The Cubs have played the Indians earlier this spring, losing 5-4 in a split-squad game on March 4, but Mark DeRosa was off with the USA WBC team that day, and Kerry Wood didn't appear that day.
So today at Mesa, Cleveland's first appearance at HoHoKam Park in their return to Arizona spring training, will be the first appearance of the popular ex-Cubs in Indians uniforms.
I mention this not to start the lamenting all over again -- me, I'm past this and have moved on and want the 2009 Cubs to win as constituted -- but it'll be interesting to see the reactions to Wood and DeRo from Cubs fans, and of course, to see how they do. Wood is expected to throw an inning today, possibly right after starter Fausto Carmona, which should put him in the game in the 6th or 7th inning, given that most starters are being stretched out that far at this point in the spring.
Ryan Dempster labored through six innings yesterday, and this cubs.com article hints that he may have had the same touch of the flu (or whatever) that sidelined Lou Piniella yesterday:
Piniella had stayed back to get over the flu that has been infecting several of the players. Dempster was battling a bug that hit on Wednesday. Did he give Piniella the bad germs?
"He probably gave it to me," Dempster quipped
With the Cubs visiting the Rockies at Tucson yesterday, naturally, all the reporters wanted to talk to Jason Marquis. He says no hard feelings:
"I have no regrets, no remorse, no hatred towards anybody," he said.
And if he spoke up at times?
"Am I allowed to show emotion? I think so," he said. "It doesn't mean I was going to give any less if I was coming out of the bullpen or if I wasn't. I was just upset at the decision [for the '07 playoffs]. And I don't hold grudges. It was that spur-of-the-moment-type deal.
"We're all human beings. If something doesn't go your way, you have the right to be upset. Sometimes whether it's the front office, your teammates, the manager, fans, they take it differently, like you're crying over it."
We may see Marquis pitching against the Cubs at Wrigley Field on April 15. He got absolutely pounded in his last outing, Wednesday against the Angels, giving up 11 earned runs in less than four innings.
Bruce Miles has an interesting article this morning on the work Mike Quade does with the outfielders, and also adds in a note at the end of this article about Marquis that:
... pitchers Sean Marshall and Chad Gaudin threw side sessions in Mesa and that Kevin Gregg, Chad Fox and Luis Vizcaino worked in minor-league games.
I'm not sure what the point is of holding Kevin Gregg out of major-league spring training games for nearly a week, but now we won't likely see him throw till at least tomorrow. Bruce also has today's lineups in his blog:
Indians Sizemore, CF DeRosa, 3B Martinez, C Peralta, SS Garko, RF Francisco, LF Carroll, 2B Graffanino, 1B Carmona, P Cubs Soriano, LF Theriot, SS Lee, 1B Bradley, RF Ramirez, 3B Fontenot, 2B Soto, C Gathright, CF Lilly, P
Today, we'll see Ted Lilly return to face Carmona. The game is on WGN radio, WTAM radio in the Cleveland area, XM 177 and the MLB.com Mediacenter. Tomorrow's game vs. the Royals (Rich Harden will start) will be televised on CSN Chicago.
Discuss amongst yourselves.