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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Rockies, Thursday 3/8

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Today, this is going to be a Cub-centric thread. No, I mean it.

Yesterday's 13-8 loss to the Padres had virtually no redeeming Cub features. Orange Guy hit a home run; that was about it. Michael Wuertz pitched like he wants to spend the summer in Des Moines. The rest of the staff was a bunch of forgettable people who won't be in the majors this year. Attendance was only 7,402; the average for the four home dates so far is 8,776, far below the last couple of years.

San Diego's damage was done by Josh Barfield, who had 5 RBI and hit a grand slam off Wuertz; there was a time not so long ago when Josh's dad was one of the most feared HR hitters in the American League.

Today, the Cubs make their first trip of 2006 down I-10 to Tucson to take on the Rockies. Jerome Williams will face Jason Jennings. Tomorrow, Rich Hill will start -- and Saturday's starter is, at the present time, listed as "TBD".

Could that be Mark Prior's first appearance?

The Cubs are still tentatively pencilling in Prior to start April 5 at Cincinnati. That article also hints that a Derrek Lee contract extension could be near:

Cubs general manager Jim Hendry has had two negotiating sessions within the last week with first baseman Derrek Lee's agent, Casey Close, to lay the foundation for a contract extension. It's possible a deal could be finalized before the season opens April 3 at Cincinnati.

Good. One less distraction.

Discuss amongst yourselves. You can make this today's WBC discussion thread, too. There's no live TV of today's games (except if you get ESPN Deportes, and have a real need to watch the Dominican Republic beat the tar out of Italy).