Open Thread: Cubs vs. Angels, Sunday 3/16, 3:05 CT

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- Today's weather forecast calls for a 30% chance of rain and cool temperatures (only 60). At this moment, I can see some blue sky out my window and there hasn't been any rain in the area. So let's hope they get the game in.

Greg Couch says the Cubs have too many "issues" and camp so far has been a "circus". Any of you see that? Me, I think Greg Couch is the one with the "issues". I'm only posting that link so you see a fine example of what NOT to put in a major metropolitan newspaper.

Contrast that with Bruce Miles' nice profile of Jon Lieber; Lieber says he wants to finish his career with the Cubs, and he had some of his best times in his first go-around:

It was in Chicago where Lieber made a name for himself as a pitcher who works quickly and throws strikes. He also has enjoyed success in Wrigley Field, going 29-18 with a 3.62 ERA at the Friendly Confines.

"There's no better place," he said. "I guess that's the best way to describe it. I was fortunate to have success over here, and I'd like to continue that while I'm over here."

Kosuke Fukudome may be having a shaky beginning as a Cub this spring, but people who know him say he'll be able to handle the pressure:

[Tadahito] Iguchi, a former Olympic teammate of Fukudome's, has seen Cubs mania up close as a second baseman for the Sox during rabid interleague games. Fukudome will see it every day and feel the pressure as the $48 million outside addition.

Iguchi's opinion on the outcome?

"He's a very mentally tough guy, so I don't think he'll have any trouble with the Cubs fans," he said.

Former White Sox closer Shingo Takatsu spent a month with Fukudome in Cubs camp this spring and doesn't think he will have a problem.

"He was one of the best players in Japan, and if he does what he does for a living, I don't think the fans or other things will affect him," Takatsu said.

That views of Iguchi and Takatsu seem a consensus. Fukudome is not only blessed physically, but those who know him say he has an inner confidence that shows in the way he carries himself.

That last sentence, I think, sums it up. We can't look at Dome as just another right fielder who has line-drive power, draws some walks and plays plus defense (though those are all good things). He also approaches the game differently than anyone we've ever seen before.

Finally, I knew we'd start seeing the 100-year stuff soon, and today it's from Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic; Bickley used to write for one of the Chicago papers (can't remember which one right now) and he should know better. It's just another rehash of the stuff we all know already. Can we agree on something here? I'd like to propose we have a BCB moratorium on any further mentions of "100 years". This is a new season. The players can't do anything about the previous 99 years. All they can do is go out and try to win now. Let's look forward, not back.

Carlos Zambrano makes his fourth start of the spring today against the Angels' Nick Green. Don't expect to see a lot of the Angels regulars, because they also have a split-squad game against the Giants in Scottsdale.

Once again today, the game will be on multiple sources: WGN-TV (this time with Len & Bob!), WGN radio, KLAA, the Angels flagship, and the Mediacenter. Gameday

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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