Heavy sigh. Here we go again. Friday afternoon's game ended with the same verse as many of the previous ones. The Cubs need a closer. The funny thing is, that isn't quite the right assessment of Friday's game. Steve Cishek is a perfectly reasonable choice for closer. He'd thrown 11 games without allowing a run. Over that time, he threw 13⅓ innings, converted four saves. Pitched more than an inning three times. He'd registered a 2.26 FIP over that time. He struck out 13 over that time and walked only four. The argument then is that the Cubs need more relievers. The Cubs shopped in the bargain basement this offseason, trying to keep down the team payroll for an in-season acquisition. That decision
Luke Farrell on giving up the game-winning HR in the 14th inning. (Mark Gonzales/Chicago Tribune)
Currently leading the National League Central division by only 1.5 games as the end of May draws closer and closer, the Chicago Cubs have a bit of an issue that needs fixing. Their positional player depth, while a strong suit for the franchise this season, is making it a bit tough to juggle for manager Joe Maddon. The easy fix? Trade from their surplus to address their biggest weakness, their bullpen. The difficult part about that is figuring out exactly who would be traded from the Cubs. Easy answer? Ian Happ. The cousin of Ethan Happ, the former University of Wisconsin-Madison basketball player, Ian was sent down to the Triple-A Iowa Cubs at the end of Spring Training this year, which came
Cubs manager Joe Maddon explains his decision to put Albert Almora Jr. at leadoff and Kyle Schwarber in the batting order against Diamondbacks left-hander Patrick Corbin and talks about the team's fan support in Arizona on Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. (Mark Gonzales/Chicago Tribune)
Mike McCarthy seems clear about the challenge ahead as general manager of Marquee Sports Network, the future TV home of the Cubs. As the man responsible for everything from hiring talent to selecting camera positions to setting commercial prices, the network's success or failure is basically in his hands. It may seem like a push-button job now that the Cubs are an annual contender with several young stars and a built-in viewership. After a lifetime of working in the sports media business, from producing Yankees and Mets games for MSG Network to chief executive stints with the NHL's Blues and NBA's Bucks, the 58-year-old New Yorker said he's ready to settle down in Chicago and spend the rest of his career making Cubs' fans happy.
Cubs' Theo Epstein before series vs. Cardinals: "We have to do a lot of things to get to where we want to go." (Mark Gonzales/Chicago Tribune)
Last week we looked at three position players - Eric Davis, Nomar Garciaparra and Grady Sizemore - who started their careers looking bound for Cooperstown, only to have injuries derail those hopes and expectations. Today, we're looking at a couple of pitchers who suffered similar frustrating fates. These Cubs pitchers who still bring about strong emotions from those who love Wrigley Field: Mark Prior and Kerry Wood. Let's take a look at what happened. Mark Prior, Cubs (and other organizations) Before the Cubs chose Mark Prior with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2001 draft, the question wasn't whether Prior - the dominating college right-hander from USC with "perfect mechanics" - would be a star
Iowa Cubs The Iowa Cubs were soaked by the Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals), 6-2. Starter Alec Mills wasn't fooling anyone tonight as he gave up a whopping 15 hits over 5.2 innings. The fifteen hits and three walks (one intentional) led to five runs. Mills struck out six. First baseman Trent Giambrone led off the game with his eighth home run of the season. Giambrone went 2 for 4. Iowa's other run also came on a solo home run. Robel Garcia connected for his tenth home run of the year in the second inning. It was his fourth with Iowa. Garcia went 1 for 4. Iowa managed just four hits tonight. Tennessee Smokies The Tennessee Smokies reeled in the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Twins), 5-1. Justin Steele had
... on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, Bleed Cubbie Blue brings a you a wildly popular Cubs-centric look at baseball's past. Here's a handy Cubs timeline, to help you follow along as we review select scenes from the rich tapestry of Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball history. The embedded links often point to articles that pertain to the scenes, such as reproductions of period newspapers, images, and/or other such material as is often found in the wild. Today in baseball history: 1906 - The Cubs overcome a 5 - 2 Giants lead to tie the game at 5 - 5‚ but a Johnny Evers error in the 8th gives New York a 6 - 5 win. Christy Mathewson‚ who pitches just 2 and 1/3 innings is credited with the
You would think netting $900 million in ticket sales at the global box office would be enough for the smash Queen biopic film 'Bohemian Rhapsody.' Billboard is reporting the band's catalouge went from 588 million to 1.9 billion on-demand streams in the six months following the film's release. Billboard's estimates indicate the streams have resulted in “nearly $18 million in revenue versus the $4.4 million that Queen's catalog had earned in the preceding six months.” That's a lot of cheese!
Cubs spokesman Julian Green advises fans to safeguard their tickets during a news conference about safety and preparedness during Friday and Saturday's National League Division Series games at Wrigley Field. Oct. 7, 2016 (Marwa Eltagouri / Chicago Tribune)
TALKIN' BASEBALL Jesse Rogers, ESPN.com: "No other major statistic correlates to runs scoring better than getting on base. For whatever reason, the Cubs forgot how to do that in the second half of last season, but they got it back. Their thump is back, too. The Cubs finished 11th in the National League in home runs in 2018 but rank third so far this year while playing fewer games than the two teams ahead of them as well as almost every team behind them. And they're doing it in a more pitcher-friendly Wrigley Field. Perhaps the return of their power coincides with a change in hitting coach they made after last season, but it's more likely tied to the maturation of a lineup built around their young
Joe Maddon has seen it all during his nearly five seasons as manager of the Chicago Cubs. Say what you will about the Ricketts family and their politics, but they have delivered as promised since purchasing the franchise in 2009: a World Series-winning product and a vastly improved Wrigley Field. It wasn't that long ago during the 2015 National League Championship Series that Maddon conducted his twice daily media conferences in what amounted to a cave. That room was well within the bowels of the now 105-year-old ballpark on Chicago's northside once dubbed by the Tribune Co. as “the friendly confines.” Reporters had to duck around concrete beams in order to protect their heads. “The was pretty