I have never been as excited about a losing season with the White Sox as I was this past season. Watching Jose Abreu hit for the cycle and make it to the 25 HR/100 RBI standard for the 4th year in a row and putting him in the company of DiMaggio and more was exciting. For all the trades, they only lost 11 more games than last season. And the team spirit was astounding, to the end. Credit Rick Renteria and Abreu’s leadership as an incredible hard working example. Amazingly, Rick Rent the only Hispanic manager in baseball.
Plus, this is the 50th anniversary of one of the most exciting Sox seasons ever, where a pitcher had a no hitter, and the pennant race came down to the end, breaking my heart as they just, could, not, win a game. No one in the media seems to truly and constantly remember 1967 for the Sox like they do 1969 for the Cubs, but it was epic.
Some big spots to fill for the Cubs this year, as well as the Cards. Cubs need 1-2 starters depending if Arrieta comes back and likely a new closer. They have plenty of money but that Heyward contract will become a bigger and bigger albatross every year as their young guys get to the point where they can get seriously paid. Moving Schwarber to the AL for a more reliable/capable outfielder makes sense.
As for the Cards they need a middle of the lineup bat like Stanton or JD Martinez, and a closer themselves. Young starters look promising.
Any Cubs fan that remembers just 6-7 seasons ago would’ve taken just “that” as an end result when the club was losing 90+ games.
The Cubs won a World Series. It’s still just as true as when it just happened. Embrace the good.
The bad is the Cubs need some serious revamping of the rotation and the bullpen. Those walks, the pitchers looked tired and not too mentally sharp, overthrowing or throwing to location instead of just pitching and throwing strikes and being able to do it with multiple pitches.
The club looked tired, worn, mentally exhausted, and Bryant said he was tying too hard and grinding probably due in part to the number of extra games these past 3 seasons, it’s a hangover brought on due to success.
How can I complain? I have something as a fan I never thought I’d have. I have a Cub World Series and a team that was built for multiple runs, and with a few pieces that need replacing, can be in the hunt for the division next year.
Please trade Schwarber, please look at other pieces that make sense to part with to get pieces that fit.
Last, the Dodgers won.
Enough with “If the Cubs only” or “The Cubs blew this”
Look at just the bullpen stats.
Not going to get all “stats-y”, but if you compare just the bullpen performances of the Cubs and Dodgers, you have to tip your cap and recognize that the overall reason the Cubs lost was that the Dodgers outplayed the Cubs, especially in the Dodgers bullpen vs. Cubs hitters and Cubs bullpen vs. Dodgers hitters.
The Cubs got outplayed not because they were all so bad, the Dodgers were just better. That happens in sports. One team is just better.
So, enough that the Cubs choked, the Cubs are awful, they blew it. The Dodgers were better. It happens.
The Cubs lost 101 games just 5 years ago. Since then they’ve won the division twice, made it to the NLCS 3 straight years, have had a CY Young winner, Manager of the Year Award, and MVP. Oh, an a World Series ring. No pity this year. Dodgers were just a better team. Stand behind your team when they lose 101 games and when they lose to a better team in the NLCS. Simple as that.
Cubs are on an amazing run right now, even with not making the WS this year. I’m a lifelong Cubs fan who remembers being excited when we’d have a winning record…making the playoffs?…that felt like a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience when I was a kid. We finally got the monkey off our backs last year and we’re in a great position to contend for years to come. I’m a little sad it ended, but nothing can take away my excitement from last season and from many games late in the season this year.
- union thug gramma - Friday, Oct 20, 17 @ 9:17 am:
Hats off to this Dodgers team. They’ve been knocking on the door the past several years and finally kicked it in. That’s a very good ball club, top to bottom.
Every team has scoring slumps during the course of a season. The playoffs were a bad time for the Cubs to have one.
They only scored more than three runs in one of nine playoff games, and most of those came in that goofy inning against
Scherzer in Game 5.
And except for a few quality starts and some heroics from Davis, the pitching stunk, especially the bullpen. Never seen so many walks issued by relievers.
Still, 26 other MLB teams and their fans wish they got as far fhe Cubs this year.
The Cubs have a solid young core of position players at low salaries that aren’t even eligible for arbitration yet. Hendrick, Quintana, and Lester are signed so they’ll need a couple of starters. The bullpen, who knows? The toughest job in baseball is assembling a group of failed starters who can maybe go an inning or two.
In Theo I trust. Like the Bowmans, he’s shown he knows how to build a perennial contender. The Sox are on the right path.
The Bears and Bulls are the ones who need our thoughts and prayers. Their management is absolutely lost.
For me, when the Cubs won the World Series last year, they cleansed everything negative about them. All the bad stuff is gone. It would be horrendous if this was year 109 of not winning a World Series.
Watching them lose last night, while sad, did not have the heavy negativity of another blown year with no World Series win.
The Cubs have a promising future, with a clean slate. It’s all good. Wait til’ next year has a completely different meaning for me.
I look forward also to the White Sox building a winning team with promising young players. I want to see both teams thrive. Both teams got rid of heavy negativity with World Series wins.
- lake county democrat - Friday, Oct 20, 17 @ 9:23 am:
For White Sox fans, our long National League nightmare is over.
Actually I always liked Quintana, felt bad for him yesterday and still think he’s a solid starter. But wow does Eloy Jimenez look like a can’t miss prospect.
Dodgers are a beast of a team and the Cubs played them hard - regrets too few to mention. The Cubs deserve a lot of credit for their string. But that said, I wish the media would remind people more that they’re also a bit like the rich kid born on third base: their division is filled with nothing but the feeblest markets in baseball: the Cubs have near-Yankees like resources (they were already ranked the most profitable team in baseball before 2015 by Forbes). Is a single one of their competitors in the top 20 Metropolitan areas? It’s a big advantage.
Cheering for the Yankees because I like Girardi and Todd Frazier.
The Dodgers are a heck of a team. The Cubs had a great second half but it was obvious all year that this wasn’t the same team as last year. They missed Fowler more than they’d like to admit and finding a lead off hitter has to be a top priority for Theo.
They have a great core group of young players for the next few years. They should spend their dough on pitching, pitching and then go out and get more pitching. Starters, relievers, a closer, the whole nine yards. They start with Lester, Hendricks and Quintana for sure, and that’s the start of a decent rotation. But it won’t be enough and I don’t think they have any starters in the minors that are close to being ready.
If the Ricketts haven’t spent all of their cash turning Wrigleyville into Times Square, then let’s hope they open the wallet a little wider and let Theo keep them in contention.
It was a good year and we went farther than I expected. It’s a great time to be a Cubs fan. I can’t wait until next year.
The older, serious, true baseball and Cubs fans recognize that post season appearances are special and rare and that getting three in a row is amazing. Many of the newly acquired fans from last year’s circus do not have that perspective and are making fools of themselves.
I am a White Sox fan. I, too, am rooting for the Yankees primarily because of Frazier, Robertson and Kahnle–and their new star in the making Judge. But I think Astros are the better team and will eventually meet the Dodgers in the World Series.
The Cubs need to be seriously happy about the last three seasons, especially ‘16, obviously.
But the idea that they’re a decades-long dynasty rests on a more precarious perch. They need to revamp both their starting pitching and their bullpen, and they need to solve their outfield and middle-infield (which are interrelated problems; if Hayward and Zobrist aren’t plus hitters anymore, can you live with Baez and Russell being average?). And they have to figure out all of this as the core starts making big money (Rizzo gets an extra $4 million in 2019, as an illustration).
Epstein and Hoyer should be expected to figure this out as well as anyone could. But man, it’s a lot to figure out.
- Gruntled University Employee - Friday, Oct 20, 17 @ 10:15 am:
I just overheard a coworker utter the phrase “wait till last year”
Yes the Cubs have made it to 3 straight final fours and won a WS
Yes the Cubs have a young talented roster.
But if you want to improve, you have to take a critical look at this team.
The main thing that jumped out at me? The lack of heart shown by the players. They were lucky to get past the Nats, and didn’t even show up against the Dodgers. Yah, those teams may have been better - but the Cubs didn’t show much fight. No hitting. Poor defense. Pathetic relief pitching. Questionable managerial decisions (2nd year in a row).
And the fact that tickets at wrigley were going below face value shows that the team wasn’t the only ones lacking heart.
But this organization has tons of cash, and Theo - so they should make the right adjustments. But the showings of Bryzzo in the playoffs was troubling.
The Cubs made it to the NLCS … which is more than you can say about a lot of teams this year. The Dodgers have been amazing all year and they really want it. The Cubs team wanted a repeat, but not as badly.
Next year will be a challenge for the Cubs with the free agents. While they have a core, they will need some pitching and a bit more hitting. Hope they can put it together for another run.
Since the Cubs and Red Sox are out, I’ll be rooting for the Dodgers. Predict they win it in 6 games.
- Robert the Bruce - Friday, Oct 20, 17 @ 11:06 am:
I’m surprised the Cubs didn’t make more moves.
They were only 10th in payroll (Dodgers 1st, Nationals 7th), and they really didn’t do that much to improve the team. The 2016 version of the pitching rotation had some great years and a lot of innings; it was no great surprise that the 2017 didn’t repeat.
Key Losses: Aroldis Chapman and Dexter Fowler.
Key Additions: Quintana, Wade Davis, Jon Jay.
Additionally, the Dodgers’ rotation had three lefties…and the Cubs lacked right handed bats. Given the Dodgers’ payroll, talent, and start to the season, it wasn’t tough to forecast that a return to the World Series would go through L.A.
The Cubs were not lacking in talent. But neither were the Dodgers or Nationals.
Did Ricketts, Epstein, and Hoyer become too content with their team? They’re of course better than any prior regime, but they too may be overrated.
There is very little hate in me, but the cubs are on that very short list.
I am not proud of it. I am seeing a team of counselors to try to get through my cub issues.
That said, as Willy noted they made the NLCS three consecutive seasons. That is pretty darn good. I am impressed, cubs fans should be ecstatic even through the disappointment of last night. Three incredible seasons. Kudos.
Nice “Sheeesh” Cubs were screwed with the goofy start for game 4….why not play before the rain vs trying to out guess the weather. Rich things change as we grow up you get smarter and the Cubs get better.
As a Sox fan, I’m not ashamed to admit that I was rooting hard against the Cubs. With that said, I recognize that is a pretty good team and should be the favorite in the Central for a few more years.
I am curious to see what they do to try and reload their pitching staff. From what I understand, there is not a lot available on the free agent market, and the Cubs farm system isn’t as loaded as it used to be. Theo/Jed are the best in the business, so I’m not counting them out.
–“can you live with Baez and Russell being average?”–
Those two cats are hardly average.
Baez batted .273/23/75 last year. Russell was injury plagued, but in 2016 had 21 taters and drove in 95 runs.
They’re both exceptionally athletic, wide-ranging shortstops, with Baez having the stronger arm (among the strongest in the game). They can run the bases, too, when Crazy Uncle Joe lets them.
Both need more discipline about the strike zone, but Baez is 24, Russell is 23, and can learn. Both are on owner-friendly deals and not eligible for free agency until 2022.
The question is can you keep both when you go shopping for pitching. I doubt it. I’m guessing one of them will be playing shortstop for another team next year, and switch-hitting Happ will get most of the starts at second.
==The Cubs in the NLCS for three consecutive years.==
Statistically that’s rarer than winning the World Series. If it were random (all teams equal), they should win the World Series about every 30 years but go to the NLCS for three straight years only about every 480 years (result from a simple Monte Carlo simulation).