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Official 2016 World Series Chicago Cubs Season Thread: (103-58) - Page 56

post #1651 of 3741
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That vid is goosebumps. pimp.gif
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post #1652 of 3741
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As you may have heard, the Cubs have not won the World Series since 1908. They haven't appeared in the Fall Classic since the end of World War II.
After winning 97 games, a 24-victory improvement from 2014 that was the best in baseball, Chicago will try to end its infamous World Series drought. Though the team entered the year with streaks of five consecutive losing seasons and six without making the playoffs, general manager Jed Hoyer said the Cubs were optimistic about 2015.

Chicago went 28-27 in the final two months of last season to generate some positive momentum. It also made a number of offseason moves with the idea of competing this year, starting with hiring manager Joe Maddon last October.
"We thought we could compete and contend, but we were committed to playing our young kids this year," Hoyer said. "We knew we'd go as far as those kids could take us. Probably the biggest surprise is they all played pretty well. They've had slumps, but they've been able to come through them and help the team win."

HOMEGROWN
Player, how acquired, year
Starlin Castro, Int'l sign, 2006
Javier Baez, Draft, 2011 (1st round)
Jorge Soler, Int'l sign, 2012
Kris Bryant, Draft, 2013 (1st round)
Kyle Schwarber, Draft, 2014 (1st round)

The Cubs had MLBPipeline.com's top-rated farm system at the outset of the season, and they graduated three middle-of-the-order hitters to the big leagues this year in leading National League Rookie of the Year candidate Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber and Jorge Soler.
Yet among postseason clubs, Chicago has drafted and developed the fewest players: three. Javier Baez (No. 9 overall, 2011), Bryant (No. 2, 2013) and Schwarber (No. 4, 2014) were all top-10 selections and signed for a combined $12.5 million.

Since president of baseball operations Theo Espstein, Hoyer and vice president for scouting and playing development Jason McLeod arrived after the 2011 season, the Cubs have spent each of their first-round choices on position players: high schooler Albert Almora (No. 6 overall, 2012) and collegians Bryant, Schwarber and Ian Happ (No. 9, 2015). Hoyer said the team has taken hitters early by design.
"While we were picking at the top of the Draft and were given the opportunity to rebuild in a major market, we felt that was the way to go," Hoyer said. "The least risk in any demographic is with college hitters. College bats can pay dividends quick. We weren't going to get a payoff that quick from other demographics."

Including international signees Starlin Castro ($50,000 in 2006 out of the Dominican Republic) and Soler ($30 million contract in 2012 after defecting from Cuba), Chicago has a total of five homegrown players, again the lowest among playoff teams. That should change in future years, as the farm system still ranks among baseball's best and should keep delivering players to Wrigley Field.
"What the best organizations can do, and we've seen it with the Pirates and Cardinals, is establish winning big league teams and continue to integrate young players on their roster," Hoyer said. "That creates depth and trade currency. That's what we're hoping to emulate."

TRADES
Player, year, acquired from
Travis Wood, 2011, Reds
Anthony Rizzo, 2012, Padres
Kyle Hendricks, 2012, Rangers
Hector Rondon, 2012, Indians*
Jake Arrieta, 2013, Orioles
Pedro Strop, 2013, Orioles
Justin Grimm, 2013, Rangers
Addison Russell, 2014, Athletics
Tommy La Stella, 2014, Braves
Miguel Montero, 2014, Diamondbacks
Dexter Fowler, 2015, Astros
Clayton Richard, 2015, Pirates
Dan Haren, 2015, Marlins
Fernando Rodney, 2015, Mariners
Austin Jackson, 2015, Mariners
*Acquired via Rule 5 Draft

While the Cubs sit at one extreme in terms of homegrown players, they're at the other end of the spectrum when it comes to trade/waiver/Rule 5 Draft acquisitions. They top all playoff clubs with 15, including their two best players: NL MVP candidate Anthony Rizzo and Cy Young Award candidate Jake Arrieta, neither of whom experienced much big league success before arriving in Chicago.

Epstein, Hoyer and McLeod all were with the Red Sox when they drafted Rizzo in the sixth round in 2007 and signed him for an above-slot $325,000. When Hoyer and McLeod moved on to the Padres, they acquired Rizzo as part of a blockbuster Adrian Gonzalez trade in December 2010. After the three executives were reunited with the Cubs, one of their first significant moves was getting Rizzo in a four-player deal that cost them Andrew Cashner.

Chicago's front-office leaders always have believed in Rizzo's talent, but Hoyer said Rizzo has exceeded expectations with his willingness and ability to make adjustments.
"He struggled with elevated fastballs in San Diego, and his swing would get long, so he changed his hand position," Hoyer said. "With the Cubs, he really struggled against left-handers in 2012 and 2013, so he worked on hitting left-handers. That's what's really impressive. He hasn't allowed any weaknesses to linger."

In their first three years in Chicago, Epstein and Co. consistently dealt the team's best starting pitchers for future help. They added Addison Russell in a 2014 trade for Jeff Samardzija, and Kyle Hendricks in a 2012 swap for Ryan Dempster, and their best move came when they sent Scott Feldman to the Orioles in 2013. The Cubs not only landed Arrieta, who had a 5.46 ERA in four years in the Majors, but also key reliever Pedro Strop.
"With Jake, everyone saw the arm strength and ability to spin the ball," Hoyer said. "The real pleasant surprise for us was his makeup. That's why he became so good. He's confident, he's diligent with his work and he really wants to be a great pitcher. That's the part you can't know when you make the deal. You can scout the talent, but that's where we got lucky."

Chicago shifted gears last offseason, looking to acquire veterans rather than turn them into prospects. They bolstered their lineup with Miguel Montero and Dexter Fowler, then added depth during the season with pickups such as Dan Haren and Fernando Rodney.

FREE AGENTS
Player, year
Chris Coghlan, 2014
Jason Hammel, 2014
Jon Lester, 2014
David Ross, 2014
Trevor Cahill, 2015

Though the Cubs are a large-revenue club, they didn't flex their financial muscles much while they were trying to rebuild. In the first three years under their current front-office regime, their biggest free-agent addition was a $52 million contract for Edwin Jackson, who got released this July.
With Chicago looking to contend, it opened its wallet last December to give Jon Lester a six-year, $155 million contract. That deal reunited Epstein and Co. with another player from their Boston days, and represented roughly 40 percent of the club's payroll obligations for 2015 and beyond on Opening Day.
While the money had to be attractive, Hoyer said cash alone wouldn't have drawn Lester.

"The combination of playing well at the end of the year, and our young guys made it clear 2015 could be a better year," Hoyer said. "I think that thought began in 2014 when we got Joe, and players said, 'They're going for it.' I don't think we would really appeal to Jon Lester if we didn't have Joe and we weren't playing better."

Given the way the Cubs have played better in 2015, they should be an attractive free-agent destination in the future. And they may not have to wait much longer for that elusive World Series title.
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post #1653 of 3741
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Gameday.

Do it one more time Jake.
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post #1654 of 3741
Please baseball gods
R.I.P. Hadiya Pendleton

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R.I.P. Hadiya Pendleton

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post #1655 of 3741
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post #1656 of 3741
(e-handshake)


Good luck gents, hard to dislike either team with how they were rebuilt and the type of baseball they play. Let the best team win, and let the winner roll up the Cards laugh.gif
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post #1657 of 3741
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmxfury View Post

(e-handshake)


Good luck gents, hard to dislike either team with how they were rebuilt and the type of baseball they play. Let the best team win, and let the winner roll up the Cards laugh.gif

Absolutely man. Win or lose, it's our job to get rid of the Cardinals immediately. pimp.gif
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post #1658 of 3741
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For those who paid close attention this past weekend, you’re probably not too surprised, since this is the group Joe Maddon experimented with in a clear nod to seeing if Kyle Schwarber could handle right field. At PNC, right is much smaller and theoretically easier than left field, so this makes sense as the setup if you want to have Tommy La Stella in there at third base. His high-contact approach looks mighty good to me in the middle of the lineup, especially when you consider that there could be opportunities to score a run by putting a ball in play (just look at the guys ahead of him).

Overall, though, I probably would have gone with my best defensive lineup. I understand the thinking behind this arrangement, and I don’t dislike it enough to complain – after all, Jake Arrieta strikes so many out and puts so many on the ground that the outfield defense’s importance is somewhat reduced.

And, then, by the middle innings, the lineup might look nothing like this. Javy Baez can come in at third base at some point, and/or Austin Jackson can come into the outfield to help, and/or Chrises Coghlan or Denorfia could push Bryant back into the infield.

I could go on. The Cubs have depth for miles, and, in some ways, the starting lineup is only an initial wink to how the game will play out.
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post #1659 of 3741
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmxfury View Post

(e-handshake)


Good luck gents, hard to dislike either team with how they were rebuilt and the type of baseball they play. Let the best team win, and let the winner roll up the Cards laugh.gif

(Tips cap)
May be the best team win......and send the cards packing.
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post #1660 of 3741
Thread Starter 
W.
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post #1661 of 3741
Arrieta sick.gif Good Lord. Nice win, Bryant's defense was huge as well
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post #1662 of 3741
Thread Starter 
Great season DMX. You guys made Jake work harder than anyone. Respect.
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post #1663 of 3741
Sorry about the hit by Watson, but I hope you can at least understand what he was trying to do. I was glad that if he was going to hit him they didn't go after the head or arms. Almost worked, Arrieta looked perhaps shakened and then he manned up
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post #1664 of 3741
What a great feeling!!!
Congrats to the Pirates!!
Took tomorrow off figuring is either get drunk celebrating or get drunk in anguish.
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post #1665 of 3741
That Schwarber homer and the double plays got me HYPE. Great win folks. On to the Cards.
post #1666 of 3741
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post #1667 of 3741
Thread Starter 
I knew why he was doin it. And I have to think Kang injury is still raw. We might dance a little next year. laugh.gif

But hey, he hit him in the hip, perfectly fine with me. That's where you message a guy. But really, Jake lost a curve, no way he was intentionally aiming for anyone, Watson just backin his guys.
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post #1668 of 3741
Thread Starter 
Cubs pitched great. Hit well enough. And fielded great. That's how you get it done.

Lester, gm 1 NLDS. pimp.gif
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post #1669 of 3741
I just woke up. Passed out from a gigantic joygasm after the game. It was as if a century of pent up aggression was held inside my soul and exploded when the game ended.
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post #1670 of 3741
^
roll.gifroll.gif
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post #1671 of 3741
I've been lurking this thread for the sole purpose of reading posts like those laugh.gif
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post #1672 of 3741
I don't know if my lower extremities can take another victory like this one. Had a Cubbie chubbie for a solid 90 minutes now. Might have to call my doctor if this **** don't go away soon.

Oh well, screw it. Walking to the market full mast. Buying a couple Mickeys and going HAM tonight.

@CP1708 WE DID IT
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post #1673 of 3741
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chester McFloppy View Post

I just woke up. Passed out from a gigantic joygasm after the game. It was as if a century of pent up aggression was held inside my soul and exploded when the game ended.

:rollin:rollin:rollin

Eff Reinsdorf!!!!mean.gifmad.gif 

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Eff Reinsdorf!!!!mean.gifmad.gif 

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post #1674 of 3741
Oh My, Where did all these Cubs fan come from? kinda strange
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post #1675 of 3741
Dexter Fowler!!!!!!!!!!!!


Lester gonna Deal Game 1.
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post #1676 of 3741
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PITTSBURGH -- They couldn't just win a postseason game for the first time in 12 years. They're the Chicago Cubs.

They couldn't just let the story begin and end with Jake Arrieta summoning his inner Bob Gibson-meets-Madison Bumgarner to fill up another scoreboard with zeros. They're the Cubs.
So we can't tell the epic tale of their unforgettable, 4-0 bludgeoning of a tremendous, 98-win team from Pittsburgh in the National League wild-card game by merely talking baseball. Oh, no.
Not on a night when benches emptied, choke holds were applied, Gatorade coolers were attacked and the most unhittable pitcher in baseball was surrounded by U.N. peacekeeping forces wearing Cubs hats.

Because here's what we learned Wednesday night at rocking, rolling, electrified PNC Park: Don't mess with these Cubs. Literally.

"You don't see that stuff happen in playoff baseball too much," said Jon Lester, after a wild evening that was part Jake Arrieta Masterpiece Theater and part "Wrestlemania." "I know people back in the day used to say that getting into fights or whatever used to bring their teams closer. But I don't think we need to be any closer. When you look around, the chemistry on this team is not really a problem."

Since he then stopped to look around, so did we. And it was quite a scene. If you ever wondered what sort of party your buddies might throw if you'd all waited 107 years to unleash it, this was it. Laughs. Hugs. Cigars. Literally hundreds of bottles of Korbel Brut, followed by an emergency case of Royal Cuvee, being sprayed in all directions. And on and on it went, into the night, for well over an hour.

OK, sold. Chemistry on this team is not a problem.

"Getting in a fight, I don't think that helps us," Lester went on, relishing one more moment that made him thankful to be a Cub. "But at the same time, I don't think it hurts us. We're going to stand up for our guys. And we're going to make sure that the other teams know we're going to stand up for our guys."

Well, especially if it was one particular guy. A guy named Jacob J. Arrieta, who is acting these days as if he isn't planning to give up another run until, like, mid-December.

On his way to a historic, 11-strikeout, zero-walk, four-hit shutout, Arrieta still managed to plunk two Pirates hitters with pitches. Francisco Cervelli got drilled by a 94 mph, up-and-in heat wave in the fifth inning. Then, an inning later, Josh Harrison took a clearly unintentional breaking ball near the shoulder. And if that was the yin, the yang was right around the corner.

So up marched Arrieta with two outs and nobody on in the top of the seventh to face reliever Tony Watson. And what unfolded over the next three minutes was a story better suited for Ring Magazine than the ESPN.com MLB page.

Watson's first pitch was a 93 mph fastball into Arrieta's derriere. Arrieta had a few thoughts he wanted to convey about that. Catcher Francisco Cervelli voiced several thoughts of his own. Watson stalked toward them. And next thing they all knew, the infield got kind of crowded.

"You know what was really awesome?" said Cubs special assistant Ryan Dempster with a laugh. "That, when that happened, our entire bench was out on the field before the Pirates even got out of the dugout. It was like, `Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. You want to hit Jake Arrieta? What's your problem?'"

No need to run through the entire blow-by-blow. But at one point, Cubs catcher David Ross actually grabbed the throat of the Pirates' Sean Rodriguez, who then began firing haymakers in no particular direction. Which resulted in Rodriguez's getting ejected from a game he was already out of. Whereupon he took his delight out on an innocent Gatorade cooler that had no idea who Jake Arrieta even was.

Rodriguez portrayed himself afterward as pretty much the innocent victim, saying: "Somebody grabs you by the neck, do you really need an invitation [to start swinging] at that point?"
Hmmm. Decent alibi. But upon cross-examination, Ross pleaded innocence himself.

"He came charging at me," he said of Rodriguez. "I was trying to break it up, and I think he was, too. When he came at me, he put his hands on my chest, and my hands went straight to his throat. I didn't mean any bad intent. It just happened. It all happened so fast."

But as wild and crazy as it looked, there wasn't much doubt when it was over what got the Cubs so fired up. That was Jake Arrieta out there. And if there was a way they could seal him in protective, unbreakable glass until his next start, they'd be all for it.

"I'm trying to keep guys off our starting pitcher," said David Ross. "It's late in the game. You've got a high level of intensity going on. It's a crazy environment. We've got a four-run lead. The last thing I want to do is fight. But I don't want anybody messing with the guy who's dominating the game."

And that would be because all Jake Arrieta does these days is dominate every game. He's on a roll right now that feels even more rare than a Cubs World Series parade. To say it's historic doesn't even capture it. It's practically unprecedented:

• In this game, he became the first pitcher ever -- right, ever -- to throw a postseason shutout with double-digit strikeouts and zero walks. Look it up.

• He also became just the fourth pitcher ever to strike out 10 or more and throw a shutout in a winner-take-all postseason game. Perhaps you've heard of the other three to do it: Sandy Koufax in the 1965 World Series, Justin Verlander in the 2012 ALDS and Madison Bumgarner in last year's wild-card game in this very same park.

• Over his final nine starts of the regular season, Arrieta went 8-0, with a 0.27 ERA and a .132 opponent batting average. And the Elias Sports Bureau tells us that since baseball began keeping track of earned runs over a century ago,no pitcher has ever had an ERA or opponent average that low of a batting average over a span of that many starts. And after this game, those numbers sit at 0.24 and .132. Unreal.

• Since Aug. 1, 269 pitchers have allowed at least four earned runs in an inning. Meanwhile, Arrieta has also allowed four earned runs -- in two months. Over 13 starts. His 0.37 ERA over that span is the lowest in history by any pitcher, over that many starts, since the invention of earned runs.

• And if the Cubs are starting to get the impression he's the closest thing there is to unbeatable, this might be why: Over Arrieta's past 14 starts, they're 14-0. Over his past 19 starts, they're 18-1. Is that even possible?

So you can understand why, when the Cubs found a way to score a run Wednesday night before the wild-card game was three hitters old, they were thinking life was good. After all, it's now been three weeks since their starting pitcher has given up a run. That last run was 31 innings ago, in case you'd lost track.

"I played with Clayton Kershaw last year," said Arrieta's rotation mate, Dan Haren. "And I thought that was the most amazing season I've ever seen. It's hard for me to compare because I've only been here for two months, since the trading deadline. But since I got here, he's given up four earned runs. So it's not just me who's never seen anything like this. Nobody has ever seen anything like it."
But you might be shocked to learn that it wasn't even that shutout that Arrieta was most proud of Wednesday night. One pitch after the brouhaha subsided and action resumed in the seventh inning, he took off for second and roared in with the fifth stolen base by a pitcher in postseason history.

"I might like that more than the CG," he chuckled afterward. "So I'm going to try and stack up some more against St. Louis."

So Yadier Molina, you're officially on alert. Jake Arrieta is coming. An awesome Cardinals-Cubs NLDS is just over the horizon. And now everybody knows what that means:

Don't mess with the Cubs.
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post #1677 of 3741
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According to some very reliable crazy people on the Internets, the world was supposed to end Wednesday night. It was something to do with the blood moon and the prophecies of an old Christian radio host. Proving that something beyond human understanding was afoot, the Chicago Cubs won a wild-card, win-or-go-home playoff game in Pittsburgh. But the odds are that fate or the universe is just playing us all for suckers. The world will not end until the Cubs are one strike away from winning the World Series. The last pitch will be halfway to the plate and the asteroid will come to call. Blood moons and superannuated radio preachers are one thing. The Chicago Cubs and postseason baseball are a whole different and deeper level of cosmic burlesque.

So the inevitable global cataclysm that will occur should the Cubs get close to their first World Series title since shortly before William Howard Taft was hoisted into the White House by forklift will have to wait for another day. On Wednesday, for the second year in a row, a visiting pitcher took the air completely out of PNC Park. Over all nine innings, Jake Arrieta threw 113 pitches, 77 of them for strikes. He gave up four hits. He struck out 11 Pirates and walked none of them. Last year, it was Madison Bumgarner of the San Francisco Giants. He also beat Pittsburgh. He also pitched a shutout over nine innings. He struck out only 10, however, and he actually walked a guy. Slacker. By the time Arrieta got a double-play grounder to escape his only real jam, a bases-loaded situation in the sixth inning, a familiar sense of airless resignation had swallowed the lovely ballpark by the bridges.


“Sometimes,” said Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle, who seemed to be chewing old leather as he spoke, “you get a tough bull. Second year in a row, we got a really tough bull.”

This year’s game was a bit livelier than last year’s, if only because there was some genuine bad blood coursing through the action. Sailing along in the fifth inning, Arrieta went upstairs on Pittsburgh catcher Francisco Cervelli, catching him on the hands as Cervelli hit the silk. Later, Arrieta would say, as they always do, that he wasn’t going to try to hit anyone in that situation. Later, Hurdle would say, as they always do, that Arrieta had such superb control all night that the idea that a pitch could get away from him the way it did was at best a fanciful notion and, at worst, a barefaced nonfact.

Everybody filed it away, though, as they did the sixth-inning breaking ball that pinged Josh Harrison, so that when Arrieta came to the plate in the seventh inning, and Pirates reliever Tony Watson drilled him, there was a bench-clearing discussion during which Pittsburgh first baseman Sean Rodriguez got tossed. Rodriguez responded by doubling up on his hooks to the body and knocking a Gatorade bucket senseless in the dugout. (If somebody hasn’t yet dubbed the video of Rodriguez with the dialogue from the Ernie Terrell fight scene from Ali — “What’s my name, ************? What’s my name?” — I will be very disappointed in the Internet.) Things eventually settled down. Even in the middle of a demi-brawl, the Pirates weren’t able to hit Arrieta.

“I just talked to them,” said Chicago manager Joe Maddon. “I think you can draw your own conclusions from what you saw. I don’t want to denigrate this entire moment for our team. I cannot be more proud of these guys than I was tonight. I have nothing but respect for the entire Pirates organization. I was a Roberto Clemente fan growing up. So, regarding anything you guys thought was inappropriate tonight, you guys be the judge of that, and ladies.”1

It should be noted that, in the course of his postgame remarks, Maddon also declared himself to be a fan of Joe Namath, of Bob Gibson, and of the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago’s longtime rivals whom the Cubs now play in the National League Division Series starting Friday night. If the Cubs are going to break the universe this autumn, Maddon is the perfect sorcerer for the job. His team is young — almost ridiculously so — and has none of the historical baggage that hung on past Cubs teams like a dead raccoon around their necks. The comparison with the lordly Cardinals — who Play The Game The Right Way — is particularly stark. More often than not, listening to Cardinals fans talk about baseball is like listening to bishops talk about cathedral. Sooner or later, somebody has to start heckling from the choir loft. That’s Joe Maddon.

This is how Joe Maddon explained … something … before Wednesday night’s game:

“I love numbers. God, I love numbers, though I was horrible at math. Algebra III. Second semester of Algebra II was my Waterloo, to be honest with you. Algebra III and Trig could have been Latin or Greek, it wouldn’t matter to me, but I do love numbers. Beyond that, I really like people and humans and what makes [a] guy tick.”

Maddon had a nice run with young players in Tampa, but it was nothing like what he has going with the Cubs. His roster is the first great manifestation of what Chicago was looking for when it hired Theo Epstein to run baseball operations after Epstein’s remarkable success in Boston. (If Epstein manages to get the Cubs their first World Series title since 1908, after leading the 2004 Red Sox to their first since 1918, he should leave baseball for a lucrative second career as an exorcist.) The Cubs are loaded with young talent. One of those players, Kyle Schwarber, a 22-year-old who can catch and play in the outfield, introduced himself to postseason play Wednesday night by parking an ill-conceived fastball from Pittsburgh starter Gerrit Cole over the right-field stands and into the Allegheny River. That gave Arrieta a 3-0 lead that might as well have been 30-0. If anything, the Cubs are ahead of schedule.

But the best move Epstein made may have been convincing Maddon to come to Chicago and see what he could do. Then again, maybe the best move he made was swindling the Orioles out of Arrieta in 2013. “The thing that really impresses me is that it’s a pretty big moment,” Maddon said of his pitcher. “Jake is a different cat, man. He’s just a different cat. I could just think of Namath guaranteeing the Super Bowl victory. That’s all I could think of the last few days. Just sitting in that lounge chair by the pool with all those reporters surrounding him. I was a big Namath fan back in ’69.”

“I knew my team would be confident with me out there,” Arrieta said. “But with our lineup, with the young players we have, you don’t think that these guys are 21, 23 years old, because they don’t play like it. They have elevated their play to a level that’s beyond their years.”

For that, you need confident young players and a manager who’s willing to take chances with them, a guy who understands people. And humans.
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post #1678 of 3741
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Quote:
Jesse SanchezVerified account
‏@JesseSanchezMLB
Source: #Cubs have met Eddy Julio Martinez's asking price. Cuban OF has signed a $3 million deal with Chicago.


Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm??????????????????????????



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post #1679 of 3741
Thread Starter 


If Theo just landed yet another big time prospect......... My God.


Trying to confirm......
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post #1680 of 3741
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Quote:
keithlaw ‏@keithlaw 4m4 minutes ago
Cubs have a potential agreement with Cuban CF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3 million, pending a physical.

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