Bruce writes the daily stories you see in the Daily Herald about Cubs baseball. He's shared some thoughts with me about himself, about writing, about the team, and yes, about the guy who used to play right field for us.
Q. Where are you originally from, where did you go to school, how did you get into the sports reporting business... and what team(s) did you grow up rooting for?
I grew up as one of those rare birds who followed the Cubs and Sox in the summer. I was able to listen to Jack Brickhouse do both of the teams' games in the 1960s. I followed the Bears in the fall and the Blackhawks in the winter, listening to the legendary Lloyd Pettit. I've always been a casual basketball fan. Baseball and hockey are the sports I like best.
Q: People say that the Cubs lost too much offense lost when Alou and Sosa were let go. Is this true, in your opinion, and how is the team going to retool?
Q: Do you think Mark Prior will finally have that break-out season that everyone is waiting for and win the NL Cy Young? Or is Carlos Zambrano this pitcher?
Q: What do you think of Dusty Baker as a manager? There's been a lot of talk about him abusing pitching staffs that have led to the injuries. Do you think that's the case, especially considering what happened to Kerry Wood yesterday?
Q: What is your perception of Cub fans as compared to fans of other teams?
Q: Who's your favorite current Cub player to interview? Who are some of your favorites from other teams, and also past Cubs?
Some of my favorites from years past include Rondell White, maybe the nicest guy around. He'd always stop and say hello first, not something a lot of athletes do. Rod Beck was terrific. If he blew a save, he was always there. Mark Grace knew all the reporters' names. My dealings with him were great. Terry Mulholland is one of the classiest guys in the game. I enjoyed Eric Young. I stopped by the Brewers locker room a year or so ago to talk with Brooks Kieschnick, and EY came over just to say hello and shoot the breeze. Kevin Tapani had one of the sharpest wits around. Jose Hernandez always made time to talk. He was a pretty valuable guy in 1998. I'm sure I left out some good guys. Overall, my dealings with the players over the years have been very, very good.
Q: What's your feeling about the Cubs this year? Is this the year? Where will they finish, and why?
Q: Finally -- are you sick and tired of writing about Sammy Sosa? After all, he's an Oriole now. Will the Sosa story die down?