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Postcard From Arizona

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- This'll just be a short post, as I just got here to the 92-degree sunshine (Yay!), and on the final approach to Phoenix airport, we flew directly over Ho Ho Kam Park, right about 2:35 pm, so it was probably in about the fifth inning of today's 12-7 Cub win over the Angels, the first time the Cubs have played the Halos this spring, with their vaunted new lineup featuring Vladimir Guerrero, and vaunted new pitching staff including Bartolo Colon and Kelvim Escobar, the latter of whom was so impressive today that he gave up first-inning homers to Corey Patterson and Derrek Lee en route to a four-run first. Alex Gonzalez also homered today, his first of the spring.

The link above also makes a few notes about Mark Prior's side throwing session today, which went well, and says he'll throw again Saturday. While it's good to be cautious about Prior, he may be that one-in-a-generation guy who doesn't need six weeks of spring training to get ready. Kerry Wood claims that he does, and as long as you as an individual know what you need, that's all that counts, as long as you're not hiding an injury, and I believe Prior will tell the truth about how he feels.

Kent Mercker made his first appearance of the spring today, throwing a 1-2-3 sixth, and Carlos Zambrano threw his fourth consecutive good outing, allowing four hits and touched only for a two-run homer.

You know, coming to spring training used to be really "Old West" -- you'd go to these sleepy little old wooden parks and pay $3 and sit anywhere you wanted because hardly anyone was there.

Today, I got stuck in an LA-style traffic jam coming from the airport, and that was at 3:30 in the afternoon.

Progress, I suppose.

If you are still interested in the discussion I started here a couple days ago about the "Judicial Activism" bill currently before the House of Representatives, click here for a good article on slate.com which has excellent links to other opinions on this issue.

I'm probably not going to Tucson tomorrow -- it really does kill the entire day driving back and forth, so my first ballgame report will be from the split-squad game against the Brewers at Maryvale on Saturday.