Cubs

Miguel Montero signs with team that stole seven bases off him last summer

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USA TODAY

Miguel Montero signs with team that stole seven bases off him last summer

The world can be a funny place sometimes.

Late last June, Miguel Montero was catching for the Cubs against the Washington Nationals. With Jake Arrieta on the mound, the Nationals stole seven bases in just four innings, ultimately winning the game 6-1. The night ended with Montero famously calling out Arrieta for his inability to hold on runners. 

“It really sucks because the stolen bases go on me,” Montero said. “When you really look at it, the pitcher doesn’t give me any time. It’s just like: ‘Yeah, OK, Miggy can’t throw nobody out.’ Yeah, but my pitchers don’t hold anybody on. It’s tough, because it doesn’t matter how much work I put in.

“If I don’t get a chance to throw, that’s the reason why they were running left and right today, because they know he was slow to the plate. Simple as that. It’s a shame that it’s my fault because I didn’t throw anybody out.”

Ironically enough, the Nationals signed Montero Thursday to a minor league deal with an invitation to MLB Spring Training. The move reunites him with former Cubs' bench coach and new Nationals' manager Dave Martinez.

The Cubs designated Montero for assignment for his comments, eventually trading him to the Toronto Blue Jays a few days later. He hit a subpar .216 with six home runs and 16 RBIs in 76 games between the Cubs and Blue Jays while also surrendering a woeful 58 stolen bases in 63 attempts.

The Nationals already have a starting catcher in Matt Wieters, so Montero will compete for a backup position. He could prove useful in Washington, as he is a left-handed hitter that can hit for power. At this point in his career, though, his best days might be behind him.

Montero's stay in Chicago ended poorly, but he will always be remembered for his contributions that helped the Cubs win the World Series in 2016.

The veteran backstop hit a grand slam in Game 1 of the 2016 NLCS, propelling the the Cubs to a 1-0 series lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers. He also hit an RBI single in the 10th inning of Game 7 of the World Series, putting the Cubs ahead 8-6 in a game that they won 8-7 to clinch their first championship since 1908.

 

 

Cubs Talk Podcast: Cubs convention will feel different this year

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USA TODAY

Cubs Talk Podcast: Cubs convention will feel different this year

Jeff Nelson, Tim Stebbins, and Tony Andracki fill in for host David Kaplan as they discuss how different this year's Cubs convention will be compared to previous years and how awkward it will be for Kris Bryant and other players who could be traded before the season. They also get into baseball's cheating issue, and Tony Andracki makes a huge announcement.

(1:08) - Different feel at Cubs Con

(3:10) - Cubs putting Kris Bryant in an awkward spot

(4:44) - Anthony Rizzo says he might not be a Cub long term

(6:33) - How will Cubs fans show displeasure at Cubs Con

(10:24) - What will it take for Sammy Sosa to be accepted by the Cubs

(13:54) - Baseball's cheating scandal is spreading

(20:07) - Tony Andracki's BIG announcement

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

Subscribe: Apple/iPhone | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Art 19

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Cubs grant Astros permission to interview Will Venable for managerial opening

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USA TODAY

Cubs grant Astros permission to interview Will Venable for managerial opening

In the wake of their infamous sign-stealing scandal, the Astros could look to the North Side to fill their suddenly vacant managerial seat.

According to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Cubs have granted the Astros permission to interview Will Venable for manager.

MLB conducted a thorough investigation into a report from The Athletic stating the Astros electronically stole signs during their 2017 championship season. The findings resulted in general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch receiving year-long suspensions Monday before the Astros subsequently fired both from their respective posts.

RELATED: David Ross and Anthony Rizzo react to Astros cheating scandal, subsequent fallout

Venable joined the Cubs in September 2017 as a special assistant in the front office. He joined the on-field staff as first base coach in 2018, a position he held through last season. The 37-year-old also spent time as third base coach when Brian Butterfield dealt with health issues in 2019.

The Cubs named Venable third base coach this offseason following Butterfield’s departure to Joe Maddon’s Angels. Prior to that, Venable interviewed for the Cubs’ managerial opening — which went to David Ross — as well as the Giants’ opening, which went to former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler.

The Astros have already reportedly interviewed Buck Showalter for manager and are set to meet with John Gibbons, too.

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