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Month: February 2011

Spring Training Bullets: February 22, 2011

“It’s only Spring Training” is a phrase you’ve probably read around these parts many times, but damn if I’m not really liking what I’m seeing… from Mike Quade. On to the bullets. Both Carlos Zambrano and Matt Garza will pitch in the Spring opener this Sunday against the Athletics. Boing. Tyler Colvin, a possible back-up […]

Ryan Dempster Will Start Opening Day

For the first time since 2004, someone other than Carlos Zambrano will start on Opening Day for the Chicago Cubs. Today, manager Mike Quade tapped Ryan Dempster to take the ball on April 1 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The decision comes after several sub-par performances on Opening Days past by Zambrano, who remains the “ace” […]

The Cubs Aren’t Just Playing Around with James Russell as a Starter

Folks: teach your children to throw with their left hand. James Russell was a moderately successful minor league starter for a few years before breaking through last Spring Training as a reliever. In that role, he also found moderate success. But he throws left-handed, and, because the Chicago Cubs don’t have another lefty option for […]

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Carlos Zambrano: Softball Player

Many professional sports contracts preclude players from participating in non-sanctioned extracurricular athletic activities like pick-up basketball games or extreme baking. After learning that Carlos Zambrano recently played some softball, I am wondering whether Chicago Cubs player contracts have the same kind of language. According to a Sports Illustrated reader, who provided the picture at right: “Last night […]

Spring Training Bullets: February 21, 2011

Six days and counting until that first Spring Training game. Batters have started to face live pitching and Carlos Marmol is already wild, so he’s 50% of the way to his usual “effectively wild.” Reed Johnson’s elbow is expected to be fine. Starlin Castro continues to work on his defense, and remains impressively humble despite […]

Obsessive Albert Pujols Watch: Aramis Ramirez Wants Pujols, Likes Carlos Pena

From the moment Albert Pujols declined to sign an extension with the Cardinals by his self-imposed deadline, thus (theoretically) ensuring his ascendency into free agency after the season, we all knew an Obsessive Watch was coming. So here we are. That said, Pujols feels like he deserves something special, on the order of OMG Brian […]

Spring Training Bullets: February 20, 2011

The first Chicago Cubs Spring Training game is just one week away. Swoon. Oh, but not the June kind. Aramis Ramirez, who arrived in camp yesterday (a day after the official reporting date), says he’s healthy and stronger this year, having added about seven pounds of muscle. It’s a virtual contract year for Ramirez (the […]

Tom Ricketts is Open-Minded About Offering a “Mega-Deal”

Chicago Cubs Chairman/Owner Tom Ricketts addressed his team and the media Saturday, and offered more than a few interesting thoughts on the upcoming season and the future of the Cubs’ payroll. “Really, the theme for the team this year is for the last six weeks of 2010, we were one of the best teams in […]

All Players Have Reported to Camp

According to Carrie Muskat, all Chicago Cubs players are now present and accounted for at Spring Camp, which means that the two laggards – Aramis Ramirez and Starlin Castro – have arrived. The first full-squad workout is underway. Welcome to the 2011 Chicago Cubs season. Boom goes the dynamite. Er. Well, sparkle goes the sparkler.

Grumble: Aramis Ramirez and Starlin Castro Still Not in Camp

Although yesterday was the official Spring Training report date for positional players, all but a handful of Chicago Cubs were already in camp long before Friday. Included in that handful were annual laggards Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez, and second year shortstop Starlin Castro. Soriano missed Friday’s workout, but arrived last evening. Unfortunately Ramirez and […]

Positional Players Report, And Other Spring Training Bullets

This is starting to feel like a regular feature… Pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training earlier this week, and today is the reporting date for everyone else – though most Cubs are already in camp. Indeed, the only players yet to report are Kosuke Fukudome, Aramis Ramirez, Alfonso Soriano, Starlin Castro and Max Ramirez. […]

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Allow Your Albert Pujols Fantasies to Run Wild for a Day or Two

Now that Albert Pujols will officially (more like theoretically) become a free agent at season’s end, you can go ahead and do it. You know you want to. Indulge yourself. You’re allowed to picture him in Cubbie Blue for just a little while. Three competing executives say they expect the rival Cubs to make a big […]

Marlon Byrd is Beefy, But It’s All Supplements and Exercise

Chicago Cubs center fielder Marlon Byrd is a thick, hulking dude. And if he had the power numbers of an Albert Pujols or Alex Rodriguez, or say, Jose Bautista, people would probably speculate about the source of Byrd’s prodigious biceps. As it is, no one is particularly concerned with PEDs when it comes to Marlon […]

Keith Moreland to Join Pat Hughes in the WGN Radio Booth

Today, WGN Radio and the Chicago Cubs announced that former Cub Keith Moreland will take Ron Santo’s spot as Pat Hughes’ partner broadcasting Cubs games on WGN Radio. The announcement comes after a long search process, and Moreland was selected over the other presumptive finalist, Dave Otto. Moreland has served as the back-up color man […]

Sources: Albert Pujols Deadline Expected to Pass with No Deal

Albert Pujols’ totally arbitrary extension deadline – a hypothetical extension on a deal not set to expire for another 8 months – is one hour away. Feel those goosebumps? Well, massage them down, because word is already leaking from multiple sources that the Cardinals and Pujols will NOT reach an extension by noon. Pujols will […]

More Spring Training Bullets

I know, I know – you’re being inundated with bullet posts. If you hate them, let me know. But for now, they seem to be the most efficient and thoughtful way of keeping you updated on the points of interest coming out of Mesa. Carlos Silva is sticking to his there-is-only-one-rotation-spot-open-because-I’m-the-fourth-starter theory. “For them, it’s open and for […]

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