Chicago Cubs Wiretap
Yankees manager Joe Girardi is prepared to withstand a barrage of Cubs-related questions this weekend.
New York is playing a weekend series in Chicago against the White Sox.
The Cubs need a manager in the wake of Lou Piniella's retirement on Sunday and Girardi is a native of Illinois.
"It will be something I have to deal with but my focus is [on the Yankees]," Girardi said. "The big thing is that you don't want it to become a distraction. It's not fair. This organization has been great to me."
Girardi is in the final year of his contract with the Yankees.
"My focus is here, I have a responsibility to the organization and the guys in the clubhouse," he said.
"As a player, when I was a free agent, I never worried about where I would be. As a manager, I am never worried about where I am going to be. The one thing I can control is getting the players to play the best they can every day. I am very happy here; [I have] a great working relationship with everybody."
The Cubs have begun the formal process of finding their next manager, according to a source.
Former Indians manager Eric Wedge had a face-to-face interview with Chicago general manager Jim Hendry on Thursday in Cleveland.
Wedge was fired by Cleveland after the 2009 season.
Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano struck out eight en route to a win over the Nationals and then flew home to Venezuela to be with his sick nephew.
"I was thinking about him in the first inning. I was thinking about the situation," said Zambrano.
"Every pitch I was throwing in the first inning, I was saying, 'This is for you. Don't give up. ... Pitch this game for him.' "
Zambrano is expected to return to the Cubs on Saturday.
His 11-year-old nephew is hospitalized in Venezuela with a serious infection.
Former Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa said his jersey No. 21 should be retired and its continued use shows the strain in his relationship with his old team.
"That number should be untouchable because of the things that I did for that organization," Sosa said in an interview with Chicago Magazine.
"That right there shows me that they don't care about me, and they don't want to have a good relationship with me."
Cubs rookie outfielder Tyler Colvin wears No. 21.
Former Cubs pitcher Jason Marquis also wore it from 2007-08.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen thinks it's more much difficult to manage the crosstown Cubs.
"I think it's easy to manage this side because they don't expect us to win," Guillen said. "When you manage the other side ... I remember two years ago, we didn't even hit spring training and all of a sudden [the Cubs] are going to win the championship and they have [Kosuke] Fukudome on the front page. That's a lot of pressure.
"... The expectations on that side of town is higher, there's no question about it. I don't know if it's tougher or not because I never was on that side. But looking from far away, coming to the ballpark every day and how many years they've gone through [without winning a World Series], a lot of people talk about winning a championship, but it's a lot of losing years out there, a lot. That's frustrating. There's no doubt it's easier to come to this side of town and work. I think it's definitely tougher to work out there than to work here."
Cubs Aug 2010 Archive