At last, BCB readers have had the influence over Cubs management that we have long sought. There have been numerous readers here who have sung the praises of Micah Hoffpauir. But Lou Piniella took his cue from BCB readers Clutche and cubswynn, who have been the most adamant Hoffpauir supporters on this site, and has named the hottest spring training hitter on the club, Micah Hoffpauir, as the Cubs' starting first baseman. Said Lou: "The BCB readers are right. Micah's leading everyone in RBI's. Why shouldn't he start?"
To make room for Hoffpauir in the starting lineup, Jim Hendry took my suggestion from last October 22 (and to think, so many of you laughed at me when I suggested this) and, after several weeks' worth of secret negotiations carried out at the Paradise Bakery in Scottsdale (the very same location where Nomar Garciaparra himself, the subject of one of Hendry's biggest deals, was spotted buying bagels and coffee during spring training in 2005), Hendry convinced San Francisco GM Brian Sabean to take the two remaining years on Derrek Lee's contract in exchange for pitcher Matt Cain.
"We love Derrek, but after Sean Marshall's performance yesterday, we felt we needed some more depth in the starting rotation," said Hendry. "Sean can go to Iowa and keep Jeff Samardzija company."
BCB reader ballhawk said he'd miss Lee and all the balls he hit onto Waveland during batting practice, but that Cain's 19 HR allowed in 2008 "showed promise".
Negotiations with D-Lee to get him to waive his no-trade clause were complicated. They involved a supply of ice cream sundaes for his six-year-old daughter Jada for as long as Derrek plays for the Giants, and a promise that she could meet Dora the Explorer when Dora's live tour comes to a city near where the Giants are playing. Lee said he'd miss Cubs fans, as he's become one of the most popular Cubs, but said, "I'll be closer to my home in Sacramento. Plus, I can hit cleanup for the Giants -- I mean, come on. Bengie Molina hitting cleanup?"
Both players will report to their new clubs for action this afternoon. That is, unless they look at the calendar and realize what day today is.