President Barack Obama was to speak Wednesday at a Mesa high school about five miles from the Cubs training camp at Fitch Park but was not expected to stop by. Both Derrek Lee and Lou Piniella signed a baseball to be given to Obama from the Mesa mayor. The president will need a showcase in the White House. He received an autographed pair of shoes from Phoenix Suns center Shaquille O’Neal on Tuesday.
- Rich Harden threw off the mound on Tuesday, the second time for him since camp started. He’s progressing well.
- Mike Stanton arrived much earlier Wednesday. On Tuesday, he couldn’t find a place to park in the Cubs’ lot, so he ended up across the street in one of the spaces used by the media and fans.
- Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot are very good friends, but maybe not as much after Christmas. Fontenot gave Theriot’s kids a trampoline. They had to build it in the garage because it was raining at the time and the parents were a little concerned about the kids falling off onto the cement floor. Theriot said when Fontenot has kids, he’ll give them a set of steak knives.
- One of the new faces in camp is Keith Stohr, the new advance scout for the Cubs. His job this spring is to find out what Lou Piniella, pitching coach Larry Rothschild and hitting coach Gerald Perry need to know about other teams.
— Carrie Muskat