Routine essential to Cubs prospect Candelario

Routine essential to Cubs prospect Candelario

CHICAGO -- Jeimer Candelario's promotion to the big leagues last July only lasted a few days, but it was enough to give the Cubs prospect a taste of what it's like, and show him what he needs to do.

Candelario, 23, said he learned the importance of developing a routine and that helped him last season at Triple-A Iowa, where he batted .333 in 76 games with nine homers, 22 doubles and 54 RBIs. The young infielder took part in Major League Baseball's Rookie Development Program, and said he's proud of the work he's done so far.

Continue Reading

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Smith misses HOF in final year on writers' ballot

Smith misses HOF in final year on writers' ballot

CHICAGO -- Whether Lee Smith will get into the Hall of Fame is now in the hands of the Eras Committee.

Smith received 151 votes (34.2 percent) in the last year the right-handed pitcher was eligible for Cooperstown in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, released Wednesday. Players need to appear on 75 percent of the ballots cast to earn election into the Hall.

Continue Reading

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sosa gains HOF support but remains well short

Sosa gains HOF support but remains well short

CHICAGO -- Sammy Sosa received enough votes to stay on the Hall of Fame ballot but was far short of the 75 percent needed to be elected into Cooperstown.

Sosa received 38 votes (8.6 percent) in the balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, announced on Wednesday. Players need to appear on 75 percent of the ballots cast to earn election into the Hall.

Continue Reading

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fly The WH! Cubs' epic White House visit

'This was a thrill for all of us,' Epstein says of Obama hosting World Series champs

Fly The WH! Cubs' epic White House visit

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama was briefly a Cubs fan on Monday, and he helped celebrate the team's first World Series championship in 108 years. It helped the Cubs that first lady Michelle Obama was in their corner.

The Cubs were feted at the White House by the president, who is a noted White Sox fan, but he knows the impact the North Siders' championship has had on people, including his wife. Michelle Obama had never attended one of the White House celebrations for a sports team until Monday.

Continue Reading

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs claim Floro off waivers from Rays

Cubs claim Floro off waivers from Rays

CHICAGO -- The Cubs added another reliever to the mix, claiming right-hander Dylan Floro off waivers from the Rays on Tuesday. With the move, the Cubs' 40-man roster now is at 39.

Floro, 26, was drafted by the Rays in the 13th round in the 2012 Major League Draft, and he made his Major League debut with Tampa Bay this past season. In 12 relief outings, he gave up seven earned runs over 15 innings, striking out 14 and walking five.

Continue Reading

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Former Cubs delight in White House festivities

Fowler, Chapman among 2016 team representatives to visit President Obama

Former Cubs delight in White House festivities

WASHINGTON -- Dexter Fowler, Aroldis Chapman, Chris Coghlan and Trevor Cahill are no longer on the Cubs' roster, but they contributed to the team's successful 2016 season and World Series championship, and they attended Monday's ceremony at the White House with President Barack Obama.

Fowler, who signed a five-year contract with St. Louis, posted on Twitter: "What an honor to be at the White House with my Cubs family. Can't wait to go back next year with my @Cardinals!"

Continue Reading

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Exorcise regimen: Demons purged, Cubs eye repeat

Exorcise regimen: Demons purged, Cubs eye repeat

CHICAGO -- Tom Ricketts couldn't help himself.

In his comments welcoming fans to the Cubs Convention, Ricketts made it clear just how things have changed for his franchise.

Continue Reading

Phil Rogers is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs allow '16 top pick Hatch to ease into pro ball

Cubs allow '16 top pick Hatch to ease into pro ball

CHICAGO -- Thomas Hatch, who was the Cubs' first selection in last June's Draft, didn't pitch in a Minor League game for the team after he was picked, but he did get exposed to life in the big leagues and the postseason.

Hatch, who was taken in the third round (No. 104 overall) out of Oklahoma State, attended instructional league in Mesa, Ariz., and then joined Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach to watch the Pelicans' playoff run. The right-hander did not pitch in 2015 because of a sprained ulnar collateral ligament that didn't require surgery, and then led Oklahoma State to the College World Series in 2016, logging significant innings.

Continue Reading

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hall of Famer Williams joins Cubs at White House event

Hall of Famer Williams joins Cubs at White House event

CHICAGO -- Hall of Famer Billy Williams was to attend a breakfast on Monday to celebrate Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s holiday and listen to Ernest Gibson, who was to talk about his experiences with the civil rights movement. But Williams had to cancel. He joined the Cubs at the White House on Monday instead to celebrate the team's historic World Series championship.

"Going to see [President] Obama, who is the first black president, and celebrating Martin Luther King's birthday -- it'll be perfect for me," Williams said.

Continue Reading

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs get grilled by young fans at Convention

Cubs get grilled by young fans at Convention

CHICAGO -- Kids ask the darnedest things, like who's your favorite superhero, or whether you have superstitions, or how it feels to be World Series champions.

Pint-sized interrogators had the chance to ask Kyle Schwarber, Albert Almora Jr., Javier Baez and Willson Contreras about a variety of topics during a "Kids Only" question and answer session on Saturday at the Cubs Convention.

Continue Reading

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

7th Heaven? Champs relive stressful WS clincher

Cubs owners, coaches remember nerves, jubilation of final Fall Classic game

7th Heaven? Champs relive stressful WS clincher

CHICAGO -- Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said he "died three times in Game 7." General manager Jed Hoyer would've preferred a 15-0 win instead of the nail-biter that resulted in the Cubs' first World Series championship since 1908.

Cubs owner Laura Ricketts said she felt like throwing up most of the night and had to calm her 10-year-old nephew, who was crying. A few days after the game, Cubs owner Tom Ricketts said he had a nightmare that the team lost to the Indians. His wife blamed it on "postseason stress disorder."

Continue Reading

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zobrist: After missing trip in '16, DC visit is 'huge'

World Series MVP thrilled to travel to White House, meet President Obama

Zobrist: After missing trip in '16, DC visit is 'huge'

CHICAGO -- When the 2015 World Series champion Royals went to the White House last July at the invitation of President Barack Obama, Ben Zobrist wasn't able to go because he was busy with his new team, the Cubs. On Monday, Zobrist will get his chance.

Zobrist will be part of the Cubs contingent headed to the White House on Monday as Obama celebrates the 2016 World Series champs.

Continue Reading

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs Convention features club-themed game of 'Jeopardy!'

|
Cubs Convention features club-themed game of 'Jeopardy!'

Here's a question for Cubs fans: How much do you know about your favorite ballclub?

Saturday at the Cubs Convention featured a game of Cubs-themed Jeopardy! The game pitted former Cubs players against each other. On one side were former position players Todd Walker, Dwight Smith, Bobby Dernier and John Baker, facing off against former pitchers Sean Marshall, Bob Howry, Glendon Rusch and Tim Stoddard. With play-by-play radio announcer Pat Hughes performing Alex Trebek's duties, the two teams faced clues about the 2016 World Series champions and recent Cubs history.

Continue Reading on Cut4

Must-see DC: Cubs visit White House

Team set to formally meet a sitting President for second time as franchise

Must-see DC: Cubs visit White House

CHICAGO -- The Cubs are going to the nation's capital on Monday to meet President Barack Obama and celebrate the 2016 World Series championship, and everyone on the travel party is eagerly looking forward to the trip.

"It's exciting," said Jason McLeod, director of scouting and player development, who will accompany the team. "I [feel] giddy to get invited."

Continue Reading

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs replacing 'print-at-home' tickets with Ballpark app

Change among business-operations updates at annual Convention

Cubs replacing 'print-at-home' tickets with Ballpark app

CHICAGO -- Print-at-home tickets will become a thing of the past beginning in 2017 as the Cubs move to the MLB.com Ballpark app in hopes of eliminating fraudulent tickets altogether.

That announcement came Saturday afternoon on the second day of Cubs Convention at the Sheraton Grand Chicago hotel during the business-operations update. The ongoing Wrigley Field renovations, the possibility of hosting the All-Star Game and in-market streaming also were discussed.

Continue Reading

Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fans really enjoyed Cubs Bingo at the Cubs Convention

|
Fans really enjoyed Cubs Bingo at the Cubs Convention

This weekend, a glorious celebration of all things Cubs hit Chicago, as thousands of fans and several players came together at the 2017 Cubs Convention.

Among the many fan-centered festivities on Saturday included a spirited session of Cubs Bingo, which, you'll see below, elicited World Series-levels of excitement from the fans taking part.

Continue Reading on Cut4

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Addison Avenue: No roadblock too big for Cubs' SS

Addison Avenue: No roadblock too big for Cubs' SS

CHICAGO -- Addison Russell is a private man in a public game. He handles attention; he doesn't seek it.

While Russell thrives in the spotlight, he's a self-proclaimed "hometown guy" who is most at peace when he's in Pensacola, Fla., in the nest he's built for himself and his growing family.

Continue Reading

Phil Rogers is a national correspondent for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs Convention: Champs of a lifetime!

Fans get up-close look at trophy, continue title celebration

Cubs Convention: Champs of a lifetime!

CHICAGO -- The buzz at the Cubs Convention on Friday seemed louder and livelier than in years past, as fans were eager to celebrate the World Series championship, the first for the franchise in 108 years.

"Anyone who knows Cubs history knows that when they win a World Series, they always win the next year," Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts said to a packed ballroom at the Sheraton Grand Chicago for the opening ceremonies.

Continue Reading

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ross, Dempster supply laughs at Convention

Ross, Dempster supply laughs at Convention

CHICAGO -- The bender that Theo Epstein and the rest of the Cubs organization and fans went on following the 2016 World Series championship hasn't stopped, and it continued on Friday night on the first day of Cubs Convention at the Sheraton Grand Hotel during "Late Night With Ryan Dempster."

The third annual late night-themed talk show hosted by Dempster, a former Cub and current special advisor, featured Dempster's wit, creative video commercials and interviews with players still basking in their World Series glory.

Continue Reading

Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs avoid arbitration with 3 players

Arrieta, Rondon, Grimm agree to 1-year deals

Cubs avoid arbitration with 3 players

CHICAGO -- While the Cubs celebrated their World Series championship Friday at their annual winter fan fest, the team reached contract agreements with three of their four arbitration eligible players, including Jake Arrieta, Hector Rondon and Justin Grimm.

Pedro Strop, 31, however, did not reach a settlement and the two sides exchanged figures. Strop's agent asked for $6 million, while the team countered at $4.6 million.

Continue Reading

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ross named special assistant to baseball ops

Ross named special assistant to baseball ops

CHICAGO -- David Ross is returning to the Cubs, but in a front-office role.

The popular catcher, who retired last season after helping the Cubs win the 2016 World Series, will serve as a special assistant to baseball operations. On Friday night, he carried the World Series trophy on stage for the opening ceremonies of the Cubs Convention.

Continue Reading

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Just try wiping the smile off Bryant's face

First two seasons: Rookie of the Year and MVP awards and a WS title

Just try wiping the smile off Bryant's face

CHICAGO -- Kris Bryant is still smiling, and why not?

His team just won the World Series. He was named the National League's Most Valuable Player. And, on top of all that, he married his longtime sweetheart last weekend.

Continue Reading

Phil Rogers is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rizzo, Schwarber sing 'Lean on Me' at charity event

|
Rizzo, Schwarber sing 'Lean on Me' at charity event

It may be cold outside, but you know where it's warm? In your heart. You know why? Because you're about to hear Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber sing "Lean on Me." The two took the stage on Thursday night, when Rizzo's charity (aptly named the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation) hosted its third annual Laugh-Off for Cancer at the Second City in Chicago.

Continue Reading on Cut4

Heyward aims to recapture swing from 2012

Cubs outfielder working on approach at team's Arizona facility

Heyward aims to recapture swing from 2012

CHICAGO -- Jason Heyward is thinking, and hoping to hit, like it's 2012.

The outfielder has become a gym rat at the Cubs' complex in Mesa, Ariz., this offseason, reworking his swing after a disappointing first year in Chicago in which he batted .230 with seven homers and 49 RBIs. Heyward played Gold Glove defense in right field to help the Cubs win 103 games, and his speech to his teammates during the rain delay in Game 7 of the World Series inspired the team to an 8-7 victory and the championship. The focus now is to get Heyward's offense back to where he used to be.

Continue Reading

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rizzo relishing final flurry before work begins

Caravan stop precedes Cubs Convention and White House visit, then thoughts turn to spring

Rizzo relishing final flurry before work begins

CHICAGO -- Two years ago, Anthony Rizzo predicted the Cubs would win the National League Central. In 2015, they won the NL Wild Card Game and reached the NL Championship Series, but they topped that in 2016 by winning the World Series, which ended the franchise's 108-year drought. So, did Rizzo have a new prediction to make on Thursday?

"I predict that pitchers and catchers wil report the 14th [of February]," Rizzo said.

Continue Reading

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Maddon rides coffee-shop 'vibe,' crafts lineup

Maddon rides coffee-shop 'vibe,' crafts lineup

CHICAGO -- Opening Day is not until April 2, but Cubs manager Joe Maddon followed his pregame routine on Wednesday and emailed what he called a "faux lineup" to first-base coach Brandon Hyde. It's a good indicator of what Cubs fans may see when the team opens the 2017 season against the Cardinals.

Kyle Schwarber, back from tearing two ligaments in his left knee in the third game of the '16 season, was the leadoff man in Maddon's early lineup. Schwarber was followed by National League MVP Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Ben Zobrist, Addison Russell, Jason Heyward, Willson Contreras, either Jon Jay or Albert Almora Jr., and the pitcher.

Continue Reading

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cubs renew Kasper, Deshaies through 2019

Entering fifth season together, TV broadcasters earn 3-year extension

Cubs renew Kasper, Deshaies through 2019

CHICAGO -- Cubs play-by-play broadcaster Len Kasper and television analyst Jim Deshaies each received three-year contract extensions, the team announced Tuesday. The 2017 season will be their fifth year together.

"We think Len and J.D. are the best team in baseball," Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney said in a statement. "Their chemistry as a team and their ability to weave baseball history, current events and the Wrigley experience into the game call speaks to their preparation and love of baseball. We are excited to know they will continue bringing Cub games to our fans, especially after such a thrilling and historic season."

Continue Reading

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.