5/9 Cubs in the pink

Some of the Cubs players had pink bats to use Sunday, part of Major League Baseball’s tribute on Mother’s Day. Mike Fontenot, Geovany Soto, Marlon Byrd, Jeff Baker, Ryan Theriot, Xavier Nady and Starlin Castro all had pink bats. So did James Russell.

Wait — Russell is a reliever and does not have a ML at-bat. He may never get one. But he had a pink bat and was going to let starter Ryan Dempster use it. Russell got two of the pink bats and signed one, adding some sentiments, to give to his mother, Melanie, who was in town for the series.

How many games has she seen Russell pitch or play in?

“More than I can even count,” he said.

Xavier Nady’s mom, Cindy, made the ultimate baseball mom road trip. She attended the Kentucky Derby last weekend and took a tour of the Louisville Slugger factory. They were making the pink bats at that time. Nady didn’t know if she saw his bat being manufactured.

Castro had one because the Double-A Tennessee team planned on using pink bats Sunday. The pink bats and wristbands are part of MLB’s initiative to raise awareness for breast cancer. The Smokies shipped Castro’s special bat to Cincinnati. The shortstop’s bat was special. It was engraved with his mother’s name, Ana Francisca Tatis.

— Carrie Muskat

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