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— Cubs Baseball for Thinking Fans

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Now what?

I’m hungover and at work.  This is probably going to be an incoherent mess.  I probably will end up disagreeing with some or all of this, probably sooner than later.  However, might as well start thinking about how the Cubs are going to approach this offseason. 

The easy route is making some small changes around the edges - maybe splurge on a reliever or two, bring a couple more long shot rebound types - and talk about being healthier and improving from within.  There’s probably some merit to ...

Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 03, 2018 at 10:27 AM | 114 comment(s)
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Wednesday, September 05, 2018

The Final Push

24 games to go.  Cubs still have 8 games left on this 23 straight day stretch, but only 2 more real road trips - DC this weekend and and Phoenix in a couple of weeks; the only other road games are today in Milwaukee and 3 at The Cell.  A 3 game lead is far from comfortable, especially after the way the last 2 games played out, but a win today and leaving with a 4 game lead with 23 left is still quite the enviable position. 

The Cubs went 18-10 in September, and are 10-4 in their last 14, but ...

Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 05, 2018 at 10:27 AM | 346 comment(s)
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Wednesday, August 01, 2018

The Third Third

Moses remarked that the Cubs under Maddon seem to be a second-half team, which is undeniable. 2015-17 they tallied 149-73, a .671 clip. The worst second-half record they posted in those three years was .662. Not happening so far this second-half—up 4-0 in the first against the Pirates as I type this, the Cubs are 6-7 so far in the second half. But this is against some tough competition: eight of those games against the Cardinals, four against the Diamondbacks, and one against the suddenly scary ...

Andere Richtingen Posted: August 01, 2018 at 07:27 PM | 296 comment(s)
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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Looking Forward

It’s about time I posted a new thread, even if I can’t think of a lot of new things to say at the moment.  I’ve always been a glass half full guy when it comes to the current day Cubs, so it’s pretty easy to look at the first half and see plenty of reasons to hope for improvement - the SP can’t be this bad, Rizzo and Bryant will definitely be better, plus the Maddon Cubs always seem to be more of a second half team.  The areas most likely to regress may include the overall bullpen ...

Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: July 18, 2018 at 05:07 PM | 197 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, optimism

Tuesday, June 26, 2018


I wanted to put up a new post yesterday, but I was sick - and not just from watching the Cubs (hey-o).  I think we talked quite a bit last year about how inconsistent the Cubs were, but this year seems even more extreme.  I don’t remember the worst series last year, but it would be hard to top losing 4 in a row to the Reds.  The Cubs had the lead in 3 of the games, but Sunday really was a masterpiece in blown games.  Montgomery pitched pretty good yet again - and then the wheels completely fell ...

Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 26, 2018 at 10:59 AM | 169 comment(s)
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Monday, June 11, 2018


Although it was another poor weekend for the offense, it’s hard not to like how a lot of things are starting to look like they’re coming together for the Cubs right now.  This year’s team looks more like the 2016 version than the 2017 version, although there’s still plenty of reason to be concerned about the rotation.  We’re starting to see games where it’s one phase of the team that really shines - be it the defense or baserunning - in ways we really didn’t see last year.  So all in all, it’s ...

Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 11, 2018 at 06:03 AM | 100 comment(s)
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Monday, May 21, 2018


After a couple of weeks facing the pitching staffs from the Marlins, White Sox, and Reds, a bunch of guys’ numbers are looking a whole lot better than before.  Going into the Reds series, Rizzo, Baez, and Happ all were tied with a .301 OBP.  Afterwards, Happ is all the way up to .361 (I personally demoted him to Iowa before this series), while Baez and Rizzo are down to .299 and .297, respectively. 

Anyway, to the categories.

Bryant - one of the quieter MVP pushes I can remember ...

Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: May 21, 2018 at 01:18 PM | 201 comment(s)
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Monday, May 07, 2018

Half full or half empty?

As most of you know, I’m a natural optimist so I know my answer to that question.  Having said that, it’s pretty hard to feel that great right now about what’s happening with the offense.  There’s been so much talk about launch angle, and how the new coaching group doesn’t teach that the same way, so it’s natural to wonder if the change has been a negative so far.  Part of the reason for the change was to deal with the somewhat inexplicable performance with RISP.  Well, so far, it’s been just ...

Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: May 07, 2018 at 10:41 AM | 66 comment(s)
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Monday, April 23, 2018

Riding the Rails of Mediocrity

That was quite the scary moment yesterday when Bryant got hit.  So far, it’s all been good news, but I’ll be worried until he’s playing again.  It’s actually kind of crazy he’s already been hit by 7 pitches - he’s nowhere near as close to the plate as Rizzo. 

-Baez.  My goodness, what a fun ride this is right now.  .292/.363/.736.  Yes, it’s probably just a hot streak; yes, the OBP is a little inflated by the 4 early IBBs (his last non-IBB BB was 2 weeks ago).  What if it’s not ...

Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: April 23, 2018 at 10:24 AM | 67 comment(s)
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Monday, December 18, 2017

Status of the Roster mid-December

Figured it was a good time for a new thread, but it’s also time to take a step back and look at how things stand for the Cubs right now.  The Cubs still have some moves to make, though they could field a 25 man roster today if they absolutely had to. 

Contreras, TBD. 

I haven’t seen many rumors linking the Cubs to any backup catcher FAs as of yet.  Obviously, Caratini is an option, but as we’ve gone over before it would appear the Cubs are enamoured/comfortable with his defense ...

Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: December 18, 2017 at 11:22 AM | 186 comment(s)
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Thursday, March 30, 2017

2017 Chicago Cubs Prediction Thread

It’s time to put it on the record: What do you forecast for the 2017 Cubs? At least provide a win total for the 2017 season, but also feel free to add other predictions: Rank in division, success in postseason, highest WAR, the day Ian Happ will be called up from AAA. Anything you like! Some of you already started this in the previous thread, so feel free to transfer it here.

I’ll start:

96 wins, and first in NL Central. I say they make it to the WS, but won’t go so far as predicting another ...

Andere Richtingen Posted: March 30, 2017 at 11:20 AM | 74 comment(s)
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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

What the FIP?

The Cubs pitching has been statistically extreme in some interesting ways.

First, let’s look at FIP.  FIP (“fielding independent pitching”) attempts to capture a pitcher’s performance, in a term similar to ERA, that does not depend on the fickle fate of balls hit in play. As a team, the Cubs have greatly outperformed their team FIP, posting a 3.13 team ERA (best in MLB), compared to 3.80 FIP (fourth in MLB).  I believe the last time a team finished the season with a higher difference was 2002, ...

Andere Richtingen Posted: August 24, 2016 at 01:50 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Related News: babip, chicago cubs, fip

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I Am Fine with This

As Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer assemble a 2012 team that looks to be, well, not very good, I find myself in an odd state of mind.  Of their six biggest contributors in terms of WAR in 2011, four (Matt Garza, Aramis Ramirez, Carlos Peña, Sean Marshall) are either gone or apparently on their way out, and in no case does it appear that the Cubs have clearly superior short- or long-term replacements.  Ramirez was one of three 10 and 5 players on the 2011 team. Only one, Ryan Dempster, is likely to ...

Andere Richtingen Posted: January 10, 2012 at 11:06 PM | 56 comment(s)
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Monday, August 22, 2011

GM Candidates

Now that the Cubs have finally fired Jim Hendry, I thought it’d be a good time to see if this blog thing still works.  I’ve decided to create a thread listing the potential candidates, and anytime I see any sort of update, I’ll put it in this thread.  If I miss a story, please feel free to add it yourself.

The early candidates include:
Billy Beane
Brian Cashman
Andrew Friedman
Rick Hahn.

Buster Olney mentioned on BBTN last night that he believes the top 3 are the Cubs top choices, while a lot ...

Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: August 22, 2011 at 05:29 PM | 84 comment(s)
  Related News: astros, athletics, cubs, rays, white sox, yankees


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