Cubs

'F--k Retirement!': Cubs rallying behind David Ross in final season

'F--k Retirement!': Cubs rallying behind David Ross in final season

"What a player! Extension! F--k retirement!"

"What does Posey make?!"

Cubs players are having a lot of fun ribbing David Ross right now and let him have it as the media huddled around his locker after Friday's win, jokingly comparing "Grandpa Rossy" to former MVP Buster Posey.

The 39-year-old veteran catcher is set to retire at the end of the season, but he collected three more hits Friday, including a three-run homer.

"We're gonna start having to talk Theo [Epstein] into trying to grab another year out of him," said Cubs starting pitcher and Friday's winner Jason Hammel. "If he continues to do what he's doing right now, he can only help us. He can't get too old for the game."

It was the first time Ross had three hits in a game since July 2014 and his first three RBI game since September 2012.

The fifth-inning blast was also Ross' 99th career home run, so naturally the Cubs had to celebrate it.

Cubs players have been counting down to Ross' 100th career homer, holding up numbers with their fingers after each shot.

Ross hit only one homer last season in 72 games, but already has three this season in just 18 contests.

"They had to hold up [4] for a long time last year," Ross said. "They're rooting for me to get 100. It's all in good fun.

"One hundred home runs in 'The Show' is kinda special to me. It'd be nice to have it. But again, it's all about the W's. I think everybody understands the personal goals and all that stuff is secondary to the team."

What if he ends his career stuck on 99 home runs?

"If I don't get 100, it's not like I've had a terrible career," Ross said. "I am who I am. These guys are rooting for me to get 100 because I told them last year it was something that I would like to get a nice, even number. 

"It ain't like I'm gonna go home and sulk. How about I hit 99 and we win a World Series?"

This Cubs team celebrates everything, but Grandpa Rossy hitting the century mark would be a special party.

"Party favors, fireworks," Hammel joked. "It's gonna be one heck of a celebration."

Ross was quick to remind reporters he hadn't gotten a hit in a while before Friday (he was hitless in his last 10 at-bats entering play), but still had no issue playing around when asked why he's hitting so well this year:

"Because I'm awesome," he said to laughs.

Ross also credited Joe Maddon and the Cubs coaching staff with helping to adjust his approach at the plate.

His .801 OPS would represent his best season since 2010, but Ross isn't necessarily ready to re-think retirement, brushing off notions that he should return another season at age 40.

"That's part of the reason why I'm having so much fun," he said. "I'm older and can appreciate some things. When you have a group like this and you're a part of it, when you've been around a little while and you see a special group, you should enjoy it.

"I'm trying not to take that for granted."

Cubs infielder Ryan Court had a special night in Iowa

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USA TODAY

Cubs infielder Ryan Court had a special night in Iowa

The farm system doesn't have the big names it once did, as the majority of the top prospects have graduated to the Major League roster, but that doesn't mean the minor league clubs aren't having fun. 

Take 29-year-old Ryan Court, a minor league infielder who has bounced around from Arizona and Boston's systems and found a home this year with the Cubs triple-A affiliate in Des Moines, IA. Court has had a solid season in Iowa, slashing .272/.347/.410 in 74 games, but might have had his finest game as I-Cub Friday night against the New Orleans Baby Cakes. 

Court came up in the 8th inning last night needing just a triple to hit for the cycle, but his club was on the verge of taking the lead in the after scoring three runs prior to his at-bat.

With Bote on 1st, the game tied at 8 runs apiece, Court placed a ball in front of the right fielder who overplayed the ball and allowed Bote to score from first and Court to scamper to third to complete the cycle. 

The I-Cubs would tack on another run to polish off a 5-run 8th inning and take home the win in a 10-8 victory over the Baby Cakes, and according to Des Moines Register's Tommy Birch, it was the first time in two decades an Iowa player has hit for the cycle. 

It's unlikely Ryan Court will make his way to the big leagues with the Cubs already carrying plenty of infielders, but for one night he played the hero and got his team the win, finishing the night 4-5 with 2 RBI, 4 runs scored and one massive smile on his face. 

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Jon Lester struggles against the division-rival Cardinals

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Jon Lester struggles against the division-rival Cardinals

It was a tough day for the North Siders.

The Cubs got obliterated by the Cardinals as Matt Carpenter had a three-homer, two-double day. Ben Finfer, Seth Gruen and Maggie Hendricks join David Kaplan on the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast to talk about the blowout.

Was Jon Lester due for this kind of terrible outing? And do the Cubs have enough to swing a big trade before the deadline?

Plus, the panel discusses Matt Nagy’s first training camp practice in the rain and Roquan Smith’s absence in Bourbonnais.

You can listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below: