Gameday Open Thread/Giants @ Cubs

The Giants visit the Cubs in Mesa Wednesday afternoon (3:05 Central). Ryan Dempster and A-Ram are expected to be in the starting lineup. The game can be heard via mlb.com Webcast.

Here's your Cactus League Attendance Trivia for Wednesday:

The two highest-drawing Cactus League games ever have been played in the last three weeks. The top draw was yesterday's Cubs/Dodgers game at Camelback Ranch (13,046). Now in second place is a February 28th game which drew 13,010. It was also played at Camelback, this one hosted by the White Sox...also against your Chicago Cubs.

There seems to be a pattern here.

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Solid move.

Should at least be able to flip him for a couple of prospects at the deadline.

According to Muskat, two more roster cuts:

Esmailin Caridad
Ken Kadokura

Both were sent to minor league camp, reducing the spring roster to 43.

Love my daily Cactus League Attendance Trivia.

Almost as good as that word of the day I get when I check my email. Today's word - vendee. Exciting.

Gabor Bako 0-2, 2K's. I hope his remaining handful of at bats are against mvp types (ie Lincecum)...ending the ZaZa Gabor era, Hello Koyie era.

"Why did I sign with the Nationals?" Tavarez said told a group of reporters. "When you go to a club at 4 in the morning, and you're just waiting, waiting, a 600-pounder looks like J. Lo. And to me this is Jennifer Lopez right here. It's 4 in the morning. Too much to drink. So, Nationals: Jennifer Lopez to me."

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/nationalsjournal/...

Also, Scott Eyre is broke.

Holy shit, Scott Eyre is broke? Are we taking up a collection fund?

I think we should start one. He needs about $132 million.

I'm sorry, I just can't afford that. Can't this be added on to the AIG Bailout?

No, bailouts are reserved for jackasses that foreclose mortgages that should have never been offered or accepted.

No, but we could probably spread it out over 3 years.

At that length of contract, I couldn't offer more than $44 million.

I have booked in a weekend trip from London for the Dodgers series.I got tickets when they were released but looking at where they are situated they look pretty poor seats (cost only $32 - terrace box but in row 22 -best available when i got through ), i am going to try and get better seats, basically is stubhub my best option (at over double face value plus 10% fees) or should i wait and haggle with the scalpers?? any advice? or other reputable ticket outets? Thanks

StubHub is the truest marketplace and the prices are usually the most competitive, although yes, the transaction fees there are rough.

As for scalpers, it varies widely across the board, but that's going to be a high-demand series, so I wouldn't anticipate getting your seats a hell of a lot cheaper, unless you wait until the third inning to buy and they start getting desperate to unload. That's the kind of strategy I used to employ when I lived 7 miles away, not when I traveled across an ocean to get there.

Also, if you rent a car, budget plenty of money for that as well.

One last thought: Keep an eye on eBay, and sometimes a relatively cheap set of tickets will fall through the cracks.

If you are flying into O'Hare don't bother getting a car. You can use to CTA everywhere and a cab in the few spots other than the hotel, downtown, and Wrigley that you need to go to.

I second what Beasley said. Keep looking at ebay, especially this early. The closer to game day, the auctions will go up. But sometimes good tickets can slip through the cracks. Last year I got tickets to Brewers/Cubs for a July game (in MIL) for under face value in March. I didn't make the trip and just sold them closer to game day for a nice 200% profit.

Dempster 5 shutout innings, 4K's 4Hits

4-0 Cubs

Bottom first (vs Lincecum): Soriano leadoff HR, ARam walk, Hoffpauir rbi triple, Fontenut rbi single.

Bottom 4th: Gathright single, SB, Riot rbi single

ex-Cub Manager Whitey Lockman (age 82) passed away today...he replaced Leo Durocher as mgr of the Cubs in the early 70's.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitey_Lockman

>>Gathright single, SB<<

No way he doesn't make the team, his small-ball abilities must look good to Lou. I think he has a soft spot for the guy anyways from his Tampa days.

Too bad about Whitey, he was a good guy and not a horrible manager. His lack of charisma after nearly a decade of Leo is what sunk him. That, and the aging of the core players.

Cubs close to finalizing sale. Finally.

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=2...

Also Koyie is seriously kicking the shit out of Bako.

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/stats/sortable_player_...

Come on, dude.

All Bako has to do is go 8 for his next 9 with a homer and three doubles, and they're totally even.

Hendry's dumb decisions of winter 2008/09:

1. Signing Aaron Miles.
2. Trading Mark DeRosa for three non-prospects.
3. Developing amnesia and not remembering that Gabor Bako really really sucks.

Thankfully, Koyie Ruth can likely amend #3 at least.

I love geniuses who before a player plays game one for their new team, handicaps the GM's moves, who has had the the team in the playoffs, with the best record in the NL last year. Gabo is not a huge investment, either. DeRosa deal is waaaaay to early to to put a stamp on. You were probably complaining about HEndry signing him in the first place as quite a few were here. But this is before Jim Hickman's Bat time.

Time will tell. We'll see what happens.

Geez, aren't you friendly? I was big-time for the DeRosa signing, and I'm not negative on letting him go, either. I understand the logic, and I'm perfectly happy letting Fontegod move up as the starter.

The beef that Hendry deserves criticism for is that he (a) didn't get at least one respectable prospect for an inexpensive and flexible player coming off a 20/90 season, and (b) that if $$ were the primary driver, then turning around almost immediately and spending half the DeRosa money on a bit player like Miles defies logic. Yes, that deserves a raspberry.

As for Gabor, please, I don't care if he's free. He stinks like raw eggs, most of us were plenty pleased to see him leave town the first time, how could he conceivably have gotten better years later?

Sorry JHB. I wasn't trying to be unfriendly. I am one of the few here to have seen Jim Hickman in-person and on live t.v.

Gabor does suck. That was a head scratcher to me too...

Aaron Miles I disagree with you. I think he will be a productive player, and a fan favorite.

Again, time will tell with these calls.

No problem. Yeah, I loved Hickman as a kid, don't know why he was the one I glommed onto. My pop was a major Santo guy.

I guess my biggest issue with Miles is the money...I know, it isn't our money, why should we care? But to evaluate a GM, money management vs. player choice is a legitimate issue, and one of Hendry's biggest flaws as Cubs GM has been a maddening propensity (fetish even) to overpay for fringy bench players. Why I have no idea.

Miles has no pop, is OK defensively but nothing special, and really doesn't have much 3B experience which the Cubs need from a middle infielder reserve. Hendry couldn't have found something at least as good, or better, for significantly less than a $5MM, two-year commitment?

I'm not ragging on Hendry's overall job btw, just these particular choices. Overall, I think he's been a good (not great) Cubs GM, certainly better than most the Cubs have had over the years. I'm not even ragging on his overall job this year, I think he made 4 nice decisions this winter:

1. Unlike some here, I liked the Ceda for Gregg swap at the time, it looks even better so far this spring.
2. From an emotional fan standpoint, it was tough to see Woody go, but I support that choice 100%.
3. I really like the Heilman trade, even if you view it as essentially Pie + Cedeno.
4. I think going with Bradley was a much better choice than the apparent two leading alternatives (Ibanez and Abreu).

For the sake of completion, I'm probably neutral on the Dempster re-signing (like it, but the 4-year length is a bit worrisome) and the Gathright signing.

Please explain what you mean by productive for Mr. Miles. if you would.

If .290/.330/.360 with little power, and little speed is productive, then he will certainly be productive. Theriot Redux, with less walks.

If those are the worst moves that he made (i.e. signing, essentially, the 23rd/24th or 24th/25th players on the roster and trading a guy after a career year), then it aint too bad.

You're pretty much 100% wrong on number two. There's an article in the HBT annual that outlines if you're not able to get an A+ type hitting prospect in a trade, the next best targets are B type pitching prospects.

No way. It's over. I hope. Also, welcome Romero.

Thanks, Joe!

Wow, the Nationals are releasing Shawn Hill. We love us some talented injury risks. I'll take him.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090318&c...

I'd be down with that. Stick him in AAA and see if he can stay healthy. The juice is definitely worth the squeeze.

Youk now the latest Team USA injury with achilles's heal soreness:

http://www.bostonherald.com/blogs/sports/red_sox/i...

The bigger problem for Johnson is that both the Indians and Nats have requsted both Dero and Dunn (the only guys on the Team USA roster for this round that besides Youk have MLB expirence at 1B) not play there. I dont know why the tribe is taking that stance since Dero has played all his usual postions (other than 1B) except for the one they plan on using him at, 3B. I dont know why you let him play the OF or 2nd, but not 1B.

Very true, doesn't make sense that the tribe would say no to him playing first. If anything I would think they'd be begging to play him at first (i'd have to guess less of an injury risk playing 1B then running the OF or playing the hot corner).

AMPAP (As much props as possible) to Romero for joining us. Always good to hear a new voice around here.

Well... if the Indians don't have any interest in playing DeRosa at 1b, then they probably want him to get playing time at positions that he will actually play at.

The same goes for Dunn.

I'm surprised - I guess the Nats really aren't interested in playing Dunn at first. Yeah, Nick Johnson is going to get hurt, but then I guess they think Willingham is the better option at 1B.

Think I'd rather have him in the OF and have Dunn at 1B, but I'm not Manny Acta, either.

Oh, also, a big welcome to Romero.

Thanks, E-Man!

Also...hey guys, what's this I keep hearing about Scott Eyre?

relevant to absolutely nothing, the flag needs a little fixing.

Thanks for catching it. Rob has left some of us children in charge tonight and if things go bad...well, it's not going to be pretty.

Yep. Flag is wrong. And, wtf w/Ascanio?! 6 runs in the top of 9th??!

MAybe Bako was catching?

Didn't Gaudin have another subpar outing, too?

I agree with A-Phil, Cubs will help Gaudin right the ship and keep the Cajun Cubs together. Maybe give the umps some Tibby-doh mud with crawdad shells to un-shine the balls before the games. Hoffpauir, who grew up 60 miles from Shreveport will crush 'em and Chad will add some dipsy doodle to his slurve. Dat OK, char-bebe?

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