---Who's the first person the Cubs have interviewed on the road to finding a replacement for Lou Piniella? According to ESPNChicago.com, it's none other than former Bisons/Indians manager Eric Wedge. Cubs GM Jim Hendry was a coach at Creighton University when Wedge was an All-American catcher at fellow Missouri Valley Conference school Wichita State in the late 1980s, so there's a lot of history there. I know this is one job Wedge has had his eye on this summer if it appeared Ryne Sandberg was not a slam-dunk choice.
---Talked to International League president Randy Mobley today and he points out the league often uses fill-in umpires at first base and home plate and there's no rule limiting them to just third base. Mobley himself makes the call whether a substitute stays locked at third or can move, as Buffalo's Wally Bissett did Wednesday night. Bissett landed at first base and twice drew the Bisons' ire in the 8-3 loss to Pawtucket.
Said Mobley: "We have a few umpires that we have labeled in each city that have agreed to be available to us Within that group, there is varying degrees of experience. Based on that degree, I'll make a judgment whether they go into the rotation [to work the plate and other bases] with the other umpires."
I think the fill-ins should be kept at third during August pennant race games but Mobley countered he views it no different than a game in April. He wouldn't put a sub ump at first or behind the plate in August if he wouldn't do it in April. Fair enough. We can disagree on that point.
---Mobley points out the IL has had just 24 postponements this year, compared to 57 by Aug. 26 of 2009. The Bisons, in fact, just played their first doubleheader of the season on Sunday. Been a great weather year for the league.
---Memo to the Phillies: It's the end of August. You've been to the World Series two straight years but you're not going back if you lose four straight at home to the Astros. What's up with that?
---Memo to the Yankees: You're 5-7 against the Blue Jays. Might want to figure that one out before your seven meetings in September.
---Memo to everyone in the NL wild card race: Here come the Rockies again. Think 2007. Just sayin'.
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