Gameday Open Thread / Cubs @ Diamondbacks

The Cubs and Diamondbacks play in Tucson, their first meeting since the clubs matched up in last season's NLDS. (I don't recall who won.) Carlos Zambrano makes his second appearance of the Spring after pitching two scoreless innings against the Giants last Friday. Kosuke Fukudome had a big day in yesterday's loss to the Brewers, collecting three hits while batting in the two hole. Plus he has learned how to yank Bruce Miles's chain.

And what in the world is Jim Hendry talking about? He must not read Jeff Zrebiec.

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Don't recall who won, hehe :)

Did anyone see where Lou is moving The-riot to the 7th spot? I say kudo's if indeed he does such a thing. In reality, Theriot is the prototypical NL 8th man. He handles the bat well and he takes pitches. Plus he's an adept bunter and can has speed to move around the bases while a pitcher is up.

Exactly, Dr. Aaron. I question Theriot being a starting SS to begin with but to bat him 2nd is absolutely insane (unless it's a temporary deal because he's absolutely on a roll). Much more comfortable with him at #7. Really wish we'd have gotten Renteria. He'd look pretty good in front of Lee, E-Ram, etc...

No MLB.tv no radio no nada.

Christ, Zambrano hit a HR. Now he's going to be corkscrewing himself into the ground all year and going on the DL with lower back problems.

but what is Kyle Lohse thinking about right now?

1st PA: 3 called strikes -- out
2nd PA: tries a different tactic, swing at the ball
3 swinging strikes -- out
3rd PA: hits first pitch -- fly out
4th PA: hits first pitch -- ground out

Baltimore Scouts heading back to Phoenix to beat traffic.

Oh, sure...NOW they shut down Augie.

Looks like Wuertz had a solid debut - 1 inning, no hits, 2 k's. It did look like Pie had an outfield assist of some sort at least. Perhaps Arizona Phil will tell us about it later. Hard to tell much from the box score.

Don't think AZ Phil travels to Tucson, it's almost a two hour trip I believe from Mesa. Could be wrong though...

Looks like Weurtz was sharp. Hopefully he can end ST with an ERA under 7 this year and make the team from the get-go.

Well, the 8th inning is not going to help Lou's impression of these young pitchers.

I'll forgive Campusano, he's trying to come back from TJ surgery...Lahey apparently wants to go back to Minnesota though.

Better outing by Z this time? The line looks good in the box, but I neither heard nor saw anything. Any comments?

So we lost again, huh?

what the hell happened in the 8th?

Rob.G - any way of making the site more blackberry friendly?

I'll say no, because I have no idea how to do that...

Are you using flat-list display?

Not sure. All I know is that it is almost impossible to comment.

It works fine on my iPhone

Agreed - I can't make any sense of it on the Blackberry.

Great site guys! This is so exciting. I hope the Cubs' starting pitching looks as good this year.

Looking at the box score:

Cubs hitters: 0 walks, 9 K's.

Wow, that's encouraging.

Cubs pitchers: 6 walks.

Even better.

Thank goodness it's only ST right?

I guess our Cubbies are in midseason form.

I'd rather have a seizure than watch bad baseball.
http://www.mtv.com/overdrive/?id=1518071&vid=212976

I get sick going on a merry go round, if this video causes seizures you should not be watching TV.

The video failed the Harding Test and was pulled from MTV because it could cause epileptic seizures. I thought it was pretty cool. It gets pretty wild about halfway through.

How come our crappy guys keep losing to the other team's crappy guys?

It's official: Stoney replaces Chris Singleton on White Sox radio this year.

http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?y...

that's just sad

I so predicted this! Somewhere in the depths of the TCR archives, I said Stoney would become the White Sox radio guy.

I just said it 2 years early - I thought he'd take the job when WSCR got the broadcast rights and they kicked Rooney down to St. Louis.

It's a one year contract just long enough for new Cub ownership to come in after the season.

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080305&content_id=240...

. Hitting coach Gerald Perry has noticed that Kosuke Fukudome is breaking a lot of bats, including the one he used to hit a home run on Tuesday. Fukudome apparently is taking some of his bats home to keep them in a more humid atmosphere. The dry Arizona weather may be contributing to the breakage. The bats are made of tamo, a Japanese ash, and are individually wrapped.

Third baseman Aramis Ramirez has been pushed back, and was expected to play on Friday. He's been sidelined with a sore right shoulder.

and Lou showing the sense of humor regarding Z's first appearance vs the Dbacks since the NLDS
"We're going to let him go three innings today," Piniella said. "I'm not going to pull him."

I knew a kid who insisted on using only tamo bats. Wasn't from Japan, though. He was from Sheboygan. Some kind of superstition, I think. He played with a Japanese player once and borrowed a bat..so on and so forth and the next thing you knew he wouldn't use any other bat.

Seemed to me he broke an awful lot of 'em throughout the course of a full season, though. Seemed like 2 or 3 times a week he'd come back with a splintered bat.

I always thought ash broke more often than maple. But, my knowledge of bat construction doesn't go much further than fungoes. I think maple explodes more violently, but is generally more durable.

Goldstein puts the Cubs at #16, up from #21 last year

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=7188

Last Year's Ranking: 21
Why They're Up: The struggles of Donald Veal and the graduation of Felix Pie are both offset by Geovany Soto's breakout seasons and what is looking like a very strong 2007 draft.
Strengths: Solid offensive prospects at nearly every level, with Josh Vitters providing big-time potential. Despite disappointing 2007 performances, there are several power arms in the system.
Weaknesses: Very little pitching that is close to being ready to help; Soto's move to the majors leaves little else in the way of power.
Outlook for 2009 Ranking: Down a tad. Soto is now in the majors; Sean Gallagher and Eric Patterson could both be moving on or out as well.

Is Inge good? I was under the impression he was on of the "good guys", but really wasn't all that great of a ball player.

inge is probably one of the best 3rd basemen in the game with a lazer arm, but when he dropped below 20hr power he became another marginal pedro feliz type.

if he was only in better physical shape he'd probably attract more interest. he's gonna be 31 this year with some questionable loot tied to him for a couple years.

Thanks. I can see value to bringing him on if a. he can be acquired at a reasonable asking price, b. the salary is tolerable, and c. he's not going to demand to be in the lineup every day.

He could sure up 3B & CF with Ramirez's health sometimes suspect and shallow CF coverage.

I'm going to go to bed tonight and pray to the baseball gods that when Inge wakes up tomorrow, he'll be left-handed.

No. And nowhere worth the $6.2 million he is owed in 2008, or the $6.3 million he is owed in 2009 or the $6.5 million he is owed in 2010. Detroit would have to seriously eat like $12 million to dump him.

I could see Zell going for that Indians money night except the Cubs fans would be handed an envelope and they would be asked to give anywhere from $1 to $10,000 to the team. We could call it the Carlos Zambrano Battered Teammates Fund.

We actually did that promotion last year in Connecticut sponsored by a bank. Of course, we only gave away like $2,000, but same concept. It obviously went over pretty well.

Last night on NHK (Japan's version of PBS) there was a close-up on K-Fuk. Maybe they were waiting for him to have a good offensive day who knows. Anyway the cute little announcer chick was teasing him about how relieved he must be to have had a good day at the plate, but he shrugged it off and tried to be nonchalant, saying his natural talent just did its thing. But then he says he's putting the bat (which he's holding during the interview) in his trophy case to commemorate his first HR (albeit in spring) versus opposing ML pitching. So of course she's able to get him to admit it means something to him at that point.
After that they talk about how hes adjusting to the team and he says all the perfunctory niceties about just being a great bunch of guys and all that. Then she hands him a placard and a marker and asks him to write down the word that best describes the teams situation right now. he wrote "楽", which means "fun" or "enjoyment", saying that right now everybody is just enjoying getting ready and he's having a great time.

as you were.

Cool. Thanks for that; I, for one, appreciate the translations.

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