Today will be the Cubs' 33rd spring training game. That's a lot. Too many, I think all of you, and all the players, would agree.
One week from tonight, the Cubs will open the season in Houston. Until then, there are still a few things to decide; Lou has yet to choose Paul Bako or Koyie Hill as his backup catcher, and they are, according to Bruce Miles, getting some trade feelers on Chad Gaudin and Angel Guzman, though Gaudin didn't help himself yesterday. Gordon Wittenmyer says Lou still likes David Patton, so don't count him out, and Derrek Lee's leaving of yesterday's game was just a precaution, because of his sore quad muscle:
Said Lee: "I'm fine. I can feel it, but I won't miss any games because of it."
Today's game, which will be televised on CSN Chicago and available at the MLB.com Mediacenter via the Royals' flagship station, KCSP (meaning we'll likely be able to hear Denny Matthews mispronounce Carlos Marmol's name again), will feature Rich Harden's return to the spring rotation for the first time since his bout with food poisoning. KC's Kyle Davies will be his opponent, and we should expect to see the Royals' closer, Joakim Soria, as well. Hopefully, the Cubs' newly anointed closer, Kevin Gregg, will see some action, too; he hasn't thrown in an actual spring game since last Tuesday. Meanwhile, Carlos Marmol is disappointed but says no worries:
Marmol said he wasn't surprised by the decision, and suggested the decision was made before spring games even began. His mediocre spring numbers and WBC struggles weren't a factor, he said.
"I don't think it was going to make a difference," he said. "I think they knew what they were going to do before we got here. That's why I said there was not [any] competition. I guess we're going to get ready the season, no matter what. You're still going to see me smile. I'm going to be the same guy, doing my job."
Discuss amongst yourselves.