Apologies for the much-later-than-usual Bullets. With the family doing the early Thanksgiving thing yesterday, that visiting time extended on through the morning, so I haven’t had a chance to break away until now.
- At FanGraphs, Jeff Sullivan polled fans of each team about their experience in the 2017 season – how’d they feel about it? Good year? Bad year? Fun year? The results are, of course, not purely scientific, but they’re interesting nonetheless. Before we dig in, I’d ask you: how do you feel about the Cubs’ 2017 season, now that you’ve got a little distance? Very good experience, pretty good experience, decent experience, pretty bad experience, or very bad experience? I know for me, it would very much be the “pretty good experience” response, which is totally unfair for a team that won 92 games and went to the NLCS for the third straight season. But the first half was such a slog and grind for fans, and the expectations were so high, that I can’t quite say it was the best of the best.
- You? What do you say?
- … in the FanGraphs polling, the average response was just shy of that “pretty good experience,” technically landing between that one and the “decent experience.” The teams at the top, in order, were the Astros, Yankees, Diamondbacks, Twins, Rockies, Dodgers, Indians, Brewers, Nationals, and then the Cubs. The fact that teams like the D-Backs, Twins, Rockies, Indians, Brewers, and Nationals all finished ahead of the Cubs really speaks to the fan mindset going into 2017, and to the impact of that sluggish first half. After all, it’s not like it was a great ending to the season for any of those teams, either. (It also speaks simply to the nature of Cubs fans, and what things are like the year after winning it all. Very little can make for a “very good experience” in the year after that.)
- There’s a lot more in there about how various fanbases viewed their season (fun stuff about how spread out White Sox fans were, for example (I think they had a GREAT year, for what it’s worth)).
- The Cubs will have a tender decision to make on a couple of their arbitration-eligible relievers this year (the tender deadline is December 2), with Hector Rondon projecting to get $6.2 million and Justin Grimm projecting to get $2.4 million. On the one hand, each guy has had extremely capable seasons in the very recent past. On that same hand, the Cubs’ needs in the bullpen are significant, and their depth is thin. On the other hand, each guy fell so far in 2017 (and/or 2016, in Rondon’s case) that it’s hard to say what you might get in 2018. In the end, I think the fact that arbitration contracts are not fully guaranteed through Spring Training could be the decider for the Cubs in keeping these guys around and tendering them a contract. You could at least see what they’ve got when they show up in February, and all you’d be out would be 30 days pay and the 40-man roster spot you used during the winter.
- A pretty cool look at the Cubs’ new office space at the north end of The Park at Wrigley:
— Chicago Tribune Biz (@ChiTribBiz) November 10, 2017
- I think most of these would leave Wrigley:
Bryce Harper has 150 career HRs… His spray chart is a thing of beauty. pic.twitter.com/BtcX5MP2y0
— Daren Willman (@darenw) November 12, 2017