Open Thread: Cubs vs. Giants at Mesa, Friday 2/29, 2:05 CT

It's Leap Day! Spring training day-by-day records don't go back far enough for me to find this for certain -- but I believe this is the first time the Cubs have ever played a game on February 29. (If anyone has any evidence of any previous 2/29 Cub game, please post it. They didn't in 2000 or 2004.)

By Sunday, I think we're all going to be sick of the Giants, because the Cubs will have played them three of the first four exhibition games. (This may lead to a record of at least 3-1, since as we learned yesterday, the Giants are just not a very good baseball team in 2008.)

Carlos Zambrano makes his spring debut for the Cubs; he will be facing Giants' lefthander Jonathan Sanchez. The lineup, courtesy of Bruce Miles, is as follows:

Soriano, LF
Theriot, SS
Fukudome, RF
Lee, 1B
Fontenot, 2B
Pie, CF
Cintron, 3B
Blanco, C
Zambrano, P

(You may well ask "Where's Aramis Ramirez?" And the answer is, "I have no idea.")

From this cubs.com notes column, we learn that Sean Gallagher lost 30 pounds in the offseason, following the same diet that helped Kerry Wood and Geovany Soto get in shape. The company that provides the diet plans and meals is called Sunfare; at the moment their service is only in the Phoenix and Los Angeles areas. It looks interesting (but pricey).

There is no broadcast coverage of today's game -- no Cubs, no Giants, no mlb.com -- so all of us will be hanging on the updates on MLB.com Gameday. Let's hope it does a better job of keeping up than it did in the early innings yesterday. In case you want to listen to any other games, here is today's MLB.com Mediacenter link.

My comments yesterday in USA Today got a mention today in King Kaufman's sports column at salon.com today, and I agree 100% with his statement:

Let 'em call Wrigley Field whatever they want and cash their checks. The rest of us can call it whatever we want. I'm through getting upset about ballpark names.
And similarly, I don't often agree with Rick Morrissey's Tribune columns. But today, he hit the nail on the proverbial head with this one about the Wrigley naming rights brouhaha:
A dumb corporation will believe fans eventually will come around to a name change. My money is on a dumb corporation buying naming rights.

So let whoever buys naming rights to Wrigley have their introductory press conferences, their unveilings and their tented soirees at the ballpark. It won't matter.

The marketers, with their numbers and charts, will say advertising always wins. Not here. Not in this place. If Tribune Co. boss Sam Zell can snooker somebody into paying money for a Wrigley name alteration, good for him. But it always will be Wrigley.

I've become a realist on these matters. Yes, it stinks that history goes to the highest bidder. But that ship has sailed. Everything is for sale, even Wrigley. Ads for Under Armour on the outfield walls did not desecrate the temple, nor did ads behind home plate.

As I have said many times: "Loud, sustained applause!!" The ballpark will always be "Wrigley". No corporate name in the world can or will change that.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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