Cubs

Cubs talking points: Glanville waits for radio call

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Cubs talking points: Glanville waits for radio call

Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011
Posted 3:35 PM Updated 6:22 PM

By Patrick Mooney
CSNChicago.com

Fans have been asking Doug Glanville about it all weekend. Even the guy that used to walk Glanvilles dogs whos in Korea now saw his name mentioned in an online article and wanted to reconnect.

The idea of Glanville replacing the late Ron Santo in the WGN Radio booth gained momentum among fans on Twitter, but there are obstacles, like his ESPN contract, and the fact that he hasnt been contacted about the job yet.

WATCH: Cubs fans enjoy the convention

I have no idea, Glanville told CSNChicago.com on Sunday. Its not like WGN or the Cubs have called me or anything like that. I work for ESPN. So Ill be working for them this year, but obviously a lot of people come and go in different places like (Buck) Showalter leaves (ESPN) in the middle of the season to manage (the Orioles). Thats where Im focused right now.

All that doesnt automatically disqualify the 40-year-old Glanville, who was signing copies of his book The Game from Where I Stand at the Hilton Chicago. Glanville is a gifted writer who used to contribute to The New York Times op-ed page and appear on CSN.

Team president Crane Kenney interviewed one candidate on Saturday, and said that the speculated names are generally accurate. Dave Otto and Keith Moreland also fit the profile as former Cubs with extensive broadcast experience. It could take weeks before the Cubs and WGN make a final decision.

I dont know where it goes, Glanville said. Im always listening. And you always know, just like in baseball, (that) your job is a blink away from being something else someone gets rid of you. I definitely keep all those options open.

Glanville described himself as a huge Santo fan, and played the day the Cubs retired No. 10. He still lives in the Chicago area, and has young children hed have to think about before considering the travel commitment of broadcasting close to a 162-game schedule.

READ: Santo statue begins Wrigley makeover

But the University of Pennsylvania graduate is naturally curious.

To think about even replacing him for anybody is impossible, Glanville said. But its more about respecting his legacy and then figuring if you can add your own flavor to the passion of Chicago and Cubs baseball.

Whoevers selected will benefit from working next to Pat Hughes, a radio fixture in his own right. With the Cubs Convention closing Sunday, here are some of the talking points youll likely hear from Hughes and his partner in 2011:

The fine manager. Mike Quade recently rode the Orange Line in from Midway Airport, in a car where hustlers were trying to run a game of three-card monte. He insists that hes still going to take the El, figuring hed rather spend two bucks than 20.

Quade knows that he wont have the same sense of privacy anymore, and maybe the job will ultimately wear him down. But a sense of humor will help, like when a fan wonders whether Greg Maddux could become Carlos Zambranos life coach.

If were going to have individual guys taking care of each (player) that has some emotional issues, Quade said, were not going to have a big enough plane.

The passion. Welcome to Chicago, Matt Garza, and endless (unfair?) comparisons to Zambrano, who asked by a fan if hes going to open a rehabilitation center for Gatorade coolers.

WATCH: Garza happy with Cubs

Yes, they are both talented and emotional, and eventually well have a better idea to what degree. But the Cubs did their homework on Garza, even calling his former coach at Fresno State University.

There wasnt one person that works for the Cubs that wasnt all in on Matt Garza, general manager Jim Hendry said. He seemed like the perfect guy because he has three years left before hes a free agent. Hes in the prime of his career. Hes been completely clean medically.

The Rudy Jaramillo effect. Carlos Pena was scheduled to leave for Dallas on Sunday to spend a week with the hitting guru. The Cubs were willing to look beyond Penas .196 average last season, and he will initially get the benefit of the doubt because of his reputation as a class act. But for how long?

All you see is the numbers, (but) it doesnt make sense, Jaramillo said. Im looking to the future. Whatever happened to him in Tampa, (well) figure it out.

The system. The Cubs love hyping their prospects, but Matt Szczur (pronounced like Caesar) is an interesting name to file away. A two-sport athlete at Villanova University, he once put it all on hold to donate peripheral blood cells to a young leukemia patient who had only a 1-in-80,000 chance of finding a match.

Szczur will work out later this month at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., and projects as a middle-round pick in the NFL draft. He also hit .347 across 25 games in the low minors last year. He could earn a 500,000 bonus if he commits to play only baseball by a certain date in early February. The NFLs labor uncertainty cant hurt the Cubs in this case.

Weve not lost sight of Matt, scouting director Tim Wilken said. I think we got a real good shot to sign him. Well see what happens, (but) hes got a chance to be a big-time, front-line centerfielder.

The actual, um, baseball team. Too often this offseason the Cubs have been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. They are not just a marketing machine and a political action committee. Let Showtime and the San Francisco Giants film their reality show. Even the Undercover Boss is ready for spring training.

My 15 minutes are over, Todd Ricketts said, and we can go back to focusing on baseball.

PatrickMooney is CSNChicago.com's Cubs beat writer. FollowPatrick on Twitter @CSNMooneyfor up-to-the-minute Cubs news and views.

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 31st homer in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 31st homer in 1998

It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.

Sosa's 18th homer of June and 31st of the season came off the Tigers in the Cubs' brief 2-game Interleague series in Detroit. 

Sosa connected in the first inning off Tigers starter Seth Greisinger, going back-to-back with Mickey Morandini. 

The Cubs wound up getting out to a 5-0 start in the game but still lost 7-6 on a Gabe Alvarez single in the bottom of the 11th.

The aforementioned Morandini homer was only the 3rd of the season for the Cubs second baseman. He finished with 8 homers on the year and 224 total bases on 172 hits in what was a very good offensive season. Yet it paled in comparison to Sosa, who had nearly 200 more total bases (416) and a slugging percentage nearly 200 points above Morandini's (.647 to .471), a testament to how truly incredible Sosa's season was.

Fun fact: Tony Clark was the Tigers' cleanup hitter that day. Clark is now the head of the MLB Players Union.

Fun fact No. 2: Paul Bako was the Detroit catcher in the game. He later became the Cubs backup catcher in 2003 and 2004, when he posted a .611 OPS in 119 games over the two years.

Maddon gets funky with bullpen, calls catcher Chris Gimenez to mound

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USA TODAY

Maddon gets funky with bullpen, calls catcher Chris Gimenez to mound

The Cubs continued their recent struggles, suffering their third straight loss to the Cincinnati Reds. 

But the game was not without its fair share of drama. The matchup was a back-and-forth affair, up until the Reds blew the game wide-open in the bottom of the third inning. This included a grand slam by Reds pitcher Anthony DeSclafani, the first home run of his career.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon turned to the bullpen following Cincinnati's third inning explosion, and things did not get much better from there.

With the Cubs down six runs in the bottom of the eight inning, Maddon brought in catcher Chris Gimenez to pitch. 

This was not new territory for Gimenez, who despite being a catcher, now has 10 MLB pitching appearances to his name. 

Down six runs, Gimenez didn't have a lot to lose. But Reds first basemen Joey Votto hammered a fastball in the zone for his eighth homer of the year.

Gimenez had a career ERA of 8.00 before Saturday's appearance, and he certainly didn't do much to help lower that figure.

According to ESPN's Jesse Rogers: "Including one today, Cubs relievers have allowed 41.1 percent of inherited runners to score in June, sixth most in the NL." 

A tired bullpen is certainly cause for concern for the Cubs, who are locked into a battle in the NL Central with the Brewers and Cardinals. Maddon was surely hoping to keep his bullpen arms fresh with the move, seeing as the game was already out of reach. 

So yes, the game did end in a 11-2 win for the Reds. But with a grand-slam by a pitcher—on his first career HR no less—and four-seam fastballs from a catcher, Cubs baseball always keep things interesting.