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And the Award Goes to… CubsHub's yearly awards

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  • And the Award Goes to… CubsHub's yearly awards

    Contributed by: John Ontivero on September 30th, 2007

    It’s that time of the year except the Cubs will play past game #162. There have been many great moments and many great individual performances by the 2007 Chicago Cubs team. The Cubs have played many important games down the stretch but it is now time to relax for a couple of days before a very exciting week ahead. As we approach the final day of the season, we look at some of the more special moments and also some very key people as we give the Cubs some props.

    Best Fight – July 1st – Carlos Zambrano vs. Michael Barrett

    The altercation seemed like the final nail in the coffin for the 2007 Chicago Cubs. While it is very debatable whether or not the scuffle in the dugout sparked the Cubs, it did lead to an easier decision to let go of then Cubs catcher Michael Barrett. Barrett has been getting a pass of his below average glove because of his silver slugging winning bat but the fight made it possible to come up with any excuses to trade Barrett to San Diego a few weeks later. Throwing out runners aside, the Cubs defense behind the plate has been much better.

    Best Start of the Season – September 23rd - Carlos Zambrano vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

    Many will look at Zambrano’s start against the Cincinnati on the day the Cubs clinched the division but I think the dominating performance to end the Cubs regular season home schedule was even more important. It gave the Cubs a huge 3 ½ game advantage that many fans thought the Cubs would blow by the end of the following week.

    Best Comeback of the Season – June 29th – Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers

    The Cubs had just won 6 games in a row heading into a series against the division leading Brew Crew. The Cubs will still down 7 ½ games entering the game and the Brewers scored 5 runs in the first inning off Rich Hill. The Cubs chipped away to come within 5-4 with 2 outs and a runner on when Aramis Ramirez hit the first pitch into the bleachers. The lead was cut to 6 ½ that day but, even more important, gave the Cubs a sense of swagger.

    Most Exciting Play of the Year – August 26th – Derrek Lee vs. Arizona Diamondbacks

    The Cubs were losing 5-3 to the Diamondbacks as a struggling Derrek Lee came to the plate and smacked a ball to deep Right Field. It hit the obscure wall and bounced towards Left Field as Lee raced around the bases.

    Best Pinella Move of the Year – June 23rd – Cubs vs. Chicago White Sox

    With the game tied a 1-1 in the 9th inning, Lou Pinella called Ryan Theriot to lay down a suicide squeeze as Angel Pagan raced to home plate for the game winning run. The bunt allowed Theriot a much easier option of getting the run home against the hard throwing Bobby Jenks.

    Craziest Win of the Year – June 25th – Cubs vs. Colorado Rockies

    The Cubs just finished a sweep at US Cellular Field against the Chicago White Sox. The Cubs were riding high and took a commanding 8-3 lead into the 9th inning. Before the inning was over, Scott Eyre and Bobby Howry had allowed 6 runs to score. The Cubs battled back in their half of the 9th highlighted by a 2 out 2-run single by Alfonso Soriano to win the game. There was also a great call by Len Kasper to end the game which would be later rivaled in the comeback win against the Brewers later in the week.

    Comeback Player of the Year – Jason Marquis

    Jason Marquis was signed to a 3 year contract worth 21 million dollars in December of 2006. Last season, he went 14-16 with a 6.02 ERA with the St. Louis Cardinals and was left off the post season roster for the entire cardinals Playoff run. Many fans squawked over the signing of the Starting Pitcher but Marquis stabilized the rotation going 12-9 with a 4.43 ERA. While those aren’t the most solid numbers, Marquis was positioned to be the teams 4th starter and has pitched well enough to warrant the signing.

    Comeback Player(s) of the Season – Scott Eyre – Jacque Jones

    The whipping boys of the beginning of the season have both come up huge in the second half. Eyre is 2-0 with a 0.81 ERA in the second half in 28 games. Jones is batting an amazing .326 with a .369 OBP. HE also has 3 HR’s and 45 RBI’s. The funny thing about Jones is that the Cubs had a deal in place to send Jones to Florida but fell through because of monetary problems. Some of the best deals are the ones you don’t make.

    Most Important Win of the Year – September 17th – Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds

    With the Brewers winning their game, the Cubs were in danger of falling into a first place tie with the Brewers as the Reds took a 6-4 lead into the bottom of the 9th inning. The Cubs rallied to score 3 runs off Cubs nemesis David Weathers who could not record a single out.

    Most Important Stat of the Year – Starting Pitchers Innings

    The Cubs have 4 starting pitchers who have at least 32 starts this season as well as at least 191 innings pitched. This is a far cry from the years of counting on Mark Prior and Kerry Wood as part of the rotation. Not only have the Cubs top 4 starters done well but the Cubs 5th starter for most of the season has also done well. Sean Marshall has compiled 19 starts and really was solid until fatigue seemed to set in.

    Defender of the Year – Ryan Theriot

    When Cesar Izturis was clearly not doing the job, Ryan Theriot was given a chance to get some starts at Shortstop. Many did not give Theriot a chance to succeed at Short because of a average arm and questionable range. Theriot turned in an unnoticeable, solid job at the Shortstop position. He should get a ton of credit for holding down one of the toughest positions on a baseball field.

    Most Dominating Performance – June 8th - Alfonso Soriano vs. Atlanta Braves

    The Cubs Left Fielder hit the first two pitches he saw for HR’s. In his third at-bat, Soriano hit a third home run as he became the 37th person in club history to go deep three times in one game.

    Best Free Agent Signing of the Year – Ted Lilly

    Now this award could go to multiple players but Lilly has provided the Cubs with a legitimate #2 starter. Lilly has gone 15-8 with a 3.86 ERA for the Cubs following his 15 win in Toronto last season. He has been the Cubs most consistent starter and provided the Cubs with the most wins by a Left handed starter since Greg Hibbard win 15 games in 1993.

    Breakout Player of the Year – Carlos Marmol

    No other Cub has had more of an impact on the team than Carlos Marmol. The Closer in waiting has provided the Cubs with a shut down reliever who can enter at any time during the game. In 58 games, Marmol is 5-1 with a 1.45 ERA. He has also struck out 95 batters in 68 1/3 innings.

    Biggest Contributor of the Year – The entire Chicago Cubs Organization

    That’s right. From the front office to the players on the field, the Cubs ball club has had contributors everywhere. John McDonough should be applauded for his enthusiasm in a press conference held on the final day of the 2006 season along with CEO Dennis Fitzsimmons. Jim Hendry has done a very good job at reconstructing the Cubs this offseason that included signing Ted Lilly while in a hospital bed. Lou Pinella has come in to mold the Cubs into a confident, talented pennant contending team. It also seemed that the Cubs not only have a solid 25 man roster but many more solid players who came up and down from the farm system. The team as a collective whole gelled into a team who have become one of the most memorable and exciting teams in Cubs history.

    The Cubs now are headed to the playoffs as they finish off a very special regular season. It’s a chance for the Chicago Cubs to create more great memories. It’s a chance for the Cub players to become immortal in Chicago. It’s a chance for the Cubs to reward the greatest fans in sports.
    Last edited by RBi; 09-30-2007, 07:06 AM. Reason: added link

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