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Monday, May 29, 2017

Chicago Cubs say slow start offers ‘no need to worry’

Do it like 1978!

Cubs manager Joe Maddon is keeping calm while fans in Chicago might be “freaking out” over the team’s 25-24 record as the calendar hits Memorial Day. After a weekend sweep at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Maddon was asked what to tell a nervous fan base.

“Please, go ahead and freak out,” he said with a smile. “If you want to freak out, freak out.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 29, 2017 at 09:52 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, joe maddon

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Scott Boras says Jake Arrieta still elite pitcher even though velocity has dropped

And his shoes. His shoes look great. This are so shiny you can see your face. And have you seen his last haircut? Great! A great haircut!

Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta’s agent, Scott Boras, pushed back on the notion Arrieta isn’t an elite pitcher just because his fastball velocity has dropped this year, while also insisting it’s way too small of a sample size to judge the free agent to be.

“The question becomes what’s [Clayton] Kershaw averaging?” Boras said Saturday at Dodger Stadium. “He’s throwing 92.5 mph. [Zack] Greinke is throwing 91.8 mph. [Max] Scherzer, when he was a free agent, was throwing 92 mph.

“We’re going to sit here and evaluate a player on a 60-day moment or a 10-start moment when he has three years of history. Don’t do it. That’s not fair. That’s not an evaluation.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 28, 2017 at 08:40 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jake arrieta, scott boras

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Hollywood casts the Chicago Cubs - Chicago Cubs Blog- ESPN

Kyle Hendricks: “Dustin Hoffman in ‘The Graduate.’ Embodies the quiet cerebral determination that Dustin’s character had in the movie. And I can’t deny that I project him to have a hidden mischievous side.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 27, 2017 at 11:46 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Chicago Cubs’ Circle of Trust - WSJ

What about a Cone of Silence?

Jim Furtado Posted: May 22, 2017 at 03:42 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Brewers Stir A Little Beef By Suggesting That Cubs Called Rainout For Reason Other Than Rain

A few hours before the scheduled first pitch, the Cubs called to reschedule yesterday afternoon’s game against the Brewers due to rain. But when the original game time rolled around, it was no longer raining—and things stayed pretty dry for the rest of the day. An ordinary display of caution by the Cubs? A simple judgment error? Not according to the Brewers!

Per Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, general manager David Stearns stopped short of accusing the Cubs of any “actual shenanigans.” But he accused them of having a bad forecast, different from anything that the Brewers were looking at, and said he had already talked to the team directly about his frustration:

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 21, 2017 at 01:40 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, cubs, postponement, rain

Dance-off for NL Central title!

Let’s see David Ross top this!

Walt Davis Posted: May 21, 2017 at 02:36 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brewers, cubs, dancing

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Schwarber’s towering solo homer | MLB.com

He hit this one just right.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 17, 2017 at 10:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kyle schwarber

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


Kyle Schwarber seeks better results at leadoff | MLB.com

I know this is pointing out the obvious but…if he’s a click underneath the baseball, it’s not a good swing.

“Mentally, it gets frustrating,” Schwarber said. “You feel you put a good swing on the ball and you’re not getting a good result. I just have to keep going with the approach, stay positive every day. I’m never going up there thinking I’m going to get an out. I’m going to stay with my mind-set and keep approaching what I’m doing.”
“I’ve seen great swings,” Maddon said. “He’s just a click underneath the baseball.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 16, 2017 at 10:25 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kyle schwarber

Sunday, May 14, 2017


Cubs promote 2015 No. 1 pick Ian Happ

The Cubs promoted 2015 No. 1 pick Ian Happ for Saturday’s game against the Cardinals in the wake of various ailments to several players.
...
“His spring training was fabulous,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “He got off to a good start at Triple-A. We needed him. He’s here.

“How long is he going to stay? I have no idea. It could be short. It could be longer than that. I don’t know.”
...
“We love the way he plays second base, but we want to get him reps all over the place, and I think there’s a strong likelihood if he does come up at some point he’ll be moving around, and he knows that,” Hoyer said.

General feeling is he’s only up for a few days to cover injuries. But of course, that could delay his eventual true debut if the Cubs feel like Bryant-ing him.

Announcers on the game today pointed out that the Cubs last 5 first round picks are on the current roster (Happ, Schwarber, Bryant, Almora, Baez). That can’t be too common, I wouldn’t think.

Greg Pope Posted: May 14, 2017 at 09:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, draft, ian happ

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Kyle Schwarber’s journey to becoming the consummate Chicago Cub | SI.com

To be the next Big Papi you need to hit a little better than this.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 09, 2017 at 09:03 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kyle schwarber

Greg Maddux was master of control, efficiency | MLB.com

“I never worried about pitch count,” Maddux said. “The only thing that mattered to me was getting the ‘W.’ That’s what I was out there trying to do. I didn’t think about how many pitches—I threw however many it took.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 09, 2017 at 07:59 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, cubs, greg maddux

Monday, May 08, 2017

New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs combine for 48 strikeouts in 18-inning New York win

Aaron Hicks slid across home plate, hopped up and flexed his arms in jubilation.

No Monday morning blues for Hicks and the New York Yankees.

Hicks scored on Starlin Castro’s grounder in the 18th inning, and the rolling Yankees beat the Chicago Cubs 5-4 in the majors’ longest interleague game ever by innings.

“We’re going to grind out games,” Hicks said. “We’re going to fight to the end.”

The teams combined for a major league-record 48 strikeouts in baseball’s longest game of the season by innings, wrapping up in a tidy 6 hours, 5 minutes.

“I know we lost, but you’ve got to try to have fun with it,” Cubs slugger Anthony Rizzo said.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 08, 2017 at 09:13 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, yankees

Sunday, May 07, 2017

60 Minutes: How the Chicago Cubs finally won the World Series after 108 years

Epstein devised a five-year-plan to go all the way from worst to first. Starting with the draft.  Most teams take young pitchers but Epstein chose hitters. He said hitters don’t get hurt as much. 

Theo Epstein: Not only were they safer bets, but we also felt we could change the culture a little bit easier by building around talented position players with high character.

Bill Whitaker:  So you’re looking for more than just their skills. You’re looking for character.

Theo Epstein: Yeah. Because baseball’s a game with a ton of adversity inherent in it. And players that tend to respond to adversity the right way, and triumph in the end are players with strong character. If you have enough guys like that in the clubhouse you have an edge on the other team.

Bill Whitaker: You said, “I used to scoff at character.”  What changed?

Theo Epstein: I just saw over the years that the times that we did remarkable things, it was always because players didn’t want to let each other down. Players wanted to lift each other up. 

Bill Whitaker: So how do you determine which player has the character traits you’re looking for?

Theo Epstein:  Find out how he treats people when no one’s looking. You go talk to their girlfriend. You go talk to their ex-girlfriends. You go talk to their friends. You talk to their enemies.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 07, 2017 at 10:31 PM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: 60 minutes, cubs, theo epstein

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

The Cubs World Series trophy was damaged while crowd surfing

The Boston Globe reports that the Cubs’ 2016 World Series was damaged over the weekend. While crowd surfing.

Theo Epstein brought it and the Red Sox’ 2004 trophy to a concert called the “Hot Stove Cool Music” benefit for his charitable foundation. The trophies were passed around by those in the crowd like Michael Stipe in the “Drive” video (sorry, I’m an old Gen-Xer, so you get old Gen-Xer references).

According to the report, some of the flags on the Cubs’ trophy were dinged up, requiring the trophy to be repaired. Which they were in time for both of the trophies to appear on the field before the Cubs-Red Sox Sunday night game.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 03, 2017 at 10:04 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, world series

Monday, May 01, 2017

OTP 1 May 2017: “Season of Lies” mixes baseball, politics

Dennis Hetzel has crafted “Season of Lies,” a new novel featuring the Chicago Cubs becoming enmeshed in a dirty presidential campaign.

Now that the Cubs have finally won a world championship, their chances of building a new baseball dynasty are threatened by sinister circumstances beyond the team’s control, when star pitcher Trey Von Ohmann decides to endorse President Luke Murphy for re-election, much to his teammates’ consternation.

Heh, remember when you knew a book was fiction if the Cubs won the Series.

(As always, views expressed in the article lede and comments are the views of the individual commenters and the submitter of the article and do not represent the views of Baseball Think Factory or its owner.)

BDC Posted: May 01, 2017 at 06:14 AM | 1799 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, fiction, politics

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Chris Coghlan went full Superman to jump over Yadier Molina and scored ridiculous run

Chris Coghlan made everyone look silly (and also maybe himself, but it was worth it) by not sliding on his way to home and instead jumping over Yadier Molina. You have to give him even more props for timing all of this perfectly. He could have easily jumped over Molina and missed home entirely. Nope. Coghlan was ready. He was so ready that thanks to his full extension, his helmet lined up with the base.

All this needed were a panel judges, preferably baseball legends, holding up signs to rate this move. This one might get a perfect score.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 26, 2017 at 12:15 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: chris coghlan, cubs

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Jason Heyward swinging hot bat early for Cubs | MLB.com

“It’s tough when you are worried about other things,” Heyward said of his struggles last April. “I had a wrist injury early, which is not an excuse. This year, coming in, I had put in my work in the offseason. I was able to have a consistency in my routine that allowed me to relax and have the good timing and rhythm that allows me to focus on just myself and the pitcher.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 23, 2017 at 10:51 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jason heyward

Friday, April 21, 2017

Jon Lester offers Cubs fan his seats at Wrigley Field | SI.com

Oh, so his dad’s seats aren’t good enough!!

Jim Furtado Posted: April 21, 2017 at 03:19 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jon lester

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Cubs’ John Lackey and Chris Bosio imply Eric Thames is using PEDs

In his post-game press conference, Lackey said (via the Chicago Tribune) that Thames’ home run was “kinda one of those things that makes you scratch your head.” Lackey seemingly very intentionally winked at the reporter who asked him the question.

Bosio appeared on the Mully and Hanley show and was asked about Starling Marte‘s recent suspension after testing positive for Nandrolone. Chris Cwik of Yahoo Sports provides the transcript:

Well, the bottom line is [Thames] has hit the ball and we gotta figure out a way to get around [it]. All that other stuff, I’ll let other people worry about. But he’s doing stuff that I haven’t seen done for a long time.

You start thinking about Ken Griffey Jr., Manny Ramirez when he went to the Dodgers, Barry Bonds … You’re talking about some of the greatest players to ever play this game. So, yeah, it’s probably a ‘head-scratcher’ because nobody knows who this guy is. And when he was here before, his body has changed. But, like I said, I’ll leave that to everyone else and we’re just gonna try to worry about how to pitch him better and get him out.

For what it’s worth, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that Thames was given a drug test immediately after Monday’s game against the Cubs.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 20, 2017 at 06:17 PM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, eric thames, john lackey, peds

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Kyle Schwarber’s first career bunt was an absolute thing of beauty | FOX Sports

Jim Furtado Posted: April 18, 2017 at 10:51 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: bunting, cubs, kyle schwarber

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Inside the scouting report where Cubs compared Kyle Schwarber to Babe Ruth and called their shot | CSN Chicago

Stan Zielinski and Kyle Schwarber will be forever intertwined.

Amateur scouting director Matt Dorey found himself re-reading old reports after Zielinski’s death: “‘He has an arm action like a cranky shopping-cart wheel,’ things like that where you would just automatically envision the guy with a roll or a rattle at the back of his arm stroke.”

Hendry started cackling over the phone: “‘A one-pitch carnival thrower.’ You know, like guys on dates with their girlfriend trying to win the stuffed animal.

“Or he’d call ‘em a ‘seat-belt reliever.’ You had to f———buckle up every time he came into the game and hold on. Oh, he had s—- like that all the time.

“He had a language of his own. Man, I’m telling you, he had s—- that nobody’s ever written in a scouting report before — or ever will again.”

Like comparing a guy at a basketball school — who might have entered his junior season as a possible second-round pick — to one of the most iconic athletes of all-time.

“He just took you to this place where you were mesmerized reading it,” McLeod said.

“It felt like I was watching a game through an old, bad whatever-millimeter camera,” Dorey said. “I felt like I was watching Babe Ruth saunter to the plate, call his shot and then he went on to hit a home run. And then as he trotted around the bases, I felt like I was watching Babe Ruth’s trot.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 15, 2017 at 07:59 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kyle schwarber

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