1.) Was Ricketts’ purchase a poor investment?
2.) Marmol says Cubs have the best bullpen.
3.) Ron Santo Day: March 10th.
1.) Think about it. The Ricketts family dropped roughly $900M to purchase the Cubs. That’s a lot of dough for a club full of back-loaded contracts and an under-achieving record the past two years.
Since the stakes for winning were raised in 2007, Cubs fans have come to expect a winning team. Long gone are the days of fans filling the ballpark just to be at Wrigley Field. Don’t believe me? Just check out those new season ticket packages. Since when were the Cubs heavily advertising ticket sales?
The Bullpen Session is a weekly round-up of my observations surrounding Cubs baseball and much, much more!
–Who knew Ryan Theriot and Luke Scott were this dumb? I didn’t, at least, not until they both reached Carl Everett status with their ill-advised interview ramblings this week.
My heart just ached this morning with the sad news of Ron Santo’s death.
I smiled, however, remembering how many times Santo made me laugh, and by how excited he would get during the broadcasts.
Santo was never a Hall of Famer by broadcasting standards, but his credentials as a player are certainly worthy, despite the writers’ refusal to elect him.
It’s a damn shame that if he does get enshrined he won’t be here to accept the honor, which is an awful injustice that falls squarly on the shoulders of the voting baseball writers and Veterans committee who failed to vote him in on 19 occasions.
I feel for Pat Huges, too, who worked in the broadcast booth with Santo since 1996. I can’t imagine the sadness he’ll feel in the booth during the coming seasons without Ron by his side.
In honor of Ron I’m posting his retired No.10 jersey in my sidebar throughout the 2011 season. I hope the Cubs do something similar, and believe they will, by honoring Santo with a sleeve patch on the Cubs jerseys for the 2011 campaign.
*News this morning that Moreland is in as Santo’s replacement. Here’s a quick post from last April.
Interesting fact about Keith Moreland, who’s been filling in this week for Ron Santo on WGN radio. (Santo, by the way, returns for the Milwaukee series this weekend).
Not only was Moreland co-captain of the 1975 NCAA Champion Texas Longhorns, but he’s also second all-time for most hits in the College World Series (23) set from 1973-75.
Who’s first on that list? None other than the Cubs’ Sam Fuld, who clubbed 24 hits in the College World Series!
Moreland spent most of his six years in Chicago playing the corner outfield positions. Although he’s best remembered as a member of the ’84 division winning Cubs, his best season came the following year in Chicago: .307, 14 HR, 106 RBI.
Not this comes as a surprise but, Santo wasn’t voted in by the Veterans Committee.
And as I mentioned last week, I’m through getting worked up about HOF inductions…simply put, it’s a joke.
ESPN baseball writer Rob Neyer has an interesting take on the voting….below I pasted his coments about Santo.
R. Neyer – “Ron Santo is the best and most deserving candidate on the post-1942 ballot. Santo was an All-Star nine times, more than anyone else on the ballot. He hit 342 home runs, which at the time of his retirement was No. 2 all-time among third basemen. Santo also drew so many walks that he finished with a .362 on-base percentage, higher than those of Jim Rice and Andre Dawson. The one legitimate knock against Santo is he was washed up at 34, but before that he was perhaps the most durable third baseman ever. He has my whole-hearted endorsement.”
Although Ron Santo is currently best recognized for his emotional color commentary on the Chicago Cubs WGN radio broadcasts, his 14 years spent as the team’s third baseman made him one of the best in the business.
The Seattle native rushed onto the scene at Wrigley Field finishing fourth in the Rookie of the Year Award voting at just 20-years-old.
His following year began a string of 11 consecutive seasons playing no less than 154 games, including a stretch of five straight Gold Glove Awards from 1964-1968.
Santo also became baseball’s first third baseman to collect more than 300 home runs (342) and five Gold Gloves, a feat later matched by Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt.
What’s also noteworthy of Santo’s baseball career is his introduction of the batting helmet’s ear flap. During the 1966 season Santo suffered a broken cheekbone after being hit by a pitch.
He later returned wearing a protective ear flap on his batting helmet, thus the ear flap became a staple on all batting helmets thereafter.
Perhaps Santo’s best season came during 1969 when the right-handed batter posted a .289 avg., 29 HRs and 123 RBIs.
However, the Cubs suffered a late season collapse against the New York Mets and failed to make the post-season, a black mark that haunts Santo to this day.
It’s a crime the nine time All Star is not in baseball’s Hall of Fame when considering his career numbers: .277 avg., 1,138-R, 342-HRs, 1,331 RBIs and the 5-Gold Gloves.
The Hall’s Veteran Committee denied Santo induction by a mere eight votes in 2005, he later fell five votes short in the 2007 voting. Santo’s next chance for the Hall of Fame is during 2009.
See Santo’s career statistics at baseball-reference.com.
Read more articles like this at the Baseball Legends blog.