Joe Maddon is Sinatra of Baseball

Joe Maddon, Chicago Cubs, baseball, Spring Training

Joe Maddon Does It His Way

There’s one thing that few people will ever disagree with and that is Joe Maddon is a genius. I’m not talking Albert Einstein smarts either, if Al were standing in the dugout this season, then the Cubs probably all would have E=MC2 on the back of their jerseys.

Then there’s the work of Javier Baez. He’s been striking out this spring. He’s 13 for 37. Not good numbers and certainly not the kind that the Cubs expected, but he’s got power and everyone is agreeing that his defensive skills are turning out to be a lot more valuable than his offence.

“He’s always going to strike out,” Maddon said. “It’s not even about strikeouts, it’s about organizing his strike zone a little better. … If he could somehow get to be a better decision-maker and then test that forceful swing he’s got in the strike zone, let’s see what happens there.”

You see? Joe Maddon’s got all the answers.

You know, even if the Cubs don’t win this season, and I mean win it all, it’s going to be a creative year. It could test fan’s patience but also it could turn out to be a very entertaining year. We all know that the last few years have been less than entertaining. Frustrating? Oh yeah.

Then there’s the question of Walk Up Music

“That’s something for Twitter right there,” Maddon said. “You could put out there, I need three songs — one for yelling at an umpire, changing a pitcher and getting thrown out.”

I have a few suggestions for Joe when it comes to music:

“You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by The Rolling Stones– a great song for arguing with the Ump. Let’s face it, arguing with the umpire is like the futility of resistance with the Borg.

“Unkind” by Sloan– When there’s a pitching change. Nothing’s better than hand claps and gang vocals. This one’s for you 

“My Way” by Frank Sinatra There’s nothing sweeter than walking off any field on your own terms, doing it the way you want, when you want it.

Believe it

Here We Go Again, Cubs Fans

Today marks the beginning of a long journey that could take us into October. Probably the end of September but you can’t fault a man for dreaming, can you? The Cubs square off against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

This morning we were out braving the blizzard and listening to tunes on the Ipod when that familiar opening to Steve Goodman’s post win classic, “Go Cubs Go” blasts through our Hyundai Elantra (Touring edition for the high rollers out there.)

Now, I posted this last year but there it is again just in case you’re new to the Cubs. The song can be annoying but it’s a comforting tune after they win. Trust me.

Our son loves this song, maybe because it’s easy to sing along with, or perhaps he just doesn’t know the history of the Cubs. To our son, the Cubs are the champions.

It was the song that came after this Cubs anthem that struck a nerve. You see, I’m a huge Stones fan and our son, just like most three year olds do, they want to be like Daddy. I sing this song a lot. It’s an amazing Stones classic, but coming after a nice Cubs anthem is this bit of foreshadowing.

We all know that our beloved Northsiders aren’t expected to do much but provide some rookie excitement this year and I’m looking forward to that.

There’s an amazing bond between Cubs fans across the world. We’re cautiously optimistic. We have unbridled faith and passion in what is beyond our reach. The Holy Grail of baseball. The World Series. The Chicago Cubs haven’t won it in over a hundred years.

Mick Jagger and company might be pessimistic in the future, but I like Steve Goodman’s version of the future a little bit better.

Go Cubs Go!

—Mark

Ain’t It Grand?

Pitcher Travis Wood runs the bases after hitting a Grand Slam.

Pitcher Travis Wood runs the bases after hitting a Grand Slam.

There must be some mojo working at Wrigley Field. it could be the Rolling Stones staying in Chicago, but yesterday Travis Wood belted a Grand Slam Home Run to power the Chicago Cubs to an 8-3 win over their South Side rivals.

Yes, you read it right folks, Travis Wood, pitcher for the Cubs hit a Grand Slam!!!!

That’s his second shot this year.

“We take pride in our hitting and being able to help ourselves out,” Wood said. “We just want to be able to handle the bat so we’re not a dead out. We can try to go out there and eventually help ourselves out and get something going.”

Nate Schierholtz and Luis Valbuena each hit homers in the win.

Well done boys, well done!

So, the Cubs won the Crosstown Cup and even though it’s only for bragging rights, it’s a motivator that can probably land them a wild card spot. After all, they’re only 10 games back and if anyone remembers a few years ago when they were 10 games behind at the beginning of August and battled hard to win the division.

They have the potential to do it again.

So, what are the thoughts about Cubs pitchers powering the ball into the streets?

“They hit every day at home, they hit on the road, they have good swings,” Anthony Rizzo said. “It is fun to watch. We just have to get the pitchers up.”

Maybe Travis Wood should hit third in the rotation.

The Cubs have won four in a row heading into today’s matchup against the Diamondbacks. Matt Garza’s on the mound. Game time is 2:20pm eastern.

–Mark

Gimme Shelter

rolling stones chicago

Maybe it was the high ticket prices at the Rolling Stones concert at the United Centre that brought the rain? We know the Stones are having a tough go at selling out this tour. Everybody had a chance to run over and see them. I’ll tell ya, it would have been awesome to see the Stones in Chicago with Taj Mahal! As it stands, we’re going to Toronto next week to get our Rocks Off.

Maybe it was Edwin Jackson’s turn on the mound that brought it.

“Sometimes when you’re having a season like I’m having, that’s how it is,” Jackson said.

Or maybe it was because the Cubs were up 2-0. Yeah, that’s it. I’ll take that as my answer.

The Cubs were facing White Sox pitcher, Chris Sale.

“You hate to waste any time you get up 2-0 against a pitcher like Chris Sale,” Sveum said. “You score two and hopefully a couple more and you’ve done your share off a guy like that. It’s too bad the game has to get canceled that quick. We knew that rain was coming.”

The Cubs are riding a two game winning streak going in to today’s game at Wrigley Field. Scott Feldman gets the ball against Johnny Danks.

Game time is 2:20pm eastern. Barring Rain.

—Mark

“Ìt`s Only One Win, But I Like It Yes I Do“

With the Rolling Stones set to make a tour announcement this morning, I thought I`d bring everyone up to speed on the surreal. Ok, so it was Pittsburgh, but a win is still a win for the Cubs. What better way to kick off the 2013 season than a home run for Anthony Rizzo. He hadn`t hit one all spring training and then on Monday he sets one on fire and if I can recall, it almost landed in the pond.

What was good about yesterday`s victory. Jeff Samardzija(with that hard to spell last name) proved why Epstein and company are believing in him.

“That was probably as good a game as he’s pitched starting his career,” Sveum said.

Carlos Marmol got pulled in the ninth and as much as I hate to see it, Marmol`s days are numbered in a Cubs uniform.

“He’s still the closer,” Sveum said. “I’m not making any changes or anything like that, he just didn’t have it today.”

–Yeah, that`s a sign that says,“Get your ass in gear.“

Listen, It`s only game one, but i like it.

Let`s see that one again, shall we

–Mark