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Are the Cubs Back on Track?

18The Cubs have been one of baseball’s big disappointments this season.

The only team that has underachieved more has been the Yankees, but since A-Rod came back, they have been on a tear, which leaves the Cubs all alone.

However, through the past five games, they have gone 4-1, which may be an anomaly in a disappointing season, but it could also start to signal change.

However, the Cubs haven’t been pulling off small, one-run wins.  They have won three of their past four wins by at least three runs. Read the rest of this entry »

Come to Think of It…Cubs Roster Shake-Up Like Rearranging Chairs on the Titanic

15So long, Neal. And hey, lose the phone number and address, okay?

The Chicago Cubs made some moves today as previously reported by other writers in our Cubs Community. My initial thought is that all this activity is similar to rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m as anxious to see if Jake Fox can hit major league pitching as you are. First of all, we’ve seen minor league phenoms before that couldn’t hit major league pitching. They’re usually called 4A players. Read the rest of this entry »

Come to Think of It…The Reality of Milton Bradley’s Conspiracy Theories

14So, Chicago Cubs outfielder Milton Bradley thinks the umps are against him in retaliation for an incident last month that resulted in a one-game suspension.

Come on, Milton, shut up, grow up, and most of all, show up.

Bradley said the umps are forcing him to swing at bad pitches because of a widened strike zone. Excuses, excuses.

“Unfortunately, I just think it’s a lot of ‘Oh, you did this to my colleague,’ or ‘We’re going to get him any time we can,’” Bradley said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “As soon as he gets two strikes, we’re going to call whatever and see what he does. Let’s try to ruin Milton Bradley.” Read the rest of this entry »

Rich Harden Placed on DL

Cubs starter Rich Harden has been placed on the 15-day DL with what the team is terming a “mid-back strain”.

With Carlos Zambrano coming off of the DL, it had been expected that David Patton would be offered back to his original club, since the seldom used relief pitcher was a Rule-5 draft pick and must remain on the Cubs’ 25-man roster.

The move of Harden to the DL is retroactive to May 18. Randy Wells will start in his place Saturday night.

The site will post further details when they become available.

Come to Think of It…Cubs Bring Out the Brooms Against the Padres

12The Chicago Cubs completed a three game sweep of the San Diego Padres on Thursday, as their bats came alive in a 11-3 drubbing of the Fathers. Ryan Dempster pitched well, and hit well too. He allowed two runs and three hits over seven innings and got his first and second hits of the season.

In fact, there were several big hits in the game. Bobby Scales, who continues to write a good story, drove in four runs with two ringing doubles, his first coming in a five-run fifth, following Reed Johnson’s two-run double off the wall.

The Cubs drew 10 walks in the game. It was the first home sweep for the Cubs against the Pads in 10 years.

Former Cubs pitcher Chad Gaudin, started for the Padres and was chased with one out in the fifth, having issued seven walks. He only allowed one hit to the Cubs, but was removed after issuing three consecutive walks, His record fell to 0-3 on the season. Read the rest of this entry »

Come to Think of It…If Boston is Selling, the Cubs Should be Buying

11First of all, I realize that this may never happen.

But Buster Olney of ESPN.com raised the possibility, so we should at least examine the opportunity.

According to Olney, the Boston Red Sox have a surplus of pitching and may use some of that to fill other needs that their ballclub has.

For example, Daisuke Matsuzaka is expected to return to the rotation soon, so Justin Masterson will likely go back to the bullpen.

And don’t forget, the Sox have John Smoltz waiting in the wings. Also, they have Clay Buccholz in the minors.

So, as Olney speculates, Brad Penny may become available at some point in the very near future. Read the rest of this entry »

Come to Think of It…Cubs Get Ryan Freel

Ken Rosenthal from Fox Sports is reporting that the Cubs and Orioles are talking about a possible deal for disgruntled utility man Ryan Freel.

Freel is a high on-base kind of guy, with little to no power. He has been unhappy with his role in Baltimore and GM Andy MacPhail is actively trying to move him.

Rosenthal suggests that Joey Gathright would likely be the player that Jim Hendry would send the Orioles in return for Freel.

MLBTradeRumors.com reports that “The Orioles are talking to other clubs about Freel, who has about $3.3MM remaining on this year’s contract.”

I’m sure that MacPhail will have to eat some of that contract in order to move Freel, but if he is willing, I think he would add some veteran depth to the Cubs.

Freel doesn’t have the speed he once had, but, according to Rosenthal, the Cubs are “seeking more versatility for their bench.”

Freel once stole 35-plus bases in three consecutive seasons, from 2004-2006 with the Cincinnati Reds.

The 33-year-old plays second and third base, as well as all three outfield positions. He recently completed an injury-rehabilitation assignment that left a bad taste in his mouth.

Freel has a career line of .271/.357/.374.

This could make sense, come to think of it. What do you think?

-Bob Warja

Come to Think of It…Who Will be the Next Cubs Great Honored?

On Sunday at Wrigley Field, the Chicago Cubs officially retired No. 31 in honor of both Fergie Jenkins and Greg Maddux.

The Cubs ran two flags up each foul pole; one with Jenkins’ name on it and the other with Maddux. Too bad the Cubs hadn’t retired Fergie’s number a long time ago, we wouldn’t have had this problem.

So all of this pomp and circumstance at the yard yesterday made me wonder who will be the next Cubs legend to have his number retired?

Will there even be another number retired or have we seen the last of them?

First off, we can forget about the pre-1932 great Cubs, who wore no digits.

One interesting name is that of Phil Cavarretta.

According to BleedCubbieBlue.com, P. K. Wrigley intended to retire Phil Cavarretta’s No. 44, with the Chicago Tribune reporting it in 1954.

But apparently, Cavarretta made some statements that Wrigley didn’t appreciate, and then signed with the White Sox, so that was the end of No. 44 being retired.

No Cub wore that number until Burt Hooten requested it in 1971. According to the Web site, Cubs clubhouse manager Yosh Kowano remembered the promise to Cavarretta and called the Cubs legend to get his permission to issue the number to Hooten.

So I ask you, Cubs fans, which numbers would you like to see the Cubs retire?

One obvious candidate is Sammy Sosa, but his alleged steroid use and corked bat may make that an unpopular decision. Yet, if you go just by numbers alone, he remains one of the greatest Cubs of all time.

BleedCubbieBlue.com suggests names like Gabby Hartnett and Billy Herman, who are Hall of Famers, and Stan Hack,who was the best third baseman in Cubs history before Ron Santo came along.

Let me know which Cub number you’d like to see retired and why? Come to think if it, some current Cubs might eventually be in line to get that honor…

Some News From Another Chicago Team

Celtics Bulls BasketballI know that this is a Chicago Cubs blog, but with the amazing play from the Chicago Bulls, I felt it would be necessary for any Chicago blog to include at least one article of coverage, so here is a piece I wrote for Bleacher Report about the amazing Game 6 of the Chicago Bulls-Boston Celtics series, one of the best of all time.

Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. I can say that a million more times and it won’t capture the excitement I had last night after watching another great game in part of the most intense first round series of all time.

I think that I can say that with some confidence now, after three more overtimes were added on to an already record-breaking amount, and with one more game to go, I can’t find any flaw in this series besides officiating.

But hey, don’t you wanna hear what I think about last nights game, I mean, it was only the best game of the postseason so far.

Joakim Noah, where did you come from?

It seems like just weeks ago I was writing articles calling out your lack of production on all sides of the ball, now you and Tyrus Thomas both are making me eat an entire humble pie.

Where do you get off grabbing 15 rebounds last night and being the center piece of one of the Top 10 Bulls plays of all time?

I’m not going to say I don’t appreciate all of your production this series. Hell, I’m loving it, but where was it all season. At least you know the right place to step up. Read the rest of this entry »