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Tag:Cubs
Posted on: July 22, 2010 6:26 pm
 

Girardi tries to sidestep Cubs speculation

Joe Girardi There will be a lot of people reading into what Yankees manager Joe Girardi had to say Thursday on the subject of the Cubs' upcoming managerial opening, but what's most important is what he did NOT say: "I'm not interested."

That's all Girardi would have had to say to at least minimize the distraction of the impending opening in Girardi's hometown. Instead he did some verbal bobbing and weaving that would make Sugar Ray Leonard proud.

"I figured this would come up once Lou [Piniella] announced his retirement," Girardi told the New York Daily News. "I have a responsibility to this club and the guys in that room, and that's my concern. People can speculate all they want, but that's my concern right now. I don't really think much about it."
The closest Girardi came to straight-up denying interest in the Cubs job was when he said "yeah" when asked whether his preference was to continue managing the Yankees.

But he also uttered the dreaded line: "I've loved my time here." That's the equivalent of a GM being asked about a manager's job security and replying that "[So-and-so] is our manager."

"I love it here; I've loved my time here," Girardi said. "I put my kids in school here and they're enrolled to go to school here next fall. There's going to be talk; I grew up there, I grew up a Cubs fan, I went to Northwestern, I lived in Chicago. But my concern is right now."

The Yankees visit Chicago (although on the South Side) August 27-29. There's a slight chance the subject might come up again then.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


Category: MLB
Posted on: July 21, 2010 4:15 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 12:30 pm
 

Sandberg: 'I am ready'

Ryne Sandberg Ryne Sandberg is apparently not going to play coy. He wants to be the next manager of the Cubs.

Appearing on a radio show in Chicago, Sandberg did not mince words when asked whether he is prepared to take over when Lou Piniella retires at the end of the year. The Hall of Fame second baseman is managing the Cubs' Triple-A team.

"I am ready. I sure am. [After] four years of managing at the minor league level, I'm ready for a major league job, and I'm ready to win," Sandberg said. "The reason I went this route was to manage, not to coach.

"There is a lot to managing, and with almost four years under my belt, I believe I'm ready. I'm not interested in on-the-job learning or on-the-job training. At this point, I'm interested in winning ballgames at the major league level."

Given the disappointment surrounding the Cubs, and his legendary status among Cubs fans, Sandberg has to be considered the front-runner for the job. But general manager Jim Hendry told reporters Wednesday that he's not rushing into anything.

"One of the advantages of the way we're doing it, and with Lou announcing that he was going to retire, is that we're going to take our time," Hendry said. "This process is going to take a couple of months. ... It will be a long and very intense search. A lot of people will be considered."

A source told ESPNChicago.com that the Cubs will interview former Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez, who has a history with Hendry. Gonzalez has been rumored to be the favorite to replace the retiring Bobby Cox in Atlanta.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.





Posted on: July 20, 2010 3:28 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 12:30 pm
 

Is Sandberg next Cubs manager?


Now that Lou Piniella has announced he will retire at season's end, who is next to manage the Cubs?

Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune has a quick list of candidates : Ryne Sanberg, Joe Girardi, Bob Brenly, Joe Torre and Alan Trammell.

Girardi is the longest of shots, there is little reason for the former Cubs catcher to leave the Yankees for Chicago's North Side. The Cubs can't offer him more money or a better chance to win. Girardi will likely manage the Cubs at some point down the line, but it won't be in 2011.

Torre, Sullivan writes, is a real possibility. His contract with the Dodgers runs out after the season.

Brenly is in the Cubs' broadcast booth, and that job is less stressful and has a better prognosis for long-term employment. Brenly managed the Diamondbacks to the 2001 World Series title and was 303-262 in parts of four seasons. He was let go after a 29-50 start in 2004.

Trammell is the current Cubs bench coach and has managed the Tigers and is liked by Jim Hendry, Sullivan reports. Trammell was 186-300 in three seasons with the Tigers from 2003-05.

Sandberg is the likely choice. He would create excitement among an aggravated fanbase, is a Cubs legend, understands what he's getting into and has also paid his dues in the minor leagues in a way many Hall of Famers would see as beneath them.

Sandberg is currently managing Triple-A Iowa and has also managed Class A Peoria and Double-A Tennessee.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


Posted on: July 20, 2010 2:20 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2010 3:11 pm
 

Piniella to retire at end of the season


Lou Piniella Lou Piniella announced his intention to retire at the end of the season.

Here's a statement released by the team:

"I couldn't be more appreciative of the Cubs organization for providing me the opportunity to manage this ballclub. I've had four wonderful years here that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world.  I've grown to love the city and the fans but at my age [67 at the end of the season] it will be time to enter a new phase in my life.  It will enable me to spend more valuable time with my family -- my wife, my kids and my grandchildren.  God has blessed me to have been able to work this many years in the game that I love.

"Why make this announcement now? Jim Hendry asked me in recent weeks regarding my future with the team and I told him I had made the decision to retire at the end of the season.  Since my decision has now been made, I don't want to mislead anyone about my intentions when asked in the future.  

"But more importantly, announcing my decision now is what's best for this organization in the long run.  It gives Jim Hendry ample time to find the next manager and he doesn't need to do so in secrecy. The Cubs are one of the greatest organizations in baseball.  I care very deeply for this organization and want nothing more than for it to experience present and long-term success.  I'm proud of our accomplishments during my time here and this will be a perfect way for me to end my career. 

"But let me make one thing perfectly clear: our work is far from over. I want to keep the momentum going more than anything else and win as many games as we can to get back in this pennant race.  I'm going to give every effort I have to help this team win and that will remain my sole focus through the rest of the season."  

An hour or so before Piniella announced the decision, Bill Madden of the New York Daily News writes reported the news without the very mention of a source or anything else to back up what is written other than "the Daily News has learned."

Piniella is 307-271 in Chicago and 42-52 this season, with his team 10 1/2 games out of first place in the National League Central.

Piniella has said this will be his last managing job. He's 1,826-1,691 in 23 seasons as a manager with the Yankees, Reds, Mariners, Rays and Cubs.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.



Category: MLB
Posted on: July 20, 2010 9:53 am
 

Fading Dodgers searching for arms


The Dodgers are looking for pitchers -- any pitchers, starters, relievers, batting practice… it doesn't matter. If you can throw a baseball 60 feet, 6 inches, the Dodgers are interested.

So far, the team has been "very aggressive" in their pursuit of pitching, Yahoo!'s Tim Brown writes . The Dodgers have called about Houston's Roy Oswalt, Chicago's Ted Lilly, Arizona's Dan Haren and Cleveland's Jake Westbrook and Fausto Carmona.

The team has also called Toronto about their reliever trio of Scott Downs, Jason Frasor and Kevin Gregg.

Los Angeles was just swept in St. Louis and dropped their opener against San Francisco last night. The team is now 49-44 and with 12 of its next 16 against San Francisco and San Diego -- two of the three teams ahead of them in the National League West, L.A. could quickly be out of the race. If a move isn't made soon -- and even then, if it doesn't work immediately -- the season could be lost.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Posted on: July 19, 2010 5:42 pm
Edited on: October 22, 2010 4:03 pm
 

This week in free stuff: July 19-26


What's better than a day at the ballpark? A day at the ballpark and free stuff.

I remember as a kid going to a Tidewater Tides (as the Norfolk Tides were called then) and getting a Tides batting glove. I wore that batting glove even though it was for my left hand and I was a left-handed hitter. I loved that thing, with the Tides logo and elastic wristband. Since then, I've loved ballpark giveaways (or SGA as you can find them on eBay) and have a collection of odds and ends such as an Endy Chavez bobblehead or a Macon Braves batting helmet (I only get them now as a paying fan, not as part of the job). As a proud owner of a Savannah Sand Gnats Gnic the Gnat bobblehead, I often check around to see what's being given away at ballparks around the country. So here it is, this week in free stuff, from the majors and minors. Keep in mind, this isn't a complete list, just the ones I find most interesting, and even if many think bobbleheads are passe, I'm still a big fan and you'll see most of them here.

Tonight, July 19
Chicago Cubs -- a Cubs mouse pad… if you still use one of those. Ask your parents, kids.
Johnson City Cardinals (Rookie Appalachian League) -- seat cushion. One of the more underrated and classic give-aways, you don't see them as much anymore, yet your butt could still use a cushion after nine innings.

Tuesday, July 20
Los Angeles Dodgers -- James Loney bobblehead
New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Eastern League) -- Dustin Pedroia bobblehead
Richmond Flying Squirrels (Southern League) -- logo ball. I'm not usually a big logo ball fan, but this logo is a flying squirrel.
Lakewood BlueClaws (South Atlantic League) -- paint your own Clawd bobblehead. Clawd is the team's mascot.
State College Spikes (New York-Penn League) -- eco-friendly cooler bag. I was at a Marlins game once and they gave out gas cans. I'm usually a big fan of practical give-aways, but I didn't take that one.

Brookly Cyclones Wednesday, July 21
Baltimore Orioles -- foam finger. A classic. I'd love to see the foam finger make a comeback, even if a No. 1 is a little unrealistic for the Orioles.
Chicago Cubs -- key chain. This one is actually a nice, simple design, something that can often be done wrong and is done well here.
Brooklyn Cyclones (New York-Penn League) -- "Jersey? Sure!" Jersey. It's actually kinda great. The Cyclones are one of the minor league leaders in both quantity and quality of giveaways.

Manny Ramirez Thursday, July 22
Pittsburgh Pirates -- T-shirt. I don't normally get too excited by free t-shirts, but this one has a nice Pirate theme with a ship and all.
Los Angeles Dodgers -- Manny Ramirez action figure. Action figures are this year's attempt at replacing bobbleheads. The Dodgers went the extra mile and made each of their three action figures as superheroes, but it still doesn't quite work.
Bowie BaySox (Eastern League) -- Nolan Reimold bobblehead. The Orioles prospect is getting his own bobblehead.
Iowa Cubs (Pacific Coast League) -- Casey Blake bobblehead. Blake is an Iowa native.
Portland Sea Dogs (Eastern League) -- Adrian Gonzalez bobblehead.
Corpus Christi Hooks (Texas League) -- Aussie hat. Not bad for a day at the beach on North Padre Island.
Lakewood BlueClaws (South Atlantic Laegue) -- Dusty Wathan bobblehead. Wathan, son of former Royals manager John "Duke" Wathan, was the manager of the BlueClaws last season when the team won the South Atlantic League title and like most of his players, got called up. He's now the manager of the High-A Clearwater Threshers in the Phillies organization.
Great Lakes Loons (Midwest League) -- Bill Freehan bobblehead. The Loons are honoring Tiger legends with bobbleheads this season and Freehan is Michigan through-and-through. Freehan was born in Detroit, played football and baseball at the University of Michigan and then spent his entire 15-year career with the Tigers.
Orem Owlz (Frontier League) -- Torii Hunter bobblehead.

Friday, July 23
Evan Longoria Baltimore Orioles -- tankard. More realistic than the foam finger, Orioles fans can drink away their problems in style.
Houston Astros -- gym bag. Again, one of the practical giveaways. I have a Braves bag I still use.
Montgomery Biscuits (Southern League) -- Evan Longoria bobblehead.
Clearwater Threshers (Florida State League) -- Mike Schmidt bobblehead.
West Michigan Whitecaps (Midwest League) -- Larry Herndon bobblehead. It's a big week for former Tigers, apparently. Herndon caught the last out of the 1984 World Series.
Brooklyn Cyclones (New York-Penn League) -- Fireman Sandy bobblehead. A bobblehead of the mascot Sandy in a fireman's uniform.
Vermont Lake Monsters (New York-Penn League) -- Champ bobblehead. A friend of mine has a large collection of bobbleheads and says the mascot ones go for the most money on the secondary market.

Saturday, July 24
New York Yankees -- lunch box. I love the metal lunch boxes, they're a popular giveaway -- and for good reason.
Grady Sizemore Cleveland Indians -- Grady Sizemore bobblehead. One of the few chances to see Grady Sizemore in action at Progressive Field.
Houston Astros -- rainbow sleeve t-shirt.
Milwaukee Brewers -- grill master apron.
Las Vegas 51s (Pacific Coast League) -- wall clock.
Inland Empire 66ers (California League) -- James Loney bobblehead.
Visalia Rawhide (California League) -- beach blanket.
Kinston Indians (Carolina League) -- Lonnie Chisenhall bobblehead. The Indians prospect is nearly ready for the big leagues and he already has a bobblehead.
Hagerstown Suns (South Atlantic League) -- Little Heiskell bobblehead. Little Heiskell is a German soldier weathervane figure that has become a symbol of the city.
Rome Braves (South Atlantic League) -- Tommy Hanson bobblehead.
West Michigan Whitecaps (Midwest League) -- glow-in-the-dark baseball.
State College Spikes (New York-Penn League) -- kids fielding glove giveaway. As a kid, these always kinda bummed me out, because it's not like they have a left-handed option. Sure, they're never good enough to actually use, but that's little consolation to a sad little left-handed kid.
Everett AquaSox (Northwest League) -- fleece blanket. One of my favorites, although many teams are moving toward Snuggie-like blankets instead of the usual throw.

Sunday, July 25
Philadelphia Phillies -- Chase Utley action figure. Like the real Utley, this one no longer has a cast on his hand.
Milwaukee Brewers -- Robin Yount bobblehead. Not only is Yount wearing a great old Brewers uniform, the Yountstache is in full effect.
Albuquerque Isotopes (Pacific Coast League) -- Orbit bobblehead. Another great mascot bobblehead. Most minor league mascots are better in bobblehead form than mascot form.
Reno Aces (Pacific Coast League) -- skateboard deck. Another new one this season, the Aces deck is one of the best.
New Britain Rock Cats (Eastern League) -- paint your own bobblehead.
Greensboro Grasshoppers (South Atlantic League) -- Chris Coghlan figurine.
Bowling Green Hot Rods (Midwest League) -- lunch box.
Lake County Captains (Midwest League) -- Skipper leg lamp bobblehead. It's the leg of the mascot, Skipper, and it's a leg lamp, just like Cleveland's own A Christmas Story.
Lowell Spinners (New York-Penn League) -- Allie Gator bobblehead.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.




Posted on: July 16, 2010 7:49 pm
 

Lee says Cubs will welcome Zambrano back


Derrek Lee Derrek Lee says he has no hard feeling towards Carlos Zambrano and expects the team to welcome their former ace back with open arms when he does return.

Zambrano, who was suspended and ordered to undergo anger management therapy after his June 25 blowup at US Cellular Field, has begun throwing at the Cubs' spring training complex in Arizona.

Following Friday's victory over the Phillies, Lee spoke about the incident for the first time and here's the Chicago Tribune 's Paul Sullivan :
"It's going to be fine," Lee said. "He's going to come back and help us. Now it's in the past. It's over with and we'll all be fine."
The laid-back Lee never has been in a situation like that with a teammate, but spoke up in the dugout when the tantrum Zambrano staged to allegedly "pump up" the team got too personal. They engaged in a shouting match that has been replayed dozens of times since.
 
"You always want to get along with all your teammates," Lee said. ""It's not a fun situation, but it happens. You deal with it and move on."

The day before the incident, Zambrano and Lee were joking around in the Cubs' clubhouse in Seattle. They never had been at odds before, and Lee even stuck up for Zambrano after Cubs fans booed him off the mound one day in 2007.
 
"The guy has been my teammate since I've been here in '04," Lee said. "Carlos and I are friends. It's like family. You argue with the family, and you get over it."
Because of the things like blogs (yeah, we're guilty) and the 24-hour news cycle, the Zambrano-Lee story will be rehashed again and again until Zambrano returns, or if Lee is traded by then, until the two meet on the field again. Still, it seems just about wrapped up besides the kiss-and-make-up photos and interviews, doesn't it?

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Category: MLB
Posted on: July 16, 2010 4:20 pm
Edited on: July 16, 2010 7:43 pm
 

Votto happy to be enemy of Cubs fans


Joey Votto CINCINNATI -- Joey Votto said he was joking when he told a Chicago reporter he didn't like the Cubs following the All-Star Game, but he doesn't mind being the target of Cubs fans boos.

"I think it's kind of fun to play the heel," Votto said.

Following Tuesday night's All-Star Game, Votto was quoted by ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine as saying, "I don't like the Cubs. And I'm not going to pat anybody with a Cubs uniform on the back."

Friday, Votto noted he was laughing when he said that and it may not have come over quite right when seen in black and white.

"The shame of it is Marlon and I got along the best on the bench and in the outfield and stuff, I talked to him and I was one of the first people to congratulate him in Chicago [when the All-Star teams were named]," Votto said Friday. "It was definitely taken out of context. I was laughing when I said it. I have the utmost respect for the Cubs in general -- not necessarily for the fans, but …"

Votto laughed after he said that, but the blog Church of Baseball , run by a Reds fan, dug up this video earlier this week in the wake of the Votto-Cubs flap.



The video shows Votto telling a young Cubs fan "I don't sign for Cubs fans."

Votto didn't deny that, either.

"I don't," Votto said, with a laugh. "I try not to. They're in our same division and we play good baseball against them. I think it's kind of fun to play the heel. Not everything has to be friendly, we take it seriously every time we go there. It's not just a game to us, it's our job."

Votto traces his Cub-dislike to 2007, when he was called up in September and watched the Cubs celebrate a division title at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

"I still remember that now, I remember them looking at the scoreboard and Cubs fans cheering and everyone in the stands wearing blue," Votto said. "I still remember that and it meant a lot to me. I guess I should probably let it go, but I'm not an easy forgiver."

The Cubs' Byrd didn't seem too worked up about the "controversy" telling MLB.com's Carrie Muskat that he understood Votto's sentiment.

"That's the competitiveness of Joey Votto," Byrd said. "He's an MVP candidate right now, he's going to say what he believes. But at the same time, I don't think any Cub is going to be patting anyone on the Cincinnati Reds on the back during the season. They're the ones in first place and we're chasing them. We're going to have to come after them hard."

Cubs manager Lou Piniella said he understood Votto's statement as well.

"I don't think he likes the Cardinals either," Piniella told Muskat. "I think it's more of an [intradivisional] thing."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com