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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Athletics at Phoenix, Saturday 3/3, 2:05 CT

The Cubs' first away game of the spring -- and "away" is maybe a 20-minute drive from Mesa -- features Wade Miller starting, and Ryan Dempster and Carlos Marmol, among others, in relief. Michael Wuertz was supposed to appear today, but with the shoulder twinge he felt the other day, who knows whether he'll pitch today or be set back a few days.

Dan Haren will start for the A's. The game is on XM radio and MLB Audio.

Today's lineup, again courtesy of Bruce Miles, makes it look like a split-squad day, even though it's not. Many regulars are getting the day off:

Theriot, 2B
Cedeno, SS
Jones, DH
Ward, 1B
Barrett, C
Pagan, RF
Coats, LF
Perez, 3B
Pie, CF

I like Theriot in the leadoff spot. The rest, meh. Other Saturday notes:

Jeff Samardzija impressed Michael Barrett:

"As far as mentality and as far as stuff, he's way ahead of the game," Barrett said. "He has a very good idea. I haven't been around a whole lot of guys who play football but he's the first real high-profile football player to play baseball and I'm impressed with his mentality."
Bruce Miles also writes today about Lou Piniella both taking and expecting responsibility for mistakes:
On Friday, Piniella made it clear the accountability begins with him.

"What I'm trying to say is if you give up 7 (unearned) runs in a ballgame, you're not going to win many," he said. "That's all I was trying to say. You know, when we play sloppy as a team, truthfully, it's a reflection on me, and I don't like it. I'm the one that's responsible for that."

What a contrast to the guy who used to sit there and say, "I dunno, dude, we were just unlucky." Gameday (note: Gameday link now active!)

Discuss amongst yourselves.