Archive for the ‘ Misc. ’ Category

No More Len and Bob; Brenly Not Returning to Cubs

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.

Thanks for reading,
- George

Pat Listach Not Returning to Cubs Staff Next Year

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.

Thanks for reading,
- George

Ryne Sandberg Inches Closer to Becoming a Major League Manager

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.

Thanks for reading,
- George

9/11/01 – I’ll Never Forget

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.

Never forget,
- George

Cubs Shutting Down Samardzija After Saturday / Claim Berken

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.

Via MLBTRADERUMORS.com

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

Thanks for reading,
- George

Updates from Last Night

[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.

Thanks for reading,
- George

Remember Adam Greenberg? You Should [UPDATE - Adam Will Get Another At Bat]

There is a growing buzz about Adam Greenberg, who?  I’m sure that’s what you are thinking as Adam Greenberg is not a house hold major league name, but it’s someone who many Cubs fans remember.  We mostly remember him for his tough to swallow story, now that story is being brought back into the light thanks to oneatbat.com, here’s a recap of Adam’s story via One at Bat…

On July 9, 2005, Adam Greenberg was about to have his lifelong dream of playing Major League baseball come true. The Chicago Cubs called him up from the minors and in the 9th inning, in a game against the Florida Marlins, he got the call to pinch hit. On the very first pitch from Valerido de los Santos, Greenberg was struck in the back of the head by a 92-mile-per-hour fastball. He suffered a concussion and was immediately removed from the game.

Adam was sent down to the minors for a rehab assignment, but struggled with severe vertigo and other symptoms of post concussion syndrome. Adam’s career and life were put on hold for a year and a half. Since then, Adam has played for several minor and independent league clubs trying to get a second chance in the Major Leagues.

Of the almost 17,500 people to play in Major League baseball, Adam Greenberg is the only player to have his career end on the very first pitch. In fact, according to Major League rules, Adam’s debut only counts as a plate appearance, not an official at bat.

 What is One at Bat?

Liston-Greenberg – OTL from Triple Threat TV on Vimeo.

Players Offer At Bat from Triple Threat TV on Vimeo.

I remember that game like it was yesterday, Matt Murton was also called up to make his Major League debut that same day.  The folks over at One at Bat have a simple goal, to get Adam Greenberg the official at bat he deserves.  There is a petition on the website that you can sign to help the cause and spread the word.  I admire the effort, and it’s a story that should be told.  As you will see in the video the dream scenario would be to have Adam get that at bat with the team he made his debut with, the Cubs.

Paul Sullivan did some digging yesterday, and was able to get an updated comment from Hoyer, which puts to bed the thought of Greenberg coming back to the Cubs for one at bat.

Hoyer:

“Adam made the big leagues based on merit in 2005,” Hoyer said in an email. “While it is unfortunate he got hit in his first at-bat, he is in the Baseball Encyclopedia as a major leaguer and he should be incredibly proud of that. We wish him the best, but there are no plans to add him to the roster now or in the future.”

Greenberg Responds:

“Would they just throw me out there? No,” he said. “Would they bring back Roger Clemens for just one game to delay his Hall of Fame vote? Yes. There’s no difference, though, as a publicity stunt.”

I really hope Adam get back to the big leagues, he was and will always be recognized as a major league ballplayer, his career was just the shortest ever.  Best of luck Adam!  Please head over to oneatbat.com to sign the petition and show your support!

[UPDATE]  Per this ESPN.com article, Adam Greenberg will indeed get another at bat with the Marlins.  Good for him, it’s amazing what someone’s passion can turn into, congrats to Adam and Oneatbat.com for making it happen.

 

Thanks for reading,
- George

MLBlogs Latest Leaders: #8 – Single Digits!

Wanted to send out a quick post as a thank you to everyone for visiting and commenting on the blog, we were lucky enough to be the 8th most visited blog in August, and we couldn’t have done it with out you, so THANKS!  When seeing the number 8 on the back of a Cubs jersey you can only think of one person, Mike Quade.  No, that’s not right, I’m talking about the Hawk, Andre Dawson! 

Please continue to stop by and interact with us as we chronicle the ever-changing landscape of Cubs baseball, top to bottom.  I know it’s hard to get excited about this team right now as we wind down a season that might result in 100 losses, but there is plenty to read about.  We will be unveiling our player cards very soon, hoping to have one for each player in the system, or most of them at least.  These cards will feature all the information that you need to know, including stats, where they were drafted, and more, stay tuned!

Please check out the full list of the latest leaders here, lots of great blogs out there, go check them out.

Latest Leaders logo

Thanks again for reading, and interacting with us, it’s been a great ride so far and we are just getting started!

- George

Cubs DFA Hinshaw, Promote Blake Parker

So that’s what gets you released, giving up five runs in spectacular fashion.  The Cubs have designated Alex Hinshaw for assignment, and promoted Blake Parker who has just completed his rehab assignment in Iowa.  Parker was a bright spot early in the season and should help a depleted Cubs pen.

Thanks for reading,
- George

Castro’s Extension Official!

Here is our post from August 18, 2012-

The Cubs have signed Starlin Castro to a 7 year $60MM extension.  Great news, more when we get back from the 2012 UA High School All American game.

Well, now we finally have more.  The Cubs announced today that they have officially come to terms on an extension with Starlin Castro.  The deal is for 7 years, and $60 million, here is a full breakdown of the deal from the Tribune.

Castro, who will give up three years of free agency, receives a $6 million signing bonus and has a club option after the final year for $16 million or a $1 million buyout.

He will receive salaries of $5 million, $5 million, $6 million, $7 million, $10 million and $11 million.

This is a big piece of the future right here, and it comes cheap.  Castro has made physical errors, and mental errors this season, but people around the club have seen improvement and see what he can become.  This is a no lose situation if I’ve ever seen one.

Thanks for reading,
- George

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,335 other followers