Tagged: Greg Maddux

An Open Letter To Greg Maddux

With the departure of Larry Rothschild, the Cubs will need a new pitching coach.  Isn’t about time for Greg Maddux to wear #31 again and join Mike Quade’s coaching staff?  The time is ripe, but will Mad Dog change his mind to help the team?

thumbnailCAHUJ776.jpgGreg Maddux has asserted that he is not ready to coach and would like to continue what he is doing, which is in the capacity of Special Assistant to Jim Hendry.  He has been scouting and assisting young pitchers in the instructional league and elsewhere.  Maddux, undoubtedly, has been doing a great job. 
thumbnailCA870KTI.jpgHe is enjoying the time that he has with his family and the rigorous demands
thumbnailCACQF9EE.jpgof a pitching coach does not fit well with the schedule that he would like to keep.  That is understandable, but…. The Cubs NEED him, now, more than ever.  Could it be possible that he changes his mind?

Dear Greg,        

I have been a huge fan of yours every since your major league debut.  You are my #1 all-time favorite Cubs’ pitcher.  As you well know, Cubs’ fans everywhere think you’re awesome.  You have no idea, or maybe you do, how much Cubs’ fans would like to see you back in uniform.  We appreciate what you are doing for the team right now and respect your decisions.  Having said that, the Cubs really need you right now.  Larry Rothschild has left the organization and now there is a vacancy for the Pitching Coach.  I know it’s a long shot, since it has been reported that you have no interest in such a job at this time, but I implore you to reconsider.  The team needs you.  The fans need you.  We need something or someone to make us smile again, a reason to get excited, a reason to be hopeful.  We appreciate the need to spend time with your family, but our family, the Chicago Cubs, needs a true leader to teach our pitching staff.  You have said in the past that you would like to coach someday, maybe someday has come.  Here’s your chance.  Please take it.  We have the utmost respect for you and your family, but please reconsider.  If the Cubs are ever to win a championship, then we need a champion to lead us.  You are the greatest Cub pitcher ever!  We REALLY would like to see #31 back in a Cubs’ uniform.  Think about it.        Thank you, Scot B.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking, but a man must dream… And I believe miracles do happen!



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!


Greg Maddux Staying With Cubs!

When Kevin Towers was named GM of the Arizona Diamondbacks, news travelled quickly that he wanted to talk to Greg Maddux about making him a pitching coach or a bench coach.  When I heard the news, panic set in.   I hoped and prayed that Jim Hendry wouldn’t let him get away.  Today is another day and with it came a sigh of relief as reports rolled in that Jim Hendry discussed what Greg Maddux wanted to do and he told Hendy that he wanted to continue doing what he is doing for another year. 
thumbnailCAU3YGD0.jpg Maddux has been a special assistant to Jim Hendry where he has been acting as an advisor and will assist in determining who will win the managerial position with the Cubs next year.  Maddux has also worked with minor league pitching staffs in the Instructional League and has done some scouting as well.

Greg Maddux is not ready to put on a uniform just yet.  Jim Hendry acknowledges that Greg could probably have any position that he wants and has even told Maddux that when the time comes, He will try his best to accomodate him.  This is GOOD NEWS Cubs’ fans!!!  That means that Greg Maddux will, more than likely, remain in the Cubs’ Organization for years to come.  The Cubs NEED Greg Maddux. 
thumbnailCACQF9EE.jpg There isn’t a better student of the game, a more knowledgable mind in baseball, than Greg Maddux.  Greg has an understanding of the game like no other and we need him on our team – in whatever capacity he chooses.  I am thankful that Jim Hendry was wise to retain his services.  Many Cubs’ fans wanted to see him be the next Pitching Coach or Bench Coach for the Cubs in 2011.  Some think that he should be considered to manage.  Some think that he could even take Hendry’s job as GM.  Those are just rumors or wishful thinking because Maddux is happy doing what he’s doing and I am just happy knowing that he will return to help Jim Hendry and the Cubs. 

Greg Maddux was always, and always will be, one of my favorite Cubs.

Wait Till Next Year!

As September brings another disappointing season to a sorrowful end, we can take a look back and wonder what went wrong in 2010.  The Cubs struggled all year long and never really snapped out of it.  It was a season of frustration. 
thumbnailCA15OFX9.jpg As the season began, it didn’t take long to realize that it was going to be a long year.  Indeed it was.  Cubs fans are supposed to be used to it. 

The only hope that Cubs fans can hang on to is that next year will bring another season and another opportunity to set the world right.  The 2010 baseball season is far from over but it is not too early to look ahead to next year. 
thumbnailCAWZTYEX.jpg What else do we have to look forward to?

The search for a new manager is under way.  Jim Hendry is compiling a short list of candidates that he would like to interview for the position.  This will be a critical stepping stone for Jim Hendry.  In building a solid foundation for a winning ballclub you have to have the right coaching staff in place.  The coaching staff, particularly the manager, sets the tone for the players.  The coaching staff is the light that leads the way.  Indeed, this is probably the most important piece of the puzzle.  Jim Hendry has many difficult decisions ahead of him.  As he considers the many possibilities, I would like to offer a suggestion that I believe most Cubs fans would endorse. 

Consider the possibility of hiring Joe Girardi as Manager.  Why?  Jim Hendry prefers a candidate to have experience at the major league level.  Not only does Joe Girardi have experience managing the Florida Marlins and the New York Yankees, he has had success.  In addition, Joe was a former Cub and he knows the heartache and pain that Cubs fans have endured.  He knows how bad we want to win a world series.  With the right coaching staff, Jim Hendry would have a solid foundation from which to build a solid team. 

There are two other pieces to this part of the puzzle.

What if, in addition to hiring Joe Girardi as Manager, Jim Hendry brought in Ryne Sandberg to be the Bench Coach?  Ryno could mentor the younger players that he developed in recent years and bestow his wisdom on the veteran guys as well.  He would be a great presence in the dugout.  Think about it!  It would also allow him to get his managerial feet wet at the major league level.

The final piece of the puzzle that would lead Cubs fans to baseball bliss would be if Jim Hendry brought Greg Maddux in as Pitching Coach.  Who knows how to pitch better than Greg Maddux? 

Attention!  All Cubs Fans! Jim Hendry, are you listening?  Think about it.  What if the Cubs had a coaching staff that consisted of Joe Girardi, Ryne Sandberg, and Greg Maddux?  How cool would that be?  Who would be more deserving of a World Series ring than former Cubs players that we all know and love, who are true blue Cubs, who know how badly we want a championship.  Yes, Jim Hendry, we want to win. 
thumbnailCA87FO6Q.jpg However, we want to win with True blue Cubs at the helm.  The answer that you’re searching for is right there in your own backyard.  The Cubs need the right chemistry of coaches.  The Cubs need coaches that we can support and rally behind.  These three guys would be perfect.  Alright, Cubs Fans!  Let me hear ya!!

Who’s with me?