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Gonfalon Cubs: Looking to next year

For me at least, it’s time to start thinking about how the Cubs can get back on track in 2018.

So what is needed this off-season? I won’t say much about particular options, and instead lay out in order what I think are top issues:

1. A couple of starting pitchers. The Cubs have a solid core of Hendricks, Quintana and Lester to amend. Jake Arrieta will be on the free-agent market, where he may or may not be a good buy. John Lackey’s contract is up as well, and he will likely retire. ...

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Andere Richtingen Posted: October 23, 2017 at 02:04 PM | 8 comment(s)
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Hall of Merit: Most Meritorious Player: 2009 Ballot

For 2009 each voter should rank the top 15 players from all leagues combined.

Balloting is scheduled to close at 4pm EDT on 1 November 2017.

Anyone can vote, even if you do not normally participate in Hall of Merit discussions. If you have never participated in an MMP election, just post a preliminary ballot in the discussion thread by 31 October 2017.

For detailed rules see one of our previous ballots.

DL from MN Posted: October 23, 2017 at 11:23 AM | 1 comment(s)
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Sox Therapy: Questioning the Winter

With the AL East champs season having come to a disappointing end in the ALDS they are now looking forward to 2018.  The Sox are a young and talented team and the future should be bright.  However, with the emergence of the Yankee youth the division should be more of a challenge next year. I remain optimistic but there are plenty of questions to be addressed this winter and I thought I would lay them out here.

1. Who is going to run this nine?

Reports are coming out Thursday afternoon that ...

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Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: October 19, 2017 at 03:10 PM | 21 comment(s)
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Gonfalon Cubs: Five minute Los Angeles Dodgers Preview

First, let’s start by reminiscing. 

Wonderful.

OK, on to this year.  As everyone knows, for the majority of the season, the Dodgers were far and away the best team in baseball, just like the were Cubs last year.  There were comparisons and accolades, and then the Dodgers really stumbled down the stretch.  They still finished with the best record in baseball, but only fourth in run differential. 

There are some big differences between this year and last year’s team.  The biggest is Cody ...

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Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist Posted: October 13, 2017 at 10:35 AM | 101 comment(s)
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Sox Therapy: In Praise of John

As you almost certainly know by now the Red Sox have parted ways with John Farrell after five seasons as Red Sox managers.  The Sox reached tremendous highs with Farrell at the helm and also some fairly substantial lows.  I think it is fair to say that the general opinion of Farrell is mixed.  I have been a fairly vocal supporter of Farrell and while I recognize some of his shortcomings I think the ledger tilts to the positive rather than the negative on his tenure with the Sox.  As we bid him ...

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Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: October 11, 2017 at 05:17 PM | 12 comment(s)
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Sox Therapy: UnZiPSing the Hitters

OK, let’s start with the important thing here.  I don’t know about the title of this piece.  Should I have just done “Unzipping” or maybe “Unzipsing” without trying to follow Dan’s ZiPS formatting style?  I don’t know, I feel like this post is already up against it.  Anyway, let’s get on with it.

The 2017 came to an end on Monday with a 5-4 defeat at the hands of the Houston Astros.  In a way the 2017 Red Sox had something for everyone.  Do you want to be positive?  Hey, we got some of that.  ...

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Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: October 10, 2017 at 03:45 PM | 18 comment(s)
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Hall of Merit: Most Meritorious Player: 2009 Discussion

Most Meritorious Player: 2009 Discussion

The Yankees beat the Phillies 4 games to 2 in the World Series. Vote for 15.

Player Name		SH WS		rWAR
Albert Pujols		39.7		9.7
Ben Zobrist		26.6		8.6
Joe Mauer		34.5		7.8
Chase Utley		32.2		8.2
Chone Figgins		26.5		7.7
Hanley Ramirez		34.9		7.3
Ryan Zimmerman		23.5		7.3
Evan Longoria		25.8		7.0
Troy Tulowitzki		25.9		6.5
Derek Jeter		26.9		6.5
Franklin Gutierrez	18.8		6.6
Adrian Gonzalez		33.6		6.9
Kevin Youkilis		25.6		6.6
Jason Bartlett		23.0		6.2
Ian ...
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DL from MN Posted: October 06, 2017 at 04:00 PM | 15 comment(s)
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Sox Therapy: Random Thoughts A Few Hours Out

With game one just about five hours away as I start whacking my keyboard I figured I’d throw together a few random thoughts heading into what is sure to be a challenging series;

Chris Sale, First Time Out - 0, 2, 1, 0, 3, 2, 4, 2, 4, 6, 3, 0, 0, 7…those are the runs allowed by Sale facing his opponents for the first time this year.  Obviously that is skewed heavily towards the early part of the year but the idea that a great pitcher might keep an opponent in knots is not that outrageous.  ...

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Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: October 05, 2017 at 11:02 AM | 79 comment(s)
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Hall of Merit: Most Meritorious Player: 2008 Results

Congratulations to Albert Pujols on winning the 2008 MMP award. This is Pujols’ second award.

Player Name	pts	ballots	1sts
Albert Pujols	132	9	6
Chase Utley	106	9	1
Chipper Jones	93	8	0
Mark Teixeira	79	9	0
Tim Lincecum	75	8	0
Hanley Ramirez	72	8	1
Lance Berkman	63	8	0
Manny Ramirez	55	8	1
David Wright	45	8	0
Cliff Lee	43	5	0
Carlos Beltran	39	6	0
Joe Mauer	37	4	0
CC Sabathia	34	7	0
Johan Santana	30	3	0
Dustin Pedroia	26	5	0
Alex Rodriguez	25	9	0
Brian McCann	20	2	0
Grady Sizemore	16	3	0
Roy ...
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DL from MN Posted: October 04, 2017 at 04:49 PM | 14 comment(s)
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Gonfalon Cubs: Five minute Washington National Preview

You’ll definitely find better previews elsewhere (and feel free to link them here), but as is now tradition I will type up a quick preview based solely on my limited exposure to the Nats this year and their bb-ref page.

Starting with the lineup, what jumps out at you is how balanced it is.  They have a great offense - 3rd in NL in BA, 5th in OBP, and 1st in SLG - led by a couple of huge bats.  The middle of the lineup - Harper, Rendon, Murphy, Zimmerman - in whatever order is about as ...

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Optimistic Moses Taylor, optimist Posted: October 04, 2017 at 10:46 AM | 182 comment(s)
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