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What A Difference A Day Makes

Sunshine and ten degrees warmer made it feel almost tropical at the ballyard today, as Mark Prior served notice that he is going to dominate the NL this year, with a surprisingly easy 3-0 shutout win over the Expos, who aren't a slouch team, either. This is the first shutout of Prior's career, and only the second complete game shutout of the young MLB season (Hideo Nomo had the other).

Couple things stood out today, besides Prior's 12 strikeouts (Javier Vazquez of the Expos had 14 himself) -- Damian Miller put on his hitting shoes, went 3-for-3 including a HR into a pretty stiff wind; and Prior had a really nice little sequence in the bottom of the 8th where he squared to bunt, missed it, then kept staring down to Wendell Kim, who was gyrating through about 2 dozen signs. Finally Prior & Kim talked briefly, after which Prior faked a bunt and lined an RBI single to right. It looked like it was all a deke -- I think Prior knew exactly what he was doing and was just trying to fool the defense. What a smart player.

It's been said that you should look at the second home game of the season to find the real fans, since they'll still be coming out in cold weather, yet without the Opening Day hype. The Cubs are seemingly pulling attendance numbers out of a hat, since today's was announced at 29,966, more than yesterday. Obviously, there were far fewer in the park, perhaps 10,000 or so.

Human air-raid siren update: the fool who will not be named here is now being allowed in, apparently without paying. Luckily, it seems like something's happened to his voice; he doesn't project nearly as much as he used to, which is just fine with me.

On the Sheffield sidewalk outside the bleachers, piled about four feet high, is all the snow they plowed off the field -- along with about half the warning track dirt. Even with warm temps this could take about two weeks to melt.

In the 9th inning, a young lady in the CF bleachers was enticed to bare her breasts briefly. Not sure whether she was placed under arrest or not.