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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Cubs Acquire Jose Quintana

In a stunning development, the Cubs have acquired lefty Jose Quintana from the crosstown rival White Sox, per club announcements. Top prospects Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease are going in return, with first baseman Matt Rose and infielder Bryant Flete also included in the package.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 13, 2017 at 11:31 AM | 128 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jose quintana, white sox

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


Tuesday, July 11, 2017


Friday, July 07, 2017

Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein says ‘biggest fixes are inside the clubhouse’

Billy Williams ain’t walking through that door.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 07, 2017 at 05:16 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Levine: Justin Verlander May Be A Key For Cubs’ Future « CBS Chicago

Can he be effective for two more seasons? Will he be worth the money and cost in talent?

Sitting at 41-42 entering play Wednesday and with a desire to acquire more than a rental pitcher, the Cubs could view Verlander as a key piece to help reconnect the dots this season and beyond. The 34-year-old Verlander is under contract through the 2019 season, with a vesting option for 2020 if he finishes in the top five of the Cy Young voting in 2019.
...
Verlander has had an underwhelming season, as he’s 5-5 with a 4.96 ERA and 1.52 WHIP. He’s struck out 92 batters in 98 innings.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 06, 2017 at 08:26 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, tigers, trade rumors

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Emergence Of Ian Happ Complicates Cubs Search For Pitching

Just so I get this right, having a player perform well in the big leagues makes it harder to make a trade???

Jim Furtado Posted: July 05, 2017 at 08:19 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, ian happ

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

AP: 1918 World Series key in US love affair with national anthem

Happy Fourth!

The World Series was in town, with the Cubs hosting Babe Ruth and the Boston Red Sox. The Chicago games were played at Comiskey Park, the home of the White Sox, instead of their new home at Wrigley Field, what was called Weegham Park at the time, because it held more fans. But in a city jittery over the bombing and weary from the war, Game 1 that day attracted fewer than 20,000 fans, the smallest World Series crowd in years.

When they got there, they didn’t make much noise, though that could have had something to do with the 1-0 masterpiece Ruth was pitching — yes, pitching — for the Red Sox.

“There was no cheering during the contest, nor was there anything like the usual umpire baiting,” reported one Boston newspaper.

Then, in the seventh inning, a band from the Navy training station north of Chicago started to play “The Star Spangled Banner.”

The song had been played before at major league games, from at least 1862 and on opening day in 1897, in Philadelphia, Thorn said. But this time, reported The New York Times, something happened that was “far different from any incident that has ever occurred in the history of baseball.”

Players took off their caps as they faced a flag that fluttered atop a pole in right field as the 12-piece band began to play.

All of them except Red Sox infielder Fred Thomas .

Thomas was in the Navy during the series — he played on the team fielded by the Great Lakes station that was also home to the band — but was granted furlough so he could play. When the Wisconsin native heard the music, “he turned toward the flag, kept his hat on and gave a military salute,” said Jim Leeke, author of “From the Dugouts to the Trenches: Baseball During the Great War.”

A few fans began to sing. Then others joined in “and when the final notes came, a great volume of melody rolled across the field,” the Times reported. And when it ended, “onlookers exploded into thunderous applause and rent the air with a cheer that marked the highest point of the day’s enthusiasm.” The Red Sox went on to win the game and the series, part of a Cubs’ championship drought that ended up lasting 108 years but was a mere decade old in 1918.

Not everyone thought what happened was a big deal. Chicago sportswriter Ring Lardner mentioned it, but only as a punch line as he reported that Thomas had stood at attention three times during the game, once during the anthem and twice when the umpire was calling him out on strikes.

Renegade (((JE))) Posted: July 04, 2017 at 08:22 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, star spangled banner, world series

Monday, July 03, 2017

Blue Jays acquire catcher Miguel Montero from Cubs

The Toronto Blue Jays have acquired catcher Miguel Montero from the Chicago Cubs for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

The teams announced the trade Monday, five days after Montero was designated for assignment by the Cubs.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 03, 2017 at 10:24 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, cubs, miguel montero

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Kyle Schwarber rediscovering his form in Iowa: ‘This is a positive time’ - Chicago Tribune

“There is no feeling sorry,” he said. “Trust me. I did it to myself. I’m the one who was out there playing every day. This is a positive time.

“Talking to my parents, they were very supportive, and my girlfriend is here with me, and it’s all supportive. It’s just the extra reinforcement you get.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 02, 2017 at 08:22 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kyle schwarber

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Let’s Do the Math on Miguel Montero and Jake Arrieta

As recently as 2011?

It underscores the importance of time to the plate as Jon Lester, and his well-known battles with the yips, controls the run game vastly better in part due to a quick time to the plate. When Montero has been catching anyone, a paltry 3% of base-stealers have been caught. Montero’s arm has declined significantly, as he led the league in caught-stealing percentage (40%) as recently as 2011, though that rate fell has fallen each year since 2012 (42%) to 20% in 2015 and 11% last season.

We can do the math, and it suggests and Montero and Arrieta should not be working together.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 28, 2017 at 03:29 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jake arrieta, miguel montero

Miguel Montero after Cubs cut him: ‘People can’t handle the truth’ – Chicago Sun-Times

Being right about a fact doesn’t mean you have to share the fact with no tact.

“Sometimes people can’t handle the truth,” he said. “That’s my biggest issue. I’m just straightforward, man, a straight shooter. I’m not going to say you’re pretty when you’re ugly.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 28, 2017 at 02:34 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, miguel montero

Trib: Joe Maddon on visit to White House: ‘Easy to say ‘yes’ out of respect to the office’

I was hoping Maddon and his players would show up in their best “Anchorman” attire:

“Whatever Mr. Ricketts would like me to do, I’m going to do. Mr. Ricketts and the Ricketts family have been good to us. So part of that is that. The other part is whenever you have a chance to go to the White House, I think it’s easy to say ‘yes’ out of respect to the office and the building itself.”

But this time, not as many players are expected to attend, due to the scheduled afternoon visit before the Cubs play the Washington Nationals in the evening.

“It’s not a big deal for me to go there because last time they went, they told me it was four hours with standing up and getting tired,” reliever Hector Rondon, who didn’t attend the January visit with President Obama due to travel issues. “I don’t want to go there and get tired. I prefer to stay in my hotel room and be here and prepare for the game and for my teammates.”

Infielder Tommy La Stella said he doesn’t pay attention to politics and would not be attending.

“I’m sure it’s a pretty nice production,” La Stella said. “It’s not as simple as just showing up.”

Some members of the traveling party won’t be as well dressed as their January visit.

“I’ll have my best pair of jeans on and a nice shirt, which I’m really digging on,” Maddon said. “So it’s not nearly as formal as the last one, even though the last one I didn’t wear a shirt and tie, either.”


Miguel Montero shifts blame to pitchers after Nationals steal seven bases - Chicago Tribune

What’s Montero’s pop times? Statcast, Cubs Nation looks to you for answers.

“What can I say?” said Montero, who has thrown out only one base stealer in 32 attempts, according to baseball-reference.com. “A couple of times (Tuesday night) I didn’t even try to throw because there was no time, no chance to throw (out anybody).”

The situation became even more embarrassing for Montero in the fourth when Michael A. Taylor stole second and scored while stealing third when Montero sailed a throw wide of the base and into left field.

“So why am I even going to make a throw, or what happened at third? (I) try to make a throw to third and throw to left field because I tried to be too quick.

“It’s frustrating for a catcher because it really hurts me. I feel like I can still throw. I have a good arm, my arm feels great. I just try to be quicker, I try to be perfect. And to make those two together is hard to do.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 28, 2017 at 08:13 AM | 75 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, miguel montero, stolen bases

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Former Mets pitcher Anthony Young dead at 51

Former Mets pitcher Anthony Young has died, according to ex-MLB player Lenny Harris. He was 51. The Mets later confirmed his passing.

Young was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in January. He said in February that doctors treated the growth as cancerous because it was located on the brain stem, meaning it was impossible to do a biopsy to test its malignancy. He underwent chemotherapy and reported at the time that the tumor had shrunk. Harris said earlier Tuesday that Young had fallen into a coma.

Young played six seasons in the majors—three with the Mets, two with the Cubs and one with the Astros—and had a career ERA of 3.89. Most baseball fans remember him as the man who lost 27 consecutive decisions—14 as a starter and 13 as a reliever—from May 6, 1992 to July 24, 1993. Young, though, grew to accept that the streak would be his lasting mark on the game, even though he chalked it up to bad luck.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 27, 2017 at 06:07 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: anthony young, cubs, mets, obituaries

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Kyle Schwarber headed back to Triple-A Iowa

A spokesperson for the Chicago Cubs confirmed Thursday that Schwarber is being sent back to Triple-A Iowa after struggling through the first months of the 2017 season.

The 24-year-old outfielder/catcher was expected to play a major role for the defending world champions again this season but has hit just .171 (38-for-222) in 64 games.

Schwarber has been a fan favorite ever since the Cubs selected him in the first round of the 2014 MLB Draft. That popularity skyrocketed when Schwarber shocked the baseball world by returning from a major knee and ankle injury he suffered early in the season and was added to Chicago’s World Series roster.

The left-handed batter was a key contributor to the Cubs’ first World Series title since 1908 when he compiled a .412 batting average.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 22, 2017 at 01:35 PM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kyle schwarber

Monday, June 19, 2017

Chicago Cubs’ Joe Maddon invests in resting stars now to win big later - Chicago Cubs Blog- ESPN

“‘Patience’ is a really big word right now and keeping a clear head about what’s going on and how you’ve done [it] in the past,” Maddon explained before Sunday’s victory in Pittsburgh. “I do believe having rested, healthy people by August matters a lot. I have to be more mindful of that for another six weeks. I have to be mindful of not pushing anyone over their limits. ... If you do, right now, I promise you, you will be toast by Aug. 15. You will not see that wonderful finish we are used to seeing.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 19, 2017 at 09:01 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, joe maddon

Thursday, June 08, 2017

MLB to investigate domestic violence allegation against Cubs’ Russell

Major League Baseball plans to investigate domestic violence allegations made against Cubs shortstop Addison Russell via social media Wednesday night, an MLB official said Thursday morning.

Russell’s wife, Melisa, suggested in multiple posts late Wednesday the couple was breaking up.

In a subsequent comment related to one of the posts, a woman Russell’s wife referred to as a close friend, accused him of “mentally and physically abusing her.”

MLB is investigating based on the posts and is expected to try to interview both the wife and the friend under its 2-year-old domestic violence policy.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 08, 2017 at 10:40 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: addison russell, cubs, domestic violence

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Why Theo Epstein believes Cubs offense will click on all cylinders | CSN Chicago

On MLB Now Dan O’Dowd constantly makes the point that one of the most difficult parts of being a GM is having patience in player development. He says a GM has to believe in talent because player development is not a linear process. Theo gets it.

Here’s one quote but the article has a few others.

“We need time,” Epstein said. “Over time, our guys are going to continue to progress. And when that gap (between talent and performance) exists, it’s a better position to be in than not having the talent, because then you’re fighting and scratching and clawing to get more talent because you’re not good enough.

“But we are plenty talented. It’s on us to figure it out, sooner rather than later.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 07, 2017 at 10:05 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, theo epstein

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Wrigleyville - SCHWARBER AND THE SHIFT

Does anyone who has been watching him everyday think he’s been selling out too much to go yard? It seems like he’s not staying on the ball as long as he used to stay on the ball. Thoughts?

There are lots of things Schwarber still does well. The power is still present, as demonstrated by his grand slam yesterday, and he has the discipline to take walks even when he’s struggling this badly. His luck won’t stay as bad as it did in May either, even if we might expect shifts to take more hits away from him than the average player. The fact remains that there’s a clear blueprint for how to successfully turn Schwarber into a relatively ineffective hitter, and the sooner he can shake that off, the better.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 04, 2017 at 08:30 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kyle schwarber

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Kyle Schwarber Is Not Bad at Baseball | FanGraphs Baseball

Monstrous production of 2015?

Schwarber’s has recorded a .343 xwOBA for the season. That’s a good bit above average and would produce about a 110 or 115 wRC+ after park adjustment. It remains to be seen whether Schwarber returns to the monstrous production of 2015. He’s going to walk a ton, though, which should keep his on-base percentage afloat. He might always strike out a lot, too, which will limit his upside some. Even if he hits the rest of the season just like he has so far, that’s going to make him a roughly average baseball player, assuming he runs into less bad luck. If the wind blows out a little bit more this summer at Wrigley, we might see something closer to the 2015 version of Kyle Schwarber. The stat line screams slump and the eye test might deceive due to a game that involves a lot of strikeouts, but Schwarber hasn’t been as bad as he’s shown. There’s little reason not to expect substantially better results going forward.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 01, 2017 at 06:40 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kyle schwarber

Heyman | Boras Goes To Bat For Arrieta After Up-And-Down Start

Boras is consistent. If one of his clients was in an accident and lost a leg, Boras would be claiming the weight loss would help him hop faster down the line.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 01, 2017 at 12:11 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jake arrieta, scott boras

New York State of Mind

I’m not a big fan of having the most current article at the site root and not providing an alternative link. Hopefully if you decide to click the link, you’ll get to the right article.

The driver walked down the steps, and Mr. Durso got behind the wheel.

Thankfully, by now, a New York cop was quickly approaching the bus. Faster than you can say “WTF,” he got on the bus, looked around, said “WTF” – and realized we truly were the Chicago Cubs. He got Peter out of the driver’s seat, told the driver to get back on the bus, and “tour guided” us around all the tour groups and straight over to where we should have been dropped off over an hour before. By this point, it was roughly 45 minutes before first pitch.

Players literally sprinted to the clubhouse. As everyone entered the room, the image of Don Zimmer standing in the middle of the clubhouse with his arms folded and steam coming out of his ears was priceless.

Needless to say, I learned my lesson. From that point in time, I always took the early bus. You know, you’re never late if you’re early.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 01, 2017 at 11:35 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, don zimmer

Monday, May 29, 2017

Chicago Cubs say slow start offers ‘no need to worry’

Do it like 1978!

Cubs manager Joe Maddon is keeping calm while fans in Chicago might be “freaking out” over the team’s 25-24 record as the calendar hits Memorial Day. After a weekend sweep at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Maddon was asked what to tell a nervous fan base.

“Please, go ahead and freak out,” he said with a smile. “If you want to freak out, freak out.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 29, 2017 at 09:52 AM | 77 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, joe maddon

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Scott Boras says Jake Arrieta still elite pitcher even though velocity has dropped

And his shoes. His shoes look great. This are so shiny you can see your face. And have you seen his last haircut? Great! A great haircut!

Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta’s agent, Scott Boras, pushed back on the notion Arrieta isn’t an elite pitcher just because his fastball velocity has dropped this year, while also insisting it’s way too small of a sample size to judge the free agent to be.

“The question becomes what’s [Clayton] Kershaw averaging?” Boras said Saturday at Dodger Stadium. “He’s throwing 92.5 mph. [Zack] Greinke is throwing 91.8 mph. [Max] Scherzer, when he was a free agent, was throwing 92 mph.

“We’re going to sit here and evaluate a player on a 60-day moment or a 10-start moment when he has three years of history. Don’t do it. That’s not fair. That’s not an evaluation.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 28, 2017 at 08:40 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jake arrieta, scott boras

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Hollywood casts the Chicago Cubs - Chicago Cubs Blog- ESPN

Kyle Hendricks: “Dustin Hoffman in ‘The Graduate.’ Embodies the quiet cerebral determination that Dustin’s character had in the movie. And I can’t deny that I project him to have a hidden mischievous side.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 27, 2017 at 11:46 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

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