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joe maddon's tv appearance curbed by scheduling conflict


manager joe maddon won his first world series last november, but one goal remains elusive.that would be appearing on an episode of "curb your enthusiasm," as a series of scheduling conflicts prevented maddon from taping an episode."i couldn’t make it," said maddon, who was asked to appear on feb. 21 - the same day maddon and the other cactus league managers had a media event in phoenix. "i don’t know how we’re going to figure this out."the two sides originally had agreed on a date, only to see the date changed."maybe (i'll be) a picture in the wall or a phone call," maddon quipped.maddon said he asks jeff garlin, a producer/comedian who is a big cubs fan and "curb your enthusiasm" co-star, to bring star larry david to a game. "it will happen," maddon said of his appearance on the show.capt






joe maddon eager to provide first gimmick of cubs' spring training


manager joe maddon seemed eager and optimistic to perform the cubs' first gimmick of the 2017 season before monday's workout.finances don't seem to be an issue, as evidenced last spring by the array of gimmicks orchestrated by strength and conditioning coordinator tim buss with maddon's consent."it’s combustible," said maddon, who has hired disc jockeys and drove his 1970s van onto the conditioning field before workouts. "it’s interesting. if i think of something, i’ll throw it at him. and he knows he doesn’t have to clear it with me unless it’s absolutely insane. but it works very well."when asked about the funding of stunts, which frequently featured buss in various costumes, maddon praised traveling secretary vijay tekchandani."he's very good about taking care of all that," maddon smile






world series win means raise for cubs’ joe maddon


joe maddon and the cubs were feeling like a million bucks after winning the world series four months ago.and $1 million more per year for the final three years of his contract is what maddon will receive for leading the franchise to its first championship since 1908.the raise, first reported thursday morning by fanrag sports, pushes maddon's pay into a three-way tie for the most in mlb with the angels' mike scioscia and the giants' bruce bochy for tops among managers, according to several reports."can’t be," maddon said when informed of that fact. "i didn’t know that. it’s very nice. that’s all good. but i’ve never even seen one of my paychecks."when this all came about, my first thought was, 'the more you can make, the more you can give back.'" photos of joe maddon, the 2015 nl manager of






cubs' joe maddon moved by visit with steve gleason


manager joe maddon will be besieged by unpaid advisers and one-game-a-year dignitaries when the cubs return to wrigley field for their april 10 home opener.but maddon made a point to pay a special tribute to former nfl safety steve gleason, who is afflicted with als and is founder of "team gleason," a foundation designed to raise funds and awareness for the neuromuscular disease.gleason, confined to a wheelchair, came onto the field as the cubs took batting practice before thursday night's game in houston against the astros.maddon was so moved by the chance to meet gleason, 40, that he signed a jersey for him.maddon signed his name on the top part of the seven digit of his no. 70 jersey with "ws champs 2016" along the diagonal part."respect 90" and "respect team gleason" were written by ma






joe maddon develops friendship with arizona cardinals coaches


musician and longtime cubs fan eddie vedder visited his favorite team last week, and several celebrities and one-game-a-year dignitaries are expected to descend on sloan park and wrigley field this season following the franchise's first world series title since 1908.but never did manager joe maddon seems as appreciative and delighted as when arizona cardinals assistant coach tom moore observed the cubs' workout prior to saturday's game against the athletics.maddon is a fan of the cardinals but seems just as thrilled to share wisdom from the likes of moore, 78, and other professional coaches."i love the guy," said maddon, who exchanged several text messages with moore. "he loves this. he follows us. he’s asking questions about our guys already."and i’m asking cardinals questions already."ma






wade davis' history comforts cubs manager joe maddon


it was only three springs ago that the chicago cubs witnessed jose veras eroding from their closer to being released only two months into the 2014 season.that scenario doesn't exist this spring with wade davis and his 19.64 era, based largely on manager joe maddon's history with davis dating  to their days with the tampa bay rays."honestly, i’ve know him long enough to where it’s not (a concern)," maddon said sunday, one day after davis allowed four runs in only one-third of an inning. "you’re not going to believe this, but he’s throwing better than he normally does in spring training. the biggest problem he’s having now is command."maddon believes davis' velocity, in the mid-90 mph range, is nearly 10 mph faster than his springs with the rays. "he’s just not throwing the ball where he wan






widow of late cubs manager don zimmer to attend monday's home opener


joe maddon's association with don zimmer in tampa bay, and zimmer's link with the cubs prompted maddon to invite a special guest to monday night's home opener.that would be soot zimmer, the widow of the cubs' former manager who often lent advice to maddon during his days with the rays."it was necessary," maddon said of the invitation, adding that zimmer's widow was very excited by the invitation and responded with an "infectious laugh."maddon said soot zimmer will be accompanied by her grandson, beau, a sportscaster in tampa.don zimmer managed the cubs from 1988 to 1991, leading them to a 1989 national league east title.the zimmers were married from 1951 until don's passing in 2014 at 83.






joe maddon hasn't gone 'crazy' about hector rondon


as pitching coach chris bosio was working on ways to fix hector rondon in the minute maid park visitors' bullpen, manager joe maddon maintained his faith in his embattled reliever."i'm not ready to go crazy yet," maddon said friday, one day after rondon allowed four consecutive hits in a loss to the houston astros. maddon ruled out any injury speculation for rondon, but poor location persists."i would be much more concerned if he was hurting, but he’s not," said maddon, whose declaration was supported by the 96 mph readings on rondon's fastball. "and he knows he’s got to fix it. it’s not as if he’s making excuses. so for all those different reasons, i understand the concern, but i know he’s going to be fine."rondon was unavailable for comment on friday but said on thursday that he worked w






cubs have ample time to correct recurring defensive flaws


manager joe maddon's "d-peat" slogan has been put to the test this spring with kris bryant, addison russellandkyle schwarber all committing multiple errors."we've made some mistakes," maddon acknowledged thursday, one day after he spoke with center fielder jon jay after ketel marte of the diamondbacks stretched a single into a double.but maddon insists he's not concerned about lingering issues regarding the cubs' usually stellar fielding."it's a hard place to evaluate," maddon said of the sun-baked, hard and fast fields in arizona.schwarber continues to impress maddon with his work in left field. schwarber had an error wednesday night, but maddon likes schwarber's footwork and routes to the ball that have improved with the help of coach dave martinez."i'm really a stickler on outfield fund






joe maddon intrigued by brett anderson's potential


after throwing one scoreless inning monday, left-hander brett anderson has created a lot of buzz in the chicago cubs' camp.it was only two seasons ago that anderson, 29, made 31 starts for the los angeles dodgers. he threw a career-high 180 1/3 innings and posted a 3.69 era. but given anderson's long list of injuries that included a bulging disc in his lower back that sidelined him for most of 2016, the cubs are taking careful measures in hopes of getting plenty of mileage out of anderson.but his ability and early work has caught the eye of manager joe maddon, who recognized anderson's talents when he pitched for the oakland athletics (2009-13) when maddon was with the tampa bay rays."i would be really curious to see this guy with a full season of good health," said maddon, who thought it






world series win means raise for cubs’ joe maddon


joe maddon and the cubs were feeling like a million bucks after winning the world series four months ago.and $1 million more per year for the final three years of his contract is what maddon will receive for leading the franchise to its first championship since 1908.the raise, first reported thursday morning by fanrag sports, pushes maddon's pay into a three-way tie for the most in mlb with the angels' mike scioscia and the giants' bruce bochy for tops among managers, according to several reports."can’t be," maddon said when informed of that fact. "i didn’t know that. it’s very nice. that’s all good. but i’ve never even seen one of my paychecks."when this all came about, my first thought was, 'the more you can make, the more you can give back.'" photos of joe maddon, the 2015 nl manager of






joe maddon wants cubs relievers ready for any situation


hector rondon stepped aside last july when the cubs brought in closer aroldis chapman, and the addition of veteran koji uehara is another sign that roles in the bullpen will be as fluid as they've ever been under manager joe maddon."we've got a lot of talent and are deep and will be ready for any situation that arises during the season," maddon said. "it's a good thing."understanding that rondon might have taken the acquisition of chapman personally, maddon called rondon shortly before the cubs traded for wade davis on dec. 7."(rondon) was magnanimous, he was fine," maddon said. "but i'm sure there might be a part of him that might have been injured by that a little bit. however, i anticipate he'll fit in within his new role well."before leaving tuesday for san diego to join team venezuela






joe maddon slogan for leadoff hitter kyle schwarber unsuited for families


joe maddon isn't afraid to think out of the box when it comes to slogans, but his phrase for new leadoff batter kyle schwarber is racier than his "you go, we go" mantra the last two seasons for dexter fowler."i have something, but it's slightly x-rated, so i can't tell you guys," the cubs manager told reporters thursday. "it's not slightly x-rated. it's totally x-rated, so i can't publicly disclose."that would sell on a t-shirt."maddon would divulge only that the new phrase was linked to eyes.the fact maddon will be close to fowler during opening day introductions sunday night wasn't lost on him as the cubs get ready to face fowler and the cardinals."i thought about that, because he and i got along very well, and he's going to be very, very important for them," maddon said. "so it will be






cubs' joe maddon on david ross' performance on dwts: spectacular


chicago cubs first baseman anthony rizzo tweeted he was "horrified" by the "magic mike" theme performed monday night by former teammate david ross on "dancing with the stars.but manager joe maddon raved over ross' effort in keeping with maddon's "be uncomfortable" theme."it was great," maddon said tuesday. "i’m so proud of him. we all should be proud of him. first, we talk about being uncomfortable. he’s got to be absolutely uncomfortable doing all of that."i’ve only known him for a couple years. i couldn’t be more proud of him. i think it’s awesome. whatever he does after this experience, it’s only going to benefit that. i’m a big believer of all of that. the complementary effects of really reaching outside of your comfort area. bully for him. he’s doing great."anybody who wants to be a h






ring ceremony brings out the kids in the cubs


one of the men most responsible for wednesday night's world series ring ceremony was standing near the dodgers' dugout an hour before the big event.if andrew friedman didn't leave the rays for the dodgers in october 2014, cubs manager joe maddon wouldn't have been able to exercise the opt-out clause in his contract, the one maddon didn't know about until his agent informed him during a trip in his rv to jellystone park.once he became a free agent manager, maddon drove the rv to pensacola, fla., to meet with cubs president theo epstein and general manager jed hoyer, who convinced him to sign a five-year, $25 million deal to replace rick renteria.that set off the chain of events that led to last year's title and wednesday night's party, where maddon received some of the loudest cheers when e






instant memories for cubs, rajai davis in exhibition opener


memories of game 7 of the 2016 world series will automatically flash saturday for the chicago cubs.the cubs will face the oakland athletics and leadoff batter rajai davis, known more for his game-tying home run off aroldis chapman in the eighth inning of last year's series."he's a good little player," maddon said of davis, who signed with the a's as a free agent. "i've always been a fan of davis. that makes oakland a little more interesting."maddon recalled a situation on the final day of the 2011 season, when his tampa bay rays rallied to earn a playoff spot thanks to some help from baltimore infielder robert andino.andino eliminated the boston red sox with a game-winning hit within minutes after the rays rallied to beat the new york yankees."the next spring, (andino) is leading, and we a






joe maddon slogan for leadoff hitter kyle schwarber unsuited for families


houston — joe maddon isn't afraid to think out of the box when it comes to slogans, but his phrase for new leadoff batter kyle schwarber is racier than his "you go, we go" mantra the last two seasons for dexter fowler."i have something, but it's slightly x-rated, so i can't tell you guys," the cubs manager told reporters thursday. "it's not slightly x-rated. it's totally x-rated, so i can't publicly disclose."that would sell on a t-shirt."maddon would divulge only that the new phrase was linked to eyes.the fact maddon will be close to fowler during opening day introductions sunday night wasn't lost on him as the cubs get ready to face fowler and the cardinals."i thought about that, because he and i got along very well, and he's going to be very, very important for them," maddon said. "so i






joe maddon: theo epstein had better 2016 than pope francis


nobody's better.that's manager joe maddon's opinion ofcubs president theo epstein after epstein was named the world's greatest leader by fortune — two spots ahead of pope francis. "the pope didn’t have as good of a year," maddon quipped. "i’m all about the pope. sorry pope francis. i’d like to meet him some day. but after what we did last year (winning the world series) was pretty special."has the pope broken any 108-year old curses lately? he may have, but we’re not aware of any right now."maddon mentioned that epstein ended an 86-year world series title drought in boston as well as possessing the qualities necessary to be an effective leader."he’s very good at setting something up and permitting people to do their jobs," maddon said. "that’s the essence of good leadership, the ability to






cubs offense more potent than last season? joe maddon trusts the data


after reading some projections from the team's analytics department, cubs manager joe maddon felt even better about the potential of the lineup with kyle schwarber in the leadoff spot and the starting pitcher batting eighth."if that number is right, i'll take it," maddon said sunday night.maddon didn't reveal the number, but he did say the 2017 lineup was projected to score more runs per game than last season's average, which was 4.98.that might seem like an ambitious goal, considering the cubs will be without last season's leadoff hitter, dexter fowler, now with the cardinals, who scored 84 runs and led all leadoff batters with a .393 on-base percentage.but maddon is banking on a full season from schwarber, who missed the final 159 games because of torn ligaments in his left knee, the mat






cubs' joe maddon: 'we're not going to steal bases, everybody knows that'


the cubs stole only 66 bases last season, and manager joe maddon doesn't expect that to change in 2017."we’re not going to steal bases," maddon said sunday in a blunt tone. "everybody knows that. if you’re going to advance scout us, why would you even try? we don’t have those guys in the lineup."since-departed dexter fowler led the cubs with 13 stolen bases, followed by javier baez (12) and jason heyward (11). kyle schwarber will bat leadoff for most of this season, but he's known more for his power than his speed."i don’t like trying to put the round peg in the square hole," maddon said. "it just doesn’t make any sense. i think we can be situational. there are certain guys you can force to attempt it with. for me, if the guy is a really good pitcher you’re facing, and you’re just not goin






cubs' joe maddon sees a more confident jeimer candelario


jeimer candelario impressed manager joe maddon with his bat last spring when thecubs' third base prospect batted .350.candelario is off to a 3-for-18 start but has made a few dazzling plays at third base that have caught the attention of maddon."he’s more comfortable in his major league skin than last year," maddon said friday. "that’s a big part of it. when he came up, he definitely was wide-eyed. he's a great talent who struggled in the beginning. part of it was he had done so well here, then went back and these are kids. the expectations they fill themselves with are sometimes unrealistic."candelario, 23, received a brief promotion to the majors, batting 1-for-11 before returning to triple-a iowa, where he batted .333 with nine home runs and 54 rbis in 76 games."we have a lot of faith i






joe maddon impressed with jason heyward's modified swing


the cubs' initial plan for jason heyward this spring is to start him in two consecutive games, followed by a day off as he attempts to get in a consistent rhythm with his modified swing.cubs manager maddon observed that heyward’s swing looks freer as the result of lowering his hands and holding his bat vertically."it’s a new toy, but the toy has a lot of potential benefits," maddon said sunday before heyward went 0-for-2 with a walk and two strikeouts. "i think there's a pretty good year out there for him."the challenge, however, will get more difficult when heyward faces tougher pitching as the cubs get closer to the regular season. but maddon has observed the smoothness in heyward’s modified swing."his hands are working so much better," maddon said. "our game, as a hitter, is played betw






workout, grilled cheese sandwich conclude 'second spring training' for joe maddo


manager joe maddon spent his sixth night at the cubs' team hotel in st. louis by working out for the sixth consecutive time and treating himself to a room service dinner off the children's menu."i ordered a grilled cheese sandwich and peanut better and jelly sandwich with a club soda, so i had a big night," maddon quipped.despite several forecasts that called for a ... ial downpour throughout wednesday that never crystallized, maddon applauded the cardinals' decision to postpone the game more than two hours in advance of the starting time."the worst thing is to hand around all day, game started, game stopped, game started, game stopped," maddon said. "and that’s when it red lights. that why i give them credit for making the decision. even if it didn’t turn out we could have played, based o






joe maddon in no hurry for anthony rizzo to become clubhouse ‘leader’


anthony rizzo will be a "grandpa" someday.but cubs manager joe maddon doesn't anticipate that day will happen anytime soon.with undisputed clubhouse leader and rizzo confidant david "grandpa" ross retired, having traded his catcher’s gear for dancing shoes, the cubs are left with something of a veteran leadership void in the clubhouse.as usual, maddon’s not worried. he acknowledged ross’ value but said rizzo will "just keep being rizzo." he said rizzo’s "time will come to be that person within the clubhouse."but leadership happens organically, so maddon isn’t about to push the issue."he’s still the same," maddon said. "david’s absence is what it is. we have a lot of other guys. a lot of the leadership last year wasn’t just david."i don’t want to put that kind of pressure on rizz. ... i don






hbo 'real sports' climbs inside joe maddon's mind — and his rv


some of the cubs' most impressive stats belong to "cousin eddie."that would be the name of joe maddon's rv, which he drives from his home in florida to spring training every year.this year, broadcaster bryant gumbel of hbo's "real sports" series joined the cubs manager for part of the trip, giving fans a glimpse of how maddon lives when he's on the road. the episode first aired tuesday."it's like an oasis," said maddon, who sleeps in the vehicle while at spring training in mesa, ariz.some of the more impressive numbers related to the rv: 45 feet long4 televisions1 1/2 bathrooms 1 fireplacemaddon's mammoth ride also features a king-size bed, heated floors and a washer and dryer. gumbel was taken aback by the number of tvs on board."why do you need four televisions?" he asked."you don't, you






hbo 'real sports' climbs inside joe maddon's mind — and his rv


some of the cubs' most impressive stats belong to "cousin eddie."that would be the name of joe maddon's rv, which he drives from his home in florida to spring training every year.this year, broadcaster bryant gumbel of hbo's "real sports" series joined the cubs manager for part of the trip, giving fans a glimpse of how maddon lives when he's on the road. the episode first aired tuesday."it's like an oasis," said maddon, who sleeps in the vehicle while at spring training in mesa, ariz.some of the more impressive numbers related to the rv: 45 feet long4 televisions1 1/2 bathrooms 1 fireplacemaddon's mammoth ride also features a king-size bed, heated floors and a washer and dryer. gumbel was taken aback by the number of tvs on board."why do you need four televisions?" he asked."you don't, you






cubs not worried about ben zobrist, addison russell for opening night


second baseman ben zobrist will try to play monday night after missing the past week because of neck stiffness.and shortstop addison russell hasn't played since thursday because of stiffness in his lower back.yet cubs manager joe maddon didn't seem concerned about their extended layoffs or being ready for sunday night's opener in st. louis.maddon said zobrist has downplayed the severity of his ailment.as for russell, "he's getting better," maddon said sunday. "he's very close to getting back. none of this stuff is threatening. trainers have no real strong issues with anything. it's almost like being overly cautious, but that's what we're doing."maddon talked to zobrist, 35, at the start of spring training about potentially reducing his playing time at second base for javier baez. but after






kyle schwarber will get chance to prove he can hit left-handers consistently


kyle schwaber's small sample size includes a .143 lifetime batting average against left-handed pitchers.but one of the most majestic hits of schwarber's promising career includes a home run off left-hander kevin siegrist in the 2015 playoffs that landed on top of the right field message board at wrigley field.now, though manager joe maddon has many options at his disposal, schwarber could get a fair chance to face left-handers at the leadoff spot."i don't have a discomfort level," maddon said saturday. "he's going to get playing time against lefties. we'll watch and see how it plays out."like anything else with this guy, he'll work to be very good at that. and i have full faith that he will. now if it doesn't play right, we might do something differently. but he will get an opportunity."ma






will albert almora jr. start sunday's opener? joe maddon won't say


mesa, ariz. — manager joe maddon likes the way albert almora jr. is swinging the bat and believes he has the potential to hit for more power against right-handed pitchers.but maddon stopped short of declaring that almora would start in sunday night's season opener against cardinals pitcher carlos martinez."i haven't made the lineup yet," maddon said monday after a long pause and one day after almora hit two home runs and a double against the reds in las vegas.the other option would be left-handed hitter and former cardinal jon jay. neither almora nor jay has faced martinez."think it all the way through," maddon smiled.cubs' kyle schwarber on batting leadoff and sunday's season openercubs' kyle schwarber on batting leadoff and sunday's season opener. (mark gonzales/chicago tribune)cubs' kyl






rick renteria's return to cubs complex sparks talk of a beer with joe maddon


white sox manager rick renteria returned to sloan park on monday for his first matchup against the team he was supposed to take to the world series.there were no hugs with his former cubs players before the 4-4 tie because renteria is not big on pregame fraternization. he said he tells his players: "make sure you say hello, and if you really want to get in depth, take 'em out to dinner or lunch."the cubs managed to get to the world series and win it without renteria, in case you haven't heard. so we'll never know if he would have taken them to that stratosphere with the boatload of young talent joe maddon inherited, not to mention add-ons jon lester, dexter fowler, ben zobrist and aroldis chapman.asked if it felt "weird" being back at sloan park and managing against the team that abruptly






joe maddon: theo epstein had better 2016 than pope francis


nobody's better.that's manager joe maddon's opinion ofcubs president theo epstein after epstein was named the world's greatest leader by fortune — two spots ahead of pope francis. "the pope didn’t have as good of a year," maddon quipped. "i’m all about the pope. sorry pope francis. i’d like to meet him some day. but after what we did last year (winning the world series) was pretty special."has the pope broken any 108-year old curses lately? he may have, but we’re not aware of any right now."maddon mentioned that epstein ended an 86-year world series title drought in boston as well as possessing the qualities necessary to be an effective leader."he’s very good at setting something up and permitting people to do their jobs," maddon said. "that’s the essence of good leadership, the ability to






t-shirts bring new meaning for cubs


with 2 1/2 weeks left in spring training, the chicago cubs are sporting a more casual look sunday during their workout prior to their game against the oakland athletics at hohokam park.the cubs will work out in t-shirts and shorts, but there's a twist.the cubs, who hold the unofficial major league baseball record for most t-shirts, are sporting manager joe maddon's message of be "uncomfortable" on their tops.the front of their black shirts sports the word "able," with the letter "b" in capital red, with maddon's signature glasses under the word.the back of the shirts spells the word "uncomfortable" in diagonal form with the letters "u" and "c" in red. the front and back red letters spell "cub" backwards.and for a commemorative touch, an umbrella with "8-7" was printed on the left sleeve to






world baseball classic can't really be called classic without top u.s. stars


the cubs' lineup card tuesday against team italy included a maddon-esque quote from leonardo da vinci:"la semplicita e l'ultima sofisticazione."unfortunately, no one in the cubs clubhouse apparently spoke italian."i'd really like to know what that means," kris bryant said.according to manager joe maddon, who said he took two years of italian in high school, the phrase means, "simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.""to know that i'm thinking along the same lines as leo did — the guy that invents canals and all kinds of art, mona (lisa) and all that stuff — it's pretty sweet," maddon said.maddon may be a renaissance man of baseball, but he credited first-base coach brandon hyde, his ghostwriter, for comparing him to a leo whose last name is not durocher."joe's thing is 'do simple better,






cubs not worried about ben zobrist, addison russell for opening night


mesa, ariz. — second baseman ben zobrist will try to play monday night after missing the past week because of neck stiffness.and shortstop addison russell hasn't played since thursday because of stiffness in his lower back.yet cubs manager joe maddon didn't seem concerned about their extended layoffs or being ready for sunday night's opener in st. louis.maddon said zobrist has downplayed the severity of his ailment.as for russell, "he's getting better," maddon said sunday. "he's very close to getting back. none of this stuff is threatening. trainers have no real strong issues with anything. it's almost like being overly cautious, but that's what we're doing."maddon talked to zobrist, 35, at the start of spring training about potentially reducing his playing time at second base. giving zobr






joe maddon says cubs have more young talent on the way


returning a championship team with young talents such as kris bryant, kyle schwarber, addison russell and javier baez has allowed cubs manager joe maddon to take a longer look at some prospects during spring training.and despite a lack of ballyhoo or elite rankings, more prospects are on the way, maddon said."nobody is talking as loudly about (jacob) hannemann, (eloy) jimenez, (ian) happ and (jeimer) candelario," maddon said monday in a convincing tone that would make tommy lasorda blush. "i'm here to tell you, if those dudes were in another camp right now, they would be projected in a much more glorious manner."but the fact they're trailing these other guys, they're not being spoken of as highly only because these other guys are in the way. but this is a really good group from a scouting






jessica mendoza: lessons from joe maddon helped with the haters


if anything helped prepare jessica mendoza for the lightning rod she became as the first woman to call a nationally televised mlb playoff game in 2015, it was her first meeting with cubs manager joe maddon.she met him about five or six years ago, when she was working her first spring training game and maddon was managing the rays."i was just nervous. what impressed me about him is we were walking around the back field just kind of checking things out and he came over to me and i swear to this day he recognized everything i was feeling," said mendoza, who will be in the booth for baseball's opening-night game sunday when the cubs visit the cardinals at 7:35 p.m. on espn.maddon chatted her up about his own fast-pitch softball playing days (mendoza is a former olympic gold medalist in the spo






ring ceremony brings out the kids in the cubs


one of the men most responsible for wednesday night's world series ring ceremony was standing near the dodgers' dugout an hour before the big event.if andrew friedman didn't leave the rays for the dodgers in october 2014, cubs manager joe maddon wouldn't have been able to exercise the opt-out clause in his contract, the one maddon didn't know about until his agent informed him during a trip in his rv to jellystone park.once he became a free agent manager, maddon drove the rv to pensacola, fla., to meet with cubs president theo epstein and general manager jed hoyer, who convinced him to sign a five-year, $25 million deal to replace rick renteria.that set off the chain of events that led to last year's title and wednesday night's party, where maddon received some of the loudest cheers when e






super bowl shining spotlight on houston park success story


houston (ap) — the go-to place for many of the super bowl related festivities in houston this week hasn’t been a swanky nightclub or a hard to get into restaurant but a popular 12-acre park that has helped revitalize the downtown area as well as become the heart of the city for many local residents.discovery green, which is expected to have 1 million visitors as the site of the super bowl live fan festival, didn’t even exist the last time houston hosted the big game in 2004. back then the site was two large parking lots.but since it opened in 2008, the park has welcomed more than 1.2 million visitors each year and has been a catalyst for $625 million in downtown development, including a new adjacent 1,000 room el.discovery green has also been one of the best examples of ongoing efforts aro