Cubs

Some Cubs-Dodgers players didn't even know Jake Arrieta had a no-hitter

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Some Cubs-Dodgers players didn't even know Jake Arrieta had a no-hitter

When Jake Arrieta buried a slider in the dirt to strike out Chase Utley, there were some players on the field who didn't realize it was the final out of a no-hitter.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon got reporters laughing after the game when he said everybody on the team knew there was a no-hitter going on but reliever Justin Grimm.

[RELATED - Jake Arrieta gets locked in with Cubs and makes no-hitter history]

Then there's the Dodgers, who didn't believe it was a no-hitter because of a controversial play in the third inning.

Dodgers third baseman Kike Hernandez ripped one (maybe the only hard-hit ball off Arrieta all night) right at Starlin Castro at second base. The ball hit off Castro's glove and the Dodgers official scorer ruled it an error immediately.

Here's the play:

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The Dodgers thought it should have been called a hit (MLB.com).

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly talked about it, too, saying: "Eh, that's whoever's interpretation. But I think at this point, it doesn't change the game in any way. There's no reason to talk about it and ruin anything Jake was able to do tonight. I think it was just kind of a moot point."

The Dodgers do have a solid point, but it's not like this was a game in Chicago where Arrieta got the homefield scoring advantage.

[MORE CUBS: Cubs celebrate Jake Arrieta's no-hitter with pajama party]

It was a game in L.A. and the call was immediately ruled an error, back some 19 outs before Arrieta completed the no-hitter.

Kap and Haugh also discussed whether Hernandez's ball should have been a hit or an error:

Willson Contreras commissions heart-warming painting commemorating his relationship with Joe Maddon

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USA Today

Willson Contreras commissions heart-warming painting commemorating his relationship with Joe Maddon

Joe Maddon’s time with the Cubs may be over, but the memories made in his five years on the North Side will live on in Chicago sports lore forever. No matter how frustratingly his tenure may have ended, the outpouring of support and appreciation from management, fans and players alike throughout the process of Maddon’s departure are evidence of that.

“I love him like a dad,” Anthony Rizzo said

“I personally never could have imagined having such a wonderful partner,” Theo Epstein later added, standing beside Maddon as they delivered joint reflections on the end of the era.

Maddon touched the lives of so many within the organization and without in his time with the Cubs, but not many more so than catcher Willson Contreras, who burst onto the scene as one of the best young sluggers in baseball under Maddon’s guidance. Maddon — a catcher himself in his short time as a player — never shied away from criticizing Contreras in times he thought it earned, but it’s clear that the two forged a real bond over the last four years. 

Sunday afternoon, artist Austin Ploch revealed that Contreras reached out to him shortly after the end of the 2019 season to commission this heart-warming piece, commemorating the mutual respect and adoration between mentor and pupil:

The painting is derived from a photo of the two that Contreras posted to his Instagram account after it was officially announced that Maddon would not return as the Cubs manager:

Ploch has commissioned work for Contreras before, but now Willson will have a tangible memento to remember his first manager (along with his 2016 World Series ring). We’re not crying, you’re crying.

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Cubs to reportedly conduct second interview with Joe Espada for managerial opening

Cubs to reportedly conduct second interview with Joe Espada for managerial opening

Astros bench coach Joe Espada has two days off before Houston hosts Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday, but it looks like some of that time will be spent in Chicago.

According to multiple reports, the Cubs will interview Espada a second time for their managerial opening. MLB Network's Jon Heyman reports that the interview is happening on Sunday.

Espada is one of the more sought after managerial candidates this offseason, as he's spent the last six seasons with two of baseball's leading franchises. The 44-year-old has been Astros bench coach since 2018, and prior to that, he spent four seasons with the Yankees — 2014 as a front office assistant, 2015-17 as third base coach.

David Ross was the presumed favorite for the Cubs' opening, when the process got underway. However, by landing a second interview, Espada has clearly given the team something to think about. In fact, NBC Sports Chicago's David Kaplan reported on Thursday the Cubs came away "exceptionally impressed" from Espada's first interview on Monday. 

MLB prefers teams not to make managerial announcements during the World Series. So, it might be a few more weeks before the Cubs announce their decision, unless they do so on Sunday or Monday.

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