A League of Her Own

Cubs Wednesday Headlines




Today's headlines are a big yawnfest. Just to highlight that, I'm going to lead off with Mike Fontenot.

Fontenot started at second Tuesday against the Milwaukee Brewers in what is expected to be his regular role. But he was also at shortstop for a time Monday against the Oakland Athletics and played well -- so well that Piniella considered him ''one of the highlights of the game.''

''He made a couple of real nice plays and felt real comfortable out there,'' Piniella said. ''We'll continue to play him there from time to time. It gives us different options.''


What's the line on Andres Blanco not going north with the team this year? Speaking of the bench, we haven't heard much about Micah Hoffpauir, and it looks like we might not be hearing much about him in the future, either.


Piniella added the bench might include ''one or two'' rookie outfielders from a group including Brad Snyder, Tyler Colvin, Jim Adduci and Sam Fuld, who has spent time with the Cubs.

''I would think that the way we're set up here that one of these young kids will make the team,'' Piniella said.

As far as other roster decisions go, Lou's not tipping his hand in the race for the starting rotation, though Carlos Silva is making adjustments in his quest to win our hearts and minds.

Three of the four pitchers being considered for the two openings in the Cubs rotation pitched on Monday. The other one is Carlos Silva, who apparently has changed his approach. Lou Piniella said Tuesday that Silva has moved to the right side of the rubber to create a different angle. They also have the right-hander working on elevating the ball from time to time to change the eye level of the hitter. One thing Piniella noticed in Silva's first start was that every pitch seemed to be thigh-high.

"One thing about Silva is he's nice and healthy," Piniella said. "It's just a question of getting him to the point where he feels comfortable and gets people out with the consistency he should."

As for the other candidates -- Sean Marshall, Jeff Samardzija and Tom Gorzelanny -- Piniella said they all did well against the Athletics on Monday.


And like Carlos Silva, Alfonso Soriano is working hard every day to get back to the player we once knew and loved more than we love now.


Hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo and Alfonso Soriano watched some video Tuesday morning of the left fielder and his swing. The two have been reunited this year -- Jaramillo was Soriano's hitting coach in Texas.

"I feel good and I know what he's telling me to do," Soriano said. "I'm not worried about my hitting. My swing is there. I just have to feel comfortable in the field."


Today's a big day in the return of another Cub star from offseason surgery, as Ted Lilly throws from a mound again.


''I expected it to go well,'' Lilly said, referring to his first throwing session Sunday. ''I'll get on the mound again [today] and throw about 35 pitches again. We're starting up now. Once you get on the mound, it's different than throwing long toss, the throwing-downhill motion. I expect it to go well. I expect to keep getting better. I'm going to try to get out there and compete soon.''


I think I speak for all of us when I say come back soon, Ted.



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44 Comments

plamorte said:

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ZZZZZZZZZZZZ indeed. And Fontenot at 2nd is "what is expected to be his regular role" NO! What the hell is wrong with Jeff Baker? Better yet, cut them both and sign Felipe Lopez. What's that? The Cardinals signed for $2 mil? Oh great, he'll now be NL MVP runner up next to Pujols.

JulieDiCaro said:

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And Rich Harden.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I mean Rich Hill.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I had a dream last night that we traded Tyler Colvin for Heath Bell. But then when Heath got here, he was really Carlos Silva. So then we had 2 Carlos Silvas. It was awful.

Doc said:

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That's horrible.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I don't get what's wrong with Jeff Baker, either. Fontenot was TERRIBLE last season, yet they're just going to hand him the starting job. It makes no sense.

Baker is starting to challenge Marshall for the title of "Frank Grimes."

berselius said:

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They are? My interpretation of 'regular role' is just that he is usually going to play 2b, not that he'll be the starter. I'm one of the few Fontenot supporter holdouts though.

Edelweiss said:

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Here's what my insiders tell me.....Fontenot is not guaranteed the starting job, but is more likely to start because he is physically fit, and is a natural middle infielder. Baker can hit well for a short period, but tires easily, and has never been able to play from April to October. He is not a natural middle infielder, with a tall body and short arms. Fielding all those grounders takes its toll on him. Fontenot, on the other hand, is short, with a good wingspan, due mainly to his broad shoulders. Fielding grounders requires less effort. Another wierd thing about Baker is that he thinks of himself as a little guy, even though he is 6'2". Guys in the clubhouse laugh, as he poses next to Marshall or Lee , so he looks smaller. Fontenot is so sensitive about being short that he prefers that whoever interviews him stays out of camera range. I can understand a little guy wanting to look bigger, but why would a tall guy want to look little?

JulieDiCaro said:

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Looks like Nomar is announcing his retirement today.
RIP Nomar's groin.

gravedigger said:

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Has he actually been playing the last few seasons?

abe frohman said:

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Via con Dios, Nomah!

JulieDiCaro said:

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Also, Milty is claiming he was a "prisoner in his home" in Chicago.

Shut up, already.

plamorte said:

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Just commenting to stop the comment train Julie has created.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Hey--I just woke up. I haven't talked to anyone for like, 8 hours. I have a lot to say.

DustyBaylor said:

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..and he'll make the last out as Rich Hill no-hits the Cubs...lol..

JulieDiCaro said:

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LOL---Carrie Muskat has more on Milton's comments to ESPN:

"Milton Bradley told ESPN that he received hate mail while with the Cubs and felt he was a "prisoner in his own home." He said that unless you're "Superman or you're Andre Dawson, Ernie Banks, or Hall of Fame, then it's going to be tough" for African-American players in Chicago.

He said he asked Lou Piniella to publicly apologize to him for comments made last June at U.S. Cellular Field. Piniella made a derogatory comment to Bradley, and sent him home from a game between the Cubs and White Sox.

"The next day, [Piniella] called me into his office and wanted to apologize," Bradley told ESPN. "I felt you put me on blast, called me out in front of everybody, you're going to apologize in front of everybody. He didn't choose to go that route but I accepted his apology nonetheless because as a Christian, that's what you do. I don't have time to hold grudges against people."

During the ESPN interview, Bradley also said his 3-year-old son was called a derogatory name in school, calling that "the last straw." Bradley also was taunted by someone at a restaurant."

http://muskat.mlblogs.com/archives/2010/03/310_bradley_sounds_off.html

That's it? OMG--he's such a weirdo.

gravedigger said:

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Don't have time to hold grudges, but do have time to hold daily press briefings on things that happened a year ago.

AndCounting said:

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I agree that it would be ridiculous if Milton was just spouting off in front of his locker, but it's not like Milton asked to be interviewed. This was a sit-down, on-camera interview with Colleen Dominguez. I got the impression from watching it that she probably spent a lot of time interviewing him about less incendiary topics, earned his trust, and got him to open up just so she could bait him into spouting off on topics he's repeatedly said he has no interest in discussing.

I really have no interest in what Bradley has to say about anything, so I'm also not interested in absolving him of any criticism. But I am completely fed up with the fact that TMZ has a leg up on more substantial (and that's not saying much at all) controversies within sports while ESPN is more concerned with creating their own.

thisyearcub said:

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I watched the interview a couple of times...it was very leading. Dominguez asked questions that would bait Bradley, she knew what she was doing.

Really nothing new to report, but some details were interesting. Whether they're true or not, I have no idea. I do believe Bradley was sent racist hate mail and called derogatory names, but he paints a pretty broad stroke on whether African-Americans can succeed in Chicago.

Everything pretty much went in the worst way possible from Day 1 with Bradley. It's too bad, because he could have helped this team. But really, it's about time for all parties to move along (which I know isn't going to happen at all, especially with Paul Grudgeullivan spewing his usual garbage and the fact Seattle and Chicago play this year).

JulieDiCaro said:

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Eh. All he has to say is "no comment." He doesn't have to keep talking about it. All you have to do to avoid being "baited" is refuse to answer the question. A

Doc said:

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~yawn~

Doc said:

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Dammit...I still have to comment on this...

"I don't have time to hold grudges against people."

Um...WHAT? Then SHUT THE HELL UP!

gravedigger said:

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Corey Haim dead, looks like an overdose. Of course.

Doc said:

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Why does this seem like a headline from 18 years ago?

gravedigger said:

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No, that one was his career.

plamorte said:

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ZING! ^^^

FrankS said:

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And in more cheerful news, today is Chuck Norris' 70th birthday.

Dmband said:

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I just wish MB would keep his mouth shut because everytime he speaks I hate him even more. I just want to move on...but he keeps making that impossible. Hopefully, once the season starts all that dies down.

That being said, I really want my program of giving Marlon Byrd a standing ovation everytime he takes the field to get some momentum. Bradley has said a lot about the fans and since we really dont have the platform he has to craft a rebuttal, we can just shower Byrd with praise to show Milton that its not us, its him....

thisyearcub said:

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I'm sorry, but that's a ridiculous idea. Are you being serious?

JulieDiCaro said:

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i'm not giving a SO to anyone unless they deserve it, and even then, not when i'm like, tired or holding a lot of drinks or anything.

MB21 said:

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I wish Bradley would just shut the hell up, but he's not painting Cubs fans with a broad stroke. He's painting Cubs fans the way he saw them, which we should respect. He saw an ugly side from Cubs fans. Let's please not diminish that ugliness by pretending it did not happen or that he deserved it. It doesn't make every Cubs fan a bad person and he's not referring to every Cubs fan.

How many African-Americans have to say similar things for people to not only accept that this is a problem, but these guys saying "Cubs fans did this" does not mean that EVERY Cubs fan did it. We didn't all call Jack Jones racist names or call his mother at 3 in the morning to call her racist names. We didn't all call LaTroy Hawkins racist names and we didn't with Corey Patterson or Neifi Perez either. Shamefully, some of us did.

I won't hold my breath waiting for Bradley to shut his mouth just as I won't hold my breath waiting for Paul Sullivan to stop writing about Bradley, but this is a problem. Players have added the Cubs to their no-trade clause because they don't want to put up with the racial abuse that may come their way. This doesn't make every Cubs fan racist, but it's abundantly clear that there are far too many in attendance who are.

Let's ignore this crap with Bradley and work toward eliminating those who are making life hell on African Americans. That seems a much more worthy plan than just giving a standing ovation to some player you've never seen just to spite another player you don't like because he faced racial abuse by Cubs fans that weren't you. I'm not saying we can put a stop to it. We can't stop ignorance, but I think it's time we Cubs fans accept that black players suffer more racial abuse at Wrigley than elsewhere. That doesn't make Cubs fans bad people. It doesn't even make them worse than anyone else. There could be any number of reasons why this is true and I have no idea what those reasons could even be. It simply means that there are a few people in attendance who need to have their asses kicked out of the stadium. We can do something about that and it would make Wrigley a much better place for the fans and the players.

flyball said:

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I actually completely believe that some of those things happened, maybe all of them, its a sad commentary on the world

now before I start my real rant, I haven't watched the interview, maybe I will eventually, but at some point I do feel like Milton, Jones and whoever else have a right and maybe a responsibility to say "look, this stuff was said, and I can't believe the rest of the fans aren't horrified by it" but by the time any of this comes out everyone is so angry and hurt that any real dialogue is nearly impossible

Dmband said:

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Also, Ive been biting my tounge on this but I really hope all the Milton apologists now really understand that although he may be a decent player (I still insist he was NOT a decent player last year) that sometimes there is much more to it than that...these comments are just further proof he has serious mental issues/insecurities and although the guy we traded him for sucks...bad...it was the right decision.

Dmband said:

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TYC-

Honestly, I havent decided if Im serious or not yet... That and I believe he is actually going to be a very good player and will deserve the praise anyhow.

Dmband said:

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Also, isnt there a certain part of you that is upset that you now have to defend the fact that you are not a racist, simply because you are a cubs fan? As ridiculous as that comment is, because of the platform that Bradley has been given to make these comments, that is now a common perception of Cubs fans? And there are some that are not only Ok with that, but still continue to defend Bradley? Not to mention now every idiot Sox fan or Cardinals fan is going to default to calling Cubs fans racist as soon as any conversation related to actual baseball gets heated.

If you can think of any other way to show that we are not shallow, racist fans I'd love to hear it.

So because Milton Bradley is bad at baseball, I now have to deal with being called a racist for the foreseeable future? Im sorry, that pisses me off a little bit.

melissa said:

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I'm not the least bit upset or personally offended by people calling Cubs fans racist since I'm not, you know, a racist. Why don't you get upset with the moronic idiots at Wrigley who have hurled racial epithets towards Bradley, Jacque Jones, Dusty Baker, LaTroy Hawkins and Corey Patterson? Those people are the problem and the ones that are making all Cubs fans look bad, not the players who have brought to light the behavior. They've all claimed they received racist hate mail as well, surely they aren't all lying are they? Before you tell me it's racist everywhere I would like to know why I've yet to hear any former White Sox players claim that they were treated this way.

I'm sure I will be seen as Milton apologist for what I'm saying but I'm not. He should definitely answer, "no comment" to any Cubs related question in order for this nonsense to stop. Of course, he did say "no comment" for three months and it didn't stop Paul Sullivan and other media hacks from trashing him at every turn.

MB21 said:

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Why do you feel you have to defend it? What he said was not personal. We are not part of some larger group that thinks alike, behaves alike and acts alike. We are individuals who mostly only have in common that we root for the Chicago Cubs. It is not because of Bradley that the perception of Cubs fans is as it is. That is BECAUSE of Cubs fans. You're blaming the victim here. You're saying a man in the 21st century who is called racist names should keep his mouth shut about the fan base that did it or you'll be upset and have to defend yourself even though it's very likely it happened. Think about that for a moment.

I don't need you to defend me and I don't want you to defend me. You don't speak for me just as I don't speak for you. He is not calling you a racist. He is calling some Cubs fans racist, and it's undeniably true.

Who gives a shit what Cardinals and White Sox fans do. Let them band together and act as one and we can go on and be adults and act like individuals.

How's this for showing that we're not racist: we point out every single fan to security who says racist things from this point forward? We demand the Cubs organization clean up this and other offensive kinds of behavior. We accept what has happened has happened and try to find a way to see that it never happens again. That doesn't change one bit what happened to Bradley, Jones, Hawkins, Patterson or Perez though. You can't change that and nothing you do will. All you can do is try to be better.

I hate Wrigley Field. I cannot stand the way fans behave in that ballpark. I haven't been in nearly a decade and I used to go every year. I hate the fraternity feeling that place has and I hate how the fans behave. It's despicable. And it most certainly is different than other ballpark. I go watch the Cubs on the road and rarely have had the problems I have had at Wrigley. This doesn't mean that you're the problem or anyone here is. It simply means that the Cubs have allowed things to go too far and they need to correct it. We need to help.

Doc said:

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Jim Hendry is speaking out on the continuing MB comments. Hehehe. This is the stuff soap opera's are made of.

Dmband said:

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I just find it curious that these racists are only racist against bad players/coaches. Seems to me if you dont like a certain race, there performance should not matter.

Melissa, its because you are not a racist that you should be personally upset and offended at being painted with that brush, which you have been. And I can assure you, had I ever been a witness to that type of behavior, I would without question tell that person to sit down and shut up...there is no place for that in society, let alone a baseball park. HOWEVER, I attend an obnoxious amout of games each year and I must stress I have NEVER heard any racial slurs. Never. Not once. Furthermore, Im shocked that anyone who has said these things isnt instantly punched square in the mouth by 10-15 surrounding fans.

thisyearcub said:

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That's false, because it's on record that Derrek Lee has said he's heard stuff.

flyball said:

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which makes me ill

Dmband said:

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So I assume there are folks here who attend many games. I'd like to hear from some who have heard these things being said in the stands and what kind of reaction it created. As I stated, Im not saying that it doesnt happen, but since you guys seem resigned to the fact that it happens with regularity, we should have all encountered it at some point, right?

MB21 I agree that this needs to be addressed, and should be policed by the fans becasue that is really the only way that would be effective. They need to notify security if they come across this...I can atest the security there is actually really good at listening to the fans and addressing individuals who should be removed..I have seen that several times, but again, never for racial issues, more so for drunkeness and general buffonery...

MB21 said:

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People in the stands can rarely hear from the someone 4 seats over without yelling. Most of the time we're focused on something else too.

Just because we haven't heard anything doesn't mean it didn't happen. You've got several ballplayers all saying the same thing and a couple who have added the Cubs to their list of no-trade teams. That's what matters. The fact the Cubs are on no-trade lists is a huge, huge problem that hurts this team.

I think fans just need to simply point it out where they hear it (it's going to be a small area that hears something like that and they may all be part of the same group). I also think the Cubs need to listen to their players and if Jack Jones says the guy in the red shirt called him names (any names of any kind!) the Cubs should immediately kick him out and never allow him back in the ballpark. That's how you put an end to it.

flyball said:

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wait, Nomar signed a 1 day contract with the Red Sox so he could retire as one? what? dude, they trashed you on your way out, then stomped on your memory after you left

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