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It’s Official — Joe Maddon New Cubs Skipper

Posted on 04 November 2014 by Lou

Joe_Maddon

It’s official.  The Cubs announced the signing of Joe Maddon as the Cubs 54th Manager on Monday.

Rick Renteria was eternally optimistic – even while going 73-89 in his 1st season as Cubs Manager in 2014.

But from all accounts, Joe Maddon is even more optimistic and positive than “Ricky”.  Maddon is the quirky, smart guy who is both “old-school” and “new-school” — a “sabremetrics guru”  who knows how to relate to any coach or player who joins his team.

Watching the Joe Maddon press conference gave me a perfect glimpse of how great he will be for this team, for this fan base and for this city. Gotta love him — we wish him all the best in 2015 and beyond.

And it’s not surprising to see Theo & Co. even more positive/optimistic than they were just 3 weeks ago at the “2015 On Deck Event” for season ticket holders.  Things were already trending in the right direction with the major league club at the end of the 2014 season.  And the development of most of the Cubs top tier prospects at all levels of the organization was right on target too.  At the On Deck Event, you could see how excited Theo was, even as he tried to temper expectations.

But hopes leaped dramatically with Monday’s Maddon managerial announcement and you can see how much more happy and excited Theo & Co. are as they prepare for one of the biggest winters for the organization in the last 4-5 years.

Go Cubs Go!

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Maholm Back on Track in 2-0 Win Over Padres – Wrigley Field 3/27/12

Posted on 27 March 2012 by Lou

Paul Maholm was named the Cubs 5th starter, but with more outings like this, he could be a #1-4 in any team’s rotation.  Maholm who battled the flu early in the spring and has been behind due to that, finally got in a long outing in Monday’s 2-0 win over the Padres.  He pitched 5 scoreless innings, scattering 4 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 6.  He lowered his ERA to 0.90 and he could be a nice surprise for the Cubs at the back end of the rotation.

The rest of the bullpen was just as masterful after Maholm departed in the 6th.  Carlos Marmol allowed 2 runners on in the 6th inning, but got out of the game without giving up a run.  Casey Coleman worked 2 scoreless innings allowing just 1 hit with 2 K’s.  And spring training surprise Rafael Dolis looks to have all but assured himself a spot in the bullpen with another scoreless outing.  He gave up a walk in the 9th but closed the door on any Padres comeback.  He has yet to allow an earned run this spring.

The Cubs scored a run in each of the 1st 2 innings to give Maholm a little cushion and the rest was history. You would have liked to see more than 2 runs on 7 hits, but a win is a win, even in spring training.

Go Cubs Go!

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Not Good – Hoyer Expects Soriano to Start 2012 Campaign as Starting Left Fielder – Wrigley Field 2/10/12

Posted on 10 February 2012 by Lou

GM Jed Hoyer made it pretty clear that Alfonso Soriano is the Cubs starting left fielder heading into the 2012 MLB campaign.  Boo!!!

The Cubs GM was on with ESPN Radio 1000’s Carmen, Jurko and Harry show on Thursday afternoon and made the following statement: “I think that’s unlikely [that Soriano would be on another team at the start of the season]. Our hope certainly… I know Soriano’s been working really hard this offseason … our hope is obviously you want him to get on base a little more.  The power was there last year, the RBI’s were there.  Obviously it really comes down to defense and we’re hoping with some better conditioning and some better health, that he can be a little better out there.”

That is not what I wanted to hear.  On the other hand, with no other real power threat in the lineup, having Soriano in there might not be that bad of an option (assuming he can stay healthy).

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Happy Thanksgiving From Your Friends At MyCubsToday.com – Wrigley Field 11/24/11

Posted on 24 November 2011 by Lou

Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at MyCubsToday.com!  We hope you and your family have a happy and safe holiday!

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Quade Benches Castro, Braves Shut Out Cubs 3-0 – Wrigley Field 8/22/11

Posted on 22 August 2011 by Lou

The Braves shut out the Cubs 3-0 on Monday night at Wrigley Field. The Cubs are now 56-72 and they trail the Brewers by 20 games in the NL Central race.

The Cubs offensive woes hurt tough-luck loser Ryan Dempster.  The Cubs stranded 15 runners in the game, including 11 in the 1st 6 innings alone. Despite 9 hits and 7 walks, the Cubs could not push even 1 run across the board. Aramis Ramirez had 3 hits and Carlos Pena had 2 hits in the loss.

Dempster worked 6 solid innings, notching his 16th quality start of the season.  He gave up just 3 ER on 6 hits and 3 walks, while striking out 8.

The bullpen continued its solid work – James Russell, Jeff Samardzija and Kerry Wood combined for 3 scoreless innings and 5 K’s to keep the Cubs in the game.

Mike Quade benched Starlin Castro for his lack of effort in Sunday night’s loss to the Cards.  Check out more here —

 

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Marmol Blows Dempster Gem, But Ramirez Saves Day in 9th – Wrigley Field 6/30/11

Posted on 30 June 2011 by Lou

Ryan Dempster shocked me as he matched 2-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum pitch-for-pitch in a remarkable pitching duel.  Dempster worked 8 scoreless innings and had a 1-run lead as he stepped onto the bump in the top of the 9th at 78 pitches. But when he allowed a lead-off double to Pat Burrell, Manager Mike Quade made the shocking move to “pull” Dempster from the 1-0 game after he had just pitched one of the best games of his career.  Come on, Quade – you are 11.5 games out of 1st place.  It’s not like this win is that important in the grand scheme of things.  Dempster earned the right to pitch out the game and try to get out of the 1-on, nobody out jam in the 9th.  But Quade made the move to go with closer Carlos Marmol to “save” the all-important game for the Cubs.  And the move totally back-fired.  After a strikeout, Marmol allowed an RBI single that tied the game at 1.  He then gave up a walk and a hit to put the go-ahead run in scoring position with only 1 out and luckily got Cody Ross to hit into an inning-ending double play to preserve the 1-1 tie.  But by then, the excitement over a big 1-0 win over Lincecum was long gone.

That being said, the Cubs showed some grit when Tony Campana singled to lead off the 9th inning and and Reed Johnson sacrificed him over to 2nd base to put the speedster in scoring position with only 1 out.  Geovany Soto grounded out, but pinch-hitter Aramis Ramirez came through with the clutch game-winning hit to drive in Campana with the winning run.

After 6+ scoreless innings, the Cubs finally broke through off of Lincecum in the 7th inning.  Blake DeWitt’s single drove in Carlos Pena who had doubled to lead off the inning.  It was nice to see some clutch hitting there.

The Cubs are 33-48 and they trail the Brewers by 10.5 games in the NL Central race.

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Cubs Try to Reach Deals with Arbitration-Eligible Players – Wrigley Field 1/4/11

Posted on 04 January 2011 by Lou

The Chicago Cubs will try to reach deals with 5 arbitration-eligible players this month — Closer Carlos Marmol, Top reliever Sean Marshall, lefty starter Tom Gorzelanny, and Catchers Geovany Soto and Koyie Hill.

The Cubs will likely give Marmol a mammoth raise.  2010 was his first season as the Cubs full-time closer right out of the gates, and he certainly delivered.  Marmol racked up 38 saves with only 5 blown saves.  He struck out 138 batters in 77 2/3 innings pitched – good for a 15.99 strikeouts-per-9-innings ration.  That number set a major league record which was previously held by Eric Gagne who had a 14.98 ratio.  Marmol is 28 years old and he made $575,000 in 2009 and $2,125,000 in 2010.  He has 2 years left of arbitration before he can file for free agency, but will the Cubs try to lock him up with a long-term deal now during his prime?

Sean Marshall had his best year as a pro in 2010.  His 80 appearances and 90 strikeouts were both career-highs.  His 7 wins were also tied for his career-best.  Marshall had a sparkling 2.65 ERA, giving up runs in only 14 of his 80 games pitched.  Marshall also has 2 years left before he becomes a free agent and there is always talk that Marshall could return to work as a starter at some point in his career.

Tom Gorzelanny made 23 starts for the Cubs in 2010, going 7-9 with a 4.09 ERA.  He earned $800,000 in 2010 and has 2 years left before he can become a free agent as well.

Geovany Soto is arbitration-eligible for the 1st time in his career.  He had a solid season despite missing the final 2 weeks of the year after undergoing right shoulder surgery.  Soto clubbed 17 HR’s with 53 RBI’s and made $575,000 in 2010 – his 3rd year as a pro.

Finally, Koyie Hill hit .214 in 77 games during the 2010 campaign.  Hill is 31 years old and has 2 years left before he becomes a free agent.

The Cubs went to arbitration with a player for the 1st time in 17 years in February 2010.  They won their case with former shortstop Ryan Theriot paying him just $2.6 million instead of the $3.4 million that he requested.

We’ll keep you posted as soon as the Cubs announce any deals with any of the above mentioned players…

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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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Marlon Byrd Rooting for Former Texas Rangers Teammates in World Series 2010

Posted on 30 October 2010 by Lou

Marlon Byrd isn’t hiding who he is rooting for – he wants his former Texas Rangers teammates to get that World Series win.

He doesn’t feel bad about helping the National League get the home field advantage during the 2010 Summer Classic All-Star Game.  But now he wants them to in — “It’s tough watching them lose.  It’s a lot easier watching them win, like they’ve been doing.”

We’ll keep you posted as the World Series continues.

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World Series – Texas Rangers v. San Francisco Giants – AT&T Park – Game 1 Wednesday 10/27/10

Posted on 25 October 2010 by Lou

The Cubs aren’t in it, but that doesn’t mean the World Series isn’t happening.  I always love the World Series no matter who is in it.

The 2010 World Series kicks off at AT&T Park  in San Francisco on Wednesday, October 27th.  Cliff Lee of the Texas Rangers will square off against Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants.  First pitch is scheduled for 6:57PM Chicago time on Fox.

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