Tagged: Bruce Sutter

My All-Time Favorite Cubs!

I have been a diehard Cubs’ fan for over 32 years.  Here is a list of my all-time favorite Cubs.

In no particular order, I have broken my favorites down by position.  Former Cub Greats like Billy Williams, Ernie Banks, and Ron Santo are NOT listed since I never had the opportunity to see them play.  However, obviously, they are the best.

In the OUTFIELD, my favorites include ANDRE DAWSON.  Andre Dawson is a Hall of Famer and his numbers speak for themselves. 
thumbnailCAGSWXSZ.jpgon the other hand, lost favor with me when I, along with the rest of the world, discovered that he used a corked bat while hitting 66 homeruns in 1998.  Sammy was exciting to watch, but with the steroid scandal, he became a major disappointment.  I was at Wrigley all summmer long in 1998 and was a witness to history, unfortunately it was all smoke and mirrors for the fans.   Another favorite has been Gary Matthews.  “Sarge” always took charge in the outfield and played hard-nosed baseball.  He was an all-out effort kind of player. My third favorite outfielder, in my time, is BOB DERNIER.
thumbnailCAYVE10S.jpg  He was a speedster that not only stole bases, but had a gold glove as well.

At THIRD BASE, the Cubs haven’t had anybody that has stood out until Aramis Ramirez came along. 
thumbnailCA6WKXR1.jpgAlthough he struggled with injuries last season, he has been a solid performer over the past few years with the Cubs.  Hopefully next season, he will return to form.

At SHORTSTOP, my favorite was Ivan DeJesus
thumbnailCAU6D3I4.jpgHe was the lead-off hitter back when I began watching the Cubs.  He played solid defense and stole bases.  He always gave 100%.

At SECOND BASE, there is only one RYNE SANDBERG. 
thumbnailCACA1ZSP.jpgA Hall of Famer, Ryno was simply the best.  He was the most clutch hitter that I’ve ever seen.

At FIRST BASE, while most fans would arguably pick Mark Grace and rightfully so, my pick is BILL BUCKNER.  Back in the day, Buckner was a hitting machine.  In my opinion, he was a better hitter than Gracie.  He was a pretty good defensive player as well.  It is unfortunate that fans only remember the ball that went through his legs at Boston.
thumbnailCAK2MV8C.jpg  The same could be said for Leon Durham in 1984.  Derek Lee deserves special recognition.  I almost picked him and probably should have.  He is probably the best first baseman the Cubs have had in my 32 years as a fan, I just was a big fan of Buckner, that’s all. 

At CATCHER, my favorite was JODY DAVIS.
thumbnailCAIL1KLX.jpg  He was awesome.
thumbnail.jpg  Back in 1984, the Cubs had a good team up and down the line-up.  It was probably my favorite team as a whole.

STARTING PITCHER is none other than Greg Maddux
thumbnailCAXBVF46.jpgHe is the king of the hill.

My favorite CLOSER was BRUCE SUTTER.  He had a split-fingered fast ball that was lights out.  Carlos Marmol recently broke his strikeout record for closers.

thumbnailCA01ENS8.jpgSome of my other favorites include, most notably, JOE GIRARDI, LEE SMITH, DENNIS ECKERSLY, Kenny Lofton, FERGUSON JENKINS, MARK GRACE, Sammy Sosa, Kerry Wood, RICK SUTCLIFFE, LEON DURHAM, KEITH MORELAND, Derek Lee, DAVE KINGMAN, SHAWON DUNSTON, Carlos Zambrano, Alfonso Soriano, and Carlos Marmol.   My FAVORITE CUBS’ TEAM was 1984. 
thumbnailCAFW14WS.jpgIt was a season to remember!

Carlos Marmol, Strikeout Artist, Saves the  Day!

Carlos Marmol, the closer for the Chicago Cubs has been untouchable.  Averaging 15.99 strikeouts per 9 innings pitched is out of this world.  He has 138 strikeouts in 77 2/3 innings.  That would set a new MLB record held by Eric Gagne (14.98  k’s per 9 innings in 2003).

Marmol has already surpassed Bruce Sutter for the most strikeouts by a Cub closer for a season and continues to close the door on other teams.  He has been lights out.  Sure, he struggles with his command at times, but as they say, Marmol is effectively wild.  Carlos has become one of the most feared pitchers in baseball.
thumbnailCA0U7BJV.jpg  His slider is nasty!  If Marmol could add one more pitch to his repertoire, I think a split-fingered fast ball would elevate him to the Hall of Fame someday.  A fastball that suddenly breaks down and disappears would complement what he currently brings to the table.
thumbnailCA3WBDUH.jpg  After posting my blog about Marmol surpassing Bruce Sutter I began thinking, how much better Marmol could be if he could develop such a pitch.  Perhaps, Greg Maddux could teach it to him.  Carlos Marmol has done a great job and I am not suggesting that he needs work but if he could add a third pitch, it would really keep batters off balance.  Something to consider in the offseason.

Carlos Marmol has done a wonderful job this year!  Keep turning out the lights, Carlos!


Carlos Marmol Surpasses Bruce Sutter!

When I began watching the Cubs way back in 1977, Bruce Sutter was the Cub Closer and Carlos Marmol wasn’t even born yet.  Yesterday Carlos Marmol broke Sutter’s franchise record for strikeouts by a reliever.

Bruce Sutter was the penultimate closer.
thumbnailCA01ENS8.jpg  When the Cubs were trying to preserve a victory, Bruce Sutter was called upon.  More often than not, Sutter delivered.  Bruce Sutter was a joy to watch.  When he entered the game, the fans rose to their feet and cheered.  With Sutter in the game, the Cubs could count on him to earn a save.  He was lights out.  He had a split-fingered fastball that opposing batters could not catch up to.  The ball would look like a fast ball, but would drop out of sight and no one could hit it.  He set the Cubs’ season record for strikeouts by a reliever with 129 in 1977.  He was one of the reasons that I became a diehard Cubs’ fan.  Bruce Sutter was a role model to me.  I was only nine years old but I knew he was a Hall of Fame pitcher.  It broke my heart when he left the Cubs to join the Cardinals.

Carlos Marmol is the Closer these days. 
thumbnailCAOOZ7K3.jpg While fans booed and hissed when he struggled last year to put teams away, I just thought that he needed some time to work on his control.  Apparently, he did.  Marmol has a difficult time guiding his slider because it breaks so wildly, which oftentimes leads to control issues.  This year, Marmol has a better grip on his pitching and has improved immensely.  He is better equipped to hit his spots which is good news.

Congratulations, Carlos!  Yesterday versus the St. Louis Cardinals, Marmol struck out the first batter he faced, tying Bruce Sutter’s franchise record of 129 strikeouts in a season.  Marmol didn’t waste any time.  He struck out the side.  Marmol, with 131 strikeouts now for the season, set a new franchise record for strikeouts by a relief pitcher.  Maybe fans will appreciate Carlos Marmol more now.

Carlos Marmol, in 73 appearances, has a 2.69 era and 34 saves this year.  Good job, Carlos!  Keep up the good work!  Hopefully, next year will be more meaningful with many more save opportunities!  Nicely done!