The First Stone Has Been Cast...

As you might have heard, and if you haven't...well you certainly will, the Cubs will go 100 straight years without a championship if 2008 is not the year. And at least one Cub is ready for battle:

"I think we're going to win the World Series. I really do. I wouldn't have worked as hard as I did and everybody worked as hard as they did to not believe that."

That Cub would be Ryan Dempster and I applaud his optimism. What fun would it be if they didn't believe that on the first day of spring training in the warm Arizona sun, a place where optimism should flow like water over Niagara Falls. I hope Dempster is equally optimistic he'll still be a Cub by the time October rolls around because I'm not so sure he will be.

There isn't much else to be said, the first workouts are scheduled for tomorrow, and I think we're all jonesing for any brief snippet of information. I did find this passage amusing though:

The first day was a chance to get reacquainted and organized as coaches discussed the game plan for most of the morning. Zambrano showed off his sleek, black Lamborghini, Michael Wuertz brought red licorice for his teammates, while early bird position players like Ryan Theriot, Tyler Colvin, Sam Fuld, Jake Fox and Koyie Hill took grounders on the half field at Fitch. Position players don't have to report until Feb. 18.

Yes, nothing shows the difference between arbitration-eligible and first free agent contract like a Lamborghini and red licorice.
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The only other news of the day comes from Lou who says that he'll try to settle on a closer about three-quarters of the way into spring training. The other spring training competitons will be center field between Felix Pie and Sam Fuld and coming up with the five-man rotation (three of which are set). LDM (Lieber, Dempster, Marquis), and the two Sean's will compete for the final 2 spots and I suppose Kevin Hart might be in there as well. The losers of that competition will likely round out the bullpen which has five set in stone (Howry, Marmol, Wood, Eyre, Wuertz). Tim Lahey and Jose Ascaino will also be in the mix and dont' be surprised if Chad Fox ends up on the Opening Day Roster somehow....and then ends up on the DL by May 1st.

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