Thursday, March 31, 2005

Cubs Set Record

No Sosa, no problem--drawing fans that is. Another full house at HoHoKam 12,763 helped set a new all-time major league record for spring training home attendance: 193,993. Of course, the previous record was set by the Cubs fans last spring. The HoHoKams swear, these record breaking numbers have not been pumped up with attendance enhancing drugs- Just the pure dedication of the best fans in baseball!

Ok, so the Cubs lost to the Diamondbacks today 8 - 6. This wasn't the team we will see next week when they play the DBacks for real, more like Willy Wonka and the Koronka's.
Cubs didn't want Maddux to face the DBacks today, so they threw him in a minor league game instead. John Koronka got the start, and managed to go 3 2/3 giving up 8 hits and 4 runs. Cubs regulars played 5 innings. It must be admitted that the Diamondbacks didn't bring up all their starters from Tucson either.

At one point before the game there was a very long line to get Ron Santo's autograph. Trouble was, Ronnie wasn't there! I noticed while they were all waiting in a line to an empty booth that Ryne Sandberg and Billy Williams were right down by first base autographing away. I had to tell them no Ron today.

Once Spring training starts, it seems to go by so quickly every year. I'm always sad to see them go, but happy to start the regular season. With Prior coming along(crossing the fingers),Woody's strong last outing, and good news on Borowski's faster than projected recovery, this should prove to be an exciting season. Cubs are headed up to Las Vegas for a couple final Cactus League games against Seattle. You can catch Mark Prior pitching Saturday at Fitch Park in Mesa at 1pm.

I'll put together my spring season recap blog within the next couple days. Talk to you then,
Nomar makes the play - today

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Wood gets the Win

Kerry Wood back on the mound is a great sight for Cubs fans! In his first start since March 9th, Wood pitched 5 innings giving up 3 runs, Woody showed a little rust, allowing 8 hits and 4 walks, but he did get the win. Wood's 5 innings has to boost the teams confidence as they get ready to start the season. Wood even helped the cause with a lead-off single in the 3d inning, and came around to score. Nomar had 2 hits, including a RBI double in the 1st. Backup catcher Henry Blanco hit a HR in the 6th to help give the Cubs a 5-4 victory over the Rockies.

Wood left the game to a standing ovation, but it wasn't the only standing O of the day, earlier newly elected HOF'er Ryne Sandberg (see pic) threw a ceremonial pitch to Cubs HOF'ers Billy Williams and Fergie Jenkins which received a standing O. Ron Santo was at the game with his family, the line for Ron's autograph must have stretched 400 feet at one point.

Great weather today, sunny and in the 70's, another packed house 12,718, tomorrow we will break last season's major league record for spring training home attendance. Hard to believe only one game left at HoHoKam. I will do a Cubs HoHoKam spring training wrap-up after tomorrows game. Talk to you then , Tim

Ryno throws to Fergie and Billy

Monday, March 28, 2005

Cubs under the lights at HoHoKam

Our first and only night game at HoHoKam ended with the Cubs losing to the Mariners 11-7. Glendon Rusch started the game and allowed hits to the first 3 Mariners up to bat(all 3 scored) but Rusch settled down and retired 9 of the next 10 batters(5 K's) in 3 innings pitched. Jeromy Burnitz hit a 2 run rocket shot HR, Aramis Ramirez was 2 for 3. Nomar had a rare hitless game at HoHoKam 0-3. Chad Fox is still working on pitches he may not use in the regular season, don't think I would use any of those from tonight! Fox came in for the 9th inning with the score tied at 7, then allows 4 runs off 3 hits with 3 charged wild pitches. The Cubs left 10 runners stranded.

Earlier in the afternoon the Cubs held their annual spring Fan Fest, plenty of give aways and raffles but no autographs. The fans enjoyed a Q&A session with Jim Hendry, Dusty and the boys. Information gleaned ranged from, how Dusty's mom chewed him out after Darren(Dusty's son) was nearly trampled in the 2002 World Series, to how Nomar and Mia Hamm met - "a singles column in the newspaper", he was kidding, I think. Many fans asked very good baseball questions like the guy who asked Cory Patterson- "how are you improving your plate discipline?" One of the highlights had to be Ryan Dempster's, Harry Caray impression,(see pic) we plan on adding the best of the Fan Fest interviews (including Dempster's, Harry Caray) to the bonus section of "The Boys of Spring" DVD.

Only 2 more games left at HoHoKam, next game Wednesday against the Rockies.
Talk to you then. Tim

Dempster doing Harry Caray at Fan Fest

Sunday, March 27, 2005

The Perfect Spring Day - Almost.

It's been a funny spring weather-wise, cooler than most years I remember. Today we got back to our usual ideal conditions. Sunshine and 70 degrees at 1st pitch, mid-to-high 70's as the game progressed. Unfortunately the Cubs play didn't match mother nature's Easter gem.

Word is, Ryan Dempster will start the 3rd game in the opening season series against the D-Backs. If that's the case, his outing today doesn't give me alot of confidence. He gave up five runs on six hits and three walks over 3 2/3 innings. Unlike Dempster, LaTroy Hawkins has been lights out this spring, but his 9th inning today makes me a little nervous as far as him being the closer, giving up 1 run on 2 hits before retiring the side. David Kelton did what he could today to help his cause, hitting a monster HR to left field. We all know the scores don't matter much in spring training, but the Cubs lost to the Padres today 9 - 5 in front of 12,709 fans.

In case you didn't see the game on Comcast today, Cubs Pitcher Eddie Oropesa was in the on deck circle, then went into the dugout for a while, came back without a batting helmet, stood around looking a little confused, and after a lengthy delay someone threw him a batter's helmet, and he was able to make his way to the plate. The fun didn't end with that, on the first pitch Eddie took one of the wildest flailing swings that I've ever seen, missing the ball by a mile, and then the next pitch, drills a base hit to left center. Pitchers with bats are always an adventure.

Sad news with the passing of Minnesota Twin's Public Address Announcer Bob Casey today.
He was a public address legend, having announced for the Twins since their inception in 1961, and was planning on making this his farewell season. He will be missed!

Some of the Chicago Cubs Booster Club of Central Illinois were at today's game, and sang the 7th inning stretch. Former Cub Keith Moreland (see pic below) was guest 1st base coach for the Cubs in the latter part of today's game.

Tomorrow we have our only night game of the spring at HoHoKam. Cubs host the Seattle Mariners. Talk to you after tomorrow's game. Tim

Keith Moreland, 1st base coach today!

Friday, March 25, 2005

Zambrano Shows Power with the Bat.

A true spring training day at the ballpark with some of the player's kids having fun on the field before the game. Dusty's little guy was helping out with some of the bat boy duties. Newest Cubs Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg (see pic below) looked like he was having fun showing off his fielding skills while taking a little infield before the game.

I had a pre-game visit from Matt Sheppo, aka Shepps, from Shepps and girlfriend Amber came out from LA to take in a couple Cubbies games. You can listen to an interview I did about Cubs spring training, and the Boys of Spring documentary by going to Cubs new broadcaster Bob Brenly spent the day at the ballpark preparing for their next TV broadcast this coming Sunday.

As far as the game, the Angels beat the Cubs 6 - 4. Angels are a team with loads of talent.
Carlos Zambrano pitched pretty well (5 innings 3 ER), and showed his power with the bat, belting a solo HR in the 3rd. Derrek Lee also went yard with a long HR to right center. The fun tradition of throwing the opponent's HR ball back out onto the field lives at HoHoKam, as Darin Erstad's HR was chucked back.

Kerry Wood looked good throwing a simulated game at the back practice field. Looks like he's coming around, but with both him at Prior, it's day by day.

Another sell-out crowd, 12,740. Looks like we're on track to break last year's all time record. Gotta give it to the Cubs fans, nobody's more dedicated. Another partly sunny and cool day by Arizona spring training standards, mid to high 60's, but decidedly better than watching a game outdoors in Chicago today.

Cubs are in Tucson tomorrow playing the Rockies (game is on WGN Radio). Sunday back at HoHoKam for our first look at the San Diego Padres at home. (WGN Radio & ComCast Sports Net Chicago TV) Talk to you then,

Ryno at the ready, this morning!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

No Kerry, but Cubs Swing Plenty of Wood

I arrived at HoHoKam Park this morning only to find out today's starting pitcher, Kerry Wood, had been scratched. Apparently, he had a battle with the mattress, and the mattress won. Wood woke up this morning with tightness in his lower back, and since he hadn't pitched since March 9th, Dusty decided to err on the side of caution. Woody's going to need to some live game pitching before the end of spring training if he's going to start the regular season home opener.
On the plus side, Mark Prior had a good bullpen session today and looks like he's really coming around.

Throwing out a ceremonial first pitch today was ex Cubs pitcher Les Lancaster, (see pic below) who is now the manager of the Mesa Miners team of the new independent Golden Baseball League. One of the investors in the League is Chicago baseball fan, Pat Sajak. The Miners will play their home games at HoHoKam Park starting May 26th.

Starting in place of Wood was Glendon Rusch, trying to lower his spring training 13.09 ERA. He sure as heck did that, by throwing 5 innings of shut out ball, allowing only 4 hits with 4 K's. The Cubs 11 hits and 5 runs were more than enough to take care of the Oakland A's 5 - 2. Michael Barrett, a long HR. Nomar, Corey Patterson, and Jason Dubois each had 2 hits!

Because of Joe Borowski's injury, the Cubs are going to need LaTroy Hawkins as a closer, at least early on. LaTroy came in for the 9th, gave up a hit, but he ended the game and earned the save by striking out A's pinch hitter Charles Thomas.

Unusual weather for Mesa this time of year, mostly sunny but a cool 55 degrees at first pitch. Compared to the midwest, nobody's complaining, as evidenced by the sell-out crowd of 12,718.

Cubs wives held their annual charity food drive and auction, and raised over $15,000 for Mesa's Paz de Cristo community center. The big prize of the auction was a signed Greg Maddux jersey, which fetched $2,750.

Sold out game tomorrow at HoHoKam, as the Cubs take on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Orange County of Close to Disneyland of Southern California of We're still looking for big money to buy more Names for our Name.
Talk to you after tomorrow's game.

Les throws out today's first pitch

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Wild Finish to Cubs Victory

The Cubs held a 5-2 lead starting the 9th innning, but the Brewers hit Cubs pitcher Chad Fox hard in the 9th inning scoring 2 runs on 5 hits, making the score 5-4 with bags loaded and only one out. Brewers Lyle Overbay then hit into what looked to be a game ending double play, but the throw to 1st base was in the dirt and not held by Cubs 1st baseman Angel Echevarria. The Milwaukee runners from 2nd and 3d base were crossing the plate and would have given the Brewers a 6-5 lead, but base runners interference was called on Jeff Cirillo going into 2nd base, making the double play complete and giving the Cubs a 5-4 win. Brewers Manager Ned Yost and some of his players charged the field in protest, after a brief shouting match, the field cleared without incident. 12,742 sun drenched Cubs fans left HoHoKam Park happy, ok 12,700 Cubs fans, there was at least 42 Brewer fans.

Nomar another ho-hum 3-4 game with a HR! Jeromy Burnitz crushed a 2 run HR and John Koronka pitched well giving up only one run in 4 innings. Jerry Hairston had 2 hits and started in center field, still getting used to playing the outfield he mis-judged a fly ball allowing JJ Hardy to reach 3d base, then missed the cut-off on the throw, allowing Hardy to circle the bases. Ruled a triple with an error on the throw.

Good news, bad news- 1st the bad news, Just when Joe Borowski seemed to be regaining his old form he fractures his right ulna,(bone in wrist) he will be sidelined at least 6 weeks. I've never liked those stinking ulna's. The good news, Kerry Wood will be back starting on the mound Thursday at HoHoKam Park aganst the Oakland A's. Mark Prior seems not to far behind Kerry in his progress.

Today I was the unwitting accomplice to a practical joke played on Cubs pitcher Will Ohman, I announced several times that a white Yukon SUV needed to be moved or it would be towed. That message came from the Cubs, seems some of the boys had lifted the wheels off Ohman's SUV and placed them around HoHoKam. A favorite prank up in Lansing! I was reminded of another practical joke when ex-Cub Brooks Kieschnick pinch hit for the Brewers today. Back in the spring of 1996 when Kieschnick was a Cubs power hitting rookie prospect the guys put a big bubble of gum on top of young Brooks ball cap, he wasn't starting that game and must have walked around half the day with that bubble on his head. The video of Kieschnick and the bubble is in the "Boys of Spring" documentary! I think Mr. Wrigley would have liked that one.

If you would like to hear my interview about the Cubs and the Boys of Spring documentary, check out a new website: Dedicated to our favorite team, you can listen to audio interviews and analysis of the Cubs via podcasts. It's easy, just click and listen, you can also download audio to your mp3 player. You can also listen to an interview with Cubs fan and actor Joe Mantegna. Check it out-

Cubs are in Tucson tomorrow playing the DBacks, back at HoHoKam on Thursday vs the A's, talk to you then.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Zambrano Enjoys Cold Brew

It was more of a hot Zambrano than a cold brew crew, but either way big Carlos was on fire!
Shutting out Milwaukee for 6 innings, with 9 big K's, Zambrano led the Cubs to a 4 - 2 Victory in front of a sold-out 12,759 at HoHoKam Park. Nomar, another HR (3rd this spring) went 2 for 3.

The game was on WGN Radio and TV, and proved exciting for announcers Ron Santo and Pat Hughes. Ronnie had to use his gold-glove fielding skills to snare a foul ball that flew through the window into the announcers booth, ricocheted off the wall before Santo grabbed it, and handed it out the window to a young, happy fan.

The Mesa HoHoKams had a pre-game presentation of a plaque to Bob Kennedy, Cubs GM from (1977-1981) and coach (1963-1965). Kennedy was instrumental in bringing the Cubs back to Mesa for spring training in 1979, after the team had been in Scottsdale for 12 years.
Also joining Bob on the field were his son, former major league catcher Terry Kennedy, and Anne Patterson, daughter of Dwight Patterson the father of spring training baseball in Arizona.
You'll get to know more about Bob Kennedy and Dwight Patterson in the Boys of Spring documentary.

Cubs Pitcher Mike Remlinger was sitting in the stands before the game chatting with fans, signing autographs, and generally having a blast! (See Pic) You only see this type of thing in spring training!

Not quite your usual perfect weather here today, a little cooler and overcast, but it should be noted, 3:21 MST, the sun came out for the latter part of the game. Cubs next two games on the road, I'll talk to you after Tuesday's game when the Cubs again take on the Brewers at HoHoKam Park.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Big 4th Powers Cubs

Another sell-out crowd at HoHoKam enjoyed what looked like batting practice in the 4th inning as Cubs hitters pummeled KC pitching for 7 hits and 6 runs! The 6 runs in the 4th were more than enough to dump the Royals 6-1. With cooler temps and the wind blowing in toward home plate (gusts to 25 mph) it wasn't a day for long ball. Nomar thought he had a HR, had rounded the bases, but was sent back to 2nd base(g.r. double).

Speaking of Nomar, (pic below) he is happy and healthy and this cat can HIT! 2 for 3 today, a very aggressive hitter, if he stays healthy look for a huge year at the plate. This guy doesn't have a .322 lifetime batting average for nothing! Joe Borowski looked good today and seems to be gaining confidence every outing. It would be a big boost for the team if he regains his role as the closer.

A veritable cornucopia of sports stars out today, Pro golfer Meg Mallon, Soccer star and Nomar's sweety Mia Hamm, as well as Phoenix Suns Steven Hunter. The big Sun's center took bp. (Let's just say he found the right sport in Basketball). After bp, LaTroy Hawkins gave him a few pointers on how to throw a slider and knuckle ball.

Ryne Sandberg came out instead of Dusty to meet the umpires and Royal's manager Tony Pena to go over the lineups before the game. Mike Remlinger had (I think it's) his son out before the game playing catch and shagging balls during bp. He had on a little Remie Cubs uni.

Great to see 93 year old Buck O'Neil at the Ballpark. He became well known because of Ken Burns movie "Baseball", Buck was the first African-American coach in the big leagues. That was in 1962 coaching the Cubs back in the days of spring training at Rendezvous Park in Mesa. You'll see more about that in the "Boys of Spring" documentary.

Cubs have a day off tomorrow, then a couple road games, back at HoHoKam on Saturday. Set your vcr's, Saturday's game will be televised on WGN.
Talk to you then,

Nomar at Fitch Park, Feb. 2005

Monday, March 14, 2005

Home Run Derby at HoHoKam

Sox won the home run contest 6-1 and the game 9-5. Ok, no home run contest but it sure seemed like it for a while, just ask Glendon Rusch! He comes into the game to start the 5th inning, gets 2 quick outs, then 3 of the next 4 batters go yard, ouch! He did settle down, giving up only 1 run(HR by Konerko) over the next 3 innings.

A sell-out crowd of 12,697 witnessed this wind-aided power fest. Sunny and 71 degrees at first pitch, then a Wrigley Field like weather change, temps dropped, more clouds and strong gustsy winds toward right field. The temp was probably mid-to-low 60's by games end.

Corey Patterson's bat was sawed-off by a Mark Buehrle pitch, the barrel flew into short right field over Konerko's head. Konerko did a nice duck and cover to avoid the humming hickory!

New Hall of Fame inductee Ryne Sandberg was Cubs guest first base coach late in the game. It's hard for Cubs fans not to worry about the arm issues with Wood and Prior, at this point the medical guys are optimistic, but we'll cross our fingers.

Kansas City Royals come to HoHokam tomorrow, talk to you after the game.

Ryno at Old HoHoKam Park 1996

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Mr Cub comes to HoHoKam

Weather-Perfect! At least that's what the folks visiting from the midwest were saying. Low 80's, sunshine.

Ernie Banks (see pic) made his first appearance at HoHoKam Park this spring. He was smoozing with all the guests of WGN, and was interviewed by the Baseball Hall of Fame people for the upcoming Ryne Sandberg induction. Of course, when Ernie's being interviewed, he likes to start by asking the interviewer questions.

WGN Radio and TV broadcast today's game. It was Bob Brenly and Len Kasper's first Cubs broadcast together. Will have to check out the VCR tape, and see how they sound. Hard to believe it's Pat Hughes and Ron Santo's 10th season together, calling the Cubs games on WGN Radio.

Finally got ahold of the Cub's media information guide. Very cool cover- Chicago Cub's Hall of Fame Legends Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins, Ernie Banks, and Ryne Sandberg all pictured together. Only one thing missing- Ron Santo.

If you watched WGN, you know what happened. Nomar-very hot game! 3 for 3, with a HR. Greg Maddux looked like his usual self. He did give up 2 runs in the 1st, but would have been out of the inning with no runs if the 3rd out had not been lost in the sun. LaTroy Hawkins also looked good, 2 innings no runs, 3 strikeouts. On the other hand, Eddie Oropesa had some issues, giving up 6 runs, 5 earned, without completing an inning. Cubs starters left the game tied at 2 - 2, before the backups succumbed to the Angels 8 - 3.

12,572 in the hizzy. I loathe it when journalists try to be hip by using slang, but then again, I won't be confused with a journalist. So, spring tickets are going fast, only some lawn seats left, chances are we could break last year's all-time record. Big, sold-out game at HoHoKam on Monday--Sox come up from Tucson.
Talk to you after the cross-town battle.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Ex Cubs come for a visit

Spring has sprung, and if it was any other place, it would feel like mid-summer. Sunshine & 83 degrees at first pitch, Lawn fans ended up more cooked than their hotdogs. Luckily, many of them heeded the beer vendors warning to drink lots of liquid for hydration.

I saw Ron Santo for the first time this spring, he was up in the booth signing endless autographs with a smile, as usual. I stopped by to say hello and told him that he's in the Hall of Fame in the hearts of Cub fans.

Good to see ex Cubs Luis Gonzalez, Mark Grace, and ex Cub broadcaster Thom Brennaman. Speaking of ex Cubs, Jody Davis was guest first base coach in the latter part of today's game. Also at HoHoKam, Dan Patrick from ESPN doing his national radio broadcast.

Nomar made an incredible defensive play, taking away a hit by snagging a ground ball in the hole behind 2nd base, then doing a 360 pirouette and gunning down the runner at 1st base.

The back ups made an effort to steal the game in the bottom of the 9th by scoring a run but stranded 2 base runners, losing to the Diamondbacks 6 - 4.

Joan River's Fashion Award: Jeromy Burnitz (see pic) sporting the throw-back look in his homage to Babe Ruth, wearing the #3 with the hiked up knickers, and high socks.

We had a packed house today, in fact 12,892- an all-time single game HoHoKam record.
Cubs take on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (that's a mouthful) tomorrow. If you're gonna be at the game, set your VCR's because it'll be on WGN TV & Radio. Talk to you after the game,

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

This is what Spring Training is all about!

Sunshine, Sunshine, and more Sunshine! With the temperatures in the low-to-mid 80's, the shirts were off, and the bikinis were populating the berm area. With the first real warmth of spring, fans and players were indeed "boiling off the remnants of winter"!

Cubs starting lineup today looks like the one that will open the regular season: Patterson leading off, Todd Walker batting 2nd, Nomar 3rd, Aramis in the clean-up spot, Hollandsworth 5th, Derrek Lee, Burnitz batting 7th, Barrett 8th, Kerry Wood on the mound. Wood left the game early with a tight shoulder, but later said it was nothing, just a little tightness, and not to be alarmed. Cubs lost to the Rangers 6 - 5, but held a 4 - 3 lead when all the starters exited the game.

9,080 in attendance today at HoHoKam. I heard that the rest of the spring games are all sold out!

New Cubs Announcer, Bob Brenly in the house today. He was down on the field during bp, and up in the booth (not announcing) watching the action. Also in the house, as usual because of their advertising campaign, the Hooters girls. What was unusual was they made a visit up to the booth to say "hello".

Notable game tomorrow- as Prior takes the mound for the first time this spring-over in Peoria where the Cubs face the Mariners. Diamondbacks come up from Tucson Friday to take on the Cubs at HoHoKam, and I'll talk to you after that game.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Cubs Win, Cubs Lose

A perfect day weather wise, 66 degrees and sunny at first pitch, probably mid-70's by the 7th inning stretch. A split-squad for the Cubs- in Surprise, AZ, the Cubs shut out KC 4 - 0. At HoHoKam, they weren't so lucky, as the A's plated 2 runs in the 9th to take a 6 - 4 victory.

Another person who wasn't so lucky, was a fan sitting in the first row behind the Cubs dugout, he got nailed with a bat that flew out of A's right-fielder Matt Watson's hands. The fan ended up with a pretty good size lump on his forehead, but was not gonna leave his front row seat, and toughed it out. A half-inning later, the Hooters girls came by with a cold compress, and it must not have hurt anymore because from then on he had a smile on his face. ( By the way, with my spot in the press box behind home plate, and with my heavy duty binoculars, I have a great view of the entire ballpark.)

Carlos Zambrano started at HoHoKam, and looked great in his pitching stint. With a split-squad the Cubs got to play some of their youngsters, like Felix Pie, who came through with a hit that brought in 2 runs.

The HoHoKam crowd was small by Cubs standards- only drawing just under 7,000, because of the split-squad, and because they were playing the Oakland Athletics. The A's have never drawn well in Mesa, including back in the days in the 1970's when Rendezvous Park was their spring training home (Cubs were in Scottsdale). The A's had championship teams with Reggie Jackson, Sal Bando, etc. but couldn't come close to drawing fans like the Cubs.

Full-Squad game tomorrow as the Texas Rangers visit HoHoKam. Talk to you after the game.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Cubs 3 and 0

Yesterday's weather was beautiful, today's was colder than the reception Barry Bonds would have got from Cubs fans, had he been in the lineup. I overheard a conversation centered around why Barry Bonds has such a soft, high- pitched voice, and then they pointed out the correlation between steroids and shrinking testicles. Bud Selig had a press conference in the media room at HoHoKam today. I couldn't make it over, because I was busy getting ready for the game, but I could see it was standing-room only. ESPN will tell us what he said. I imagine steroids came up. Although I doubt they mentioned Bond's testicles.
(This blog or any of its affiliate blogs are the express personal opinions of it's writer, and do not in any way reflect the opinions of Major League Baseball, the Chicago Cubs, or any of it's members.)

So the weather was cool and blustery, but 12,612 still came out and saw Cubs beat the Giants 8 to 2.
Only 191 games away from going undefeated this year!

It was great to see Shawon Dunston and Bob Dernier as honorary 1st base coaches during today's game. When announced, they got a big hand from the fans. Speaking of former Cubs, Moises Alou played today. When he walked onto the field before the game, a small but vocal group of Cub fans gave him such an ovation, he came over and signed autographs, then went into the Cubs dugout and hung out a bit with his ex teammates. I miss announcing his name, that was a fun one- Moises Alooooooouuuuuuu! Even though I could only give the brief, opponent intro, I could hear the fans continuing with the Aloooooouuuu.

Ryan Dempster looked good in his brief pitching stint today. If he continues to show that kind of stuff, the Cubs are gonna have one scary pitching staff- scary for the other teams that is.

I may not write anything until the next Cubs home game, which is Tuesday against the Oakland Athletics.
Talk to you then, Tim

Friday, March 04, 2005

Cubs Win! Cubs Win!

Ok, so it doesn't mean squat in the big scheme, but the Cubbies went out and beat the Giants 8 to 3.
No Bonds, No Sosa- didnt stop the 12,857 capacity crowd from enjoying the festivities. Shawon Dunston's son took bp with the team before the game and was the bat boy, not sure how old he is, maybe about 12.

Great to see new Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg (pic) hitting fungos to the guys.

Nomar's first game ever at HoHoKam was a smashing success! Drilling a home run the first pitch of his first AB. It's early, but these guys seem like they're having fun, and are playing aggressive. The new backup catcher Henry Blanco hit a single and his hustle helped cause an error landing him on 2nd, he then scored from 2nd on a close play at the plate. The big man moves pretty well.

The weather was a Chamber of Commerce day, 66 degrees & sunny at game time, probably in the low 70's by 7th inning stretch. Something you don't see too often in the grapefruit league is what we call a Dust devil (like a mini-tornado) came whipping thru the stands, and onto the field, causing the game to be delayed for a couple minutes. Sending dust, paper, and debris swirling several hundred yards over the ball field. I could see people trying to grab their scorebooks and hats, but many were lost.

Cubs square off with Giants again tomorrow at HoHoKam. We'll talk to you after the game.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Ready for Action at HoHoKam!

If you're reading this, you've been to the Boys of Spring web page, so you know about the documentary, and that I do the Public Address for the Cubs at HoHoKam Park. If you want the box score or the inside scoop on Dusty's lineup today, you might want to go to the Cubs official website. This blog will be more about things you wont read in the usual places-Random thoughts, stuff that strikes me as interesting at the ballpark. Perhaps this is more for the Cub connoisseur, or for those with too much time on their hands.

Tomorrow is the home opener, at Dwight Patterson Field. Pretty darn excited!
What's up with the Veteran's committee? Apparently they want to keep their tight little group all to themselves. Santo not getting in is a travesty!

NEW to HoHoKam this Year! A LIVE ORGANIST! Should give a nice Old School Feel to the proceedings! The organist is also a huge cub fan!

No media guides Yet! Cubs media relations says maybe next week.

Its funny, I was filming at Fitch last week,when I finished I was trying to catch a ball hit over the fence during bp - no luck for a 1/2 hour, so decided to take off and as I was almost to my car I hear "heads up!", turned around and here comes a ball, right to me! Honest to God, I made one step to the right, picked it up, got in my car and took off. How sweet it is! I think it might be a good omen for this year! Well, better run for now. I'll write in the evenings after I get home from the game! I will also upload digital pics regularly here throughout the spring. See you at the game. Go Cubs!