wrigley plazaI wouldn’t call myself an Apple fanboy, but as I look around at my gadgets, it’s pretty clear that I’m committed. That said, I have a tip for Apple: when someone clicks to upgrade their iOS, give them an “are you sure?” chance to undo it. They might have, for one example, accidentally clicked “upgrade” because the damn prompt pops up immediately upon unlocking their phone and they are such a loser that they have muscle memory to click on a certain spot upon unlocking the phone – maybe because they were away from home and wanting to do something very quickly on their phone, and the spot they’re used to clicking happens to be the same spot as the upgrade prompt. Then, because there is no “are you sure” – like there is for virtually every other MINOR thing you want to do on your phone – said user is suddenly away from home and without a phone for the next 30 to 45 minutes or more.

  • As you would expect, Joe Maddon isn’t having players do anything crazy in advance of the playoffs, and instead wants them to just do their normal thing (CSN).
  • The new Wrigley Field plaza has a name! … a temporary name: The Park at Wrigley Field. The name is temporary because, as has always been expected, the Cubs will be selling naming rights to the plaza (Crain’s). Being that the Cubs are among the only teams in baseball that cannot easily sell naming rights for their ballpark, I don’t begrudge them this obvious opportunity for additional revenue (per Crain’s, a source of revenue that is technically separate from the Cubs’ organizational entity and thus not subject to MLB revenue-sharing). Though I do hope that they find the right fit for a partner. The plaza is expected to open next year.
  • ESPN has the umpire assignments for Game One of the NLDS, and notes that Jon Lester (NL Pitcher of the Month) has poor numbers in four career starts with Todd Tichenor behind the plate. It would take a much deeper dive to know whether that was just noise or if something about Lester’s style – obviously he does play at the edges of the zone – does not net him many extra strike calls from Tichenor. Anyone know an easy way to find those four starts so I could, if I was feeling extra nerdy, take a look at the strike zone maps for those particular starts?

  • BN’er Doc – you might know him better as Bender – is an actual doc and smart dude with numbers and math and what-have-you, and he put together a power point on some of the ways you might analyze the League Division Series match-ups based on recent and season performances. You should flip through for the nitty gritty (and a lot of subtle humor), but the short version is that, according to Doc’s research and calculations, the likelihood of winning a five-game divisional series is NOT especially well-correlated with season records – including the too-oft-discussed one-run games – or even season peripheral statistics. Instead, a team’s underlying statistical performance in September might be the best predictor of who wins a short-series LDS match-up. My instinct is that this year’s Cubs, having locked up their divisional situation for all of September, in practical effect if not technical, would be something of an outlier for this kind of analysis (though they do still look good against the Giants and Mets if you go by net OPS). Truly fascinating stuff.
  • The AL Wild Card Game is tonight – Blue Jays and Orioles – which makes for a nice, calm first playoff game for Cubs fans to enjoy. Then the NL Wild Card Game is tomorrow night, with obviously quite a bit more immediate impact to the Cubs. Then, you know … Friday.
  • If you’re looking to peruse any Cubs gear or just random Cubs stuff, there’s a shop at Amazon that collects everything Cubs. Sometimes I just like to poke around to see what kind of things happen to have a Cubs logo stamped on them.

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