A League of Her Own

Monday Cubs Headlines: Headlines as We Go!

Panama v USA
It's not the Cubs, but it is HoHoKam



As we look forward to the actual playing of baseball, Mr. Miles reminds us of what a wreck the outfield was last year:

With Milton Bradley moping, Alfonso Soriano limping and Kosuke Fukudome whiffing, the 2009 Chicago Cubs were done in by their $214 million outfield.


Bobby Scales was called up after 10½ years in the minors and asked to save the day. Jake Fox was all-hit, no field. Sam Fuld was all-field, no-power. First baseman Micah Hoffpauir, thrown into the outfield to supply offense, batted .239.

What a mess.


So things can only be better from there, right?

One year later, the song remains the same: As the outfield goes, so goes the Cubs' offense. And this season, hitting will be even more important because the pitching is unsettled.

Bradley has been replaced by Marlon Byrd, who is being asked to be the stud center fielder the Cubs have lacked for decades. The signing of Byrd - coming off a career year of 20 homers and 89 RBIs for Texas - lets Fukudome move from center to right, where he is more comfortable.

Left fielder Soriano, limited to 116 games, 20 homers and 55 RBIs in his worst season ever, says his surgically repaired left knee feels so good he no longer has to ice it.


If I knew how, I'd change the Soriano knee meter from 85% to "no longer has to ice it".


The Cubs got encouraging news on Angel Guzman's shoulder - it's slated to blow up in June, not in Spring Training.

Angel Guzman's sore shoulder got its first test Sunday since he was shut down earlier in the week, and reports were positive. The Cubs reliever threw 25-30 ''pitches'' from 45 feet and fared well enough to be scheduled for a full bullpen session today.


''He said the shoulder felt better, and that's good news,'' manager Lou Piniella said. ''That's encouraging. [Today] he'll get on a mound and let it go.''


Speaking of Cubs players whose names start with "A", Aramis Ramirez's mom didn't raise a dummy.


Third baseman Aramis Ramirez hasn't lasted 12 seasons in the big leagues for nothing. He hit in the cage and off coaches throwing batting practice Saturday, but he kept his distance when it was his group's turn for live BP against Carlos Marmol.

''I'll get my live BP Thursday in the game, not against Marmol,'' said Ramirez, who sagely has avoided the sometimes erratic but traditional spring-training practice throughout his career.

Marmol hit prospect Starlin Castro in the butt Saturday, two days after prospect Rafael Dolis knocked shortstop Ryan Theriot down with a pitch that grazed Theriot's hand.

''I'm afraid of that,'' Ramirez said. ''I'll find my way to get ready, but it won't be doing live BP, I guarantee you that.''

Said Piniella: ''I don't blame him. Would you want to hit against Marmol? Ramirez is a crafty veteran.''


And I jumped the gun on Soriano's knee watch. We have a new numerical update:


''I say it's 90 percent, but I've had no problems at all,'' he said. ''But we have to wait and see in a game to know for sure because practice isn't the same.''



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37 Comments

JulieDiCaro said:

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A huge thank you to Canada for sending Mounties, Catherine O'Hara talking about peeing in the snow, and giant inflatable beavers to take my mind off the fact that no baseball was being played. If I'm being honest, I think throwing the hockey game yesterday and letting your guests win would have been the police thing to do. However, letting Shatner run his mouth at Closing Ceremonies was a nice touch.

Alas, our two-week party in the Great White North is over, and all we're left with is the beginnings of Spring Training and a burning desire to own one of the tuques Team Canada was wearing last night.

Can we play baseball now?

JulieDiCaro said:

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"the polite thing to do"

my kingdom for an 'edit' button.

plamorte said:

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90% would be fine but I like the first suggestion Carl.

here it is:

http://twitpic.com/161hy9

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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There's not much else to report, except that Derek Lee's not worried about going into the final season of his contract. And Uncle Phil's whispers were boring.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Damn, I miss Milton being in camp. There was so much more to talk about.

plamorte said:

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I know the Olympics is over but does anyone else think that the down hill skiing events should have been held on Mike Fontenot's nose?

Edelweiss said:

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Too steep. They don't like to use any slope over 55 degrees.

AndCounting said:

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His dog is out of ideas. Maybe it's time to listen to the cat? Jodie Foster? The sound of the pouring rain?

JulieDiCaro said:

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Randy Wells is going to start Thursday's game, did we talk about that?

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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I saw that on Cubs.com, but it was all intertwined with an article about him being into playing the guitar. I didn't want to include that.

DustyBaylor said:

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I really hope Wells isn't a one year wonder...I'd like to not see Spellcheck and Silva in the rotation...or Marshall and Spellcheck..or Silva and Gorzelanny...maybe Gorzelanny and Marshall?

JulieDiCaro said:

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I'm afraid to think about what kind of trouble we're in if Wells sophomore slumps and it takes Lilly a while to get back to being Lilly.

UGH!

LostinFla said:

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Don’t worry. Wells can’t be just a one year wonder since he really was only a ½ year wonder to begin with. His post all-star break slump wasn’t quite as dramatic as one month wonder Samardzjia’s was (after a stellar August 2008), but deterioration in key peripherals like WHIP, K/BB rate and BAA definitely occurred, and he also will be hard pressed to repeat as the Cubs’ 2nd best starter for # HRs per 9 innings (behind Z’s insane number of a little over ½ HR per game). This spot in the rotation has disaster written all over it. But maybe the fact that he plays guitar will help him sing the Blues when it does.

JulieDiCaro said:

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UUUHHHHHHHHHHHH

DustyBaylor said:

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Z and Demp...and it's time to smoke some hemp?? God...I hope Lilly gets healthy quickly...

thisyearcub said:

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That reminds me of one I came up with in the early 00s: Wood and Prior and pray for a fire.

I miss those days.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Podcast with Alex Quigley coming up at 1:00 today. And YES, we take CALLERS!!!!!

Doc said:

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good job once again, kids...you got cut off at the end though. You two just have too much fun. WGN should just give the 2 of you a weekly radio show.

gravedigger said:

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So should CN.

JulieDiCaro said:

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WGN should definitely give Alex his own show. He's a pro.

Doc said:

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Outside of a couple of shows...WGN has become almost unlistenable.

Alex Quigley said:

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that Quigley guy sucks

JulieDiCaro said:

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why didn't someone TELL me i posted the wrong link?

BAH.

Dmband said:

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What are the chances of the cubs getting involved in the pending Adrian Gonzalez sweepstakes.. were going to need a new stud 1st basemen...although I hate to see D lee go, he is getting up there in years..

Doc said:

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The chances are probably pretty close to nil...

I think the Cubs, if they have any thoughts of letting D-Lee go, would be more interested in moving either Xavier Nady to first, or resigning A-Ram to another long term deal with the idea of moving him to first to make room for Josh Vitters.

Cubs Psychologist said:

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D-Lee stated recently talked with P-Sully (Paul Sullivan) and said he would like to retire a Cub. I love D-Lee, but I completely understand the interest in Gonzalez. There were talks last year about doing a straight up trade for the two. He would be a welcomed addition to the North Side.

DustyBaylor said:

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Wells 2009:
1st half: 4-4, 2.72ERA, 76IP, 68 hits, 7 HR, 53K/17BB, 1.118WHIP
2nd half: 8-6, 3.32ERA, 89.1IP, 97 hits, 7HR, 51K/29BB, 1.410WHIP
So he was a little worse in the second half, but it's not like he imploded. It was his first year in the majors after all.

Dmband said:

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Hey Doc-

Is it at least safe to assume that he will be moved? I mean, it doesnt make much sense to hang on to him if we do not intend on resigning him...I mean, dont get me wrong, he has probably been my favorite cub the last few years, but I'd rather get some value for him...no?

Doc said:

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It makes perfect sense for Lee to be moved...which is why the Cubs will never do it....but it appears the Cubs want to keep him, so it is a moot point. Lee's trade value will probably never again be as high as it is right now, but I can see it now that they sign Lee for another 4 years, and two years from now they look to dump him because his production drops so much.

Cubs Psychologist said:

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As you know, nothing is "safe to say" with the Cubs. Because the fact that he is one of my favorite Cubs, he will be moved because he still has some value. I would hate to see him go, but I'm used to it by now. He'll get traded and go somewhere to win another ring...Probably back to Florida, they are due for one, again.

Dmband said:

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Hahahaha..yeah no kidding

Dmband said:

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Doc-

I think you nailed it...and thats hilarious and sad. Youre right, two years from now, they will eat most of his contract and trade him for a below average bullpen pitcher...

Doc said:

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or Carlos Silva.

JulieDiCaro said:

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that's not funny at all.
AT ALL.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Here's the real link to the podcast--you can download now!

http://tobtr.com/s/937739

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