2014 Chicago Cubs
2014 Chicago Cubs / Franchise: Chicago Cubs / BR Team Page
Managed by Rick Renteria
History, Comments, Contributions
The 2014 Chicago Cubs entered the season with the clear expectation that they were not going to compete and would use the year as a learning process under first-year manager Rick Renteria, who had been hired for his teaching skills. The start of the season was as difficult as expected, with the Cubs losing two out of three games in each of their first four series to quickly fall into last place, well behind the NL Central leaders. On April 16th, they were swept in a doubleheader at New Yankee Stadium, 3-0 and 2-0 as New York Yankees pitchers Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda were both dominant before turning the ball over to the bullpen. It marked the first time since 1988 that a major league team had been shut out twice in one day, and for the Cubs, the first time since June 27, 1962, when the St. Louis Cardinals had turned the trick on the Cubbies.
On April 23rd, the Cubs celebrated the 100th anniversary of the opening of their venerable ballpark, Wrigley Field, as a major league venue, two years after Boston's Wrigley Field had become the first ballpark to turn 100. As it was not the Cubs who were the park's original tenants, the two teams wore throwback uniforms dating back to the Federal League, with the Cubs dressed as the 1914 Chicago Chi-Feds and the Arizona Diamondbacks impersonating the Kansas City Packers. A number of former Cubs legends were invited on the field for the pre-game ceremonies, including SS Ernie Banks, 2B Glenn Beckert, RF Andre Dawson, P Ryan Dempster, CF Bob Dernier, C Randy Hundley, P Fergie Jenkins, LF Gary Matthews, P Milt Pappas, P Lee Smith, LF Billy Williams and P Kerry Wood. 3B was left uncovered in honor of the late Ron Santo, with his two grandsons taking the field in his place, while the Cubs' other living Hall of Famers - besides Banks, Dawson, Jenkins and Williams -, Ryne Sandberg and Greg Maddux, were prevented from taking part because of their current employment with other teams. The Cubs also honored the NFL's Chicago Bears, who played at Wrigley from 1921 to 1970, with the presence of Gale Sayers and Dick Butkus. The grand-niece of Charles Weeghman, Sue Quigg, threw the ceremonial first pitch using a baseball dating back to the Federal League and the wife of the late Harry Caray, Duchie, was selected to lead the seventh-inning stretch's singing of Take Me Out to the Ballgame. And then, Pedro Strop spoiled the party when he blew a 5-2 lead in the 9th inning, giving up 4 runs on a hit, two walks and an error in two-thirds of an inning for a 7-5 loss.
On July 29th, the Cubs won the longest game by time in team history, as it took 6 hours and 27 minutes to complete the 16-inning, 4-3 win over the Colorado Rockies in a night game at Wrigley Field. The game took 17 minutes longer than a 21-inning contest played on August 17-18, 1982, before the installation of lights at Wrigley. Starter Edwin Jackson gave up all three Rockies runs in the 1st and had to leave after 4 innings, having already made over 100 pitches. Seven relievers then pitched scoreless ball until the 15th, while manager Rick Renteria used his entire bench, including starting pitchers Travis Wood and Jake Arrieta as pinch-hitters. With no regular pitchers left, he called on back-up catcher John Baker to take the mound in the 16th, and he delivered a scoreless inning in his professional pitching debut at 33, helped by a double play grounder by Cristhian Adames, who was playing his first major league game for the Rockies. Baker then led off the bottom of the 16th with a walk off Tyler Matzek, the Cubs loaded the bases with one out, and Starlin Castro ended the marathon with a sacrifice fly to right field.
Awards and Honors
- Joe Popely: "Cubs go all out to celebrate Wrigley's 100th birthday: Players, statues sport throwbacks; Hall of Famers on hand for centennial", mlb.com, April 23, 2014.