Flashback #55: Cubs Collapse, Stone Leaves (2004)
As of 670 The Score's 20th Anniversary on January 3rd, the station has begun to reveal (in chronological order) the Top 100 Chicago Sports Stories that have occurred since they first went on the air 20 years ago. Once all 100 of these "flashbacks" have been revealed, fans will be able to vote for which stories they believe are the most significant in the 20 year history of The Score. To see all of the Flashbacks that The Score has posted so far, please visit 670 The Score's 20th Anniversary page.
October 28, 2004 - Cubs collapse, Steve Stone leaves the North Side
With eight games to play in the 2004 season, the Cubs owned a two-game lead over the Astros in the National League Wild Card race.
But that's when things fell apart for the North Siders. The Cubs lost six of their last eight games and, despite winning 89 games, finished three full games behind the Astros to miss the playoffs.
The collapse, however, was just the start of the bad news for the Cubs.
Less than one month after the end of the season, longtime analyst Steve Stone announced he was leaving WGN-TV, after coming under fire for on-air comments he made criticizing the team.
"I regret I won't be calling another Cubs game on WGN-TV for the greatest fans in baseball, the fans of the Chicago Cubs," Stone, a Cubs broadcaster for 20 years, said after making his decision.
Some of Stone's critical comments toward the end of the season led to a meeting with Cubs president Andy MacPhail, general manager Jim Hendry and manager Dusty Baker after Stone questioned Baker's managerial strategy and criticized the team's approach during a postgame television show Sept. 30.
He also criticized the team for making excuses in a late-season loss that damaged their chances of making the playoffs.
"You want the truth. You can't handle the truth," Stone said at the time. "The truth of this situation is an extremely talented bunch of guys who want to look at all directions except where they should really look and kind of make excuses for what happened.
"At the end of the day, boys, don't tell me how rough the water is, you bring in the ship."
Stone's partner Chip Caray also left WGN-TV a few weeks before Stone did.
The Score will continue to release a new Flashback each weekday until they reach 100. Check back tomorrow for a new one, or check out all of the previous Flashbacks: 670 The Score's 20th Anniversary »
for more features.