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Ronnie's in. Bittersweet but worthy of shedding a few tears for all Cub fans.

Here's the link to the National Baseball Hall of Fame's site announcement.

The "Golden Era" decision committee was changed to a 16 member group for this vote.  As in the usual Hall of Fame voting, 75% of the ballots were needed. Ron Santo got 15 of 16 ballots which is 94% and in Cub circles officially considered a landslide. He's the only candidate who got in this time. The next most ballots went to Jim Kaat who got 10 votes, Gil Hodges and Minnie Minoso with 9 votes and Tony Olivo with 8.

Teammate, Billy Williams, was a member of the HOF voting committee, was quoted saying "we got it done."

The remainder of the committee:

The 16-member Golden Era Committee was comprised of Hall of Fame members Hank Aaron, Pat Gillick, Al Kaline, Ralph Kiner, Tommy Lasorda, Juan Marichal, Brooks Robinson; major league executives Paul Beeston (Blue Jays), Bill DeWitt (Cardinals), Roland Hemond (Diamondbacks), Gene Michael (Yankees) and Al Rosen (retired); and veteran media members Dick Kaegel, Jack O'Connell and Dave Van Dyck. Hall of Fame Chairman of the Board Jane Forbes Clark served as the non-voting chairman of the Golden Era Committee.

Pat Hughes on WGN radio (as I type) says he envisions Ron with a maximally happy look on his face, "like a happy 10 year old kid".

His wife, Vicki Santo, during the same WGN radio interview said up in heaven he's pumping his fist saying, "I got there".

July 22nd 2012 will be Ron Santo's induction date. Heel Clicking optional.

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In a recent Paul Sullivan Tribune article, Cubs new GM Jed Hoyer was asked what are the greatest needs short term to fix the roster. Hoyer said, "It's no secret we need to get some depth in the rotation. Depth in pitching hurt the team last year." To complete the quote: "We have to find a way to improve the defense, and we probably need to find a little more athleticism on the bases." Improving the defense, of course, will help the pitching (which might be as simple as including more pfp/pitcher fielding practice for Matt Garza).

We all recall the 2011 season started with significant pitching injuries to the starting staff. After one week the Cubs lost their number 4 and 5 starters.

Where is this leading? Baseball Prospectus' Corey Dawkins just ranked the NL Central using their metric for team/player injuries called T.A.W.L (Total Adjusted WARP Lost). More after the jump...

This sounds like an article about a Cub fan's primal desire to bring back an old Cub to manage the team next year. Maybe, maybe not. Consider it an invitation to speculate about the next Cub GM and the first few trades the next Cub GM will make. The key to my thinking is that Tom Ricketts said the next GM was coming from outside the organizaton as in: the club management desparately needs a breath of fresh air.

That's where Sandberg comes in. In 1981, new Cub ownership, aka The Chicago Tribune, brought in GM Dallas Green from the Phillies organization only one year after the Phils won the 1980 World Series. Green raided the Phils for players he had some hankering for. His first trade (12-8-81) was sending pitcher Mike Krukow to the Phils for Keith Moreland, pitchers Dickie Noles and Dan Larson. A year later (1-27-82) out went Ivan DeJesus (SS and current 3B coach) and in came oldster, Larry Bowa and youngster, Ryne Sandberg.

If we are to believe the media speculaton about the top GM candidates, we should be looking at the Red Sox, Rangers, Braves, White Sox, Yankees, Rays and Giants for that first trade.

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Darwin Barney went on the DL this week spraining "the other" cruciate or Posterior Cruciate knee ligament.  I'm sure the Cubs called Iowa Cubs manager Bill Dancy to let him know that his Pacific Coast League (PCL) Iowa team might shortly be getting another middle infielder on rehab assignment for his lineup. Barney sustained the injury to his right knee on the play at home plate on Monday night, scoring the Cubs only run in a 1-0 victory. It looked like he bounced his knee in the dirt during a head first dive and he did stumble a bit getting up from his dive. The MRI showed injury without stretch (grade 1) to his Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL). This is considered fairly minor but probably needs to be protected from further injury for about 2-3 weeks.

"As soon as I slid into home plate last night, I knew something was really wrong," he said. "The whole knee went numb. I had an MRI today and it revealed that Grade 1 strain in my knee." (editiorial note: ligament injuries are sprains, muscle injuries are strains)

Right now Darwin Barney can't jump, but you can. So read more after the jump.

Matt Garza heads to the DL for a "bone contusion" just above the elbow and his 25 man roster replacement, Lou Montanez finally winds up in the Cub starting lineup with a memorable night. As you recall, Montanez was the Cubs 2000 first round amateur draft pick  (3rd pick overall) as a high school SS and after a stay in Cubville East (the Orioles System), he now resurfaces with the Cubs in RF. Getting back to Garza, let me think out loud with you readers about what seems to be the problem.

From TCR's last thread:

Let me stipulate that I AM NOT A DOCTOR (but I play one on tv)...so my opinions are just based on long miserable experience with the Cubs.

Garza's injury is being reported as a "bone contusion." Correct me if wrong but in my experience that's the same as saying he has a bone fracture except the fracture has no deliniation. Also, it's in his elbow so that implies that it involves cartilage as well as bone. This doesn't sound like something that heals in a week. Contusions often take longer than outright fractures to get better.
If the Cubs bring him back after missing one more start...look out.

In Garza's situation, using the term "bone contusion" is clearly an MRI diagnosis. I do have some issues with using this term here and (hopefully) I can provide some clarifications of muddy concepts being bandied about.

 I love my headline (nope, I'm not going there, so shame on you) but you need to read on for some Serious Splainin' Lucy.


They called the sunday (almost) finale of the Giants series early enough that a fan from Kenosha driving to Wrigley didn't have to get much past the Illinois border before turning around and calling a sports talk show to say thanks for the game cancellation update. Postponing the game early was the right thing to do. Playing last night in similar weather was not. I guess a national Fox broadcast causes funny decisions to be made.

Today's rainout has been rescheduled as a day-night doubleheader on Tuesday, June 28th. It's a quirky schedule that has the Giants coming to Wrigley Field twice this year otherwise they would have lost a scheduled day off to make up this game.

I need to vent some frustration and reflect on the week just past...

Swami Murph will predict tomorrow that Todd Wellemeyer will retire!

OK, so it's just a tired old radio bit. Still, like a bad penny (I said BAD not Brad), Former 1969 Left field Bleacher Bums  mad Bugler (maybe it was a Coronet?),  Mike Murphy has returned to the Chicago airwaves on Sundays at 9AM. He's got a new gig with his old sidekick, Fred Huebner, on ESPN - 1000 (listen live link). ESPN has more WSCR refugees than the Orioles have ex-Cubs...although not by much (Orioles lineup today featured Jake Fox, Felix Pie, Ceasar Izturis, Kevin Gregg and DLee, not to mention almost Cub Brian Roberts).

Murph will host a regular show every Sunday from 9-1, bringing his 20 plus years of radio presence, dating back to the WLS "Fan Talk" days ("just fans talking to fans"). "Never been in a locker room Murph", he was never was afraid to read the tough questions from his yellow pad to Cub GM Jim Hendry or replay some of the great play-by-play calls from Jack Brickhouse or reminisce about his playing prowess in 16-inch softball with Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks.

...more after the jump

Happy Groundhog day (again and again). From the heart of Snowmageddon this surgeon gets his first "Snow Day" since the big snow of 1967. So here comes an impromptu odds & ends post.

The first order of business is to remind those digging out from the Thunder-Blizzard (and to warm them up) that the CUBS PITCHERS and CATCHERS report to Mesa in 11 DAYS, officially on February 13th (per Carrie Muskat at mlb.com). Position Players report on Feb 18th and the FIRST SPRING TRAINING GAME is in 25 DAYS as the Cubs play Oakland on Feb 27th at Mesa.

Snow Angels and more, after the jump...

Once again my childhood hero's birthday has rolled around and he's turned the calendar on quite a milestone.

Mr. Cub is Eighty Years Old today.

When one's childhood hero hits such a milestone it means that when this Cub fan looks in the mirror, that reflection isn't the young Cubster that used to be, but... well, I still feel like a kid when I think about Ernie Banks unique batting style, fingers wiggling and bat upright. Crack, ball hits bat, fantastic wrist action. Remembering just one more Jack Brickhouse Hey-Hey!  All baseball heros candles fade and real life takes over. But Eighty? That can't be correct.

So Ernie, here's my birthday toast to you: may your birthday cake with 80 candles be as GRAND the impact your Cub greatness had on me.

I'm planning on a series of articles to update our readers on some of the current concepts in pitcher related injuries and diagnoses that most fans have not heard much about.

We've all had our fill of reading about pitchers with rotator cuff and glenoid labrum tears. There are some interesting trends in sportsmedicine that have lead to changes in exercise programs throughout the majors and minors in an attempt to protect pitchers from a cascade of preventable injuries most fans don't know about.

Diagnoses such as:

GIRD: (Glenohumeral Internal Rotation Deficit...not to be confused with the stomach malady also known as GERD which Cubs fans get from watching too many losses). Pitching (both cocking phase and deceleration phase) leading to a tight or thickened posterior shoulder capsular ligament plus a loose anterior capsule and loss of internal rotation of the shoulder. Extra external rotation of the shoulder develops at the expense of internal rotation.

Scapular Dyskinesia: Shoulder blade weakness with altered kinematics.

Internal Impingement: Thought to be related to posterior shoulder contracture from GIRD with subsequent instability of the shoulder as the humeral head (ball of the shoulder joint) which shifts back/posteriorly and upward/superiorly). This is a different entity from subacromial or rotator cuff impingement which is more common and typically occurs from friction outside the shoulder joint.

...and finally connecting the dots, sorting out how the the injured or weakened shoulder (scapula) leads to severe strain on the elbow and tearing of the Ulnar Collateral Ligament (aka the Tommy John injury).

My attention to this topic started last summer, when  I heard a remarkable interview on XM radio with renown Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Craig D. Morgan with hosts Jim Memolo and Rob Dibble. The focus of the interview was Stephen Strasburg's shoulder tightness and the subsequent ulnar collateral ligament elbow injury that lead to "Tommy John" reconstruction of that ligament last summer. Dr. Morgan said that he had predicted elbow problems in Strasburg by watching the way he held his shoulder.

More on how the arm bone is connected to the...after the jump.

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