A League of Her Own

Tuedays Cubs Headlines: Can We Play Baseball Now?

Chicago Cubs Photo Day

Hey everybody, it's Cubs photo day!

Great news, kids. After steadfastly refusing to be taken out of the lineup way back in like, August, and then being told by Lou that he was being shut down for the season, Soriano kinda sorts thinks he's maybe ready to finally kinda test out that surgically-reparied knee!

MESA, Ariz. -- Even five months after a relatively minor knee surgery, the Cubs' $136 million left fielder said he's unsure how close to 100 percent that knee is as spring training starts for him.

Cause for alarm? No, said Alfonso Soriano, who is confident he'll be ready for the season opener in six weeks, even if he has confidence in only ''80-85 percent'' strength so far in the left knee that hampered him through most of a disappointing 2009 season.

 The big thing, said Soriano upon his arrival to camp Monday, is testing that knee in full-speed base-running and fielding for the first time since the surgery.

So far, he said he's had no setbacks or issues with the knee, and that's important for a team counting on a rebound season from its top power hitter -- and at least a storyline worth watching today as the Cubs hold their first full-squad workouts.

''Maybe when I test it, it'll be 100 percent,'' said Soriano, whose .241, 20-homer struggles during an injury-shortened season symbolized the kind of season the Cubs had in their fall from the top of the National League Central in 2009.

Awesome. At this rate, he'll be ready to go by the All-Star Break!

Is this year's Spring Training giving anyone else a stomach ache? Or is it just me?

In other Cubs news, Lou makes us all uncomfortable while talking longingly about Tyler Colvin's physique:

MESA, Ariz. - The Cubs aren't putting together a football team, but manager Lou Piniella likes the size of some of his young players.

"I was mentioning to (coaches) Alan Trammell and Mike Quade this morning around the cage that we've got some size here," Piniella said Monday, as position players officially reported for spring training.

"Last year's camp, we had a lot of smaller players, but these kids have some size to them.

"Tyler Colvin, he's put on 25 pounds. He really looks good. And he weighs only 215. I wish I could look that good and weigh 215. He's a strong-looking young man. I tell you, he's swinging it, too. He's got some added bat speed."

Piniella also cited last year's No. 1 draft pick, Brett Jackson, who is 6-feet-2, 210 pounds.

"Some of our young kids can swing the bat," Piniella said. "The first-round pick Jackson. (Josh) Vitters. A few of these guys that we brought in to camp like (Chad) Tracy and (Bryan) LaHair, just to name a few. One thing is for certain, they're getting a lot of hitting in."

And Lou, like the rest of us, is awaiting the arrival of Cubs Golden Boy Starlin Castro:

Awaiting the phenom: Left fielder Alfonso Soriano reported to Fitch Park on Monday. Not seen were first baseman Derrek Lee, third baseman Aramis Ramirez and shortstop prospect Starlin Castro.

Those players needed only be in Arizona on Monday. The Cubs expect all to be ready to work out Tuesday. Castro, who doesn't turn 20 until next month, will be the subject of much scrutiny.

"I'm looking forward to seeing the young man and having him in camp," Lou Piniella said. "I haven't seen him. This'll be the first time that I'll have an opportunity to. He's very, very well spoken of, and he's a talented young man, obviously.

"The amazing part about it is these special-type players, they're ready to play at the big-league level at a much younger age.

"Usually, the age for big-league players is about 23, 24. When you're really good, you can get to the big leagues at 19, 20 and make a really good showing for yourself."

I've got $50 on Castro being late to camp because Theriot puts sugar in his gas tank.

Finally, I know you all were worried about the Canadian Cubs missing the big Canada-US hockey game, but never fear! They have teevees in Mesa, too!

The talk in the clubhouse this morning was about last night's thrilling U.S.-Canada hockey game in the Olympics. Canadian players Ryan Dempster, Chris Robinson and Vince Perkins were holding their heads high, despite Canada's loss.

"It was an awesome game," said Robinson, a catcher out of London, Ontario, and the University of Illinois. Robinson played hockey most of his youth, but he said he was a "backward Canadian" because he played hockey to stay in shape for baseball and not the other way around. Dempster, a huge pucks fan, tipped his cap to the U.S. and goaltender Ryan Miller. He said he was talking with young pitcher Andrew Cashner, a Texan, and that Cashner said he hadn't seen much hockey until last night but now his interest is piqued.

Outfielder Jim Adduci, who hails from south suburban Evergreen Park, was born in Burnaby, British Columbia, when his dad, Jim, was playing for the Milwaukee Brewers' farm team. Young Jim has dual citizenship and said he was pulling for the U.S.

As someone tweeted Sunday night: Hooray! Now we're better than Canada at EVERYTHING!

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37 Comments

FrankS said:

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Yep, better than Canada at everything, especially homicide rate and medical bankruptcies.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Don't forget starting wars based on bogus information!

Teebob2000 said:

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Piniella overheard speaking to Colvin in the batting cage at ST: "Tyler, do you like movies about gladiators?"

JulieDiCaro said:

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'Tyler, have you ever seen a grown man naked?'

Teebob2000 said:

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"Have you ever been in a Turkish prison?"

plamorte said:

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"You ever been in a cockpit before?"

gravedigger said:

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There was a post about something-or-other on Politico the other day, and then the first 62 comments were quotes from Airplane. Eventually someone posted a "real" comment and a bunch of people complained. It reminded me of the good old days at BCB before we pissed everyone off with that.

AndCounting said:

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You totally screwed up this comment string. I picked the wrong day to quit amphetamines.

gravedigger said:

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Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue

AndCounting said:

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Then the dinosaurs came. But then they got too big and fat, so they died and they turned into oil. And then the Arabs came and they bought Mercedes Benzes. Then Prince Charles started wearing all Lady Di's clothes. I couldn't believe it.

berselius said:

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That picture of Lou is lit strangely. I thought it was a CGI'd one at first

gravedigger said:

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Wow, that WAS uncomfortable.

AndCounting said:

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I guess I'm the only one loving this spring training. I feel like it's getting us in proper shape for controversy, injury rumors, and personnel decisions we disapprove of. Once we get used to all that the spring training games let us really open up our false hope skills and start warming up the old TOOTBLAN facepalm. We can't rush this stuff.

gravedigger said:

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I didn't think it was possible to post blank comments?

plamorte said:

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Leave a comment...

plamorte said:

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well that didnt work, i dont know how to do blank comments either

plamorte said:

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now I'm confusing myself, i guess i did figure it out, muhahaha, damn it baseball season needs to start NOW

gravedigger said:

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for serious

Max Power said:

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Tried posting a video link.

sparkles said:

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I just remembered my password for the first time. yay.

This picture of Lou is so weird. He looks thinner but not really. I'm so excited and worried about Starlin. He is so young, and I feel like he's getting a lot pressure all of a sudden. If he plays on the Cubs this year he will be the first Cub to be younger than me!

Also, fantasy baseball update? I can fill out any leagues from around here since I love playing. I prefer the intense ones, but whatever needs to be filled out.

sparkles said:

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And actually, Canada won gold in ice dance yesterday! They were soo elegant! So we still need to improve or ice moves...

Dmband said:

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"I'm looking forward to seeing the young man and having him in camp," Lou Piniella said. "I haven't seen him. This'll be the first time that I'll have an opportunity to."

Someone couldnt put together 20-30 minutes of tape on this kid and sent it to Lou? I mean, seriously? Also, he said yesterday he hasnt thought about the leadoff spot? What do you mean you havent thought about it?

Then he wonders why people question his dedication....

jtbwriter said:

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"Surely you can't be serious."

ricos said:

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don't call me Shirley

Doc said:

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Ok...I just spent 5 hours in a conference room with 7 other engineering geeks. Someone entertain me.

Doc said:

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I think I'm in the wrong career or something...

8 engineers...I was the youngest person in the room...the only one married and the only one with any children.

Max Power said:

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Or had kissed a girl

Doc said:

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Well...most of them are European...so they probably have kissed something.

JulieDiCaro said:

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UUUHHHHHHHHH.

What a day.

Is there baseball yet?

Doc said:

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Not in this country.

plamorte said:

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let's just watch old footage of Babe Ruth

http://bit.ly/dvfd1a

JulieDiCaro said:

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Ozzie has arrived on Twitter.

I can't wait to see what happens now. I might never leave my laptop again.

flyball said:

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the Soriano story just makes me scared, well I'd be scared if I thought the team was going to win this season

but I would like baseball to start now anyway, did they release the radio schedule for spring training?

MillsChC said:

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Can someone please explain to me why I or anyone else should care whether or not if the Cubs have Spring Training in Mesa, somewhere else in AZ, or in Florida? I don't get all these endless stories about that, the mayor of Mesa, and whatever this "Cubs tax" is.

gravedigger said:

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Saw a giant picture of Dick Cheney on CNN and thought he'd died. Nope, just a story about the marvel of modern medicine.

Well, he isn't on my deadpool list anyway. Maybe next year.

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