Cubs Jan. 25 Notebook

Cubs manager Joe Maddon has traveled to Puerto Rico to watch Javier Baez. A public memorial service for Ernie Banks is Wednesday and Cubs prospect Tanner Griggs saves a man’s life. Plus a look at Winter League Championship series.

Maddon visits Baez in Puerto Rico
Cubs manager Joe Maddon has traveled to Puerto Rico to watch Javier Baez in the championship series. According to a report from, Maddon watched Baez take batting practice and the two spoke briefly on the field before Santurce’s playoff game on Saturday. Maddon said at his press conference when hired and then again at the Cubs Convention, that establishing relationships with the players with a top priority. “I’m here to give support and develop a relationship,” Maddon told reporters. He also said he wasn’t worried about Baez and the strikeouts, saying it was an epidemic in baseball right now and young players have a tendency to strikeout, citing former Angels players Devon White and Tim Salmon. Baez said he was impressed that Maddon as well as Cubs hitting coach John Mallee came to Puerto Rico to watch him play.

Cubs News and Rumors
In an announcement on Sunday, the attorney for the Banks family said Ernie died of a heart attack. A public memorial service is scheduled for Wednesday at Daley Plaza. According to Cubs, the Ernie Banks statue will be in Daley Plaza, Wednesday through Saturday, for fans to honor. The Banks family has established a facebook page for fans at “Ernie Banks Remembered.”...........Cubs minor league pitcher Tanner Griggs has turned in a productive off-season as the Cubs 2014 12th round pick was credited for helping save his neighbor’s life. Griggs and his neighbor, 61-year-old Richard Gengler, were playing catch in Gengler’s front yard when he collapsed. Griggs called 911 and they talked him thought CPR until the EMS arrived. Here’s complete story. Griggs, 20, appeared in nine games for Mesa in Arizona rookie league after the draft with a line of 1-1 3.45 ERA, 15.2 IP, 4 BB, 11 K, .274 BAAA, 1.34 WHIP.

Hot Stove News
Baseball fans, we have a new commissioner. And he’s got ideas. Letter to fans

Venezuelan Winter League
Game 2—Caribes outslugged Magallanes with four homers en route to a 8-4 win and a 2-0 series lead. No Cubs players saw action.

Dominican Winter League
Game 8—Gigantes punched its ticket to the Caribbean World Series with a 12-5 win over Estrellas to take the series 5-3. Junior Lake hit his 3rd homer of playoffs, a two-run shot in the 8th in the loss. Lake also singled and hit .256 in the post-season.

Mexican Pacific Winter League
Game 4—Culiacan beat Jalisco 3-1 to take a 3-1 lead in the series. A couple of former Cubs are playing—1B Marquez Smith went 1-for-3 for Jalisco while Dave Sappelt went 0-for-3 and scored a run in the win.

Puerto Rican Winter League
Game 5—Santurce took a 3-2 series lead with a 9-1 victory over Mayaguez. 2B Javier Baez went 2-for-4 and knocked in the second run of the game in the 2nd with a single. He also doubled and walked.

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