Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ While Wrigley parties, Theo’s mind is on Cubs winning ]]> Lead story image

As parties of the century go, Wednesday’s 100th ‘‘birthday’’ celebration for Wrigley Field falls woefully short compared to the classic centennials. The United States had victories over Britain, Mexico and the Confederacy before its 100th birthday. Boston’s Fenway Park had seven World Series championships. Even George Burns had a turn at playing God. Of course, that was supposed to be Theo Epstein’s role at Wrigley if you believed the walk-on-water media coverage he got 30 months ago when he was hired to provide the National League’s oldest ballpark its first championship. But on the eve of the big Wrigley party, … ]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 23:53:35 -0500 <![CDATA[ Mike Olt making case to stay at 3B as Cubs hammer D-Backs ]]> Lead story image

Mike Olt isn’t going to suddenly turn the Cubs into a playoff team. But three weeks into the season, he’s going to get his chance to be their starting third baseman. And whether he can claim a building-block place in their big-picture rebuilding plans may finally be up to the former first-round draft pick acquired from Texas in the Matt Garza trade last July. After Olt hit his fourth home run – a three-run shot in the fifth, into the right-field wind – to help beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 9-2, Cubs manager Rick Renteria said he plans to scrap the … ]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 23:20:03 -0500 <![CDATA[ Wrigley Field: It started as Weeghman Field ]]> Lead story image

It was amid some fanfare on March 4, 1914, that ground was broken at Clark and Addison streets on what would become Wrigley Field. Moving-picture crews, a band, reporters, photographers, dignitaries and from 2,000 to 4,000 people attended the ceremony according to various newspaper reports. Mayor Carter Harrison Jr. was supposed to be there, but he didn’t show — holding up the ceremony for a half-hour. When Charles Weeghman, the Chicago Federal League owner who originally built the ballpark in 1914, stepped out of his car, the band played ‘‘Hail to the Chief.’’ The Cubs hadn’t won a World Series … ]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:33:56 -0500 <![CDATA[ Baseball only part of the story at Wrigley Field ]]> Lead story image

Ed Hartig doesn’t hesitate picking the event he would have loved to see most at Wrigley Field, and it has nothing to do with baseball. “I would have loved to have seen the ski jumping,’’ the Cubs historian said of the novel event held by the Norge Ski Club of Fox River Grove in 1944. “It was on again, off again so many times because ice was considered a wartime essential. “Because travel was difficult, they thought holding it in the city would be more convenient. They trucked in the ice and held the event on consecutive weekends.” If anything … ]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:03:31 -0500 <![CDATA[ Memories Wrigley evokes are special, but the old ballyard is the real star ]]> Lead story image

When I think of Wrigley Field being 100 years old, a few things jump to mind. First, bizarrely, there is Ronnie ‘‘Woo’’ Wickers. This must be because I was sitting in the left-field bleachers many years ago — like, 43 years ago — and there was this insane ‘‘Woo!’’ coming from some wandering dude after every Cubs player’s name he hollered. ‘‘Santo, woo!’’ ‘‘Beckert, woo!’’ ‘‘Hundley, Woo!’’ Stuck in there like a bat splinter. Next, there’s the 2003 Bartman Game, a horror about which I will say no more. Next is Ernie Banks, the player, and Billy Williams, the player. … ]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:34:37 -0500 <![CDATA[ Ken Holtzman’s no-hitter recalls time before jadedness set in ]]> Lead story image

On Aug. 19, 1969, Ken Holtzman threw a no-hitter against the Braves. Not only was I at Wrigley Field that day, but I predicted he would throw a no-no minutes before the game started. I also predicted Ron Santo would hit a home run that afternoon. He did. It probably should be pointed out that I was 9 and that there’s a decent chance I made predictions to my family in bulk back then. Or maybe I was caught up in the possibility of good things happening if only I believed they would. The Cubs had given me reason to … ]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 19:39:20 -0500 <![CDATA[ Travis Wood — 9 Ks, 4 RBIs — carries Cubs to 5-1 win ]]> Lead story image

Almost a month into the season, and Travis Wood figured out how to finally solve the Cubs’ years-long scoring malaise: He picked up his bat and did it himself. As impressive as the All-Star pitcher was on the mound for seven innings Monday night, he was even more impressive in a four-RBI performance at the plate that included a three-run homer in the Cubs’ 5-1 victory over the reeling Arizona Diamondbacks in the opener of a four-game series at Wrigley Field. “He was a one-man wrecking crew,” manager Rick Renteria said. Wood’s big night at the plate, combined with a … ]]> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 23:17:03 -0500 <![CDATA[ McKay insists he ‘kept up my end of the bargain’ under Dale Sveum ]]>

Three regular-season weeks into the Cubs’ first managerial change under Theo Epstein, and the only thing that’s changed is some faces in the clubhouse and voices on the field staff. Same inability to score runs, same ninth-inning pitching woes, even the same win-loss record and last-place standing through 17 games. So why was it again that the Cubs changed the manager and most of the coaching staff two years into a rebuilding process in which they said the staff wouldn’t be judged on winning and losing? Dave McKay still doesn’t know and isn’t trying to figure it out. But the … ]]> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 22:54:10 -0500 <![CDATA[ Cubs lose another series as Reds provide lesson in situational hitting ]]> Lead story image

Cubs fans got to see all the things a team needs to do to win Sunday at Wrigley Field. It wasn’t surprising that it came from the Reds. But in a season spiraling downward, it had to have been nice to watch a team play some situational baseball, even if it was a fourth-place team. Heck, grabbing hold of fourth-place even seems too far a climb for these Cubs. In dropping the rubber match of the series 8-2, the Cubs watched the Reds score all but one of their runs with two outs. The Reds hit .400 with runners in … ]]> Sun, 20 Apr 2014 22:51:05 -0500 <![CDATA[ Emilio Bonifacio could give Cubs another trade chip ]]> Lead story image

Emilio Bonifacio has looked every bit the part of a bona fide leadoff hitter. If he keeps it up, the Cubs could benefit come the trade deadline. Bonifacio is hitting .366 after a 2-for-4 performance Sunday in an 8-2 loss to the Reds. He entered the weekend on a 0-for-13 skid but went 6-for-12 in the three-game series. He also has nine stolen bases for the season. “The leadoff hitter for any ballclub is important, and I think he’s actually been doing a really nice job,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. “He’s getting on base, he’s stealing bases and again … ]]> Sun, 20 Apr 2014 23:28:09 -0500 <![CDATA[ Rick Renteria’s talk pays dividends in Cubs’ victory ]]> Lead story image

Asked whether he had a meeting with his team after an uninspired loss to the Reds on Friday, Cubs manager Rick Renteria half-denied, half-sidestepped the question. By players’ accounts Saturday, it was more of a one-way conversation. Meetings generally are participatory. This one was a lesson on intensity, focus and approach. “When Ricky talks and shows emotion, it means something,” Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney said after the Cubs’ 8-4 victory over the Reds on Saturday at Wrigley Field. “He doesn’t do it very often and we know he’s got our back and is on our side, so when he … ]]> Sun, 20 Apr 2014 02:35:32 -0500