Hello again, everybody. I hope you are feeling quite fit and fine on the phenomenal Friday.
I attended my 10th Cubs Convention last weekend, and I must say, I have never seen anything like it. The hotel was packed, it was mass chaos in many ways, and the vibe was one that has not been seen since Sweet Lou was starting his response to a woman in the crowd with an engaging, “LOOK, Sweetheart.”
- $155 million is less than $210 million. Much less. WOW.
- Yes, I am really good at math, and other stuff too.
- I agree with many of those who comment on this site, booing E-Jax was poor form, and very disrespectful. He attended on his own volition. No need to be classless.
- After walking away last weekend, I was pretty convinced The ‘Riz is going to hit about 54 homers, drive in 128 runs, have an OBP of .435 and win the gold glove. Other than that, no big expectations or anything.
- Ryan Dempster is very funny. I mean, he really could do the talk-show thing for a living. Color me impressed.
- Sorry for writing that last sentence. I will do better than that moving forward.
- There is a lot riding on Jake Arrieta next year. Everyone is banking on him picking up right where he left off. Let’s just hope his 2014 performance was not a whole “Mike Bielecki 1989” kind of thing.
- Like many of you, I was taken aback when Crane admitted the Cubs seriously considered playing at Miller Park for a season or two so the restoration could happen faster.
- The best part of that … they would rather drive 90 miles north, than even entertain the idea of playing on the other side of town. That is just fantastic.
- As for the bleacher delay … so be it. They are doing everything they can. This must be done right. When the entire restoration project is completed, and the Cubs village is built, I think it will be a great thing for the franchise and the city.
- The more time that passes, the more people believe in the Ricketts’ family. They are proving what they want, and that is to do what the promised … Rebuild Wrigley, Win a World Series and be a good neighbor. I am hard pressed to see how anyone would think they are not genuine, or not moving things in the right direction.
- This comes to you from Best Pal Stats, Inc: Dexter Fowler’s slash line at home is .297/.393/.480. Away from home, it is .245/.340/.360. Do we think Wrigley can start selling Coors anytime soon? (And for the record, his slash line at Coors Field is 298/395/485.)
- He is also a lifetime 3-for-22 at Wrigley Field. However, 22 at-bats is not a large sample size. I believe his batting average increased 13 points under John Mallee last season in Houston, and he is now reunited with his hitting coach in Chicago.
- The Cubs needed an everyday centerfielder and a leadoff hitter. As we all know, Fowler’s acquisition allows Joe Maddon to use Alcantara in a very dynamic manner, which should only benefit the Cubs next season. Plus, Fowler is in a contract year, and the Cubs can make a qualifying offer. All good things here.
- And in my humble opinion, we sold very high on Valbuena. I do not believe there have been many players who were once DFA’d and then went on to lengthy, successful careers.
(Author’s Note: If you would like to spend your day trying to disprove the above statement, which is an educated guess, nothing more or less, please by all means, do it. I will not stop you.)
- Jon Lester is less than seven months older than Scherzer and has pitched approximately 350 more innings, which is less than two full seasons. And 43% of Scherzer’s career victories came in the last two seasons.
- That could be a very good thing or a very bad thing, but with these numbers, I will take the 6-year contract at $155 million over the seven-year contract at $210 million.
- Outside of shootings in the DR, Starlin has seemed to be somewhat of an afterthought lately, and I think that is a great thing for him. We should all be glad he moved to Arizona. I can only hope he has another season of noticeable improvement.
- Baez is having huge problems hitting in Puerto Rico. Problems hitting in Puerto Rico do not normally equate to success in the Bigs. After acquiring Russell, many were ready to ship Castro elsewhere. Let’s remember, of the three, only one has proved what he can do at the Major League level.
- I am very excited to see what Kris Bryant will do. However, let’s not begin to think he will hit 30+ homers with 90+ RBIs. Please, let’s not lay that expectation on him. Just enjoy it, whatever it is.
As I bid you adieu this Friday, I will leave you with this observation. I have not felt the kind of electricity or excitement I did last weekend about the Cubs since 2008. It has been a long seven years, but let’s hope the next seven are the complete opposite because … wouldn’t that be nice.
And until next time …
Stay Classy Cubs Fans!