Odd and Ends

While baseball fans await those magical words that will be uttered in just a few days, there was actual news this past week. From Andy Masur officially leaving the Cubs to former Cub Jeff Fassero announcing his retirement, the week that was had a little bit of everything. Most importantly were the two “little” contracts signed in Cincinnati. The Reds avoided arbitration with Aaron Harang and signed him to a 4-year, $36.5 million dollar contract and the other was the 2-year extension signed by Bronson Arroyo worth $25 million dollars. While both pitchers are coming off good seasons with the Reds, neither compare to the season Carlos Zambrano just completed. News from the North Side about avoiding arbitration or signing Zambrano to an extension has been non-existent.

According to a report by Bruce Miles on Saturday morning, it does appear there will be a new #21 for the Cubs this season. As expected, Jason Marquis will wear his familiar number, one that was made famous by the Cubs former slugging right fielder.

Marquis wearing the number made famous by Sammy Sosa should not come as a shock. Sosa’s departure from Chicago continues to make headlines but it is time to move on. The Cubs will one day embrace the former slugger, remember time heals all wounds, but this move was going to come one day….it just may be sooner than some were expecting.

Back to Zambrano….

The Cubs and Zambrano have the date set, it is February 20th, 10 days from today the Cubs will have to try to tell a third party their ace is not worth the amount of money he is asking for ($15.5 million) and he should settle for less. The Cubs going to arbitration with Zambrano could be the first big loss of the season.

All Eyes on the Cubs….

The 2007 Cubs broadcast schedule was released on Thursday and all of the Cubs 162 games this season will be televised in the Chicago area….or via MLB extra innings or MLB.com. WGN will broadcast 68 games, Comcast SportsNet 72, WCIU 8, 9 will be on Fox and 1 on ESPN as the schedule stands right now. Also 14 of the Cubs Spring Training games will be broadcast, 4 on WGN and 10 on Comcast SportsNet.

So Long Andy….

Speaking of broadcasts….Pat Hughes and Ron Santo will be without the services of Andy Masur in a few weeks. The rumored deal between the San Diego Padres and Andy Masur was made official this week.

Former Cub News….

Jeff Fassero announced his retirement from baseball on Friday after 16 years at the big league level. Fassero pitched for the Cubs from 2001-2002.

Corey Patterson avoided arbitration with the Orioles and signed a 1-year, $4.3 million dollar contract.

The Cubs Faithful just keep-on-believing according to a report from USA Today.

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

Quote of the Day

"Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure." - Joe Maddon