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Cubs’ Rookie Kyle Hendricks Stole My Dream

July 28th, 2014 at 6:00 AM
By Tim Duxbury

DSCN3212 from Flickr via Wylio? 2009 ttarasiuk, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Watching someone else live your dream is one of the most frustrating things in the entire world. The man currently living my dream is, Chicago Cubs rookie, Kyle Hendricks. After a very solid outing yesterday (though he came away with a loss) Hendricks is now 1-1 with a 2.33 ERA. I would never root against Kyle, but every time he takes the mound I think, “that could have been me”. Similar to yours truly, Hendricks went to an “academics first” type of school that had a “small market” baseball team; meaning, we were there to study and our games never had more than 50 people attend. 

Nowadays, almost every major leaguer either came straight out of high school or went to a big state university for three years. Few graduating seniors are selected and even fewer are selected out non-division I schools (DII, DIII, NAIA, ect). As a result, only 4.3% of major league baseball players have degrees from four-year colleges (as of 2012, per Craig Calcattera of NBC Sports).

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Greg Maddux to Enter HOF Today

July 27th, 2014 at 6:00 AM
By Tim Duxbury

Greg Maddux from Flickr via Wylio? 2004 Jasen Leathers, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

It is Induction Sunday for the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame and one of today’s six inductees is, former Cub, Greg Maddux. In his first year on the ballot, Maddux received a whopping 97.2% of the votes and for good reason. Maddux won 355 games, four Cy Young awards and 18 gold glove awards during his 23 year career. Not bad for a guy whose fastball rarely broke 90 MPH.

Maddux will not wear a cap on his Hall of Fame plaque but he will most likely be remembered as a member of the Atlanta Braves where he spent 11 of his 23 professional seasons. But Maddux got his start with the Cubs when they selected him in the second round of the 1984 amateur draft. Maddux spent a total of ten seasons in Chicago, 1986-1992 and 2004-2006. During his time in Chicago Maddux went 133-112 with 3.61 ERA. He also made two all-star appearances, won five gold gloves and won his first Cy Young (the first of what would be four in a row) with the Cubs.

Team:

Wins

Losses

ERA

IP

K/BB

K’s

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Cubs Vs. Cards Rivalry Starts a New Chapter

July 26th, 2014 at 4:00 PM
By Tim Duxbury

Michael Barrett Punches AJ Pierzynski Because Everyone Knows He Just Had It Coming from Flickr via Wylio? 2009 Jason, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

If any of you needed another reason to hate the St. Louis Cardinals, today is your lucky day. After being outslugged by the Chicago Cubs yesterday the Cardinals went out and signed catcher A.J. Pierzynski. It has been a while since A.J. was the most hated man on the North side of the city but now that he is back we can pick up right where we left off. Perhaps a little “chin music” would have been the proper welcome back to Wrigley Field.

Pierzynski joins the Cardinals for game two of this three game series, which started about an hour ago. The Cubs slugged their way to a victory in a back and forth game yesterday getting home runs from Ryan Sweeney, Travis Wood and a go-ahead bomb in the seventh from Luis Valbuena. Seeing solid contributions from players not named Anthony Rizzo (who was 1-3 by the way) is a great sign for the Cubs who have been struggling mightily on offense over the last few weeks. 

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Chicago Cubs Scuffling Since Blockbuster Deal

July 26th, 2014 at 6:00 AM
By Tim Duxbury

Cubs Pitcher from Flickr via Wylio? 2008 Jasen Leathers, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

The Chicago Cubs are a whopping 4-13 since pulling off a blockbuster deal that sent Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for a haul of prospects. Since the deal was made based on future returns some fans are struggling to agree with the move in the present (but can you blame them?). No one expected the Cubs to be very good this year but, in year three of the “Theo Epstein Era”, fans had hoped for something a little better than 42-59 at this point in the year. Since the trade was made, the Cubs have been plagued by all the same problems that plagued them before hand; the inability to score more runs than their pitchers give up. From July 5th through July 24th the Cubs have been outscored 105 to 51 in 16 games; that’s an average score of 6.56 to 3.19.

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How to Get Edwin Jackson Back on Track

July 25th, 2014 at 4:00 PM
By Tim Duxbury

Edwin Jackson from Flickr via Wylio? 2012 Keith Allison, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

Chicago Cubs’ starter Edwin Jackson had another rough start yesterday giving up four earned runs in five innings in a 13-3 loss to the San Diego Padres. In his two starts since the all-star break Jackson has allowed seven earned runs in 10.1 innings; something needs to change. There have been rumors that the Cubs have tried shopping the 30 year old starter but with little success. It is time that the Cubs, themselves, did something to shake up Jackson’s routine, something to break his rhythm and start rebuilding his confidence.

Seeing as how sending Jackson down and trading him are two unrealistic options (for a number of reasons), the best course of action may be to move him to the bullpen and/or give him a start off. Moving Jackson to the bullpen could be beneficial because it would give him a set goal; get these three outs. Often times starting pitchers can get overwhelmed because there is no set goal for their outing beyond “win the game”. Moving Jackson to the bullpen could help him focus in and allow his stuff (which is actually very good) to work for him.

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