1. Wednesday, March 19, 2008

    cubs total conditioning coach’s ride 

    on their 100th anniversary of their last world series win, the cubs seem to be having a bunch of fun this spring.

    the chicago tribune baseball blog, hardball, reports that the pitching staff gave strength and conditioning coach, tim buss a heart attack of sorts that he will never forget:

    “Hey Bussy, what’s your car doing on the ramp?” [third baseman Aramis] Ramirez asked, pointing to a wrecked ’95 Nissan sitting on a ramp near the Cubs bullpen.

    Buss looked over at the wreck and replied: “That’s not my car.”

    But then Buss did a double-take.

    “Dude,” he said to Ramirez. “That’s my car!”

    Buss, who had just driven the car to work, soon discovered that it had been demolished beyond recognition by some unknown perpetrators and brought to the ramp for him to see. He was aware that the pitchers liked to pull pranks, like a couple years ago in Mesa when they stole Will Ohman’s tires and left his car on cinder blocks. But this was no ordinary prank. The car windows had all been smashed in, the front, back and sides were all severely dented, and the smoking guns — a couple baseball bats and balls — were strategically placed in the windshield in case Buss wanted to get some fingerprints for the Mesa Police.

    But it didn’t take a CSI team to figure out the perpetrators. Buss figured it was the “usual suspects” all along.

    “I figured (Jon) Lieber, (Kerry) Wood immediately, (Ryan) Dempster,” he said. “Then I realized it was every pitcher we have.”

    what really frightened Buss was the 13 year old car was his wife’s.

    yikes.

    “It’s a shame,” Lieber said with a straight face. “What kind of person would do something like that? It really just shocks me. I’m sure she’ll understand.”

    After the workout ended, Buss was talking about the incident to reporters in the Cubs clubhouse when Dempster told him to “quit pouting” and come with him to the weight room to “see something.” From there, Buss and several pitchers walked out a back door and found a 2008 Nissan Xterra parked in the walkway.

    The prank was complete. Buss was presented with a new SUV valued at around $25,000. While he sat in the driver’s seat in a daze, Carlos Zambrano got in on the passenger’s side and cranked the stereo, bobbing his head to the music.

    hardball also says that cub manager lou pinella announced the probable opening day lineup, which looks pretty nice at the top, but peters out fast: Ryan Theriot at short, Aflonso Soriano in left, Derrek Lee at first, Aramis Ramirez at third, Kosuke Fukudome in right, Mark DeRosa at second, Geovany Soto catching and Felix Pie in center.

    sure wouldnt hurt to have one more big bat in that lineup.