Friday, December 30, 2011

Top Ten Cubs News Stories of 2011: Part 2

Yesterday, we started our countdown of the top ten Cubs news stories of 2011. Click here for the stories that ranked six through ten. And now for the top five!

5. Honoring Ronnie
Throughout the calender year the Cubs organization did a great job honoring Cubs legend Ron Santo, who passed away in December of 2010. It started at the Cubs Convention in January and continued in Spring Training and on Opening Day, when his family threw out the first pitch and sang the Seventh Inning Stretch. On August 10, a statue of Santo was unveiled outside Wrigley Field before the Cubs game against the Nationals. Pat Hughes did a great job all seasons long telling stories about Ronnie on Cubs radio broadcasts in addition to putting together a book and a CD on his longtime partner.

4. Goodbye Hendry
Jim Hendry tenure as the Cubs general manager, which started in the middle of the 2002 season, concluded on August 19 when he was relieved of his duties by Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts. Ricketts notified Hendry that his days were numbered on July 22, but Jim wanted to stay on to finish signing draft picks and making trades before the deadline. Although some of his moves were often criticized, such as Alfonso Soriano's contract and the Milton Bradley trade, Hendry will be fondly remembered on the North Side for leading the team to the playoffs three times and for his friendliness and loyalty.

3. Z Blows Up
Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano continued to make headlines for the wrong reasons when his emotions once again got the best of him on August 12. Z had yielded five home runs to the Atlanta Braves and in his frustration attempted to throw at Chipper Jones. Zambrano was ejected from the game, cleaned out his locker and claimed that he was retiring. He spent a stint on the disqualified list and did not pitch the remainder of the season, leaving his future with the Cubs in question.

2. Cubs Net Theo
The Cubs landed one of the brightest minds in baseball on Oct. 21 when Theo Epstein took over as their President of Baseball Operations. He had already agreed to a five year contract with the squad on Oct. 12. Epstein has already begun to put his stamp on the team, trading Tyler Colvin, DJ LeMahieu and Sean Marshall in order to build his own core of young players. The addition of Epstein along with general manager Jed Hoyer and VP of scouting and player development Jason McLeod gives fans hope for brighter days ahead.

1. Santo Elected to HOF
Without a doubt, the biggest story of the year is Ron Santo finally getting the call from Cooperstown. Santo will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in July, a long overdue honor. Friends, fans and family members only wish that Ronnie was here to find out the news. He was very vocal about his wish to be enshrined in the Hall during his lifetime. None-the-less, the ceremony will be a great way to continue to honor and remember Santo.

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

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Top Ten Cubs News Stories of 2011: Part 1

It has been another eventful year for the Chicago Cubs. Although the team finished in the basement of the National League Central, there was never a dull moment on Chicago's North Side. With the calender year coming to a close, it is time to review the top ten Cubs news stories of 2011!

10. Rebuilding Phase?
The biggest story during the final few weeks of 2011 has been the idea that the Cubs are entering a major rebuilding phase. David Kaplan was the first to report that the Cubs are going to tear the team down and start over in 2012, dumping as many valuable pieces as possible in order to get prospects in return and to save money. The first in what could be a flurry of trades was sending Sean Marshall to the Reds for Travis Wood and two other young players.

9. Cubs Acquire Garza
On Jan. 7 the Cubs made a surprising trade, acquiring Matt Garza from the Rays in exchange for a package of five prospects, including Chris Archer and Hak-Ju Lee. Nearly a full year later, the Cubs new front office team is listening to offers for the young right hander, who was the most productive pitcher on the Cubs last season.

8. Castro an All-Star
The Cubs young shortstop had a breakout season, earning himself an appearance in the All-Star Game. Starlin Castro became the youngest player in Cubs history to play in the Mid-Summer Classic. At the plate Castro emerged, hitting .307, but his defense needs some work. His 29 errors led the league among shortstops.

7. Sveum Named Cubs Manager
On Nov. 16 the Cubs announced that Dale Sveum would take over as Cubs manager, replacing Mike Quade, who lasted just one season. This hire was one of the quietest ones in recent years by the Cubs, who typically go after big names like Don Baylor, Dusty Baker and Lou Piniella. However, Sveum's style could be a good fit for this rebuilding club.

6. Ramirez Signs with Brewers
One of the mainstays on the North Side of Chicago departed via free agency by signing with the division rival Milwaukee Brewers. It will be difficult for Cubs fans to see Rami play for the Crew, despite that fact that many of them complained that he was overpaid during his final few seasons on the North Side. Ramirez was a contributer to the Cubs '03 playoff run, an RBI machine in 2007 and a key piece in '08. Aramis's absence in the middle of the Cubs order will be felt this season. He was one of the Cubs few power threats in 2011.

Up next, we'll round out our top ten with the top five Cubs news stories of 2011! Be sure to check to back for that post!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Opening Day Roster Predictions: 12-26-11

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! The Cubs have been very active as of late. Today, they added several new players. RHP Andy Sonnanstine has signed a non-guaranteed, split contract for 2012. The deal signed by Manny Corpas last week is also believed to be non-guaranteed. In addition, the Cubs are believed to be close to signing switch hitting catcher Jason Jaramillo to a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training. Jaramillo will compete with Welington Castillo for the backup catcher's job.

At the start of the offseason, I made my Opening Day Roster predictions- click here to check them out! With the Cubs flurry of moves over the last two months, here are my updated predictions. If the season started tomorrow, this is what I think the roster would look like! I will continue to post updates throughout the rest of the winter as the Cubs continue to make moves. New to roster from my last prediction= italics, change in role= *

Starting Rotation
1. Matt Garza
2. Ryan Dempster
3. Randy Wells
4. Travis Wood
5. Carlos Zambrano
Also in the mix: Andrew Cashner, Casey Coleman, Jeff Samardzija and Chris Carpenter

Closer- Carlos Marmol
LH Setup Man- James Russell*
RH Setup Man- Jeff Samardzija
LH Middle Relief- Scott Maine
RH Middle Relief- Chris Carpenter
Long Relief- Manny Corpes
Long Relief- Andy Sonnanstine
Also in the mix- Coleman, Marcos Mateo, John Gaub, Casey Weathers and Jeff Beliveau

Starting Lineup
C- Geovany Soto
1B- Bryan LaHair
2B- Darwin Barney
SS- Starlin Castro
3B- Ian Stewart
LF- Alfonso Soriano
CF- Marlon Byrd
RF- David DeJesus

Welington Castillo
Jeff Baker
Blake DeWitt
Dave Sappelt
Reed Johnson
Also in the mix: Jason Jaramillo, Matt Szczur, Tony Campana, Brett Jackson, Lou Montanez, Jeff Bianchi, Josh Vitters and Junior Lake

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

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The 2011 Cubs Naughty & Nice List

It's become a Christmas tradition here on Everything Cubs Blog... the yearly Cubs Naughty & Nice List! Let's find out who's been good and who has not this year!

  • The Golden Era Committee- for finally putting Ron Santo into the Hall of Fame
  • The Santo Family- for handling the honor the right way even though it came too late
  • Starlin Castro- for providing hope for the future for the Chicago Cubs
  • Matt Garza- for stepping up as the ace of the Cubs pitching staff
  • Sean Marshall- for being valuable enough to net the Cubs three solid players
  • Tom Ricketts- for making major changes in the front office
  • Theo Epstein- for starting a major rebuilding phase
  • Brett Jackson- for being the Cubs top prospect
  • Jed Hoyer- for joining forces with Theo in Chicago
  • Jim Hendry- for handling his departure with class
  • Bill Buckner- for returning to the organization as a minor league coach
  • Reed Johnson- for continuing to play the game hard each and every day
  • Jeff Samardzija- for embracing his role as a reliever and putting together a strong year
  • Bryan LaHair- MVP minor league season, joined the Cubs in September
  • Darwin Barney- for winning the second base job and playing well for most of the season
  • James Russell- for the strides he made as a relief pitcher this season


  • The National Baseball Hall of Fame Voters- for keeping Ron Santo out during his lifetime
  • Jim Hendry- for his failure to reach a World Series during his time on the North Side
  • Mike Quade- for the poor decisions that he made in his only season as Cubs skipper
  • Carlos Zambrano- can you get more naughty than Big Z?
  • Casey Coleman- for his ERA, which was over 6
  • Carlos Marmol- for blowing too many saves in 2011
  • Tyler Colvin- for a disappointing final season in Chicago
  • Kosuke- for being overpaid throughout his tenure on the North Side
  • Alfonso Soriano- for being nearly untradeable
  • Geovany Soto- batting average saw a dip, throwing errors increased
  • The minor league system- for not being able to provide quality players when the Cubs needed them this season

Click here for past Naught & Nice Lists: 2010, 2009, 2008

Have a Merry Christmas Cubs fans!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Pre-Christmas Cubs Roundup

Happy Holidays Cubs fans! The Cubs have been pretty active this week leading up to Christmas Day, so let's get you caught up!

Corpas Signs with the Cubs
The Cubs have signed 29-year old RHP Manny Corpas to a one year contract. Corpas did not pitch this past season after having Tommy John surgery in September 2010. He is expected to be used out of the Cubs bullpen. Corpas had a 4.62 ERA in 56 games and picked up ten saves with the Rockies two seasons ago. Many feel that with another right hander added to the bullpen, Jeff Samardzija could get a chance to move into the rotation.

Marshall Deal Official
As expected, the Cubs have officially sent left handed reliever Sean Marshall to the Reds for starting pitcher Travis Wood. The two other players acquired by the Cubs in the deal are outfielder Dave Sappelt and 19 year old Ronald Torreyes. Sappelt hit .243 in 38 games with the big league team last season. He will compete for a spot on the team in Spring Training as a fourth or fifth outfielder.

Holiday Cubs Coverage
If you need a wintery Cubs fix, you can get it the next few days if you're in the Chicagoland area. WGN Radio will airs its special "Christmas with the Cubs" show on Christmas Eve at 9pm and Christmas Day at 2:00. Comcast Sports Net Chicago will replay the Cubs game against the Dodgers from April 23, 2011 at 1:00 on Christmas Day. That will be followed by Inside Look: Tom Ricketts at 4:30. On Wednesday, January 4 WGN Radio will host Cubs Corner at Wildfire Chicago featuring Theo Epstein. You can buy tickets to the luncheon or tune in to the broadcast at noon.

Up Next on Everything Cubs Blog
Next week we'll review the top Cubs stories of 2011, have my updated Cubs Opening Day roster predictions and check in on the latest from the rumor mill. Tomorrow our annual "Naughty & Nice" list will be posted. And of course, we'll keep you posted on Everything Cubs as always.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Breaking News: Marshall Traded to Reds

It was the huge news day for the Chicago Cubs. Most notably, left handed reliever Sean Marshall has been traded to the Cincinnati Reds in return for starting pitcher Travis Wood and two minor leaguers. This deal is not yet official, but it is close and pending physicals.

Marshall has been one of the most valuable Cubs for the past few seasons. According to an interesting report from David Kaplan, this is the start of a major rebuilding phase for the Cubs. Although I am upset to see Marshall depart, the deal could make sense for the Cubs since Wood is a young, promising arm who would fill a rotation void. In addition, the deal cannot really be judged until we find out which minor leaguers are coming to Chicago's North Side.

The Cubs also re-signed Reed Johnson to a one year contract today. Johnson will join the outfield mix that already includes David DeJesus, Marlon Byrd and Alfonso Soriano.

The Cubs finalized their minor league coaching staff today as well.
Bill Buckner will be a hitting coach for the Class-A Short Season Boise Hawks. Dave Keller returns to the Iowa staff after one year as an assistant to Mike Quade.

Prince Fielder rumors are still floating around. Kaplan tweeted today that the Cubs are not in on Fielder. He also said that they are open to trading everyone except Starlin Castro.

That's it for now, but I'll have much more during the holiday weekend.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Cubs Coaching Staff Breakdown

The Cubs have announced their full coaching staff from the 2012 season. Here is a breakdown of the coaches that will serve on the staff, lead by manager Dale Sveum.

Rudy Jaramillo, Hitting Coach
Jaramillo returns to finish out his contract as the Cubs hitting coach. So far his expertise has not been beneficial the Cubs offensive production has declined since he took over for the 2010 season. However, the player seem to respect Jaramillo and maybe he can finally figure out to increase the production of the Cub hitters.

Chris Bosio, Pitching Coach
Bosio will take over for Mark Riggins as the Cubs pitching coach next season. He is an ex big league pitcher who played for the Brewers and Mariners from 1986 to 1996. He has been the Brewers pitching coach each of the last two seasons and also served pitching coach for Lou Piniella's Tampa Bay Rays in 2003.

Jamie Quirk, Bench Coach
Jamie Quirk will be Sveum's right hand man on the bench this season. Quirk played for 11 different teams during a long big league career as a catcher. He was the Rockies bench coach from 2003 to 2008 before spending the last three seasons as the Astros bullpen coach.

Pat Listach, Third Base Coach
Listach remains on the Cubs staff, but moves from bench coach to third base coach. He will still play an important role, both in his decision making at third and his instruction for Cubs players.

Dave McKay, First Base Coach
McKay played infield for the Twins, Blue Jays and A's before starting his coaching career with Oakland in 1988. He moved to St. Louis in 1996, where he worked for Tony LaRussa until the end of this season. McKay should provide some insight as he takes over for fan favorite Bobby Dernier.

Lester Strode, Bullpen Coach
Strode is now the longest tenure Cubs coach. He has been a fixture in the Cubs pen since 2007.

Mike Borzello, Staff Assistant
Borzello is a former minor league catcher in the Cardinals system who never made it above Class A. He worked under Joe Torre as a bullpen catcher from 1996-2011 with the Yankees and Dodgers. Hopefully he has learned something working for one of the best. Borzello will work with catchers and be involved in advanced scouting.

Franklin Font, Staff Assistant
This year the Cubs will have two "special assistants" as Font also joins the staff. He has been in the organization as a roving infield instructor at the minor league level for 17 seasons. Font will coach the Cubs infielders and serve as an assistant to Jaramillo. In recent years the Cubs have had just one extra assistant- Dave Keller (2011), Matt Sinatro (2010), Ivan DeJesus (2007-2009) and Sonny Jackson (2003-2006).

It should be an interesting year with lots of new faces on both the staff and the field.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Look at Ramierz's Time With the Cubs

Aramis Ramirez's tenure in Chicago officially ended earlier this week as he signed a three year deal worth between $34-37 million with the division rival Brewers. The Cubs will fill the void at third base with Ian Stewart, but the hole that this departure leaves in the middle of the order still needs to be filled.

Let's take a look back at Aramis Ramirez's journey with the Chicago Cubs!

July 23, 2003: Traded to the Cubs
Aramis Ramirez was traded from the Pirates to the Cubs, along with outfielder Kenny Lofton. The deal for Ramirez turned out to be one of the best made by ex-GM Jim Hendry. Ramirez panned out for the Cubs during his time on the North Side.

2003 Playoffs
Ramirez hit three homers in a game two different times during the 2004 season, becoming just the 14th player in big league history to do so. Rami's range factor was among the lowest among third basemen. He had a solid year at the plate but was so-so with the glove.

2004- Powerful Season Lacks Defense
Ramirez hit three homers in a game two different times during the 2004 season, becoming just the 14th player in big league history to do so. Rami's range factor was among the lowest among third basemen. He had a solid year at the plate but was so-so with the glove.

2005- An All-Star Season Ends with Injury
The Cubs third baseman was elected to the MLB All-Star Game for the first time in his career. He missed the month of September, finishing the year on the DL.

2006- Inks an Extension
Ramirez signed the extension that kept him in blue through the 2011 season in September of '06. He had a decent year despite a last place finish by the club. He finished the year with a career high 38 home runs.

2007- Leading the Way to October
2007 was one of Aramis' most productive years, leading him to earn the nickname "An RBI Machine." He drove in 101 to lead the team to the postseason, where the Cubs were swept at the hands of the Diamondbacks.

2008- Hank Aaron Award
Prior to the 2008 World Series, Ramirez was honored with the Hank Aaron Award as the best offensive player in the game. He increased his RBI output to 111 and knocked a career best 44 doubles during the Cubs 97 win season. The team was once again swept out of the playoffs, this time at the hands of the Dodgers. Aramis played in the '08 All-Star game as a reserve.

2009- .317 Average
Ramirez hit for a career best .317 average during the 2009 season. He played in just 82 games that year, missing significant time with the dislocated shoulder.

2010- Decreased Production
A-Ram saw a large drop-off in his number in 2010, indicating that his prime may be passed him. He is still a solid middle of the order option for most clubs.

2011- Final Year in Blue
Ramirez hit .306 and launched 26 home runs as one of the few bright spots during a tough season for the Cubs. He declined his option to return to the team at season's end before signing his three year deal with the Brewers this week.

Some of my fondest memories of watching the Cubs involve Aramis Ramirez. He has been one of the Cubs best power hitters over the last decade and came through with some clutch hits that led the team to the postseason in '07 and '08. With the departure of Ramirez, only two players on the team remain from the 2003 season (Kerry Wood and Carlos Zambrano) and the number of players from '07 and '08 continues to dwindle.

On top of that, the Cubs will have a huge hole to fill in the middle of their lineup. It will be difficult to watch Aramis Ramirez play for the Milwaukee Brewers.

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

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Latest from the Rumor Mill

Rumors were flying around last week at the Winter Meetings, but it was more talk than action. The Cubs brass did leave Dallas with two moves under their belts. The team sent Tyler Colvin and DJ LeMahieu to the Rockies for third baseman Ian Stewart and minor league pitcher Casey Weathers. The team also claimed Jeff Bianchi off waivers from the Kansas City Royals. Bianchi is a middle infielder that played Double-A ball last season.

The biggest news of the week, however, was the election of Ron Santo to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. We will continue to celebrate Ron's legacy here on Everything Cubs Blog leading up to his induction in July.

Here are a few more news and notes.
  • Albert Pujols signing with the Angels last week was good new for the Cubs. The Cub-killer will leave the division instead of re-signing with the World Champion Cardinals.
  • Many baseball experts believe that the Cubs still have a shot at signing Prince Fielder. Fielder could sign a five year deal with the North Siders.
  • Bruce Levine reported this weekend that Prince Fielder believes the Cubs will make the biggest push for him. Levine thinks the Cubs would like to build a championship team around the young, power-hitting first baseman.
  • In the next three years, the Cubs television contract will expire with Comcast Sports Net and WGN. The Cubs could look into starting their own TV Network.
  • Former Cubs Felix Pie is set to sign with the Indians.
  • The division rival Brewers are in the lead to sign Aramis Ramirez, according to Jon Heyman.
  • Ian Stewart is looking forward to the chance to play every day with the Cubs.
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post has said that he cannot see Theo Epstein passing up teh chance to sign Fielder.

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

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Breaking News: Cubs Trade for Ian Stewart

The Cubs have acquired third baseman Ian Stewart and minor league pitcher Casey Weathers from the Colorado Rockies. In return, Tyler Colvin and DJ LeMahieu have been sent to Colorado. The first trade of the Theo Epstein era is in the books.

Stewart will enter spring training as the Cubs starting third baseman. The Cubs did not conclude the winter meetings without making any noise. Weathers will have a chance to compete for a bullpen spot next season.

The big news today was Albert Pujols's ten year contract with the Angels. Although the Cubs did not land Pujols, this is still good news at the slugging first baseman leaves the NL Central. The Cubs could still be in the mix for Prince Fielder, who is now the top free agent on the market. Peter Gammons believes that the Cubs are a real possibility for Prince.

Today in the Rule Five Draft the Cubs selected RHP Lendy Castillo from the Phillies. Two Cubs prospects were selected in the draft- Marwin Gonzalez (Red Sox) and Ryan Flaherty (Orioles). Gonzalez was then traded to the Houston Astros. The Cubs selected Ricky Alverez in the minor league portion of the Rule Five Draft, but then shipped him to a Mexican League team.

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

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Winter Meetings Day 2 Notes

Ron Santo's Hall of Fame election is by far the biggest headline to come out of the Winter Meetings so far. We'll continue to honor and cover Ronnie in the coming days and week here on Everything Cubs blog. However, there are some interesting tidbits from Dallas today.
  • The Cubs have reportedly made offers for both Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder. They are not willing to offer a long term contract, but will make up for that with a large per year salary.
  • The Marlins are the front runners for Pujols with a ten year contract offer on the table. However, they are not willing to give Albert a no-trade clause.
  • The Cubs are more likely to sign Fielder, but they are not close with Prince either. They are not willing to go behind a five year deal with the slugging third baseman.
  • The Cubs are still looking for a team to take Alfonso Soriano. They are willing to eat most of his contract. The Orioles were rumored to be interested.
  • Fielder says he has many suitors and "the coffee isn't even hot yet."
  • Carrie Muskat tweeted that Dale Sveum should announce his coaching staff soon. He is still looking for a first base coach. It looks as if Pat Listach will remain on the staff, moving from the bench coach to the third base coach.
  • The Cubs did submit a bid for Pujols today, even though Theo Epstein claimed yesterday that he was talking to Pujols' agent about another one of his clients, Rodrigo Lopez.

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

Monday, December 5, 2011

Breaking News: Ron Santo Elected to Hall of Fame

Ron Santo has been elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

That is one of two sentences that I have been looking forward to writing since I started this blog. Santo received 15 of 16 votes and will be inducted on July 22. He need just 12 votes, 75%, to receive the call.

It will be a great honor for Ronnie's family, however it is a shame that he is not here for it. Santo passed away just over a year ago. Ron Santo belongs in Cooperstown... I'm happy that the voters have finally realized their mistake. Much more coverage on Santo's election later!

Congratulations Ron Santo!!!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Previewing the Ron Santo Hall of Fame Vote

It's a big week for the Chicago Cubs with the Winter Meetings starting tomorrow in Dallas. We'll have plenty of rumors and new throughout the week, but as far as I'm concerned tomorrow is about one thing and one thing only- the Hall of Fame announcement regarding the late Ron Santo.

Ronnie, who passed away a year ago yesterday, was one of my all time favorite Cubs. There's no doubt he should have been inducted into the Hall of Fame during his lifetime. If he makes it tomorrow, it will be bittersweet for the family, which will wish he was there to witness it. However, it would still be great to be able to honor and remember Cubs legend Ron Santo in Cooperstown next July.

The Golden Era Committee met yesterday and again today to decide the HOF fate of Santo and several other candidates. Billy Williams is on the committee and is his case for his former teammate. The result will be announced tomorrow morning at 10am Central Time. We'll have it posted here on Everything Cubs Blog shortly there after.

The committee is made up of just 16 members. Each of them can vote for just five players or executives, but a 75% vote is needed for election. Click here to check out Phil Rogers' Chicago Tribune article making a case for Santo.

Tom Ricketts is also supporting Santo. Click here for Bruce Levine's blog post on the vote. Carrie Muskat also looked ahead to the announcement on her blog.

Ron Santo belongs in the Hall of Fame.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

2011 Winter Meetings Preview

The Cubs made their first move of the offseason this week, with more possibly on the horizon. Here's the latest.

Cubs Ink David DeJesus
On Wednesday the Cubs announced the signing of outfielder David DeJesus to a two year, $10 million contract that includes a club option for 2014. DeJesus can play all three outfield positions. He spent the first ten years of his career in Kansas City before playing for the Oakland A's last season. DeJesus hit just .240 in 2011 after hitting .318 in 2010.

Outfield Update
This move does not bode well for Tyler Colvin, who will have to earn his playing time since DeJesus could be the opening day starter in right field. Brett Jackson will be in the mix in Spring Training as well and Marlon Byrd could be shipped out before the start of the season. The Cubs are also searching for a buyer for overpaid leftfielder Alfonso Soriano.

Chris Bosio and Jamie Quirk Added to Coaching Staff
The Cubs have announced the Jamie Quirk will join Dale Sveum's coaching staff as the bench coach, while Chris Bosio will serve as the pitching coach. Mark Riggins will not return to the staff, while Pat Listach could be back as a base coach. Quirk was the Astros bullpen coach the last two seasons. Bosio, who coached with the Brewers in 2011, and Sveum have a long history together. An official announcement of the full coaching staff is expected this week.

A Busy Week Ahead?
Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer has said in several interviews that he expects the team to be very active at the Winter Meetings next week. There are rumors circulating that the Cubs are planning a full roster overhaul. Carlos Zambrano, Alfonso Soriano, Marlon Byrd and Matt Garza could be among the players that the Cubs are shopping, although Epstein has said he would like to build his pitching staff around a player like Garza. The team has been connected to Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols and Mark Buehrle.

Ron Santo
Today marks the one year anniversary of Ron Santo's death. He will have another shot at the Hall of Fame on Monday as this year's veteran committee vote is release. It would be a shame to see Ronnie go in without him there to see it, but it would be a great honor none-the-less. We'll have more on Santo's potential Hall of Fame induction Sunday and Monday.

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

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Weekend Roundup: Getting Set for the Busy Season

The Cubs should start making offseason moves some time in the near future! Here are the latest news, rumors and notes-
  • According to several reports, Dale Sveum has asked Chris Bosio to be his pitching coach. No word on whether or not Bosio will accept the offer.
  • Carlos Zambrano got hit in the face with a line drive while pitching in the Venezuelan Winter League last week. He will not pitch for Caribes again until December 6.
  • If Craig Council decides to retire, there is talk of him joining Sveum's staff.
  • Buster Olney tweeted this weekend that neither Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder are ideal long term targets for the Cubs.
  • The Cubs offered arbitration to Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena, but not Kerry Wood. Wood is still expected to return, while Ramirez will most likely turn down the arbitration offer.
  • Bruce Chen, a pitcher whom the Cubs had some level of interest in, re-signed with Kansas City last week.
  • According to ESPN Chicago, Dale Sveum has the support of Yankees manager Joe Girardi.
  • The Cubs are rumored to have interest in CJ Wilson.
That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted on Everything Cubs as always!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Cubs Black Friday Shopping List

It's black Friday, which means it's almost time for some holiday shopping for Theo Esptein, Jed Hoyer and the Cubs. The Winter Meetings are just over a week away so some deals could get done shortly. Here is a list of the Cubs offseason needs!

Priority #1: Pitching Depth
The Cubs need to add to their starting rotation. Matt Garza is most likely going to be the ace of the staff with Ryan Dempster a solid middle of the rotation veteran. But after that there are three question marks. Randy Wells has never lived up to his potential, but he will likely be given a spot in the back of the rotation. Andrew Cashner and Casey Coleman will be in the mix once again. Carlos Zambrano's return is still up in the air. The Cubs need to add one proven arm to the mix.

Priority #2 Re-sign Kerry Wood
At this point it appears to be a forgone conclusion that Kerry Wood return, but making it official has to be high on Theo Epstein's to-do list.

Priority #3 Find a Third baseman
It doesn't sound as if Aramis Ramirez is returning, so the Cubs have to have someone to take his place. The Cubs minor league system does not have much to offer at the hot corner and the free agent class is not strong, so a trade could be the best bet.

Priority #4 Make a Decision on Pena
Carlos Pena put up decent numbers in his first year as a Cub. He could be worst bringing back if the Cubs do not feel that they have a strong option on the minor league level. Pena could find himself in the middle of the Cubs order.

Priority #5 Add a Bullpen Arm
Assuming Kerry Wood returns, the Cubs still need another guy to help Carlos Marmol, Sean Marshall and Wood late in the game.

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

Thursday, November 24, 2011

What are Cubs fans Thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving Cubs fans! I hope everyone has a great day eating, giving thanks, watching football and being with their families.

Every year here on Everything Cubs Blog, we take a look at a list of things that Cubs fans have to be thankful for. Although the Boys in Blue are coming off back-to-back losing seasons, there are still a lot of factors that make it a good time to be a Cubs fan.

  • Tom Ricketts was able to bring Theo Epstein to Chicago.

  • The 2012 Cubs will feature a new president, general manager and manager.

  • Dale Sveum does not sound like he will put up with guys like Starlin Castro, Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Zambrano slacking. Sveum wants to crack down on Castro's defense.

  • Only two months until the Cubs Convention.

  • Just three months until Spring Training.

  • A week from Monday is the Ron Santo Hall of Fame announcement... maybe #10 will finally make it in.

  • You cannot get your Cubs fix all winter long as CSN Chicago has added a Hot Stove show covering the Cubs and White Sox on Tuesday nights.

  • Baseball's Winter Meetings are just over a week away and the Cubs are poised to make some moves.

  • It sounds as if Kerry Wood will return next season.

  • All baseball fans can be thankful that a new CBA has been reached and that the NBA is the only sport facing a lockout.

  • The Cubs have some solid prospects at the minor league level, led by Brett Jackson.

  • The Cubs have one of the best play-by-play men in all of baseball, Pat Hughes.

  • Matt Garza, Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney.

Once again, have a happy Thanksgiving Cubs fans!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

2012 Cubs Spring Training Schedule Released

Can you believe it is that time already? Baseball's Winter Meetings are just over a week away, December starts next week, Thanksgiving is two days away and the Cubs Spring Training schedule has already been released!

The broadcast schedules for TV and Radio will be released at a later date... but here is a full look at the Cubs Cactus League slate! (All times CT)

Sunday March 4 VS A's 2:05
Monday March 5 VS A's 2:05
Tuesday March 6 VS Rockies 2:05
Wednesday March 7 @ KC 2:05
Thursday March 8 VS Seattle 2:05
Friday March 9 @CWS 2:05
Saturday March 10 @Brewers 2:05
Sunday March 11 @LAD 3:05
Monday March 12 VS Reds 3:05
Tuesday March 13 @SF 9:05
Wednesday March 14 VS Brewers 3:05
Thursday March 15 (ss) VS D'backs 3:05, @Rockies 3:10
Friday March 16 VS Giants 3:05
Saturday March 17 (ss) @A's 3:05, VS Rangers in Las Vegas 3:05
Sunday March 18 (ss) VS CWS 3:05, VS Rangers in Las Vegas 3:05
Monday March 19 @Seattle 3:05
Tuesday March 20 (ss) @A's 3:05, VS Rangers 3:05
Wednesday March 21 Off Day
Thursday March 22 @Texas 3:05
Friday March 23 @Rockies 3:10
Saturday March 24 VS Padres 3:05
Sunday March 25 @Indians 3:05
Monday March 26 (ss) @D'backs 3:10, VS Padres 3:05
Tuesday March 27 VS Reds 3:05
Wednesday March 28 VS Indians 3:05
Thursday March 29 @Padres 3:05
Friday March 30 VS Dodgers 3:05
Saturday March 31 VS Angels 3:05
Sunday April 1 @Angels 3:05
Monday April 2 @D'backs 3:10
Tuesday April 3 VS Brewers 2:05

That's it for now... the countdown is on!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Coaching Staff Decisions

Now that Dale Sveum is in place as the manager of the Chicago Cubs, it is time to starting figuring out the rest of the Cubs coaching staff. The team announced today that Rudy Jaramillo will return as its hitting coach. Jaramillo is entering the final year of his three year contract.

Sveum is also slated to meet with the two other coaches that are under contract, Lester Strode and Pat Listach. Most likely Bobby Dernier, Ivan DeJesus, Dave Keller and Mark Riggins will not return. In fact, Dernier and DeJesus have already been informed that they will not be back for next season.

Sveum is going to conduct interviews for his own pitching coach and bench coach jobs. Listach could return to the staff in a different role.

Sveum already has a list of candidates that will be interviewed for the job of pitching coach. He is looking to bring in someone who is very close to him as the bench coach. Mark Riggins spoke to Sveum over the weekend. The two are expected to talk again soon.

The full coaching staff should be in place sometime in the next few weeks. That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sveum Introduced as Cubs Manager

This morning Dale Sveum was officially introduced as the manager of the Chicago Cubs during a press conference. Here are some of the most important news and notes.

  • The Cubs will be talking to their current coaches today, but the staff will most likely not be announced until after Thanksgiving.

  • Sveum is really excited about Starlin Castro's offense. He said that he is a tough guy to pitch to.

  • Whoever Sveum brings in as the infield coach will start working with Castro right away.

  • Mike Maddux called Sveum one of the best baseball guys he knows.

  • Robin Yount is not in the running to be the new Cubs pitching coach. Sveum said that that role will take awhile to fill.

  • Sveum is a big believer in playing the game hard. He wants to see all of his players work hard every single day.

  • "Losing is not okay. Not running out a fly is not okay," he said.

  • On an unrelated note- all indications are that Kerry Wood will return to the Cubs next season. Expect him to re-sign soon.

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

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Breaking News: Sveum Named Cubs Manager

A busy offseason for the Chicago Cubs continued today with the announcement of a new manager. Dale Sveum has become the 52nd manager of the team, signing a three year contract with an option for 2015. Sveum (pronounced Swaim) will be introduced by Jed Hoyer and Theo Esptein at a press conference tomorrow morning at 9:00.

Sveum was a big league infielder for seven different teams from 1986 to 1999, spending the 1992 season in Chicago playing for the White Sox. He coached on the Boston Red Sox staff during 2004 and 2005 seasons before spending 2006 to 2011 with the Brewers. His only big league managerial experience was in September of 2008 when he was named the interim manager for the final two weeks of the season after the firing of Ned Yost. Sveum served as a third base coach, bench coach and hitting coach during his time as a coach.

That's it for now, but we'll have much more on the Cubs new skipper.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ron Santo Baseball Voices CD Set for Release

Baseball Voices, a series of audio tributes to legendary broadcasters put together by Cubs play-by-play man Pat Hughes, has released its latest CD. Hughes longtime partner and Cubs legend Ron Santo, who passed away last December, is honored in a CD.

The tribute to Ron is set next Tuesday, Nov. 22. It is available for pre-order on the Baseball Voices website. The CD all about #10 is the tenth installment in the Baseball Voices series.

The cost per CD is $14.95. Here is a list of the tracks included-
1. Open
2. Intro
3. Cubs Legend
4. Itching
5. Hairpiece
6. Sno(u)t
7. Cough Button
8. Fashion-Food Cop
9. Marketing Guru
10. Cage Dancing
11. Mixed Up Mix Up
12. 1998
13. Let Them Eat Cake
14. Yogart Overboard
15. Al Fonseca
16. Damn Hankies
17. Munsters/Addams Family?
18. Booth Bugs
19. That is My Hall of Fame
20. Credits

I have already ordered my copy and cannot way to listen to it!

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

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Updating the Cubs Managerial Search

According to those of you who voted on our recent poll, Cubs fans are excited about welcoming Theo Epstein as the President of Baseball Operations. (Thanks to everyone who voted on the poll, by the way.) Epstein's first order of business as the Cubs President is to name a new manager... which leads us to our new poll question- who is the best Cubs managerial candidate? Four options of guys that are in the mix are listed on the right sidebar, please vote.

Now let's catch you up on the latest regarding the search for the next skipper.

  • Mike Maddux interviewed with Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, Jason McLeod and Randy Bush. According to all report, the interview went very well and Maddux could even be the leader to land the gig.

  • Maddux did not rule out the idea of his younger brother Greg joining his staff if he is hired by the Cubs.

  • Mike withdrew his name from the Red Sox managerial search last week.

  • Dale Sveum also interviewed for the job this week. He told the media that it does not sound as if Epstein and the Cubs plan to enter a rebuilding phase.

  • Ken Rosenthal reports that Sveum is going to get a second interview with the Red Sox, but he is high on the Cubs list as well.

  • Pete Mackanin, who was the first to interview, is still be considered as well.

  • Sandy Alomar Jr. is the final known candidate for the job. The Cubs brass has indicated that the first round of interviews could be complete, but it has not closed the door on adding another candidate or two to the mix. Alomar's interview reportedly went very well.

  • Some think that an announcement of the new manager could come as early as this week.

  • The Cardinals have named Mike Matheny their new manager.

  • According to multiple sources, Terry Francona will not be considered for the Cubs job.

It is a busy time for the Cubs management with the General Managers' Meetings starting this week in Milwaukee. Both Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer will represent the Cubs.

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

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Radio Recap: Hendry on Talkin' Baseball

Former Cubs general manager Jim Hendry joined Bruce Levine on ESPN 1000 yesterday. Here is what he had to say.

  • Hendry has taken the last couple of month to spend a lot of time with his two children.

  • He has also played a lot of golf since departing from the Cubs.

  • Theo Epstein and Hendry are good friends. They met years ago when Hendry was the assistant GM for the Cubs. Jim is happy for the Cubs, and said he left on very good terms.

  • "Tom Ricketts and his family are terrific, and they hit a grand slam with Theo," he said.

  • Theo has already started bringing in quality people, while keeping the quality guys that worked there under Hendry.

  • Jim feels fortunate to spend 17 great years for the Cubs. "I have nothing but great things to look back upon on my experience there," he said.

  • Hendry is thrilled for the Cubs and things that it is going to be a great place for a long time under Theo.

  • He has taken the last couple months to think about nothing but his children. He has not wanted to think about what he wants to do in the future.

  • Hendry wants to work, but he does not have a clear cut path as to what he wants to do. He already has friends expressing interest in bringing him in to their organization.

  • "It's nice to have some options, and it's nice to spend some time with my kids," he said.

  • Mike Quade texted him just before the announcement of his departure last week. Hendry thinks Q and Theo both handled the exit well. Hendry has not spoke with Mike yet but he plans to soon.

  • Hendry thinks that the statistical analysis must be combined with good scouting.

  • Jim spoke very highly of Epstein, Ricketts and the entire organization throughout the interview.

  • "I think great days are ahead for the Cubs," he said.

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

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Let the Interviews Begin

With the firing of Mike Quade on Wednesday, the Cubs have wasted no time begging the interview process to find the best candidate to become the next manager of the Chicago Cubs.

Pete Mackanin was the first formal interview for the position. He chatted with Theo Epstein and company on Friday. Mackanin told the media that Theo nailed him with question after question. The interview included watching game film and asking Mackannin what he would do in certain situations. Mackanin is the current Phillies bench coach. He grew up in the Chicagoland area cheering for both the Cubs and White Sox.

Dale Sveum, who is the Brewers hitting coach, will go through the interview process on Monday, followed by Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux sometime next week. Other names floating around include Sandy Alomar Jr., DeMarlo Hale, Terry Francona and Joe Maddon. According to David Kaplan, Alomar, the Indians' bench coach, will interview next week as well.

The Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals are also hunting for a new manager. All three teams are interviewing a similar list of candidates.

The other bit of news this week was the Cubs decision to hire Joe Bohringer as Pro Scouting Director. Bohringer as 21 years of scouting experience under his belt and had been in the Arizona D'backs organization since 2006.

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

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Breaking News: Mike Quade Out as Cubs Manager

Mike Quade will not return for the second year of his contract. Theo Esptein made his first big decision today by electing to go in a new direction with the team's managerial position. Epstein said that he wanted to start fresh. Quade took the high road with his comments today, complimenting Theo for the way he went about making the decision.

Ryne Sandberg also received bad news today. He will not be considered for the Cubs open managerial gig. One of Epstein's criteria is big league coaching experience. Sandberg also spoke highly of the way Epstein notified him of the decision that he would not be considered.

I think that Theo is making the right decision in letting Q go. Quade did not receive much of a chance, but he was never really big league managerial material. He was an assistant coach who took over for a brief one year stint as a manager. My guess is he'll remain in baseball as an assistant. He is a baseball lifer, a hard worker and a great guy, but he was not the right fit for a managerial position in Chicago.

Yesterday Jed Hoyer and Jason McCloud were introduced as the general manager and VP of Player Development respectively. When questions about decisions on players (Zambrano, Ramirez, ect) were directed at Hoyer, Theo jumped in and answered. All indications are that Aramis Ramirez will not return to the Cubs next season.

Today the big discussion is the removal of Mike Quade and the question of who will take his place is being tossed around. Lots of names were being tweeted and blogged today. We'll have a full breakdown of managerial candidates later in the week.

Things are never slow on the North Side of Chicago! Lots of news early on this winter. That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Opening Day Roster Predictions: 10-31-11

Happy Halloween Cubs fans! The big news in the National League Central Division today is the retirement of Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa. It will be odd next year when the Cubs/Cards rivalry no longer includes Tony. Congrats to LaRussa on the World Championship and on an outstanding career.

Aramis Ramirez declined his end of the mutual option for 2012. He will test free agency and still could return to the Cubs, but the team is no longer on the hook for the $16 million option or $2 million buyout. Ramirez is looking for a three or four year deal for about $15 million per year.

Each year I make and update my opening day roster predictions for the following season throughout the offseason. The purpose of these predictions is to tell what I think would be the roster if the season started tomorrow. I do not use any players in the predictions that are not currently under control of the club. These predictions give us an idea of how many moves need to be made in order for the Cubs to have a decent roster. It also helps highlight which areas need improvement.

Starting Rotation
1. Matt Garza
2. Ryan Dempster
3. Randy Wells
4. Andrew Cashner
5. Carlos Zambrano

Closer- Carlos Marmol
LH Setup- Sean Marshall
RH Setup- Jeff Samardzija
LH Middle Relief- James Russell
RH Middle Relief- Chris Carpenter
Long Relief- Casey Coleman
Long Relief- Marcos Mateo

Starting Position Players
C- Geovany Soto
1B- Bryan LaHair
2B- Darwin Barney
SS- Starlin Castro
3B- DJ LeMahieu
LF- Alfonso Soriano
CF- Marlon Byrd
RF- Tyler Colvin

Koyie Hill
Jeff Baker
Blake DeWitt
Tony Campana
Lou Montanez

Cubs that are Free Agents
Kerry Wood
Aramis Ramirez
Carlos Pena
Reed Johnson
Rodrigo Lopez
Ramon Ortiz
John Grabow

I'll post more projections as the Cubs make moves this offseason!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Let the Offseason Begin

As much as it pains all Cubs fans to say it... congratulations to the St. Louis Cardinals on winning the 2011 World Series. Game 6 will go down as one of the best games in World Series history. I actually enjoyed watching the Cards come back time and time again because it was just such good baseball. Joe Buck's "We'll see you tomorrow night" tribute to his father was perfect.

Now the the World Series is over, what should be an action-packed offseason for the Chicago Cubs begins. The first bit of news was made today as Ryan Dempster decided to pick up his player option for 2012. He will make $14 million in the fourth and final year of his contract.

Theo Epstein is now in place as the President of the Cubs, but there are still many question marks heading into next year. Among them are-

1. Who will manage the team?
There is a chance that Mike Quade will return, but most seem to feel he is on the way out. The Cubs did not pay Theo all that money to keep things the same. Some big moves are likely on the horizon and that will start with a new skipper. Ryne Sandberg, Terry Francona, Bobby Valentine, Tim Bogar, DeMarlo Hale, Rick Renteria and Dale Sveum are among the names being tossed around.

2. Will Ramirez return?
Aramis Ramirez has been a fixture at the hot corner at Wrigley Field since the middle of 2003. Can the Cubs find an upgrade on the market, or will the best option be A-Ram for 2011? Ramirez will leave a big hole in the lineup if he leaves. He has a player option where he can elect for free agency even if the Cubs want to pick up his $16 million team option. Ramirez was quoted saying that he is more likely to want to return now that Epstein has taken over.

3. Which other free agents will the Cubs let go, and which will they bring back?
In addition to Ramirez, Carlos Pena, Reed Johnson, Kerry Wood, Rodrigo Lopez, John Grabow and Ramon Ortiz will all hit the open market. My guess is that Wood and Johnson return while Lopez, Grabow and Ortiz go elsewhere. That leaves Carlos Pena as the big question mark. Theo will have to figure out whether or not there is a better option on the free agent market, because the Cubs do not have much corner infield depth in the system.

4. Which additions will the Cubs make?
There is no doubt that this team will have at least a few new faces come Spring Training. The biggest area of need is the starting rotation. There are three spots up for grabs with only Dempster and Garza penciled in. Randy Wells did not have a good season, but will likely end up back in the starting five none-the-less. Casey Coleman and Andrew Cashner could battle for the No. 5 slot, but the Cubs are in trouble if they do not add at least one middle of the rotation starter. Additions to the lineup will be based on whether or not they decide to keep Pena and Ramirez. The bullpen could also use a few extra arms.

5. Will the Cubs find a way to dump Carlos Zambrano?
Carlos Zambrano's days pitching in a Cubs uniform are likely over. The question is how, not if, he will be moved. The Cubs will search for a trade partner that is willing to take the baggage that he carries with him. After the end of last year, it is unlikely that Z returns to the Cubs, but since there is an overhauled front office there is a chance the he comes back.

The Cubs have until Tuesday to work out a compensation package with the Red Sox, or Bud Selig will step in.

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

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Breaking News: Hoyer & McLeod Added to Front Office

Theo Epstein has made his first additions to his staff. Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod have officially been announced as the Cubs Executive VP/General Manager and Senior VP of Scouting and Player Development. The Cubs will send a player to be named later to San Diego as compensation.

McLeod will be in charge of Oneri Fleita and Tim Wilken. His title will not be assistant GM, as originally reported. As of now Randy Bush remains the assistant to Hoyer.

On a side note- Bruce Levine tweeted today that Aramis Ramirez is open to returning to the Cubs now that Theo is in charge.

With the front office set, it's time to start talking about what moves it should make. We'll have breakdowns of managerial and free agent options this weekend.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Reaction as Theo Takes Over

Theo Epstein was introduced today as the President of Baseball Operations for the Chicago Cubs. Click here for the article and video from CSN Chicago.

Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod will be introduced later in the week, no later than next Monday.

Here were some of the tweets that were being sent out today regarding #Esptein.

  • Jon Heyman- Cherington said that compensation from the Cubs was agreed to be significant.

  • Jon Heyman- No matter who was hired to run the Cubs, Quade was a goner. He was Hendery's guy. Of course, why pay Theo $3.7 million to leave status quo.

  • CSN Mooney- Theo says he never asked for a contract extension or new role with the Red Sox.

  • Len Kasper- The thing about Theo that is common among brightest people I've met--he's not condescending,he listens.Less is more. Great vibe.

  • Chris DeLuca- Theo says if Francona hadn't left the Red Sox, he would have stayed another year.

  • David Kaplan- By the way, yes that was Theo at Starbucks a couple of weeks ago. He confirmed.

  • WGN TV- It certainly feels great to be a Cub today.

  • Click here for more #Theo tweets.

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

Monday, October 24, 2011

Epstein's Press Conference Set

The press conference to introduce Theo Epstein as the general manager of the Chicago Cubs is set for tomorrow at Wrigley Field. The press conference will start at 11am and will likely be televised on CSN Chicago and WGN-TV Chicago. Look back at my recent posts for more Epstein coverage, and expected a recap tomorrow!

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

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Radio Recaps: Getting Set for the Epstein Annoucement

Bruce Levine joined Carmen, Jurko and Harry for the latest on the Theo Watch on Thursday-

  • The Cubs were very close at that time to the deal with the Red Sox. One of the holdups may have been the medical situations of some of the deals that they agreed on.

  • Levine called the situation a real tangled web, with Jed Hoyer moving to the Cubs. The front office will grow under Epstein and Hoyer.

  • Theo will be the guy to call the shots. This is a lateral move for Hoyer.

  • The media and fans are going to be talking to Jed Hoyer every day. Jed is going to be a very important part of the front office.

  • Levine was told that there would not be any compensation need to San Diego, but some reports have said that there will be a low level prospect.

  • Bruce was told that Trey McNutt and Brett Jackson are both staying in Chicago. Nobody is sure who the prospect going to Boston is.

  • Bud Selig has not gotten involved much yet. He has allowed these teams to make the announcement during off days of the World Series so that the teams (San Diego, Boston and the Cubs) can be ready for free agency.

  • Theo was probably the one who decided that he wanted a general manager under him. Esptein likes to have a lot of guys under him. At times, he has had three assistant general managers working under him.

  • The Cubs going to add more people to the front office after Esptein and Hoyer. A few more guys from Boston and San Diego will become over.

  • Levine shot down the possibility of John Lackey being sent to the Cubs. Starlin Castro and Matt Garza's names also came up during the compensation offers.

  • Carem and Bruce agreed that the Red Sox have been set on dragging this thing out as long as possible. The Bo-Sox have made this as difficult as possible.

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

Friday, October 21, 2011

Breaking News: Epstein to the Cubs

It's official, Theo Epstein is the President of Baseball Operations of the Chicago Cubs. Check back tomorrow for all the details.

Update Saturday 10:30am
Theo Epstein has joined the Chicago Cubs on the team's President of Baseball Operations. The compensation to the Red Sox has not yet been announced, but the two sides have reached an agreement as to the process that will be taken. The compensation issue will be worked out soon. If the compensation process does not work, Bug Selig will make the final decision.

With the World Series going on, the official announcement will be made on Tuesday, an travel day for the Cardinals and Rangers. Neither club will have further comment until that time.

A few days after Epstein's press conference, several more announcements are expected to be made. Padres general manager Jed Hoyer and assistant GM Jason McLeod are expected to join the Cubs organization as the GM and assistant GM respectively. Hoyer is set to sign a five year deal with a Cubs. The compensation to San Diego is expected to be a low level minor leaguer.

Crane Kenney will remain with the Cubs organization, but his title will change to President of Business Operations.

That's it for now, but we'll have much coverage of this story this weekend and early next week.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Radio Recaps: Rogers, Hughes & Moreland on WGN Radio

Although the deal is not officially done, Theo Epstein talked filled the radio airwaves this week. Phil Rogers joined WGN Sports Night this week.

  • One of the most respected executives in baseball thinks the Cubs have a fighting chance. Theo would not be coming to Chicago if he didn't think Tom Ricketts was a guy who could do big things.

  • There are a number of guys out there who have worked with Epstein before that he could bring in as an assistant general manager.

  • Rogers reports that it is possible that there will be multiple levels of baseball operations where the second guy in charge could have the GM title. Epstein could be the guy who hires the general manager instead of becoming the general manager.

  • For the most part, Theo will be working with the guys who are already there.

  • Epstein is a guy who can make a very difficult decision. You will no longer see the general manager down the clubhouse becoming friendly with the players. Rogers expects him to be a tougher GM.

  • Rogers is excited about Ricketts' commitment to the farm system.

  • Demarlo Hale is the Boston bench coach and could be a candidate for the Cubs managerial position. Rogers if pretty sure that Terry Francona will not be the Cubs manager in 2012. Ryne Sandberg is a guy who does make sense.

  • The deal for Theo Epstein is not done yet. This thing could still go sideways.

  • Rogers thinks that Pujols will leave the Cardinals. The NL Central might be has winnable as ever in 2012.

  • A turnaround to be competitive could happen in 2012, but the Cubs are 2-3 years away from winning 90-95 games. The lack of stability throughout the organization as been the biggest problem for the Cubs.

  • The front office must take a patient approach.

Pat Hughes and Keith Moreland joined Greg Jarrett to talk about Epstein-

  • "There's a feeling of this all being a bit premature right now. It looks like it's going to happen, but it's a little premature," Hughes said.

  • Moreland said that he is sure that players are following the situation and wondering what might take place. Keith said that there is a lot of speculation going on at this point.

  • The Cubs organization needs to put itself in position to win year in and year out for a decade.

  • Hughes is impressed by Theo's track record for success. If indeed he does become the Cubs general manager, Pat will be pulling for him to do well.

  • Keith thinks that starting pitching is the biggest area of need for the Cubs.

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

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Remembering Ronnie Roundup: 10-13-11

While we are waiting for the official announcement, let's take a break from all the Theo Epstein talk for our monthly Remembering Ronnie Roundup, the section of the blog where we honor Cubs legend Ron Santo.

Ronnie's Walk
The Ron Santo Walk to Cure Diabetes took place on October 2. It was the 33rd annual event but the third since Santo's death last December. Click here for a photo gallery of the walk from WGN Radio. The 2011 walk was held in six different locations throughout the Chicagoland area. Click here for the official thank you message from the JDRF website.

Baseball Voices CD
The next big date on the Ron Santo calender is coming next month with the release of Pat Hughes' Baseball Voices CD featuring Ronnie. Pat and Ron teamed up in the WGN Radio booth for 15 great years. The CD is sure to produce a lot of laughs. It is expected to be released by Thanksgiving.

Ford C. Frick Finalists Announced
Both Pat Hughes and Ron Santo were up for the fans vote for Ford C. Frick Award finalists, but neither cracked the ballot that the 20 member committee will vote on. The ten finalists are Skip Caray, Rene Cardenas, Tom Cheek, Ken Coleman, Jacques Doucet, Bill King, Tim McCarver, Graham McNamee, Eric Nadel and Mike Shannon. The winner will be announced on December 6.

Baseball HOF Vote
The aforementioned Veterans' Committee voting results will be announced at the Winter Meetings in December as well. Santo needs 12 of the 16 votes to be elected. According to an article by Rob Neyer this summer, "It seems likely that at least one candidate will get the necessary 12 votes. It's probably Ron Santo's turn, finally. You know, just in time for the first anniversary of his death. When he should have been elected 30 years ago."

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

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Breaking News: Epstein on the Verge of Becoming Cubs' GM

The Cubs are on the verge bringing Red Sox general manager to Chicago to fill a similar role, taking over for Jim Hendry who was fired in August. This deal seems to be all but official, and it should be made official in the next 24 hours.

Jon Heyman tweeted today that part of the agreement is that Epstein cannot take any other Red Sox front office members with him. Compensation will most likely be sent to Boston in the form of either cash or a minor league player. Heyman reports that Boston is leaning toward wanting the money.

Jeff Passan tweeted that Theo Epstein is a spectacular hire for the Cubs and an unnecessarily stupid loss for the Bo-Sox. ESPN's Buster Olney has reported that the deal is done. The deal is reportedly for five years and close to $20 million.

Bruce Levine was on ESPN today to talk about the move:

  • The final hurdle is getting the compensation sorted out.

  • The Red Sox could ask for a lot and the Cubs could balk at that. This could take a little while to get figured out, but Bruce would be shocked if it does not get done.

  • Mike Quade's future in Chicago is unknown at this time. Levine thinks that people have gotten a little bit ahead of the story by talking about the possibility of the move under Epstein.

  • Levine would be shocked if the Cubs went after a slugger like Pujols or Fielder. The Cubs need starting pitch, so that must be the top priority.

  • The Cubs need a lot of help in the rotation behind Dempster and Garza. The money that they have should go toward pitching first.

Ryan Dempster was on The Herd with Colin Cowherd to offer his perspective.

  • Dempster thinks that the Cubs have an incredible bullpen. He thinks that they have a bullpen that can be very strong.

  • "The starting pitching has to do a better job, and that starts with me," he said.

  • Demp also pointed out that the Cubs must to play better defense.

  • Ryan and Cowherd agree that Chicago is one of the best cities for sports in America. Dempster said that the city appreciates hard work.

  • Demp has never met Theo Epstein, but he is looking forward to having him on with the Cubs.

That's it for now, but I'll update you when the deal is official.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Epstein Close to Coming to the Cubs

Today news has broke that the Cubs are very close to bringing Theo Epstein in as their General Manager. There were reports today that the Cubs will have to compensate the Red Sox since Epstein is under contract, but that will be only a minor hurdle in completing the deal. The Bo-Sox would like Epstein to stay in Boston but they will not prevent him from leaving.

The Boston Harold has issued a report that says that Epstein is on the cusp of leaving his job in Boston for one with greater power in Chicago. An official announcement is expected in the next 24 to 48 hours.

According the Chicago Tribune Peter Gammons has tweeted that a deal could happen, but it is not as close and people think. The Tribune's article also said that the Cubs declined the comment on the issue.

Comcast Sports Net New England reports that the deal is close but not done yet. On the issue of compensation, most sources are reporting that it will not be top players on the Cubs roster, most likely only minor league prospects.

That's it for now, but we'll keep you posted as more news breaks.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Theo Epstein Watch

So far this offseason most of the Cub related talk has involved the possibility of the team hiring Theo Epstien as its next general manager. Here are the latest rumors involving the Red Sox' general manager.

  • Scott Miller of CBS Sports tweeted that he has talked to two executives that know Epstein well. One predicted that he will stay with the Bo-Sox, the other thinks he will end up in Chicago.

  • Noah Pinzur, a Lakeview resident, claims that he saw Theo at Starbucks in Illinois, according to Paul Sullivan of the Tribune.

  • MLB Trade Rumors reports that John Henry and Larry Lucchino declined the Cubs request to speak to Epstein.

  • The Boston Globe says that Henry will not stand in Epstein's way if he decides to leave.

  • Jon Heyman of SI tweets that it would still be a surprise Theo goes to the Cubs.

  • Bruce Levine writes that we should find out in the next few days whether or not Theo is coming to the Cubs.

  • Tom Ricketts has said that there are a lot of good GM candidates out there. His hope is to find the right fit for the team.

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

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Former Cubs in the Championship Series

Tonight the American League Championship Series begins with Game 1 between the Rangers and Tigers. The National League Championship Series, which begins tomorrow, is a matchup of two NL Central clubs with the Brewers taking the Cardinals. Cubs fans will be forced to decide which is the lesser of the two evils (most will pick the Brewers) to root for.

The Major League Baseball playoff run has been fun to watch thusfar, starting with that compelling final day of the regular season. Three of the four Division Series took five games to complete and one went to extra innings in game five. To make it even more fun for Cubs fans to watch the rest of the way, here is a list of guys with Cubs connections competing in the LCS.

  • Al Aburrquerque, Tigers: never played in the big leagues for the Cubs but was the farmhand traded to Colorado for Jeff Baker.

  • Josh Hamilton, Rangers: drafted by the Cubs in the Rule Five draft but was quickly shipped to the Reds.

  • Ryan Theriot, Cardinals: Played for the Cubs from 2006-2010

  • Corey Patterson, Cardinals: Has landed on his feet with St. Lou after bouncing around for a few years. Roamed the outfield at Wrigley during the early part of the 2000s.

  • Kyle Lohse, Cardinals: Cubs farmhand who was traded to the Twins

  • LaTroy Hawkins, Brewers: Was always better as a set-up man than a closer during his time in the Cubs bullpen

  • Casey McGehee, Brewers: Briefly played with the Cubs during the 2008 season before he was shipped to Milwaukee. The Cubs regret letting the talented third baseman go.

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

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The 2011 Cubbie Awards

It's time for my annual awards presentation right here on Everything Cubs blog. This year there we not many bright spots, but it is time for us to look back at them, as well as several of the many low lights.

MVP: Starlin Castro
LVP: Tyler Colvin
Rookie of the Year: Darwin Barney
Cy Young: Matt Garza
Rookie of the Year: Most Under-Rated Season: Jeff Samardzija
Midseason Call-up: Tony Campana
Bench Player: Reed Johnson
Game of the Year: Historic Comeback in Washington
Disappointing Player: Carlos Marmol
Biggest Move: Kosuke traded the Cleveland
Newcomer of the Year: Matt Garza
Reliever of the Year: Jeff Samardzija/Sean Marshall

Feel free to comment with your thoughts! That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Early Offseason Rumors and Notes

The offseason is just underway and the rumor mill has wasted no time in getting started. It will be an interesting offseason with many questions surrounding the Chicago Cubs. Here's the latest!

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

Saturday, October 1, 2011

2011 Cubs Reports Cards

Each season, I give each Cubs player a letter grade based on his overall performance. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments!

Starting Pitchers
Ryan Dempster: C+
Matt Garza: B
Carlos Zambrano: D
Randy Wells: D
Rodrigo Lopez: C-
James Russell: F (also graded as a reliever)
Andrew Cashner: No Grade
Casey Coleman: C-

Carlos Marmol: C
Sean Marshall: B
Jeff Samardzija: B+
Kerry Wood: B-
John Grabow: D-
Ramon Ortiz: C
James Russell: A

Position Players
Alfonso Soriano: C-
Carlos Pena: B-
Aramis Ramirez: B
Marlon Byrd: B-
Starlin Castro: A-
Darwin Barney: B+
Geovany Soto: D
Koyie Hill: D-
Jeff Baker: B-
Blake DeWitt: C+
Reed Johnson: B
Tyler Colvin: F
Kosuke (before being traded): C-
Tony Campana: C

Mike Quade: C-
Rudy Jaramillo: C
Ivan DeJesus: D+
Mark Riggins: C-

Links to Past Report Cards

Coming Up on the Blog
The Cubbie Awards
Season in Review
Offseason Preview

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

Thursday, September 29, 2011

And We're Back!

With the Cubs season coming to a close yesterday, it is finally time for the return of Everything Cubs Blog! It made more sense to me to spend some time away during month of September while the Cubs played out the rest of the season, then to return for all of the lively offseason banter. Many other sites take a break around this time, so it should be a great time to visit this site for your Cubs fix.

The conclusion of the 2011 season is bittersweet for Cubs fans. On the bright side, this miserable year is finally over. However, there are still several things that we will miss about baseball season. Among them are:

  • The feeling of summer that comes with watching or attending a Cubs game.

  • Listening to the talented broadcasters Pat Hughes, Len Kasper, Bob Brenly and Keith Moreland call the games.

  • Seeing some of the young guys play during the month of September.

  • Complaining about the team. (Oh wait, we can still do that.)

  • Escaping from everything else by taking in a ball game.

  • Questioning Mike Quade.

  • Watching Starlin Castro play every day.

  • Hoping each day that the Cubs might pick up a win.

The Cubs were drubbed 9-2 in the regular season finale last night at the hands of San Diego. To make matters worse, the Cardinals some how found a way to win the Wild Card after trailing by 8.5 games on September 3.

There is a new poll up on our right sidebar. Please vote and feel free to comment on this post with your thoughts!

Sometime within the next week or two, we'll have our annual Cubs Report Cards and the Cubbie Awards. Here is what else you can expect on the site this winter!

  • Breaking News

  • Rumor Updates

  • Full Coverage of the Cubs Convention

  • More Remembering Ronnie posts

  • Cover of the Winter Meetings, including the Santo Hall of Fame vote

  • Radio/TV Interview Recaps

  • Opening Day Roster Predictions

  • 2012 Previews

  • And Much More!

Thanks for sticking with me.

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

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Break Time

As longtime readers know, there are many times where I take break from blogging for a few weeks at a time, but I always return. This will be one of those times. Many bloggers take their breaks during October while the playoffs are going on if their teams are not involved, but I'd rather have fresh content once the season ends. There will be a few posts during the month of September when news breaks, but not many. Enjoy the rest of the season, Go Cubbies and I look forward to returning!

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Look at Hendry's Worst Moves with the Cubs

On Saturday we counted down the five best moves made by Jim Hendry during his tenure as the general manager of the Chicago Cubs. Click here to read that post. As you know, not all of the moves he made were good. Now it's time to take a look at the five worst moves!

5. Signing Kosuke Fukudome... November 2007
At the time, I'll admit that I was excited about the Japanese import coming to Chicago. However, his offense sputter throughout his four season stay in Chicago. Hendry overpaid for Kosuke, giving him four years and $48 million.

4. Waiving Casey McGehee... October 2008
This move does not get that much attention, but it was the only one on this list that I knew was completely terrible the second it happened. McGehee was a promising prospect who saw some time with the Cubs during the 2008 season. He could have been Ramirez's successor at third base and learned a new spot while waiting for Rami's contract to expire. However, the rival Brewers snatched him off waivers. He had been very productive in the middle of the Milwaukee lineup.

3. Trading Nolasco, Mitre & Pinto for Juan Pierre... December 2005
The Cubs shipped three young arms to Florida to try to add a lead-off man. Pierre was lousy in his only season on the North Side, while Nolasco went on to become a quality starter.

2. Giving Alfonso Soriano 8 years... November 2006
At the time I was very excited about the Cubs picking up one of the top free agent on the market. However, this contract was way too long for an already ageing player like Soriano. The $136 million spent on Alfonso just about single handily led to the miserable 2010 and 2011 seasons. However, Soriano was a key piece to the team during the playoff runs of 2007 and 2008. Had the Cubs won a World Series it would have been worth it, so I don't blame Jim for going "all in." Note: John McDonough was the one who actually closed this deal, not Hendry.

1. Signing Milton Bradley... January 2009
While the winter between '06 and '07 was probably Hendry's best despite the Soriano contract, the 2008-2009 offseason was by far his worst. The biggest and worst move of that stretch was inking Milton Bradley to a $30 million deal. Bradley did not produce and was a distraction with his off the field antics. Bradley was the one big money signing that the Cubs literally got no production out of. During that same winter the Cubs also picked up Aaron Miles, Joey Gathright and Kevin Gregg.

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

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Look At Hendry's Best Moves with the Cubs

Yesterday Jim Hendry's time with the Cubs came to an end. Today, let's take a look back at five of the best moves that he made during his time as the general manager.

5. Signing Ted Lilly From Hospital Bed... December 2006
One of Jim's most famous signings occurred when he finished up a deal with Ted Lilly from his hospital bed during the winter meetings prior to the 2006 season. Not only did the fact that Hendry was in the hospital make this interesting, but it turned out to be a great move. Lilly was a Bulldog who was the most consistent Cubs starter during his four year, $40 million deal.

4. Scrap Heap Pick-ups
Hendry's ability to take a change on guys like Reed Johnson and Jim Edmonds helped propel the Cubs to back-to-back division titles. There were other solid signings that flew under the radar (not necessarily scrap heap pick-ups) such as Mark DeRosa, Marlon Byrd and Michael Barrett.

3. Trading Todd Hundley to Dodgers... December 2002
Many Cubs fans may not even remember this deal... but there is no doubt that it helped set up the Cubs success during the 2003 season. Hendry worked out a deal involving three big contracts that sent Todd Hundley to the Dodgers for Mark Grudzielanek and Eric Karros. Both Grudzie and Karros played key roles in '03.

2. Adding Derrek Lee in a Swap with Florida... November 2003
Mike Nannini and Hee-Seop Choi were sent to the Marlins for Derrek Lee, who became a fan favorite on the North Side of Chicago. D-Lee had a few great seasons and many good seasons in Cubbe Blue. Choi never panned out.

1. Acquiring Ramirez & Lofton from Pittsburgh... July 2003
There is not much debate about who won this trade. Hendry shipped Matt Bruback (who?), Jose Hernandez and a PTBNL (Bobby Hill) to the Pirates for Kenny Lofton and Aramis Ramirez. Lofton took over for the injured Corey Patterson in centerfield and in the lead-off spot. Rami helped the Cubs to the postseason in '03 and again in '07 and '08.

Up next, we'll have Hendry's 5 worst moves in his time as GM.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Breaking News: Hendry Out As Cubs GM

Tom Ricketts and the Chicago Cubs have announced today that Jim Hendry has been fired as the general manager of the team. Hendry started his career with the Cubs in 1995.

Hendry met with the team and coaching staff this morning and just finished a meeting with the media to make the annoucement. Randy Bush has been named the interim GM.

From Ricketts: It is time for a fresh approach for the organization and the search for a new GM will begin immidietly.

Hendry knew for about a month that his time on the North Side was coming to an end. Tom informed him of the bad news on July 22. He focused on making moves at the deadline and signing draft picks anyway. Jim said in his press conference that he has nothing against the Ricketts family. "We just didn't win enough games," he said. Jim told his two kids last night. He has been preparing them for awhile by telling him that most people in that bussiness end up losing their jobs.

He also said that he did not make more moves before the trading deadline because he had already lost his job. He wanted to leave those decisions up to Ricketts and the new GM. Bruce Miles tweeted that there was no mention of Crane Kenney in Hendry's fairewell. Jim talked at length about Randy Bush, Oneri Fleita and Tim Wilken, among others. The fact that he would lose his job in a week did not change the "Zambrano situation" for Jim.

My Take: While is probably was time for a change, I am still very sad to see Hendry go. I hold the players responsible for underperforming, not the general manager for signing the players. Hendry went for "it" in 2007 and 2008. He knew that guys like Soriano and Ramirez would not be as productive by the end of their contracts, but had the Cubs won a ring that would not have mattered. I met Jim in person several times and he was an extremely nice man. He was always very loyal, firing no manager and just one coach (Gerald Perry) in his 10 years as GM. I will miss Jim Hendry.

Monday, August 15, 2011

More on Zambrano

David Kaplan has been all over the Zambrano situation on his twitter account today. Here's the latest from Kap:

  • Zambrano hopes to remain a Cub. He wanted to return to the team Saturday but could not because he was suspended.

  • Carlos says that he did not try to hit Chipper Jones.

  • He does not think that the punishment is fair.

  • Zambrano did say that he was thinking about retiring but it was because he was frustrated. The comments were supposed to be private.

  • He received text messages of support from Sammy Sosa, Marlon Byrd, Jason Giambi, Carlos Pena, Alfonso Soriano and Ozzie Guillen.

  • Soriano and Zambrano are on good terms despite their confrontation.

Believe it or not, I actually side with Carlos Zambrano on this situation. I do not think that the 30 day suspension was in order. I know that they are sick of thing like this, but he did not do much wrong. He was ejected from the game so technically he did not walk out on his team. He cleaned out his locker but returned his things that night. Z told a clubhouse worker that he was thinking about retiring... does that violate a team rule? The only thing that I think he did that was truly wrong was throw at Jones. I'm not buying his claim this the pitches were not on purpose. I think a 3-5 day team suspension would have made more sense than a trip to the 30-day inactive list. What do you think? Please comment with your thoughts!

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

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Breaking News: Zambrano Placed on the Disqualified List

In case you missed it last night, Carlos Zambrano exploded again. He was being hammered for home run after home run by the Atlanta Braves and was ejected from the game for throwing at Chipper Jones. He stormed into the locker room, where he claimed that he was retiring from baseball and cleaned out his locker. Today, the Cubs have placed Zambrano disqualified list, where he will not be allowed to have any contact with the team or collect pay for the next 30 day.

Click here for the official press release.

The Major League Baseball Players' Union will file grievance with the Cubs challenging this decision. The Union will probably not allow the Cubs to fine him $3 million, which is what he's owed during the 30 day ban.

There have been a lot of interesting quotes from many of the Cubs players and personnel on Z's latest antics. Here are some of them-

Jim Hendry
"We will respect his wishes and honor them and move forward."
Said he took the most stringent action he could short of releasing Zambrano.
Apologized to the Braves for ruining Bobby Cox's nights with Z's actions.

Mike Quade
"I don't know where he's at. He walked out on 24 guys that were battling their (bleeps) off for him I can't have a guy walking out on 24 guys, that's for (bleep) sure."
"I've spent enough time on this, time to get ready for the game."

Aramis Ramirez
"I've never seen somebody just pack up their stuff and leave."

Marlon Byrd
"I have now clue. If we don't see him tomorrow, we might not see him again."

Ryan Dempster
This "may be best for both sides."
"I think the guys in here are upbeat today. He's made his own bed and he's got to sleep in it."

Alfonso Soriano
"He's been doing a lot of things, not once or twice. Gotta think a little bit more. Big man, but mentally he's weak."

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

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ron Santo Statue Dedication Recap

Last night was a special night for the Cubs organization and the family of Ron Santo. Ronnie's statue was unveiled at the corner of Addison and Sheffield in an emotional ceremony before the Cubs game against the Nationals. August 10, 2011 was deemed Ron Santo Day at Wrigley Field.

Len Kasper was the emcee for the ceremony. Tom Ricketts, Ernie Banks, Fergie Jenkins and Billy Williams all spoke before the unveiling. Pat Hughes shared his thoughts and then was at the microphone while the actual unveiling took place. Randy Hundley and Glenn Beckert assisted in the statue unveiling. Ron's wife Vicki and son Jeff spoke after the statue was revealed. Vicki said that Ron got a call during the summer of 2010 from Crane Kenney informing him that his Billy Williams' statue would be done in September and his the following season. Ronnie knew about the statue and he was so excited about it.

The statue itself was really cool. Cubs colors of blue and red were mixed in with the bronze. It was of Ron making a throw from third base. It is the first of the four statues at Wrigley to be of player playing defense. The statue looks just like #10. Most of the Cubs players paid their respects by showing up to the unveiling even though it was just before a game.

Here are some links for more Santo coverage!

I great job by the Cubs organization and the guys that constructed the statue. I only wish that Ronnie would have been there to see it.

Which Cubs legend would you like to see honored with a statue outside Wrigley next? Vote on the poll on our right sidebar.

Well, that does it for our week full of Ron Santo coverage! I'll take a few days off from posting and then return with more Cub related posts. If news breaks, I'll keep you posted as always!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ron Santo Day: August 10, 2011

We'll I've been posting about this day since January. With the poor play seen by the team on the field this season, one of my main goals here on Everything Cubs Blog has been to honor Cubs legend Ron Santo.

I think it is evident based on all of my posts, but Ronnie meant so much to me and so many other people. He was such a unique, caring, funny and tough person. To go through everything he went through with diabetes, be a nine time All-Star thirdbaseman, be an entertaining broadcaster, do charitable work for JDRF and be so kind, it takes an incredible man.

Visit the posts labeled Ron Santo section on my blog to read all my memories of Ronnie. I miss him every time I turn on the radio during the Cubs game.

Today, the Ron Santo statue unveiling will take place at 5:30pm Central Time at the corner of Addison and Sheffield. Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins, Ernie Banks, Randy Hundly, Glen Beckert, Milt Pappas, Pat Hughes, Ron's family, the Ricketts family and more will be involved in the dedication. It should be interesting to see what the statue looks like. Hughes has narrowed it down to three possibilities: a) Ron fielding b) Ron hitting c) Ron's hairpiece catching on fire!

The statue unveiling will be broadcast live in its entirety on CLTV with clips shown on the WGN-TV News. Live coverage will also air on WGN Radio at 5:30.

Don't forget that Cubs Corner, a Ron Santo special, will air on WGN Radio today at noon. Hosts Dave Eanet, Brian Noonan and Andrea Darlas will be joined by Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins and Pat Hughes. From 1-3 on WGN-720, Nick Digillio will have Santo memories and broadcasting highlights!

Ron Santo Junior joined Greg Jarrett and Dave Eanet this morning on WGN Radio, while Len Kasper stopped by to talk about Ronnie yesterday. Click here for the page that includes both uncut podcasts.

Everything Cubs blog will forever honor Ronnie with his picture on the right sidebar. Our posts about Ron will not end today. Tomorrow I'll recap all the events and then we will return with Remembering Ronnie Roundups once a month for the rest of 2011.