I don’t know from marketing,  but maybe El Hombre’s package is just what Cardinals fans want.  After Carlos Marmol pegged him in yesterday’s 9th, they might not get it today.

While the Cubs await a decision on the Bradley expulsion and possible “umpire contact” issue, noted umpire rights activist Tony La Russa sucked up to stood up for the men in black.  After Derrek Lee said Card pitcher Adam Wainwright caught some breaks fwhen pitching to Bradley, La Russa replied,  “I don’t know how the Cubs get away with making the comments they make about umpires.”

Get away with it?  When did MLB outlaw bitching about umpires?  Maybe La Russa can add umps to his animal rights charity work and find umpire Larry Vanover a good home after Bradley’s cap bumped him.  Anyway, the Trib’s Dave Van Dyck (in the Please Rename it NOW “Cubs Bits” column) found an unrepentant Lou Piniella on Milton Bradley and his strike zone:  “I don’t know what I can say. I sent him up there to hit, a 3-and-2 pitch, it didn’t look like a good pitch to me, but the umpires ¦ I don’t know how to answer your question, I’ll be honest with you. If I don’t know how to answer it, I might as well not.”

As to Friday and Game 2, if Michael Bay directed a baseball movie, it might look like yesterday’s 8-7 Cub win:  Big numbers, terrible execution, and an empty feel-good ending for Chicago.  The sure-fire Disney angle of the kid called up from the minors to fill in for the Cardinals’ hurt ace, Carpenter, found Walters knocked around plenty for the loss and not going to Disneyland.  Then again, the hometown hero angle was botched, too:  Zambrano’s 7 innings and 7 runs and 3 HRs given up couldn’t be CGId into anything but crap.  Soriano struck out three times before popping a 2-run HR to pull the Cubs ahead.  Then Carlos Marmol managed a beautiful Ryan Ludwick strikeout before erasing it from the highlight reel to hit Pujols in the 9th.  As Zambrano explained to Van Dyck, “Things happen.”