Here, I'll say something nice about Micah Hoffpauir: he drew a walk today. That's almost more important than the grand slam he hit yesterday -- if Hoffpauir can show some patience at the plate and develop some discipline, he could be very useful coming off the bench.
Happier now? We all should be after today's impressive 7-4 Cubs win over the Brewers, raising the early-spring record to 2-0, in front of a smallish gathering of 6,711 at HoHoKam Park. The Cubs will break their spring (and in fact, the all-time spring, since they hold it) attendance record this year -- guaranteed, since there are 19 dates, far more than usual, but they probably won't break the average attendance mark they set in 2005 (12,125). The total attendance is likely to be somewhere around 225,000, and I'd expect the first sellout this Saturday when the White Sox visit Mesa.
Other Cubs who had good days today: Joey Gathright (3-for-3, a walk, and a run scored on a shallow sac fly that probably wouldn't have scored anyone else. Don't get too excited. Gathright's going to have days like this. And then he'll have days when he's 0-for-4 and drives us nuts. As a fifth outfielder, he'll contribute, and Lou knows that, having had him in Toronto.
Toronto? Yes, that's where Ron Santo said Lou managed. Well, it was one of those "T" cities, anyway. It wasn't the best day on the air for Pat & Ron, who appeared to be working without a net today -- Pat was talking about how the Cardinals always seem to find a way to contend (true), but said they were 2nd to the Cubs in runs scored last year (not true -- they were 4th, behind the Cubs, Phillies and Mets).
Nitpicks, I know. Also having a good day today was Jake Fox, who hit a three-run homer just after a photo of ESPN reporter Erin Andrews was posted in the game thread. That same photo posting occurred yesterday just before Hoffpauir's grand slam. I'm not sayin'... but who knows? We may have to try this again tomorrow. Fox has a chance to make the team if he can hit this way all spring. And no, I'm not going to make it as if he's the second coming of... Micah Hoffpauir, or anything like that, only that he and Hoff both have a shot.
It was good to see some major league relievers today -- although Chad Gaudin and Mike Stanton (trying to come back after a year off at age 42, and has a shot because he's lefthanded) both gave up solo homers, and Carlos Marmol, throwing in the traditional spot for a closer in spring training (the fifth inning, so he could face major league hitters), also got touched up for a run. Angel Guzman looked sharp in his one inning of work, and registered the save. Only downside today: Milton Bradley took himself out of the game in the first inning with quad tightness. That's not a good sign for someone who has had health problems in the past. Let's hope he and the team were just being overcautious.
We've been a little spoiled the last two days, with Pat & Ron on radio/audio. Tomorrow's game vs. the Rangers at Surprise will be in radio silence -- none available, not even the Rangers, so we'll all be following on Gameday (I'll put the link in the first thread, posting again at noon CST). Ted Lilly will make the start for the Cubs and then leave to join the USA WBC team. Scott Feldman will start for the Rangers.