Rain washed out the early work on the field today, but the goat shirts were still in vogue as some of the Cubs hitters took early hitting in the cage. The New York Yankees are coming to town Friday. Can you imagine the juxtaposition of the goat shirts and the Yankees in the same ballpark? Of course, the Yankees have a few championships and no curse to deal with. The Cubs don’t have a curse, either. They just think they do. OK, enough with the goat. I just think it’s unbecoming of a major-league franchise to be doing that kind of thing.
UPDATES: Apparently, so does Tom Ricketts. During a session with reporters, Ricketts said he had not seen the T-shirts but that Cubs players would not wear them outside because of the "Bleep the Goat" message. Now on to the good stuff:
--Ricketts expressed full confidence in GM Jim Hendry and field manager Mike Quade. He answered it several different ways.
This hint came before I asked him specifically about Hendry: “We do have a lot of money coming off the books. Whether or not that goes back into a large free-agent contract will be Jim’s decision.”
So I asked him point-blank about Hendry.
"The fact is, I have 100 percent confidence in Jim," he said. "We're just going forward right now. We'll see what the off-season looks like. We're comfortable with Jim. I'm confident in his ability to keep us moving forward."
--Ricketts said he has "never bought into, 'I should have a baseball guy to watch my baseball guy and his baseball guys.' Then what do you get, a baseball guy to watch the baseball guy who's watching your baseball guys?"
--He said the so-called debt crisis is a nonstory and would have no impact on Cubs' spending plans in the future.
--On the draft and signing amateur talent: “One of the things that everyone should know, we talk about building an organization. We talk about, ‘We have to bring in the right players, both international and U.S. amateurs, and we have to bring them up through the facilities with the right coaching. We’ve committed to dedicating more dollars to those signings, both in the U.S. and internationally this year.”
More to come on this.
Darwin Barney is going on the DL with a severe sprain of the left knee. “It hurts,” he said. Alfonso Soriano is back off the DL but not in this lineup:
With Tyler Colvin and Casey Coleman heading to Iowa, the Cubs have released pitcher Thomas Diamond, who saw some big-league time here.
Back with more in a bit.
Let's start at Class A Peoria, where local boy Elliot Soto, from Dundee-Crown High School, was added to the Western Division team for the Midwest League All-Star Game. The Chiefs have matched a club record with seven players on the all-star team.
In yesterday's game, the Chiefs fell 12-5 to Wisconsin. Matt Szczur extended a hitting streak to four games, going 2-for-5. Richard Jones also has a four-gamer, as he went 2-for-5. Anthony Giansanti has a six-gamer. Pitcher Graham Hicks worked 3 innings, giving up 4 hits and 4 runs.
At Class AAA Iowa, Alfonso Soriano went 0-for-6 with 2 strikeouts in another rehab game. He's at .077 in Triple-A. The I-Cubs beat Omaha 11-5. Alberto Cabrera got the win, working 6 innings and giving up 10 hits and 5 earned runs while walking one and striking out six. He's 1-2 with a 10.13 ERA. Ty Wright has a nine-game hitting streak after going 3-for-5. Scott Moore was 2-for-5 with a homer and 3 RBI. Marquez Smith was 2-for-5 with a walk.
Class AA Tennessee was off. Daytona (A) beat Brevard County 3-1. Zach Rosscup, whom the Cubs obtained from Tampa Bay in the Matt Garza trade, got the win with 5 innings of 3-hit shutout ball. He walked only one and struck out nine. Rosscup is 4-1 with a 2.51 ERA. Evan Crawford (.336) extended a hit streak to four games, going 2-for-5. Infielder Matt Cerda and catcher Michael Brenly were named as replacements for the Florida State League's North all-star team.