Cubs News Round-Up: Maddux Hired, McGwire Admits 'Roid Use, Sky is Blue
The Cubs aren't doing much but a couple of nifty P.R. moves before the Cubs convention. The first is a rumor that if Cooperstown puts Andre Dawson in as a Cub, the Cubs will likely retire his number 8.
Dawson has been promised by the Cubs to have his No. 8 uniform number retired if he goes into the Hall of Fame as a Cub, a source close to Dawson said on Sunday.
The articles do say that if he goes in as an Expo, they still might do it, but it appears if it's as a Cub, it's a certainty. And this is where I unpopularly wonder out loud why they're going to retire Dawson's number in either case? I say he should be lining up behind Sammy Sosa, Mark Grace and even Rick Sutcliffe before getting his number retired, as all are far more identifiable with the Cubs than Dawson in my not-so-humble opinion (and no Sutcliffe should not get his number retired). And if Dawson is the Cub standard for getting a number retired, Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez might as well send out their "set-the-date" cards for their eventual ceremonies.
*historical footnote at end of the post
- The Cubs have hired Greg Maddux as a special assistant to Jim Hendry, Bruce Levine spells out his role with the club.
Maddux's duties will include helping with instruction for both major-leaguers and minor-leaguers during spring training, as well as scouting duties throughout the season.
According to a source with knowledge of the signing, Maddux will be at the beck and call of Hendry during the season to evaluate minor-league affiliates and give thegeneral manger input when trades or free-agent signings are being considered.
Always good to have Maddux associated with the Cubs in some manner...time to start the Sandberg (manager)/Maddux(pitching coach) for 2011 campaign!!!
- Mark McGwire sent out a press statement today admitting to his steroid use over a 10-year period.
"I remember trying steroids very briefly in the 1989/1990 offseason and then after I was injured in 1993, I used steroids again," McGwire said in his statement. "I used them on occasion throughout the '90s, including during the 1998 season."
Now if Sosa would just get it out of the way so we can move on to his number retiring ceremony.
- In spring training news, Crane Kenney is in Arizona today and the state is working on passing some funding referendums if a deal is struck.
- Condolences to Angel Guzman and his family...Guzman's brother was shot yesterday in Venezuela and passed away.
* It came to my attention that the NL didn't start wearing numbers until 1932, which would exclude most of the Cubs in the Hall of Fame from having a number retired except for Gabby Hartnett. So if the Cubs policy is indeed only players elected to the Hall of Fame that go in as Cub (and Ron Santo), then I'll pull back the reins on my rant. Of course, I think he should go in as an Expo myself, but if it as a Cub and that is their unstated policy, then might as well be consistent.
Who says Contreras can't frame? Stone cold robbery of Eaton with that called third strike for the first out in the eighth
Three amigos time?
he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs
Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.
...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.
I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.
He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.
How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.
If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic
I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.
I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.
They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?
He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.
What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.
(All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)
Lester will probably be all right.
I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.
I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.
But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.
The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.