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— Cubs Baseball for Thinking Fans

Monday, September 30, 2019

Regrets

Even though I was one of the people saying the Cubs should move on from Maddon, now that it’s official I find myself second-guessing how strongly I thought it was the right move.  Obviously, my opinion doesn’t matter at all and this would be the reality regardless of how I felt, but now I feel much less sure that it was the right move.  Maybe I’m just being nostalgic for how great those 5 years were.  I always bristled at the general (or non-Cubs) fan who said keeping Maddon was a no-brainer ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 30, 2019 at 09:21 AM | 131 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Monday, September 16, 2019

Approaching the Finish Line

Walks asked for an end-of-season thread, and here it is.

The weekend Pirates series was a red-hot mess: a sweep where the Cubs scored more runs (47) than in any three-game series in the modern era. They broke their all-time team record for HR in a season as well. But every rainbow has a brown lining: Anthony Rizzo turned his ankle yesterday, so his future at this point is unknown. An MRI is scheduled for today.

The Cubs have gained ground, now two back of the Cardinals in the NL Central, and ...

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Andere Richtingen Posted: September 16, 2019 at 08:31 AM | 137 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Monday, July 29, 2019

Taking the current temperature

Starting a new thread, as it’s way overdue.  I’m not sure I have that many original thoughts, so I’m going to steal some comments from the last thread here.

First thing on my mind is the ridiculous home/road splits.  I haven’t updated these since I originally posted them before the Brewers series, but nothing has really changed and the 2 losses fit the general theme.  The Cubs are 10 under .500 on the road; if they were just .500 on the road they’d have a 5 game lead in the division instead of ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: July 29, 2019 at 11:03 AM | 387 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Monday, May 06, 2019

That was fun

The first road trip of the season feels so long ago now, doesn’t it?  Coming into the season I was on the more optimistic side of people around here; I still overreacted a little to that piss poor start.  As plenty of people have said, teams are never as bad as they look at their worst or as good as they do at their best.  However, I see no reason to think the Cubs aren’t much more likely really this good - well, not .800 win percentage good, but 95 wins good.  The Cubs have the best run ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: May 06, 2019 at 10:11 AM | 488 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

2019 Season Predictions

I suck at these, but they’re always fun to revisit after the season to get an idea of my state of mind from Spring Training.

1. Bryant will finish top 3 in the MVP voting.  I’ve been saying for years he was going to put together a truly monster season, and he looked on his way last year before his shoulder injury.  I’m talking something .300+/.420/.600.
2. Rizzo’s 5 year OPS+ stops, and he rebounds to a 140ish OPS+ this year (IOW, staying healthy)
3. Baez will keep most of his gains from last ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: March 27, 2019 at 04:56 PM | 164 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Now what?

I’m hungover and at work.  This is probably going to be an incoherent mess.  I probably will end up disagreeing with some or all of this, probably sooner than later.  However, might as well start thinking about how the Cubs are going to approach this offseason. 

The easy route is making some small changes around the edges - maybe splurge on a reliever or two, bring a couple more long shot rebound types - and talk about being healthier and improving from within.  There’s probably some merit to ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 03, 2018 at 10:27 AM | 427 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Wednesday, September 05, 2018

The Final Push

24 games to go.  Cubs still have 8 games left on this 23 straight day stretch, but only 2 more real road trips - DC this weekend and and Phoenix in a couple of weeks; the only other road games are today in Milwaukee and 3 at The Cell.  A 3 game lead is far from comfortable, especially after the way the last 2 games played out, but a win today and leaving with a 4 game lead with 23 left is still quite the enviable position. 

The Cubs went 18-10 in September, and are 10-4 in their last 14, but ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 05, 2018 at 10:27 AM | 346 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Monday, December 18, 2017

Status of the Roster mid-December

Figured it was a good time for a new thread, but it’s also time to take a step back and look at how things stand for the Cubs right now.  The Cubs still have some moves to make, though they could field a 25 man roster today if they absolutely had to. 

Catchers
Contreras, TBD. 

I haven’t seen many rumors linking the Cubs to any backup catcher FAs as of yet.  Obviously, Caratini is an option, but as we’ve gone over before it would appear the Cubs are enamoured/comfortable with his defense ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: December 18, 2017 at 11:22 AM | 186 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Cleaning up on loose ends

Assorted thoughts/comments as Spring Training winds down.

- Cubs have said their rotation will start the year as Lester, Arrieta, Lackey, Anderson, Hendricks.  I saw a few places try to say Hendricks is the “5th starter”, but it sounds like the order was set mostly on matchups for the first time through, and not having Lester/Anderson pitch in consecutive games

“Everybody’s always concerned about pecking order regarding who you perceive to be best or least best,” Maddon said. “It’s just more ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: March 28, 2017 at 11:09 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Belated Spring Training Thoughts

I don’t know if anyone is interested, or will even read this one.  I took my annual trek to the greater Phoenix area early last week, this year accompanied by my newly baseball obsessed 5 year old son.  We saw three games, and I jotted down a few thoughts for each game.

Cubs 9, Rangers 9

There is so much general baseball knowledge that I just take for granted, and can’t remember ever learning.  Especially about Spring Training.  The 2 big ones that I found myself having the hardest time ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: March 15, 2017 at 02:06 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, spring training


Monday, February 20, 2017

Spring Training Open Thread

We’ve gotten some sporadic threads going over the first week of ST, but nothing has really taken off.  I’m putting this up now, and will be adding any news/updates to the comments as they pop up.  It’s going to be a relatively quiet spring, I’d expect, and I’m heading to Phoenix for a few games in a couple of week (so if anyone is going to be there, let me know).

Here’s how I see the roster today, feel free to comment, laugh, etc:

LOCKS:
Hitters (10) - Rizzo, Bryant, Zobrist, Russell, ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: February 20, 2017 at 11:48 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Thursday, February 02, 2017

Last Minute Depth Shopping

I added a comment to the last post about the Brett Anderson signing, but there wasn’t a thread for it (nor did it really deserve it’s own thread).  That’s obviously a depth signing, and at only $3.5 mil guaranteed, it’s relatively low risk.  It’s incredibly unlikely he’s healthy enough to be a much of a factor at all, but if he is, the incentives can take his deal up to $10mil.  I’m perfectly fine with this, but if he’s really the 6th starter, there still is more work to do.

So yesterday, the ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: February 02, 2017 at 11:21 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Thursday, December 08, 2016

Cubs roster update - post Winter Meetings

Not surprisingly, the Cubs have been relatively quiet so far this offseason.  After a couple moves, I thought it’d be worth putting the current projected 25 man roster on paper to see where things stand.

C: Contreras, Montero
1b: Rizzo
2b: Zobrist, Baez
SS: Russell
3b: Bryant
OF: Heyward, Schwarber, Almora, Jay

SP: Lester, Arrieta, Hendricks, Lackey, Montgomery
CL: Davis
RP: Rondon, Strop, Edwards, Grimm, Uehara

I see those 22 as locks.  Maybe Duensing is a lock, but I don’t think $2mil is a ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: December 08, 2016 at 05:09 PM | 80 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Starting to think about 2017

I’m not entirely ready to start thinking about next year yet.  I’m still enjoying this year (side note: Friday at 7pm on FS1 is the 2016 Cubs movie that MLB produced).  There hasn’t been a ton of offseason movement or rumors yet, and the Cubs haven’t really done anything of note, unless of course you’re a 40 man roster fanatic.  Seeing that Fangraphs has put out their 2017 projections made me at least put up this post.  If anything major comes up during the winter meetings, I might start a new ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: November 29, 2016 at 01:10 PM | 107 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, world series champions


Tuesday, November 08, 2016

2016 Season Recap

World Series Champs

Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: November 08, 2016 at 02:08 PM | 35 comment(s)
  Related News: champions, cubs, world series


Thursday, November 03, 2016

Game 7 Feelings

World Series Champions.  Never a doubt.

For Joel. 

For my grandpa.  For everyone that never saw this.  Cubs were the best team, February through November.  Champions.

Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: November 03, 2016 at 01:21 AM | 56 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, world series


Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Game 6 Feelings

World Series game 7 Cubs

I really don’t have any words tonight, though there’s plenty to talk about.  Maybe I’ll be able to write some coherent sentences then.

Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: November 02, 2016 at 12:01 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, world series


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Game 5 Feelings

Whew.

Seriously.  Whew.  Holy ####, not sure I’ll be able to fall asleep anytime soon.  So, to try and organize some half thought-through thoughts.

Good:
1. Chapman.  This was a tough situation for him; he’s been bad all year with inherited runners and even worse in the playoffs.  Longest outing in his pro career, almost most pitches thrown.  He made it tougher on himself not covering first (though, not sure they get the out), but still came through. 
2. Lester.  I’ll get to the decision to ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 30, 2016 at 11:58 PM | 53 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, world series


Game 4 Feelings

Well, hard to like much after that. Kluber was awesome, yet again. The Indians have made almost no mistakes, and have taken advantage of most of the Cubs. The lack of offense is surprising, but the defense falling apart bugs me the most. We can not pick moves here and there, but the Cubs just haven’t been good enough.

Luckily, there’s 3 more games. Once again, on paper, the Cubs have the pitching advantage. They could very easily win each of the next 3 games, or it could end tomorrow. I don’t ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 30, 2016 at 12:05 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, world series


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Game 3 Feelings

Well, not a lot that can be sugar coated after that one.  It really is amazing that was a 1-0 game, regardless of the winner, considering the weather.  The fact that neither team came anywhere near close to hitting a home run is absolutely unbelievable.  Anyhow..

Things I liked, enjoyed, or that gave me hope
1. Only giving up 1 run in this weather is a good thing, I guess.
2. I really don’t have any complaints with how any of the Cubs pitchers pitched.  It would have been nice for Hendricks to ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 29, 2016 at 12:01 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, world series


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Game 2 Feelings

Late night thoughts, as I wait for the NyQuil to kick in.

Things I liked, enjoyed, or that gave me hope
1. Schwarber, Schwarber, Schwarber.  Is this real?  Were I a neutral fan, I might start thinking this storyline is getting pounded into the ground.  But it’s just so damn incredible.  The entire postgame show was about whether or not he should play LF Friday, and how the Cubs are a different team with him.  Yes, they are, but they were still really, really ####### good without him.  ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 26, 2016 at 11:37 PM | 95 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, world series


Game 1 Feelings

There’s plenty of analysis and overanalysis out there for everyone to find.  Rather than writing a long post in one of the threads, I figured I’d just throw all my thoughts up here and see what sticks.

Things I liked, enjoyed, or that gave me hope
1. Schwarber, Schwarber, Schwarber.  I kind of forgot how good of an eye he had, so there was something to like from each of his at-bats.  He only swung at 2 pitches out of the zone (I think), and even more impressively he hung in against Miller ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 26, 2016 at 10:17 AM | 62 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, world series


Monday, October 24, 2016

Bring on the outsourced 5 minute Indians preview

I haven’t had time to write one of these up yet, but Walt posted this in a comment on the last thread.  I’ll just post what he wrote, and give any of my thoughts in the comments.

I’ve paid very little attention to this team all year but here goes:

Offense is better than the overall numbers look—the overall numbers are dragged down by a mostly terrible bench but the starters are pretty good and they cleaned up one weakness getting Guyer to mash LHP. There’s no stud batter but everybody is a ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 24, 2016 at 10:15 AM | 91 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, ohmygodistillaminshock, world series


Sunday, October 23, 2016

NL pennant thread

Hell yeah. Whooo.

Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 23, 2016 at 01:35 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, nlcs, pennant


Friday, October 21, 2016

The Long Wait

No, not THAT one.  I’m talking about the long wait until 7:08pm tomorrow.  These waits with the offday in between are just so, so long.  I already spend so much overthinking things, now I have another 24 or so hours to question and re-question everything I think I’ve convinced myself to think to feel. 

Anyhow, the Cubs are in position to clinch the pennant at home.  It’s a big moment, and as much as I try, it’s impossible to ignore history.  Luckily, history doesn’t really matter; or it ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 21, 2016 at 10:24 AM | 119 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, nlcs, playoffs


Friday, October 14, 2016

Bring on the five minute Dodgers preview

I don’t have a lot of time today to write any sort of detailed preview.  Besides, there’ll be plenty of those everywhere else.  It’s been quite an exciting playoffs so far, but I wouldn’t complain if the Cubs were able to take care of business a little more quietly this series.  So borrowing a format I used earlier…

Reasons for Optimism (all the same, but with thoughts slightly tweaked as applicable):

1. Pitching and defense.  Just like last time, the Cubs have an advantage here.  The Kershaw ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 14, 2016 at 01:06 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, dodgers, nlcs, playoffs


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

NLDS Winner Thread

Just wanted to get something up. Probably will write more tomorrow.

All I’ll say is have some faith in this team. Don’t get discouraged or give up so easy. They’re good, and it’s never over.

Hell, they’re really ####### good.

Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 12, 2016 at 12:58 AM | 54 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, nlcs, nlds, playoffs


Monday, October 10, 2016

Gut check Monday

Rather that doing any sort of write, I thought I’d list out a bunch of things I like, or didn’t like, or felt, after the first 2 games; plus how I feel about tonight’s game.

Things to like:
1. Javy.  It really speaks to how far he’s come all the ways he’s making an impact.  Sure, I’d love for him to run out of the box sprinting every time (more on that late), but he’s been exactly what the Cubs needed at the bottom of the lineup.  He hasn’t even had to do too much defensively yet, but the ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 10, 2016 at 09:49 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, giants, playoffs


Monday, October 03, 2016

Five minute non-specific opponent playoff preview

I’ll write a little more after the NL WC game on Wednesday, once we know who the Cubs are playing (quick thought - I don’t have a preference; both the Mets and Giants have obvious strengths and ways they could beat the Cubs, and also plenty of weaknesses and reasons the Cubs can beat them).  In the meantime, here’s some quick thoughts about how things are looking.  First though, 103 wins.  Wow.  I hope we can fully appreciate how great this season way, regardless of how this month turns out.  ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: October 03, 2016 at 05:14 PM | 27 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Fear, Worry, and Overthinking

Since the Cubs actually cliched, and even well before that when it was inevitable, I found it easy to push a bunch of minor concerns out of my mind.  Usually a quick “Yeah, but that won’t matter until October” was enough to mentally move on.  Now that the playoffs are just a (long, long) week away, the doubts have started creeping back in.  So, in the remaining 8 days until the Cubs play their next meaningful game, here are the things that worry me.

1. This:

We interrupt your regularly ...

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Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: September 29, 2016 at 10:41 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Related News: cubs, playoffs


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