From the Cubicle: Cubs- Padres

Live play-by-play of today's Cubs-Padres game from a guy who doesn't know what to think of Jim Edmonds

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The big question of the day, one that will be answered shortly, is how the most loyal/obnoxious fans in sports will greet the hated former St. Louis Cardinal Jim Edmonds as he steps to the plate for the first time wearing a Cubs uniform.

Who's next, Steve Garvey?

Edmonds, a Gold Glover and World Series champion in a previous life, was hitting .178 before the Padres released him. Cubs GM Jim Hendry stepped in, snatched him up and here we are -- a moment many of us could never envision: Jim Edmonds in a Cubs uniform (wearing No. 15, by the way).

I suspect most Cubs fans don't like this move. I've heard some people, in an attempt to be the voice of reason, mention Dennis Rodman. The difference is Rodman was in his prime, stepped in for the treasonous Horace Grant and helped the Bulls to three more titles. Maybe a more apt comparison is John Starks, remember him? The former kneeing Knicks off guard spent part of the 2000 season with the Bulls, most of it pouting at home before Jerry Krause released him too late for him to be eligible for another team's playoff roster.

For a Cubs comparison, there's Gary Gaetti, whom the Cubs signed in 1998 and wrung the last drippings of any productivity out of en route to the National League Wild Card. But I don't remember anyone ever hating Gaetti when he was a Cardinal.

I'm sure there will be some boos when he steps to the plate for the first time. (And I'm sure if he hits, those boos quickly will vanish quicker than those calling for Alfonso Soriano's benching.) But I think it's time to get over it. I mean, Edmonds and Carlos Zambrano appear to have put aside and hugged it out in the clubhouse today. Everyone else should do the same.

Today's lineups. Some guy name Greg Maddux goes for the Padres against the once resurgent but now scuffling a bit Ryan Dempster. Dempster's 0-1 in his last two starts. And so much for Soriano stinking up the joint.

Baseball soon on Jim Edmonds day.

First inning

It's 54 freakin' degrees here in mid-may and Jody Gerut, who's from Elmhurst or some place, grounds to first on the first pitch. Derrek Lee makes a nice play to get the first out. Tadahito Iguchi -- The Gooch is back! -- lines out to Soriano. Brian Giles singles to right and each Padre yet far has hit the ball hard. Dempster fans Adrian Gonzalez to end the top half of the first.

Maddux v. Soriano. Soriano has a two-game leadoff homer streak going. Soriano lines the first pitch to center for a single. Theriot bounces into a 6-4-3 double play. Lee grounds out to third and Maddux sits the Cubs down on four pitches and there was a hit in there, too.

No score (do you see any bold type?)

Second inning

Forgot to mention the wind: It's blowing in at 10 mph from the ENE, which means it's blowing off the lake, which means it's blowing straight in from center. Kelly ... Kelly Moore! Kevin Kouzmanoff chases a breaking ball in the dirst for strike three. Khalil Greene, the only Baha'i I know of in the majors, lines out to Ronny Cedeno at second. Paul McAnulty flies out to Edmonds in shallow center. There he is, everyone. Dempster with a nine-pitch inning, nearly as economical as Maddux.

Ramirez shoots a leadoff double past the first baseman Gonzalez. Kosuke Fukudome moves Ramirez along to third with a grounder to the right side. Edmonds steps up to a nice hand. Some stand and some shirtless with his last name spelled out on their chests. Puddy, is that you? Hardly a boo there. I think everyone's opinion changed once they saw him in a Cubs uniform. Maddux's pitch sails to the backtop, Ramirez comes home but the ball bounces hard off the bricks right back to the catcher and Ramirez is out easily. Edmonds then singles to right. Cheers all around from the fans at Wrigley. All is forgiven. How cute. Cedeno singles back up the middle; Edmonds stops at second. Henry Blanco used to be Maddux's personal catcher, so he gets the start today. Will that pay off? I'm sure it's a lot easier catching Maddux than hitting him. Not that catching at any level is easy. Gerut robs Blano of a hit and RBI with a charging, diving catch of a sinking liner to center to end the second.

Scoreless

Third inning

Luke Carlin takes a called third strike on a backdoor slider from Dempster. Maddux bounces out to third. Gerut grounds out to short to end an eight-pitch inning for Dempster.

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