Sosa believes Cubs should retire his number

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Sosa believes Cubs should retire his number

Sammy Sosa took to Ustream, a live-streaming website where users can tune-in to such streams, to do an interview discussing a number of topics, including his Hall of Fame candidacy, the potential of the Cubs retiring his No. 21 and whether he may get into coaching later in his life.
Two weeks ago Sosa received just 12.5 percent of votes from the Baseball Writers Association of America, while his good friend Mark McGwire received 19.8 percent of the votes on his fifth year on the ballot. Sosa disagreed with the writers' decision to not vote him in, saying he believes both he and McGwire deserve to be elected.
"I think so," Sosa said earlier today. "I'm not gonna come here and say anything that is gonnajeopardizemy future, but time will determine everything. Right now whatever it is, it is. I am not anybody else to go up there and say what I have to say. I'm waiting for my time. I'm the type of person that doesn't like the controversy. Definitely time will determine everything."
Sosa's 609 career home runs are certainly the main reasons he believes he deserves Hall of Fame votes, and he said two of his round-trippers still stick out to him years later.
"The one that when I hit No. 62 for the first time, that was one that I feel comfortable with and I think I'm never gonna forget that one," he said. "And 600, which I hit in Texas."
Sosa said he can not narrow down his fondest memory of his playing days in Chicago, but that sprinting out to his right field position to the roars of fans in the bleachers sticks out to him.
Related: Cubs might look to repair 'awkward' situation with Sosa
The topic of whether the Cubs will retire Sosa's jersey in the coming years was brought up, and Sosa said it is something he is looking forward to, but admitted should have happened earlier.
"I think that it's something that I'm looking for, something that I want to happen," Sosa said. "Kind of surprised it didn't happen before, but time determines everything and when that happens I'll be more comfortable and happy with my whole family. And this is a good number I carried for 14 years in Chicago, so that number should have been retired a long time ago."
While his number may be retired, don't expect to see Sosa in a Cubs uniform anytime soon. The slugger shot down any rumors about himself one day coaching -- in Chicago or the major leagues -- saying he is happy with where he is.
"Maybe in the future we'll have the opportunity with Chicago, down the road it might change my mind but I'm comfortable here."

Joe Maddon keeping thoughts on Cubs’ playoff rotation to himself

Joe Maddon keeping thoughts on Cubs’ playoff rotation to himself

CINCINNATI – After Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price dropped 77 F-bombs on reporters during an epic rant that went viral last year, Joe Maddon explained his dealing-with-the-media philosophy by saying: “At the end of the day, we’re not trying to conceal weaponry being sold to Iran.”

Maddon’s had a clear understanding of how the Cubs want to align their playoff rotation for about a week now, but the manager who will thoughtfully answer just about any misinformed or off-the-wall question doesn’t want to reveal those plans yet.  

“We have an idea of what we want to do,” Maddon said Friday at Great American Ball Park. “But we haven’t had that final conversation with Theo (Epstein) and Jed (Hoyer) and everybody else (in the front office) and all of our coaches.

“What I like to do under these circumstances is talk to the players first before they have to read about it in the newspaper.”

Do the pitchers already know?

“They’re not stupid,” Maddon said.

That type of scenario sparked Price’s meltdown last April, when it looked like one of Maddon’s former players – they worked together in 1985 and 1986 in Midland, Texas, at a Double-A affiliate for the California Angels – could get fired midseason. Price survived 98 losses, and even with the team heading toward another last-place finish this season, the Reds announced a one-year contract extension with a club option for 2018 before Friday’s game against the Cubs.   

Where the manager’s hot seat used to be the dominant storyline around this team at this time of year, the Cubs have now lined up Jon Lester (19-4, 2.28 ERA) and Kyle Hendricks (16-8, 1.99 ERA) for Games 161 and 162 this weekend, giving them two leading Cy Young Award candidates for the front of their playoff rotation.

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Maddon indicated the opponent – whoever emerges from the three-team battle among the New York Mets, San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals and wins the National League wild-card game – won’t change how the Cubs set their pitching matchups.

In theory, the Cubs can also rearrange Jake Arrieta (18-8, 3.10 ERA) and John Lackey (11-8, 3.35 ERA) in a different order for Games 3 and 4, but it sounds like the brass has already made that decision, whatever it is. 

“You could if you wanted to, but I don’t anticipate that,” Maddon said. “Again, I want to make sure before we make that announcement.”

However it shakes out, Arrieta and Lackey will have to wait almost two full weeks from their last regular-season start until their first playoff action on Oct. 10-11, on the road, in a best-of-five series where anything can happen.   

“That’s always been the major complaint I’ve heard,” Maddon said. “It’s just up to us to handle it properly. Now, of course, it may be difficult or rusty or whatever you want to call it. I don’t know. And then again, the rest might just do somebody really good. It just depends on the individual. These are the kind of things that are kind of outside of your control.

“You do your best in order to meet the challenge. That’s it. And you don’t make excuses. You don’t cry about it. You just do it, because, in advance, you know this is how it is set up.

“Otherwise, there’s nothing you can do about it, man.”

The Cubs have first-division problems, avoiding the major arm injuries that decimated the Mets. The Giants would have to burn a Madison Bumgarner start in the one-game playoff. The Cardinals are in this precarious position because their rotation has been so inconsistent.

“We are where we are because of our starters,” Arrieta said. “Our offense has been, obviously, spectacular, (but) we’ve all pitched really well throughout the year. I think we’re in a situation where we should be able to enjoy that for a little while.

“We’ll be ready for the first round.”

Cubs make it official: Jed Hoyer, Jason McLeod extended

Cubs make it official: Jed Hoyer, Jason McLeod extended

It was no secret after Theo Epstein's contract extension on Wednesday, but the Cubs officially announced extensions for general manager Jed Hoyer and senior vice president of scouting and player development Jason McLeod on Friday.

The new contracts run through the 2021 season.

Both Hoyer and McLeod joined the Cubs on Nov. 1, 2011. The team is set for its second straight postseason appearance this October.

CSN Chicago's Cubs Insider Patrick Mooney had more on Epstein keeping the band together when Epstein's deal was first announced on Wednesday.