"If I were Kerry Wood, I'd be very pleased with the way I threw," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "He looked nice and comfortable out there. He threw the ball nice and easy. [For the] first time out on the mound, [it was] very encouraging."
Not only was Piniella impressed, but so were the hitters who faced him. Just ask infielder Casey McGehee, a non-roster invitee to camp.
Back on Thursday there was real exciting news when Mark Prior took the hill and threw 25 pitches in his first "live session" of the spring.
"I felt good out there," Prior said. "It's nice to have normal days. Show up, get a good's night sleep, and have some fun.
"I just take it every day and keep having positive days, and the more positive days the better," he said.
I know it's exciting that these two are actually throwing with no reported injuries. (Our friends at Wrigleyville23 were amazed with Prior and FireLouPiniella.com got a different version of SI than I saw this week!)As most of you know I believe Mark Prior is a key to this season being a success for the bruins. Still when I pull myself away from the excitement, isn't it rather ironic that the biggest news that surrounds these two-- one-time phenoms-- is the fact that they actually are participating in early spring training bp sessions? By now the news that most of us expected them to be making was no-hit ballgames, strikeout records, and dare I say championships. These were the two right arms that the Cubs were going to dominate the NL with throughout the 00's. Since the magical 2003 season neither pitcher has returned to the brilliant form they displayed during their run into the NL playoffs.
Things work in a very funny way. Back in 2003 the Cubs were probably looking ahead to 2007 and trying to figure out how they could afford to keep both Wood and Prior. If the Cubs put aside any money for this past offseason they didn't have to give much of it to either one. Last November Wood signed a $1.75 million deal loaded with incentives. This was a huge pay cut for Wood. Mark Prior also agreed to a paycut, avoiding arbitration, the USC grad signed for $3.575 million. If all had went according to plan the Cubs could have $20 million+ tied up in these two for 2007. Instead it's just over $5 million. Thus Jim Hendry was able to open the Tribune wallet and spend or did he?
Now we look ahead and Cubdom holds it's collective breath that these two pitchers will once again find "it" and help make 2007 a successful one for the Northsiders. Here's hoping these two make news later this year besides side sessions, towel drills and simulated games.
In A League of Her Own...
gravedigger broke some cub blogging news in the comments below:
Recently, Chuck mentioned that cubbiejulie was thinking of starting her own
blog. Those thoughts transformed into chunks of PHP, HTML, and CSS, and became In a League of Her Own. Personally, I think it is a catchy title.
The site is meant to be more offbeat, less serious, and a true community. As a "contributing editor", I invite you all to Julie's blog! Head on over, register, comment, and bookmark. Also, it is still being worked on, so feel free to leave feedback with Julie.
The URL is http://inaleagueofherown.com/