Friday, March 4, 2011

BD Spring Training Report: Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots | Baseball Digest

BD Spring Training Report: Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots | Baseball Digest

The Chicago Cubs have a growing reputation as a mixed martial arts squad rather than a baseball team. There was the Carlos Zambrano-Michael Barrett tiff in June, 2007. Last season it was Zambrano and 1st baseman Derrek Lee going toe to toe. And 2011 is no different..except it wasn’t Zambrano this time around.

On Tuesday pitcher Carlos Silva allowed five runs in the 1st inning thanks in large part to three Cubbie errors. Silva got into the face of 3rd baseman Aramis Ramirez, who had committed one of the gaffes. No punches were thrown, no hair pulled, but the two had to be separated after shoving one another. Silva was eventually escorted back to the clubhouse and order was restored.

Mike Quade (in his first full year as manager) didn’t mind the fight, but did hold a team meeting on Thursday to clear the air and straighten things out. Quade is under enough pressure as a rookie skipper without his players getting out of hand. Veterans Marlon Byrd and Carlos Pena helped out by calling a players only meeting to stress unity. Somewhere Steve Bartman is shaking his head.

Across town the White Sox Jake Peavy is doing battle with his surgically repaired shoulder. Peavy makes his first start today since having the latissimus dorsi muscle in his right posterior shoulder reattached in a July procedure. His surgeon told the Chicago Trib’s David Haugh that Peavy is making good progress. “His motivation has been exactly in the right spot in that he understands this surgery and his recovery is not for him just to play this year, 2011, but beyond so he can meet expectations of him since he came here,” Romeo said on the phone from Vail, Colo. “Things are progressing well.” You should still be wary in your fantasy drafts.

Rumors are persisting that Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg or some of the team’s partial owners have an interest in the NY Mets. According to the Tampa Tribune Sternberg has denied any interesting in owning part or all of the Mets, but the NY Times reported that minority owner Randy Frankel has a definite interest.

Youngster Jason Castro was set to be the Houston Astros starting catcher this season, but a torn ACL will probably cause him to miss the entire season.

The Boston Herald is reporting that outfielder J.D. Drew is likely to retire after this season. The 35-yr old has been bothered by a series of injuries the last few years and has a lingering hamstring issue from last season. “I don’t really know what I’m going to do, I’m leaning both ways. I guess, I don’t really know,” Drew said. “It depends on how the year goes. I don’t know what I’ll do. There’s benefits to both sides, but I have to think it out, pray about it, talk with my family, see how my body holds up over the year, and go from there.”

The Atlanta Braves Chipper Jones played 3rd base Thursday for the first time since injuring his knee last August. Afterwards he felt, well, pretty Chipper about it. “I just want to play,” Jones said. “Once you get on the field instinct takes over. That’s what you need to worry about. I wasn’t expecting to be playing by now and I don’t know what to expect.”

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