Tag Archive | "Chicago Cubs"

Lou Piniella abruptly resigns as Cubs manager


Chicago Cubs fans were to honor Atlanta Braves Manager Bobby Cox who was making his final appearance at Wrigley Field today. In surprise fashion, they also found themselves bidding fond farewell to their own manager, Lou Piniella.

Earlier today, Piniella informed the Cubs organization that today would be his last in the Cubs dugout as the manager. Piniella cited personal obligations as the reason for his abrupt departure.

After analyzing his mother’s condition, it became clear to Lou that his mind was not on baseball and the time had come for him to step aside, rather than wait until the end of the season.

“When Lou has been up here he has wanted to be with this mother. When he has been down in Florida with her, he has wanted to be with the club,” Cubs owner Tom Ricketts told some fans during the game.

“I wish we had known earlier so we could have done something more special for him.” – Cubs Owner Tom Ricketts.

The Cubs had already planned a tribute to Cox before today’s game and quickly added a tribute for Piniella to include this afternoon. The crowd gave Piniella a standing ovation, which he acknowledged, that perhaps overshadowed the tribute to Cox.

Piniella held two emotional press conferences – one before the game and one after the Cubs 16-5 loss to the Braves. In his post game press conference, he apologized to the media for being so emotional, and started to cry.

“This is the last time I’ll be putting on a uniform. It was a day to remember and a day to forget.”

Piniella said he will remember the good times he had at Wrigley. He will remember the players, the fans, and the staff. He wished Mike Quade, who now takes over as manager for the rest of the season, well, and he admitted that no one who hasn’t been part of the Cubs organization before could imagine what it was like to be part of it.

Piniella also said that he noticed things in and around Wrigley he hadn’t noticed before, though he wasn’t specific when asked what those things were. “I wasn’t daydreaming,” he said. “I was noticing things I hadn’t noticed before.”

Fans can’t help but wish Lou well in his retirement. While there were many Lou bashers the past year, all Cubs fans will remember that he did take the team to the playoffs two consecutive years.

“We’ve raised the bar here,” Piniella said. “The fans expect better.”

In a press release Piniella said, “As I said last month, I couldn’t be more appreciative of the Cubs organization for providing me the opportunity to be their manager. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything in the world and I consider this the ultimate way to end my managerial career.”

Used with permission of the author.

Miriam Romain is a Chicago-based sportswriter and national columnist covering the Chicago Cubs for Examiner.com. The Windy City native is also the Associate Editor for SBNation Chicago and has been published in the Maple Street Press Cubs annuals. In her free time, Romain is working on a book titled “Summers At Wrigley With My Dad.”

Copyright © 2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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Braves beat Cubs in final at bat


The Atlanta Brave loaded the bases on walks against Chicago Cubs reliever Carlos Marmol in the top of the ninth inning setting up a base-clearing triple by Rick Ankiel. When it was all said and done, Marmol blew the save and the much deserved win for starter Ryan Dempster and the Cubs lost 5-3 at Wrigley Field.

This was the MLB leading 22nd time the Braves have pulled off a win during their last at bat.

It was a bit of a strange day all around.

When ex-Cub and newest Brave Derrek Lee arrived at the ballpark this morning, he took his car to the player’s lot. After attempting to park, he was told he couldn’t park there because he was no longer with the Cubs. Lee looked around a bit confused until he was told it was just a joke.

Then Lee had to make his way to the visitor’s locker room. The last time he was in that locker room was when he was with the Florida Marlins, the year they won the World Series.

Lee admitted to reporters that it was a bit strange walking past the home clubhouse, seeing all the people he normally saw and going into the visitor’s dugout. But he also said that the visitor’s dugout held many good memories for him when the Marlins clinched the title at Wrigley to go to the World Series.

Concerning the other dugout, it must have been strange for Dempster to face Lee for the first time in his career. Lee and Dempster played together for the Marlins and then the Cubs, spending almost the past 11 years in the same uniforms as teammates. The duo came up through the Marlins system together and after being teammates in Florida through the first half of the 2002 season, both joined the Cubs in 2004.

It was a strange day for the fans, as well. As Lee approached the plate for his first at bat as a Braves player, he was greeted with a Standing Ovation by the Cubbie faithful who showed Lee how much they appreciated what he had done in Chicago.

Lee responded by waving his helmet to acknowledge the crowd, then it was back to baseball business. He flew out to left on Dempster’s first pitch to him.

Attendance was announced at more than 39,000 and after the Cubs took a lead into the ninth inning and Marmol blew the game, the fans started booing and walking out. It was just another day at the ballpark.

Used with permission of the author.

Miriam Romain is a Chicago-based sportswriter and national columnist covering the Chicago Cubs for Examiner.com. The Windy City native is also the Associate Editor for SBNation Chicago and has been published in the Maple Street Press Cubs annuals. In her free time, Romain is working on a book titled “Summers At Wrigley With My Dad.”

Copyright © 2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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Cubs end 7-game losing streak with 15-3 win


After losing seven consecutive games, the last two to the Milwaukee Brewers, a different Cubs team took the field yesterday. Who were these guys? Who cares? They won 15-3.

How do you start to explain this team? You can’t. There is no rhyme or reason to how these guys are playing right now, and there are so many things going on with the team, it makes it harder still to comprehend how a team can be so bad for a few games and suddenly break free like they did yesterday.

The team is now without Ted Lilly and Ryan Theriot, who were traded to Los Angeles last week for Blake DeWitt and two minor leaguers, who was inserted into the lineup upon his arrival to the Cubs. Manager Lou Piniella returned to the dugout on Tuesday after taking three days to attend a family funeral in Florida. Derrek Lee rejected a trade to the Angels before the trade deadline, reportedly angering some in management.

Carlos Silva experienced a rapid heartbeat in Denver, was taken out of the game in the first inning, spent a night in a Denver hospital being monitored and is currently on the disabled list awaiting word from his doctors about when he can play again.

Carlos Zambrano returned to the team and supposedly made his apologies to his teammates. He was used as a pinch hitter in Denver over the weekend and in relief yesterday, but will return to the starting rotation on Monday in San Francisco. And Aramis Ramirez has been in and out of the lineup with a sore thumb. The team is also playing with many rookies especially in the bullpen. That’s a lot for a team that has struggled to have to deal with.

Statisticians will tell you what the team should look like on paper, but these changes and distractions have been showing in poorly executed play on the field. Perhaps now that Lou and a hopefully calmer Z are back the team can turn its full attention to the game and winning.

Everyone knows this team is going nowhere this year, and evidence of fan apathy is really settling in. Promotions for available bleacher seats are ongoing, but Tuesday night, those sitting in the bleachers had room to stretch out. Empty seats in the stands are starting to become the norm. The Cubs aren’t likely to go on a huge winning streak and suddenly find themselves in contention for a playoff spot, but they need to start winning in order to keep from ending up in the cellar.

Used with permission of the author.

Miriam Romain is a Chicago-based sportswriter and national columnist covering the Chicago Cubs for Examiner.com. The Windy City native is also the Associate Editor for SBNation Chicago and has been published in the Maple Street Press Cubs annuals. In her free time, Romain is working on a book titled “Summers At Wrigley With My Dad.”

Copyright © 2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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Andre Dawson induction speech at Cooperstown


The day Andre Dawson donned a Chicago Cubs uniform, he was destined to be one of the most beloved players in Cubs history. He brought spark to a last place team in 1987, winning the Most Valuable Player Award that year.

Every time he took the field or came up to bat, you could see the fans chanting his name. As it turns out, Chicago was the spark Dawson needed at a time in his career when he was contemplating either going to Japan or giving up on the game.

In his Hall of Fame induction speech yesterday in Cooperstown, Dawson thanked the Cubs for giving him a job when he showed up at spring training with a blank contract, and the fans for their love and support, telling them the feeling was mutual.

“I want to thank my good friend and agent, Dick Moss, who had the idea to show up in Arizona in Spring Training in 1987 with no job, no contract and no uniform. The Cubs gave me a job and for that I’m also thankful. And from my heart, from my heart, thank you Cubs fans. You were a true blessing in my life. I never knew what it felt like to be loved by a city until I arrived in Chicago. And though it wasn’t my way to show it, I can’t express to you enough how I appreciate what you did. You gave me new life in baseball when I arrived in Chicago and you are the reason I continued playing the game. I can’t thank you enough for how good you were to my family and me. You were the wind beneath the Hawk’s wings.

“In 1987, I thought about giving up the game or maybe going to Japan. But I knew there had to be a place where the game could be fun again. I found that place. It’s called Wrigley Field. It reminded me that if you love this game, the game will love you back.”

Jack Keefer made the trip to Cooperstown with his father and younger brother Joe. The boys are too young to have seen Hawk play in person, but they are true Cubs fans and know from their father, and other season ticket holders, all about Hawk and what he meant to the fans and the team.

“Andre’s speech was fantastic. All of them were, they were funny, clever and they made good points. It was really cool when Andre thanked all the fans at Wrigley, all of them [other regulars who made the trip to Cooperstown with the Keefers] were so honored that he remembered them and more importantly thanked them. You could see it in their faces,” said Keefer.

Aside from being named National League MVP in 1987 with the Cubs, during his 21-year career, Dawson made the All-Star team eight times. He finished his career with 438 home runs, 1,591 runs batted in, and 314 stolen bases. He was the National League Rookie of the Year in 1977 with the Montreal Expos.

Dawson may have gone into the Hall of Fame as a Montreal Expo, but he will live on In Cub lore as a pride of Wrigley and the Cubs for generations to come.

Used with permission of the author.

Miriam Romain is a Chicago-based sportswriter and national columnist covering the Chicago Cubs for Examiner.com. The Windy City native is also the Associate Editor for SBNation Chicago and has been published in the Maple Street Press Cubs annuals. In her free time, Romain is working on a book titled “Summers At Wrigley With My Dad.”

Copyright © 2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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Chicago Cubs Manager Lou Piniella retiring


It should come as no surprise to anyone that Chicago Cubs Manager Lou Piniella will be retiring after this season ends. In making his statement today, Piniella said via press release,

“I couldn’t be more appreciative of the Cubs organization for providing me the opportunity to manage this ball club. I’ve had four wonderful years here that I wouldn’t trade fro anything in the world. I’ve grown to love the city and the fans, but at my age, it will be time to enter a new phase in my life. It will enable me to spend more valuable time with my family – my wife, my kids and my grandchildren. God has blessed me to have been able to work this many years in the game that I love.”

Piniella said that by announcing his intentions now, it would give General Manager Jim Hendry time to find the next Cubs manager, and not have to do so in secret. Piniella also said that while he will retire, his job has not ended and he wants to continue to win as many games as possible.

“I want to keep the momentum going more than anything else and win as many games as we can to get back in this pennant race. I’m going to give every effort I have to help this team win and that will remain my sole focus through the rest of the season,” he said.

Piniella is only one of five managers to win at least three Manager of the Year Awards, including one in 2008 with the Cubs. He will retire with the 14th most wins by a manager in major league history. He is the first Cubs manager in more than 70 years to have a record of .500 or better in each of his first three seasons leading the Cubs.

So now the question really becomes, who will be the next Cubs manager? Will it be Ryne Sandberg? Will it be Joe Girardi? Will it be Joe Torre? All three names have been mentioned in recent weeks as successor to Piniella. It’s up to Jim Hendry to make a decision.

Used with permission of the author.

Miriam Romain is a Chicago-based sportswriter and national columnist covering the Chicago Cubs for Examiner.com. The Windy City native is also the Associate Editor for SBNation Chicago and has been published in the Maple Street Press Cubs annuals. In her free time, Romain is working on a book titled “Summers At Wrigley With My Dad.”

Copyright © 2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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Will Cubs Move to Naples, Florida?


The Cubs limped into the All-Star break with a record of 39-50, uncertain about if, or when, Carlos Zambrano will return to the team and also where they will be playing spring training games in the future.

According to a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Cubs and the City of Mesa, the deadline for Mesa present the Cubs with plans for a new Spring Training facility has passed.

According to the agreement, the Cubs are now free to talk to the Florida group trying to woo them to Naples, and that group can now approach the Cubs again.

A naplesnews.com column pointed out that Mesa has not lived up to the MOU. It claims Mesa does not have financing and does not have a site picked out. It also claims the Naples group, called Project Home Run was ready with its own MOU when the Cubs “caved in” to Major League Baseball to stay in Mesa.

The naplesnews.com piece is quick to point out what the City of Mesa has not done pertaining to the exclusive agreement with the Cubs, but it also appears to leave out some key pieces of information such as the fans outcry to stay in Mesa, the sites that have been targeted for a new stadium and how the stadium would be financed.

They even go as far as likening the Cubs bad fortunes to its ties to Mesa. Where do they come up with this stuff?

The writer says Naples is ready to play ball, has financing and a site picked out, but what he fails to also state is that the teams are so far apart very few people would want to come to Spring Training in Florida after all the years in Arizona and the proximity to the other teams.

And what does Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts say about the MOU deadline? Not much, which is expected, although he did tell Comcast Sportsnet that he is not worried about deadlines and the team is working with the City of Mesa on an agreement that will be agreeable to everyone.

Today, Cubs spokesperson Peter Chase issued a statement that the Cubs are encouraged by the progress Mesa has made and they continue to work with the City of Mesa to finalize a deal.

Apparently, new options have become available to the Cubs, including land that is partially privately owned right now, near a light-rail line that will extend to Downtown Mesa in 2016. A downtown location was considered by the Cubs and Mesa in the 1990s when the Cubs decided to renew the lease at HoHoKam.

The question now is, will the Naples group make another move?

Used with permission of the author.

In addition to contributing to Sports Climax, Miriam Romain maintains a Chicago Cubs column for Examiner.com. The Chicago native has also been published in several Cubs annuals by Maple Street Press and is writing a book with the working title “Summers at Wrigley with my Dad.”

Copyright © 2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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Front Row Joe streak hits 1,038


It’s an extremely hot and muggy night at Jackie Robinson Park in Daytona Beach as the Daytona Cubs warm up for an evening game. Surviving the sweltering heat, a man sits along the 3rd baseline in a front row box seat with a personal name tag attached to the back of it that reads, “Joe Rowe”.

A decade and a half ago on June 26, 1995, this baseball fanatic who is known more as “Front Row Joe” started an attendance streak for the Chicago Cubs Class ‘A’ affiliate that is reaching impressive numbers. Every game since that date , like clockwork, the scoreboard at Jack Park changes, reflecting that streak that stood at 1,038 on July 9, 2010.

We sat down for a Q & A session with the most familiar face at Jackie Robinson Park.

BTW, during the 2007 season FRJ’s streak was threatened when he collapsed on the field and had to be transported by ambulance, but Joe bounced back and made it to the park the following game to continue his fan “Iron Man” streak. Apparently, Joe had passed out due to low potassium levels.

FRJ last attended a MLB Chicago Cubs game during the 2008 season in the Windy City when he took in a weekend series then returned home to Daytona Beach to continue his streak.

Q:  I see you have a Daytona Cubs tattoo on your arm, tell us the story behind that.

A:  Many years ago the general manager Buck Rogers came up with a promotion that anyone who would get the tattoo would receive free general admission for life; so myself and 17 others took him up on it. The tattoo cost me $100.00 dollars and I do pay for the upgrade to have the reserved box seat, it costs me about $300 bucks for the year.

Q: Your streak of 1,038 games is amazing and shows a lot of commitment, have you ever caught a ball during a game?

A:  Yes I have caught 5 or 6 balls, now the bat boy Chris hands ‘em to me.

Q:  Do you collect memorabilia?

A:  I sure do and my pride and joy has got to be my autographed Derek Jeter photo from the Danbury Mint it is one of just 1,500, and I’m also very proud of my Daytona Cubs Florida State League Championship ring from the 2004 season that was presented to me by the Daytona Cubs owner Andy Rayburn.

Q: Cal Ripken has the player’s Iron Man streak of 2,632 games played, is that number in your sights?

A:  Yes it sure is, it will take some time but I have a goal to exceed that number. And when I do who knows where it will end.

Q: Tell me about your first Major League Baseball game that you attended as a youngster?

A:  I don’t remember the year but it was at the old Yankee Stadium and it was the mayor’s trophy game between the Yankees and the Mets.

Q:  Do you have any rituals or superstitions that you go through before during or after the game?

A:  I do have a stuffed bear cub with a Cubs jersey and batting helmet that I hang on the fence right in front of me before every game.

Q: Do you have a favorite Daytona Cub’s player?

A: Yes, that would be Jake Fox who played here during the 2005-06 season and got called up to the bigs in ‘07, I do still follow him.

Front Row Joe said he was currently unemployed but when he was working he would actually take time off from work to attend day games to keep the streak intact. A laid back guy with a true passion for baseball, his attendance streak of 1,038 games makes him worthy of the title of FSL’s “Fan of the Decade.”

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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Zambrano ordered to see doctors


The Zambrano road show continues. Yesterday it was reported that Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano has been ordered to undergo anger management treatment. Tomorrow he will be evaluated by MLB approved doctors and a program will be set up for him.

According to various sources, Zambrano must follow the treatment to the letter. What does that mean? Does it mean if he doesn’t follow everything he is told to do the Cubs could void his contract? This is the million dollar question.

After announcing that Z was being placed on the restricted list and will undergo anger management therapy, Hendry was asked if Z had apologized for his tirade. Hendry’s response was that this wasn’t the time for apologies, Apologies can come later.

There is a lot of speculating going on here. Last night on MLB Tonight, analyst and short-time Cubs player Kevin Millar gave his thoughts about the Zambrano situation, stating he had spoken to Z a week before the outburst and Z was looking for someone to fire up the team. He claimed Z wasted Carlos Silva to fire up the team since he was doing well. He said Z was not directing his temper toward any one player, but to everyone.

“That was basically his view, that he shouldn’t have done it, he wasn’t the right guy to do it, he wanted Carlos Silva to do it last week. It wasn’t one play; it wasn’t the Derrick Lee play that caused this whole scene. He ran in the dugout and was yelling at the whole group,” Millar said.

Whether this is true or not. Z has a history of temper problems and it finally came out full force.

Yes, much of it is probably frustration. Frustration with the team, with the manager and with himself. Z’s not doing as well as he had, and it’s probably a safe assumption to say that’s he’s very frustrated with himself. Is he a fierce competitor? Yes. Does he need help with his anger issues? Absolutely yes.

According to a commentary by Mark Potash in today’s Sun-Times, Hendry may have missed a few warning signs in the past. The three things Potash points to are prior ejections as a direct result of his temper, injuries over the years and Z’s declining productivity. He says Z was coddled by Hendry and former manager Dusty Baker. Hey, he was Z, he was the Ace of the bullpen.

Well, people get older and their performance starts to lag. It’s a fact of life. You can’t be the Ace forever and at some point you have to grow up and face the music. Perhaps there’s just too much wrong with this Cubs team for Z to handle. Maybe it’s time for Z to move on, but who would take the rest of his contract?

Re-printed with permission of the author.

In addition to contributing to Sports Climax, Miriam Romain maintains a Chicago Cubs column for Examiner.com. The Chicago native has also been published in several Cubs annuals by Maple Street Press and is writing a book with the working title “Summers at Wrigley with my Dad.”

Copyright © 2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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Does Zambrano need anger management classes?


On this anniversary of the 20,000th game in Cubs franchise history, the team is left with a 24-man roster after Carlos Zambrano was suspended indefinitely yesterday after his outburst in the dugout at U.S. Cellular Field and a second confrontation directed towards camera crews outside the park as he was leaving the game.

There are some today who are defending Zambrano’s outbursts saying this is how you get the team fired up. However, you do not fire up a team by starting fights with your own teammates, especially the team’s leader Derrek Lee.

How many times have we seen Z lose his cool, apologize and then lose his cool again? How long should this go on before he decides to enroll in anger management sessions?

Following is a short timeline of Zambrano meltdowns, some of which were reported in today’s Chicago Tribune. It is by no means a complete list, but representative of the problem with the man and why at this point he is unfit to pitch for the Cubs.

June 4, 20021 – Z is suspended for five games and fined an undisclosed amount of money for his actions in a bench clearing brawl in a Triple-A game in Utah.

July 19, 2004 – Z hits Jim Edmonds twice during a game against the Cardinals, starts yelling at Edmonds and then at the umpire and receives a five-game suspension. After the game, Z says he was just doing his job and didn’t mean to hit Edmonds that he got caught up in the heat of the moment and should not have reacted the way he did. He received a five-game suspension.

June 1, 2007 – Z and catcher Michael Barrett have an all-out fight in the Cubs clubhouse after an altercation in the dugout, apparently initiated by Z. Barrett not only ended up in the hospital with a bloody lip, but was traded two weeks later.

September 3, 2007 – Fans boo Z for not being a team player and having a lousy outing. In the fifth inning, as he walks back to the dugout, he starts taking off his jersey and points to his head.

May 27, 2009 – Z’s temper gets the best of him as he disagrees with a call at the plate, bumps the umpire, gets ejected from the game, hurls a baseball that was destine for the bleachers and attacks the Gatorade container in the dugout. Z gets six-game suspension.

June 25, 2010 – Z verbally attacks both Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez in the dugout. He is told to go home, and on the way out of the Cell, verbally attacks some cameramen from local Chicago stations.

See a pattern here?

Many times we have heard Z apologize for his actions and promise to keep his calm. At one point he even said he had to face his daughters and promise them he would keep his cool.

Last night, Z had dinner with White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen. Whether the two talked about this latest suspension or not is unknown, but it really doesn’t matter. Z has sealed his own fate. It may be wise for him to find some anger management classes before he starts to play with any other team.

Re-printed with permission of the author.

In addition to contributing to Sports Climax, Miriam Romain maintains a Chicago Cubs column for Examiner.com. and is Assistant Editor of SB Nation Chicago. The Chicago native has also been published in several Cubs annuals by Maple Street Press and is writing a book with the working title “Summers at Wrigley with my Dad.”

Copyright © 2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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Cubs fans see Stanley Cup and near-no-no


How do I best describe the atmosphere inside Wrigley Field last night? Electrified. Ted Lilly, in his post game interview said he couldn’t believe the energy inside the park, saying the closest comparison he could make was during the 2001 World Series.

The evening started with a buzz because the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks were going to be at Wrigley for a pre-game ceremony with hockey’s Holy Grail. Security was tight as I watched 10 mounted police go by my bleacher seats on Waveland.

As time grew close to seeing the team and the Cup, anticipation levels rose – even brief rain shower couldn’t dampen the excitement building inside Wrigley Field. And then the Blackhawks appeared in right field to the cheers of more than 40,000 fans.

Acknowledging the crowd, the Hawks paraded the Cup around the ballpark, and where possible, shook hands with fans. The Cup was placed on the pitcher’s mound and John McDonough, once in marketing with the Cubs, threw out the first pitch. Both the Cubs and White Sox posed with the Hawks and the Cup for photos, and some even got to hold the Cup. This in itself was worth going out to Wrigley last night. Seeing a championship anything inside Wrigley was an extremely rare occurrence.

Cheers turned to boos as Ozzie Guillen was handed the Stanley Cup. Earlier in the day, Guillen said that the White Sox parade after they won the 2005 World Series was bigger than the estimated 2 million that showed up for the Blackhawks parade. Cubs fans commented that when the Cubs win the World Series, our parade would dwarf both.

The place was still buzzing about the Cup when fans realized there was another story breaking. Both White Sox pitcher Gavin Floyd and Cubs pitcher Ted Lilly were throwing no hitters, and it was into the fifth inning.

Fans started turning their attention to the baseball game, but not fully until after the Hawks sang the Seventh Inning Stretch. At the time, both Floyd and Lilly were still throwing no hitters. Then Alfonso Soriano came to the plate in the bottom of the seventh and hit a double with two outs. The Cubs scored their only run soon after, but that was enough.

Lilly, however, took his no hitter into the ninth, as rain began to fall. Fans that would normally have run for shelter, stayed in their seats, transfixed on the game. However, a no hitter was not to happen at Wrigley last night. Juan Pierre came to the plate to pinch hit for Floyd and hit a clean single to break Lilly’s no-no.

Carlos Marmol came in to shut down the side and the Cubs beat the White Sox 1-0 on a one hitter, avoiding the first White Sox sweep at Wrigley since 1999, in what most were saying was the best game they’ve seen at Wrigley this year and maybe in a very long time.

There were some in the crowd who, while happy the Cubs finally won, bemoaned the fact that Lilly was denied his no-no. One fan lamented he would never see a no hitter. Our group placed the blame on one friend who dared to utter the words “no hitter,” while columnist George Castle shouldered the blame, calling himself the no-no jinx.

I know I’m not the jinx. I refused to even try to jinx it for Floyd, thinking perhaps it would work against Lilly and just watched, transfixed. Some of us were lucky enough to see Carlos Zambrano pitch a no hitter in Milwaukee against the Astros after the game was moved from Houston because of Hurricane Ike. That was a pinnacle moment in my personal sports history, but seeing a no-no at Wrigley would top everything except seeng the Cubs win the World Series at home.

The Cubs do need to be careful when they travel to U.S. Cellular Field in a couple of weeks. In two days Cubs pitchers hit five Sox batters. While some expected some retaliation last night, it could come at the hands of the Sox in their own ballpark.

Re-printed with permission of the author.

In addition to contributing to Sports Climax, Miriam Romain maintains a Chicago Cubs column for Examiner.com. The Chicago native has also been published in several Cubs annuals by Maple Street Press and is writing a book with the working title “Summers at Wrigley with my Dad.”

Copyright © 2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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