Drawing closer

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for INSIDE THE IVY LOGO.jpgI just sat down with Lou Piniella for our “In the Dugout” Q&A, a first-half wrap-up to appear in the next issue of Vine Line. With one game remaining here before the All-Star break, Lou talked about the whole gamut: the Cubs’ injuries, depth, hitting struggles, success in the rotation, training staff and more.

One interesting note from our sit-down is Lou’s self-identification as a managerial “pragmatist.” He brought that up when discussing the recent success of Alfonso Soriano batting third, fifth and sixth in the order. Lou has seen a difference in Soriano’s at-bats — a patience and selectivity that wasn’t there before — and it sounds like Lou will go with what works. He didn’t necessarily expect the change to affect Soriano’s plate discipline, but Lou has been encouraged by the result.

Certainly it’s been a season that has demanded pragmatism, considering the litany of injuries that have struck the Cubs. It’s a situation Lou calls “almost comical” in a half-joking, half-disbelieving sense. He pointed out the really impressive work by Jake Fox as one of the things he looks forward to seeing continue in the second half.

For more, I’d encourage you to pick up the August issue of Vine Line. You can subscribe online or by calling 1-800-248-9467.

Fox won’t be starting tonight — at third base or behind the plate — as regulars Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez man the corners.

Fuld, CF
Theriot, SS
Lee, 1B
Ramirez, 3B
Soriano, LF
Bradley, RF
Baker, 2B
Hill, C
Wells, RHP

Right-hander Adam Wainwright (9-5, 3.09 ERA) pitches for the Cardinals.

And we have a late addition to the lineup: Punk rock band Green Day will be singing the seventh-inning stretch.

— Sean Ahmed


Hello everyone,

I?m helping promote a free raffle for the chance to throw out the first pitch at the Cubs? Sept. 3 game against the White Sox. This past Sunday, July 12, Valspar launched the raffle at the Cubs doubleheader split against the Cards. The raffle is now live online at this link: http://www.valspar.com/fieldcolors/.

It’ll only be up until this Sunday July 19 at 11:59 PM Central Time. There is no age limit to enter, so if you have children that would like a chance to throw out the first pitch, go ahead and enter them, too. Second prize winners will get a baseball autographed by either Alfonso Soriano or Derrek Lee. Thanks for your time!

Hi again,

Just very quickly for interested Cubs fans – the raffle to throw out the first pitch at Wrigley on Sept. 3 has been extended. You can now enter until August 2 at 11:59 PM CT. The link remains the same: http://www.valspar.com/fieldcolors/. Thanks again for your time.

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