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In grind -- and family -- we trust

In grind -- and family -- we trust

This is going to be a bit more personal than you are used to seeing from me, though I suspect you have all figured me out pretty well because of the connections we've made in our written interactions over the years.  So maybe this won't be all that new to you after all.

But here goes...

I don't want to make a series of these articles because this is a baseball blog, but at the same time, you have all become like a family to me.  The respectful, intelligent discourse of this community is a great source of pride for me.  It restores my faith in humanity that we sometimes forget is in all of us.  Here we are all Cubs fans and we all want the same things, even if we sometimes disagree on how we, or rather the Cubs, should do them.  In the end, we are a community that truly cares about each other even if many of us have never met in person, though I have had the great pleasure of meeting many of you so far and hope to meet many more over the next several years...

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I will continue to write as I can with the help of this fantastic, talented Cubs Den staff.  They've been doing a great job juggling so many things and I am hoping to see them branch out with some new things and new growth in their own writing.  I know we'll see some even more great things from them.

But, yes, I will write too. It brings back a sense of normalcy for me as I fight.

The thing about me is this:  My appetite for all things in regard to knowledge, passion, love, as well as the things that appeal to my eyes, ears, nose and palate... my artistic and aesthetic senses... is insatiable.  That is what defines me. The great enemy for me is not cancer.  It is idleness.  My mind is forever unstill and to try to make it still would take away the very spirit which keeps me moving forward.

That the cancer is invading my brain is a great assault on my very identity and I am taking that on as a formidable challenge.  The crack staff of doctors here at MD Anderson are in the fight with me, offering me alternatives to not just preserve my brain just as it is now -- but nurturing it even more.  And if this cancer wants to fight me on my strongest battlefield, then bring it on.  I'll be more than ready to hold my ground and strike back with everything I have.  Doctors are supplying me with whatever I need, even their sometimes cryptic medical journals, so that I may fully understand what I am up against. I have been pouring over them to stay as informed and prepared as possible.

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One thing I learned from last time is that as much as I pride myself on my inner strength, I could not have gotten through this the last time without my beautiful, strong wife, who has been a rock.  Here she is telling me I'm number #1 after busting me trying to take a candid shot during my last birthday lunch in April.  She has been an incredible source of strength and support. putting in long, grueling hours to keep everything and everyone together.  She keeps me grounded and has helped make me a better person than I ever thought I could become.

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My parents flew in from Chicago after hearing the news, after just having arrived from their own wonderful trip to Peru.   Their love, strength, patience, and perseverance has helped shape the person I am today.

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There is family and friends, both here and back "home" from my days in Chicago that keeps me nourished: mind, body, spirit, and soul.  I cannot thank them enough.

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There is Vivi, of course, who can dish out and receive more love than any 18 pound fur baby/French Bulldog should be capable of storing and dispensing.  Tremendous surplus love value here.  We are forever in her debt.

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There is the Cubs family themselves and by that I include all the staff, the players and their families, writers, fellow fans, even "rival" scouts who have been so supportive.  I've heard of staff saying things like "We consider John to be a part of the Cubs family" or as one player recently told me, "You are just as much a Cub as any of us".  Imagine that! Sometimes it's words like these, sometimes an appreciative gift, a "good to see you!", a fist bump, a hello or just a familiar smile or nod. That simple human connection can come in so many little ways and it can mean more than we may know at the time.  They help make the ballpark my church.  It is my sanctuary for the times when the world around me gets so noisy and needlessly complex that I cannot see or hear the simple things and wonderful people that are right there in front of me.  Baseball always brings me back to center. Back to clarity.  It makes me whole again.  I cannot thank them enough for their inclusion.  And so yeah, I am going to go ahead and say it.  My family won the World Series last year.  Ha!

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Andruw Monasterio and Carlos Sepulvedalester-shoe

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But I will write.  I have to write.  I have to be nourished via my mind, body, spirit, and soul continuously and I thank all of you for indulging me in this relentless grind that I trust will always get me where I need to be.  Thank you for letting me share this passion with you. I appreciate you all for joining me all along the way and wherever this team, this community...this family takes us next in the many years to come.

Your continued support and commitment is nothing short of outstanding.. It cannot be said enough.  After this piece, we're back to baseball, back to my sanctuary.  The next article I plan to write on this subject will be to share with you when I -- make that we -- achieve the next remission.

Peace.

 

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  • John - I've said before that this is the best Cubs site anywhere because of you. Our thoughts are with you as you fight through and ultimately defeat this thing once and for all. We never quit.

  • In reply to North Side Pat:

    Thanks, Pat. Appreciate that very much.

    And indeed...We never quit!

  • Your courage and strength is an example to us all. May this new journey of yours conclude quickly. You have many unplayed innings to play.

    A beautiful tribute to everything which nourishes your very rich life, John

  • In reply to Skidoorunner:

    Thank you Skidoo. Really appreciate how simply and eloquently you stated this.

  • Peace, strength and courage to you John.

    Thank you for all you have done for my Cub fandom over these past 4-5 years. I can't thank you enough.

    I am glad to be a tiny piece of you Cub Den family.

    Continued prayers for you. Be well.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Thank you Irwin! You have been here since about the beginning and I always appreciate that the contributions you bring.

  • Wow I had no idea. Reading this article just makes you stop and think about remembering what is truly important in life. Thanks for this reminder. I wish you and your family nothing but the best. Stay strong.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Thank you...and you're welcome :) I will stay strong. I can promise that.

  • John you are the main reason I love and follow the minor leagues and draft so much. I am all about development now. I found this site right at the time we drafted Almora and now come here everyday. You have made me see the every aspect when it comes to baseball.

    Doctor to John, "Cancer knows you're coming."

    John: "It won't matter."

  • In reply to TD40:

    John Wick reference for anyone that didn't know

  • In reply to TD40:

    Love the Wick reference. Describes my attitude here pretty well :)

    And thank you so much for the kind words.

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    Your courage is a true inspiration, I will be praying for you and your family.

  • In reply to Nik Ulfarts:

    Thank you, Nik. That means a lot.

  • Keep grinding, John. We're with you.

  • In reply to TheMightyGin:

    Thanks MG! Appreciate the support very much!

  • John your writing and this site has served to drag me kicking and screaming into the world of modern baseball statistics and analysis. For that I will be forever grateful.

    As someone who enjoys writing myself, I find myself at a loss for words when I read what you just wrote so I will simply say Beat this. Beat cancer. Your family is here for you.

  • Haha! I was just talking to one of our writers about that. I think we brought it to you guys without forcing you into it. This is a smart community so you all deserve the credit.

    And thank you so much for those very kind words. And thanks for being here with me.

  • We've never met personally, but we have a bond because of what you do and the team we love. Fight on, my brother! We are behind you and I hope one day we can meet in person, shake hands, and watch some prospects.

  • In reply to Missed Signal:

    I hope we can too. Every reader I have met is exactly the kind of person I had hoped them to be after interacting with them here. It's like we already know each other when we first meet. Be happy to sit and watch some prospects together one day.

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    Beautiful words John. I actually am tearing up as I write this. Your words are strong and intimate and meaningful. You are very lucky also to have so much love surrounding you, both with your blood family and your extended family. I can't imagine how good it must make you feel to have Cubs players, management, etc be on your side too! The Cubs. Sorry for the long response but you inspire me and I'm sure all of us. You will win. One day at a time and soon you'll look back and smile and be whole. We are with you John.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Thank you, Jonathan. Your support is always so much appreciated. You guys are like family. I am sincere about that. I come from a background where the size of the family knows know bounds! All my friends talk about how my parents always brought them in and treated them just like their own sons and daughters. I hope that I pay that forward in my own unique way.

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    John- I have never posted here before but I have been following the Cubs minors and your site ever since they drafted Kris Bryant and you are one the reasons I fell in love with everything about the Cubs. All the way from the AZL 16 year olds to the current Cubs. I felt the need to post to thank you for your incredible work you have done and cannot thank you enough. I wish you nothing but the best and hope one day I can meet you.

  • In reply to Christopher Schutt:

    Thank you for the kind words and all those years of readership! I hope to meet you as well. If you are ever out to AZ, let me know. And I will let you all know the next time I am in Chicago.

  • My God be with you. You have made being a Cub fan much
    more than you can realize. We are all with you.

  • My God be with you. You have made being a Cub fan much
    more than you can realize. We are all with you.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Thank you, Emilio. I appreciate all your time and friendship over the years.

  • John,
    Lovely. Just lovely.
    You've inspired me quite a bit, so maybe I can return the favor: I was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease almost 20 years ago, at age 35. I had too quit my job because of my illness. On the other hand, since being diagnosed, I,have:
    Gotten married;
    Had two wonderful kids, both Cub fans, and taught them to play sports and music;
    Started a support group for young onset Parkinson's;
    Run a marathon and two half-marathons to raise money for Parkinson's.
    I could go on, but I won't. The point -- which you clearly already know so well -- is that while some things will be harder now (it's much harder for me to get around than it used to be), other doors will open and life's great adventure will continue! WIth a loving family, a strong support network and your positive attitude, you're so well-equipped for the hard times ahead -- as well as the good times.
    I wish you all the best,and appreciate you so much.
    -- Dan Kiefer

  • In reply to djbk:

    Dan, that is incredible! Thank you for sharing your experience. I know it wasn't easy because it wasn't easy for me either. It is truly inspiring to me. Thanks for the boost!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    And I do remember your early blog, btw, Nice job, Dan.

  • This is a great blog full of great people. No better fans in sports than Cubs fans....oh and btw Cardinals suck!

  • In reply to TD40:

    It really is, TD... but even the cool Cardinals fans like Cubs Den. :)

  • ATTENTION:

    I just want everyone to know, I'll be starting up a GOFUNDME account in the next day or two, to assist our fearless leader, John Arguello, not only to help him write these columns, but because, I feel, he deserves it. I hope you all will too. Please don't feel like you have to break the bank, every little bit helps. He needs us more than ever. We've done this before to help better his tools to write these articles, but he's going to need some help. A fight against cancer is NOT cheap. I lost my dad to cancer, so I know first hand what toll it takes on a person, and their family. So please watch for the link I'll be posting tomorrow. Jonathan Friedman, you've always been my biggest supporter on here with this. Please help me (if you would be so kind to) keep posting the reminder under each new article posted as we'll do it clear through next week. I know it will warm my heart to help John and Stacey Arguello as they battle this brutal disease, knowing we've all got their back. Every little bit will help them. I feel it'll help them not to worry so much about getting a little help, especially from the DENIZEN community he helps every day by writing and informing us on all things Cubs.

    Thank you all in advance. I really love this community John, and all of us, have built over the past several years.

    Sincerely,
    Chad Brachbill
    **Also, if anyone needs to verify who I am, just to assure yourselves this isn't some kind of monetary scam, I'm a policeman in Illinois. If you'd like to verify this, I'd be more than happy to provide the phone number. Thank you all again.

  • In reply to copinblue:

    Chad, you are beyond reproach in here. We appreciate you taking the lead on this and the previous efforts. Thank you for setting it up.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Thank you for saying this as it needed to be said. Chad is as quality and sincere a human being as I have ever gotten the pleasure to know. But I still have to meet him in person :) Got to change that!

    And thanks to you rbucato. Always enjoy your insights here and the way you often have me take a second look at things I may have missed.

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    In reply to copinblue:

    Chad, you know I will. You do so much both in your job and here and you really do pay it forward.

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    In reply to copinblue:

    I can also verify. Chad has done this before and John has gotten the money.

  • In reply to copinblue:

    Hi Chad. Any updates on this page?

    John,

    I rarely comment, but I read your coverage daily. You and your team do such a great job and I am always looking forward to your posts. I greatly appreciate all of the knowledge you've shared with us, including your scotch preferences, and it's really made following the Cubs even more enjoyable. Thank you for all that you do. What can we help with?

  • In reply to Cubsinfl:

    Thank you everyone. I really appreciate the kind words and the cooperation. I love this site, and all of the writers. But John is....he's just our "leader". I remember the first time someone was commenting on one of the columns on here, and he was like what I'd call a "YouTube commenter". Just nasty and contraire and inappropriate. John was professional and shut him down. Then when he warned someone over and over to stop being political in their comments, and antagonizing people, he finally blocked them. I was hooked on here ever since. And I learned real fast what kind of person, and writer, he was.

    Thank you Mike Moody and Jonathan Friedman. Thank you for always supporting this site, and more importantly, John. I'll be posting the GoFundMe account later tonight or tomorrow, and we can all share it and get it going. This will be AWESOME! Let's all support John and Stacey in their fight against this awful disease!!

    Chad Brachbill

  • In reply to copinblue:

    Thank you, Chad. I really appreciate all the kindness, generosity. and friendship you have demonstrated over the years.

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    In reply to copinblue:

    My loyalty is to John. Always and especially right now. Glad you took the initiative to do this.

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    In reply to copinblue:

    Thank you Chad...
    I contributed last time and my New Zealand money was converted into delicious scotch (Wasn't it? I can't remember the actual label but it sounded pretty good)
    Looking forward to contributing again
    Cheers
    Bob

  • In reply to KiwiBob:

    Haha! I believe it was probably a little of the old Ardbeg Uigeadail. One of my favorites!

  • John, your writing and your site got me through the lean rebuilding years for the Cubs. Your content enriched my baseball knowledge. Before I could ever binge Netflix there was Cubs Den coverage to obsess over. Your site and writing made me a better more rational Cubs fan, if there can be such a thing. Thank you for your work and go kick some ass.

  • In reply to jamespk:

    Thank you James. I really appreciate the kind words. It is always nice to know we've made an impact like that. It's what I hope for more than anything...more than hits, more than awards...just being able to reach this great community the way we have is one of my proudest accomplishments here.

  • You are the best Cubs writer I have seen in my travels through media.

    Second is not particularly close. May your mind stay strong and wise, and your heart be renewed with The deepest Wells of strength.

  • In reply to discubobulated:

    This is such incredibly high praise, discubobulated. Thank you for those kind words. I really appreciate that and will continue to be the best writer I can be for you all.

  • John this sight is one of the reason I started going to the cougars games back before they were a Cubs affiliate. I been reading this sight every since I found it not much of a commenter but your heart and will are in the right place your going to knock this battle out of the park like a misplaced changeup! Stay strong my friend

  • In reply to Vinnie T:

    Thanks Vinnie. I really appreciate the support and the kind words.

  • John, you've shared so much of your Cubs knowledge with us over the years. I'm touched, honored, and grateful that today you chose to share so much of yourself as well.

    We are all behind you, and when you beat this thing again, we'll be there to greet you at home plate and carry you off the field on our shoulders.

  • In reply to seattlecub:

    Thank you for saying that because it wasn't easy for me as I have said I tend to be a little private. And that home plate idea... That sounds like a deal!

  • John,
    I am so sorry for what you are going through. Your positive outlook and your love and appreciation for your family and friends in this difficult time, and your keen sense of humor as you battle through this - it's inspirational for all of us. You initially drew all of us in with your writing about the cubs, which I have been following for 4 years now. And it's always top notch. Obviously I don't know you, but it's clear that you have a ton of fight in you and a really healthy perspective in finding meaning in suffering. We are all rooting for you so hard. You have so much courage and strength. My hope is that every one of these messages from your readers somehow finds their way to you, and somehow further strengthens and supports you as you fight and endure. Please continue to fight, write, and share with us. I can't wait to hear from you when you have beaten this. Take care and be well.

  • In reply to Bill Buckner #22:

    Thank you, Billy Buck! I am a fighter, not literally :),but I definitely have always had that kind of spirit. These are such incredibly kind words and I will take them to heart. All of this support really does help. I found out how much it helped last time.

  • John,
    Cubs Den has been the highlight of my days ever since I had a cardiac arrest 1.5 years ago. It's been an uphill climb getting my energy and mind back to where it needed to be. I think being a Cub fan over the last 51 years gave me a wonderful diversion over my health trials. I love and hang on every word that you write. You will win this battle. Please contact me if you ever come to Smokies Park here in Tennessee. I would love to meet you and give you one of my pewter baseball paperweights (see on Ebay). That offer extends to all of the great Cubs Den writers. I'm praying for your complete healing!
    Dale

  • In reply to Tennwolfeman:

    These kinds of stories always touch me because it brings to light how much you can touch people's lives with a simple act of kindness or community, even through something as seemingly innocuous as baseball and writing. Thank you for sharing, Dale. And if I ever get back to Tennessee I will take you up on meeting you at a game. It would be a pleasure.

  • This website has saved me spiraling into Cubs twitter so many times with the thoughtful & informative articles & great commenters. You have built a Cubs family here. One where you have been able to keep the discourse civil & allowed people from all walks of life to talk about their love of the Cubs. I couldn't imagine I would have enjoyed the World Series title as much without this website. Thank you for everything & I look forward to many more years of reading your work on Cubs Den

  • In reply to Bamacub:

    Winning that WS together was great. Glad it happened for all of us, especially after having to wait those rebuilding years. Made it so much sweeter that we grew up with each other as well as all the players through the minors. I don't think it could have been any more fun or rewarding for me.

  • Thanks for making me cry at 7:00 in the morning John. In all seriousness, I'll be thinking of you and your family as you kick this things butt. You have a talent for writing about the Cubs, and you've built something special here. No where else is there a place to talk to other fans with such passion and respectfulness. I look forward to reading your articles for years to come.

  • In reply to Mom2futurecubs:

    It truly is amazing what John has managed to build here. Tell me one other site, especially a sports site, that is open to anyone and the discourse among the community stays respectful 99.9% of the time? I was a passive observer on the site for years before I ever began contributing. All along I just assumed that the intelligent discourse would eventually devolve into the normal hate filled drivel and name calling so prevalent on the internet. But it hasn't.

    Instead the site has grown. New writers with new voices. A steady stream of new readers and commenters. The talk hasn't changed.

    The only explanation I have is the tone set by our fearless leader.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    It really is amazing. Some have come and gone, some have been here throughout, but the respect in this community never changes. Thank you for those kind words, Michael, and I'd like to think it was a bunch of us like-minded people finding each other and committing to this community, which has indeed become like one giant, fluid, extended family, but at the same time we are all different in many ways, that's what makes it truly amazing. That we can always seem to find common ground despite the different backgrounds, views, and beliefs. It was something I had envisioned from the beginning and to see it come to fruition the way it has is beyond even my most optimistic hopes.

  • There will not be a day that you and your family wont be in my prayers.

  • In reply to Hagsag:

    Thank you Hagsag. I appreciate that very much.

  • You are one hell of a fighter and from what I can tell from this site, one hell of a person. It has been such a delight for me over the years to read your articles as they have not only allowed me to follow the team I love with incredible depth, but it has also allowed me to feel that I have almost gotten to know you a bit. I am sure if we ever met I would love to hang out and have a drink together. I will be rooting for you and following your battle closely. Sending up prayers your way my friend. Keep on keeping on with your battle.

  • In reply to cdubs:

    Thanks, cdubs. I do try to be a better person everyday. Still so much to learn. And I am a fighter, no question about that. Don't know how not to fight.

    It makes me feel good that you have gotten to know me through my writing because for me I always strive to make those personal, humanistic connections, even if I usually try to be more subtle in my everyday articles.

    Would love to have a drink sometime. Scotch, of course!

  • We Never Quit! I know you live by that motto too, John. That"s how I know I'll be reading your stuff for many years to come.

    You and this site mean so much to me and so many others. You know we"re all pulling for.

    Never quit!
    Lets Go Cubs!
    Lets Go John!

  • In reply to TTP:

    We never quit! Wouldn't it be great to see all of us celebrating together again this fall after such a tough season? That would be almost too poetic.

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    You and this site will always be an enormous part of my life. It was crushing to read this today. I know you well enough to know you'll stay optimistic through the fight and will find a way to beat this, too. Progress isn't always linear. You got this.

    Mike

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Thanks, Mike. Really glad I got to know you in this way. Over the years we have challenged each other to do better. That is really what I take out of his friendship and I am grateful for that.

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    John....I do believe that was your greatest writing to date. God bless you and your family and everyone supporting you.

  • In reply to Greg Simmons:

    Thank you, Greg. I was certainly one of my most personal, spiritual pieces I have written. I was hesitant to publish but now really glad that I did because it was nice to let you guys to get to me know me even a little closer than you already do.

  • This is my favorite piece in the 3+ years I have been here. The way you weaved your personal side and the Cubs family was a thing of beauty. You even shared your bride with us -- love the sarcastic salute to you as wel. Haha!!!!!! I look forward to your writing everyday and it is the one place we can get into everything Cubs. I echo Michael's sentiments about the way you lead this blog and the level of discourse being top notch. That is just not how it is out there. We all have our opinions and are passionate, but seldom does it cross the line of being personal and then delve into the cussing and name-calling. We can't thank you enough. As much as this is your sanctuary, it is ours as well because of you.

    Our thought and prayers are with you for a rapid recovery!!!!

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    Thanks rbrucato. I am glad I was able to pull that off so simply and seamlessly because my first version of this piece was much less fluid. Was thinking too much and I just l=kind of let this one write itself, so to speak.

    And yeah, love that wife ic because I am usually the mischievous one of the two, the one with the knowing wry smile, but she turned the tables on me big time, that's what makes me like it so much and makes it fit so much in this piece.

  • John long time reader first time poster! Your site is awesome, I share your passion for the cubs and have become the cubs player development expert with my family and friends, mostly stealing your opinions! Having never met I feel like we are friends. I am proud of what you have created and even prouder of the courage that you fight with! Thank you my friend, you are in our thoughts and prayers CUBS WIN

  • In reply to CubsdenStrong!:

    Thanks for commenting...and your candor, haha! Thank you for the thoughts and prayers!

  • My 14 year old son and I made a quickly planned trip to spring training this year. My preparations included getting a hotel, tickets, and reading this site.

    I went into the trip with low expectations for myself, happy just knowing that it was something my son actively wanted to do. Little did I recognize that I was entering Cubs-Disney. I was enchanted, spell-bound. I knew most every player and their back story, and felt I was now in a 3D version of Cubs Den.

    On our last day, we stood in the gully that adjoins the two practice fields, following advice I'd gleaned from here. "Get to the backfields." A ball arched high over the fence and landed at my feet. Now, my son has a 'homerun from Kyle Scwharber.'

    I had one item left to check off my list of to dos for the trip. We walked back to grass besides the first base stands one more time before we headed to the airport. My son had engaged in all sorts of autograph hounding and player interaction, but all weekend I just had one person I wanted to see if I could meet. Just twenty or thirty yards away, I paused, figuring out how to make the introduction.

    Looking out at batting practice, Jeimer Candelario's dad interrupted my thoughts, and chatted me up. He was looking for his son. I got out the masterfully intelligent question of 'how does your son pronounce his first name?' Dad responded and went on his way.

    Once distracted, I regrouped. Unfortunately, John, you had already left so I didn't get a chance to say "hello." We'll have to do it next year.

    Scott

  • In reply to Gunga:

    Sorry we missed each other, Scott, but I am glad you and your son had a great experience down here. Maybe next time.

  • I participate in a few Cubs groups online but this one is home base, the place I go when I want a different angle or safe place when the meatballs are out of control and that sense of place, that sense of home is because of you, John. I'm not a praying man but I am a believer in positive thoughts and those of us here are full of those for you in these tough days. My thoughts are with you and this community is with you. Keep writing and keep fighting, we'll all be right here.

  • Strong arms to row wild waters
    Strong arms to row a sighing sea
    And where lamenting turns to laughter
    The heart may plant another tree

  • In reply to wastrel:

    That fits vert well for my situation. Thanks!

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    Cubs Den has sharpened my knowledge of all things Cubs and for that I thank you John and your talented staff. My prayers go out to you and your family may God bless you and give you a speedy recovery.

  • In reply to TheRiot2:

    Thank you very much Theriot. I appreciate the prayers a ton.

  • John, I've been a "den member" for several years now. Frequency of my participation is a bit volatile , depending on things going on in my work/personal life, but I'm always watching and reading.

    John, what you've created here is amazing for both the uber-high quality writing/content and the civility of discourse. There are other sites/blogs that are good at what they set out to do. Bleacher Nation, for example, is more of a "big box" blog and they do a nice job within that construct. The Den is more of a "boutique" spot that really maintains very high standards of both material and member interactions. John, my only worry is that after you leave cancer in the rear view mirror, once and for all, your career is going to take a Kevin Goldstein/Jason Parks-like turn but who could begrudge you that?

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    Matt, I am glad you found us so very long ago. Always enjoy your takes and your baseball acumen. Working in baseball is probably behind me at this point, but who knows down the road! That would be great to work in some capacity for the team we all love, but I honestly have never sought it out. Maybe I will this time.

  • Hey John,

    I haven't contributed much to your blog but you have been one of my 2 bookmarks over the last few years. I'm checking in every time I open my browser, constantly hungry for more of your writing.

    I've been a cubs fan for life, like many of us it's in my blood, passed down from generation to generation. It wasn't until I found Cubs Den that I truly felt like part of the team. The knowledge and writing skill of you and your staff is unmatched in the cubs world.

    You turned my hobby into a passion and have truly influenced my life more than I (or my wife) would like to admit. I even use your name in conversation with my wife like you are a close friend!

    Keep on fighting!

  • In reply to Jacub:

    Wow, thank you very much for these words. They really do mean a lot.

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    Good luck John, you are certainly a fighter.
    This page helped me, and many of us Cubs fans through the tough years. You kept the focus on the light at the end of the tunnel when it was darkest as a Cubs fan.
    There's an analogy to be made here, but I'm not a good enough writer to find it.
    You can beat this.

  • In reply to Dan Strickland:

    Thanks for those words of encouragement... and I like that analogy!

  • John,
    Talent, heart, chemistry, tenacity, love of the game; you have the stuff that turns a good ballplayer into a legendary one, even if your keyboard is your bat and glove. What you have shared with me and many others at Cubs Den can't be measured in the whole with statistics alone. Fight on.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Thank you so much for this post. Love the scouting/baseball metaphor. It warms my heart know I have such a big impact and so many people. I can promise everyone I will fight and I will fight as hard as I can. Thanks for being around all these years and always giving us you insight. I remember all those great pictures you sent years back.

  • Thanks for all thst you do! There are several places to get Cubs news but this is the only one I never forget to check!

  • In reply to Coyo5050:

    That is great that you check us out every day. I appreciate that immensely. Will keep trying to write the very best I can for all you guys. Writing is my gift to he world and I hope I will always share it whenever I can.

  • That was beautiful.

  • In reply to berber31:

    Thank you, berber.

  • This is incredibly touching. Your excellence, thoughtfulness and objectivity have made your site a daily MUST for me. Please know prayers are up for you daily.

    Also, if you are open to it, I highly recommend The Truth About Cancer site and videos (TheTruthAboutCancer.com). Many world renown oncologists discuss their progression of understanding about cancer treatment causing them to embrace new protocols that have had near miraculous results in cases thought to be terminal.

  • In reply to TheCHISportsFan:

    Thank you very much for that Jim. The prayers and kind words about my post mean a lot. And thanks also for the website. The docs here are at the top and I feel like well taken care. I will check that site out as soon as I can. I know they have a couple of different options here already. Mulling them ver.

  • John,
    You are a true inspiration. While that title gets thrown around often with little thought as to who it being applied to, you are the real McCoy. You have been one of the single greatest baseball feeds I have ever had the pleasure of finding. You were our shining light through the dark ages and you continue to bring us back to reality when our expectations and disappointments overshadow the fun of the game. I cannot wait for the day I get to shake your hand and take a picture with you!!! You're one of my sports heroes and true image of what it means to be a Cub fan!!! We will fight with you!!!

  • In reply to RonJohn85:

    Thank you, Ron. I appreciate the kind words both here and on Twitter. They mean a lot. Look forward to meeting you!

  • John,
    I am a praying man. Our family believes in the miracles of prayer that happen with the combination of medical expertise and medicinal advancement. You and Stacey (and Vivi) are in our thoughts and prayers. MD Anderson has the research, technology, staff and resources to help tackle the most difficult challenges.

  • In reply to TexasCubsFan:

    Thank you Texas. I very much appreciate your prayers. That means a lot. Love MD Anderson. Top notch people as well as being so highly informed and prepared for multiple courses of action. Can't say enough about them!

  • This really puts things in perspective. You are the glue that keeps this community together, John. Fight like Hell.

    God bless you and your family.

  • In reply to Stubbs:

    I appreciate you saying that Stubbs. It means a lot because as much as I wanted to create a great blog, I also wanted to bring a great community together.

    And I will fight like hell. I promise that!

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    John,
    I used to go to another site to get my Cubs information but I couldn't take the insults and pure meanness of some of the comments that were made to each other and about Cubs players and management. This site has been respectful of others views and of the Cubs players and management as long as I can recall. I believe that a direct result of your attitude and quality of writing.
    So John In the words of Winston Churchill.
    "Never, Never, Never Give UP" Through God all things are possible. I will be praying for a remission and full recovery and hope to see you in Mesa in the near future. God Bless.

  • In reply to Theodore Anderson:

    I am glad to hear that, Theodore! That was a goal I had from day one, to make this an informed, rational discuss where we can disagree with each other without everu (or at least very rarely), not making it about the person behind the comments.

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    John I stumbled on to this site about 4 years ago and have been here ever since...your passion for this team truly does make you a Cub! And as great of a cub as you are, you seem like an even better person! Keep up the fight my man

  • In reply to Scott Buchanan:

    Thanks, Scott. So very glad you found us. And I appreciate the kind words. I do try to be the best person best writer I can be. Sill working on it everyday!

  • Between all the people who commented here and many like me who do not comment so often, there is probably someone thinking about you or saying a little prayer for you at almost any time of the day. That thought makes me happy for you.

  • In reply to stevec2:

    Thanks, Steve!

  • John, our thoughts are always with you. Thank you for bringing me onto the site, and let me know if there is anything that you need.

  • In reply to Tom U:

    Thanks, Tom. And it's great to have you on board!

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    John, I'm not an active contributor but I've read this blog and the comments daily for years now. You've managed to assemble a respectful, super-knowledgeable group of people who hang on to your every word. I'm sure there are even thousands more shy readers who feel the same way I do. You have a beautiful family and an 80 grade cute dog. Thank you for your insights, leadership and continued strength. You got this!

  • In reply to Eric Foster:

    Oh, absolutely. We have a lot more lurkers and readers than we do commenters. The comments are always just a very small percentage of our readers, but it is great to see more and more new voices...or older ones I haven't heard in a long time.

  • John, my thoughts are with you. Looking forward to reading Your blog for many years to come.
    Thanks

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Thank you 2016! Look forward to writing them for many years!

  • You clearly have a great support team which is so very important. Thanks for including pictures of them as well. You have opened yourself in a personal and transparent way which we receive in love and return that love to you. Everyone's life is a journey and thanks for including us on your ride. Good luck and prayers.

  • In reply to Cphil:

    Thank you. And I consider you all part of that support team...hope to meet so many more of you at some point soon.

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    Bless you John!

    Although I don't post as much as I used to, I am still here and read your stuff each and everyday. You give 'em HELL on your end and I'll send prayers on my end. We'll two time the bastard!

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    Thank you, Bobby! Cancer will definitely have it's hands full this time. Nice to hear from you again.

  • It's so great to see the outpouring of support here, John, and it's well-deserved. You've got hundreds (thousands?) of people pulling for you and wishing you well in your fight. If we can help in any way, please let us know.

    If you ever get the hankering to come down to Costa Rica to visit the beaches, forests, volcanos, etc. let me know and I'll point you in the right direction!

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    Have always wanted to see Costa Rica sometime! Thank you. Scotland is next on our big list for now :)

  • I'm not sure what to say. You have my thoughts and support.

  • In reply to Cubswin09:

    That works great, Cubswin09. Thank you.

  • Thank you for sharing this with us, John. I love how this community has been created. I often hear people talk about the meanness of discourse on the internet. This place is one of my main examples of how excellent an online community can be. That is no small feat -- and people continue to come here because of the high quality of the discourse and the civility and sheer baseball knowledge that one consistently finds here. This doesn't happen by itself -- the rest of the internet is evidence of that. You have made your mark here, John. I look forward to continuing to read your words and those of the other writers you have gathered here. I can't thank you enough for this. You have my prayers, as well as my thanks and appreciation.

  • In reply to JoePepitone:

    I've heard from others that this one of the few where it is perfectly safe -- and even encouraged -- to read the comments section :) It makes me proud that I was able to visualize a community like this. Came out as well as I could have possibly hoped.

  • In reply to JoePepitone:

    This is exactly how I feel "JoePepitone". I look forward to reading the comments and getting people's opinions and insights on both the Minor and Major league columns.

  • John, I came across your blog right around when Theo signed. You opened up a whole new side of Cubs fandom to me. And as a 50 something Cubs fan, it was well needed through the rebuild. As I, through Cubs Den, got to watch the kids come up.
    As someone with a disease that has a 10-15 year mortality rate, your fight though your battle has been inspiring. Your turning your hobby and passion into something concrete and special has influenced my life.
    My mourning in Adams passing was a blow that I had not expected or experienced since Walter Peyton's passing. And I do not mean for that to sound fatalistic. Just that you have built something truly special here and having never met you, I feel I know you through the quality and sincerity of your writing. And the quality of the staff and commenters.
    My thoughts and blessings are with you as you win this fight.
    Onward

  • It really means a lot to hear that SignedEpsteinsMother. It humbles me always to think I have made an impact in some small way.

    Onward, indeed. That is the plan!

  • John,

    It was during the early days of the Cubs rebuild when I found you. Much of my knowledge of advanced metrics, and all of my knowledge of the then nascent Cubs farm system, comes from you.

    Then to see that young talent develop into stars and getting to experience the Cubs magical 2016 season with you and everyone here on the Cubs Den was, well, magical.

    Your Cubs Den family will serve as a source of strength and help to guide you through this latest battle. Which we all know you will win! Best of everything my friend. We're here for you.

  • In reply to YouCannotBeSerious:

    Thanks, Mike! I appreciate the support as always.

  • John, I certainly can't express enough how amazing your resilience is. It certainly is not easy to stand tall in the face of adversity but you do it with such class, strength, and grace. I admire you sir...and I certainly pray for your healing and wish you all the strength to overcome the battles that stand in your way. Stay strong buddy and know that we are with you.

    I started reading on this site about 4 years ago and there isn't a day I don't drop in to read, comment, or just enjoy every member's contributions. I love the Cubs and even moreso, the fans of this great team. I've always felt that it takes a unique individual to be a fan of this team, even through so many years of disfunctionality. As many of you all can likely attest to longer than I can. I believe it shows loyalty, character, and the resolve within an individual to continue psuhing forward to attain great goals. This site has changed my outlook on Cubs baseball surely, but also in many ways on how I view and proceed forward with daily life events...a new perspective if you will. I think from this experience getting to E-know (as my wife puts it) many of you all, there's certainly been a trend towards the more favorable outcome of things within my life that haven't always turned out so well. I think that just goes to show what an amazing community you've built here.

    Sure...Cubs baseball brought us here, but great people with a mindset on Cubs family keeps us here. Thank you for starting that and continuing it in a very meaningful manner. Keep your head up bud, because victory is within your sights.

  • In reply to drockttu:

    Very well said. And thank you.

  • You are an inspriration, John. I have no doubt that you will overcome this. I thank you for all that you do for us Cubs fans. We can't get enough of your writing. I will be sending good vibes your way.

  • In reply to criggilyk:

    Thanks for that boost of confidence and the vibes. Much appreciated!

  • John, we all know you can put this behind you and enjoy your life together with your famliy and all us Die Hard Cubs fans. Don't comment to much anymore but read every morning. I know we will meet you soon have trying since 2005 when we first connected on the blog. God bless your family and looking forward to getting to see you at the backfields. Our Prayers and strength will pull you through! Give our love to ViVi she will give you comfort in the hard times.

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    John, your blog and the community you built around it not only made the 'wilderness years' of the rebuild tolerable, your comprehensive coverage and analysis made them exciting.
    It gave this avid reader (but infrequent poster) a box seat on the development and nurturing of the Cubs young talent, making the championship ride last year so much sweeter and unforgettable.
    Living in New Zealand I simply don't have a network of fellow fans around me from whom I can draw inspiration - but with yourself and Cubs Den I don't need one.
    Thank you a thousand times over
    I wave my glass in your direction - and hope to help fill yours once Chad sets up his page.
    Cheers

  • John - Fantastic writing - as usual. Love this little online community & you are the lynchpin that put it together.

    Know that even those of us here who have not yet had the privilege of meeting with you in person love you & are absolutely backing you in this fight. We got your back Sir!

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    I second your comment, drkazmd65. At the risk of a corny analogy, I think if any Denizen was on the mound with cancer in the batter's box, we'd all drill him with a fastball right in the ass to send the message "Don't mess with our teammate, our leader". As John said, let's focus on baseball, because the next time this subject is mentioned is when he's flying the "W".

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I like the corny analogy!

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Thanks DrKaz. I hope to get to meet you sometime soon and talk some baseball. Thanks for having my back!

  • John, you've nourished my love and appreciation of baseball in a way that surprised me. My life has been enriched by supporting the Cubs, but I had allowed apathy seep in, and rob me of much of what I love about the game. You squeezed that apathy out. You also are a reminder of the importance of humanity, and a great example for all of us.Thank you, get well, so much to live for.

  • In reply to JB55:

    Thank you JB, that means a lot. It always amazes me that I have been able to impact my little part of this world the way I have. The cubs did bring us here together but I believe it is that like-mindedness, that humanity, that inner-connectedness, that family that keeps us all coming back.

  • John, I'm on this site all the time and a little late today because my birthday and Fathers Day often fall on the same weekend. You are such a gifted writer, knowledgeable baseball person, voice of reason, and most all, warm hearted. Thank you! It's always a pleasure to visit your blog.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Thank you, 44. I appreciate the kind words and for all your wonderful contributions. Proud to have you as part of this great community.

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    John, it must make you feel so good to read such love from so many people. Most of us don't get to feel that. I am impressed also with how many Denizens are writing for the first time to make their feelings known. As many have said, not only do we get to read and react about our favorite team but in a safe and warm place. You have kept the noise out of here and we all appreciate it. Thanks again for all that you do.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    It is overwhelming, Jonathan. You all have me at a loss for words and that isn't easy to do :)

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    speaking of a loss of words, I once had a friend that didn't talk very much--he just watched the rest of us. We used to make shirts for each other, and the shirt we made for him was " " to signify all he said. I have a feeling that isn't often for you.

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    In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    The quotes were farther apart. It doesn't show well there.
    like this----" ".

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Haha! That would not be me at all. I enjoy good conversation too much :)

  • Beautiful, John! I've long admired your writing, but you have especially stirred our hearts with this one. We all stand with you, John!

  • In reply to Yuji Fukunaga:

    Thank you, Yuji!

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    John, I'm also one who's been more lurker than commenter (though I've been trying to be more active!). I felt the need to chime in and offer my well wishes to you. The news of this relapse was tough to read, but based on the first boutbits clear no one will fight harder than you. I was fortunate to discover Cubs Den early on, and it quickly became my destination for all things Cubs. You've build tremendous community here and I'm happy to hear (selfishly) that you'll continue to write. I look forward to it and can't wait until you beat this insidious disease again!

  • In reply to John Winter:

    Thank you, John. Good to hear from you again. Commenting or just lurking, I appreciate the readership over the years.

  • Sorry I'm late to the Den--long travel day today.

    John, I have told you before that you and the Denizens pulled me through the darkest time in my life a few years ago--two months with my son in the ICU. That is a debt I can never repay, but please feel free (and Stacey also) to call on me and Charlotte for any assistance we might provide as you conquer this latest level.

    See you on the back fields!

  • So I grew up a Sox fan...lived on the south side, Dad was a fan, you know the drill. When I met John and discovered he was a devout Cubs fan, I married him anyway. We used to joke all the time about each others team, in Chicago you pick a team and stick with them through thick and thin. You cannot be a fan of both teams, (Cusack!) or claim you are simply a fan of Chicago. That is just not how it works. The more time I spent with John, the more I learned about baseball. Not the rules, I have an understanding of those, but the nuances of pitchers, batting stances, foot placement, etc. I LOVED it! We started going to the A ball games whenever we could. We went to Kane County, Peoria, Beloit. I saw newly signed prospects...Javy, Jorge, CONTRERAS. (He is in caps because he is my favorite) We traveled to Des Moines one Memorial Day weekend and sat through rain and cold to watch the Iowa Cubs. It was a fantastic trip! Then John brought me to Arizona to see the Instructs, and I was hooked. I loved it. It was so exciting to see them learning new skills and then go to them games later and see how much they improved. I loved the camaraderie, the dedication, and the intensity. As my Sox started slipping, and I started hearing less about them, I became an ambivalent Sox fan, no longer hanging on our 21st Century World Series Win. John once asked me if he was on his death bed, and the Cubs were in game 7 of the World Series, would I root for them? At that time I emphatically said no. But I will tell you last year, when they went to game 7, I was with him all the way. I was devastated when they fell behind, I was yelling at Joe Buck, and I cried when they won. I realize that it is not because they are a baseball team, but they carried the hopes of thousands for over 100 years. It meant so much to the city of Chicago. I started thinking about THIS team, THIS club, and THIS management. How can I not be a fan of a team that has so much heart, that although it would mean the world to them if they won, they wanted to do it for the fans. They could not let Chicago down. THIS team all the way down is a class act. The players I watch here in Arizona are young, but they are kind, thoughtful, generous, and just good people. I am so proud of John and what he does here at Cubs Den, but also how he is as a person. He takes photos of the "kids" he sends them to families, he talks with them, he respects them, he understands them. How can I not be a fan of a team that supports him, that tells him he is a part of the Cubs family, that call/text/email well wishes. I feel like maybe there is a small nugget somewhere in me that still clings to the Sox, I cannot fully let go, but I have to say I love this Cubs team and all they represent. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving John the passion to continue doing what he loves and the support to fight. Thank you so much, for giving him the strength to grind on! I love you John, and your Cubs.

  • In reply to mrsja:

    Love you too, Stacey. I am glad you said such nice things because it would have been so awkward to ban you :)

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Now that's funny... and touching. I doubt you have the authority to ban her, you may need to check her contract. I'm sure there are "no-trade"- type provisions. :)

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    Hello Mrs. John. It was good to hear your story and your love comes out in your recounting your life together. I have a friend who's sister married a Sox fan and she became one--her sister says she went over to "the dark side". You did the opposite. Thanks for writing down your feelings, it's appreciated. You actually should write more often, I really enjoyed reading it.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Lol, what a trooper you have.

  • Stacey--Wonderfully written! We welcome converts at all times!

    And let us know if you need anything at all. We're literally around the corner (plus a mile or two).

  • Sending all good thoughts your way, John. Rooting for you always

  • Kick cancer's ass John! We'll be supporting you all the way through!

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    John, it's been a few years. I was just told you were in fight mode. I want you to know my prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.

    My father suffered from something similar. He'd have beat it too, but he lost a lung in '62 and it was all too much to ask of his body - and treatments in '79 were rudimentary and medieval compared to today.

    I have faith in you in this fight and I'm betting on you too. What you've built here is no small accomplishment. I'm sure you never once thought of quitting so I know you can't fathom that option.

    It is my sincerest wish that we raise a glass of scotch together (well bourbon for me) because then I'll know that all your hopes remain ahead of you, and that all your prayers, as well as those of your family, your friends, and your Cubs Den community have been answered.

    Baseball is not baseball without you. And neither is this wonderful community you've built. I hope to see your byline again, and in short order.

    Be well, and may God bless and heal you.

    Mike Canter

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    Man, I wish I was reading that next remission article instead of writing this! I regret I never had a chance to meet him or say a proper goodbye. I miss John already. It's weird but there feels like there is a permanent void in my life now that I can't come on this page and read an Arguello piece, nor seek out John's knowledge via comment on here or twitter. This just sucks! Hope his Wife the best. Also his family as we are all a part of. John will be deeply missed, but never forgotten. In our memories and through his writing he is forever immortalized! Farwell John.

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