5. Late in spring training, Lou Piniella asked us media mopes what we thought of the squad he'd be taking north. After a few guys answered with mostly encouraging words, Lou looked at me and I said: "We'll see what happens when the lights go on."
I chuckled as I finished my sentence, realizing I was paraphrasing something Lou had said just a few days earlier. Piniella didn't laugh with me, but he didn't seem even the slightest put-off by what I said. He merely nodded his head and moved on to the next writer's opinion.
Later on, a couple of my sportswriter buddies playfully gave me crap for being cynical, sarcastic and negative.
Then the lights went on ... and the Cubs started losing. Their hitters squeezed their bats into sawdust and their their young relief pitchers peed down their pantlegs.
Said Lou: "Remember what I said in spring training? 'Everything was fine when we were in afternoon, single-deck stadiums. Now all of a sudden, it gets a little different, and we'll have to see.' Well, we haven't see what we'd like to see, let's put it that way."
Jeesh. What a cynical, sarcastic, negative guy.
4. In the 11th inning the other night at The Cell, Hawk Harrelson was whining about a strike call White Sox reliever Tony Pena didn't get. The whining got louder after Pena promptly gave up J.J. Hardy's go-ahead hit.
In the bottom of that inning, Twins closer Jon Rauch threw what appeared to be a strike right down the middle to Mark Kotsay but it was called a ball. Rauch fanned Kotsay on the next pitch.
It's an athlete's job to control what he can. Rauch did. Pena didn't. Which is why, Hawk, the game soon was "ova."
3. The Bulls pulled off a big win at Toronto on Sunday, which means only one thing: There's still plenty of time for them to find other ways to humiliate themselves anew.
This team has suffered countless embarrassments on and off the court this year. None was as unique as Joakimgate - with Vinny Del Negro insisting he was under an edict to not play a rehabbing Joakim Noah more than 35 minutes Friday and Not-Quite-GM Gar Forman insisting the mandate had been modified. Vinny kept Noah on the bench and the Bulls managed to lose to the Nets for the second time this year.
I'm still trying to figure out why D-Wade and other marquee free agents would want to come to Chicago when they could get as much or more money playing for franchises that have a clue.
2. Cubbie fans shouldn't get too upset at Alfonso Soriano. I mean, only about 95 percent of beer-league softball players would have caught that ball he dropped in left field Sunday.
1. OK, so Tiger Woods didn't win the Masters. At least he scored another 69.