Rangers 8, Cubs 7: At Least It Was Quiet In The Dugout

Reed Johnson of the Chicago Cubs sits in the dugout before the spring training game against the San Francisco Giants at Scottsdale Stadium in Scottsdale, Arizona. He didn't play today, but I just like this photo. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Carlos Zambrano, after throwing three solid innings against the Rangers, sat down to talk to reporters. What did he get asked? About Carlos Silva. Twice he had to say "next question".

Seriously, although yesterday's dugout dustup was news, it's yesterday's news. Mike Quade had a team meeting, cleared the air and asked everyone to move on. Which is excellent advice, and handled the way a manager should -- swiftly and, apparently, decisively.

Too bad the game didn't end after the fourth inning when the Cubs took a 5-1 lead; another error -- fortunately, only one of them, and by Scott Moore, who isn't likely to make the team -- helped lead to an 8-7 Cubs loss to the Rangers; the big blow was a three-run homer by Texas 1B Mitch ("Not Related To Keith") Moreland off Rafael Dolis. The error made two of the four runs off Dolis unearned. He had to be lifted and was replaced by Esmailin Caridad. Moore partly made up for his error with a RBI single after a Marquez Smith double, and the Cubs got to within one in the 9th before Koyie Hill popped up to end the game.

Braden Looper threw a pair of innings and gave up a run; Carlos Marmol threw a scoreless inning; and the rest of the runs were given up by Marcos Mateo and Thomas Diamond, two pitchers who I believe should be left on the Iowa roster. They showed last year that they're not really major league pitchers.

Attendance today was 6,229 -- only about half capacity at Mesa. Other parks in the Cactus League were very sparsely filled as well: Tempe (2,880), Glendale (3,878), Maryvale (2,488), Surprise (3,041), Peoria (3,014) and the new Salt River complex (7,575). The last one is the only decent size crowd, probably the combination of the new complex and the Giants, who usually draw well, but even that's about 3,000 below capacity. This is becoming a big story -- we'll see if attendance is any higher this weekend.

Tomorrow, when the Cubs face the Royals at Surprise, Tyler Colvin is expected to see his first action at 1B in a Cubs uniform, and Matt Garza will start. Even though they're playing in an AL park, Garza will bat because Mike Quade wants him to get at-bats. Bruce Chen -- yes, he's still around -- will make the start for the Royals, who will also throw lefthanders Danny Duffy and Blaine Hardy.

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