* Zac Rosscup
* Chris Rusin
* James Russell
* Travis Wood
* Wesley Wright
* George Kottaras
# Arismendy Alcantara
* Anthony Rizzo
* Luis Valbuena
* Logan Watkins
* Brett Jackson
* Nate Schierholtz
* Ryan Sweeney
SPRING TRAINING NRI (28):
* Tommy Hottovy
* Eric Jokisch
* Jonathan Sanchez
* Tsuyoshi Wada
* John Baker
* Rafael Lopez
# Emilio Bonifacio
* Chris Coghlan
* Ryan Kalish
* Mitch Maier
With kudos to Craig Calcaterra ("ShysterBall") over at The Hardball Times, who suggested giving the Facebook game, "25 Random Things About Me," a baseball twist, I offer my list of 25:(updated: mine now added, below Cubnut's, below the fold. - Trans)
1.) I attended my first Cubs game in 1968--Cubs v. Giants, Fergie Jenkins v. Ray Sadecki. I still have the scorecard and thanks to the miracle of Retrosheet have been able to confirm that I did a pretty decent job of keeping score for a 7-year-old.
2.) The first Cub baseball card I ever turned up in a Topps package was a 1968 Rob Gardner and yes, it was eventually thrown in the trash by my mother, along with all of my other precious cards.
3.) About three years ago, I bought a replacement Rob Gardner card on eBay. Take that, Mom!
My close encounter with Ernie was well after his hall of fame career was over. Take the "wayback machine" with me to May 19th, 1979. A group of my University of Chicago Med School classmates went with me to see a Cubs game that crisp May afternoon. Some of you might remember that unmemorable team...Buckner, Kingman, DeJesus, Ontiveros and Foote.
We sat behind home plate but about half way up the grandstands and the group had an entire row. About the 2nd inning one of my friends gets up and has this weird grin on his face as he moved down the row. Then out of the corner of my eye I noticed, coming up the aisle...Mr. Cub. That was cool enough, but he procedes to sit down next to me in the recently vacated seat from my friend. My classmates knew I was getting married in June and so I have to tell you that this was IMHO the worlds greatest batchelor party geeky me could have ever hoped for (although the Palomino Club in North Vegas would have been my 2nd choice). Ernie stayed there with me talking baseball for about 7 innings. Honest. I have a picture (that's me in the Cub hat) on my office wall to prove it. What does one talk about to his childhood hero? I don't remember much other than it was a very surreal experience. I do remember hearing him tell me his favorite number was 9 (not 14), as in 9 innings and 9 players on the field. Ernie philosophising Baseball Kaballah?
Ernie was still under the Cubs employ for PR functions in that era and my med school pals had set this up, hence the goofy grins when the group knew he was on the way up to us.
The Cubs were 3-hit and lost 3-0 that day to the Pirates. Jim Rooker over Mike Krukow. So much for surrealism.
To throw in my orthopedic two cents worth, Mr. Cub has had two total knee replacements (not by me, but I do know his orthopod) and they are working just fine. When the Ortho Academy meeting was in Chicago March 2006, Ernie was guest appearing in a promotion called "Champions for Patient Education" and was as bubbly as ever.
Drumroll...and You Tube tributes to good ol' #14. May you have many more very happy birthdays.
Today is the first day that Draft-Excluded players can be sent to the minors (by outright or optional assignment), and it's also the first day that players selected in the Major League Phase of the December 2013 Rule 5 Draft can be returned to the minor league club from which the player was drafted (presuming Outright Assignment Waivers have been secured) or sent to the minors or released by the drafting club (if Outright Assignment Waivers have been secured and the club from which the player was drafted declines to re-claim the player).
INF Tim Saunders is also wearing a wrap & pressure sleeve on his right elbow (same as Bruno), and he isn't throwing overhand, either. I don't know what his injury was last season that landed him on the Daytona 60-day DL, but it's pretty obvious that he is rehabbing some kind of significant elbow or triceps injury.
BTW, both Bruno and Saunders can hit just fine. They just can't throw. So I would expect both of them to start the 2014 season at Extended Spring Training.
The Rizzo triple should have been scored a double and an E-8 (the CF executed a kick-save while sliding to stop it).
Also Kris Bryant looked bad at 3B again, not being able to reach down and field a routine grounder that was scored an E-5 (maybe he is just too tall & stiff?), and then not being able to come in and field a swinging-bunt-bouncer and make a throw (a play most third-basemen make).
E-MAN: Stephen Bruno is wearing a wrap & pressure sleeve on his right elbow, and he isn't throwing overhand at all. He takes fielding practive with everybody else and he either flips the ball with his glove or tosses the ball underhand.