Cubs vs. Rangers and Cubs vs. Athletics, Saturday 3/17, 3:05 CT: Split St. Pat's

Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo hits a solo home run during the second inning against the San Francisco Giants at HoHoKam Park. Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- There are two Cubs games this afternoon. There are also eight college baskeball games in the NCAA tournament, which means many of you won't be paying attention to the Cubs.

That means I could write just about anything here and hardly any of the regulars on this site would notice.

I found something interesting called the Random Fact Generator at Mental Floss that gives you random facts at the click of a button. Here's one:

At first, ESPN co-founder Bill Rasmussen just wanted to put on a Connecticut sports show featuring Hartford Whalers highlights.

The second one I found is even baseball-related:

Beanie babies were such a craze in the 1990s that even struggling MLB teams used them to sell out home games

That's true, and the Cubs gave them away several times in that era. They were so popular that thousands of people would line up early so they could get the toys, then leave before the game even started, leaving Wrigley Field looking a third empty with a sellout crowd announced.

All right, enough silliness. On to today's lineups:

Cubs lineup vs. Athletics:

DeJesus RF, Byrd DH, Castro SS, Soto C, Baker 2B, Jackson CF, Rizzo 1B, Vitters 3B, Szczur LF,


Weeks 2b, Pennington ss, Cespedes cf, Ramirez dh, Gomes lf, Smith rf, Recker c, Allen 1b, Rosales 3b

Yoenis Cespedes AND Manny Ramirez, together in the same game? Cool.

Cubs lineup vs. Rangers:

Johnson rf, DeWitt 3b, Soriano lf, Mather cf, LaHair 1b, Castillo c, Lake ss, Cardenas 2b, Samardzija p

The Rangers lineup was also not available at posting time.

The Cubs will be the home team for today's game in Las Vegas and bat last. Jeff Samardzija faces Derek Holland.

In Phoenix, Paul Maholm will pitch against Travis Schlichting.

Today's Las Vegas game is on MLB.TV; it's also on with Len Kasper and Mick Gillispie. Today's game in Phoenix is on MLB audio, with the A's announcers. If you are in the Bay Area, it's on 95.7 FM. Here is the Mediacenter for today. Gameday for Cubs/Athletics Gameday for Cubs/Rangers

Note that for spring training gameday links, you probably will not get pitch-by-pitch as during the regular season; these are unofficial links. Each play will be posted, but might not be updated until after each half-inning.

There will be one overflow thread, which will post at 4:30 pm CT. The "Recent Stories in Game Threads" box on the sidebar is where you'll find it.

Please visit our SB Nation Athletics site Athletics Nation and Rangers site Lone Star Ball.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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