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Look! There They Are!

The last 10 days have been kind of like baseball back in the 50's, when you could only follow your team via the box scores. Kind of refreshing in a way, but I was anxious to see what the Cubs looked like in the flesh, or at least on a TV screen.

Not to be disappointed, I saw them, along with probably most of you, fashion a mostly nicely-played 4-3 win over the White Sox at Mesa -- and beating the White Sox is always nice, whether in spring training or in the games that Sox fans consider their World Series, the six interleague games coming up this summer.

Sammy Sosa started it out by blasting a line-shot home run to left in the first. But that was after former Cub Ross Gload smacked a two-run homer off Carlos Zambrano in the top of the inning.

To hear Ozzie Guillen go on and on about Gload, you'd think he'd be the next great Sox rookie. Um, no, Ozzie. Gload will be 28 in May; he had a brief trial in 2000 with the Cubs after they acquired him in the Henry Rodriguez trade (6-for-31 with a homer, .194 BA, 10 strikeouts, hardly Hall of Fame material), and he plays the one position at which the Sox are pretty heavy in -- first base. Yes, he can play left field, after a fashion, or even right field, as he did today, but not very well. He's kind of a poor man's Brian Daubach, and the Sox, having let Daubach go after a mediocre season, are apparently in the market for such a player.

But enough about that other team. The WGN broadcasters were in decent form today, and spent an inning talking with Ron Santo. Somehow, he sounds better on TV than he does on the radio, maybe because we can actually see what Ron is talking about. I am actually looking forward to seeing the film "This Old Cub", that Ron's filmmaker son Jeff made about him. The website says it's opening in Chicago and Arizona on March 26, but gives no theater locations in Arizona.

Anyway, WGN has changed its scorebox to look more like Fox Sports Net's (a linescore across the top of the screen, and it's easier to read and less obtrusive, though I still can't understand why the red color is so prominent), and otherwise, it sure was nice to see the sunshine that 12,714 were enjoying today.

The game today was, apart from the regulars again being yanked fairly early, more like a regular season game. Zambrano threw five... um, decent innings, and then LaTroy Hawkins came in, during a situation not unlike the way he'd probably be used in the regular season, mid-to-late innings, tie game, and after he shut the Sox down for two innings and the Cubs took the lead on a Tom Goodwin single, Joe Borowski came in for his first save of the spring.

That was nice. It's always easy to think a game like that means more than it does, but players like to walk off the field with a win no matter where it comes, and I'm sure Dusty was happy that he could get his bullpen sort of in order today. In other pitching news, it appears that Mark Prior's bullpen throwing won't begin till Tuesday, which might still give him enough time to be ready for Opening Day, three weeks hence.

Yes, these reports seem kind of boring, I imagine. I am so ready to see a game in person. Next Saturday begin my reports from Arizona.