I am bummed to say that, for family reasons (nothing terribly serious, thanks in advance for the concerns), I can no longer come to Chicago today/tomorrow, so I won’t be making tonight’s game or tomorrow’s. I’ll have to watch RizzOMG from afar, which will do, pig. It’ll do.

  • Speaking of Rizzo, Anthony offered the first of what I hope will be many magnificent quotes as a member of the Cubs, when asked by Randy Peterson if he had a message for Cubs’ fans about his call-up: “I want to tell them that there’s going to be good times, and that there will be bad times. Hopefully there will be times I’m a hero. There will be times that I’m the villain. That’s the nature of the game, and that goes for every baseball player.” That reminds me of a Carlos Pena quote, and I loved me a Carlos Pena quote. I can also see the posters now – dark, Rizzo holding a bat, looking badass, with the caption: “Sometimes I’m the Villain.” Maybe it’s a set, with a lighter version, “Sometimes I’m the Hero.” Get on it, photoshoppers.
  • Alfonso Soriano says he hopes Rizzo hits behind him, because then Rizzo will get better pitches to hit (er, doesn’t Soriano mean he, himself, would see better pitches? Unless Soriano is saying he gets on base so often that the pitcher will have to stay around the zone with Rizzo … but, like, nah … ). I think we’ll probably see either Rizzo-Soriano-LaHair, or, more likely, LaHair-Soriano-Rizzo going 3-4-5. Then again, Sveum has said he’d like to see Rizzo have some protection behind him, so we’ll see.
  • On the injury front, Ian Stewart is hitting off a tee, and is eligible to come off the disabled list later this week. There is no word on whether he’ll actually return by then, though. As for Ryan Dempster, he’s expected to miss one more start, after today, which would line him up to make just one start before the All-Star break. Seems odd for Dempster to miss such a long time with a lat “injury” that no one is even willing to call a strain or soreness, but the whole thing has been odd. Dempster did manage to throw off of flat ground yesterday with no discomfort.
  • As Anthony Rizzo comes up to the big club, Brett Jackson remains at Iowa, working on his contact issues. Dale Sveum has taken note: “The strikeouts are at an incredible rate, which is a little bit strange …. That’s a very strange stat in that category [to have an .832 OPS, but still be striking out so much]. Unless you’re Adam Dunn.”
  • Fluff on Tony Campana getting more playing time.
  • Bryan LaHair says he’s ready to step aside (into the outfield) for Anthony Rizzo.
  • Details on Travis Wood’s helmet mishap last night (h/t TCR). More on Wood’s performance later.
  • CubFan Paul

    How far away is BJax from his 162nd AAA game?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      A few weeks, I believe.

    • BD

      He is at 121 games.

  • BD

    Rizzo: “I’m the villain Chicago deserves; but not the one it needs right now.”

    • Edwin

      I was thinking of going either Richard III or Iago from Othello.

      • MightyBear

        Bad examples.

      • Rick

        Why so serious?

    • rcleven

      This team is desperate for quality hitting. If Rizzo can hit in the .270 range with power for the next two months I will be thrilled.

  • King Jeff

    With Rizzo coming up, I think Campana is going to see the field even less until they make a trade. I think Svuem likes what the Sori-Jesus-Rabbit outfield can do for the offense. I’d like to see DeJesus/Castro/Rizzo/Soriano/LaHair at the top of the order on a regular basis, but I have a feeling the lefty lineup is going to keep rearing it’s ugly head.

  • Mysterious4th

    RIZZOOOOOOOOOOmg is finally up here. I am pretty excited for this. Would they maybe bat soriano, rizzo, lahair? Or lahair, rizzo, soriano since dale wants him to have protection id be happier to see it rizzo, lahair, soriano until he proves he can hit in the majors.

    • Featherstone

      I think Svuem will preserve the Left/Right balance the lineup offers. I project the lineup to be Dejesus, Castro, Rizzo/Lahair, Soriano, Lahair/Rizzo, Soto, Valbuena, Barney, Pitcher Would have lefty/righty all the way to the pitcher with that setup, but with the way Barney has been hitting lately I could see him moving up in the order. I really like Dejesus and Castro at 1/2 respectively, I feel like those are the natural spots for them.

  • Edwin

    Is there a reason the Cubs wouldn’t do a Soriano/LaHair platoon in LF? I know Soriano is hitting well, but I don’t think he has much to prove right now. Teams know what he is, his value won’t change much over the next month or so.

    • rhino70

      If they can’t move Soriano and/or LaHair by the trade deadline, then this is exactly what they should do. A straight lefty/righty platoon of those two would make for damned good numbers out of left field.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        Soriano hits well enough off right handers I’d rather leave him and LaHair in the lineup together.  Those two plus Rizzo actually give the Cubs a nice bit  of power in the middle of the order.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Indeed, Sori actually is doing better against RHP than LHP this year.

  • BFiddy

    Is he Batman…or The Rizzler?

    Only time will tell…

  • Dustin S

    Sigh, frustrating that Rizzo’s first game is one of the few on WCIU…which those who live outside of Chicago like myself can’t get. I’ll try to catch it somehow though.

    On another note, Byrd lost some respect from me playing the Braun excuse card with his response. Braun was guilty and just got off on a technicality. Not knowing something or forgetting something you’re taking is on the banned PED list is inexcusable. Sounds like in both cases they were taking prescription test for ED…no way in the world he (and Braun) didn’t know those were banned. It’s treating the public like we’re all idiots to think anyone will buy that.

    • Babe Ruth

      Can watch the game on firstrowsports.eu I believe that’s the site just google it.

    • farmerjon

      I thought his response was to fast and prepared…like conte was in the background saying, “and if you get caught, you can just say this”.

    • MichiganGoat

      I don’t see him getting this overturned. The Braun case wasn’t about what he did or did not take, it was about a chain of custody mistake which led to the possibility that someone could have added something to the sample. I’m sure now there is even more security about the samples, and I highly doubt he can use the “I didn’t know” excuse to get away with anything. There was never any dispute over if Braun’s test was dirty, it was about the possibility (very faint and small it might be) that his sample was compromised. Byrd ain’t going to get away with this.

      • JulioZuleta

        There’s no way it could get overturned. Even if he is telling the truth (obviously he’s not), he could have gotten a medical exemption for the medication.

    • TWC

      Wait, so Marlon Byrd has herpes, too?

  • Steve

    I live in Atlanta and purchased the MLB Extra Innings on Direct TV.

    The only time I don’t get WCIU is when there is a regional game (Braves) on ESPN or FOX Sunday, Mon or Wed night baseball.
    Today is Tuesday….I had BETTER get this game tonight.

    • Spriggs

      Really? I am in AZ and have Extra Innings too. Whenever there is a WCIU broadcast, I can only get the opposing team’s broadcast. So, if the Mets aren’t broadcasting tonight, I won’t be able to pick up the game on DirecTv. They just don’t pick up the WCIU feed.

      • Steve

        Yeah, I do believe it is the opposing teams broadcast…but hey, Ill take Ron Darling over Harrelson any day.

  • Ralph

    Seriously though? The game is on WCIU tonight???

    • ETS

      I guess I am going with Pat and Keith.

  • kirby

    It is interesting that the big league manager is noticing Jackson’s unique numbers. Were these part of the question to him, or did he just have these off the top of his head? If the latter, it suggests they are watching Jackson pretty closely, no?

    • djriz

      I think they have been watching Jackson closely. I think everything they have done since the off season was predicated on the fact that jackson would be brought up around this point. So the uptick in his swing and miss screwed the FO up.

      • art

        the big club gets weekly reports on their farm teams/players.

  • Johnny Mac

    I refuse to get my hopes up. However, I pray that one day I look upon this quote and say “that’s classic rizzo material”.

  • willis

    Would love to see Rizzo in the 5 spot, but seeing that LaHair hasn’t taken well to the 3 maybe you give Rizzo a shot at the 3 hole in front of Soriano. We’ll see, but my guess is the 3 spot.

  • http://bleachernation loyal100more

    mr rizzo, heroes chicago needs…villain, well you will have to get in line behind carlos zambrano, and marlon byrd, jim hendry, mike quade, and when you find the line be sure to show jeff baker, ian stewart, chris volstad,casey coleman, and joe mather where it starts…. i think they are starting to feel like villains

  • theNOOGE

    No brainer Dale, Soriano hits behind Rizzo nuff said

  • Leroy K.

    Unless you’re Adam Dunn.”

    HA! Bazinga.

  • Cub Gone Wild

    Brett. Don’t know if it’s just me but there is an add that is multiplying many times over the content/article like its taking over the page. Just an FYI… It’s some product called Jalyn

  • art

    Soriano is and has always thought of himself first. he should go back to his working (lol) hard routine and let Dale make out the line-up.

    • Vladimir

      Can you give me some examples of thinking of himself first? I would appreciate it, thanks.

  • http://bleachernation.com #1lahairfan

    Rizzo better not bust!

  • gratefulled

    Another 3 k’s for Jackson today.

  • Kbreezy

    So pumped for Rizzo to make his debut today. I’m going to a Cubs game in a couple of weeks which makes me ponder the question…… Do you think there’ll be Rizzo merch (Player Shirt/Jersey) available in two weeks when I go?

  • Arnie

    Lineup just posted and Rizzo’s batting third. I’m trying to keep my expectations low. Good luck kid.

    • gratefulled


  • iowacub14

    that’ll do pig that’ll do love the quote brett