Soto Returns; Ramirez and Bradley Sit
This afternoon at Wrigley, when Rich Harden goes up against former teammate Jason Marquis, Geo Soto will make his first start since last Tuesday in Houston, and while Lou Piniella says Aramis Ramirez's back is getting better, he adds "one more day [of rest] won't do any harm."
As for Milton Bradley, Paul Sullivan reports:
Bradley is still projected back by the weekend,
though Piniella said Bradley told him he's feeling better, "though he
still feels (the groin strain) somewhat."
On the anniversary of Jackie Robinson's Major League debut 62 years ago, Bradley is also the subject of a long piece by Gordon Wittenmyer about the sad history of race-baiting by Cubs fans.
Wrigley seems like the last place an African-American player with
such a well-traveled reputation for confrontations [as Bradley] would choose to sign
a multiyear contract. In the last five seasons alone, Cubs outfielder
Jacque Jones and pitcher LaTroy Hawkins said they were the targets of
racist taunts and fan mail. Jones also said in 2006 that he became the
victim of racial slurs and threats on his cell phone when the number
Former Cubs manager Dusty Baker said that same season that he
received enough threatening, racist mail in Chicago that his wife and
young son no longer would attend games.
Visiting ballplayers are even easier targets for the more vicious slurs.
''I've heard a few things [from the bleachers],'' Milwaukee Brewers
outfielder Mike Cameron said. ''But I don't really get into it with
them unless a situation calls for it. I try to stay out of those
WIttenmyer also writes that the reputation of Wrigley Field crowds to go after African American players was one of the reasons that longtime Twin Torii Hunter, who Wittenmyer covered for years up in Minneapolis, had the Cubs on his no-trade list.
We baseball bloggers give the local beat guys a lot of crap--some deserved, some not--so I think it's only fair to point out when one of them authors a well-done piece on a provocative subject.
Kudos to Wittenmyer.
Everytime I recall Szcur's bne marrow donation to a stranger, it makes me smile:
If Matt is out will Kawasaki get the call-up? Or "Shane"?
"Matt Szczur will undergo an MRI on his right hamstring on Tuesday."
One of the reasons I think Maddon is a great manager -- he has changed the conversation on Baez from HR & strikeouts to great defense, versatility and an all-around good ballplayer. He rarely talks about his offense, which is the only thing anybody used to talk about with Javy. He took a lot of pressure off the kid, and he seems to have responded.
Good pitching and some nifty D tonight -- nice win.
In case you didn't see it -- it was the Little League play where the guy on first gets caught in a rundown on purpose and the guy on third tries to score. It worked.
Gotta love the Pirates pitcher intentionally hitting Zobrist, then allowing Zobrist to score on a 2-out wild pitch.
Also, glad to see Zobrist coming around with RISP after my remarks last week. Heh!
ESPN reporting heyward day-to-day with an injured wrist
ESPN game tonight, btw.
Cardinal way #48
"negligent transmission of STDs"
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Twitterverse reporting that Heyward is dealing with a sore right wrist
Cardinal way #47
See ya on parrot chat
In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST...
Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex:
4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes)
Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)
There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?
Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.
Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.