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Article updated: 2/10/2013 11:42 PM

Don't expect much Chicago drama in spring training

By Scot Gregor

Seven weeks from today, it's "Play Ball" time for the White Sox and Cubs.

That's a ways off, but baseball is officially back as Cubs pitchers and catchers reported for work in Mesa, Ariz., Sunday. Sox pitchers and catchers take the field for the first time in Glendale, Ariz., on Tuesday.

Between now and April 1 -- when the White Sox open the regular season at home against the Royals while the Cubs get started at Pittsburgh -- don't expect too much drama from either Chicago major-league entry.

New Sox general manager Rick Hahn, who spent the past 12 years assisting Kenny Williams, might decide he needs to add another left-handed bat at some point in March. On the North Side, GM Jed Hoyer might decide the time is right to trade erratic closer Carlos Marmol.

At this stage of the new season, there's no need to rush.

And with the World Baseball Classic back this spring, there's actually an extra week of camp to prepare for the upcoming 162-game grind.

If you are heading to Arizona to catch the White Sox or Cubs play in the Cactus League this spring, there's a chance you'll miss Sox right fielder Alex Rios, who is playing for Team Puerto Rico in the WBC.

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is playing for Team Italy.

Otherwise, head out to Camelback Ranch in Glendale to watch the Sox or historic HoHoKam Park in Mesa to see the Cubs, who are moving to a new $99-million spring stadium in 2014.

Be prepared to see plenty of obscure young players with high uniform numbers, especially during the first few weeks of Cactus League play. If you are a prospect junkie, spring training is the place to be.

If possible, try to catch the White Sox vs. Cubs in Mesa on March 7 or in Glendale on March 15.

And if you're looking for a baseball break, drive up into the mountains and visit Sedona, the "Red Rock City." The scenic drive alone is worth the trip. Heading south to Sabino Canyon in Tucson or Tombstone is also recommended.

Key dates for MLB

Today: Voluntary Spring Training report date for pitchers, catchers and injured players

Friday: Voluntary date on which all non-World Baseball Classic position players may be invited to Spring Training

Feb. 20: Mandatory date by which all non-World Baseball Classic players must report

March 2-6: World Baseball Classic, First Round

Pool A - Fukuoka, Japan (Fukuoka Dome): Japan, Cuba, China, Brazil

March 2-5: Pool B - Taichung, Taiwan (Intercontinental Stadium): Korea, Netherlands, Australia, Chinese Taipei

March 7-10: Pool C - San Juan, Puerto Rico (Hiram Bithorn Stadium): Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Spain

March 7-10; Pool D - Phoenix, Ariz. (Chase Field & Salt River Fields at Talking Stick): United States, Mexico, Italy, Canada

March 8-12: World Baseball Classic, Second Round

Pool 1 - Tokyo, Japan (Tokyo Dome)

March 12-16: World Baseball Classic, Second Round

Pool 2 - Miami, Fla. (Marlins Park)

March 17-19: World Baseball Classic, Championship Round

Finals - San Francisco, Calif. (AT&T Park)

March 31: Active rosters trimmed to 25

White Sox camp

Camelback Ranch, Glendale

10710 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85037

Opened: 2009

Capacity: 13,500 (3,000 grass)

Spring training games

Date: Opponent, Site, Time

Saturday, Feb. 23: vs. DODGERS at Glendale, 1:05

Sunday, Feb. 24: vs. DODGERS at Glendale, 1:05

Monday, Feb. 25: at Giants, Scottsdale 1:05

Tuesday, Feb. 26: at Rangers, Surprise, 1:05

Wednesday, Feb. 27: vs. RANGERS at Glendale, 1:05

Thursday, Feb. 28: at Brewers Maryvale, 1:05

Friday, March 1: at Indians, Goodyear, 1:05

Saturday, March 2: vs. REDS at Glendale, 1:05

Sunday, March 3: at Padres, Peoria, 1:05

Monday, March 4: vs. GIANTS at Glendale, 1:05

Tuesday, March 5: vs. USA (WBC) at Glendale, 1:05

Wednesday, March 6: OFF DAY

Thursday, March 7: at Cubs, Mesa, 1:05

Friday, March 8: vs. PADRES at Glendale, 1:05

Saturday, March 9: at Diamondbacks, Scottsdale/Salt River, 1:10

Sunday, March 10: vs. REDS (ss) at Glendale, 1:05

Sunday, March 10: at Mariners (ss), Peoria, 1:05

Monday, March 11: vs. ROCKIES at Glendale, 1:05

Tuesday, March 12: OFF DAY

Wednesday, March 13: vs. INDIANS at Glendale, 1:05

Thursday, March 14: at Angels, Tempe, 1:05

Friday, March 15: vs. CUBS at Glendale, 12:05

Saturday, March 16: vs. ATHLETICS at Glendale, 1:05

Sunday, March 17: at Royals, Surprise, 1:05

Monday, March 18: OFF DAY

Tuesday, March 19: at Reds, Goodyear, 1:05

Wednesday, March 20: vs. DIAMONDBACKS at Glendale, 1:05

Thursday, March 21: vs. BREWERS at Glendale, 1:05

Friday, March 22: at Athletics, Phoenix, 7:05

Saturday, March 23: vs. DODGERS at Glendale, 7:05

Sunday, March 24: vs. ROYALS at Glendale, 1:05

Monday, March 25: vs. ANGELS at Glendale, 1:05

Tuesday, March 26: at Rangers, Surprise, 1:05

Wednesday, March 27: vs. INDIANS at Glendale, 12:05

Thursday, March 28 OFF DAY

Friday, March 29: at Brewers, Milwaukee, 7:10

Saturday, March 30: at Brewers, Milwaukee, 1:10

Home games are in CAPS. Game times are PM and local.

(ss) = Split squad; schedules are subject to changes.

Cubs camp

Hohokam Park

1235 N. Center St., Mesa, AZ 85201

Opened: 1997

Capacity: 13,074

Spring training games

Date: Opponent, Site, Time

Saturday, Feb. 23: at Angels, Tempe, 1:05

Sunday, Feb. 24: vs. GIANTS, Mesa, 1:05

Monday, Feb. 25: at Dodgers, Glendale, 1:05

Tuesday, Feb. 26: vs. ROCKIES, Mesa, 1:05

Wednesday, Feb. 27: vs. DODGERS, Mesa, 1:05

Thursday, Feb 28: vs. ATHLETICS, Mesa, 1:05

Friday, March 1: vs. DIAMONDBACKS, Mesa, 1:05

Saturday, March 2: at Giants, Scottsdale, 1:05

Sunday, March 3: vs. BREWERS (ss), Mesa, 1:05

Sunday, March 3: at Angels (ss), Tempe, 1:05

Monday, March 4: vs. INDIANS, Mesa, 1:05

Tuesday, March 5: at Rockies, Scottsdale/Salt River, 1:10

Wednesday, March 6: at Rangers, Surprise, 1:05

Thursday, March 7: vs. WHITE SOX, Mesa, 1:05

Friday, March 8: at Reds, Goodyear, 7:05

Saturday, March 9: vs. INDIANS, Mesa, 1:05

Sunday, March 10: vs. PADRES, Mesa, 1:05

Monday, March 11: at Diamondbacks, Scottsdale/Salt River, 1:05

Tuesday, March 12: OFF DAY

Wednesday, March 13: vs. ROCKIES, Mesa, 1:05

Thursday, March 14: at Dodgers, Glendale, 1:05

Friday, March 15: at White Sox, Glendale, 12:05

Saturday, March 16: vs. ROYALS (ss), Mesa, 1:05

Saturday, March 16: at Rangers (ss), Las Vegas, 1:05

Sunday, March 17: at Athletics (ss), Phoenix, 1:05

Sunday, March 17: at Rangers (ss), Las Vegas, 1:05

Monday, March 18: at Padres, Peoria, 1:05

Tuesday, March 19: vs. RANGERS, Mesa, 1:05

Wednesday, March 20: OFF DAY

Thursday, March 21: at Mariners, Peoria, 7:05

Friday, March 22: at Brewers, Maryvale, 1:05

Saturday, March 23: vs. ANGELS, Mesa, 1:05

Sunday, March 24: at Indians, Goodyear, 1:05

Monday, March 25: vs. GIANTS, Mesa, 1:05

Tuesday, March 26: vs. REDS, Mesa, 7:05

Wednesday, March 27: at Royals, Surprise, 6:10

Thursday, March 28: vs. MARINERS, Mesa, 12:05

Friday, March 29: at Astros, Houston, 7:05

Saturday, March 30: at Astros, Houston, 1:05

Home games are in CAPS. Game times are PM and local.

(ss) = Split squad; schedules are subject to changes.

Follow Scot's White Sox and baseball reports on Twitter@scotgregor, and check out his Chicago's Inside Pitch blog at dailyherald.com.

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