A League of Her Own

Cubs Wednesday Headlines (Updated!): Now With More Cuba?


Trib Photo by Phil Velasquez, slightly modified by abe frohman

Did you know tomorrow’s the first spring training game? Did you hear that Lou was putting Starlin Castro in the starting lineup for the opener? Did you know he changed his mind?

No Starlin Castro in the first Cubs Cactus League lineup. Lou Piniella announced his lineup for Thursday’s opener vs. the Athletics:

SS Ryan Theriot

RF Kosuke Fukudome

1B Derrek Lee

3B Aramis Ramirez

CF Marlon Byrd

LF Tyler Colvin

2B Mike Fontenot

C Geovany Soto

P Randy Wells

Castro will likely sub for Theriot after three or four innings in the game. The Cubs moved to HoHoKam Park after Tuesday’s workout.


This leaves the Fonz as the only regular not starting tomorrow’s game. Is he bitter?


‘Whatever he wants is fine,” Soriano said. ”I’m ready to go, but he wants to give me more time. That’s OK. The last 10 games is most important for me. The first few games are not.”

Lou’s got a new nickname for Fukudome, and the Japanese press wanted to know how it’s going over.

A Japanese reporter wondered Tuesday if there was any meaning behind Piniella calling Fukudome ”The Fuke.”

”No, not at all. I just like the name,” Piniella told him. ”It’s easy to say. If he doesn’t like it, he should tell me.”

Fukudome’s interpreter said the right fielder has no problem with it.


I can’t wait for Lou’s first slip-up on the air. As much as Lou has endeared himself to me and legions of Cubs fans with nickames like “The Fuke” (or “The Fook” per the Trib), he’s starting to scare me with his talk of Kevin Millar.


“It’s important that a team stays loose,” said Piniella, who blamed poor clubhouse chemistry for some of last season’s problems. “When you’ve got a guy with a knack for saying the right things, for pulling the right pranks, for making everybody relax, it’s valuable.

“In Chicago, the temperature rises and falls really quick, and a guy like Millar can deflect a lot of pressure. That’s why he’s here. We’re going to give him every opportunity. Let’s see if he’s got enough gas left in the tank.”


I’m sure he’s a swell guy, but I don’t think he’s a curse buster at this point in his career. Actually, if he drives this pickup, I’m not sure he’s a swell guy.


Millar, who drives an enormous pickup truck featuring “COWBOY UP” logos on both front doors, the rear liftgate and the trailer hitch, hopes to bring the same kind of positive mojo to Wrigley Field.

“This is the year,” he said. “We won it in Boston in ‘04 and it was nuts. If the Cubs win it in 2010, I challenge Chicago to make it as nuts or more. You’ve just got to believe this is the year.”

Update from MLBTR.com:

The Cuban baseball news blog cubanballplayers.com is reporting that right-handed pitching prospect Juan Yasser Serrano “may have signed” a $250,000 contract with the Chicago Cubs. No other details are available on the site.

Serrano defected from Cuba in April of 2009, but as a reminder of what that term signifies, he was also arrested for attempted illegal departure in January. Upon finally arriving in Miami, he took up with popular Cuban agent Jaime Torres in time to see his name pop up in a few stretch run signing rumors. This winter, Serrano has been connected to at least 10 teams, and on February 19, he reportedly threw a two-inning simulation for the Cubs, striking out four and allowing one run on an infield hit.

So we might have that going for us, which is nice.

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71 Comments

summerguy said:

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"The Fuke" huh... sounds to me like it could easily be changed to "The Fuker" once he starts sucking.

I love when life drops these opportunities right into our laps.

abe frohman said:

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You know how at the end of Jose Canseco's career, he didn't even have a fielder's glove in his locker? He was just pure DH/pinch hitter, with not any pretense of playing defense.

I wonder if Millar's locker is going to be like that in Chicago? No spikes or batting gloves, just a carton of matchbooks for hotfeet and a portable magician's kit, with a top hat and several decks of cards?

flyball said:

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I bet that truck has monster speakers for rocking out in the parking lot

plamorte said:

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i love that picture of Font!

plamorte said:

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Now I remember where I saw Font doing that same exact motion: a Bruce Springsteen concert

http://twitpic.com/16dos0

JulieDiCaro said:

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Two things:

a) that photo just screams "Poison Rules!!!!" I can't remember what Tim said about Fontenot yesterday. . . ? Oh! "It looks like Jim McMahon and Markie Post had a baby."

b) I already hate Kevin Millar. This team is going to win because he's here? Has he looked at our starting lineup? Does he know Carlos Silva has a shot at the starting rotation? Pfffffft. I hope he gets cut.

abe frohman said:

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I haven't been following it all that closely. Has Millar said the Cubs are going to win just because he's here, or is that just what people like The Loo (my new 'The Fook'-esque nickname for Piniella) are saying?

JulieDiCaro said:

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I don't think he's said that's why, he just keeps going "this is the year! this is the year! we won in Boston in '04. . . blah blah blah."

He's really the only common denominator.

plamorte said:

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Kevin Millar has "Future color commentator with below average career" written all over him.

JulieDiCaro said:

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but in a very douchey, Eric Byrnes kind of way.

AndCounting said:

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a) Poison does rule, especially during sliding drills.

b) I just think it's great that everyone in the press is this excited over a minor leaguer. I mean, didn't Millar sign to a minor league deal? I seriously think he's just here for spring break, they'll get wasted, stay loose, maybe experiment with each other a little bit in a way they won't want to talk about later but will never forget, and then they'll hug their way through a good cry as they go their separate ways to face life with new perspective and unbridled optimism.

JulieDiCaro said:

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God, we can only pray that's what happens. Because if the season kicks off and I see Kevin Millar on our bench, I will seriously lose it.

itsjenjen said:

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Is that Fontenot's tongue or a cigar?

JulieDiCaro said:

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if it's a cigar, that's the greatest photo EVER. if not, it begs the questions why his tongue is brown. ewww.

itsjenjen said:

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My thoughts exactly!

JulieDiCaro said:

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can someone send me the link to make diaries?????????? my computer delted my toolbar buttons. :(

abe frohman said:

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I wonder if I can get a Millar Cubs jersey yet?

Doc said:

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I want to get a castro jersey...but they haven't put in on the 40 man roster yet...so he doesn't have a real number.

JulieDiCaro said:

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didn't you learn your lesson from hearing all the Prior and Murton jersey stories?

Doc said:

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no...I'm stupid...don't forget that.

flyball said:

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if I have to hear "in '04 in Boston" one more time my head will explode, I remember what it was like, I don't need the constant reminder

Doc said:

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"in '04 in Boston"

now explode, dammit.

flyball said:

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#$%^$*&*^(**($$#$%&*&(*@#*^%^(@^*(%$

thanks for that Doc, really thanks

--MGb said:

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I have no opinion on Kevin Millar. Wait and see. This line grabs me:

"striking out four and allowing one run on an infield hit."

Something tells me there's more to this story we're just not hearing....

Doc said:

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Here is my take...(yet another shameless plug)

I really want Kevin Millar to be better at baseball.

The truth is, keeping Chad Tracy makes more sense on about 30 different fronts. Millar is just a friendly guy. It's just not enough.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Millar looks too much like AJ. That alone is enough reason to cut him.

Doc said:

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There are 85 reasons to cut him.

Only one reason to keep him.

AndCounting said:

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Are you writing movie tag lines now? Hold on, this needs an image . . .

Doc said:

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In a world where baseball reigns supreme,

One man stands out.

He's untalented, old, and can barely move.

But one day, one team takes a chance that no one else will.

Coming this spring,

Kevin Millar stars in the role that he was born to play.

With Ryan Theriot, Geovany Soto,

and Meryl Streep as Laura Ricketts...

The Dugout Jester

April 5, 2010

rated PG-13

plamorte said:

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you know im gonna pshop that somehow, too good to pass up

plamorte said:

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Probably will be Oscar nominated

http://twitpic.com/16eur5

JulieDiCaro said:

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"Ricky Gervais IS Kevin Millar."

summerguy said:

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"striking out four and allowing one run on an infield hit."

- I'm guessing has overpowering stuff, can't find the strike zone but was facing shitty minor leaguers that can't tell a curveball from a knuckleball so they swung at everything. The 4 Ks happened in one inning... threw 3 wild pitches. Next guy got lucky on a seeing-eye single.

I wouldn't be surprised if any of that was close.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Now MLBTR says Serrano hasn't signed, but is "in talks" with the Cubs.

Also, there is a newborn baby on MSNBC named "Melvin."

Doc said:

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Interesting....very interesting.

Dmband said:

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I laughed for a good solid 3 minutes after reading this..

"b) I just think it's great that everyone in the press is this excited over a minor leaguer. I mean, didn't Millar sign to a minor league deal? I seriously think he's just here for spring break, they'll get wasted, stay loose, maybe experiment with each other a little bit in a way they won't want to talk about later but will never forget, and then they'll hug their way through a good cry as they go their separate ways to face life with new perspective and unbridled optimism."

its funny because its true...

gravedigger said:

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Posts like that are why this is clearly the best Cubs blog around.

Doc said:

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It had better be true.

Dmband said:

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Also, and I really hate to say this, but I fear that Fukudome's new nickname (particularly the incarnation the Tribune came up with)..The Fook...is just one letter too close to a bad word that I dont want drunk idiots thinking they can say in the stands..

Im sorry, Lou should know better....

JulieDiCaro said:

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You're talking about a man who wants to start Theriot at leadoff. I'm not sure Lou even knows where he is half the time.

flyball said:

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Did anyone here about the possible
Northwestern and U of I football game at Wrigley?

I've been pretty out of touch lately so if its been talked about sorry

Doc said:

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Seriously...you need to read my blog more. :p

flyball said:

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sorry, its been a really busy couple of weeks, I haven't read the news in about a 10 days

I read the post yesterday

Doc said:

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oh...in that case...I'm sorry.

I was surprised that were able to fit the field in there. But it should be awesome for them to play a game there.

Now if the Bears would just play a game against the Packers at Soldier Field again, that would be awesome!

flyball said:

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I think the Bears played more games at Wrigley than Soldier's Field

Doc said:

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I would assume that is the case...they played at Wrigley from the beginning of the NFL until 1971. They moved to Soldier Field because it was bigger.

After the NFL/AFL merger, NFL commisioner Pete Roselle really wanted the NFL teams to play in stadiums with much larger capacities than the Bears had at Wrigley. I think the Bears would have preferred a new stadium, but the finances weren't really available, so the Bears moved to the virtually unused Soldier Field instead.

Then a flying saucer landed on top of the place.

Dmband said:

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Leave it to the bears to do a complete renovation and still have one of the smallest stadiums in the NFl.....pretty dumb...they could sell out 70-75K easily....

cubby23(eric) said:

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It was the wrong decision then (to renovate into a small by NFL standards facility) and it will always be the wrong decision. The team and organization will continually have to squeeze fans via ticket prices, concessions, merchandise, etc...just to "be competitive."

Doc said:

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Leave it to the Bears to do a complete renovation, and shrink the capacity by almost 5000 seats....

A person I work with actually had Bears season tickets...after the renovation, they were placed on the ST waiting list because they were selected for removal do to the restrictions because of the reduced capacity.

She since moved up to Wisconsin and has now become a Packers fan.

Dallas has a new stadium that holds 105k
Phoenix has a new stadium that holds 85k
Green Bay renovated their stadium to hold 75k.

And the Bears renovated their stadium to barely fit the minimum the league would allow.

Genius.

flyball said:

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I have to say, having been in Green Bay post renovation that is a pretty example of how to do it

Doc said:

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As much as I hate the Packers, you are right. I've been up to Lambeau a number of times (for non-Packers related things) and it really is a jewel...everything you want out of a football stadium in the Black and Blue division.

And I'm not saying the new Soldier Field is bad or anything. From what I've heard, it is a good place to watch a football gamem but it is small, and, architecturally, it is an absolute mess. Inside, it looks like something a Florida team would have built. Outside...well...we all know. :)

Dmband said:

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I guess sometimes Family ownership is a good thing, and sometimes its not so great....

Doc said:

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The real issue with the Halas/McCaskey family is that their wealth is entirely based on the Bears. They weren't wealthy before that...and have no other significant ventures that they earn substantial amounts of money from. So unless they actually sold their shares in the team, they don't have a whole lot of free money sitting around.

That, in the end, is the biggest obstacle for them doing any stadium deal themselves. They had to team up with the City and let the city have almost entire control over the facility. That's the main reason they moved to Soldier Field in the first place.

Dmband said:

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And the main reason why concerts and high school games are played on the field prior to important Bears games...

Good ol' Park district...

JulieDiCaro said:

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Score. Massage therapist client offered to give me free massages whenever I want them.

I win.

Teebob2000 said:

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I wanna be a lawyer now, too.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Trust me, it's not worth it.

Max Power said:

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Oh, it's fine. We know Latin phrases that have no other purpose.

secdelahc said:

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I do believe Fontenot is doing his Wolverine impersonation in that picture.

flyball said:

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hehe

AndCounting said:

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Am I the only one who has a problem remembering Starlin Castro is NOT from Cuba? I can't help it, it's true. When I heard the Cubs may have signed a Cuban defector, my first instinct was to think, "Oh, good, now Castro will have a friend."

I'm such an idiot and I don't care who knows.

JulieDiCaro said:

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what do you mean "Starlin Castro is NOT from Cuba?"

his last name is Castro, I just assumed he was a nephew or something.

AndCounting said:

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Maybe I need to research this . . . and the new pic is 10,000 kinds of awesome.

AndCounting said:

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Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic. That's not funny. Let's change it to Cuba.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Oh hahahahahahaha!!! I thought I went to the wrong site for a second.

Hee.

Doc said:

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I've thought that almost every day since last May.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Ozzie's latest tweet:

@OzzieGuillen: My son oney doing sport elec to have abs if tha help y will doe to

Doc said:

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What planet is the language from?

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