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If you've been reading here for a while, you know that about four weeks ago, I dislocated my right pinky finger while trying to brace my fall down a set of stairs.

Today, I went to my first rehab visit. I have a new appreciation for what ballplayers must have to go through when they have ligaments that they must rehab, and on much larger body parts (knees, elbows, etc.) than I have (just one finger). I do have a torn ligament, but it appears to be getting better. There are a lot of different exercises to do, icing it as much as I can, and one thing they showed me how to do is to "massage" the joint as much as I can to try to eliminate the swelling.

So next time you criticize Wade Miller or someone else who's trying to come back from an injury ... you can't really understand until you're trying to do that yourself.

Today, Miller threw a decent three innings, allowing only one run -- though six hits and two walks -- and the Cubs beat the Padres 8-6, their fourth win in a row, despite a poor outing by Kerry Wood, who gave up a grand slam to Terrmel Sledge (and the Padres radio announcers think the Cubs have great names? "Terrmel Sledge" is one of the best baseball names ever).

Once again, many of the regulars didn't make the trip to Peoria. As many of you have said in the comments, there is no reason for Alfonso Soriano to take so many days off when he's starting to learn a new position -- unless he spent today taking fly balls at Fitch Park. Doing many repetitions in game action is the best way for Soriano to get accustomed to playing CF -- unless they're having second thoughts about this, and maybe we'll be seeing Jacque Jones in CF for a game or two soon.

Felix Pie had a good day today -- two hits; he's now hitting .421 in limited duty, although I'm not sure he should be on the major league roster on Opening Day unless he's going to play every day. To me, there is no point in bringing up a 22-year-old outfielder with his talent and sitting him on the bench.

But unless Jones is traded, there's really no slot for Pie.

After Wood's rough inning, Jason Anderson, Carmen Pignatiello, Les Walrond and Rocky Cherry finished up, allowing only one run in five total innings among them. The Padres' four errors didn't help them, although six of the eight Cub runs were earned. Cesar Izturis had three hits today -- don't expect this to continue -- and Micah Hoffpauir had a RBI double.

Former WGN'er Andy Masur, now one of the Padres' radio voices, became a hero of mine today, when, as he was hearing more noise from the human air raid siren, said on the air: "He's the definition of a piece of work." Good for you, Andy! And lucky you, you only have to hear him a handful of times all year.

Tomorrow, expect just about everyone in camp to play, as the Cubs will split their squad -- half will be in Mesa playing the Padres again, the other half will be in Surprise to take on the Rangers. The Mesa game will be televised on CSN Chicago, for those of you who get that channel.

Time to go do some more rehab exercises. Till tomorrow.