Cubs Talk Podcast
The Cubs Talk Podcast breaks down all things baseball on the North Side. Host David Kaplan and a rotating cast of Cubs insider Gordon Wittenmyer, beat writer Maddie Lee, and writer Tim Stebbins, bring insider perspective, regular player interviews, and news updates during the team's pursuit of another championship. New episodes release every Wednesday and Friday morning.
Who are your favorite play-by-play announcers? Who are your favorite radio hosts? Who are your favorite sports writers? Did you name a woman? Women across the sports landscape are making strides every day to bring unique and interesting perspectives to the games we love and we should make sure spaces are being made to normalize women in a majority male field. NBCS Cubs insider Maddie Lee is joined by Cortney Hall of NBC-5 and the Chicago Bulls, Annie Costabile of the Chicago Sun-Times, Julie DiCaro of Deadspin, and Leila Rahimi radio host of the Bernstein & Rahimi show, to discuss why sports coverage should have more women and how women have improved sports culture. So ask yourself, why don't you want more women in sports?
From worries about his pitch framing to becoming one of the best catchers in baseball, Wilson Contreras has been through a lot and has learned a lot. Maddie Lee sat down with the All-Star catcher, discussing his process in working with new pitchers, how he learned from veteran pitchers, and his thoughts on robot umps.
Gordon Wittenmyer joins to react to Contreras' comments. Plus, Maddie and Gordon discuss news that the Cubs are expected to have increased capacity at Wrigley Field.
Our Gordon Wittenmyer reported Tuesday that, following a grievance heard by an arbitrator, Cubs pitcher Adbert Alzolay has a fourth minor-league option remaining. The grievance was filed by the players union over unresolved issues from the 2020 season.
Gordon and Maddie Lee discuss what the decision means for Alzolay, how it could impact the way the Cubs use him this season, and what it means for the overall roster.
With a little over a week until the season begins, David Ross officially named Kyle Hendricks the Cubs' Opening Day starter. Gordon Wittenmyer sits down with Hendricks to discuss his role with the team and his thoughts on the direction of the franchise. David Kaplan, Tim Stebbins, Maddie Lee, and Gordon break down the interview and Ross' announcement and discuss how they view Hendricks.
Javy Báez is seeking a contract extension to remain a Cub and is part of the upcoming free-agent class full of some of the game's best shortstops. Maddie Lee and Gordon Wittenmyer listen and react to Gordon's interview with Baez. Báez lays out his expectations for his contract, his relationship with the organization and Jed Hoyer, and where he thinks he is on the list of best shortstops in the game today.
Cubs closer Craig Kimbrel has been trying to find his groove in spring training and it seems like he has found it. Live from Arizona, Maddie Lee and Gordon Wittenmyer discuss the recent outings of Craig Kimbrel and if it can be sustained. They also dive into some NCAA Tournament talk around David Ross and the Cubs, and they also dive into the outings of Pedro Strop as he tries to make the roster with limited work from the bullpen.
Spring training is nearing completion and the Cubs have some key decisions to make. Maddie Lee, live from Arizona, joins Tim Stebbins to break down what's on the docket for the Cubs, from the rotation to the bullpen to second base. They also break down the possibility that the Cubs will only have one left-hander on the pitching staff, and some history that was made during Saturday's Cubs broadcast.
Gordon Wittenmyer sits down with first baseman Anthony Rizzo to discuss his Cubs career. Is it coming to an end? Will he retire a Cub? Rizzo also discusses whether he's underrated, the legacy of the 2016 Cubs, and the uncertainty surrounding the 2021 season for not only him but some of his teammates. David Kaplan joins Gordon to preview and recap the interview.
(1:45) - David and Gordon discuss Rizzo's headspace in an uncertain season
(9:15) - Gordon's interview with Anthony Rizzo
(10:20) - Rizzo comes to grips with the possibility of not being a Cub anymore
(14:00) - Rizzo on if management and ownership are serious about winning anymore with this group
(18:30) - Rizzo discusses if he's an underrated player
(20:48) - David and Gordon break down Rizzo's comments
Gordon Wittenmyer, live from Mesa, Ariz., sits down with Cubs president Jed Hoyer. The two discuss the state of the Cubs, Hoyer taking over for Theo Epstein, his friend, and being the one that may have to break up the Cubs core in order for the organization to move forward. Gordon and NBC Sports Chicago's Maddie Lee break down the interview.
(6:44) - Interview with Hoyer begins; What is it like taking over Theo Epstein?
(10:35) - The battle at second base this spring
(15:20) - Pedro Strop being held from camp due to safety violations
(19:50) - Working through player options in a pandemic season
(21:30) - Jed on having to break up the core one day
(26:45) - Are the Cubs still trying to win as many games as possible this year?
(31:25) - Gordon and Maddie break down the interview
You can argue Kris Bryant is one of the most misunderstood athletes in Chicago sports. In a special episode of the Cubs Talk Podcast Gordon Wittenmyer talks with Bryant (socially distant) in Arizona about his time as a Cub. Also during this episode, the Cubs Talk crew of Gordon, David Kaplan, Maddie Lee and Tim Stebbins discuss what they took from the conversation.
(1:27) - Biggest takeaway from the sit-down with Kris Bryant
(9:14) - Gordon goes 1-on-1 with Bryant
(10:15) - Bryant on how he got to the "I don't give a sh**" mentality
(13:40) -Bryant on fighting to find the fun in baseball
(17:40) - Bryant on how he wants his time in Chicago to be remembered
(19:10) - Bryant details his relationships with Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer
(22:00) - Understanding an open and honest Kris Bryant with the Cubs Talk crew
Tim Stebbins is joined by Gordon Wittenmyer live from Mesa, Ariz. as they give updates from Cubs spring training. In Monday's edition, Javy Báez discusses his willingness to negotiate a contract extension past Opening Day. Plus, the guys provide an update on Nico Hoerner, who missed Sunday's game with back tightness and break down Alec Mills' Monday outing.
Maddie Lee is joined by Gordon Wittenmyer live from Mesa, Arizona as they give updates from Cubs spring training. In today's edition, the crew dives into the Cubs closer situation and why Craig Kimbrel isn't performing well. They also discuss if the Cubs have another plan should Kimbrel continue to struggle. Later in the pod, they provide injury updates on the team.
On Saturday's Cubs spring training report, Gordon Wittenmyer — live in Arizona — is joined by Tim Stebbins. The guys discuss an ongoing grievance filed by the MLBPA that could make a difference in whether Cubs pitcher Adbert Alzolay makes the Opening Day roster. They also discuss Craig Kimbrel's down start to spring training and new outfielder Jake Marisnick, who spoke to reporters in Arizona after making his Cubs debut Saturday.
Among all the storylines from Cubs spring training, one of the biggest is whether fan-favorite Anthony Rizzo and the team will reach a contract extension. Rizzo spoke about his extension talks on Friday.
The Cubs Talk crew of David Kaplan, Maddie Lee, Tim Stebbins, and Gordon Wittenmyer — live from Cubs camp — discuss Rizzo's comments and his future with the Cubs. Later in the pod, the crew looks back on the day sports shut down in March 2020 due to COVID-19.
(1:35) - If you could only choose one, would you extend Javy Báez, Kris Bryant or Anthony Rizzo?
(5:05) - Anthony Rizzo, speaking to the media, feels optimistic about getting an extension done with the Cubs
(7:40) - Would it be surprising if none of the core guys are extended this spring?
(10:25) - A year ago Friday, sports came to a pause
(14:35) - Maddie Lee describes covering the Utah Jazz-Oklahoma City Thunder game that was the starting point to sports shutting down
(18:10) - David Ross looks back on sports shutting down last March
New Cubs outfielder Joc Pederson has gotten off to a big start offensively in the first few weeks of spring training, and that continued Thursday. Gordon Wittenmyer, live from Arizona, joins Maddie Lee to discuss Pederson's play. They also dive into the leadership of Jason Heyward and how he's showing it this spring training.
In a packed episode, the Cubs Talk crew of David Kaplan, Gordon Wittenmyer, Maddie Lee and Tim Stebbins discusses the Cubs' loss Wednesday vs. the San Francisco Giants, the second base position battle, and Joc Pederson's impact on the team so far.
The crew also dives into news that the Texas Rangers will fill their stadium at 100-percent capacity on Opening Day when other clubs are not doing so because of the pandemic. Plus, a discussion on Craig Kimbrel's early spring outings and whether they're a concern.
At the end of the pod, the crew debates which ballpark food is the best.
(2:10) - Updates on position battles and the impact Joc Pederson is having on the Cubs
(4:30) - Texas Rangers plan to host fans at 100-percent capacity on Opening Day. Could players opt out of playing vs. the Rangers?
(12:25) - Craig Kimbrel's early spring outings and what they mean for the Cubs
(16:50) - Is the Cubs starting rotation starting to round into shape?
(21:46) - Favorite sports stadium food
When you see the word selfish, you may have an idea of what it means, but the Cubs are using it to get back to form offensively.
Maddie Lee and Gordon Wittenmyer, live in Arizona, discuss the Cubs' philosophy and hear from Kris Bryant and what it means to him. Maddie and Gordon also talk about newcomer Joc Pederson's hot play recently and if he is making headway to be an everyday starter. "Joc-tober begins in Peder-March?" Just listen to the podcast to understand.
Cubs fans will be allowed back at Wrigley Field at 20-percent capacity on Opening Day! Maddie Lee and Gordon Wittenmyer discuss the news and how it will impact Cubs players and the organization. Later, Maddie and Gordon provide updates on the status of Pedro Strop, who's being held out of Cubs camp after violating COVID-19 protocols. Plus, a certain Cubs player heats up again after a slight slump.
On Sunday's Cubs spring training report, Maddie Lee is joined by Gordon Wittenmyer, live in Arizona. The two discuss pitcher Pedro Strop violating MLB's COVID-19 safety protocols, having dinner inside recently with players from other teams. Strop will quarantine and be held from team activities.
Gordon and Maddie discuss how the Cubs are handling the situation and if Strop will have enough time to prove he can make the team. Later in the podcast, Maddie and Gordon discuss Jake Arrieta's first spring training start.
Javy Báez was hit by a pitch on the forearm Friday, causing him to leave the game. On Saturday's spring training report, Gordon Wittenmyer, live from Phoenix, joins Tim Stebbins to discuss Báez and his return to team activities. The guys also dive into pitcher Shelby Miller making his first start in spring training and provide updates on the hottest position battle in spring training: second base.
As spring training rolls on for the Cubs, Nico Hoerner continues to make a strong impression in the second base competition. Live from Arizona, Gordon Wittenmyer joins Maddie Lee to discuss Hoerner's hot bat and if second base is his job to lose.
Later in the podcast, Gordon and Maddie talk possible vaccines for the players that could be available soon, an injury update on Javy Báez, and more news and nuggets from Cubs camp.
(1:40) - What has gotten into Nico Hoerner? Teams are having a hard time getting him out
(6:55) - Can Hoerner produce close to this for a full regular season?
(12:55) - Back end of the starting rotation hasn't been solidified. Can Alec Mills make a statement?
(18:40) - Ian Happ on whether players will be eligible to get the vaccine soon
(26:00) - Injury update on Javy Báez
In today's spring training report, Gordon Wittenmyer, live from Glendale, Ariz., joins Maddie Lee to discuss and break down how the Cubs and Dodgers have fared in recent years while comparing their respective competitive windows. They also discuss Kris Bryant getting reps in left field, the addition of Eric Sogard, and what it means for Nico Hoerner, and Gordon reports on the return of alternate sites in 2021.
Gordon Wittenmyer, live from Arizona, joins Maddie Lee to discuss the still undefeated Cubs, whose game against the Mariners on Wednesday ended in a tie under the new spring training rules. They also discuss the return of longtime Cubs reliever Pedro Strop, who spoke to the media and is excited to be back with the team and show Cubs fans what he can do.
The Cubs won their second spring training game, picking up a 3-2 win over the Royals on Tuesday that featured a near no-hitter. David Kaplan, Maddie Lee, Gordon Wittenmyer, and Tim Stebbins discuss Adbert Alzolay's pitching performance, Nico Hoerner's impressive first game as he seeks to claim the everyday second baseman job, how the Cubs are using their pitching staff in spring games, and more news and nuggets from Arizona.
(2:00) - Does a no-hitter in spring training count?
(4:26) - Nico Hoerner looks great in his first game
(8:00) - Cubs are being extremely cautious with their pitchers
(11:50) - Pitching arms are being treated with extreme care in today's game
(15:00) - News and nuggets from Gordon Wittenmyer, live from Arizona
The Cubs beat the San Diego Padres 1-0 in their first spring training game. Gordon Wittenmyer, live from Peoria, Ariz. and Tim Stebbins break down the game, including Kyle Hendricks' pitching performance, what the environment was like with some fans in the stadium, and if Javy Báez will have a bounce back year from 2020 when the pandemic season's conditions seemed to take a toll on his game.
In today's Cubs spring training report, Gordon Wittenmyer and Maddie Lee debate Gordon's fly ball skills after David Ross critiqued his outfield abilities. They also get into the rules of spring training games and what the Cubs are preparing for before Monday's matchup when Kyle Hendricks takes the mound. Plus, they discuss how teams are filling rosters and working out pitching arms without having the ability to use minor leaguers this year due to the pandemic.
On today's Cubs spring training report, Gordon Wittenmyer, live from Mesa, Ariz., is joined by Tim Stebbins. Willson Contreras spoke to the media and shared his thoughts on offseason trade rumors, possible extension talks, and his improved pitch framing. Gordon and Tim also discuss David Bote's thoughts on the club's second base competition. Plus, Pedro Strop has joined Cubs camp.
With the Cubs nearing the end of their first week of spring training, Javy Báez and Joc Pederson addressed the media.
David Kaplan, Maddie Lee, Tim Stebbins, and Gordon Wittenmyer discuss if Báez will have a comeback season and land the contract extension to stay in Chicago like he desires. Plus, Joc Pederson wants to prove he's an everyday player. Will he get the opportunity to do so? All that and more on the Cubs Talk Podcast!
(1:50) - Javy Báez is excited for the upcoming season
(4:40) - Báez wants to be a Cub long term and does not want to go to another team
(9:50) - Was 2016 the outlier year for this core Cubs group?
(14:50) - With the Cubs struggling offensively at times the last few years, was changing hitting coaches so many times a mistake?
(16:04) - Joc Pederson is looking to prove he's an everyday player
(20:04) - How do the Cubs handle Pederson if he isn't producing against lefties?
In today's Cubs spring training report, Gordon Wittenmyer, live from Mesa, Ariz., and Maddie Lee discuss the Cubs announcing Kyle Hendricks will start their opening spring training game. Does that mean Hendricks will be the team's Opening Day starter? They also discuss Jake Arrieta throwing live batting practice and Kris Bryant taking him deep. Plus, updates on injuries and position battles.
As Cubs spring training continues in Mesa, Arizona, a position battle to look out for is second base. Nico Hoerner is one candidate, but David Bote and Ildemaro Vargas are in the picture as well.
Gordon Wittenmyer, live from Mesa, joins David Kaplan, Maddie Lee, and Tim Stebbins to discuss the Cubs' second base picture and whether Hoerner can win the job. Later in the podcast, the crew discusses the Cubs' need for a more diverse lineup and how they feel about being projected to finish near the bottom of the division this season.
(2:00) - Is second base Nico Hoerner's job to lose?
(6:30) - Is David Bote getting overlooked at second base?
(11:06) - The over/under for the Cubs this season has been set at 79 wins. Is that too low?
(16:00) - How do Cubs players feel about low outside expectations for this season?
(20:10) - Jed Hoyer could have tough decisions to make if the Cubs start off slow
In Tuesday's spring training report, Gordon Wittenmyer and Maddie Lee discuss the sights and sounds from Mesa, Ariz. in Day 2 of Cubs camp. Gordon and Maddie discuss the big topic of the day — Cubs pitcher Adbert Alzolay — who says he is ready for the opportunity to prove he belongs in the starting rotation.
Later, they discuss Ian Happ's start to spring training and his thoughts on Kevin Mather's comments on service time, with Happ being the Cubs' players union representative. Make sure to subscribe for daily spring training reports.
Today is the first installment of the Cubs spring training report, featuring David Kaplan, Gordon Wittenmyer, and Maddie Lee. Anthony Rizzo spoke to the media for the first time since last season, and he had thoughts. The Cubs Talk crew reacts to Rizzo discussing his contract situation, his thoughts on Kevin Mather's incriminating comments about bad-faith industry practices and explains why this Cubs team needs to prove that they can win to the fans.
With Fernando Tatis Jr. receiving a HUGE extension to remain a Padre up until I become a Padre (producer Tony here), San Diego has a payroll comparable to teams in big markets like Chicago.
The Cubs Talk crew of David Kaplan, Maddie Lee, Tim Stebbins, and Gordon Wittenmyer discuss Tatis' deal and compare it to how the Cubs are managing their budget and roster. Later in the podcast, the crew discusses who on the Cubs could be in line for an extension. Javy Báez? Anthony Rizzo? Kris Bryant? The crew also breaks down if there are any more pitching additions on the horizon for the Cubs.
(1:43) - Fernando Tatis Jr. reaches massive extension with San Diego. Do you like the deal? But also, how in the hell do the Padres have two players signed for over $300 million?
(6:16) - Fourteen years is a long time. The deal is good for baseball, but the length could be risky. What is a normal deal for someone at Tatis' skill level?
(16:00) - If the number to extend Rizzo is $175 million for seven years, are you doing it?
(22:20) - Are Cubs done adding pitchers?
(26:25) - Is the bullpen strong enough to win?
(29:57) - Does Pedro Strop make the Cubs roster?
Spring training is underway and there are questions about the Cubs' 2021 outlook. President of baseball operations Jed Hoyer and manager David Ross addressed the media as camp opened to discuss how they view the team, if they are done adding to the roster and if trades could still be on the table for a few core players, most notably former MVP Kris Bryant.
The Cubs Talk crew of David Kaplan, Gordon Wittenmyer, Maddie Lee, and Tim Stebbins discuss Hoyer and Ross' remarks and debate who had it the toughest taking over the Cubs: 2012 Theo Epstein or 2021 Jed Hoyer.
(1:25) - Is the team coming to spring training the final roster, or are they looking to make more moves?
(6:00) - Jake Arrieta is bringing a competitive fire the Cubs have been missing since he's been gone
(12:00) - Which job is tougher: Theo Epstein taking over in 2012 and building the Cubs up to a World Series contender, or 2021 Jed Hoyer working through a rebuild?
(25:35) - Jed Hoyer intends on sitting down with the core to discuss their futures. Who stays and who goes?
(34:00) - Will Joc Pederson be the Cubs' leadoff hitter or will Ian Happ have that spot?
Jake Arrieta, the last Cubs pitcher to win a playoff game, is coming back to Wrigleyville on a one-year, $6 million dollar deal, NBC Sports Chicago confirmed. The Cubs Talk crew of David Kaplan, Tim Stebbins, and Gordon Wittenmyer discuss Arrieta's return to the Cubs and what he can bring to enhance the starting rotation. The crew also dives into whether the Cubs will add more pitching in free agency, if they have enough money to sign another pitcher and if this enough to win the division.
(1:18) - Reactions to the Cubs signing Arrieta. What will they get from him?
(7:30) - Is there a serviceable guy left on the market to add to the rotation?
(11:50) - If this is the Opening Day team, are they good enough to win 85 games?
(16:05) - Rank the top four trades of the Theo Epstein/Jed Hoyer Cubs era
(24:00) - Where does Arrieta slot in the rotation?
Will Anthony Rizzo have his greatest season ever? Will the Cubs sign another starting pitcher and if so, who will they get? There are still questions around the Cubs as they get ready to start spring training.
David Kaplan, Maddie Lee, Tim Stebbins, and Gordon Wittenmyer go over their predictions for spring training and discuss what they expect to happen before the regular season starts. The crew dives into a possible Kris Bryant trade to the Mets (yes, another KB trade rumor), the Cubs' 2021 game times being announced, and if Jake Arrieta has a chance to return to the North Side.
(2:05) - PECOTA has the Cubs winning more games than the White Sox
(5:52) - Do the Cubs have any more payroll flexibility?
(10:43) - SNY's Andy Martino reports the Cubs and Mets are re-engaged on Kris Bryant trade talks. The Cubs are looking to get a very good player in the deal, but the Mets are not biting yet.
(17:19) - Afternoon baseball is back at Wrigley with 47 afternoon home games scheduled this season!
(19:31) - Pitchers and catchers report to camp this coming Tuesday. Are there any position battles or storylines that fans need to pay attention to?
(26:04) - Any chance Jake Arrieta or James Paxton signs with the Cubs?
In the 1986-87 offseason, Andre Dawson made a move that changed baseball, joining the Cubs in free agency after battling collusion. David Kaplan and Gordon Wittenmyer sit down with Dawson to discuss that tough time and how he managed the era of collusion in baseball. They also discuss the importance of the black baseball players and the impact the black athlete has in America and the world. Later in the pod, the group discusses Dawson's time in the Marlins front office and the craziness of playing the Cubs in the 2003 postseason.
(2:00) - Dawson discusses how he became a Cub and the collusion he was up against
(11:20) - The similarities between his time as a free agent and the seemingly collusive time for free agents in recent years
(18:30) - The impact black baseball players can have on kids looking to play baseball
(31:50) - Any regrets in Dawson's career or anything he would have done differently?
(35:30) - Cubs vs. Marlins in 2003 postseason and how he felt about the Cubs winning the World Series in 2016
The Cubs' biggest offseason move was upstaged by the Cardinals, but are there other moves they can make to round out the roster? David Kaplan, Gordon Wittenmyer, and Tim Stebbins discuss which areas of the roster the Cubs still need to address and how they can do so. Get your shopping lists out and let's see what we can find.
(1:38) - The Cubs have young pitchers in the pipeline nearly ready for the big leagues, but they need to add at least one more veteran starter.
(6:15) - If the Cubs need and are looking for veteran pitching, why didn't they make an offer to Jon Lester sooner?
(9:45) - Based on what the Cubs have now, should they have brought José Quintana back? Who else is out there?
(13:50) - Who plays second base: Nico Hoerner, or should they look for a veteran?
(17:40) - Will the government get involved in making sure players get vaccinated?
Spring training is set to start on time in a couple of weeks but there are still uncertainties between the players and owners. David Kaplan, Maddie Lee, Gordon Wittenmyer, and Tim Stebbins discuss the union rejecting MLB's alternate plan for a delayed 154-game season, potential issues that still lie ahead before Opening Day on April 1, and what the relationship between the players and owners is like. Later in the podcast, the crew discusses the Cardinals' big trade for superstar Nolan Arenado. Did the Cards just become the favorite to win the NL Central?
(1:40) - Players say no to the owners' proposal, so there will be a 162-game season that is scheduled to start on time
(6:35) - COVID-19 is not going away during the 2021 season, so MLB may not reach 162 games anyway and will try to play as many games as they can.
(11:00) - The universal DH should be here already. Owners are using it as a bargaining tool to obtain expanded playoffs. DH would benefit everyone -- teams and players.
(13:40) - Why fans should be on the players' side
(25:40) - Are the Cards division favorites after acquiring Nolan Arenado?
The Cubs finally made a significant offseason addition by signing outfielder Joc Pederson. According to David Kaplan, the Ricketts family expanded the Cubs' 2021 budget enough for Jed Hoyer to make the move. They're also looking to bring in more pitching and are scouting Jake Arrieta and Jeff Samardzija. Are the Cubs officially announcing they are going for the division? Can they win the division with their current roster? David Kaplan, Maddie Lee, Tim Stebbins, and Gordon Wittenmyer discuss the signing and what it does for the Cubs, and which free agent pitcher should the Cubs sign?
(1:40) - Is Joc Pederson an upgrade over Kyle Schwarber?
(5:34) - Did the Cubs get another Schwarber in Pederson?
(10:10) - Jed Hoyer has scouts looking at Jake Arrieta, Jeff Samardzija and Carlos Rodón.
(14:20) - Should the Cubs sign more than one of the pitchers they're looking at?
(18:05) - Is Arrieta healthy enough to be a starter still?
Now former Mets GM Jared Porter was recently implicated in a sexual harassment scandal, sending a number of lewd and explicit pictures and text messages to a foreign reporter in 2016 — when he was working in the Cubs front office. The Mets fired Porter soon after ESPN reported the scandal, and the Cubs are conducting an investigation. But is that enough, and why is the sports media environment historically conducive to this behavior? NBCS Cubs reporter Maddie Lee is joined by a panel of veteran women sports journalists in Hall of Fame baseball writer Claire Smith, ABC7 Chicago’s Dionne Miller, WBEZ’s Cheryl Raye-Stout, and FOX 10 Phoenix’s Siera Santos. The group discusses the Porter scandal and share stories of their experiences in a male-dominated field.
(3:10) - Reactions to Jared Porter's actions with the Cubs in 2016
(8:30) - Progression in locker rooms today. Player behavior has improved over the years from where it was in the early days of women sports reporting
(15:00) - Examples of players/management misbehaving in locker rooms and on the beat towards women journalists
(22:00) - Advice to young women about sports journalism and how they might be unfairly perceived compared to their male counterparts
(29:50) - Personal stories of media members and teams backing women who were scared or didn't know what to do.
(33:20) - What will come from the MLB and Cubs Porter investigations and how can the sports industry improve its work environment?
The Baseball Hall of Fame voting is in, and no one will be elected in the class of 2021 as controversy still surrounds several of the steroid era players, along with Curt Schilling. David Kaplan, Tim Stebbins, and Hall of Fame voter Gordon Wittenmyer discuss the hotly debated topic of who should and shouldn't get into the Hall and the voting process. Later in the podcast, the crew discusses whether spring training will be delayed.
(1:40) - Nobody elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame for class of 2021
(6:08) - Which steroid era player should be considered and which ones should not?
(14:10) - Has Hall of Fame voting become generational, where younger baseball writers/voters want Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and others associated with PEDs in the Hall, while more veteran writers do not?
(20:00) - Will the Baseball Hall of Fame have to create special rules for the steroid era?
(30:45) - Will spring training be delayed this year?
The Cubs have a never-ending list of celebrity fans, including TV host and personality Steve Wilkos. Wilkos joins David Kaplan and Gordon Wittenmyer to discuss his lifelong fandom of the Cubs. The crew dives into the Cubs' 2021 offseason, the origin of Wilkos' famous bald head look, his favorite Cub players and Cubs moments, and how he was sitting close to Steve Bartman during that infamous playoff game.
(1:40) - Steve Wilkos discusses his passion for the Cubs and the disappointment of the rebuild
(6:00) - Did the Cubs get enough for Yu Darvish?
(10:30) - Was Theo leaving the right move for the Cubs?
(12:10) - How Wilkos joined The Jerry Springer Show and his craziest stories from the show
(15:00) - The history of the bald head look
(21:50) - Wilkos discusses his days as a Chicago police officer
(26:40) - Wilkos sat in the same row as Steve Bartman during Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS
(31:30) - Wilkos discusses what he would say to the Ricketts family about the Cubs
In 2016, Jared Porter — then a member of the Cubs front office — sent a number of unsolicited, explicit text messages to a female reporter. The Mets fired Porter for his actions on Tuesday. The Cubs Talk crew of David Kaplan, Maddie Lee, and Gordon Wittenmyer discuss Porter's Cubs tenure, how much the Cubs knew about this incident, and the Cubs' investigation into the situation. The crew also dives into the issues in sports culture that make it unwelcoming for women and how it must improve.
(2:35) - Maddie Lee: "Glad the Mets did it and did it quickly. Pretty much any woman in the industry has had some sort of similar experience."
(7:00) - This incident pushed a woman out of this industry. And Porter was comfortable sending 62 explicit messages. The reason he was comfortable was because so many others have gotten away with it.
(11:40) - Is sports culture changing for the better at all?
(16:15) - The difference in men and women in sports reporting and things women have to consider that men don't
(21:30) - What should women know before entering sports journalism?
(26:50) - Cubs are investigating the situation but have stated they didn't know about Porter's actions in 2016
On this emergency Cubs Pod, Jon Lester, one of the greatest free-agent signings in Chicago sports history seemingly goes to finish his career with the Washington Nationals with teammate Kyle Schwarber. But, according to David Kaplan on this podcast, Jon Lester made it clear he wanted to stay a Cub. Did the Cubs not want Jon Lester? Kaplan is joined by Gordon Wittenmyer as they discuss what happened that Jon Lester went east, what money was Lester looking for, and what are the Cubs thinking in not wanting Lester to return?
(1:45) - Gordon Wittenmyer "First word that comes to mind on this is EMBARRASSING. You can’t match $4 million?!? You can’t spare that for Jon Lester?"
(5:37) - Four-Fifths of the rotation we all agreed wasn’t good enough as it was. Can they realistically compete with what they have?
(9:23) - Lester indicated that he wanted to retire as a Cub. Didn’t want to go anywhere else. Wanted 200 wins as a Cub
(15:54) - Lester signaled the culture change when he got here. It’s almost unconscionable.
(21:00) - If the Cubs are 4 games up in the division, a player goes down. Do they go out and add on or do they start selling off pieces?
(24:30) - Cubs culture change
Well, that didn't take long. Theo Epstein, the former Cubs president, now sets his sights on larger pursuits, joining MLB as a consultant to the commissioner's office. Epstein will help evaluate potential rule changes to improve the game's entertainment value, which he takes some responsibility for hurting. The Cubs Talk crew of David Kaplan, Gordon Wittenmyer, Maddie Lee, and Tim Stebbins discuss Theo's move and what could be in store for the former Cubs president in the future.
(1:40) - First impressions of MLB hiring Theo Epstein
(5:05) - What will Theo be doing exactly?
(10:20) - Can analytics in baseball be fixed?
(14:00) - What is Theo ultimately trying to achieve? Owner? MLB commissioner?
(17:40) - Predictions on Theo's future
Due to the pandemic, there will be no Cubs Convention this year. But after all the changes the Cubs have made, what would be your one question to the Ricketts family at the annual fan festival? We shot that question to Cubs fans and they responded. David Kaplan, Maddie Lee, Gordon Wittenmyer, and Tim Stebbins discuss and try and answer those questions and statements while discussing what impact the White Sox signing Liam Hendriks has on the Cubs.
(2:45) - Comparing the White Sox offseason to the Cubs offseason with the Liam Hendricks signing
(8:35) - Will some Cubs fans root for the White Sox this year?
(14:30) - Will the Ricketts family be able to be honest with fans about the rebuild?
(21:10) - Are the Cubs held to the same standard as the Yankees?
(29:10) - Yankees vs. Cubs comparisons
(33:46) - Why has the Ricketts family spent money everywhere else but the players?
Without a doubt, the top free agent in baseball this offseason just so happens to also be the most polarizing and interesting in Trevor Bauer. To discuss his free agency and the person that is Trevor Bauer, the Cubs Talk podcast is joined by his agent Rachel Luba. Maddie Lee and Gordon Wittenmyer have a deep and interesting conversation about the state of free agency for not just Bauer, but for the rest of the players during a pandemic, what Bauer is looking for in a team to sign him, his social media presence, and how he's viewed around the league and by fans, and if the Cubs have a shot at Bauer. All of that and more on the Cubs Talk podcast.
(4:40) - Rachel Luba joins the podcast
(5:15) - The odd offseasons for free agency the last few years
(12:10) - Are the Cubs in the running for Trevor Bauer?
(18:05) - Trevor Bauer pushing boundaries with his outspoken-ness and his use of social media
(26:30) - Can Bauer's strategy of using social media to talk directly to fans be a model for future players?
(35:45) - The battle between agents and the media
(46:50) - How players like Javy Baez and Kris Bryant should handle being under arbitration for multiple years
Happy New Year, Cubs fans! In the first episode of 2021, the Cubs Talk crew of David Kaplan, Gordon Wittenmyer, Maddie Lee, and Tim Stebbins make some bold predictions for the upcoming season. Will the Cubs win the division? Which Cubs will have the breakout year? Which Cubs will perform better than Yu Darvish? Theo freakin' Epstein will save baseball?!! With all the fiery takes this episode produces, you are not going to want to miss it.
(1:40) - The Cubs will win the NL Central
(6:00) - The Padres will not make the postseason?!
(10:35) - Kris Bryant will be a Cub the entire year
(16:45) - Ian Happ will sign an extension with the Cubs
(24:10) - Jason Heyward will be the best offensive player for the Cubs in 2021
(35:48) - Theo Epstein will save baseball
Jed Hoyer on trading Yu Darvish and Wilson Contreras' future
After trading Yu Darvish to the Padres, Cubs president Jed Hoyer spoke to the media about the organization's direction. The Cubs Talk team of David Kaplan, Gordon Wittenmyer, Maddie Lee, and Tim Stebbins discuss Hoyer's comments and where they think the Cubs are headed, not only in 2021 but the future — including rumors the Cubs are shopping catcher Wilson Contreras. Later in the podcast, the crew answers your questions and concerns about the Cubs in our mailbag segment to open up the new year.
(1:40) - Takeaways from Jed Hoyer's press conference
(6:45) -Are the Cubs still trying to win the division after trading Darvish?
(12:06) - The Cubs are trying to trim payroll
(18:55) - Will players regret not taking extensions?
(25:10) - Fan question: Did the Cubs trade Darvish for a potential star?
(31:00) - When will the Cubs hire a new GM?
(36:20) - Can the Cubs move Jason Heyward's contract?
In a surprise to everyone but David Kaplan, the Cubs are trading starting pitcher Yu Darvish and catcher Victor Caratini to the San Diego Padres for prospects. Kaplan is joined by the rest of the Cubs Talk crew of Gordon Wittenmyer, Maddie Lee, and Tim Stebbins to discuss and break down the trade. The group discusses if the Cubs are starting a rebuild if the prospects they're getting will be meaningful players and who could be the next Cub traded.
(1:58) - Gordon Wittenmyer: "The Cubs are tanking!"
(6:21) - No one knows for sure if Darvish can repeat what he did last season
(12:05) - Will the Cubs admit to fans that they are tanking?
(17:35) - How is one of the most popular teams in the sport not spending money to win?
(25:30) - Who is the next Cub to be traded?
In a special edition of the Cubs Talk Podcast, the crew of Gordon Wittenmyer, Maddie Lee, and Tim Stebbins discuss what would be on the Cubs' wish for Christmas, some new rules to baseball that might impact the game, and what Cubs fans should expect from new President Jed Hoyer. Later in the podcast, the crew gets into heated debates over the greatest Christmas movies of all time.
(2:00) - Cub fans Christmas wishes
(6:40) - Wishing for Cubs to have a better financial situation
(12:15) -Wish lists for new rules in baseball
(17:20) - What would baseball look like if it banned the shift
(24:40) - Heated debates of best Christmas movies
Agent Scott Boras represents some of MLB's greatest players, including former MVP Kris Bryant. Boras sits down with Gordon Wittenmyer and Maddie Lee to discuss where Bryant stands with the Cubs in the ongoing conversation about whether he will be with the team long term. Gordon, Maddie, and Boras also discuss the loaded 2021 free-agent class, the financial situation the Cubs find themselves in, and what could be a very contentious CBA between the players and owners.
(2:20) - Where does Kris Bryant measure up against other top players in baseball today and HOF 3rd baseman Chipper Jones
(7:03) - Will Bryant finish the 2021 season with the Cubs?
(11:40) - Did all the criticism over 2020 get to Bryant?
(14:32) - How a loaded 2021 free-agent class might affect a player & if they might accept an extension
(18:50) - Economics surrounding the Cubs this offseason
(28:55) - Budget cuts in teams front office and how they affect the game
(33:30) - State of the CBA negotiations between the owners and players
(41:00) - Update on free agent Jake Arrieta
In his Winter Meetings media session, David Ross was asked if he believes the Cubs can win right now. Without hesitation, Ross confirmed he thinks this roster can and will compete. Host David Kaplan, Gordon Wittenmyer, and Maddie Lee discuss if the Cubs can retool and win at the same time or if Ross is doing coach speak. The group also discusses Anthony Rizzo's future as a Cub.
Later, following MLB reclassifying the Negro Leagues a major league, Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, joins the podcast. Kendrick discusses his hesitant reaction to the news and what this means for the history of the Negro Leagues.
(2:50) - Does David Ross truly believe he can win with this roster?
(6:30) - Does being in a down division help the Cubs believe they can still win?
(13:39) - With Anthony Rizzo in the final year of his contract, will the Cubs extend him?
(17:55) - Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro League Baseball Museum, joins Gordon Wittenmyer and Maddie Lee
(19:00) - Kendrick discusses his reaction to the news and its significance
(29:30) - Minnie Minoso was the Latino Jackie Robinson
(36:15) - The Pirates and the Cleveland Indians could have had Black players but all declined
In his annual December meeting with the media, baseball super-agent Scott Boras discussed the state of baseball and his clients, including Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant — who is seemingly the subject of trade talks every day. Host David Kaplan, Gordon Wittenmyer, Maddie Lee, and Tim Stebbins discuss Boras' comments on Bryant and the new regime led by Jed Hoyer in ways that only Boras can. Later in the podcast, the crew discusses the still uncertain 2021 MLB schedule and if the Cubs are looking to make any more moves this offseason.
(2:20) - Impressions of super-agent Scott Boras' meeting with the media
(5:20) - Is the path to keeping Kris Bryant brighter than before?
(12:10) - Are the Cubs looking to make any moves?
(19:00) - How do agents look at teams' "poor" financial situations this year?
(27:10) - Where do the Cubs go from here?
(33:28) - Scott Boras' thoughts on the finances of MLB teams
Jed Hoyer, the new Cubs president of baseball operations, makes his first appearance on the Cubs Talk Podcast in his new role. David Kaplan, Maddie Lee, and Gordon Wittenmyer discuss his vision for the Cubs, the search for his GM, what he thinks of his roster, and if the Cubs are in a rebuild. The crew also discusses how the Cubs are operating in a pandemic and how will the league adjust when the season starts up again.
(1:24) - Balancing the long-term future and the good chance this roster can win the division this year
(7:00) - How did the Cubs prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the organization this season?
(11:00) - How will the Cubs continue to develop players and more specifically pitching going forward?
(13:08) - Are the Cubs going to be competitive this year?
(15:50) - Will the Cubs have to take a step back to get back to the World Series?
(18:30) - Have teams inquired about Yu Darvish and Kyle Hendricks?
(23:30) - When will the search for a GM start?
On the third day of the Winter Meetings, the Cubs still have been quiet. So, the Cubs talk crew of David Kaplan, Maddie Lee, and Gordon Wittenmyer discuss and relive some of the trades or almost trades of Cubs past, including details on how Nomar Garciaparra became a Cub, and how the Cubs dealt Milton Bradley. Later in the podcast, the crew interviews new Cubs third base coach Willie Harris, discussing his playing career with the White Sox and what he plans to bring to the Cubs.
(1:30) - A lot of movement this Winter Meetings by the league
(4:35) - The story of how the Cubs traded Milton Bradley
(9:03) - How Mike Piazza almost became a Cub
(14:44) - Was Kris Bryant actually offered an extension?
(20:18) - New Cubs third base coach Willie Harris joins the podcast
(24:06) - Harris discusses his relationship with David Ross
(26:40) - Harris interviewed to be the manager of the White Sox before Tony La Russa got the job
On Day 2 of the Winter Meetings, Jed Hoyer and the Cubs remain quiet and haven't made any moves so far. Host David Kaplan, Gordon Wittenmyer and Maddie Lee discuss the NL Central not being competitive this season and how that could benefit the Cubs in making the 2021 playoffs. Later, Kevin Youkilis joins the pod and breaks down the Cubs. The group discusses the differences in today's game, Kevin's thoughts on Theo Epstein admitting he was part of the problem in "boring" baseball and how Jed can be successful as the new president of baseball operations.
(1:07) - Will the NL Central be competitive in 2021?
(5:16) - Can the Cubs win the division while worried about the payroll?
(9:29) - Kevin Youkilis interview
(14:18) - Youkilis' thoughts on Theo Epstein admitting he was part of the problem in baseball
(19:30) - Will the game change back to emphasizing small ball?
(22:30) - What is the difference between Theo and Jed?
(26:20) - What kind of hitters do the Cubs need?
The 2020 Winter Meetings have begun and everyday this week, the Cubs Talk Podcast will be dropping an episode to keep fans up to date on the Cubs. The Cubs Talk crew of David Kaplan, Gordon Wittenmyer and Maddie Lee discuss what the Cubs are looking to do during the Winter meetings and this offseason, and how they Cubs' farm system looks. Later in the podcast, the crew talks with Matt Dorey, the Cubs VP of player development, about if any of the Cubs prospects could be on the move, how the current system is trying to develop talent and how can they improve the lack of pitching depth in the organization.
(1:30) - The Winter Meetings are underway. Where should Jed Hoyer start this year?
(5:00) - How can the Cubs build like the Dodgers?
(8:21) - Matt Dorey joins the podcast
(13:20) - How healthy is the Cubs farm system?
(17:30) - How are the Cubs developing pitching?
It's always tough to say goodbye but the Cubs made several non-tender decisions, including Albert Almora Jr. and Kyle Schwarber, while tendering Kris Bryant, among others. With Almora being the sixth overall pick and Schwarber the fourth overall in their respective drafts, were they busts for the Cubs? David Kaplan and Gordon Wittenmyer discuss both players' careers and what being non-tendered could mean for the two. Later in the podcast, Gordon describes in detail what the Cubs' financial situation is and how they are operating to fix it.
(1:44) - Surprising that the Cubs made the decisions they did at the tender deadline?
(7:00) - What does the Cubs' financial situation look like?
(12:50) - Did Theo Epstein stick with certain players for too long?
(18:00) - Overview of the Epstein drafts
(24:20) - Will there be any movement at the virtual Winter Meetings?
(29:00) - Finding starting pitching
The Cubs Talk crew of David Kaplan, Maddie Lee and Gordon Wittenmyer discuss who Jed Hoyer should look at to hire as his GM now that he has been promoted. But, did the Cubs miss out on Kim Ng after possibly knowing Theo Epstein was on his way out? The crew debates the missed opportunity and if Ng was on their radar. Later in the podcast the crew discusses the upcoming tender date (not Tinder) as the Cubs have some difficult choices to make on who stays and who goes.
(1:40) - Jed Hoyer begins his search for a GM. Did the Cubs miss out on Kim Ng?
(6:52) - Is there a chance the Cubs did try to hire Ng?
(12:46) - Which core player on the Cubs will be non-tendered or tendered?
(18:30) - Rumors from teams around the league that the Cubs aren't good trading partners
(23:30)- A message to Cubs fans on what they should be looking for this offseason to know which direction the team is going
(27:28) - A story about when the Cubs worked out Carlos Correa before the draft
The Cubs Talk crew of David Kaplan, Maddie Lee and Gordon Wittenmyer are joined by veteran MLB executive for the White Sox, Dodgers, Cubs and others, Dan Evans. With his many years of experience, Evans provides great insight into what new Cubs president of baseball ops Jed Hoyer will be up against and what fans should look for. The group also discusses the Marlins hiring Kim Ng as GM, her connection to Chicago and what her hiring could mean for the future of baseball.
(1:44) - How will the new Cubs regime led by Jed Hoyer get the Cubs back on track?
(8:10) - As the Cubs' new president, what should Jed do with former MVP Kris Bryant?
(14:50) - How will the winter meetings be impacted by the pandemic?
(19:13) - Dan describes what Kim Ng was like as an intern for the White Sox
(31:23) - Is Tony La Russa ready to manage again?
(37:18) - Can/will Theo Epstein help fix baseball after admittedly helping to make it less fun
Jed Hoyer is now the Cubs president of baseball operations and is leading them into a new era. What is his vision for the team? How will he conduct his GM search? Does he think this Cubs team can win? Host David Kaplan and the Cubs content team of Gordon Wittenmyer, Maddie Lee and Tim Stebbins discuss the new era of Cubs baseball and what they expect of Hoyer. Later in the pod, the crew discusses what they are thankful for in baseball and their favorite Thanksgiving food.
(1:27) - Jed Hoyer signs an extension through 2025 as president of baseball operations
(9:14) - What will Jed do with Kris Bryant?
(16:02) - How difficult does Jed think the Cubs job is?
(20:38) - What are you thankful for in baseball?
(25:00) - Will Jed go after a big-name free agent?
(31:40) - Favorite Thanksgiving food?
With Theo Epstein gone, it's time to look at the future of the Cubs and the direction they will be going. David Kaplan and Gordon Wittenmyer discuss where new Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer should lead the team and if there is a chance the Cubs can win the World Series next season. The crew also gets into Wrigley Field being named a national landmark and what that could mean for the organization.
(1:27) - Wrigley Field being named a national landmark could impact the organization financially
(7:28) - Now that Theo is gone, how healthy is the Cubs organization?
(13:05) - Should the Cubs sell off the assets to start the rebuild again?
(18:00) - Theo admits he helped ruin baseball to a degree
(25:45) - What is Theo Epstein's next step in baseball?
Theo Epstein has officially stepped down as Cubs president of baseball operations and will be succeeded by general manager Jed Hoyer. The Cubs Talk crew of David Kaplan, Gordon Wittenmyer, Maddie Lee and Tim Stebbins discuss Epstein's resignation, what led to Theo ultimately stepping down, and what his legacy in Chicago will look like.
(1:30) - How surprising is Theo's resignation?
(6:26) - Tom Ricketts' thinking going forward with Jed Hoyer
(9:30) - Theo Epstein's legacy as Cubs president
(19:09) - With Theo gone, will the Cubs break up the team?
(37:18) - Fondest memories of Theo's tenure
On this edition of the Cubs Talk Podcast, Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy joins David Kaplan and Gordon Wittenmyer to discuss his recovery from COVID-19, what a typical day is like for him, what turned Yu Darvish’s fortunes around in Chicago and how Darvish broke out a pitch against the White Sox he hadn’t thrown in three years. Later in the podcast, Hottovy explains how Craig Kimbrel turned his season around and the chance Jon Lester returns to the Cubs.
(01:30) - Hottovy on his recovery from COVID-19
(05:45) - On Darvish finishing second in NL Cy Young voting
(12:45) - How Darvish narrows down the number of pitches he can throw
(27:30) - Having Darvish and Kyle Hendricks at the top of the rotation
(29:30) - Expectations for Brailyn Marquez
(33:15) - Chances Jon Lester returns to the Cubs in 2021
(36:20) - How Kimbrel turned his season around
On this edition of the Cubs Talk Podcast, David Kaplan, Gordon Wittenmyer and Tim Stebbins discuss the NL Manager of the Year award voting, the job David Ross did in 2020, and Gordon discusses the criteria he used to cast his vote in the NL Cy Young Award race.
(1:30) - David Ross finishes third in NL Manager of the Year voting
(8:00) - What Ross had to overcome in 2020 to be successful
(12:45) - Could Yu Darvish win the NL Cy Young Award?
(20:00) - Was this Darvish’s best season as a starter in his career?
(26:10) - Is there a chance a major player on the Cubs will be non-tendered?
(32:15) - Any chance Trevor Bauer plays for the Cubs in 2021?
On this edition of the Cubs Talk Podcast, David Kaplan and Gordon Wittenmyer talk to former Cub Mark Prior about winning the World Series as the Dodgers pitching coach, his relationship with Dusty Baker, how he got into coaching and watching the 2016 Cubs win the championship.
(1:30) - On clinching the World Series
(4:00) - On clinching a playoff spot with the Cubs in 2003
(6:00) - On not being around family during the season
(8:00) - On Justin Turner's positive COVID test during Game 6
(10:30) - Passing his knowledge down to today's players
(12:15) - On his feeling towards Dusty Baker
(14:30) - Does Baker get enough credit for his accomplishments?
(18:30) - On Kevin Cash's decision to pull Blake Snell in Game 6
(21:30) - How would he have reacted to being taken out of the game like Snell was
(23:30) - How he coaches Clayton Kershaw
(26:00) - How he got into coaching
(29:00) - Thoughts on MLB's new rules in 2020
(32:30) - On seeing the Cubs win the World Series in 2016
The Cubs are in uncertain times this offseason and fans have questions. The Cubs Talk crew of David Kaplan, Gordon Wittenmyer, Maddie Lee and Tim Stebbins answer Cubs fans' questions about the roster, the impact the pandemic has had on the club financially and which player/players they think will be traded.
(2:50) - Will there be coaching changes on David Ross' staff?
(8:16) - Will players take less money due to the financial climate?
(13:11) - How are the Cubs affected by having no fans in attendance in 2020?
(17:00) - Will the Cubs non-tender any of their core players?
(22:55) - What is the target year the Cubs are expected to win again?
(28:10) - Why don't the Cubs bunt more when they struggle offensively?
(33:05) - Offseason bold move predictions
Host David Kaplan is joined by Maddie Lee, Gordon Wittenmyer, and Tim Stebbins as they discuss the White Sox hiring longtime Cubs managerial rival Tony La Russa and if he will add fuel to the Cubs-White Sox rivalry fire. Later in the pod, the crew discusses how MLB should handle the aftermath of Justin Turner's positive COVID-19 test result and what precautions the league should put in place in the future. Plus, should analytics be reevaluated after the Rays' move to pull pitcher Blake Snell in the World Series backfired?
(1:30) - What does the La Russa hiring mean for the Cubs?
(9:26) - Does the old school managing style work in today's game? Is David Ross old school?
(14:32) - Should the Rays have pulled Blake Snell?
(25:10) - Has analytics hurt baseball?
(34:20) - Justin Turner's positive COVID test
Host David Kaplan is joined by NBCS Chicago's entire Cubs content team of Gordon Wittenmyer, Maddie Lee, and Tim Stebbins, as they give their bold predictions for what they think the Cubs will do this offseason. The crew debates if/when Kris Bryant will be traded, will Theo Epstein move on with one year left on his contract, if the Cubs will empty the cupboard and trade everyone, and if the Cubs will start over by trading everyone but Javy Báez and sign Francisco Lindor next winter. You don't want to miss out on these heated debates.
(1:36) - Will Theo Epstein be the president of the Cubs in January?
(9:50) - Will any of the core players be back to start next season?
(18:05) - Will the Cubs move on from Kyle Schwarber?
(27:30) - Is there a chance the Cubs move enough money to sign Francisco Lindor?
(35:00) - How will the Cubs find pitching?
The Cubs have made a lot of organizational layoffs due to the pandemic, reaching as far as baseball operations. With a smaller staff, how will they proceed with building the on-field product? Host David Kaplan and Cubs insider Gordon Wittenmyer discuss the layoffs and their impact on how the Cubs offseason. They also discuss potential free agents the Cubs should look at including Trevor Bauer, and a review of the farm system of the Cubs.
(1:18) - Cubs layoffs continued into baseball operations
(8:10) - Times are tough for the Cubs right now
(14:40) - How many teams are prepared to spend in free agency?
(20:25) - If Jed Hoyer takes over, will he be forced to make cuts and not spend in free agency?
(27:00) - Could Trevor Bauer work with the Cubs?
At the height of the Cubs' run under Theo Epstein, they were the model organization and were the standard for other teams to follow. Now, the Cubs are searching for stability to the roster and organization and need a model to replicate to get them back on track. Which path should they take? David Kaplan is joined by Gordon Wittenmyer and Tim Stebbins to discuss which team in the World Series the Cubs should replicate to get them back to prominence: the big-spending Dodgers, or the analytical and methodical Rays?
(1:25) - Which style of rebuilding should the Cubs choose?
(5:39) - How can the Rays develop pitching so well?
(10:06) - Is the next shoe to drop Theo Epstein and the Cubs parting ways?
(15:10) - What does the 2021 Cubs rotation look like?
(19:10) - Did Theo succeed or fail as Cubs president?
(33:00) - Kaplan predicts the Cubs will make a major move by Christmas
One of the issues the Cubs need to address is the lack of depth in the farm system, but what do they already have there?
Host David Kaplan and Maddie Lee discuss the Cubs' minor league system. Is there any talent that will be on the major league team in the future or is the cupboard bare and needing to be replenished completely?
Later on in the pod, Kap and Maddie discuss which current Cubs player should be moved to gain assets and when they think they will be traded.
(1:20) - The lack of homegrown pitching since Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer took over
(6:10) - Will Adbert Alzolay be a key contributor for the Cubs?
(11:50) - Going through the Cubs farm system
(16:10) - Will the Cubs be able to find steals during the Winter Meetings?
In his first year as manager, David Ross led the Cubs to a division title and a playoff spot, but could he have done better? David Kaplan and Cubs beat reporter Maddie Lee discuss how well Ross performed in his first year managing and where he can improve. Later on, Kap and Maddie dissect the Cubs roster and rank how well each player did.
(1:32) - What letter grade would Ross get for his first season?
(8:50) - The Cubs bullpen rankings
(15:46) - Is Wilson Contreras a better offensive player than what we saw this year?
(21:38) - What is the deal with Kyle Schwarber?
(30:18) - What will the Cubs do at second base going into next year?
It seems like the run may be over for the Cubs as we currently know them as they begin to restructure the front office and soon the roster. David Kaplan, Maddie Lee, and Gordon Wittenmyer discuss moves the Cubs made so far and front office restructuring that could come in the future. Later in the pod, the crew discusses new rules implemented by MLB for the shortened season and debate which ones they would like to see stay and which ones they would love to see go.
(1:28) - Cubs start making front office moves
(9:00) - Which MLB rules should stay and which rules should go for 2021?
(15:07) - Will fans be allowed in the stands by next season?
(19:50) - When will Theo Epstein's future be determined and when will the roster changes start?
Theo Epstein spoke to the media on Monday and has made it clear that the Cubs are still going to try to win, but changes are coming to the roster and possibly the front office. David Kaplan, Maddie Lee, and Gordon Wittenmyer discuss the important offseason for the Cubs, what may lie ahead for their championship core, and who might be gone before next year.
(3:20) - Massive changes may be coming to the Cubs
(10:23) - Theo doesn't want to be hereafter his contract is up
(18:30) - Goal for next year is to win but also plan for the future
(27:00) - Will the Cubs trade Darvish or Hendricks for young prospects?
(34:10) What should the Cubs' plan be headed into next year?
The 2020 season is over for the Cubs after a Game 2 loss and sweep to the Marlins. Will Theo Epstein and Cubs ownership commence major changes to the core roster? David Kaplan, Gordon Wittenmyer, and Tim Stebbins discuss the series loss and what they expect to happen to the core roster in the offseason.
(1:47) - First takeaways from the series loss
(7:56) - Will the Cubs try and compete next year or rebuild?
(14:45) - David Kaplan believes that major changes are coming to the Cubs this offseason
(21:10) - Will Cubs fans accept another rebuild?
The Cubs lost Game 1 of their three-game series with the Miami Marlins and now face a must-win Game 2 in order to keep their playoff hopes alive. David Kaplan is joined by Gordon Wittenmyer, Maddie Lee, and Tim Stebbins as they discuss the loss, the Cubs’ lack of offense and what's next for Game 2.
(1:22) - Biggest takeaway from Game 1
(7:30) - Stunned that the Cubs bats didn't show up in Game 1?
(11:30) - Who is more important to Game 2, Yu Darvish or "Bryzzo"?
(17:20) - How confident should Cubs fans be in Darvish?
(21:35) - Should the amount of playoff teams go down after this season?
The Cubs begin their first round postseason series Wednesday against the Miami Marlins and Brandon Kintzler, a former Cub. Kintzler joins David Kaplan and Gordon Wittenmyer and gives his thoughts on the Cubs roster, the Marlins’ comeback season from a COVID-19 outbreak and his time with the Cubs. Later on in the podcast, the Cubs content team of Jeff Nelson, Maddie Lee, and Tim Stebbins discusses the matchup.
(1:46) - The Marlins have been on lockdown after they had an early-season coronavirus outbreak
(7:00) - How did the Marlins make the playoffs with the league's worst run differential?
(14:14) - Kintzler on if he believed the season would be completed
(19:00) - How do the Marlins pitchers match up with the Cubs offense?
(23:20) - Kintzler on his experience as a Cub
(30:48) - Jeff Nelson, Tim Stebbins, and Maddie Lee breakdown the Cubs-Marlins matchup
As the postseason nears, it's time to start looking at potential matchups for the Cubs. David Kaplan and Gordon Wittenmyer are joined former Cub and broadcaster for the Dodgers Jerry Hairston Jr. They discuss the upcoming postseason and compare the Dodgers and Cubs this season and for the future. The crew also discusses Hairston's career as a Cub.
(2:52) - The Dodgers' deep pitching rotation
(9:53) - Is this the year the Dodgers finally win the World Series?
(16:25) - Hairston describes his time as a Cub
(21:36) - What was it like playing for Dusty Baker?
(25:46) - Where does Kris Bryant rank among third basemen?
Kyle Schwarber was benched by David Ross for misplaying a ball that ended up being a triple in Sunday's game vs the Twins. Was David Ross wrong for pulling Schwarber? Host David Kaplan and Cubs insider Gordon Wittenmyer have a heated debate on the situation and compare the managerial styles of David Ross and former manager Joe Maddon. Later on, Gordon updates the status of Jose Quintana and what the Cubs pitching rotation would look like in a playoff scenario.
(1:30) - David Ross pulls Kyle Schwarber for not hustling to a ball in the outfield
(6:16) - Should Joe Maddon and David Ross have benched Javy Baez for not hustling after a hit?
(12:14) - Which managerial style works best?
(16:36) - Should managers/coaches be more strict in their styles in 2020?
(23:42) - Jose Quintana's status
Jon Lester was one of the biggest free agent signings in Chicago sports history and his contract is up at the end of the season, which could mean he may have pitched his final game at Wrigley Field. David Kaplan and Gordon Wittenmyer discuss and debate Lester’s Cubs career and if he is the most impactful Cub ever. Later on in the pod, the guys discuss a tough offseason ahead for the Cubs and if they should continue forward with their core or prepare for a rebuild.
(1:45) - Is Jon Lester the most impactful Cub of all-time?
(9:25) - Will Lester make the Hall of Fame?
(15:00) - Tough offseason ahead for the Cubs
(22:25) - Has Kris Bryant’s Cubs career been disappointing?
Now that the regular season is nearing its end, the Cubs are in prime position to make the playoffs. How do they stack up against teams they might play in October? Host Davis Kaplan and Gordon Wittenmyer discuss the Cubs’ playoff scenarios and who they might see. Later in the pod, they go over the details of the MLB’s bubble, which starts after the first-round series are over. Plus, who on the Cubs is ready to have a breakout postseason run?
(1:20) - MLB’s plan to put teams in a bubble
(7:38) - Which Cub is going to have a breakout postseason?
(15:04) - Which NL team has the best chance to go to the World Series?
(21:06) - How will pitchers be able to workout in the bubble?
(24:56) - Jason Heyward proved he deserved that contract
In an unexpected scenario, Cubs pitcher Alec Mills threw a no-hitter on Sunday against the Milwaukee Brewers, the day before the anniversary of former star Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano’s no-no on September 14th, 2008. Carlos joins David Kaplan as they discuss Mills' no-hitter and relive his 2008 no-hitter vs. the Houston Astros. Then, the NBCS Chicago Cubs coverage team of Gordon Wittenmyer, Maddie Lee, and Tim Stebbins discuss Mills’ no-hitter and the team’s reaction after the momentous game.
(1:50) - No one saw this no-hitter coming from Alec Mills
(6:05) - Cubs have been on a roll lately
(10:00) - Mills' sinking pitches were on point
(14:56) - Carlos Zambrano joins the podcast
(16:14) - Zambrano on watching Alec Mills throw a no-hitter
(22:00) - Zambrano on what pitching a no-hitter is like
Host David Kaplan is joined by Cubs insider Gordon Wittenmyer and Cubs beat writer Maddie Lee to discuss the Cubs’ recent series against the Cardinals and Reds. They also discuss how there isn't a magic number for the Cubs to clinch the division right now despite being in first place. Later, they passionately debate the future of Kris Bryant with the Cubs and if he should be in Chicago long term.
(1:20) - No magic number for the Cubs yet
(8:40) - Do the Cubs have enough money to go after big pitching during the offseason?
(13:40) - Should Jed Hoyer be the new president of baseball operations for the Cubs?
(19:05) - Should Kris Bryant be traded ASAP?!
(34:30) - Will the Cubs call up their top pitching prospect, Brailyn Marquez, to the majors this season?
The Cubs remain in first place in the division and are almost a lock to make the playoffs, but will players like Yu Darvish be recognized for their individual efforts this season? Host David Kaplan and Cubs insider Gordon Wittenmyer are joined by award voters Jesse Rogers of ESPN 1000, David O'Brien of the Athletic, and Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register as they have a roundtable discussion about who wins the Cy Young, MVP, and other awards in the NL.
(1:25) - Will Yu Darvish win the NL Cy Young award?
(6:00) - Can a pitcher win MVP in a shortened season?
(12:00) - Will Ian Happ get votes for MVP this year?
(21:35) - Who wins the Cy Young for the NL?
(29:45) - NL Rookie of the Year
Ian Happ gets hit in the eye, José Quintana is on the injured list and the Cubs are about to play their biggest rivals in a very important division-defining series. Host David Kaplan and Cubs insider Gordon Wittenmyer discuss the Cubs’ injuries, preview the Cubs-Cardinals series and if the Cubs have enough to take a bigger lead in the division, and discuss the state of the Cubs for the next 3 seasons.
(1:30) - Can the Cubs overcome their injuries to finish the Cardinals?
(6:35) - Cardinals have injuries as well
(9:40) - Will the Cubs move a core player after the season is over?
(14:20) - How does having Marquee impact baseball moves in the next season?
(18:25) - Will Theo Epstein return to the Cubs after his contract is up?
The Cubs sought to fill needs at the trade deadline and they certainly did, adding five new players to bolster the bullpen and bench. They were aggressive and now look to make a strong push for another World Series run. Host David Kaplan and Cubs insider Gordon Wittenmyer discuss the trades the Cubs made, how they will impact the team, and if they have enough to make a deep playoff run.
(1:20) - Cubs were able to get creative at the deadline
(8:20) - Did the Cubs finally fix the bullpen?
(17:20) - The NL Central is catching up with the Cubs
(24:00) - Have the Cubs finally moved past their "Lovable Losers" name?
In an act of solidarity with many of the Black athletes across baseball and other sports in America, Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward chose to not play vs. the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday. Heyward encouraged his teammates to play without him and do what they felt was right. Host David Kaplan is joined by the NBCS Cubs coverage team of Gordon Wittenmyer, Maddie Lee, and Tim Stebbins as they discuss if Heyward's teammates should have joined him, and how Heyward came to the decision to not play. Later on in the podcast, the crew assess the Cubs season at the halfway mark.
(1:40) - Historic day in sports
(10:00) - Should the players have sat with Jason Heyward?
(22:00) - David Ross, Anthony Rizzo, and Jason Heyward speak after the game
(30:40) - Do the Cubs have enough to make a playoff run?
The Cubs are leading the NL Central and are doing so in part because the pitching staff is holding up. David Kaplan and Gordon Wittenmyer are joined by Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy to discuss the first place pitching staff, Hottovy's journey to the majors and his thoughts on potentially adding a pitcher at the trade deadline.
(1:16) - Alec Mills' performance vs the Detroit Tigers
(8:30) - Hottovy on how the Cubs are addressing the pandemic
(12:25) - The growth of Yu Darvish in a Cub uniform
(19:16) - Getting Tyler Chatwood and José Quintana back from injury
(28:20) - Will the Cubs make any additions to the pitching staff before the trade deadline?
It's been a long time since Chicago's baseball teams played meaningful games against each other but that time has come. Host David Kaplan is joined by Cubs insider Gordon Wittenmyer to discuss the upcoming Crosstown series with Chuck Garfien and Adam Hoge of the White Sox Talk podcast. Who will take the first series of 2020? Get ready for a matchup you're not going to want to miss.
(1:45) - The Cubs and Sox are playing meaningful baseball for the first time in a long time
(8:30) - Would the White Sox want to be the Cubs the last 5 years?
(14:00) - One White Sox and Cubs hitter that each team should fear the most
(18:00) - Who is the better player Javy Baez or Tim Anderson?
(20:00) - Will the White Sox move on from Renteria like the Cubs did?
The Cubs have had a rough stretch recently but avoid losing 5 in a row. Host David Kaplan and Cubs insider Gordon Wittenmyer discuss the losing streak along with analyzing Kris Bryant's production or lack thereof at the lead-off spot. They also dive into the hottest topic in baseball, Padres star player Fernando Tatis Jr.'s grand slam and the "unwritten" rules of baseball.
(1:28) - Kris Bryant is not producing at leadoff
(7:49) - Was Tatis Jr. wrong for hitting a grand slam?
(12:40) - Cubs avoid losing their 5th in a row
(17:00) - Has Yu Darvish been better than Jake Arrieta so far?
(25:00) - Cubs vs White Sox series
The Cubs continue to win and win in dominating fashion but can they keep it up? David Kaplan is joined by Cubs insider Gordon Wittenmyer, and Cubs beat writer Maddie Lee as they discuss the Cubs winning ways, and discuss a scenario where Cleveland star Francisco Lindor is a Cub. Later on in the pod, David Kaplan is joined by Connor McKnight, host of the Baseball from Home Podcast on the House of L Network as they discuss the future of baseball after the 60 game season.
(1:20) - Cubs dominate Cleveland
(12:40) - Can Francisco Lindor be a Cub in the future?
(21:30) - Connor McKnight joins the podcast
(25:40) - The future of baseball and entertainment
(31:00) - Who will be the future stars of baseball
With the Cardinals being shutdown by MLB for a coronavirus outbreak in the organization, the Cubs had an impromptu 4 days off after stringing together one of the best records in baseball so far. Will having the days off help or hurt them going forward? David Kaplan and Gordon Wittenmyer discuss the delay for the Cubs, they also discuss Zach Plesac and Mike Clevinger breaking protocol and going out in Chicago, and they discuss a what if scenario that could have changed the Cubs getting Aroldis Chapman in 2016.
(1:20) - Zach Plesac and Mike Clevinger breaking safety protocol to go out in Chicago
(7:09) - Cubs get 4 days off due to Cardinals coronavirus outbreak
(9:30) - Is David Ross following in the steps of Joe Maddon with some of his methods?
(16:00) - How will MLB fix the missing games teams will have at the end of the season?
(18:40) - Cubs wanted Andrew Miller initially, not Aroldis Chapman in 2016
The Cubs are 10-2 but they still have a glaring issue that needs to be addressed in order to make a significant run to the playoffs, the closer. Host David Kaplan is joined by NBCS Chicago Cubs insider Gordon Wittenmyer as they discuss ways and options the Cubs can help their closing situations. Later on, they discuss did Theo Epstein take a shot at Joe Maddon and how the Cubs are leading the charge in baseball for safety protocols.
(1:20) - Should Jose Quintana be the closer?
(7:05) - Are the Cubs as good as their record
(13:00) - Debate on the 3 batter rule for pitching changes
(17:00) - Cubs are among one of the safest teams in the MLB
(22:00) - Did Theo Epstein take a shot at Joe Maddon?
The Cubs have the second best record in baseball, but the biggest story is that a second team has had an outbreak of the coronavirus in the Cardinals who the Cubs play this weekend. David Kaplan is joined by the NBCS Chicago Cubs coverage team of Gordon Wittenmyer, Maddie Lee, and Tim Stebbins as they discuss the Cardinals outbreak and what MLB is doing to combat it. Later on in the pod the crew discusses the hot start by the Cubs and if their record is a result of a soft early schedule.
(1:30) - 13 Cardinals contract the coronavirus
(6:29) - MLB's response to a second team's outbreak
(12:30) - How real is the Cubs record?
(19:30) - Is there something more to the Cubs core than we thought?
(26:40) - Is Rizzo the face of the Cubs?
In the first installment of the NL Central round table, David Kaplan and Gordon Wittenmyer were joined beat writers from the Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers. In part two they discuss the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates with Derrick Goold lead Cardinals beat writer for St. Louis Post-Dispatch and John Perrotto Pirates beat writer. The group discusses the early standings of the NL central and will the season be able to continue if there's another outbreak like the Marlins.
(2:00) - Early thoughts on the Cubs, Cards, and Pirates
(9:19) - Chances the MLB finishes the season
(23:00) - Will the championship be legitimate if the season finishes?
(27:10) - Could a team be dropped from the league if there is another outbreak
(31:55) - Should Rob Manfred still be the MLB Commissioner?
The Cubs are off to a great start in the 60 game sprint and look like they are well on their way to the playoffs. David Kaplan and Gordon Wittenmyer discuss the fantastic start the Cubs are on, the pitching rotation and how long they can hold up, and they dive into the Marlins coronavirus outbreak and what that can mean for the rest of the league.
(1:20) - Marlins outbreak
(5:20) - Issues with the Cubs bullpen
(15:20) - Kris Bryant isn't as hot at the plate right now
(22:00) - Nico Hoerner is looking like a nice draft pick
(27:00) - Are the Cubs following the safety protocols
David Kaplan and Gordon Wittenmyer are joined by David Axelrod, former advisor to Barack Obama, and now senior contributor to CNN to talk baseball and the Cubs. They dive into finally getting baseball back, the Cubs coming to the White House, and Axelrod tells stories of the split Obama household of Cub and Sox fans and his own personal connection to baseball and the Cubs.
(1:45) - Axelrod's love of baseball and Chicago baseball
(9:00) - The Cubs visit the White House
(14:00) - MLB using its platform to promote social justice
(22:30) - What it was like when all of sports had to stop
(33:20) - Running a campaign vs managing a baseball team
(43:40) - Could Theo Epstein run for office one day?
With the season just about underway, the NL Central is up for grabs and it looks like it's going to be a tight race all the way through. David Kaplan and Gordon Wittenmyer are joined by 2 representatives of MLB.com, Mark Sheldon beat writer for the Cincinnati Reds, and Adam McCalvy beat writer for the Milwaukee Brewers. The roundtable debates the NL Central rosters, and who has the best chance to come out on top as king of the division.
(1:30) - Who is the favorite to win the NL Central division?
(11:10) - How do the rosters match up in the division?
(19:10) - Thoughts on the piped in crowd noise in stadiums
(27:00) - Which team in the MLB is ready to make noise right now?
(29:00) - Will the season be able to finish?
In a mashup for the ages, the Cubs Talk Pod and the White Sox Talk pod join together to preview the 2020 MLB season as both the Cubs and Sox prepare to start. David Kaplan, Gordon Wittenmyer, and Maddie Lee are joined by Chuck Garfien and Vinnie Duber of the White Sox Talk podcast as they compare rosters, rank the best players between the two teams, and come to a decision on who they think will have the best season in 2020. Let's play some baseball!
(2:16) - How confident are you that the season will start and finish
(7:20) - Comparing the best players between the two teams
(11:40) - Who will be playing for a playoff spot at the end of the season?
(22:05) - Who will have the better record this year
In the most unprecedented season in MLB history, teams must go through a tough shortened season in possibly the most difficult run in baseball history. Host David Kaplan and Gordon Wittenmyer discuss the level of difficulty for teams to win a championship this year and they discuss the anniversary of the Ryan Dempster trade and the details that surrounded it. In the second half of the podcast, Kaplan interviews Joan Ryan author of the Book Intangibles all about the importance of team chemistry in difficult times.
(1:51) - Is coronavirus testing for the Cubs improving?
(7:10) - Yu Darvish speaks on the playing in the pandemic
(11:30) - Ryan Dempster trade anniversary
(19:15) - Joan Ryan interview
(20:40) - Importance of team chemistry in winning
(26:00) - Analytics vs chemistry
Former Cub and now mental skills coach for the Cubs, John Baker joins the podcast with David Kaplan and Gordon Wittenmyer to discuss the mental aspect the players are going through in the return to play plan. They dive into keeping players focused, how the lessons of Cubs psychologist, the late Ken Ravizza still impacts the Cubs, and how the Cubs are operating under the new guidelines.
(2:23) - Biggest mental challenges Cubs players are dealing with
(10:55) - Ken Ravizza's lessons still impact the Cubs
(19:46) - Getting Cubs players to be in the moment when playing
(25:00) - Kaplan and Baker exchange tattoo stories
(30:30) - Not having fans around has been tough
The Cubs and the MLB seem to have a shortage of testing materials to test players for coronavirus after it was agreed upon by the players and the owners. David Kaplan, Gordon Wittenmyer, and Maddie Lee discuss the issue and what could it mean for the season. They also dive into the lack of Cubs pitching with Jose Quintana being sidelined, and they make predictions on how many games the Cubs will win in the shortened season.
(1:26) - How is baseball going to happen if there aren't enough tests for the players
(6:40) - Do the Cubs have enough on the roster to win it this year
(12:45) - The pitching staff for the Cubs is light if Quintana can't play
(17:46) - How many games will the Cubs win this year?
(23:42) - Will Kris Bryant sign an extension with the Cubs?
While trying to get the season going, the MLB and baseball as a whole is starting to address another problem, the lack of diversity. NBCS Cubs reporter Maddie Lee is joined by former Cub and professor Doug Glanville, host Laurence Holmes, and Eugene McIntosh of Its the Bigs media to discuss ways MLB and baseball needs to address the issues and how they can benefit from it.
(2:00) - Ian Desmonds comments really struck a chord in baseball
(12:06) - Youth baseball for young black athletes
(26:09) - Doug Glanville remembers being the only Black athlete on teams in the MLB
(30:14) - Current Black players in majors are still dealing with racism
(32:26) - Ways Theo Epstein is trying to help find solutions to the lack of diversity in baseball
As the start to the season looms closer, there are still things to consider before the first pitch gets thrown. David Kaplan and Cubs insider Gordon Wittenmyer discuss potential hurdles MLB could face and the different scenarios the League should be looking at. Later on in the pod, they dive into comments made by Rockies infielder Ian Desmond on the state of race and inclusion in baseball and in America.
(1:30) - Could the Cubs play the White Sox in the "Field of Dreams" game
(7:39) - Ian Desmond's Instagram post on race and inclusion
(21:30) - Will more minor leaguers play this season
(26:04) - Potential issues teams have to deal with this season
(31:40) - Kris Bryant says "I want to be a Cub the rest of my career "
David Kaplan and Gordon Wittenmyer are joined by Cub Ian Happ as they discuss why the negotiations got so ugly between the players and owners and what will baseball look like for the 2020 season and beyond. Later on, Kaplan and Gordon talk about how can baseball proceed after a slew of positive Coronavirus tests from the Phillies.
(1:42) - Happ on what baseball looks like to the public after ugly negotiations
(6:10) - Will some players not participate this season due to health concerns?
(10:15) - Where do the players and owners stand now after an ugly back and forth
(15:30) - Can MLB provide a safe environment to play baseball
(20:20) - Removal of racist statues at the University of Cincinnati
(28:55) - Realistic expectations for the Cubs in 2020
Baseball is back and ready to start. David Kaplan and the NBCS Cubs coverage team of Maddie Lee, Gordon Wittenmyer, and Tim Stebbins discuss what the 60 game season will look like, how the will the Cubs perform under the new conditions, and David and Gordon have a heated debate on the Jose Quintana trade.
(1:40) - Could this have been worked out earlier to get in more games?
(7:40) - After the back and forth between the players and owners, who has come out as the winner?
(13:40) - If fans are allowed in games with 20% capacity, would you attend?
(23:41) - Was Jose Quintana worth trading for?
(31:10) - Will fans be too jaded to enjoy the season?
Host David Kaplan and Cubs insider Gordon Wittenmyer discuss the report that a deal was in place between the MLB owners and the players, but was a deal actually ready? TheY discuss what remains an issue, the meeting between Commissioner Rob Manfred and Players Union director Tony Clark, and later on in the pod, they discuss a trade that could have been between the Cubs and the Rockies for a swap with Kris Bryant and Nolan Arenado.
(1:18) - What are both sides (Players & Owners) saying about the reported "deal"
(5:54) - Is the new "deal" a win for the owners
(11:01) - With the shortened season, is it possible to get a Cubs/Sox World Series?
(14:24) - Cubs considered trading Javy Baez to the Sox
(21:56) - Kris Bryant could have been traded to the Rockies in February
Host David Kaplan and Cubs insider Gordon Wittenmyer, discuss the infamous 1998 MLB home run chase between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire with former Cubs catcher and current Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais. Later on in the podcast, Cubs writers for NBCS Chicago Maddie Lee and Tim Stebbins join the podcast to discuss MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred's comments that he's not confident that there will be a season.
(4:31) - Servais on was Sosa selfish as a teammate
(7:50) - Did Sosa take steroids?
(13:43) - Servais tells the story of catching during the game McGwire broke the record
(19:30) - Panel discussion - Why did Manfred say he's not confident that there will be a season?
(30:10) - Do the players have to yield to the owners eventually?
David Kaplan and Gordon Wittenmyer discuss drafting Ed Howard and Anthony Rizzo’s new workout plan, plus Leila Rahimi talks with former Cub Matt Szczur about his Sammy Sosa-inspired artwork and what it was like having Mark McGwire as his hitting coach.
1:30 Reaction to drafting Mt. Carmel’s Ed Howard in the first round
4:45 If there was a baseball season, would Howard have been on the board at 16?
7:00 MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred says “100 percent” we’re going to play.. Do you believe him?
9:30 Are negotiations headed in the right direction?
12:00 Expectations on how many regular season games will be played
13:00 Will the coronavirus shutdown ultimately be good for Anthony Rizzo’s health
15:45 Matt Szczur on painting inspired by The Last Dance
16:45 Memories of the Cubs championship parade
19:00 On his Sosa/McGwire paintings and his memories from the home run race
20:15 Szczur on being coached by Mark McGwire
21:30 Memories of Sammy Sosa
24:00 Matt’s inspiration for Sosa/McGwire painting & other Cubs inspirations
28:00 Matt on art being therapeutic
29:00 Matt on his foundation
On this Cubs Talk Podcast David Kaplan and Gordon Wittenmyer debate if Sammy Sosa will return to Wrigley Field and the chances of baseball returning in 2020.
1:30 Sammy Sosa says he wants to return to the Cubs
3:30 Would bringing Sammy back to Wrigley be the feel-good story we need right now?
6:00 Gordon won’t vote for Sosa for the Hall of Fame
10:30 St. Louis Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt says MLB isn’t very profitable
13:15 Is the latest MLB proposal a step towards playing baseball in 2020?
16:00 Will animosity between players & owners affect negotiations for the next CBAt?
19:00 There is too much at stake to not play baseball in 2020
20:00 Will baseball be better hiring people of color in the coming years?
24:00 The lack of sense of urgency on both sides to make a deal to play baseball
26:45 Theo Epstein would be a great commissioner of baseball
Former Cub and now field coordinator for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Bobby Scales joins the podcast with host David Kaplan and Gordon Wittenmyer to discuss the racial injustice in America, and the experience of a black baseball player in the MLB.
(1:55) - America is in a dark place right now
(9:40) - Racial issues in the MLB
(16:20) - There is a reason protests are going on around the country
(24:58) - Making front offices more diverse in the MLB
(31:46) - Reaction to Dexter Fowler's comments on being black in baseball and in America
Host David Kaplan is joined by Gordon Wittenmyer, Maddie Lee, and Eugene McIntosh co-founder of "The Bigs" sports media, to have an open and honest discussion about the murder of George Floyd, the many protests around the country, and how can we all impact change all through the lens of baseball.
Host David Kaplan is joined by the NBCS Cubs coverage team of Gordon Wittenmyer, Maddie Lee, and Tim Stebbins to discuss the negotiations between the MLB owners and players that have seemingly broken down. They also dive into the Cubs' financial situation and how the pandemic is impacting them and could it mean they start parting ways with key pieces.
(1:37) - Where are the negotiations headed?
(5:50) - How can you bridge the gap if they are so far apart?
(11:11) - Are the Cubs at fault for the financial situation that they are in?
(17:32) - Can baseball recover if there isn't a season?
(23:42) - Will the Cubs move money off the books?
Host David Kaplan is joined by Gordon Wittenmyer to discuss and update the back and forth between the MLB owners and players, and just how far are the two sides are in coming to a deal. Later on, Gordon Wittenmyer interviews the author of the book "The Wax Pack", Brad Balukjian to discuss his book about baseball cards and the players connected to them.
(1:25) - If a deal gets done, it should happen this week
(5:15) - Are the Cubs/MLB owners exaggerating the potential losses?
(10:20) - If a deal doesn't get done, will the players take the blame
(17:05) - Interview with Brad Balukjian author of "The Wax Pack"
Host David Kaplan and Cubs insider Gordon Wittenmyer are joined by Dr. Robert Citronberg Director of infectious disease for Lutheran General Hospital to discuss the updated plan by the MLB to start the season and the potential hurdles the league will have to clear in order to play.
(1:30) - Any plan should have the health and safety of the players first
(5:23) - Could the MLB plan work in other sports or businesses
(10:10) - MLB safety rules that impact the game of baseball
(15:25) - Based on the safety plan, should the MLB go forward with the season?
(19:52) - How does the new safety rules impact the Cubs
Host David Kaplan and Cubs insider Gordon Wittenmyer talk with former Cub Ryan Theriot on the 2008 Cubs, the difficult decision the players face in trying to return to start the season, his potential career in broadcasting, and his thoughts on the Cubs/Cards rivalry.
(3:45) - Emotional for Theriot watching the 2016 Cubs win the World Series
(7:50) - Thoughts on what the players union should do
(13:40) - The difference between the Cubs and Cards
(18:40) - Could Lou Piniella have done a better job in 2008?
MLB agent Scott Boras joins David Kaplan to discuss the issues plaguing baseball during the coronavirus, what is preventing the players and owners from coming to an agreement, and what will baseball look like once it's back. Later on in the podcast, The NBC Sports Chicago Cubs coverage team of Gordon Wittenmyer and Tim Stebbins discusses the state of baseball with new member Maddie Lee.
(1:25) - The players and owners have been working on a resolution since March
(6:06) - Both the owners and players want baseball, just having trouble finding a solution
(12:18) - Why did Kris Bryant say no to an early extension
(18:56) - Getting to know new Cubs writer Maddie Lee
(23:34) - Will the season start on July 4th like the league wants?
(27:35) - Baseball can take advantage of the hunger for sports right now
Chicago in the '90s was all about Michael Jordan and the Bulls, so what was it like for the other major teams during that time? Host Laurence Holmes discusses this with four coaches who led teams in the shadow of the Bulls during that time. From the Blackhawks former coach Craig Hartsburg, from the Cubs Jim Riggleman, from the White Sox Gene Lamont, and from the Bears Dave Wannstedt, all come together to discuss one of the most important times in Chicago sports history.
(0:43) - During the early '90s the White Sox had a shot at a World Series
(7:02) - Are there universal rules across sports to coaching a great player like Jordan
(14:34) - Was there pressure for Jim Riggleman and the Cubs to win because of the Bulls
(21:55) - Difficulties coaching in the same building as the Bulls for then new Blackhawks coach Craig Hartsburg
(28:15) - Favorite Jordan story or moment
As the owners send another proposal to the players to try and start the season, there is a chance this all could help the Cubs. Host David Kaplan is joined by NBCS Chicago Cubs insider Gordon Wittenmyer as they discuss the new proposal by the owners, how this stalled season can help the Cubs, and David Kaplan predicts what Theo Epstein with pursue after he reaches his 10 years with the Cubs.
(1:40) - Chances the players pass the owners proposal
(5:45) - Are the Cubs in a tough spot financially?
(11:50) - Will there be a flurry of trades once the season starts
(17:30) - Theo Epstein's next challenge
(25:28) - Do the Cubs go all in and try to win the World Series in 2020
As Major League Baseball plans to send another proposal to the Players Union to try and prepare for a season, maybe they should take some extra precautions before agreeing. Host David Kaplan is joined by Gordon Wittenmyer and they talk with Dr. Robert Citronberg, Director of infectious disease for Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, and he discusses his concerns about MLB wanting to start a season as soon as possible. Later on in the podcast, Kap and Gordon discuss former Cub Starlin Castro and could his march to 3,000 hits be in jeopardy because of the coronavirus.
(2:02) - When is the right time to start baseball?
(8:24) - Should MLB consider coming back too soon might cause a mutation to the coronavirus
(13:47) - This disease is going to change sports forever
(17:43) - Remembering when Starlin Castro got called up to the majors
(20:42) - Baez extension talks have been put on hold
(25:10) - Baseball might have a revenue problem coming up
In a special bonus episode of the Cubs Talk podcast NBCS Cubs insider Gordon Wittenmyer, discusses the 65 year anniversary of the dropped ball by Hall of Famer Willie Mays off the bat of Cubs Hall of Famer Ernie Banks. Gordon is joined by author of the Willie Mays biography "24: Life Stories and Lessons from the Say Hey Kid", John Shea as they discuss that play, the friendship of Mays and Banks, and the career of one of baseball's greatest players, Willie Mays.
(2:08) - Willie Mays dropped 2 balls doing the "basket catch" and 1 was against the Cubs
(10:00) - The media's coverage of the dropped ball after the game
(17:20) - The famously missing Willie Mays bat and glove
(24:28) - Willie Mays had a profound impact on other players
(30:00) - Willie Mays' jaw-dropping stats against the Cubs
As Major League Baseball figures out when and how they will start their season, baseball's agent of the stars, Scott Boras writes his solution to start baseball, but is it viable? Host David Kaplan and NBCS Chicago Cubs insider Gordon Wittenmyer discuss Boras' plan, and could it work. They also discuss the passing of former Cubs executive Eldred "Salty" Saltwell.
(1:22) - Scott Boras says teams should restart spring training right now
(10:05) - Details of Boras' plan
(14:57) - Teams want MLB to provide more direction during this time
(21:10) - Remembering Cubs executive Eldred R. "Salty" Saltwell
(25:40) - Kaplan tells a story about being fired as a vendor by Cubs GM Dallas Green
World Series champion and former Cubs manager Joe Maddon joins host David Kaplan and NBCS Cubs insider Gordon Wittenmyer as they discuss how he connects with players, how will baseball be different when it returns, and does he have a similar philosophy to coaching as NBA Champion Phil Jackson.
(5:06) - Learning how to manage people to get the most out of them
(11:28) - Comparing Maddon's style to Phil Jackson's style of coaching
(17:10) - Maddon describes how different it was managing Tommy La Stella
(23:00) - Maddon's plan on addressing players after the pandemic
(31:50) - Drawing parallels between Jackson's career and Maddon's career
Host David Kaplan is joined by NBCS Chicago Cubs insider Gordon Wittenmyer and Lance McAlister, host at 700 WLW in Cincinnati, as they discuss the spending spree of the Reds this offseason including former Cub Nick Castellanos, will the Reds compete with the rest of the NL division, and should Pete Rose finally be able to enter the Baseball Hall of Fame.
(1:54) - Will there be baseball in 2020
(5:10) - The Reds were ready to fight for a division title this year
(11:00) - Should Pete Rose go into the Hall of Fame
(20:20) - Top 4 favorite players to watch all-time
(23:25) - Is baseball a dying sport
The 2020 Cubs roster is mired in uncertainty. There are players are up for extensions and deals, and management figuring out is this still a team with a winning window. It sounds similar to another Chicago team, the 1998 Last Dance Bulls. Host David Kaplan and NBCS Chicago Cubs insider Gordon Wittenmyer discuss the similarities of the 2 teams. Later in the podcast, they get into the financial uncertainty of MLB and how teams will move forward as a result of the pandemic.
(2:12) - Are we looking at the Last Dance for this Cubs team
(7:40) - Cubs already fired their Phil Jackson after not keeping Joe Maddon
(13:55) - Cubs don't have an MJ, he's with Joe Maddon in Los Angeles
(21:28) - How will free agents react to a unique offseason
(25:00) - Should Mookie Betts take a long term deal
In 2015 the Cubs were riding high and on their way to the 1st playoff game in years and the start of the consecutive playoff trips for the current Cubs. Jeff Nelson, Tim Stebbins, and Nate Poppen discuss all the details about that win and some details you may not have known about that game.
(2:25) - Why were the Cubs in the Wildcard game seemingly too early in the rebuild
(10:00) - Tommy La Stella started at 3rd base and not Kris Bryant
(15:58) - The Schwar-BOMB to put the Cubs up early in the game
(24:00) - Jake Arrieta gets out of a bases loaded jam
(33:00) - Jake Arrieta gets the complete game shutout
Host David Kaplan and NBCS Chicago Cubs insider Gordon Wittenmyer, discuss the different opinions given by the players on if the MLB should rush to try and start the 2020 season. Later on, they remember and discuss the 2 lives of the Cubs family that were lost this week, Jim Frey and Glenn Beckert.
(2:10) - Players discuss the potential plan of playing baseball in empty stadiums
(6:35) - There is a split amongst people who want baseball now and people who want to wait
(11:44) - If baseball does start this will boost the morale of the country
(17:55) - Remembering former Cubs manager Jim Frey
(25:17) - Stories of former Cub Glenn Beckert
In an NCAA tournament-style bracket, the Cubs Talk pod crew of Jeff Nelson, Nate Poppen, and Tim Stebbins discuss and rank the best Cubs pitchers in the last 20 years. How would you rank them and who would you take at the end?
(2:00) - Which pitcher gets to be the number 1 seed in the tournament?
(7:40) - Ryan Dempster vs Jeff Samardzija
(15:25) - Kerry Wood vs Greg Maddux
(21:50) - Jake Arrieta vs Matt Clement
(28:35) - Jon Lester vs Mark Prior
(32:54) - Championship Round
Host David Kaplan is joined by NBCS Cubs insider Gordon Wittenmyer as they take questions from fans including, could the Cubs have traded for Justin Verlander, is Anthony Rizzo the greatest 1st basemen in Cubs history, and is Jon Lester a hall of famer pitcher. All those and more on the Cubs Talk podcast.
(2:04) - As Lester's career closes, is he on his way to Cooperstown?
(7:50) - Could MLB start the season with a fan only vote All-Star game?
(11:40) - Will the Cubs add to the team next offseason if the MLB salary cap is frozen?
(21:45) - Should Cubs fans be excited about the season?
(24:15) - Is Rizzo the greatest 1st basemen in Cubs history
(27:40) - Could the Cubs have gotten Justin Verlander?
In for David Kaplan, Jeff Nelson is joined by Luis Medina, Danny Rocket, and Michael Cerami of Outside the Ivy as they discuss creative ways Major League Baseball can start its season, how has this impacted baseball fans everywhere, and will the new rules the MLB will use will benefit new manager David Ross.
(1:20) - Staying busy with no baseball to talk about
(8:00) - How will David Ross manage in his 1st year?
(14:00) - How can baseball start without fans?
(21:20) - Electronic strike zones possibility
(27:00) - Mic'ing players up who would sit in the stands
Filling in for host David Kaplan, NBCS Cubs insider Gordon Wittenmyer is joined by White Sox beat writer Vinnie Duber to discuss Major League Baseball trying to find ways to start the season. But what are the issues they have to consider before starting? Gordon and Vinnie discuss those issues including a possible shortened season and what these issues could mean for a re-tooling Cubs team and a rebuilding White Sox team.
(2:48) - What are the possible benefits with starting the season in Arizona for Cubs/Sox
(9:55) - Could a DH be used in the NL & AL this year?
(17:55) - Did the Cubs benefit by not giving out large extensions this off season?
(24:00) - Nico Hoerner can benefit from a shortened season
(29:00) - Is the winning window for the Cubs still open due to a shortened season?
The 2016 Cubs World Series win was as epic a game 7 as any, but was it the greatest game 7 ever? Host David Kaplan is joined by NBCS Cubs insider Gordon Wittenmyer as they debate the Cubs World Series win.
(1:50) - Is it an overreaction to say the Cubs World Series win was a great game?
(5:45) - Does the importance of the Cubs winning make it the greatest ever?
(8:20) - Comparisons to other game 7s across sports
In for host David Kaplan, Jeff Nelson, Tim Stebbins, and Nate Poppen discuss and rank the best position players for the Cubs since the year 2000 in an NCAA style tournament. Did your favorite make the cut?
(2:01) - Rankings 1-16
(7:00) - (5) Alfonso Soriano vs (12) Sammy Sosa
(14:40) - (3) Kris Bryant vs (14) Jason Heyward
(22:26) - (2) Javier Baez vs (15) Giovanni Soto
(33:58) - The tournament final
David Kaplan is joined by NBC Sports Chicago's new Cubs Insider, Gordon Wittenmyer. They discuss where it all went wrong for cubs pitching and what the 2020 team vibe was like when Gordon was with them at Spring Training in Arizona.
2:50- Vibe at Cubs Spring Training before it was suspended
4:30- Was getting rid of Joe Maddon the right choice?
12:50- Do the Cubs need to make a move to get under the luxury tax?
As the pause on baseball continues, host David Kaplan takes to Twitter and answers fan questions. Kap discusses everything from his starstruck interview to the season suspension and Kris Bryant’s contract. Follow Kap on Twitter @thekapman to send him your questions for future mailbag episodes.
(1:48) Ernie Banks Interview
(8:40) If Kap could pick a statue at Wrigley what would it be?
(12:08) Kris Bryant’s contract
(14:32) Why do the Cubs keep holding onto Kyle Schwarber?
As baseball takes a pause on the season, Jeff Nelson, Nate Poppen, and Tim Stebbins discuss their favorite memories of Cubs baseball to lightened up the mood. Later on, they discuss the Bulls Rewind on NBCS Chicago and discuss a 23 returning to Cubs baseball, hall of famer Ryne Sandberg.
(1:30) - Response to David Kaplan on his favorite shortstops in Chicago baseball history
(3:50) - Small memories that make Cubs fans smile
(8:00) - Cubs vs White Sox series
(17:20) - Michael Jordan un-retires and Ryne Sandberg un-retires
(24:00) - Reliving other great Cubs moments
Host David Kaplan is cooped up inside as well but still takes your questions and comments on the Cubs and what the season will look like in 2020. Make sure to check this episode out, he may have answered your question. Follow Kap on twitter @thekapman to send him your questions for future mailbag episodes.
(1:34) - Does a shorter season help out an old pitching staff?
(3:45) - Will there be any baseball played in 2020?
(7:02) - Will it be difficult for David Ross to manage guys he's played with
(9:10) - Favorite Mark Grace moment as a Cub
(13:05) - With the break baseball is on, does that leave more room to extend Kris Bryant
By all accounts, Kris Bryant seemed to be one of the best defending 3rd basemen in the league, but could we be wrong? To discuss this, David Kaplan is joined by NBCS Chicago's number cruncher Chris Kamka, and Mark Simon of Sports Info Solutions to discuss how to measure the defensive play in baseball. And don't worry, Javy Baez is still the best shortstop in baseball.
(1:45) - Why were the Cubs so bad at defense last season
(7:20) - Should the defensive metrics change along with the game
(12:55) - What does defensive runs saved (DSR) mean?
(17:40) - Is Kris Bryant a good or bad defender?
(23:35) - Does the eye test still tell you what a baseball player is
(29:55) - Where can fans keep up with DSR during the season?
Host Davis Kaplan is live from Arizona and gives updates on how Cubs Spring training is going. He discusses the starting rotation, a Brandon Morrow injury setback and what that could mean for the Cubs bullpen, and the progression of the Cubs hitters.
(1:10) - Starting rotation update, Yu Darvish skips an outing
(3:12) - Bullpen update, Brandon Morrow will miss 1st month of action
(5:41) - Hitter's update, Jason Kipnis is getting every chance to start at 2nd base
(8:20) - Cubs are trying to move to the "next frontier"
Even though the Cubs had a lackluster offseason, the roster wold suggest that they can still make noise in the NL Central. Filling in for host David Kaplan, Jeff Nelson and Nate Poppen play sound from Jed Hoyer and Nico Hoerner to discuss the expectations for this season, and relive the mic'd up Anthony Rizzo experience.
(1:56) - Jed Hoyer on this season's expectations
(5:10) - Reaction to Jed Hoyer's comments on expectations
(9:20) - Nico Hoerner on being called up and expectations for this year
(12:00) - Finding playing time for Hoerner and the outfield
(16:00) - Can Kyle Schwarber's defense improve?
(21:00) - Cubs get mic'd up
NBCS Chicago is celebrating Black History Month with special episodes to discuss the impact of the black athlete in sports. In the final episode of the series, Laurence Holmes is joined by his "Football Aftershow" teammate and former Chicago Bear Alex Brown to discuss, making coaching in the NFL more diverse, is the Rooney Rule helping, and the common practice of moving black quarterbacks to other positions.
(4:20) - Alex Brown on being pushed to not play quarterback in high school
(9:15) - Jalen Hurts asked would he be willing to change positions in the NFL
(17:03) - Alex Brown on playing in a Super Bowl that featured 2 black head coaches
(22:12) - Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy not being mentioned for a head coaching job
(26:00) - Does the Rooney Rule work?
(40:35) - Overcoming unfairness
(44:28) - Watching a NFL where there are successful black quarterbacks
As the season draws closer, it's time to discuss every player that will be on the final roster on opening day. We start with Cubs veteran pitcher Jon Lester. Jeff Nelson sits in for David Kaplan and his he joined by NBCS Cubs writer Tim Stebbins and NBCS producer Nate Poppen to debate can Jon Lester help stabilize the starting rotation for at least 1 more season, and where do you place him in the rotation.
(1:37) - One word to describe Jon Lester
(5:42) - Lester didn't start his Cubs career very well
(10:40) - Lester eventually proved why he got the contract
(14:40) - How will the relationship change between Jon Lester and David Ross
(19:00) - Lester's inability to throw to 1st base
(23:00) - Projections for Lester in the 2020 season
As new manager David Ross takes over for Joe Maddon, he intends to tweak the culture of the Cubs and set his own mark on the team. Filling in for host David Kaplan, Jeff Nelson is joined by Outside the Ivy and Bleacher Nation's Michael Cerami to discuss what kind of impact David Ross will have on the 2020 Cubs, what should be expected from the pitching staff and bullpen, and the uncertainty of who plays in the outfield.
(1:36) - What does Ross' impact look like?
(8:28) - Concerns with the pitching staff
(16:00) - Will Craig Kimbrel be better this year?
(20:00) - Will Kris Bryant have enough rope to get use to being lead-off?
(25:05) - Who do you trust to play the outfield everyday?
NBCS Chicago is celebrating Black History Month with special episodes to discuss the impact of the black athlete in sports. Chicago Sun Times feature story writer Evan F. Moore sits down with former Blackhawk and analyst for NBCS Chicago Jamal Mayers to discuss being a black athlete in hockey and what he's doing to help grow hockey in non traditional hockey communities.
(3:00) - Why was it important for Jamal to write about his life in his book
(10:58) - Ray Emery's impact on hockey
(16:00) - Describes what the NHL and the Blackhawks are doing to grow the game
(21:37) - The Devante Smith-Pelly incident at the United Center
(36:10) - Reasons that hockey hasn't addressed social issues
(40:06) - Addressing ignorance in hockey
Kris Bryant has been deemed the lead-off hitter for your Chicago Cubs for the 2020 season. Will he be the key to unlock the offense for the Cubs this season? Does this fix the problems the Cubs have had as lead-off? Host David Kaplan is joined by the Chicago Tribune's Mark Gonzales as they discuss the Cubs putting Bryant at lead-off, they also discuss will Theo Epstein's future with the Cubs, and the back and forth between Joe Maddon and Theo Epstein.
(1:40) - Can Kris Bryant be successful at lead-off?
(6:00) - What does the order look like with Bryant at lead-off?
(9:35) - Will Theo Epstein stay past his contract?
(13:30) - Was the rest of the league surprised the Cubs didn't make a move?
(16:05) - Joe Maddon philosophy vs Theo Epstein philosophy?
Despite a disappointing off season the Cubs still have a competitive team for the 2020 season. Host David Kaplan has a round table discussion with the NBCS Chicago Cubs content team of Jeff Nelson, Danny Rocket, and Tim Stebbins to discuss how they see this team performing in the 2020 season and the subtle jabs at former manager Joe Maddon.
(1:30) - Where is the excitement level for the 2020 season
(4:14) - Cubs might perform better than expected this year
(9:09) - Theo Epstein telling manager candidates that Cubs will take a step back in 2020
(14:00) - Cubs still have to reset this year financially
(17:20) - Theo vs Joe
Pitchers and catchers have reported and the realization that the Cubs won't make any needed moves until Kris Bryant is traded is starting to become reality. Host David Kaplan is joined by Outside the Ivy Cubs postgame show and Bleacher Nation's Luis Medina to discuss the quiet off-season and what to expect in the 2020 season.
(1:40) - Surprisingly disappointed at the Cubs this off-season
(4:00) - Cubs won't give Bryant the extension he's looking for
(8:00) - Can this core if left unchanged win another championship?
(13:25) - Joe Maddon vs Theo Epstein, war of words
Host David Kaplan is live from the auto show with 670 the Score host David Haugh to discuss Kris Bryant's future as a Cub, still no acquisitions made by the Cubs, and the Cubs refusal to enter this season in the luxury tax.
(1:36) - Is Kris Bryant a Cub opening day?
(4:07) - Cubs have added 0 impact talent
(8:10) - Starting lineup for the Cubs right now
(11:35) - Cubs will not go into the luxury tax
(14:00) - Cubs need to get rid of Jose Quintana
NBCS Chicago is celebrating Black History Month with special episodes to discuss the impact of the black athlete in sports. To start the series Laurence Holmes interviews former Cub, now baseball analyst Doug Glanville as they discuss his experience in baseball, and the change that black athletes have brought in baseball.
(0:53) - The legacy of black history and sports
(5:47) - Should an athlete speak on social issues?
(10:00) - Doug Glanville on his parents weren't comfortable with him playing baseball
(14:20) - The diversity of baseball
(17:00) - Black interest in baseball
(23:00) - Current black baseball players still dealing with issues
Host David Kaplan is joined by Cubs content producer for NBCS Chicago Jeff Nelson, and White Sox content producer Ryan McGuffey as they discuss the PECOTA projections for the 2020 Cubs and who would make the ALL-CHICAGO team from the Cubs and Sox.
(1:35) - PECOTA projections for the Cubs pitching staff
(4:20) - Position players PECOTA projections/How teams view Kris Bryant
(6:45) - Start of the ALL-CHICAGO team
(11:03) - Debate on if the Cubs loss the Quintana trade
(14:18) - Cubs didn't grow any pitcher this entire time
(16:00) - What does the PECOTA projections mean?
Host David Kaplan provides clarity on the reason why Kris Bryant hasn't been traded yet. Along with NBCS Chicago's Cubs content producer Jeff Nelson, Kaplan explains what he's hearing from sources around the league about Kris Bryant, and what he's been told about what happened with the Joe Maddon/Cubs breakup after last season.
(2:54) - Kaplan discusses how the league views Kris Bryant from sources
(7:23) - Cubs fans will compare potential Bryant trade to when the Bulls traded Jimmy Butler
(10:28) - Cubs didn't let Joe Maddon go, Joe Maddon didn't want to come back
(14:42) - Cub fans found out that winning 1 wasn't enough
(16:32) - Cubs need help in other areas of the team
Host David Kaplan is joined by the Denver Posts' Rockies beat writer, Patrick Saunders to discuss the rumor and possibility that the Cubs would swap out Rockies star Nolan Arenado, for Kris Bryant. You can follow Patrick on Twitter @psaundersdp.
(1:14) - Do the Rockies have the Kris Bryant trade on the table?
(3:10) - Who is the better player, Kris Bryant or Nolan Arenado?
(4:49) - How is Nolan Arenado in the locker room?
(6:00) - Arenado's home/road splits concerns are overblown
(7:50) - Prediction on what happens to Arenado this season
The Kris Bryant grievance has been decided and the Cubs win out. Or do they? NBC Sports Cubs content producers Jeff Nelson and Nate Poppen are with host of Baseball Night in Chicago's Leila Rahimi to discuss what does finally getting an answer to this means for Kris Bryant and the Cubs.
(1:23) - Reaction to Kris Bryant losing his grievance case
(4:45) - Does Bryant finally get traded for Arenado now?
(10:04) - Cubs need to save money
(12:26) - Should Cubs trade for prospects instead?
(15:00) - Should Cubs package Bryant with another player to create more space?
(18:12) - The NL Central is still a 3 team race
The long off-season for the Cubs continues as they haven't made any significant moves so far and have watched players from last year's roster move on. Host David Kaplan is joined by NBC Sports Chicago producers Jeff Nelson and Nate Poppen as they discuss the lack luster off-season, expectations fans should have, Kaplan gives an exclusive update on the Kris Bryant grievance and the chances that the NL adopts the designated hitter.
(1:21) - Cubs have done nothing but watch players leave this off-season
(5:49) - The current roster is still pretty good
(8:55) - Kaplan gives exclusive update on Kris Bryant grievance
(11:12) - The Cubs still have a chance to win the division
(13:56) - What should Cubs fans expect this season
(16:12) - How does the designated hitter in the NL in 2021 effect the Cubs?
This has been the offseason of Kris Bryant rumors and with his grievance still unresolved Cubs fans can only speculate what will happen to the MVP. Is Kris Bryant trying to change the system like Curt Flood did? Host David Kaplan is joined by ESPN Chicago's Jesse Rogers to discuss Bryant's future as a Cub, and the lackluster offseason the Cubs have had.
(1:50) - Why the Cubs have not made any moves so far
(3:32) - Is Kris Bryant the new Curt Flood?
(6:26) - Cubs need upgrades, specifically in the bullpen
(9:10) - Will the Cubs make a big move before the season starts?
(11:30) - Does Javy Baez get the big extension?
(14:45) - Will the Cubs get to 86 wins this year?
After the Cubs Convention, fans left still uncertain about the team headed into the 2020 season. Host David Kaplan and Cubs writer for NBC Sports Chicago Tim Stebbins discuss what they took from Cubs Con, the culture change that is coming to the organization, and a realistic possibility that the Cubs are looking into disgruntled star Nolan Arenado.
(1:18) - Takeaway from Cubs Con
(3:34) - Culture change for the Cubs is coming
(6:37) - Nothing happens before Kris Bryant's grievance
(9:42) - Good possibility the Cubs try and get Nolan Arenado
Jeff Nelson, Tim Stebbins, and Tony Andracki fill in for host David Kaplan as they discuss how different this year's Cubs convention will be compared to previous year's and how awkward it will be for Kris Bryant and other players who could be traded before the season. They also get into baseball's cheating issue, and Tony Andracki makes a huge announcement.
(1:08) - Different feel at Cubs Con
(3:10) - Cubs putting Kris Bryant in an awkward spot
(4:44) - Anthony Rizzo says he might not be a Cub long term
(6:33) - How will Cubs fans show displeasure at Cubs Con
(10:24) - What will it take for Sammy Sosa to be accepted by the Cubs
(13:54) - Baseball's cheating scandal is spreading
(20:07) - Tony Andracki's BIG announcement
The Cubs are still mulling over trading star Kris Bryant. Host David Kaplan discusses the 50/50 chance that Bryant is traded with editor of Bleacher Nation Brett Taylor. They also get into the Cubs trying to get under the luxury tax, and predictions on how the 2020 season will play out.
(1:50) - What are the Cubs doing?
(3:20) - 2020 team is worse on paper than the 2019 team
(7:40) - Hard to imagine Bryant returning to the Cubs
(9:35) - Cubs really care about avoiding the luxury tax
(13:10) - Cubs didn't develop enough
(14:40) - What if Cubs had done what the Astro's did to win
(19:00) - Predictions for the 2020 season
The Cubs avoid arbitration by signing MVP Kris Bryant but now what? NBC Sports Chicago Cubs insider Tony Andracki is joined by Cubs content producer Nate Poppen to discuss what does the this signing mean, is Bryant still going to be traded and if he is, what can they get for him.
(1:22) - Cubs sign all 6 players before arbitration
(3:56) - What does this mean for Bryant's service time grievance?
(5:40) - The Cubs aren't just going to trade him to trade him (Bryant)
(8:27) - Not just Bryant but all 6 signees could be traded
(12:30) - Some hope that Bryant could still be a Cub
(15:58) - Other reasons why the Cubs would trade Bryant
Host David Kaplan and Cubs insider for NBC Sports Chicago Tony Andracki are joined by Cubs pitching Tommy Hottovy as they discuss the Cubs current starting rotation, how to build a winning bullpen, and how he struck out NBC Sports Cubs analyst David DeJesus.
(1:31) - The Cubs have unfinished business this year
(2:35) - Jon Lester at this stage in his career
(12:12) - Getting David DeJesus out 3 days in a row
(15:02) - Working under David Ross
(18:15) - Building a winning bullpen
(26:42) - Sign stealing is a cat and mouse game
Host David Kaplan is joined by Jeff Nelson, Nate Poppen, and Tim Stebbins to discuss the only real news the Cubs have been apart of this offseason, how close the Cubs are in trading MVP Kris Bryant.
(1:13) - The Cubs have been quiet all offseason
(3:53) - After trading Bryant, could Cubs go after Nolan Arenado?
(6:00) - Who would you rather have, Bryant or Arenado?
(9:25) - Which current Cub would make a great manager?
(13:25) - Top 10 memories of the 2019 season
Former Cub Moisés Alou joins David Kaplan and Tony Andracki to discuss his time as a Cub and his time in the MLB.
(1:53) - Favorite memory in Chicago
(2:46) - Game 6 Cubs vs Marlins
(4:28) - A lot of weird things that happened in Cubs vs Marlins series
(6:19) - Feelings when the Cubs won the World Series in 2016
(8:31) - Favorite teammates
(9:24) - Facing Kerry in the 20 strikeout game
NBC Sports Chicago's all-decade Cubs team is out and the crew goes over the list. With host David Kaplan out, Jeff Nelson, Nate Poppen, and Chris Kamka fills in and discusses the guys who made the team and the guys who just missed out.
(1:57) - Starting pitchers
(7:21) - Catcher
(10:03) - 1st base
(12:20) - 2nd base
(15:13) - Shortstop
(18:13) - 3rd base
(21:17) - Utility/bench
(23:29) - Outfield
(33:58) - Relief/closer
Host David Kaplan is flying solo to discuss the financial situation the Cubs find themselves in this offseason and more importantly, the very real possibility that they might have to trade their MVP Kris Bryant. David Kaplan explains why in this episode of Cubs Talk.
(1:28) - The Cubs in a financial bind
(4:56) - Cubs tried to sign extensions with every player they want long term
(6:36) - The likelihood Kris Bryant gets traded
(7:48) - Replacement options for Kris Bryant
(10:45) - There isn't one player that can fix the Cubs problems
Host David Kaplan and Cubs beat reporter Tony Andracki discuss the culture change that new manager David Ross wants to bring to the clubhouse, trade rumors on Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber, and they discuss the fan complaints on lack of spending by the Cubs.
(1:57) - Ross wants to bring accountability to the clubhouse
(7:51) - Teams that are inquiring about Cubs MVP Kris Bryant
(10:04) - Yankees are rumored to want Kyle Schwarber
(12:37) - Fans saying the Cubs aren't spending enough
The crew wraps up the week for the Cubs on the final day of the Winter Meetings in San Diego
David Kaplan and Tony Andracki are joined by Jim Callis, MLB.com writer on the pipeline beat to discuss gthe Cubs trying to replenish the farm system that is bare (1:30). They also talk about some potential deals the Cubs get make and the returns by trading catcher Wilson Contreras (7:20), or former MVP Kris Bryant (14:30).
The Cubs Talk podcast comes your way from Day 3 of the Winter Meetings in San Diego.
Former Cubs GM Jim Hendry joins Kap. They reminisce about the day Hendry signed Ted Lilly before undergoing a heart procedure (1:00) and he discusses his new role working in the Yankees front office. (3:00) Plus, Kap asks him how much pride does he have seeing two of his draft picks — Javy Baez and Willson Contreras — become all-stars (10:00) and Hendry discusses the biggest trade that almost happened and how it would have affected the 2008 season. (11:40)
Then Tony Andracki joins Kap with the latest Cubs news... or lack thereof. (20:00)
Kap and Tony are in San Diego for Day 2 of the Winter Meetings.
Theo Epstein met the media for the first time Monday night. Kap and Tony react to his comments on how free agency affects his team's ability to make a trade. (1:00). Plus Theo discusses all the talk about his payroll limitations and how Yu Darvish's performance at the end of 2019 helps that. (6:00)
Will Jose Quintana be wearing a different uniform in 2020? The guys discuss that. (10:00)
Joe Girardi joins Kap to discuss the state of the Phillies, former Cub Jake Arrieta and the state of catching with robot umps a possibility in the future. (13:00)
Kap and Tony are at the Winter Meetings in San Diego.
1:30- The Cubs have already shed a lot of payroll but they still have a ways to go. How is that possible? Tony crunched the numbers to find out.
5:00 - Tony and Kap react to Tom Ricketts' comments to the Sports Business Journal about the team's inability to develop pitching and how the Wrigley Field renovations have affected the budget.
9:30- Will the Cubs trade a member of their core this week? Tony says don't get your hopes up, Cubs fans. Kap is a little more optimistic. Plus would the Cubs be better off dealing Jose Quintana now as he enters the final season of his deal? (17:30)
21:00- The Cubs farm system isn't what it used to be. Tony talks about the prospects that are there now that might help the big league club.
22:30- Is the door closed on Nicholas Castellanos returning to Wrigley? Tony says there's a light bit of an opening. He explains why.
On this edition of the podcast, Tony Andracki, Nate Poppen and Tim Stebbins wonder: What are the Brewers doing this winter? The trio also discuss the latest moves by the Braves and Phillies and how the Cubs fit into the National League playoff race at the moment. Plus, they react to rumors regarding Willson Contreras and Nicholas Castellanos and weigh in on whether or not Nico Hoerner should be the Opening Day second baseman.
01:00 - What are the Milwaukee Brewers doing so far this winter? What does the Omar Narváez trade haul say for the market for Willson Contreras?
06:30 - Get ready for every Cubs trade rumor this winter to be linked to the Angels and Joe Maddon.
08:00 - Are the Brewers the 4th best team in the N.L. Central right now?
10:30 - After the Cole Hamels and Zack Wheeler signings, where do the Cubs stack up against the rest of the contenders in the National League?
13:00 - How will Cole Hamels be viewed by Cubs fans after spending just a season and a half at Wrigley Field.
14:40 - The Cubs are rumored to still be "interested" in Nicholas Castellanos. How would he fit in the outfield long term? What would signing Castellanos allow the Cubs to do with the rest of their roster?
18:45 - Should Nico Hoerner be on the Cubs roster out of Spring Training? What would Hoerner making the team mean for the construction of the roster and infield depth?
On this edition of the Cubs Talk Podcast, David Kaplan, Tony Andracki and Jeff Nelson discuss the end of the Addison Russell era, how the Reds may now be the favorites in the NL Central, and where Cole Hamels may pitch in 2020.
01:00 Should the Cubs have gotten rid of Addison Russell a year ago?
06:00 Javy Baez' took his game to the next level while filling in for Russell
07:30 Any chance Kris Bryant gets moved this offseason?
11:00 Could Cole Hamels be pitching on theother side of town next year?
15:30 Are the Reds now the favorite in the NL Central?
19:00 Changes in the Cubs coaching staff
21:00 Strange memories from past Winter Meetings
01:00 - Is Javy Baez going to be the first Cubs "core" player to sign a new contract extension?
04:00 - Could a potential Baez deal be the first domino to fall for the Cubs this winter?
06:30 - There could be some actual news at the Winter Meetings - Taking a quick look at the Brewers offseason outlook.
10:30 - Was Craig Kimbrel a cautionary tale? Will another team wait again to sign a pitcher in order to not give up a draft pick?
14:30 - There are still plenty of things to be thankful for when it comes to the Cubs.
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, David Kaplan gives his thoughts on what a Javier Báez extention could look like. He also discusses how Yasmani Grandal signing with the White Sox increases Willson Contreras' trade value.
1:25 - Will Cubs and Javy Báez agree on a contract extension?
3:44 - If Báez doesn't want to commit long term, do Cubs trade him now?
6:15 - Kap gives his proposed deal that Báez could accept.
8:41 - Will Cubs lock up other key players with same type of mentality?
10:52 - Will Cubs be willing to trade Willson Contreras?
11:55 - With Grandal to the White Sox, teams might be more willing to part with their best prospects with Contreras in a deal.
02:00 Jeff Passan predicts a significant trade or two for the Cubs this winter
03:00 Passan says the Cubs will be retooling, not rebuilding, because they still have good players
04:00 Kris Bryant and Willson Contreras are the most likley to be traded
05:00 Passan explains the perception of Contreras around the league
07:00 How active will the Cubs be in free agency?
08:00 Any chance the DH will come to the NL soon?
09:00 What would a Cubs team with Anthony Rendon look like (even thought it's very unlikely)
12:00 What are you more disappointed in? The haul the Cubs gave up to the White Sox or the results they have gotten from Jose Quintana?
19:00 Is Willson Contreras the most likely Cubs player to be traded this winter?
21:00 If the DH is eventually coming to the National League, is it worth hanging on to Kyle Schwarber even longer?
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Tony Andracki, Jeff Nelson, Nate Poppen and Tim Stebbins discuss where the Cubs stand after the GM meetings, if the Cubs could get equal value back in a trade involving Kris Bryant, and how the Astros allegedly stealing signs affected Yu Darvish.
01:00 Takeaways from the GM Meetings
03:00 Addition of Andy Green as bench coach
07:00 Adding Mike Napoli to David Ross' coaching staff
09:00 Astros allegedly stealing signs
11:00 How the alleged sign stealing affected Yu Darvish
17:00 The Scott Boras circus at the GM Meetings
19:00 The trade market for Kris Bryant
23:00 Is Willson Contreras the most likley candidate to be traded this offseason
27:00 Reliever Will Smith off the market
29:00 Could Brandon Morrow be back in the organization in 2020?
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, David Kaplan talks with former Cubs front office executive and Dodgers GM Ned Colletti on how to fix a major league roster, when to deal a player who is heading into free agency, and how a trade he didn't make with LA helped bring
01:30 How he moved from MLB to being a scout in the NHL
04:30 How to fix a major league roster
06:40 On building the roster when other teams know your weaknesses
09:30 When to deal a player who is facing free agency
11:30 Balancing trying to win now vs. building a team for a sustained run
14:30 On how a GM can't depend only on signing a big free agent
18:00 On his time with the Cubs in the 1980's
19:45 On how a GM deals with Scott Boras
22:00 On how a GM deals with talk radio and the media
26:00 On how he almost got CC Sabathia on the Dodgers for 2008 playoff run
28:00 On how not trading for Ryan Dempster helped bring Kyle Hendricks to the Cubs
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, David Kaplan, Tony Andracki and Jeff Nelson discuss the assistant coaches under David Ross, how the Cubs aren't the only NL Central team facing budget constraints, and Yu Darvish-social media darling.
02:00 David Ross filling out his coaching staff
07:30 What to expect from next week's GM Meetings
10:00 Cardinals facing budget issues
13:00 Can the Reds be the surprise team in the division?
17:30 Possible offseason moves the Cubs could make
20:30 Which Cub do you most want to see stick with the team?
22:00 Yu Darvish-Social Media star
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, former Cub Ryan Dempster joins David Kaplan to discuss how David Ross will handle managing his former teammates, why the Cubs can turn things around quickly, and being part of the trade that brought Kyle Hendricks to the Cubs.
03:30 Will David Ross hold his teammates accountable
05:00 Why can Cubs turn things around quickly
06:00 On a free agent's decision on where to play
07:30 On being traded for Kyle Hendricks
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, David Kaplan, Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki discuss what the coaching staff might look like under David Ross, who is most likely to sign an extension this offseason and if the team will have money to make moves this offseason.
02:30 Theo looking to remake the roster this offseason
04:00 Darvish decides not to opt out of contract
05:30 Possible changes to the coaching staff under Ross
07:30 Is John Farrell the leading candidate to be the bench coach?
11:00 Will the Cubs get younger in 2020?
13:00 How do the Cubs upgrade the starting rotation?
15:00 Who is most likely to sign an extension with the Cubs?
17:00 Will Theo have the money to make moves this offseason?
21:00 The front office has been too stubborn the last couple seasons
23:00 Ross and the need to hold players accountable
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, David Kaplan gives his thoughts on the biggest question marks on the current roster and what possible free agents the team may target this offseason.
01:00 Kap expects team to take a step back in free agency
03:00 Biggest positional questions for the 2020 roster?
10:00 The team needs 2 arms in the rotation this offseason
11:00 Free agency market and who the Cubs might target
On the latest Cubs talk podcast, Kelly Crull goes 1 on 1 with new Cubs manager David ross, plus Tony Andracki and Vinnie Duber join Kelly to react to the introductory press conference.
01:00 One on one interview with David Ross
08:30 Ross on Lester now calling him "Manager David"
10:00 On getting past using 2016 season as a crutch
12:30 Ross on holding guys accountable
16:30 Is this a change big enough to get Cubs back on track
20:30 Ross won't be a puppet for the front office
22:30 How much is riding on this hire for Theo & Jed
24:40 Ross' reputation will change from here on out
26:30 Ross is completely different than Joe Maddon
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, David Kaplan, Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki react to the news of David Ross becoming the new manager of the Cubs and the upcoming arbitration process with Kris Bryant regarding his delayed callup back in 2015.
01:30 Was it always David Ross' job?
04:00 Ross having to do a mock press conference as part of his interview process
10:00 Theo and Jed's interview process
13:00 How will Ross hold his former teammates accountable
17:00 How active will the team be in free agency this offseason
21:00 Kris Bryant's grievance over his service time
28:00 Chances Kris Bryant (or a core player) gets traded this offseason
3:00 - Listener question: Espada or Ross? Kelly Crull shares some inside info on Joe Espada
7:30 - Kelly talks about David Ross' second interview for the Cubs managerial job.
11:30 - Listener question: Say it is Espada, do you see any way David Ross comes on as a coach behind Espada?
13:30 - Listener question: Could the team regress further due to a lack of familiarity with a new manager?
20:10 - Listener question: How hard will Theo and Jed go after Gerrit Cole? And if he's not available who else is?
23:30 - Listener question: Are you trying to extend Castellanos?
26:00 - Listener question: If you sign Castellanos are you also trading Kyle Schwarber?
28:45 - Listener question: Should the Cubs trade Kris Bryant? What would they get back in return?
33:00 - Lighting round: Will Nico Hoerner be the opening day second baseman and keep the job in 2020?
33:10 - Lightning round: Will the Cubs bring back Cole Hamels?
33:45 - Can we and should we clone Javy Baez so we have a fresh Javy when he retires, or is that unethical?
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Tony Andracki, Kelly Crull, Scott Changnon and Jeff Nelson give us their memories of Joe Maddon's time with the Cubs and discuss David Ross and Joe Espada's candidacy to be the next manager.
01:30 Kelly's memories of Joe from the perspective of a reporter
06:00 Going back to Hazleton with Joe
07:45 Joe's legacy as manager of the Cubs
16:00 How Joe impacted Javy Baez' career
18:00 David Ross and Joe Espada may be the leaders to replace Joe Maddon
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, David Kaplan, Kelly Crull, Tony Andracki and Jeff Nelson offer up their bold predictions for the Cubs offseason, including the futures of Willson Contreras.
01:30 - Are the Cubs preparing to take a step back in 2020?
07:45 - Willson Contreras' future with the Cubs
09:00 - Will the Cubs trade one of the core 4
11:00 - Has Jose Quintana thrown his last pitch for the Cubs?
14:30 - Will Javy Baez agree to a contract extension this offseason?
15:30 - Will Theo Epstein still be with the club in 2022?
18:00 - Will David Ross be the next manager?
25:30 - Are the Cubs trailing the rest of the league in anayltics?
David Kaplan shares his thoughts on the Cubs, the decision to move on from Joe Maddon (0:50), the process in hiring a new manager (2:40), and who should be in the dugout next season (4:05).
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, David Kaplan, Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki discuss the biggest need this offseason and who they think will manage the team in 2020.
01:30 What is the biggest need this offseason
02:30 The need for another starter in 2020
04:00 Putting priority on building the farm system
05:30 How do they solve the leadoff hitter problem
10:00 Chances Castellanos returns
13:00 The need to rebuild the bullpen
18:00 Picks for who will be the Cubs manager in 2020
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, David Kaplan talks with Joe Girardi, now working for MLB Network, about the possibility of returning to the dugout, how the Cubs job is perceived around baseball and his thoughts on the Cubs roster.
01:00 Girardi on state of managing
02:00 What goes into a manager's job off the field?
04:00 Can today's players be managed the same way former players were?
05:30 On nickname "Binder Joe" and analytics in baseball
07:00 On how Cubs job is perceived around baseball
08:00 Does Joe lobby for jobs?
10:00 Joe's thoughts on the Cubs roster
11:00 Joe's World Series pick
12:00 On how managing changes in the playoffs
13:30 Did he ever dream of standing in Wrigley dugout
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Tony Andracki and Kelly Crull react to Theo Epstein's season-ending press conference, and touch on David Ross being a candidate for the manager job, what type of team the next manager will inherit, and if there will be changes on the coaching staff
02:00 - "We're starting something anew"
03:00 - What Theo is looking for in a new manager
05:00 - Theo looking for more team-centric work
08:00 - David Ross is a candidate for the manager's job
11:00 - What type of team will the next manager inherit
13:00 - Are there really any untouchables on the club?
16:00 - Did the Cubs fall into a winner's trap
18:00 - How will the Cubs address the leadoff spot?
22:30 - Cubs struggles to develop a pitcher
24:00 - Will there be changes in the coaching staff?
Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki wrap up an eventful day in St. Louis where the Cubs officially parted ways with manager Joe Maddon, thus ending the most successful five-year run in Cubs franchise history. Crull and Andracki also relay reaction from Cubs players on Maddon’s departure as well as their own takeaways and memories from the Maddon era. Plus, what’s next for the Cubs as they enter an offseason of change?
1:00 – The Maddon reaction
4:00 – What Maddon meant to these Cubs players
6:00 – Maddon let Javy Baez realize his potential as “El Mago”
8:00 – Maddon’s life lessons
9:00 – Maddon’s message to Kris Bryant
10:40 – Maddon’s lasting impact
13:45 – What Kelly will remember most about Joe’s time here
20:00 – Reality check for this franchise
22:00 – Are huge changes coming for the Cubs?
24:00 – The futures of core players with this franchise
25:30 – Zobrist farewell?
28:00 – Strop farewell?
30:00 – Appreciate this era of Cubs baseball
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Tony Andracki and Kelly Crull discuss the Cardinals sweep, Yu Darvish taking the loss so hard, and what to look for over the final six games of the year.
01:00 - Reaction to being swept by the Cards
03:30 - Darvish taking the loss really hard
05:30 - This is the Yu Darvish Cubs fans thought they were getting when he signed with the Cubs
07:00 - Almora's miscue in the 9th inning of the loss
08:00 - It feels like the end of an era
12:00 - Is this the end of an era for the Cubs?
16:00 - Surprised Rizzo was available on the field for the entire Cardinals series?
20:00 - There is no one thing you can look to that didn't work this season
22:00 - What do you want to see over the final six games?
25:00 - Seeing a cornerstone being helped off the field for a second Sunday in a row
29:00 - How much will we see the injured guys on the field?
01:00 Is this the biggest series ever against the Cardinals
07:15 Would you have pinch hit for Chatwood in the 8th inning Wednesday
10:15 Will Dexter Fowler be a factor in this series?
11:30 Are you surprised where the Cubs are at this season?
16:00 Is Kris Bryant injury prone or just unlucky?
19:00 How many will the Cubs win in this series vs STL?
21:00 If there was to be a sweep, which team is more likely to sweep
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Anthony Rizzo talks about his ankle sprain, Theo Epstein reacts to the injury and Luke Stuckmeyer, David Kaplan and Tony Andracki discuss how the Cubs will fill the void in the lineup.
01:00 - How Rizzo is doing a day after the injury
03:30 - Anthony Rizzo discusses his injury
06:00 - Will we see Rizzo again in the regular season
08:00 - Theo Epstein discusses Rizzo's injury
10:00 - Who will play first base in Rizzo's absence?
12:00 - Need to continue the offensive surge
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Luke Stuckmeyer, Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki discuss the injury to Anthony Rizzo, the Cubs offense coming alive against the Pirates and the playoff chase with 2 weeks left in the season.
01:00 How worried are you about Rizzo's injury
05:00 Wrigley's reaction to Rizzo's injury
08:00 Bryant leads the Cubs offense against the Pirates
10:00 Heyward's resurgence after moving out of leadoff spot
12:00 Nico Hoerner's looks impressive in first series at Wrigley
15:00 How do Cubs stand with 2 weeks left?
17:00 Cubs have a chance to make up ground with Cardinals playing Nationals
18:30 Brewers staying in race without Yelich
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Luke Stuckmeyer, David Kaplan, David Dejesus, Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki react to Theo Epstein's comments about his club, changes in the scouting department and struggles at the leadoff spot.
01:30 - Latest odds to win the NL Central after the Yelich injury
03:00 - Brewers make up 5 games in the standing in 6 day
04:00 - Reaction to Theo's comments on defensive struggles
08:00 - How do players change the narrative of the season?
10:00 - Was 2016 the outlier year for the Cubs?
12:00 - Jason McLeod's new title with the team and a new look in the scouting department
16:00 - Struggles at the leadoff spot
19:30 - Who is the player who runs the clubhouse?
21:00 - Since 2017 did the Cubs believe they could turn it on when they had to?
24:00 - Cubs broadcast bumped for "Bachelor in Paradise"
27:00 - Darvish bounces back to be their best starting pitcher this season
00:01:00 Luke, Kelly and Tony talk with Mick Gillispie - play-by-play voice of the Tennessee Smokies - who saw every Double-A game that Nico Hoerner ever played.
00:07:00 Mick talks about who Nico Hoerner is as a person and what should make him a successful MLB player. Mick gives a great example of what makes Nico a great leader on the field.
00:12:24 Mick talks about Nico's defensive abilities - including playing shortstop, second base and center field.
00:15:00 Asked if Hoerner has any glaring weaknesses in his game, Mick says he doesn't see any.
00:20:00 Luke, Kelly, Kap and Tony discuss Kris Bryant's knee issues, K.B. getting a cortisone shot, and what it could mean for Bryant as the Cubs 2019 hits the home stretch.
00:23:00 Tony talks about the seriousness of the Bryant knee injury - and how much the Cubs need their former MVP down the stretch.
00:31:15 The state of the Cubs infield and not putting too much pressure on Nico Hoerner after his MLB debut.
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Kelly Crull, David Dejesus and Tony Andracki discuss the Cubs struggles in Milwaukee, the numerous injuries the Cubs are facing, and if there is enough time to catch the Cardinals in the NL Central
00:42 - Craig Kimbrel gives an update on his right elbow. The Cubs closer sounds very optimistic after an MRI came back clean.
04:03 - Luke Stuckmeyer, David Kaplan and David Dejesus discuss "Plan B" if Kimbrel is out for the stretch run or a possible playoff series.
06:51 - Luke breaks down the incredible story of the Cubs most recent call-up, Danny Hultzen. Included is a portion of Luke's 1-on-1 with Hultzen from July with the Iowa Cubs.
10:14 - Luke, Kap and David talk about what a special story Hultzen's comeback has been - and could be if he turns into a big factor for the Cubs in September.
14:34 - The guys discuss the Division race. How close do the Cubs need to be to the N.L. Central leading Cardinals before the first game of their series at Wrigley Field September 19-22?
00:00 - Luke Stuckmeyer, Doug Glanville and David Kaplan break down the Cubs injury situation with Kris Bryant, Javy Baez and Yu Darvish banged up.
05:15 Offense gets Ben Zobrist and Willson Contreras back - but how will Willson's hamstring hold up in the cold weather down the stretch?
08:20 - Appreciating the Cubs trainers, getting a lot of work this season. Doug talks about his experiences in the trainer's room.
12:30 - Kelly Crull sits down and talks with Nick Castellanos in the Cubs clubhouse.
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, David Kaplan, David DeJesus, Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki try to figure out what is wrong with the Cubs offense, discuss Ben Zobrist's return to the Cubs and Darvish missing Sunday's start
01:00 Ben Zobrist reurns to the Cubs
04:00 How Zobrist can help the team's struggles at the leadoff spot
07:30 Baez injury scare
10:00 Darvish missing Sunday's Start
15:00 Cubs chasing the Cardinals in the Central
18:00 The Cubs offense looked worse on Sunday than they did on Saturday
23:00 What should the offense's approach be at the plate?
25:00 This isn't the fault of the hitting coach
27:00 Cubs getting solid pitching
29:00 How should the Cubs approach the Mariners the next 2 games
30:00 Do you start pressing looking at the scoreboard?
Nick Castellanos is still red hot since being acquired at the trade deadline. Luke Stuckmeyer, Eric Strobel & Nate Poppen compare Castellanos' start with the Cubs to other similar "hot starts" in Cubs history. We also catch up with Castellanos in the Cubs clubhouse after their big win over the Brewers.
00:00 - We break down what continues to be an unbelievable start to Nick Castellanos' career with the Cubs.
04:08 - Comparing Castellanos' red-hot start to his Cubs career with past similar hot starts - including Aramis Ramirez, Kerry Wood and Kyle Schwarber.
12:13 - Nick Castellanos talks to reporters in the Cubs clubhouse after hitting 2 home runs in the Cubs 7-1 win over the Brewers on Friday.
17:10 - We discuss the roller coaster ride that has been the Cubs 2019 season. Getting swept by the Nationals, then sweeping the Mets and beating the Brewers.
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Luke Stuckmeyer, Kelly Crull, Tony Andracki and The Kaplan discuss the latest Yu Darvish outing, the team's struggles at the leadoff spot and what to expect from Ben Zobrist when he makes his return.
01:00 Do we call Kap & Yu Darvish, Kaplish or Darvlan?
04:00 Is Darvish's lack of walks hurting him on the mound?
05:30 Darvish's addition of a knuckle-curve
07:30 Would Darvish be a game 1 starter in the playoffs?
09:00 Advantage of pitching Hendricks in a high-leverage game
10:30 Concerns about Anthony Rizzo's back
12:00 How does the team solve it's struggles at the leadoff spot
21:00 What to expect from Ben Zobrist when he returns
24:00 The Cubs need Javy Baez to get hot over the last month
27:00 Every single game feels important this time of year
Fresh off the heels of the Cubs’ worst series at home in nearly two years, Luke Stuckmeyer and Tony Andracki tackle the most important topics surrounding this team right now.
0:30 – CubsTalk Podcast from an alternate universe where Nicholas Castellanos’ 10th-inning fly ball was actually a walk-off.
2:00 – A tale of two offenses.
5:00 – What’s the cure for what ails the Cubs lineup?
7:00 – Cole Hamels looks to be rounding into form.
9:00 – The Mets are shaping up to be another formidable matchup for the Cubs this week in New York.
11:00 – An update on Anthony Rizzo and his back injury.
13:30 – The Cubs badly need Javy Baez to get hot.
15:00 – Wrapping up with some positives, including Craig Kimbrel and the Cubs defense.
Luke Stuckmeyer is joined by David Kaplan and Doug Glanville to discuss Yu Darvish responding to Kap on Twitter after his home run-plagued outing Wednesday night. Kap gives the reasoning behind his initial tweets (2:15), before Joe Maddon humorously weighs in during his pregame media session (4:15). Then, the guys debate how Twitter has changed the game and its media coverage (6:30), before Kap recalls another, more anger-filled media/player interaction involving Kent Mercker in 2004 (17:30).
00:00 Luke & Kap talk about Nick Castellanos, the impact he has had on the Cubs offense, and the possibility of signing him before he hits free agency this winter.
10:34 Kelly Crull sits down with Kyle Schwarber. Topics include the team’s return to Wrigley Field, the Cubs quest for the N.L. Central title, and “Schwarber’s Block Party” – Kyle’s third annual fundraiser to help first responders.
20:35 Luke & Kap chat about the Cubs bullpen, including Craig Kimbrel, Rowan Wick, and which starting pitcher would move to a relief role IF the Cubs make it to the postseason.
Luke Stuckmeyer sits down with David Kaplan, Chris Kamka and Nate Poppen to discuss Jose Quintana's dominant stretch, the importance of this upcoming homestand, and the best moments of the LLWS Classic.
Examining the roller coaster week that ended with the Cubs winning their first road series since
Jose Quintana appreciation: Chris Kamka delivers some spectacular stats to back up Q's tremendous run since June 29th.
If the Cubs make the playoffs... would you pitch Quintana in Game 1?
The guys pick their favorite moments from the Little League World Series Classic.
Since we are talking about Little League... will we ever see a return to "situational hitting" and "small ball" in Major League Baseball?
Since the ball is "juiced" in 2019 - why are Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo not hitting more home runs? Chris Kamka thinks he has the answer to that question.
Chris Kamka examines the Cubs awful road record - which could have more to do with bad luck than people think.
Preview of this week's homestand, keeping in mind that the Brewers and Cardinals will face each other 6 times over 10 days.
Kap gets in his time machine and plays "what if" the Cubs didn't make a few trades/signings before and after the 2016 World Series.
Kap discusses the "level of expectations" that Cubs fans have now.
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, we get to know Kelly Crull. Kelly tells Luke Stuckmeyer about her love of bowling growing up, why she became a reporter and some of her favorite moments covering the Cubs.
01:00 Kelly's love of tennis at an early age
04:00 Following basketball while growing up in Indiana
06:00 Possible tennis showdown between Kelly and Megan Mawicke
09:30 Kelly talks about working in London & interviewing J.K. Rowling
14:00 When did she decide to become a reporter?
15:00 What is her favorite food?
16:00 Kelly's go-to karaoke song
18:00 Kelly's favorite NBA story (it involves Kevin Durant)
21:00 Favorite moments covering the Cubs
24:00 Dealing with the weather at Wrigley Field
28:00 Something we don't know about Kelly
31:00 What does Kelly enjoy watching at home the most?
David Kaplan explains to Luke Stuckmeyer and Tony Andracki all the reasons why he's so down on the Cubs right now.
01:00 Kap has lost confidence in the Cubs
04:30 The road woes are totally in their head
06:30 What happened to "R-E-L-A-X" Kap?
08:20 Why does this feel different than the 2015 team?
13:30 Do last year's struggles give you hope for this year?
15:45 Kap doesn't want to see Almora starting games
16:40 Tony wants to see Bryant leading off
20:20 Kap's message to Cubs fans
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Luke Stuckmeyer, Doug Glanville, Tony Andracki and Chris Kamka discuss the legend of Kyle Schwarber, break down his stats and discuss what type of player he can be.
01:00 - How the legend of Kyle Schwarber grew
04:00 - A career is built on a series of moments
07:00 - Schwarber is perfect for Chicago
08:00 - Can Schwarber be an everyday player and will it be for the Cubs?
10:00 - Schwarber may be the beneficiary of analytics
12:00 - Schwarber would be the greatest backup catcher in MLB
14:00 - What former player does Schwarber compare to the most?
16:00 - What are realistic expectations for Schwarber for the future?
18:00 - Schwarber's improvement in the outfield
19:30 - How do you summarize Schwarber's career
24:00 - Will Schwarber be with the Cubs for 5 more seasons?
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Luke Stuckmeyer, David Kaplan, Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki discuss what bullpen moves the Cubs will have to make when guys get healthy, Kris Bryant being a clutch hitter and Joe Maddon's future.
01:30 Dillon Maples struggles at the major league level
03:00 Who gets sent down when Kintzler and Kimbrel get healthy
05:00 The Cubs all-time all-lefty lineup
09:00 Highlights of the 2020 Cubs schedule
13:00 More spread out off days in next year's schedule
16:00 Kris Bryant is clutch
18:00 Joe Maddon's future with the Cubs
21:00 The possibility of David Ross managing the Cubs
Luke Stuckmeyer talks with Doug Glanville about baseball, life, Hamilton... and Hall & Oates.
0:38 - Doug discusses "Hamilton" - his favorite Broadway play
2:59 - Doug talks about how the band Hall & Oates helped him become a Major League baseball player.
6:55 - Doug discusses his favorite early baseball memories - including imitating Mike Schmidt.
9:24 - Doug talks about some of the coaches that helped him the most when he was a young player - including Billy Willaims, Jimmy Piersall and Shawon Dunston
11:30 - Find out which managerial job Doug interviewed for.
12:58 - Doug discusses how much the game has changed since he was still a player - and dreaming about "knocking 'the Wizard' back to Oz."
16:27 - Doug talks about the defining moments from his career in MLB - including the night he collected his 1,000th career hit - and the spiritual side of baseball.
20:39 - Doug discusses being the first African-American Ivy League graduate to play Major League baseball, and what that means to him now.
22:45 - Doug talks about the process of writing an Op-Ed for the New York Times - regarding the subjects of racism, ambiguity, commonality, and empathy - and how baseball can be a common ground for fans everywhere.
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Luke Stuckmeyer, David DeJesus and David Kaplan discuss the addition of Jonathan Lucroy, how many MLB players wear a cup, the state of the bullpen and how they will do on their road trip.
01:00 Cubs add Jonathan Lucroy as a backup catcher
02:30 What do you like most about the addition of Nicolas Castillanos?
05:00 Would you bring Castillanos back next season?
07:00 How many guys in the majors wear a cup?
09:00 Injuries to the Cubs bullpen give opportunies to young pitchers
10:30 Duane Underwood's stellar performance vs the A's
13:00 Are the Cubs staters good enough to make up for the troubles in the bullpen?
15:00 How will the Cubs do on their 10-game road trip?
After the Cubs put the finishing touches on a sweep of the Brewers and a 5-4 record overall in the tough stretch against divisional foes, Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki broke down the key takeaways from the last week-plus. The duo also discusses the incredible run Yu Darvish and the Cubs pitching staff has been on, plus Jason Heyward's star turn atop the lineup and how the new pieces like Nick Castellanos and Derek Holland are fitting into the puzzle.
Luke Stuckmeyer is joined by William Marovitz, the producer of "Miracle," a musical about the 2016 Cubs currently playing at the Royal George Theatre. Marovitz details the origins of the show (1:30), the generational impact of the Cubs winning the World Series in 2016 (5:30), the crowd reactions to the show so far (11:00), and the shared emotional experience of winning the World Series (17:30). Tickets are available at miraclethemusical.com.
Luke Stuckmeyer and David Kaplan break down all the Cubs' moves at the trade deadline, including Nicholas Castellanos' impact on the offense, especially against left-handed pitching (2:00), what current Cubs players need to step up down the stretch (4:30), the change of scenery for Carl Edwards Jr. and the new-look bullpen (6:00), and how much pressure now rests on the shoulders of Joe Maddon (9:15).
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Luke Stuckmeyer, Tony Andracki and Nate Poppen discuss the series against the Brewers, the series against the Cardinals and what the Cubs may do at the trade deadline.
01:00 - How disappointing was dropping 2 of 3 in Milwaukee
03:00 - Pedro Strop's struggles
05:30 - Pitching matchup preview for Cardinals series
08:00 - Who is bigger threat in NL Central, Cardinals or Brewers
10:00 - Will the Cubs struggle on the road decide whether or not the Cubs win the Central?
12:00 - Which team in the Central will make the biggest move at the trade deadline?
13:45 - Is Syndergaard on the Cubs radar?
16:00 - Would Syndergaard put the Brewers or Cardinals over the top?
19:00 - What is the Cubs priority at the trade deadline?
21:30 - How adding Zobrist and Happ will affect how the Cubs approach the trade deadline
23:00 - Will Whit Merrifield stay with the Royals the rest of the season?
Ever wanted to know the story behind Kap? You've come to the right place. Luke Stuckmeyer and David DeJesus sit down with Cubs Pre/Post host David Kaplan to learn what makes Kap tick. The trio cover the origins behind his Twitter handle & nickname, @thekapman (1:30), his heart issues and near-death experience on the operating table during heart surgery in 1991 (5:30), how Ron Santo helped set him on a course toward good health (21:00), his ultimate goals in life and his love of people (26:00), and what tattoo he plans on getting sometime soon (33:00).
Tony Andracki, David Kaplan, and Kelly Crull dive into everything going on with the Cubs at the moment, including Addison Russell's struggles and the team's other personnel issues (1:10), whether some trade targets are realistic for the Cubs to acquire (7:30), the ultimate role for Robel Garcia (11:15), how the Cubs will structure the bullpen with Pedro Strop's struggles (14:30), and what the roster could look like after the trade deadline (18:30).
Listen to Cubs legend Lee Smith's entire Hall of Fame induction speech.
Get to know Gary Pressy: Luke Stuckmeyer sits down with Cubs organist Gary Pressy.
1:00 - Find out when Gary started playing the organ.
2:40 - Gary discusses his "consecutive games streak.
4:10 - Gary talks about some of the new songs he mixes in with the old classics.
7:15 - Gary picks his favorite moment from the Cubs 2016 World Series Championship season.
9:20 - Gary plays "Beer Money" - answering Cubs trivia questions.
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki discuss Yu Darvish's 1st win at Wrigley, Cole Hamel's status, and Kris Bryant playing better than he did in his MVP season.
01:00 Darvish picking up 1st win at Wrigley
03:30 Cole Hamels injury update
05:00 Starting rotation after the All-Star break
06:00 Cubs defense looking sharp
07:30 How the Cubs will approach the weekend and the expected heat
09:30 Kris Bryant playing above his MVP level
12:00 How the NL Central stacks up
14:00 Upcoming road trip to San Francisco, Milwaukee and Saint Louis
16:00 Addition to Martin Maldonado
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Luke Stuckmeyer, David Kaplan and Doug Glanville discuss the deal that sent Mike Montgomery to the Royals for Martin Maldonado, the injury to Willson Contreras, and how this affects the trade deadline.
01:00 - Any concern about the Willson Contreras injury?
03:00 - Was giving up Montgomery too much to get a catcher?
05:00 - What were the talks with KC
06:00 - How do the Cubs balance 3 catchers once Contreras comes off the IL?
08:30 - Will the Cubs make a significant addition to the roster before the trade deadline?
10:30 - Ben Zobrist is the x-factor for the Cubs down the stretch
12:00 - Do the Cubs have assets in the minor league to make a deal at the deadline?
14:00 - Will what the Brewers do impact the Cubs in the trade market
Luke Stuckmeyer and David Kaplan are joined by Jason McLeod, the Cubs' Senior VP of Player Development & Amateur Scouting. The trio cover a lot of ground within the Cubs organization, including the rapid rise of Robel Garcia (1:15), the current status and massive potential of infielder Nico Hoerner (5:00), 2019 1st-round pick Ryan Jensen & the importance of power arms in today's game (17:00), and what Kris Bryant's ultimate position in the field might turn out to be (21:45)
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Luke Stuckmeyer, Tony Andracki and Ben Finfer try to answer some of the big questions surrounding the Cubs heading into the second half.
01:00 - Is a major move coming?
02:30 - What if any prospects would the Cubs be willing to trade
04:30 - Will the rotation hold up in the second half?
07:15 - Will Joe Maddon be the Cubs manager the rest of the season?
12:00 - Who will play the most games at second base the rest of the season?
14:00 - Can Ben Zobrist make an impact in the second half?
15:45 - Will the division come down the the final week of the season again?
17:30 - Should Baez have been benched after not running out of he box in Pittsburgh?
20:30 - Will the Cubs win the division?
Luke Stuckmeyer is joined by David Kaplan to assess where the Cubs stand at the unofficial halfway point of the 2019 season (2:00), including Kap's plan to fix the Cubs (8:30) and potential trade targets (11:00) before hearing from the three Cubs All-Stars in Cleveland: Javy Baez, Kris Bryant, and Willson Contreras (16:00).
Luke Stuckmeyer is joined by Iowa Cubs reliever Danny Hultzen, and the 2011 first-round pick goes over his entire comeback story, including twice undergoing major shoulder surgery and keeping a positive attitude (2:00). Then, Luke welcomes Tony Andracki to discuss whether Hultzen could be a factor for the Cubs later this season, how much Cubs fans are looking forward to seeing Robel Garcia get a shot, and Ian Happ's struggles at Iowa (11:45).
Luke Stuckmeyer is joined by David Kaplan, Kelly Crull, and Tony Andracki to diagnose what's going wrong for the Cubs. The quartet discuss the team's playoff chances (1:30), what area of their game bothers them the most lately (5:45), what can be done trade-wise to help right the ship (11:00), and whether Joe Maddon's seat is becoming a little warm (18:00).
In this jam-packed episode, Jason Heyward speaks with Kelly Crull about the Cubs defense and how he helped recruit Craig Kimbrel (1:20). Then, David Kaplan catches up with David Bote about his ever-changing role with the team, as well as how much fun he has watching Javy Baez (7:10). Finally, Luke Stuckmeyer welcomes new Cubs draftee Tyler Schlaffer to the show, and the Homewood-Flossmoor product discusses his emotions upon being picked by the Cubs and much more (14:00).
Luke Stuckmeyer sits down with legendary broadcaster Bob Costas to re-live his call of "The Sandberg Game" in 1984, plus a whole lot more including the impact of NBC's Game of the Week (2:30), how baseball was different in the '80s (5:00), the reason why Ryne Sandberg was not initially named the Player of the Game on June 23, 1984 (12:45), and how baseball fans missed out on potentially classic World Series matchups in both 1984 and 2003 (15:30).
In the second part of our interview with Ryne Sandberg, the Hall of Famer talks the legendary Bleacher Bums (3:20), the increased media attention after his epic June 23rd game in 1984 (7:00), his 1st home run off Bruce Sutter (11:00), and his 2nd longball that improbably tied the game again in the 10th inning (16:30), as well as all the craziness that followed once the game ended.
Luke Stuckmeyer sits down with Cubs legend Ryne Sandberg for a wide-ranging conversation centered around the infamous "Sandberg Game." Ryne gives insight into his feelings upon being traded to the Cubs (2:00), and discusses the reason he ended up with the #23 (5:00), plus how the 1984 season changed everything and raised his personal expectations sky-high (9:00) and the "Daily Double" dynamic between him and Bob Dernier (16:00).
35 years ago, Ryne Sandberg put on a performance for the ages, hitting game-tying home runs in the 9th and 10th innings against the Cardinals and Hall of Fame closer Bruce Sutter. Luke Stuckmeyer takes us through highlights of that day's broadcast with insight from Sandberg himself, broadcaster Bob Costas, Tribune beat writer Fred Mitchell, and Dave Owen, who walked off the game in the 11th. Sandberg, Costas, and company discuss the meaning of NBC's "Game of the Week" (5:00), Sandberg's surprising inspiration for that game (8:30), the utter dominance of Sutter's split-finger fastball (14:30), and of course, the two legendary game-tying home runs (18:00 & 26:30)
Craig Kimbrel talks after arriving in Iowa. Plus, Luke Stuckmeyer gets an update on Ian Happ from manager Marty Pevey and sits down with pitcher Dillon Maples.
1:15 - Craig Kimbrel speaks with media
8:53 - Manager Marty Pevey on Ian Happ
13:08 - Dillon Maples sit down interview.
Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki check in from Wrigley Field after the Cubs split the first leg of the Crosstown Classic with the White Sox. Kelly & Tony discuss the breaking news of top pitching prospect Adbert Alzolay's promotion to the big leagues and what his role could be with the Cubs (2:15), and assess where the Cubs stand as they continue their long homestand, including the recent offensive downturn and Yu Darvish taking a step forward (7:30).
Luke Stuckmeyer and producer Eric Strobel welcome Frederic, aka the Cubs' unofficial Director of Morale. Fred takes us through the origins and growth of his fandom and social media persona (1:30), before discussing how Jake Arrieta's dominance announced the Cubs as contenders (7:30) and the now-ubiquitous hard hats in the bleachers (16:00). Finally, Fred and the guys talk about this year's team, including the lack of strikeout stuff on the pitching staff (22:30) and the unicorn that is Javy Baez (30:00).
Kelly Crull sits down with Cubs reliever Brandon Kintzler, and the veteran right-hander covers many topics, including his ongoing prank war with fellow reliever Steve Cishek (2:50), his growing role as a leader and mentor inside the clubhouse (4:00), and Tommy Hottovy's impact on the pitching staff so far (10:30).
Luke Stuckmeyer, David Kaplan, Tony Andracki, and Kelly Crull get together to discuss and debate everything going on with the Cubs. Topics include the squad's struggles on the road this season (2:30), Steve Cishek's weird injury and his playful relationship with Brandon Kintzler (8:45), how many Cubs could end up in Cleveland for the All-Star game (12:45), and Kyle Schwarber's performance in the leadoff role (17:15).
Luke Stuckmeyer is joined by The Athletic's Jon Greenberg to discuss his new book, "If These Walls Could Talk: Stories from the Chicago Cubs Dugout, Locker Room, and Press Box." Jon shares a great deal about the book, including why he decided to start it at the 2004 season (3:45), the antics and hilarity of the Lou Piniella Era (7:30), why 2013 could be viewed as a turning point in the franchise's quest for a World Series title (12:30), and wraps up by discussing how much The Athletic has grown since its inception in 2016 (17:30).
In a jam-packed episode, Kelly Crull catches up with David Bote after his record-setting 7 RBI performance earlier this week against Colorado (1:20) before also chatting with Carlos Gonzalez, who had quite an eventful first week with the Cubs (6:40). Then, Leila Rahimi talks with Peter Gammons, who discusses the Cubs' 2019 draft class, the tough NL Central, and his Hot Stove Cool Music fundraiser (12:00).
Hear the entire press conference from Friday at Wrigley Field, where Craig Kimbrel met the media for the first time as a Cub alongside Theo Epstein. Kimbrel discusses his workout regimen while he was unsigned (2:30), which current & former Cubs helped sway him toward Chicago (8:20), what a realistic timeline for his debut will be (12:30), and why he's excited to pitch in front of the Wrigley Field crowd (23:00).
Luke Stuckmeyer is joined by MLB Network's Dan Plesac to discuss whether this move makes the Cubs favorites in the NL Central, and the mental makeup of closers (1:00). Then, Luke welcomes David Kaplan and David DeJesus to debate where Kimbrel ranks among active relievers and what the Cubs' ideal bullpen looks like moving forward (10:00). Finally, Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki chime in from Wrigley Field on how the clubhouse has reacted to the Kimbrel news and what a realistic timeline is for Kimbrel to join the team (19:30).
Get to know the hosts of the new NBC Sports Chicago show "Outside the Ivy," as David Kaplan goes in-depth with Michael Cerami, Danny Rockett, and Luis Medina. The guys detail how their paths brought them to this point (1:30), the depth of the Cubs' fan base both online and off (5:00), when they all knew that Theo Epstein's grand plan was going to work (10:00), and Kap's surprising connection to one of the Outsiders (15:45).
Luke Stuckmeyer, David DeJesus and Doug Glanville talk all things Craig Kimbrel after a rumor-filled weekend about the free agent closer. First, Doug and David share memories of their respective draft days as the 2019 MLB amateur draft gets underway (1:20). Then, the guys discuss how badly the Cubs need to be in on Kimbrel (6:00), why the Cubs need to take advantage during a win-now season (9:00), what makes Kimbrel one of the best closers in MLB (12:00), and why Kimbrel remains a free agent (14:00).
Hear Albert Almora speak about Wednesday's foul ball incident (1:20) before Luke Stuckmeyer, Doug Glanville, and David DeJesus discuss the nuances of the league's safety problem (6:30), the Iowa Cubs already planning to extend their netting next season (10:00), and if either David or Doug ever worried about their safety while they were playing (12:00).
In this special edition of the podcast, we dip into the archive to bring you an epic comeback from 11 years ago. Re-live the May 30, 2008 game against the Rockies, including commentary from Mark DeRosa, who hit the decisive homer late in the game. DeRosa discusses how the wind played such a crucial role that day (1:30), the mindset on the bench after going down 8 runs (3:30), and what was running through his mind during his final at-bat (8:45). Also included are DeRosa's postgame comments from the 5/30/08 broadcast (11:45)
Luke Stuckmeyer is joined by David Kaplan and Tony Andracki to give a progress report on the Cubs at the 1/3 mark of their season. The trio discuss the many positives about the team so far as well as the starting rotation (1:15), the areas where the team needs to improve (4:00), the price to acquire an impact bullpen arm (9:00), and the Tyler Chatwood closer experiment (12:00). Then, the guys marvel at the kids of former MLB players like Vladimir Guerrero and Craig Biggio starting to enter the big leagues (15:30).
Kelly Crull goes 1-on-1 with the Cubs' Kyle Ryan and covers a lot of ground with the lefty reliever, including whether he feels established with the team yet (1:30), how his experiences with the Tigers earlier in his career shaped the pitcher he is today (3:00), and how the dynamic in this season's clubhouse and how a veteran like Brandon Kintzler helps Ryan out (5:15).
Luke Stuckmeyer is joined by the Cubs Postgame Live team of David Kaplan and David DeJesus to break down all the various redemption stories on the 2019 Cubs, ranging from Kris Bryant returning from an injury-plagued campaign to Tyler Chatwood becoming a legitimate weapon out of the bullpen (1:00). Then, the guys discuss how well Kyle Schwarber is performing out of the leadoff spot over the last week (11:45).
Hear from Jake Arrieta after his first start as a visitor at Wrigley Field, including his thoughts on facing his former teammates and the standing ovation he received during his first at-bat (1:30). Then, Luke Stuckmeyer is joined by MLB Network's Mark DeRosa to discuss the Cubs' leadoff spot, the team outperforming expectations so far, and much more (8:15).
Luke Stuckmeyer is joined by NBC Sports Chicago Cubs producers Eric Strobel and Nate Poppen to break down Monday night's big matchup between former Cub Jake Arrieta and Yu Darvish. The trio discuss the history and dynamics behind the matchup (2:00), the statistical comparison between the two pitchers over the past two seasons and their potential going forward (4:00), the difference in mental makeup between Jake and Yu (11:00), and Jake's massively important place in Cubs history (17:30).
Luke Stuckmeyer, David Kaplan, Kelly Crull, and Tony Andracki discuss the similarities between the red-hot 2019 Cubs and 2016 World Champions. Chief amongst those parallels are the superb performances of Kyle Hendricks and Jon Lester, as well as the entire pitching staff (2:30). Also similar are MVP-caliber play from Kris Bryant, and a resurgent Willson Contreras (12:45). Finally, the panel discloses one area where the 2019 team comes up short: defense (18:15).
Get to know David DeJesus: Luke sits down with the Cubs Pregame/Postgame studio analyst to discuss baseball, life and... "Survivor."
0:33 - David grew up in New Jersey, so was he a Mets fan or a Yankees fan as a kid?
1:31 - Originally drafted out of high school, David decided to go play college ball at Rutgers.
4:40 - David discusses when he started playing baseball in the backyard with his dad.
8:11 - DeJesus also played soccer growing up. He and Luke talk about specialization in youth sports and how that can lead to too much pressure for some kids.
10:21 - David talks about hitting golf balls (with a baseball bat) in the basement with his dad.
13:23 - DeJesus talks about his passions and interests away from baseball and how he got into television in the first place.
19:14 - David eats very healthy. But he reveals his "cheat foods" when pressed by Luke.
22:04 - DeJesus reveals that he was recently asked to be on "Survivor," but he turned it down.
Cubs even the season series with the Brewers after Sunday night's win and are off to Cincinnati followed by a weekend series in Washington D.C. Kelly Crull and Jared Wyllys break down the Brewers series and preview the Cubs next opponents in the Reds and Nationals. Later in the podcast, Kelly sat down with Willson Contreras who has been on a tear as of late, already matching the 10 home runs he hit in all of 2018.
1:00 - Kelly and Jared recap the successful homestand.
3:15 - Tyler Chatwood has begun to turn his season around after great outing on Saturday.
7:18 - Defense has been on point as of late.
11:54 - Off-days are few and far between as the season continues to roll, how will Joe Maddon shuffle the lineups vs. the Reds and Nationals?
14:28 - Kelly goes one-on-one with catcher Willson Contreras to recap his impressive 2019 to this point and how this team compares to 2016.
In this jam-packed episode, Luke Stuckmeyer catches up with Christian Yelich to get the reigning MVP's thoughts on the Cubs-Brewers rivalry and his new piece for The Players' Tribune (1:30). Then Kelly Crull gets the inside story from Taylor Davis on how his friends and family reacted to his huge grand slam last weekend (8:00) before producer Eric Strobel interviews former Cub Carlos Pena about Joe Maddon's unique managerial style, and how his former teammate Yu Darvish can unlock his vast potential (12:45).
On the heels of Addison Russell coming back from his suspension, our NBC Sports Chicago team covers all the angles of what his return to the Cubs means going forward. First, hear remarks from Theo Epstein and Russell himself prior to his first game back with the Cubs (1:30). Then, Luke Stuckmeyer is joined by David Kaplan and David DeJesus to debate whether bringing Russell back at all was the right move, as well as whether the team might still move on from the infielder in the future (7:00). Then, Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki describe the reaction Russell's debut garnered at Wrigley Field, and discuss how this entire process could be a positive in the long run (17:00).
Ben Zobrist fields questions from Cubs fans, David Bote talks about all the hard work he does before the game starts, and Starlin Castro remembers the feeling of making his Major League debut 9 years ago.
00:45 - Luke 1-on-1 with Starlin Castro
Topics: Anniversary of MLB debut (May 7, 2010), Looking back on his time with the Cubs, and what he thinks of Anthony Rizzo still using his walkup song.
6:31 - Ben Zobrist Q&A with Cubs fans.
Topics: What went through his head when Rajai Davis hit that home run off Aroldis Chapman in game 7, What it was like to drive in the most important run in Cubs franchise history, and what is the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked him to sign.
16:29 - David Bote 1-on-1 with Kelly Crull
Topics: Bote's work ethic and his pregame routine with Brian Butterfield, being prepared to play multiple positions every week, whenever asked.
In a special episode, we celebrate the 21st anniversary of Kerry Wood's record-setting 20-strikeout performance with an audio retrospective of that historic game. Hear all the key calls as they were broadcast in 1998, as well as commentary at key points from Kerry himself as he watched the game with us two decades later.
1:50 - Start of WGN broadcast of Cubs vs. Astros at Wrigley Field on May 6th, 1998
3:38 - Ricky Gutiérrez spoils the no-hitter in the top of the 3rd on controversial play
4:53 - Wood throws two nasty sliders in the 4th to get Jeff Bagwell to strikeout
7:32 - Wood gets strikeout number ten and eleven
9:23 - Rain begins to fall in the 7th inning, giving Wood a slight edge against the Astros hitters as he strikes out the side
14:56 - 9th inning begins as Wood is set to make history
17:20 - "Here comes the hook!" - Chip Caray calls the historic 20th strikeout of Kerry Wood
18:39 - Wood recalls his nervous interview with Steve Stone and Chip Caray after the game
Tony Andracki and Cam Ellis recap the weekend at Wrigley where the Cubs swept the Cardinals in dominating fashion to move into first place in the National League Central. Also, Kelly Crull goes 1-on-1 with former Cubs “you go, we go” leadoff hitter, Dexter Fowler.
After Kyle 'The Professor' Hendricks lived up to his name tossing just 81 pitches to complete a shutout vs the rival Cardinals. Hear Hendricks and Maddon's postgame comments after the Maddux like game. Prior to first pitch, Luke Stuckmeyer sat down with Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong who is off to a good start in St. Louis and grew up in the area, attending Illinois State University. Last but not least, Luke sat down with Fergie Jenkins who gave a great story about the late Ron Santo.
1:20 - Paul DeJong interview
6:10 - Hendricks interview with Kelly Crull postgame
7:40 - Maddon postgame on Hendricks
9:55 - Fergie Jenkins interview
Luke, Kelly and Tony talk about the Cubs resurgence on offense and in the bullpen. Other topics include Addison Russell's role, or lack thereof, and if his days as a full-time player are already over. Plus they play a game of "Cubs Stock Watch."
0:00 - Cubs blooming heading into May? A chance for the offense to reach full potential in 2019.
2:45 - What would be Addison Russell's role if he returns to the big league club? Could the door be closed on Russell being a full-time player with the Cubs?
9:52 - Bullpen goes from huge question mark to best in baseball, but there are some tough decision to be made pretty soon.
16:20 - Cubs 'stock watch': Time to sell on Brandon Morrow? Whose stock are you buying? Bryzzo, Darvish or Schwarber. Buy or sell? Heyward or Maddon.
Luke Stuckmeyer and David DeJesus break down the first month of the Cubs 2019 season. Is the offense "fixed"? How safe is Joe Maddon's job after 26 games? Plus, Luke and Kap chat with Les Grobstein about Lee Elia's epic rant from April 29, 1983 (which we play in its entirety)
:23 - Cubs finally coming together, right in the thick of the N.L. Central Division
1:10 - Is the Cubs offense "fixed"?
2:20 - David Bote coming through as a big piece that gets big hits.
3:30 - Ben Zobrist pulls a "Rudy" and asks Maddon to start Bote in his place.
6:01 - Javy still being Javy. Baez is having a better season than 2018.
8:00 - A look at the N.L. Central. The Cardinals bullpen is getting pretty taxed right now.
9:45 - Cubs offense could be special once "Bryzzo" breaks out.
10:53 - The entire "Lee Elia" rant from April 29, 1983 (bleeped)
14:00 - Les Grobstein joins Luke & Kap to talk about Lee Elia's epic rant. Les was the only person who recorded the rant.
15:26 - How did Elia not get fired after the rant? Les tells a story about Dallas Green's reaction to the rant.
17:15 - Les explains why Elia was mad in the first place, and what question was asked that set him off on his tirade.
Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki discuss Lester's return, the upcoming road trip, plus Addison Russell talks about his suspension.
01:00 Lester looked good in his return to the rotation
03:30 Bullpen getting help from unexpected sources
05:00 Was Almora's hair the reason he wasn't hitting homers?
06:45 Kris Byrant looking better at the plate
09:30 Cubs get ready for game at Arizona and Seattle
10:30 Addison Russell's future with the Cubs
18:30 Will Russell be with the Cubs on May 3rd when eligible?
Luke Stuckmeyer catches up with former Cub Rick Monday on the anniversary of his infamous flag-saving episode at Dodger Stadium in 1976 (2:15). Rick takes us through the entire incident, and gives some insight into why he felt compelled to act on that day 43 years ago. Then, we'll hear from Joe Maddon on what to expect from Jon Lester's 1st start since April 8th (10:40) before Luke is joined by David Kaplan to discuss Lester's return to the rotation after over two weeks on the Injured List (11:30).
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Luke Stuckmeyer talks with Tyler Chatwood, Kelly Crull catches up with Yu Darvish, and David Kaplan and David DeJesus weigh in on the starting rotation.
01:00 - Tyler Chatwood on his outing on Sunday
02:25 - Chatwood on difference from last year
6:00 - Yu Darvish talks about his season so far
7:15 - Joe Maddon thinks Darvish has another gear
8:00 - Why the starters have been so good lately
9:30 - What adjustments has Tyler Chatwood made on the mound this season?
11:20 - Could Chatwood be effective out of the Cubs bullpen?
12:00 - Is Darvish making progress?
Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki break down the Cubs’ series win over the Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field, which capped off with yet another David Bote walk-off and a surprising performance from Tyler Chatwood. They also break down where this Cubs team is at as they get set to welcome the high-powered Dodgers offense into Chicago later in the week.
:30 – The Kelly Effect
1:00 – David Bote’s wild ride
2:00 – El Mago’s magic pays off for Cubs yet again
3:30 – Bote’s adjustments
6:40 – Chatwood’s big day
8:50 – What’s next for Chatwood?
10:10 – Lester’s return is right around the corner
11:30 – Cubs pitching firing on all cylinders
12:00 – Did Kap jinx Strop?
13:30 – Dodgers pose a big challenge for Cubs pitching staff
Luke Stuckmeyer takes a trip down memory lane on the 3rd anniversary of Jake Arrieta's no-hitter against the Reds in Cincinnati. You'll hear all the biggest calls of the game from Len & JD, plus Jake's immediate reaction after tossing his second no-no in a span of 11 regular season starts.
Luke Stuckmeyer and Chris Kamka go through some fun and perhaps meaningful numbers through the Cubs' first 17 games, including good trends for the starting pitching and puzzling numbers for Kris Bryant & Anthony Rizzo (1:30). Then, David Kaplan catches up with former Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano, who discusses his comeback attempt with the Chicago Dogs, his accomplishments while he pitched for the Cubs, and his newfound commitment to his faith (10:30).
Former Cubs TV analyst Todd Hollandsworth talks with Luke & Kap and gives an outside perspective on the 2019 Cubs.
Holly talks about being in the the TV booth and on the road every day with the Marlins.
Todd shares his thoughts on the 2019 Cubs and how the team was built through the draft.
Holly breaks down Jose Quintana's recent run of great starts. He Also talks about Yu Darvish and if what we saw Monday was for real.
Todd talks about the N.L. Central. Draws similarities to the N.L. East. He says the Cubs still win the division - IF they pitch.
Holly shares his thoughts on former Marlin Christian Yelich and his dominant start to the 2019 season.
Todd talks about the "Yelich" trade and how the deal has worked out (so far) for the Marlins.
Holly discusses Javy Baez sliding into second base and the replay review system in MLB. Where do they go next? How can MLB fix the problem with aggressive base-running vs. being too cautious when sliding.
Luke Stuckmeyer is joined by David Kaplan and David Haugh of 670 The Score and the Chicago Tribune to discuss what player they are most worried about at this point in the season (1:30), if there is any issue with Kris Bryant not pinch-hitting on his off day last Saturday (3:30), whether or not Jason Heyward can keep up his hot hitting (7:00), and how Tiger Woods' Masters victory compares to the Cubs' 2016 World Series title on a national scale (12:00).
Luke Stuckmeyer is joined by former Cub and 2016 World Series Champion Tommy La Stella as he returns to Wrigley Field as a visitor with the Angels, and the utility infielder discusses the good memories of his time with the Cubs and much more (:45). Then, Luke is joined by David Kaplan and David DeJesus to break down the Cubs' rotation stepping up with Jon Lester on the injured list (6:00) before hearing from Joe Maddon on Mike Trout's place as perhaps the face of MLB and the best player in the game (12:00).
Luke Stuckmeyer and David Kaplan discuss the Jon Lester injury situation and what his absence will mean to the rest of the rotation (2:00), the bullpen bouncing back after their horrible start to the season (5:15), the red-hot bats of Willson Contreras, Kyle Schwarber, and Jason Heyward (9:00), leaving Ben Zobrist in the lead-off spot (13:00), and the struggles of Kris Bryant (15:00).
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Tony Andracki and Kelly Crull break down the opening road trip of the season, Kris Bryant's struggles at the plate and look ahead to the home opener
00:45 Recapping the series against the Brewers
03:00 Sunday's game was more of what you expect a Cubs-Brewers game to be like
04:00 Kyle Hendricks' struggles early on
06:00 Bryant's struggles at the plate of late
14:00 Willson Contreras playing well through the first 9 games
17:00 Javy Baez' comments on knowing the Cubs will have their haters
20:00 Rizzo keeping the team loose off the field
22:00 The team's mindset after starting 2-7
24:00 Lester getting the start in the home opener
Luke Stuckmeyer catches up with David Bote, Kyle Schwarber & Gordon Wittenmyer as the Cubs and Brewers face off for their first series of 2019
01:25 David Bote on Brewers series and importance early in season
02:15 Bote on controlling what we can control
03:32 Bote on his new contract, staying with Cubs
04:45 Bote on lineups, approach day-to-day
05:30 Bote on his teammates, helping when guys are struggling
06:30 Schwarber on Brewers series, excitement
07:53 Schwarber on last season, 1 game short, every game counts
08:53 Schwarber on teammates picking each other up
09:45 Schwarber on slow start. Not a panic, hit the reset button
10:34 Luke talks with Gordon Wittenmyer from the Chicago Sun-Times
10:55 Wittenmyer on panic in April. Adverse conditions in Atlanta. No broad judgements yet
12:09 Wittenmyer on Brewers, possible regression. Starting to build a big hill to climb
14:14 Wittenmyer on Christian Yelich and his ascent to MVP status
14:49 Wittenmyer on Yu Darvish’s 1st start vs. 2nd start. Still a long time to silence critics.
16:38 Wittenmyer on Cubs “Must-win” mandate. Not a 1-way street. Pressing because results are not there yet.
18:04 Wittenmyer on Cubs pressing and feeling pressure after winning a World Series.
Luke Stuckmeyer is joined by Ernie Banks biographer Ron Rapoport to talk about his new book "Let's Play Two: The Legend of Mr. Cub, the Life of Ernie Banks." The pair discusses Ernie's early life in Dallas, TX (2:00), his fabulous wasted season for infamous 1969 Cubs team (10:00), Ernie talking trash to Willie Mays at Wrigley Field (13:30), who the next Ernie Banks might be today (15:00), and the contrast between Ernie's happy disposition and his complicated private life (19:30).
Luke, Kap & Kelly talk through the Cubs first 4 games, when to "pull the plug" on the bullpen, and what's changed with Kyle Schwarber in 2019.
Luke: When is it too early to panic?
Kap: What was the biggest concern we had going into this season? The bullpen. And it has reared it's ugly head and it looks awful.
Kelly: I don't like that some guys have built-in excuses already.
Kap reads off the list of positive signs for the Cubs. IE: Bryant/Schwarber/Baez/etc.
Looking at the bullpen. Solutions outside of signing Craig Kimbrel. How long do they give this bullpen as it's currently constructed?
Breaking down C.J. Edwards struggles and if he would/should be sent down at some point if he continues to struggle.
Tyler Chatwood. What if he's just a 1-inning pitcher now with his massive contract?
Kyle Schwarber looks great early on. Hes says he's back to the "squatty" guy he was and not over-thinking things at the plate anymore. Does he need to be in the lineup every day?
Ronald Acuna Jr.'s new contract and what it could mean for any possible Kris Bryant/Javier Baez extensions. Kap thinks both Bryant & Baez will be extended before hitting free agency.
Expectations for the Cubs record when they return home from Milwaukee next week.
On the latest edition of the Cubstalk podcast David Kaplan, David Dejesus and Doug Glanville discuss the Cubs opening series in Texas and look ahead to Atlanta.
1:00 Bad start for Yu Darvish
2:30 Concern over Carl Edwards Jr
4:15 A dangerous look in Kyle Schwarber’s eye
7:30 New rules in Cubs clubhouse
10:15 why not winning another world series would be a failure
12:30 baseball’s watchability
Luke talks with Tony Andracki following the Cubs 12-4 Opening Day win in Texas.
Luke Stuckmeyer, David Kaplan, and Kelly Crull react to the breaking news of Kyle Hendricks' extension with the Cubs. The trio discusses how the deal is a win for both sides (1:30), Hendricks' unique place in Cubs history and on this season's roster (7:30), what Kyle's ceiling as a pitcher has turned out to be (12:00), and who the next Cub to sign an extension might be (14:30).
Baseball is finally here! Luke Stuckmeyer & David Kaplan discuss the surprising move to send Ian Happ to the minors to start the 2019 season and the message it sends to the team (2:00), as well as the report from The Athletic that details the changes the Cubs are making to their day-to-day operations this season (8:00). Finally, Kap and Luke make some bold predictions about what will happen this season, including thoughts on Yu Darvish, Addison Russell, and Joe Maddon (11:45).
Luke Stuckmeyer catches up with Brewers radio broadcaster Jeff Levering to get the inside scoop on Milwaukee heading into the 2019 season. The pair discuss how the potential addition of Craig Kimbrel would impact the Brewers bullpen (3:30), whether or not Christian Yelich can repeat his MVP performance (8:00) and how the NL Central will shake out this year (14:00) before Jeff gives us some personal insight into the great Bob Uecker (19:00).
Luke Stuckmeyer is joined by Chris Rongey, host at 101 ESPN in St. Louis, to take a closer look at the arch-rival Cardinals. The pair discusses the ramifications of the rumored Paul Goldschmidt extension (2:30), the pressure on the Cardinals to get back to the playoffs (6:30), the potential of Jack Flaherty (10:30), and Kris Bryant's inflammatory comments about St. Louis at Cubs Convention (13:45).
Luke Stuckmeyer, David Kaplan & Tony Andracki tackle all the pressing topics surrounding the Cubs, including the Brewers' reported connection to Craig Kimbrel (:45), Yu Darvish's blister woes (5:15), how the current run of extensions in MLB will affect the Cubs in the future (9:10), and Tony makes the case for Kris Bryant to be the regular lead-off hitter (16:00).
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Luke Stuckmeyer, David Kaplan, Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki make their predictions for the 2019 season, discuss who will be the team's MVP and debate which NL Central team will be the toughest challenge for the Cubs this season.
1:00 - NL MVP odds for Baez, Bryant, Rizzo and Schwarber
4:00 - NL Cy Young award odds
7:00 - Home run totals for Cubs sluggers
9:00 - Javy Baez' potential at the plate
10:00 - Was bad weather a factor for the Cubs offensive struggles early last season
12:00 - Who will lead the Cubs in home runs this season
13:00 - Who will lead the Cubs in saves in 2019?
15:30 - Who will be the team MVP in 2019?
18:00 - What is your biggest concern for the upcoming season?
21:00 - Who has a breakout season for the Cubs in 2019?
22:00 - Vegas has Cubs at 87 1/2 wins.. over or under?
25:00 - What NL Central team will be toughest on the Cubs?
Willson Contreras sits down with Kelly Crull for an exclusive interview where the Cubs catcher takes full responsibility for his tough 2018 campaign, and tells us what he's learned from last year's experience (1:20). Then, an emotional Willson discusses the current social and political situation in his home country of Venezuela, and how he keeps his focus on the field with so much upheaval in his homeland (12:15).
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Luke Stuckmeyer, David Kaplan, Tony Andracki and Cam Ellis break down the starters and relievers for the 2019 Cubs.
01:15 If healthy, the Cubs rotation could be among the best in baseball
03:00 Is the age of the Cubs staff a concern you?
04:25 What do you do with Tyler Chatwood?
05:50 Sooner or later the Cubs will need a pitcher from their minor league system
06:45 The expectations on Jose Quintana after what the Cubs gave up to get him
08:00 Who would be the first callup from the minors if injuries hit the Cubs rotation?
10:00 Could this be the best rotation in baseball?
12:00 How low could the Cubs rotation rank in MLB if they are hit by injuries?
13:30 Where does the bullpen rank in the NL?
16:45 Who do you feel comfortable handing the ball to in a pressure situation with Morrow on the shelf?
18:00 Who will be bounceback guy in the Cubs pen this year??
19:35 Who will be the first reliever called up if the Cubs need one?
22:15 How does the Cubs pen rank in baseball?
24:30 What grade will the Cubs pitchers get at the end of the season?
Luke Stuckmeyer is joined by MLB Network's Dan Plesac, who is fresh off his tour of major league camps in Arizona. The pair discuss where the holes might be on this Cubs roster (1:00), how the back end of the bullpen will shake out (4:30), the new technology the Cubs are employing to help their pitchers improve (9:00), the state of pitcher development in today's game (13:30), and how the addition of Bryce Harper changes the outlook in the National League this season (16:30).
Kelly Crull catches up with Cubs Opening Day starter Jon Lester on his drive home from camp in Mesa, and discusses what a normal spring training day looks like, relationships between the players, the dynamic between himself and David Ross, pushing players like Anthony Rizzo to the next level, who the best golfer on the team is, and his past as a soccer player (1:10). Then, Luke Stuckmeyer gets the behind-the-scenes story of the ride-along from Kelly (28:30).
Luke Stuckmeyer is joined by Tony Andracki and Chris Kamka to react to Bryce Harper's record-setting contract with the Phillies. The trio discuss whether the Cubs were ever actually involved and if they missed out on a big opportunity (1:30), as well as how Harper's contract will affect future negotiations with Kris Bryant (6:30). Then, we hear Bryant's reaction to Harper's deal (13:20) before Luke & company debate where the Phillies now sit in the N.L. hierarchy (15:00).
On the latest Cubs Talk podcast, Luke Stuckmeyer, David Kaplan, Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki are joined by USA Today's Bob Nightengale to discuss Yu Darvish's first start of the spring, baseball's free agent market, the Cubs mindset and a celebration of Ron Santo
00:45 Bob on Yu Darvish's first start of the spring
01:40 Would the Cubs be in play to sign Bryce Harper on a short term deal?
02:30 Does Nolan Arenado's new deal set the market for future free agents?
04:00 The Cubs have a chip on their shoulder
05:00 Would Kris Bryant sign a long-term deal before he reaches free agency?
07:00 Is Bryant still one of the top 5 3rd baseman in the game?
08:00 Who is the best team in the NL Central?
11:10 What does Scott Boras do that makes him appealing to star ballplayers?
13:30 The vibe around Cubs camp during the first week in Mesa
15:45 Darvish seeming more comfortable in camp this season
17:45 Jon Lester's mindset entering this season
20:00 Celebrating Ron Santo's birthday with some of his more famous calls from the broadcast booth
22:15 Remembering the Wrigleyville Taco Bell
Luke and Kap discuss the latest goings-on from Cubs camp, including Joe Maddon's recent talk about how he's going to handle his lineup card this season (0:45), the lack of a true lead-off hitter impacting the batting order (3:00), how Jose Quintana is working to improve his pitch arsenal (6:30), and what to watch for as the exhibition schedule begins (11:00).
Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki discuss the impact a full season of Cole Hamels could have on the rotation and the team. And David Kaplan goes 1-on-1 with Kyle Hendricks. Find out which teammate Hendricks says most enjoys striking out in Spring Training.
00:35 - Tony and Kelly break down the potential impact that Cole Hamels can have on the 2019 club. They discuss Hamels' value as a teammate and a leader, his approach to baseball every day, and what the Cubs expect from him every fifth day.
16:56 - Kap goes 1-on-1 with Kyle Hendricks during a walk around a practice diamond at the Cubs facilities in Mesa. Hendricks discusses his excitement for 2019, how he approaches the buildup to the regular season, and how much fun he has facing teammates during spring training.
Luke, Kap and Chris Kamka react to the Manny Machado deal and the impact it has on the National League and the Cubs. Javy Baez talks about hustling and being accountable, and possible contract extension numbers for Baez and Kris Bryant are discussed.
00:00 - Welcome - Manny Machado signing and what it means for the National League. How many legitimate contenders are there in the N.L. with Bryce Harper likely to sign with a N.L. team as well?
2:20 - Are we really surprised Machado got his $300 million dollars? What we have learned from the Machado saga? Family did not matter. Location did not matter. Position did not matter. It was all about the money.
5:08 - What does this deal do to the "collusion" argument? Brad Brach's quotes about getting the same exact contract offer from multiple teams is discussed.
7:00 - Where does the Cubs / White Sox rivalry stand now that the Sox did not sign Machado?
7:54 - Javy Baez talks about being held accountable and how last season the team lacked that type of leadership and accountability at times.
9:45 - Chris Kamka delivers some clutch Cubs "hustle" stats.
11:20 - Kap says he talked to Jon Lester in Arizona, and that Lester knows the Cubs front office wants him to be more of a vocal leader in 2019. But Lester knows there are inherent difficulties for pitchers to try to motivate every-day players.
12:17 - MLB Network's list of the top shortstops in baseball is out. Where does Baez come in on that list?
13:15 - Machado gets $300 million - so what does that mean for guys like Kris Bryant and Javy Baez?
18:44 - Kap talks about the feeling among the players at Cubs camp. He says players are pissed off about the early exit and that some of the experts are picking them to lose more games than they win in 2019.
20:00 - When the Crosstown series rolls around, what are some realistic expectations for a pair of former Cubs prospects: Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease?
As the Cubs held their first full-squad workout in Arizona, Chairman Tom Ricketts talked about his father's e-mail scandal and the team's free-agency budget on the latest edition of the CubsTalk Podcast.
01:00 Tom Ricketts on his dad's email controversy
08:00 Tom on his comments to the players about the emails
12:00 Tom on his dealings with the city and Alderman Tom Tunney
17:30 On team's budget for 2019
19:30 On free agency in baseball
23:00 On building a team long term
29:00 On Joe Maddon's future
The Cubs are looking for some of their young players to take the next step in 2019. Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki discuss what they expect from David Bote and Victor Caratini this year (11:52). Plus, Ian Happ is busy getting reps at second base in Mesa (03:04), and Willson Contreras is "hungry" to get back in action (07:34). Then, David Kaplan has a 1-on-1 interview with Bote as he settles in for his second MLB season (27:20). Luke Stuckmeyer hosts.
Our Cubs beat reporters Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki provide their unique perspectives after being in the room for Addison Russell's first public comments since his suspension (1:00). They discuss Russell's disposition during his media session (4:00), the lack of specifics in his answers (12:30), what the future holds for both Russell and the team (19:15), and much more regarding the Cubs' suspended shortstop.
For the first time since being suspended 40 games in September for violating MLB's domestic violence policy, Addison Russell met the media in Arizona. We bring you his entire press conference (1:00), as well as comments from Joe Maddon and Theo Epstein about Russell's situation and how it has changed the entire organization (20:00).
Opening week of Spring Training continues, and in this episode we catch up with Kyle Schwarber, who scoffs at the PECOTA projections that have the Cubs finishing last in the NL Central (1:15). Then, Tyler Chatwood addresses his 2018 struggles head-on and details what he's done to improve this offseason (8:20). Finally, our Cubs insider Tony Andracki calls in from Mesa and discusses the addition of Xavier Cedeno, Adbert Alzolay's status and much more (14:30).
Yu Darvish speaks about how he's feeling and why he's in a much better spot mentally as he enters his 2nd season in Chicago (:45). Then, Willson Contreras discusses his offseason training and the current state of affairs in his native Venezuela (5:55). We then hear from Jason Heyward, who adamantly supports the Cubs' approach in bringing the entire core group of players back (12:00). Finally, Jon Lester explains how his approach will change as he enters his 14th big league season (18:00).
Baseball is finally back! Luke Stuckmeyer takes you out to Mesa, where Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Joe Maddon addressed the media Tuesday to officially kick off Spring Training. The trio cover a wide range of topics, including Joe's new slogan for 2019 (:45), the latest update on Addison Russell's situation (5:30), why the free agent market has been so slow (15:30), Theo's reaction to the Joe Ricketts emails (21:30), how Maddon will change his approach this season (29:45), and what to expect out of Yu Darvish this season (41:15).
Luke Stuckmeyer is joined by Stats Coordinator Chris Kamka and Cubs producer Eric Strobel to discuss this year's pessimistic PECOTA projections for the Cubs from Baseball Prospectus (:35), the much-improved NL Central's impact on the projections (6:00), and react to the news that the DH will not be coming to the NL anytime soon (9:40). Then, Kelly Crull sits down for an exclusive interview with Javy Baez, who discusses how he can improve on an MVP-caliber 2018 season and why the Cubs are happy to stick with their core roster this season (16:30).
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Luke Stuckmeyer, Tony Andracki and Vinnie Duber discuss possible rules changes in baseball and how they would affect the Cubs. Plus, we go 1-on-1 with Kyle Hendricks.
01:00 Possibility of the DH coming to the NL and how it would affect the Cubs
02:30 The pitcher hitting a homer is one of the most exciting things in the game
03:45 Is Kyle Schwarber automatically the DH for the Cubs?
05:00 Possible rule change requiring pitcher to face three batters
08:30 Chances of a 26-man roster
10:30 Where does the Cubs starting rotation stack up against the rest of MLB if healthy?
13:00 Who is the ace of the Cubs staff?
15:20 How many games will Montgomery and Chatwood start this year?
17:30 Kyle Hendricks on what he learned after how last season ended
19:00 Kyle on how he improved in the second half of last season
22:00 Hendricks on offseason moves
26:00 Where does Kyle see himself in his career arc
28:00 Does Kyle know the last time he threw a wild pitch?
In honor of Ernie Banks' birthday this week, Luke Stuckmeyer and Tony Andracki play a game of "Let's Play Two" by picking the two free agents that would have been best fits for the Cubs (:30), the two best teams in the National League besides the Cubs (3:15), the two best shortstops in baseball (4:45), and much more. Then, Kelly Crull sits down with Cubs starter Cole Hamels, who discusses his upcoming first full season on the North Side and how the Cubs rotation can be dominant in 2019 (13:15).
It's freezing in Chicago, but never fear... baseball is right around the corner, and we caught up with a couple Cubs before they report to Mesa in a couple weeks. First, Ben Zobrist talks about how last season is actually a good sign for this core group of players, and details his improved process at the plate (1:30). Then, Kyle Schwarber joins the show to discuss how the end of last season added fuel to the Cubs' motivational fire, why new hitting coach Anthony Iapoce should fit right in with this group, and much more (15:15).
Luke Stuckmeyer and David Kaplan discuss Maddon entering the final year of his contract, plus Kelly Crull goes one on one with Maddon.
00:30 - Is this Maddon's final season with the Cubs?
03:00 - Does it matter to the players if Maddon is in his last year of his contract?
04:00 - Javy Baez' comments on having a set lineup
05:30 - Possible other managerial opening in baseball next offseason
06:50 - What could be the biggest impact story this season with Maddon
09:00 - Joe tells us about his offseason travels
12:00 - Joe on keeping the core together
13:45 - Joe on how he processed last season
15:00 - What does production over talent mean to Joe
18:00 - Maddon's theme for 2019
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast we join Luke Stuckmeyer, David Kaplan and Kelly Crull to discuss the outcome of the Cubs convention and Cubs trolling.
01:30 Has Kris Bryant calling St. Louis "boring" been blown out of proportion??
04:00 Cardinals fans weigh in on Bryant's comments
09:00 Are Bryant's comments worse than Joakim Noah calling out Cleveland?
11:30 Joe Maddon made comments about the Cardinals ordering a hit on them after a couple hit batters
12:30 Lee Elia's infamous rant about Cubs fans in the 1983 season
13:00 What was their favorite sports rants
15:40 Ozzie Guillen trolls the Cubs
17:30 Marty Brennaman goes off on Cubs fans
19:20 Everyone in the division seems to hate the Cubs
20:21 Do you believe A.J. Pierzynski when he said he would never sign with the Cubs?
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast we join David Kaplan and Kelly Crull at the Chicago Cubs Convention for interviews with Joe Maddon, Theo Epstein, Kris Bryant and many more.
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Luke Stuckmeyer, David Kaplan, Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki discuss the biggest storylines for the Cubs heading into the 2019 season
01:00 - Predictions for the rest of the 2019 off-season
03:00 - Are the Cubs falling behind in the NL Central?
06:30 - The need for a veteran catcher to play behind Willson Contreras
08:00 - Lack of long-term contracts being handed out this off-season
10:30 - Will Kyle Schwarber reach his potential?
14:45 - What will David Bote's role be in 2019?
17:45 - Will the new coaching staff make a difference in 2019?
21:30 - Where does Ian Happ fit into the Cubs plan
25:00 - Will Joe ever settle on 3 outfielders to get almost all of the playing time?
The TV voice of the Cubs, Len Kasper, stops by the CubsTalk Podcast before the Cubs Convention kicks off. Kasper discusses the outlook for 2019, and picks his "breakout" candidate on the Cubs offense. Len also answers some listener questions at the end of the podcast.
Some of the best Len Kasper play-by-play calls from the Cubs 2018 season.
Len talks about his excitement for the 2019 season, and the difficulty the team will face in an improved National League Central.
Kasper reflects on the NL Central from 2018, calling it the toughest division in baseball. Offseason moves take focus as spring training draws near.
Len talks about the Cubs payroll situation and where the club is in their pursuit of another World Series championship.
Kasper discusses the biggest improvement he thinks the Cubs can make as a team in 2019.
Len picks some "bounce-back" candidates, and makes a pick for a "breakout" player in 2019.
Kap asks Kasper about Kris Bryant's defensive future with the Cubs (3B or OF.)
Len talks about the Cubs starting rotation and the health of Yu Darvish heading into this season.
Len Kasper answers some Twitter questions from Cubs fans, and @thekapman.
00:29 - Ryne talks about looking forward to the 2019 season.
01:29 - Sandberg on what changed for him as a player after his MVP season in 1984.
02:53 - Ryne talks about lineup consistency and how much the game has changed for players on a day-by-day basis since he was a player.
05:21 - Sandberg on being the highest paid player in baseball back in 1992, and how it affected his approach to the game.
07:01 - Ryne talks about Lee Smith being inducted to the Hall of Fame, some favorite memories of playing with Smith, and the importance of the bullpen in today's game.
08:39 - Sandberg on the impact assistant coaches can have on a big league team. Coaches were more hands-off when Ryne played, as opposed to the more involved role they tend to take with current players.
11:15 - Ryne talks about the 1984 team, and what the feeling was like leading up to that historic Cubs season.
13:04 -Sandberg remembers the Sutcliffe trade with the Indians in June of 1984.
14:44 - Ryne remembers "The Sandberg Game" from June 23, 1984. Even down to wind conditions and what type of pitches he saw from Bruce Sutter in the 9th and 10th innings.
17:28 - Sandberg on the impact "The Sandberg Game" had on the 1984 Cubs - and the franchise overall. Ryno also recalls the first time he noticed fans on rooftops across the street from Wrigley Field.
19:01 - Ryne talks about the talent on the current Cubs team, specifically Anthony Rizzo.
20:42 - Sandberg on the "unsung heroes" of the 1984 Cubs. Specifically Gary Matthews. Ryne credits "Sarge" with changing his career more than any other teammate.
21:54 - Ryne recalls the atmosphere and fans around Wrigley Field following the Cubs 13-0, game 1 win in the 1984 NLCS vs. San Diego.
22:34 - Sandberg on the difficulty of losing the NLCS to the Padres in 1984. He says it took him weeks to get over the shock that the '84 Cubs would not play in the World Series.
23:38 - Ryne remembers back to the very first Cubs Convention in 1986. Minus-20 degree wind chill and all.
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Luke Stuckmeyer and David Kaplan are joined by USA Today baseball columnist Bob Nightengale
00:45 Does Bob stand by prediction of Bryce Harper going to the Phillies
01:30 Is a 7-year deal enough to land Harper of Manny Machado?
03:00 Are the Cubs the sleeper team in the Harper sweepstakes?
05:00 Are the Cubs still considered an elite team in the National League
06:45 Which team has made the most moves during this offseason?
07:30 Does Troy Tulowitzki going to the Yankees take them out of the running for Machado
09:30 Impact of December's Dodgers/Reds trade
10:30 Joe Maddon's future and who might be replace him as manager of the Cubs
12:45 Any big moves coming in the next few weeks from the Cubs or White Sox?
In the second part of Joe Maddon’s winter meetings media session, the Cubs skipper outlines his philosophy concerning the ideal mix of veteran leadership in his clubhouse (:45), and also discusses how Kyle Schwarber (3:35) and Willson Contreras (10:25) can each unlock their potential in the upcoming 2019 season. Finally, Joe reveals his secret to connecting with today’s players (12:45)
Cubs manager Joe Maddon held court at the winter meetings earlier this month in Las Vegas and covered a wide variety of topics. In part one of two, Joe talks about the bad taste in his mouth after last season’s quick playoff exit (:35), how his managing style will change next season (3:00) and why he’s not worried about entering the final year of his contract without an extension (10:35).
Luke Stuckmeyer and Kelly Crull take one last look back at the 2018 season that was, and start by giving their one-word description of last year (:30), before going through all the weather problems and Yu Darvish’s struggles in the spring (2:15), some walk-off fun over the summer (8:00), and the disappointing finish as the calendar turned to fall (17:20).
On this episode of the CubsTalk podcast, we catch up with new Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy in Las Vegas (1:00). Hottovy discusses his relationships with the current Cubs staff, his biggest challenge in 2019, and his quick transition from playing to coaching.
Later, Luke Stuckmeyer speaks with former Cub and 2016 World Series Champion Matt Szczur, whose painting of the final out from the 2016 World Series is catching eyes all over the internet (15:50). Szczur also details his role in helping Anthony Rizzo get going in the 2016 NLCS, and how he keeps in touch with all his former teammates.
When nothing happens in Vegas, it stays in Vegas. Luke, Kap and Tony talk about the Cubs lack of moves during the Winter Meetings
In this episode of The Cubs Talk Podcast with Luke Stuckmeyer, David Kaplan and Tony Andracki:
00:10 - What happen in Vegas stays in Vegas and this year that means nothing. Luke, Kap & Tony talk Cubs lack of moves at Winter Meetings.
00:50 - Where the heck is all the money? This was supposed to be a wide-open window - we step on the accelerator.
01:25 - Cubs keep throwing money at the problem (Chatwood, Darvish) and it has become a cautionary tale.
02:50 - Are the Cubs playing at the shallow end of the kiddie pool?
03:50 - Tony talks about the volatility of the relief market.
05:15 - Where is the bullpen market? Brewers are making moves, but it's still "crickets" for the Cubs
06:20 - Tony: Other than bullpen - Cubs have to address backup middle infielder most of all.
06:57 - Daniel Descalso rumors. Kap describes him as a grinder who fits the leadership mold.
07:47 - Luke is a little worried about Steve Cishek. He threw a career-high 70 innings last season
09:34 - The guys talk about the possibility of a "second deadline" for the Winter Meetings to force clubs to make more moves.
11:06 - Luke: "I wanted to see Machado and Harper walking down the strip and making it rain!"
12:45 - Cubs still have so much to address. Some Cubs fans are starting to get a little itchy. Teams in the division are making moves. What about us?
14:45 - Question: Is Anthony Rizzo the third-best 1st baseman in the Central Division?
15:50 - Prediction time: What's biggest move the Cubs will make before opening day? Kap believes that Ian Happ will not be a Cub before the regular season starts.
Tony Andracki goes 1-on-1 with manager Joe Maddon at the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas. The Cubs manager touches on his efforts to put art back into the game, his biggest challenge in 2019, the Cubs' sense of urgency and his thoughts about Matt Nagy and the Bears (:30).
Plus, we catch up with Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein, who discusses internal team leadership, whether or not the Cubs are close to a deal, and how Maddon is changing up his coaching style (5:45).
On the latest edition of the Cubs Talk Podcast, Luke Stuckmeyer, David Kaplan and Pro Football Weekly's (and lifelong Cub fan) Hub Arkush discuss the similarities of the Cubs' 2015 team to the 2018 Bears.
:45 Memories of their first Cubs game
3:30 Discussions with Bears Chairman George McCaskey about being a Cubs fan
4:15 Similarities between 2015 Cubs and 2018 Bears
5:45 Bringing in Joe Maddon vs Matt Nagy
8:00 Trades for Jake Arrieta and Khalil Mack
10:30 Rookies becoming stars: Bryant & Schwarber vs Smith & Miller
12:00 Who does Eddie Jackson compare to on the 2015 Cubs
14:00 Who is the Kyle Hendricks (under the radar) player on the Bears this year?
16:30 What do the Bears have to do this offseason?
18:30 How the Cubs will proceed this offseason
20:30 Chili Davis' comments on how coachable the Cubs players are
On the latest CubsTalk Podcast, country music artist Brett Eldredge joins Luke Stuckmeyer and Kelly Crull to talk about his Glow LIVE tour coming to Chicago and his love for the Chicago Cubs.
0:58 - Brett on Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting ceremony on November 28th
2:19 - GLOW Live in Chicago December 5th at the Chicago Theatre
3:17 - What gets Brett in the Christmas spirit
4:16 - How 'Wanna be that Song' music video at Wrigley Field came about
6:03 - Brett's relationship with former and current Cubs players
8:45 - How good of a musician is Anthony Rizzo?
9:28 - Why Brett skipped the CMA Awards for Game 7 of the World Series in 2016
10:43 - Flashback to NBC Sports Chicago interviewing him immediately after the final out in Cleveland
13:03 - Brett remembers his first game at Wrigley Field
14:53 - Thoughts on the upcoming 2019 season
15:56 - Thoughts on being back in Chicago for GLOW Live
16:46 - Cubs home opener perfect time for a trip back to Chicago?
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Luke Stuckmeyer and David Kaplan are joined by former Cub and current MLB Network Analyst Mark DeRosa.
01:08 - What does Mark see from this Cubs roster
02:30 - How difficult is it for a player to have to play multiple positions at the big league level?
06:10 - Is having too much talent an issue for Joe Maddon in terms of getting everyone playing time?
11:30 - Which Kris Bryant will show up in 2019?
13:30 - Is he surprised Joe Maddon is heading into the final year of his contract?
15:00 - Which former Cub does DeRosa think helped out Joe Maddon the most with other players
16:00 - Is a regular leadoff hitter overvalued?
18:40 - Are the Cubs still considered one of the elite teams in baseball?
Luke Stuckmeyer is joined by David Kaplan and Tony Andracki to discuss all the latest Cubs news, including what the Madison Bumgarner trade rumors mean for the North Siders (:40), whether you’d rather have Josh Donaldson or Cole Hamels for one year at a similar price (5:00), the potential for a new hierarchy in the National League (7:30), the loss of Jesse Chavez from the bullpen (9:30), and the latest update on the Addison Russell situation (12:30).
In this Thanksgiving-themed episode of the CubsTalk podcast, Luke Stuckmeyer, David Kaplan, and Tony Andracki discuss what they're most thankful for relating to the Cubs (1:00), with responses ranging from the upgrades at Wrigley Field to the hiring of Theo Epstein and Joe Maddon. Then, in a nod to Black Friday, our panel debates the best deals the Cubs have ever made (7:10), including trades for Sammy Sosa, Ryne Sandberg, Jake Arrieta, and more. Plus, Kap tells us how Harry Caray came to be the Cubs announcer after many years with the White Sox (15:00).
David Kaplan and Luke Stuckmeyer are joined by former Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry. In part 2, Hendry looks back at his favorite move he made as Cubs GM, on getting a World Series ring from the Cubs, and what future Hall of Famer Hendry was convinced could have been a Cub.
01:00 - How much pressure is put on a team after signing a big money free agent
02:30 - Why didn't it click with Kosuke Fukudome
04:00 - What was his favorite move he made as GM of the Cubs?
05:30 - What is the Winter Meetings like from a General Manager's perspective
09:10 - On signing Ted Lilly while Hendry was in the hospital
10:25 - On seeing the changes to Wrigley Field over the past few years
11:25 - On getting a World Series ring from the Cubs
13:30 - On one free agent he wished he would have signed
David Kaplan and Luke Stuckmeyer are joined by former Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry. In part 1, Hendry looks back at some of the players he drafted during his time with the Cubs and getting a deal done with Theo Epstein at the trade deadline in 2004.
00:45 - What he does now for the Yankees
02:30 - How involved is a GM with drafting a player
04:30 - Looking back at the drafting of Javier Baez
05:45 - What made Javier Baez so appealing as a draft pick
09:00 - Josh Donaldson moving to 3rd base after the Cubs drafted him
11:45 - On having to trade prospects at the trade deadline to put the team over the edge for a postseason spot
13:10 - Looking back at the 2004 3-way deadline trade that brought Nomar Garciapara to the Cubs
14:35 - On Willson Contreras' growth in the Cubs organization
16:40 - On going over budget to sign Starlin Castro
17:20 - Carlos Zambrano's growth within the Cubs organization
19:10 - How good could Gleyber Torres be?
Luke Stuckmeyer, David Kaplan and Tony Andracki break down the Kris Bryant trade rumors..
01:00 - How much truth is there to the "Will Kris Bryant be traded" story?
04:25 - Is there any package a team could offer that would give the Cubs what they value Kris Bryant at?
05:35 - Who is the most untouchable player on the Cubs roster?
08:55 - Will Kris Bryant be in Chicago long enough to wear a Cubs hat if he makes it to Cooperstown?
12:00 - Is Nolan Aranado a match in a possible trade for Bryant
16:00 - If MVP is Bryant's ceiling, what is his floor?
17:00 - Any players who had a shoulder issue like Bryant had who never bounced back?
19:00 - Would a Noah Syndergard for Kris Bryant trade make sense?
20:20 - Could Josh Donaldson be a target for the Cubs?
21:00 - Is all this Bryant talk much ado about nothing
Luke Stuckmeyer, Kelly Crull and David Kaplan react to Scott Boras opening up the Bryce Harper sweepstakes, and debate whether Harper would be a fit for the Cubs at this point. Then, “the distinguished Canadian hurler,” aka former Cub Ryan Dempster, joins the pod to discuss a wide variety of topics, including Yu Darvish, the role of pitching coaches, and John Lackey’s retirement party.
1:15 – Scott Boras’ comments on Bryce Harper from the GM meetings
3:00 – If you were a player, would you want Boras to be your agent?
6:15 – Would you rather spend $300 million on an ace, or an everyday player?
7:30 – Ryan Dempster joins the pod
8:10 – Dempster discusses his former teammate, Yu Darvish
9:15 – Changing expectations for the Cubs
10:40 – Biggest needs this offseason
12:10 – The role of pitching coaches
14:00 – Do the Cubs need another superstar?
16:05 – How young players adjust to coaching staff upheaval
17:40 – Stories from John Lackey’s retirement party
Luke Stuckmeyer, David Kaplan, and Mark Potash get you ready for this week’s GM meetings by discussing big-name free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. The trio also debates the excitement of signing a marquee player against the long-term ramifications, and reacts to Javier Baez not winning a Gold Glove award.
:50 - are baseball's GM meetings actually productive?
2:50 - excitement of signings vs long-term ramifications
4:05 - big-money deals for Harper or Machado?
5:50 - should Cubs fans be worried about White Sox getting Machado or Harper?
8:50 - are the Cardinals legitimate threats to sign Harper?
10:20 - how important is the situation vs money?
12:40 - what's the value of defense in today's game?
15:25 - Gold Gloves discussion
17:40 - how much value should Cubs place on defense up the middle?
What are the scariest moments in Cubs history? Where does Rajai Davis’ home run, Steve Bartman’s foul ball and Kris Bryant’s hit-by-pitch rank? Plus, with the end of the Cubs championship window now in sight, is that haunting what the Cubs do this winter?
David Kaplan, Luke Stuckmeyer and Tony Andracki debate these topics and more, including how to give the Cubs lineup stability, Jason Heyward’s contract, Kyle Schwarber’s trade value and the need for a leadoff hitter.
:45 – Scariest Cubs moments
4:45 – Brewers talkin’ smack
5:45 – Closing of Cubs’ championship window haunting this offseason?
10:05 – How do the Cubs achieve lineup stability?
13:26 – Leadoff woes
15:06 – Should Albert Almora Jr. be the everyday centerfielder?
17:26 – Do the Cubs have too much position player depth?
20:06 – Kyle Schwarber’s trade value
21:56 – Jason Heyward’s salary
24:56 – Favorite Halloween candy
Bryce Harper (2:00, 3:55) and Manny Machado (5:40) are both about to be set up for life with the contracts they'll sign this winter but does that mean they're worth the exorbitant amount of money they're going to get? And is it worth it to the Cubs to pay that much for one player? (7:10)
David Kaplan, Luke Stuckmeyer and Tony Andracki debate and provide a comprehensive preview of what may be in store for the Cubs this offseason (14:20).
With the MLB offseason about to kick off, we run down the boldest predictions for the Cubs winter from around the NBC Sports Chicago content team. Topics include where Bryce Harper and Manny Machado will sign, how much money they’ll get, what the Cardinals will do this winter, Cubs offseason trades and how Theo Epstein’s front office may add to the pitching staff.
3:10 Will Sammy Sosa be welcomed back into the Cubs family?
4:10 Anthony Rizzo receives wedding gifts via social media
5:50 Joe Girardi's status for the 2018 season
6:30 How much will Machado and Harper sign for and will it be with the Cubs and will Machado become a special member of the Cubs "family"
7:50 Kap: 'Kyle Schwarber has played his final game in a Cubs uniform'
9:05 Could Josh Donaldson be coming to the north side?
10:25 Will David Ross be on the Cubs coaching staff in 2019?
11:30 Is Andrew McCutchen a target for the Cubs in free agency?
13:55 Could the Cubs trade Jose Quintana?
15:25 Is Andrew Miller a target for Theo and Jed?
17:30 A familar name to be the new leadoff hitter
21:10 Who will lead the Cubs in saves in 2019?
23:00 What will the Cardinals do to keep up with the Cubs and Brewers in the NL Central?
24:00 Will the Brewers fall prey to the "Chuck Tanner Rule?"
Did Manny Machado’s value take a hit at all after he openly admitted hustling isn’t his “cup of tea”? Our Cubs team (David Kaplan, Kelly Crull, Tony Andracki, Jeff Nelson) debate that, plus the potential fit of Machado or Bryce Harper for the 2019 Cubs and beyond.
The crew also runs down the top items on the Cubs’ offseason wish list – ranging from bullpen help to infield depth to a set leadoff hitter – in what may be the most impactful winter in Theo Epstein’s tenure in Chicago.
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, David Kaplan, Kelly Crull, Luke Stuckmeyer and Tony Andracki discuss the comments Chili Davis made after being fired as Cubs hitting coach, ask if the Cubs struggles on offense were Davis' fault or the players and Anthony Iapoce will be walking into as he tries to gets the team back on track a the plate.
Kelly Crull, Tony Andracki and Vinnie Duber recap and analyze Theo Epstein’s end-of-season press conference in which the Cubs president of baseball operations addressed topics such as Joe Maddon’s managing, the team’s season-long offensive woes, Addison Russell’s suspension and looking ahead to the franchise’s offseason. Plus, Luke Stuckmeyer and David DeJesus join Mark Schanowski to discuss potential shifts in the Cubs 2019 roster.
The Cubs had strong reactions to their shocking exit from the postseason after only one game, losing a hard-fought game to the Rockies. Listen to reaction from Javy Baez and Jon Lester and hear from Kelly Crull, Luke Stuckmeyer and Tony Andracki as they break down what went wrong and what's next for this team.
David DeJesus and David Kaplan kick things off by previewing the Cubs-Rockies Wild Card Game. Then hear what Joe Maddon and some Cubs players have to say about the crucial game. Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki report from Wrigley on the state of the Cubs.
Could the Cubs eliminate the Cardinals from postseason contention for the third time in the past four years? They have a chance to do so this weekend in what figures to be the most intense Cubs-Cards series since the 2015 NLDS.
Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki break down the final weekend of the season, provide updates on Pedro Strop and Kris Bryant and analyze where this team - especially the offense - is at right now.
The Cubs reduced their magic number to 5 Sunday behind another stellar outing from Kyle Hendricks and a second straight game of encouraging offense from Kyle Schwarber. The emergence of the Kyles at the most critical point in the season should come as no surprise for two guys who have built their reputations as big-game performers, but what they’re doing right now is huge entering the final week of the season.
Meanwhile, Kris Bryant’s balky left shoulder is a talking point yet again. Is there any level of concern regarding the health of the Cubs superstar with October right around the corner? Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki discuss.
Is Joe Maddon the NL Manager of the Year? Is Javy Báez the NL MVP? Who makes the postseason roster out of David Bote, Tommy La Stella, Ian Happ and Terrance Gore? Will Dillon Maples carve out a role in the October bullpen?
Our Cubs crew (David Kaplan, Tony Andracki and Jeff Nelson) address these topics and more in the latest Cubs Talk Podcast with only 10 days remaining in the regular season.
Tony Andracki and Jared Wyllys recap the Cubs-Reds weekend series at Wrigley Field, culminating in a one-run loss Sunday afternoon. Between Willson Contreras pimping his double and Daniel Murphy getting thrown out in a key spot, the Cubs baserunning issues were on full display in a game they could’ve won and taken advantage of a Brewers loss to add more room in the tight division race.
Plus, hear from Joe Maddon and Contreras himself on the reaction the Cubs manager called “horrible.”
The Cubs are in the midst of a 30-day stretch with no off-days and still have a week left, clinging to only a one-game lead in the NL Central after dropping the series to the Brewers at Wrigley Field this week. Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki run down where the team is at mentally and physically right now, plus what they can do moving forward to turn around the issues on offense and in the bullpen.
David Kaplan and David DeJesus join forces to discuss the most worrisome things surrounding the Cubs as the Brewers come to town for a three-game series. What do players think when they see a team get hot late, like Milwaukee has? Plus, the effect Daniel Murphy has made at the top of lineup.
David Kaplan, Kelly Crull and Luke Stuckmeyer discuss the state of the Cubs with only 23 games left in the regular season and the importance of the crosstown series in late September. Plus, is Kris Bryant a long-term player at third or in the outfield? What is the optimal lineup to run out in a key game down the stretch, and is a designated closer a key part of that?
With September approaching, David Kaplan and Tony Andracki discuss the biggest issues facing the Cubs at the moment, including the health status of guys like Kris Bryant and Brandon Morrow. Is this bullpen good enough to win if Morrow can’t return to health and his dominant form? How good should fans feel about the rotation moving in September and October? What does the trade for a new veteran catcher say about the status of Willson Contreras and Victor Caratini in the final month of the season? Is this team good enough to win a World Series right now?
Daniel Murphy sits down for a 1-on-1 interview with Kelly Crull and talks about the Launch Angle Revolution, how he’s changed and developed as a hitter over time and what his first week with the Cubs has been like.
Crull and Tony Andracki also discuss the Cubs feeling like they’re getting their mojo back after a nice five-game win streak, but they know they have a huge test in front of them over the next couple of weeks as reinforcements like Kris Bryant work toward rejoining the roster.
With Tuesday’s news that the Cubs acquired Daniel Murphy and will be without Yu Darvish’s services for the remainder of the season, how does that affect the roster moving into the final month of the season? How much will the Cubs be able to count on Kris Bryant? How does Murphy fit in the picture for the Cubs’ potential playoff roster and lineup? Will Darvish even be ready to go in 2019?
Kelly Crull, Luke Stuckmeyer and Tony Andracki answer these questions and more on the latest CubsTalk Podcast, plus a special bonus take on Cole Hamels’ future with the club.
For the first time in almost two weeks, the Cubs offense started to look more like the team we know they can be in Wednesday afternoon's victory over the Brewers. But when will the starting rotation follow? Kyle Hendricks pitched better than his stat line once again, but it's getting late in the season to continue to use that rationale for any Cubs starter.
Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki break down the Cubs-Brewers series and Kelly sits down with David Bote for a 1-on-1 chat about his whirlwind week. Leila Rahimi also catches up with MLB Network's Dan Plesac to get his thoughts on Javy Báez's place in the NL MVP race, how the Central division is shaping up and X-factors for the Cubs and Brewers down the stretch.
Tony Andracki, Kelly Crull, Matt Buckman, and Jon Graff break down a wild weekend set against the Nationals. We discuss David Bote becoming a household name, Cole Hamels continuing the stellar start to his Cubs career, and Kris Bryant finally feeling pain free.
Plus once the 2016 MVP returns to the lineup, what does that mean for Bote’s playing time?
The Cubs were back in Chicago for a quick four-game homestand against one of the worst teams in the National League, but the North Siders only managed to win two of the games – barely. The series ended on a bad note with Anthony Rizzo getting in the face with home plate umpire Angel Hernandez, but the weekend in general shined a light on some of the biggest concerns surrounding this Cubs team.
Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki discuss the issues with Jon Lester, the Cubs bullpen and how badly the team needs its injured stars – Kris Bryant, Yu Darvish, Brandon Morrow – back and performing at their best as the season moves to the Dog Days of August.
The Cubs went out and added three pitchers to their staff before the trade deadline Tuesday while the Pirates and Brewers made waves at the last minute. With all that pitching in tow now, do the Cubs have enough to mitigate the recent rash of injuries and hold off both NL Central rivals?
David Kaplan, Luke Stuckmeyer and Tony Andracki break it down while also providing their picks for the most important Cubs player for the second half. Plus, Kaplan and Doug Glanville predict what Cole Hamels’ Cubs debut may look like.
Will Yu Darvish pitch again for the Cubs this season? Jon Graff, David Kaplan, and Doug Glanville discuss Darvish’s status going forward and respond to Alex Rodriguez’s critical comments on Yu during Sunday Night Baseball.
Plus the guys talk about the final piece(s) the Cubs may add before the trade deadline passes and Jon Lester’s advice for athletes using twitter.
Tony Andracki is joined by Phil Barnes, the senior editor of Vine Line, to break down the Cubs-Cardinals 5-game series at Wrigley Field that kicked off the second half of the 2018 MLB season.
The main takeaways from the weekend included an up-close look at a Cubs starting rotation is still struggling to find their footing almost 2/3 of the way through the season.
The Cubs lineup and bullpen continue to be the saving grace of the team with the NL's best record and run differential, but there are serious question marks moving forward on the depth of the relievers as well as waiting for Kris Bryant to return to MVP form.
NBC Sports Chicago’s own Kelly Crull and videographer Scott Changnon recalled what All-Star week in the nations capitol was like from their point of view.
Where does MLB Network's Dan Plesac place the Cubs in his current power rankings and what's the key to their World Series dreams? Plus, which three star athletes mix to make Javier Baez? The conductor of the Big Blue train is back for a mid-summer breakdown of the Northsiders with Luke Stuckmeyer on this edition of the Cubs Talk Podcast presented by Wintrust.
Kelly Crull spoke with both Javy Baez and Kyle Schwarber after an electric and entertaining show they put on at the 2018 Home Run Derby in Washington, DC.
David DeJesus, Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki discuss Kyle Schwarber’s bid for the Home Run Derby alongside teammate Javy Baez and explain why Cubs fans shouldn’t worry about the possible negative effects on either player’s swing.
Will the Cubs have any tricks up their sleeves as Jon Lester and Willson Contreras watch their teammates swing for the fences? Plus, the crew discusses what they’d like to see from Baez and Schwarber next week and how to drum up more interest in the All-Star festivities moving forward.
Luke Stuckmeyer and Matt Buckman are joined by Mick Gillispie, the voice of the Tennessee Smokies, to discuss Kris Bryant’s rehab stint and his thoughts on Bryant not making his 2nd consecutive All Star game.
He also provides a scouting report on some very interesting pitching prospects on the AA team including Monday’s winning pitcher, Matt Swarmer.
David Kaplan, David DeJesus and Doug Glanville discuss what's next after Yu Darvish's latest setback.
Doug Glanville, David DeJesus and Tony Andracki discuss whether or not Javy Baez should enter the Home Run Derby in D.C. next month. His swing is built for it and he oozes swag, but could the event cause him to slump or wear down as the Cubs enter the stretch run toward the postseason?
Kelly Crull, Luke Stuckmeyer and Tony Andracki analyze the Cubs’ recent rash of injuries and what it means for the team moving forward.
Is there a silver lining to Kris Bryant’s first career trip to the disabled list? Does Yu Darvish have a major mental hurdle to get over before he can return? Either way, it’s a good thing the season is only half over.
David Kaplan and Matt Buckman are joined by Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register to get the full scouting report on Duane Underwood Jr. ahead of his Major League Debut in Los Angeles.
Birch talks about Underwood’s early innings struggles, his rise to the big leagues, his stuff, and of course his command which has left him at times this season.
The Cubs have been a different team the last six weeks, looking a lot more like the resilient bunch from 2016 than the sluggish 2017 squad that lacked energy. After some wacky circumstances Monday and a tough loss in Game 1 of Tuesday’s doubleheader, the Cubs came out and showed what they’re made of in the last two games of the series against the Dodgers, the team that knocked them out of postseason play last fall.
Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki sum up the longest short homestand (or shortest long homestand?), updating the status of Yu Darvish, Brandon Morrow, the Cubs pitching staff and how the team is rounding into form as the season’s halfway mark approaches.
On the latest CubsTalk Podcast Scott Changnon and Tony Andracki discuss the state of the Cubs offense, the value of Javy Baez and Addison Russell and what it means now that the starting rotation looks to be finding its form.
The Cubs head to St. Louis this weekend firmly in second place in the National League Central after dropping 2 of 3 to the Brewers in Milwaukee where they didn’t score a run for the final 18 innings. What’s going on with the offense? Is it time to start panicking about the lack of power? What more does Mike Montgomery need to do to stick in the rotation?
Kelly Crull, Jon Graff and Tony Andracki discuss these topics plus a couple under-the-radar reasons why the series may have turned after the Cubs’ big win Monday night.
JJ Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago and Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald look at an important week ahead for the Cubs with series in Milwaukee and St. Louis. They wonder if it really feels like the Cubs are a dozen games over .500 with 100 games left in the season.
Kelly Crull sits down with Jake Arrieta to discuss his emotions during his return to Wrigley Field. Jake talks about missing out on facing his former team and reuniting with all his buddies.
Plus, Kelly chats with Brennen Davis, the Cubs' second round pick of the MLB draft.
A discussion with NBC Sports Chicago Cubs content braintrust Jeff Nelson, Scott Changnon, Nate Poppen, Jon Graff and Tony Andracki on how to consume the rest of the Cubs’ 2018 season with increased expectations surrounding the team. Is the Cubs fanbase spoiled? Is it OK for fans to ride the daily roller coaster even if players and coaches don’t?
A discussion with Doug Glanville, David DeJesus, Kelly Crull, Luke Stuckmeyer and Tony Andracki on how to consume the rest of the Cubs’ 2018 season with increased expectations surrounding the team. Is the Cubs fanbase spoiled? Is it OK for fans to ride the daily roller coaster even if players and coaches don’t?
Albert Almora Jr. joins Kelly Crull on the CubsTalk Podcast to weigh in on a variety of topics, including his budding bromance with rumored Cubs target Manny Machado, his expanded role and how he spends his time off away from the ballpark. Plus, Almora has a surprise pick for the organization’s unsung hero, stating the Cubs would’ve never won the World Series without this guy.
Luke Stuckmeyer, David Kaplan, and Doug Glanville break down a solid 4-2 road trip for the Cubs. Plus who would you rather have long-term: Bryce Harper or Manny Machado?
Siera Santos, Kelly Crull, and David DeJesus go into the audio archives to break down the biggest games for the Cubs in Cincinnati. David DeJesus gives us his top 3 ballgames with such gems as The Schwarber Game, The Kris Bryant Game, Starlin Castro’s debut, and Jake Arrieta’s 2nd no hitter.
David Kaplan, Chris Kamka and Tony Andracki discuss the latest rumors that the Cubs could emerge as frontrunners to trade for Manny Machado, but if any deal like that came to fruition, how could the Cubs reasonably part with Addison Russell for only a few months of Machado? The panel debates whether the Cubs should take the risk or not and if there would be some possible way to acquire Machado without having to throw in Russell.
Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki break down the Cubs’ 5-2 homestand where they easily could’ve gone 7-0. As the team heads on a road trip to Atlanta and Cincinnati, Kelly and Tony weigh in on the underlying problems that face the 2018 Cubs and could spell doom down the line if they aren’t corrected.
On a positive note, the offense looked fantastic the whole week at Wrigley with Willson Contreras, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo all heating up.
In honor of the Crosstown Classic, Chuck Garfien and David Kaplan are joined by Ozzie Guillen and David DeJesus to discuss the Cubs-White Sox series.
Guillen and DeJesus tell stories of their playing days, what their crosstown experience was like, and share their favorite memories.
Guillen also recalls a radio incident with Mike North of 670 The Score at the time after a crosstown game in May 2007, when he was the manager for the White Sox. You don't want to miss what happened in the aftermath.
The Cubs swept the Marlins at Wrigley Field scoring double-digits in two of the three wins. David Kaplan, Jeff Nelson, and Tony Andracki break down the much needed home cooking and look ahead to the Crosstown showdown with the White Sox.
The Cubs were just swept in a weekend series in St. Louis, with the last two games coming on walk-off home runs. This is easily the lowest point in the 2018 season, with breakdowns in every facet of the game, including head-scratching defensive woes and an anemic offense that hasn't hit well for two weeks.
Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times joins Tony Andracki on the CubsTalk Podcast to break down the latest happenings with the Cubs, but don't worry fans, there is reason for optimism.
David Kaplan hosts this episode alongside David DeJesus and Jeff Nelson. The guys talk about the incredible streak Cubs starting pitching has been on over the last week. Plus, what's up with Anthony Rizzo's struggles? Finally, they discuss the new dugouts at Wrigley.
Kris Bryant is out of the lineup for the fourth straight game Friday afternoon after getting hit in the face with a 96 mph pitch Sunday in Colorado. Is there any cause for long-term concern? Doug Glanville, Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki discuss the latest with Bryant, who is making some changes to his in-game protection after this incident. Plus, Glanville explains how a player gets over the mental hurdle after a traumatic experience like this and steps back into the box to face 97-98 mph pitches on a regular basis.
David Kaplan, Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki sit down and discuss Cubs star Javy Baez and his transformation from Puerto Rican HS star to MLB star and the trials and tribulations he has faced and still faces as one of baseball's flashiest players.
It was a wild week in the world of Cubdom that included wacky weather, a comeback for the ages, some drama with the Pirates and a debate about who should be the leadoff hitter - Ian Happ or Albert Almora Jr. The NBC Sports Chicago crew of David Kaplan, Kelly Crull, Leila Rahimi and Tony Andracki break down all things Cubs and give their prediction on how the next week will play out.
David Kaplan and David DeJesus recap Yu Darvish’s Wrigley Field debut and try to figure out what’s wrong with the newly signed pitcher. Should he focus on his fastball or slider? Plus, the guys discuss the Javy Baez-Clint Hurdle back-and-forth after Joe Maddon weighed in.`
Doug Glanville, Leila Rahimi and Jon Graff are joined by Tony Andracki at Wrigley Field after Javy Baez unloads on the Pirates Manager.
Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki break down the Cubs’ four-game series against the Marlins to open the 2018 season, including the finale Sunday in which the Cubs were shut out despite having a fantastic day at the plate. Plus, what is there to make of the pitching staff so far with a lack of length from the starters and a surprising stress on the bullpen?
What positives are there to take with this team as they head into Cincinnati for a brief two-game series with the Reds?
David Kaplan, Kelly Crull, Tony Andracki and Jon Graff get together to preview the Cubs' 2018 season while providing their predictions for how the season will play out.
Will the Cubs win the division and if so, by how many games? Will Kyle Schwarber hit more than 30 homers? Who will be the Cubs' team MVP? What starting pitcher will emerge as the team's ace by season's end?
After acquiring free agent starters Yu Darvish and Tyler Chatwood, do the 2018 Cubs have the best rotation in Chicago baseball history? Dan Plesac from MLB Network joins Luke Stuckmeyer on the latest CubsTalk Podcast to discuss that and more before the season starts on Thursday.
Between more power in the rotation and more strike-throwing in the bullpen, the Cubs were decisive in how they wanted to remake their pitching staff entering the 2018 season. GM Jed Hoyer sits down with David Kaplan to explain the thought process of the front office over the winter.
Anthony Rizzo sits down with The Kapman and dishes on such topics as the tough times facing his hometown, World Series expectations in 2018, how this Cubs team compares to the Blackhawks dynasty and his shocking pick for the Cubs pitcher with the best stuff.
With Jake Arrieta inking a three-year deal worth $75 million, should the Cubs have tried for that same contract for the 2015 NL Cy Young Winner? Or are the Cubs still in a perfect spot with the Yu Darvish deal?
Plus, who will be the Cubs’ 2018 MVP and what will the exact Opening Day lineup look like?
Just three weeks away from opening and Jake Arrieta needs a home. Who’s the leader in the clubhouse to sign the former Cubs CY Young Award winner?
Jon Graff, Chris Kamka and Kelly Crull are weighing the odds for Arrieta’s potential landing spot with the help of Bovada’s Head Oddsmaker Pat Morrow.
(Courtesy of Bovada.lv)
Who will Jake Arietta sign his next MLB contract with?
Milwaukee Brewers 7/4
Washington Nationals 5/2
San Diego Padres 11/4
Philadelphia Phillies 9/2
Minnesota Twins 8/1
How will Joe Maddon find enough playing time for everybody in the Cubs lineup in 2018? With Ian Happ doing his best to force the issue, does that mean Jason Heyward could find himself on the bench more often?
David Kaplan, Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki discuss the Cubs’ roster puzzle – from the lineup to the bullpen to the potential for a six-man starting rotation. Plus, the crew gives its take on where and when Jake Arrieta finally signs with a team.
The Cubs super rotation has been set and Jon Lester receives the honor of starting opening day. David Kaplan and Kelly Crull discuss if the Cubs starting 5 is not only the best in franchise history, but the best in baseball right now.
Plus after watching Joe Maddon’s crew up close and personal for 2 weeks in Mesa, Kelly discusses the refreshed focus and hunger the Cubs are displaying on a daily basis
Spring training baseball games are up around the bend, but before boys of summer get into organized action Kelly Crull sat down with 2 of the team’s new coaches Chili Davis and Jim Hickey.
Vinnie Duber joined Kelly to discuss these baseball conversations including the memorable first words of Kyle Schwarber to Chili Davis, “I don’t suck!”
Jon Lester has arrived at Cubs camp, and he’s pleased with the new-look rotation full of potential aces. Kelly Crull and Vinnie Duber discuss the 5-man unit, and where Mike Montgomery fits into the Cubs’ plans.
Plus, Kelly and Vinnie talk Jason Heyward and Kyle Schwarber, along with the continuing free agent stalemate surrounding Jake Arrieta.
Day 2 is in the books and Cubs players continue to react to the acquisition of Yu Darvish. Kelly Crull and Jesse Rogers discuss the Yu Darvish effect and the fact that teammates and coaches believe the best of Darvish is yet to come.
Plus the odd-man out in the starting rotation Mike Montgomery deals with losing his opportunity to be a regular member of the Starting 5.
A brand new era is underway for the Chicago Cubs after introducing Yu Darvish the new ace of their staff. Kelly Crull, Jesse Rogers, and David Kaplan give their instant reaction to the newly signed 6-year contract.
Kelly and Jesse take a deep dive into the financials that help ink the Cubs new strikeout machine, and The Kapman talks about the massive chip that Darvish has on his shoulder after his subpar World Series performance.
“There Yu go Cub Fans!” that’s what Jim Deshaies tweeted after learning the Cubs agreed to a deal with Yu Darvish. The NBC Sports Chicago Cubs color analyst joins David Kaplan and Jon Graff to discuss the major move made by Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer.
JD also discusses his top storylines for the Cubs entering spring training including who will be the Cubs everyday centerfielder.
Plus in our entertaining lighting round, Jim talks about who will start opening day, who will be the team MVP, and if a hot dog is a sandwich.
Who are the Top 5 Cubs players of your lifetime? David Kaplan, Kelly Crull, Tony Andracki and Jon Graff provide their lists, with names like Sammy Sosa, Mark Grace, Andre Dawson, Ryne Sandberg and Ernie Banks cracking the list.
How would this list look 20 years in the future? The panel also tries to predict the Top 5 Cubs of all-time if the list were being made in 2038.
Frederic - aka the Cubs' Director of Morale (DOM) - takes part in the first edition of #BattleKap, debating David Kaplan on all things Cubs, from Jason Heyward to Jake Arrieta to Yu Darvish to Kyle Schwarber.
With the Hall of Fame taking the baseball world by storm, the trio of David Kaplan, Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki discuss who might be the next Cubs player to enter the game's most prestigious club.
Another week has gone by and still no flurry of signings in Major League Baseball. The Cubs have added some catching depth, but beyond that, their roster appears set until the top three pitchers on the market – Jake Arrieta, Yu Darvish and Alex Cobb – finally reach an agreement with a team.
But will that happen before spring training? And are the Cubs guaranteed to get one of those top starters? David Kaplan, Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki weigh in on the latest CubsTalk Podcast, while also delivering a couple bold predictions for the season ahead.
ESPN’s Jesse Rogers stops by the CubsTalk Podcast to chat with Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki about his new book on Joe Maddon. The trio also debate whether Maddon’s tactics get stale and how the new coaching staff will affect the season.
Plus, who should hit leadoff? Fans are all in on Albert Almora Jr., but that might not be the best option. And whose side do you take in the Willson Contreras-Yadier Molina tiff?
The NBCS Chicago Cubs team of Kelly Crull, Tony Andracki, Jon Graff, Matt Buckman and Scott Changnon rattle off their main takeaways from the weekend’s Cubs Convention, including the funniest moments and how the players engaged with fans and each other throughout the three days at the Sheraton Grand Chicago.
Plus, which players – besides Kyle Schwarber – made the most of the offseason and primed for a breakout in 2018? The crew gives their take, with options including Albert Almora Jr., Ian Happ and Jason Heyward.
Did the Cubs really offer Jake Arrieta $110 million? Is Alex Cobb truly searching for an $80 million deal? Are the Miami Marlins out of their minds with what they want for Christian Yelich?
David Kaplan, Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki discuss these rumors and more from the coldest offseason in recent memory. The trio also chat about baseball's luxury tax and who will cave first - the owners or the agents/players.
Is the slow-moving market playing right into the Cubs' favor? Should the Cubs extend themselves and give Jake Arrieta an extra year on a contract just to keep him from going to a rival? Should Javy Baez and Addison Russell switch positions for the 2018 season?
A panel of David Kaplan, Tony Andracki, Scott Changnon, Nate Poppen and Eric Strobel discuss those topics and more on the latest CubsTalk Podcast.
Jon Graff, Eric Strobel and Luke Stuckmeyer are joined by Len Kasper to wrap up 2017. The voice of the Cubs discusses the lukewarm Hot Stove, the Cubs’ pitching additions, the mental fortitude of Kyle Schwarber, and whether the recent World Series triumphs on the North Side and in Houston will impact the current White Sox rebuild.
Plus, Len has a deep cut for his favorite moment of 2017 and also gives us his lightning-round predictions for the 2018 season.
Cubs broadcaster Jim Deshaies stops by the CubsTalk Podcast to break down the Cubs’ pitching moves this offseason and why he believes the starting rotation will feature five guys who could all wind up as the ace of the staff in 2018.
Plus, Deshaies chats with Kelly Crull, Tony Andracki and Jon Graff about being reunited with one of his former minor-league teammates with the Cubs and how he dodged an emotional bullet during the World Series this fall.
Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki discuss the impact of the Marlins' trades and daydream on how Christian Yelich would be a perfect fit atop the Cubs order if Miami ever decided to move him. Plus, where do the Cubs stand with free agent pitchers and is a Wade Davis return still possible?
Crull also chats 1-on-1 with MLB super-agent Scott Boras about Jake Arrieta's value and how to navigate a slow-moving free agent market.
Tony Andracki and Kelly Crull break down where Brandon Morrow and Drew Smyly fit in the Cubs' pitching plans while Kyle Schwarber craziness reaches new heights. Peter Gammons and Bob Nightengale weigh Schwarber’s trade value and how likely it may be that the Cubs could secure a Chris Archer, Gerrit Cole or Michael Fulmer this winter. Nightengale also explains how Brandon Morrow could fill an Andrew Miller-esque role for the Cubs.
Plus, Cubs manager Joe Maddon stops by the CubsTalk Podcast to chat with Kelly about his offseason gameplan and why he’s still such a staunch believer in rest even when away from baseball.
MLB Network’s Dan Plesac stops by the CubsTalk Podcast to discuss Kyle Schwarber’s trade value, how the Cubs can solve their pitching deficiencies and why Wade Davis should still be on their radar even after the soon-to-be-official signing of Brandon Morrow.
Plus, Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki break down why they are now even more convinced Schwarber won’t be traded, how far the Cubs got in Giancarlo Stanton talks, why Kyle Hendricks was part of the Shohei Ohtani recruiting package and how the 2018 bullpen may look.
David Kaplan and Eric Strobel are joined by Tampa Bay Times beat writer Marc Topkin to discuss potential Cubs pitching targets Alex Cobb and Chris Archer. Topkin also reveals why new Cubs pitching coach Jim Hickey is known as a sorcerer within baseball circles. Plus, Kap and Eric break down the Cubs’ pursuit of coveted Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani, and debate whether the Cubs have a better shot at landing him than many might think.
In addition, Kelly Crull is joined by John Harper of the New York Daily News who has proposed a potential trade sending Kyle Schwarber to the Bronx. Plus, we break down the field as the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes begins to wind down.
USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale stops by the CubsTalk Podcast with David Kaplan and Tony Andracki to discuss the Cubs’ chances at landing Theo Epstein’s White Whale: Shohei Ohtani. Would the 23-year-old Japanese phenom fit on a National League team?
Plus, Nightengale hands out MLB comparisons for Ohtani, including a former Cub icon in terms of the young lefty’s bat.
In the latest CubsTalk Podcast, Kelly Crull and David Kaplan look ahead to Thanksgiving and discuss the official coaching hires for the Cubs. They also talk about where the Cubs go from here with Jake Arrieta and Wade Davis, whether Alex Cobb could factor into the rotation plans and Kap goes off on the 11:30 a.m. Opening Day start time.
GM Jed Hoyer stops by the CubsTalk Podcast to chat about the Cubs coaching staff, offseason trade rumors and why this is such a big winter for the future of the franchise after 2017 left a bad taste in everybody's mouths at Wrigley Field.
Plus, is John Lackey a good fit for the Cubs' 2018 starting rotation and should we forget about that Jason Heyward-to-the-Giants buzz?
What are the realistic chances David Ross or Ozzie Guillen becomes the Cubs’ next bench coach? What would it take to get Chris Archer pitching in a Cubs uniform? Can the Cubs actually trade Jason Heyward’s full contract this winter and get pitching in return? Is the door shut on Jake Arrieta returning to Chicago?
The NBC Sports Chicago crew tackles these questions, with David Kaplan, Kelly Crull, Patrick Mooney, Jeff Nelson and Tony Andracki giving their take on what has already been a weird offseason and what figures to an absolutely nuts winter.
With Joe Girardi out of a job in New York, could he ever manager again in Chicago? And how does his availability affect Cubs bench coach Davey Martinez in his bid for a manager gig somewhere? Do these Cubs coaching changes reflect more heavily on Joe Maddon moving forward?
Is Bryce Harper coming to the Cubs in two years or is he just a big flirt? Who are the Cubs most likely to trade of their young position players?
Patrick Mooney, Jeff Nelson and Tony Andracki attempt to answer all these questions as the Cubs offseason ramps up intensity.
Kelly Crull, Patrick Mooney and Tony Andracki close the book on the 2017 Cubs season following Theo Epstein’s press conference, looking back at what will go down as the craziest calendar year in Cubs history from last November through the team’s loss in the NLCS this October.
Moving forward, where do guys like Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora Jr., Justin Wilson and Mike Montgomery fit? Will the Cubs re-sign Wade Davis or go after another proven closer? And how worried should fans be about the offense that completely disappeared in the postseason?
Patrick Mooney and Tony Andracki analyze the Cubs' sub-optimal position in the NLCS, down two games to none to the Dodgers with a lack of offense and a struggling bullpen. Plus, what was Joe Maddon thinking with his lineup and bullpen decisions in the first two games of the series? And what is really going with Wade Davis?
Kelly Crull, Luke Stuckmeyer and Tony Andracki do their best to try to make sense of what will go down as one of the craziest, weirdest games in baseball history. What were the moments that each reporter will remember for the rest of their lives? Who were some of the underrated heroes that helped the Cubs advance to their third straight NLCS?
Plus, did Joe Maddon really win it for the Cubs in the NLDS or did Dusty Baker truly lose it for his team? The trio analyzes that question and looks ahead to a date with the Dodgers in Hollywood.
Patrick Mooney, Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki break down all the news ahead of the Cubs-Nationals NLDS showdown beginning Friday night in Washington D.C.
The Cubs rotation is set, but how will that impact the series? Have fans seen the last of Jake Arrieta in a Cubs uniform? Are the Nationals fully healthy with question marks surrounding Bryce Harper and Max Scherzer?
Plus, the trio gives their X-factors for the series for both teams.