The sun is out and the wind is gone; this afternoon's temperature will be about 73 and so the Cubs and White Sox can concentrate on baseball instead of flying debris.
Kosuke Fukudome will make his season debut. Bruce Miles asked him, "What happened last year?" Answer:
"My stupidity," Fukudome said Thursday as he officially rejoined the Cubs after the World Baseball Classic.
Fukudome may have been hard on himself when he used the term "stupidity," because he says he's trying to learn from the experience.
"I learned a lot since last year," he said. "It's a little easier feeling to come in here to play. I definitely learned a lot last year, and that will make it a lot easier transition for this year. I can use a lot of things I learned last year to implement it this year."
We didn't see a lot of those "lessons learned" in Dome's performance in the WBC. Let's hope that changes, starting today. Lou says Dome will bat second vs. RHP; today's White Sox starter, Clayton Richard, is lefthanded, so we'll see where he'll bat this afternoon. And if Dome hasn't learned those lessons, Reed Johnson says he's ready to step up and play every day.
Gordon Wittenmyer's notes column has two notable comments:
- Aramis Ramirez says he can play every day, if you (or Lou and the coaches) are worried about who will back him up. That's great, as long as he stays healthy.
- The Cubs are looking to possibly deal whoever doesn't make the team as backup catcher. Makes sense to me, and there are teams still looking for backups, including, says Gordon, the Giants.
- Bruce Miles has more on the Bako/Hill choice, and also two more notes: the Cubs will have a decision on closer by Sunday, and they are converting minor league infielder Josh Lansford, son of former major leaguer Carney Lansford, into a pitcher.
Final note for today: the dispute between the Cubs and the Lakeview Baseball Club (over views that were allegedly blocked by the temporary Jumbotrons put up for the NHL Winter Classic) has been settled:
The owner of the Lakeview Baseball Club, 3633 N. Sheffield, also agreed to reimburse the Cubs for legal fees tied to the breach of contract lawsuit filed against [Anthony] Racky in federal court.
Racky had withheld the 2008 payment to protest a Jumbotron that, he claims, blocked half his view during the NHL's New Year's Day Winter Classic.
The rooftop sold out for the game between the Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings. But Racky argued that fans who had trouble seeing the rink would have to be given a future discount or freebie and that the Cubs should pay for it.
His one-man protest suffered a major blow last week, when a federal judge refused to prohibit the Cubs from blocking Racky's view.
Carlos Zambrano will start this afternoon. You can see the game on WGN-TV (with Len & Bob), or hear it via the White Sox flagship station, WSCR, or at the MLB.com Mediacenter. All the remaining spring training games will be available on some form of broadcast: either MLB Audio, broadcast radio, WGN-TV or CSN.
Discuss amongst yourselves.