Archive for the ‘ Dailies ’ Category

3/10 Cubs vs. Sox, Round 1

Mike Quade has a good friend coming to Friday’s Cubs game against the White Sox, and it’s going to be a test. His friend is a White Sox fan.

“He says, ‘Geez, couldn’t you work for somebody else?’ I’m like, wait a minute, you’re a good friend of mine — c’mon,” said Quade, the Cubs manager.

Quade grew up in Chicago, watching Bozo’s Circus like most kids, and also watching the Cubs on WGN TV when he came home from school. He knows there is no gray area when it comes to loyalties in the city. On Friday, the Cubs travel to Glendale to face the White Sox, and will try to get every edge, using a designated hitter instead of having pitcher Ryan Dempster bat.

“There’s spirited competition amongst the organizations but also with their skipper [Ozzie Guillen] and third base coach [Jeff Cox], who is a friend of mine, so it’s a little different,” Quade said. “All you’re trying to accomplish here, even with the White Sox, other than me DH’ing tomorrow, is still within the confines of getting our work done. That’s the difference between how many games you win and lose here. I’m not matching up late in the game. Guys are going to play, and we’ll do it the same way.”

— Carrie Muskat

3/10 Memories: Lou & Ron, Aug. 22, 2010


3/10 Salute to Santo

Cubs players will wear No. 10 caps on Thursday in honor of Ron Santo Day at HoHoKam Park. There’s a No. 10 painted on the field behind home plate and a plaque will be unveiled under the broadcast booth. Fans will get a No. 10 sticker and a baseball card with a black and white photo of Santo at Rendezvous Park in Mesa in Spring Training 1965.

“I didn’t know him near as well as Billy [Williams] and Lou [Piniella] and all the veterans and people around Chicago for years and years,” manager Mike Quade said. “When you interview with somebody, it becomes more of an intimate thing and for those six weeks, I did get to know him.”

Santo never hid his love for the Cubs.

“It was sincere,” Quade said of Santo’s passion. “It wasn’t manufactured for the booth or anything else. I never needed to hear the score when I was in Iowa. All those years, I would turn on the radio after my game and listen to three words out of Ronnie’s mouth — or three groans. [If it was groans], I wasn’t sure how bad we were losing but I knew it wasn’t good. If he and Pat [Hughes] were having fun, then I knew we were in good shape.”

— Carrie Muskat

3/10 Ron Santo Day at HoHoKam Park


3/9 Cubs extra bases

Matt Garza’s game plan in Spring Training was to throw only fastballs in his first three outings so he can work on location. On Wednesday, the Cubs pitcher had to change his approach.

Garza walked the first two batters he faced, then gave up a RBI single to the Royals’ Billy Butler. Because he was having a tough time throwing fastballs for strikes, he switched to his breaking pitches. First baseman Carlos Pena, who was Garza’s teammate on the Rays, came over to the mound twice in the first to talk to the pitcher.

“[Pena] was just trying to slow it down,” Garza said. “He knew that I was fighting some things and he came over and said, ‘Slow it down, slow it down.’ That’s when I had to step back and take a deep breath and analyze what I can do and can’t do. It was a tough situation but a good learning process today. I was able to adjust on the fly. Next time, it’ll be sooner than later.”

And that’s what Spring Training is for.

* John Grabow has not pitched in a Cactus League game since the first one on Feb. 27 because of some tightness in his left shoulder. He has been able to do side work with pitching coach Mark Riggins, and will likely get back into a Cactus League game next week. Grabow is coming back from knee surgery last year that limited him to 28 games. “It’s nothing serious,” Mike Quade said. “We’re just being careful. You worry about his knee and every so often people coming back from that try to compensate and change their mechanics.”

* The Cubs are not set at second base. Blake DeWitt, Jeff Baker, Darwin Barney and Augie Ojeda will get playing time there. Quade said, players usually make those decisions for you.
* Todd Wellemeyer is nursing a sore right hip, but downplayed the problem, saying he’s dealt with it for a couple years. “I’m old,” Wellemeyer quipped.

— Carrie Muskat

3/9 Looking ahead to Cubs-Sox tilt

The Cubs and White Sox face off for the first time on Friday in Glendale. Lefty Mark Buehrle is slated to start for the White Sox vs. Ryan Dempster. Here’s the early lineup if you’re planning ahead:

2B Baker
SS Castro
CF Byrd
C Soto
RF Colvin
LF Soriano
1B Pena
DH Luis Montanez
3B Marquez Smith

— Carrie Muskat

3/9 Cubs lineup vs Royals

Here’s Wednesday’s Cubs lineup vs the Royals:

2B Baker
SS Castro
CF Byrd
3B Ramirez
C Soto
LF Soriano
1B Pena
RF Fukudome
P Garza

KC is starting a left-hander, which is why Pena and Fukudome are lower in the order.

— Carrie Muskat

3/9 Big Z home run derby March 21

Want to watch Carlos Zambrano take a few swings? Big Z will host a Home Run Derby on March 21 at Big League Dreams, 4586 E. Elliot Road, Gilbert, Ariz. It’s a charitable event for the Big Z Foundation supporting the Boys & Girls Club of Gilbert as well as Hope of Life.
You can watch Zambrano and other MLB players and the world’s greatest softball hitters, the Long Haul Bombers, in an old fashioned home run derby. There will be a silent auction, raffle. VIP seating, and more. Go to the for more info. Among the participants are Ozzie Guillen, Geovany Soto, Omar Vizquel and Bobby Abreu.

— Carrie Muskat

3/8 Vegas, baby

James Russell will make his first spring start Saturday in Las Vegas when the Cubs split squad faces the Reds. Carlos Zambrano will start on Sunday in Vegas against the Dodgers. Russell went three innings in his last outing Monday against the Angels.

“I felt really good,” Russell said of his outing Monday. “I’m closer. There were just a couple mistakes that came back to bite me in the butt but overall, I felt really good.”

What helps is being stretched out. He was used strictly in relief last season. Doesn’t he get antsy between outings?

“A little bit,” Russell said, smiling. “I feel left out, not throwing every other day.”

— Carrie Muskat

3/7 Cubs extra bases

Manager Mike Quade on Carlos Silva after his rough outing Monday:

“I tend to give a guy who has this kind of career and the longevity he’s had some space to do that,” Quade said. “It’s not his first rodeo. He was fine today, he went about his business great. He worked through a little trouble in the first couple innings and just couldn’t make a pitch or two to get out of the third inning. I make nothing out of this other than it’s a rough day. He’ll be fine.”

Silva gave up eight runs on 10 hits over 2 1/3 innings but did not get the loss as the Cubs rallied from a 9-0 deficit to beat the Angels, 14-13, on Bryan LaHair’s walkoff RBI single.

* Marlon Byrd was thrown out at home trying to score on Aramis Ramirez’s double in the fourth. The ball went deep into the left field corner, an area known as Satan’s corner, Quade said.

“It’s Spring Training for everyone,” Quade said. “I think [third base coach Ivan DeJesus] pulled the trigger a little soon.”

* Tyler Colvin is expected to make his next start at first base Thursday. He was charged with his third error this spring in right on Monday.

* Closer Carlos Marmol is trying to work on his fastball command. “If he gets really good fastball command-wise with this [his slider], it’s game, set, match,” Quade said. “Any improvement ‘Marm’ can make on his fastball command is going to help him and why don’t we say this about everybody? We all talk about breaking stuff, but it boils down to fastball command. I don’t care if it’s a bunch of these kids trying to make the club or if it’s [Ryan Dempster]. The better your fastball command, the better your game is.”

* Here’s some trivia: Greg Maddux faced 20,421 batters in his career. Just 310 of them saw a 3-0 count. That’s roughly one every three starts. Thanks to MLB Trade Rumors for the research.

— Carrie Muskat