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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Braves fans flooded MLB’s Twitter after controversial replay ruling erased a run

The Atlanta Braves were on the wrong side of two controversial calls in the fifth inning against the Cubs on Tuesday. Most of all, it included an apparent missed call after a replay review.

Justin Turner Overdrive Posted: May 16, 2018 at 03:16 PM | 104 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, cubs, replay

Monday, May 14, 2018

Taking Back the Ballparks - Chicago Cubs

We just passed the halfway mark in this endeavor. Yet like the baseball season itself, the second half won’t take quite as many days to complete.

Just as College Week gives Jeopardy host Alex Trebek a younger group of contestants to insult, and Fleet Week depletes the stock of antibiotics on our nation’s maritime vessels, By Acclimation Week is going to speed up the Taking Back the Ballparks project.

If my assumptions are correct, each day this week we’ll check off another team, a ballclub whose park has no need for a new name, and any suggestions otherwise will be greeted with responses ranging from huh to legitimate anger.

The first is the most obvious of all: Wrigley Field. While not the true corporate name we think of today, it’s probably not a coincidence that the park’s moniker is shared with the name of the chewing gum company one-time owner Phil Wrigley ran. In some ways, Wrigley was the original Busch. Or, perhaps, the original Trump, a comparison that likely pleases the Ricketts, if no one else in Chicago.

Obviously, Wrigley isn’t going anywhere. Hell, the neighborhood around it has assumed the name of the ballpark. And if there’s a greater justification for keeping a ballpark’s name for eternity than that, I can’t think of what it would be.

Feel free to use the space below to talk about what a good name for the ballpark would be if it wasn’t called Wrigley, your favorite moments there, or, if McCoy drops by to nakedly highjack the thread, the little-discussed intricacies of the Crimean War.

Tomorrow: Evil’s Residence

Ballpark History

Built: 1914

Capacity: 41,649

Name: Wrigley Field, 1926-present; Cubs Park 1920-26; Weeghman Park 1914-1920.

Other ballparks used by club in its current city: 23rd Street Grounds 1876-77; Lakefront Park I 1878-1882; Lakefront Park II 1883-84; West Side Park I 1885-1891; South Side Park 1891-1893; West Side Park II 1893-1915.

Distinctive Features: The ivy; the neighborhood; the rooftops onlookers; the overhanging second deck; the manual scoreboard; the continued dominance of day baseball; the marquee; the troughs, the chads and trixies. 


Ballpark Highlights:

With darkness falling, Gabby Hartnett deposited an 0-2 pitch from Mace Brown over the left-centerfield bleachers, giving the Cubs a 6-5 win over Pittsburgh, a victory that propelled them to an NL pennant. The Homer in the Gloamin’ was arguably baseball’s first famous walk-off dinger, and it remains the sport’s best named (sorry Bobby).

On July 1, 1943, night baseball came to Wrigley when the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League held its All-Star game under temporary lights.

In 1945, a dumbass brought a goat to a game and somehow thought that was OK.

Just a little over 25 years ago, in his fifth big league start, Kerry Wood turned in perhaps the single-most impressive pitching performances in big league history. Wood fanned 20, walked none and yielded just two baserunners – one when HBP magnet Craig Biggio took a curve off the shoulder and a questionable hit by Ricky Gutierrez that bounced off the glove of Kevin Orie. He managed this against the winningest team in Astros history, which was led by the NL’s best offense.

In 2003, the Cubs were within five outs of their first World Series visit in 58 years when all hell broke loose, almost none of it having to do with a foul ball into the stands.

On Oct. 22, 2016, Kyle Hendricks outdueled Clayton Kershaw to lead the Cubs to a 5-0 victory and a triumph in the National League Championship Series. Two weeks later, in Jacobs Field, the Cubs would claim their first World Series title in 108 years.

Selections to Date
San Francisco Giants - China Basin

Texas Rangers - The Ballpark in Arlington

San Diego Padres - Mission Field

Boston Red Sox - Fenway Park

Washington Nationals - Nationals Park

Tampa Bay Rays - Suncoast Dome

Philadelphia Phillies - Citizens Park

Seattle Mariners - Cascadia Field

Pittsburgh Pirates - Allegheny Park

Kansas City Royals -Kauffman Stadium

New York Mets - Willets Point

Los Angeles Angels - Autry Field

St. Louis Cardinals - Busch Stadium

Detroit Tigers - Tiger Field


Miami Marlins - Fish Tank


Cleveland Indians - Jacobs Field

 

SoSH U at work Posted: May 14, 2018 at 09:42 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, stadium names

Friday, May 04, 2018

20 years later, Wood and Astros hitters recall 20-strikeout game

Wood’s fifth career start put him on the Major League map and flummoxed a Houston lineup that consisted of multiple All-Stars and two future Hall of Famers, all of whom later lifted the Astros to a club-record 102 wins while leading the NL with 874 runs scored.

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of one of the greatest performances in Major League history, here’s a look back, as told by those who lived it….

An oral history of the 20-K game.


The history of MLB rocking the blues

Powder blues picked up steam throughout the rest of the 1970s and hit their high-water mark in 1980 and ‘81, when there were 11 blue-clad teams. Two of them—the Phillies and the Royals—faced each other in the 1980 World Series, marking the first time powder blues had appeared in the Fall Classic.


Saturday, April 28, 2018

Cubs Activate Ben Zobrist, Option David Bote; Bryant Back In Lineup

Ben Zobrist has been activated from the 10-day disabled list and will bat seventh today against the Brewers, Bruce Levine of 760thescore.com reports. Kris Bryant will also make his return to the lineup after sitting out for a few days following a hit-by-pitch injury.

The gang’s all back together for the weekend.

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 28, 2018 at 11:20 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: ben zobrist, cubs, kris bryant

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Kyle Schwarber hits 2 homers in Cubs’ win

He’s been crushing it.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 25, 2018 at 06:19 AM | 62 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kyle schwarber

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

VIDEO: Rockies Announcers Sound Like Complete Idiots Talking About Javier Baez

The Chicago Cubs beat the Colorado Rockies 9-7 to win the weekend series on the road and it was quite an interesting finale on Sunday afternoon. Several weird events transpired, including Javier Baez trying to block DJ LeMahieu’s view at second base that drew the ire of the Rockies broadcast team.

Javy is fun.

Meatwad Posted: April 24, 2018 at 02:28 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, javy baez, rockies, sign stealing

Wednesday, April 18, 2018


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

A cautionary note about spring statistics, and other thoughts - Chicago Tribune

Unfortunately for Happ, this is the first April of his major-league career, so he doesn’t have a full season under his belt to prove it’s an anomaly. After a couple of hits Friday, Happ was asked if having five hits in eight 8 at-bats over three games was encouraging after his rough start, despite the small sample size.

“That’s a small sample size,” he said of his 41 at-bats. “Just wait until the end of the year.”

Manager Joe Maddon is not likely to give up on Happ, at least not yet, and generally speaking said it’s common for fans to get nervous this time of year.

“There is a lot of overreacting in the beginning part of the season,” Maddon said. “Early in the season a lot of times adrenalin plays (a role), and (even) after the first two or three weeks, you still have to be patient working through April.”

Just ask “Ryno.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 17, 2018 at 09:32 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Monday, April 16, 2018

The Bonkers Game That Probably Shouldn’t Have Been

In the end, we saw the Braves jump out to a 10-2 lead and feature a 99.4% chance of winning the game as late as the seventh inning. Despite adding a few runs, the Cubs’ win probability was still just 2.0% in the eighth after Efren Navarro whiffed to record the inning’s second out. Nine two-out runs later, Chicago’s probability of losing was just 2.6%.

Bored Posted: April 16, 2018 at 12:49 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, cubs

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Cubs place 1B Rizzo on DL with back tightness

CHICAGO (AP)—The Chicago Cubs are taking the safe route with Anthony Rizzo, placing the first baseman on the 10-day disabled list on Tuesday with lower back tightness.

Rizzo said he is feeling better and hopes to be ready when he is eligible to come off the DL on Monday. The move was made retroactive to Friday.


Monday, March 05, 2018

Jon Lester using new approach on throws to 1B | MLB.com

The Cubs’ Jon Lester is trying a new Chicago Bulls-themed approach to deal with his struggles to throw to first base.

“In the words of [coach Brian Butterfield], we’re going to use the Jordan-to-Pippen bounce,” Lester said Sunday, referring to Bulls legends Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. “I don’t care what it looks like, I don’t care if it bounces 72 times over there, an out’s an out.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2018 at 09:08 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jon lester

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Yu Darvish signs with Cubs | MLB.com

Darvish turns 32 in August.

Darvish and the Cubs agreed to a six-year deal on Saturday that guarantees the right-hander $126 million, two sources told MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi and Carrie Muskat. The Cubs could not immediately confirm the signing because it was pending a physical exam.

Darvish’s $126 million contract would be the largest free-agent deal so far this offseason. Sources told MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal that the contract includes incentives that could push its total value to $150 million, though Darvish would have to win multiple Cy Young Awards to reach that figure. The contract includes an opt-out clause and no-trade protection, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 10, 2018 at 06:09 PM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, free agents, yu darvish

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Cubs need to score runs to win!

What else is there to talk about? I’ll note that in scoring, the Cubs were #2 NL in 2nd half 2016, #2 for all of 2017 (Colorado) and #1 (by a lot) for 2nd half 2017. I’d love even more but more of the same is fine with me.

Walt Davis Posted: February 08, 2018 at 08:58 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, the unbearable lightness of the 2017-18 offseason

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Oscar Gamble Passes Away

Oscar Gamble, a lefty-swinging hitter popularly known for the large Afro hairstyle he wore in the 1970s, died Wednesday at age 68.

His death was confirmed by Andrew Levy, Gamble’s agent. The cause of death was not reported.


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Mooney: The Cubs set their sights on Yu Darvish – The Athletic

With the amount of talent they have assembled, it’s really tough to ignore The Athletic.

Cubs president Theo Epstein, general manager Jed Hoyer, run prevention coordinator Tommy Hottovy and pro scouting director Kyle Evans met with Darvish and his Wasserman representatives last month at a Four Seasons resort in the Dallas area.

Run prevention coordinator?

Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2018 at 09:14 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, pay site

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Life of a scouting report: How the Cubs have streamlined an age-old process – The Athletic

A lot of good stuff at The Athletic recently. If you can get access at a discount, you should.

“Our scouts don’t travel to the draft,” Dorey said. “So it’s my job to really challenge analytic information we have if it doesn’t align with what our scouts are saying, and try to find the sweet spot there. I’m constantly trying to make sure that the voice of the scout doesn’t get lost in the entire profile of the player. And I think we’ve done a really good job of that, but it’s something we could continue to improve on. We’re still talking about 17-, 18-, 19-, and 20-year-old human beings, and the human nature is so tough to evaluate and project on.”

In recent years, the Cubs haven’t weighed hitches in a pitcher’s mechanics as heavily as they have in the past — burned, too often, by pitchers they passed on finding success with other teams. And they’ve learned that certain players, often upper-middle-class travel-team types, can be taught the right things to say at meetings with scouts, even when those things aren’t necessarily reflective of the player’s actual personality or skills.

Weighed heavily, by contrast, are scouts’ evaluations of a player’s overall athleticism (a term the Cubs operationalize as carefully as they do secretly), that player’s hatred of losing (which the Cubs care about far more than a player’s desire to win), and of course the R&D reports that the nerd squad at the Cubs’ offices in Lakeview dig up. Even so, it’s still tough to get it all right.

The long timelines that baseball imposes on front offices make the job difficult, too. Unlike in basketball or football, where a draft’s success or failure can be measured within 12-24 months, the Cubs’ front office is only now starting to understand how and why their 2012 draft worked or didn’t, and only now able to fully integrate the lessons of that year into their planning for the next one. It’ll be another half-decade before they know if they got that one right, either.

And so today, right now, the Cubs are hard at work, ferociously collecting all the data they can about the past, making with it the best possible decisions they can about the fleeting present, and constantly revising their expectations of what those choices might mean for their future.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 09, 2018 at 10:23 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, pay site, scouting

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber has lost 20 pounds in mission to transform his body and game

Want to know why the Cubs aren’t trading Schwarber?

Jim Furtado Posted: December 20, 2017 at 08:23 AM | 101 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kyle schwarber

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Chatwood Initial Deal with Cubs Violated Rules – Inside the Seams

Former Rockies right-hander Tyler Chatwood agreed to a three-year, $38 million free-agent contract with the Cubs. Nothing wrong with that. The deal, however, included a clause that if he received one Cy Young vote — even for fifth place — his 2019 salary would be increased $2 million, and if he received one vote in 2018 and one vote in 2019 he would receive a $4 million raise in his salary for 2019. One problem — that clause was illegal, and if anybody should have known the Cubs should have. The initial ban on such clauses was put in place when the Red Sox included a clause in Curt Schilling’s 2008 contract providing a $1 million bonus if he received a Cy Young vote. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, the top two men on the baseball side of the Cubs, were the top men in the Red Sox front office in 2008.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 16, 2017 at 01:04 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, tyler chatwood

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


TELANDER: Conflict-of-interest issue in contract was award-winning | Chicago Sun-Times

Voters should take voting seriously. At some point, though, they can take themselves a little too seriously.

And Gordon Wittenmyer, our longtime Cubs beat writer, likes the voting but hates it when “the industry itself attaches itself to it.’’ Remember that, Theo. “Our integrity and our credibility are our brand. The appearance of conflict of interest is conflict of interest.’’

Case closed.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 13, 2017 at 06:38 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, tyler chatwood

Tuesday, December 12, 2017


Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Yankees would be wise to acquire Kyle Schwarber to fill DH role - NY Daily News

Wishcasting.

So how about Dellin Betances and Chance Adams for Schwarber?

Jim Furtado Posted: December 06, 2017 at 08:24 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, yankees

Friday, December 01, 2017

Bryce Harper is hanging with Kris Bryant at a Vegas Golden Knights game, so feel free to speculate wildly

Harper, scheduled for free agency after the upcoming 2018 season, is batting 1.000 when it comes to getting fans to read into each and every move he makes, hoping that everything he does has some sort of hidden clue about where he wants to sign his next gargantuan contract.

And of course Cubs fans are hoping it all means he’s coming to the North Side.

His most recent activity? Hanging with Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant at Tuesday night’s Vegas Golden Knights game.

I’m starting to think the Cubs have a chance of signing him. If they’re interested, of course.

Greg Pope Posted: December 01, 2017 at 10:35 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, cubs, hockey, kris bryant

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fergie Jenkins still emotionally invested in Cubs, keeping an eye on Epstein

Clumsy.

Ferguson Jenkins takes a wait-and-see attitude towards Theo Epstein’s appointment as president of baseball operations of the Chicago Cubs.

...The Cubs hired Epstein in October. Jenkins is holding off on giving Epstein his full endorsement.

“I really don’t know what to take of him yet,” Jenkins said Thursday in Calgary. “I tried to get a meeting with him and he was really busy.

“He’s young. He’s never put a jockstrap on though. See that’s the thing. I tell people all the time ‘this guy reads about the game and has seen it on TV or in stadiums,’ but he’s a pretty smart individual. He knows talent and that’s what it’s all about.

“People sit back and say ‘you know he never played’ but he watches and recognizes what individuals can do what and where they can play.”

Repoz Posted: January 19, 2012 at 10:20 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, fantasy baseball, hall of fame, sabermetrics

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