The offseason has arrived, and, although there may be a reduction in Cubs news over the next month (while those other teams do their playoff thing … losers), we keep on ticking. Sometimes folks ask me if the site shuts down when the season ends – almost the opposite is true. There’s plenty to discuss from now until Spring Training. We’re Cubs fans, after all.
- The day after the season ends is pretty always about the post-mortem – how did the Cubs do? What could they have done better? What’s the future look like? and all that. The theme I’m perceiving from those articles is this: everyone bought into the rebuild and attending suckiness in 2012, but patience stretches only so far. Improvement is expected in 2013, even if not playoff contention. My thought on that is, sure, improvement from 101 losses is probably a good idea. But, given the free agent market and the state of the Cubs’ upper minors, I don’t see much reason to expect dramatic improvement in 2013. Believe me, that kills me to say – this job is a whole lot more fun when the Cubs are winning – but I still believe it would be a mistake to go hog wild on spending this offseason in an effort to somehow, magically add 30 wins to the team next year. That kind of turnaround just doesn’t happen very often, and, where it does, it takes a lot more than money (luck, young player development, a couple savvy trades, luck, several unexpectedly awesome seasons from players, luck, and a little luck). Again, though, we are going to see that a huge chunk of the fan base will grow impatient – fresh off the excitement from Theo/Jed/Jason mania, it was easy to get fans to buy into the idea that 2012 was going to be the painful first step in a rebuild. It won’t be quite that easy in 2013, fair or not.
- So, about those articles – here’s a good one from Patrick Mooney, buttoning up a variety of things, and hitting on that “patience” theme. Here’s an interesting one from Gordon Wittenmyer, which demonstrates a great deal of the looming-lack-of-patience thing.
- … but I have to point out: Gordon, how can you use quotes from Scott Boras as the backbone for the piece? Gee, I can’t imagine what incentive Scott Boras would have for saying things like, “[The Cubs] have sold you a bill of goods,” “There’s no excuse for the Cubs to be in [fifth] place,” and “That owner is sitting on a Mount Vesuvius of money.”
- Darwin Barney was bummed to learn that third base/infield coach Pat Listach would not be returning next year. “This is hard for me,” Barney said after getting the news, per Cubs.com. “He was one of the first people who really saw what I had and believed in it and voiced his opinion for me a couple years back. It’s tough. He’s going to be fine, he’s got a place in baseball and he’ll find work somewhere for sure. It’s hard to see him go. We spent a lot of time together preparing for these games and putting together the season I had defensively. Whenever I try to give him credit, he tells me, ‘It wasn’t me, it was all you. Don’t think I did anything. The reality is, he did [help]. He turned me on to a lot of different ideas and different things. It’s just sad, it’s sad to see him go.”
- The wind blew in at Wrigley this year 45 of the Cubs’ 80 home games, going into yesterday’s finale.
- Starlin Castro is the first player in Cubs history to play all 162 games at shortstop.
- Lefty prospect Zach Rosscup has been removed from Arizona’s AFL roster, apparently due to some arm troubles. This could mean that the Cubs’ “taxi squad” designee (I believe it was relief prospect Kevin Rhoderick) will be bumped up from taxi squad to full squad, or the Cubs could try and get another pitcher on the roster (or could go with fewer players than permitted).
- BN’er Doc takes a look at which teams you can, statistically-speaking, expect to see do well in the post-season. Check his thoughts – and graphs! – out over at the Message Board.
- Apropos of nothing, from White Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis: “It was very surprising to see with us winning that we were still second fiddle to the Cubs.”