RIP Ron Santo, Cubs Legend

I’d often wince at the thought of Ron Santo leaving us in the middle of a Cubs Mets game at New York, in one of the late innings when Carlos Marmol or [fill-in-the-blank] inevitably loads the basis before retiring the side and saving the game.

Obviously this would not be an ideal situation and certainly was not what I hoped for. But it came as quite a disappointment when I heard, early this morning, that Santo passed from complications from a recurrence of bladder cancer at age 70.

I really thought he’d be around to see the Cubs finally win it all. Of course I imagine a Cubs championship as a likelihood every spring, only to have my heartbroken by August and inevitably lose interest in baseball altogether by the time the Wrigley Field ivy starts turning colors. But there were definitely a few seasons over the past decade in which I had a pretty-to-really good feeling that it was going to happen.

Santo raised more than $50 million for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund through his annual Walk for the Cure and other charitable activities. Every time a Cubs player was issued a base on balls, Santo took the opportunity to advocate for JDRF, thanks to a partnership in which Walgreens donated $100 to JDRF for every Cubs walk.

So let’s show some appreciation and thanks to #10, one of the greatest Cubs of all time, and see if we can raise 10 grand for JDRF in the name of Ron Santo over the next ten days. It’s as simple as filling in the box below or you can visit: http://www.razoo.com/story/Donate-To-Jdrf-In-Memory-Of-Ron-Santo.

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Pau Gasol, Derrick Rose Staredown at Staples


Really wish D Rose followed this up with a dunk in Pau’s face. Was not the case. Great seeing the ’09-’10 Bulls hang tough against the Lakers last night. The Bulls offense was pretty off the entire game — Rose started 2 for 12 or something — great, explosive drives to the basket but nothing falling. He couldn’t miss in the second half. Nice to see Taj Gibson putting in serious minutes — also looks like James Johnson will be a solid contributor. Joakim Noah is really coming into his own. But the Lakers are the champs and Pau Gasol — who missed the first 10 games with a hamstring injury — completes them. A long and fast team, only injury would keep them from repeating this year. As for the Bulls, I look forward to watching more — exciting team with lots of energy and very aggressive D.

Thanks to @es for taking us to the game in his amazing seats!

Tribune Quits AP for a Week, Should Really Quit Paper Itself

I’d love to see Tribune papers really get some good reporting here, not just from within but from experienced beat-bloggers, city-bloggers, and more comprehensive, microfunded reporting as done by the likes of spot.us.

Tribune papers without AP

Personally I think the best way to cut costs is to slowly let the printed version of the paper wither away, until all that ends up at the end of subscribers’ driveways is a stack of obituaries. THEN everyone will finally get the point and take to reading the paper online, on their kindle, their blackberry, Macintosh tablet or anything else that doesn’t turn your fingers black.

Syndicate far and wide, but don’t put all your marbles in one not-so-reliable product…. especially when it ain’t free!

photo by quinn.anya via flickr (CC)

The Chicago Tribune and other Tribune Co. newspapers plan to utilize as little content from the Associated Press as practical during the week of Nov. 8.

The goal, as the papers review costs and needs, is to see whether severing ties with the news cooperative next fall is a viable option, the Chicago-based media company confirmed Monday.

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MLB: Last Day of the Regular Season – 2 Playoff Spots at Hand

It doesn’t get any more exciting, especially in a sport that often drags on and on for 5 1/2 months. But this year might see — for the first time ever — 2 (and possibly a third) one-game playoffs for the final two spots (the NL Wild Card and the AL Central Division Title) in the playoffs.

UPDATE: The Brewers beat the Cubs and the Marlins beat the Mets, so for the second straight year, the Mets have been shut out of the playoffs on the last day of the season. The Brewers will play the Phillies in the NLDS beginning Wednesday and the Cubs will host the Dodgers Wednesday in that NLDS. The White Sox must beat the Tigers in a make-up game Monday to face the Twins in a playoff Tuesday for the AL Central Crown and a spot in the playoffs vs. Tampa Bay (starting Thursday).

I’m listening to WGN Radio’s broadcast of the Cubs vs Brewers, where the crowd is decidedly split, but while the Cubs are starting one-time prodigy Angel Guzman (who after all these years is still 0-7 and awaiting his first major league victory), The Brew Crew sent out CC Sabathia for the third time in 10 days. I’m watching the scores on the Mets/Florida game very closely, as well as the Sox/Indians and Twins/Royals.

Here are the possible playoff scenarios:

AL Central: If the Chicago White Sox (86-74) and Minnesota Twins (87-74) are still within a half-game of each other after play is completed Sunday, Chicago must make up a rainout against the Detroit Tigers on Monday. If the White Sox and Twins finish with the same record, they would play a tiebreaker game Tuesday in Chicago.

NL Wild Card: If the New York Mets (89-72) and Milwaukee Brewers (89-72) still have identical records after Sunday, they would play a one-game tiebreaker Monday in New York.

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Cubs Win! The Magical ’08 Season Goes On

I was thrilled to watch the Cubs celebrate their Central Division-clinching win on national television today and before a full house at Wrigley. It seems they’re always clinching on enemy territory — the Pirates come to mind (and yes, in my 33 years it’s happened with relative frequency — 1984, 1989, 1998 [wild card], 2003, 2007, and now 2008). But this is the first time the Cubs have won back-to-back division titles since they three-peated in 1906-1908 (winning their last two World Series in 1907 and ’08).

I’m in Las Vegas (the Cubs are 9-5 favorites to win the NL Pennant; 4-1 on the Series) at the Blog World Expo but — my heart was in Wrigley… and the victory cry I heard just now on Channel 9 News at Nine as bellowed by Ron Santo was something else — I’ll have to get audio. I’d like to thank Jim Hendry and Lou Piniella and the greatest Cubs team I’ve been fortunate to cheer on — the 2008 Cubs. For now, video below, and even the hat is pretty cool. Now back to regularly scheduled weekending and BWE08 activities.

LISTEN to the postgame celebration via WGN AM Radio

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