Cubs talking points: Glanville waits for radio call

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Cubs talking points: Glanville waits for radio call

Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011
Posted 3:35 PM Updated 6:22 PM

By Patrick Mooney
CSNChicago.com

Fans have been asking Doug Glanville about it all weekend. Even the guy that used to walk Glanvilles dogs whos in Korea now saw his name mentioned in an online article and wanted to reconnect.

The idea of Glanville replacing the late Ron Santo in the WGN Radio booth gained momentum among fans on Twitter, but there are obstacles, like his ESPN contract, and the fact that he hasnt been contacted about the job yet.

WATCH: Cubs fans enjoy the convention

I have no idea, Glanville told CSNChicago.com on Sunday. Its not like WGN or the Cubs have called me or anything like that. I work for ESPN. So Ill be working for them this year, but obviously a lot of people come and go in different places like (Buck) Showalter leaves (ESPN) in the middle of the season to manage (the Orioles). Thats where Im focused right now.

All that doesnt automatically disqualify the 40-year-old Glanville, who was signing copies of his book The Game from Where I Stand at the Hilton Chicago. Glanville is a gifted writer who used to contribute to The New York Times op-ed page and appear on CSN.

Team president Crane Kenney interviewed one candidate on Saturday, and said that the speculated names are generally accurate. Dave Otto and Keith Moreland also fit the profile as former Cubs with extensive broadcast experience. It could take weeks before the Cubs and WGN make a final decision.

I dont know where it goes, Glanville said. Im always listening. And you always know, just like in baseball, (that) your job is a blink away from being something else someone gets rid of you. I definitely keep all those options open.

Glanville described himself as a huge Santo fan, and played the day the Cubs retired No. 10. He still lives in the Chicago area, and has young children hed have to think about before considering the travel commitment of broadcasting close to a 162-game schedule.

READ: Santo statue begins Wrigley makeover

But the University of Pennsylvania graduate is naturally curious.

To think about even replacing him for anybody is impossible, Glanville said. But its more about respecting his legacy and then figuring if you can add your own flavor to the passion of Chicago and Cubs baseball.

Whoevers selected will benefit from working next to Pat Hughes, a radio fixture in his own right. With the Cubs Convention closing Sunday, here are some of the talking points youll likely hear from Hughes and his partner in 2011:

The fine manager. Mike Quade recently rode the Orange Line in from Midway Airport, in a car where hustlers were trying to run a game of three-card monte. He insists that hes still going to take the El, figuring hed rather spend two bucks than 20.

Quade knows that he wont have the same sense of privacy anymore, and maybe the job will ultimately wear him down. But a sense of humor will help, like when a fan wonders whether Greg Maddux could become Carlos Zambranos life coach.

If were going to have individual guys taking care of each (player) that has some emotional issues, Quade said, were not going to have a big enough plane.

The passion. Welcome to Chicago, Matt Garza, and endless (unfair?) comparisons to Zambrano, who asked by a fan if hes going to open a rehabilitation center for Gatorade coolers.

WATCH: Garza happy with Cubs

Yes, they are both talented and emotional, and eventually well have a better idea to what degree. But the Cubs did their homework on Garza, even calling his former coach at Fresno State University.

There wasnt one person that works for the Cubs that wasnt all in on Matt Garza, general manager Jim Hendry said. He seemed like the perfect guy because he has three years left before hes a free agent. Hes in the prime of his career. Hes been completely clean medically.

The Rudy Jaramillo effect. Carlos Pena was scheduled to leave for Dallas on Sunday to spend a week with the hitting guru. The Cubs were willing to look beyond Penas .196 average last season, and he will initially get the benefit of the doubt because of his reputation as a class act. But for how long?

All you see is the numbers, (but) it doesnt make sense, Jaramillo said. Im looking to the future. Whatever happened to him in Tampa, (well) figure it out.

The system. The Cubs love hyping their prospects, but Matt Szczur (pronounced like Caesar) is an interesting name to file away. A two-sport athlete at Villanova University, he once put it all on hold to donate peripheral blood cells to a young leukemia patient who had only a 1-in-80,000 chance of finding a match.

Szczur will work out later this month at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., and projects as a middle-round pick in the NFL draft. He also hit .347 across 25 games in the low minors last year. He could earn a 500,000 bonus if he commits to play only baseball by a certain date in early February. The NFLs labor uncertainty cant hurt the Cubs in this case.

Weve not lost sight of Matt, scouting director Tim Wilken said. I think we got a real good shot to sign him. Well see what happens, (but) hes got a chance to be a big-time, front-line centerfielder.

The actual, um, baseball team. Too often this offseason the Cubs have been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. They are not just a marketing machine and a political action committee. Let Showtime and the San Francisco Giants film their reality show. Even the Undercover Boss is ready for spring training.

My 15 minutes are over, Todd Ricketts said, and we can go back to focusing on baseball.

PatrickMooney is CSNChicago.com's Cubs beat writer. FollowPatrick on Twitter @CSNMooneyfor up-to-the-minute Cubs news and views.

Cubs finalize Opening Day 25-man roster

Cubs finalize Opening Day 25-man roster

Matt Szczur or Tommy La Stella on the Cubs Opening Day roster?

How about both?

Theo Epstein told reporters Wednesday morning the Cubs plan to keep both Szczur and La Stella on the Opening Day 25-man roster with relief pitcher Brian Duensing headed to the disabled list.

Duensing, 34, has been hampered by a back issue this spring.

Szczur is out of minor-league options, meaning the Cubs would have had to either keep him on the 25-man roster or place him on waivers, which would almost assuredly mean they'd lose him to another team.

La Stella has options left and already told manager Joe Maddon this spring he would head down to the minors if asked (something La Stella was unwilling to do in August last year when he refused assignment).

The move makes the most sense for the Cubs, as the need for eight relief pitchers is not as imperative in April when the team has five off-days in the first month of the season.

Of course, the Cubs still have four days left of exhibition action, but assuming nothing else changes, here's how the Cubs roster will look Opening Night in St. Louis Sunday:

Catchers

Willson Contreras
Miguel Montero

Infielders

Anthony Rizzo
Ben Zobrist
Javy Baez
Addison Russell
Kris Bryant
Tommy La Stella

Outfielders

Jason Heyward
Albert Almora
Jon Jay
Kyle Schwarber
Matt Szczur

Starting pitchers

Jon Lester
Jake Arrieta
John Lackey
Brett Anderson
Kyle Hendricks

Relief pitchers

Mike Montgomery
Justin Grimm
Carl Edwards Jr.
Pedro Strop
Hector Rondon
Koji Uehara
Wade Davis

The Cubs figure to eventually make room for Duensing on the roster as the bullpen could use another left-handed pitcher, but those decisions often take care of themselves with either health problems or trade options, etc.

Remember, there is a 10-day disabled list this year in the MLB, so placing a guy on the DL doesn't guarantee losing him for more than two weeks anymore.

Cubs: Ben Zobrist's path back to October and a possible three-peat

Cubs: Ben Zobrist's path back to October and a possible three-peat

MESA, Ariz. – Ben Zobrist is focused on a personal three-peat, not worrying about a changing of the guard or any awkward moments with Javier Baez. Cubs manager Joe Maddon has repeatedly said that Zobrist will be the primary second baseman and another "Javy Being Javy" highlight reel from the World Baseball Classic won't change that thinking right now.

Zobrist sees the big picture better than almost anyone else in the clubhouse after going undrafted out of Eureka High School in downstate Illinois, perfecting the super-utility role Maddon envisioned with the Tampa Bay Rays and helping transform the 2015 Kansas City Royals into World Series champions.

While Baez started all 17 playoff games at second base last year, bursting onto the scene as the National League Championship co-MVP, Zobrist became the World Series MVP with his clutch hitting and still has three seasons left on his $56 million contract.

Maddon didn't spare anyone's feelings during the playoffs, turning $184 million outfielder Jason Heyward into a part-time player, giving a quick hook to major-league ERA leader Kyle Hendricks and shunning relievers not named Aroldis Chapman.

"We haven't had an extended conversation about it," Zobrist said. "But at the beginning of spring, we talked about it. I think his words were: ‘I really think rest is the next improvement in player performance.' Learning what rest means, what good rest is for players and what kind of rest certain players need versus others.

"That doesn't necessarily mean just because you're 35. It could mean you're 25 and you still got to take care of yourself and make sure you're getting the proper rest. Because we have such a deep team, he's able to do that at any given point in time and still feel confident about the team we have on the field.

"It's a good problem to have when you have really good players not playing and sitting on the bench. We had that all last year and we had guys accept their role and just buy into the team concept.

"The makeup of this team is the same, basically. We've got a few new guys and they've got the same mindset, so I anticipate more of the same."

Injuries are one variable that prevents Maddon from getting too stressed out about dividing the playing time over 162 games while the NCAA tournament is still going. Zobrist's stiff neck felt good enough to hit leadoff and play right field in Tuesday afternoon's 10-7 loss to the San Francisco Giants, seeing his first Cactus League action since March 19.

Zobrist plans to play again on Wednesday in Mesa and catch up with more at-bats on the minor-league side of the complex. Assuming Zobrist and All-Star shortstop Addison Russell (stiff back) are ready for Opening Night, Baez will be an NLCS MVP, all-WBC talent waiting for the right matchup or break in the schedule or to sub in as a defensive replacement.

"It's pretty impressive, looking around at the young talent in this clubhouse," Zobrist said. "All throughout spring training, we've seen there's definitely other talent coming, so this team is poised to have a good, long run of success. If everybody stays healthy and we stay together, this is a very good team.

"The biggest thing that I go into the season with this year is we have to be healthy and we have to make sure that we don't relax too much. That's the temptation for teams that just won, to go: OK, well, we're tired, because we had a long season last year and you kind of just assume things are going to go as well as they did.

"You can't assume anything. No matter how good this team is, we have to still go out and execute and perform – and that's going to determine where we are in the standings."

In real time, as the Cubs experienced their lowest moments during last year's regular season, Zobrist correctly pointed out the exhaustion factor while the team played 24 days in a row, losing 15 of their last 21 games before the All-Star break.

What looks like overwhelming depth on paper should help the 2017 Cubs survive and advance into October.

"It's huge," Zobrist said. "It's up and down the lineup on offense. It's all throughout the pitching staff and on the defensive side. It's so deep that you can absorb a little bit of injury here and there.

"With that being said, there are certain guys that you just don't want to lose. So we got to protect everybody. We got to protect our horses – both on the mound and in the lineup – and just make sure that we have our key cogs in there. And if we do, we're as good, if not better, than anybody out there."