Friday, December 31, 2010

The Top Ten Cubs News Stories of 2010

Since it is the final day of the calender year, it is just about time to look forward to a new year of Cubs' baseball. But before we can put this season behind us, it is time for a look at the biggest Cubs news items over the past twelve months.

10. Rookies Clutter Roster
When a team struggles and is forced to trade away many essential players, it usually looks to the farm system to try to fill these vacant roster spots. The way the Cubs season was going was evident based on the number of rookies to take the field. For example, Marcos Mateo became the 11th rookie pitcher to put on Cubbie blue in 2010 on August 10. Just two days later, Darwin Barney was the 15th Cubs rookie to player during the year. This was bad news at the time but it could bode well for the team going into 2011. Other rookies to see time the season include Starlin Castro, Tyler Colvin, Jeff Gray, Jeff Stevens, Justin Berg, Esmalin Caridad, Mitch Atkins, Casey Coleman, Thomas Diamond, Welington Castillo, James Russell, Scott Maine, Brian Schlitter, Bobby Scales and several others.

9. Byrd Named an All-Star
Marlon Byrd wasted little time in making a good first impression on his new team. A stellar first half, at the plate and with the glove, propelled the outfielder to an appearance in the Mid Summer Classic at Angel Stadium. Byrd was the lone Cub in the game and made a terrific defensive play in the ninth inning that helped the National League snap the A.L. streak.

8. Mainstays Traded Away
As the weather got hot, the Cubs got cold. As a result, they were sellers at the trade deadline, prompting a deal that sent fan favorites Ted Lilly and Ryan Theriot to the Dodgers. After July 31st, Jim Hendry pulled the trigger on a pair of waiver deals that sent two more Cubs from the division title runs in '07 and '08 packing- Derrek Lee to Atlanta and Mike Fontenot to San Francisco.

7. Castro's Sparkling Debut
On May 7 the Cubs finally decided to call-up highly touted prospect Starlin Castro to try his luck at sparking the offense. Castro immediately took over as the starting shortstop, with Ryan Theriot sliding over to second base. Speaking of making a good first impression, Starlin did just that in his big league debut against the Reds. The 20 year old hit a three run homer in his first career at-bat! He followed that up with a bases clearing triple to finish with a big league record six RBIs in his first career game!

6. Quade Named Cubs Skipper
The Cubs slashed the interim tag from former third base coach Mike Quade's title and made him the full time manager on October 20. He took over for Lou Piniella in August and did a great job leading the team to wins down the stretch. Many fans were pulling for Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg to get the gig, but instead the organization gave it to the guy with more coaching experience. It will be interesting to see what Mike can do with this team next season.

5. Kerry Wood Returns
It has been over 12 years since Kid K struck out 20 Astros, but he has been close to Cubs fans hearts ever since. Wood proved his loyalty to the organization by signing for considerably less money (one year, $1.5 million) to return to the club that he broke into the big leagues with. Kerry was the staff ace in 2003, the closer in 2008 and will now return as a set-up man for Carlos Marmol in 2011.

4. Crossing the Line
Carlos Zambrano, known for his fiery personality and confrontations with coaches, umpires and teammates, finally went too far on June 25 in a game at U.S. Cellular Field against the White Sox. After pitching poorly in the first inning, Zambrano screamed at teammtes in the dugout for "not diving for some of the balls". The Cubs finally decided to take action, suspended Z indefinitely and eventually forcing him to undergo anger management.

3. Lou Leaves
The fine manager of the Chicago Cubs walked away on August 22 to spend more time with his ailing mother. Piniella has announced in July that his storied baseball career would come to an end at the conclusion of the season, but he ended up having to leave the club early. Lou led the Cubs to two division titles and three above-.500 records in four years.

2. RIP Santo
On December 3 the Cubs family suffered a tough loss as legendary third baseman and broadcaster Ron Santo passed away. Ronnie's passion for the Cubs will be missed in the booth. Everything Cubs blog has posted a picture to remember Ron on the right sidebar that will remain there forever. Santo died of complications with cancer and diabetes.

1. The Hawk in the Hall
After years of waiting, Andre Dawson finally got his just-do. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in January and inducted in July. Although he wanted to wear a Cubs hat, the Hall picked an Expos cap for him. He thanked Cubs fans during his speech for what they did for his career. Congrats Andre!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

2011 Schedule Breakdown: July

July 1-3 VS Chicago White Sox
The month opens up with Part II of the Crosstown Showdown as the venue shifts to Wrigley Field. This time around it will be a weekend series. Friday's game will start at 1:20, Saturday's at 2:55 and Sunday's start time is TBD. The Cubs/Sox set will take place in July for the first time since 2006. The Cubs close out interleague play with Sunday's series finale.

July 4-7 @Washington Nationals
The Cubs will make a perfectly time trip to our nation's capital as America's celebrates its Independence. The holiday week series will be a four-gamer, running Monday through Thursday. The game time for Monday (the 4th of July) has not yet been announced, but night games will be played Tuesday through Thursday.

July 8-10 @Pittsburgh Pirates
The trip continues as the Cubs go to PNC Park for the final series of the first half. A pair of 6:05 starts kick-off the series before Sunday's 12:35 first pitch. After Sunday's game, many of the Cubs will travel to their homes to enjoy three days with their families. Others will got to Phoenix, which is the site of the 2011 All-Star Game. The home run derby will take place at Chase Field on Monday with the Mid Summer Classic on Tuesday.

July 14-17 VS Florida Marlins
A nice long homestand will begin the Cubs post All-Star break run. The Cubs hope to get it started on the right foot with a series victory against the Marlins. The Fish are 74-73 all time against the Cubbies.

July 18-20 VS Philadelphia Phillies
Tickets for this series will be a hot commodity even though it is not slated for a weekend. Fans will get their money's worth as they see the Boys in Blue battle one of the top dogs of the National League. Monday night's game will be on ESPN, while Wednesday is the only day contest of the set.

July 22-24 VS Houston Astros
There is nothing like a nice long stay in Chicago tacked on after the All-Star break. A winning record during that ten game stretch is a must, and the Cubs will likely have to prevail against the 'Stros to obtain that plus-.500 mark. They will be well rested for the series after the first day off of the second half on Thursday.

July 26-28 @Milwaukee Brewers
The Cubs hit the road for the first time in the second half, but they will not have to board a plane just yet. After the bus ride down to Miller Park they will look to pull out a series win against an evenly matched division foe.

July 29-31 @St. Louis Cardinals
Rumors will be flying as the Cubs fly to St. Louis. On the final weekend before the popular trade deadline, the Cubs may be in a position where they are looking to improve, or they could be sellers once again. Will the Cubs be welcoming a new players to the team? Will they be biding farewell to a teammate? Or will trader Jim stand pat? Let's not forget that no matter what, there are bragging rights at stake on the field because it's Cubs VS Cardinals!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2011 Schedule Breakdown: June

June 3-5 @St. Louis Cardinals
After concluding a series with the Astros on Wednesday and an off day on Thursday, the Cubs embark on a ten game trip that starts in St. Lou. It will be the team's first trip to Busch Stadium of the season. No matter where the teams are in the standings, when it's Cubs and Cardinals, it's always good baseball games.

June 6-8 @Cincinnati Reds
The stretch of 20 games in 20 days continues as the Cubs battle the Reds at the Great American Ballpark. This set will mark the third series between the two clubs in 2011. The first two games are under the lights with Wednesday's finale starting at 11:35.

June 9-12 @Philadelphia Phillies
The Cubs first four game series of the year takes place as they visit the City of Brotherly Love for one of the toughest series of the season. Unless there is an injury, the Cubs are guaranteed to see at least three of these four guys and possibly all four; Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee. The hitters will have their work cut out for them.

June 13-16 VS Milwaukee Brewers
After a three city trip, the Cubs finally return to the Friendly Confines for a four game set with their Central Division foes from Milwaukee. The first game of the series will be on ESPN while Thursday's contest will be the only day game.

June 17-19 VS New York Yankees
Two historic franchises will do battle for a three game interleague series at a historic venue. The last time the Cubs played the Yanks was in an exhibition set to open up the new Yankees Stadium at the start of the 2009 season. The last time the two teams met in the regular season, the Cubs were swept in New York in June of 2005. The Yankees last visited Wrigley Field in 2003, when the Cubs took two out of three.

June 20-22 @Chicago White Sox
The crosstown rivalry will be renewed at U.S. Cellular Field. Usually when the Cubs and Sox meet it is a weekend series, but this team it run Monday through Wednesday. The times of all three games are still TBD. The South Siders lead the All-Time series 41-37. The Cubbies have not won the season series since 2007, dropping four of six a year ago.

June 24-26 @Kansas City Royals
After a much needed day off on Thursday, the Cubs will visit Kauffman Stadium to continue their stretch of interleague games. From 1997-2001, the Cubs and Royals played each other in a three game series each year. This will be their first meeting since '01, when the Cubs took two out of three at home. The Cubs also won the series in the last visit to KC, which came in 2000. The Cubs hold a 9-6 edge in 15 total meetings.

June 28-30 VS San Fransisco Giants
The Cubs will come back to Wrigley and take on a N.L. foe in the defending champion Giants. The final set of June will be comprised of two night games and one day game. After enjoying a Monday off, this series will run Tuesday though Thursday.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Post Holiday Quick Hits

That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas Cubs Fans!!!!

I hope everyone is having great holiday season! Merry Christmas to all of the readers of Everything Cubs blog! Thank you for sticking with me and visiting the site!

Don't forget to check out our Naughty and Nice List from yesterday!

Regular posting will resume tomorrow. Hopefully our one Christmas wish of a World Championship will come true in 2011. Go Cubs Go!!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Cubs Naughty and Nice List 2010

It is Christmas Eve!!! At Everything Cubs blog, that means it is time for a post that has become a staple here during the holiday season, the Cubs Naughty and Nice List! Click here for the list from last year. Let us dig in...

  • Ron Santo- for being the world's biggest Cubs fan. Nobody deserves to be on the nice list more than Ronnie. Just a flat out nice guy.
  • Kerry Wood- for taking a huge hometown discount to come back to the Cubs.
  • Jim Hendry- for bringing Kerry back.
  • Tyler Colvin- for earning a spot in the outfield with his hot bat during the season.
  • WGN Radio- for the way they did a great job honoring Ron and for bringing back a weeknight sports show, which debuted last night!
  • Pat Hughes- for his well deserved five year extension.
  • Ryne Sandberg- for coming to Santo's funeral even though he is no longer a member of the organization.
  • Mike Quade- for doing such a great job once he took over for Lou Piniella.
  • Starlin Castro- for putting up a great batting average throughout his rookie season.
  • Marlon Byrd- for his "gamer" mentality and the 100% effort that he brings each day. Plus, he represented the Cubs in the All Star game with a spectacular catch.
  • Carlos Silva- for a solid first half, which was more than enough to make the Milton Bradley trade worth while.
  • Derrek Lee- for being a fan favorite for years in Chicago.
  • Ryan Dempster- for being a leader and a great guy.
  • Carlos Marmol- for all those Ks.
  • Oneri Fleita- for the progress the farm system has made this season.
  • Chris Archer- for his fantastic season on the farm.
  • Andre Dawson- for being patient and finally earning a spot in Cooperstown.
  • The BBWAA Voters- for finally getting it right and putting the Hawk into the Hall.


  • Jim Hendry- for paying Carlos Pena $10 million.
  • Rudy Jaramillo- for his failure to improve the Cubs offense, even though it is probably not his fault.
  • Larry Rothschild- for leaving the Cubs for the Yankees.
  • The Veterans Committee- for failing to elect Ron Santo to the Hall of Fame while he was alive.
  • The Hall of Fame- for forcing Dawson to wear an Expos' cap against his wishes.
  • Randy Wells- for his sophomore slump on the hill.
  • John Grabow- for being injured or ineffective all season.
  • Aramis Ramirez- for his .241 batting average.
  • Ryan Theriot- for saying that he is finally on the right side of the Cubs/Cards rivalry.
  • Jeff Samardzija- for his 8.38 ERA in seven games.
  • Carlos Zambrano- for his temper tantrum at U.S. Cellular Field.

Once again, have a happy holidays! Go Cubs Go!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Quick Hits Before the Holidays: Searching for Pat's Partner, Kap's New Show, The Cubs Convention & More

Here's the latest Cubs news and notes:
  • Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune says that the field for the Cubs radio analyst is wide open. Former Cubs are preferred but others will be considered.
  • The search for Pat's new partner will be a joint effort between the radio station and the Cubs.
  • Lou Piniella has no plans of going back into broadcasting. Another guy unlikely to take over for Santo is ex-Cubs broadcaster Steve Stone, who is now with the White Sox.
  • Click here for a breakdown of candidates and be sure to vote on our new poll on the right sidebar.
  • Pat Hughes' input will be considered but he will not have the final say. The station is hoping to have a decision by the Cubs Convention next month.
  • Speaking of the Cubs Convention, a partial list of attendees has already been released. Kerry Wood will make his return while Carlos Pena is welcomed to the Cubs.
  • Mike Quade will be there for his first Convention as the skipper and Aramis Ramirez is scheduled to make his first visit to the midwinter gathering.
  • Other guys expected to return include Carlos Zambrano, Carlos Marmol, Starlin Castro, Tyler Colvin and Marlon Byrd.
  • Chris Archer, Jay Jackson, DJ LeMahieu and Chris Carpenter will all attend and take part in the minor league session on Sunday.
  • The 2011 Cubs Caravan luncheon is set for Jan. 12. Mike Quade, Andrew Cashner, Koyie Hill, Sean Marshall, Randy Wells and James Russell will all be at the luncheon, which is emceed by Len Kasper.
  • WGN Radio's weeknight sports show will return to the airwaves tonight. Sports Central received the boot last April, but now David Kaplan returns with "Sports Night" when the Hawks and Cubs don't play. The show will be three full hours (7:00-10:00 CT).
  • Len Kasper will be one of the rotating cast of co-hosts, a group which also includes Glen Kozlowski, David Haugh, Brian Noonan, Dave Eanet and Phil Rogers. The show will focus on the Hawks, Cubs and Northwestern since they all play their games on WGN-720. Jim Hendry and Mike Quade will be frequent guests on the program.
  • The Cubs signed former Astros farmhand Polin Trinidad, a left handed pitcher.
  • The team is still looking for pitching. They are still in the mix for Brandon Webb and Matt Garza.
  • Pat Hughes was given a five year contract extension by WGN Radio through 2015.
  • David Kaplan recently inked a new contract with Comcast Sports Net that includes hosting duties on the Cubs pre- and postgame shows.

That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

2011 Schedule Breakdown: May

May 2-4 @ LA Dodgers
The Cubs start the month of May on the West coast. After concluding the Arizona set on Sunday afternoon, they travel to Los Angeles where they play two night games and one day game. Both games that are under the lights start at 9:10 CT.

May 6-8 VS Cincinnati Reds
Mike Quade's crew starts a stretch of ten straight home games with a three game weekend series against the defending NL Central champions. If the Cubs want to hand around with the top dogs in the division standings, they must win the head-to-head matchups. Should be an exciting early season set as Dusty Baker brings his team to town.

May 10-12 VS St. Louis Cardinals
After the second off day in a six day stretch takes place on Monday, the refreshed Cubs welcome the Cardinals to town starting Tuesday night. The Cards have one of the strongest pitching staffs in the league with Wainwright, Carpenter and Garcia.

May 13-15 VS San Francisco Giants
The 2010 World Series champions will battle the Cubbies for the first time since winning the title. Former Cub Mike Fontenot will enjoy a return trip to the Windy City in which he can show off his ring.

May 16-17 @Cincinatti Reds
In one of the odd two game series, the Cubs will meet the Reds at Great American Ballpark. The Cubs have a strange week as they visit three different cities in a five day span after leaving Chicago on Sunday.

May 18-19 @Florida Marlins
Another two game road set for the Cubs as the North Siders head to Florida, where they have always struggled. The fish will look to bounce back after finishing third in the NL East last season.

May 20-22 @Boston Red Sox
The first interleague series of the year is a big one for the Cubs, as they make their first trip to historic Fenway Park. The game times of all three contests are still TBD because they will wait for decisions from national TV folks at FOX and ESPN. This series will get a lot of coverage and the Cubs could be featured on ESPN's Sunday night game for the first time this season. Boston has already put together an impressive offseason by adding Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford to its lineup.

May 24-26 VS New York Mets
The Cubbies return home and to National League play. There will be night games on Tuesday and Wednesday and then a 1:20 start as the series wraps up on Thursday. The Cubs will look to avoid a letdown after the huge set with the Bo-Sox.

May 27-29 VS Pittsburgh Pirates
The Bucs will make their second trip to the Friend Confines for a battle between two clubs under first year skippers. Clint Hurdle is looking to lead the Pirates out of the basement in the NL Central, while Quade tries to improve on his team's fifth place finish from 2010.

May 30-June 1 VS Houston Astros
The Astros, who are expected to have an improve club, will come to Wrigley Field for the first time this season. Games against teams like the Pirates, Astros and Brewers will be key for the Cubs if they hope to compete.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

2011 Schedule Breakdown: April

We are set for part one of our breakdown of the Cubs 2011 schedule. As Cubs fans count down to Opening Day, let us preview the month of April 2011.

VS Pittsburgh Pirates April 1-3
For the first time in years, Opening Day does not fall on a Monday. Major League Baseball has decided to back the start of the season up to Friday instead of the following Monday in order to prevent the World Series from extending into November. Mike Quade's first full season as the manager of the team opens up at Wrigley Field at 1:20 on April the first. All three games in the opening series will be day games.

VS Arizona Diamondbacks April 4-6
The first homestand concludes as the D'backs come to town for a Monday though Wednesday set. The two teams will do battle starting at 1:20 each afternoon. Alan Trammell, now the Arizona bench coach, will make a return trip to Wrigley as will outfielder Xavier Nady, who recently signed with Arizona.

@ Milwaukee Brewers April 8-10
The 'Crew start their opening homestand with a four game series against Atlanta, and then the Cubs home to town on April 8. After an off day on Thursday, the North Siders play their first night game of the year, which starts at 7:10.

@ Houston Astros April 11-13
Three straight night games at Minute Maid Park will take place. The 'Stros are expected to have an improved ballclub that will compete for the division title.

@Colorado Rockies April 15-17
The Cubs will go to the mile high city to cap off the first road trip of the season. The opener starts at 7:40, Saturday's contest gets underway at 7:10 and then the series finale is an afternoon battle.

VS San Diego Padres April 18-20
The first night game at Wrigley of 2011 will finally take place on April 18, a Monday night. The two teams play under the lights again on Tuesday before the series finale Wednesday afternoon.

VS LA Dodgers April 22-24
The nine game homestand continues on Friday as the Dodgers come to town. Lefty Ted Lilly may pitch against his old team for the first time this season. All three contests will take place during the day. The Cubs will try take care of business in this rematch of the 2008 NLDS.

VS Colorado Rockies April 25-27
The Cubs see a lot of the Rockies in the opening month, but then the two clubs don't meet again after April 27. There have been some pretty good battles when they meet over th years, including a thrilling comeback by the Cubs in May of 2008.

@Arizona Diamondbacks April 28-May 1
The Cubs will travel to the West Coast to Chase Field for the first time this season. The first two games are late night games (8:40 CT) and then there is one earlier night game before a 3:10 Sunday finale. The Cubs have never had much luck in Valley of the Sun dating back to their defeat in the 2007 playoffs.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Who will sit next to Pat Hughes in 2011?

It is a tough discussion to have, because nobody can replace Ron Santo. However, somebody will have to serve as the color man on WGN Radio next season. Let us break down the candidates.

Dave Otto
Since retiring from baseball, the former left handed reliever has been a frequent fill-in on both TV and radio broadcasts. Dave joined Chip Caray on Fox Sports Net in 2001 and 2002 during Steve Stone's two year absence. Otto has been filling in for Ron Santo often since 2003. He pitched for the A's, Indians, Pirates and spent one seasons ('94) with the Cubs. Many, including Steve Stone, feel like Dave is the frontrunner to take over the gig.

Todd Hollandsworth
The ex-outfielder has been the pre- and post- game analyst on CSN for the past two seasons. He also fills in for Bob Brenly from time to time, and frequently appears on radio programs to talk Cubs. Holly played on the North Side in 2004 and 2005. He also spent time with the Dodgers, Rockies, Rangers, Marlins, Braves, Indians and Reds. Holly said on 670 The Score last week that he has "thrown his hat into the arena" for the radio job.

Keith Moreland
Keith might have the most on-air experience out of any of the candidates. He has been the color man for college baseball and football at the University of Texas on the radio for several years. He has also spent time pinch hitting for Ron Santo or Bob Brenly the past two or three seasons. Moreland was a Cubs outfielder from 1982 to 1987. He also played for the Phillies, Padres, Tigers and Orioles. The question with Keith is whether or not he is willing to give up his positions at the University to travel for six month out of the year. His commitment to his alma mater has always been important to him.

Dan Plesac
The only hurtle with Dan could be a contract with the MLB Network, where he is currently an analyst. Plesac lives in the Chicago land area, so a position closer to home than the MLB Network studio in New Jersey would be welcome. Before joining MLBN, Dan was the pre- and postgame show man on Comcast Sports Net. He also appeared on Chicago Tribune Live covering the Cubs and White Sox. A reliever for the Cubs in 1993 and 1994, Dan could be a good match for Pat Hughes. His corky personality would compliment Pat's dry sense of humor.

Mark Grace
Although many fans would love a return to Chicago for a Cubs legend, Grace leaving a TV position for a spot on the radio is unlikely. He seems happy in Arizona and will likely remain there. Mark also does FOX games on Saturdays. There is some mixed reaction among fans as to whether or not he is a good broadcaster. Again, Mark is a candidate that will most likely NOT take Ron's chair.

Judd Sirott
There is also a small chance that the Cubs will go in a different direction with their radio booth. In Milwakee, the Brewers use two play-by-play men instead of a color guy. Bob Uecker does six innings and former Cubs pregames show host Cory Provus does the other three. If the WGN Radio does not feel like it is right to replace Ronnie, they may have Pat call the game solo and then have him take 2-3 innings off where Judd does play-by-play. It is also possible that Judd will just replace Ron and do eight innings of color and one of play-by-play. However, it is unlikely that the station will chose to go without a former player in the booth.

Other Options
Eric Karros, Cory Provus, Andy Masur, Randy Hundley and Rick Suttcliffe

Thoughts? I'll have a poll up on this topic later in the week.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cubs Spring Training Schedule

Later this week, I will be starting a series that is a month-by-month breakdown of the Cubs 2011 schedule. For now, let's take a look at the full Spring Training schedule, which was released last week. All times are Central.
  • Sunday Feb. 27 VS Oakland 2:05
  • Monday Feb. 28 VS Milwaukee 2:05
  • Tuesday March 1 @San Francisco TBD
  • Wednesday March 2 @Milwaukee 2:05
  • Thursday March 3 VS Texas 2:05
  • Friday March 4 @Kansas City 2:05
  • Saturday March 5 VS San Diego 2:05
  • Sunday March 6 (ss) @Cincinnati 2:05
  • Sunday March 6 (ss) VS Dodgers 2:05
  • Monday March 7 VS Angels 2:05
  • Tuesday March 8 @Colorado 2:10
  • Wednesday March 9 VS Kansas City 2:05
  • Thursday March 10 VS Cleveland 2:05
  • Friday March 11 @White Sox 2:05
  • Saturday March 12 (ss) VS Cincinnati 2:05
  • Saturday March 12 (ss) VS Cincinnati in Las Vegas 2:05
  • Sunday March 13 (ss) VS Dodgers in Las Vegas 2:05
  • Sunday March 13 (ss) @Arizona 3:10
  • Monday March 14 @Seattle 3:05
  • Tuesday March 15 (ss) @Oakland 3:05
  • Tuesday March 15 (ss) VS Colorado 3:05
  • Wednesday March 16 Off Day
  • Thursday March 17 @Oakland 3:05
  • Friday March 18 @Cincinnati 3:05
  • Saturday March 19 @San Diego 3:05
  • Sunday March 20 VS San Francisco 3:05
  • Monday March 21 @Angels 3:05
  • Tuesday March 22 @Dodgers 3:05
  • Wednesday March 23 VS Oakland 3:05
  • Thursday March 24 VS White Sox 3:05
  • Friday March 25 VS Seattle 3:05
  • Saturday March 26 @Texas 3:05
  • Sunday March 27 VS Colorado 3:05
  • Monday March 28 @Cleveland 3:05
  • Tuesday March 29 VS Arizona 3:05
  • Wednesday March 30 Team Camp Day, intersquad scrimmage

Last year, the Spring Training broadcast schedule did not come out until late January. For years the first game of the Cactus League has been broadcast on WGN Radio, but it would be a tight (although do-able) fit with the Blackhawks game starting at 6:00 that night.

Only 70 days until the first Spring Training game!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Welcome Back Kerry Wood

Paul Sullivan was on Chicago Tribune Live on Thursday after the signing was announced. Here is what he had to say.
  • Wood could have gotten more money from the White Sox or Yankees, but he wanted to return to the Cubs.
  • Sullivan didn't expect Kerry to be in the Cubs price range.
  • The two sides got together at Ron Santo's funeral.
  • Injuries are always a concern with him. He missed the first few weeks last season.
  • Sullivan thinks we are starting to see baseball players consider factors besides money. One of his kids goes to school in Chicago, his wife has family here and they just wanted to make this their home.
  • Playing for the Cubs always made Kerry happy. Paul wouldn't be surprised if he retires a Cub now.
  • If Kerry has a good season, he could be a multi-year deal for next season.
  • Zambrano's agent told Sully at the winter meetings that Z will not waive his no-trade clause.

The newest member of the Chicago Cubs joined David Kaplan and company on CTL on Friday:

  • Wood called Chicago home. It is where the family belongs and where he wants to be.
  • Kerry has been in the city for the last 13 years and it is a perfect fit for him.
  • He pointed out that he went to the postseason four of his ten seasons on the North Side.
  • Woody thinks when there are no expectations it makes it a little easier for the young guys to get the job done.
  • He thinks that the team can sneak up and surprise some people.
  • "Mike Quade's great. He's a great baseball guy and a great baseball man."
  • Kerry believes that the Reds have talent, but they are beatable. The division is up for grabs.
  • He spent some time on the phone with Kenny Williams talking about the possibility of going to the White. It just didn't seem like the right fit for him.

Here are the notes from the press conference to welcome Kerry back yesterday at Wrigley:

  • "What a great day for the Chicago Cubs," Jim Hendry said.
  • Jim and Kerry did not feel like it was right for them to end and part ways. The two men had not discussed this over the past few years.
  • "God bless #10, who in his own way had something to do with this," Hendry said, referring to the fact that this agreement was first talked about at Ron Santo's funeral.
  • Tom Ricketts has always expressed the fact that he wants to do what's best for Cubs players and ex-Cubs players. Kerry has made it no secret that he wants to be a Cub for life.
  • Woody said that he has always wanted to spend the rest of end of his career with the Cubs. This situation "kind of popped up on him."
  • Kerry reiterated that it has never been about the money for him. This is a perfect situation for his family. He feels like he belongs here for many years to come.
  • Wood's body feels great and he has developed his cutter. He plans on helping the Cubs get the ball to Carlos Marmol.
  • He doesn't think this would have come up if it weren't for Ron Santo's funeral.
  • "I'm just going to do my thing. I'm going to just go out there and get outs and hope the guys (in the bullpen) can see the way I go about my business."
  • Wood hasn't discussed how long he plans on pitching before he ends his career. He plans on being around whenever his career is over.

Todd Hollandsworth joined Rosenbloom & Grote to talk about Woody and more:

  • The Cubs got a really good reliever for a really good price. Hollandsorth called this signing "a gift under the tree" for Jim Hendry.
  • Todd doesn't know if Andrew Cashner is ready to be a starter just yet.
  • For different players and different pitchers, the amount of time it takes to adjust and learn how to pitch in the bigs every fifth day. There is no doubt that he has the stuff to do it.
  • Holly thinks that the 2011 ballclub will be a competitive team. They have a shot to compete in the NL Central.
  • Rudy Jaramillo and Mark Riggins will play large roles on this ballclub.
  • It is hard to gauge how this team will do, but the whole division is like that. Last year's Reds team had a lot of players that surprised people.
  • Todd is a firm believer that anyone can be traded at any time. Carlos Zambrano is a key for next season, but whether or not the team should trade him depends on what it would be getting in return.
  • Kerry is definitely viewed as a guy who is a leader. He may not be the one standing up having team meetings, but he could be "the voice of the bullpen."
  • The Cubs are not just trying to bring in character guys. The pieces that they have brought in are good pieces. Carlos Pena has had a strong career outside of last season.
  • Pena's contract is structured in a way that it is affordable. He got his contract for this year based on his career as a whole, not the 2010 season.
  • Holly thinks Mike Quade will be a good manager for the Chicago Cubs. I believes that the key to this team is going to be the fact that there aren't high expectations.
  • The way that this team may finally win it all when they start out slow, hang in the weeds, don't have a lot of expectations and then all the sudden get hot down the stretch.
  • Todd "absolutely wants to be a candidate to sit next to Pat Hughes on the radio broadcasts. He has "thrown his hat into the arena" but knows that there is no replacing Ron Santo.
  • Hollandsworth called Ronnie a guy "who was there for everyone". If we could all live the way Ronnie did, this would be a better world.

Welcome home #34!!! I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cubs Name Minor League Coaches

The 2011 minor league coaching staffs for all the teams in the Cubs organization have been set. Here is the full list.

Field- Dave Bialas, returning for 10th year

Pitching- Former Smokies pitching coach, promoted to take over for Mike Mason

Hitting- Tom Beyers, former Smokies hitting coach, promoted to take over for Dave Keller, who joins Quade's staff

Infield- Franklin Font, entering his third season

Latin American Field Coordinator- Carmelo Martinez, 4th season

Catching- Marty Pevey, second season

Outfield/Base running- Lee Tinsley, first year. Tinsley spent five years in the big leagues and has been the first base coach for the Seattle Mariners for the past two seasons.

Strength/Conditioning- Doug Jarrow, set for his fourth year in his current position. He served in the same role for the Dodgers for five seasons before coming to the Cubs.

Athletic Training Coordinator- Justin Sharpe, returning for the seventh straight year

Rehab Coordinator- Chuck Baughman, sixth season in current position, 11th with the organization overall

Triple-A Iowa Cubs
Manager- Bill Dancy, will take of the I-Cubs after being named the 2010 Southern League Manager of the Year

Pitching Coach- Mike Mason, the ex-Cubs player is back for his fourth season

Hitting Coach- Von Joshua, has been in Iowa for the last six years besides a stint as the big league hitting coach during the 2009 season

Double-A Tennessee Smokies
Manager- Brian Harper, the Cubs welcome a new skipper to the organization. Harper led the Single-A San Jose Giants to the California League title this past season. He played in over 1,000 games as a big league catcher for seven different clubs.

Pitching Coach- Marty Mason, joins Harper's staff after spending 25 years in the Cardinals system. He was on the big league staff in St. Louis for 11 years.

Hitting Coach- Mariano Duncan, another newcomer, has spent five years as the Dodgers first base coach and 12 years as a big league infielder.

Class-A Advanced Daytona Cubs
Manager- Buddy Bailey returns for his third year. Buddy is has been a minor league skipper for 22 years, five in the organization.

Pitching Coach- Tom Pratt, also heading into his third year in Daytona.

Hitting Coach- Barbaro Garbey, has been promoted from Peoria to Daytona for the 2011 season.

Class-A Peoria Chiefs
Manager- Casey Kopitzke, set for his third year in the Chicago chain and his second in Peoria. Kopitzke was the manager of the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League last month.

Pitching Coach- Jeff Fassero, entering his second year in the organization and his first on the Chiefs staff. Fassero, a former big leaguer, was the pitching coach of the Boise Hawks this past season.

Hitting Coach- Ricardo Medina, has served on the staffs of several short season teams in the system over the past few years. Medina will begin his first year with a team that plays a "full season".

Class-A Short Season Boise Hawks
Manager- Mark Johnson, after a long playing career in baseball, Johnson hangs up the cleats and starts a coaching career. He has served as a player/coach at Iowa for a few years and will now be the manager of the Boise Hawks.

Pitching Coach- David Rosario, bumped down a notch after coaching at Peoria in 2010.

Hitting Coach- Desi Wilson, will begin his fourth season in the organization and his first with the Hawks.

Rookie Ball
Mesa Manager- Juan Cabrera
Mesa Pitching Coach- Rick Tronerud
Mesa Hitting Coach- Jason Dubois, begins his coaching career after a long playing career that included several stints in the Cubs organization and one on the big league roster
Mesa Assistant- Frank Castillo
DSL #1 Manager- Manuel Callado
DSL #1 Pitching Coach- Leo Hernandez
DSL #1 Hitting Coach- Alberto Garcia
DSL #2 Manager- Yudith Ozorio
DSL #2 Pitching Coach- Anderson Tavares
DSL #2 Hitting Coaches- Leo Perez and Franklin Blanco

That's it for now, but there are many more posts to come this weekend and throughout the next few weeks.

Breaking News: Kerry Wood Returns to the Cubs

Update 4:55 PM CT It's official. Right hander Kerry Wood has agreed to a 1 year, $1.5 million deal to come back to the Cubs. Chris De Luca's tweet was the first to announce the official word. More on Woody's return later!

There were rumors going around the web last night that Kerry Wood was close to signing with the White Sox, but those turned out to be false. Now, it looks like Woody is going have an encore stint with the Cubs!

David Kaplan was the first to report this story and it has since been confirmed by Carrie Muskat and Ken Rosenthal. It look like it will be a one-year deal. I will update this post as soon as more information becomes available.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Updated Cubs Roster Prediction

A few weeks ago, I posted my prediction as to who would make the Cubs roster if the season started that day. Similar to what I did last year, I plan to update my prediction as the Cubs make moves all offseason long. Here is the updated roster with the signing of Carlos Pena. Changes are in italics.

Starting Rotation
1. Ryan Dempster
2. Carlos Zambrano
3. Randy Wells
4. Carlos Silva
5. Tom Gorzelanny

Others in the Rotation Mix in Spring Training
Casey Coleman
Jeff Samardzija
Andrew Cashner

Closer- Carlos Marmol
LH Setup Man- Sean Marshall
RH Setup Man- Andrew Cashner
LH Middle Relief- John Grabow
RH Middle Relief- Jeff Samardzija
Long Relief- Casey Coleman
Long Relief-Justin Berg

Others in the Bullpen Mix in Spring Training
Chris Archer
Thomas Diamond
Scott Maine
John Gaub
Esmalin Caridad
Angel Guzman
Brian Schlitter

Starting Position Players
Catcher- Geovany Soto
1B- Carlos Pena
2B- Blake DeWitt
SS- Starlin Castro
3B- Aramis Ramirez
LF- Alfonso Soriano
CF- Marlon Byrd
RF- Tyler Colvin

Koyie Hill
Jeff Baker
Darwin Barney
Sam Fuld

Others in the Mix
Welington Castillo
Brandon Guyer
Robinson Chirinos
Scott Moore
Bryan LaHair (cut from bench)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Radio Recaps: Pena and Demp on Waddle & Silvy

The newest member of the Chicago Cubs, outfielder Carlos Pena, joined Waddle & Silvy on ESPN 1000 on Friday. Here are some of the points he hit on:
  • Pena is really excited to being a Cub. As soon as he saw how things were looking, the Cubs were his preference.
  • He didn't really consider going anywhere else. He just wanted to wear a Cub uniform.
  • Chicago is Carlos' favorite city in the United States, so it was truly a no-brainer for him.
  • Pena likes playing day games and he looks forward to them.
  • He'll do whatever he has to in order to adjust to the new league and the new schedule.
  • The one year deal was in the best interest of both the player and the team.
  • Former Cubs that Pena has talk to tell him that it is very intense and the fans have incredible passion.
  • When asked about his batting average from 2010, Pena said that he wants everyone to look at the average. Carlos doesn't want to waste his time making excuses. He is ready to put that year behind him and look forward.
  • He is looking forward to working with Rudy Jaramillo.
  • Pena has not talked to Matt Garza, but he thinks that Matt would be very valuable for this team. Garza has a high level of intensity and would be a great addition to the Cubs pitching staff.

Ryan Dempster joined the guys later in the Friday show:

  • Dempster started off the interview by speaking highly about Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. Ryan thinks that Matt Quade demands that same kind of accountability.
  • He thinks people are going to be very surprised by how well Quade does as the manager of the Chicago Cubs. Last season was not a fluke.
  • Demp has only heard great things about Carlos Pena. Carlos cares about every aspect of the game and makes the people around him better. He brings energy to the club and can hit the ball a long way.
  • When Silverman tossed out Matt Garza's name, Ryan said that a team can never have enough pitching depth. "If it happens, it's a great thing," he said.
  • Ryan talked about an event that took place on Saturday at a pizza place in Chicago in support of the Dempster family foundation.
  • Demp said that he would never miss the chance to honor and remember somebody as great as Ron Santo. Ryan described him as "a great man in so many different ways."

That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted on Everything Cubs as always.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Weekend Roundup: Looking for an Arm, Honoring a Legend, Making Some Cash & More

Pat Hughes Delivers
For any Cubs fan that missed it, Ron Santo's funeral is a must see. Bud Selig and Tom Ricketts both did a great job, but Pat Hughes delivered a fantastic eulogy that will never be forgotten. The full eulogy is available on, and Ronnie was the greatest Cubs fan and I will never forget the impact he has made on my life.

Rule V Draft
The Cubs made a selection in the Rule Five Draft on Thursday, but then they immediately traded their pick to Texas. The team selected Mason Toban, a right handed pitcher in the Angels organization. They received cash in the deal and ended up making $50,000. The Cubs did not lose any players in the Major League portion, but two young pitchers were snatched away in the minor leauge portion. Ronny Morla was selected by the Mets and the Orioles picked Casey Lambert.

Cubs Connected to Garza and Webb
The Cubs are in search of an addition to their pitching staff, but their primary target is being debated by local media. Paul Sullivan reports that Brandon Webb is on the radar, but Matt Garza is not. Other outlets, such as Ed Price of AOL, think that Garza will be on the move, possibly to Chicago.

Wood on the Market
Dave Van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune joined David Kaplan on CTL Friday night. He spoke with Kerry Wood and was told that Woody wants to go somewhere where he can win a World Series. When Van Dyck asked the fire-baller about the Cubs, Wood just repeated that he wanted to go to a team that has a shot to win. Dave thinks that the White Sox would be a better fit for Wood than the Cubs at this point, but a return to the Yankees is a good possibility.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Breaking News: Cubs Sign Carlos Pena

The Cubs have signed first baseman Carlos Pena to a one-year, $10 million year.

To help the payroll in 2011, the team will not pay Pena the final $5 million until January of 2012. Pena was offered multi-year deals elsewhere, but he says Chicago was his preference. He loves the city and thinks the team has a shot to win.

Carlos was irked by plantar fasciitis last season but is supposedly fully recovered. Time shall tell.

Notes on Carlos Pena:
  • Bats/Throws: Left
  • Position: First Base
  • Birthday: May 17
  • Age: 32
  • Last Season's Number: 23 (that will have to change since it is retired for Ryne Sandberg)
  • Previous Teams: Rays ('08-'10), Red Sox ('06), Tigers ('02-'05), A's (2002) and Rangers (2001).
  • Drafted: By the Rangers in the first round (10th overall) of the 1998 draft.
  • MLB Debut: September 5, 2001
  • 2010 Stats: 144 games, .196 AVG, .325 OBP, 28 HR, 84 RBIs
  • Career Stats: .244 AVG, .351 OBP, 28 HR, 84 RBIs

That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Notes from Day 2 at the Winter Meetings

It's the second day of the 2010 MLB Winter Meetings in Florida. Although rumors and news surrounding the team itself will take a backburner this week because of the passing of Ron Santo, let's get caught up on what has happened at the meetings.
  • Yesterday the Cubs named Mark Riggins their pitching coach. Riggins previously served as the Cubs minor league pitching coordinator and spent many years in the Cardinals organization. He spent two years on the Cards big league staff under Joe Torre in the '90s.
  • Tennessee Smokies pitching coach Dennis Lewellyn will be promoted to fill the roving role that was held by Riggins in 2010.
  • CBS Sports reports that the Cubs are targeting Adam LaRoche.
  • Bruce Miles doubts their interest in LaRoche.
  • Jon Heyman thinks that the Cubs would like to add Carlos Pena to fill their first base opening.
  • Jerry Crasnik of ESPN tweeted today that Brandon Webb's representatives were to meet with the Cubs this afternoon. Webb has been connected to the Cubs over the past week or two.
  • The Arizona Diamond Backs have interest in inking Xavier Nady.
  • The White Sox signed a pair of former Cubs in Daryle Ward and Jeff Gray. Both men were given minor league deals.
  • Thanks to BCB for this one- the Pittsburgh Post Gazette says that the Cubs are shopping Tom Gorzelanny. With Casey Coleman, Carlos Zambrano, Carlos Silva, Ryan Dempster and Randy Wells all in the rotation mix as well, this reports may be accurate.
  • Ken Rosenthal has connected Kerry Wood to the White Sox, but it doesn't sound like that will happen.
  • The Orioles will be in on Derrek Lee.
  • Speaking of former Cubs, Kevin Gregg and Rich Harden both have offers on the table. Rich could come back as a reliever.
  • Bruce Levine says that Kosuke is back on the trade block, but only if Hendry knows he can get another left handed bat to take his place.

I'll update with any other news that breaks tonight.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Breaking News: Mark Riggins Named the Cubs Pitching Coach

Mark Riggins has been named the pitching coach of the Chicago Cubs. Riggins was previously the minor league pitching coordinator. More news and updates from the winter meetings later...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ron's Greatest Moments in the Booth

Here is the countdown of my top ten moments of Ron Santo during his 20 seasons in the WGN Radio broadcast booth.

10. Sir, can you please SIT DOWN!
A couple of seasons ago a fan holding up a large sign in Houston stood up and blocked Ronny's view of the game. Over the air, the Cubs legend screamed at the fan and asked him to have a seat.

9. Carrot Cake
At some point during the early part of the last decade, Ron asked Pat what type of cake he liked to eat on his Birthday. Hughes said he was a fan of carrot cake, and Ron sounded disgusted when he said "You can't have carrot cake on your birthday!". This hilarious clip is available on The Best of Pat & Ron CD, which you can order on

"YEESSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!! YES sir!!! YESSSSSSSSS!" Ron's priceless reaction when the Cubs won the division in 2008.

7. "If this kid keeps pitching like this we might be in a World Series."
Ron's heartfelt commentary during the Kerry Wood 20 strikeout game in 2008. This classic was replayed yesterday on WGN Radio.

6. Pat's Sweater
Ronny always gave his partner a hard time about the old smelly sweaters that Pat would put in the Wrigley Field closet and break out when the weather got nippy. This sweater was a frequent topic of conversation over the years until finally Santo got fed up with it and stole it. He donated it to a carwash for them to use as a rag.

5. Boltzy
Any reference to producer Matt Boltz's drinking habits were always enjoyed by listeners. Ronny had a lot of fun over the years at Bolty's expense. At one time when describing a particular incident Ron had, Pat said "It was very late at night... It was with Matt Boltz."

4. "Oh Nooooo!"
Ron uttered this phrase over the air many times, but the most popular one came in 1998. Everyone knows about went Brant Brown a routine fly ball and Santo screamed the two words.

3. Speaking of Two Words...
Thom Brennaman loves to share the story about the first words Ron Santo ever uttered over the air as the Cubs color commentator. Ron, Bob Brenly and Thom were beginning their first season as the WGN-720 broadcast team in 1990. Spring Training was in the books, but it was Opening Day and the first game that counted ever with the new team in the booth. Just as the red light went on to signal that they were on the air, a gust of wind picked up and blew Ron's papers all over the place. Ron uttered two words that Thom says "you cannot say on radio, but Ron Santo said them." The legend was off and running!

2. The Question
In the early 1990s when the games were on national TV, Harry Caray would come to the radio booth to join Brennaman and Santo for all nine innings. During one game, things got a little dull so the fantastic trio started talking about Ron's hairpiece. Harry asked the famous question. "Thommy, I'm gonna take the dare. I gotta ask you Ron, when you go to bed at night, with your lovely wife, do you wear your toupee?" Santo's reply came after tons of laughter. "Harry, I take that off and a put a hat on!"

1. It's on fire!!!
Pat Hughes' favorite Ron Santo story is the time his hairpiece caught on fire at Shea Stadium in 2003. We've all heard the story lots of times. During the National Anthem of a game in April, Pat saw smoke billowing out from the top of Ron's head. This moments was discussed many times for the next seven years.

Come baseball season, it is not going to be the same.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Ron Roundup

We'll get back to Cubs news when the winter meetings start on Monday, but for now it's all about Ron Santo. Number ten has been honor all over the Internet, TV and radio over the last two days. Here's the latest.
  • Tomorrow at noon central time MLB Network will air "This Old Cub".
  • Tomorrow at 1:00 CT the Carlos Zambrano no-hitter will be replayed on WGN Radio.
  • The Honoring Ron programing continues on WGN-720 at 3:00 with "Cubs Confidential" featuring #10, and then with Sports Central from 4:00 to 5:50.
  • Bleed Cubbie Blue posted a cartoon to the Cubs legend today.
  • There is talk that Pat Hughes will make a CD to remember Ron.
  • Click for the Ron Santo page on WGN-720's site.
  • George Castle wrote about how ashamed HOF voters should be.
  • TCR did a nice job talking about Ronny.
  • Pat Hughes said last night in a TV interview that it seemed like Ron was indestructible and that he would always bounce back. Sadly, this time he didn't.

That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted.

Friday, December 3, 2010

More on Ronny

It has been a very tough day for me and any Cubs fan. Ron Santo represented this organization in such a unique and amazing way. His enthusiasm and sense of humor in the booth as well as his prolific playing career will never be forgotten.

WGN Radio has done a great job honoring Ron all day long and the coverage will continue throughout the weekend. Listen to audio of all the coverage you missed today on

Here is the schedule for the rest of the weekend.

1:00 to 3:00- Kerry Wood 20 K game rebroadcast
3:00 to 4:00- Cubs Confidential with Ron Santo
4:00 to 6:00- Ron Santo edition of Sports Central with Koz and Memolo

1:00 to 2:00- Cubs Confidential with Ron Santo (one-on-one interview with David Kaplan)
2:00 to 4:00- Rebroadcast of Carlos Zambrano's no-hitter
4:00 to 5:50- Ron Santo edition of Sports Central with Koz and Jill Carlson

Next Friday morning number ten's funeral will be broadcast live on WGN-TV.

Breaking News: Ron Santo Dead at Age 70

Cubs legend Ron Santo died early this morning due to complications from bladder cancer. Ron was and is not only one of the greatest Cubs of all time, but he was a true hero. Santo was planning on returning the the WGN Radio broadcast booth in 2011.

My deepest condolences go out to the Santo family. This is a tough day for the Cubs organization. This is the tough day for me personally as Ronny was my favorite Cub of all time. I have more than enjoyed listening to him in the booth with Pat Hughes all these years.

I'll be covering this sad news all weekend on the blog, so stay tuned and check back for more.