Baseball's good, bad and ugly

Oh, man, I'm getting excited for the baseball season to start ... The days of watching afternoon games on WGN and Sunday night games on ESPN can't seem to come soon enough.

(How much I'm going to miss playing the game on Sunday afternoons remains to be seen, but at least I can take solace in the fact I went out on top.)

I get even more excited when I read stories like this optimistic one about the Cubs. Getting rid of Milton Bradley was the best move the Cubs could have made during the offseason.

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So I read this morning that there's a plan to put a Toyota sign above the bleachers at Wrigley Field ...


I'm not opposed to advertising at Wrigley Field ... as long as it's done tastefully. This proposed plan doesn't do that.

If the illustration in the Tribune story is an accurate depiction, and I believe it probably is, the sign would totally take away from the aesthetics of the surrounding archtecure that help make the ballpark so wonderful.

I'm with Jim Peters ...

"It's a vertical sign on a design that's horizontal. It's very obtrusive."

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Meanwhile, down in St. Louis ...

A story surfaced this week that the Phillies had discussed trading Ryan Howard for Albert Pujols. I caught Buster Olney's mention of it on Sportscenter earlier this week, and even he looked uncomfortable reporting it, saying flat-out that the talks were internal and there was almost no likelihood the trade would become a reality ...

And yet, the Sportscenter anchor seemed to push him on it and asked additional questions when, clearly, the deal was probably nothing more than a random musing in the Phillies' executive hallway.

Never should have been reported, if you ask me. And it's stuff like this that gives us media types a bad reputation. The players involved have the right to be a little annoyed.

As Joe Posnanski wrote about the non-story:
The fact that this rumor got ANYWHERE gives you an idea about how hungry we in America are for dramatic trade talk, no matter how illogical. And this is as illogical as they get. Albert Pujols is the most popular athlete in St. Louis -- probably the most popular athlete in St. Louis since Stan Musial. If the Cardinals were bound by law to either a) Trade Pujols or b) Change the team name to the Budweisers and going with a drunken guy wearing a beer hat as their logo, they would lose fewer fans going with b).

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