7:14 AM EDT, Fri October 19, 2018
14 mins ago
Baseball history unpacked, October 19

Baseball history unpacked, October 19

Quade-rophenia, Cubs win, Cubs lose, 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. We’re winding down to the end of the season, and there’s not much to choose from — but we have video! It’s a beautiful day for a ball game — let’s get started! Today in baseball history: 1913 - The New York Giants and Chicago White Sox, fortified with other players, start their world tour in Cincinnati. After a...
12 hours ago
2018 American League Championship Series: Red Sox vs. Astros Game 5, 7 p.m. CT

2018 American League Championship Series: Red Sox vs. Astros Game 5, 7 p.m. CT

The Red Sox can win the A.L. pennant tonight. The catch made by Andrew Benintendi on Alex Bregman’s sinking liner with the bases loaded and two out in the ninth inning Wednesday night, shown at the top of this post, won Game 4 for the Red Sox, and gave them a commanding lead in the series. If Benintendi misses that ball, the bases likely clear and the Astros win. That’s how close we came to having this series tied instead of having Boston up three games to one. But the Astros have Justin Verlander going tonight, and he generally rises to the occasion. There’s a very good chance...
14 hours ago
Bad Baseball Takes: Is Clayton Kershaw not an ace?

Bad Baseball Takes: Is Clayton Kershaw not an ace?

What makes a pitcher truly great? Everyone’s got an opinion, so the saying goes. And while everyone is entitled to those opinions, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re right. Or even remotely in the vicinity of logic and fact. With Twitter, we are given an opportunity to see some of the most bizarre and wildly head-scratch-worthy baseball takes. This offseason, I’ll be regularly picking apart some of the best (or worst?) of these egregious takes. Let’s get started. Wade Miley is going to start 3 games in this series and Clayton Kershaw will only start 2, who's the real Ace.—...
17 hours ago
Wrigley Field construction update: October 18

Wrigley Field construction update: October 18

Lots of noisy demolition going on, on Thursday morning. Demolition continues at a quick pace at Wrigley Field. When I visited the ballpark Thursday morning, loud demolition was going on in the area near the right field gate (the gate formerly known as Gate D). Here are two short videos: As you can see in the videos, the former Draft Kings Sports Zone (was the Captain Morgan Club previously) is now reduced to rubble. Also, the concrete panels that once lined the entire exterior of Wrigley apart from the bleachers are gone. Those panels were added to the ballpark in 1958, so they were there...
20 hours ago
A very early look at 2018-19 MLB free agents

A very early look at 2018-19 MLB free agents

... in other words, all the guys the Cubs aren’t going to sign. I’m writing this article not because of Bryce Harper or Manny Machado — we’ve already covered them at BCB here and here — but because of a comment a friend of mine who was at NLCS Game 5 made on Facebook. He posted a photo of Clayton Kershaw warming up and wrote, “Kershaw’s last start as a Dodger.” Notwithstanding the fact that the Dodgers could very well get to the World Series and give Kershaw more starts there, I thought, “Wait, what?” In my view, Kershaw would be crazy to take the opt-out on his...
21 hours ago
Joe West might have stolen ALCS Game 4 from the Astros

Joe West might have stolen ALCS Game 4 from the Astros

This was a bad call by West, and that should not surprise you. You all saw it, I’d think, or if you haven’t, here it is: The call [VIDEO] that might have changed the trajectory of the American League Championship Series. Your browser does not support HTML5 video. Naturally, Joe West is at the center of the play here. West was the right-field umpire for this game, and you can see him near the beginning of the video at the bottom of the frame. He wasn’t all that close to where the ball, Mookie Betts and a fan all converged near the right-field wall, but he eventually signaled that...
23 hours ago
Cub Tracks keeps the pot boiling

Cub Tracks keeps the pot boiling

Chili goes bad, the drama is only beginning, and other bullets Well, the sort-of-expected front-office exodus is apparently underway, and that’ll leave room for the Matt Murtons and perhaps the David Rosses of the world. And the player-o-rama is due to start after the World Series. Speculation is rife already, and the grapevine is ripe with low-hanging fruit, and it isn’t even the silly season yet. I miss the Cubs already. Those other teams have funny-looking laundry. I don’t like them. But hey, I respect 95, even if it isn’t what we’ve come to expect. As always * means autoplay...
Oct 17, 2018
2018 NLCS: Brewers vs. Dodgers Game 5, and ALCS: Red Sox vs. Astros Game 4

2018 NLCS: Brewers vs. Dodgers Game 5, and ALCS: Red Sox vs. Astros Game 4

These series are both getting more interesting. MLB Scheduler: I know! We’ll just reverse the Wednesday schedule from the Tuesday schedule! The Dodgers and Brewers can play a day game so we can showcase the game in Houston at night! What could possibly go wrong? Everyone else in the world: Uh.... And so it is that the Brewers and Dodgers will have the first pitch of Game 5 this afternoon just 12 hours and 40 minutes after Manny Machado slid across the plate with the winning run in Game 4. It’s not just that the teams played five hours, 15 minutes — it’s the intensity with which...
Oct 17, 2018
A statistical look at Anthony Iapoce’s time with the Rangers

A statistical look at Anthony Iapoce’s time with the Rangers

... and what it can tell us about the Cubs’ new hitting coach. Anthony Iapoce (it’s pronounced eye-uh-poh-SEE) returns to the Cubs organization as their hitting coach after spending the last three years as the Rangers hitting coach. He oversaw minor league hitting as a special assistant to the general manager with the Cubs from 2013-15 so he’ll already be familiar with a large number of Cubs players who were in the minors at that time including Albert Almora Jr., Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, and Willson Contreras. While the Cubs have had some incredible runs during Theo Epstein’s...
Oct 17, 2018
The Cubs should stay far, far away from Manny Machado

The Cubs should stay far, far away from Manny Machado

The Dodgers shortstop has not distinguished himself in the NLCS. In the 13th inning of Game 4 of the NLCS, Manny Machado singled with one out, took second base on a wild pitch and scored the winning run on Cody Bellinger’s single with a perfect slide into home plate. Apart from that, though, Machado has been spending much of the series showing why teams shouldn’t sign him as a free agent. The Cubs probably weren’t one of those teams anyway, but after what we’ve seen from Machado this series, I’d say he’s spent it costing himself many millions of dollars with his play, or lack...
Oct 17, 2018
MLB Bullets and the bonfire of the vanities

MLB Bullets and the bonfire of the vanities

The Marlins destroy the last thing that made them interesting. Updates on the playoffs. Let’s see how many things you can name about the Miami Marlins? Derek Jeter got rid of all of them. As Jon Heyman wrote, what Jeter knows about art couldn’t fill a thimble. We interrupt the MLB Playoffs to bring you an act of cultural terrorism. Marlins team president Derek Jeter has completed his goal to be the Savonarola of MLB by getting permission to move the Marlins’ Home Run sculpture. They’re moving it outside the stadium, because fans are going to be outside the park waiting for it to...
Oct 17, 2018
Baseball history unpacked, October 17

Baseball history unpacked, October 17

NL votes to expand 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. It’s a beautiful day for a ball game — let’s get started! Today in baseball history: 1960 - At the Sheraton Blackstone Hotel in Chicago, the National League owners vote to admit Houston and New York, making it the first structural change in the Senior Circuit since the turn of the century. The New York franchise, thanks to the efforts...
Oct 16, 2018
2018 ALCS: Red Sox vs. Astros Game 3 and NLCS: Brewers vs. Dodgers Game 4

2018 ALCS: Red Sox vs. Astros Game 3 and NLCS: Brewers vs. Dodgers Game 4

The NLCS continues, and the ALCS resumes in Houston. Although the Brewers shut out the Dodgers in Game 3 of the NLCS, L.A. did make a run at the game in the ninth inning, loading the bases and bringing the tying run to the plate. The Dodgers are giving Austin Barnes a start at catcher tonight: Coach Dave Roberts is asked about Yasmani Grandal: We’re playing Austin tomorrow pic.twitter.com/ZNGY9ytHvC— Steve Saldivar (@stevesaldivar) October 16, 2018 L.A.’s regular catcher, Yasmani Grandal, is having a miserable postseason. He’s 3-for-22 overall with 10 strikeouts (one of those...
Oct 16, 2018
2019 MLB Draft Prep: College schedules as a scouting mechanism

2019 MLB Draft Prep: College schedules as a scouting mechanism

And, some thoughts about Logan Davidson of the Clemson Tigers. As my look at college baseball progresses, I’m going to link schedules to the draft rather early. Without a somewhat cohesive meshing, these articles could resemble a smattering of random montage of loosely knit pieces that don't belong in a MLB team blog. An awareness of schedules breeds an understanding of the importance of college baseball in the MLB panorama. College teams are allowed to schedule 56 games in a season. As with many other collegiate sports, the season is divided into three parts. The pre-conference portion,...
Oct 16, 2018
Wrigley Field construction update: October 16

Wrigley Field construction update: October 16

A busy morning at the ballpark. It’s been just two weeks since the Cubs’ early exit from the postseason, but much work has begun in and around Wrigley Field. Since our last update over the weekend, a large crane has been put in place in the left-field corner (photos 4 and 10), and demolition has proceeded quickly on the area where the new entryway is going to be built on the corner of Addison & Sheffield, as well as the area where the visitors clubhouse used to be. The last of the 1950s-era concrete panels are being removed, and that will make the exterior of the ballpark much more...