Open Thread: Cubs vs. Diamondbacks at Mesa, and Cubs vs. Athletics at Phoenix, Saturday 3/8, 2:05 CT

It's split-squad day! Today, you can actually follow both games, but pay attention: the game vs. the Diamondbacks at Mesa is on WGN-TV. According to listings in Chicago newspapers today, the game in Mesa is also on WGN Radio. However, WGN radio's website doesn't list today's game as a broadcast date. The MLB.com Mediacenter says that A's station KFRC is carrying the game (KFRC's website confirms this), and so you can hear it over the air in the Bay Area, and online at that link. The Mediacenter also has WGN radio listed as carrying the Phoenix game -- so the only way to find out is to tune in!

Here's more of Crane Kenney's comments yesterday, from Paul Sullivan in the Tribune. Included is the idea, noted here before, that the Cubs could play at the Cell for a year while renovations are done to Wrigley. I don't have a problem with this.

Meanwhile, Bruce Miles tells us that Lou Piniella wants to have a closer chosen within two weeks. But Piniella also knows that the innings before the ninth are just as important:

"We get so concerned about the closer's role that you lose a lot of ballgames like we have here in the spring in the eighth inning," Piniella said. "I think we've lost three or four already. … Just give us a couple more weeks to sort this thing out, and we'll have an answer for you."
Alfonso Soriano will play today, likely in the Mesa (televised) game. So all the dire predictions of "OH NO! ONE TO TWO WEEKS!" were wrong. He missed six days, one more than originally forecast. Sean Marshall will start the Mesa game vs. Arizona; his opponent will be Micah Owings (Chad Qualls and Brandon Lyon will also throw for Arizona -- note once again to Carrie Muskat: can we have the additional Cub pitchers slated to go?). In the Phoenix game, Jon Lieber faces the oft-injured Rich Harden.

MLB.com Gameday for the Cubs/D'backs game

MLB.com Gameday for the Cubs/Athletics game

Cub lineups for both games, courtesy as always Bruce Miles:

UPDATE [2008-3-8 10:21:26 by Al]: The lineups Bruce sent are correct. Marshall was supposed to start the home game, but Bruce said Lieber got "veteran's rights" and so will pitch at home, so you'll be able to see Lieber on TV. (That game ought to go faster with Lieber pitching, too.)

Finally, in the USA and Canada, don't forget to turn your clocks ahead one hour tonight (unless you live in Arizona or Hawaii, who don't observe Daylight Saving time -- and this means that starting tomorrow, ST games will begin at 3:05 Central time). DST officially begins at 2 am.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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