Now this one, I'm excited about.
All of you know how much I love Cubs history and baseball history, and this day will be steeped in a big helping of both. Of course, you all know that the Cubs weren't involved in the baseball game at then-Weeghman Park on April 23, 1914, since it was built for Weeghman's Chicago Federal League team.
The Cubs will pay tribute to that history by wearing throwback Chi-Feds (as the team was known) uniforms, white with black pinstripes, and the Diamondbacks join the party by playing the role of the Kansas City Packers, the Chi-Feds' opponent that day 100 years ago. There will be many, many invited guests, former Cubs who will take the field at their former positions, ceremonies, hoopla, the jersey giveaway I wrote about the other day, free cupcakes to the first 10,000 in attendance, and generally, a festive time.
The April 23, 1914 game was not the first in Chi-Feds history. They began their life with a seven-game road trip on which they went 2-5. But their first home game was a rousing success, a 9-1 win over Kansas City.
A repeat of that would be nice, too. Regardless of the result, it should be true fun at the old (and I use that word fondly) ballpark. And that's a good thing on any day.
After the game I'll have both a recap of the game action (with a special 100th anniversary flavor), and a separate article about the anniversary ceremonies and atmosphere.
Bonifacio CF, Lake LF, Rizzo 1B, Ruggiano RF, Castro SS, Olt 3B, Castillo C, Barney 2B, Samardzija P
Parra RF, Prado 3B, Goldschmidt 1B, Montero C, Hill 2B, Ross LF, Owings SS, Campana CF, Miley P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Claude Hendrix was the Chi-Feds' best pitcher in 1914. So it's somehow appropriate that the Cubs' best pitcher in 2014, Jeff Samardzija, has his turn in the rotation come up on this day. Shark is off to an excellent start this year, by far the best April he's had since he became a full-time starting pitcher in 2012. All I can say is: keep up the good work. Hope he does better than last year against Arizona, too -- in 2013 Shark had two starts vs. the D'backs and posted a 4.50 ERA in 12 innings, issuing nine walks.
Wade Miley has a 4.35 ERA and 1.258 WHIP. His ERA+ is 85 -- somewhat below average. Ladies and gentlemen, this makes Miley the best Diamondbacks starter in 2014. By a lot. (The rest of them have ERAs orbiting the moon.) Miley finished second in Rookie of the Year balloting in 2012, but his 2013 was more iffy. He had one good start and one bad start against the Cubs last year, but that bad start included allowing a grand slam to Scott Hairston, and I still can't believe that actually happened.
Today's game is on WGN. WGN is also covering the pre-game ceremonies beginning at 12:30 p.m. CT.
For 2014, we are going to have the same game-thread routine as 2013. Here's how it works.
You'll find the game preview -- like this one -- posting as the first link in the StoryStream™, which will then contain all the overflow threads and the recap. The recap will also be on the front page as a separate post; once I post a game recap, the stream for each game will be retitled "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.
In general, game previews will post two hours before game time. Exception: for day games after night games, that will usually be 90 minutes.
You will also be able to find the First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in this StoryStream™. As I've done for each regular-season game for several years now, we'll have the First Pitch thread at five minutes before game time (moved up from actual game time per your requests), then an overflow one hour, two hours and 2:45 after game time.
Discuss amongst yourselves.