Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


Contributors

Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher
Repoz
Editor - Baseball Primer

Syndicate

Cubs Newsbeat

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Pump The Brakes On Kyle Schwarber? Well, Actually…

This week, Bradford Doolittle of ESPN asked fans to pump the brakes on Schwarber, citing a few reasons why there should be concern surrounding the hulking catcher that the Cubs have moved defensively from behind the plate to out in left field. The last time Cubs fans were told to “pump the brakes” on a player was late June of 2016 with Kris Bryant, and well, we all remember how that turned out. But tempering expectations on Schwarber might be a good thing.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 23, 2017 at 09:06 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kyle schwarber

Why Joe Maddon sees Kyle Schwarber as the leadoff guy in Cubs lineup | CSN Chicago

The Geek Department still needs to send more information to Maddon, but the Cubs are toying with the idea of again hitting the pitcher eighth, in front of the Jay/Albert Almora Jr. platoon.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 23, 2017 at 09:05 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, joe maddon, kyle schwarber

Monday, February 20, 2017

A Vindictive President Destroys a National Institution

A story of a bombastic, vindictive man who brooked no challenge to his authority, had no tolerance for weakness, and hated whom he saw as “losers.” We’re speaking, of course, of Ban Johnson, founder and president of the American League.

gehrig97 Posted: February 20, 2017 at 10:04 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: ban johnson, cubs, frank chance, yankees

Friday, February 17, 2017

Joe Maddon’s new normal for Cubs: A team people love to hate? | CSN Chicago

“I don’t know if the word’s ‘hated,’” Maddon said Thursday at the Sloan Park complex. But making a sense of swagger or arrogance part of this team’s identity? That’s Cub.

“It’s all about that,” Maddon said. “Just go back in history. I’ve often talked about the Dodgers when I came up in the minor leagues (with the Angels). Their uniforms were whiter than everybody else’s. They thought they were better than everybody else. And then they went out and they won all the time.

“I hated it, but I liked it at the same time. I think the Yankees have developed that kind of a culture. (With) teams that win — whether you even want to talk about the Patriots in football — it’s part of it.

“It’s not that you feel as though you’re just going to show up and throw your gloves out there and you’re going to win. That’s not the point. You gain this confidence based on winning — and there’s something to be said for knowing how to win.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 17, 2017 at 08:47 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, joe maddon

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Kris Bryant gets pranked by Cubs great Greg Maddux

Greg Maddux disguised himself as a bearded, scraggly TV sound man for a Red Bull commercial and zipped a few pitches by the unsuspecting National League MVP while hurling some zingers at him, too.

“This sound guy has got a good curveball. What is this?” Bryant said after taking one of Maddux’s pitches. “He’s pretty good.”...

Maddux came on the mound when the practice pitcher suddenly got a call to “run study hall” on campus. “I seriously doubted you,” Bryant said. “I need to get one over the fence.”

Maddux let Bryant in on the gag when he asked the Cubs third baseman to autograph his bat for “Greg Maddux.” Bryant smiled and threw up his hand. “See? See? I told you,” he laughed to the crew.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 16, 2017 at 11:36 AM | 45 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, greg maddux, kris bryant, prank

Theo Epstein of the Cubs shares his 20 percent rule for getting ahead

If you do 90% of your boss’ work, he will like you even more.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 16, 2017 at 09:06 AM | 56 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, theo epstein

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Cubs will use restraint to ease Kyle Schwarber into limited catching role - Chicago Tribune

The current plan is for Willson Contreras to catch Jon Lester and start four or five times a week, with Miguel Montero serving as a backup. With Montero in the final year of his contract, Schwarber — who was drafted as a catcher — could move into Montero’s role in 2018 in addition to playing left.

For now, Schwarber will be part of the catching group each morning but will perform physical drills only once or twice a week with coach Mike Borzello, known for his creativity in keeping catchers sharp despite age or injury limitations.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 15, 2017 at 06:59 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kyle schwarber

Monday, February 13, 2017

Epstein: Cubs’ character gives them chance to win it all again – Chicago Sun-Times

“The primary reason why it’s hard to repeat is just because it’s really difficult to win the World Series,” he said. “In any given year, if you’re any old team, you have a 3 percent chance. If you’re the best team, you might have a 10-12 percent chance. It’s just hard to do.”

Throw in a post-title celebration of the century, and the challenges can increase.

“When you win, you get pulled in a lot of different directions,” Epstein said. “And there can be a tendency to at some point, no matter how high the character, to start thinking about yourself a little bit more.

“You have to work really hard — we all do — to avoid any kind of organizational arrogance, any sense of entitlement, to really understand that of all the great things that happened last year, the most special aspect was we all got to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 13, 2017 at 08:53 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Cubs spring-training guide down to a ‘T’ – Chicago Sun-Times

IF IT FIELDS SEXY, WEAR IT

Maddon dropped the term ‘‘D-peat’’ during his media briefing outside the White House after the Cubs’ visit with President Obama last month. He meant the Cubs’ top-flight fielding in 2016 might be even better in 2017, and that could be the key to the franchise’s second set of back-to-back titles.

No? Consider that if Albert Almora earns the lion’s share of time in center field, the Cubs will go from good to Gold Glove-quality at that position. And consider that Gold Glove-caliber infielder Javy Baez might supplant Ben Zobrist as the primary second baseman and that Willson Contreras will get a chance to put his exceptional catching skills into the lineup four or five times a week.

How exactly all the defensive pieces are assigned in April will be a big subplot of the spring.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2017 at 06:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Friday, February 10, 2017

Vegas win total for defending champ Cubs set at 95.5; totals for all 30 teams released

For the 11th straight year, the Atlantis Casino in Reno, Nevada, is the first sportsbook with MLB season win totals, and it set the Cubs’ number at 95.5 for betting that began Friday morning.

After opening the Cubs at 89 wins last year—second in the National League behind the San Francisco Giants—head oddsmaker and Atlantis sportsbook director Steve Mikkelson is now a believer….

In the NL, the Los Angeles Dodgers (91.5), Washington Nationals (90.5), New York Mets (89.5), St. Louis Cardinals (87.5) and Giants (87.5) also have win totals over 87.

In the American League, Mikkelson has the Cleveland Indians with the highest win total at 92.5, but he said the Boston Red Sox (90.5) have a better World Series shot.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 10, 2017 at 09:40 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: casinos, cubs, gambling, odds, vegas

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Possible platoons around Majors | MLB.com

I can see Zobrist getting time against tough lefties but do the Cubs really want to limit Schwarber’s development by putting him in a straight platoon?

Jim Furtado Posted: January 31, 2017 at 06:41 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, kyle schwarber

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Report: Left-hander Brett Anderson, Cubs agree to deal

Free-agent left-hander Brett Anderson has agreed with the Chicago Cubs on a deal, pending a physical, according to Fox Sports.

Anderson spent the past two seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is just 28 but is coming off his second back surgery in three years, having undergone an arthroscopic procedure during spring training last year. He was limited to just four appearances, and three starts, with the Dodgers this past season, registering an 11.91 ERA in 11 1/3 innings.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 24, 2017 at 10:09 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: brett anderson, cubs

Monday, January 23, 2017

OTP 23 Jan. 2017: Theo Epstein on baseball, politics and what he may do next

Theo globally, act locally:

“The reality is these days so much of the most important work in society is done by these non-profits, most of which don’t get real government funding, so it’s really important to identify the most impactful non-profits in your community, especially in a city like Chicago right now that is battling so many critical challenges and support them,” Epstein said. “Baseball is just bread and circus. What we do, we just entertain the masses.”

(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: January 23, 2017 at 07:37 AM | 2351 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, politics, theo epstein

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Cubs honored by President Obama at White House | MLB.com

It was a true love fest.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 17, 2017 at 06:49 AM | 53 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, world series

Sunday, January 15, 2017

OTP 16 Jan. 2017: The ‘honor’ Trumps politics in scheduling Cubs’ White House visit

Seems like the obvious story this week:

President Obama, a White Sox fan, extended invitations to his other hometown baseball team via Twitter and a phone call to Maddon to visit the White House to celebrate their first championship in 108 years before the president leaves office.

Already gathered in town this weekend for Cubs Convention, the Cubs plan to fly to Washington for the visit Monday, just a few days before Trump’s inauguration.

Given the Rickettses’ ties to Trump, there was some initial doubt whether the Cubs would make the trip before the administration change. Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts has been selected by Trump to be his deputy commerce secretary.

(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: January 15, 2017 at 10:17 PM | 2387 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, politics, world series champions

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Joe Maddon focuses on one word for Chicago Cubs’ 2017 message - Chicago Cubs Blog- ESPN

The word is not “sandwich”.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 12, 2017 at 09:29 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, joe maddon

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Fantasy Focus - Breaking Down Javy Baez

This is a big year for Baez. Can he stop laying off these pitches?

Major league hitters need to take advantage of a pitcher’s mistake, and Baez is more than capable of this. But over 12 percent of the pitches he saw last year were in the red box low and away from the strike zone. Until he stops bailing and wailing at pitches, this will not change. Baez is young enough to adjust and can learn to lay off these pitches, but his resulting whiff-per-swing percentages show why he is seeing this many pitches in the location identified:

Jim Furtado Posted: January 07, 2017 at 09:20 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, javier baez

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

How Do Cubs Handle Their Catching Situation Next Season?

Kyle Schwarber, who was set to catch every fifth day with Jason Hammel last year prior to shredding his knee, could eventually be an option to take time behind the plate as well. But the Cubs have announced no official plans for Schwarber in 2017 as far as catching goes, and at this point it would be hard to imagine him doing anything more than serving as a solid third catcher that fills in when need be.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 04, 2017 at 11:40 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Masterpiece Fall Classic

We’re supposed to see a gassed reliever on the mound, and so that’s what we see. If the velocity readings are 100 and 101, then we look for something else. “Here’s the thing,” Alex Rodriguez said later during the rain delay. “When you’re fatigued, you don’t lose miles per hour, per se. But what you do lose is command and movement.” But Chapman didn’t lose movement. He didn’t lose command (arguably, he doesn’t need command anyway). If you didn’t see Guyer’s ball split the gap and you didn’t know you were supposed to see a gassed reliever on the mound, you’d never guess Chapman was anything less than dominant.

So why did Rajai Davis homer?

Look again at the velocities of Chapman’s first 13 pitches. None of them starts with an 8. He threw 13 consecutive fastballs. Guyer finally caught up to the seventh, and Davis finally caught up to his seventh. Chapman’s fastball is so dominant that he can throw it right down the middle, but only when there is the threat of a slider to keep hitters at least somewhat surprised. “When Chapman is ahead in a count and he throws a pitch down the middle, batters’ isolated power—slugging percentage minus batting average—is .036. When batters are ahead, it’s .300,” we wrote before the Series, and with his refusal to throw a slider, Chapman was giving hitters the same predictable pattern. Chapman’s fastball here, so hard, so historic, so dominant, might have been more effective if he had been gassed and recognized it—and if he had therefore been forced to act like a normal pitcher and mix in a breaking ball.

Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: December 28, 2016 at 01:34 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, indians, world series

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

How the Cubs’ $184 million man Jason Heyward is fixing himself

With the offseason underway, Heyward is looking to get his swing back on track. The 27-year-old showed off some of the changes he’s been working on thus far, and it looks like Heyward could feature a much different stance next year.
...
Will it work? We have no idea. The offseason is a time for optimism. You always want to believe a player is in the best shape of their life, or that a new pitch will help that questionable starter turn into an ace.

It’s the same thing here. We won’t know whether these changes are effective until Heyward uses them against legitimate competition. With that said, this is a good thing. Heyward is working hard to put 2016 behind him and get back to being an effective player at the plate. Even if it doesn’t fully work out, it’s not like things can get any worse, right?

Video in the linked article. No word on whether he’s working with a coach or on his own.

Greg Pope Posted: December 21, 2016 at 06:34 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jason heyward, vortex of suck

Monday, December 19, 2016

Pat Hughes CD Commemorates 2016 Cubs World Series March

Makes a great gift!

CHICAGO CUBS radio play-by-play voice PAT HUGHES has released a CD with the story of the CUBS’ 2016 championship season.  “THE CHICAGO CUBS WIN THE WORLD SERIES” is available online through the team’s flagship, CBS RADIO Sports WSCR-A (670 THE SCORE)/CHICAGO, at cbschicago.com/cubscd or via HUGHES’ baseballvoices.com.

The CD includes over 70 minutes of material, including clips from the regular season through the Series.  HUGHES is releasing the CD as a special edition of his “BASEBALL VOICES” CD series, which has included 14 editions on 15 legendary baseball announcers thus far.

Bote Man Posted: December 19, 2016 at 11:56 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: audio, cubs, world series

Friday, December 16, 2016

ESPN: Aroldis Chapman: Joe Maddon misused me during the playoffs

“There were couple of games, but the one I can point to is Game 6,” Chapman said when asked for specifics for his criticism. “The game was open and I don’t think he needed to [leave] me in the ninth. The important game was going to be Game 7 because we had that game almost won. The next day I came in tired.”

Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: December 16, 2016 at 02:53 PM | 63 comment(s)
  Beats: aroldis chapman, cubs, joe maddon, world series

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Pros And Cons Of Superteams In Major League Baseball

Even if we disagree about superteams, I hope we can all agree about the value of superfly.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 15, 2016 at 10:04 PM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Will Cubs stay quiet or pull off surprise at winter meetings? | Chicago Sun-Times

The Cubs are among those teams heading to this week’s winter meetings shopping for free agent relievers. And how Cecil’s signing and other market factors – such as a healthy trade market and newly struck changes to revenue-sharing and luxury-tax rules – affect the prices could affect how aggressive and active the Cubs choose to be.

“I don’t think any one signing is going to have [a market-setting] impact,” Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said. “Brett Cecil’s a very, very good left-handed reliever. In general, the lack of starting pitching in the market has something to do with the interest in the relievers, and the way the postseason played out. What everyone saw was some really good bullpens heavily utilized, and I think that’s something that’s been a big focus.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 04, 2016 at 08:50 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Cubs sign outfielder Jay to 1-year contract

Now they just have to sign free agent Matt Holliday to have the Cardinals’ 2015 starting outfield.

With incumbent center fielder Dexter Fowler weighing his options in free agency, the Cubs plucked another player off the open market, agreeing with veteran Jon Jay on a one-year contract worth $8 million.

salvomania Posted: December 03, 2016 at 11:25 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, jon jay

Page {e2c518d61874f2d4a14bbfb9087a7c2dcurrent_page} of {e2c518d61874f2d4a14bbfb9087a7c2dtotal_pages} pages {e2c518d61874f2d4a14bbfb9087a7c2dpagination_links} | Site Archive

 

 

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
James Kannengieser
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogPump The Brakes On Kyle Schwarber? Well, Actually...
(3 - 10:45pm, Feb 23)
Last: Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant

NewsblogOTP 20 Feb. 2017: Baseball in a Time of Politics
(1358 - 10:42pm, Feb 23)
Last: zonk

NewsblogWhy Joe Maddon sees Kyle Schwarber as the leadoff guy in Cubs lineup | CSN Chicago
(5 - 10:41pm, Feb 23)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogOT: January 2016 Soccer Thread
(263 - 10:35pm, Feb 23)
Last: SPICEY WITH A SIDE OF BEER ON A BABYYYYYYY

NewsblogHeyman: Romneys, who bid on Marlins, in talks to buy piece of Yankees
(6 - 10:34pm, Feb 23)
Last: Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant

NewsblogMike Piazza Learns How to Be an Owner. Of a Soccer Team. In Italy.
(99 - 10:26pm, Feb 23)
Last: villainx

NewsblogOT - December 2016 NBA thread
(2494 - 10:16pm, Feb 23)
Last: jmurph

NewsblogIn defense of Sammy Sosa
(2 - 9:58pm, Feb 23)
Last: 6 - 4 - 3

NewsblogIs 300-wins club done adding members?
(127 - 9:52pm, Feb 23)
Last: 6 - 4 - 3

NewsblogThe Bizarre Ending to Pitching's Greatest Winning Streak
(3 - 9:04pm, Feb 23)
Last: AndrewJ

NewsblogBaseball Reference has a New Look
(90 - 8:38pm, Feb 23)
Last: 6 - 4 - 3

NewsblogThe End of “Stick to Sports”
(72 - 8:37pm, Feb 23)
Last: Betts, Bogaerts, and D Price(GGC)

NewsblogExclusive: Facebook in talks to live stream one MLB game per week - sources
(13 - 8:17pm, Feb 23)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogHow Buccaneers' Jameis Winston blew away Yankees prospects
(10 - 8:06pm, Feb 23)
Last: 6 - 4 - 3

NewsblogMLB commissioner Rob Manfred angry union won't agree to proposesd rule changes
(99 - 7:09pm, Feb 23)
Last: cmd600

Page rendered in 1.9800 seconds
165 querie(s) executed