Hello again, everybody! Yes, Ramblings on a Thursday. We here at the CCO are really just really trying to catch everyone off guard so we always have a great deal of fun. It is just better that way, and if you think about, it truly is.
As of this morning, there are 17 games left, and the Cubs have a 7 1/2 game lead on the Giants. First pitch is at 11:35 this morning, so while this might be a bit of an abbreviated version of Ramblings, it still hopes to pack quite the punch.
Here goes …
• Does anyone remember if I predicted Jake Arrieta would win the Cy Young? I really cannot recall. Will someone help me here? No, it never gets old, it really doesn’t.
• There will be many arguments about who should win the Cy Young, and there will be the same number regarding the Manager of the Year. To have a pitcher and a manager in those discussions is never a bad thing. Never.
• There are many solid arguments regarding the Cy Young Award in support of pitchers not named Jake Arrieta, and I understand those. And if he does not win, I will accept that. However, Joe Maddon should be the manager of the year. He really should.
• This team was not supposed to make the playoffs. Sniffing the playoffs would have been a huge accomplishment, and yet, here the Cubs are, positioned to easily obtain the second wild card.
• Here we go with a LARGE installment from Best Pal Stats, Inc. BPSI is bringing it hard tonight:
• In the last 30 days, or 27 games, Kris Bryant has a slash line of .314/.368/.610 with eight home runs.
• Hector Rondon ranks 15th in WAR for all relievers. This is another stat to truly digest. This man was a Rule 5 Draft pick who has become one of the best relievers in all of baseball.
• For the season, the Cubs have the following slash line with runners in scoring position, or RISP, if you would like: .238/.341/.378
• And overall that slash is: .242/.318/.399.
• I am, by no means, a sabermetrician, but I think this tells us that the Cubs are pretty consistent. Timely hitting wins baseball games, it wins playoff games and it wins World Series games. Please do not let anyone tell you differently. Great pitching will always be great, but timely hitting is necessary for championships.
• The Cubs story and lesson of the past four years is good for anyone. Be it a desk-level employee, an entrepreneur, a business leader, or even a politician.
• And since he has been called a bust, ROOKIE Kris Bryant is 12th in all of baseball, 12th in all of baseball with a WAR of 5.3. Such a bust. What a ridiculously huge bust! I love me some Barry Rozner!
• Anthony Rizzo’s OBP is still over 100 points higher than his average. Awesome. And don’t look now, but Starlin is now batting .255. Think about that. He has raised his average more than 20 points in the last six or seven weeks of the season.
• That, there, folks, is impressive. Very much so, and yes, I like commas.
Now, I ask a favor. I ask that you humor me for a few minutes while I tell a story. And trust me, it will all make sense in the end.
One year ago this Thursday, and technically one year ago tomorrow, my father passed away very unexpectedly. My dad was my best friend, my moral compass, my guiding light and my hero. He taught me so many things about life that I have, indeed, forgot more than I remember. However, I know so much, and am in my place in life because of him and my unbelievably loving and supportive mother. When I was a young, fresh, know-it-all out of college, he taught me a variety of lessons. Here are some of them:
- Show up early and leave late
- When you show up, you best be showered, shaven and sober
- Your works clothes should always be washed, pressed and ironed
- Never write an email on your company’s platform that you would not want your mother to read
I took these lessons with me from that day, over thirteen years ago, and I keep them in my head always. No one is perfect, and I would definitely like to have a few emails back.
Over my “corporate career” I tried to figure out a lot of things on my own, but early on in my employment, I was asked to develop a business plan for a certain project. I really had no idea where to begin. I caved and asked my dad what I should do. He replied simply, “Plan your work and work your plan. “
It seemed so very simple at the time, but the complexity of that statement, the ability to implement that approach, and the hard work needed to succeed will never be lost on me.
In the past four years, the Cubs planned their work and have worked their plan. They never pulled punches and were always more honest than they needed to be. They went forth with a plan, and today, they sit on the precipice of a playoff birth no one predicted, nor anyone thought possible 365 days ago.
Plan your work, and work your plan.
And while I will always say “Stay Classy Cubs Fans,” please allow me to end this version of Ramblings with the following:
I love you, Dad.