Cubs

Word on the Street: Harry Caray statue vandalized

Word on the Street: Harry Caray statue vandalized

Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Harry Caray statue defaced

The statue of legendary announcer Harry Caray outside of Wrigley Field was found defaced Sunday with white spray paint graffiti on the base. Nobody is quite sure when the graffiti first appeared nor what the vandal was aiming to say. The first word "Sox" is very readble, but another not-quite-intelligible word appears underneath.

Cubs officials said they learned about the vandalism just before 5:30 p.m. and the team responded by removing most of the white spray paint. (Chicago Tribune)
Sox-Yankees trade looming?

With Andy Pettitte's retirement announcement this week, the New York Yankees are suddenly searching for some starting pitching help. While guys like the Indians' Fausto Carmona are on the block, could the Yanks be more interested in what the White Sox have to offer?

Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune believes it could very well be possible and even went so far as to indicate the Sox dealing John Danks in a massive, high-profile trade. (Chicago Tribune)

Singletary next in line as Bears coach?

Legendary Bears linebacker Mike Singletary, the captain of the 1985 Super Bowl-winning defense, may be back on the sidelines for his old team, but in a completely different capacity. After Singletary was relieved of his post as the San Francisco 49ers head coach earlier this season, the outspoken former player took a job as the linebackers coach with the Minnesota Vikings alongside Leslie Frazier, another former Bear from that 1985 squad.

However, Singletary said he feels weird coaching against the Bears in the same division and if a situation ever presented itself in Chicago, he wouldn't dismiss it. (Chicago Tribune)

Urlacher received same shot as Cutler

It has been reported recently that Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher received the same shot of Toradol as quarterback Jay Cutler did to play in the NFC Championship game. Urlacher was suffering from a sprained wrist and a few other minor injuries, but is still upset that people continue to question Cutler's injury or toughness.

Safety Chris Harris also reportedly took a shot to help alleviate pain from a hip injury. (ProFootballTalk.com)

Melo will only sign extension with Knicks

The Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes have created much buzz in the NBA this season, with reports of the superstar forward potentially being traded to such teams as the Bulls and the New Jersey Nets. But, it's the New York Knicks that really look to be in the best shape for the services of Melo, as Anthony's agent told teams he was only interested in signing a contract extension with the Knicks. (ProBasketballTalk.com)
Pistons deactivate with Rip Hamilton

The Detroit Pistons have done away with shooting guard Richard Hamilton, deactivating the former star. The move is not permanent, but with rumors circulating all season that Detroit was looking to trade Hamilton, it appears he may have played his last game in a Pistons uniform. (ProBasketballTalk.com)

Joe Maddon already has a new job, signs on with Angels

Joe Maddon already has a new job, signs on with Angels

Barring a Cubs-Angels World Series, the Wrigley Field faithful might not have much of an opportunity to welcome Joe Maddon back to The Friendly Confines.

It didn't take long for Maddon to find a job, as he reportedly agreed this week to join the Los Angeles Angels as their next manager. This was a widely speculated move after the Angels let go of manager Brad Ausmus just one year into a three-year contract immediately after the Cubs announced they were parting ways with Maddon. 

According to ESPN's Jesse Rogers, Maddon's deal will likely be for three years at $4-5 million a season:

Maddon came up as a coach in the Angels system, referencing his three decades there often during the course of his five years in Chicago.

Once the Cubs got rid of Maddon, it was obvious he would have plenty of suitors, as just about any team with a managerial vacancy would be interested in the future Hall of Famer. But instead of going to an up-and-coming team like the Padres or a squad on the cusp of the playoffs like the Phillies, Maddon opted to return to his baseball home.

That means he will most likely not face off against the Cubs over the next couple of seasons, as the Cubs hosted the Angels in 2019 and are not slated to play each other again until 2021 (which will take place in L.A.). Barring the aforementioned World Series meeting, Maddon and the Cubs likely won’t cross paths in Chicago for the next few seasons.

It also means Maddon will get to team up with the best player in the game (Mike Trout) and an exciting young two-way star (Shohei Ohtani) while inheriting a roster that otherwise has some major flaws. The Angels have struggled to build up a roster around Trout over his nine seasons, making the playoffs just once in 2014 and getting bounced from the ALDS by the Kansas City Royals that season.

But the Angels do have some intriguing prospects coming up the system — led by outfielder Jo Adell — and Maddon has experience taking a team and elevating them to contender status immediately. He also carries immediate clout that will help draw free agents to L.A., as he did in Chicago with Jon Lester.

Maddon will be reunited with former Cubs fan favorite Tommy La Stella, who was starring for the Angels earlier this season before a leg injury sent him to the shelf for several months.

In many ways, this is an ideal fit for Maddon, who will get to stay in a big market with a team willing to spend and a roster that at least has some incredible talent from Day 1. It would obviously be a difficult task to try to overtake the juggernaut Houston Astros in the AL West, but he accomplished a similar feat in Chicago when he led the Cubs past the Cardinals in Year 1 (and kept the Cards out of the playoffs for the next three years until their return to October baseball this fall).

The Cubs, meanwhile, have not yet announced a new manager, though David Ross still looms as the favorite to take over Maddon's former gig. Theo Epstein's front office interviewed Mark Loretta, Will Venable, Joe Girardi and Ross earlier this month and also planned to talk to Joe Espada and Gabe Kapler this week.

Epstein said the Cubs are "full speed ahead" to hire a new manager, so expect them to move quickly to finalize Maddon's heir.

Bold predictions for the Cubs' 2019-20 offseason

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USA TODAY

Bold predictions for the Cubs' 2019-20 offseason

The Cubs are just a couple of weeks away from a pivotal offseason that could see a lot of change coming to Chicago's North Side.

Then again, we thought the same thing a year ago and it turned out Theo Epstein's biggest move last winter was signing Daniel Descalso to a two-year deal.

But after missing the playoffs in 2019, the Cubs are now at a crossroads as an organization. 

The NBC Sports Chicago crew previewed the offseason on the latest CubsTalk Podcast with some bold predictions for the winter.

Listen here and check out the fearless calls below:

(Note: Rationale and more context on each bold prediction in the podcast.)

David Kaplan

1. Cubs are going to take a page out of the Yankees' book and retool on the fly rather than go all-in to contend in 2020.
2. Jose Quintana has thrown his last pitch as a Cub.
3. This will be the second-to-last offseason for Theo Epstein as the Cubs president of baseball operations.

Kelly Crull 

1. Cubs re-sign Nick Castellanos and trade away Kyle Schwarber.
2. Tyler Chatwood will be in the 2020 rotation.
3. John Lackey will be named quality assurance coach on David Ross's coaching staff. (Kidding, but only kind of...)

Tony Andracki

1. Before the Cubs play a Spring Training game, Javy Baez will sign an extension that will keep him in Chicago through at least 2023.
2. Willson Contreras will be traded this winter and the Cubs will get some much-needed pitching help in return.
3. Cubs sign Howie Kendrick this winter as the professional bat and lefty-masher they craved in 2019.
4. Ben Zobrist will return on a one-year deal and finish his playing career in a Cubs uniform.
5. David Bote, Albert Almora Jr. and Addison Russell will all be traded or non-tendered this winter as the Cubs remake their bench/depth.

Jeff Nelson

1. Willson Contreras will sign a contract extension.
2. Ben Zobrist will return as a player/coach.
3. Jose Quintana will be traded for minor league depth.
4. Terrance Gore will be signed to be the 26th man on the roster under the new rules.