In this part of camp (before Cactus League games) injuries are big stories, even minor injuries. Right now we have Soriano’s knee feeling better, Guzman’s shoulder a bit tender, and Theriot’s wrist sore due to a Rafael Dolis plunking. So far none of this is really problematic to the Cubs chances this season. Sori says he’ll be ready by opening day, The Riot is day to day, and Guzman was already out waiting on his scoped knee to fully heel, it’s Angel’s new shoulder situation that merits watching. Guzzy says the shoulder isn’t a big deal but he’s been a walking injury since joining the Cubs.
Only one week until we hear the umpires around the Cactus League say, “Play Ball”! That’s right baseball fans our Cubs open at Hohokam next Thursday against the Oakland Athletics who will be bringing ex-Cubs Jake Fox, Eric Patterson, and Micheal Wuertz to the party.
Speaking of parties, I hear that Cubs legend Ron Santo is being thrown one in honor of his 70th Birthday which is today. Some of Ron’s Cubs pals are flying to AZ for the soiree. Since I didn’t get an invite there’s a couple ways I can go on this…Head up to Ron’s and pull a Salahi type party crash or take my camera and attempt gorilla paparazzi pics from the bushes outside Santo’s bash. Better yet, I’ll just choose to wish Ron a very Happy Birthday! And while I’m at it, Birthday wishes to Cubs broadcaster Bob Brenley as well!
I blogged on Saturday about Bruce Miles and the changing media, and now more evidence appears in the form of WGN Radio Host David Kaplan’s blog. Kaplan put his mini-digi camera to work yesterday and caught some images at Cubs camp. One of his more artistic shot’s is a Mapplethorpe-esk image of Starlin Castro’s posterior (at left). Hey, David and Bruce are very good at what they do, but photography…well…I guess fans can never get enough Cubs.
I was noticing pools of drool around the stands at Fitch which seemed to coincide with some oohing and aahing from female fans when a certain new Cub was in the vicinity. Outfielder and Non-Roster Invitee Brett Jackson the Cubs recent draft pick from Cal is drawing praise for his play from Piniella as well as longing glances from the ladies. I get plenty of email from the girls requesting more photos of Jeff Samardzija, but…could be there’s a new challenger to Samardzija’s status as unofficial number one Cubs’ hunk. Of course he’ll need to make the team for that honor.
Aside from vapid talk of physical appearance, this Jackson kid can play some baseball. Picked 31st by the Cubs in the 1st round of 2009 MLB Draft, Jackson is the fourth highest player drafted in Cal baseball history. He left college after a stellar Jr. season where he hit .321 with 8 HR’s and 11 Stolen bases. At 21 years old he’s a talented fielder with a strong arm and above average speed, but will definitely need some minor league seasoning.
Born in Berkeley and a Sociology Major in college, you may guess that Jackson is…well…different. Something Gordon Wittemmyer confirmed today in an article he wrote where Jackson is quoted, “I was telling (teammate Josh Vitters) when they were sucking my blood out (for annual physicals), I kind of liked it. Isn’t that weird? That’s weird. I enjoyed it. I like blood.”
This can only help Jackson’s stock with the females as Vampires and everything vampire seems to be en vogue.
Only a week before we hear “play ball” at Hohokam, the Catus League really starts gearing up tomorrow. The Mesa Historical Museum’s fantastic exhibit “Play Ball, The Cactus League Experience” is relocating to the Arizona Museum for Youth (AMY). The big debut at the new and larger space is tomorrow Friday February 26th, with an expanded story and never seen memorabilia the exhibit, is sure to be a hit. Yours truly has donated several items as well as some historic photos I’ve collected over the years. AMY is close to Hohokam so if you’re in town be sure to check it out.
I was asked to post pics of some of the players that I haven’t shown yet on the blog, so here ya go.
Brett Jackson last week
Marmol after conditioning runs
Lee and Nady
Riot with the buzz