A League of Her Own

Friday Cubs Headlines: Guess What "Lazy" Pitcher is Already In Camp?

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Good morning, LOHO campers! Isn't the Cubs blogosphere a GREAT place?

Hey, speaking of great things, there's nothing I like better than watching people who sit behind their keyboards and call professional athletes "lazy" look dumb. Because guess which "lazy" member of the Cubs starting rotation is already in camp, two weeks ahead of schedule?

After spending the offseason in Chicago for the first time in his career, Carlos Zambrano flew down to Arizona last week to get a head start on spring training.

Pitchers and catchers don't have to report to Fitch Park in Mesa until Feb. 17, but Zambrano already is working out, promising to atone for his nine-victory season.

"We did it quietly," general manager Jim Hendry said. "I don't think he wanted any publicity for that. He's going about his business well. I think you're going to get a very well-focused guy who's determined to rectify last year's season."

With Ted Lilly out until May, the onus will be on Zambrano and Ryan Dempster to get off to good starts and stay healthy, keeping the front end of the rotation afloat until Lilly returns. Zambrano stuck to his offseason workout routines, and
the Cubs believe he's committed to staying in shape.

"Carlos was a little heavy last year, there's no question," manager Lou Piniella told fans at the Cubs Convention. "He's another player (besides Geovany Soto) we had a nice conversation with toward the end of the year.

I'm sure it was nice. I'm sure it was a lovely conversation. I'll bet Z just loved hearing that he was fat and needed to lose weight.

And then there was one. Looks like if Theriot heads to arbitration, he'll be doing it alone:


Marmol watch: Carlos Marmol signed a one-year, $2,125 million deal to avoid arbitration. Marmol had asked for $2.5 million, while the Cubs countered at $1.75 million.

Last year at this time, Marmol thought he would be the club's closer, but he lost the job to Kevin Gregg in spring training. Now he enters spring with a clear head, knowing the job is his.

"There's no pressure on me," Marmol said. "I know there are a lot of possibilities, and if I put it those possibilities in my mind, I'm going to be messed up. Just calm down, and whatever happens, happens."

Actually Carlos, THIS is the season when there IS pressure on you. Last season there was no pressure.

If the holidays are over and the stores are stocked with Valentine's Day kitsch, it must be time for Tony LaRussa, the Delicate Genius, to open his big yap and say something stupid. Or in this case, a bunch of stupid things. Observe:

On whether he ever would manage the Cubs:

"You've got a double-headed whammy there. I have a lot of friends and fans that I'm close to with the White Sox. And you know White Sox and Cubs, they don't mix. I've got friends and fans that I'm close to in St. Louis, and the St. Louis Cardinals and the Cubs don't mix. So I think if there is one place that I don't fit, just because of my past, it would be the Chicago Cubs."
 
On Mark McGwire's steroid admission and return to the Cardinals:


"I think he has the qualities of a great hitting coach, and that's why he was hired. And you knew at some point, No. 1, he couldn't just take the job and not be forthcoming about 'I did do something or I didn't do something.' And I think when he came out, we were really encouraged that he pulled out all the stops and admitted more than anybody yet that he made mistakes. He apologized sincerely. So I don't think there's a whole lot left that he hasn't talked about, that he needs to talk about."
 
On McGwire possibly being put on the Cardinals' active roster:


"I was watching him swing in the cage and he's whistling it. I said, 'You could still swing!' He said, 'Why don't we talk about you activating me?' We were just messing around and our tongues were so much in our cheeks that it's hard for anybody to understand what we were saying. He's not going to play, he's going to coach. Hopefully, we have a postseason, but he won't be a part of it."

Aaaaaaaaand we have some news on the Cubs' upcoming TV schedule:

Fox will air two of its national Saturday major-league baseball broadcasts in prime time this season, and one will be the Cubs-White Sox game at 6:10 p.m. June 26 at U.S. Cellular Field.

It's the first time in the network's 15 years of televising the package that it will show two regular-season night games. They will be the first such prime-time games since 2004.

The May 22 prime-time broadcast will feature another Cubs' road game, against the Rangers at 6:10 p.m., as well as Yankees vs. Mets, Red Sox vs. Phillies and Tigers vs. Dodgers. The June 26 choices, in addition to Cubs-White Sox, are Yankees vs. Dodgers and Red Sox vs. Giants.

It's Friday, and that's the day we share 5 random songs on our iPods. Here are mine:

  • Sky Blue Sky: Wilco
  • Color Me Impressed: The Replacements
  • Copa Cabana: Barry Manilow
  • Father Figure: George Michael (I invoke the Trust Tree)
  • Use Somebody: Kings of Leon  

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66 Comments

plamorte said:

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I shuffled and hit next 5 times. I cringed twice.

-Little Cream Soda: The White Stripes
-Spin The Black Circle: Pearl Jam
-Michelle: Local H
-Hot Dog: Limp Bizkit
-Night Moves: Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band

JulieDiCaro said:

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Lisa: Okay Chief! Enjoy Bob Saget!
Cheif Wiggum: No, it's Bob Seger (looks at tickets). . . aw crap.

AndCounting said:

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That reminds me of Flanders holding up his Chris Rock tickets:

Flanders: I'm going to a Christian Rock concert. It's gonna be one wholesome evening!

JulieDiCaro said:

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Bah--forgot to mention this in headlines:

"As mentioned in Monday’s episode, awards season is upon us and we at Cubscast would like to honor those that have operated the best Cubs-related websites in 2009. The aptly named “Best Cubs Website Awards” (or “The Strodes” for short) will be broadcast in a special episode on Monday March 8th.

We need to know what you consider to be the best Cubs websites — and we’re taking nominations in each of the following categories:

Best Cubs Blog – Individual Author

Best Cubs Blog – Multiple Author

Best Major Media-Produced Cubs Blog

Best Cubs Site – Overall – Non-Blog

Best Cubs Humor Site

Best Cubs Fan Twitter Profile

Best Cubs Photo (taken in 2009)

Best (Official or Not) Current or Former Cubs Player Site

Excellence in Diction – Best Original Cubs Nickname

Cubs Personality Lifetime Achievement Award"

So get over there and nominate your favorite blog! My nominations included TLFC, Another Cubs Blog, Tales from Aisle 424, Cubbie Doctor Examiner, Wasting Away in Wrigleyville, 101 Years and Counting, and Wax Paper Beer Cup.

AndCounting said:

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Thanks, Julie.

plamorte said:

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Ditto Thanks. I voted for LOHO of course and for twitter, I nominated everyone on Adam's list!

Doc said:

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And a big thanks as well, Julie.

JulieDiCaro said:

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No need for thanks, but you're both welcome and both nominations are richly deserved.

gravedigger said:

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you spelled "overrated" wrong.

just jokes, i'll eventually get around to voting. but im feeling lazy right now.

flyball said:

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yay Friday! yay Carlos! blah LaRussa (sorry, I'm in a weird mood, maybe its the massive amounts of coffee I've already had)

Ipod shuffle,
(its on my running mix, sorry)
Higher Ground - Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Jokes on Me - Jordan Zevon
Spinning - Fooled by April
Spaceman - The Killers
American Girl - Tom Petty

GWMusic said:

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Whoa, I have to admit I was surprised to find my old band, Fooled By April, on your iPod! Rock on!

Might've been more appropriate for your iPod to suggest another track from that record, "Come in Chicago"... :)

baturkey said:

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Ticket to Ride - The Beatles
I Will Survive - Cake
Haunted By The Ghost of Patty - Barcelona
Knee Deep at the NPL - Camera Obscura
Rock Me Gently - Andy Kim

Max Power said:

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Good work on Rock Me Gently. A relative rarity, but deservedly on your iPod.

jmkobus said:

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LaRussa coaching the Cubs, No thanks. Duncan as our pitching coach, yes please.

And She Said - Lucas Prata
Kingdom(Remix) - Dave gahan
Hot Dog - Led Zeppelin
Whole Lotta Love - Led Zeppelin
Black Betty - Ram Jam

I love me some Zeppelin.

plamorte said:

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Ahhh Black Betty, that's what I named my high school ride...my sweet ass 1995 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP. It was pimpin, especially when I took off the hood louvers and spray painted them white to go against the jet black paint Man I was COOL!

jmkobus said:

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I wish I would have had you as a bigger brother to look up to! That is beyond cool!

baturkey said:

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I don't usually go for cover bands, but Lez Zeppelin, the all-girl Zeppelin cover band is really good: http://www.myspace.com/lezzeppelin

jmkobus said:

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Nice! That was not bad at all, and they had The Ocean, which is an automatic A in my book.
But I am excited cause the Peoria Orchestra is gonna do an all Zeppelin concert.

JulieDiCaro said:

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So how do you feel about the fact that Randy Jackson is re-making "Stairway" with Mary J. Blige and Travis Barker?

jmkobus said:

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Please tell me your kidding. You know what, I assume you arent and this just further proves how much I hate Randy Jackson.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I heard it on TMZ. They're always right about everything.

AndCounting said:

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I decided to go straight-up honest with my first five randomly selected songs, a decision made easier by the lack of embarrassment I felt at looking at these:

Find the River - R.E.M.
We Will Rock You - Queen
Mothers of the Disappeared - U2
Wayside / Back in Time - Gillian Welch
Royale with Cheese - Dialogue, Pulp Fiction
...but if we're going with tunes only...
If I Had a Boat - Lyle Lovett

JulieDiCaro said:

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Mothers of the Disappeared---nice.

plamorte said:

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ugh I think I'm the only person I know who really never liked U2.

Karen said:

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I can't stand U2...and I thought I was the only one.

gravedigger said:

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I also really, really dislike them.

Teebob2000 said:

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I'll limit mine to my '70s Rock' playlist (or I'll get too much spoken word/classical/misc):

Loves Me Like a Rock - Paul Simon (The Dixie Hummingbirds' cover w/out Simon won a Grammy and is great)
Dancing Days - Zep
Heroes - Bowie
I Shot the Sheriff - Clapton
Brandy (You're a Fine Girl) - Looking Glass (what a really sad song!)

JulieDiCaro said:

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Brandy is an AWESOME song. It's one of those 70s songs I didn't realize I loved until I was much much older and no longer worried about looking cool. LOL

Teebob2000 said:

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Yeah, right? There were probably two dozen songs like that I came across putting that playlist together. I had not fond memories of them and then 30 years later, when you really listen to them, it's like hearing some of them for the first time, and they're really good songs!

JulieDiCaro said:

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"Build Me Up, Buttercup" is another one like that. Love it.

plamorte said:

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That should be the Cubs anthem.

Why do you build me up (Build me up)
Buttercup baby just to let me down (Let me down)
And mess me around

flyball said:

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check out the LOHO Lingo at the top of the page, I believe that a certain Ex-Cub is still in there with that nickname

Teebob2000 said:

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Ahhhh!! I was gonna name that song specifically (along with "Dancing in the Moonlight") but didn't want to sound like a dork!

It's nice to be home.

JulieDiCaro said:

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And that one song that goes "I'm not talking about moving in, and I don't want to change your life, but there's a warm wind blowing and the stars are out. . . and I'd really love to see you tonight. . ."

Ha! The AM radio of my childhood.

Fargo said:

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England Dan and John Ford Coley...why I remember that, I don't know.

Teebob2000 said:

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That one's decidedly uncool.

JulieDiCaro said:

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hrumph. that's the last time i share my trust tree of 70s AM radio with you.

Teebob2000 said:

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Awwww... I'm sorry. Uncool isn't necessarily bad, it's just... uncool.

Hey, we're Cubs fans - we can root for uncool underdogs England Dan (G-d rest his soul) and John Ford Coley with pride!

oog of ulams said:

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drum
drum
drum
drum
drum

JulieDiCaro said:

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seriously.

i've got nothing.

we could talk about which smartphone i should get.

Doc said:

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Droid.

gravedigger said:

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T-Mobile blows.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Wait----YOU have a Palm Pre, don't you??!?!?!? What do you think?

Doc said:

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Droid.

millertime said:

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Dixie cup w/string. Much cheaper, and more reliable network.

gravedigger said:

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yes, and i like, but see my emails for details.

Dmband said:

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Thank friggin god that Big Z finally understands the correlation between being in shape and performance as an athelete.

And he finally stayed in Chicago during the offseason. Im predicting big years from him and Soto.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Time to psych myself up to go to the DMV and get a new license.

If I'm not back, avenge my death.

baturkey said:

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WOLVERINES!

Max Power said:

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Let's Talk About Spaceships - Say Hi to Your Mom
Sorry For Freaking Out On The Phone Last Night - The Mr. T. Experience
Casimir Pulaski Day - Sufjan Stevens
If We Can't Escape, My Pretty - Nic Armstrong
All My Friends - LCD Soundsystem

Wow - that's a bit heavy on the indie pop. Well, it's honest.

Doc said:

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Classic Rock for the Doc:

Born on the Bayou-CCR
Waiting for Our Time-Styx
Watching and Waiting-The Moody Blues
Break on Through-The Doors
With a Little Luck-Paul McCartney

flyball said:

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that is some classic rock, with a nod to CCR, excellent

Doc said:

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Felt it was appropriate with New Orleans in the Super Bowl.

flyball said:

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CCR is always appropriate

berselius said:

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Agreed. CCR is the seed band for the Pandora station I listen to 99% of the time.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I adore CCR. One of my most favoritest bands EVER.

Dmband said:

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speaking of Indie Rock..sweet lineup thus for for Pitchfork...and its within walking distance of my place! Yay! July 16-18
Friday
Modest Mouse

Saturday
LCD Soundsystem
Raekwon

gravedigger said:

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Jealous.

Maim said:

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My My Metrocard - Le Tigre
Mindreader - Sebadoh
Latin Roots - Fugazi
Pickpocket - At The Drive-In
Sound of the Bell - Veruca Salt

Hmm. I need some new music. I think only one of these bands is still together.

Max Power said:

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Fugazi will never die. I still believe my "This is not a Fugazi T-Shirt" shirt (from....a few years back....) is somewhere in my house. The back? "You are not what you own" (from Merchandise, off of Repeater). I loved that shirt, although I have since learned was not actually a product of the band (Dischord, their label, refused to copyright band names, and the band just told the makers to donate the proceeds to charity).

Come back tomorrow for more Punk Rock Memories of a Suburban Dad...

flyball said:

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so it was in fact not a Fugazi shirt

baturkey said:

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Veruca Salt was my first all-ages show.

berselius said:

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No Ipod here, just a pandora station. Last 5:

Gimme 3 Steps - Skynyrd
Lodi - CCR
American Woman - Guess Who
The Ballad of Curtis Loew - Skynyrd
Another Brick in the Wall I - Pink Floyd

berselius said:

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Sadly none of the metric ton of Journey that I've been listening to lately hasn't popped up.

itsjenjen said:

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I've never thought of Carlos as lazy-quite the opposite. High strung at times, but I think he really wants to win. I like that part of his personality.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I don't think he's lazy, either, but that's the rap he gets.

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