A League of Her Own

Cubs Monday Headlines: Cubs Suffer Through Second Day of Rain

MLB 2009: Cubs Spring Training in AZ
Today we continue my personal photo history



Mother Nature is helping the Cactus League realize why the Cubs need a new Spring Training facility. A second consecutive day of rain created a split squad practice.

Sunday may have been the best example of why the Cubs have been clamoring for a new spring-training facility.


Heavy rains limited workouts. A few pitchers were able to throw on the outfield grass at Fitch Park, but many other pitchers and hitters trekked down the street to HoHoKam Park because there are only two covered batting cages at Fitch.

Pitchers and hitters each had to take their turns under cover.

"Notice that, because of only two covered mounds, we had to go to the other ballpark and take half our staff over there," said manager Lou Piniella. "I wouldn't say 'outdated,' but it could use some revamping."


It seems the pitchers wouldn't mind having practice indoors most days.

The fastballs sounded a little faster inside the covered batting cages. Getting good pop was reliever Jeff Stevens, who was throwing before the watchful eye of Greg Maddux, the future Hall of Fame pitcher now an assistant to general manager Jim Hendry.

"I would pay a catcher to make that mitt pop as much as possible," Lou Piniella said. "We've got some nice arms here. But inside, boy, that makes your fastball look about 3 or 4 miles an hour faster."

Yesterday there was some discussion of the Theriot/Fukudome leadoff battle. Lou weighed in for today's headlines:

Kosuke Fukudome and Ryan Theriot say they want the job, which manager Lou Piniella said he likes to hear, but he's not sure which will get the job -- or whether it will be a combination of the two.

''I haven't thought about it all that much, to be honest,'' Piniella said. ''We'll see what happens here in the spring with it. We'll just use one one day and use one the next, and we'll see. It depends how they're swinging the bat, depends on who the [opposing] pitcher is -- there'll be some variable.

''But we'd like to stay constant, too. We'll come up with something.''

I wonder if this interview was after Lou had already hit the sauce. Regardless of its variability or constancy, the leadoff battle hasn't let Fukudome affect his generosity toward Theriot.


Fukudome gave Theriot a bat from his batch made from a rare Japanese hardwood that U.S. players have trouble buying. Theriot marveled at the quality of the wood, which was determined by the sound it made when tapped.


Or is it possible that Fukudome gave Theriot a special bat made from a less rare Japanese softwood that will ruin his chances of hitting anything beyond the mound? Speaking of ruining chances, there are only four players left who haven't shown up early to impress those fans who think everyone should show up early.

Only four players had not shown up by the eve of today's full-squad reporting date: Soriano, Derrek Lee, Starlin Castro and Aramis Ramirez.

What a bunch of lazies. Speaking of lazies, we'll get a couple injury updates (here I'm making the inference that anyone who gets injured is lazy).

* Ted Lilly is continuing his rehab and switching to more bike work than running to avoid aggravating his right knee.

"We've just got to be careful with him and bring him along slowly and not rush him and that's exactly what we're going to do," Piniella said of the lefty.

* Angel Guzman is a few weeks away from actually throwing. He's slowed following arthroscopic surgery on his right knee last month.

"He's a big piece of our bullpen right now, too," Piniella said.

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41 Comments

gravedigger said:

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Well, now that the new season is upon us, please allow me to take this moment to say publicly for the first time this year that I really, really hate this team and wish I wasn't cursed to eternal fandom.

AndCounting said:

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It's like you and the Cubs are the Lockhorns. You might complain about the way they always burn the meatloaf, but deep down everybody knows you love them.

LostinFla said:

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Don’t worry. Death will save you from eternal Cub fandom. Assuming, of course, that you give no credence to the unpublished work of Dante in which Wrigley Field is identified as the 10th Circle of Hell and the place where all Cub fans end up going.

MN Pat said:

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Abandon hope, all ye who enter.

Teebob2000 said:

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Geez, become a freaking Yankee fan, why doncha.

AndCounting said:

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I don't understand the confusion on the leadoff spot. Fukudome's jersey number: 1. Ryan Theriot's number: 2. How much easier can this be?

plamorte said:

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Remember when we traded Jose Ceda for Kevin Gregg? Cubbies must have knew something...like how he shot his best friend.

http://bit.ly/b7uWRu

gravedigger said:

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300lbs? Damn, he huge.

Aisle424 said:

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Maybe he shot his friend because he was making fun of his weight too much.

plamorte said:

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Quick, someone make fun of Silva to his face and hope he fires a gun in response. It's the best way to make sure he doesn't actually appear in any games.

AndCounting said:

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Chan Ho Park just signed with the Yankees. Don't know if there's anyone left out there the Cubs really want. This is our team.

plamorte said:

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Kiko Calero?

AndCounting said:

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Maybe. But it seemed like they had soured on his injury/recovery outlook or something. If nothing else, it would give Santo and Hughes something to laugh about every time he warmed up in the bullpen.

JulieDiCaro said:

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still amped up from the hockey game last night.

Suck on that, Hosers!

FrankS said:

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Let's hope that team USA keeps taking it one game at a time. It was a great win, but the gold is the goal.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Wow--it never occured to me that Cubs baseball could get MORE boring once Spring Training started . . .

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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We always forget how horrible spring training is. We're dying for any baseball to start, then a week in we're dying for the regular season to start.

gravedigger said:

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Then a week later we're begging for it to mercifully end

Karen said:

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I have exciting news. My 2 daughters (age 16 & 10) are going to visit my folks in Surprise, AZ over spring break. I just got them tickets to see KC vs Cubs in Surprise. My parents are Cubs fans, but have never gone to Spring Training. Thought I'd break them in by making them drive 2 miles instead of halfway across the valley.

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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You shouldn't have mentioned this. Now we're all going to want to stay with your parents and go to ST games.

Karen said:

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I know...I still haven't figured out how I am stuck in Chicago that week.

Edelweiss said:

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My friends think I scored a big gig, going to the Olympics. Guess what I have been doing...sitting on a lawn chair on the Alpine courses, with a red flag in my hand, in case a skiier goes off the course. Then if he or she does, I hold up the red flag, and the real judge reviews the instant replay. I have nothing to do with the NBC broadcast, and have interviewed two Austrian, and two Italian athletes for ORF and RAI. Now, I am looking foreward to Spring Training.

Doc said:

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"But inside, boy, that makes your fastball look about 3 or 4 miles an hour faster."

Damn...the Cubs should just build a dome on Wrigley Field then.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Are we playing baseball yet?

Doc said:

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I'm too lazy to play baseball...I just wish there was some baseball to watch so I could have more to criticize.

JulieDiCaro said:

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How many days until the first televised ST game? 10 days?

Doc said:

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Yeah...10 more days to make bull-shit up. Boo!

Edelweiss said:

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On a Canadian baseball channel, they televised the 2000 College World series championship game, where Fontenot was not yet full-grown, and Theriot was not yet potty trained. Hey, when you are hard-up for a game, anything will do.

cub legend said:

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He needs to forget about Bradley.
The Sun Times had the article about Bradley reporting to camp for Seattle. I don't think anybody here cares. I shouldn't even read about him. I just get pissed. Just glad he is gone.

Edelweiss said:

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David Kaplan hates everyone but Theriot.

Dmband said:

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Baseball Prospectus seems to think the Cubs are in serious trouble..

I tend to think thats a good thing...for once we are coming in under the radar....

The projected Wells to go 7-10 4.92 ERA...Yuck.....Soriano was something like .252 with 19 hrs....double yuck.

JulieDiCaro said:

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More often than not, flying under the radar leaves to smacking into the side of a mountain.

:P

I think we're going to stink this year.

Doc said:

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I expect Wells to be not as good as in previous years...

I think projecting Soriano that low is a mistake...if he's healthy, he could put up staggering numbers in the 5 or 6 holes.

But the truth of the matter is, the core of the Cubs lineup is getting old. Lee, Ramirez, Soriano and Fukudome are all past their primes as players. And Byrd and Theriot aren't spring chickens themselves.

Doc said:

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oops...

"Wells to be not as good as in previous years..."

Um...I guess I meant previous year...or last year...or Doc is an idiot who can't type.

millertime said:

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Also, we lost Bradley and Harden.

Doc said:

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Bradley leaving was a good thing...don't you read anything Paul Sullivan writes?

Dmband said:

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He he he...

I guess Im just a little perplexed that the same team (mostly) that everyone thought was going to win the division by a decent amount is now being looked at as average at best...

My biggest concern, I think most people's biggest concern has to be the starting rotation...

For some odd reason, I think we are going to be somewhat of a potent offense...maybe I just am drinking the kool-aid....again.

MN Pat said:

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Happy National Margarita Day everyone! Add some tequila to that kool-aid ...

Dmband said:

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I always do!

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