In Some Ways, Cubs Turned Out to Be Most Quotable Team in League in 1985

United Press International

Unfortunately for the Chicago Cubs, their first defense of a title in four decades was one they would like to erase.

Fortunately--or again, unfortunately--we have the remembrances of a season to look back on.

The Cubs may not have been memorable on the field in defense of their 1984 National League Eastern Division title. But they certainly were interesting in what they had to say during the year--often prophetic, sometimes prolific; usually quotable.

A look back at some of the better musings:

--"Shawon Dunston is our shortstop on opening day. He's earned the job and he's our shortstop." Cubs Manager Jim Frey in early April. One month into the season, Dunston was back in the minors, giving way to Larry Bowa and Chris Speier.

--"The doctors said I'd be out three to six weeks. I think I showed them something." Rick Sutcliffe after shutting out Pittsburgh 1-0 after coming off the disabled list with a hamstring injury. But the doctors who originally diagnosed his injury in Atlanta were right. Sutcliffe came back too soon and spent most of the summer on the disabled list.

--"I don't want to grumble but I'd like to be able to play every day." Larry Bowa after losing his starting job to Dunston in the spring. Bowa came back to earn his job back for most of the summer.

--"I could understand it if I wasn't playing well but I was hitting and doing a good job." Bowa four months later after the Cubs released him and brought back Dunston.

--"I'm very encouraged. Everyone came early to camp except for one veteran, everyone is in good shape. We're set for a good year." Cubs' president and general manager Dallas Green. While everyone else came in to camp early, the one who didn't, Ron Cey, was the biggest disappointment of the season until he started to hit--after the Cubs were out of the race.

--"No, I'm not tired. I don't think I've pitched too many innings." Pitcher Dennis Eckersley. When the other pitchers went down, Eckersley "shouldered" most of the work and wound up joining his fellow hurlers on the DL with arm woes.

--"Worried? I'm not worried about Ryne Sandberg. He'll be up there among the leaders at the end of the season." Frey. After batting under .200 for the first six weeks of the season, Frey was right. Sandberg wound up having another good year, although not the MVP season of a year ago.

--"I've got that one goal left. If I get it, I don't have to play anymore. I don't have to play this contract." Rick Sutcliffe before opening day. Sutcliffe didn't play too much on the contract because of the hamstring pull.

--"I think I'll retire. I don't see myself jumping from one club to another." Bowa announcing his retirement in mid-August after being let go by the Cubs. One week later, he signed with the New York Mets to help them in their division title drive.

--"Larry repeatedly has tried to make out the lineup. However, I'm the manager and I make out the lineup. I put in the names I like that day. When he gets to be a manager, maybe he can write his own name in the lineup." Frey in early May, referring to Bowa's demands to play, be traded or let go.

--"I don't see any reason why we shouldn't win the division." Sutcliffe's prediction before the start of the season.

--"Tickets for most weekends are gone and we have had to suspend season ticket sales." Ticket director Frank Maloney. The club did break attendance records but seats remained available, often in clumps, when the team began to sag.

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