Get on the bus, Gus
This was supposed to be the day that Cristian Guzman and Felipe Lopez worked together in the middle infield in a game for the first time. Problem: Lopez isn't here.
Lopez lives in suburban Orlando, and he spent the off day there. He was driving on Rte 528 East (the "Beeline") to get to Viera and catch the bus this morning. Caught in traffic. Missed the bus. Wanted to make the trip in his car. The team said don't bother. "It's not the end of the world," Manager Manny Acta said.
So replace him with Bernie Castro on your scoresheets at the office.
Bigger news: GM Jim Bowden said he expects reliever Luis Ayala to begin the year on the disabled list. This isn't entirely shocking given that we haven't seen Ayala in a Grapefruit League game all year. Remember he's coming back from reconstructive elbow surgery, and this is more precautionary than reflective of major setbacks. It's likely he'd begin the year throwing in warm weather rather than going to Class AAA Columbus, though Bowden wouldn't speculate on that.
So ... another spot in the pen is now open. Remember, they're likely to take seven relievers because of the, um, shaky nature of the rotation.
Other news: I'm pretty sure Bill Parcells is roaming around here somewhere. He comes to see his buddy La Russa in spring training. Haven't laid eyes on him myself, but it doesn't surprise me, especially with that whole retired thing he has going now.
Maybe an update or two as events warrant.
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