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Wrigleyville 23 - A Chicago Cubs blog
Ted Lilly Is Less Broken
Written by wrigleyville   
Wednesday, 17 March 2010
Cubs Pitcher Lilly Throws Against the New York Mets

An update from Mesa:

Piniella laid out an optimistic plan for rehabbing Ted Lilly (shoulder) that would have the left-hander back during the third time through the rotation in April -- far earlier than originally anticipated.

''That's what it looks like, but I don't want to say that and then all of a sudden I've got to retract it,'' Piniella said. ''This is the type of information or feedback that we're getting.''

Not sure why anybody should be surprised here. Lilly is a bulldog who donates his services - unlike other selfish players.

 
Carlos, Good News
Written by melissa rakes   
Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Carlos Silva has struggled the last two seasons but he had an impressive outing in his third spring training start.  He gave up only 2 hits to the Texas Rangers in four scoreless innings.

I don't want to get too excited just yet but maybe things are about to change for Carlos.  He received good news from his mother, Zulay, when she called him from Venezuela before the game.  She wanted to let him know that she had received her 10-year visa.

"That was a big headache the last couple years," Silva said. "She had been getting denied, denied, denied. I think that's why I was fired up today.

We're all aware that players aren't robots and no doubt this message lifted a huge weight from Silva's broad shoulders.

"The last two years haven't been easy for me," Silva said. "If I started counting, everything I was doing or everything I was worried about was never going to end. It was a very tough two years. This is a fresh start, this is a new start. I feel very comfortable with this team. The only thing I have to do is my work. That's it."

I have to admit I'm a little disappointed that his mom didn't save this long awaited relief for an actual regular season start.  Since that's rather mean-spirited, I have to wonder if there isn't a way to inspire Carlos before every start.

"I have to talk to my mother before the game and after the game," Silva said. "If I showed you the message I sent to her, I said, 'The way I feel today I haven't felt for a long, long time.'

"Great news,  Publishers' Clearinghouse sent me a letter and I may have already won $10 million. Good luck today. Besos, Mama"  The text is ready to go, now I just need his digits.

 
Rogers: 14 Fake Games Show Rudy's The One
Written by wrigleyville   
Tuesday, 16 March 2010
Rudy Jaramillo

Sigh. Phil Rogers is reading things into things based on limited things again:

I'm a huge believer in Rudy Jaramillo. Hiring him as their new hitting coach is the best thing to happen for the Cubs since they signed Ted Lilly and Mark DeRosa. The early numbers suggest he's having an influence.

After finishing 10th in the NL in runs a year ago, the Cubs are near the top of the spring stats in several offensive categories -- fourth in the majors in batting average (.313), fourth in the majors in on-base percentage (.381) and ninth in the majors in runs (6.2 per game).

This isn't to say the Cubs offense won't be better. They most certainly will. It just doesn't make an ounce of sense to predict success based on a handful of spring games played by and against many players who won't be in the majors this year.

(click "read more" for full article)

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Jim Edmonds Is Going To Play Ball This Year
Written by wrigleyville   
Tuesday, 16 March 2010
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Chicago Cubs

He's going to make the Brewers in his apparent quest to play for every NL Central team:

PHOENIX -- At the first full squad meeting of the Milwaukee Brewers' spring training, manager Ken Macha went around the clubhouse, detailing the 2009 accomplishments of his players, from Prince Fielder to Casey McGehee. Jim Edmonds finally raised his hand, stood up and said, with a straight face, "I lowered my golf score from 110 to 85." Then everyone in the room laughed.

Edmonds had never played golf before, and within a year was shooting in the 80s, which is remarkable, but this is more remarkable: He did not throw, catch or hit a baseball from the final game he played in 2008 with the Cubs until January 2010 when he decided, for no particular reason, to play baseball again.

(click "read more" for full article)

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Kerry Wood Offers A Useful Reminder
Written by wrigleyville   
Monday, 15 March 2010
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago Cubs

For those of you pining for the return of Kerry Wood (and his $10 million salary), this real-time trip down memory lane may be helpful:

PHOENIX -- It could be something, it could be nothing. But the plans for Indians closer Kerry Wood, scratched from his scheduled appearance in a Cactus League game Saturday because of soreness in his right lat muscle, to go back to work have changed.

Wood was expected to throw a bullpen session Monday and appear against the Reds on Wednesday. That was the word from Wood himself, anyway.

But on Monday, manager Manny Acta announced that Wood did not throw that bullpen, and Acta did not offer a timetable for Wood's return to exhibition action.

"We're going to take it easy with Kerry," Acta said. "The medical staff will put together a plan for him. We want to be careful. He's our closer. He has plenty of time to get ready, and there's no reason to rush him back out there."

Even if Wood is perfectly fine and ready for Opening Day - or any other day - is he (and his $10 million salary) really the answer?

No.

 
The Trib's Long History Of Overdoing It
Written by wrigleyville   
Monday, 15 March 2010
CA: Xbox Live MADDEN NFL 2005 Launch Party - Arrivals

Apparently it isn't a new thing for the Chicago Tribune to go after an athlete it deems unacceptably acceptable:

The Chicago Tribune waged a choleric campaign against holding the next Clay fight in Chicago; the newspaper's attitude seemed to be that thousands of impressionable young Chicagoans would go over to the Viet Cong if Cassius were to be allowed to engage in fisticuffs in that sensitive city. Amplified by the newspaper (on one day it ran eleven items about Clay), the noise became a din, the drumbeats of a holy war. TV and radio commentators, little old ladies from Champaign-Urbana, bookmakers and parish priests, military strategists at the Pentagon and brave dogfeet wading across the ricefields of Vietnam, all joined in a get-Cassius clamor.

Sounds like a recent day or two at Tribune Tower.

 
Selig Searching For Cubs' Spring Site Solutions
Written by melissa rakes   
Monday, 15 March 2010

 

The City of Mesa has put a proposal before the state legislature in Arizona that would provide the Cubs with a new spring training facility. Part of the financing for the new facility has been questioned by owners of other Cactus league teams who oppose a "Cubs' Tax."

Tom Haudricourt reports that Bud Selig has turned his attention to finding a way to keep the Cubs in the Cactus League without taxing tickets league wide.

"I've gotten involved in that, too, because I don't want the owners handling it," said Selig. "We just have to find a way to do it. I know how (other club officials) feel about it."

Sounds like Bud's way of saying the other owners aren't happy and he's going to find a way to make the situation worse beneficial to all. I wonder if the Cubs are the only team that Bud is interested in "helping" complete a deal for their spring time digs.

The Brewers aren't looking for a new facility but they would like improvements at Maryvale Baseball Park. Their lease expires in 2012, so they have the leverage of being courted elsewhere, including communities in Florida.

 
Gammons: "All The Way" Greatest Sports Song Ever
Written by wrigleyville   
Monday, 15 March 2010

From the mind (and Twitter account) of Peter Gammons:

Best sports song ever is Eddie Vedder's "All the Way" Cubs tribute (check Youtube). Sweet Caroline may remain the worst

Does Gammons really believe "Sweet Caroline" is a sports song, simply because they play it at Red Sox games? Lyrics here. You decide.

As for the front end of his argument, I like Eddie as much as the next guy, but the "best sports song ever"? Really? It's a throwaway ditty at best.

Better than "Take Me Out to the Ballgame"? Harry disagrees:

(click "read more" for full article)

Read more...
 
When Is It OK For An Athlete To Beat Up A Fan?
Written by wrigleyville   
Friday, 12 March 2010
Morgan Ensberg #14

What is the protocol for a baseball player when something like this happens, via Morgan Ensberg's blog:

I was in right field shagging balls during BP in 2007. I loved talking to the fans in the bleachers. In fact, I felt so comfortable with them that a guy asked to see my glove so I tossed it to him. He looked at it and threw it back down, no problem. Back to the story…

I was talking to a group of 7 and they started ragging me, but I got them to laugh and the conversation quickly turned into a Q & A session. After 15 min I told them I had to hit. When I turned my back I heard a guy spit and felt phlegm hit my left temple.

As I jogged into the dugout my eyes were watering up. I took 3 or 4 deep breaths and regained my composure. It took me over an hour to stop feeling humiliated. Someone just spit on me because he thought it would be funny and instead it burned a memory into my heart that I will never forget.

(click "read more" for full article)

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Cubs Abandon Plan To Tax Everyone Else
Written by wrigleyville   
Thursday, 11 March 2010
Frys.com Open - Round Two

Crane Kenney said the Cubs are backing off the league-wide ticket tax to pay for their new spring training facility - which is curious, since they had previously said this was all a state plan:

The Chicago Cubs have ditched plans for an 8 percent tax on all Cactus League tickets to help pay for a new $80 million spring training ballpark in Mesa.

The Cubs have threatened to move their spring training from Mesa to Naples, Fla., unless they get a new stadium. The Cubs are the biggest attendance draw in the Cactus League.

But Cubs President Crane Kenney said Thursday that the team does not need the tax to help finance the new stadium. Kenney said the team could finance the stadium through a $1 increase to Maricopa County’s rental car tax, bonding and spending increases to be voted on by Mesa voters.

(click "read more" for full article)

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