Kosuke Fukudome is scheduled to be introduced today to the Chicago media in an afternoon press conference at Wrigley Field. Reports have indicated Fukudome will wear number “1” and the back of his jersey will read “Kosuke”, not “Fukudome” like his jersey for Team Japan in the WBC and for the Chunichi Dragons.
Are the Cubs still interested in trading for Brian Roberts? Roberts admitted on Monday night to taking steroids once in 2003 but denied use of steroids in 2006 according to a report in the Baltimore Sun. Roberts was asked by a reporter for the Los Angeles Times after allegations by Jason Grimsley “named Roberts as a user.” Roberts has not failed a test in the past, and he stated he “never used steroids, human growth hormone or any other performance-enhancing drugs prior to or since that single incident.”
The Cubs announced the managers and staff for their farm teams on Tuesday. Ryne Sandberg will return for a second season as the Peoria Chiefs manager as well as other former Cubs. Jim Hendry made an addition to his scouting staff and the 2008 Spring Training broadcast schedule was released….
Roberts surprised many on Monday when he admitted to the use of steroids in 2003. According to statements from the Associated Press on ESPN.com:
“In 2003, when I took one shot of steroids, I immediately realized that this was not what I stood for or anything that I wanted to continue doing. I never used steroids, human growth hormone or any other performance-enhancing drugs prior to or since that single incident,” he said.
“I can honestly say before God, myself, my family and all of my fans, that steroids or any performance-enhancing drugs have never had any effect on what I have worked so hard to accomplish in the game of baseball.”
Dave Sheinin from the Washington Post was on with Dave Kaplan on Tuesday night. The two talked about Brian Roberts, his admission of steroid use and the possibility of Roberts being traded to the Cubs.
Sheinin said he feels there is “no way Roberts is traded.” Sheinin talked about what he called Peter Angelos’ “man crush“ on Roberts and reminded Kaplan that Angelos has squashed other trades in the past that involved Roberts. Sheinin mentioned no one understands why Angelos has the affection he does for Roberts.
Sheinin explained how good Roberts is and called him a complete player. Not only is Roberts a good lead off hitter but is very good in the field. Sheinin brought up Roberts’ speed and the 50 stolen bases last season and added he is not a “Juan-Pierre-type” leadoff hitter with just a .300 OBP.
Sheinin did tell Kaplan he knows there is an outline of a trade that would send Roberts to the Cubs.
As reported during the Winter Meetings, the Cubs hired former Pirates GM Dave Littlefield on Tuesday. Littlefield will serve as a scout for the Cubs and report to Jim Hendry. Littlefield was the assistant GM for the Marlins from 1998-2001.
Cubs Minor League Managers and Staff
The Cubs announced their managers for the farm system on Tuesday. Ryne Sandberg will return to Peoria, as mentioend. Pat Listach, who managed the Tennessee Smokies last season, will manage the I-Cubs in 2008. Buddy Bailey will manage the Smokies and Jody Davis will return to Daytona to manage the Cubs.
Rich Bombard will remain Sandberg’s pitching coach in Peoria, while Carmelo Martinez will be the Chiefs hitting coach. Martinez played for the Cubs in 1983. Mike Mason will be the pitching coach at Iowa, Mason pitched for the Cubs in 1987.
- Pat Listach – Manager
- Mike Mason – Pitching Coach
- Von Joshua – Hitting Coach
- Buddy Bailey – Manager
- Dennis Lewallyn – Pitching Coach
- Barbaro Garbey – Hitting Coach
- Jody Davis – Manager
- David Rosario – Pitching Coach
- Richie Zisk – Hitting Coach
- Ryne Sandberg – Manager
- Rich Bombard – Hitting Coach
- Carmelo Martinez – Hitting Coach
- Tom Beyers – Manager
- Tom Pratt – Pitching Coach
- Richard Medina – Hitting Coach
- Franklin Fort – Manager
- Rick Tronerud – Hitting Coach
Spring Training Broadcast Schedule
The Cubs released their broadcast schedule for the 2008 Cactus League on Tuesday. The first game televised will be on March 1st against the Angels from Tempe….the third game of the schedule. The first game on WGN-TV will be March 8th against the Arizona Diamondbacks from HoHoKam Park. Pat Hughes and Ron Santo will be on the air for the first game of the spring on February 28th from Scottsdale against the Giants.
Link to Cubs.com with a .pdf file of the entire schedule. The CCO will be in Arizona for the first four games of the Cubs Spring Training schedule with photos and full game recaps….70 days and counting.
The Mitchell Report
According to a report on ESPN, the league will likely “request meetings with all active players mentioned in the Mitchell Report.” There are 14 players that are connected to performance-enhancing substances after 2003, between 2004 and 2006, and “are likely to face the most scrutiny by Major League Baseball.” The 14 players listed are: Rondell White, Larry Bigbie, Ron Villone, Ryan Franklin, Cody McKay, Stephen Randolph, Jerry Hairston, Jr., Paul Lo Duca, Bart Miadich, Eric Gagne, Matt Herges, Brendan Donnelly, Howie Clark and Nook Logan.
Andy Pettitte and Brian Roberts may not face suspension because their admitted use took place “prior to when the penalties were instituted.”
Kosuke Fukudome Jerseys – Here is a link to Wrigleyville Sports….Fukudome Mania!