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St_Louis_CardinalsThe Wife is running in a 5K this morning (er, edit, make this all past tense), so I’m taking The Little Boy to his first race. That’s my typical role when one of these races comes up: the ride. Also, the bearer of banana when the race ends. That is not some kind of double entendre.

  • Carlos Beltran might be the best postseason player of all-time, and his special abilities in that regard are only heightened by the Cardinal laundry he currently wears. Which is to say, of course the Cardinals won the opening game of the NLCS against the Dodgers on a walk-off hit in the 13th inning last night, and of course it was Beltran doing the hitting. They do it again today at 3pm CT, and the Tigers/Red Sox start their series at 7pm CT.
  • The Red Sox have blossomed under Ben Cherington as GM, though the groundwork was laid before he took over the gig from Theo Epstein.
  • It was another good showing yesterday for the Mesa Solar Sox, powered by Cubs prospects. Kris Bryant hit another homer (2-5), Wes Darvill went 1-3 with a couple walks, and Jorge Soler is perfecting the art of the impactful 1-5. Dallas Beeler started the game, allowing just one earned run in his three innings of work. Lendy Castillo threw a one-run inning.
  • Patrick Mooney speaks at length with former Cubs GM Jim Hendry, who is now a scout with the Yankees. Hendry has certainly borne a disproportionate and unfair amount of the blame for the state of the organization by 2010, even if some of his decisions were virtually dictated by ownership in the mid-2000s. It’s a great, and depressing, read.
  • A fascinating write-up on the Cubs’ corporate sponsorship efforts in conjunction with the to-be renovated Wrigley Field. From the sound of things, the Cubs would prefer to go with fewer sponsors, but who each pay more and are locked in on long-term deals. It’s a risky approach – based on my very limited experience with/knowledge of sponsorship arrangements – but it could prove to be extremely lucrative if the Cubs do it well. Based on the article, it looks like the Cubs are taking it very seriously. The tricky part? Just like TV networks, the sponsors want to know that the Cubs are going to be consistently competitive in the long-term, thus offering a compelling product for possible consumer exposure. It’s another chicken and egg issue, but hopefully the Cubs can sell the sponsors on the bright future (and then do some supplementing of the roster in the near-term to back that up).
  • JulioZuleta

    I wonder what Keith Law thinks of Carlos Beltran’s annual random bunching streaks that happen to occur in the playoffs.

  • LARRY

    It’s time to end the myth of “no such thing as clutch hitting.” That is a stat nerd fantasy. Beltran’s RISP and post-season numbers are higher than his non-RISP and regular season averages for a reason — the man can focus and succeed in pressure situations. A-Rod, for instance, cannot. At least not to the same levels his has without RISP and during the regular season (the numbers bear this out for both Beltran and A-Fraud). It seems anyone who has ever competed at anything should know that when the pressure is on, either you want the ball or you don’t. Clutch hitting is real, and Carlos Beltran is damn good at it. Let’s hope Baez, Almora, Soler and Bryant are, too.

    • Timothy Scarbrough

      What do you make of A-Rod’s 2009 playoff stats then? He just happened to hit that well, for a postseason, despite not being a “clutch hitter”?

      • LARRY

        Might have slightly overstated A-Rod’s inability to hit in the post season, but look at the numbers — all his averages are higher during the regular season and without RISP than in the post season and with RISP. Beltran’s are across the board higher in the post season and with RISP. Who would I rather have on my roster in October? The guy who succeeds when the pressure is on. And when there is a large enough body of evidence, I don’t believe flukes or luck explain why some succeed more than others.

        As for A-Rod’s 2009 playoff success, here’s how I explain it: steroids.

        • hansman1982

          Why is it “Clutch” hitters are always the guys who were really freekin good to start.

          Also, 140 PA is still an incredibly small sample.

          • turn two

            4 words…mark, “the lemmer” lemke…clutch defined

    • Kyle

      I don’t think you’ve ever actually looked at how A-Rod performs in the playoffs.

      • DarthHater

        Unless A-Rod’s playoff performances are being projected on the interior wall of his large intestine, that is probably correct.

      • Funn Dave

        Tim and Kyle, I’m interpreting the fact that you nitpicked at his A-Rod example without addressing his main point as evidence that you agree with his main point about clutch hitting; is this a safe assumption?

        • Kyle

          Of course that’s not a safe assumption. Why on earth would you think that?

    • Patrick W.

      To me it suggests if it is something he can turn on he should consider turning it on all the time. In order for you to believe he performs better when he wants to you have to believe he performs worse when he wants to (i.e. not better).

      • Jed Jam Band

        I have to agree with THIS. If I’m to believe there’s some sort of magical spark that just causes some guys to hit in “big” situations, then I also have to believe these players are just dogging it the rest of the time. Nobody’s saying that a player CAN’T hit well in important, late-game spots, but these guys tend to be people who hit the ball well anyways. By all accounts, that is the one part of Beltran’s game that still exists at an above-average level. This is sequencing, plain and simple. And why do people have to constantly lash out at us as being “stat nerds”? It’s as if everyone thinks all I do is look up stats and download spreadsheets all day long. When, of course I do more than that! I hate this argument that just because I’m interested in new baseball data, info, and knowledge that I’m somehow less of a fan. I’m MORE of a fan! To me, if you really love something, you want to know as much as possible about it. I love baseball and want to know more about the sport and learn and grow with it and I want to see it evolve and that’s why I am a “stat nerd.” So, please, don’t ever deride those of us interested in the data side of the game ever again. Try to not have such a one-sided, narrow view of the sport you contend to enjoy.

        • Eternal Pessimist

          I have had many days where I have focused better w/ better results…I don’t think it is all that complicated.

          • Patrick W.

            Right, of course, we all have, but the question is not are there times where you get better results due to greater concentration. The question is: can you INTENTIONALLY turn on that concentration at will, and if you can, wouldn’t you turn it on all the time? If not then you’re just lazy. If you aren’t lazy then it’s just coincidence.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    If you watch Beltran play every day through the season, you see he kind of dogs it a lot of the time, doesn’t really always seem to focus on the game. In the playoffs he brings his A game and locks in mentally. He really wasn’t all that good during the season this year.
    What did you guys think of the play at the plate? Molina never tagged the runner, but that has always been an automatic out. So do they start changing calls like this next year with the replay. That could get ugly.

    • macpete22

      I thought he should have been safe since he didn’t tag Ellis.

    • JulioZuleta

      I was fine with that call, even with no clear tag. If you’re going to let runners plow through catchers, I don’t think the catchers should have to further risk injury by extending limbs to better show the tag.

      • macpete22

        At the same time, Ellis didn’t even argue the call. He just shouldn’t have tagged

  • cubmig

    Like I posted yesterday: I hope the FO makes signing players with a record of hitting a “numero uno” priority. Take a look at Beltran’s stats. And….btw….he’s an old man (36).

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/beltrca01.shtml

  • Tommy

    LOL! I don’t know why, but that title made me laugh out loud. I think it’s my favorite one to date.

    • chrisfchi

      Yeah, I think this is the best post title I’ve seen on BN. I can picture Brett sitting there thinking “f’n cardinals blah blah blah.”

  • jeff

    It is not the player, it’s the club he plays for that makes the difference! Put Beltran in Cubs
    uniform and you will never hear his name again. Everyone who sings with the Cubs knows
    he will never win anything with them ,so for him it’s only about money and his numbers .If the Cubs have all the money in the world,all the best players and all the best coaches they will still suck ,it’s called tradition!

  • Cerambam

    Remember Jim Edmonds? That worked out pretty well for an old guy

  • tgk

    Brett, I love what you do here and I hate being even remotely critical. But I think you could have used a less offensive visual element for the story. You know, like Nuns clubbing baby seals with kittens. Something tasteful. . .

    • cjdubbya

      Nice. I chuckled.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Fair point.

      • Kyle

        Cubs fans need to know what they are dealing with.

        There is a team in our division, our largest rivals, who have made the NLCS 8 times in the last 14 years. Who have now won 44 playoff games since the last time we won one.

        This team had the best record in baseball this year *and* has one of the premier collections of young MLB and MiLB talent in baseball, easily a rival for our own precious farm system. This team has managed to outspend us despite being in a much, much smaller market, as they have proven remarkably savvy at extracting revenue while we fumble and stumble at every turn.

        Maybe when we realize what we’re up against, we as a fanbase will be a little less complacent and less easily mollified by the mere existence of some sort of plan.

        • Cyranojoe

          Nice. I agree. It’s fun to piss and moan about the Cardinals, but let’s be honest. They’re good at the sport. There’s more than a few things our team can learn from them… and who knows, maybe even us fans can learn a thing or two from them.

          Just not spelling. Or hairstyles.

          • cubs2003

            Mullets are retro, dude! J/K I can’t wait for the day when the Cubs and Cardinals are the premier matchup in all of baseball like the 2000′s Red Sox/Yankees. ESPN will still probably still spend most of their time talking about the Yankees rebuilding plan.

        • Brains

          This gets it right too – we’re dazzled with a lot of smoke and mirrors when in fact the fundamentals are being sacrificed by fancy jumbotrons and the promise of future television contracts. Theo has made a lot of moves, many great in the minors, but none of them thoughtful on the MLB level. He looks awful after 2 years as a big league head. One more year and if we’re at the same level he’s going to be one of history’s great hype machines without any results whatsoever.

          • Cyranojoe

            LOL. Totally. Winning the MLB.com’s award for best minor league system two years removed from the debacle that was our minor leagues previously is absolutely nothing but hype.

            Who exactly is dazzled, dude?

            • Rizzovoir Dog

              What awful mlb moves has Theo made? Trading away the great Tyler Colvin?

              • Kyle

                Handing playing time to Ian Stewart two years in a row is a nice start.

                • Rizzovoir Dog

                  Two years in a row? How many games did Ian start this season for the Cubs?

                  • Kyle

                    Only because of injury. We had a chance to replace him in the offseason and didn’t because we intended the job for him.

                    • kscubfan

                      True injury kept him on the roster but once his performance was on display they moved on. What better options were out there that fit the Cubs model this year?

                • Northside Neuman

                  Yes Stewart was such a tragedy. He was blocking such young and talented players such as….uhmmm. Wait a minute, let me look at my notes…

                  Never mind.

                  • Kyle

                    Maybe they could, you know, acquire some young and talented players instead of choosing bad ones.

          • X the Cubs Fan

            Rizzo

        • Funn Dave

          “Who have now won 44 playoff games since the last time we won one.”

          Wow that’s one of the most depressing things I’ve ever read.

        • wilbur

          you left out that they also get an extra competative balance draft pick for being a small market team.

  • deadbird

    So the cardinals are building rooftops like wrigley? How unique..

    • wilbur

      Will match their behind the plate brick wall. about the only tradition of their own is in the enhanced performance department. Someday that bird will some home to roost too.

  • http://epicfunhub.com Frank

    The picture would have been better if the shit bird was having explosive diarrhea.

    • cubmig

      Yeah…..I would have preferred a “deadbird” —a plucked red one at that than anything complementary looking. Anytime I see that “C” pic I feel slapped down. Not blaming Brett. It’s just what being a Cubs fan has done to me.

      “Oh bartender…. make that a double Martini instead.”

  • DarthHater

    “Also, the bearer of banana when the race ends. That is now some kind of double entendre.”

    FTFY

  • BigsmokeJ

    I can’t help but laugh every time someone writes, (the Cubs better start signing free agents). The days of getting young quality players through free agency are over under the current CBA.
    Have any of you actually looked at the players available this year?
    And I don’t want to hear they should sign Cano to whatever it takes, (go ask the Angels how that’s been working out).
    There are few pitchers that are out there that are possibilities, (hoping to catch lighting in a bottle), but that’s about it.

    • Hansman

      When have good young free agents ever been plentiful in free agency?

      • Jono

        It was more common when guys were more productive into their late 30s. Teams have been giving out more extensions to young guys than they used to. Im guessing the crack down on PEDs had a lot to do with it.

      • YourResidentJag

        No, but good young players were available in trades, which is also no longer the case unless you’re willing to give up ton to get them.

    • Hawkeye

      “I can’t help but laugh every time someone writes, (the Cubs better start signing free agents). The days of getting young quality players through free agency are over under the current CBA.
      Have any of you actually looked at the players available this year?
      And I don’t want to hear they should sign Cano to whatever it takes, (go ask the Angels how that’s been working out).
      There are few pitchers that are out there that are possibilities, (hoping to catch lighting in a bottle), but that’s about it.”

      I laugh everytime I see someone write about free agency and only references the Angles, forgetting the Dodgers, Red Sox, Yankees and just about everybody else in recent memory who’s made the playoffs not named the A’s.

      • YourResidentJag

        Yes, but if you think the FA is looking up as MLB baseball goes forward…you’re kidding yourself.

        • Hansman

          Eh, it’s been bad 6 of the last 7 years.

          • YourResidentJag

            And it’s not getting any better….

      • Dustin S

        Plus, Theo has consistently been saying for a year or more that they look at FA as a tool to fill-in a player or maybe 2 when they’re close, and that they aren’t going to makeover the roster through FA. I have to assume it’s casual fans who haven’t seen or read his interviews that are the ones bringing up Cano or asking for a free agency roster overhaul, when neither are realistic.

        Pujol’s deal has got all the attention lately, but FA isn’t always a disaster. Prince has worked out pretty well for Detroit. The Cubs will just have to pick and choose their spots once they get to the point of needing to fill the last hole or two, and we won’t know what those are for another year or 2.

  • cubs2003

    I still think Hendry was a pretty good old school GM. Before ownership decided they had to call the shots, most of his moves were pretty defensible and some were straight up great.

  • http://www.rotochamp.com RotoChamp

    Not sure if this link has been posted, but a nice scouting (albeit amateur) writeup that focuses on Albert Almora and his 1st game with the Solar Sox in the AFL:
    http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/77854/baseball-scout-school-part-3-how-to-write-a-scouting-report

  • Josh

    How many times did we hear, “The Blackhawks used the Red Wing blueprint to build a championship team””? Cubs need to do the same from the Cards

    • LWeb23

      The Red Sox aren’t a terrible example to use a blueprint of…

  • Rich

    Chicken and egg??
    Gee how long has that Toyota sign been up??
    I’m not buying not driving a Toyota ..and I watched plenty of games
    So if American Express or Kellogg’s or Taco Bell wants to pay millions of dollars to be on a jumbotron please it really won’t help your sales

    • LWeb23

      I don’t think that is quite the analogy Brett was making.. Sponsors want the Cubs to be consistently good. The Cubs need more money to be consistently good…

  • August

    Since I started watching the Cubs when my folks got cable in the early 80′s, I’ve watched all the other NL East teams win the World Series except the Cubs (with exception of the Expos). This drought has been blamed on bad management, the Tribune people, bad luck, curses, poor facilities, goats and day baseball. They are all excuses. The Cards were my Grandfather’s team and my Great-Great Uncle pitched for them and was buried wearing a Cardinal hat. All that organization does is win. I respect them for how they do business as an organization. As Cub fans, demanding success every year and cutting loose all of the non-hackers is the way to the Promised Land

  • TSB

    This NLCS poses a dilemma for me. On one hand, being a Cubs’ fan since the Vic Rosznosky days means I naturally dislike the Cardinals. However, after living in Los Angeles for the last 40 years, I have acquired a distaste for the Dodgers. So who to root for? OK, I guess it’s…Go dodgers!

  • cavemencubbie

    Due to my misguided youth when I had fraternity brothers from central and southern Illinois, I became somewhat a Cardinal fan. I am a Cub fan first, a Cardinal fan second, followed by rooting for any National League Central team, then any National league team in the WS. I will root for the Cards over the Bums and god forbid, if the Cards lose, the Bums over any ALS team in the WS. Old men prioritize. And I hate the Dodgers!

    Any rocks thrown will bounce off my bottle of Mescal in which I hibernate until Feb 15th!

    • Eternal Pessimist

      Hmmm…then you can’t really be a Cub fan…Sorry, but you are dismissed@!%*

      • Brains

        The sad thing is that Theo’s “plan” seems to be to make our MLB team worse than the Cards’ minor league team.

  • Matt

    Kyle, is right on target here. The Cardinals are light years ahead of us. They have talent & depth up and down that lineup & staff. People need to bear in mind that we haven’t even seen Taveras yet. Their staff is loaded with young talent(Kelley, Wacha, Miller, not to mention Rosenthal & Martinez).

    The improvement in our farm is impressive but to be expected when you draft that high and sell off anything not chained down. I’am impressed by the haul they acquired for Garza but , in the big picture, what Epstoyer has accomplished isn’t that earth-shattering-certainly not compared to what Mozeliak has done with his resources.

    I just continue to be frustrated by fairly intelligent baseball fans blindly buying into whatever spin Theo/Ricketts put on developments, or lack thereof, as part of ” the plan”. How bout his pledge to plow any payroll savings-up to roughly 40 mil per annum since he started- back into ” baseball operations”? Does anyone believe that has really happened? That pledge conveniently coincided with the new CBA & its spending restrictions.

    Starting to get the feeling we’re being hoodwinked a bit here.

  • cubzforlife

    Hi Brett. I sent the year end letter from Tom Ricketts to season ticket holders to brett@bleachernation.com. Is that the correct address? Thanks. Dave.

  • turn two

    While everyone complains about the way the cubs are building their team. The team with the farm system philosophy is beating the team that signed every free agent. And yes i know the cards have some very good non home grown players but they use the same relative philosophy we will be.
    Oh yeah and…cardinals suck and stuff.

    • Kyle

      The Dodgers have a pretty decent farm system too, you know.

      • YourResidentJag

        Yeah, it only produced the top SP in MLB, Clayton Kershaw. So, ummm….yeah.

        • turn two

          Do a quick google search on the word philosophy.

          • YourResidentJag

            So, forget the word philosophy stuff, Kershaw’s not the best SP in the game?

            • turn two

              He’s an example of a good player, I’m telling you they built this team around a big trade and a spending spree. It doesn’t mean there isn’t a good player that came through their system. Their philosophy for building a content out of a hot mess was to but one. I don’t criticize that philosophy, but it is comical that you don’t see how they built themselves…resident jag.

              • YourResidentJag

                Yeah….but they also developed Jansen, Kemp, made a great trade to get Either, took a chance on Puig (who also came from their system) and their C Ellis…..so they built themselves out of a hot mess and totally through a spending spree….hmmm….don’t think so two.

              • YourResidentJag

                And Kershaw is a good player….that’s like saying DeJesus is a good player. PFFTTT….

  • cubs2003

    I’m giving them until 2015. Then the eyebrows are gonna get raised a little. They inherited a mess and are trying to fix it. The farm is looking good. There is still a long way to go with the park and MLB team, though. These playoffs would be much more fun if the Cubbies were in there. I think we can all agree on that.

  • Jono

    Today I was able to watch baseball again. I turned on the game to watch the cards get out of a bases loaded jam with one out and up by one run. The cardinals ruin baseball for me

    • Jono

      St louis can field a high school team and still win.

      • Chris S

        ^THIS.. Voodoo magic..

        • Brains

          I wish that’s what it was. But it’s as simple as attention to fundamentals of lineup protection and choice prospect cultivation and veteran signings on the MLB squad. It’s depressing that it’s come to seem like voodoo in Chicago to treat the team as a team instead of a business model at the disposal of its owners.

          Even the Steinbrenners tried to win, while they destabilized team parity by tripling average payroll back in the 90s.

          • Jono

            Whatever the reason, I hate them so much

            • Brains

              Agreed with this, of course. I just want the Cubs to act as professionally with the team I actually follow – the bigs – as they do with their minor league system. The Cards are making us look bad and all anyone can talk about is profits for owners and cosmetic changes to the ballpark. As things stand right now, the Cards are enviable to the Cubs.

  • Carmelo

    Power arms for the bullpen—if you don’t thrown 95+ don’t apply.

  • Matt

    My point is you know there isn’t any flipping way that they’re gonna get Tanaka- despite their pledge that they’ll open up the purse strings for the right guy(s). I also highly doubt that they’ll spend modestly – in a way that doesn’t hamper the long-term plan- to improve a horrific offense. At some point soon, they’re going to need to weave some veterans and good LHHs to this team. Do you guys honestly think in ’15 we’re gonna run the Big 4 + Rizzo, Castro, & Welly( if he’s still around) and it’s gonna be playoff time? STL has Beltran , Holliday, and Wainwright as veteran presences.

    • Jono

      Even when the cubs become the team we hope they become, they’ll still have to win the play-in game as a wild card. The cards will own the NL north for a loooong time. Relying on winning that one game is not gonna be fun

    • Kyle

      And they’ll have Oscar Tavares to anchor the lineup. And an insane collection of pitching.

      Of course, it is pitching, so they could all blow out their arms tomorrow. That’d be nice.

  • Matt

    We’d be projecting Kelley into the next Verlander, if we had him. He’s STL’s like 4th or 5th best young SP arm.

    Kyle, what improvements would you look to be making this offseason-under the assumption that Ricketts won’t be playing the role of Scrooge?

    • Kyle

      Unfortunately, I do make the assumption that we are financially hamstrung by the terms of the Zell/Ricketts agreement.

      I’d love Tanaka, I’d love Ellsbury, I’d love Choo, but I expect us to either be outbid or simply spurned on all of them.

      At this point, as much as I don’t love it, there’s not much left to do but grit our teeth and pray that Rizzo, Castro, Samardzija, Baez and a bunch of relief pitchers have breakout years.

      • DarthHater

        Well, at least you have a plan, so I support it. :-P

      • Matt

        I do think there’s a significantly higher-than-zero chance that Bryant & Baez are both pretty good out of the gate.

        Honestly , looking out a yr or so, it’s the starting pitching that concerns me. Wood is due for some serious regression. Shark is question mark , to say the least, as a front-of-the rotation guy. In fact, you can argue he’s a young Edwin Jackson- great stuff & inconsistent results. I think the message board crowds are excessively dreaming on the likes of Arrieta, P Johnson, K Hendricks. Those guys don’t hold a candle to the young arms in the STL & PIT stables. Tanaka would be a huge strategic move but I’m not holding my breath, particularly with NYY looking in “at all cost” mode on this one.

        • Kyle

          That’s dead on.

          We’ve done an amazing job filling out the ranks of pitching depth in the organization. A year ago, I looked at our mid-term future and wondered if we’d have anyone to pitch at all.

          Now we’ve got the makings of a *possibly* nice bullpen and enough live arms to fill out the back of a rotation, which is a big step forward. But we’re still woefully short on TOR potential.

          But if our hitting prospects don’t bust out, there’s worse ways to build a team than an elite offense, great bullpen and mediocre starting pitching. You can win a lot of games that way.

          • turn two

            Yes until the playoffs. Am argument could be made that scherzer and price would be worth all the offensive talent in the world. You’d need to find your way to the playoffs but once there it is still starting pitching that wins championships.

            • Kyle

              Disagree. There have been plenty of examples of teams with all kinds of different builds winning the World Series.

              • turn two

                Yes, hence why i said an argument can be made. You look at recent post steroid era examples and you will find starting pitching is the key.

          • Matt

            One issue that we have in trying to acquire elite SP in trades is that teams are gonna stubbornly hold out for one of the Big 4. I think we’d all agree that, at this point, trading elite hitting prospects for arms is too risky an endeavor- see Dayton Moore.

            Our best shots at acquiring SP with upside is via Arrieta-type deals, where the cost would be more reasonable. One guy to watch could be Bauer. The surprising talk on the C postion( Salty & McAnn rumors) indicates they may be willing to move Welly to achieve this end. All this being said, Tanaka is the obvious solution , or first step in solving the issue.

            • Brains

              There’s just no way that we’ll sign Tanaka. Same as there was no way we were going to sign Girardi. It’s just PR.

              Theo hasn’t been given the money to compete, the team is 3-4 years from our minor leaguers being potentially mature enough to play on a competitive team, and the Yanks want him. We’re looking at an 8 year rebuild. Theo probably wont be here anymore at that point but hopefully he’ll stock the minors enough so the next guy has a chance.

          • jt

            Each regular season requires about 1450 IP per team.
            Given that there a 5 positions in the rotation and 7 positions in the BP.
            A staff of 5 elite SP’ers would hurl close to 1000 of those innings or an avg of 200 IP each.
            A staff of 5 middle of the rotation types should pitch around 900 of those IP at an avg of 180 IP each.
            But positions in the rotation and BP are not required to be pitched by one guy. I reference Cleveland this year where the rotation completed 924.6 IP with an ERA of 3.92 and the pen notched 516.6 IP and an ERA of 3.62.
            Ubaldo had a great 2nd half but that was for only 13 starts. For the most part they spread a lot of inning around to a lot of pitchers. They really did not stress any one pitcher.
            *
            A staff of aces does not need the depth of BP that a staff of middle rotation guys requires. The staff of lesser quality would more probably need spot start guys elevated from the minors so there is that also. It is an easy route without the TOR elites. But it can be done.

            • YourResidentJag

              The reason it’s not an easy route is that the Cubs with an elite offense would do the same thing they did in 2008. They’d beat up on the mediocre and bad teams like they’re supposed to and then, when it comes to the playoff caliber teams, they’d struggle. Look, I be all for the Theo plan if this divisional nonsense would somehow go away. If the Cubs were, for instance, in the AL Central instead of NL, I’d be much more patient and confident to way out what they farm system brings, even with lesser SP. As it is, I much less confident the Cubs will survive the NL Central on a yearly basis to grab one of the playoffs spots every year.

          • Jimmy james

            Plus that’s when you grab a expiring contract sp from a non contender to drive you through the layoffs

      • cubes

        id rather pay some one a lot to have a career average year than. than pay some one a little to be volatile. but I guess im in the minority.

  • Jono

    I guess we just have to accept that the cards will win the world series. Everything goes their way.

  • Phillip

    How did the Cardinals manage to win a playoff game with only two hits and committing one error. That organization must have signed a pact with the devil or something, they win year in and year out no matter what! As a Cubs fan it’s just painful to see… Hopefully someday the tables will be turned and the Cubs will be winning every year and the Cardinals will be the bottom dwellers of the division.

    • Brains

      because they’re motivated, built to win, and care about winning. that’s it. so simple that it seems impossible in our current chicago climate.

      • Brains

        it’s also worth noting that they have balance. a stock of high-paid external talent, home grown guys both young and older and on large contracts, and good team chemistry.

        • Jono

          And lots of vagisil

  • Ed

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