Well, if you're Jeff Samardzija, you've been told to cut your hair since arriving to spring training. This is basically an extended hazing ritual for you, since as you've never pitched above A-ball, you are NOT breaking camp with the team. Ah, well, at least you've got a ball cap to cover up your hair with, right?
Rothschild recommended the centered look, the way almost every major-leaguer has worn his cap since 1876. Samardzija's cap was cocked slightly to the left, just as it was in a photo in a recent edition of Baseball America, which named him the No. 3 prospect in the Cubs' system.
He claims he didn't even realize the NFL combine was this week. I wonder if he's thinking about how long they let you wear your hair there.
Meanwhile, Lou Piniella doesn't know who Steve Bartman is. God, I envy him. [For the record, I blame AGon more than I blame Bartman.] On the other hand, I don't know who Randy Wells is, while Piniella got to watch him take Fonzie high and inside. (Wells is another one of our organizational projects where we turn a catcher into a reliever, it seems.) Cubs.com has more detail on our "young arms" facing live batters. (Newsflash, Carrie Muskat: Les Walrond is NOT a young arm.)
And Bruce Miles, the hardest working man in showbusiness (I will make that into his official title by the end of spring training if it kills me), shows us how the Todd Walker trade is still paying dividends:At the hotel, word soon spread that [Zambrano's] 3 p.m. CST [arbitration] hearing was put off until 3:30 because former Cub Todd Walker still was in his hearing with the San Diego Padres in another room.
Half-past 3 neared, and the Remington A meeting room filled with representatives from MLB and the union. Laptop computers snapped open along the long conference table as both sides prepared to present their cases to the arbitration panel.
But neither Zambrano's people nor the Cubs were anywhere in sight. At 3:38 p.m., word began spreading of a settlement. It turns out Hendry and agent Barry Praver were going overtime in a different part of the hotel hammering out the deal.
"Barry Praver and I had spoken maybe an hour or so before we got there," Hendry said. "I think we both agreed we were going to have one or two more chats before we ever got in there.
"As we were outside talking about it, Barry and I agreed they couldn't start talking without us. We figured we had a little time."
They couldn't start talking without us... I love that line.
And Muskat asks Sweet Lou how his situation with the Cubs differs from the Mariners:"When I went to Seattle, it was different. I remember the first year I was there, myself and a couple coaches were having breakfast and a guy said, 'Hey, you're the manager of the Mariners.' I said, 'Yes, I sure am.' He said, 'When does your season start?' and I said, 'Heck, we played 14 games already.' That changed. It changed into a baseball town. How do you do that? By winning. With the Cubs, it's not the case because the fans come out. Now we have to reward the fans for their patience and their loyalty. This is a different situation."
Touching anecdote, but I'm sure there are plenty of people in Chicago who are vaguelly aware of the Cubs, may know who Sosa is, may even have a shirt or cap, but don't know when games actually start.