A League of Her Own

Saturday Cubs Headlines: One Week To Go

Ted Lilly

One week from today, we will be getting ready to watch Cubs baseball.

No, I'm completely serious.

Speaking of being serious, opposing hitters better get that way, because resident badass Ted Lilly is back in camp. Awwwww yeah!

MESA, Ariz. - After yet another setback in what has been a rough offseason, Ted Lilly goes into the final year of his contract not knowing exactly when he'll be ready to pitch for the Cubs.

Already recovering from shoulder surgery and a knee injury, Lilly missed most of this week with a 103-degree fever and flulike symptoms.

"I haven't been on my feet much at all in the last five days," the left-hander said Friday, when he returned to camp and did some light throwing. "I was in bed for 18 hours a day."

Manager Lou Piniella and GM Jim Hendry had been saying Lilly would miss the season's first few weeks. Lilly had hoped to prove them wrong, insisting he could be ready by opening day, but he now realizes that's unlikely.

"I'm just going to get back as soon as I can. I don't know what that day is going to be," he said. "I don't want to start the season on the disabled list. I don't feel good about that. I don't like being on that list."

Sick or not, I maintain that, if all that was left of Ted Lilly was his smile and his little finger, he'd still be more of a man than any pitcher I've ever known. (*sniff*)

In bullpen news, Carrie Muskat wants us to prepare ourselves for seeing Esmailin Caridad in the set-up role:

"He's on the team," Lou Piniella said Thursday. "He's almost got to pitch himself off it. I don't think he will. I like this young man. He competes, he's got a good arm, he can pitch a lot. He handled himself here quite well the last two months of the season."

In 2008, Caridad was with Class A Daytona, then moved up to Double-A Tennessee. Last year, he made 25 starts for Triple-A Iowa and went 5-10 with a 4.17 ERA, striking out 114 over 131 2/3 innings.

Late last season, Caridad was called up to the big leagues and appeared in 14 games. He compiled an impressive 1.40 ERA over 19 1/3 innings. Could he be the right-handed setup pitcher the Cubs need?

"He's got the stuff for it," Piniella said. "Does he have the experience, savvy? We'll have to wait and see. He does have the stuff. One good thing about this young man is he's not scared."

Caridad saw Piniella's comments.

"I'm ready for the season," the pitcher said Friday. "When I started this spring, I put my energy and concentration into the game."

At 26, Caridad is older than most of the other bullpen candidates.

"He's got a young arm," said Mike Mason, who was the Iowa pitching coach. "He makes a lot of youthful mistakes. He overthrows. Last year, when he came up to the big leagues, it was kind of his niche -- short doses of high energy pitching."

Yeah, it's going to take me a while to get used to that idea. Let's move on.

Have you had a good cry yet, today? No? Allow me to help you out:

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers have not yet officially named Rich Harden as their Opening Day starter, but Harden will pitch before Scott Feldman in the Spring Training rotation. Pitching coach Mike Maddux said that Harden will start the first Cactus League game, on Thursday against the Royals. Feldman will pitch against the Royals on Friday.

Each will pitch two innings. Maddux said the order does not necessarily mean that Harden will be the Opening Day starter, but that appears to be the plan going into Spring Training.

How about a little Fukudome news for your Saturday?

He came to camp saying his goal is to hit .300 after hitting .257 and .259 his first two years with the Cubs. And Kosuke Fukudome is serious enough about getting better that he's making some changes suggested by new hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo.

The Cubs have been reluctant to tinker much with the former Japanese batting champ's unorthodox-for-the-U.S. style. But the high-energy, higher-success-rate Jaramillo has been champing to work with Fukudome all winter.

''He's made a couple of adjustments, and he's stroking the ball well,'' Piniella said, referring to a shortened stride and a more squared-up hitting position. ''We expect this guy to hit better.''

That all I've got for today. First ST game is Thursday afternoon.

Don't forget that there are still a few spots left for in fantasy baseball and for the May 18 rooftop game--don't miss out! 

 

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23 Comments

itsjenjen said:

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I love Ted Lilly. That flu stuff is horrible, and I would love to help nurse him back to health...

JulieDiCaro said:

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I also have some flu-like disgusting goop at the moment, and I would like to stress what a bonding experience this illness could be for Ted and me.

Maim said:

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You probably don't have to worry about ever getting the flu again, at least, since Ted murdered it.

gravedigger said:

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Why are you always sick? I am worried about you.

JulieDiCaro said:

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a) I'm not always sick, you just only notice me once every 4 months or so, and b) probably because there are small petri dishes running around my house all the time.

baturkey said:

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http://blog.zap2it.com/thedishrag/2010/02/admiral-ackbar-as-old-miss-new-mascot-its-not-a-trap.html

Admiral Ackbar may not live in a galaxy far, far away for long.

The University of Mississipi, aka Ole Miss, is seeking a new mascot since the previous one, Colonel Reb, has been retired, and Admiral Ackbar is a popular contender to fill the role, says "Access Hollywood."

JulieDiCaro said:

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Best. Mascot. EVER.

AndCounting said:

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It's a trap!

summerguy said:

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I still say JOSE ASCANIO ALL THE WAY!

Also, Lou just set himself up for failure by challenging a rookie pitcher to pitch himself out of the setup role. You know it will happen now.

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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Nothing major to report today, look back tomorrow for new headlines!

FrankS said:

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Team Canada defeated Team USA 3-2 in overtime to take the gold. Great game, crappy result. So it was a crummy sports weekend. The "Fighting?!?" Illini lost at home, then the Bulls got beat, then Team USA loses and then Jeff Gordon fades at the end of today's NASCAR race to finish 3rd.

Oh, and on MLB Network yesterday, they re-broadcast a game from April of 1991 against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. The Cubs took a 12 to 7 lead in the top of the 11th with Andre Dawson hitting an opposite field grand slam homer. Of course, the Cubs lost the game 13 to 12 with Heathcliff Slocumb blowing the save and Mike Bielecki taking the loss. Just a great weekend all around.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Stupid Hosers! Give into the dark side or take off, eh?

JulieDiCaro said:

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"give in to"

millertime said:

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I was the last one left after the nuclear holocaust, eh. The whole world had been destroyed, like U.S. blew up Russia and Russia blew up U.S. Fortunately, I had been offworld at the time. There wasn't much to do. All the bowling alleys had been wrecked. So's I spent most of my time looking for beer.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Jason Stark just tweeted:

This is the last Sunday without baseball to watch until November 7.

AndCounting said:

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Game the hell On.

FrankS said:

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Unfortunately, I think once it (baseball) does get it here, it probably won't be worth watching. As the Cubs stand right now, I think they are a .500 team. Bleh.

AndCounting said:

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Good. .500 teams have a decent chance of having a considerably better than .500 record. I think they're better than a .500 team, but I don't know crap.

FrankS said:

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Or they could be a lot worse than .500. Some experts aren't even picking the Cubs to finish second in the Central.

Edelweiss said:

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The Cubs have performed better in the last three years than in any 3-year span I can remember, yet all that pessimism. Why is it that tickets are so hard to get?

FrankS said:

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The pessimism is because they went from 97 wins to 83 wins and then didn't improve much this off-season and their best pitcher is out for the month of April and who knows what he will be like when he is ready?

I heard that tickets were actually easier to get this year than in year's past. They might be hard to get because the brokers buy them all up. Or because lots of people like to sit in the stands and drink overpriced beer.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Guess I'm doing headlines?

Okay---stand by. . .

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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No! I can do them! I just overslept a little

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