Cubs

Quade will give in to the 'Moneyball' hype

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Quade will give in to the 'Moneyball' hype

Friday, Sept. 23, 2011Posted: 10:29 p.m. Updated: 11:08 p.m.
By Patrick Mooney
CSNChicago.com Cubs Insider Follow @CSNMooney Cubs 5, Cardinals 1: Box score Photo gallery
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WATCH: Frankie O talks to Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill in his review of 'Moneyball'
WATCH: Kap goes one-on-one with Jonah HillST. LOUIS -- Mike Quade has a business degree from the University of New Orleans.The television in his office almost always seems to be turned to thecable news channels. He follows the stock market and spends asignificant part of his day looking at numbers.

With that kind of background, the Cubs manager should be fascinated byan analytical movie that received four stars from Roger Ebert andshould generate serious Oscar buzz.

But as someone who worked seven years in the Oakland organization, Quade has already lived through Moneyball.

Im a rental guy wait until the DVD comes out, Quade said Friday asthe movie opened in theaters across the country. That way I dont haveto walk out of the theater if I dont care for it. I can just turn itoff and move on. But I am a little curious, just to see how itsdepicted, as far as what liberties were taken.

Quade did his job while best-selling author Michael Lewis shadowedBilly Beane during the 2002 season. The As found market inefficienciesand won 103 games, but Quade didnt return the next year as first-basecoach, in part because of a personality conflict and Beanes insistenceon putting Bob Geren on the staff.

While the behind-the-scenes book immediately became a hit upon itsrelease in 2003, Quade wound up managing in Des Moines. There MichaelGartner, an owner of the Cubs Triple-A Iowa affiliate, came into hisoffice.

From the minute the book came out, he plopped it on my desk, Quaderecalled. (He goes): I want you to read this and tell me whats trueand whats not true.

Quades counter-offer: You read the book and ask me. There will be allsorts (of) stuff that youll wonder about. Just come ask me and Illgive you my story.

Moneyball clearly hit a nerve among baseball fans and inside businessschools. Quade has only read excerpts of the book, which had a hugeimpact on the way the industry and journalists looked at and understoodthe game. The managers seen the trailers for the movie, and knows hewont be able to escape this time.

Curiosity will get the best of me, Quade said.

Shut down Ramirez?

Aramis Ramirez continues to receive treatment on his right quad, andthe hope is that hell be available to pinch-hit at some point thisweekend in St. Louis. The third baseman is already looking forward tohis next contract, but the Cubs arent ready to say his seasons overyet.

He hasnt indicated to me that hes interested in shutting it down,Quade said. Its a different thing in the middle of the season whenyour rosters locked in at 25 (and) you got to do something with thisspot. (Well) keep working on him and hope he gets better quickly.Patrick Mooney is CSNChicago.com's Cubs beat writer. Follow Patrick on Twitter @CSNMooney for up-to-the-minute Cubs news and views.

Kyle Schwarber tops off big 2019 by marrying longtime girlfriend Paige Hartman

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USA TODAY

Kyle Schwarber tops off big 2019 by marrying longtime girlfriend Paige Hartman

2019 has been a momentous year for Kyle Schwarber.

On the diamond, Schwarber had a career season, posting career highs in home runs (38) and RBIs (92). Something clicked for him offensively post-All-Star break, as he slashed .280/.366/.631 while hitting 20 homers.

Schwarber topped that off in a big way Saturday, marrying longtime girlfriend Paige Hartman. Take a look at some visuals from the event:

Here's to a lifetime of happiness for the couple!

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Cubs free agent focus: Hyun-Jin Ryu

Cubs free agent focus: Hyun-Jin Ryu

With Hot Stove season underway, NBC Sports Chicago is taking a look at some of MLB’s top free agents and how they’d fit with the Cubs.

As the Cubs look to fill out their starting rotation, it’s extremely unlikely Gerrit Cole will be joining the North Siders via free agency.

Or Stephen Strasburg.

Or Madison Bumgarner.

As the top starters available, Cole, Strasburg and Bumgarner are set to receive lucrative contracts out of the Cubs’ price range. But if Theo Epstein and Co. are looking to acquire a top-of-the-rotation arm, left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu is a much more affordable option.

Ryu was one of the best starters in baseball last season, winning the National League ERA title (2.32) en route to being named a Cy Young Award finalist. He made 29 starts and tossed 182 2/3 innings, the second-best totals of his career.

The question with Ryu isn’t whether he’ll pitch well; he holds a career 2.98 ERA and 1.164 WHIP in 126 games (125 starts). The question each season is whether he’ll stay healthy.

Ryu missed all of 2015 after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. He returned in July 2016, making a single start before hitting the shelf with left elbow tendinitis. He underwent a debridement procedure — like Yu Darvish last offseason — in September 2016.

Granted, Ryu has largely remained healthy since 2017. He made 24 starts that season, missing a little time with contusions in his left hip and left foot. A right groin strain kept him out for two months in 2018, though he posted a dazzling 1.97 ERA in 15 starts.

Nonetheless, teams will be wary of what they offer Ryu this offseason. The last thing you want is to sign a pitcher in his mid-30s to a long-term deal, only for him to go down with a serious arm issue. Ryu hasn't had any serious arm issues since 2016, but any injury concern is valid for the soon-to-be 33-year-old.

All negatives aside, there’s a lot to like about Ryu. He excels at inducing soft contact and ranked in the top four percent in baseball last season in average exit velocity-against (85.3 mph). Ryu doesn’t walk many batters (3.3 percent walk rate in 2019; 5.4 percent career) and strikes out a solid number (22.5 percent rate in 2019; 22 percent career).

Signing Ryu would give the Cubs three lefty starters, but that’s been the case since mid-2018, when they acquired Cole Hamels (who recently signed with the Braves). The rotation would have more certainty moving forward, too, as Jose Quintana will hit free agency next offseason. Jon Lester could as well, though he has a vesting option for 2022 if he tosses 200 innings next season.

The Cubs hope young arms Adbert Alzolay and top prospect Brailyn Marquez will contribute in the rotation for years to come. Alzolay may be on an innings limit next season and Marquez is at least a season away from making his MLB debut.

The Cubs have a rotation opening now and need to bridge the gap to their young arms for the next few seasons. Every free agent comes with question marks, and Ryu is no exception, but he is a frontline starter when healthy. He’d be a solid addition to the Cubs staff, and it won't take as big of a deal to sign him as others.

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