Joe Maddon's reaction to Brewers-Marlins series moving to Milwaukee


Joe Maddon's reaction to Brewers-Marlins series moving to Milwaukee

Joe Maddon enjoys entertaining the media, playing mind games with the opposition and going viral on social media. But the Cubs manager has such deep roots in Florida – and an awareness of the outside world – that he had no problems with Major League Baseball moving this weekend’s Miami Marlins-Milwaukee Brewers series to Miller Park in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

“Obviously, something had to be done,” Maddon said Wednesday at Wrigley Field. “I have no issues with it. None.”

In a crowded National League Central race, the Cubs went into that night’s game against the New York Mets with a 2-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals and a 2.5-game lead on the Brewers, who will technically be the visiting team in a stadium where they have a 40-33 record.

Publicly and privately, the Brewers have grumbled about their scheduling issues with the Cubs, from the first Friday night regular-season game in Wrigley Field history to the postponed May 20 game that led to this classic one-liner from manager Craig Counsell: “First time for us that we’ve had players treated for sunburn after a rainout.”

In what will be a homecoming for Maddon, the Cubs are still on track to play a two-game series at Tropicana Field next week after the Tampa Bay Rays temporarily relocated to New York, losing two of three games to the Yankees at Citi Field.

Do you think the Brewers would have issues with the setup if it had been reversed for the Cubs in the middle of a pennant race?

“Listen, you talk about the situation being as severe as it is in South Florida – and Florida in general – there’s no time to quibble over situations like this,” Maddon said. “It’s just a matter of you’re getting to the latter part of the season – whatever MLB thinks works best is fine. They still have to play the Marlins with Giancarlo (Stanton) doing as well as he is.

“Regardless, the ball carries there pretty good, too, so who knows? But I don’t think there’s anything to quibble about. I just think it’s about making sure the games are played. Of course, there’s a roof there, and they know that the games will be played under those circumstances, so I have no issues.”

Of course, if Maddon had overreacted, and the Cubs really believed this could be a difference-maker, then this team doesn’t really deserve to win the division.

What Chicago sports fans should be thankful for


What Chicago sports fans should be thankful for

Families gather and people talk about things they are thankful for on Thanksgiving, but what are Chicago sports fans happy for now?

Raised expectations on the North Side

Got to be thankful that a “disappointing” season is winning the division and losing in the NLCS. The expectations have skyrocketed, and that’s thanks to a ridiculous nucleus of bats and a steady front office. Not many clubs can say that. Also, though, it’s important to be appreciative of the Wrigley bar stretch. They may charge $8 for a Miller Lite, but it’s always a damn good party.

Javy tags, too. Don't forget Javy tags.

Rebuild sparking hope in White Sox fans

Where to begin? Obviously, be thankful for the plethora of young talent that will soon take over the South Side. Be thankful for Avi Time (while you still can). Be thankful that taking your friends or family to a game won’t cause you to take out a second mortgage. Be thankful for the 2020 World Series and, of course, 2020 MVP Eloy Jimenez. But most importantly, be thankful that Rick Hahn’s phone stays buzzing.

Eddie O back in the booth for the Blackhawks

The Blackhawks are having a rough start to the season, but at least Eddie Olczyk is back in the booth. The longtime Blackhawks broadcaster returned to the booth on Oct. 18 after missing time while undergoing chemotherapy treatments for colon cancer.

With some of the key names from the Blackhawks’ title runs either leaving or being unable to play this season (in the case of Marian Hossa), Blackhawks fans are probably thankful to see a familiar face and hear a familiar voice during games.

Lauri Markkanen leading the Bulls rebuild

OK, there’s not much to be thankful for about the current Bulls team. At 3-13, the Bulls are tied for the fewest wins in the NBA (maybe in the long-term that’s something to be thankful for as well). However, Zach LaVine’s pending debut after his eventual return from injury should help create some excitement.

The thing Bulls fans really should be thankful for this year is the play of rookie Lauri Markkanen. The 20-year-old leads the team in scoring (14.6 points per game) and rebounds (8.3 per game) while shooting at a high percentage (34.2 percent on threes and 50.6 percent on twos). It’s only the beginning of the Bulls’ rebuild, but Markkanen is a good start.


If a few things broke the Bears’ way, Chicagoans could have been grateful that the team was finally out of the cellar. Instead, we’ll settle for the fact that there seems to be some building blocks already in place. Mitchell Trubisky, Tarik Cohen, Leonard Floyd and Akiem Hicks seem to fit that category. Also, some may be thankful that this is likely John Fox’s last season at the helm.

Fire ending a playoff drought

After finishing dead last in MLS in 2015 and 2016, the Fire were one of the most improved teams in the league in 2017. After posting the third best record in the league, the Fire made a first playoff appearance since 2012.

The playoff run didn’t last long with the Fire losing a play-in game at home, but the arrival of Bastian Schweinsteiger and the league’s leading goal-scorer, Nemanja Nikolic, helped fill the stadium with six sellouts and gave Fire fans something to cheer for.

Cubs Talk Podcast: Where do Cubs go from here with Jake Arrieta, Wade Davis?


Cubs Talk Podcast: Where do Cubs go from here with Jake Arrieta, Wade Davis?

In the latest CubsTalk Podcast, Kelly Crull and David Kaplan look ahead to Thanksgiving and discuss the official coaching hires for the Cubs.

They also talk about where the Cubs go from here with Jake Arrieta and Wade Davis, whether Alex Cobb could factor into the rotation plans and Kap goes off on the 11:30 a.m. Opening Day start time.

Check out the entire podcast here: