3/15 Long bus ride to Tucson
It’s a long drive to Tucson, and on Monday, it took the Cubs an extra hour when their bus broke down on I-10. Apparently a clamp came off the radiator line on the bus when it was about a half hour, 45 minutes out of Mesa.
Kevin Millar did a few impressions for his teammates and the bus driver was able to play a movie. They watched Clint Eastwood in “Gran Torino.” Carlos Zambrano was on the bus but a friend was following in a car behind it, and pulled over to take the pitcher to Tucson. Athletic trainer Mark O’Neal was driving with his family, saw the bus and pulled over to pick up catcher Koyie Hill so he wouldn’t be late.
That left the Cubs with a pitcher, a catcher and utility player Jeff Baker, who drove himself from home.
“I can be ‘Bugs Bunny’ and play everywhere,” Baker said.
He didn’t have to do it all — Zambrano and Hill were there.
“And I’ve got everything else? Perfect,” Baker said.
The bus had been scheduled to arrive around 10 a.m. but pulled into the lot at Hi Corbett Field around 11:25 a.m.
“We’re fashionably late,” catcher Chris Robinson said.
It did get hot in the bus because the air conditioning was turned off. Millar kept it light.
“He made us laugh,” Robinson said. “But that can only go so far when you’re sitting in the middle of the desert.”
As soon as the mechanic was able to repair the bus, another one pulled up behind the Cubs. And where was Lou Piniella in all this? He was driving with pitching coach Larry Rothschild.
— Carrie Muskat