Katie is a 21-year-old student from Gratiot, WI….don’t panic, she isn’t a Brewers fan, in fact she is a die-hard Cubs fan, so die-hard that she has just made the cut. The cut for what? I’ll tell you! Katie is one of the 30 finalists for the MLB Fan Cave, quite the accomplishment considering this is a contest opened up to just about anyone that likes baseball and has access to a recording device to make a video entry. Katie cracked the top 52 and had to be voted into the top 30, and thanks to social media and Cubs fans help, she made it. So congrats to Katie, I will keep you posted on her journey, which just got a lot cooler, per the MLB Fan Cave website..
“The MLB Fan Cave 2013 contest has been narrowed down to 30 finalists. These talented contestants have been invited to Arizona for Spring Training next week to audition to be the 2013 MLB Fan Cave Dwellers. Follow @MLBFanCave and #FanCave30 on Twitter for real-time updates from Arizona.”
Here is Katie with Tony Campana at Wrigley, try not to give her crap about Tony Campana, I think she is still getting over his departure.
You can follow Katie on Twitter, I do, you should too, she can talk baseball and specifically Cubs with the best of them, @Katiecernek. Give her a follow to get a first hand look at her Fan Cave journey as it hits a new level at Spring Training in Arizona. Go Cubs Go, and Go Katie Go! Born on Third is wishing you the best of luck and congratulating you on making it this far!
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Per a report, Carlos Marmol has been accused of domestic violence, no charges as of yet. These stories are tricky as I’m sure multi-million dollar athletes are the target of blackmail and extortion all the time, so obviously we should wait to hear some details before claiming Carlos Marmol is a woman beater. Remember last year during the off-season when Starlin Castro was also accused of assault, details were sketchy at the time of that event as well and turned out to be nothing. Domestic violence is not a joke, and should not be joked about so I really hope this is just a story of someone trying to get rich quick instead of Marmol being despicable. The report is coming out of the Dominican Republic and names a 24-year-old defendant in the claim. Here is the full story, in Spanish if you would like to read it over, I can’t, at least not all of it. There has not been a statement from Marmol or the Cubs about this story but I’m sure that once it starts making the rounds, like it is currently doing, the team will be forced to address it.
With all of that said, players do share responsibility to put themselves in better situations, like Castro last year. It’s an assumed risk of being a ballplayer, like I said, hopefully there is no weight to this claim and it will be non news once again, as soon as details emerge I’ll pass them along.
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A huge trade appears to be in the works, but we all know how quick things can change. Toronto is obviously going for it as they are rumored to have acquired Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buerlhe, Emilio Bonifacio, and John Buck from the Miami Marlins. The Marlins will receive SS Yunel Escobar, pitchers Henderson Alvarez and Justin Nicolino, INF Adeiny Hechavarria, and OF Jake Marisnick. The Marlins, who spent like crazy last winter have blown their team up and are beginning to stock pile young talent throughout their system. Marisnick, Nicolino, and Hechavarria were all in the Blue Jays top 10 prospects at number two, five, and seven respectively. Alvarez is a nice young arm that they can put in their rotation right now, and Escobar has always had talent, but has had some issues both on the field and off during his career. The Marlins have virtually erased 2011 off-season moving Reyes and Buerhle in this deal. As you recall they have already moved Heath Bell and have fired Ozzie Guillen. If any more details come out we will let you know.
UPDATE: The Marlins will also receive C Jeff Mathis and RHP Anthony DeSclafani. Toronto will receive $4 million from the Marlins.
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It’s official, Bob Brenly will not return to the Cubs booth in 2013, I always welcomed Bob’s thoughts and humor. Towards the end of this year you could tell, or at least I could tell that Bob was not exactly interested in watching a losing team every year. I’m sure Bob has another gig lined up, many think he will take the same position with the D-Backs, but that has not been confirmed. Once I hear where he’s going I will pass it along, best of luck to Bob.
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Add Pat Listach to the list of coaches that are part of the old regime and no longer have a position with the Cubs. Listach was informed after the game yesterday that it was his last as third base coach for the Cubs. The organization has decided not to bring back Listach, whose contract expired at the end of this season. I see this as nothing more than out with the old, and in with the new. The Organization, which is led by Theo Epstein, is bringing in their guys, not only on the field but in the front office as evidenced by Jaramillo, Fleita, and now Listach being shipped out. My previous post just mentioned Sandberg as being named as the Phillies third base coach, so you don’t even have to let your mind wander in that direction, it ain’t happening. What I didn’t know about Listach was how much of a role he played in the development of Darwin Barney as a defender.
Brett from Bleacher Nation touches on that point…
“Interestingly, Listach also worked extensively with Darwin Barney over the last two seasons as he transitioned to second base, and evolved into arguably the best defensive second baseman in baseball. If results are the measuring stick, it’s easy to say that, in that area, Listach succeeded.”
Add third base coach to the “holes to fill” list, that I’m sure will get longer before it gets shorter as we have officially entered the off-season.
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Ryne Sandberg is my favorite Cubs player of all time, so this is bittersweet as I always had a sense or maybe it was just hope, that Ryno would become the manager of the Cubs sooner than later. Well, Ryno got some good news today as he was named to the Philadelphia Phillies coaching staff. Starting next year he will serve as the Phillies third base coach, and lines him up to what many feel will be his first managerial job at the Major League level, with the Phillies, after Charlie Manuel is gone. I wish him nothing but the best, just wish it was with the Cubs organization.
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A lot of people have been sharing their stories from that fateful day in September, eleven years ago. I think it hit me more than usual this year because of the similarities between the two days. 9/11/01 was a Tuesday, an unseasonably warm Tuesday, it was a gorgeous day, much like today 9/11/12. It’s hard to forget the memories that are etched into my brain from that day. I was in College, it was the beginning of my second year at Harper College in Palatine, IL. I remember what I was wearing, a quiksilver sweatshirt, I thought to myself that it was going to be way too warm to wear a sweatshirt but I did anyway as it was a quick day at school and I could change when I got home. I was also overly concerned about the Cubs game later that day. The 2001 version of the Chicago Cubs was a contending one, and leading up to the game on 9/11/01 the Cubs had lost six of seven and were in the midst of blowing a wild card lead. I was anxious, nervous, and very worried, that was before a plane hit a building in New York.
I was sitting with my future wife eating a bagel after our first class of the day, she was studying and I was pretending to. There weren’t smartphones then, so it’s not like I could pass the time by looking at twitter, or game previews. So I stared blankly at a book, looked around the common area and was hoping that Jon Lieber could bounce back from a rare horrendous outing and get the Cubs back on track. Lieber won 20 games in 2001, an outstanding season from a very underrated pitcher. As we sat there I noticed a commotion around a TV that was hanging outside the bookstore, I figured it was just something random on that people were watching, maybe some local breaking news about some random event. When I walked over to take a look there it was, 1 WTC, or the North Tower of the World Trade Center with a gaping hole on its north face. The enormity of the situation didn’t hit me at that second, I was able to glance at it and then we had to get to Chemistry. We sat outside the classroom wondering if we should just go home as we knew something was wrong, we just didn’t know to what extent. So we went to our Chemistry class, we felt we had to go because it was a class we struggled with and missing it would do us no good, we still dropped it later in the semester. The class was basically a repeat of two days before as we could tell not even the professor was sure that we should all still be there at that point.
Upon exiting the class the situation in New York, and all over the Country had escalated to the point of the College closing effective immediately and everyone had to be evacuated from the building. It was mid morning on a Tuesday, a large number of people were on campus. To give you some background, Harper College is a community college, almost 100% of the people who are there drive there. So all at once, a very busy campus was told to leave. Needless to say that didn’t work, we sat in the parking lot for about thirty minutes without moving when we decided to park and figure out our next step. We were going to have to walk off campus and get a ride because there was no way out of there, at least for another hour or two. As the temperature escalated into the 80’s I realized that I really was stupid to wear that sweatshirt that day, go figure. We made our way to Jewel so that we could use a bathroom, yes they would not let us use the college bathrooms before leaving, get out now. As I sat in the Jewel waiting for a ride the thought hit me, are the Cubs going to play today? In a time when there is panic over the entire Country I was thinking about how this would affect the Cubs season. I’m not sure why I was, probably because that was my normal, that was my life up until that point. The next week was anything but normal for everyone in this Country, feelings ranging from shock, and horror, to anger and sadness. The 2001 major league season didn’t resume until eight days later(for the Cubs) on 9/18/11 with the Cubs losing in Cincinnati to further confirm that they would not be making a trip to the postseason, but at least I felt normal again because baseball was back.
I hope you enjoyed reading my account of that day, or at least part of it. Please feel free to share your memories of that day. I also want to say thanks to all the brave men and women who have fought for our freedom since that day, and I hope that the many families that were affected that day have been able to move on, and have a somewhat normal life of their own. Here is a nice article from MLB.com about baseball coming back after 9/11.
I found some great video detailing the return to baseball, enjoy.
There have been whispers for a while, now the Cubs have confirmed that they will shut down Samardzija after his start on Saturday against the Pirates. This is Samardzija’s first full season as a starting pitcher and he has been fantastic going 8-13, with a 3.91 ERA. He is currently at 165.2 innings, and has made 27 starts, really great to see him take the ball every fifth day and do his job. Shark was a question mark coming into 2012, the Cubs were on the fence about starting him, what a difference a year makes as the Cubs will enter 2013 with Samardzija at the top of their rotation at either number one or number two, in fact Sveum just said that Jeff’s next start might be opening day 2013.
Jason Berken was claimed by the Cubs today off of waivers from Baltimore, stop me if you’ve heard this before. Berken will take Samardzija’s place in the rotation after Saturday.
Berken spent most of the 2012 season at Triple-A, where he posted a 3.50 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 26 starts. The 28-year-old appeared in just one game with Baltimore this year, but he was a fixture in the Orioles’ rotation in 2009 and in their bullpen from 2010-11
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[UPDATE] More information is coming out from last night, specifically about what happened between Quirk and Porter in the 5th inning. From all accounts it seems as though that Quirk was just as responsible for the dust up as Porter, maybe even moreso. I still think that Porter should stay in his box and away from the Cubs dugout, but I expect Quirk and Clevenger for that matter to express their anger with the season/game/team in different ways, especially when you are getting your teeth kicked in because doing this kind of stuff when that is happening comes across as weak.
“All that stuff that happened, that was instigated by Quirk screaming out at Porter,” plate umpire Jerry Layne said. “And the obscenities that he screamed out I just felt was inappropriate, and that’s what caused everything. The reason he was ejected was he was the cause.”
I will say this though, the words coming from the Nationals, their manager, and their broadcast team are ridiculous. You’re not the 1927 Yankees, you are having a good year, and you are not that far removed from “playing like the Cubs” so save the routine of talking down to other teams, and play the way you all love to talk so much about.
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