Open Thread: Cubs vs. Reds, Monday 4/2, 1:10 CT

Hooray! Opening Day is here! Posting this early to get discussion going, and there is important news today.

Sam Zell's offer to buy the Tribune Co. has been accepted. What does this mean to the Cubs? We don't know yet, and may not for quite some time, because a deal this large, involving many different forms of media, will have to clear regulatory hurdles -- and then, Zell will have to decide what he's going to do with all the pieces. The article says:

Zell has said repeatedly he has no intention of breaking up Tribune. He may find it tempting to ease the debt burden by selling a prize like the Chicago Cubs, but those who know him believe a strategy that depends on massive cost-cutting or asset sales isn't Zell's style.
So -- the Cubs may have a new owner, sometime soon. There are some reports this morning that the team will be sold after the 2007 season. Until then, let's play ball!
Today's Starting Pitchers
Carlos Zambrano
C. Zambrano
Cubs
vs. Aaron Harang
A. Harang
Reds
16-7 W-L 16-11
3.41 ERA 3.76
210 SO 216
115 BB 56
20 HR 28
vs. Cin -- vs. Cubs

pitcher stats are 2006 season stats


Today's Starting Lineups
Cubs Reds
Soriano, cf Freel, cf
Murton, lf Dunn, lf
Lee, 1b Phillips, 2b
Ramirez, 3b Griffey, rf
Jones, rf Encarnacion, 3b
Barrett, c Hatteberg, 1b
DeRosa, 2b Gonzalez, ss
Izturis, ss Ross, c
Zambrano, p Harang, p

A couple of notes: this is the 36th time the Cubs have played the Reds on Opening Day. They're 20-15 in the previous 35 meetings. And Aramis Ramirez and Derrek Lee will be the starting 3B and 1B for the fourth straight opener -- that's the first time the Cubs have had the same two players at those positions on Opening Day for as many years in a row, since Ron Santo and Ernie Banks did it nine straight years from 1962-1970. Finally, Carlos Zambrano will become the 12th Cub pitcher since 1900 to start at least three straight openers -- the last was Jon Lieber (2000-2002), and let's hope Z has a better day today than he did the last two years!

UPDATE [2007-4-2 9:52:29 by Al]: Here's the MLB.com Mediacenter for today. The game's also on XM 185, and if you are media-deprived but are near a computer, here's your MLB.com Gameday link.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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