Results tagged ‘ Koyie Hill ’

12/29 Looking ahead

Will the Cubs be quiet on New Year’s Eve? Or will it be like last year when they signed outfielder Marlon Byrd to a three-year deal on Dec. 31, 2009? Remember New Year’s Eve 2008? On that date, the Cubs signed infielder Aaron Miles and traded Mark DeRosa to the Indians for Chris Archer, John Gaub and Jeff Stevens. Archer was named the organization’s Minor League pitcher of the year in 2010.

Heading into 2011, the Cubs’ only major piece of unfinished business is to sign arbitration eligible players Carlos Marmol, Tom Gorzelanny, Sean Marshall, Geovany Soto, and Koyie Hill. Jeff Baker also was arb eligible but he signed on Dec. 2 for $1.18 million. The arbitration filing period is Jan. 5-15, and figures are Jan. 18 if a resolution is not reached. Hearings take place in February.

Other dates to remember: The Cubs Convention will be Jan. 14-16 at the Hilton Chicago.

– Carrie Muskat

12/16 Come have lunch with Cubs

Mike Quade will headline the fourth annual Cubs Caravan luncheon on Jan. 12. The event will be held at Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse, 33 W. Kinzie Street, Chicago from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. CT. Players expected to attend with Quade include Andrew Cashner, Koyie Hill, Sean Marshall, James Russell and Randy Wells.

Tickets are $100 each and include a buffet lunch and the opportunity to sit at a table with a Cubs player, coach or member of the front office staff. Cubs television announcer Len Kasper will emcee the event. Proceeds will benefit Chicago Cubs Charities. Tickets are available for purchase beginning Friday at 10 a.m. CT by calling (773) 404-2827. Space is limited to 120 guests. Players and personnel appearing at the luncheon are subject to change.

The caravan precedes the annual Cubs Convention, to be held Jan. 14-16.

– Carrie Muskat

12/10 Celebrating Santo

It was an impressive turnout Friday at Ron Santo’s funeral at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. Among the guests to pay respects to the broadcaster and third baseman were Hall of Famers Ernie Banks, Fergie Jenkins and Billy Williams, as well as Glenn Beckert and Randy Hundley. The casket was first escorted up the steps of the church by Cubs traveling secretary Jimmy Bank, WGN Radio engineer Matt Boltz, and some of Santo’s radio partners, including Andy Masur, Cory Provus and Judd Sirott.

“It was our last pregame show together,” said Masur, now a broadcaster with the Padres.

Pat Hughes, who was Santo’s partner for 15 seasons on WGN Radio delivered a tribute as did Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig and Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts.

“Ron was the fans’ broadcaster — he was the fan in the booth,” Ricketts said.

Others at the service included Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg, and broadcasters Gary Matthews, Thom Brennaman, Len Kasper, and Bob Brenly. Several Cubs players, past and present, were, including Ryan Dempster, Kerry Wood, Sean Marshall, Koyie Hill, Tom Gorzelanny, Justin Berg, Ted Lilly, Kevin Orie, Dave Otto and Scott Sanderson. Cubs manager Mike Quade, general manager Jim Hendry and the rest of the team’s front office also were present to pay respects.

“He’s the No. 1 Cubs fan ever,” Hughes said.

Santo got one last look at Wrigley Field as the funeral procession did a lap of the ballpark.

– Carrie Muskat

12/2 Baker signs 1-year deal

The Cubs and Jeff Baker avoided arbitration, and the infielder signed a one-year, $1.175 million deal on Thursday. Baker was one of six Cubs who are arbitration eligible. The team will tender contracts to the other five: Geovany Soto, Tom Gorzelanny, Koyie Hill, Sean Marshall and Carlos Marmol. As of now, Baker is listed on the depth chart at first base.

– Carrie Muskat

11/29 Postcard from Boca Chica

At the Cubs’ academy in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic, fans were treated to pitching tips from Sean Marshall and Koyie Hill and some advice on hitting from Hall of Famer Billy Williams. At the end of the session, Billy even got into the batting cage to take a few swings — and he was still able to line the ball to right field with one of the prettiest swings you’ll ever see. He’s still got it.

– Carrie Muskat

9/22 Interview process

The Cubs are 18-8 since Mike Quade took over as manager following Wednesday’s win over the Giants. Cubs GM Jim Hendry was in Arizona this week to interview Ryne Sandberg for the manager’s job. Quade also is a candidate.

“I think he’s doing a pretty good job,” Cubs catcher Koyie Hill said of Quade. “If he doesn’t get [the job] — and it’s not the players’ choice — I feel like he’s giving it a pretty good effort. The guys in the clubhouse enjoy playing for him. We just play. When it comes down to it, we’re just fortunate to play for anybody.”

It’s been fun for the Cubs to come to the ballpark lately.

“It could be miserable,” Hill said. “Guys have showed a lot of class and a lot of heart and it’s been fun to come to the ballpark in the last six weeks.”

The Cubs have had a lot of roster turnover since Opening Day following trades, injuries. It’s a happy clubhouse.

“Veteran guys don’t always enjoy young guys coming up and getting in the way of their routines and things like that,” Hill said, “but this time, [the kids] have brought a lot of energy. It’s fun to sit back, like the last game we had in Miami [Sunday] to watch the guys and their enthusiasm. It’s fun to see guys run balls out and chase foul balls. It’s a good little pick me up. I think everybody is feeling good about the way we’re going about our business. It’s that something we were looking for earlier. We all thought as soon as we won a couple games, we’d get rolling and it just happened that way at the end of August and in September.”

– Carrie Muskat

9/21 Cubs lineup vs Giants

Koyie Hill is behind the plate for Tuesday’s game against the Giants, which kicks off the Cubs’ last homestand of 2010. Carlos Zambrano is 6-0 with a 1.37 ERA in his last seven starts dating to Aug. 14. Here’s the lineup:

2B DeWitt
SS Castro
CF Byrd
3B Ramirez
1B Nady
RF Fukudome
LF Soriano
C Hill
P Zambrano

– Carrie Muskat

9/5 Ramirez hurt; Hill steps in

Aramis Ramirez had to leave Sunday’s game with some soreness in his right quad. He will be re-evaluated on Monday. Before exiting, Ramirez notched his 1,600th career hit with an RBI single in the first inning and picked up No. 1,601 with a two-run homer in the third.  Ramirez, 32, recorded his 25th multi-hit game of the season and now has hit safely in 10 of his last 16 games.

With Ramirez hurt, Cubs manager Mike Quade inserted backup catcher Koyie Hill at third in the ninth. It’s the second time in Hill’s pro career he has played there, also getting an inning at third on April 30, 2009, against Florida. Hill and Quade had a little discussion in the dugout before he took the field.

“I was trying to talk my way into playing center [field],” Hill said. “[Quade] asked if I wanted to play second or third, and I said, ‘Center field.’ He said, ‘Second or third,’ and I said, ‘Pitcher.’ He said, ‘Second or third,’ and I said, ‘Second,’ and he sent me to third.”

– Carrie Muskat

9/1 Extra bases

Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro has hit safely in nine of his last 11 games, and is batting .375 in that stretch with 10 runs, seven doubles and three RBIs. He’s now batting .317 and ranked fifth in the National League behind Joey Votto, Carlos Gonzalez, Martin Prado and Albert Pujols. Could the rookie win a batting title?

“Why not?” Tyler Colvin said.

* Koyie Hill has hit safely in his last four games, going 7-for-16 (.438) with two doubles, a homer and four RBIs. More at-bats helps.

“My sister would be a better baseball player if she practiced every day and played every day,” Hill said. “My job is to catch when [Geovany Soto] needs a day off and they ask me to play. Your bench is going to play better when they get more at-bats. Just because the manager doesn’t get you more at-bats doesn’t mean he’s doing a bad job. That’s your role. You get an opportunity and you make the most of it. Then you go home, hug your family and you’re happy you’re a baseball player.”

* Thomas Diamond picked up his first ML win, pitching in relief of Tom Gorzelanny. Diamond has been working on a cutter for the last week or so.

“With Thomas, he’s really simplified everything and he’s really focused on what he needs to do and how he needs to do it and it’s proven to be successful for him,” Hill said.

The right-hander planned on giving the game ball from his first win to his 19-month-old son.

* Mike Quade is 6-3 since taking over for Lou Piniella on Aug. 23.

“We’ll try to win as many ballgames as we can for anybody,” Hill said. “Quade just happens to be the beneficiary of Lou going home and tending to his mom and dealing with family matters. I don’t feel like we’re playing with any more effort. We’re just playing a little bit better baseball and taking care of the ball a little better and it just happens to be Quade’s turn and we’re getting some wins.”

* Darwin Barney posted his first multi-hit game. … Scott Maine has not given up a run in his two outings at Wrigley. … Kosuke Fukudome is batting .364 since the All-Star break with eight doubles, four homers and 13 RBIs. In his last nine games, he’s hitting .519 (14-for-27).

– Carrie Muskat

8/31 Lineup vs Pirates

Blake DeWitt is back in the Cubs lineup Tuesday night in Game 2 vs. the Pirates. No Geovany Soto — he’s getting an extra day to rest his sore right knee. Here’s the lineup:

2B DeWitt
SS Castro
CF Byrd
3B Ramirez
1B Nady
LF Soriano
RF Colvin
C Hill
P Dempster

– Carrie Muskat

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