Fall Ball, A Signing, Rumors and Ramblings

Before the latest on the Boys in Blue, everyone here at the CCO was shocked to hear of the tragic death of Cory Lidle on Wednesday afternoon. All of our thoughts and prayers go out to the Lidle Family during this time. Life is precious and we all have to live it to the fullest extent on a daily basis.

The Cubs made their first signing of the off-season on Tuesday, Joe Girardi named The Sporting News Manager of the Year, the Arizona Fall League got underway on Tuesday and more from the rumor mill and a few random ramblings….

The Cubs signed right-handed pitcher Matt Harrington on Tuesday according to Baseball America. Harrington signed a Minor League contract with the Cubs. He has pitched for the last 4 seasons with the Fort Worth Cats. Harrington was Baseball America’s 2000 High School Player of the Year.

Here is a list from the Baseball Cube of all 5 times he has been drafted, the position drafted and by which team.

According to a report (more like a blurb) on Marlins.com and in the Chicago Sun-Times, Joe Girardi was named the Sporting News National League Manager of the Year on Tuesday. And speaking of the Marlins, according to another report on Marlins.com, the Marlins have indeed approached Rick Kranitz about being the pitching coach for new manager Fredi Gonzalez and Kranitz has not yet decided to return to Florida and has apparently leaving his options open to possibly follow Joe Girardi to his next destination.

Arizona Fall League….

The Arizona fall League got underway on Tuesday. The Mesa Solar Sox dropped their first game of the season to Phoenix, 3-0. Eric Patterson and Scott Moore went a combined 0-7. Adam Harben took the loss but Carmen Pignatiello threw a scoreless inning in relief, struck out 1, walked 1 and threw a wild pitch. There are 7 Cubs participating in the Fall Ball session….Carmen Pignatiello, Lincoln Holdzkom, Adam Harben, Clay Rapada, Jake Fox, Eric Patterson and Scott Moore….the Solar Sox are managed by Pat Listach and the CCO will follow the progress of the team all season.

The Solar Sox bounced back on Wednesday night and beat Phoenix, 3-0. Lincoln Holdzkom threw a perfect inning in relief and struck out 2 on 8 pitches. Clay Rapada pitched 2/3 of an inning walked 1, struck out 1 and picked off a runner at 1st. Eric Patterson, Jake Fox and Scott Moore all got into the game. Patterson was 1 for 4 with a run scored, Moore was 1 for 1 with a RBI and Jake Fox was hitless in 1 at bat.

The Rumor Mill….

Phil Rogers thinks Lou Piniella would be the right fit for the Cubs, not Joe Girardi. According to Rogers the Cubs are envisioning themselves as being the 2007 version of the Detroit Tigers. Rogers is convinced that Piniella would be a better fit than Girardi and he mentioned it again late on Wednesday night.

Bruce Bochy continues to get a lot of press in concern with the Cubs’ vacancy.

Lou Piniella stated the Cubs job would be a challenge.

Jim Hendry met with Mike Quade on Tuesday an was expected to leave for Arizona on Wednesday to meet with Pat Listach and Bob Brenly in the next couple of days according to Bruce Miles. Listach is in Arizona managing the Mesa Solar Sox in the AFL.

Alex Rodriguez to the Cubs continues to receive talk on a daily basis. Colin Cowherd broke down the comments from Brian Cashman on Wednesday morning and told all of his listeners to “listen” to Cashman’s statement concerning A-Rod’s future with the Yankees. Cowherd is right….A-Rod will be traded this off-season, but to which team? Whoever it is will pay with promising talent. Speaking of A-Rod, could he be heading to the White Sox instead of the Cubs? Dave van Dyck thinks so and explains how the Sox could afford him in a deal that would include Joe Crede and Freddy Garcia.

If Bob Brenly leaves the Cubs broadcasting booth to either manage the Cubs or Giants, Steve Stone could be his replacement according to Ed Sherman.

Random Ramblings….

– Isn’t it ironic that the much-maligned Neifi Perez is the only Cub on this year’s roster that is still playing baseball.

– For those of you that missed it, the White Sox have made a deal with the 7-Eleven convenience store chain to change all of their 7:07pm home start times this season to 7:11pm. The time change is worth $500,000 to the club. Maybe the Cubs can work out something with Dunkin’ Donuts to get free coffee for all of those day games.

– Ernie Banks was named the Cubs Hometown Hero at the end of the season. The finalists were Ryne Sandberg, Ron Santo, Billy Williams and Ferguson Jenkins. Santo is the only one of the five not in the Hall of Fame and will hopefully join them soon. A fan favorite or not, Santo has the numbers to be in the Hall.

– Does anyone have an extra copy of ‘Money Ball’? Even a slightly used one? Just curious….

Jason Marquis was left off of the Cardinals NLCS roster for the younger Anthony Reyes….WOW!!

Well, that’s the news and I’m sticking to it!!

Quote of the Day

"Baseball, just a game as simple as a ball and a bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes." - Ernie Harwell
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