Gameday Open Thread / Cubs @ Angels

The Cubs travel to Tempe today to face the suddenly depleted Angels. Carlos Zamrbano's final tune-up before Opening Day and he'll be opposed by Jered Weaver. The game is on

The Cubs also settled on their position players to start the season, choosing the lefty bat and infield abilities of Mike Fontenot over the superior righty bat of Matt Murton's. A difficult, but understandable decision on the Cubs part. While Murton is the better hitter, the addition of Fontenot gives the Cubs two lefty bench bats and someone besides Ronny Cedeno to back up the middle infield. The bench will consist of Henry Blanco, Daryle Ward, Ronny Cedeno, Reed Johnson and Mike Fontenot. I can't say I'm thrilled, but I do hope that if Soriano or Fukudome go down with an injury that Murton is still the top choice to replace them on an everday basis. The Cubs also released non-roster invitee Alex Cintron.

Finally, a loyal reader has four tickets for the April 2nd game at Wrigley versus the Brewers. I'm not too interested in becoming a ticket exchange or broker, but he's offering them at below face value, so I thought I'd pass along the note. Drop me an email and I'll forward it to him if you're interested. They're in Aisle 434, Row 2 and retail for $23 each. He's willing to break them up into pairs and is only asking $20 for each ticket. In other words, $40 or $80 instead of $46 or $92. I take no responsibility for their authenticity and don't think I'll do this for everyone.


we'll see if they play the game...

Neyer's Top 50 players for the next 5 Cubs. Cubs surprise

We're gonna be awful old in 5 years. But we've got a nice window for the present in our little division.


I'll be there throughout my lunch...

Cubs vs. Angels on FSW in LA. Felix Pie (pronounced like Apple Pie by the LA announcers) just singled sharply through the right side.

Soriano hitting 3rd.

only the play-by-play announcer is pronouncing it wrong.

weird, huh?

and now he's doing it right as well.

Someone musta told them.

a late scratch
What's wrong with him?

Looks like he's got it in shape! 2nd inning assist that was a bullet.

DeRosa apparently scratched with sinusitis.

DeRosa apparently scratched with sinusitis.
So what was his sin?

Fancy name for sinus infection. Unfortunately I know that one well. :(

...and lol @ Cubster

Roberts Deal is off according to McPhail



Phil Rogers said this deal was done in February!

Well, great -- if DeRosa misses the entire year with sinusitis, then where will we be?

i live with it.

i have to take steroids once or twice a year to shrink tissue growth in my sinuses.

yeah, fun stuff.

at least he can easily afford the $200 a month in meds he may need if its chronic.

wildflower season in arizona is in its best flush in almost a decade. i think its the best flush they've had out there since 02/03 or so. the desert is alive. they have to get a concentrated amount of rain over the winter or there's little to no wildflowers at all.

What will I have left to obsess over?

"If Matt's not here with us, I hope we can find a Major League job for him, because he's a good player, and he deserves that," Piniella said. "I'm sure that, if he's not going to be here, that Jim will try to accomodate him as much as possible."

i can believe it...but i can't.

as much as i'd like to keep murton is absolutely done with AAA. he's not going to gain arm strength suddenly by playing the bus-leagues in RF. he's not going to suddenly turn into a defensive wizz in AAA. and unless there's some part-100 of tinkering with his swing (which i doubt at this point) i definitely dont see what his bat is doing in the minors.

even with floyd injured 1/2+ or so of the season it was nice having the R/L bench power option (for the first time in a long time) of murton/ward.

wish your opening day tickets post had been up a week ago, i paid $50 each for about those same seats...knew i could do better if i waited but didn't want the anxiety since i'm flying back into town specifically for opening day.

Rob, any chance that we could have some sort of section of TCR where people could post extras/needs for tickets? i have a mini-season ticket plan and will have some tickets that i would be happy to dump for face value. this would be awesome if possible.

also, sad that murton won't be on the opening day team but i guess it makes sense, i still would have taken him over fontenot.

those tickets aren't for Opening Day and no, not getting into being a ticket exchange forum or anything like that. Just doing a favor for someone....

Bleed Cubbie Blue has one if you want to use that...

kerry wood comes in with men on to relieve marmol (pitching unsuccessfully into his 2nd inning of work)...wild pitch...then retires the next 2 to escape the inning.



wood going for another inning after .2ip (both fielded outs) the inning before.

groundout to 1st, K (swinging), and K (looking)

1.2ip 0h 0bb 2k

Murton was basically doomed the moment that Soriano moved from CF to LF last year.

He would a great fit for the A's, who would value his OBP and low cost.

murton would be a great fit for a lot of clubs.

question i have is why these clubs dont have him yet.

at least it *seems* like hendry doesn't want to give him away just for the sake of moving far...

either way, if he tears up AAA and gets another callup he could move into that easy-to-get-hard-to-maintain cubs fan cult status. kerry wood could get 1/2 of wrigley to give him a standing O just getting up off the pen bench during a game to take a leak.

ah yes, not for opening day indeed. my bad.

i'll check over at the blog whose name shall not be spoken for ticket stuff. thanks for the heads-up.


Pignatello for MVP!

What is Lahey's status?

any real discussion of it, but man, do I wish the Cubs had taken a longer look at Josh Hamilton in 2006's Rule 5 draft. He's hitting .455/.492/.818 this spring and apparently playing a very good outfield.

a lot of people were looking at the reds when they wanted hamilton...they've done this before with players obviously not ready (willie mo pena), but hamilton was a guy many years and many drug related suspensions away from even playing organized ball.

i dunno what's more amazing...him or ankiel (even with known PEDs in ankiel's case).

Right, and one of the main reasons it worked for the reds was because of that coach that had had a strong relationship with Hamilton. But man, the guy has talent. He would have solved our RF problem before Fukudome.

it's a bit too early to make the call on hamilton, but as of right now it would have been one of the biggest coups in cubs history if they had the foresight and willingness to risk the roster space.

it was a hell of one for the reds, and it though it got what most perceive to be an under-market return on hamilton...they turned it into a nice crop of prospects.

We did have Hamilton if I am not mistaken. His drug problems were/are serious. Yes, he's talented, but he's older and has to have a fulltime babysitter (Johnny Narron) with him most of the time. A guy whose sobriety is that tenuous, might be considered too much of a risk and expense for many teams. The Narrons have worked for the Rangers in the past. Not to mention he is injury prone and our outfield wouldn't be too kind to him I imagine.

Interesting. At least Theriot would be moved down.

So the left-handed Fukudome will lead off against lefties, and the right-handed Theriot will lead off against righties. What's wrong with this picture?

i hope lou (or carrie) is getting L/R mixed up there somewhere...

Any movement in the lower ranks ?

Is Iowa Daytona Tennessee and Peoria set ?


Pie with 3 more hits today.

Isn't he hitting like .988 since the Cubs "clearly soured on him" about a week ago?

Why didn't they think of this sooner?

A couple thoughts:

Pie hitting .356, leading the starters in hitting. Who saw that coming? Large.

Will someone please tell Lou to shut it about trading Murton? Even if we are going to trade him -- no, ESPECIALLY if we are going to trade him -- no one associated with the Cubs should be making public announcements about the fact that we don't need him anymore. It's another frustrating case of minimizing the trade value of a pretty good player who should fetch something useful in return.

I'm as excited as anyone for Pie to break out this year but let's not give him the batting crown yet. Remember these games still don't mean anything.

-Debbie Downer

Brian Dopirek released today---remember when he was such a hugh prospect

Where did you hear this?

I was rooting for a Dopirak comeback.

pie has been balls out since
that testiculer torsion was fixed

gerut and estes make the SD 25-man...

buck coats makes the TOR 25-man...

So the BJs got rid of Reed Johnson and Buck Coats makes their 25-man. What do you make of this?

and my deepest condolences to everyone who drafted Jarrod Saltalamacchia for their fantasy team.

made the Blue Jays as well, he was a Rule 5 draftee from our organization. We'll see if he sticks all year though.

Well, I was for getting Roberts mainly for what he would bring to the top of the lineup offensively. As long as the price was reasonable (e.g. Veal, Gallagher, and 1 of EPat, Cedeno, Murton), OK. Asking 4 or 5 players for one slightly above average second baseman is McPhail just being baseball retarded. My guess is Andy will regret not making this move by July when the O's are 25 games out of 1st, dead in the water, and it's a buyer's market for his expensive castoffs.

Nonetheless, the bright side is Hendry still has all his top and mid-level prospects from which to deal with between now and July 31st. My guess, again, is that Jimbo's going to need them for his starting rotation and LH hitting off his bench and middle infield. The 'pie in the sky' hope is that Gallagher, Samardzija, and/or Veal could be ready to step into the rotation and/or bullpen by mid-July.

Until then, I hope Angelos and McPhail choke on Roberts.

Couldnt have said it better myself. I have a gut feeling that negotiating with McFail would be like negotiating with the IRS or a Skilled Tax attorney. Or a petulant 5 year old for that matter.

March 23 San Diego North County Times
"Prior will continue to pitch every five days and may face live hitters soon. He hopes to rejoin the team in May"

March 27 Padres put MP on 60 day DL
"The flame-throwing Prior is not expected to pitch until June at the earliest."

I think everyone would be much MORE surprised if he actually started the season healthy.

Then May roles around...

Prior looking to throw off mound after All-Star Break

Kevin Towers Quote 6-15-2008 " Mark is really progressing nicely. When we get him back at the first of July. It will really be like making a deadline trade. Only we won't have to give anyone up to do it."

"flame throwing"?

Wasn't he down around 89-90 the last time we saw him. Even Padres' beat writers are more concerned with sun/surfing than baseball. Prior could be throwing towels on the PCH and no one in San Diego would even notice.

He struggled to hit 86 on the gun last time I saw him pitch. It was ugly. That maybe wasn't his last outing, that was just the last time I saw him.

I've been running a Home Run Pool for the last 5 years. You pick 11 players from 4 groups of players similar to this pool. But, you also get to write in 4 players that aren't on lists - a lot of people really like this strategic aspect. There is a total of 15 players selected plus 1 tiebreaker. It costs $20 per entry and all money is returned to the pot. Last year there were 80 participants. The 4 highest HR totals payout. I expect the same level of participation this year but am always hoping for more! If you're interested send me an email at [email protected] and I'll send you an entry form. The deadline to submit picks is March 30th at 11:59 PM CST so act quickly!

So the BJs got rid of Reed Johnson and Buck Coats makes their 25-man. What do you make of this?

Coats is a left-handed hitter.

Q: Who pitches first in an MLB game, Mark Prior or Angel Guzman?

A: None of the above.

Recent comments

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  • oh man, early on it seems like he made at least 1 stupid baserunning blunder per game and almost every single one turned into a positive for the cubs. it was magical.

  • You can't prove the peformance is because he played the OF. You just can't. Sorry.

    BTW, Bryant hit .168 in July playing 3B exclusively.

  • Not surprised about Lester but bit surprised about Hendricks. Guessing that if something happens to Arietta right away they go to Lester but if they've burned relievers and are in extra innings they go to Hendricks.

  • My kids' 8:30pm (ET) bed time will be waived tonight (They are Rizzo & Castro fans). We'll get geared up in our Cubs apparel and will watch this as a family. I am stoked. Go Cubs!

  • Bryant: Base running adventures.

  • Remember Bryant's home-away splits, too.

    Wrigley: 21 HR, 59 RBI, .311/.408/.629
    Road: 5 HR, 40 RBI, .243/.333/.360

  • Good Lord this season has flown by so far. I need more Cubs gifs--the four on the article today are not enough. I need a 100 best moments of the season listicle of gifs.
    Rizzo: The slide, the catch.
    Russell: All the defense.
    Bryant: Pelting the video board.
    Soler: 125 MPH ground balls.
    Schwarber: DINGERS, surprising LF catches.
    Fowler: Walks, the many walks he should have had on 3-2 BS strike calls.
    Baez: That 3B play.
    Ross: Walk-up music? Bullpen appearance?
    Denorfia: Walk-off.
    Castro: Walk-offs.

  • No evidence other than 8 hits and 0 HR in 45 AB....

    I just think hitters like their routines -- think Boggs or Ted Williams -- and messing with that routine adds an element of change. I want my best hitters in their normal routines.

  • evidently i was busy burying context and meaning.

    i was excited about this playoff season kicking up in the drama of that environment, but it was stated insanely muddled.

  • Woke up early and couldn't get back to sleep in excitement/anticipation. Go Cubs Go!

  • The only issue with this dead horse is that there's no evidence that his performance during those games is solely due to playing the OF. I would tend to agree that I'd rather see him play 3B, though.

  • What do you mean by new format in this instance? The second wildcard team with a one-game playoff has been around since 2012.

  • Doubled over with anxiety today. GO CUBS.

  • Illuminati.

  • May the best team win, and subsequently humiliate the Cardinals.

  • I love arriving here first thing in the morning, adding a few moronic posts (moranic for any Cardinals fans who may be trolling), and reading the sage posts of all you guys. Most knowledgeable fans on any forum, by far. So post like crazy today and help give TCR some visibility!

    I told my wife last night that I'm going to need a support system for tonight's game. Tonight is going to be a lot harder on me than it is going to be on these rookie bad asses.