Totally Unrelated Weekend Stuff

After two days of ticket sales, the following 33 dates are completely sold out:

April 7, 8, 9, 29, 30
May 13, 27, 28
June 16, 17, 18, 30
July 1, 2, 14, 15, 16, 18, 20, 27, 28, 29, 30
August 4, 5, 6, 18, 19, 20
September 2, 3, 16, 30

This is far fewer sellouts than at a similar time a year ago. 20 additional dates are sold out for bleacher tickets:

May 12, 14, 26, 29
June 13, 14, 15, 26, 27, 28, 29
July 19, 31
August 1, 2, 3, 22, 23
September 1
October 1

That leaves 28 dates on which bleachers are still available. Again, by this time last year there were only scattered weekdays available in the bleachers. Part of this, of course, is due to the 50% increase in available tickets. If you're looking for bleacher tickets, there are still some fairly decent dates left. Hint: you can always, always, find tickets to just about any game you want (save some really popular dates against, say, the Cardinals or White Sox) if you wait till game day.

Aramis Ramirez isn't going to play in the WBC.

This, of course, has led to rumors that he's hurt. Ridiculous. It's partly because national honor would push him to play all-out for his country, but:

The Cubs start the Cactus League season on March 2, and Ramirez said he'll be ready for that. "I'll be able to start and play a few innings, but that's different," Ramirez said. "If you go down there [to the World Baseball Classic], you have to play 100 percent because everybody is going to play to win. It's a different game than here. To play here, it's just to try to get ready for the season."
And, he wasn't chosen to start, Adrian Beltre was. This is a graceful way of saying he's miffed at not being chosen to start.

The above-linked article also notes, that for some reason known only to Jim Hendry, the Cubs have signed 37-year-old righthander Brian Boehringer to a minor-league deal. The only possible connection here is that Boehringer pitched half a season for Dusty Baker in San Francisco -- five years ago. Someone must owe someone a favor. Boehringer last pitched in the major leagues for the 2004 Pirates, and last pitched well in the major leagues in 2002.

Outfielder Angel Pagan, recently acquired from the Mets and added to the 40-man roster, has been assigned uniform #29.

Finally, again from the Cubs website article above, Kerry Wood threw a few pitches off the mound again on Saturday. He's still quite a way from being able to pitch in a game -- but after hearing that there have been no setbacks for him, I am optimistic that he will make the Opening Day roster, even if it is as a reliever.

And you know what -- if you're not optimistic this time of year, then when can you be? Spring's in the air. Baseball's coming. The first game is on Thursday.

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