Due to circumstances beyond his control, Paul Sullivan returns to answer all your Cubs-related questions.
What is the deal, are the Cubs too cheap to ? I miss half the game while I'm looking up a number to see who's playing! What is the real reason they are pulling this? --Audrey Lowe, Westmont, Ill.
It's great to be back again. No, I really mean it. The deal is the Cubs are trying to go retro, and they believe you'll eventually memorize the numbers, like your parents did. Thanks for noticing.
Please find out for me why Corey Patterson seems anchored to first base this year. After six games, I've noticed that he's had more than a couple opportunities to steal second on multi-pitch at-bats in key, late-inning situations. Other Cubs seem to be running more often this year -- why not their fastest guy? --Matt Kruse, Chicago
I think it's a little too early to say Patterson is anchored to first. The Cubs expect him to steal 30 or more bases or else he wouldn't be leading off. I don't know whom you are referring to -- the other Cubs running more often. They have three stolen bases in seven games going into the doubleheader. But I like your willingness to question the status quo before it becomes the status quo.
Who are those people booing the Cubs at Wrigley? Can't they just stay home and drink? They don't understand tradition or the game. --George Smith, Bloomington, Ind.
I don't know all of their names, George, but I will definitely let you know when I find out.
Jerry Hairston Jr. was great during spring training and he is a terrific second baseman. Why won't Dusty give him the job until Walker returns? I know Perez is a good player, but shouldn't Hairston be given a shot? --Gilbert Kerrigan, Bowling Green, Ky.
I think Hairston will be given a shot to take the job. Now Hairston has to take advantage of it, as Walker did last year when Grudzielanek, etc. was out.
I was under the impression that Henry Blanco was signed only because he has experience catching Greg Maddux. Does Maddux all of a sudden not need a personal catcher anymore? --Nick Junker, Mundelein, Ill.
Maddux has a new personal catcher named Michael Barrett, who will catch most of his starts while Blanco catches Prior, according to Baker. I would imagine the Cubs want Maddux to help Barrett with his game-calling, and Blanco figures to give Prior the kind of comfort zone he had with Paul Bako. For some reason, it hasn't yet clicked with Barrett catching Prior, and they didn't get a chance to work together this spring.
Is there a chance Jim Hendry could trade Corey Patterson for a closer at this point in the season? --Steve Novak, Lyons, Colo.
No. Corey Patterson is still very much a part of the Cubs future, and Hendry still has confidence he'll become a more consistent hitter. I hope this is the last e-mail I get asking about Corey being traded. I know it's the last one I'll select for the rest of the season.
Did the Cubs ever use orange and black as their colors? I just bought an old felt pennant that is black with orange letters for Chicago Cubs and has an orange cub on it. --Susan Mielke, Littleton, Colo.
I have to admit that I have no knowledge of the Cubs ever wearing orange and black.
Hope you had a fine winter. to deliver this year, you mentioned that a winning season will make it the first time the Cubs have had three winning seasons in a row since the 1966-1972 run. You called it the Banks, Williams and Santo years. Don't forget Fergie Jenkins -- he was just as vital as the other guys. My question: Which Cub do you think will have the best year? --Carl Baumeister, Salt Lake City
Thanks. I had a great winter. I didn't mean to slight Fergie Jenkins, whose Cubs number should be retired as soon as Maddux is done with it. I can't say which Cub will have the best year because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. I've discovered some are more sensitive than others.
When will the virtual waiting room open for postseason tickets? --Steve Basler, Salisbury, Mo.
You may be virtually waiting for a long time unless the Cubs start hitting more consistently. But a trip to the Simulated World Series is still a good possibility.
What happened to Cubs announcer Chip Caray? --Bill Esterline, Naples, Fla.
He's an announcer with the Atlanta Braves and no longer travels on the Cubs charters.
In a story on , you had mentioned the Prior-Giles collision in which trainer Dave Tumbas gave the green light for Prior to continue pitching, and that was ultimately one major strike against Tumbas at the end of the year when he was terminated. My question is, doesn't that decision ultimately go to Dusty? How did he manage to avoid all the scrutiny over that bad decision? --Mike Reihl, Palatine, Ill.
Dusty shouldn't have listened to Tumbas, who shouldn't have listened to Prior, who shouldn't have said he could still pitch that day. There wasn't much scrutiny because Prior pitched so well after his comeback. Tumbas wasn't fired until the off-season, when few were paying attention.
Now that the Cubs have signed Aramis Ramirez to a long-term deal, should the next step be to sign Nomar to a similar deal? --Rob Wall, Lafayette, Calif.
The next step is to try and win the World Series, and then the Nomar situation becomes much clearer.
OK, I have been a Cub fan for most of my 45 years. I know I am hooked and there is no cure for my addiction. My relatives have shunned me. My friends laugh at me. My neighbors have called the police several times claiming that I am abusing my sons by raising them as Cub fans. Is there a reward in my future? Will this be the year? Will my torment ever be over? Give me some hope please! --Bret Hobbs, Linton Ind.
Is it just me, or are Cubs fans a little overdramatic? I hope your sons turn out OK. Please let them know it's only entertainment.
When will the Cubs finally give in and make Kerry Wood their closer? --Butch Brzeski, Chicago
This is a question I never get tired of answering. Unfortunately, I have run out of space.
Thanks to everyone for making this an enjoyable experience. As the new Mr. Bright Side of Chicagosports.com, I'm predicting great things for everyone this year. See you in two weeks.