Cubs Wednesday: A Birthday, Rizzo and some Castro

Today’s first item of business is to wish Julie a happy birthday. We’ll be having a surprise party with cake and punch in the break room at 10:30. Anyone with a few extra minutes before that should come to help hang streamers and blow up balloons. kitty

Next up today is Anthony Rizzo. He’s the future at first base for the Cubs, and the front office thinks it’s time for him to be an example of enduring fortitude or something.

‘What we talked about with Anthony stays between us,’’ he (Jed Hoyer) said. ‘‘In general, you don’t want to take away a player’s personality. You want them to show emotions. But at the same time, you have a responsibility to the team. If you’re not going well, you’ve got to be able to be unflappable and not show your emotions. I think that’s a fine line, but that’s something that’s learned over the year. And it’s not something that every player has right away in the big leagues.’’

As the Cubs have traded away veterans each of the past two years, leaving the team without much leadership. Hoyer thinks Anthony is the guy to fill that void.

‘‘I totally believe in [Rizzo’s] character, and I believe he’s going to grow up to be a guy that’s leading the young guys,’’ said Hoyer, who traded for him both as a GM in San Diego and then with the Cubs. ‘‘But I think he’ll learn from what happened last year, and I think those things will keep getting better and better with time.’’

While we’re talking about core players, Ric(h)k(y) Renteria got into the business of defending Starlin Castro yesterday.

“I know there’s been a lot made about a particular play with a flyball and a guy tagging up,” Renteria said. “The other morning, I was working out in the gym and I’m watching ESPN or whatever (and) they’re showing Larry Walker giving a ball to a fan on the right-field line with a runner on third base and a guy tagging up. They’re showing multiple players that have done that over the course of their career.

“But yet this is the biggest thing that’s ever happened in the game of baseball – Starlin Castro getting into a situation where he caught a ball and the guy happened to score from third base.

“It happens to the best of them. We just don’t want it to happen as often. (But) unfortunately for this young man, everybody decided that he was the one to pick on.”

Could it be? The Cubs manager is a voice of reason and sanity? That might be the best birthday present Julie gets today.

24 thoughts on “Cubs Wednesday: A Birthday, Rizzo and some Castro

  1. NotAgain says:

    May I be the 2nd (after Carl) to say, HBD, CJ!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Happy Birthday, Julie!!

  3. NotAgain says:

    On an unrelated note, it’s time to start thinking about fantasy leagues for 2014, especially with the idiotic early season start for LAD-AZ on March 22 in Australia. (WTF??) That means teams have to have their drafts much earlier this year.

    If you’re in the LOHO Propeller Heads Roto league and have not yet indicated whether you’re returning this season or not, PLEASE do so ASAP so we can find new owners for your team if you’re dropping out.

  4. NotAgain says:

    And if you’re interested in joining our keeper league if any teams open up, please let me know as well.

    Thx!

  5. johnnywest333 says:

    I would jump out of a cake for you Julie but I’ve already “shivered me timbers” once this year in Chicago and I’m not planning on doing it again until next year. So Cheers to you on your happy day. Make it a great one!!!

  6. Doc Blume says:

    Happy Birthday, Julie!

    Russia lost to Finland just for you today!

  7. Doc Blume says:

    Even though it is Julie’s birthday, I’m going to post the depressing projected lineup ESPN has for the Cubs this coming season…

    Starlin Castro, SS
    Junior Lake, LF
    Anthony Rizzo, 1B
    Nate Schierholtz, RF
    Justin Ruggiano, CF
    Luis Valbuena, 3B
    Welington Castillo, C
    Darwin Barney, 2B
    P

    That, my friends, is a pathetic line up.

  8. Happy Birthday Julie! Yes, it’s about time someone stuck up for Starlin Castro. Last manager that did that was Lou Piniella and he was sleeping at the time.

  9. mightybear says:

    Happy 21st Birthday Julie D! Have fun. Make good choices.

  10. J says:

    My prediction for Julie’s Birthday- Groggles gets a minor league deal to be the set-up man for the 2014 Chicago Cubs.

    I’d wish you a happy birthday, but my prophecy pretty much excludes that as a reasonable outcome. I suggest you try really hard anyways.

  11. Drew says:

    Happy birthday!

  12. juliedicaro says:

    Thanks, everyone. That lineup Doc posted is pretty much ruining my day.

  13. NotAgain says:

    Nate the Great at clean-up should give you SOME solace…

  14. Anonymous says:

    Happy Birthday Julie!

  15. juliedicaro says:

    No Swooney (that’s what I’m calling him now) in the starting lineup?

  16. Doc Blume says:

    You know what I miss? Zambrano coming to spring training telling everyone that he’s in the best shape of his life and that he has rededicated himself to focusing on playing well. And then he goes out and does batting practice for 8 hours straight and then goes off and punches a water cooler.

    Those were the good old days.

  17. juliedicaro says:

    Hahahahaha. And injures his elbow spending too much time online in the wee hours of the morning.

  18. Doc Blume says:

    Wow…reports out Anaheim are the Pujols is still not 100%.

  19. J says:

    Pujols was never 100% in St Louis. I’d hope that Arte has a good insurance policy on that contract because this is looking like an Albert Belle redux, just with a bigger contract.

  20. Doc Blume says:

    Well…Pujols was healthy enough to play first base everyday…something which the Angels are saying he isn’t capable of doing right now.

  21. Doc Blume says:

    Ricketts just stated that the plan is for the Budweiser sign to be up in right field by opening day.

  22. juliedicaro says:

    Tom Ricketts also said he thinks the Cubs can make it to the playoffs this year. (HEADDESK)

  23. J says:

    Seems someone has confused the MLB Team Cubs with the Front Office “Let the Boss Win” Fantasy Baseball League’s “Cubs” team which just so happens to be managed by Tom Ricketts (via the front office so Tom wins.)

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