12:01 PM EST, Mon December 17, 2018
2 hours ago
Which pre-TV event in Cubs history would you most want to see?

Which pre-TV event in Cubs history would you most want to see?

Another thought exercise. In this scenario, you’ll have to stretch your imagination a bit, so here’s the setup. You’ve discovered time travel, how to make it work and how to return to your current existence. But it will work only once, only to the past, and for only one purpose: For you to go back in time to see one Cubs game or event. You can’t take your smartphone with you to take photos; you’ll wind up dressed in period clothing so you don’t stand out, and all you’ll bring back are memories. You will have one advantage: Unlike all the other people at the ballpark watching...
4 hours ago
MLB Bullets is catching on

MLB Bullets is catching on

The Mets have a new catcher and it’s not J.T. Realmuto. Six teams are still interested in Realmuto. Ian Kinsler is a Padre. The White Sox made a trade. Good morning and a warm holiday season to everyone. Except you-know-who. He knows what he did. No big deals over the weekend, but there were some lesser ones that could pay off big later this summer. The Padres signed second baseman Ian Kinsler to a two-year, $8 million deal. Jay Jaffe believes the Padres got a great deal in signing Kinsler. The Mets have reportedly come to an agreement with free agent catcher Wilson Ramos for two...
5 hours ago
Baseball history unpacked, December 17

Baseball history unpacked, December 17

Spitball grandfathered, we got Wood, and other stories A wildly popular Cubs-centric look at baseball’s past. Here’s a handy Cubs timeline, to help you follow along as we review select scenes from the rich tapestry of Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball history. Today in baseball history: 1891 - The American Association disbands. The Baltimore Orioles, St. Louis Browns, Louisville Colonels, and Washington Senators will become part of the 12-team National League. (1) 1920 - The AL votes to allow pitchers who used the spitball in 1920 to continue using it as long as they are in the...
18 hours ago
2019 MLB Draft Prep: Cheer Local-NIU/SIU

2019 MLB Draft Prep: Cheer Local-NIU/SIU

A couple more Illinois state schools for you to look at. The drive from DeKalb, Illinois to Carbondale is a rather lengthy one. By a cursory look online, the trip by car takes about 5½ hours. That’s not only over half a work day, it’s also about the length necessary to jump two rungs in the college baseball world, all things being equal. Today, I look at both teams’ prospects for success in 2019. Northern Illinois University has an enrollment of a bit over 13,000. Southern’s has dropped to a bit below 13,000. As such, numbers-wise, they are rather similar. The Missouri Valley is a...
20 hours ago
Come on out for Cubs caroling!

Come on out for Cubs caroling!

BCB’s Danny Rockett is getting a group together to go Cubs caroling and you’re invited! A few weeks ago, Club 400’s Stewart McVicar asked me to play some of my Cubs songs at an event featuring Miguel Montero. Being so close to Christmas, I thought it might be fun to turn my set into a sing-a-long with new Cubs related parody lyrics to Christmas classics. So that’s what we did and it was so much fun we are doing it again, and you’re invited! Wednesday, December 19 at 7 p.m., a bunch of us are getting together to go Cubs Caroling and to check out Winterland at Gallagher Way next to...
21 hours ago
The 12 Days of Cubsmas: Day 4, Four postseason appearances in a row

The 12 Days of Cubsmas: Day 4, Four postseason appearances in a row

This is the longest postseason streak in the history of the team In 2018 the Cubs made their fourth postseason appearance in a row. What may have been lost in the disappointment of a 13 inning loss to the Rockies was that this was the first time in the history of the franchise that the Cubs have played postseason baseball four seasons in row. I really can’t overstate how many years this is. How many Cubs fans never saw a team play at this level for this length of time. It really requires some visuals, so please indulge me for a bit with a series of screenshots. First, up the last 22 years...
23 hours ago
Cubs stay just under luxury tax limit for 2018

Cubs stay just under luxury tax limit for 2018

They aimed to do this all year, and they succeeded. The Cubs spent all of 2018 carefully guarding their spending so they would stay under the $197 luxury tax limit for last season. According to this Associated Press article, they succeeded. AP reports that Cubs expenditures subject to the luxury tax (which include things like benefits as well as salaries) totaled $193.3 million, just under the ceiling. The Red Sox, at $239.5 million, and the Nationals, at $205 million, are the only teams that will pay luxury tax for 2018. Boston’s tax bill is $11,951,091 and Washington’s is $2,386,097....
Dec 16, 2018
Wrigley Field construction update: December 15

Wrigley Field construction update: December 15

The upper-deck work is progressing quite a bit faster now. BCB’s David Sameshima visited Wrigley Field Saturday afternoon and filed this report: I visited Wrigley Field during the late afternoon, around 2:30 p.m. It was not an ideal time to photograph, with the harsh shadows from the late afternoon sun. The weather was mild, in the 40’s, so there was a lot of folks outside, with a lot of road traffic too. As I arrived, construction workers were preparing for a crane to exit the worksite, on Addison. I decided to wait, to photograph it. The workers stopped traffic, so the crane could...
Dec 16, 2018
Cubs historical sleuthing: The Chicago City Series

Cubs historical sleuthing: The Chicago City Series

A unique look at the Cubs and White Sox from the 1940s. The Cubs and White Sox now play each other either four or six times a year in interleague play, depending on which division each is facing. But from 1903 to 1942, the teams often played a Chicago “City Series” after the regular season was over, in seasons where neither won their league pennant. Twenty-six City Series were played in that era and here’s a good history of all of them. Our friends at Flagstaff Films found these two gems from a City Series recently: Rare Color- 1940-( Part 1 of 2) "City Series"-White Sox vs Cubs,...
Dec 16, 2018
Cub Tracks’ born to be mild

Cub Tracks’ born to be mild

Happy birthday, Tyler Chatwood, the fifth-highest payroll, and other bullets Not much on the docket this morning, your Honor. Matt Szczur has signed with the Diamondbacks and is headed for Reno. No Cubs anything. Here’s a picture of young Ernie Banks, in lieu of kittens: Ernie Banks at age 23 in 1954 - his first full year in the big leagues. #Cubs #WrigleyField pic.twitter.com/WWaAouR599— Matt Dahlgren (@mattdahlgren12) December 15, 2018 Sad that there’s noting to report, unlike these two December 15ths: December 15, 2014#Cubs sign Jon Lester— Mark @ Cubs History (@MF6543)...
Dec 15, 2018
The 12 days of Cubsmas, Day 3: Three epic relief performances

The 12 days of Cubsmas, Day 3: Three epic relief performances

The Cubs got a lot of help from unlikely pitchers in 2018 The Cubs got a lot of help in 2018 from unlikely relievers. The front office spent a lot of money on bullpen arms in 2018 but the brightest moments came from players they picked up on the waiver wire and in trades. So on the third day of Cubsmas I wanted to take a look at three epic relief performances for the Cubs in 2018. The Butler did it Long before Nathan Eovaldi wowed the baseball world with 6+ innings in relief in game 3 of the World Series the Cubs had Eddie Butler put on a similar display, unfortunately with a similar...
Dec 15, 2018
Cubs/Wrigley Field historical sleuthing: The one that’s a mystery

Cubs/Wrigley Field historical sleuthing: The one that’s a mystery

I can’t quite place this one. Can you? This is a fascinating video and I’ve been able to suss out some information on it, but not the exact date. Or dates, and you’ll see why after you watch it: All right, first, it says “Chicago Cubs Game 1940’s” right on the title. I probably would have been able to figure that out from the uniforms. The title card says “1942.” The YouTube page says 1942 was the date found on the film stock, but of course 1942 film stock could easily have been used after that year. Anyway, 1942 can’t be right, because at :35 you see a player wearing No....
Dec 15, 2018
The Cubs are sending a scout to watch a Troy Tulowitzki workout

The Cubs are sending a scout to watch a Troy Tulowitzki workout

Perhaps the former All-Star could play a useful role for the 2019 Cubs. Earlier this week I wrote here that the Cubs should look into signing Troy Tulowitzki, the former Rockies and Blue Jays shortstop who was released by Toronto with $38 million left on his contract. Now, it appears the Cubs are at the very least doing their due diligence: Cubs are one of the teams that has at least been in contact with Tulo, and they will send a scout to a workout. There are others though, so they aren’t necessarily the favorite. His agent told @susanslusser there are 6 teams and they will narrow...
Dec 15, 2018
The Cubs should give prospects annual bonuses

The Cubs should give prospects annual bonuses

This would be a good thing for the players and the organization. One of the standard comments of minor league baseball observers is that minor league players don’t get paid enough. That isn’t a socio-economic rant, and the players involved knew the stakes walking in the door. Owners would, in general, prefer to do other things with their money than gratis it to players who might never graduate past the Midwest League. My case is that the Chicago Cubs, and their owners, would be financially benefited from giving an annual bonus to most of their minor league players. One of the reasons...
Dec 15, 2018
The 12 Days of Cubsmas

The 12 Days of Cubsmas

All of Sara Sanchez’ stories about the 12 days of Cubsmas can be found here.