In recent years the Cubs have had managers that said a lot of words without actually saying anything. And skippers that were not capable of dealing with the media. Joe Maddon doesn’t fall into either of those categories. Maddon likes good conversation and he’s going to tell you what he thinks, in his unique way, whether you want to hear it or not.
Joe Maddon was asked about the hope that has been placed on him by a fan base to bring a championship to the Cubs prior to the first game of the season. And Maddon does not like the word ‘hope’ according to the Sun-Times.
Maddon admitted he’s “embracing the so-called burden on one hand, but he doesn’t want to hear about hope.” Maddon told a story about “probably the most intense scout” he ever knew. Maddon once brought up the word hope to Lloyd Christopher and he “got really upset” with him.
“Because you never hope for anything in a situation like this. You’ve just got to go out and make it happen. Hope is a quality or an attribute or a thought that when you’re really in a desperate moment probably is necessary. But in our circumstances we’re trying to create and make this magic occur. Lloyd taught me not to hope. I believe if we’re playing the game properly that hope is going to be fulfilled. But to just worry about people hoping and feeling the weight of that, I can’t do that.”
The Skipper Tweets
Joe Maddon can be rather active on Twitter, so if the skipper tweets something relating to the team, it will end up in the Daily report throughout the season.
Maddon tweeted Monday: “Memorable evening at Wrigley! Loved the Ernie tribute … we all totally appreciated the warm welcome … just wanna say Thanks.”
Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta
Jon Lester tweeted Monday morning: “Certainly not how you draw it up, but the atmosphere was awesome last night, and I know Jake Arrieta is going to pick me up tomorrow! #NVRQT #LetsGo
Jake Arrieta responded to his teammate Monday night: “That’s what we do brother, watched you do it for years.”
Wrigley Field Restroom Issues
The Cubs emailed the following letter to season ticket holders Monday in response to the issues that took place on Sunday night with the restrooms at Wrigley Field:
Thank you for being a part of our first ever Opening Night at Wrigley Field. With more than 35,000 fans in the ballpark, it was one of our best-attended home openers in relation to available seating.
We also need to apologize for the restroom wait times last night. One of the principal goals of the 1060 Project, the restoration and expansion of Wrigley Field, is the improvement of our restroom service throughout the ballpark. Once complete, we will see a 40 percent increase in restroom capacity.
Unfortunately, current construction has caused a temporary reduction in left-field concourse services, and on Sunday, we experienced a temporary malfunction of existing restrooms in the upper deck. The combination of events led to unacceptable wait times throughout the ballpark. Available restroom facilities in the right-field concourse were not altered from 2014 levels.
Four new restrooms, two women’s and two men’s, in the left-field concourse will be available in late May. Once completed, restroom capacity in the left-field concourse will exceed our 2014 levels.
Beginning tomorrow night, we will supplement existing restrooms with portable units in the left-field concourse and outside Gate K. With these facilities in place, we will have approximately the same number of fixtures as we did at the end of the 2014 season. In addition, we are working with our gameday staff to help coordinate concourse traffic by communicating shortest wait times at all concourse facilities.
We strive to deliver best-in-class service to our fans and hold ourselves to high standards.
We appreciate your patience and for bearing with us as we work to restore Wrigley Field. We are committed to ensuring ongoing construction does not lessen your experience at our ballpark. We will continue to monitor wait times and overall construction activity and will communicate developments as we go.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Cole Hamels faced the Red Sox on Monday, and the Phillies’ ace didn’t have a good day in the 8-0 loss to Boston. Hamels gave up four runs on five hits with three walks and six strikeouts in five innings. Hamels served up four home runs … Mookie Betts (1), Dustin Pedroia (2) and Hanley Ramirez (1). Before the game, Jon Heyman reported he “heard again” the Red Sox will not include Mookie Betts or Blake Swihart in a deal for Hamels.
• Progress wasn’t made on a contract extension for Jordan Zimmermann before Opening Day. Zimmermann gave the Nationals until the first game of the season to get something done. According to Jon Paul Morosi, Zimmermann will be a free agent at the end of the year.
• And speaking of starting pitchers the Cubs have been heavily linked to since Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer took over baseball operations, RHP Rick Porcello signed a four-year contract extension with the Red Sox. Boston and Porcello reportedly agreed to terms on a four-year, $82.5 million extension. According to Gordon Edes, Porcello received a $500,000 signing bonus and will be paid as follows: $20 million (2016), $20 million (2017), $21 million (2018), $21 million (2019). Porcello’s salary for 2015, $12.5 million.
• Buster Olney had a very vivid dream that involved the Cubs in some set of games in the fall.
• Commissioner Rob Manfred made it official Monday, the Nationals will host the 2018 All-Star Game.
• Anthony Rizzo is a self-made superstar according to Jerry Crasnick.
• As Joe Maddon gets situated, it’s all about R-E-S-P-E-C-T according to Carrie Muskat.
• Joe Maddon batting the pitcher eighth has already raised a lot of question. Maddon explained his reasoning to the Sun-Times. And Maddon pointed out, the numbers are basically a wash when it comes to hitting the pitcher eighth instead of ninth.
• Ancient Wrigley received a new look with video board according to Jon Greenberg.
Here’s the Ernie Banks tribute video the Cubs played Opening Night
And last, but not least, Peter Gammons posted five questions for each division.
This Day In Cubstory
1995 – Cubs signed free agent Mark Grace
1995 – Cubs granted free agency to Glenallen Hill
1995 – Cubs granted free agency to Derrick May
1991 – Cubs traded Mitch Williams to the Phillies for Chuck McElroy and Bob Scanlan
1986 – Cubs released Warren Brusstar
1985 – Cubs signed free agent Dave Gumpert
1982 – Cubs released Tony Fossas
1980 – Cubs purchased Mark Lemongello from the Blue Jays
1973 – Ron Santo singled with two outs in the 10th inning and gave the Cubs a 3-2 victory over the Expos at Wrigley Field.
1972 – Expos traded a PTBNL and Dan McGinn to the Cubs for Hal Breeden and Hector Torres. Montreal sent Bill Kelso to the Cubs on June 24, 1972 to complete the trade.
1965 – Cubs acquired Bob Humphreys from the Cardinals for Hal Gibson and Bobby Ffeil
1962 – Cubs traded Bobby Locke to the Cardinals for Allen Herring
1960 – Cubs returned Harry Bright to the Pirates
1944 – Bill Stoneman, born
1942 – Tom Phoebus, born
1933 – Bobby Del Greco, born
1930 – Richie Myers, born
1874 – John Ganzel, born