A League of Her Own

Monday Cubs Headlines: How 'bout them Colts?

AFC Championship: New York Jets v Indianapolis Colts



Aside from the Colts' thrilling victory yesterday, there's no real news to report today. That's why our first story involves So Taguchi. I know everyone is holding their breath right now, so I'll get right to the story.

Former St. Louis Cardinals outfielder So Taguchi is returning to Japan to play with his original professional team.

The Orix Buffaloes announced Saturday they have reached an agreement with the 40-year-old Taguchi. Terms of the contract were not released.


Hooray! We won't have to worry about him sniffing the roster this year!

Since I've already set the bar pretty low for today's news, we'll throw in a fluff piece about Jeff Baker from Cubs.com. He's been working really hard not to be stuck as Mike Fontenot's platoon partner this year.

This offseason, he started hitting earlier than usual. Baker has been working out at George Mason University, which is near his home in Dumfries, Va.

"There's no one there in December," he said of the school, located in Fairfax, Va. "I started going a couple times a week and I've been going every day in January."

He'll be in the Cubs' camp in Mesa, Ariz., when pitchers and catchers report Feb. 17.

"For me, taking ground balls off a gym floor is good," Baker said, "but it's definitely nice being out on the grass and I like the warm weather, too."

He did not take the attitude that he'll be a backup on the Cubs.

"I always prepare like I'm going to be a starter," Baker said. "I believe I can play every day in the big leagues and I can be productive and help a team win. It doesn't really change how I go about my business or my offseason.

"The opportunity to start doesn't come along too often," he said. "I've been fighting for one my whole career. If I get that opportunity in Spring Training, it's something I'm going to try to grab hold of tight and not let go."


To me, this reads: "I've wanted to be a starter my whole career, and I'm not going to let the likes of Mike Fontenot ruin this for me."


Well, that's all I've got for today, unless you want obituaries of Cubs fans or to know that Miguel Tejada signed with the Orioles. Have a swell day, and pray for news, any news.

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55 Comments

gravedigger said:

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Well, at least we've got the Colts.

Ted Lilly Fan Club said:

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Anyone lose a debit card this weekend? We found one. Since no one was using it, we went to Target to buy 3500$ in Ted Lilly Jerseys and Sanka. So, let us know if it's your debit card - Pin #1908 - and we'll share the Jerseys, but not the Sanka. That's ours.

JulieDiCaro said:

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At least buying Lilly jerseys would have been for a good cause. I'm pretty sure some undeserving jerk out there now has every version of Rock Bank plus all the accessories.

Max Power said:

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I'd correct your typo of "Rock Bank" for "Rock Band," but I'm not the passive-aggressive type who lacks self-confidence.

gravedigger said:

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How you holdin' up today?

Max Power said:

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I'm at peace with it. Scotch helps.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I have banks on the brain lately. bleh.

Ted Lilly Fan Club said:

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Thought there was a chance the Pin Number was spot on.... were we close?

JulieDiCaro said:

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not even.

plamorte said:

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if she thinks like the rest of us, it's obviously "8008"

plamorte said:

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One thing I got out of that Colts game(after questioning if his name was peeling off his jersey for 3 quarters)was how to correctly spell Garcon...err I mean "Garçon" (Lesson: in French, that accent tells the reader to pronounce the "C" as an "S" and not a "K")

JulieDiCaro said:

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Every time I hear about someone going back to play in Japan, I can't help but remember our debate about whether a Nippon Ham Fighter was "a ham that fights" or "a person that fights ham."

It took us a while to realize that it was the Nippon Ham "Fighters."

gravedigger said:

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People think the corporate world runs the country here; Japan is way off the deep end in that department.

plamorte said:

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My train of thought is skewed whenever I even see "Nip", I immediately think that someone is a fighter of nipples on a ham.

gravedigger said:

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That would be a worthy cause worth fighting for.

Try as I might, I cannot restructure that sentence without ending it in a preposition.

flyball said:

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It would be worthy of fighting in favor of this cause.

flyball said:

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darn, I mean

It would be worthy to fight in favor of this cause.

gravedigger said:

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That just doesn't sound as good.

flyball said:

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but is it technically grammatically correct?

I never said I was a good writer, and I'm from the midwest, its ok to end sentences in prepositions there case in point

"I'm heading to the Jewel, want to go with?"

gravedigger said:

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Well, right.

plamorte said:

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Actually if your over 60, I think you have to refer to it as "Jewels"

"I'm going to Jewels!"

"Headed to Oscos for my pills!"

plamorte said:

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damn it *you're*

flyball said:

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I don't know, I feel like the article is key, nowhere else does a grocery store get a definitive article but Chicago

AndCounting said:

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A lot of my fellow hoosiers from the region also lend the definite article to Internet sites. People are always going to the Facebook and consulting the Google or the MapQuest.

Aisle424 said:

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You know it's a slow off-season when a Cubs blog is discussing grammar rules this intently.

Max Power said:

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Beats talking about Aaron Miles.

flyball said:

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on the football topic, now I don't know who to cheer for in the Super Bowl because those are the 2 teams that I liked, I need a villain darnit

on baseball....yawn

JulieDiCaro said:

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Me too. Love Peyton. Also love New Orleans. It's a dilemma.

plamorte said:

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Easy for me--Saints. Sean Payton, fellow EIU alum.

MN Pat said:

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I'm just giddy that the Vikings are finally out of it. And that the real Brett Favre finally stood up (or got knocked down, as the case may be.)

But I agree that this year's Superbowl features a distinct lack of villains. Poor Archie Manning. He's in a bit of a pickle.

JulieDiCaro said:

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How can anyone even imply that Baker would be a backup? Backup to WHO? Are we getting Chase Utley?

Baker: .288/.343/.425/.768 (226 ABs)
Fontenot: .236/.301/.377/.677 (377 ABs)

And before someone brings it up:

Mark DeRosa: .250/.319/.433/.752 (515 ABs)

gravedigger said:

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Why can't we have nice things?

flyball said:

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because we just break them

JulieDiCaro said:

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because jerks do things like stealing my debit card!

gravedigger said:

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I left a comment in that original post offering a very good suggestion for you.

FrankS said:

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Yeah, but be sure to check out his career platoon splits:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?n1=bakerje03&year=Career&t=b#plato

Career
vs rhp .262/.316/.411/.727
vs lhp .285/.346/.543/.889

He was pretty close last year on the splits, but I don't know if he'll continue that trend or return to his old patterns. And the big difference last year was that he didn't hit lefties as well as he has in the past. Oh, and another thing that Baseball-reference shows is that he hits like Ryne Sandberg used to hit in April. His career OPS for April is under .600.

AndCounting said:

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I'm gonna go ahead and interpret this as a solid rumor the Cubs are about to trade for Chase Utley.

Edelweiss said:

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One weird thing about some of these blogs is that a remark like that can appear with nothing about the topic preceding it. I looked but could find no remark today about Baker being a backup. There might be a good reason for Baker to be a backup, however. He hit very well in the 69 games he played, but he has a history of tiring and getting injured when a starter. He has never gone a season in the majors, the minors, or in college without being injured at a crucial time for his team. He is a big man, but does not have enough muscle mass to last a full season. He lived in my building last year, and I saw him in short gym shorts . He looks like a giraffe.

JulieDiCaro said:

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70 days until Opening Day.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Bleacher Nation is reporting that the Cubs may already be in negotiations with Johnny Gomes for the 4th OF spot:

.267/.338/.541/.879 (281 ABs) Bats right.

Hell, those numbers are better than Fukudome's. Put him in RF! (then again, he HAS had the benefit of a couple of years of Dusty's tutelege. . . so maybe we'll leave him on the bench until he's been de-programmed)

AndCounting said:

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He does strike out an awful lot, 27.9% of his career PA. MLB average = 18%. Adam Dunn = 26.5%. Ted Lilly: 40.3%. To be fair, when he makes contact, the results are much closer to Adam Dunn than Ted Lilly.

baturkey said:

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I think OT in the NFL should be won by the first team to score a total of 6 points. Winning the coin flip is too big of an advantage right now.

plamorte said:

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that's what Greeny suggested on Mike & Mike. I don't like that, play a shortened quarter.

FrankS said:

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A caller on The Score this morning suggested that if a team scores a field goal on the opening possession of overtime, then the other team should get one possession to score a touchdown to win. They would not be allowed to tie the score again with another field goal try. He didn't get a chance to say if he would give the defending team a chance on offense if the kickoff receiving team scored a touchdown.

AndCounting said:

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I see the argument, but personally I've never had a problem with the current format. To me, the risk of giving the opposition an unfair advantage in OT is just the burden you inherit by not winning in regulation. It's no easier to kick a field goal in OT than it was in the first 4 quarters, so no football team can complain about not having ample opportunity to win. NFL games are ridiculously long as it is, and I have no interest in altering the game to extend it even further. But that's me.

gravedigger said:

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hear, hear

Max Power said:

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I think the college rule of each team getting the ball on the 20 is more sporting.

FrankS said:

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Oh dear, I got an email offer from Chase to do balance transfers from my high interest credit cards. I only have a balance on one card at the moment because I made a purchase this month and it will be paid off when I get the bill. At least I don't have to run an email offer through a paper shredder.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I just went to Chase, made them give me some money out of my currently-negative-balance account, and gave them an earful.

gravedigger said:

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I'll email you with instructions for depositing the money into my account. I promise, this is a better idea than using a bank.

jtbwriter said:

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Afternoon from cool and cloudy So Cal....
Like FrankS-I got a come on from the Big Blue Meanie too-so I was going to reinforce my diatribe at them about what they did to you. Only thing is-has anyone tried to get through to them today? 10 min wait so far to talk to a person. ...That's customer service for you! Hope you take them to court!

JulieDiCaro said:

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Oh, I gave them an earful today. I'm about to do it again.

Edelweiss said:

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I went to Chase today to pay my real estate tax bills. Your blog is getting lots of comments.

Edelweiss said:

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I went to Chase today to pay my real estate tax bills. Your blog is getting lots of comments.

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