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— Cubs Baseball for Thinking Fans

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Biggest Fixes

Naturally, Theo Epstein’s carefully measured “the biggest fixes have to come from within the clubhouse” statement has been thrown around a lot in the last few days. This is the topic you tend to talk about when your team has been a tremendous disappointment at the All Star Break, three weeks before the trade deadline.

Epstein provided quite a bit of context with that quote, the crux of which is “don’t expect any trades,” but it’s more than just that.

Here is some of that context:

“This ...

Andere Richtingen Posted: July 10, 2017 at 09:13 AM | 84 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs

Friday, June 30, 2017

Time for a Dose of Optimism

First, a bit of perspective.  The Cubs won the 2016 World Series.  The Cubs were the best team last year, from the moment pitchers and catchers reported all the way through the end of October.  Sure, there were bumps in the road along the way.  Us Cubs fans aren’t used to being that good, and throughout the year we were waiting for something, anything, to go wrong.  There were no guarantees, and there were quite a few times, especially in October, when it looked like being the best wasn’t going ...

Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: June 30, 2017 at 03:27 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs

Monday, June 19, 2017


There’s really not much to be said about this team right now that hasn’t already been said, so it makes coming up with these posts hard to do.  The overall offense is still underperforming, and still over-reliant on home runs.  It’s also shockingly unclutch and surprisingly mediocre at best to downright bad in most categories.  While the bullpen has overall been quite good, it’s still had it’s share of meltdowns and blown games.  The pitching as a whole has been also disappointing, even though ...

Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: June 19, 2017 at 10:33 AM | 67 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs

Wednesday, May 31, 2017



Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: May 31, 2017 at 06:06 PM | 70 comment(s)
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Wednesday, May 17, 2017


I refuse to use a Happ-y pun in the title. 

It’s too early to assume that Happ has solidified a role on the team.  However, seeing as he’s at least pretty close to ready, it’s probably worth thinking about how the Cubs could arrange playing time to get him enough ABs and not hinder his development.  If he’s going to stay up, he should be playing regularly.  The good thing is that he’s able to play a bunch of positions - he’s already spent time in all 3 OF spots.  So who loses ABs to Happ?


Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: May 17, 2017 at 01:50 PM | 45 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, ian happ

Tuesday, May 09, 2017


I’m not really going to count the weeks, or post this regularly, so for now, it’s just some random thoughts.

Bryant: Wasn’t the best weekend, but he’s really been good since that early slump (.336/.435/.609 from game 5 onward).  He made a key error the other night, but otherwise his defense also looks a lot better.  He’s exclusively played 3B - though he was scheduled to play RF before last night’s rainout.
Baez: He seems like one of those guys that’s just always going to be streaky.  ...

Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: May 09, 2017 at 10:55 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs

Monday, April 24, 2017

Week 3 Thoughts

The Good:
Rizzo: Homered in 3 straight games, and he looks like his normal dominating self.  He also has 3 stolen bases already, mostly the kind where the pitcher forgets about him.  He’s up to .296/..412/.535 on the season so far.
Heyward: I still hate talking about him as much, but those nice swings/hard hit balls are finally turning into hits.  We’d all be pretty happy with a .297/.348/.422 line this year.  He’s played a lot more CF that we were led to believe, and while he’s pretty good ...

Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: April 24, 2017 at 03:26 PM | 69 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs

Monday, April 10, 2017

Assorted Week 1 Thoughts

Trying to get any work done is nearly impossible while counting down the hours until I head over to Wrigley for the banner raising tonight.  I’ve watched most of all 6 games so far, and it’s been such a different feeling.  I don’t find myself hanging on to every pitch, or find myself annoyed by missed chances or pointless pitching changes with 2 outs in the 9th and no one on base (ok, maybe that’s still annoying).  Maybe things will snap back after a few more games, but I’m still completely in ...

Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: April 10, 2017 at 10:27 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs

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 | 64 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Cleaning up on loose ends

Assorted thoughts/comments as Spring Training winds down.

- Cubs have said their rotation will start the year as Lester, Arrieta, Lackey, Anderson, Hendricks.  I saw a few places try to say Hendricks is the “5th starter”, but it sounds like the order was set mostly on matchups for the first time through, and not having Lester/Anderson pitch in consecutive games

“Everybody’s always concerned about pecking order regarding who you perceive to be best or least best,” Maddon said. “It’s just more ...

Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: March 28, 2017 at 11:09 AM | 22 comment(s)
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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Belated Spring Training Thoughts

I don’t know if anyone is interested, or will even read this one.  I took my annual trek to the greater Phoenix area early last week, this year accompanied by my newly baseball obsessed 5 year old son.  We saw three games, and I jotted down a few thoughts for each game.

Cubs 9, Rangers 9

There is so much general baseball knowledge that I just take for granted, and can’t remember ever learning.  Especially about Spring Training.  The 2 big ones that I found myself having the hardest time ...

Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: March 15, 2017 at 02:06 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, spring training

Monday, February 20, 2017

Spring Training Open Thread

We’ve gotten some sporadic threads going over the first week of ST, but nothing has really taken off.  I’m putting this up now, and will be adding any news/updates to the comments as they pop up.  It’s going to be a relatively quiet spring, I’d expect, and I’m heading to Phoenix for a few games in a couple of week (so if anyone is going to be there, let me know).

Here’s how I see the roster today, feel free to comment, laugh, etc:

Hitters (10) - Rizzo, Bryant, Zobrist, Russell, ...

Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: February 20, 2017 at 11:48 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Last Minute Depth Shopping

I added a comment to the last post about the Brett Anderson signing, but there wasn’t a thread for it (nor did it really deserve it’s own thread).  That’s obviously a depth signing, and at only $3.5 mil guaranteed, it’s relatively low risk.  It’s incredibly unlikely he’s healthy enough to be a much of a factor at all, but if he is, the incentives can take his deal up to $10mil.  I’m perfectly fine with this, but if he’s really the 6th starter, there still is more work to do.

So yesterday, the ...

Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist Posted: February 02, 2017 at 11:21 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs

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)
  Related News: cubs

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, Unwavering Optimist Posted: August 22, 2011 at 05:29 PM | 84 comment(s)
  Related News: astros, athletics, cubs, rays, white sox, yankees


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