- Although it is not a meaningful exercise in the sense that two teams aren’t coming for a divisional crown or a playoff spot, comparing the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox will always be among local folks’ favorite activities given the proximity. The intracity rivals have each had an excellent offseason by all accounts, and, while I contend that having a better team on each side of town is ultimately good for baseball in Chicago on the whole, many other folks want to see Cubs rock and the White Sox suck. I suspect that the White Sox probably won’t be as good in 2015 as some are hoping, and I think the Cubs will ultimately be the more compelling, competitive team. That’s just a gut reaction to the rosters as they were comprised before the offseason, and then the activities of each team this Winter.
- David Schoenfield offers a look at the Chicago Cubs versus the Chicago White Sox, and does so on much more than a mere gut level. Going position by position, Schoenfield stacks up each team to conclude that the Cubs look to be the better club, with more depth, more youthful upside, and fewer holes. To Schoenfield, the Cubs look like an 85-win team, while the White Sox are something closer to .500. I could quibble with some of Schoenfield’s individual selections, but not with the overall take. It’s a fun read. Now that the Cubs look to be turning a corner, I almost look forward to the many Cubs v. Sox pieces that will pepper our attentions throughout the 2015 (instead of loathing them, as I did last year).
- The projections thus far, by the way, agree that the Cubs look better on paper: FanGraphs has the Cubs with 84 wins, and White Sox with 78. PECOTA has the Cubs with 82 wins (though it should probably be a touch higher), and the White Sox with 78.
- Jesse Rogers with a fun interview with one of the writers of ‘Back to the Future 2’. Why, you ask? Because he’s the guy who wrote that the Cubs would win the World Series in 2015 – that reference you can’t seem to stop hearing.
- All right, Dexter. It’s OK with me if you take Luis’s number, but you have to promise to maximize batflips:
— MLB Jersey Numbers (@NumbersMLB) February 3, 2015
- Speaking of Fowler and the many discussions we’ve had about his outfield defense, here are a couple items that are both interesting and relevant. I always knew it to be true that Wrigley Field’s unique dimensions made for a smaller center field and a trickier set of corners, but this FanGraphs piece gives you the relative square footage figures to back it up, and this chart visualizes every ballpark’s dimensions stacked upon each other. Short version? Because of the wells in right and left field, the Cubs have the deepest corners in the game (down the line), but the third shallowest left center and one of the 10 or so shallowest right centers. Straightaway center is among the shallowest in the game, too, all told making for less ground to cover in center field at Wrigley than at 22 other parks.
- This is kind of a sales pitch, but it’s also fairly important for Chicago Cubs fans this year, and it’s something I actually use everyday: MLB.tv for 2015 just came out, and there is apparently a new player and new device support and all that good stuff. As a cord-cutter myself, I’ve become something of an MLB.tv junky over the past couple years. You can sign up for MLB.tv now for $129.99 for the season and Spring Training (if you use that link when you sign up, it supports BN in the process). You’re going to want to make sure you aren’t in the Cubs’ blackout region. For those of you who aren’t, and who aren’t going to be seeing the Cubs on WGN American anymore, MLB.tv and Extra Innings are going to be your only licit options for watching Cubs games this year. Welcome to the future.
- Everyone is a rival of the Cardinals, according to Will Leitch. (If the Cardinals add James Shields, I can only assume they’ll pick up another 10 top rivals, including a couple NFL teams.)
- Don’t forget: Luke and I will be live streaming here at the site at 7pm CT (8pm ET) this evening. Stop by with some questions and comments ready, and let’s have a little fun while we await the arrival of Spring Training.