Can we have some peace and quiet around here, already? That was the feeling here at Wrigley at the end of what’s been a long week of trial and tribulation. As we reported this morning, the Cubs and closer Kevin Gregg have decided to let bygones be bygones, and Gregg will not be released after yesterday’s postgame session.
Gregg said he didn’t appreciate being told youngster Pedro Strop would close games the rest of the season, or at least that’s how he heard it. After some airing of words (some choice, no doubt) between team president Theo Epstein and Gregg, the pitcher apologized and cooler heads prevailed.
Theo said he would “sleep on” a decision about Gregg overnight, but Gregg said this morning Epstein called him last night and things were fine.
It’s always an eventful day on the Cubs beat, and today is no exception. We had both Theo Esptein and minor-league chief Jason McLeod talk to us on the field today. We’ll get to a few things here on the blog and flesh more out for the paper tomorrow (online tonight).
The one major news item is that catcher Welington Castillo had an MRI on his right knee this morning and that it revealed a partial tear in the meniscus and that he’ll have arthroscopic surgery. Theo said that, conservatively, the rehab is a 4-6-week process, so Castillo should easily be good to go by spring training barring any setbacks.
A Slam Magazine cover story on Derrick Rose is titled, “My only goal is to win a championship.”
Maybe Rose should open up next week’s media day interviews by asking, “Why can’t I rain on LeBron’s parade?” considering his MVP question in 2010 turned out to be prophetic.
Anyway, Rose spoke to Slam in late August in Los Angeles, while working with trainer Rob McLanaghan. As everyone is sick of being reminded, Rose hasn’t played in an NBA game since April 28, 2012.
MILWUAKEE -- After a promising start to this 11-game road trip, the Cubs are trying to avoid a four-game sweep at the hands of the Brewers. The trip began with the Cubs taking two of three in Cincinnati before they lost three of four in Pittsburgh and the first three here.
“Going to Cincinnati and winning two out of three there, obviously, it hasn’t been real good at scoring runs and solidifying innings,” said manager Dale Sveum. “The bottom line is Pittsburgh, their pitching is going to hold you down. They were all close games, in every game. And here, once again, we just haven’t played very good.”
We’ll delve more into the offense for our take in tomorrow’s paper. But for this road trip, the numbers have not been good. Let’s take a look:
It was another busy, eventful and strange night at Miller Park last night, when the Cubs fell 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning on Logan Schafer’s bases-loaded suicide squeeze bunt. We’ll talk about that play in a sec, and we’ll also let Cubs president Theo Epstein go unfiltered on a number of topics. We can do that here in the blog because of the time-space continuum doesn’t hamper us here. And the readers seem to like it.
MILWAUKEE -- We’ll get to a few things today in advance to Game 2 of the Cubs-Brewers series here at Miller Park. We had a chance to meet with team president Theo Epstein for about a half-hour. We’ll flesh it out in the paper tomorrow, but here are a few tidbits and highlights:
--Theo said he believes manager Dale Sveum has done a “remarkable” job in keeping the clubhouse together through two difficult season. Epstein did not say Sveum is on the hot seat, but he said the manager is being evaluated.
In what might be a preview of things to come this season, Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa has aggravated an upper body injury and will miss at least the next four games.
It's believed to be Hossa's back, which sidelined him for Game 3 in the Stanley Cup Final. He participated in the first scrimmages of camp at Notre Dame last weekend and was one of the best players in the ice.
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville hopes Hossa can play in the final preseason game Sept. 28 against Washington and be ready to start the season on Oct. 1 against the Capitals.
The Hawks play at Washington on Friday, Detroit on Sunday and Pittsburgh on Monday. He also missed Thursday's game against the Penguins on Thursday.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin spoke on the Senate floor today about yesterday's shooting.
Had a great talk with Paul Konerko this afternoon before the White Sox opened a three-game series against the Twins.
The Sox’ long-time captain was typically insightful, particularly when talking about the franchise’s worst season since 1970.
Read more in tomorrow’s paper, but here is a sample of what Konerko thinks of the White Sox’ 58-91 season:
“These seasons happen,” he said. “Next year, there will probably be some other team that has to deal with this. Every year there seems to be a team or two - one in each league - that just, the season won't let you in. That's been us.”
I respect Konerko’s decision to wait until after the season before deciding if he’s going to play again next year or retire. His contract with the Sox is up at the end of this season.
Today I stumbled across the blog of Steve Kim, the running mate of Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Rutherford.
Kim is from Northbrook, and his blog is a 2010 accounting of his bid that year to be Illinois attorney general. He lost that race, but his website is still up: http://www.stevekimforag.com/
The blog is full of interesting nuggets about the rigors of a statewide campaign, especially one run against a popular politician most people was certain would win (Democratic Attorney General Lisa Madigan).
Kim had some nice words for Rutherford even then: "Dan can definitely draw a crowd. He is going to make a great Treasurer."
Kim also had kind words for state Sen. Bill Brady, who is now Rutherford's - and by extension Kim's - electoral opponent.