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Cubs Name Single PA Announcer For 2009

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Rather than write another recap of another dull Cubs loss, this time, 2-0 to the Brewers in front of a near-capacity crowd of 10,099 at the Brewers' park in Maryvale, I thought I'd post some actual news.

I have learned that the Cubs are going to go with one PA announcer this year, instead of the triumvirate that's done the games the last four years. Paul Friedman, who has been doing night games only for the last four years (and did nights and weekends for ten years before that), will be the full-time PA announcer this season.

Wayne Messmer and Mike Terson both did good work and had distinctive voices, but I can see why the Cubs wanted to go with a single voice. Expect to still hear Wayne's excellent rendition of the National Anthem from time to time, and Wayne or Mike may fill in occasionally if Paul's not able to do it.

About today's game, not much can be said -- Carlos Zambrano threw well, although he made a fielding error that helped lead to the only two runs of the game (though strangely, both runs were ruled earned, even though the second one scored as a direct result of Z's overthrow). He issued no walks and struck out five. I was also pleased to see Angel Guzman have a solid 1-2-3 inning, and David Patton, who probably won't make the team (likely to be returned to the Rockies, unless the Cubs can make a deal with Colorado which would allow Patton to be sent to Iowa), threw two shutout innings and struck out three.

Random observation from today's 6-5 USA win over Canada in the first round of the WBC -- Philippe Aumont, a 20-year-old native of Hull, Quebec, who spent 2008 in the Midwest League in the Mariners' organization after being their first-round pick (11th overall), is a major, major talent. He throws hard and snapped off some major league quality breaking balls in striking out Kevin Youkilis and Curtis Granderson with the bases loaded. He's probably two years away from the major leagues, but watch for him. And for those who think people don't care about the WBC, the attendance for this game in Toronto was 42,314, more than all but seven Blue Jays home games in 2008. Both WBC games this afternoon were exciting ballgames, particularly the Netherlands' stunning upset of the Dominican Republic. Maybe the WBC is worth it after all.

Tomorrow, Sean Marshall takes the mound at Mesa against the Rangers. Matt Harrison will start for Texas. Don't forget to set your clocks ahead; game time tomorrow will be 3:05 CDT.