Cubs

Random News of the Day: A collection of thoughts

Random News of the Day: A collection of thoughts

Thursday, July 22, 2010
12:02 PM

By Joe Collins
CSNChicago.com

Random thoughts and observations, in no particular order...
You may run like Hayes, but you hit like ... I always thought that a good choice for the next manager of the Chicago Cubs would be someone who didn't tolerate a lot of egos, poor fundamentals and bad attitudes. You know, someone like Lou Brown from "Major League." I was really sad last Friday when I found out that James Gammon, who played the dour, blunt, cactus-voiced and amusing manager from that classic 1989 movie, had died at the age of 70. I only wish that all professional coaches and managers were as cold-heartedly honest as "Lou Brown." If only, right? Funny ... did you know that James Gammon has Illinois connections? He was born and raised in the town of Newman -- just south of Champaign. Heres an idea: somebody needs to erect a statue in Newman's downtown area with the inscription, "We're contenders now." Oooh. Chills.

Place your bets? A sports betting Web site has compiled a list of potential candidates to succeed Lou Piniella as Cubs manager. I have a few sources who have given me some late additions to the list:

Ryne Sandberg: 72

Joe Girardi: 51

Alan Trammell: 112

Bob Brenly: 61

Joe Torre: 61

Bobby Valentine: 132

Tony La Russa: 152

Field: 21

Montgomery Burns: 2001

Terry Bevington: 5001

Jimmy Dugan: 7501

Manny Trillo, Doug Dascenzo, Hector Villanueva: 8001 (each)

Bruce Kimm: 10001
Don't I Know You? So I'm watching this Rod Blagojevich nonsense on TV and I get the feeling that, for some strange reason, Patti Blagojevich looks a little like Yo Adrian! from the "Rocky" movies (Talia Shire).

Don't I Know You? (Part 2): While we're on the subject, San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum is a combination of these five people:

1. Mitch Kramer (Wiley Wiggins) from "Dazed And Confused"

2. Haley Joel I See Dead People Osment

3. Telly (Leo Fitzpatrick) from the movie "Kids"

4. Michael Phelps

5. Ferris Bueller's Cameron Frye (Alan Ruck)

Just trust me on those.

And finally: A tip of the cap is in order for the athletes, supporters and organizers of the National Junior Disability Championships this week in the northern suburbs. More than 300 athletes from across the country, who have significant physical and visual disabilities, are competing for medals in such areas as swimming, track & field, basketball, rock climbing, archery and many others. These athletes aspire to make it to a future US Paralympics and it was truly amazing to see the effort and determination firsthand during Tuesday's pentathlon. If you're looking to cheer on some real heroes this Friday and Saturday, check out their Web site.

One more week until Bears training camp, folks. The plot on another 8-8 season is about to thicken.

Or something like that.

Joe Collins is an assignment desk editor for Comcast SportsNet and contributor to CSNChicago.com.

Brandon Morrow has a healthy sense of humor about his pants-related injury

Brandon Morrow has a healthy sense of humor about his pants-related injury

Brandon Morrow's body may not be healthy, but his sense of humor sure isn't on the disabled list.

The Cubs closer had to go on the DL Wednesday after he injured his back changing out of his pants early Monday morning when the Cubs returned home to Chicago after a Sunday night game in St. Louis.

The story made national rounds, not only in the baseball world, but resonating with non-sports fans, as well. After all, it's not every day a guy who gets paid millions for his athletic endeavors injures himself on a mundane every day activity.

But it's all good, because even Morrow can find the humor in the situation, Tweeting this out Thursday afternoon:

Morrow's back tightened up on him and didn't loosen up enough the next two days, making him unavailable for the Cubs doubleheader Tuesday at Wrigley Field.

The team decided to put him on the shelf Wednesday morning so an already-gassed bullpen wouldn't have more pressure during this stretch of 14 games in 13 days.

The Cubs are in Cincinnati this weekend for a four-game series with the Reds. Morrow is eligible to return from the DL next Wednesday in Los Angeles as the Cubs once again take on the Dodgers — Morrow's old team.

The 33-year-old pitcher is 16-for-17 in save chances this year while posting a 1.59 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 25 strikeouts in 22.2 innings. He's only given up a run in 2 of his 26 outings as a Cub.

Eloy's comin' to Charlotte, but how long before he's playing on the South Side?

Eloy's comin' to Charlotte, but how long before he's playing on the South Side?

The No. 1 prospect in the White Sox loaded farm system got a step closer to playing in the major leagues Thursday.

Eloy Jimenez was the headliner in a ridiculously large number of promotions throughout the organization that signaled that despite a 25-games-under-.500 record at the big league level, the rebuilding effort is progressing nicely.

But antsy fans and observers who want to see the fruits of that effort land on the South Side as soon as possible have the same question now that Jimenez is a Charlotte Knight as they did when he was a Birmingham Baron: When will he be inserted into Rick Renteria's everyday lineup?

Director of player development Chris Getz didn’t have that answer Thursday when he was discussing all the minor league movement. But he outlined exactly what’s had White Sox fans salivating over the idea of Jimenez in the major league lineup.

“He’s done nothing but hit with us, and he’s continuing to do that,” Getz said on the conference call. “He’s driving the ball to all fields with power. The hit tool is very good, as well. He’s hammering fastballs. Talking about maturity, he’s definitely beyond his years in how he handles the game as a whole.

“When he steps into the box, it seems that you’re looking at a guy that plays in the big leagues already, and he’s not. He’s controlling the zone, he’s driving the ball, he’s making good decisions. We’ll see what he can do up at Charlotte.”

With Jimenez mashing at Birmingham this season — to the tune of .317/.368/.556 with 10 homers and 42 RBIs in 53 games — plenty have wondered why a pit stop at Charlotte is even necessary. General manager Rick Hahn has answered that question in the past, pointing to the different kind of pitching that Jimenez will face, and Getz echoed that thinking Thursday.

“At Charlotte, you’re going to run into guys that have a little more experience,” Getz said. “Some may have pitched in the big leagues, some might have been labeled those ‘4-A’ types. But what comes with that is more off-speed pitches, pitching backwards, being able to locate a little bit more. It will be interesting to see how he does respond with guys attacking him a little bit differently.

“We as an organization believe he’s going to be able to accomplish pretty much the same type of things he’s been accomplishing at Charlotte.”

That would be good news for those eagerly awaiting Jimenez’s arrival in Chicago because if he dominates at the plate at Triple-A the way he did at Double-A, then another promotion could be a possibility before the 2018 major league season runs out.

Of course before that happens, the White Sox want Jimenez to master things at the Triple-A level. Hahn mentioned before the season started that a good developmental season could end without Jimenez joining the big league squad at all. Like with all things in this rebuilding effort, the White Sox are going to be patient and do what’s best for the long term.

“He’s never played at Triple-A,” Getz said about a player who prior to joining the White Sox organization last summer had never played above Class A. “Now do I have full confidence that he’s going to go up there and hit? Sure. I absolutely do.

“If he continues to do so and forces our hand, we’re certainly going to have that conversation about him coming to Chicago. Let’s just get him in the lineup tonight and see what he can do.”