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— Cubs Baseball for Thinking Fans

Monday, June 11, 2018

Clicking

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 ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: June 11, 2018 at 06:03 AM | 53 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Monday, May 21, 2018

Padding

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.

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

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


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 ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: May 07, 2018 at 10:41 AM | 66 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


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. 

Encouraging
-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 ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: April 23, 2018 at 10:24 AM | 67 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Home Sweet Home

Time for a new post, just for the hell of it.  It’s too early to do a Good, Bad, Ugly thing, so I’m gonna try this one on for size.

Encouraging
-Gotta start with the bullpen.  Sure, there’s luck involved, but that’s bullpens for you.  None of the pitchers have proved worthless yet, and several guys have already shown they have a chance to exceed our modest expectations for them (Wilson, Butler).
-Russell.  I keep talking about him, and it’s too early to read anything in the numbers, but he has ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: April 10, 2018 at 10:46 AM | 67 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Monday, April 02, 2018

What’s a sample size?

Way too early thoughts after a mostly boring and somewhat disappointing opening series…

Some of the biggest problems from last year’s team were on full display this series - lack of “situational hitting” and walking too many guys.  For the first one, from The Athletic:

the Cubs are now 1-for-14 at scoring a runner from third base with less than two outs. Even after scoring 19 runs over four games, they’re 7-for-47 with runners in scoring position and have stranded a remarkable 42 ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: April 02, 2018 at 10:28 AM | 72 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Monday, March 19, 2018

2018 Fearless Prediction thread

Time for this year’s fearless predictions.  The season is starting earlier this year, so I won’t have time to do this after I get back from my spring training trip.  As usual, these probably will err on the side of blind optimism, but what fun is it to have a talented team where all you expect is under-performances?  On to the list of 25…

1. Willson Contreras will make his first of many All-Star appearances.  He probably would have a better shot of being voted in if the mound visit rule were ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: March 19, 2018 at 03:55 PM | 119 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Monday, February 12, 2018

Finally

It’s probably safe to assume the Cubs were able to finalize their deal with Darvish because they waited out the market, though being patient while the Cubs sat there with a huge hole in the rotation wasn’t easy for us fans.  The Cubs guaranteed $200+million to pitchers this offseason, and yet it still was a pretty quiet one overall.  While it’ll be interesting to see how the Cubs plan on spending their money over the next few years having added another big deal - with us hoping for still ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: February 12, 2018 at 10:33 AM | 175 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, spring training, yu darvish


Saturday, September 16, 2017

15 To Go

Cubs:  6 vs. STL (2 home/4 road) + 2 vs. TBR (road) + 4 vs. MIL (road) + 3 vs. CIN (home). After this weekend’s series, the Cubs are done at Wrigley until the final series hosting Cincinnati.

Brewers (3.0 GB): 2 vs. MIA (road) + 3 vs. PIT (road) + 4 vs. CHC (home) + 3 vs. CIN (home) + 3 vs. STL (road).

Cardinals (4.0 GB): 6 vs. CHC (4 home/2 road) + 3 vs. CIN (road) + 3 vs. PIT (road) + 3 vs. MIL (home).

Andere Richtingen Posted: September 16, 2017 at 09:26 AM | 129 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Friday, August 04, 2017

A Crucial Time

We are two series into a stretch of five that should tell us a lot about this team.

The just completed series against Milwaukee and Arizona were the first against winning teams since the All Star Break, and the Cubs split the six games. It would have been nice to come out ahead, but the overall picture was not bad. Four of the games were pitchers’ duels with six or fewer total runs, and the Cubs were not blown out in any of them—in fact, there has only been one blowout against the Cubs since ...

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Andere Richtingen Posted: August 04, 2017 at 10:05 AM | 107 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


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 ...

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Andere Richtingen Posted: July 10, 2017 at 09:13 AM | 84 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 ...

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Andere Richtingen Posted: March 30, 2017 at 11:20 AM | 74 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, ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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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