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 the

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 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

"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, and the state is working on passing some funding referendums if a deal is struck.

- Condolences to Angel Guzman and his family... 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 from having a 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.



How many hall of famers do the Cubs have and how many of them have their number retired? 15-16 were truly Cubs... 5 are retired along with Santo I assume they've had some sort of organizational shift where they now retire any Cub that is a for some of the old-timers I guess.

And some of their HOFers predated numbers on uniforms.

hmm, thought it was earlier, but i guess NL didn't start until 1932, which just means Gabby Hartnett got screwed among the HOFers. Since I think Dawson should go in as an Expo, I don't think he deserves it, but if that is the Cubs policy (players entering the Hall as a Cub and Ron Santo) then they probably deserve a pass from my criticism.

HOF is a component, but I think the fan love/appreciation is just as important. That's why Santo got it despite the HOF, why Maddux got it years before he's even eligible, and why Jenkins was made to wait and was really only incidental to Maddux. Fans loved Dawson way out of proportion to his performance in Chicago (though the performance wasn't bad).

..but I think the fan love/appreciation is just as important.
so you're telling me Ryan Theriot and Mark DeRosa ceremonies are forthcoming...kill me now.

Heh, no. Fans loved Jody Davis too and they aren't about to retire #7. I bet there'll be some talk about Kerry Wood when he retires, though.

Two thoughts: 1. McGwire said he wishes he never played in the steroid era. He CREATED the steroid era. What a piece of crap. 2. I love Dawson, but he was only a Cub for 6 seasons, and had only the one standout season as a Cub. The Cubs retiring his jersey is stupid. Even more stupid to supposedly threaten to not retire his jersey if he goes in as an expo. Either he was a Hall of Fame caliber as a Cub or he wasn't. No need for the juvenile threats.

Sad to hear the news about Guzman's brother. On a lighter note, Garry Meier on WGN radio today joked that the Cubs are threatening to move the Cubs convention to Cleveland next year if they can get a better deal. brief discussion earlier in the offseason if he would get moved for Cameron and that appears to be the case...

thought this was well-done as most of Craig's work is...

So does McGwire get brought up on perjury charges?

dear god I hope not, isn't there a statute of limitations anyway? no idea on the years or the law on that of course... but if Palmeiro, Clemens or Tejada haven't been convicted yet, McGwire's probably safe.

All McGwire did was say he wasn't going to talk about the past. I don't think he said at the time that he didn't do steroids. So he didn't perjure himself.

Your move, Sammy. McGwire and the Liar fo' Hire are trash.He wants in on the HOF next year.

How did McGwire lie?

That testimony before Congress in 2005 was under oath. Tito's right that he technically didn't. His "I'm not here to talk about the past" bit saved him from explicitly denying he did steroids. However, if he said what Palmeiro said, he'd be liable for perjury charges after yesterday's admission. Smart lawyer. Apparently there is a statute of limitations for that hearing, which expires this March 17th.

But again, he didn't lie. At all. It wasn't a technicality. He simply didn't lie. You can't get in trouble for perjury for not lying.

That's true...not for being a fucktard and avoiding the questions entirely, that's a different story. least he didn't pretend to not know how to speak English...

Strenuously object to the "Sky is blue" assertion. In a Chicago winter, the sky is not blue. It is a dark, forboding grey that lingers from November until April. How many days until Spring Training?

Right on RobG. This nonsense -if true - that the Cubs will retire No 8 Andrew Dawson's jersey if he goes in the HOF as a Cub sounds eerily similar as to the "horse trading" that Tampa Bay and Florida teams attempted to do when they signed guys like Wade Boggs and Dawson and the commissioner had to step in. If the Cubs franchise is actually suggesting that they will retire his number only if he goes in as a Cub that is classless but then again anything that involves Crane Kenney doesn't really surprise me. I am happy that Andrew Dawson was selected to the HOF, he deserved it, and whether he goes in as a Cub or as an Expo is irrelevant. Perfectly fine to go in as a Montreal Expo.

Yeah, it would be ridiculous to retire Andrew Dawson's number. Who's next? Cary Woods?

Who's next? Cary Woods? --- Cindy Sandberg's Number? 867-5309

Harry Kerry?

Love Maddux getting hired by Cubs and fully support Rob's nomoination of him for pitching coach! I agree with Rob and Noce - I don't understand Dawson getting his number retired by the Cubs. I too am happy that Dawson got elected to the Hall. And, it is always nice to have someone elected as a Cub, but I don't see Dawson as such a Cub that we retire his number.

Do we retire John Grabow's number if he gets elected?


How about we save the number retirements for the guys who finally accomplish what Banks, Sandberg, Santo, etc., couldn't. And no, Ronnie, it doesn't count if you're the WGN color guy. Dawson? Please no. Jenkins/Maddux was bad enough.* This isn't the Yankees. * Maybe you can finish earning it as pitching coach.

there's a lot of maddux "pitching coach" comments being thrown around. granted, i dunno what the guy has been up to for many years, but he was known for being a guy who had good info...but he was generally only able to deliver the info in one way. he used to be known for being easily frustrated when trying to explain things to people and prone to just walking away. that said...ask me 10 years ago if sandberg would manage anything i would have laughed at you because leaders actually need a spine to go with their self-motivated work ethic. said last year that he'd like to manage 3-4 years down the road

Yikes, Maddux managing another team would be a nightmare from both my fan's and competitive perspective. Imagining him going head-to-head with a Dusty Baker managed team though would be a lot of fun.


Reminds me of when the Bears front office floated the rumor that they had retired too many numbers and weren't going to retire Payton's number.

lol... good one.

Looking at the timing of this news conference, it is extremely coincidental. Allow me. Cardinals hire McGwire as the hitting coach back in October. Cardinals re-sign Matt Holliday just last week. The HOF votes are casted with McGwire receiving less than 25% of the votes. Then Tony LaRussa lightens the mode with his comments about bringing McGwire in for a pinch hit situated if they were in a playoff game. Just as no one really ever questioned whether or not McGwire was on stariods, no one ever really thought that this "premeditated confession" was not going to happen. Well, I am not here to talk about the past either, but one has to seriously question the integrity of an organization that has no problems hiring a guy as a hitting instructor, then waits nearly 3 months to "admit" his wrong doings while dumping some bullshit about wishing he had never played during the stariod era. I do not seeing him rushing to give back the dollars he earned while disgracing the game that has given so much to so many. Just as he used for personal gain, he is admitting for personal gain. My two cents.

I do not seeing him rushing to give back the dollars he earned while disgracing the game that has given so much to so many. Give back to whom? The even richer assholes who profited off of others' use of steroids? The fans who loved watching his steroid-enhanced performance? If he's "giving back" to the community, I'm all for that. Of course, the communities that need help never touched that money in the first place, so "giving back" would be sort of a misnomer.

When I say giving back, I am referring to giving the dollars back to PED prevention and youth baseball development. I am not implying that the ownership was totally unaware of the situation and that they should recoup the monetary investment (see line: Well, I am not here to talk about the past either, but one has to seriously question the integrity of an organization that has no problems hiring a guy as a hitting instructor).

I have to admit that I don't fully understand the sentiment that says that steroid users disgraced the game. I was indignant when I thought Barry Bonds had taken steroids. Then it started to come out that others had too. When it was a handful of players, I remained angry, but not as much as I was when Bonds seemed to be the only (or one of the very few) culprit. Fast forward to now. We know that a lot of players were taking PEDs. And it wasn't just hitters, pitchers were in on the act too. Ken Caminiti said he thought about 50% of players were juicing. Jose Canseco said closer to 80%. Whatever the number, it was a lot. Now, I don't feel a need to finger point. In was an era when PEDs were widely used. Maybe I've mellowed in my old age or maybe I've just come to the realization that a lot of players were taking substances they shouldn't have taken, but which were not against the rules of baseball (although some were illegal). It was an unfortunate time, but I don't think it disgraced the game any more than excluding players of color, or players like Paul Molitor or Tim Raines taking drugs, or any number of other regrettable instances throughout the history of the sport.

I don't think "disgraced" is the right word, but they definitely gnawed at the integrity of the game. What's 103 of 750? It's not 80% or 50%. Some players probably had the brains to you know, stop taking steriods when they did the tests, but it probably wasn't 250 of them, so there's no real evidence to substantiate Jose's or Ken's numbers. Of course users are going to exagerate how widespread it is, because that's part of the rationale they have built up in their heads to use. Baseball has always been a game about numbers and records. When people cheat to break records that are 30 or 40 years old, fans aren't going to be happy. I'd say 80% of the outrage is at some level based on that.

Neal hits the point. Well said. The foundation of the game was built around common people playing for enjoyment and many still had a job in the offseason. I understand that times are different and the game has evolved and gotten better because of it, but it is what also caused a baseball game to be unaffordable for the same type of individual who helped create our national past time.

The color ban in baseball is in another universe of disgrace from PED or recreational drug use. Gambling, drug use etc. are a black eye for the sport. The color ban was an embarrassment to the entire country.

McGwire wishing he had never played in the steroid era is like Hitler wishing he hadn't lived during World War II.

Maddux working with pitchers... Rudy "Jesus Christ" Jaramillo working with batters... I don't see how we can lose.

Dave Duncan's Miyagi magic.

I agree with the sentiment that Jaramillo is overrated, Maddux though is the Ted Williams of pitchers, and having him around isn't going to be a bad thing. Maybe like crunch says he's totally unable to transfer information, but that's not going to hurt anything. Much more important, is that it's a sign that the Cubs are an organization where the very best are valued and they find the Cubs appealing. Hopefully this will move over to the front office and some of the people who are in over their heads (Hendry for instance) can be put in places where their skill sets will be best used in the organization.

I Maddux isn't the Ted Williams of pitchers. Ted wasn't a very good manager. Of course, Williams probably could never stop talking about himself long enough to listen to a question.

I HOPE Maddux isn't...

I mean intellectually. Williams did stop talking long enough to write a book called "The Science of Hitting". Maddux could do the same for pitching. Hopefully he teaches it to our guys first, though.

Well, John Underwood "wrote" the book, largely by listening to Ted talk, about himself and hitting. But yes, he clearly knows a lot about the topic, as does Maddux on pitching.

Ken Rosenthal said last week that the Cubs are a good fit for Ben Sheets. This week, Paul Sullivan says that the Cubs are going to "make a run" at him. It must be true.

Bruce Miles, on his blog this evening, in response to someone asking him about Sheets says there's nothing close on this.

cause Trib article says nothing will happen till Sheets throws for teams near the end of the month. problem here is that Cubs think they'll land him on a low base deal with incentives, but probably 10 teams would be willing to offer him that. The only good news for Cubs is that Yanks and Red Sox are probably done looking for pitching. I could see Mets and Phils making a run though if he really is willing to do something in the $4-$5M range with $5-7M in incentives... They're also having buy two get two free season tickets. Houston hasn't been ravaged by the economy problems, housing prices for instance have stayed pretty steady, but it's another example of Boras's crack-inspired speculation being patently false. This guy likes being a baseball owner.

Housing in Houston was dirt cheap pre-recession, nowhere to go but up......or sideways.

And don't forget, the Rangers have Mike Maddux as their current pitching coach, so why not follow Rudy and Greg to the Blue/Grey skies of Chicago? Didn't he rejuvenate Millwood last season?

He (Maddux) basically replaces Ed Lynch, the former Cubs GM who was a special assistant under Hendry until the end of the last season.

from the same article: He'll also consult with Hendry on personnel decisions, joining Randy Bush, Ken Kravec, Gary Hughes, Dave Littlefield, Louis Eljaua and Mike Valarezo in the hierarchy. --- Any info on Lou Eljaua or Mike Valarenzo? Those are new names to me.

Maybe Lou Elijaua and Mike Valarenzo are aliases Ed Lynch used so Cub fans would forget he still had anything to do with the team.

...time to start the Sandberg (manager)/Maddux(pitching coach) for 2011 campaign!!!
That would be interesting. The two aren't on the friendliest of terms, no? Wasn't Maddux one of those involved with Cindy?

I think he's taken a steroids-like outlook on the matter: Everybody was doing it at the time, so you can't really fault any one individual.

And here I've always thought the Sandberg Era referred to Ryno. My bad.

True. I've heard his statement: "I wish I hadn't screwed during the Cindy Sandberg era of baseball." : ) But seriously, I never heard Maddux among Palmeiro or Martinez.

I did hear Tuffy Rhodes and Mark Grace though.

In light of the McGwire mea culpa (sort of) I thought it might be interesting and entertaining to see what was happening over at Viva El Birdos. Well, at least it was entertaining. While "He never lied" was repeated in its many forms perhaps the greatest and weepiest post was this one: Yikes. A man who martyred himself for baseball. This guy shouldn't be an outcast, there should be temples built in his honor. You would think the greatest fans in baseball would have already gotten going on this.

Sorry, forgot the post. "i think he single handedly saved baseball and i will also be thankful for him for that. like others he is the reason i became a big cards fan. i will continue to think of him as a classic greek tragedy. He was the hero that baseball needed and his sacrifice was doing what was needed."

Sophocles: WHAT THE -- aw, that does it. *storms out of room*

Isn't it more like a greek comedy? Say, "Lysistrata?" Except they use bats instead of a phallus.

I just got a press release from Esmark. Live video of meeting tomorrow where details of Naples, Fla. bid for Cubs spring training will be available online.
Esmark Inc. and Fifth Avenue Advisors to Present Economic, Tourism and Amateur Sports Benefits Plan to Naples Daily News Editorial Board --(BUSINESS WIRE)--Esmark Inc.: Who: Executives of Esmark Inc. and Fifth Avenue Advisors, the investor group leading the “Project Home Run” effort to bring the Chicago Cubs’ spring training complex to Collier County. The executives participating in the Editorial Board meeting include: -- Craig T. Bouchard, Co-founder Vice Chairman of Chicago-based Esmark Inc.; -- Gary B. Price II, Managing Partner and Principal of Naples-based Fifth Avenue Advisors; and -- Craig W. Lyon, Managing Partner and Principal of Naples-based Fifth Avenue Advisors. What: Will meet with representatives of the Naples Daily News Editorial Board to review its proposal to bring the Chicago Cubs spring training complex to Collier County and present a detailed overview of the many local and state benefits its plan would offer to Collier County and the State of Florida. The investor group will discuss the background of their private/public proposal to the Chicago Cubs ownership, which includes development and construction of a 15,000-seat “Southern Edition” of Wrigley Field; a Class A Chicago Cubs minor league team; practice facilities; player development headquarters; fitness facilities, a “WrigleyVillage” Commercial District and support for local youth and amateur sports. When: Wednesday, January 13, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time Where: The Editorial offices of the Naples Daily News in Naples, Florida, by invitation. Timing: The Cubs are expected to select either the Naples, Florida area or Mesa, Arizona for the award of exclusive negotiating rights by early next week. NOTE: The Naples Daily News will broadcast the Editorial Board meeting live on its web site at The broadcast will begin at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time. For further information on the effort to bring the Cubs to Florida, visit Contacts Media Contact: Esmark Inc. Bill Keegan, Director of Communications 312.927.8424 or [email protected] I don't know if this says any more than what TRN posted already, but here is a link anyway.

Check it out. Vintage Nike Commercial featuring Greg Maddux and Mark McGwire (Tom Glavine co-stars with Maddux). CHICKS DIG THE LONG BALL

Bruce Levine chat going for the next 50 minutes or so for anyone who can make it.

Maddux apparently has no interest in being a pitching coach, front office or manager rumors of wanting to move Guzman for a set-up man or OF bench bat... Levine says 10% chance to land Sheets, $1M plus incentives is about all the Cubs have to spend
This year because of money constraints, he's going to have be a bottom feeder. Realistically, since Oct., the only real additions have been signing Grabow as a free agent and Marlon Byrd. That's not very Hendry like, but nonetheless, the reality of the situation is a new owner has come in and has basically frozen payroll.
cute, as if Hendry didn't create the payroll freeze with the contracts he doled out...

it's all smoke anyway. they've been looking a reliever #1 and possible starter as an aside as far as i can tell. kinda surprised k.colero isn't a cub yet, honestly.

"i wish it never came into my life" - mark mcg 1995 Oakland Athletics $6,925,000 1996 Oakland Athletics $7,050,000 1997 Oakland Athletics $7,150,000 1998 St. Louis Cardinals $8,928,354 1999 St. Louis Cardinals $9,358,667 2000 St. Louis Cardinals $9,333,333 2001 St. Louis Cardinals $11,000,000 screw you.

ps- larry "i used to be a journalist" king is talking to jose "i used to be a ballplayer" canseco about mark "i used to be a HR hero" mcgwire.

You really think the Cubs should retire Sosa's number? A guy who everyone knows was a roid monkey! I understand nothing has came out to prove Sosa did roids but come on! This guy is as fake as Pamela Anderson's boobs!!! As a fan of baseball and of the Cubs, it will be a sad day to honor someone who has been a fraud through the best part of his career. Mark Grace was a really good player but not a Hall of Fame player, no way should his jersey be retired. If the Cubs retire every good player's number, pretty soon we will have players on the team with triple digit numbers and it will take away from honoring the players who truly deserve it.

Sosa was the only real reason to watch the Cubs in the '90's and while the very likely steroid usage is extremely unfortunate, if the Cubs are setting the bar at 6 years of Dawson as a Cub and 3 of them were particularly good, Sosa deserves it well before him. Grace was the best Cubs 1st basemen in their history and far more identifiable as a Cub than Dawson. If they don't want to retire Grace's and Sosa's numbers, that's fine...just don't retire Dawson's either.

Cap Anson was probably the best 1st baseman in Cubs history, especially when compared to his contemporaries. His act of establishing the color line in baseball was also one of the most despicable acts in baseball history. I realize one has to go back to 1876-1897 to come up with all of this. And I wasn't trying to be picky -- just the history major coming out in me. I also realize Rob was talking about retiring numbers and Anson has none to retire...

What about Frank Chance?

modern era, sorry...for parts of Anson's career, they threw underhanded and you could request where the pitch was thrown and there was no mound among other oddities. Chance is a close 2nd to Grace.

I agree, I regard retiring a number and the Hall of Fame as something extremely special and shouldn't be watered down, even thought the Hawk was my favorite and still alltime favorite Cub he should be honored some kind of way at wrigley. Yeah the Cubs were brutal to watch in the 90's it still doesn't take away the fact that he is a fruad. I just wish MLB or whom ever has the failed drug tests would just release it and get this over with!

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  • crunch 58 min 53 sec ago (view)

    1h 50min into the game and they're through 4 innings.

    yesterday's game was 3h 45m.


  • crunch 2 hours 17 min ago (view)

    lester seems to be leaving off where he was for the last couple months of the season in 2019.

    no one should take anything from a february spring training start...NONETHELESS...this outing looked a lot like the ones he spent in the last couple months of the season with batters sitting around waiting to swing at lester fastballs and laying off everything else.


  • crunch 22 hours 51 min ago (view)

    he paced for 20+HR last year and might have done it if he wasn't on unpaid leave for a while.  i'd handicap him as a 15-20HR guy at worst rather than saying 20HR solid.  it's probably a safer range.

    his D isn't up there with the all-time greats of the game, but it's well above average for a young guy (turned 26 last month) who can also provide some pop.  i think more than a few teams could slot him in as a middle IF starter without having much internal competition.


  • Rob Richardson 23 hours 22 min ago (view)

    He hit 20+ HR only once and that was four years ago. He has a career OBP of 312, a career SLG of 392, and is his SS defense really that special anymore?


  • crunch 1 day 40 min ago (view)

    kinda crazy a.russell is still a free agent.

    he's not the first and probably not the last domestic abuser to "serve his time" and find contracts to sign.  there's a 20HR guy who plays great D at SS sitting out there while spring training is going down without him.

    i wonder how much he's demanding (if that's an issue at all) vs teams that want no part of him...


  • First.Pitch.120 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    Don't forget the awesome taste of RizzO's !!!


  • crunch 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    ha.  also, this reminds me that Grand Slam cereal existed in the late 90s.  it was basically Kix with the marshmallows from Lucky Charms (in baseball items shape).  it was actually really good.


  • Charlie 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    I just love cereal so much


  • bradsbeard 2 days 20 min ago (view)

    Yeah, both of those guys have some versatility. Could make a nice platoon if it ever came to that. 


  • bradsbeard 2 days 20 min ago (view)

    Rooting for General Mills?


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 38 min ago (view)

    I like that they're trying Robel and Giambrone all over the diamond.


  • Charlie 2 days 44 min ago (view)

    I'll just be here salivating over the possibility of observing a sub-70MPH curve ball. :)

    Rooting for Mills in general. Seems like fun as a 5th starter.


  • crunch 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

    dusty baker + adam greenberg piece...


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

    Man this Dodger broadcast is garbage.


  • Wrigley Rat 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    Love those breakdowns Phil - thank you!

    People tweeted about watching the Cubs game live here yesterday: Might work for anyone on here who can't seem to get the game today.


  • Sonicwind75 2 days 6 hours ago (view)

    Thanks Phil for these breakdowns. Really helpful.