Results tagged ‘ Rich Harden ’

Californian dreaming…at Wrigley Field

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for INSIDE THE IVY LOGO.jpgOn Friday, I was walking down the hallway of the Cubs front office when Patti James, the Cubs manager of minor-league operations, told me that Brett Jackson, the Cubs’ first-round pick of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, was in town to take his physical and cross the T’s and dot the i’s on his contract.

My managing editor, Lena McDonagh, had told me the Cal outfielder was here just moments before, so I told Patti that Vine Line would jump at the chance to take some photos. Every year, we usually try to get a photo of the player signing his contract for our records and for the player and his parents.

Jackson signed a $972,000 deal with the Cubs and will be headed to Mesa, Ariz. At some point he will then head to short-season Boise of the Northwest League.

We met Jackson in the front office conference room and got some shots of him signing his contract. We wanted to take some photos of him out in centerfield–the place we all hope he will be roaming sometime in the near future. Today, however, he just was happy to be at Wrigley Field and in Chicago.

brett jackson signingsmall.jpg“I love Chicago–it’s a great town,” he said. “Every time I’ve been here it’s been a lot of fun, and the people are so nice here.”

He was going to be on a flight back to California in the early afternoon, so he wasn’t going to have the chance to take in a little Cubs/Sox rivalry. Hopefully it won’t be long before he does. Scouting assistant Alex Suarez, publications intern, Kelsey Peters, and I took Jackson down to the clubhouse to get fitted for a hat and jersey.

His hat size is 7 1/4, but one would’ve thought his head was even smaller, because this kid didn’t have an arrogant bone in his body. There was no big head here.

Just then, Cubs right-hander Rich Harden walked into the clubhouse. It was cool to see this young man seem just a little taken aback at seeing a guy he no doubt grew up watching while Harden was with the Oakland A’s and Jackson was growing up in the Bay Area. I introduced them and they seemed to hit it off.


A return to health

1000 WORDS LOGO.jpg   Cubs right-hander Rich Harden made his return to the mound yesterday after coming off the disabled list earlier in the day. Harden pitched well, despite taking the tough-luck 2-0 loss, giving up just the two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out nine.

Below are a couple of shots taken by one of our auxiliary photographers, Chris Bernacchi.

HArden twins2.JPG

Miles Twins2.JPGInfielder Aaron Miles also returned on Wednesday from the disabled list, his shoulder looking better and stronger, he said.

–Mike Huang

The annual ritual: Photo Day

ON LOCATION LOGO.jpgMESA, Ariz.—Every year, major-league ballplayers must endure an annual ritual of combing their hair, shaving their faces clean (or at least somewhat) and mugging for the camera. It is Photo Day for them, and they put their best faces forward, despite the fact it’s 7:00 in the morning.

The entire first floor of Fitch Park is turned into a massive photo studio. Among the participants, the Associated Press, Major League Baseball, Topps and Comcast, among others. It’s all put together very efficiently and organized, led by media relations director Peter Chase and his staff. Our staff photographer Steve Green organizes the photographers in location.

For the most part, all the players arrive at their designated times, albeit bleary eyed. There are very compliant to whatever poses we ask them to do. Steve and I are there to do a special photo shoot for our gameday program, CUBS2009. We had scripted the poses beforehand knowing we wouldn’t have more than a minute with each one.

photoshoot.jpgThe shoot went swimmingly. We got some great shots Geovany Soto and Ivan DeJesus modeling the WBC jersey of their home country Puerto Rico. We also got a couple and of Mike Fontenot and Carlos Zambrano doing their pregame routine of “Z” hammering “Font” into the ground. They were very playful and the shots turned out great. But to see them, you’ll have to get the program at Wrigley Field!!!!

We also got Ryan Dempster and Rich Harden playing hockey with hockey sticks and using a baseball as a puck. Tremendous. Chad Gaudin and Reed Johnson seem like they are in a competition to see who can look most like a billy goat. Perhaps when they finally shave off their goatees, we can say we killed the “curse of the billy goat!”

Of course, then there was manager Lou Piniella, who’s seen his fair share of photo days. In fact, say Lou, how many of these photo days have you seen?

“Too many,” he laughed.

However, Cubs legend Billy Williams skipped photo day and went straight out to the field..

“‘Greenie!’ You don’t need me, right? Man, you got enough pictures of me after all these years. Look, after you turn 65, your face don’t change much year to year,” Williams said, cracking up all the photographers.

Hey, when a Hall of Famer says he doesn’t want to take a picture, he doesn’t have to take a picture.

Thumbnail image for azmg102 2-17-09.jpgWe also worked with Morry Gash, the photographer from AP. I asked him for a photo that he shot the other day. It was such a candid shot of Alfonso Soriano that I had to ask him if we could just borrow it for the blog.

But altogether, the photo shoot–and day–worked out very well….I’d encourage everyone to check out the gameday program the next time you’re at Wrigley Field. The pictures and experience was certainly worth more than a 1000 words.

–Mike Huang 

 PS. And one special note of sympathy goes out to our hitting coach Gerald Perry, who also was not at photo day. He lost his father last Friday to colon cancer. We are all thinking about you, G.