows just how much time she has in answering this question. It might also show the small number of emails, or at least the small number of emails able to be answered publicly that she gets.


Which free agent outfielders are going to be available to replace Milton Bradley in right or center field? How about second basemen?
-- Ken F., Huntley, Ill.

She then goes on to list every free agent center fielder and second baseman. Including Corey Patterson.


Finally, there shall be no Iwamura in our future.


Akinori Iwamura is about to be traded, but not to the Cubs. The Rays reportedly dealt the second baseman to the Pirates on Tuesday for reliever Jesse Chavez. Some reports had the Cubs interested in Iwamura, who batted .290 for Tampa Bay.


At $4.85 million, Iwamura will be the Pirates' highest paid player.

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37 Comments

JulieDiCaro said:

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I'm disgusted with Maine voters and in a bad mood today.

I have to go to court downtown today, so I'll be back later.

millertime said:

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Oh no, you've got to go downtown, Julie. It's all downtown.

Just like the song says:

When you're alone and life is making you lonely
You can always go

- downtown


When you've got worries, all the noise and the hurry
Seems to help, I know

- downtown

Just listen to the music of the traffic in the city
Linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty
How can you lose?

The lights are much brighter there
You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares

So go downtown, things'll be great when you're

Downtown - no finer place, for sure
Downtown - everything's waiting for you


JulieDiCaro said:

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Awwww, for a second I thought you were quoting Seinfeld.

millertime said:

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I sort of was. It's one of my favorite episodes.

FrankS said:

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The nation just isn't ready for same sex marriages. I think eventually it will be. In the meantime, maybe Congress and the states should imbue the partners in a civil union with the same rights that married couples have as far as property rights, making medical decisions, taxes, health insurance, etc.

The bit I always love is how the people against same sex marriage are always claiming to save the institution of marriage. Yep, it is working so well for heterosexual couples that half of all marriages end in divorce and the length of the average marriage is around seven years.

berselius said:

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I love the argument that allowing gay people to marry messes with procreation. Obviously it's better if you just have all the gay people be closet cases that hate themselves, but produce children. Won't somebody think of the children!!!!??!!?!!

millertime said:

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Just because heterosexual sinners ruin God's gift of marriage with their on-demand divorces and horrible spousal behavior does not justify Same Sex Marriages. To call same-sex relationships "marriages" is a misnomer, because marriage necessarily involves the uniting of two members of the opposite sex.

I have no problem with Same Sex relationships receiving the same legal civil rights of heterosexual marriages. But calling this "marriage" changes the nature and concept of the definition of marriage.

berselius said:

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How would you say it does change it millertime, besides the pronouns? Just curious to hear your views

Umbra said:

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Two things, for starters:

1. It messes with the complementary nature of what a marriage is supposed to be. This is the idea that men and women by their very nature have been given different roles in relationships. The Apostle Paul famously writes of this in his letter to the Ephesians, describing a husband and a wife as being like a head and a body. Having two heads, or two bodies, leads to disorder.

There are two big objections to this. First is that people reject the assertion that gender roles are God-given, or biologically favored, or sociologically advantageous. Instead, gender roles are seen as needlessly arbitrary at best, or imposed by men as a power grab at worst.

The second big objection to complementarianism in marriage is that two men (or women) can complement one another just as effectively as any man and woman. In the same way that talents, leadership, and abilities vary between sexes, they can vary within them as well.

2. Think of the chiiiiiiildrennnnn!

Marriage provides the sanctioned means of producing, protecting, and raising children. Gay marriage cannot do this. I don't mean to imply that gay people can't be good foster parents, or that straight people who don't have kids are ruining the institution. I just mean that providing for children is one of the purposes of marriage, and gay marriage cannot serve that purpose.

I don't mean to come down on one side or the other: I wrestle with the issue often, but I voted against the Wisconsin Constitutional Amendment that banned gay marriage or other similar institutions. I'm just trying to articulate how the definition of marriage changes.

JulieDiCaro said:

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The US Constitution doesn't define "marriage." You're speaking of a religious defintion. We have separation of church and state in this country.

You're asking the entire country to bend to your religious views. We aren't supposed to do that here.

Umbra said:

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My support for those two parts of the definition of marriage are motivated by religious belief, sure. And it's because of the separation of church and state that I voted AGAINST the Wisconsin Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage, among other reasons.

However! If I were to point out the evolutionary basis of complementarianism/sexual dimorphism, or the biological way two people of the same sex cannot conceive a child, would that be acceptable?

JulieDiCaro said:

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No, because, as I said, "marriage" is not defined in the U.S. Constitution, which sets the bottom floor for the rights of citizens. States are free to give additional rights, but they can't limit any rights guaranteed in the Constitution. I don't really care what people "think" marriage means or why it's important to them. The issue at this point is that, if you're gay, you have less rights than the rest of the population, including people who live in states where gay marriage is allowed. That's a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

No one gets to bring personal views into this. It's a legal, equal rights question, plain and simple.

Umbra said:

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Beg the question much? Homosexuals have the right to marry whomever they want- as long as it is of the opposite sex. That's the definition of marriage: a socially binding legally recognized compact between members of the opposite sex. If marriage is NOT between one man and one woman, and is instead defined as society's recognition of the love and commitment between two people, super. We can have that debate. But don't change the definition of marriage and then invoke the Equal Protection Clause.

Following the rules of Internet Discourse, you are Required to remind me that I am a Racist Because of Inter-racial Marriage Bans in 3...2...1...

JulieDiCaro said:

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The definition as defined by WHO? Whose definition of marriage are you using? And don't say "society's."

JulieDiCaro said:

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Does that also mean that we shouldn't allow people who are too old to have children to marry? Or people who can't have children to marry? Or people who intend not to have children to marry?

berselius said:

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It's the gender role stuff that really gets my goat. In many ways, the fight for homosexual rights is very aligned with womens' rights because of this issue.

One point about families though - it seems to me that the procreation argument breaks down when you consider adoption and to a lesser extent, surrogacy. IIRC most gay relationships that choose to adopt children are as stable as hetero relationships that choose to do so. There are TONS of kids in the adoption/foster care system.

Thanks for the well thought-out response.

millertime said:

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Berselius,

Umbra did a good job of explaining things. If you'd like to know more about my views, I'd be happy to share them, just send me an e-mail. This goes for anyone else as well. I have no problem discussing my views on the subject further, but I'd rather be able to 1. Take time to write a well thought out response. 2. Not turn this blog into Social Issues Debate blog. I really don't want this to turn into something negative, or annoy people who don't want to talk about it.

Millerea22@gmail.com

JulieDiCaro said:

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as defined by who?

we're all in civil unions anyway. only churches perform "marriages." so who cares? no one is talking about forcing churches to perform same-sex unions. what the hell does it matter?

god, this issue makes my head explode.

gravedigger said:

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how do you think i feel

JulieDiCaro said:

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To me, this is the same as saying the country isn't ready for interracial marriages. I don't care if they're ready or not, it's a civil rights issue.

gravedigger said:

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THANK YOU. I find it totally ridiculous that peoples' rights are put up for a vote in the first place.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Agreed.

Just imagine if people had been allowed to vote on blacks voting or school integration.

millertime said:

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So, I'm guessing moving the Cubs Spring Training to Wisconsin isn't in the mix anymore? When did this happen? Did I somehow miss that news story?

Also, thinking that Harden would be a set-up man is crazy, but not because of "durability", more like paying a set-up guy multi million over 4 years is a complete waste of money. It's almost as bad as paying a 40 year old $8 Million to pitch 9th inning of games.

If Guzman stays healthy, I like him. And I'd like to see how Cashner does, he seems like a prototypical 8th inning power reliever. And Maybe. Just Maybe. Jeff Samardzjia will start taking those steroids I've been mailing to him, and he'll turn into a decent pitcher.

Doc said:

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You know...if Mesa has McCain trying to help keep the Cubs in the area, we should get Russ Feingold to try to lead an effort to get the Cubs to move to Madison for spring training. You know, it would be a great move, especially with global warming and all. Arizona is going to be way too hot in about 5 years, so moving to Wisconsin is the logical choice.

berselius said:

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As far as I'm concerned, Arizona is way too hot already

thisyearcub said:

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I'm sure guests were "pampered," all right. How far is Arizona from the Bunny Ranch?

Doc said:

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Probably not close enough...but I'm sure as part of the deal that Mesa is putting together, they'll put a Bunny Ranch annex up right next to the new Cubs spring training facility.

Doc said:

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SB-Nation has gone communist.

Their new symbol looks like a soviet star.

AndCounting said:

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I can't read "SB-Nation" without thinking 'Strong Bad'.

flyball said:

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you know, as much as the Cubs moving to Florida would make it easier for me to be able to go to spring training, I like Arizona more for them, they should stay

Doc said:

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It seems like Arizona should be a better fit for them...

but a ridiculously high number of World Series winners over the last couple decades have spring training in Florida. It might not be a bad idea to have an investigation into why that is.

flyball said:

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or on investigation into a ridiculously high number of World Series winners over the last couple decades are east coast teams

its an EST conspiracy

flyball said:

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sooooo, Cubs Convention Tickets went on sale today, they should really rethink this Chicago in January thing though

JulieDiCaro said:

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There's going to be a Cubs "Tweetup" or get-together or whatever on Friday night at Kitty O'Shea's. Mark your calendars.

gravedigger said:

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Tweetup -- is that a bird puking?

JulieDiCaro said:

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Ha--I was looking at the number of comments while I was out and about today, wondering if the day was really so slow that no one had anything to say. Now I realize everyone ran away because the conversation turned to gay marriage. Ha.

gravedigger said:

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Fucking homos ruin everything.

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