Chicago Cubs Now Conclude the Cactus League Portion of the Program

Damen JacksonCorrespondent IApril 3, 2009

MESA, AZ - MARCH 03:  Andres Blanco #59 of the Chicago Cubs in action during the spring training game against the Oakland Athletics at HoHoKam Park on March 3, 2009 in Mesa, Arizona. The Cubs defeated the A's 6-4.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Filed:April 3rd, 2009

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Chicago Cubs (Cubbie Nation/file)

Andres Blanco delivered a game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth Thursday, giving the Cubs a thrilling 9-8 win over the Cleveland Indians. And with that, we've reached the conclusion of Cactus League play.

Next stop? New York, New York, for the christening of the new Yankee Stadium this weekend. Lou Piniella will be busier than a manager should be though for a pair of exhibition games, as with less than 72 hours before the start of the season, he's still looking to finalize his bullpen.

Or so he says.

Four pitchers for two spots? I can't figure out what the problem is. We already know:

1) Chad Gaudin and Angel Guzman are out of options

2) Lou seems to like David Patton, and he's a Rule 5 acquisition to boot.

3) The Cubs don't eat contracts.

4) Jeff Samardzija is expected to start at some point in the future—and as early as this season.

So, from where I'm sitting, do yourself a favor Lou. Ship Jeff back to Iowa, place Gaudin on the DL —surprise us though with an exotic injury—and tell the kids that they're making the ball club. Somebody is going to hang themselves in the first few weeks, and you'll have replacements at the ready.

Oh, and a Lou Piniella-managed team coming to New York to open the park, with the first hitter ever being Alfonso Soriano?

Say what you will about Yankees, but they do know how to market.