Craig Calcaterra

Wrigley Field

Wrigley Field gets 74 portable toilets

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Phil Coke and Hector Rondon are not the only things providing relief in Chicago!

The Cubs installed 74 portable toilets at Wrigley Field on Tuesday, and the team believes the porta-potties will eliminate the long lines and discomfort suffered by fans during Sunday night’s season-opening 3-0 loss to the Cardinals.

I am legitimately curious if beer sales will go down some due to bathroom anxiety on the part of fans. I mean, when I take a long car trip, I drink less coffee. It only stands to reason, right?

 

Rickey Henderson helped convince Barry Zito to accept a minor league assignment

Rickey Henderson
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Barry Zito’s comeback with the A’s fell a bit short of him making the team out of spring training. But the A’s still wanted him and sent him to Triple-A Nashville. As a veteran with his tenure, his money and his particular career path, you wouldn’t have been crazy to think that he’d say thanks but no thanks and retreat to one of his multiple California estates to drink wine and enjoy time with his family rather than pitch to guys 15 years younger than him in the Tennessee humidity.

But he is going to Nashville. And as John Shea writes in the Chronicle, it has a lot to do with the words spoken by and the example set by Rickey Henderson. Words about how baseball is fun and how having a positive attitude despite setbacks can be the difference between Zito coming back to the majors or not. The example of playing in independent ball despite already having a ticket punched to the Hall of Fame and all of the money he’d ever need.

If you’re of a certain age you remember a time when Rickey Henderson was thought of as a selfish, arrogant player who didn’t give a crap about anything. Did age change Rickey or did everyone have him wrong back in the day?

Craig Kimbrel’s Padres debut was . . . ok

Craig Kimbrel
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source: Getty Images

New uniform, same disgustingly filthy stuff from Craig Kimbrel.

Deprived of a save situation because the Padres scored too many runs in the ninth inning, Bud Black decided that he’d still give Kimbrel some work last night. All he did was strike out side on 16 pitches, 10 of which were strikes. Here’s one of them.

He featured a 97 m.p.h. fastball and a curveball that clocked 86 and dropped off the friggin’ table. He could’ve maybe finished the Dodgers off in fewer pitches, but he was sort of getting squeezed. But I suppose at this point he needs a handicap to keep things interesting.

We overstate the value of closers pretty routinely, but it’s not hard to imagine Kimbrel, if deployed effectively by Black, making a fairly significant difference for the Padres this season.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

Mat Latos
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Braves 12, Marlins 2: I got home from dinner with the kids at about 7:30 last night and turned on the game figuring, heck, it’s probably just the second inning at best. I probably didn’t miss anything. As I turned the game on the top of the first was just ending and the Braves were up 7-0. This is why I always try to be on time for things. Mat Latos’ ERA is 94.50 on the year. But his FIP is much better, so let’s not go crazy, OK? The Braves got 14 hits and drew seven walks. Come June or so, I figure this will be a week’s worth of production. It’s fun now, however.

Orioles 6, Rays 5: Baltimore jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first and 6-0 after two and held on as the Rays tried to rally back. Steve Pearce homered for the second straight game, which is not all that good for people who bet the mortgage on “Steve Pearce will fall back to earth after a surprisingly great 2014 season.” Really, though, bookies shouldn’t take that action. It seems shockingly specific and somewhat mean spirited.

Diamondbacks 7, Giants 6: Jake Lamb and David Peralta each hit three-run homers for the snakes, and Lamb drove in another one on a groundout. He had three in the season’s first game. I don’t think that pace is sustainable, but it’s cool. The Giants have played two games and have had three key injuries. That’s not a ratio that’s all that sustainable itself. Here it was Brandon Belt, who strained his groin going after a foul ball.

Rangers 3, Athletics 1: Prince Fielder is back, hitting two RBI singles. Colby Lewis was effective, allowing one run over six. Jeff Banister picks up his first ever win as a manager and afterward was doused in a beer shower. Mmmm . . . beer shoooowwweer.

Angels 2, Mariners 0: A key for the Angels this year is to get one of their erstwhile aces to pitch something like they used to once again. C.J. Wilson is one of those two and in his 2015 debut he did, allowing two hits in eight shutout innings. David Freese being a threat once again is also pretty key for the Angels. He was that last night too, hitting a two-run homer for the game’s only runs. This one lasted a mere two hours and thirteen minutes, by the way. Staying in the box and between innings clocks may help some, but shutdown pitching is pretty key to improving the pace of play as well.

Padres 7, Dodgers 3: On Opening Day the Dodgers scored three late to break a tie and win the game. Last night, tied 3-3 heading into the ninth, the Padres were the ones who broke out, scoring four. One of the runs scored as a result of a bunt that catcher Yasmani Grandal overran while fielding and then threw directly into the back of the batter as he ran to first. That put runners on the corners and an RBI single by Wil Myers broke the tie, with the floodgates opening thereafter. Speaking of floods — or, at the very least, rain — this one was delayed 30 minutes by rain at the outset. Which doesn’t happen in Los Angeles all that much. But at this point I imagine California will endure hundreds of rain delays if they can get some drought relief from it. Speaking of that, go read this. It’s extremely enlightening about why California’s drought is not just California’s problem or fault and why us back east looking down our nose at Californians as somehow the architects of their own disaster is fundamentally wrong.

Rockies 5, Brewers 2: Rockies hitters have 12 doubles in the first two games of the season, tying a major league record that was set in 1912. Six on Opening Day, six last night. Meanwhile, Jordan Lyles allowed two runs and five hits in six innings.

Cardinals vs. Cubs: POSTPONED: Frank Lloyd Wright once had a client who phoned him to complain of rain leaking through the roof of the house onto the dining table. Wright’s response: “Move the table.”

The Cubs and Cardinals are rained out

Giants Cubs Baseball
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Our friend Patrick Mooney at CSNChicago.com tells us that tonight’s game between the Cardinals and Cubs has been postponed due to due to the forecast of rain and sub-freezing wind chills in the Chicago area.

No word on a makeup date, but as division rivals playing unbalanced schedules, there are plenty of opportunities to do so later in the year.

In other news, the Cubs now have an extra day to unload porta-potties.