Got Spring Training?

More players made their first appearance of the spring on Monday, along with Cubs management. During his multiple radio appearances last week, Jim Hendry said he would meet with Lou Piniella and his staff early in the week before joining the players on the field on Thursday. Spring Training is finally here …

Pitchers and Catchers report on Wednesday with the first on field workout on Thursday.

Here are a few updates from Mesa, along with details of a new feature on the CCO … Twitter Tuesday.

Boys of Spring

Tim Sheridan updated his blog on Monday with new photos … and tidbits from Mesa. Here are the highlights:

  • Koyie Hill made an appearance and took batting practice.
  • Carlos Zambrano hit a monster blast over the batter’s eye in centerfield during batting practice on Monday.
  • Sam Fuld, Jeff Stevens and David Patton reported … while Jeff Samardzija threw off a mound.

Click Here for the full update, with photos, from Boys of Spring

Paul Sullivan on Sports Central

Paul Sullivan joined Dave Kaplan on Monday night. Sullivan thinks the Cubs can get back to the playoffs this season … and does not feel the Cardinals will dominate the central the way they did a year ago.

Sullivan also mentioned he sees Alfonso Soriano, Geovany Soto and Carlos Zambrano rebounding from last season’s poor performances.

Lou Piniella’s future, beyond 2010, will be a hot topic throughout the season. Piniella is under contract through the end of the season. Piniella has repeated (at the Winter Meetings and during the Cubs Convention) he will not make a decision on his future with the Cubs until the end of the year. Jim Hendry has said the same in recent days … they will not address Lou’s future with the team during the season.

Kaplan asked Sullivan about Ryan Theriot’s arbitration hearing … Theriot’s hearing is scheduled for this week. Kaplan brought up the fact Jim Hendry is 36-for-36 in his time with the Cubs avoiding arbitration with his players.

Sullivan never thought Theriot would get to arbitration. He is not sure why Theriot has chosen to do this … and said he has not talked to him about the situation.

It appears the Cubs are willing to start the season with Esmailin Caridad, Angel Guzman and John Grabow as the primary set-up men to Carlos Marmol. Kaplan is not sold on the pitching staff while Sullivan thinks Guzman can be a very good setup man to Marmol … if he can stay healthy.

When Kevin Gregg was closing games last year, Sullivan had players from other teams asking why Angel Guzman was not the Cubs’ closer. Guzman has the stuff to be a dominant reliever … again, when healthy.

Dave Kaplan sees the 2010 Chicago Cubs as an 85-win team.

Baseball Tonight Preview for Chicago Baseball

Rich Hill

Rich Hill signed a minor league contract with the Cardinals this off-season … that included an invitation to big league camp. Reportedly Hill is competing for the fifth spot in the Redbirds’ rotation or as their long-man in the pen.

Rich Hill impressed Dave Duncan according to a report in the Tribune.

Full report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

CCO News

Just because the off-season is coming to an end, it doesn’t mean the CCO’s coverage of the Cubs is coming to an end as well. In fact it is just the opposite …

The CCO is entering the fifth full baseball season with daily coverage of the Chicago Cubs. For all of the new readers that found the CCO this off-season, during the season the site will feature the following:

  • Talkin’ Cubs Baseball – The CCO’s daily game previews that includes pitching match-ups, batter-pitcher stats, game times and where the game can be seen or heard. Talkin’ Cubs Live is just that … a live thread, which allows the Faithful to discuss the action on the field. Talkin’ posts to the site two hours before first pitch.
  • Daily Game Recaps
  • News and Transactions
  • Minor League Updates
  • Opinion Columns
  • Rumors

… And a couple of other things we are still working on.

Introduction of a new feature at the CCO … Twitter Tuesday

Beginning today and from time to time during the season, Tuesday at the CCO will be known as ‘Twitter Tuesday’.

Twitter is a free social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as ‘tweets’. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters (not words).

Twitter has become extremely popular over the last 18 months … and for those with a twitter account not following the CCO, click here …

Here is how ‘Twitter Tuesday’ will work on the CCO. Readers can leave their ‘tweets’ about the Cubs in the comment section and can tweet as many times as you would like but the catch is, you must follow the restriction of twitter … only 140 characters at a time.

Well, that’s the latest … and I am sticking to it!

CCO Radio reports to Spring Training on February 23 with the first show of the new season.

Follow the CCO on Twitter

Make sure to check the CCO’s twitter feed during the day. With Spring Training beginning on Wednesday, news and notes will start popping up that are worthy of a mention but not front page news. The CCO will tweet what we hear, of course from reliable sources.

If you don’t have an account on the CCO … sign-up for one to share your thoughts and interact with the rest of the Faithful.

Quote of the Day

"There are places I remember. All my life though some have changed. Some forever not for better. Some have gone and some remain. All these places have their moments ... " John Lennon/Paul McCartney