Results tagged ‘ Cubs ’

10/31 Cubs to introduce Maddon Monday

The Cubs will introduce Joe Maddon as the 54th manager on Monday. Because of the construction at Wrigley Field, the news conference will be held at the Cubby Bear at 2 p.m. CT.

10/31 Statement from Epstein re: Renteria

The Cubs Friday announced that the club has fired manager Rick Renteria after one season. Here is a statement from president of baseball operations Theo Epstein:

“Today we made the difficult decision to replace Rick Renteria as manager of the Chicago Cubs. On behalf of Tom Ricketts and Jed Hoyer, I thank Rick for his dedication and commitment, and for making the Cubs a better organization.

“Rick’s sterling reputation should only be enhanced by his season as Cubs manager. We challenged Rick to create an environment in which our young players could develop and thrive at the big league level, and he succeeded. Working with the youngest team in the league and an imperfect roster, Rick had the club playing hard and improving throughout the season. His passion, character, optimism and work ethic showed up every single day.

“Rick deserved to come back for another season as Cubs manager, and we said as much when we announced that he would be returning in 2015. We met with Rick two weeks ago for a long end-of-season evaluation and discussed plans for next season. We praised Rick to the media and to our season ticket holders. These actions were made in good faith.

“Last Thursday, we learned that Joe Maddon – who may be as well suited as anyone in the industry to manage the challenges that lie ahead of us – had become a free agent. We confirmed the news with Major League Baseball, and it became public knowledge the next day. We saw it as a unique opportunity and faced a clear dilemma: be loyal to Rick or be loyal to the organization. In this business of trying to win a world championship for the first time in 107 years, the organization has priority over any one individual. We decided to pursue Joe.

“While there was no clear playbook for how to handle this type of situation, we knew we had to be transparent with Rick before engaging with Joe. Jed flew to San Diego last Friday and told Rick in person of our intention to talk to Joe about the managerial job. Subsequently, Jed and I provided updates to Rick via telephone and today informed him that we will indeed make a change.

“We offered Rick a choice of other positions with the Cubs, but he is of course free to leave the organization and pursue opportunities elsewhere. Armed with the experience of a successful season and all the qualities that made him our choice a year ago, Rick will no doubt make an excellent major league manager when given his next chance.

“Rick often said he was the beneficiary of the hard work of others who came before him. Now, in the young players he helped, we reap the benefits of his hard work as we move forward. He deserved better and we wish him nothing but the best.

“We have clung to two important ideals during our three years in Chicago. The first is to always be loyal to our mission of building the Cubs into a championship organization that can sustain success. The second is to be transparent with our fans. As painful as the last week was at times, we believe we stayed true to these two ideals in handling a sensitive situation. To our fans: we hope you understand, and we appreciate your continued support of the Cubs.”

10/31 Updating Cubs roster

Just to get up to date, the Cubs have made the following roster moves this week:

* Assigned outright to Triple-A Iowa:

OF Ryan Kalish
IF Chris Valaika
IF Josh Vitters

* Elected free agency:

RHP James McDonald

* The Cubs declined the 2015 option for RHP Kyuji Fujikawa, and he is now a free agent.

* RHP Carlos Villanueva filed for free agency.

With the moves, the Cubs’ 40-man roster is now at 35.

– Carrie Muskat

10/31 Hoyer meets with Renteria

Cubs GM Jed Hoyer met with manager Rick Renteria in San Diego, which could be one of the last steps in the team’s transition to Joe Maddon. The Cubs have been quiet re: reports that Maddon will be named the team’s 54th manager. However, an official did say Hoyer met face to face with Renteria, who is coming off his first season at the helm, posting a 73-89 record. Renteria, 52, has two years remaining on his contract with the team. No details on the meeting were available.

Earlier this month, Theo Epstein praised Renteria, saying the rookie manager met many of the criteria laid out for him, such as developing a positive attitude, setting a good tone for the players, and getting them to play hard. Epstein admitted Renteria had some limitations with the roster, such as relievers who were restricted because of past injuries and youngsters without much experience.

But Maddon unexpectedly became available last week after he opted out of his contract with the Rays. In 11 seasons as manager, Maddon has compiled a 781-729 record, including a trip to the World Series in 2008 with Tampa Bay when he won American League Manager of the Year honors.

Maddon, 60, left the Rays after GM Andrew Friedman’s departure to the Dodgers, taking advantage of an opt-out clause to leave with one year and a $1.85 million salary left on his contract. According to a source, he considered taking a year off from managing and moving to the broadcast booth.

The Cubs could offer Maddon a mega deal and the chance to be the one to guide the team to a World Series championship for the first time in more than 100 years. The Cubs have a much improved roster since Epstein took over in October 2011, including All-Stars Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo and highly regarded prospects Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Arismendy Alcantara and Kyle Hendricks.

If hired, Maddon would be Epstein’s third manager in four years, following Dale Sveum (2012-13) and Renteria, and first with extensive big league experience.

– Carrie Muskat

10/19 AFL update – Saturday’s game

Bijan Rademacher had two hits, including a RBI single in the second inning, while Addison Russell and Dan Vogelbach scored two runs each in the Mesa Solar Sox’s 8-4 win Saturday over Salt River Rafters. There are no games Sunday. Arizona Fall League play resumes Monday with the Solar Sox facing the Scottsdale Scorpions at Scottsdale Stadium. You can follow the AFL on their website.

10/18 Littlefield to Tigers

Dave Littlefield, who has been with the Cubs since 2007, most recently as a Major League scout, was expected to join the Tigers, according to sources. Littlefield, the former Pirates general manager, was hired by former Cubs GM Jim Hendry in 2007 to be a scout.

– Carrie Muskat

10/18 AFL update – Friday’s game

Dan Vogelbach walked and scored a run in Mesa Solar Sox’s 5-3 loss to Surprise Saguaros on Friday in Arizona Fall League play. Jacob Hannemann was 0-for-4 for Mesa. Gerardo Concepcion walked one in one inning of relief. On Saturday, the Solar Sox play host to the Salt River Rafters at Cubs Park in Mesa. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. MT. Sunday is a day off. Check the Arizona Fall League website for more information.

10/17 More from Wrigley Field

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10/17 Wrigley Field update

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If you walk by Wrigley Field, you’ll notice a large gap in the left field wall. And soon there will be one in right field as well. Crews are taking down the left and right field bleachers as part of the four-year, $575 million Wrigley Field renovation project.

The first phase of the privately funded project, to be completed this offseason, is infrastructure work. The ballpark’s structural steel and foundation will be strengthened and much of the concrete in the bleachers will be replaced. The first phase also includes the expansion and improvement of the left- and right field bleachers, which were updated after the 2005 season. The usable bricks from the outfield walls will be stored until construction of the new outer wall begins.

The changes are needed to support the new 3,990-square-foot video board in left field and the 2,225-square-foot video board in right field, which are to be ready by Opening Day 2015.

Crews also are digging in the parking lot west of Wrigley Field, which will be part of the new home clubhouse. That will not be ready until the 2016 season.

Fans who purchased commemorative brick pavers that were installed outside the Clark and Addison street entrance should note that those pavers will be preserved.

The Cubs have established a website, http://www.wrigleyfield.com, for fans to follow the renovation work, called the 1060 Project. That number, for those who don’t know, is Wrigley Field’s address.

– Carrie Muskat

10/17 AFL update – Thursday’s game

Dan Vogelbach went 2-for-4 with one RBI and Addison Russell had a hit and scored two runs in the Mesa Solar Sox’s 6-2 win over the Peoria Javelinas Thursday in Arizona Fall League play. Vogelbach doubled in the fourth, driving in Russell, for the Solar Sox’s first run.

Vogelbach admitted he was pressing at the start of the AFL season.

“Early on, I was trying to do too much and not swinging at good pitches,” he said. “A combination of that and pitchers here being as good as they are, it’s not going to work.”

Vogelbach and Russell know each other well, having played on a travel team while in high school in Florida.

“He’s fun to watch and it’s even better when you’re on his team,” Vogelbach said of Russell. “He has the ‘it’ factor that they talk about. He takes good at-bats all the time. When he hits the ball, it’s loud. I’m not a pitcher, but I think I speak for them that he’s a guy you want at shortstop or second base.”

Ivan Pineyro, who pitched for Double-A Tennessee this past season, started and threw three scoreless innings, giving up four hits and striking out three. Zach Cates threw two scoreless innings in relief. On Friday, the Solar Sox play host to the Surprise Saguaros at Cubs Park in Mesa.

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