Cubs fans said goodbye to another year of not reaching the ultimate goal. Another season of saying "wait 'til next year". The 101st time the franchise will look toward another season of trying to get that monkey off their backs.
In one of his final press conferences of the season, Cub manager Lou Piniella told reporters that injuries were the main reason the Northsiders struggled in '09. It had nothing to do with a lack of production regarding pitching or hitting.
So, I ask the question, why was hitting coach Von Joshua brought in to boost the team's offense? He replaced Gerald Perry midway through the season in hopes of lighting a fire under a group of so called sluggers who could barely hit the side of a barn.
The only real bright spot for the Cubs offensively was second baseman Ryan Theriot. At one point during the first half of the season, the little spark plug had cranked out something like four homers in a five game span.
That all slowed down after a local writer simply asked the innocent question about rather or not The-riot was under the influence. The influence of possibly engaging in performance enhancing drugs.
Of course Theriot isn't engaging, we believe, but the newspaper article appeared to have some type of effect on him. He began to struggle at the plate along with the rest of his teammates. Joshua was supposed to change the hitting style of the Cubs, not work half a season.
GM Jim Hendry fired Perry halfway into the season. The logic behind the move was that Joshua was better suited to work with the younger guys, like Theriot and others.
"Basically I told him it wasn't anything that I was upset with him," Hendry explained. "He didn't do anything wrong. But when you come from the system in the middle of year, if things don't make significant differences, in improvement, then obviously in my opinion we need to do something different."
This sounds fishy to me. Why give him the job back in June then take it away from him in October? That's basically three months of service.
Now reports indicate that Joshua will go back down to AAA and former second baseman and current Peoria Chief skipper Ryne Sandberg may replace the former White Sox hitting coach. But why unload him at the end of the '09 campaign?
Could this be the first shoe to drop because of the new ownership in the Ricketts family? Are the Ricketts preparing to elevate Ryno to the manager's post after Sweet Lou is let go?
My concern for Cubs fans is will the new owners make smart business decisions, or just happy fan moves?
"Ryne has had a Hall of Fame career here as a player," Piniella said. "I'm not the one who is going to be hiring the next manager here, but certainly he'll be in the mix."
Remember this family used to hang out in the bleachers back when number 23 was making magic back in 1984 along with his loveable teammates. Unfortunately, Steve Garvey and the San Diego Padres put an end to that. But I digress.
For Cubs fans' sake, let's just hope this is the first move in the right direction for the struggling organization. Ryno replacing Joshua would be a great PR move.
I just hope the Ricketts don't become the Mark Cuban of baseball. Showering, taking batting practice, and yucking it up with the players because you own the team now. Instead, take a page from the Steinbrenner family and build a baseball dynasty like the New York Yankees.
Don't be too surprised if you see good ole Sarge, The Deer, Bobby Keith, and Jody-Jody Davis back in the pinstripes trying to bring back the glory days.
All that will be missing is Van Halen's Cub theme song "Jump" to start off the new regime. Here's to you, Men in Blue!
Hey, Miguel Cabrera you can try to blame it on the alcohol as Jamie Foxx would say. Unfortunately, I don't think you'll get off that easy.
I don't mind having a nice cold one or two after work with co-workers and/or friends, but to hang out with the team who's chasing you in the division and possibly trying to help eliminate the Detroit Tigers from the playoffs, man that's cold.
To make matters worse, you get to the house at about 5am in the morning and began to get into it with your wife. If she's upset with you for staying out all night long and then coming home intoxicated the only thing you needed to do was man up.
"I said I was sorry for what I did," said Cabrera, who sat in front of his locker with a contrite look.
That's it? All this commotion as the team makes a playoff run and you can just say to them I'm sorry? I don't think skipper Jim Leyland is going to accept that kind of apology sitting down. You guys have to play 163 games this season to get into the playoffs. Talk about selfish.
Despite a 2-run blast off the end of your bat, the Tigers are going home and the Twins will face the New York Yankees in the first round of the ALDS. Talk about timing. You got caught with the three Ds. Drunk, Domestic, Defeat. What a tough week.
I must commend your wife Rosangel. She did not put up with your crap. How dare you begin yelling and fighting with her after staying out all night with a White Sox player in a Birmingham (Detroit suburb) hotel?
She had every right to scold and kick you out of the house. Now, you were the only two in the house, so I don't know if she hit and attacked you or not, but police felt they had to remove you from the residence to prevent any further confrontation.
I don't condone hitting women. Just be a man and step away. I know in your state it must have been somewhat difficult. It's been reported that Cabrera's blood alcohol level registered a .26 later after being taken to the police station.
Wow! Must have been pounding those tequila shots pretty heavily. And just think you had a game a few hours later. The question remains, should Cabrera have been out at all, let alone until 5am on a game day? Should he have gotten into a verbal (and possibly physical) confrontation with his wife waking his 4-year old daughter? Should manager Jim Leyland have punished the superstar by benching him down the stretch and into the tie-breaking clash against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night?
I guess when you're the man and can play the game of baseball better than most players in the league you can get away with almost anything. Including getting filthy drunk and fighting with your wife instead of just going home at a decent hour and sleeping it off.
Cabrera told his teammates and the media that it wouldn't happen again. I hope for his sake that's remembered the next time he slams a few cold ones down. Thank goodness it wasn't his wife who got slammed.
Then again, I think maybe she was the one doing the slamming that early Saturday morning.
You go girl!
Here come the Hawks. Man, here come the Hawks. What a tremendous performance by Coach Joel Quenneville's bunch.
The Blackhawks skated to a 6-5 come from behind victory over the Calgary Flames over at the United Center.
The comeback, as you've heard by now, was for the record books. Trailing 5-zip in the first period, the sluggish boyz ripped off six unanswered goals in the next 45-minutes to knock off the Flames in front of a spirited UC crowd of 20,000.
Brent Seabrook scored the game winner :26 into the overtime period. OVERTIME! This was the second time in two games the Hawks needed extra time to win. Saturday it took a club record nine-round shootout against Colorado to claim that amazing 4-3 victory off an Andrew Ladd goal.
It would be the longest shootout in team history. Last night's overwhelming win would be the Hawks biggest comeback in the team's history as well.
Some hockey experts around town believe the guys on skates have a better and more exciting game than the guys on the hardwood. What do you think? Back-to-back history making performances supports their argument.
The Bulls are still trying to figure things out without their star player and second year head coach Vinny Del Negro.
Derrick Rose has yet to lace them up this early preseason due to a bad wheel. If you ask me, both the NHL and the NBA are pretty good and exciting. Could they both improve...of course?
Jonathan Toews believes if the Hawks stay the course and reach their short term goals throughout the season the bigger picture of advancing to the Stanley Cup will happen for sure.
"To win our division or make the playoffs, even, is going to be a tough task," the captain explained.
"We have to not try to bite off more that what we can chew at any given time. If we keep everything short-term and worry about that, the long-term goals will take care of themselves."
With Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Duncan Keith and the rest of the boyz it should make for a fun and exciting season.