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Wednesday, April 4, 2012
CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today claimed infielder Luis Valbuena off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays and outrighted right-handed pitcher Frankie De La Cruz to Triple-A Iowa.
Valbuena, 26, is a career .226 hitter (166-for-735) in all or part of four major league seasons with Seattle (2008) and Cleveland (2009-11). The versatile infielder has seen playing time at second base (175 games), shortstop (35 games) and third base (10 games). He has 42 doubles, 13 home runs and 57 RBI in 229 big league games.
With Triple-A Columbus last season, Valbuena batted .302 (127-for-420) with 22 doubles, 17 home runs and 75 RBI in 113 games. He posted a .372 on-base percentage and a .476 slugging percentage, good for an .848 OPS. He was a mid-season and post-season International League All-Star.
The left-handed batter and right-handed thrower recorded major league career highs in 2009 with 25 doubles, 10 home runs and 31 RBI in 103 games with the Indians. Valbuena played 91 games in 2010 and 17 games at the big league level in 2011.
De La Cruz was claimed off waivers by the Cubs from Milwaukee on March 16.
CHICAGO – Chicago Cubs legend Ron Santo today was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame after being named on 93.8 percent (15 of 16) of the Veteran’s Committee ballots.
Santo, who passed away December 3, 2010, will become the 10th player in franchise history to be elected to the Hall of Fame wearing a Cubs hat, the first third baseman in the 135-year history of the club. Santo joins Ernie Banks (1977), Frank Chance (1946), Kiki Cuyler (1968), Gabby Hartnett (1955), Billy Herman (1975), Fergie Jenkins (1991), Ryne Sandberg (2005), Billy Williams (1987) and Hack Wilson (1979) as players wearing Cubs hats in the Hall of Fame.
Overall, Santo becomes the 46th person with a Cubs association to earn enshrinement to Baseball’s Hall of Fame.
“All who knew Ron or welcomed him into their homes on the radio recognize he was so much more than a Hall of Fame baseball player. He was the beating heart of Cubs fans,” said Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts. “As an athlete, he was our All-Star. As a radio analyst, he carried our passion. For those battling illness or disease, he remains an inspiration. And for all of us who had the honor of calling him our friend, he is forever beloved.
“Though it is bittersweet that Ron is not here to enjoy this day, we are comforted by the pride members of the Santo family have for their husband, father and grandfather. On behalf of the Chicago Cubs organization and all of our fans, we congratulate Ron Santo’s family on this historic day and look forward to his induction next summer.”
A nine-time National League All-Star and five-time Gold Glove Award winner, Santo hit .277 with 365 doubles, 67 triples, 342 home runs, 1,331 RBIs and 1,138 runs in 2,243 games covering 15 major league seasons with the Cubs (1960-73) and White Sox (1974). He is one of only two third basemen in big league history with at least 300 home runs and five Gold Gloves, joining Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt.
Santo ranked among the elite during his 15-season big league career. Between 1960-74, only four players had 2,000 hits, 300 home runs and 1,300 RBI: Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson, Billy Williams and Ron Santo. Additionally, only four players had 2,000 hits and 1,000 walks in that span: Hank Aaron, Carl Yastrzemski, Frank Robinson and Ron Santo. Santo’s 342 home runs were the most by any third baseman in his 15-season career, easily outpacing his next closest competitor in Brooks Robinson (248 home runs in that span).
In his 15-year career, Santo finished in the league top 10 in batting average three times, slugging percentage five times, on-base percentage seven times, base on balls nine times, games played eight times, home runs seven times, RBI eight times, runs scored three times and total bases five times.
Overall, Santo had 11 seasons of 20 or more home runs, including four in a row of 30 or more. He had eight 90-plus RBI campaigns, four seasons with at least 100 RBI and ranked in the top 10 in RBI eight years in a row. Santo was top 10 in RBIs for eight straight seasons.
Santo holds or shares many defensive records for third baseman, including most consecutive National League games at third base (364) and most years leading either league in total chances (nine).
Santo stayed involved in baseball since retiring after the 1974 campaign. He was an empathetic voice of the fans on WGN Radio for 21 seasons through the final year of his life from 1990-2010. Santo also helped raise more than $60 million for juvenile diabetes research, through which his legacy lives on.
Giuliani Takes in a Cubs game while in Chicago
Photos By Dan Peters
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani enjoys the national anthem before the Chicago Cubs Atlanta Braves game on August 22, 2011 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois.
Giuliani was in Chicago attending a Newsmakers Series event at Navy Pier.
CHICAGO CUBS KICK OFF THE HOLIDAY SEASON WITH “THE RINK AT WRIGLEY” AND A NEW HOLIDAY FIXTURE AT THE FRIENDLY CONFINES
PUBLIC SKATING BEGAN NOVEMBER 25
The FIRST EVER TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY ON DECEMBER 3
The Friendly Confines will add another iconic symbol this holiday season: A 30-foot decorated holiday tree will welcome visitors and ice skaters to Wrigley Field when The Rink at Wrigley opens for its third consecutive year.
On November 25, the rink will once again open for public skating due to the generosity of the Ricketts family and the Chicago Cubs, the City of Chicago, the Chicago Park District, local businesses and community groups. Patch Landscaping has donated the 30-foot holiday tree.
The full-size skating rink will be available in the Cubs’ parking lot at the corner of Clark and Waveland. The Rink at Wrigley is sponsored by the Ricketts family and the Chicago Cubs, the Chicago Park District, Westrec Marinas management and Patch Landscaping.
“This ice rink continues to be a popular attraction and we’re happy to open our home again to families across Chicago,” said Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts. “We know Wrigley Field can be active all year, and with partnerships like these, we can continue to provide fun and innovative activities that enhance the quality of life for residents.”
The Rink at Wrigley will be open beginning November 25, 2011, through February 26, 2012. The rink is open Monday through Thursday from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission to The Rink at Wrigley is $5 per adult and $3 per child Monday through Thursday, and $10 per adult and $6 per child Friday through Sunday. Season passes are available for $60. Skate rentals will be available for an additional fee of $5 for adults and $3 for children Monday through Thursday, and $10 for adults and $5 for children Friday through Sunday. Proceeds help offset the cost of the rink.
The Grand Opening celebration was planned in coordination with the lighting of the decorated holiday tree near the Wrigley Field Marquee on Saturday, December 3, at 5 p.m.
CARLOS ZAMBRANO GRIEVANCE UPDATE
Friday, September 2, 2011
The Chicago Cubs today provided the following update to the Carlos Zambrano grievance process, which is not yet resolved.
Carlos Zambrano will remain at home for the remainder of the 2011 baseball season and the Cubs will resume paying Zambrano his salary at the end of the 30-day suspension. The suspension is scheduled to run through Sunday, September 11, leaving insufficient preparation time for Zambrano to pitch again this season.
Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association and the Cubs will process the Union ’s grievance during the offseason.
Since the grievance remains unresolved, the Cubs will not comment further at this time.
Friday, September 2, 2011
CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today selected the contract of infielder Bryan LaHair from Triple-A Iowa. LaHair will wear uniform number six and be available for this afternoon’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field.
Chicago’s 40-man roster now stands at 38 players.
LaHair, 28, yesterday was named the 2011 Pacific Coast League Most Valuable Player after leading all of minor league baseball with an Iowa franchise-record 38 home runs and leading the PCL with 109 RBI, 76 extra-base hits, 303 total bases, a .664 slugging percentage and a 1.070 OPS. The 6-foot-5, 240-pounder joins the big league club ranked seventh in the PCL with a .331 batting average, fourth with 38 doubles and fifth with 91 runs scored.
In addition to PCL Most Valuable Player honors, LaHair this week was named to the all-PCL Team and was named Iowa Cubs MVP. LaHair was also a mid-season PCL All-Star and participated in the Triple-A Home Run Derby.
LaHair’s 38th home run on Tuesday set the Iowa franchise record, surpassing Joe Hicks in 1984, and he joins Mel Hall (1982) as only the second player in franchise history with at least 30 homers and 30 doubles in the same season. LaHair is only the seventh PCL player in the last 15 seasons to record at least 300 total bases.
This marks LaHair’s second-career stint in the big leagues, as he hit .250 (34-for-136) with four doubles, three home runs and 10 RBI in 45 games with Seattle in 2008. He spent the entire 2009 season with Seattle ’s Triple-A Tacoma club before signing a minor league contract with the Cubs prior to the 2010 campaign. LaHair has been an invite to Cubs major league spring training each of the last two seasons. He batted .308 (130-for-422) with 30 doubles, 25 home runs and 81 RBI in 125 games with Iowa last year.
LaHair was originally selected by Seattle in the 39th round of the 2002 Draft. He is the second Iowa Cubs player to earn Pacific Coast League MVP honors in the last five seasons, joining Geovany Soto (2007).
Cubs come up empty, Shut out by Braves 3-0
Photos and recap by Dan Peters
Just when you thought the Cubs may have turned things around, reality sinks in. The Cubs had numerous opportunities Monday night. But when you fill the bases twice and strand 15 players on base, you lose
Maybe the distractions are taking its toll on the Cubs. From the firing of Jim Hendry, to the absent-minded incident with Starlin Castro over the weekend against the Cardinals.
Castro, was benched Monday for what manager Mike Quade called a "mental health day" after ESPN camera crews caught him with his back to the plate during a pitch by James Russell in Sunday night's game with the Cardinals.
Will Castro return to the starting lineup Tuesday?
"I haven't even thought about that," Quade said. "I'm still thinking about this game. I'll sleep on it and see how I feel tomorrow."
"[We had] plenty of opportunities, we were just looking for the big hit," manager Mike Quade said. "It's always good if you can do some damage early, and we couldn't. We created plenty of opportunities -- that's for sure."
The Cubs missed out on a key scoring chance when three-straight two-out singles loaded the bases in the fifth. But Alfonso Soriano popped out to shallow right field, leaving all three runners stranded.
"I think that's the key why we lost the game tonight," Soriano said. "We left guys in scoring position and we never got that big hit tonight."
Soriano stands behind his manager, whose status for next season has come into question after former general manager Jim Hendry's firing, saying: "When the team is not doing good, they always blame somebody. Sometimes they blame the manager and sometimes they blame the GM, but they never blame the players. That's the game. If we're doing good, everyone feels that [Quade's] doing a very good job."
A bright spot from tonight’s game-- Aramis Ramirez extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
It is just another year for Cubs fans to ponder if the Cubs will ever make it to the World Series. There is always next year.
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