On the Cubs’ flight to Cincinnati after the team dropped all three games to the Marlins in Florida, pitcher Jason Marquis tried to keep the players’ spirits up by telling them not to worry about winning the National League Central and proclaiming he’s a good luck charm.

On the Cubs’ flight to Cincinnati after the team dropped all three games to the Marlins in Florida, pitcher Jason Marquis tried to keep the players’ spirits up by telling them not to worry about winning the National League Central and proclaiming he’s a good luck charm.


In seven big-league seasons -- four with Atlanta and three with St. Louis -- Marquis has been on seven teams that made it to the postseason.


Longer term, his resume is even more impressive. He’s been on winning teams throughout his life.


“I’ve been to the Little League World Series,” he said. “I’ve been to the Little League Eastern Regionals when I was 11. I won two high school championships.


“Obviously, it’s not all me,” he said. “I would like to think I had a part of all of those things. I’ve always been on good teams, even in high school when I was a position player.”


Has he been on any bad teams?


“In the minor leagues -- a couple,” Marquis said. “For the most part, I’ve been a part of some special teams.”


He has a wealth of experience when it comes to champagne celebrations on the major league level.


“I’ve been involved in close to 20,” Marquis said. “It got to the point where we started using goggles. The champagne stings, but knowing what it’s worth and what it’s for, it’s great.”


Medical Ward


Daryle Ward sprained his right thumb while sliding into second base in Wednesday’s game against Florida, but he said he’s available for duty.


Ward’s been on the disabled list twice this season (left hip strain, strained right calf). But he’s also been a red-hot hitter, with a .330 average -- including a .381 mark in 19 starts.


“You always have ups and downs in a season,” Ward said. “Unfortunately for me, my downs have been through injury. I haven’t had a chance to slump yet. In a strange way, the injuries have helped keep me rested. But I don’t want injuries -- especially when we’re so close to the playoffs.”


Hazing postponed


Cubs rookies were supposed to dress up in crazy outfits as a hazing ritual after Thursday’s game against Florida, but the veterans thought better of the idea after the Marlins completed a three-game sweep.


“I didn’t think it was appropriate, and I weighed in with my opinion,” manager Lou Piniella said. “If they wanted to do it, I would have let them. But they asked my opinion, and I said, ‘Let’s just wait to get to Cincinnati and forget the people getting dressed up.’ They made the decision.”


Panic? Cubs dispute that


After the Cubs’ loss Thursday, Marlins outfielder Cody Ross said the Cubs looked like they were in a “panic mode.”


“That’s ridiculous,” Mark DeRosa said. “He’s a nice guy, but that came off a little ridiculous.”


“They’ve got a lot of talent over there to lose 90 games,” Piniella said.


“Outside of that, I don’t have much to say about the situation.”


The day after


Piniella said if the Cubs clinched a playoff spot before Sunday’s regular-season finale, the lineup would be filled with plenty of youngsters.


“We’ll play the younger players and give the (veterans) a rest,” Piniella said. “Let’s hope we can give them a rest.”


Rich Hill was slated to start today on six days’ rest. Ted Lilly would still start Sunday even if the Cubs have clinched by then, Piniella said, but Lilly would pitch only two or three innings in that scenario.