new years times squareThis is the year, right? Giggle …

I hope everyone enjoyed a safe and fun New Year’s Eve, and is taking it easy today for the holiday. Every year, I want to have some good food on this day – because I’m sitting at home, mostly relaxing, and that gets me thinking about food – and every year, most places are closed today. I’d complain, but folks at restaurants deserve a holiday, too.

  • DocPeterWimsey

    Happy 2014, all. Geez, where has the century gone?!?!

    • hansman

      Can’t you skyentists slow time down or something?

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Only relatively. And it hurts like hell.

  • Steve Ontiveros’ Mustache

    Apropos of nothing… and only to get a giggle… I stumbled upon this line in a 2008 blog post talking about the Mariners should seriously consider sending Ichiro Suzuki to the Cubs for prospects… including Micah Hoffpauir and Randy Wells.

    “Micah is a future star,” and Wells and Hoffpauir “would be a great one-two punch in the Mariners’ system.”

    • MoneyBoy


  • bonger0493

    I’m stuck driving home from Southwestern Michigan with the in-laws. Poor me. I want a day if good food and madden25

  • woody

    Happy New Year. Won’t it be nice when spring training starts so we have some real news to comment on. Thanks Brett for all your hard work!

  • hansman

    Ya know, one of these years the cardinals just have to run into a terrible string of bad luck or something.

    And have it actually negatively impact their record.

    • On The Farm

      Yeah, but we’ll be dead so does it really matter?

  • jeff1969

    Anyone read my extremely long post yesterday about how the Cards drafted since 2000? Maybe not, but I said they had sold their souls to the draft devil in 2009. Happy New Year & happy to able to register for this site!

  • RWakild

    Ahhhhhh. Am a bleacher nation citizen now. Starting out the new year right. Go Cubs!!!

  • Brandon

    Happy New Year. Thanks Brett and Luke for all the info this past year, looking foward to a great 2014. Just moved to Spring Hill,TN…can’t wait to go watch the Smokies. Go Cubs!!!

  • Vic

    Happy New Year!

  • Jon

    BTW, in that 2009 draft, the highest pick the Cards had was 19th overall.

    And, some people still claim that “tanking” is the only way to build a farm system. smh.

    • Brett

      I have never heard anyone say that tanking was the “only” way to build a farm system. I have heard people say it’s an effective component of building a farm system in the post-new-CBA (2012) world.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        I’ve read it only as words put into someone else’s mouth. Er, put into someone else’s typing hands. Whatever: you know what I mean.

      • Jon

        I think the Cardinals prove that there is no direct correlation (or indirect) between rank of draft picks and success of farm system.

        • TimothyScarbrough

          A) There is a direct correlation.
          B) There is even more so with the hard cap under the new CBA, all of the examples of the Cardinals being so remarkably successful come before the new CBA was implemented.

        • CubFan Paul

          If not for the Cards ’09 Draft nobody would be saying “we gotta build STL..they’re the model”

          They got lucky in one Draft, now people see “rookies” making an impact and assume.

          • Jon

            And they got Wacha with the 19th pick a few years later. It’s not luck with them

            • CubFan Paul

              Getting Wacha that low was luck. He was on the top college arms that should of went Top 10…

              • CubFan Paul

                He was one of the top college arms that should of went Top 10

                • NorthSideIrish

                  In retrospect, yes he should have gone Top 10, but at the time he was only drafted a few spots behind projections. Pretty sure BA had him Top 10, but I believe BP, Law, and Sickels all had him in 14-18 range.

                  I really wanted the Cubs to take him or Fried at the time, so I remember reading a ton about those two back then.

                • Jon

                  He fell out of the top ten, and then 8 more teams also made the mistake, and it’s just “luck” that the Cardinals don’t pass on him? Sure. Believe in luck, vudoo, or what not, but they know how to find and develop talent without needed top 10 picks.

                • Jon

                  Jamie Garcia 22nd rounder
                  Lancy Lynn 1st round(39th overall)
                  Allen Craig 8th round
                  Kolten Wong (22nd overall)

                  But I’ll let y’all believe it’s all luck and smoke and mirrors by the cardinals.

              • jeff1969

                I hate, and I mean hate the Cardinals, but there is no denying they have been one of the THE smartest organizations over the past decade & a half. Are they perfect? No way, but using them as a model would do quite well.

                • Blackhawks1963

                  The Cardinals do everything right. It was that way under Jocketty and it’s that way now under Mozeliak. They scout, draft and develop talent exceptionally well. LaRussa was a Hall of Fame manager, Duncan the greatest pitching coach ever put on this earth. And Matheny seems to be carrying on the legacy just fine.

                  Yes, TheoJed are trying to emulate what perennially successful franchises like St. Louis, Boston and Texas do. It’s going to take more patience.

                  • FullCountTommy

                    Completely agree with everything you said, except the playoffs last year really made me question Matheny’s competence as a manager. I’m not a believer that managers make a ton of difference, but he became kind of a laughing stock by the end of the World Series (Farrell was equally bad).

          • Cey It

            Just glad they passed on Trout….. of course Shelby Miller will win multiple Cy Young’s for the Cards and then blow out his arm just after they let him leave in free agency.

          • jeff1969

            You are completely wrong. Go look at the Cardinals drafts since 2000, then start talking. Starting around 2005 something/someone either got much better at drafting or sold their drafting soul to the devil. 2009 is an outstanding year, but they had others that any baseball fan would be happy their team made. Here is part of my post from yesterday about this same topic:

            The Cardinals are in an envious position that’s for sure. They make mistakes too, Zach Cox (2009 1st), Brett Wallace (2008 1st) both come to mind.

            But when your 2012 1st Rounder is Michael Wacha, everyone notices.

            They’ve had some bad drafts: 2010 was very bad, didn’t even produce one bench role player, a back of the pen reliever, or anything tradeable yet. Probably won’t.

            Their 2008 draft outside of Lance Lynn(1st Round supp.) & Kevin Siegrist(41st rounder), wait a minute, retract. Compared to a year like 2009, 2008 looks weak but pretty much any team would take that as a return, along with the trade value of guys they used in trades from that draft.

            Their 2006 draft produced Craig, Jay, Shane Robinson, and guys who were either used to trade (Luke Gregerson, David Carpenter, Chris Perez) or have produced for other teams Ottavino (Rockies on waivers).

            Their 2007 draft has produced Kozma (#1) & Descalso along with a fairly long list of guys who have played in the majors but none as a regular outside of those two.

            2009 was incredibly good (Miller Kelly Carpenter Rosenthal Adams, and there are still a couple of other players who might contribute as something) almost like they sold their drafting souls to the devil that year.

            They used some of their mistakes like Wallace & Shane Peterson from 2008 draft (#1 & #3 round picks) along with Clayton Mortensen (#1 supplemental in 2007) to get Matt Holliday from the A’s.

            The Cards have been drafting really well starting in 2005. There were players picked from 2000 to 2005 who turned out but t seems to lack a consistent vision. Molina was a 4th in 2000, and there were a few players of note, though outside on Dan Haren (2001 2nd), no stars or super valuable trade pieces from 2000 through 2004.

            Do your homework Paul, who you crappin?

            • Blackhawks1963

              Cardinals own 11 World Series Championships. To include 2006 and 2011. They also made the Series and lost in 2004 and 2013. I’d say those guys are going something very, very right.

              I have traveled to St. Louis extensively on business. While I am a diehard Cub fan and loathe the Cardinals, I will openly admit that St. Louis is the greatest baseball city in this country. They live and die baseball down there. And they are a knowledgeable fan base who has always treated this Cub fan just fine in my multiples to the old and new Busch Stadium.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          One data point cannot falsify a correlation. A hypothesized correlation is, after all, the idea that (in this case) how quickly you get to draft and how good the ballplayers you get are not random with respect to each other.

          Doing what the 2009 Cardinals did is like having a team bat 0.320 with men in scoring position for a season or go 29-9 in 1-run games: i.e., something that won’t happen again easily!

          • Jon

            When was the last time he Cardinals drafted top 10? It’s not one data point, they have built a powerful farm system without the benefits of top 10 picks

            • Drew7

              2004: Chris Lambert
              2005: Colby Rasmus, Tyler Green
              2006: Adam Ottavino
              2007: Pete Kozma
              2008: Brett Wallace

              I’d say they probably could’ve benefited from having a higher pick in some of those years.

              • Jon

                Wallace netted them Holliday, so I’m not quite sure why he would be on that list

                • Drew7

                  Right, but they didn’t go into that draft thinking, “well, Wallace sucks at baseball, but he’ll probably fool people for long enough that we’ll be able to trade him for a good player later”.

                  The list was about the picks themselves.

      • 70’s Cub

        Every Cub FO move was an attempt to improve the Cub organization’s talent and system depth. This FO has not tanked one day on the job and I would not be shocked if they were working the phones today!

      • When The Musics Over

        Effective is a funny word. Sure, it’s an easy way to net high draft picks. But it’s also a really good way to alienate a fan base for what still amounts to hopeful outcomes. Especially when it’s employed for what could ultimately be 4 years in a row.

        As I’ve said before, I’m all for the rebuild and I like the guys the Cubs have netted with purposeful losing, however, I loathe when people ignore the drawbacks generated as a byproduct of purposeful losing (Arguello over at Cubs Den lives in a world where the negatives simply don’t exist and should never be discussed, which is an opinion that has nothing to do with my respect for him). Also, what Jon was getting at was that good drafts can happen outside of having a top 5 pick, something I think many people like to conveniently ignore.

  • ChrisFChi

    Happy New Year BN!

  • Idaho Razorback

    I can’t believe it was 14 years ago today that my Hogs beat Texas in the Cotton Bowl. I was in Las Vegas. Time sure does fly.

  • NorthSideIrish

    I think Kris Bryant has a preference for the Cubs pick at 1.4…

    Kris Bryant ‏@KrisBryant_23 14h
    @treavturner @riley_daddy I wouldn’t mind it! Trea is a stud!

    • CubChymyst

      Trea Turner would be an interesting pick. The guy looks like a legit bat with a good batting eye. He’d make a great lead off hitter.

  • Gray2

    Happy New Year Everyone

  • 70’s Cub

    Happy New Year Cub Fans

  • jimsez2u

    Testing 1 2 3…

    • Brett

      Didn’t work.

  • hawkfan37

    With all the position talent coming up through the minors, does anybody else notice that many of them are considered ‘power’ guys and not really ‘on-base’ guys (ie Baez, Bryant, Soler, and even Olt) The only true high average, high OBP guy I see coming is Almora. Does that worry anybody else? I mean just look at last year; the team hit for good power and had a lot of home runs, but Cubs were still 28th in runs scored. Home runs are great and all, but if we don’t have anybody on it’ll be tough winning games with only a couple of solo homers for offense. Hopefully I’m wrong and these guys will hit for both power and average and also be patient hitters, but I could also see it easily going the other way too. Just curious what you guys think, and Happy New Year everybody.

    • Voice of Reason

      The cubs haven’t won a world series in over 100 years.

      We have nothing to worry about.

    • woody

      I believe that Alcantara fits that role pretty well. To think of Baez, Bryant, Rizzo and Soler in the heart of the order sends chills up my spine. I read an interesting article yesterday predicting the demise of the defensive shift. And of all things the bunt is the thing that will bring this demise about. This brings Junior Lake to mind, as he really showed that as an aspect of his game. If you look at all the doubles that Rizzo hit last year and figure that Baez and Bryant will also get a lot of two baggers I don’t see a problem there. Add Castro to the mix and there should be base runners a plenty. I see a scenario were very soon Castillo could be batting in the 8 hole because of the depth throughout the lineup.

  • clark addison

    Happy new year to all, and looking forward to major league debuts of Baez, Bryant, and Hendricks in 2014.

  • Carl9730

    I remember ’09, while we were in a tight divisional race with STL, they traded Brett Wallace, who was their top prospect at the time, for Holliday. People at the time were a bit surprised that they trade some of their only legit prospects for only 2 guaranteed months of Holliday. However, a consensus developed that their minor-leagues system needed major revamping,so they might as well go for it. How quickly the overhaul occurred…. Also, knowing to trade Wallace at peak value is another testament to Moz and Luhnow. Who is our big gun that the mkt may “overvalue”?

  • honey nut sorianos

    Happy New year!

  • JAllman

    Happy New Year everybody. I enjoy reading this board but don’t post often. Can someone recommend a good primer to help me better understand saber metrics? I am not “old school” but I am a bit skeptical when some seem to rely on these stats too much.

  • http://BN Sacko

    Happy New everyone!
    By going through this registration is actually a good thing as it gives me more appreciation to post and be more aware of my verbal frustrations. Like anything I say is going to make any difference! Holy..Now, get Tanaka And Shark convinced to be Cubs for the next 5 years and I will feel a lot better about this off season.

  • Truely Blue

    Brett, Thanks for walking me thru the registration process which I personally screwed up. It was easy when you showed me how to do it. Ha!
    Happy New year to all BNers and lets cheer on our Cubbies!

  • Kevin

    Hello I registered but does anyone know how to get a photo uploaded?

    • http://BN Sacko

      Good question, I’d like to know that too.
      I see Aaron Harang is a FA, was he a Cub killer or is it just me? Seems like he beat us alot.

    • NorthSideIrish

  • ramy16

    Happy New year bleachers nation family..Hope everyone had a lets get to spring training

  • J. L.

    Deadspin has also put together an awesome collection of GIFs:

    I very nearly passed out with passed-out Rocky.

  • Blackhawks1963

    Happy New Year. Watching the Detroit-Toronto game at Michigan Stadium. Hockey doesn’t get better than this, but I digress to spend a second talking about my second favorite sport, baseball.

    Guessing Tanaka picks a team within 10 days (he’s headed to the Yankees). I’ll further predict the Cubs go hard after Ubaldo Jimenez. And get him.

  • TheRiot2

    2014 and the Cubs are coming.Hopefully much faster than these past two years,I’m tired of the snails pace.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Compared to most marine invertebrates, snails are very fast animals! (Like, infinitely times faster than most of them!)

  • mjhurdle

    Happy New Year everyone!
    looking forward to another great year with Bleacher Nation!

  • papa dunks

    First time poster. Did anyone just hear Jesse Crain signed with ‘stros?