Thursday, March 23, 2006

Mr. Lee Returns, Aramis on Fire, and High Jinks

Three days past the official start of spring, it's finally starting to feel like it here in Arizona, 73 degrees at first pitch today. The Cubs took care of the Mariners today at HoHoKam by a score of 6 to 1 in front of 12,118 fans. To be fair, the Mariners had a split squad team also playing tonight in Peoria, so many of their top players didn't make the trip over to Mesa.

It's been a while since we saw Derrek Lee play at HoHoKam, after his WBC experience and bruised shoulder, it was good to see him back in the Cubs starting lineup. Unfortunately, in Derrek's first at bat he was hit by a pitch on his left arm. He shook it off and stayed in the game, then scored on a double by Aramis Ramirez. In Lee's next at bat he hit a double and then scored again on Aramis Ramirez' second double of the game. Ramirez has been so hot with the bat this spring, I'm afraid at any moment he may spontaneously combust. He has hits in 9 consecutive at bats, and is batting .600 this spring. John Mabry had a couple hits today, Neifi Perez had a homerun, and Felix Pie had an RBI double and scored. Glendon Rusch started the game and looked sharp, giving up 1 hit and 1 run in 5 innings, while striking out 4. He did walk 3 batters, and as I mentioned earlier, this wasn't Seattle's A squad. Scott Eyre overpowered Seattle hitters during his 1 and 2/3rds inning, allowing no hits or runs and struck out 4. Williamson, Howry, Ohman, and Dempster all pitched well in their brief stints.

I have a P.A. announcement every game telling about the Cubs' Walk of Fame (Banners of famous Cubs hanging in the Concourse) where I read all the names of the famous Cubs-all the biggies are in there from Hack Wilson to Ryne Sandberg. And it was Sandberg who wanted to have a little fun today. As a little prank, he asked me to insert Tim Buss (Cubs Strength and Conditioning Coordinator) into the Walk of Fame lineup. Some of those listening may have been wondering who the hell was that guy after Andre Dawson?

The Q&A Session with Dusty Baker, Jim Hendry, and Cubs Players at the Cubs FanFest was alot of fun. Be sure to listen to their Q&A session on my prior two posts.


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