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Sunday, May 03, 2020

Ex-Mlb Star Andre Dawson is now a mortician

Dawson, 65, has owned and operated the Paradise Memorial Funeral Home in his hometown of Miami, since 2008. Having retired as a baseball player in 1996, he joined a group of investors his brother organized a few years later to buy a different funeral home, then took an even bigger step into the business.

Dawson did not expect to actually run Paradise Memorial, but “that role sort of fell into my lap,” he told AARP last year. With the same dedication to his craft that enabled a 21-year major league career, Dawson “threw myself into it, body and soul,” despite the unlikely nature of his new line of work.

“Growing up I could have never envisioned this,” he told the AP. “I was actually afraid of the dead when I was a kid.

“When it came to funeral homes and seeing someone in a casket, it would remind me of being young and going to see a real scary horror movie and not being able to sleep at night. That’s where I was. But you grow and change with the times.”

Bourbon Samurai stays in the fight Posted: May 03, 2020 at 03:21 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, expos, life after baseball

Friday, April 24, 2020

Cubs foursome sharing house, experiences awaiting baseball

CHICAGO (AP) — When the coronavirus pandemic stopped spring training last month, Ian Happ offered Nico Hoerner, Zack Short and Dakota Mekkes a place to stay if they wanted to remain in Arizona.

That’s how “The Compound” was born.

Happ, Hoerner, Short and Mekkes — four players from the Cubs’ organization — are living together while they await word on the baseball season. In addition to their workouts and tennis matches, they also are doing a podcast and posting videos of their day-to-day life at the house.

“I think it just helps to have camaraderie in this time,” Happ said. “A lot of guys are at home, away from the team and kind of missing that element. So for us, just to be around teammates, around guys that understand the uncertainty, understand what each other are going through, yeah, it’s definitely nice.”

If all else fails, they could give up on baseball and become experts at contract bridge.

 

QLE Posted: April 24, 2020 at 12:52 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dakota mekkes, ian happ, nico hoerner, zack short

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Today in Baseball History: The White Sox trade Sammy Sosa to the Cubs

In July of 1985 the Texas Rangers signed Sammy Sosa out of the Dominican Republic. He was just one of many rising young talents that rebuilding Rangers team would develop in the mid-to-late 80s. By the dawn of the 1989 season he, along with an about-to-truly-break-out Ruben Sierra, the recently-acquired Rafael Palmerio, and young pitchers Kenny Rogers, Kevin Brown, and Wilson Alvarez were all poised to be a part of the next good Rangers club.

And that 1989 club — which also featured veteran pitchers Nolan Ryan and Charlie Hough, veteran hitter Julio Franco and a powerful young slugger named Pete Incaviglia — was good, at least for a little while. The powerful Oakland A’s owned the AL West at the time, but Texas broke out pretty quickly, fell back a bit, but by late June had climbed to within two games of the Bash Brothers. That inspired General Manager Tom Grieve to add a bat. He found a trading partner in Larry Himes, GM for the Chicago White Sox.

The bat he added: Harold Baines, who had been raking for the White Sox in the first 96 games of the season. The price for Baines: young Sammy Sosa, who had gotten his first taste of the big leagues in June and early July. He wasn’t ready for it and was a liability in 88 plate appearances. Years later, President George W. Bush, who was the owner of the Rangers at the time of the trade, would cite his approval of the Baines-Sosa deal as his biggest regret, but it made a good deal of short-term sense at the time. Unfortunately for the Rangers Baines was pretty average in the season’s final couple of months. The Rangers faded badly in the dog days of August and finished the season 16 games back of the eventual World Series champ Athletics.

The White Sox were quite high on their new young, toolsy prospect at first. After the trade in 1989 Sosa put up a decent .273/.351/.414 (118 OPS+), which was certainly promising. In 1990, however, he’d falter, batting .233/.282/.404 with 15 homers in 579 plate appearances in his first full year in the bigs. He flashed some of the speed he had shown in the Rangers’ system — he stole 32 bases — but he was also caught stealing 16 times which was less-than-ideal. The next year he declined sharply, hitting only .203/.240/.335 with 10 homers. That July he’d earn a demotion to Triple-A. It was pretty clear he had played his way out of the White Sox’ future plans, even if he was only 22.

 

 

QLE Posted: March 31, 2020 at 12:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, history, sammy sosa, trades, white sox

Monday, March 30, 2020

2 Cubs Employees Tested Positive for Coronavirus Earlier This Month, Team Says

Two employees of the Chicago Cubs tested positive for the novel coronavirus after attending a training session at Wrigley Field in early March, the team confirmed Sunday.

According to a team spokesman, the two individuals participated in a March 8 training session in the premier seating clubs inside the stadium. The positive tests were not returned until last week, more than two weeks after the workshop.

According to the team, both employees were offered support from the Cubs after the positive tests.

 

QLE Posted: March 30, 2020 at 01:17 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, cubs

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Today in Baseball History: The Cubs get their name

Baseball team names are established, trademarked things. New team names are focus-grouped and then established and trademarked. The key thing is that they are immutable. The Yankees are and always will be the Yankees. The Dodgers are and always will be the Dodgers. It’s something you can bank on.

But it’s also something that was not always the case. Not by a long shot. Indeed, from the advent of the game itself there an element of true nicknaming — names being applied informally — has almost always been involved.

The alleged first recorded game of baseball took place between teams called “New York” and “Knickerbocker,” both of which were from New York City, with the latter assuming a distinctive name, likely to keep it being confused with its rival. Many pre-National League amateur or semi-professional teams had names such as “Atlantic,” “Olympic,” and “Forest City,” but they were not formally named pursuant to the current convention such as “The Brooklyn Atlantics” or the “Philadelphia Olympics.” The legal names were “Atlantic Base Ball Club” and “Olympic Base Ball Club,” etc., with the cities just being additional descriptors.

The Cincinnati “Red Stockings,” acknowledged as the first fully-professional team, were given their name by sportswriters due to the actual clothes they happened to wear — uniforms with red stockings — as opposed to having the name applied to them first, and thus was a nickname in the most literal sense of the term. Soon other professional teams, first in the National Association and then in the National League, assumed their own distinctive colors as well. In 1882 the National League passed a rule requiring specific stocking colors, as follows:

Boston: Red
Buffalo: Gray
Chicago: White
Cleveland: Navy blue
Detroit: Old Gold
Providence: Light Blue
Troy: Green
Worcester: Brown

The story of how the names we apply to teams came to be.

 

QLE Posted: March 28, 2020 at 12:37 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, history, names

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

New Angels manager Maddon sees Cubs for 1st time since exit

MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Joe Maddon hugged Anthony Rizzo, shared an in-game microphone with Kris Bryant, slapped hands with the Cubs’ mascot and drew a warm reception from the Chicago fans at Sloan Park.

As if he’d never been away at all.

The manager who guided the Cubs to an elusive World Series championship in 2016 and parted ways with the team after last season returned on Monday, now guiding the Los Angeles Angels.

The mini-reunion came during at a spring training exhibition, with a split-squad of Cubs topping the Angels 9-4.

The question is, did they see him?

 

QLE Posted: March 03, 2020 at 01:29 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, joe maddon

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Cubs 3B Bryant: No hard feelings on losing grievance

MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Chicago Cubs star Kris Bryant realized all along his service-time grievance against the team would be tough to win, and he still believes how he handled himself might help players in the future.

The 28-year-old Bryant will be eligible for free agency in two years after arbitrator Mark Irvings ruled against the third baseman last month. If Bryant had been successful, he could have become a a free agent after the 2020 season.

Irvings’ decision was applauded by Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred.

“I just saw this as a process that is eventually going to help the players in the next round of negotiating and I was going to be that guy to have the courage to do it,” Bryant said Saturday, speaking to reporters for 35 minutes upon his arrival in Cubs camp.

Mind you, it’s not like he can admit at this point that the minute free agency comes along he’s out the door…..

 

QLE Posted: February 16, 2020 at 01:22 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, grievances, kris bryant

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

‘Philosophical differences’ played major role in Joe Maddon’s split with Cubs

While talking to ESPN recently, ex-Cubs manager Joe Maddon made some of the most enlightening comments yet on the end of his time in Chicago.

Speaking on why things ended, Maddon didn’t hold back when discussing how things dissolved.

“There was just, you can say, philosophical differences,” he said. “But he and I are still good friends. And I like the man a lot. It was just time for him to get someone else and time for me to work somewhere else. That’s all. A five-year shelf life in Chicago is almost equivalent to five to 10 somewhere else. At the end of the day, man, there’s nothing to lament there. That was the most successful five years that the Cubs have ever had.”

Joe Maddon is a prominent devotee of Sextus Empiricus, while Theo Epstein prefers the work of Plotinus.

 

QLE Posted: February 12, 2020 at 01:41 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, joe maddon, philosophy

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Marquee Network hires Mark Grace as analyst

Tuesday, the Marquee Sports Network announced that Grace would be joining the network for analysis both pre- and post-game, and also some in-game work.

“My years as a Cub were very special, and to return to Wrigley, the Cubs and the best fans in sports as part of Marquee Sports Network is something that means a lot to me,” said Grace in a statement. “I’m thrilled to be back!”

He’s not all the way back. The Marquee Network release indicated that Grace will continue to do work for Fox Sports Arizona, an unusual arrangement.

Marquee also announced Tuesday that Elise Menaker, a Chicago-area native and current reporter and host at the Big Ten Network, would be joining the Cubs TV channel as a host and reporter. In that role she will also create feature stories and other content for the network.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 11, 2020 at 05:21 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Sources - Kris Bryant loses grievance against Cubs, won’t be free agent until after 2021 season

I’m interested in getting details about the ruling.

The ruling, which sources said is going through its final reviews before being made public within a week, held that the Cubs did not run afoul of service-time rules when they called Bryant to the major leagues in April 17, 2015. He had spent the first two weeks of the season in Triple-A after a dominant spring-training performance. Had the Cubs summoned Bryant a day earlier, he would have ended the season with 172 days of service, or a full year.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 29, 2020 at 10:06 AM | 71 comment(s)
  Beats: cba, cubs, kris bryant

Cubs looking to unearth core relievers with low-cost, high-upside acquisitions

The Cubs bullpen is going to look a whole lot different this season.

Gone are the reliable Steve Cishek (signed with White Sox) and Brandon Kintzler (reportedly signed with Marlins). Pedro Strop remains a free agent, though a recent report said the race to sign him is down to the Marlins and Rangers.

Assuming Strop doesn’t return, the Cubs will have lost three of their four most frequently used relievers from 2019. Replacing the trio will be no small task, considering a bulk of their appearances came in late-inning, high-leverage spots.

Cishek and Kintzler didn’t sign back-breaking deals (one-year, $6 million; reported one-year, $3.25 million), but the luxury tax has been a factor in the Cubs offseason. They aren’t in a position to commit big money to top-of-the-market arms and have instead been stockpiling low-cost relievers with upside.

An imponderable for all of you: Why is it that, in an era so filled with advanced analysis, do baseball teams continue to heavily overrate relievers?

 

QLE Posted: January 29, 2020 at 01:04 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, relievers are inherently fungible

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Cubs expressing interest in free agent second baseman Scooter Gennett

The Cubs are expressing interest in free agent second baseman Scooter Gennett, according to WSCR’s Bruce Levine.

Gennett only played 42 games last season after suffering a severe right groin strain at the end of spring training. He made his season debut on June 28 and the Reds dealt him to the Giants at the trade deadline. San Francisco released him a month later.

Gennett, who turns 30 in May, posted a .226/.245/.323 slash line with two home runs and a woeful 44 wRC+ last season. He fared much better from 2017-18, slashing .303/.351/.508 with a 124 wRC+. He hit 27 and 23 homers those two seasons, making the All-Star team in 2018.

 

 

QLE Posted: January 28, 2020 at 12:44 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, hot stove, scooter gennett

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

MLB Source: Cubs ‘got fat and happy’ after World Series, culture must change

Fact: The 2019 Chicago Cubs wildly underachieved, finishing with an 84-78 record and finishing third in the NL’s Central division. Fact: The Chicago Cubs didn’t fail because they didn’t spend enough money. The Cubs were 2nd in all of baseball in payroll finishing behind only the Boston Red Sox. Both of those teams failed to make baseball’s postseason.

Fact: The Cubs front office has done a lousy job acquiring players since winning the 2016 World Series and they have done a poor job in developing quality, big league caliber pitching through their minor league system.

But, it is also a fact that former manager Joe Maddon allowed his comfort level with players interfere with how much he held them accountable and the result was a team that paid little attention to detail and spiraled out of contention. That’s the mess Maddon left the Cubs.

The reasons the Cubs are struggling are not mutually exclusive. There is no singular reason why they have seen their window of contending for another World Series start to close. But, for people to blame everything on either a lack of spending by ownership or a lousy job by the front office misses a main factor in the Cubs decline.

Wait- if this is a bad thing, how do we explain certain long-term trends involving baseball players?

QLE Posted: January 21, 2020 at 12:47 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, fat, underperformance

Monday, January 20, 2020

Andy Green ‘fired up’ to be with Cubs, help David Ross any way he can

It’s quite fitting Andy Green’s introduction to Cubs Nation came at the team’s annual fan festival this weekend.

Green, whom the Cubs officially hired as bench coach in December, grew up a Reds fan in his native Lexington, Ky. It wasn’t long before his allegiances changed to one of Cincinnati’s geographic neighbors, however.

“I went to [former Reds ballpark Riverfront Stadium] as a kid at like 5, 6, 7, first time I saw big-league baseball,” Green told NBC Sports Chicago on Saturday. “But my mom took me up to Wrigley at 12 or 13. I was like ‘This is big-league baseball.’

“I switched over allegiances that time as a Cubs fan, watched Ryne Sandberg — Mark Grace was somebody who jumped off the page to me at that point in time. It was late 80s, early 90s.”

He isn’t preparing for the next step if David Ross turns out to be as poor a choice for this role as many of us suspect, is he?

 

QLE Posted: January 20, 2020 at 12:36 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: andy green, cubs, david ross

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Cubs Fans Boo Chairman Tom Ricketts at Team Convention

Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts heard his share of boos at the Cubs Convention on Friday while the team remains quiet in free agency.

Coming off a season in which the Cubs fell short of the playoffs, Chicago has yet to add significant pieces or sign its core players to extensions. Former NL MVP Kris Bryant has been on the trade market throughout the offseason, beloved former manager Joe Maddon is gone and the team is no longer the favorite in the NL Central. There’s uncertainty in Wrigleyville for the first time since the Cubs returned to prominence in 2015, and the Convention’s usually positive atmosphere has soured.

“I’m sorry we don’t have a prize free agent or something sexier to talk about right now,” Ricketts said in an interview with WSCR-AM 670 on Day 2 of the Cubs Convention.

To add to the tension, fans also brought heavy boos when Ricketts mentioned the “Marquee Sports Network,” the Cubs’ new television outlet set to launch in February. With the new season approaching, the network has yet to make a deal with Comcast’s Xfinity—the area’s largest carrier—keeping some fans without a method to watch the team.

On the bright side, at least Tom Ricketts didn’t buy the Phillies…..

 

QLE Posted: January 19, 2020 at 12:36 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, fans, tom ricketts

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Sources: Kris Bryant, Cubs reach 1-year, $18.6M deal

Third baseman Kris Bryant and the Chicago Cubs have avoided arbitration, settling on a one-year, $18.6 million deal, it was announced Friday.

Bryant, whose name had surfaced in trade rumors this offseason, had a .282 batting average with 31 home runs and 77 RBIs last season. He was eighth in the NL with 108 runs scored and drew enough walks to post a .382 on-base percentage, 16th best in the majors.

He missed the final week of the regular season after spraining his right ankle when he landed awkwardly on a wet first-base bag while trying to beat out a double play.

There also is the matter of a service time grievance against the Cubs that was filed on Bryant’s behalf by the MLBPA. That grievance is expected to be resolved in the next two weeks, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Which, of course, means that the story is beginning with this contract, not ending…..

 

QLE Posted: January 11, 2020 at 12:31 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: contracts, cubs, kris bryant

Sunday, January 05, 2020

Kris Bryant trade talks between Cubs and Nationals ‘have gone nowhere’

The Nationals reportedly love Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, but trade talks between the clubs “have gone nowhere,” according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

Bryant’s name has frequented rumors this winter, with the Braves, Nationals, Phillies and Rangers being linked to him at one point or another. A trade has never been a foregone conclusion, as the Cubs aren’t going to move the star third baseman for anything less than what they deem to be fair value.

The Cubs have requested Nationals center fielder Victor Robles in Bryant trade talks, per multiple reports, but Washington has been reluctant to include him. Robles is less established in the big leagues, but he’s under team control through 2024.

Meanwhile, Bryant’s unresolved service time grievance is an elephant in the metaphorical negotiating room. If Bryant loses, he’ll remain under team control through 2021; if he wins, he’ll hit free agency after next season. The Cubs would net more for him in a trade if he has two years of control remaining rather than one.

 

 

QLE Posted: January 05, 2020 at 12:28 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kris bryant, nationals

Friday, December 11, 2015

IT’S THE CUBS’ WORLD NOW

Not to spoil the ending, but:

But the Cardinals aren’t doomed. They still have a solid lineup, a solid rotation and a solid bullpen, and you’d have to think they’ll add somebody. But for years, some fans have claimed, wrongly, that Cardinals-Cubs isn’t a real rivalry because the Cards have always been so much better than the Cubs. This, not coincidentally, is the same thing Yankees fans used to say about the Red Sox, before Epstein took over there as well. Now, some have said, in the wake of the Cubs’ signing of Heyward, that this ratchets up the rivalry.

But if anything, I believe it dampens it. Even before Friday, the Cubs were a better team than the Cardinals in just about every way. Now that the Cubs took the Cardinals’ best player, the gap between these teams have widened. If anyone needs to prove this is a rivalry, it’s the fading Cardinals.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fergie Jenkins still emotionally invested in Cubs, keeping an eye on Epstein

Clumsy.

Ferguson Jenkins takes a wait-and-see attitude towards Theo Epstein’s appointment as president of baseball operations of the Chicago Cubs.

...The Cubs hired Epstein in October. Jenkins is holding off on giving Epstein his full endorsement.

“I really don’t know what to take of him yet,” Jenkins said Thursday in Calgary. “I tried to get a meeting with him and he was really busy.

“He’s young. He’s never put a jockstrap on though. See that’s the thing. I tell people all the time ‘this guy reads about the game and has seen it on TV or in stadiums,’ but he’s a pretty smart individual. He knows talent and that’s what it’s all about.

“People sit back and say ‘you know he never played’ but he watches and recognizes what individuals can do what and where they can play.”

Repoz Posted: January 19, 2012 at 10:20 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, fantasy baseball, hall of fame, sabermetrics

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

RLYW: Salvaging a Sunken cost

Burnett projects to have an RA of 5.03 in CAIRO.  The following possible starting pitchers project better than that.

CC Sabathia (3.57)
Michael Pineda (4.37)
Freddy Garcia (4.55)
Brad Meyers (4.56)
Hiroki Kuroda (4.57)
Phil Hughes (4.63)
Ivan Nova (4.93)
...

If that’s true, then every start that goes to Burnett is a start that should be going to one of the above.

...

Unfortunately, since Burnett is owed $33 million over the next two years, the Yankees probably feel obligated to try and get some value out of him.

I don’t think they can do that by pitching him…. trading Burnett’s bad contract to another team for their bad contract might be a way to recoup some of that value.

Mr Dashwood Posted: January 17, 2012 at 12:21 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cubs, mets, projections, white sox, yankees

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cubs installing 70-foot digital scoreboard at Wrigley Field

Pitch count of 3,665?  Dusty is back??

From CSNChicago.com’s Jake Flannigan comes the below mockup of a 70-foot LED scoreboard that will be installed in right field at baseball’s second-oldest stadium. Construction will be completed this spring.

Above the new scoreboard you’ll see something called the “Budweiser Patio.” It will contain 150 all-inclusive seats (not bleachers), and is also going in before the start of the season.

The District Attorney Posted: January 15, 2012 at 01:52 PM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

MLB Trade Rumors: Bartolo Colon Agrees to Sign With Unknown Team

Bartolo Colon has agreed to a deal with an unknown club reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter). The right-hander wouldn’t divulge the team because he has not yet passed his physical.

Pretty sure it’s either the All-Stars or the Champs.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Cubs Agree To Contract With Kerry Wood

Wood: “I Feel Like Playing”

The Cubs and veteran reliever Kerry Wood have agreed to a one-year contract that also includes an option for 2013.  The contract will pay Wood $3MM next season, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times (via Twitter).

The District Attorney Posted: January 13, 2012 at 08:53 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Thursday, January 12, 2012

MLB: Cubs front office calls on Bloomberg Sports

I knew he’d miss Bill James…

The Cubs are using every potential avenue to improve their club. Chicago announced Thursday that it will partner with Bloomberg Sports—a company already allied with MLB.com for fantasy baseball—to design a new player evaluation system for the team’s baseball operations department.

The player evaluation system is expected to combine video with an extensive database on all professional players, and it will also include customized technology to assist the evaluation process. The Cubs will be able to access their system via laptop and will have mobile capability, and the two sides will begin development and implementation of the program immediately.

“We are excited to partner with Bloomberg Sports and benefit from their world-renowned expertise in analytics and information management,” said Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein. “The management and analysis of data—whether it be scouting reports, statistics, medical information or video—is a critical component of our operation.

“We look forward to developing a customized program that utilizes the most advanced and efficient technology available in the marketplace today to facilitate quicker, easier and more accurate access to all the sources of information we use to make baseball decisions.”

Repoz Posted: January 12, 2012 at 12:50 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, projections, sabermetrics

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cubs sign Paul Maholm, reports Paul Maholm

It’s otherwise unconfirmed, but it seems like you should only need the one source when it’s actually the guy himself.

Just wanna say thank u to everyone that has cheered for me during my career as a Pirate. I loved my last six plus years in the city.

I hope to get to continue some things when I visit during the year and start some great things as I start my Cubs career.

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 10, 2012 at 07:44 AM | 150 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, pirates

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