Cubs

Vince Vaughn has a message for the Cubs in World Series

Vince Vaughn has a message for the Cubs in World Series

Vince Vaughn had a message for the Cubs: No excuses. Play like a champion.

Vaughn relayed a variation of Rule No. 76 from "Wedding Crashers" to the Chicago media behind home plate at Wrigley Field ahead of the second World Series game on the north side of Chicago in 71 years.

A lifelong Cubs fan, Vaughn was excited when his team won the National League pennant, but he still demands more.

"I'm not content," he said ahead of Game 4 Saturday evening. "I was glad that we moved on [to the World Series]. I expected us to and I expect us to win this. This is fun."

Vaughn will sing - "If you can call it that," he joked - the Seventh Inning Stretch at Wrigley Saturday night, taking in the historic scene at the corner of Clark and Addison.

[SHOP: Buy a "Try Not to Suck" shirt with proceeds benefiting Joe Maddon's Respect 90 Foundation & other Cubs Charities]

Vaughn has been following the Cubs' magical season from afar and hopes his team will have a better showing against Indians ace Corey Kluber the second time around after getting shut out in Game 1.

"We got so many memories and now here we are," he said. "I'm just focused on tonight and win or lose, we're gonna have some fun. Second time seeing [Kluber].

"I love this team. This is my childhood team. ... Tonight's great. We can even the series here. I'm just excited. It's so fun to be here.

"These kids have been terrific. [Cubs manager Joe] Maddon, they've all been stepping up. It's been terrific watching them."

The 46-year-old actor grew up in Buffalo Grove and Lake Forest and has fond memories of skipping school to watch the Cubs play.

"It's just a different atmosphere tonight, but it's the same Wrigley Field," he said. "Unbelievable. Great night."

Vaughn admitted he didn't really know what to expect or envision as the World Series hits Wrigley Field for the first time in a lifetime.

"It feels really good," he said. "There's a little bit of pageantry, but you got the ivy on the wall and there's a few more billboards than we used to have, but it feels exciting tonight."

Texas Rangers hire Cubs' Shiraz Rehman to be assistant GM

Texas Rangers hire Cubs' Shiraz Rehman to be assistant GM

The changing of the guard continues for the Cubs this offseason. 

After the team hired a new hitting coach yesterday, it was reported today that they're losing a front office member: 

Rehman, who has been with the Cubs in the same position for the last seven years, will reportedly head up the Rangers' analytics department. According to the Chicago Tribune, Rehman's role was " evaluating existing systems, and recognizing and applying solutions in an effort to create competitive advantages for the organization." 

All reports indicate that he'll be doing similar analytic-based work with the Rangers. 

Chili Davis after being ousted by Cubs: 'There were multiple players in there I didn't connect with'

Chili Davis after being ousted by Cubs: 'There were multiple players in there I didn't connect with'

Chili Davis didn't go all scorched earth on the Cubs in a recent interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, but he had quite a lot to say after being ousted by the organization after just one year as the hitting coach.

The Cubs made Davis the scapegoat for an offense that faded down the stretch, struggling for the entire second half and scoring just 1 run in three of the final four games of the year.

When he was hired a year ago, Theo Epstein and Joe Maddon talked up Davis' impressive resume that includes a 19-year MLB career, two separate stints as a successful hitting coach with the Oakland A's and Boston Red Sox and a philosophy that they hoped would withstand the test of time in the game today, preaching more contact and using the opposite field.

Throughout the 2018 season, Maddon often commended Davis for his ability to communicate with players, particularly in the area of mental approach to each at-bat.

Now that the dust has settled a bit on his firing, Davis felt he had some issues getting through to some Cubs players.

I learned a lot this year," Davis told the Sun-Times' Gordon Wittenmyer. "I learned that the next situation I get in, before I say yes to a job, I need to make sure I know the personnel I'll be dealing with in the clubhouse. I hope the next guy connects better with the players, because I felt that there were multiple players there I didn't connect with. It wasn't that I didn't try; it just wasn't there.

The Cubs hired Anthony Iapoce as their new hitting coach Monday afternoon. Iapoce comes over from the Rangers and has a direct link to John Mallee, who was the Cubs' hitting coach for three seasons before being let go when Davis became available last winter. 

Iapoce also spent three seasons with the Cubs as a special assistant to the GM, overseeing the organization's minor-league hitting from 2013-15. Presumably, he found a way over those years to connect with the Cubs' top young hitting prospects — guys like Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber and Willson Contreras that are now leading the big-league lineup.

Hopefully he has better success at this than I did," Davis said of Iapoce in the Sun-Times article. "But regardless of who's there, certain players there are going to have to make some adjustments because the game's changed and pitchers are pitching them differently. They're not pitching to launch angles and fly balls and all that anymore. They're pitching away from that. They're going to have to make that adjustment whether I'm there or not.

Davis had a whole lot more to say on the matter and I encourage you to read the full interview with Wittenmyer over at ChicagoSunTimes.com.

A healthy Bryant very likely could've changed everything for Davis and the Cubs' 2018 lineup. Contreras hitting like he's capable of in the second half would've made a huge difference, as well.

But the end result is a finish to the 2018 campaign that was viewed universally as a disappointment — particularly in the offensive department — and the Cubs are left with their third different hitting coach in three seasons.