Today’s Win against the Sox…4-0 on the Spring! Heilman Strong as are Hoffpauir and Hill

CHI WHITE SOX (0) AT CHICAGO CUBS (13)

 CHI WHITE SOX    AB  R  H BI  CHICAGO CUBS     AB  R  H BI
 B Lillibridge 2b- 4  0  0  0  A Soriano lf      2  0  0  0
 A Pierzynski c    3  0  1  0  D Deeds lf        2  1  1  0
 C Armstrong c     1  0  0  0  A Miles ss        2  1  1  0
 C Quentin lf      3  0  0  0  A Blanco ss       2  1  1  2
 B Myrow 1b        1  0  0  0  D Barney pr-ss    0  0  0  0
 J Thome dh        3  0  1  0  D Lee 1b          3  1  1  0
 G Beckham ph-dh   1  0  0  0  J Fox 1b          2  1  0  0
 J Dye rf          3  0  1  0  M Hoffpauir dh    4  1  2  1
 M Restovich rf    1  0  0  0  S Clevenger ph-dh 1  0  0  0
 A Ramirez ss      2  0  0  0  A Ramirez 3b      3  0  0  1
 J Nix 2b          1  0  0  0  L Rivas pr-3b     1  1  0  0
 J Kroeger 1b-lf   4  0  0  0  M Fontenot 2b     2  1  1  0
 J Fields 3b       2  0  0  0  B Scales 2b       2  1  2  3
 J Castillo 3b     1  0  1  0  B Snyder rf       5  2  2  4
 D Wise cf         4  0  2  0  K Hill c          3  0  1  2
                               W Castillo c      1  1  0  0
                               J Gathright cf    3  0  0  0
                               S Fuld cf         2  1  2  0
 TOTALS           34  0  6  0  TOTALS           40 13 14 13

 CHI WHITE SOX             000 000 000 --  0
 CHICAGO CUBS              000 220 90x -- 13

 E--E Caridad, L Rivas, B Lillibridge, J Kroeger.
 LOB--CHI WHITE SOX 9, CHICAGO CUBS 11. 2B--K Hill,
 J Thome, D Wise. HR--B Snyder 1 (1) (off A
 Russell). CS--J Fields.
                                   IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO  HR
  CHI WHITE SOX
 J Marquez                          2   0   0   0   1   2   0
 M Thornton                         1   0   0   0   1   1   0
 E Wassermann (L,0-1)               1   3   2   2   0   1   0
 O Dotel                            1   3   2   2   1   2   0
 R Williams                         1   0   0   0   1   0   0
 A Russell                          0   5   8   6   1   0   1
 B Salmon                           1   2   1   1   1   1   0
 J Nunez                            1   1   0   0   0   3   0
  CHICAGO CUBS
 A Heilman                          2   1   0   0   0   4   0
 K Gregg                            1   1   0   0   0   1   0
 N Cotts (W,1-0)                    1   1   0   0   1   0   0
 D Patton                           2   1   0   0   0   2   0
 K Kadokura                         1   1   0   0   1   1   0
 J Waddell                          1   0   0   0   0   0   0
 E Caridad                          1   1   0   0   0   1   0

 WP--O Dotel. HBP--A Blanco by J Nunez, J Fox by A
 Russell. SO--CHW: B Lillibridge 3, A Ramirez 2, J
 Thome 2, D Wise, J Kroeger. CHC: A Soriano 2, J
 Gathright, B Snyder, S Clevenger, D Deeds, J Fox,
 W Castillo, M Fontenot, M Hoffpauir. BB--CHW: J
 Fields, A Ramirez. CHC: A Miles, A Soriano, W
 Castillo, M Fontenot, D Deeds, L Rivas. T--2:56.
 A--13,010.

Observations and Salutations

Three games into Spring Training and the Cubs are 3-0.  Sweet.  Hoffpauir has looked great at the plate in both power stats and patience.  I kind of feel bad for guys like Hoffpauir and Fox though because it seems like every Spring these guys deliver unbelievably consistent stats, yet we simply have no room for them on the 25 man roster.  It’s a shame too.  It must drive these guys crazy.  Hopefully one of them breaks through this year somehow, especially if their Spring is as impressive as Springs past.  Hoffpauir’s the DH today so he’ll have another chance to shine this afternoon.

What’s up Lilly!  I’m happy to hear that you have the Cubs’ best interests in mind when it comes to your pitch count in the WBC.  Everytime I hear that, it feels like a boxing championship someone is trying to win.  Anyway, I always enjoy hearing that organizations have prevented their key players from playing in this tournament.  I know it’s a great thing for the game and a fun exhibition of the world’s greatest sport.  However, when you’re investing millions in guys to come through when it counts during the regular season, it’s too scary of a possibility that the guy goes down to injury in an exhibition competition.  Big Z, Lilly, Harden, Dempster and Marshall.  Ok, fine.  But if we were to lose any of those top four it would make us extremely vulnerable and a much less powerhouse in the National League.  The Cubs are definitely the on-paper favorites to repeat in the Central but a huge part of that is pitching.  We can’t lose Lilly to something stupid so I’m glad he has the team’s best interests at heart.  Have a great time Lilly, but come back healthy for sure.

Speaking of staying healthy…what’s up with the quad Milt?  We definitely need that to be a precautionary measure in pulling himself from the game the other day.  Milton Bradley makes this team so much better, especially when you figure his power in the middle of the order allows for us to keep Soriano up top leading off and not constantly questioning if we should be using his power later on in the order.  Not sure that he’ll end up leading off yet having not seen much from Theriot or Miles as of yet this Spring…but more than likely that’s where Piniella will start him come Opening Day.

I know it’s been a little while since his signing and I’m not even sure he’ll make the roster, but I like the signing of Taguchi. From what I’ve seen of the guy he can be pretty clutch late in games when you need a big hit.  If he sticks, his bat may be a great option off the bat here and there throughout the season.  The Cubs are in a great situation with how deep they are, a great problem to have.  Tons of people to look at and consider this Spring.  I’d love to be a fly on the wall in Piniella’s office throughout S.T. and the regular season.  That would be fascinating.  The flying ability would be cool too.

Today the Cubs and the White Sox take their crosstown rivalry across the country to battle in exhibition.  Heilman will get the start for the Cubs.  Living in New York, I’ve seen quite a bit of Heilman over the years.  He’s a guy that would surprise me if he were to take the fifth starter spot in the rotation.  It’ll be interesting to see how he handles the couple innings he gets today, as well as how Rami looks at third.  Always good to get those cuts in, work out the kinks from the winter months.  It came up in the chat box I have set up here in the right hand column the other day as to who should back up Ramirez at third.  Any Cubs fans out there have a preference?  I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

The Cubs have outscored their opponents 22-11 so far this season.  11 runs given up in 27 innings.  Not too shabby, but could definitely be better.  22 runs in three games.   Looking good.  Good start to the Spring.

Here’s to a good ol’ fashion walloping of the Sox today.  Go Cubs Go!

The 2009 Campaign Begins! Go Cubs Go!!! : )

CUBS BASEBALL IS BACK!!!!

That…is…awesome.

And Hoffpauir is awesome.  His grand slam put the Cubs in front of the Dodgers for good today.  25 man roster here he comes? Only time will tell.  Below is the box score from today’s game.  Great to get back in the swing of things.

Wow…blog puns can really be horrible.

Just started a new job running the campaign outreach office in New York City for Greenpeace’s fight against global warming and I am exhausted.  All of last week was spent in DC in meetings and conference getting caught up with all the issues and campaign updates up until now so that’s why I haven’t posted in a bit.  I have a few great ideas for postings though, one in particular that was suggested to me by fellow Cubs fan and regular Prose and Ivy chat box participant, Abracadabra.  I’ll probably put in about 65 hours by the end of the week so as soon as I get a good nap this weekend, I’ll be writing and fleshing out these ideas!!  Looking forward to that…and let’s be honest, the nap too.
Keep checking back for game box scores, quick analysis and updates on the Cubs’ spring training though.  Regular postings on Cubs games and the team in general will be here all Spring long, right into the regular season.  ALSO, all of you are welcome to put in your two cents on the chat board located in the right hand column of this page.  Fans and I are chatting about all kinds of subjects related to the Cubs including starting pitching, CF, 2B, the roster, the closer situation, the NL Central, etc…I invite you to participate and join the chat as well as feel free to start a new conversation there about anything related to Cubs baseball.
Looking forward to tomorrow’s game against the Crew.  Go Cubs Go!!!
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Signs of Things to Come, But In More Ways Than One?

So yes, obviously, pun intended.  Every year the Cubs gear up an ad campaign to get the fans excited about the team and the upcoming season.  This year, it’s based around the world famous Wrigley Field marquee.  The images below are of the ads and tag lines they’ve come up with this year.  Personally, I only like the winter and heaven’s ballpark ones.  How do you guys feel about them?  Anyone else see them as subtle reminders that new ownership means VERY LIKELYchanges to the stadium’s name and marquee?  That was the first thing I thought of when I saw them.

Love that last one.
Joined a Cubs meet up group today to share the joys and heart aches of 2009 with other Cubs fans in New York City.  I’ll keep you posted on that experience throughout the entire season.  If it’s any where near as much fun as sharing the season with everyone associated with MLBlogs and the loyal readers of Prose and Ivy, I’m sure it will be a blast!  GO CUBS GO!

A-Rod, You Disgust Me.

And yet, you don’t surprise me.

MLB can do nothing about evidence showing that Alex Rodriguez tested positive for steroids in 2003.  That is a shame.

It is a shame that we as fans are expected to root for cheaters.  Nearly 101 years of Cubs baseball without a World Championship.  Were we victims of cats, over zealous fans and straight up chokes…or an entire league filled with cheaters giving them the advantage over us.  Sosa would be the first Cub people would come up with as far as a player who may have used and they’d suggest that we too had our fair share of players that have used performance enhancing substances throughout the steroid era.  Cork has been proven, but that’s about it on Sosa.  No other Cub has really come up in these talks over the past few years yet I wouldn’t be surprised if some names turn up over time.  Of course Palmiero came up time and again and he spent some years as a Cub and I can’t say I’m positive no other Cub has ever used.  I just hope that the whole steroids-in-baseball-thing ends here with A-Rod.  And of course, anyone that hasn’t already been mentioned that may be listed among the other 103 players included in this, up until now, confidential testing from 2003.

Wouldn’t that be great.  Wouldn’t it be great if we’ve heard all the names, or at least have all the names, and we could put an end to doubting what we see before us.  To be able to believe in the purity of the achievements we see day in and day out on the field, throughout this season and every seasons that follows.  To know that whatever amazing stats are posted, were earned and achieved on pure physical ability and never doubted otherwise.  To know that once the Cubs hoist the trophy in the middle of Chicago in a World Series parade, that no Cub on the team cheated and the team earned it fair and square.  That would be a great thing.

As of now, I feel like these fluke occurrences (Bartman) and supernatural oddities (goat, cat) weren’t the only things that have provided Cub fans with heartache.  It’s these cheaters, like A-Rod.  Those who succumbed to the pressure of performing at a certain level that their bodies couldn’t deliver.  Those who felt the need to live up to contract deals that their overall ability could never justify.  Nearly 101 years of no titles for the Cubs, because of people like A-Rod.  Disgusting.  And MLB says they can’t do anything about it.

What a shame.

You know what though, on the other hand, so what.  We all know Bonds cheated and his records are forever tarnished.  Now, A-Rod, the guy that was supposed to pass Bonds and clear the top of the lists in the record books of asterisks comes with one giant, glaring one of his own.  MLB doesn’t have to do anything to A-Rod.  We already know he cheated and from now on, he’ll just be another cheater in baseball fans’ eyes.

To say steroids is a part of baseball is possibly a true statement, but it is a shame.  I suppose it’s also human nature to cheat and try to achieve as much as you can whether you have earned it or not.  You know what though, human nature also allows for those of us who are better than that, to decide to not go down that road and rise above it.  We can all think of things that would progress us further and faster in our own careers.  That doesn’t mean we have to do it.  You can be the top paid guy on the totem pole (maybe not $252 million) and still not give in to cheating.  It’s too bad all we have to play the game are imperfect human beings.  The game deserves better than that.  We as fans deserve better than that.  And MLB, as one of your biggest fans, right now I hope you realize that your response is as disgusting as A-Rod’s actions.  No action is not good enough.  You need to be better than that.

With pitchers and catchers reporting this week, Spring is on the way.  Hill and Wuertz have been sent away.  The team is nearly officially sold to the Ricketts family and naming rights, Peavy and the team’s official roster are still up in the air.  I have plenty to talk about regarding all of these things.  For today though, as a fan, baseball’s let me down again.  And for now, that’s all I really feel like saying.

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