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Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Pickoff Moves

Curses!

A great article appears today on MSNBC about the Cubs and Red Sox curses; author Ken Rosenthal is convinced one will melt away this year. One problem, though, Ken: it could be possible that both curses could go away. The Cubs' Billy Goat Curse forbad a World Series from being played at Wrigley, but the Bambino's Curse was even worse, forbidding the Sox from ever winning a World Series. Sad to say it, but if a Cubs-Sox series did occur, and the Cubs lost, both teams' fans could -- maybe -- walk away happier knowing their respective curses had been lifted. But if Maddux has anything to say about it, it'll be the Cubs on top:
In his first stint with the Cubs, from 1986 through '92, pitcher Greg Maddux recalls team officials saying, "We might not outplay 'em, but we'll be in better shape." Maddux thought, "It was almost like punishment for not being as good as the other team." But the Tribune Co. has changed, and the signing of Maddux to a two-year, $15 million contract is but one example. "There's talk about winning now," Maddux says. "There was never talk about winning before."

Prior (DL) Engagement For April

But to lift that curse, they'd better have superstud Mark Prior on the mound, and it looks like he's gonna be on the DL through at least May 1.

Angels Pick Up Japanese Reliever Mizuo

As if to prove old-school baseball thinking still dominates in the Angels' front office, the team signed LHP Yoshitaka Mizuo to a one-year contract if he makes the team. They won't have much time to evaluate the 35-year-old (!), as there's only a few Spring Training games left; he might show his stuff at the Freeway Series, hardly a conclusive test considering how weak Dodger hitting is likely to be.

Escobar Dominates Cubs

Helen won't like this, but Escobar turned in a fantastic performance versus the Cubs, shutting them out through seven innings, on three hits and seven strikeouts. Incidentally, what the devil is up with the ST scoring on the mlb.com website? Today's report has Chone Figgins playing for the Cubs ...

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