Cubs

Cardinals don't appreciate Jason Heyward's reason for signing with Cubs

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Cardinals don't appreciate Jason Heyward's reason for signing with Cubs

The Cubs-Cardinals rivalry has already started to heat up and we're not even into January yet.

When Jason Heyward was introduced by the Cubs last week, he explained his reasoning for coming to Chicago as wanting to be a part of — and grow with — the Cubs' young core. He said in St. Louis, the Cardinals' core was aging and soon, he was worried he'd be the only one left.

Heyward specifically pointed to the ages of Yadier Molina, Matt Holliday and Adam Wainwright, not to call them out, just simply to explain that they're not going to be around forever.

[MORE CUBS: Cubs-Cardinals rivalry will keep escalating in 2016]

The Cardinals took exception to those comments.

St. Louis manager Mike Matheny recently spoke to the Post Dispatch and didn't pull any punches:


"I don't think it's going to ring too well with our club," Matheny said. "I told Jason this before. I’ve got a lot of respect for Jason as a person. He’s got to go make the decisions he’s going to have to live with. If that (core group comparison) is a big deal to him, he’s just being honest with people.

 

“But I don’t think we have anything to apologize for in having a group like a Holliday, a Molina, a Wainwright. Those are the kinds of guys everybody wants on a club.

 

“I see where he’s coming from. I mean, look at what Chicago’s done. It’s very unique in this game — to have that many impact players at that young age. And he’s a young player. But I can’t say I’m in any kind of agreement with that (Chicago) core being better than any kind of core that we have.

 

“That veteran group (that the Cardinals have) also helps drive what the younger group turns into.

 

“I don’t blame him. But I don’t like it. I thought we created a really good atmosphere and he had to weigh what was most important to him.

 

“Say if we hadn’t won. ... That would have made a difference. Say if we hadn’t created an atmosphere where he was a major part of what we’re doing. ... Neither of those is true.

 

“Say we hadn’t made an offer. We made a terrific offer. With all that being said, it comes down to what does a guy want? (Staying in St. Louis) just wasn’t what he was looking for.”


Don't expect this to be the last of the drama between these two rivals.

[SHOP: Gear up, Cubs fans!]

The Cubs knocked the Cardinals out of the postseason in the National League Division Series and then moved quickly to sign the Cardinals' best position player (Heyward) and pitcher (John Lackey) from that 100-win team.

2016 is going to be fun, you guys.

Podcast: Main takeaways from the 5-game Cubs-Cardinals series

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USA TODAY

Podcast: Main takeaways from the 5-game Cubs-Cardinals series

Tony Andracki is joined by Phil Barnes, the senior editor of Vine Line, to break down the Cubs-Cardinals 5-game series at Wrigley Field that kicked off the second half of the 2018 MLB season.

The main takeaways from the weekend included an up-close look at a Cubs starting rotation is still struggling to find their footing almost 2/3 of the way through the season. 

The Cubs lineup and bullpen continue to be the saving grace of the team with the NL's best record and run differential, but there are serious question marks moving forward on the depth of the relievers as well as waiting for Kris Bryant to return to MVP form.

Check out the entire podcast here:

Kaplan: Why Harry Caray was simply the best

Kaplan: Why Harry Caray was simply the best

Growing up in the Chicago area, we have been fortunate to hear some of the greatest names in sports broadcasting. From Jack Brickhouse to Harry Caray to Pat Foley to Jim Durham to Pat Hughes to Wayne Larrivee, the list is long and illustrious of the best play-by-play men in Chicago sports history.

For me, growing up listening to and watching many of these men on an almost daily basis only served to stoke my interest in pursuing sports broadcasting as my chosen career. All of the greats were obviously well prepared and technically excellent calling their respective sports, but for me one man stood above the rest because of his irreverence and ability to entertain people in a variety of ways. I ran home from Middleton School in Skokie to watch the final innings of many afternoon Cubs games in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s, and I loved Jack Brickhouse and the enthusiasm he brought to each and every broadcast.

However, Harry Caray was the one that captured my heart and pulled me toward this great field of radio and TV broadcasting. Harry was one of the best technical baseball announcers in the history of the sport, but many people who only became aware of him as the announcer for the Cubs on WGN-TV only got to experience him in the twilight of his career, when he was best known for singing the Seventh Inning Stretch and his mispronunciations of players' names.

In the main portion of his 50-plus-year career, Harry called some of the game's greatest moments and saw many of the all-time greats. As the voice of the St. Louis Cardinals, Oakland Athletics and the White Sox, he became one of the best in the sport with his colorful calls and honesty about the team he was working for. Fans loved his willingness to tell the truth and to openly cheer for the team he was affiliated with. However, when he was hired as the voice of the Cubs on WGN-TV, he became larger than life. With the power of the superstation behind him, he reached another level. A whole new generation of young people became Cubs fans — even if the team wasn't very good — because of the man in the funny glasses who was wildly entertaining.

I fell in love with his style and his entertainment ability. He was must-watch TV even when the games weren't very good. Until the Cubs signed Jon Lester and he became a key member of a World Series champion, Harry Caray was the single best free-agent signing in the history of the Cubs. From 1982 to 1997, he was bigger than almost every player who wore Cubbie Blue. Former All-Star first baseman Mark Grace remembered with a wry smile a story from his days as a Cub that shows just how big Caray was in relation to even the biggest-name players.

"We were playing the Marlins in Miami, and I was signing autographs alongside Rick Sutcliffe and Ryne Sandberg," Grace said. "There were long lines for each of us, and then Harry poked his head out of the Cubs dugout. The fans spotted him and someone yelled: 'Hey everybody, there's Harry!'

"I'm not kidding, everybody ran over to him, and the three of us were left with no one to sign for. We looked at each other, and Sutcliffe says to us, 'Guys, now you know where we rank on the totem pole.'"

Harry Caray was a legend and for me. He was the most entertaining play-by-play man I ever listened to. I still find myself listening to old tapes of him, and I am still as entertained today as I was then. Harry was simply the best.