dale sveum mediaAaron Rodgers is the starting quarterback on one of my two fantasy teams (I know, boo, hiss). He’s on a bye this week, so I had to grab a replacement off of the waiver wire. Who gets the nod? Jay Cutler. Thoughts?

  • Dale Sveum says the winning isn’t too far off for the Cubs, pointing to the Pirates and Nationals as success stories in recent years. And, although the Cubs have struggle this year, Sveum thinks the weight of failure is being placed inappropriately on the shoulders of Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo. “The thing that gets blown out of proportion is that these are the two guys getting talked about all the time,” Sveum said, per Cubs.com. “Are they having really bad, bad years? No. Rizzo has [39] doubles, he’s got [77 RBIs], he’s got home runs in the 20s, and Castro has been swinging the bat a lot better. These guys just have to keep playing and build on the adversity they’ve gone through this year.” I’m glad to hear Sveum finally say it out loud, and I don’t think he’s just defending his own efforts. Castro’s down year is pretty clearly traceable to an organization-level decision to rework his approach at the plate (laudable attempt, but it just didn’t take), and Rizzo’s “down year” is largely the product of a fair bit of bad luck on balls in play.
  • That is not to say that Castro’s and Rizzo’s performances are not a part of the reason the Cubs have performed so poorly. It is only to say that (1) their failures have been overblown, and (2) their failures are, in part, understandable/explainable.
  • For what feels like the hundredth year in a row, the Chicago Cubs have a worse home record than road record (30-50 versus 35-43). In reality, of course, it’s just the second time since 2005 that it’s happened, but our memory fails us. Why? The Cubs’ home success relative to the rest of the league has been crummy for a long time.
  • In any event, the point here is that last night’s loss was the Cubs’ 50th at home this year, and that hasn’t happened in a long time – as in, ever. I won’t make it all about the day games. The 2013 Cubs are going to lose a whole lot of games, and a big chunk were bound to come at home. If you lose 90+ games three seasons in a row, as the Cubs have, there’s a statistical chance that 50 of them in one season will come at home (especially if your team is predisposed to being disproportionately less good at home than other teams are good at home).
  • When asked about Chris Rusin, who was knocked out of last night’s game in the third inning, Dale Sveum told the Tribune that Rusin had showed what he can do when he was fresh. The implication there is that Rusin – who is approaching 190 innings on the year between AAA and the Majors – was wearing down over the last couple weeks.
  • http://mccarronlegal.com jmc

    Aw, folks wake me up when September ends its next year then.does anyone think it will be pretty?

  • Aaron

    The Tombstones of Cubs’ Managers: Past & Present

    Dale Sveum 2012- —
    Mike Quade 2010-2011 95-104
    Lou Piniella 2007-2010 316-293
    Dusty Baker 2003-2006 322-326
    Bruce Kimm+ 2002 33-45
    Rene Lachemann+ 2002 0-1
    Don Baylor 2000-2002 187-220
    Jim Riggleman 1995-1999 374-419
    Tom Trebelhorn 1994 49-64
    Jim Lefebvre 1992-1993 162-162
    Jim Essian 1991 59-63
    Joe Altobelli+ 1991 0-1
    Don Zimmer 1988-1991 265-258
    Frank Lucchesi+ 1987 8-17
    Gene Michael 1986-1987 114-124
    John Vukovich+ 1986 1-1
    Jim Frey 1984-1986 196-182
    Charlie Fox+ 1983 17-22
    Lee Elia 1982-1983 127-158
    Preston Gomez 1980 38-52
    Joe Amalfitano+1979, 1980/81 66-116
    Herman Franks 1977-1979 238-241
    Jim Marshall 1974-1976 175-218
    Whitey Lockman1972-1974 157-162
    Leo Durocher 1966-1972 535-526

  • http://mccarronlegal.com jmc

    Darth haterdo you think it will be any better next year?

  • Sans

    It’s quite obvious that Dale’s role as Cubs’ manager – with the knowledge of everyone involved – is as “Bridge Manager”. Dale was hired to weather the awful years – which will run through next season – while a big name manager will be brought in for 2015, to head the gradually incline.

    Make no mistake about it – as Cubs’ fans, we’re in for a whole lot more losing. But that losing will be with another manager at the helm – not Dale.

  • Sans

    I don’t have the patience to read through all of the comments in order to highlight the point that I’m intending. However this sight follows a very simple formula:

    Poster politely expresses his or her displeasure with “the plan” = darth, TWC, handsman, goat, or one of the usually suspects, antagonizing said poster with irrational, hyperbolic-rhetoric. It’s as if the usually antagonizers are working as Theo’s public-relations firm.

    Poster politely expresses his or her displeasure with Rizzo’s, Castro’s, Jackson’s or Samardzija’s season = the usual antagonizers – darth, TWC, handsman, goat, etc – aggressively torpedoing terms like “FIP”, “BABIP” and “WAR”. They earmark these terms with phrases like “scrappy”, “TWTW” and an inevitable Tony Campana reference. Brett conveys the same strategy, to a softer, less-aggressive extent.

    So, for the usual antagonizers, a few points:

    1) Sabermetrics are pretty simplistic. They’re easy to understand, and effortless to apply. The fact is, you’re unable to tolerate that some of us completely reject sabermetrics as the gospel you advertise them to be, while easily understanding their intended functions. Major statistical publishers can’t even agree on their simple formulas – which is indictment enough. Furthermore some of us believe in the human emotion of the game.

    2) No matter how you cut it, Rizzo, Samardzija, Jackson and Castro, have had really disappointing seasons. None have stepped forward in their projected development.

    Finally, to Brett:

    It’s okay to criticize Theo. You seem so tentative; almost afraid. Theo and Jed have made a fair amount of mistakes, yet you sugarcoat them, instead of painting an objective picture. Grow some testicles!

    • TWC


    • hansman1982

      ” handsman,”

      It’s Hansman. No d.

      • miggy80

        Kind of like Logan Watkins

        • Funn Dave


    • miggy80

      “the usual antagonizers” I got friends in low places.

    • wvcubsfan

      “1) Sabermetrics are pretty simplistic. ”

      Could you please explain this to me? Do you mean that the formulas are simplistic since they so not require advanced mathematical functions? Or are you saying that properly applying the values obtained is simplistic?

      • miggy80

        Maybe he means that it is simplistic to post on BN.

        i.e. how can Hansman eat all those hamburgers with no hanDs

    • Funn Dave

      Hahaha, so true. What I wonder is: what do the usual antagonists think they’re accomplishing by repeating the same reduntant discussions about the usefulness of a few stats over and over ad nauseum? It’s not like the people using BA and W/L haven’t heard of any of the other stats yet. Either they choose not to use them, or they don’t care enough to switch over. NBD. Let ’em be. Do the usual antagonists really think they’re going to get this site’s entire user base to use different stats? Even if they did, then what? BN is but one tiny corner of the baseball world; it’s not exactly a trend-setter.

      Thank you for posting.

      • C. Steadman

        not gonna lie though, baseball’s trend is definitely toward sabermetrics(with MoneyBall coming out in recent years, and the unknown dominance by Billy Beane)..they are increasingly showing them on ESPN, WGN, Fox games especially OPS which is really taking off

        • Funn Dave

          Absoultely. It totally is. I just don’t see why we can’t let this evolution take its natural course instead of forcing it on BN commenters.

          • C. Steadman

            while there are still flaws in sabermetrics, its just that sabermetrics do point out the bigger flaws in standard stats…so if you want to make an argument usings stats i think its helpful to use both

          • On The Farm

            Because sometimes a horse needs to be led to the water

            • Scotti

              And sometimes that horse was drowned long before you started dragging him to your prefered trough (and sometimes the trough you wanted to drag him to is misapplied anyway).

        • Blublud

          The problem with this is OPS is one of the most overused stats. Its a good stat, no doubt, if used properly, but most times its not. Ops would suggest that 2 players maybe be equal, when more than likely, they are.


          Player A
          265/340/520= 860 OPS

          Player B
          320/380/480= 860 OPS

          The question is are these players equal, or one better then the other. Which one would you perfer.

          • Blublud

            Meant more than likely they aren’t.

          • Drew7

            “…Which one would you perfer.”

            Since OBP is more important in scoring runs, Player B is the one having the more productive offensive season.

            • Blublud

              Yea, but player A walks more, Likely has more power, and definitely has more Xtra base hits. Getting on base could produce a run, but a HR is a definite run.

              • Norm

                Again, this is results vs. process. You take the better results, since they actually happened, but going forward, who knows without seeing other things like BABIP.

                Since we’re talking results, give me the 320/380/480, without even thinking hard about it. More on base, more hits (assuming same number of PA), but less power.

                • Drew7

                  Spot on, Norm.

                  I think that is a point that is too often overlooked when debating about advanced statistics – some are predictive, while others are descriptive.

                • Kyle

                  That starts to lead you to RBIs, which inevitably leads to other things. The end result is that the players on the team that won the World Series are tied for the best players in the league that year. It’s a slippery slope.

                • YourResidentJag

                  So would you want a whole team of high OBP with less power? Unfortunately, no because the power has to come from somewhere. More power but sacrificing some amount of OBP.

                  • Hansman1982

                    It’s never a trade off that severe though. You rarely get guys who are on-base machines yet never hit for power (I.e. Tony Campana with the ability to walk) You usually get guys like Choo who can have a .380 OBP and a .425 SLG.

                    If your OPS is .800 or above, it doesn’t matter if it’s OBP or SLG heavy…you’re a valuable offensive player.

                    • YourResidentJag


                • Scotti

                  Regardless of BABIP that .320 hitter isn’t going to duplicate .320 unless he’s a first ballot Hall Of Fame guy. The .265 guy won’t sniff the Hall but he’s FAR more likely to repeat.

                  And, since OPS counts BA twice, it is clearly inflated for the high average guy. BA is valuable but it isn’t TWICE as valuable as isolated power or OBP-BA.

                  But, assuming these are career stats and these guys are FA with all else (age, health, position, etc.) being equal. The c l e a r winner here would be the .265 hitter even if he wasn’t much cheaper (and he would be). His BA/ISOP/OBP-BA/Total slash is .265/.075/.255/.330. That high average cat is only .320/.060/.160/.220. The difference is 110 points (double the .55 BA differential). Again, BA is a very important stat. But it ain’t double the value of power and patience.

            • Noah_I

              There’s also the question of who would you want for the year these stats are accumulated, and who would you want in the future? For the year of the stats themselves, I might prefer player B because of the OBP. But presuming both players are the same age and could be signed for the contract the next season, I’d definitively pick player A to sign going forward. His walk rate and elite power would be more likely to repeat the following season than a .320 batting average from a player with moderate power.

          • C. Steadman

            i didnt say OPS was the best stat, just used it as an example of it becoming increasingly popular…every single stat has a flaw used by itself…thats why you have to use multiple stats

          • CubChymyst

            That is why I prefer wRC+ or wOBA. I don’t like how OPS uses incorrect math.

            • wvcubsfan

              This……In what universe is it possible to direct add two fractions with different denominators?

          • hansman1982

            It doesn’t matter. Both of those players will generate the same number of runs.

            wOBA is the best stat for correlating to runs scored. wOBA and OPS correlate very well (.98 or something similar).

            • hansman1982

              I will rephrase that.

              They will both score about the same number of runs, in which case you would want to look at the wOBA to determine how productive they were. Now, if you don’t have wOBA (which I guess wouldn’t happen in this case since you know their triple slash, but let’s just pretend), you can safely assume they will both generate nearly the same number of runs since OPS correlates well with wOBA which correlates well with runs scored.

              • jt

                2014 Cubs ISO 0.091; PA’s 5941 through 158 games
                2014 Cards ISO 0.069; PA’s 6041 through 158 games
                Card’s had many more home victories in which they didn’t bat in the ninth.
                Simply put, the balance in The Cards lineup that led to a 0.030 higher OBP not only led to more opportunities to manufacture a run; it also offered the power hitters more PA’s.
                On the whole a good discussion in which I am walking away with a bit more knowledge.
                good stuff…thanks to all

    • DarthHater

      too lame didn’t read

      • Hansman1982

        I stopped reading after he misspelled my name.

        • Cubbie Blues

          I feel left out.

          • MichiganGoat

            Tim we told you that your super secret membership to the “Instigator Club” was on a trial basis and obviously you haven’t been identified by the community and therefore failed as an instigator. So please leave your bag of snark at the door… thanks for playing.

            • Cubbie Blues

              But, if I don’t bring snark, there isn’t much left for me.

              • hansman1982

                Thank you for taking the hint.

                • Cubbie Blues

                  ::takes ball and goes home::

    • Jason P

      I agree with parts of what you’re saying. “Poster politely expresses his or her displeasure with “the plan” = darth, TWC, handsman, goat, or one of the usually suspects, antagonizing said poster with irrational, hyperbolic-rhetoric. It’s as if the usually antagonizers are working as Theo’s public-relations firm.” — so true. Because obviously if you disagree you’re a batting average-loving, sabermetrically-confused moron stuck in the stone ages of statistical analysis.

      The problem is many simply don’t understand sabermetrics. It’s much easier to see Lake succeeding and Jackson struggling and take it at face value that they’re ruined for years to come when sabermetrics suggest that won’t be the case. Sabermetrics helped guide us to Feldman and Maholm, which netted us Strop, Vizcaino, and Arrieta.

      And lastly, I don’t think Brett’s afraid to criticize Epstein, I just think he generally agrees with him. I generally agree with him as well. The problem is, when you’re an established journalist/blogger who has to put his name on everything he publishes, your not allowed the leisure of irrational, in-the-moment rants that we anonymous commentators often engage in.

      And think about it — what’s one thing Epstein and Hoyer have done this year that you could point to and say “they were dead wrong” (of course hindsight notwithstanding)?

    • BubblesHargrave

      Good summary of my feelings for some time. That’s one of the reasons I quit frequenting Bleacher Nation. Brett does a fine job presenting the factualness of the situations being discussed and always being on top of up to the minute updates. But spare us the Sveum, Theo, Jed and so on apologeticness day after day.

      • wvcubsfan

        Yet you felt obligated to come back to post this comment.

        • #1lahairfan

          Ha, so true.

    • Brains

      In Brett’s case there’s clearly sponsorship and money at stake, so he takes a more journalistic and less editorial approach. Other people here, by my take, are just very, very eccentric, misanthropic, or in a generous reading, a little too optimistic. If these posters talked to humans in real time they’d find that Cubs fans are pretty bummed out and dismissive of Theo already. Maybe we’ll become the Pirates – I hope so – but as long as the money skips the “talent” register of operations and goes right to the top, for whatever reason, we’re going to stink. For many, many, many years.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        “In Brett’s case there’s clearly sponsorship and money at stake, so he takes a more journalistic and less editorial approach.”

        My approach has nothing to do with sponsorship or money (the Cubs can’t, won’t, and don’t sponsor this site in any way, and the companies that do sponsor it don’t give a ding-dong-diddly-doodle about how I write), and everything to do with being a fair, even voice in the wilderness of absolutes.

        • Brains

          Just to clarify, I meant advertising sponsorship – you don’t want to be a divisive character, you want to aggregate fans both happy and sad to view. Maximal views equate to higher sponsorship. It’s a very good business plan, supported with excellent analysis, I don’t mean the term pejoratively.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Gotcha. To that end, obviously I do have a business to run, so I do consider the readers when I write (but usually I wag the tail, not the other way around).

        • MichiganGoat

          Keep up the great work brother, to do what you do every single day (even on holiday’s, birthdays, and father/husband duties) is a testament to everything great about BN. The growing frustration of fans and the anger and outburst for something major to change can really hide the quality of what you are doing. Keep it up, the comments might be different than they were a few years ago, but it won’t always be full of so much bile. A lesser man would start to roll in the direction of the growing tide of frustration and aggression but you have always held a smooth steady course with your analysis and commentary.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Thanks. And your efforts to remain positive/thoughtful (when possible) are appreciated.

        • ssckelley

          But didn’t you lose a few advertisers over your objective writings concerning the rooftop owners?

          • Cubbie Blues

            That just goes to show that he doesn’t favor sponsors when it comes to his writing.

            • MightyBear

              A man for all seasons.

  • Cheese Chad

    I didn’t read any comments before writing but I have to say Cutler is a solid replacement. Tressman is supposedly a QB genius and the bears offense looks pretty darn good so far. A healthy Forte helps a ton.

    • ThereWillBeCubs

      CHI vs. DET has the potential to be a high scoring game. That being said, Bears put up 40 (actual) pts against PIT and Cutler only had 159 yards passing and 1 TD. A guy like Tannehill might be a better choice. MIA doesn’t have much of a run game and will (probably) be playing from behind vs. NO.

      • ThereWillBeCubs

        Boom! Bow to your oracle.

  • Carew

    Heyman had an article about the Svuem. Kinda short, but I found it interesting.


    Please don’t get into stupid fights, I just wanted to share.

  • Professor Snarks

    “1) Sabermetrics are pretty simplistic. They’re easy to understand, and effortless to apply. The fact is, you’re unable to tolerate that some of us completely reject sabermetrics as the gospel you advertise them to be, while easily understanding their intended functions. Major statistical publishers can’t even agree on their simple formulas – which is indictment enough. Furthermore some of us believe in the human emotion of the game.”

    Sans, sorry I’m late to the party, but this is the best statement ever made on this site.

  • YourResidentJag

    Listening to a new single from Pearl Jam…not bad. New album might be good.

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