Archive | November, 2010

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It’s Official — Ryne Sandberg Leaves Cubs Organization – Wrigley Field — 11/4/10

Posted on 04 November 2010 by Lou

When the Cubs chose Mike Quade instead of Ryne Sandberg to fill the Cubs managerial opening, the writing was on the wall that Sandberg would leave the Cubs organization.  That reality became official on Wednesday afternoon when the Cubs announced that Sandberg declined the opportunity to manage the Triple-A Iowa Cubs for a 2nd straight season.  GM Jim Hendry had this to say about the announcement: “The Iowa decision was totally his.  We gave him as much time on his decision as he needed to.  He’ll always be a beloved Cub… I don’t think it was ever in his plans to be in the minor leagues after this year.  Whatever opportunities he looks to is up to him.  He’ll always be welcome here.  He knows that for the future, if he chooses he wants to come to spring training, that would be great.  If he wants to pursue opportunities with someone else that would be up to him..

Owner Tom Ricketts echoed those sentiments on ESPN Radio 1000’s “Afternoon Saloon” show later that afternoon: “There’s no good-bye.  He’s a Cubs.  He’ll be a Cub for life… If he would like to explore some options with other teams to pursue some other opportunities that doesn’t really change anything with respect to what he has accomplished for the team or what he means to the team.  If that’s his decision then I wish him all the best, and he’s a Cub forever.”

Sandberg managed in the Cubs minor league system for the past 4 seasons.  He led Double-A Tennessee to the playoffs in 2009 and he was named Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year as he led the Iowa Cubs to and 82-62 record during the 2010 baseball season.  Sandberg was a 10-time All-Star during his Cubs career.  He won the 1984 National League MVP Award as the Cubs won the NL East title for the 1st time since 1945.  Sandberg also won 9 Gold Glove Awards for his solid play at 2nd base.

It is a sad day, but not an unexpected one.  Let’s hope the Ricketts’ family has a plan here on the North Side.  With all the trades last year, a whole new coaching staff and a brand new ownership team still learning the ins and outs of running a major league baseball team, Tom Ricketts clearly has his work cut out for him.  I’m not expecting a major turnaround in a year, but we need to see things move in a positive direction in the very near future so that we can start to get excited about rooting for a good Cubs team again.

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Aramis Ramirez Declines Chance at Free Agency – Wrigley Field November 2010

Posted on 03 November 2010 by Lou

Aramis Ramirez has declined the right in his current contract to file for free agency this off-season.  Ramirez will remain on the Cubs in 2011 and he will earn $14.6 million during the course of the MLB schedule.  His $14.6 million annual salary is part of the final year of a 5-year, $75 million contract that he signed before the 2007 MLB season.  The Cubs have a $15 million team option on Ramirez for the 2012 MLB season, but if they do not exercise that option or agree to an extension with the 3rd baseman, they would owe Ramirez a $2 million buyout.

The Cubs acquired Ramirez from the Pittsburgh Pirates before the 2003 MLB trading deadline.  Ramirez has been one of the most productive offensive players for the Cubs since that time.  Ramirez’ best year was 2006 when he played in 157 games and hit 38 HR’s with 119 runs and 93 runs scored.  He is a career .282 hitter with a .340 on-base percentage, but he has been bothered by injuries each of the last 2 seasons.  Ramirez played in only 82 games in 2009 (.317 batting average, 15 HR’s, 65 RBI’s and 46 runs scored) and only 124 games in 2010 (.241 batting average, 25 HR’s, 83 RBI’s and 61 runs scored).  He struck out 90 times while walking only 34 times in 465 at-bats, some of the worst stats of his 13-year major league career.

This is a good thing for Cubs fans.  Ramirez needs to stay healthy, because when he does, he is one of the best hitters in the game.  On the other hand, Ramirez turned 32 years old in June, so he is getting up there where players production starts to decline.  The Cubs will be happy to pay him the $14 million this season, but if his offensive numbers continue to decline, look for the Cubs to part ways with Ramirez following the 2011 MLB schedule.

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Mike Fontenot, Mark DeRosa, Aaron Rowand & Juan Uribe Each Earn World Series Rings with San Francisco Giants

Posted on 02 November 2010 by Lou

Congrats to our former Chicago major league baseball players who earned World Series rings when the San Francisco Giants topped the Texas Rangers in Game 5 of the World Series last night.  Former Cubs players Mike Fontenot and Mark DeRosa and former White Sox players Aaron Rowand and Juan Uribe each won world series rings with the Giants win.  It was the 1st World Series rings for each of Fontenot and DeRosa.  Rowand and Uribe each played pivotal roles in the White Sox World Series win back in 2005.

Uribe started all 5 World Series games for the Giants – he had 3 hits (including a home run in Game 1), 3 runs scored and 5 RBI’s.

Rowand played in 2 World Series games for the Giants and had a pinch-hit 2-run triple in Game 1.  He also scored a run in Game 1.

Fontenot came into the Giants’ Game 2 9-0 win as a defensive replacement and did not earn an at-bat.

DeRosa has been hampered by injuries each of the last 3 seasons.  He played in only 26 games for the Giants in 2010 because of a wrist injury.

Congrats guys – you all deserve it!!!

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Mike Quade, Cubs to Hire Pat Listach as Bench Coach — Wrigley Field 11/1/10

Posted on 01 November 2010 by Lou

Cubs Manager Mike Quade and the Cubs plan to hire Pat Listach as his new Bench Coach.  Listach has managed in the Cubs minor league system at Triple-A Iowa.  Listach is currently the 3rd base coach of the Washington Nationals under former Cubs manager Jim Riggleman.  The move shows the continued tendency to hire personnel with ties to the Cubs orgnazation.  Listach will likely also handle infield instruction for players, a job that Alan Trammell performed while serving as Lou Pinella’s bench coach.

Listach was a middle infielder during his playing career and was named the Rookie of the Year back in 1992 when he played for the Milwaukee Brewers.

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