A League of Her Own

Wednesday Cubs Headlines: I'm Baaaaaaaaack!





Our long national nightmare is over. My return from vacation has brought about the removal of Kevin Millar from the roster.

Early Tuesday morning, Kevin Millar was at his locker asking the writers how they thought the Cubs' final roster cuts would shake out.

Later in the day, Chad Tracy joked with those same writers in the dugout that this was the first time all spring they wanted to talk with him.

That's because Tracy made the opening-day roster - as it turns out, at the expense of Millar - as the Cubs got down to the 25 men they'll take to Atlanta.


And Bruce Miles gives us a nice comparison between the bench at the start of last year and the bench today:


2009

Koyie Hill, C

Micah Hoffpauir, 1B-OF

Aaron Miles, IF

Joey Gathright, OF

Reed Johnson, OF

2010

Hill, C

Chad Tracy, 1B-3B

Jeff Baker, IF

Tyler Colvin, OF

Xavier Nady, OF


Despite cutting Millar, Jim Hendry wants you to know the decision was not easy, and he's really gonna miss the guy. But they'll stay in touch! I swear they will!

"It was tough. Whenever you get near the end (of camp), the last couple are always tough. We all feel we have a good, competitive club, so the decisions get tougher. We brought Tracy and Kevin to camp, and we had our own guys who could have possibly fit. I think Lou and his staff did a real good job of making the situation available so that a guy like Colvin could make the club. A guy like Russell, when Guzman went down (with shoulder surgery), really deserved it. Kevin is a high-character guy. We all know that. We've got a lot of high-character guys. We don't have a bad guy. He brings intangibles to the table, but so do the rest of them. And I've known him a long time. He knew before camp it was kind of a long shot...Kevin was great. He's a pro. I think he knew that I agonized over it. We ended up having about a half-an-hour conversation. Very professional."

Chad Tracy made Hendry look like a genius almost immediately.


Tracy wasted no time making the decision look good, hitting the only pitch he saw Tuesday -- after coming off the bench defensively -- over the center-field wall for what turned into the game-winning home run in the eighth inning.


Despite the excitement of young players who've played their way onto the roster, Gordo wants us to be nervous about the bullpen. I refuse to do so until after the first blown save.

It leaves the Cubs with a younger-than-ideal bullpen that includes three of the team's four rookies -- including Esmailin Caridad, who has 14 career appearances, as a primary setup man.

The pen has only 30 career saves combined, with first-year closer Carlos Marmol owning 23 of them. And only Marmol had one as recently as last year.


But there is room for hope:


On the other hand, the Cubs don't seem any worse off than they were last season with a shaky crew that included Kevin Gregg. He lasted just long enough as the closer to tie for second in the league in blown saves (seven).

This spring, the Cubs' pitching staff ranks third in the Cactus League. The three rookie relievers have allowed one earned run combined, and that was the home run Justin Berg gave up March 5 in his first appearance. How they do when the stadiums get bigger and louder and the games mean something is the big unknown -- along with how Seattle Mariners bust Carlos Silva will perform.



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42 Comments

flyball said:

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welcome back carl!

plamorte said:

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That bench looks a lot better than 2009's. But 2009's could be filled with All-Stars and still be worse, just from the presence of Aaron Miles.

Cubs Psychologist said:

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True! Don't forget pinball Joey Gathright. He's been bouncing around this spring.

flyball said:

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oh Joey Gathright, I hope he ends up somewhere and does well, although preferably in the AL

Cubs Psychologist said:

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Baltimore...I think

Doc said:

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Yes...I believe the Orioles just signed him this week.

JulieDiCaro said:

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i could have told you that without even knowing it.

Doc said:

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It is amazing...isn't it? I'm figuring they'll pick up Kevin Millar too.

flyball said:

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but he just played in Baltimore

Doc said:

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I thought he was in Toronto last year.

AndCounting said:

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In a way, it was filled with All-Stars. At times, the Cubs had Soriano, Lee, Bradley, Soto, Ramirez, Dempster, Zambrano, Fukudome, Lilly, and Marmol ride the bench with nagging injuries but without going on the DL. It didn't happen all at the same time, but they all have been All-Stars. That was major unpleasantness.

JulieDiCaro said:

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But, in another, more accurate way, it wasn't.

Edelweiss said:

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Julie should be happy because the new bench is all 6-footers. However she would be surpeised to know that all things are NOT in proportion. At least they are all taller than she is.

thisyearcub said:

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Welcome back Carl!

JulieDiCaro said:

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welcome back yourself!

Cubs Psychologist said:

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Welcome back Carl!!

J Pep said:

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Welcome back Carl. Gathright was just released by Tampa a couple of days ago. I guess jumping cars just doesn't take you as far as it used to.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I think Gathright is improperly used. If he can jump over a car, he can jump over a catcher. We need to get away from sliding and into leaping.

Doc said:

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Carl, you were gone?

Doc said:

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Carrie Muscat is tweeting that Billy Williams is getting a statue at Wrigley.

plamorte said:

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Saw your post, Rod Beck won't get one. Instead they will park a replica RV in the McDonald's parking lot that fans can rent out to officially tailgate in. Then be denied entrance to the field for being too inebriated.

JulieDiCaro said:

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that's a perfect tribute to rod.

Doc said:

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Yeah...I'm fairly sure he would be ok with that.

JulieDiCaro said:

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You're my boy, Rod!

Doc said:

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So far, that post is going over much better than my "predictions" post, which someone obviously took way too seriously.

JulieDiCaro said:

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YAY! He's my favorite baseball player EVER (except for Josh Gibson, who will never get a statue anywhere.)

Doc said:

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You know...it has been over 20 years since I've had a favorite baseball player ever...

It was Pete Rose when I was a kid. But all the crap that went down with him made it hard for me to really like another player...except Koyie Hill.

JulieDiCaro said:

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You could share Josh Gibson with me. He needs a LOT more fans.

Doc said:

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If you are referring to the Negro League player...I could be on board. I don't know much about him. My knowledged of the Negro Leagues is severely lacking...something I intend to correct.

But, believe it or not, according to wikipedia, Gibson actually does have a statue in Washington.

JulieDiCaro said:

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He does? That's awesome. Good to hear.

Doc said:

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I'm planning a trip this summer to DC...I'll try to confirm if that is indeed true.

JulieDiCaro said:

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3:05 CT game against the Northern Beer Team. We're stuck with mlb.com audio again. Maybe we'll luck out and get Ueck?

Doc said:

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Usually the MLB.com broadcasts are minor league announcers...but maybe!

Doc said:

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A reader's comment in Carrie Muskat's blog post about Billy William's statue asked if the statue could be placed in left field instead of outside the ballpark...for better defense. hehehe

JulieDiCaro said:

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until soriano clangs into it and knocks himself out.

Doc said:

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I think that was to be in place of Soriano.

And I bet that statue could hit better than he did last year too.

JulieDiCaro said:

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at least the statue could stand there and get hit. soriano couldn't even do that last year.

secdelahc said:

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Today's classroom pearl of wisdom: “The launch date is the day when we deploy the project.” Well, duh.

JulieDiCaro said:

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It's a damn good thing you went back to school.

secdelahc said:

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Yes, I'm learning how to sleep with my eyes open, how to blog with you guys and appear to be taking notes, and how to say obvious things while trying to sound smart.

flyball said:

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sounds like productive grad school to me

FrankS said:

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As long as they are good in sports, who cares about education?

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