Welcome to the CCO’s Cubs catch-all. In case you haven’t notice, and judging by the lack of comments on the site you haven’t, the Cubs have managed to win a few ball games under Mike Quade, and are threatening to move out of fifth place in the central.
As the season winds down, the off the field news is beginning to pickup. So for all of those that are still following the Cubs, as well as those that are just checking in from time to time, here’s what has been going on over the last few days, including a rumor or two. Plus, the Chairman of the Board believes in curses after all …
According to Bruce Levine, Adam Dunn’s name keeps popping up in scouting circles as a possibility for the Chicago Cubs this winter … and he is hearing Adam Dunn is the Cubs’ top priority “as far as free agent position players go” to sign this winter.
Rumors have suggested Dunn is looking for a four-year deal in the neighborhood of $60 million. Players such as Ryan Dempster, Marlon Byrd, Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez have stated they would welcome Dunn to the Cubs … and Dunn wanted to sign with the Cubs in the winter of 2008-2009.
While Dunn can hit the ball a mile, adding the defensively challenged Dunn to the team with the most unearned runs allowed this season would be a mistake.
Jim Hendry has already built an American League rotisserie-style roster with several overpaid, under performing veterans, so why should he stop now?
The Big Z is in the middle of a 6-0 stretch and is pitching extremely well … so of course he had to mention Wednesday night that he will retire after his current contract expires.
Wednesday marked the second time in as many seasons Zambrano said he would call it quits after his contract ends following either the 2012 or 2013 season. Following the 100th win of his career last year in Cincinnati (June 5, 2009) Zambrano made the same proclamation.
From the Tribune:
“Like I said, I don’t think I will be playing any more after these three years, and I will enjoy any moment, any situation, anything that I can enjoy in the big leagues. A friend of mine told me anytime I’m batting I look excited, I look happy, more than when I’m pitching.”
“Believe me, baseball takes a lot of time from us. So I think, depending on what happens in my career, I think this will be the last contract.”
The Cubs Managerial Search … Sandberg, Gonzalez, Melvin
As mentioned on the CCO, the Mariners have interest in hiring Ryne Sandberg to be their next manager according to a report from Troy Renck of the Denver Post. XM Radio has reported the possibility for weeks. Speaking of Sandberg, he told Dave Kaplan last Sunday that he is expecting to interview for the Cubs’ job in the very near future.
The Sun-Times reported Hendry “has immediate plans to fly to Arizona to meet with Sandberg again.” Hendry and Sandberg met a couple of weeks back and had what both described as a casual conversation about baseball. Sandberg’s formal interview is expected to take place this time.
According to multiple reports, Fredi Gonzalez turned down a chance to interview for the Cubs’ job earlier in the week. Many feel it is a forgone conclusion that Gonzalez will take over in Atlanta.
Jim Hendry will interview Bob Melvin again for the managerial vacancy. The former D’Backs and Mariners’ manager interviewed for the Cubs’ position back in 2002.
Tom Ricketts spoke publicly for the first time Thursday about the Cubs’ managerial search. During a lunch panel hosted by WSCR-AM 670 (The Score), Ricketts brought up the importance of having a manager that understands what it takes to be a Cub.
“We have to have a manager who really understands … the scrutiny you get and (must) be able to handle those periods in June when you lose three games in a row and people start talking about Year 103 of the curse. We have to someone who understands what they’re getting into.”
A much different stance than when his family took over as owners of the team last October.
Ricketts said less than a year ago, “There is no curse. There is no curse. There is no curse. If anybody on our team thinks he’s cursed, we’ll move him to a lesser-cursed team. We’re not going to put up with that. Cubs fans have to look forward not backward. From this day forward let’s just get that behind us.”
Ricketts said the team will be younger going forward and the new manager must be able to teach fundamentals as well. The Cubs are looking for their next manager to be with the organization “for a long time.”
From the Tribune, “I think we’re going to bring in someone who has in their mind that this is their job and their position forever.”
From the Rumor Mill
Bruce Levine did a little chatting Tuesday … here’s a few tidbits from Mr. Talkin’ Baseball:
Levine thinks Orlando Hudson will be the Cubs’ starting second baseman next year.
A lot of teams are keeping an eye on Carlos Zambrano. Levine said the Dodgers and Mets “have strong interest” in Zambrano.
Levine thinks the Cubs’ starting rotation in 2011 could be: Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, Randy Wells, Jay Jackson and Tom Gorzelanny.
Levine believes that just about every player on the Cubs’ roster will be available (in the right deal) this winter with the exception of Starlin Castro. That includes Carlos Marmol and Tyler Colvin.
Finally, the Cubs released a tentative schedule for 2011 on Tuesday. The Cubs begin the season against the Mighty Pirates at Wrigley on Friday, April 1 … April Fool’s Day. The Cubs will play at Fenway Park for the first time since the Red Sox beat them to end the 1918 World Series … and the Yankees will make an appearance at the Friendly Confines. Other than the White Sox, the Cubs other Interlegue opponent will be the Kansas City Royals.
The Cubs 2011 regular season concludes on September 28 in San Diego.
Well, that’s the latest … and I’m sticking to it!