Holy Cow! First day with the Cubbies in Mesa

23 02 2011

Today and through Friday I’ll be in lovely Mesa (to be honest, it really isn’t that great a place) for Chicago Cubs spring training.

The Mesa parks and facilities department deserves credit, though, because this city park (Fitch Park) has four immaculate baseball fields and the Cubbies put all of them to use.

Not much news out of Cubs camp today but big news from NL Central rival St. Louis, where pitcher Adam Wainwright was found to have ligament damage in his throwing elbow and could be out for a long time if not the entire 2011 baseball season. I contributed to this AP story:

Some notes I wrote from Cubs practice today:

The Cubs did pop fly drills at Fitch Park Wednesday, which were an adventure in themselves in the high, bright sky of Arizona. But manager Mike Quade was happiest to get through pitchers’ sliding drills “with only one cartwheel and nobody got hurt.” … Starting pitchers Carlos Zambrano and Matt Garza threw live batting practice Wednesday, with hitters taking a few cuts… The most entertaining practice drill was the one in which pitchers covered home plate while catchers raced after a loose ball and had to throw to the pitcher covering. P Ryan Dempster and C Koyie Hill executed a play to such perfection that they leaped and bumped chests in celebration.

And now, a few photos….

Carlos Pena fields a grounder to first base.

Catcher Geovany Soto pounces on a loose ball.

Carlos Zambrano throwing live batting practice.

Augie Ojeda taking batting practice.

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