Notes: Spitball culprit on North Side?

Notes: Spitball culprit on North Side?

NEW YORK -- As if the upcoming Cubs-White Sox series needed any extra motivation for the fans, White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle has suggested one of the Cubs pitchers throws a spitball.

"I don't want to get too many people in trouble," Buehrle said in a radio interview in Chicago, "but I think there are a lot of people who may use something out of the ordinary, even if it's a spitball."

Buehrle was asked to name names, but said: "I can't get myself in trouble because he's on the North Side. I don't know personally, but I'm just saying from years of experience that he's had success that he very well may be using something."

There's only one Major League team on the North Side, and the only pitchers on the Cubs with "years of experience" would be Greg Maddux, who has 310 career victories, and Mike Remlinger.

"Good," Remlinger said Friday when told of the accusations. "It'll give hitters something to think about. But I don't think they're talking about me."

After shutting out the Dodgers, 6-0, at U.S. Cellular Field on Friday, Buehrle elaborated on his earlier comments and said he didn't know how Maddux's name was attached to the southpaw's comments.

"It's too hard for people to understand why Greg is so good," Remlinger said. "They think he must be cheating. I don't think he ever deals with it because the only way he'd deal with it is to give time to talk about it.

"Being on the other side, you always wondered about [Maddux] because his ball moved so much more than anybody else," Remlinger said. "But a lot of people have figured out how to throw that two-seam backdooor sinker. I saw balls that did just what they do in the game and he never went near touching anything."

What about Maddux?

"It wasn't me," Maddux said. "Who's Mark Buehrle?"

Cubs reliever Ryan Dempster, told of the accusation, confessed. Sort of.

"They got me," Dempster said, tongue in cheek. "It's one of those things where I have a tough time gripping on the ball. I usually use snot, but I don't have enough snot.

"Mark, you caught me," Dempster said. "I'm glad in your busy schedule you had nothing else to do but imply that I was using spit on the ball. You must get bored in between the four days off. As a starter I can appreciate that. Now that I'm doing the relieving thing, I don't have time to think of things like that."

Then Dempster abruptly ended his comic monologue, as amused by the accusations as everyone else.

"I mean, c'mon -- is he serious?" Dempster said.

   Todd Walker  /   2B
Born: 05/25/73
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 185 lbs
Bats: L / Throws: R

Second home: Enrique Wilson, who played for the Yankees from 2001-04, started at second base Friday, while Todd Walker was the designated hitter for the Cubs. The last season Walker was a DH was 2003, and he was 3-for-8. They've got to play by American League rules in the American League park in Interleague Play.

"Wilson is playing second because he knows this ballpark, he knows this team," Baker said. "Todd is a very formidable DH. We're trying to use a guy who knows the ballpark and knows the team, and hopefully that can help us beat them."

Baker has played in Yankee Stadium before with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1977, '78 and '81 World Series.

"My first time was '77 when I was in the World Series against the Yankees with the Dodgers," Baker said. "My first thoughts are as a kid growing up, I was a Dodger fan. When I got to the big leagues with the Dodgers, they still beat us. We finally beat them in '81.

"I enjoy coming here," he said. "The fans are into it, and you know you've got to play, and it makes for exciting baseball."

Extra bases: Kerry Wood (shoulder) is not with the team in New York, but is scheduled to make his second rehab start for Triple-A Iowa on Sunday in Nashville. Wood threw 46 pitches on Tuesday in a rain-shortened start in Des Moines. ... Jose Macias, who faced Mark Prior during his simulated game on Friday, said he likes taking part in the extra work. "It's good for me and it's good for them," he said. "They can work on things, I can work on things, too. They want me to be ready." ... The Cubs have yet to name a fifth starter for Tuesday's game in Milwaukee. ... The Yankees unveiled plans for a new ballpark this week. "George [Steinbrenner] knows what he's doing," Baker said, "and he has the money to do it. Everything gets old sooner or later. I'm sure there was much thought and deliberation."

Big Apple: Friday marks the Cubs' first regular-season visit to Yankee Stadium ever. But it's not the first time the team will play a regular-season game in a Yankee home ballpark.

The Cubs played the New York Giants four times at the Yankees' Hilltop Park from May 9-12, 1911. The games were moved from the Giants' home park after a fire destroyed the Polo Grounds in April 1911. A newly rebuilt Polo Grounds was ready by July 1911.

Before the 2003 Cubs-Yankees Interleague series at Wrigley Field:

• The last time the teams had met was in late March 1951, when they split a two-game Spring Training series in Phoenix, March 29-30.

• The last time the teams met in meaningful games was in the 1932 and 1938 World Series, both four-game sweeps by the Yankees. The Cubs were a combined 0-4 at Yankee Stadium where they were outscored, 30-13. Joe Marty (Oct. 8, 1938) and Ken O'Dea (Oct. 9, 1938) were the only Cubs to homer at Yankee Stadium during the World Series.

• Some more facts: Three managers have skippered both clubs. They are Frank Chance (Cubs 1905-'12, Yankees 1913-'14), Joe McCarthy (Cubs 1926-'30, Yankees 1931-'46), and Gene Michael (Cubs 1986-'87, Yankees 1981-'82).

• Joe McCarthy was the first manager to win a pennant in both leagues. McCarthy managed the Cubs to the 1929 pennant. He then lead the Yankees to pennants in 1932, 1936-'39 and 1941-'43. McCarthy's teams won seven of nine World Series (lost in '29 and '42) and were a combined 30-13 (1-4 with the Cubs in '29).

Minor matters: David Kelton hit a tie-breaking home run in the seventh inning to lift Triple-A Iowa to a 6-5 victory over New Orleans on Thursday. Phil Norton gave up two runs on three hits over six innings. Calvin Murray went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and four RBIs. Trenidad Hubbard was 2-for-4 with an RBI. ... Double-A West Tenn beat Mississippi, 9-5, in the first game of a doubleheader. Jon Connolly gave up four runs, none earned, on six hits over 4 2/3 innings. In the second game, David Aardsma threw five scoreless innings and gave up two hits while striking out seven. West Tenn won, 2-1. Matt Murton was 3-for-3 with a double. ... Peoria was eliminated from first-half contention after losing, 5-4, to Quad Cities. Matt Weber started and gave up three runs on eight hits over 6 2/3 innings. Eric Patterson was 1-for-3 and scored two runs.

On deck: Glendon Rusch has never beaten the New York Yankees. Maybe Saturday is the day. The left-hander will start in Game 2 of the Interleague series against Taiwan right-hander Chien-Ming Wang.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.