Lou has juggled the rotation slightly for the Mets series this week. Sean Marshall will pitich tomorrow night instead of Rich Harden, who goes Thursday instead. Carlos Zambrano will pitch Wednesday as scheduled. Lou says Harden is fine and that he foresees no limits on him Thursday.
The interesting question is whether Big Z pitches Game 1 of the NLDS next Wednesday. Lou wouldn't say. He said only that he and pitching coach Larry Rothschild will set the rotation this weekend in Milwaukee.
If anyone has paid attention to my college bleatings over the years, then you've noticed I love to use computer rankings to abet (no pun intended) my coverage.
In particular, I like to use Jeff Sagarin's rankings because they're the most mathematically sane. Since the 2008 season is just four weeks old, though, Sagarin's ratings are still "Bayesian." That is, since there hasn't been enough games to connect all of the Division I teams together in a statistically significant way, there's still some subjective "noise" in Sagarin's system.
As third-year Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald grows increasingly comfortable in his job -- and his team wins an increasing percentage of its games -- "Fitz" becomes more willing to go off-message and crack wise during his Monday news conferences.
And so it was today as we discussed injuries, Iowa and all sorts of things. This might not be the best example of Fitzgerald's increased jocularity -- a better one might be when he recalled how Northwestern would occasionally win "150-149" when he was linebackers coach -- but here's a deadpan exchange after Fitzgerald used just one word ("Good") to describe the sprained fingers on QB C.J. Bacher's throwing hand.
Obama is stopping in Chicago tonight for a set of fundraisers, one of which is being thrown by his hoops buddy, Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.
The quick stop to fill up on greenbacks comes after Obama held a rally in swing state Wisconsin to unveil a plan to reform the "greed and excesses" of Washington.
The Giannoulias event is also being hosted by "Greek Americans for Obama" at the Powerhouse Restaurant and Bar in downtown Chicago. It has a $28,500 entrance fee.
The second event at Chicago's Standard Club is reportedly cheaper at $1,500.
Don't be fooled by the high totals Obama is raking in. Illinois junior senator seems to really need the cash.
This just in ...
From a news release from the governor's office ...
Governor Blagojevich Calls Special Session to Help Children with Autism Access Healthcare Coverage
Special Session marks the Governor’s Third Attempt since Spring Session to Provide Healthcare Options for Children with Autism
CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich called a second special session of the General Assembly for today to discuss and act on a bill to expand health insurance coverage for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Thousands of children in Illinois have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and families often have to cover the cost of treatment for children with autism using personal funds because their insurance won't cover it.
Maybe Scott Linebrink can move back into the setup role he so capably filled before injuring his shoulder and get the job done again.
It looks like the White Sox won't find out until next season.
Linebrink has made 5 appearances since coming off the disabled list, and he actually had success in his last outing (Friday) with 1 scoreless inning.
Before that, the veteran right-hander pitched 4 innings and allowed 5 runs.
Ozzie said he's going to throw Linebrink back into the fire and hope for the best, but I don't think it's going to happen this year.
Linebrink has yet to be called on in a tight game, and Sunday, Ozzie called on closer Bobby Jenks with one on and two outs in the eighth inning.
Kansas University finally decided to retire Kirk Hinrich's No. 10 jersey, according to the Lawrence Journal-World. A date for the official ceremony at Allen Fieldhouse has yet to be chosen, but is expected to take place sometime this season.
Not sure why KU waited five years to do this, since Hinrich's college teammate Nick Collison had his jersey hung from the rafters shortly after leaving school in 2003. Hinrich and Collison led the Jayhawks to a pair of Final Fours and the NCAA title game in '03.
Hinrich still returns to Lawrence, Kan., frequently but sometimes gives the impression that he's not as tight with his alma mater as he would be if coach Roy Williams were still there.
So it was nice to see Bill Self offer some kind words about Hinrich in the Journal-World.
Pro Bowl return specialist Devin Hester is inactive today because of the torn rib cartilage that he suffered last week against the Panthers.
Danieal Manning is expected to return kickoffs in Hester's absence, and cornerback Nate Vasher will handle punt returns.
Defensive tackle Anthony Adams, who started all four preseason games and nine games last season, was also inactive Sunday for the third straight week.
The Bears' other inactives were rookie safety Craig Steltz (ankle), guard Dan Buenning, rookie offensive tackle Chris Williams (back), defensive tackle Matt Toeaina and rookie wide receiver Earl Bennett. Rookie Caleb Hanie was the third quarterback.
Rookie running back Matt Forte not only leads the Bears and is fourth in the NFL with 215 rushing yards on 46 carries (4.7-yard average), but he is second on the Bears with 6 receptions, just 1 behind Brandon Lloyd.
In addition to his 2,127 rushing yards at Tulane last year, Forte caught 32 passes.
Forte considers himself equally adept at both phases of the game, but admits he has to put a little more effort into being a pass catcher.
“I'd say they're both equal because I work on catching the ball a lot,” he said, “but it kind of comes naturally to me, same way as running does.”