Entries Tagged as 'Cubs'

Cubs: Art imitating life

The Onion Sports Network  does it again with their article: 

‘Chicago Cubs Can’t Believe They’re Doing This Again’.

"Why the hell are we still putting ourselves through this?" left fielder Alfonso Soriano said during an Opening Day press conference, adding that no one on the team has ever been happy at the end of the season, during the season, or at the beginning of the season, which, according to Soriano, is when everyone actually feels the most hopeless. "We just have to admit to ourselves that the Chicago Cubs should not be playing in a professional baseball league. Can we all just do that and put an end to this misery?" 

It would be funny if it weren’t so true.  Fortunately, this is next year.

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Cubs have spring fever, take frustrations out on each other

I thought we were told there would be no more of this.  

USA Today:  Fight breaks out in Cubs dugout during spring game

It seems Carlos Silva was the one who couldn’t keep his cool.

The Cubs said that Silva was "not in the right frame of mind to talk" after the game.

To be honest, I pretty much expected to read about Carlos Zambrano, not Silva, when I clicked the headline link.  I’m not sure whether it’s a good or bad thing that I was wrong.

Keep it cool, Silva

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Quommunication

While White Sox manager is embroiled in a sniping war with former Sox reliever Bobby Jenks, it looks like Mike Quade is cementing himself as the Great Communicator in the Cubs organization.

From USA Today:

Mike Quade already had the attention of his Chicago Cubs players during his first spring training as a big league manager, between his hands-on approach during drills, added attention to fundamentals, and an infectious energy he brings to work.

But not even the most alert player saw this coming Friday: lineups posted for the first three exhibition games, two days in advance of the spring opener, complete with each starter’s backup for the day listed in parentheses.

I’m not sure if it’s an issue of communication or just plain being organized.  Compared to the former Cubs czar, the players think he’s quite on top of things. 

Yet, communication, efficiency and even being a ‘players manager’ may not translate to wins.  We won’t know that come April.  It’s a good start, though.

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Jenkins turn to get licked

Speaking of Canadian baseball players, former Cub pitcher Ferguson Jenkins can add one more to his list of accomplishments. 

Fergie’s face will adorn a postage stamp. This will be part of an effort to commemorate Black History Month this upcoming February.  Along with his portrait, there will be a backdrop of Jenkins throwing off the mound in a Cubs uniform.  Jenkins was in Ottawa on Monday to help Canada Post to celebrate the event (and apparently his birthday as well).

Ferguson Jenkins is the only Canadian-born player in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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Wood on coming back to the Cubs: “nothing is impossible”

Kerry Wood addressed the issue of the possibility of being a Cub again.   "Nothing is impossible. We’ll see how things play out.", he said according to the Trib.

I liked Kerry Wood.  I still do.  Talent and upside aside, he represents Cub mentality even two years after he left the team.  Most Cub fans I know think of him fondly.  It’s reported that even Jim Hendry has a soft spot for Wood. 

Bring him back, I say.

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Joe P’s tribute to Santo

If you haven’t seen it, check out Joe Posnanski’s tribute to Ron Santo on SI.com

For many years, Ron Santo’s identity was wrapped up in being left outside. He was, simply, the greatest player not in the Baseball Hall of Fame. This is not to say that he was a better baseball player than Dick Allen or Minnie Minoso or Bert Blyleven or Ken Boyer or numerous other terrific players who have not yet been elected and inducted. That is a matter opinion. This is not to say he was a more egregious oversight than any of these players or others. That, too, is opinion.

Very well played. 

PS here is the AP report on Ronnie’s funeral and wake.

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Ron Santo passes away

cubs conv sat 053 My friend Tyler called me Friday afternoon with the sad news that Cubs broadcaster and former third baseman Ron Santo had died.  It had been such a busy day, I hadn’t heard the news reports. 

Tyler lamented, “I wonder now will they induct him in the Hall?”

I don’t think he was insinuating that players should be inducted on the basis of sympathy (although no doubt, others may feel that way).  However, it would be a sad irony if he did get his invite to the Hall posthumously. Mr Santo made no secret (though he did it with such humbleness) that he wished to get to Cooperstown. 

I’ll be honest… Santo was not my favorite broadcaster behind the mike.  I don’t think I’m alone in that.  He was entering an modern era that was not his.  That said, as a representative of the Cubs, a liaison to the public, a go-between from baseball to Joe and Jane Public, there was no one better.  He was as real as it gets in this media-phony world of broadcasting.  His love for the Cubs was atypically genuine.  For that, I will miss him. 

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Things always look better after an Illini win

I may have come off as a tad grumpy when I insinuated that the Big Ten modifications to Wrigley Field for the Illinois-Northwestern football game were a “joke”.  Funny what an Illini 48-27 win and a Mikel Leshoure 300+ rushing performance can do to temper one’s opinion. 

Bleed Cubbie Blue’s Al Yellon, who attended the game, had a more positive spin on the whole affair:

But when the Cubs, Northwestern, Illinois and the Big Ten put on a spectacle as entertaining as today’s 48-27 blowout by the Illini over the Wildcats, it shows off Wrigley to a national audience as the terrific place it is…

…For those of you who cried, "travesty", "joke" or "disaster" yesterday when the rule changes were announced, I say: kwitcherbitchin. Playing every offensive series facing the west end zone had absolutely no impact on the flow of the game. The officials seemed briefly confused the very first time they had to reposition the ball, but after that it all went smoothly.

Boy, it’s almost like Al’s talking to me.  I will indeed kwitmybitchin’. 

Rumor has it that there was a lot of good-natured Cubs-Sox trash talkin’ going on between the Illini players.  No word on which contingent was larger. 

Congrats to the Illini who are in line for a bowl bid for the first time since 2007. 

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Cubs reacting to Wrigley safety measures by Big Ten

A last minute decision based on safety has turned the Illinois-Northwestern football game at Wrigley Field tomorrow into somewhat of a joke.  To put it simply, there will be one end zone and whenever there is a switch in possession, the teams will turn to the opposite direction so the offense will face that said end zone. 

The end zone is on the west side of the football field now desecrating Wrigley Field.

Maybe this Wrigley Field idea wasn’t such a great idea after all.

Wrigley Field was modified to Big Ten standards.  Earlier, Big Ten officials did a walk-through at Wrigley and didn’t raise a fuss.  Both of those points were raised in a rather terse even passive-aggressive statement issued by the Chicago Cubs organization after the Big Ten decided to make their changes:

“This game would not have been scheduled if it did not pass the strict and meticulous standards of everyone involved, a process that began more than a year ago. All are in agreement Wrigley Field is a safe venue to host a football game. Other baseball parks, including tomorrow night’s game in Yankee Stadium, feature similar football field-to-venue grid dimensions and rule changes are not considered for football games played in other baseball parks.

“We have reached out to the Big Ten to further discuss the playing field. While we are surprised by this morning’s last-minute statement, all agree that tomorrow will be an historic event and a wonderful experience for the fans, the schools and the student-athletes.”

Well, it doesn’t bode well to upset your hosts.  Play Ball! 

oh and Go Illini!

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Caray statue damaged at Wrigley

Maybe it’s an omen or something.  Like telling us football should not be played at Wrigley Field.

The statue of Harry Caray at Wrigley was damaged by a vehicle that was used to prepare for the Illini-Northwestern football game next weekend.

They have already made preparations to repair the statue. 

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