This is a HUGE step for the Cubs organ-I-zation, Joe Maddon is set to become the next manager on the North Side, seriously, say that out loud. The Cubs announced that there will be an introductory press conference on Monday afternoon at 2PM, not sure if that is Eastern or Central yet. The presser will take place at the Cubby Bear due to the ongoing construction at Wrigley Field. I’m not saying that hiring Joe Maddon will guarantee winning, but I am saying that hiring him puts the Cubs in the best possible position to win, a lot, and for a long time, it’s the perfect hire. The 2015 off season promised to be a landscape changing one, and it has already delivered, PUMPED!
Finally, after days of speculation it seems as though the Cubs are ready to make the Joe Maddon hire official. In doing so, they have to clear a spot for him, and they did that just now, as Rick Renteria has been fired. Here is a link to the full statement from the Cubs (Renteria let go), tons of solid quotes in there from Theo regarding the process of firing a manager that really didn’t deserve it. Bottom line is that Joe Maddon is better suited to see this ballclub into it’s competitive years, and that’s not a knock on Ricky Renteria, it is what it is. Renteria was given the option to take on another role with the Cubs, but I doubt that he will remain in the organization as, well, you know, awkward. The Maddon news should be official shortly, and I’m beyond pumped as I have wanted Joe Maddon leading this team since Theo, and Jed took over, he seems like the perfect fit for a team that is ready to explode onto the scene, and become relevant once again, or maybe for the first time.
Solid pitching? Check. Just enough hitting? Check.
It seems simple, but the Cubs have played some solid baseball over the past 90 games (45-45 before tonight), and they aren’t showing any signs of slowing down with their latest win in Cincinnati tonight, their fourth straight. Travis Wood found his 2013 magic against his former employer, he worked six scoreless innings, giving up just two hits, while walking one, and striking out five. The Cubs pen shut, no, slammed the door once again, as Neil Ramirez, Pedro Strop, and Hector Rondon were lights out. Wood picked up his eighth win of the season, and Rondon registered his 22nd save of the year.
Offensively the Cubs got started in the first, and that was all they needed. Anthony Rizzo hit an absolute bomb off of Cy Young candidate Johnny Cueto in the first, it was his 30th home run of the season, that’s impressive. Starlin Castro returned from the bereavement list tonight, and picked up right where he left off, he went 2-for-4 in the win. Arismendy Alcantara joined the fun late, as he blasted a two-run shot to give the Cubs some insurance in the seventh.
Get ready for Jorge Soler, he debuts tomorrow!
Note: Anthony Rizzo left the game late with some back tightness, he should be fine.
Not a bad way to go out, eh? Jorge Soler took Taijuan Walker deep last night, then was pulled because he was getting called up by the Cubs, solid night. Pure power on display here, gets a fastball up, and destroys it, I can’t wait for Wednesday when Soler is expected to make his debut with the Cubs in Cinicnnati.
I’m not going to lie, yesterday was a big day. For years now, we have talked about Javier Baez, reported on him, traveled to see him, provided live updates of his at bats in Tennessee, Iowa, etc. Yesterday we watched with all of you as Baez did something to help the Major League team, on the field. Sure, he’s just one guy, but he signals the next step in this process, and that is something to be truly excited about.
As soon as MLB gets their crap together I will embed.
The Cubs are going to trade Emilio Bonifacio. Per the reports, that may come way sooner than later, as multiple sources around the Cubs have said that a deal is very close.
The Orioles, Giants, Royals, Reds, and Mariners have been tied to Bonifacio as recently as this past week. If I had to guess, I think Bonifacio will be dealt to the Orioles, stay tuned. The Cubs signed Bonifacio rather close to the start of the 2014 season, and has provided all sorts of value all over the field. If the Cubs can turn Bonifacio into something tangible moving forward that would be a big win for the organization.