The Chicago Cubs
A professional baseball team located in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of Major League Baseball’s National League. The Cubs are one of the two remaining charter members of the National League (the other being the Atlanta Braves). The team is currently owned by a family trust of TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, and was previously owned by the Chicago Tribune and, prior to the Tribune, by the Wrigley Company.
The Cubs have not won the World Series in 103 years, a longer championship drought than that of any other major North American professional sports team,and are often referred to as “The Lovable Losers” because of this distinction. They are also known as “The North Siders” because Wrigley Field, their home park since 1916, is located in Chicago’s north side Lake View community at 1060 West Addison Street. The Cubs have rivalries with theSt. Louis Cardinals, the Milwaukee Brewers, and the Chicago White Sox.
The club played its first games in 1870 and was founded professionally in 1876. This makes the Cubs, along with the Braves who were also founded in 1871, one of the two oldest active teams in major North American sports. Because the Cubs lost two seasons to the Great Chicago Fire, the Braves have played more seasons, although the Cubs hold the record for oldest team still in its original city.
Recent Cubs History
Apparently handcuffed by the Tribune’s bankruptcy and the sale of the club to the Ricketts’ family, the Cubs’ quest for a NL Central 3-peat started with notice that there would be less invested into contracts than in previous years. Once again, however, trade speculation dominated the headlines at the winter meetings, this time surrounding Padres’ ace Jake Peavy, which, much like the Brian Roberts talks a year earlier, resulted in nothing. Piniella blamed the ’08 post season failure on the lack of left-handed hitters, and a bevy of high caliber outfielders fit the bill. Ultimately, the club settled on inking oft-troubled switch hitter Milton Bradley over Adam Dunn, Raúl Ibáñez, and Bobby Abreu. The bench and bullpen were also overhauled in a bevy of money saving moves. Fan favorites Kerry Wood and Mark DeRosa both left for the Cleveland Indians. Kevin Gregg was acquired from the Marlins to replace Wood, and Aaron Miles was signed to replace DeRosa.
Led by the strong play of Derrek Lee, Ted Lilly and rookie pitcher Randy Wells, the club started well, but fell on hard times as injuries took their toll. Nearly every key player suffered injury and the Northsiders struggled into the All Star break with a disappointing .500 record. Carlos Mármol eventually replaced Gregg as closer and the team stayed in the race, but they were distracted by Bradley, whose poor hitting and even poorer attitude became a major issue. Bradley complained about being heckled, booed and “hated” by bleacher fans and expressed his overall unhappiness in Chicago, eventually leading to a season ending suspension. Despite this, Chicago engaged St. Louis in a see-saw battle for first place into August, but the Cardinals played to a torrid 20–6 pace that month, designating their rivals to battle in the Wild Card race, from which they were eliminated in the season’s final week. The Cubs posted a winning record (83–78) for the third consecutive season, the first time the club had done so since 1972, and a new era of ownership under the Ricketts’ family was approved by MLB owners in early October.
Milton Bradley was traded to Seattle in the off-season, and was replaced by Marlon Byrd and Xavier Nady as Lou Piniella entered his fourth season with the team. The Cubs were expected to contend with the St. Louis Cardinals for the divisional title. Rookie Starlin Castro debuted in early May as the starting shortstop. However, the club played poorly in the early season, finding themselves 10 games under .500 at the end of June. In addition, long-time ace Carlos Zambrano was pulled from a game against the White Sox on June 25 after a tirade and shoving match with Derrek Lee, and was suspended indefinitely by Jim Hendry, who called the conduct “unacceptable.”
On August 2, The Cubs tied a club record for most allowed hits in a single game. Cubs pitchers gave up a total of 26 hits in their 18 to 1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. The last time Cubs pitchers allowed 26 hits was on September 2, 1957 against the Milwaukee Braves.
On August 22, Lou Piniella, who had already announced his retirement at the end of the season, announced that he would leave the Cubs prematurely to take care of his sick mother. Mike Quade took over as the interim manager for the final 37 games of the year. Despite being well out of playoff contention the Cubs went 24–13 under Quade, the best record in baseball during that 37 game stretch and was hired as manager on October 19th.
On December 3, Cubs broadcaster and former third baseman, Ron Santo, died due to complications from bladder cancer and diabetes. He spent 13 seasons as a player with the Cubs, and at the time of his death was regarded as one of the greatest players not in the Hall of Fame.He has since been elected to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.
On January 7, 2011, Matt Garza was traded from the Tampa Bay Rays to the Cubs as part of an eight-player deal. The Cubs sent outfielder Sam Fuld, and prospects Christopher Archer, Hak-Ju Lee, Brandon Guyer, and Robinson Chirinos to the Rays for Garza, outfielder Fernando Perez and minor league left-handed pitcher Zachary Rosscup.
The Cubs finished the 2011 season 20 games under .500 with a record of 71-91. On August 19, 2011 they relieved general manager Jim Hendry of his duties.
On October 21, 2011 the Cubs officially hired Theo Epstein as president of baseball operations. On October 26, Jed Hoyer was hired as executive vice-president and general manager. Jason McLeod will serve as senior vice-president and head scouting and player development.On November 2, Cubs manager, Mike Quade, was fired. On November 17, 2011, Dale Sveum agreed to a three year contract with an option for a fourth to become new manager of the Cubs.