I haven't watched much baseball the first week of the season since going under the knife for the first time in my life recently. Instead I've been following doctor's orders by reclining on a couch and intermittently feeling sorry for myself while watching Champions League soccer on ESPN2.
In other words, I feel like a member of the Cubs' pitching staff or Rex Grossman, except with about half the arm strength.
Make yourself comfortable, pick up the phone, pretend you're doing some work, just keep the annoying boss at bay. It's the unveiling of the new bleachers brought to you from a medicated guy in the Bud Light Tribune Tower basement. (Full disclosure: someone many floors up from me is responsible for what you'll read about today in this space, and if the last century is any indication, it may not be pretty. Just keep that in mind. I am merely the messenger. I do not own the Cubs.)
The St. Louis Cardinals with their rabid Ozark Army in tow invade the North Side of Chicago. Thankfully for all involved the cold weather has kept the Army's customary uniform of tank tops and hemmed denim shorts in their Samsonites back at the motel. Greg Maddux takes the mound against Cardinals' right-hander Jeff Suppan.
If you click this Internet hyperlink you'll be taken to today's lineups, featuring the Cardinals' usual roster of tough outs and the Cubs, well, players.
To pass the time, feel free to take a sip of any beverage every time Len Kasper mentions "The Bud Light Bleachers."
Wayne Messmer has announced the lineups and is now doing his usual fine job with the anthem. We're close, people. Can you feel it? I guess it's disrespectful to type during The Star Spangled Banner. I'll stop.
Woo-woo Derrida, a reader on the message board, suggests we need to sell this feature and the message board. Why not. I have no shame. Any prospective advertisers out there drop me a line or get in touch with Tribune Interactive's sales staff. The Aeron Chair From the Cubicle?
That reminds me to encourage you to participate on the message board. Those people won't bite, including Linda S. Also, feel free to drop me an e-mail.
A moment of silence for the legendary Ray Meyer is followed by his son, Joey, tossing out the first pitch right over the plate. After some beer and Illinois lottery commercials, we'll be good to go. With the wind blowing in from the northeast at 25 mph, Greg Maddux throws a strike to David Eckstein. Eckstein slices the next pitch to right and Jacque Jones catches up to it on the run just in foul territory. Juan Encarnacion chops one in the hole where Ronny Cedeno takes it and then throws a one-hopper to Derrek Lee for the second out. Decent play all around. Albert Pujols cues it off the end of the bat to Juan Pierre in center for the third out.
I agree with Bob of the message board mob that the new bleachers look nice, at least on TV. It is strange to see more seats in the corners, but it doesn't look out of place. Suppan gets ahead of Pierre 1-2 before Pierre pops out to Scott Rolen. Neifi Perez chops one to second where Aaron Miles back-hands and throws to Pujols. Second base is like third base for the Cubs or left field for the Yankees. They've got a new guy there every year. Except that the Yankees and Cardinals win. Hey-hey, Derrek Lee christens The Bud Light Bleachers with a big homer to left. First pitch. Aramis Ramirez grounds out, but the Cubs take an early lead.
Cubs 1, Cardinals 0
The warm and fuzzy and always humble Jim Edmonds leads off the second. Edmonds squibs it back to Maddux for an easy out. A healthy Rolen rips a double down the left-field line. So Taguchi grounds to second and Rolen takes third. Maddux gets Gary Bennett looking with a signature fastball on the outside corner. Rolen is stranded at third. But on the bright side, he won't have far to walk to his position.
Cubs 1, Cardinals 0
Man, Len and Bob's WGN blog is sponsored by Dunkin' Donuts and FTC has nothing! Jones pops out to Miles. Michael Barrett grounds to Rolen, bringing up the Big Murt, Matt Murton, who draws a two-out walk. Cedeno slices one over Encarnacion's head in right, Murton scores from first and Cedeno ends up on third with a triple. The kids come through. Of course, we'll see Neifi at short and John Mabry in left tomorrow. Maddux fans to end it.
Cubs home opener
Live play-by-play of today's game from a slightly medicated guy in the Bud Light Tribune Tower basement.
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