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Cubs should be able to weather Soriano-less storm

Posted by Bruce on Thu, 06/12/2008 - 12:16
Now comes the test. The Cubs will be without leadoff man and left fielder Alfonso Soriano for six weeks, give or take, as he recovers from the broken bone in his left hand, suffered in last night's game. Based on recent history, the Cubs should be OK. When Soriano was on the DL in late April because of a right-calf strain, the Cubs went 9-5, outscoring their opponents by an astonishing 103-55. Included were back-to-back 13-run games on April 19 and 20, 7-1 and 8-1 victories over the Mets and a 19-5 victory over the Brewers on April 30.

Memogate? Spokespeople sound off

Posted by JP on Wed, 06/11/2008 - 22:13

I’d already filed my story when the governor’s office got back to me with a fresh comment. It should make the paper but here’s what Blagojevich spokeswoman Abby Ottenhoff – who once worked for Madigan – had to say about the impeachment memo.

“The divisive and under-handed tactics exposed in Memogate only weaken public trust. Speaker Madigan owes it to families who are struggling through this economic slowdown to do everything possible to create jobs and stimulate the economy. He should join the governor and other three leaders in supporting a $34 billion statewide infrastructure and jobs plan.

Madigan spokesman Steve Brown also got back to me Wednesday night. Here’s a selection of his comments.

Soriano hit by pitch, taken for X-rays

Posted by Bruce on Wed, 06/11/2008 - 20:05
Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano was hit on the left hand by a pitch from Atlanta's Jeff Bennett in the second inning of tonight's game at Wrigley Field. Soriano left the game immediately and was en route to a hospital for X-rays. The pitch hit him on the left hand and then bounced up and hit him on the side of the head.

Sox after latest Cuban star?

Posted by scotgreg on Wed, 06/11/2008 - 19:09
Had a chance to have dinner with Jose Contreras and Alexei Ramirez during spring training, along with agent Jaime Torres, who represents both players. Contreras and Ramirez are both native Cubans, and they defected so they could play major-league baseball. Over dinner, Torres talked about how comfortable Contreras was playing for the White Sox, and how much of an impact that had on Ramirez choosing to sign with the Sox. With any luck, the White Sox might be able to land a third Cuban defector _ Dayán Viciedo, a 19-year-old third baseman. Even at such a young age, Viciedo has long been considered one of Cuba’s all-time greats. Torres, who is representing the 6-foot-2, 200-pounder, compares Viciedo to Boston’s Manny Ramirez.

A vote here for Don Levin

Posted by Bruce on Wed, 06/11/2008 - 19:07
Driving to Wrigley Field today, I passed the Allstate Arena and noted the Calder Cup championship won Tuesday night by hockey's Chicago Wolves. The Wolves are an amazing success story in Chicago sports. Born in 1994, they won two championships in the old International Hockey League and two in the American Hockey League. Much of the credit goes to the guys running the hockey operations: GM Kevin Cheveldayoff and coach John Anderson, both of whom belong in the NHL. But much of it also goes to the guy writing the checks: owner Don Levin.

Wednesday Animal Farming ...

Posted by JP on Wed, 06/11/2008 - 15:23

Overheard
A tourist family was coming into the Capitol this afternoon as I walked by and I caught this exchange as the family cleared the metal detectors.

Tourist: Are lawmakers in session today?
Guard: No. They finished their spring session recently.
Tourist: So they got everything wrapped up?
Guard: Ummm … for now.

Check’s in the mail?
House Speaker Michael Madigan’s allies have started raising fears of a government shutdown if the governor doesn’t do something with the budget before the start of the next fiscal year on July 1. That’d be the more than $2 billion out-of-whack budget lawmakers recently approved.

Cabrera swims ashore

Posted by scotgreg on Tue, 06/10/2008 - 22:08
A couple weeks ago, I wrote here that shortstop Orlando Cabrera was as good as gone at the end of the season, if not sooner. It was pretty harsh treatment, but Cabrera clearly looked like a one-man island in the middle of the White Sox' clubhouse after selfishly calling the official scorer two different times to get error calls overturned. Today, I'm not going to say Cabrera is going to be back with the Sox in 2009. He is still headed toward free agency and Alexei Ramirez is looking more and more like the White Sox' shortstop of the future, even though he's currently playing second base.

Maybe nobody should go on vacation this summer

Posted by Sean Stangland on Tue, 06/10/2008 - 19:38

A few days ago, I solicited your help in determining what I should do with the nine days off I have coming up, and, after estimating what all the options would cost me, I've pretty much decided that the dreaded "staycation" has to happen. Whether or not I put forth the effort to get a second job remains uncertain, but you can probably guess which way I'm leaning.

Airfares are simply ridiculous right now, and that's the chief reason this panicky piece was written about Walt Disney World perhaps having to close certain parks on certain days.

Lou's rotation math

Posted by Bruce on Tue, 06/10/2008 - 18:27
Cubs manager Lou Piniella made it official today and said that Carlos Zambrano will start Thursday's series finale against the Braves, pushing Sean Gallagher back to Friday in Toronto. Monday's off-day enabled Lou to move Big Z up a day. "We've done the pitching schedule, basically, about through the all-star break," Lou said this afternoon. "I think Carlos will get 7 starts, Lilly gets 7 starts and the other three starters get 6 apiece."

Obama event washed out

Posted by JP on Tue, 06/10/2008 - 15:32
Flooding in Iowa has led to Barack Obama's campaign canceling a town hall meeting Wednesday in Cedar Rapids.