As I write this, Billy Wagner is applying the Verne Gagne sleeper hold to the Cardinals, thereby securing a 6-1 Mets victory in the opener of the 2007 season. The Cubs' magic number over the Cards will be down to 162.

I used to like it when the MLB opener always took place in Cincinnati. It's not that I have any particular fondness for Cincinnati--I think of it as a less glamorous Milwaukee--it's just that I enjoyed the quaint tradition. Baseball doesn't have enough of those anymore.

The Cubs have won their last four openers, including two at Cincinnati, by an average score of 14-5. The Carlos Zambrano/Aaron Harang match-up on Monday is a repeat of last year's opener, when the Cubs blitzed the Reds with five first-inning runs en route to a 16-7 victory.

Lou Piniella's first-ever Cub lineup card:

Soriano (instead of '06 Opening Day starter, Juan Pierre), cf
Murton, lf
Lee, 1b
Aramis Ramirez, 3b
Jones, rf
Barrett, c
DeRosa (instead of Todd Walker), 2b
Izturis (instead of Ronny Cedeno), ss
Zambrano, p

A potentially wicked lineup, 1 through 6, maybe even through the 7th spot if DeRosa imagines he's still hitting in The Ballpark At Arlington this season.

I'm thinking 85-77, three games better than the Cards.


  1. Phil said...
    "Now in his mid 40s and on his 22nd manager, he continues to hope for the best, even though deep down, he knows better."

    "I'm thinking 85-77, 3 games better than the Cardinals".

    Draw your own conclusions...

    One stray thought while looking at the Opening Day lineup, is it just me or does Pat Hughes really over-enunciate "Murton"?

    Happy Opening Day to all.
    Cubnut said...
    No, it's not just you. He definitely over-enunciates Matt Mur-ton...and many other names. It's one of the qualities that makes him sound so much like a chemistry teacher from one of those 1950s film strips we were forced to watch in school.

    And yes, down deep I do know better.

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