11:46 PM EDT, Mon October 21, 2019
7 hours ago
Arizona Fall League Mesa Solar Sox Update: Week 5

Arizona Fall League Mesa Solar Sox Update: Week 5

Scott Effross | Larry Kave/Myrtle Beach Pelicans Some positives and negatives as the AFL finishes their penultimate week. It’s time for our regular Monday update on the Cubs prospects playing in the Arizona Fall League. The Mesa Solar Sox, the AFL team that the Cubs share with the Angels, Athletics, Indians and Tigers were 2-4 over the past week. They lost their first four games and were shut out in two of them. They bounced back to win their final two games and Cubs prospects Riley Thompson and Jared Young played a big role in one of those two wins. Mesa’s overall record is 12-13,...
9 hours ago
2019 Cubs Heroes and Goats: Season recap

2019 Cubs Heroes and Goats: Season recap

Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports A look at the final standings for Heroes and Goats and other WPA data. In 2014, Russ La Croix created Heroes and Goats. He ran this series for three seasons. I’ve now essentially matched that total, starting during the 2017 season. For those of you who have followed along for part or all of those six years, on behalf of Russ, Al Yellon and me, we’d like to thank you for reading. This is a quirky little series based around WPA. It is meant for fun. Due to some of the idiosyncrasies that go into WPA and the tabulation of Heroes and Goats, this isn’t some new...
10 hours ago
Here’s why the proposal to eliminate minor league teams is a really bad idea

Here’s why the proposal to eliminate minor league teams is a really bad idea

Four Winds Field, home of the South Bend Cubs | Al Yellon Teams will lose more than they’ll gain if this proposal goes through. The adage is to release bad news on Friday. By Monday, when the standard media cycle returns, most of the hostility will have simmered away. With the announcement by Major League Baseball of eliminating up to 42 affiliates over the next 24 months on a Friday, the adage was honored. My frustration lingers. Here is why I'm upset. Imagine you're in an industry. Any industry. Your goal is to find a market, and get customers to prefer you in that market over other...
12 hours ago
Javier Baez is on the cover of MLB The Show 20

Javier Baez is on the cover of MLB The Show 20

Courtesy Sony This is an honor for any player. All of us here know what a special player Javier Báez is, at the plate, in the field and in his joy of playing the game. The video game MLB The Show has honored Javy by putting him on the cover of the 2020 version of their game. “I am so honored and excited to be on the cover of MLB The Show 20. I’ll never forget how it felt when I saw myself in the game for the first time (even as a backup!). It was so surreal. Still, it’s one thing to see your virtual self, but it’s completely next level to be on the cover of a game you’ve...
13 hours ago
Local announcers used to join World Series broadcasts. Fox should revive the tradition

Local announcers used to join World Series broadcasts. Fox should revive the tradition

It would make the broadcasts more interesting. This post was prompted by a comment left in my article about the Ken Holtzman trade providing dividends years later. I included this video of Holtzman hitting a home run for the Athletics in the 1974 World Series: The comment: Announcers on Holtzman HR Sounds like Kurt Gowdy, Tony Kubek and a 3rd voice I can’t ID. The third voice is Monte Moore, who was the Athletics’ TV play-by-play announcer in those days. From the 1950s through 1975, NBC, the rightsholder for the World Series, put announcers for the participating teams in their...
15 hours ago
MLB Bullets sends everyone home

MLB Bullets sends everyone home

Photo by Elsa/ Jose Altuve saw to it that the Astros will meet the Nationals in the World Series. The Yankees miss the World Series for the 10th-straight season. Good morning. The World Series is all set for tomorrow night. Astros second baseman José Altuve joined the legends of baseball history, writes Zach Kram, when he hit the walk-off home run to beat the Yankees and send the Astros to the 2019 World Series. Kram looks at Altuve’s post-season career and notes that it was only the eighth time in baseball history that a team either won the World Series or clinched a trip to the...
16 hours ago
Baseball history unpacked, October 21

Baseball history unpacked, October 21

George Bell hits a dinger | Brave moves, Fisk’s wave-in, and other stories ... on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, Bleed Cubbie Blue brings a you 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. The embedded links often point to articles that pertain to the scenes, such as reproductions of period newspapers, images, and/or other such material as is often found in the wild. Today in baseball history: 1934 - An All-Star...
Oct 20, 2019
Joe Espada is getting a second interview from the Cubs

Joe Espada is getting a second interview from the Cubs

Photo by Bob Levey/ The Astros bench coach is a busy guy. The American League pennant celebration was barely over for the Houston Astros when their bench coach, Joe Espada, had another piece of business to take care of: Joe Espada is on his way to Chicago for a second managerial interview with the Cubs, per a source. Cubs were clearly impressed with what they heard last week from the Astros bench coach.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) October 20, 2019 Mark Feinsand is correct — Theo & Co. must have been quite impressed with their interview with Espada last week. This could mean...
Oct 20, 2019
Cubs history: How Ken Holtzman helped the Cubs more than three decades after he was drafted

Cubs history: How Ken Holtzman helped the Cubs more than three decades after he was drafted

Ken Holtzman at spring training in the mid-1960s | Bettmann Archive A single draft pick in 1965 led to 32 years’ worth of good performances by various Cubs. This is a little different trade tracker than the one I posted yesterday. That’s because it doesn’t begin with a trade. Instead, this trade sequence begins with a Cubs draft pick from the very first amateur draft in 1965. The Cubs, in general, drafted poorly until Tribune Company took over in the 1980s. Of the Cubs’ first-round June picks from 1965-81 (1981 being the last year under the Wrigley ownership), five never played...
Oct 20, 2019
Cub Tracks’ mettle men

Cub Tracks’ mettle men

Put your hands together you !@?&%#/! | Photo by Jonathan Daniel/ Manager tracker, Ross the boss, everybody is a star, and other bullets In the interest of milking the drama from every moment by overhyping everything, let me just say that this is the best Cub Tracks ever, at the outset, the onset, the preface as it were, and thank you, Bruce Wolf. The next Cub Tracks will be the next best. Ads infinitum. We aim to please, and we aim low. “The column we need right now” — Joe Maddon. “I am Groot” — Iron Maddon. See what I mean? But seriously, folks, the postseason galumphed...
Oct 19, 2019
2019 American League Championship Series Game 6: Yankees vs. Astros, Saturday 10/19, 7 p.m. CT

2019 American League Championship Series Game 6: Yankees vs. Astros, Saturday 10/19, 7 p.m. CT

Photo by Mike Stobe/ The Astros hope to go to the World Series. The Yankees hope to force Game 7. See the little white dot right next to the foul pole, where the red arrow is pointing? That’s Aaron Hicks’ home run ball hitting the foul pole in the first inning Friday night at Yankee Stadium. If that ball goes another foot or two to the right, it’s a foul ball and Hicks’ at-bat would have continued. Maybe he doesn’t hit a home run off Justin Verlander if that ball goes foul, maybe the Astros wind up winning the game. That’s how close Houston came to getting to...
Oct 19, 2019
Further thoughts on David Ross as a potential Cubs manager... from Joe Maddon

Further thoughts on David Ross as a potential Cubs manager... from Joe Maddon

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/ The ex-Cubs manager thinks the former Cubs catcher would be a great choice to succeed him in the role. If you don’t believe me regarding David Ross’ qualifications to be the next Cubs manager, perhaps you’ll believe Joe Maddon. Sun-Times writer Gordon Wittenmyer asked Maddon about Ross recently, and the answers are illuminating: ‘‘I would love for David to get it,’’ Maddon said. ‘‘He checks all the boxes, except he hasn’t done it before. They’ll put the right people around him and give him the right information. David’s really...
Oct 19, 2019
Cubs history: A 1960s trade that worked out well... even into the 1970s

Cubs history: A 1960s trade that worked out well... even into the 1970s

Larry Jackson in spring training 1965 | Sporting News via The Cubs made a lot of bad trades in this era. This one paid dividends many years later. The Cubs were famous, or infamous, for their poor trades in the 1950s and 1960s, among them the Lou Brock for Ernie Broglio deal that likely was the worst in franchise history, perhaps even in all of baseball history. I’m here to tell you about a Cubs trade made in 1962 that not only was good for the team, but paid dividends down the road when they traded away the players they acquired in the ‘62 deal. I like looking at deals like this...
Oct 19, 2019
Cub Tracks and the epoch of incredulity

Cub Tracks and the epoch of incredulity

Photo by Jim Vondruska/NurPhoto via Getting older to get better, the next phase of reckoning, and other bullets Wait, you, until the subsequent season! No Cubs baseball today. We have everything behind us, and nothing before us. There’s little to justify any national boasting. The Cubs were supposed to be on the same page as Houston, you know. And they still might be, but as a footnote, perhaps a cautionary tale, though in truth the full story has yet to be written. I’m trying like hell to be bullish but my general instinct, trained by years and years and year of Cub misadventures,...
Oct 18, 2019
2019 American League Championship Series Game 5: Astros vs. Yankees, Friday 10/18, 6 p.m. CT

2019 American League Championship Series Game 5: Astros vs. Yankees, Friday 10/18, 6 p.m. CT

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports The Astros can win the A.L. pennant tonight. This has been a peculiar ALCS. The Yankees blew out the home team 7-0 in Game 1, holding the Astros to three hits in their hitter-friendly home park. Then Game 2 went 11 innings and the Yankees had several opportunities to win the game before Carlos Correa’s walkoff home run. The Astros have utterly dominated the two games so far at Yankee Stadium, outscoring the Yankees 12-4 and both times, taking early-inning leads that they held on to. Now one of the best pitchers on the planet, Justin Verlander, will be...