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kris bryant cubsIf you destroy all comers in a league, you’re likely to land the MVP award. With apologies to Mike Trout, that is.

Today, Chicago Cubs third base prospect Kris Bryant was named the MVP of the Arizona Fall League. His six homers and 1.184 OPS paced the league (he was tops in slugging at .727, and fourth in OBP at .457).

Bryant’s Solar Sox are playing as I type in the AFL Championship Game, but, win or lose, it was a successful month in Arizona for virtually all of the Cubs’ prospects who participated. More on that in a bit. For now, suffice it to say that Bryant is the MVP, and his legend grows.

  • @murdiddlyurdler

    sploosh

    • Stevie B

      Total sploosh!
      Love this ^^^^

  • Greenroom

    This is great news for the Cubs and Bryant! Even with all of the comments to follow that will inevitably describe all of the possible issues or pitfalls for Bryant. I am going to enjoy the moment. peace~

    Go Cubs~

  • Jon

    This kids the real deal and could be a contributor soon. I just hope the Cubs don’t play the small market clock games with him

  • Die hard

    Call him up to 40 man and sign him to 7 yr extension now

  • Kyle

    Joining previous Cubs winners Sam Fuld and Jason Dubois

    /wetblanket

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Fortunately, they didn’t come into the league with quite the same pedigree.

      • hansman1982

        Ya, basically Bryant came in with high expectations and did precisely what you would expect him to do.

        I would imagine that Kyle would have even rained on the V-E and V-J day parades in NYC.

        • Isaac

          Yeah, same guy who called second round picks worthless, and poo-poohed someone who pointed out that *both* Jon Lester and Dustin Pedroia were second round picks for the WS winning Sox…not to mention Justin Masterson and Brandon Workman in the last 10 years…Grain of salt on the parade raining:)

          • Kyle

            They are *nearly* worthless, and a slightly better than average hit rate in Boston in the early 2000s doesn’t change that.

            • King Jeff

              The 2nd round has produced a lot of good players in the last 10 years, and if you trust your scouts, it’s far from nearly worthless.

              • Kyle

                I mean “a lot” is a relative term and “the last 10 years” doesn’t leave us with a lot of time to make a judgment on these players.

                But mostly: No. It’s not producing good players as often as you think it is.

                If you trust your scouts, they’ll do just fine in rounds 3-40.

                • Isaac

                  It’s that kind of mindset that left our system in the state it was, and our payroll bloated and ineffctive. Until we rid our FO and fan base of this line of thinking, the same problems will continue. Thank goodness our FO is staying true to young players and valuing the draft.

                  • Mike F

                    Complete and total horse shit. You people of this ilk somehow think if you crap on Hendry all the time it somehow makes all the losing OK. It doesn’t. And it ignores the truth.

                    First, most of the regime, Kenney, Bush and Wilkins are still there. Complete lies and nonsense to continue to piss all over it as incompetence because it destroys your argument and would mean the dumbest of the dumb is Ricketts.

                    Second, Theo was paid to win and build a winning system at all levels. He’s the one that said all seasons are sacred and now wants to postpone and rephrase. I am still in his corner, but 3 years enough to begin to show progress. If he truly wants to say let’s postpone major league evaluation until 2016, he should move on or suffer the same evaluation he put Svuem under.

                    Finally, you are completely over the top, you can’t just draft and win, doesn’t work. And the Theo we thought we were getting in Boston knew that. Apparently someone needs to introduce this Theo to the Boston Theo.

                    • Brains

                      a comment written with conviction worthy of brains on one of his annoyed days…

                      i’ve actually been changing my mind as of late. i can’t imagine a situation in which theo would get here and entertain losing 90+ games for what will probably be four straight seasons. he had a great minor league rebuild plan, and something happened to his MLB plan.

                      i think the answer is that the owners are blocking him somehow. and i think this unexpected turn was too much for poor Jed to handle. he’s just a strategic lightweight who can do the job but pours his lemonade out of a minute maid jug instead of picking the lemons itself. this is a team in trouble.

                  • caryatid62

                    Might as well look into the numbers of those “last ten years.”

                    In the last 10 drafts, there have been over 300 players picked.

                    Of that 300, 6 have made an all-star team. That grades out to a 2% hit rate.

                    Just thought I’d throw that out.

                    • caryatid62

                      That should read “there have been over 300 players picked in the second round.”

                    • Mike F

                      That’s the whole problem, people are crazy about the draft for draft sakes. You are absolutely correct, baseball isn’t football and when you start to qualify what a successful pick is all of sudden the success rate becomes pretty bad. Doesn’t mean you stop emphasizing the draft, just that you have to be clear it is just one part of the equation.

                      The Boston Theo understood that. Go back and take a look at the 2004 WS champion team, and how much of that was homegrown. Pretty damn disappointing if Theo has already written off 2014. If that is the case, Ricketts should send him packing. I am and have been in his camp, but if he’s willing to write off two more years, he’s messed up. Once you starting embracing lose to lose its not easy to gain the competitive edge.

                      Frankly, Tom Ricketts needs to grow a set of balls if everything is as it appears. He keeps Kenney and Kenney has completely and totally f…ed up the Wrigley redo, I mean brutally. To top it off he’s the guy who set up the Rooftop owners in the first place. Now Theo seems to be throwing Tom under the bus with the little sisters of the poor stuff. They are messing with fire here. Tom might not have the stones to fix things, but Joe does. Joe isn’t a baseball fan and isn’t a patient and do nothing kind of guy. These guys won’t like what Joe doles out if this continues to be a major league debacle.

                  • Kyle

                    Our fanbase has nothing to do with how the team operates, and it’s completely false anyway.

                    • Mike F

                      I tend to disagree with that one Kyle. I think it has a huge factor here. There’s something at play we must be missing. They have dollars impacted all over the freaking place, from Concessions, to advertisers, to tv and radio. And yes I do believe 2003 changed things. This is the video and nano attention span generation. If Theo or Ricketts think anyone is interested in the kind of trash they put out on the field and 2013, the market will correct this.

                      This is one of the places I tend to become upset, Theo has behaved like Lou did, just the opposite of what we thought we were getting. He’s starting to lose me. If this the kind of second market complete blow it up thing, they shouldn’t have turned to this guys they should have looked at Billy Beane or someone out of the Pittsburgh or St.Louis front office.

                      I like the effort to rebuild the minors but the real test of that is 5-7 years from now and then longer time, but make no mistake no one can take a lot of the trash Yugo type junk they are putting out there now. They are destroying themselves even in the eyes of people who want to support them. The media in Chicago is looking at them as the punch line in a string of bad jokes. If this is the route they take the national media will soon do the same.

          • ssckelley

            Second round picks are not worthless but a free agent signing is worth much more than a 2nd round pick and losing that pick should not keep a team from acquiring MLB talent. Players teams pick in the 2nd round have a low chance of ever reaching the majors let alone play at a level that a free agent would. You can say the same thing about mid to low first round picks as well. With good scouting teams can find 1st/2nd round talent to draft later.

            Teams that are rebuilding the farm system will put more value on draft picks. But the Cubs have built a strong system, so losing 2nd round picks should be a minor issue if at all.

  • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    Bryant reminds me of a cross between Jake Fox and Tyler Colvin

    • MichiganGoat

      I really hope he’s better tan that

      • Jon

        He does appear to have a better tan. At least in the photo above.

      • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

        The Great White Hope’s
        Colvin and Fox had high expectations

    • Kyle

      White Julio Zuleta, imo

    • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

      Wow, let us all hope you never have to do any actual scouting.

    • josh ruiter

      may i ask how in the hell you come to that comparison? That is like saying Rizzo reminds you of brian anderson.

      • TOOT

        I’ll bite. Who the hell is Brian Anderson?

  • Mrs. Howell

    Tyler Colvin was a 3rd rounder we reached for in the first round. Zuletta did not have a position. Bryant is a superior athlete to both. What cross could you possibly be talking about?

    • Kyle

      Brooks Kieschnick without the ability to pitch

      • Kyle

        Taller Kevin Orie with less plate discipline

        • jt

          babe ruth without the casket

          • Kyle

            Neifi Perez except white, tall, with more power and less defense.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              Me, but with at least 3 more hitting tools, and without statistical tools, nearly 3 decades and my awesome as-yet-ungray curly hair.

              • Blublud

                Sammy sosa after the bleach, after the steroids, but taller and speaks english, and before baseball has been vedy vedy gud to him.

                • TOOT

                  Whoa! It WASN”T bleach, it was a skin condition. It wasn’t steroids, it was natural weight gain when aging. And finally it wasn’t corked bat I planned on using in a real game. Which part don’t you believe?

                  • jt

                    ok, we’ll scratch sosa

                • Stevie B

                  Has there been a meth outbreak on BN tonight?

                  lots of crazy going on….

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    Damn, Bryant just missed that.

  • Mrs. Howell

    Blah, blah, blah

  • Jon

    Ian Stewart with a positive attitude

  • Nobody, I mean nobody compares or compared to him in our minors. Not in my 3 decades of being a cubs fan, anyways. This kid seems to be the real deal.

    This kid trumps all of the prospects the cubs have had as long as I can remember. Even Baez, in my opinion. So there isn’t anyone that I can compare him to. I think he is the real deal and very likely to be a star at the MLB level in the near future.

    • MichiganGoat

      That’s a hell of a username I’m calling to call you NIMNCOCTHIOMNIM3DOBACFATKSTBTRD

    • Jono

      Im guessing baez’s ranking above bryant is due to two things: their defensive positions and duration in pro ball. Baez has more experience in succeeding in the minors. And isn’t baez younger?

      • Jono

        Maybe bryant will be ranked higher come spring of 2014?

        • jt

          maybe they share a NL MVP in 2015?

          • Jono

            I think you meant sharing the world series mvp

            • jt

              Whoa….HIGH HOPES

  • JDBlades

    I accidentally put part of my comment on the name section

    • MichiganGoat

      Whatever
      NIMNCOCTHIOMNIM3DOBACFATKSTBTRD

    • TOOT

      Hope you don’t plan on driving. Oh, and hope there’s no blood test at work come Monday.

  • Blublud

    No disrespect to Trout, because the kid is the truth, but Cabrera was hands down the MVP. I do think team success plays and should play a role in the MVP discussion. I know its not Trouts fault that his teammates suck ass.

    Also, using WAR is not a great way to determine MVP. War determines how much better you are then other guys at your position. It does not determine how much better you are then other guys in the league. Move Trout 1st base or just about any other position other then SS or 2nd with the same exact stats and his war likely drops. Same for Cabrera. And saying Trout deserves it because of defense, which according to WAR, I believe states he was also below replacement level, does not really help things.

    As far as offense, Cabrera is clearly more skilled then Trout is you take away the sped. He doesn’t have the benefit of speed to help his statistics like Trout does but yet he put up the same dominating number. If Cabrera was as fast as Trout, his offensive number would destroy Trouts. He would have many more hits and many more XBH just by having speed. I

    I think Trout will win several MVP awards before he retires as long as he stay healthy, but probably not until his teams win or until they give him the ARod treatment and feel they can no longer hold team success against him.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Again, this argument has zero logic to it. The value of a player is how much he contributes to winning. That is what WAR tells you: how much a guy did that. The fact that it’s based on position is critical to this: and if he plays it so poorly that it swamps out his bat (which even Miggy and Jeter cannot do), then the runs saved estimates are critical there.

      The team is relevant in one way only. You can describe every team in terms of how many wins they are without a guy. The Angels get the distinction of being a 9-win lower team without one player: and no other team can say that. Whether they were a 91 win team going to 100 or a 51 team going to 60 simply is not germane to assessing Trout’s value.

      • Blublud

        Correct. But that value is only subjective to his position. That means he is the most Valuable player CF/LF in baseball and the gap at his position is wider.

        Let look at it this way. If Darwan barney was the best hitting 2B in the game, but with his stats from 2013, because all 2nd basemen in the league had combined averages of .050/.100/.125 and the 2nd best hitting 2B in the league was hitting like .100/.120/.150, then his WAR would be sky high because all the other players at his position suck at hitting. His WAR would be higher then Trouts currently is now and when you add defense, it would probably blow through the roof. That still does make him a better or move valuable player then Trout or Cabrera. It may make him harder to replace then either, but not better or more valuable.

        Now if you moved Cabrera to 2nd, his war might be 40 despite his horrible defense. :-D

        • ClevelandCubsFan

          The value of WAR is derived significantly from the fact that this doesn’t happen. Ever.

          • Blublud

            Of course I was being very unrealistic, but I did it to make a point. The Value of WAR is ONLY useful when determining how much better a player is than other guys who play at his position. You can not compare the WAR of Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw to determine who is the better baseball player, just like you can’t compare the WAR of Trout to Cabrera. They do not play the same position. You can argue that if you move Trout to SS, and his defensive rank amongst SS was the exact same as in the OF, his WAR could be 10-11 or even higher. That still doesn’t make him a different player on offensive, which mean his offense doesn’t add any more value to his teams offensive performance then it would have in CF. It just means he is by far the best hitting SS in the game. If you moved him to first under the same scenario, his WAR would probably drop. Once again, it still doesn’t make him better or worse on offense, just better or worse then the guys who play his position.

            BTW, I think Trout is the best all around player in baseball, so I’m not arguing that point. I’m only arguing the point of WAR. I also don’t think best all around equals MVP. If it did, then there is no legitimate argue against Lebron not winning MVP in 2011 in the NBA, or Peyton Manning(as much as I hate him) not winning the NFL MVP every year.

            • ClevelandCubsFan

              You absolutely can compare the WAR of players of different positions. It’s kinda the point of WAR. The positions are weighedbecause they provide greater or lesser value to the team.yes, if you put your brother at second base for a season he would get a boost is this ish in. But the thinking is that Cabterra is a bad enough defender that he couldn’t stomach second base for a season. Any team that was stupid enough to put them at second base for a season… the end result would be so many errors and mistakes that his defensive metrics would more than compensate for the positional boost.

              put it this way. Alfonso Soriano had a wonderful year defensively in 2012. However, he was not nearly as about you bowl to his team at the shortstop that provided similar defensive metrics.

              • Blublud

                This is exactly why WAR should not having anything to do with the MVP. The MVP is who is the most Valuable player in the league over all, not the most Valuable relative to his position.

                If the NFL used a stat like WAR, the would some Center somewhere that leads the league because he’s so much better then every other center. But do you think that Center would ever win MVP.

                • mjhurdle

                  a center *would* never win MVP. But i could see a time where a center *should* win the MVP.

                • Drew7

                  If you’d like an award based solely on hitting, you have one: the Silver Slugger.

                  If you think base running and defense should matter, then you need to understand a couple things about position-scarcity and its relation to value:

                  1) it is harder to play positions up-the-middle than it is to play at the corners, which means there are fewer players who *are* able play said positions effectively.

                  2) Out of the players who are good enough to play these more difficult positions, there are few that can provide above-average offense to go along with it.

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  That still makes WAR = Value. Teams win based on the sum of their WAR from each position: basically, it correlates very strongly with run-differential. A 2BMan who creates 70 runs in RD relative to the 2Bmen on the opposing teams is more valuable than is a 1Bman with a higher OPS who creates 50 runs in RD relative to the 1Bmen on the opposing teams. Replace the latter with Joe Average 1Bman, and you lose 5 games in value. Replace the former with Joe Average 2Bmen, and you lose 7 games in value.

                  The WAR of a full-time Dead Average player *at any position* is (I think) 2.0 over 162 games or so. So, for each team, the expected number of wins is approximately:
                  ∑ (WAR – [{2.0*IP}/1458])
                  with the second term giving you the expected WAR for Joe Average playing as many innings as the individual player.

                  And what that means is that the teams with the most net value from all of their players win the most games: but the player who contributes the single highest net value to his team is the MVP.

                  Seriously, WAR = Value is a tautology. You have to change the meaning of “value” to avoid it, and there is no point to that.

        • Drew7

          “It may make him harder to replace then either, but not better or more valuable.”

          Crazy example aside, how are these 2 things different?

          • Blublud

            It means the gap between him and the next best 2B is wider then the gap between Trout and the next best CF. It still does not mean he produces or plays the game of baseball better then Mike Trout. So while he is harder to replace at 2nd base only, if a GM could only choose one player between Trout and Barney, they would still choose Trout.

        • Drew7

          Here’s how I see it:

          1) Cabrera bested Trout in wOBA by .032.

          2) Trout is a great defender at a more valuable position, while Cabrera is awful at a less valuable one.

          3) Trout is a great base-runner, Cabrera is a bad one.

          The combination of 2 & 3 outweigh Cabrera’s advantage in #1. That’s why Trout gets my vote, without even considering WAR.

          • Blublud

            Uh, check again. Trout had a negative defensive WAR I do believe. I’m looking it up now.

            • Drew7

              1) Advanced defensive statistics like UZR vary widely in small samples, and take a long time to normalize.

              2) You can’t possibly be arguing that Trout is a below-average defender, can you?

              • Blublud

                I’m just talking WAR. Trout dWAR negative. You can’t say Trout is MVP bacause of WAR then discount the value of it.

                • Drew7

                  1) Who the hell said “Trout is MVP because of WAR?” My posts have intentionally left WAR out of it.

                  2) Nobody is discounting anything. If you would like to understand dWAR and the different calculations, rather than simply being argumentative, read Doc’s post.

                  • Blublud

                    Right, but you replied to a post that was stating rather WAR should or shouldn’t be used to determine the MVP. So then you are the one off topic. ;-)

            • DocPeterWimsey

              It was negative based on Defensive Runs Saved, which is a context dependent stat. Trout did incredibly well in 2012 because he made multiple over-the-wall catches that saved at least one run then and there. As of August or so, he had not even gotten an over-the-wall opportunity.

              So, that makes it closer to Win Probability Added than it is to WAR.

              If you go by UZR (which simply reflects the range at which guys successfully make plays on balls), then Trout had a positive runs saved. That suggests that when Trout did screw up this year, it was ill-timed.

              The range-based estimates is more in keeping with the general philosophy of WAR, anyway: over the course of a season, it’s how good you are play-in and play-out that matters. As winning (and losing) correlate with overall net performance rather than “clutch” performance, this is where to look to see how valuable a fielder is (with “value” almost tautologically defined as increasing the probability of winning).

          • Blublud

            According to baseball reference, Trouts dWAR is -.9

            • Drew7

              3) Also, are you really going to use WAR to refute my (WAR-less) response to your post that was bashing it?

              • Eternal Pessimist

                I think where the WAR statistic misses a bit is the great defensive player who is kept from their natural (difficult) position by another player that occupies it.

                If Baez can provide excellent SS, 2B or 3B defense (debatable), but is blocked in each position, and instead is stuck on 1B, he would lose serious WAR value based on the position he occupies. I can see many situations where players WAR values are artificially inflated or deflated in this way.

                • hansman

                  But he also provides fewer wins above the replacement first baseman.

                  WAR isnt the perfect stat it was initially claimed to be but its pretty damn useful. At the very worst, it’s still more useful than batting average.

                  • Eternal Pessimist

                    “But he also provides fewer wins above the replacement first baseman.”

                    That is exactly my point. 1B is the hiding place for generally slow/poor fielding guys that Mash. His defensive ability there doesn’t gain him nearly as much as it does at SS where it is so difficult to find players solid enough to field and get you OPS+.

        • waittilthisyear

          if you played Cabrera in center, im sure his WAR would drop as well. and putting up the same numbers without speed is no more impressive that putting them up with speed. it’s a total package deal

    • jh03

      Blu, with all due respect.. you need to refresh yourself on WAR. Your understanding of it is quite wrong.

      Second, I’m not a big fan of defensive metrics. They’re useful as tools, but you have to combine them with what you see too. Trout’s defense in CF is top 5. Miggy’s D at 3rd is probably bottom 5-10. The difference in Trout’s defense and base running more than makes up the difference between Miggy and Trout’s offense.

      Look at it this way: A run saved is equal to a run earned. Runs = wins. Miggy earned more runs for the Tigers than Trout did for the Angels, by pure hitting. The gap is very small though. Trout’s defense saved runs, where Miggy’s cost the Tigers runs. Same with base running. Miggy is a base clogger and Trout is an elite base runner. Once again, Trout produces positive runs where Miggy produces negative.

      Trout nets more runs than Miggy does. Trout is more valuable.

      I didn’t use WAR to support my theory.

      • mjhurdle

        i agree with most of what you posted, aside from the fact that Trout is more valuable.

        However, i had to disagree with your assertion that Cabrera is a “base-clogger”. im not sure such a thing exists, outside of Dusty Baker’s reality.
        I can understand awarding trout points for speed, but i dont get penalizing Cabrera because he gets on base a ton, but isn’t that fast.

        • jh03

          Did you watch Cabrera in the second half? He was base to base no matter what. Yeah, he was hurt. That still counts for this season.

          And I’m not counting against Miggy for getting on base a ton. I’m discrediting him for his increased likelihood to GIDP, get thrown out on close FC’s, not having the ability to take the extra base – where Trout can. Miggy is clear below average base runner. That hurts his overall value.

          • kscubfan

            I love the conversation that everyone is having but remember the MVP is based on votes not stats. It will never be perfect, which I think is why they do it. Keeps people talking.

    • roz

      “War determines how much better you are then other guys at your position. It does not determine how much better you are then other guys in the league.”

      That’s completely wrong. Directly from Fangraphs: “Add in a positional adjustment, since some positions are tougher to play than others…”

      It’s scaled depending on your defensive position.

  • W_Francisco

    Kris Bryant, NL MVP 2017

    • TOOT

      Jumping the gun? But I like!

  • Sect209row15

    This kid is the reason I’m a Cubs fan. I will pay hard earned scratch to see him play. Also was at Wrigley yesterday and there is something going on with the structure beneath the upper deck. Lots of I beams and stuff.

  • Fishin Phil

    If I ever become as cynical as Kyle, I am counting on you good folks to throw me in the nearest woodchipper.

    • MichiganGoat

      You got puppet but before that I’ll make sure to soak you coffee, maple, bourbon, and chocolate so that I can use your corpse to brew a delicious stout, Dirty Puppet Imperial Stout.

      • kscubfan

        Save me a glass

    • TOOT

      Kyle goes strictly by the baseball book(Statistics), so he wants us to believe. He can’t refute the fact the FO has brought the Cubs to the brink of domination in the next few years.

      • Kyle

        “Fact” doesn’t mean what you think it means.

        • TOOT

          PLease clarify, I WANT to here this.

          • Kyle

            You want to “hear” it.

            You stated an opinion. You thought it was a fact.

            • TOOT

              Come on Kyle, I know i misspelled hear, lets not walk around my comment based on that.

              • mjhurdle

                maybe we should all just “read between the lines” more.
                Sometimes we don’t need facts, “reading between the lines” of stories is good enough proof, other times we demand legitimate proof.
                Strange that it always seems to change based on what people need to support their argument….

                • hansman1982

                  I hate you and your dumb, foul tasting avatar.

                  • mjhurdle

                    Almond Joy > Twix, and you know it.
                    You dont hate me, inside you are really hating the fact that you have bad taste in candy bars :)

                    • hansman

                      Mmm, do I change my long standing avatar to a delicious Twix bar and escalate the feud?

                    • Blublud

                      Sorry Hans, beat you to it.

                • Kyle

                  You threw some words together there, but you didn’t really make a point.

                  • mjhurdle

                    my bad, i thought the point was obvious.
                    the Cliffnotes:
                    We like to argue. We like to be right.
                    Often times, we will demand others support their opinion strictly when we want to disprove it, while later not apply the same standards to ourselves when we want to make a point.

                    • Kyle

                      I didn’t demand anything.

                      You are conflating a lot of things and misunderstanding a lot of other things and it probably feels to you like you are scoring some sort of point, but you are wrong about so many things on the way to it as to be meaningless.

                    • Kyle

                      Just in case this wasn’t clear to anyone who actually read the exchange, I never said that he couldn’t or shouldn’t post opinions. He simply labeled his opinion as a “fact” and I was correcting that notion.

                    • mjhurdle

                      That is your opinion, and like any things, it may prove right, or it may prove wrong.
                      I have never had a problem with your point of view Kyle. I do disagree with your tendency adopt an attitude of intellectual superiority simply because you are very good at supporting your opinion of how things might progress.
                      You are probably second only to Theo Epstien in the ability to spin events to support your view (and yes, i used him because you love to mention his ability to spin :) )
                      But no matter how well you support your opinion, it does not change the fact that all of us are trying to prognosticate based on limited knowledge of what is really happening.
                      Which plays to my point. All of us (regular and semi-regular posters) enjoy the back and forth here. We wouldn’t stay if we didn’t.
                      We also (presumably) like to feel that we “win” arguments.
                      Sometimes we can be so into being “right” that we are willing to bend our standards if we feel it makes our position stronger. But that doesn’t change the fact that, in the end, the likelihood is that none of us will be right.
                      hell, in th end, maybe Die Hard proves to be the most accurate of posters. What a kick in the balls that would be.

            • TOOT

              Again, the FO has DRAMATICALY shifted the problems of the past. You can’t deny this.

              • Brains

                two things – 1) your name makes me laugh like every single time i read it. that’s a major complement. 2) they’ve shifted the problems, into a rabbithole. now they’re deeper and more difficult to manage.

              • Kyle

                Well, they’ve certainly given us a completely different set of problems than the ones we faced five years ago, sure.

                • Murky Waters

                  There’s a huge difference between being cynical and being skeptical . I feel like Kyle leans more to the skeptical side . I think it’s because he’s a realist , which finding in Cubbie fandom is rare . I find him refreshing in the midst of reading some posters who at the start of this past season would say things such as The Cubs can be a wild card team. ha

                  • Kyle

                    I was pretty much leading the charge last year that the Cubs could be a wild card team.

                    Baseball’s a funny game and there’s a lot of wide differences in results. Last year’s team wasn’t completely devoid of talent and if they’d stayed healthy, gotten some breakout performances from talented young players and gotten insanely lucky, they might have had a shot.

                    • jt

                      The Cubs had crap at the start of 2013. They had crap at the end of 2013. The filling in the middle wasn’t too bad.

                    • Eternal Pessimist

                      I’m going to go out on a limb and say every MLB team could be a wild card team next year…and that is a FACT. (Print it!)

                  • mjhurdle

                    I don’t think that finding “realist” Cub fans is that hard.
                    I would argue that a majority of Cub fans are realists.
                    The differences in Cubs fans come from the interpretation of how future events will play out. That is something no one knows, and thus no “side” can say they are “right” about a particular opinion.
                    Most of us are aware of how the Cubs got to this situation, and most of what the Cubs are doing to rectify it.
                    The real question is how well what they are doing will work.
                    If you are inclined to be more cynical, you look up other failed instances, “read between lines” when convenient, and argue the inefficiencies of the current system.
                    If you are more optimistic, you recall Theo’s success in Boston, the impact of other super-prospects, the benefits of a stacked farm system, etc.

                    Which side will be right? probably neither. The truth will probably lie far closer to the middle of those two extremes, given that we are missing many of the variables that would affect the outcome.
                    But it is more fn to state an opinion as absolute fact and deride anyone daring to disagree than it is to admit we have *maybe* 50% of the data and are trying to predict 100% of the outcome.

                    • Kyle

                      You are going to *really* cling hard to that “read between the lines” comment.

                      I was explaining to those who may not be familiar with professional reporters how to understand what they are saying and why they choose certain words and phrases. It’s something that reporters sort of expect readers to know but they don’t always.

                      It wasn’t some sort of universal standard of how to divine truth from any source, ever.

                    • mjhurdle

                      im not clinging to it, but i do feel that it was a telling statement.
                      If you base your argument on a reader having to “read between the lines”, you are admitting to the fact that your opinions are biased, because individual people read things different ways.
                      By definition, people will read different things between the lines, because you are then at that point leaving it up to the readers ability to infer what you meant. Some will take it one way, some the other.
                      Doesn’t mean that there was nothing to your point, but rather that I never expected to see you saying that people should read between the lines, because you typically expect a very strong standard of proof from both other people, and your own posts.

                    • Kyle

                      You are stripping it of all context to mean something that it doesn’t. That’s why you find it telling.

                      I’m not saying “read between the lines and you’ll find out that what the reporter is arguing is true.”

                      I’m saying “read between the lines and you can understand what the reporter is saying.” Whether what the reporter is saying is true is a whole different discussion.

                    • mjhurdle

                      if that is what you meant, then i am wrong. I read that post as you attempting to validate a point because the reporter was, in reality, reporting something true if you read between the lines.
                      If you were simply saying that one reporter believed a certain thing, then i misinterpreted you.
                      apologies

                    • Kyle

                      It’s cool. Yeah, I was just explaining how reporters report. They expect readers to know what they mean, but it’s kind of a weird and stupid code.

    • Brains

      Kyle is way too thoughtful for guys like us. we can’t even accept that information from major newspapers and magazines might be more accurate than our rote speculations based upon each other’s blog posts.

    • Eternal Pessimist

      Where do you live??

  • X The Cubs Fan

    Cubs trade: Cashner, Maholm, Dempster, Garza and Feldman

    For: Anthony Rizzo, Arodys Vizcaino, Jaye Chapman, Christian Villanueva, Kyle Hendricks, Jake Arrieta, Pedro Strop, C.J. Edwards, Neil Ramirez, Justin Grimm, Mike Olt.

    • CubsFaninMS

      Don’t forget to factor in the years of control for each player. That’s also a significant factor.

    • Rich H

      If you are going to lock all the trades together like this do not forget to mention the Marshal trade. That one is still looking pretty good. One year of control on a back of the pen arm for a cost controlled number 3/4 starter and fringe guys. That one set the bar on long term value.

  • Brains

    the bright side of all of the cubs’ woes, and they often seem to only be woes, is that bryant is a legitimate contender to be a big success at the mlb level. where do we put him?

  • Ivy Walls

    I think we see at least two Cubs push themselves into the lineup next year, and another earns his way by the end. Pitching see’s and continuous improvement…and the naysayers will continue.

  • Kev

    Schwing!

  • mjhurdle

    Goat, not sure if you are on, but have you tried the Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale?
    Having some tonight and they are very tasty.

    • MichiganGoat

      Oh course a great holiday brew

  • mjhurdle

    unrelated from baseball, but wow, Baylor is good. About everything you could think going wrong for Baylor on the road against a good team has happened, and they are now up 28-20.

    • mjhurdle

      this is one of the best college football games i have watched all year.

  • Blublud

    Thanks for the motivation MJ

    • Blublud

      Damn Avatar not working

      • Blublud

        Ok. Yes it is

        • mjhurdle

          Your avatar is good, mine is better :)

          • jt

            Twix is for kids.

  • Blublud

    Since my Darwin Barney example didn’t work, Ima try one more.

    You have 2 guys on seperate teams , who have the exact same stats, on teams that have the same amount of wins, on teams that played the same schedule and even split there games against each other head to head. They even had identical dWAR.

    Player A’s WAR will be considerably higher than player B just simply due to his position and the other guys at SS not being as offensively gifted as the other 1st baseman in the league. But does that really mean Player A had a better season then player B.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      This isn’t the “Best Player” award, but the “Most Valuable Player” Award. As Player A contributed more to winning than Player B and as the definition of Value in Sports is contribution to winning, then Player A was more Valuable than Player B in that season.

      • Blublud

        Yes that means he is more valuable relative to his position, but his value to the over game of baseball, which is what the MVP award is about, is identical to the other guy.

        • Turn Two

          Mvp is most valuable to your team not to baseball. Player a was more valuable to his team because he performed as well as player b, but he did it at a harder positionto play and therefore actually did better.

          • Blublud

            That’s what I mean to the over all game. MVP should be determined by the value that each player provides to his team. Not by the value of their performance, relative to other players on teams not even in the conversation.

            If each player has completely indentical offensive stats, and just for the sake of this aguement, an indentical zero dWAR, then neither player did more or less than the other to help their team win ball games over the course of the season. Player A is only being rewarded a higher grade because the other guys at his position are not as gifted with the bat as the guys at player B position.

            Just because Player A plays SS, it doesn’t not mean his HR counts for any more then Player B’s HR. They both equal 1 run.

            If you really want a true stat that tells who the MVP is, the defensive WAR, which is still a very innaccurate stat, should only be seperated by 4 categories, P, C IF and OF. This puts every one at each spot on an even playing field and will ever award guys for playing a premium position, because the numbers, due to chances will be higher.

            Also, offensive WAR should be compared across the board, not by individual positions at all. No matter what position a player plays, their offense counts the same. Its not like a SS currently get 1.25 runs per HR while a 1B only gets 1. This will evenly distribute offensive and not award a guy due to other players at his position being weak.

        • roz

          “Yes that means he is more valuable relative to his position”

          No it does not. Stop saying this. It’s adjusted for position so you can compare anyone.

      • jt

        Should park particulars influence WAR?
        Was Willy Mays more valuable playing CF at the expansive Polo Grounds than he was at Candlestick?
        Was Yaz more valuable than other LF’ers because he learned to play the caroms off the Monster at Fenway and could hold many potential doubles to singles?

        • roz

          It’s park adjusted.

          • jt

            I see park factor being adjusted for hitting but not UZR?

            • DocPeterWimsey

              Which is the zone metric based on actual sighting data? That one would be automatically ballpark corrected.

              • jt

                ok, thanks

  • Joycedaddy

    With Bryant and the other big time prospects coming up how much longer do we hang onto Vitters and Brett Jackson? Until their stock is higher? I have no interest in either of them, I think it’d make sense to trade them for other flawed prospects at this point. On a random note, Brett I’d love to see a prospect review of Pierce Johnson, he isn’t winning the awards but he had a great season! I’m sure it’s coming soon, I just really think he has the chance to become a solid #3 pitcher for a very long time.

    • CubsFaninMS

      I would be surprised if we didn’t pull the plug on one of them this off-season, most likely Jackson.

    • Blublud

      While Vitters may not have lived up to expectations, he is still a decent player and there are still players in our minors worse than him. I can think of several players who should be released over him.

  • CubsFaninMS

    I was able to watch the last three innings of the championship game. Bryant flied out to left field in the 9th. Although the at bat was uneventful, it’s obvious that the bat whips through the heart of the strike zone very quickly and it’s not violent at all. Being someone who always uses cars as an analogy… Javier Baez’s swing is like a Ferrari. Very quick, dangerous, loud. Kris Bryant’s swing is more like a Cadillac CTS-V. Very quick and powerful but smooth, refined. I am higher on Bryant’s offensive production than Baez’s, although Baez’s production at a low-production position could make his value higher than Bryant, assuming both are equally as successful in the MLB. Anyone who wants to complain about the front office, just look back at where we were two years ago. Would you prefer Brett Jackson/Josh Vitters as your elite prospects or Javier Baez/Kris Bryant?

    • Blublud

      I agree, but this FO can’t take credit for Baez. Hendry drafted him.

      • CubsFaninMS

        That’s true. We could even swap Baez for Almora or Soler and it would still be a significant difference. Of course, there’s always the “after the fact” manner in which we are assessing Vitter and Jackson also. Two years ago they looked much more promising.

      • hansman

        If Baez becomes a productive big leaguer, half the credit should go to Theo and Jed for developing him.

        • Bill

          Sure, as long as you give Theo and Jed half the credit for not developing Jackson and Vitters.

          • Blublud

            This very true.

          • hansman

            Sure, considering the situations are identical.

            Although, Vitters’ book isn’t yet closed.

            • Kyle

              They aren’t identical, but the line between “Front office gets responsibility” and “front office doesn’t” has yet again conveniently drawn in such a way that they get credit but not blame.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                The front office took over three months after Baez signed. They took over four years and three months after Vitters signed, and two years and three months after Jackson signed.

                Very, very not identical. Just so we’re clear.

                • Die hard

                  Same argument used by Obama taking over for Bush– I voted for Obama twice but at some point a leader has to Own up … The time for FO to do so is here

                  • http://bleachernation.com d biddle

                    Are you saying that Obamo has owned up to something? What would that be?

                    • caryatid62

                      In case you hadn’t noticed, this site does a great job of staying away from stupid political posts.

                • Kyle

                  We all *definitely* agree that they aren’t identical.

              • Brains

                this brings up a more interesting wider point that i’ve been trying to figure out how to frame rhetorically: is purposefully losing the best strategy for winning?

                • ssckelley

                  No, but the only year I believe they lost on purpose was 2012, I think the team they put together last year gave the team a chance. With a better bullpen I think last years team could have looked a lot different.

                  Perhaps the question you are trying to figure out is blowing the team up at the trade deadline when it is obvious the team is not going to make the playoffs. I agree with the FO that if you’re not going to make the playoffs the final win total does not matter much. You might as well get what you can for players that will be lost to free agency anyway.

                  • Die hard

                    If losing on purpose is a strategy there ought to be an investigation. FO at times seems dysfunctional but I believe they want to win every game with a sight towards WS. How they plan to get there is a mystery but whodunits can be entertaining. No decent pitching long term could be an issue as well as if Castro and Rizzo don’t bounce back. With no sluggers on current 25 they may need to gamble on Bryant et al now

              • hansman

                Did I draw a line somewhere?

                They wont get all the credit for baez just like they wont get all the blame for Jackson. Seems like a pretty fair system.

                You’re just obsessed with folks not getting to high on the front office.

                • MichiganGoat

                  Well he is the Cubs Contarian so what else can we expect.

                • Kyle

                  Well, I’d be obsessed with them not getting too low, but I don’t seem to have to worry about that much. Gotta obsess over something.

        • Jim L

          Actually all the credit for helping developing Baez should go to Theo&Co, all Hendry did was draft him; Baez was spared the developmental hell that claimed Pie, Patterson and other positional prospects during the McPhail/Hendry era.

          • Die hard

            Credit or blame- at least they have to Own this one

          • Kyle

            So if Baez *does* flame out, does that mean it’s Epstein and Co.’s fault, or does it show they didn’t really inherit anything?

            • Brains

              the real question is why we haven’t brought vlad guerrero onto the bench and staff somehow?

            • DocPeterWimsey

              Blame, of course! If he flames out, then it will be because they rushed him and broke his confidence. Or they did not promote him quickly enough, which broke his confidence. Or because they did not have the manager keep Baez in the lineup long enough to adjust to MLB pitching, which broke his confidence. Or because they let the manager start him for too long after it became clear that Javier was not ready, which broke his confidence. Or because they didn’t have him work on recognizing pitches in batting practice, which led to lots of K’s and (wait for it….) broke his confidence.

              Let’s face it, they should just start setting aside dollar bills now to stick into the paper cup of the ruined, broken man who will be crouched in front of Wrigley muttering to himself because it will be all their fault for not doing the alternative instead.

              • Brains

                Kyle is finally breaking some of you down. Faced with harsh reality or fantasy, we lash out at the cold tundra.

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                  Somehow I don’t think Doc is particularly concerned.

                  • MichiganGoat

                    Um why are you replying to empty space?

              • MichiganGoat

                Hey Doc your post has this large empty blank space under it?

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  Really? I see the writing. I did use the “let only special people see it” font, though. I thought that applied to sentient goats.

            • hansman

              No. I’d then just post “I told you so” about 100 times

            • Jim L

              To add to what Doc said about the blame for Baez flaming out going on Theo&Co, not knowing when to trade Baez when his value was high, knowing full well that a Hendry positional pick was going to come with faults.

  • Teddy Ballgame

    Kyle you need to get laid or something dude, what a douche you are. You nitpick people’s comments and point out minimal faults in a statement instead of forming a logical opinion of your own. If you’re such a negatron about the Cubs, find a new team to follow and add to that fan base’s misery. Go out and find a “slumpbuster” and bang her (or him) or become a switch-hitter and use the other hand…

    • Pat

      Incorrect assumsumtions are not “minimal faults” in a statement. They kinda invalidate the entire position.

      • Pat

        Not even sure where the auto correct was going there. Assumptions.

    • Brains

      i think its fair to say that “brains” says pessimistic things sometimes, but i find Kyle to be the most optimistic cubs fan of all of you – he looks closely at the actual information, weighs probability, responds diplomatically to your comments. you all should be listening to him and jason powers when considering your own perspectives. and Brett most of all, of course.

  • Canadian Cubs Fan

    I’m SO tired of the Trout MVP bullshit. You can’t punish Cabrera for playing 3rd. Trouts team was puke, and Cabrera carried the Tigers into the postseason with a broken body.

    Tired argument.

    • Kyle

      “You can’t punish Cabrera for playing 3rd. ”

      That’s a very weird thought.

      • Mike F

        The comment below is not meant toward you or anyone but the drunken imbecile who threw out all that trash.

    • roz

      So Trout gets punished because his teammates suck? Doesn’t seem fair.

    • Brains

      people love WAR because it does all of the work for them. it quantifies players on a scale of roughly 1-10 and they no longer have to analyze stats themselves. it helps to assess players in a contextual holistic way, but it’s made fans lazy and annoying. Cabrera had this amazing non-roid 2-year stretch, and all people can talk about is a simple number that they were told to think about a player.

      • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

        But this one goes to 11!!![img]http://www.chicagonow.com/chicago-quirk/files/2011/11/spinaltap-11.jpg[/img]

        • Brains

          just for the record, i like WAR. i just don’t like how fans use it to judge players without appreciating what they do. only these days would people counter intuitively insult a guy who hits 30 homer and 100 rbi as insufficient, because a magic number told them so. tell me how a 100rbi guy doesn’t help the team.

          • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

            I agree.

            But I am not a WAR obsessed person.

            I love the game so much more when I don’t use statistics. But in the last decade, particularly, and since Bill James ignored security rounds and took up statistically discussions in the late 1970s, a bevy of people have created their measures to analyze players down to one number. It created this panoramic wall of number vomit.

            People get off too on showing off how much they know because of it. And it almost defeats the whole purpose of watching the game.

            Reason this happened for me: I started to in 2004, got pretty far, then ignored the down-to-one-number for a while. Starting doing history of baseball, researching the back stories, and trying to put statistics to that. But life gets in the way….

            Sometimes stats(WAR for one) has enormous use. but for many, it’s a way to play my d**k is bigger than yours games. Probably a good reason not to go to message boards.

            JMO.

            • Brains

              another brilliant post from Jason (Max) Powers! It even historicizes the use of WAR in baseball criticism.

              • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

                Just to be clear: I was only responding to you. Not this thread in general. Good day to you sir. ;)

            • caryatid62

              It sounds like the problem you have is not with the statistics, but with the way you believe some people you interact with use statistics.

              Those are two very different things.

              • Brains

                that’s exactly what i’m talking about. over quantification of one number interferes with holistic analysis.

                • caryatid62

                  Except people don’t really do that. Most of those who cite WAR do it within the context of other analysis. And those who do not aren’t worth addressing, because their issue has nothing to do with the use of WAR. If they were not stat people, they’d do the same thing with words like “grit” and “toughness” and “great teammate.”

                  WAR is a variable, like anything else.

                  • Brains

                    it’s just so interesting how here we have a guy with historically good statistics not as favored by WAR, and a great versatile player who works into our new experimental metrics well, and the scale of 1-10 completely influences our interpretation of how they’ve performed. the “old guard” know baseball, the “new guard” interpret traces of field performance in an abstracted form. and they’ve started to favor the abstracted interpretation over their own observance of play. the lesser interpreters simply let the 1-10 influence their opinion as though we’re doing a “hotness ranking” at a dating website.

                    • caryatid62

                      Just repeating your assertion doesn’t change the discussion.

                      People who cite WAR don’t do what you’re claiming. They just don’t.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      caryatid62 I think you must be replying to bullshit since my script deletes any bullshit and leaves it blank. But yes you are correct those if us that use sabermetrics don’t use it on an island.

                  • MichiganGoat

                    Well said except I can’t see who you are replying to

            • DocPeterWimsey

              No, we use it to play “My frontal lobe is better than yours.”. Oh, wait: you were using a metaphor. Never mind!

            • hansman

              No, the way you enjoy the game of baseball is wrong! It takes away from your ability to see the game properly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

              Sigh…….

    • DocPeterWimsey

      You also cannot credit Miggy with carrying the Tigers into post-season, because he did not. Yes, he was important: but take away even one of their big 3 pitchers in September, and the Tigers might not reach post-season. The Tigers won by a narrow margin, yes: but that means making any of the performances much worse takes them out of post-season.

      (Miggy himself was not too important “when it counted” simply because of injuries.)

  • Mike F

    Look what a GED will get you. Look out Freud Teddy is here. Move over Dr. Phil you have competition from Mr. Cool…. We now know the answer to who died and made you God…..

  • Brains

    I have an idea: Vlad Guerrero as a bench coach and backup player. He’s only 38! Plus he’s a genius.

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