A League of Her Own

Thursday Cubs Headlines: Billy Gets His

Winter Classic: Detroit Red Wings v Chicago Blackhawks




First Harry, then Ernie, now Billy Williams will be immortalized in bronze outside of Wrigley Field.

The Cubs announced Wednesday that they will erect a statue bearing the likeness of Hall of Famer Williams, with a ceremony to take place before the Sept. 7 game at Wrigley Field.

The exact location of the statue isn't known, but eventually it's likely to anchor a spot down the left-field line outside of the ballpark.

A statue of Ernie Banks is near the Clark and Addison Streets intersection, and a statue of broadcaster Harry Caray is down the right-field line outside the park. The Banks and Williams statues likely will be key anchors of the ballpark renovations just to the west of the stadium.



As for current Cub left fielders, Alfonso Soriano has most of Cubdom worried about his ability to hit.

It was a rough day for the Cubs and left fielder Alfonso Soriano in Wednesday's 11-0 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.


Soriano struck out twice and grounded into a double play. For the spring, he's batting .235 with 1 homer, no walks and a .245 on-base percentage.

However, neither Soriano nor manager Lou Piniella seems overly concerned.

"Well, we'd like to see him start swinging the bat, yeah," Piniella said. "I've said that. Spring training has taught me in the years that I've been doing this not to concern myself too much with what you see here. You concern yourself more what you see when the bell rings.

"I'm going to go with my veteran players. I feel confident they'll get the job done. If not, we'll make some adjustments."


As far as Soriano's confidence, this doesn't sound like he's giving himself a ringing endorsement.

The confidence is there, Soriano said, ''but at the same time it's like [I'm] a little worried what's going to happen in six months with my batting ... how I wind up [in 2010]. What percentage I can play this game if I don't have a sore knee or elbow or something. That's more the worry. But I have confidence in myself because I've done this for 10 years. It's not like something new for me.''

Despite those mixed signals, the Fonz feels good about this season because of one man:

''The most important thing is I feel good. And strong,'' Soriano said. ''And much better than the year before because I've got [new hitting coach] Rudy [Jaramillo] with me.

''But it's just spring training. That's why I want to get out of here. Because as soon as they say, 'Play ball,' and those games count, I know my mind is going to change. And I'll be back to normal.''


In other news regarding players seeking to enjoy better seasons, Carlos Zambrano had his final spring start yesterday. Lou's expecting big things from him this year.


"He's thrown the ball well here in camp, he's nice and healthy, he's been stretched out really well," Lou Piniella said of Zambrano. "He's ready to go. We're pleased. He's been working hard on his breaking ball and thrown some changeups and he's had good life on his fastball."

Every spring, Zambrano says he's more mature, he's going to settle down and keep his emotions in check.

"He tells me he's changed," Piniella said.

Does he believe his pitcher?

"To me that means there might be a little slippage at times," Piniella said. "Let's not expect perfection. I see a guy who is really focused and has really worked hard and he's been under good control."


And what does Carlos have in mind for this season?


Zambrano, who is coming off a disappointing 9-7 season, is focused on 200-plus innings. He's topped that figure five times in his career.

"That's the goal for this year," he said. "A month ago, Greg Maddux came to me and told me to put in my mind 215 innings, 220 innings, and that's what I want to do. I want to throw more than 220 innings and build my arm strength."



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60 Comments

Cubs Psychologist said:

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Is Rudy not helping Soriano??? Anyway, best wishes to new yankee and cub Sam Fuld. I'll miss his all out play and his rather huge head.

gravedigger said:

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Why are people freaking out about Sam Fuld being traded? Who cares?

plamorte said:

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April Fool's folks...April Fool's....

thisyearcub said:

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Yeah, guys, please don't feed the Al Yellon machine. That was his April Fool's and somehow it took off on Twitter. I just wish he had done something more relevant, like "Paul Sullivan wins Pulitzer" or "Paul Sullivan uses facts, stays unbiased in a story."

Umbra said:

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POTD.

gravedigger said:

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Just to underscore my original point, I didn't even care enough to look to see if it was true. If he did, or if he didn't, doesn't much matter to me.

thisyearcub said:

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Apparently he matters a lot to the folks at BCB, which pretty much tells you all you need to know of how that site is trending.

Doc said:

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Fuckin Al does this every year...and yet people still fall for it. Fuck that fucker.

FrankS said:

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Best April's Fool joke that I can remember goes back to the days of when we nerds used to run Bulletin Board Systems on 8-bit computers like Atari 800's and Commodore 64's.

I don't suppose any of you are old enough to remember the Atari vs Commodore flame wars, but it was not unlike Mac vs PC over the last 15 or 20 years.

Anyway, one guy ran his BBS on an Atari and the other guy ran his on a C64. For April 1st, either by some strange coincidence or working together, both SysOps copied the basic look and feel of the other fellow's BBS. So when you logged into the one, it actually looked like the other BBS. Then people were getting PO'ed because their passwords weren't working. It was great. Maybe it isn't as funny as plastic vomit, but I was impressed.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Oh damn.

I thought he really WAS traded and I was happy.
Boo.

Edelweiss said:

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Just heard they traded Theriot to the Rockies for Tulowitzki.

flyball said:

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I don't like April Fool's anymore, it was fun in college when the school paper took on an Onion-esque take for the day, but now its "I'm pregnant emails" and lets unplug someone's computer screen at work

I'm over it

baturkey said:

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But I really am pregnant!

Teebob2000 said:

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C'mon -- rigging someone's office phone so they can't talk into it is STILL funny.

JulieDiCaro said:

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my favorite potential joke is when Jim filled Dwight's handset for his phone with a nickel every day until he got used to weight, then took them all out and made Dwight hit himself in the face.

HAHAHAHAHA. It still makes me laugh.

flyball said:

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the photo for April in the Cubs calendar makes it look like Lou is giving me a stern "get back to work" look

Doc said:

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so? Get back to work, dammit!

Edelweiss said:

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Back in 1983, there was an April Fool rumor about the Bears trading Walter Payton, and people really believed it. There was no Internet then.

plamorte said:

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busy Thursday huh people? Only 10 comments at 11:30 is unusual

Doc said:

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I'm a bit busy as I try to figure out what I want to do with my life when I grow up. Some things are starting to come into focus.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Cowboy?

baturkey said:

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Space cowboy.

Doc said:

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Lumberjack.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I still want to be a firefighter.

Sigh . . . someday.

Doc said:

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Well, I want to be the organist at Wrigley Field...but Gary Pressy won't retire. Well, that and I need to start taking piano lessons.

AndCounting said:

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Ronnie Woo-Woo's position has to be opening up sometime soon. You could be the new him?

Doc said:

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Now that we have health care reform, he'll probably live another 50 or 60 years...unfortunately.

millertime said:

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Space Lumberjack?

gravedigger said:

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Yeah, fucking meetings all day.

Cubs Psychologist said:

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Just finished dealing with a sexual assault...Not fun.

gravedigger said:

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Man, I had to re-read that and your username a few times to realize that wasn't a sick joke.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I took a bunch of Benadryl last night and it took me a while to wake up. Then I went for a walk. Too nice to be tied to a computer today!

plamorte said:

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some of us don't have a choice!!! RUB IT IN JULIE RUB IT IN! (twss)

Doc said:

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oh...you have a choice. You just don't want to suffer the consequences of choosing differently than you have.

JulieDiCaro said:

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EXACTLY. There is ALWAYS a choice.

Anyway, I've been stuck in court all week, so I'm not apologizing.

gravedigger said:

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You still should apologize, it will endear you more to, well, me.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I'm sorry that I gave up the relative comfort of working for a law firm for the daily, nay, HOURLY frustration of running my own firm.

Oh wait . . no I'm not.

gravedigger said:

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Yeah, seriously. Go away, Julie.

flyball said:

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can real baseball start now?

Doc said:

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nope. I'm not ready for this season to be over yet.

Doc said:

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I just checked my phone...

it's 76 degrees here in Madison...
and 61 in Mesa....

BAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!!!!!

JulieDiCaro said:

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I'm TRYING to get the game thread up, but there's some kind of glitch.

Stand by.

JulieDiCaro said:

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are we back?

JulieDiCaro said:

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test

JulieDiCaro said:

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test

JulieDiCaro said:

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test

gravedigger said:

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Fail.

JulieDiCaro said:

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are we back?

flyball said:

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we're back...i think

JulieDiCaro said:

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too late to post the game thread now, I assume.

I guess I'll save it for headlines.

Doc said:

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It's a good thing this is still the pre-season...otherwise this would have been a major crisis.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I know. I think we're all okay.

Everyone okay? If not, stay alive, we will find you!

(grabs flashlight and knife and runs out the door)

gravedigger said:

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Don't worry, it was just ChicagoNow shitting the bed once again.

AndCounting said:

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The series of tests reminds me of one of my profs who would always give these five-question quizzes he liked to call "quizzies." One girl, the sweetest, nicest, most innocent little thing you could ever hope to meet, always had trouble with them. One day, after turning in a particularly difficult one, she said, "Man, if these are your quizzies, I'd hate to see your testies."

Teebob2000 said:

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My man Silva with ANOTHER great outing!!!!

keywestcubfan said:

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Soriano hit a curve for a two run shot to win the game. Granted, it was over the middle of the plate, but he took a nice swing, and the pitch was breaking well. He went three for three today. I guess he's a good swinger again..... He's making me randy baby.....yeah!!!

millertime said:

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Who is Billy Williams?

MillsChC said:

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Dude... he's Lando Calrissian.

keywestcubfan said:

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I loved him in that film.

Perkins said:

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Ironic that Zambrano's best season since 2005 is "disappointing" because of the W-L record. I'm almost bummed not to be around for the start of the season.

Incidentally, I wouldn't recommend Haiti as a place to travel.

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