A League of Her Own

Tuesday Cubs Headlines: Everything's Coming Up Castro!

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We are living in seriously exciting times these days, kids.

Not only do Spring Training games officially kick off in little more than 48 hours; and

Not only will Tim McGinnis (of the fabulous Tales from Aisle 424) and I be doing our own MST3K-ish play-by-play for the first televised game on Saturday; but

It's looking increasingly like Lou really wants to get a good look at uber-hyped teenage shortstop Starlin Castro this Spring. This is good news for all of us.

Well, except for Ryan Theriot.

It was more than just amusing when Piniella shared the way he expects to fill out the Cubs' lineup card for Thursday's first spring training exhibition game. It was a telling reminder that Piniella still gets it no matter how goofy he occasionally may sound when his mind appears to drift.

"I might just start Castro at shortstop on Thursday and let him get some playing time,'' Piniella said.

Remember, not even every Vine Line subscriber cares who starts for the Cubs on March 5. Spring training lineups are as binding as dinner reservations. The lineup means nothing.

But giving a teenage kid billed as the hottest prospect in the Cubs' system the chance to run out on Day One in the same infield as Aramis Ramirez and Derrek Lee goes down as a shrewd baseball move for two reasons.

1) It only reinforces Castro's obvious confidence that he belongs in a major league infield.

2) It suggests how open the Cubs really are to the idea of bringing this kid north if he lives up to the hype.

Granted, Castro is probably not in danger of supplanting Theriot from the starting role just yet, but you can see Castro supplanting Theriot from the starting role from here. And it is beautiful.

In slightly more depressing news, Lou has declared that the race for the 5th starter is wide open, which means that a lot of undeserving candidates still have a shot at it (*coughSilvacough*):

MESA, Ariz. -- The Cubs have their pitchers lined up for the first several exhibition games, but from there the staff offers very little certainty -- and more than a few concerns -- with barely a month left before the season opener.

That leaves manager Lou Piniella unwilling to rule out some prospects who weren't in the team's plans a few weeks ago -- including 2008 first-round pick Andrew Cashner as a possible reliever.

''There are open spots here on our pitching staff,'' Piniella said. ''We're going to have to take some young pitching out of here. So it doesn't really matter who it is.

''Whoever wants it, go out and compete, and they're going to get opportunities, whether it's Cashner or whomever. How 'bout if Cashner's lights-out and we put him in the bullpen?''

Heck, why even bother with the MLB club? Let's just play the AA team this season!

 Speaking of pitching, if you're curious about the "starting rotation" these first few games, it's going to look like this: 

• Thursday: Randy Wells against the Oakland Athletics (fifth-starter candidates Sean Marshall and Mike Parisi will pitch after Wells' two scheduled innings).

• Friday: Carlos Zambrano against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

• Saturday: Carlos Silva against the White Sox.

• Sunday: Tom Gorzelanny and Jeff Samardzija in split-squad games.

• Monday: Ryan Dempster against the A's

Just knowing that Tim and I will get to do our commentary on a game Carlos Silva is pitching on Saturday is the kind of thing that makes me believe in a higher power.

And hey, now that Sprting is upon us, have you been wondering about those names you haven't heard for a while, like Colvin, Vitters, and Jackson? Well you're in luck, because Bruce Miles has given us a run down of the Big Four prospects this morning.

In LOHO news, there are still a couple of spots left in the Beer Pong league, for those of you who love baseball but seriously have a hard time remembering whether or not you're currently in a fantasy league. If you want to play, speak up!

If you've given me a name and headcount for the May 18 rooftop game, I'm considering you a firm "yes," so opt out now or I'm going to make you pay anyway. We're still in the process of finalizing the reservations, so there's time left to get in. $75 gets you on the roof AND all you can eat and drink. There are already 30+ people signed up, so don't miss out on this big event.

Finally, if you missed listening to my podcast partner Alex Quigley and I talk about inflatable beavers, peeing in the snow, and when Ozzie will tweet his last, you can download yesterday's podcast here.

I never thought we'd make it this far during the deep, dark January doldrums, but in 48 hours we'll have baseball to watch. A tear?

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35 Comments

AndCounting said:

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Holy Bobby Brown, Batman! Having always seen Castro with his sunglasses on, I never realized Starlin was a charter member of New Edition. Wow, does he look young . . . and child sitcom star adorable.

plamorte said:

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Are we sure that is Castro and Julie just didn't steal some poor young kid's leftover pics that were used to lay over a fake Wheaties box that was going to go on top of his dresser?

JulieDiCaro said:

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Um. . . what?

Hey--can you make an MST3K photo for Tim and I for the game on Saturday?

plamorte said:

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What do you mean WHAT? You never had those fake wheaties boxes you could put your kids picture on? Like this: http://twitpic.com/167l4r

Sure, what is MST3K?

JulieDiCaro said:

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Oh WOW.

So young. So very young. . .

plamorte said:

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To be fair, once I googled it I knew what you were talking about, I just didn't know the abbreviations! Still, I've probably only seen it once in my life and I was probably still in diapers. Don't be jealous of my youth! Now, crappy photoshop, what's it suppose to be

gravedigger said:

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probs the game, theatre seats, and silhouettes of julie and tim?

plamorte said:

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i need pics of you two then! and a Wrigley Scene?

JulieDiCaro said:

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no, it has to be in silhouette! just a girl and a guy, from the back, in silhouette, watching a Cubs game.

can you do that? if not, no worries!

Doc said:

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It should be easy enough to silhouette your CN picture...right?

plamorte said:

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yea it wouldnt that hard, ill see

plamorte said:

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at wrigley or a cubs game on TV?

gravedigger said:

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Young is no excuse. I am obsessed with MST3K.

My little bro bought me the entire series set for christmas a couple years ago. He can do no wrong by me for the rest of our lives as far as I'm concerned.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Cool it now, Adam. It's his perogative. He can do what he wants to do.

AndCounting said:

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If I were you, I'd use precaution . . .
http://blip.fm/~m1cir

JulieDiCaro said:

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I would be remiss if I didn't draw attention to this awesome piece Adam penned for ACB:

http://www.anothercubsblog.net/2010-articles/march/permission-to-speak.html

AndCounting said:

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Aw, shucks, thanks.

ataccini said:

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48 hours, people. That is all I have to say this morning.

itsjenjen said:

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Aw, he's adorable. I want to, like, bake him a pie or something.

Doc said:

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Oh Starlin...why couldn't you be a left handed power hitter?

summerguy said:

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Hey Julie, did you have my name down for the rooftop game?

JulieDiCaro said:

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yep, yep!

i'll put up a list later on.

Doc said:

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This stuff has started to get some attention all the sudden...some interesting posts about ChicagoNow have started to emerge.

Now it's my turn to chime in. I hope you don't mind, Julie.

JulieDiCaro said:

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i'm not sure what to say, but thanks for all the kind words about LOHO.

baturkey said:

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I still miss the ability to see which comments are new.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Me too.

I also miss our "who's online" feature. And a sidebar we had control over.

Teebob2000 said:

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Thanks for the headline. Now, every time he comes up to bat this season, I'll be visualizing Ethel Merman belting out, "Everything's Coming Up Castro!" from up in the broadcast booth.

Teebob2000 said:

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Actually, I think I can mitigate the mental damage with this clip instead...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmZdqsCW8vM

Doc said:

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I was thinking more along the lines of Castro appearing with blue hair and thick glasses.

JulieDiCaro said:

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really? i imagine milhouse and his flood pants.

Doc said:

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Yeah...that's what I was kinda referring to. What a fun day.

AndCounting said:

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Now Lou's saying Theriot is going to start at short for the ST opener. This drama is getting better than Glee.

Doc said:

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Great...Lou is already messing around with Castro...he's getting the Pie treatment, and the first game hasn't even been played yet.

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