Today could be the day. Or maybe tomorrow. But definitely probably this week. Reports seem to be swirling from all corners that Anthony Rizzo will make his Chicago Cubs debut either today or tomorrow. Alfonso Soriano is eager to get some help in the lineup, so it doesn’t matter when the Rizz shows up.
‘‘People say lefties hit better against Johan Santana, so let’s see,’’ Soriano said. ‘‘I hope they bring him soon and he does the same job that he’s doing in the minor leagues. He’s got the talent.’’
Dale Sveum seems eager to have someone that can hit in the lineup, too.
‘‘It’d be nice to have somebody [who’s a threat] hitting behind him, too,’’ Sveum said. ‘‘Whenever you have somebody with that much hype and that much ability, I think it always helps to at least have somebody hitting behind him.’’
As one Cub’s career looks to be taking off, another one’s seems to be winding down. Ryan Dempster is currently on the DL, but knows that his time as a Cub is probably drawing to a close.
“I’m not an idiot. I know what’s going on. I just try and enjoy it. … I think I’ve done enough (to appreciate Wrigley) over the years to enjoy where I’m playing and really love where I’m playing, and to not need that moment to reflect.
“And I don’t think I’m done playing anytime soon, so I have a feeling I’ll be pitching a lot of times at Wrigley Field.”
Dempster is feeling better than he did and will throw off a mound today. If all goes well, he’s eligible to return from the DL on Sunday.
“You can feel as good as you can just walking around, but until you actually throw and see how it feels …” he said. “But it feels a whole lot better than it did.”
“I pride myself on being able to pitch every fifth day, but I always want to make sure I’m healthy when I go out there.”
I want you to be healthy enough to yield a decent prospect. And thanks for all you’ve done as a Cub.
The Cubs return to Wrigley Field today to find out how much the repairs to the outfield grass have helped. If you didn’t see or had forgotten, it looked like my nephew’s little league outfield after the concerts during the last homestand. Gordon Wittenmyer took the Cubs to task for caring more about optimizing Wrigley’s value than optimizing Wrigley’s peak baseball-playing condition.
Players were diplomatic about the grotesque look of the field during that homestand and the perception that the use of the ballpark for every possible concert and paid yoga gathering looks more important than the baseball to the top business brass.
That’s right, yoga. Even as the rushed repairs to the Wrigley sod were struggling to take root, a photo was tweeted Sunday of what looked like hundreds of women stretching on yoga mats spread across the outfield grass.
To be fair, the Cubs aren’t going to do anything this year, good outfield grass or not. But I do feel sorry for the grounds crew who has to deal with this parade of events through Wrigley. And if it means more money in the coffers for the next couple years, then they stop doing these events, so be it. But Gordo and Scott Boras disagree.
But the relentless selling of Wrigley Field from the business side of the operation is creating a perception of franchise priorities that seem to take the baseball product for granted, if not push it into second-citizen status.
At best, it shows a lack of regard and respect for the baseball team and the baseball customers paying close to the top ticket prices in the game. At worst, it’s greed gone blind.
And it’s not just Chicagoans who are taking notice. Super-agent Scott Boras, a onetime Cubs farmhand and a former Chicago resident, was asked about an entirely unrelated subject when he went off about the concert-ravaged outfield.
‘‘Any executive who for a $1 million profit takes one of the grandest museums of our country and mars the dignity and appearance of that museum needs to re-examine his decision-making,’’ he said.
I feel like I’m in good company disagreeing with those two.