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Friday, September 04, 2015

Breaking tradition: Brewers reschedule fan appreciation night; Chicago Cubs may be to blame

“They all come up here thinking they own the place,” said fan Rachel Evanow.

“They come here in droves,” said another.

Brewers fans can’t stomach the idea of Cubs fans walking away with prizes intended for them.

“I hate the Cubs. The Cubs suck,” said Evanow.

And the Brewers agree—they’re breaking tradition and fan appreciation night is being moved two weeks earlier, to September 19th, against the last place Cincinnati Reds.

McCoy Posted: September 04, 2015 at 11:39 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, cubs, wrigley field north

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Cubs content to make do down stretch to playoffs - Chicago Tribune

Maddon has more pieces to play with in September, and he said he’s going to use them all.

“I try to work it through in advance but then when you get new pieces for your puzzle you don’t always think it all the way through,” he said. “The game presents different thoughts that you have not even thought about.

“If you screw it up one night, try to do it up in a way nobody else knows except you, if that’s possible. I’m eager to work with it. I like it. I like the position player juggling component. It’s really interesting. With the pitchers, it makes it somewhat easier to do that if your starters are going deeper.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 02, 2015 at 10:32 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, joe maddon

Monday, August 31, 2015

Jake Arrieta throws no-hitter against Dodgers | MLB.com

I was not planning on watching the entire game. Jake Arrieta changed my plans.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 31, 2015 at 06:32 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jake arrieta, no hitter

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

After loss and injury, is Javier Baez finally ready for the Cubs?

A really nice article about a guy who sounds really great and his miracle sister.  Keep the tissues handy.

Walt Davis Posted: August 26, 2015 at 08:55 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, javier baez

Fivethirtyeight: The Happiest And Saddest Fans In Baseball

Every fan base lost some of its happiness from the preseason, save one: the Chicago Cubs, who increased their sentiment score by a bit. The Cubs have not only been contenders in the crowded National League Central, they have also seen a number of top prospects called up, most notably Kris Bryant (but also Addison Russell and Kyle Schwarber). Not only are the Cubs contending a little earlier than expected — the future is even brighter.

All other teams’ fans have become much less happy since February, but not all by the same amount. The change in sentiment score from February to July is roughly in proportion to the change in playoff odds of each team.4 Teams that made strides in their playoff hopes such as the Yankees, Angels and Dodgers have seen the smallest declines in sentiment since February. At the other end of the spectrum, teams such as the Mariners, Athletics and Padres have seen their playoff odds tumble. Their fan bases also have had some of the most pronounced declines in sentiment scores per word.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 26, 2015 at 04:46 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

THE ROAD THEY’VE TRAVELED: GEORGE PLIMPTON, DRA RUN VALUES, AND THE CUBS ROTATION

How is Baseball Prospectus’ Deserved Run Average (DRA) calculated? Read the article for some insight.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 25, 2015 at 03:13 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dra, sabermetrics

Bryant Homer Lifts Cubs to 2-1 Win Over Indians - The New York Times

Bryant appears locked in.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 25, 2015 at 08:40 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kris bryant

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Levine: Theo Epstein, Cubs Are A Long-Term Match « CBS Chicago

Why can’t the Red Sox get great GMs like Theo Epstein?

Jim Furtado Posted: August 23, 2015 at 09:53 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, general managers, theo epstein

Influence of Don Zimmer renewed with Joe Maddon’s Cubs - Chicago Tribune

“The similarities are their vision and the way they’re able to think outside-the-box,” Cubs bench coach Dave Martinez said. “It’s pretty similar. ‘Zim’ was feistier. Joe is calmer. But the way they go about thinking, about doing different things, is similar.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 23, 2015 at 09:43 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, don zimmer, joe maddon

Friday, August 21, 2015

Cubs selling playoff tickets - Chicago Tribune

Joe Maddon has been talking playoffs since spring training, and now the Cubs season ticket holders have been contacted about the possibility of buying tickets for the postseason.

Season ticket holders have until Sept. 8 to pay for a full slate of tickets for a wild-card game on Oct. 7, the National League Division Series, the National League Championship Series and the World Series.

Tickets for the wild-card game and division series range from $45 (upper deck reserved outfield) to $160 (club box infield). LCS tickets range from $70 to $250.

World Series tickets range from $175 to $350.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 21, 2015 at 08:25 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, playoffs

Arrieta Picks Up 15th Win, Cubs Pound Braves 7-1 - The New York Times

Lester is not the ace in Chicago.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 21, 2015 at 08:15 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jake arrieta

Monday, August 17, 2015

Sale Strikes Out 15 as White Sox Beat Cubs 3-1 - The New York Times

It’s like a little league game.

Sale matched a career high with 15 strikeouts while pitching seven scoreless innings, and the White Sox snapped the crosstown Cubs’ nine-game win streak with a 3-1 victory on Sunday.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 17, 2015 at 07:01 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: chris sale, cubs, white sox

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Kyle Schwarber avoids beer can, delivers big hit for Chicago Cubs - Chicago Cubs Blog - ESPN

Somebody picked a weird time to give up drinking.

Schwarber got a taste—almost literally—of the Cubs/Sox rivalry when a fan threw a beer can at him during the Cubs’ 6-3 win on Saturday, their ninth consecutive victory.

“A tallboy,” Schwarber said, laughing afterwards. “And it wasn’t even drunk all the way.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 16, 2015 at 10:01 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kyle schwarber, white sox

Friday, August 14, 2015

Schwarber, Lester power Cubs to seventh straight win - ESPN Video

Rick Sutcliffe said about Schwarber, “Obviously he prefers to be at AAA catching because that’s what he prefers for his career.” I call bullshit!

Jim Furtado Posted: August 14, 2015 at 08:06 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kyle schwarber

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Rizzo climbs on tarp, into stands for catch

Amazing play by Rizzo of course, but I was surprised it was ruled a legal catch. My understanding has always been than a player can jump into the stands and catch the ball in the air, but he can’t plant his foot on the wall and then jump into the stands to make a catch.  And I’m surprised he was allowed to climb on the tarp.  At the same time, the rules (shockingly), aren’t entirely clear (see text after the jump).

Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: August 13, 2015 at 10:09 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, lawyers, rules of the game

Kyle Schwarber to get more catching starts down stretch

Schwarber started in left field for the fifth consecutive game Wednesday.

“I’ve got to get him back there at some point. I don’t want him to lose all that good work that he’s done,” said Maddon, who might hold David Ross back Sunday to use Schwarber against lefty Chris Sale, with Dan Haren pitching for the Cubs.

“He’s made so much progress with it.”

Schwarber has made 12 starts behind the plate for the Cubs after catching 52 games in the minors this season.

“Certainly long-term we still see him as a catcher,” Epstein said.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 13, 2015 at 06:44 AM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kyle schwarber

Starlin Castro of Chicago Cubs shifts to second base

Did his agent help Castro?

“Sometimes a change of scenery is good for everybody.”

Kinzer wasn’t making any demands, just openly wondering where it has gone wrong for Castro. Maddon hopes he can find his groove again, but Addison Russell is the Cubs’ shortstop now and for the future.

“Addy looks like the guy everyone thought he would be,” Maddon said. “[Prospect Javier Baez] is still getting his way back here. And Starlin, we’re trying to get him back on his feet.”

Castro hadn’t played since Thursday. Utility man Jonathan Herrera had been used as a defensive replacement at second base while Russell became the fixture at shortstop.

“Four games [sitting] is tough,” Kinzer said Tuesday before Castro entered the game. “He’s used to being such a big part of everything.”

Castro is trying to take it all in stride as he struggles through the toughest time of his Cubs career. He is owed more than $40 million through 2019.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 13, 2015 at 06:34 AM | 61 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, starlin castro

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Casella: Best MLB Rotations of Past 30 Years

Who would have guessed that all of the best pitching staffs came from the NL?  Have fun beating up on opposing pitchers while the real teams face line-ups with 9 guys who can hit.

Chris Fluit Posted: August 12, 2015 at 09:13 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, cardinals, cubs, dodgers, mets, nationals, phillies, roy halladay

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Wrigleyville: THE ECHOING SILENCE OF STARLIN CASTRO’S BAT

Castro hasn’t turned into the player many of us thought he’d be.

Castro earns his first mention on our website in Kevin Goldstein’s Top 11 Cubs’ Prospects:

“Perfect World Projection: Castro may be an above-average shortstop who doubles as a good second hitter in the lineup.”

Castro’s ascendency to the Cubs starting shortstop job occurred suddenly as he tore up the spring in 2010 and looked like he could challenge the weak incumbent, Ryan Theriot, for the job. Castro would have to wait as the Cubs elected to assign him to Double-A Tennessee where he slashed .355/.401/.509, but with the Cubs still trying to cling to faint playoff hopes on May 7th, he earned the call to the big leagues.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 11, 2015 at 10:03 AM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, starlin castro

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Starlin Castro benched, staying positive

“I felt a little frustrated, especialy [Friday] when they told me I’m not going to play for I don’t know when,” Castro said. “In the beginning, I took it really personal. After that, I thought about it. You can’t put those guys on the bench. They’re really hot right now and I understand. I thought about it last night. I’ll do whatever I can do for the team.”

“I never put my head down,” Castro said. “I know the player I am. I’ll just keep working, keep doing my routine. I’ll get back on track.”

I like Starlin Castro.  I want him to do well.  But he’s been atrocious this year and this benching is overdue.

 

Voodoo... Posted: August 08, 2015 at 04:11 PM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Friday, August 07, 2015

Cubs’ GM Hoyer: August deals could be tougher than usual to make this year

“There’s a lot of teams that are vying for the playoffs, so I think that’ll probably mean a little bit more blocking than usual,” Hoyer said. “There’ll definitely be deals. Whether those will be big deals or not, I would probably say no, simply because I do think people are pretty active on the waiver wire and there’ll be quite a bit of blocking.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 07, 2015 at 07:51 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, playoffs

Schwarber Homers in 2nd Straight Game, Cubs Beat Giants 5-4 - The New York Times

The Cubs are good.

“They’re a talented club,” San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. “They’ve got a lot of young talent, got a lot of good arms. You saw the arms they’ve got out of the ‘pen — good velocity, good stuff, good lineup. They’re not going anywhere. That’s a good club.”
...
Maddon when asked if fans should temper their expectations with the Cubs in the playoff race for the first time in years: “I’m not into temperance, I guess.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 07, 2015 at 07:44 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, giants, kyle schwarber

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Speculation or not, Cubs’ Starlin Castro has no plans to seek ADD diagnosis

Gordon Wittenmeyer is not a doctor, but he did stay at a Holiday Inn last night.

It’s called attention deficit disorder, or ADD.

“I know what it is,” Starlin Castro said.

That doesn’t mean the Cubs’ shortstop wants to know anything more than that about the subject.

Throughout Castro’s career, mental lapses, moments of lost focus and inexplicable errors on routine plays have raised speculation among fans, scouts and even some in his organization – including the clubhouse — that he has a form of the common disorder.

But he hasn’t been tested for it, and doesn’t want to be, he said, even if a diagnosis and treatment could raise his performance – even as a three-month slump has called the three-time All-Star’s playing time into question down the stretch.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 06, 2015 at 10:45 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: add, adhd, cubs, starlin castro, stupid questions from reporters

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Rogers: Jake Arrieta has a message after Cubs win again

No one who saw Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta last year is surprised at what’s he has become. Maybe the bigger surprise is how his teammates have come along with him. The Cubs won their sixth straight game, 5-0, over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday as Arrieta was magnificent on the mound again.

McCoy Posted: August 05, 2015 at 08:19 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, pirates, wild card

Monday, August 03, 2015

OTP - August 2015: Meet the … Baseball Owner Funding the 2016 Campaign ...

Scott Walker’s Super PAC “Unintimidated” raked in the biggest donation from a sports-associated contributor. The Ricketts family — the owners of the Chicago Cubs baseball team — tossed $5 million dollars to the Super PAC backing the Wisconsin governor. Joe gave $100,000, his wife Marlene gave $4.9 million in contributions and their son Todd gave almost $2,500. According to Forbes, the family is worth nearly $4.5 billion.

Just when I was beginning to like the Cubs again :)

BDC Posted: August 03, 2015 at 01:20 PM | 4822 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, politics

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