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Doubleheader Day: Cubs vs. Mariners at Mesa and Cubs vs. Angels at Tempe, Friday 3/13, 3:05 CT

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There are two games today, both available via the Mediacenter, both via the radio flagship of the Cubs' opponents. So which one will you choose to listen to, and which one will you follow on Gameday?

Decisions, decisions.

Lou had a long talk with Kosuke Fukudome about last year and this year, and about being benched at the end of last year, Dome said:

"It didn't feel good at all," he said. "But I understand what my condition was at the end of the season, so it was [justified]. I would like to start speaking up a little bit more to make sure my thoughts are being translated."

This goes back to some earlier stories and comments that have been made that seemed to indicate that either Dome was shy to speak up because of the cultural differences, or that what he was saying wasn't being translated properly, or both. We do know that there's a new translator this year, so maybe that will help in terms of communication.

Other news of note: Sam Zell was apparently being shaken down for money by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich only two weeks before Rod was arrested. I mention this because it was apparently in connection with the proposed deal to sell Wrigley Field to the state (a deal which, I presume, is now dead):

In another campaign document dated Dec. 3, 2008, Tribune Co. sports consultant Mark Ganis is listed among 143 names of potential donors for tentative or scheduled fund-raising events. Next to Ganis' name are the notations "New York Event" and "Rod went to dinner on 9/19. Rob needs to follow up."

The Tribune Co., parent of the Chicago Tribune, hired Ganis to help structure a sale of Wrigley. His name also appeared on the September call list next to a notation that read: "Patti and Rod dinner."

Non-Cub news: Jonathan Papelbon speaks out on Manny Ramirez:

"He was on a different train! And you saw what happened with that. We got rid of him, and we moved on without him," Papelbon was quoted in the April issue of Esquire. The story was posted on the magazine's Web site Thursday.

"So Manny was tough for us," Papelbon added. "You have somebody like him, you know at any point in the ballgame, he can dictate the outcome of the game. And for him not to be on the same page as the rest of the team was a killer, man! It just takes one guy to bring an entire team down, and that's exactly what was happening."

"Once we saw that, we weren't afraid to get rid of him. It's like cancer. That's what he was. Cancer. He had to go. It sucked, but that was the only scenario that was going to work. That was it for us. And after, you could feel it in the air in the clubhouse. We got Jason Bay - Johnny Ballgame, plays the game right, plays through broken knees, runs out every ground ball - and it was like a breath of fresh air, man! Awesome! No question."

I assume that some or all of this is exactly the way the Red Sox felt. But the other side of this story is that Manny helped his new team make the playoffs. "Cancer" or no, there's no question that when Manny Ramirez puts his head the right way, he's a major force in helping his teams win.

This afternoon, Sean Marshall will face Seattle's Gaby Hernandez. Other relievers who will throw at Mesa include Jose Ascanio, Kevin Hart, Mike Stanton, Luis Vizcaino and Jason Waddell (who Lou seems to like quite a bit).

At Tempe, Chad Gaudin will pitch against LA's Dustin Moseley. Cub relievers in the road game will be Mitch Atkins, Justin Berg, Esmailin Caridad, Chad Fox, Ken Kadokura and Jeff Stevens.

I imagine we'll see Carlos Marmol throw tomorrow in the home game against the Angels. Gameday for the Cubs/Mariners game Gameday for the Cubs/Angels game

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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