We have way too much going on at Wrigley Field this afternoon and evening as the Cubs celebrate Jackie Robinson Day by opening a three-game series with the Texas Rangers. The Cubs have made a spate of roster moves. Darwin Barney comes off the disabled list to start at second base. The Cubs have revamped their bullpen somewhat by adding Kameron Loe to the roster and selecting the contract of their former closer, Kevin Gregg.
From Crain's Chicago Business:
Perri Irmer, the former head of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, has filed a lawsuit against White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and Jim Thompson, who was chairman of the organization, claiming she was fired for doing her job.
The lawsuit follows more than a year of upheaval at ISFA, the organization that manages U.S. Cellular Field.
According to her lawsuit, Ms. Irmer was fired April 25, 2011, the same day she was to meet with Mayor Rahm Emanuel to talk about how the ballpark was being run.
"Thompson gave Ms. Irmer the choice of resigning or waiting to be fired, and he added that if she refused to resign, and they 'had to' fire her, that her reputation would be ruined," her lawsuit states.
From Kerry in Washington:
Without any votes scheduled today in the U.S. Senate, we spent some time hanging out in the Capitol tunnels, watching senators from both sides of the aisle arrive at their weekly (lengthy) Tuesday policy lunches.
Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords - a guest of Congressman Joe Manchin's at lunch today - also passed through the tunnels with her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly. Giffords - who was nearly fatally shot in the head in her district in January 2011 - is on the hill to try to rally support for gun control.
By beating Orlando on Monday, the Bulls ensured their first-round playoff opponent will remain a mystery until Wednesday night.
The Bulls are a half-game behind Atlanta for fifth place in the Eastern Conference, but won the season series 2-1 and therefore own the tiebreaker against the Hawks.
Atlanta hosts Toronto on Tuesday night. As the Bulls discovered twice last week, the Raptors seem intent on finishing the season strong, so a Hawks win may not be a foregone conclusion.
An Atlanta loss to Toronto would put the Bulls in the driver's seat. They could claim the No. 5 spot by beating Washington, regardless of what the Hawks do in their final game at New York on Wednesday.
Good morning from Washington, DC, where Kerry is for a few days this week to do some on-the-ground reporting about local members.
As we wait on the Senate's "Gang of Eight" bipartisan immigration reform proposal to be released (it was delayed, this morning, because of the Boston marathon bombings), we wanted to pass on a CQ Roll Call piece by David Drucker .
Roskam says here that instead of comprehensive immigration reform legislation, overhaul in several incremental pieces is more likely.
The transcript here:
"CQ Roll Call: On an immigration overhaul, what’s more likely, comprehensive legislation or running an overhaul through in pieces?
In the early stages, how much money a candidate has raised can give a glimpse into a campaign's strength. But there's still a long, long way to go in the campaign for Illinois governor.
Here's how much some of the others had on hand as of March 31:
Republican state Sen. Bill Brady: $244,826.
Republican Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford: $739,715.
Republican businessman Bruce Rauner: $1,222,864.
Republican State Sen. Kirk Dillard: $34,322.
Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn: $1,510,667.
Democratic Attorney General Lisa Madigan: $4,359,413.
And federal officials use different schedules, but Republican U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock of Peoria had more than $2 million in the bank at the beginning of the year.
Kerry caught up with Dillard to talk about his early total.
Republican gubernatorial bidder Kirk Dillard's first quarter fundraising numbers aren't in yet (they're due by day's end), but we've learned he's brought on two top Republican fundraisers to help him build his warchest. Dillard has hired former Illinois Lottery Director Lori Montana and Barret Kedzior, finance director for Mark Kirk's Senate campaign and Congressman Rodney Davis, of Taylorville. The moves suggest that Dillard may be the GOP base's choice.
Stay tuned as the numbers continue to roll in.
One sidebar to Sunday’s loss in Miami is this question: When LeBron talks, does the league listen?
After James squawked about hard fouls by the Bulls in the March 27 game at the United Center, one common foul by Taj Gibson was changed to a flagrant by the league office. Then in Sunday’s rematch, the Heat attempted 42 free throws -- a season-high for both Miami and a Bulls’ opponent.
After the game, Nate Robinson was asked if he thought James’ complaints made a difference.
“I have no idea,” Robinson said, according to espn.com. “If he has that much power, more power to him.
Another busy Sunday at the ballpark. Steve Clevenger got the bad news that he’ll miss a minimum of six weeks with a strained left oblique muscle, suffered when he struck out swinging to end Saturday’s 3-2 loss to the Giants. The Cubs placed Clevenger on the 60-day disabled list along with claiming right-handed reliever Kameron Loe off waivers from Seattle. They also signed former Cubs closer Kevin Gregg to a minor-league deal.
“It’s definitely frustrating,” Clevenger said. “At the same time, I’m determined not to let it get to me. I’ll be getting my work in and try to get back as soon as possible.”
Clevenger said he knew it was bad from the get-go.
It’s been on-and-off snow flurries here at Wrigley Field this morning. There’s also been a flurry of activity around the Cubs, most of it injury and injury-rehab related. So let’s get right to it, and we’ll update the minor leagues, too.
--Closer Kyuji Fujikawa went on the 15-day disabled list today with what the Cubs say is a right-forearm muscle strain. The Cubs have recalled reliever Rafael Dolis from Class AAA Iowa. Manager Dale Sveum said he’ll close games based on matchups but Carlos Marmol is not in that mix. Look for righty Shawn Camp and lefty James Russell to get that action.