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Tuesday Talking Points: Being loathed and paradigm shifts

Tuesday Talking Points: Being loathed and paradigm shifts

Happy New Year, denizens. The past year had its negatives, but winning the World Series is something that will always stand out as a bright spot, no matter what else happened in 2016. I recently watched the World Series DVD for the first time, and I have to admit, I was tense again like I was watching the games for the first time.

For me, and the rest of Cubs fans, the paradigm has shifted mightily and I'm not sure when that will fully sink in. Like John wrote last week, we are treading into new territory.

With that comes the reaction of the rest of the baseball world. We saw some of that in the time that followed Game 7, especially those who thought that the celebrating needed to be tempered after only a few days.

And that takes us to what's on my mind this week, so let's get to it.

Get ready to be loathed?

On Sunday I came across this piece from Matt Marrone on ESPN.com, and while resisting the temptation to react to just the headline, I actually found the gist of the piece entertaining and, dare I say it, a nice reminder.

Marrone was right in that a lot of things have changed now for Cubs fans. In the coming seasons, the hope is that the Cubs will continue winning at a very high level, and if that happens, the way the Cubs and their fans are viewed will be almost unrecognizable compared to where it was just a couple of seasons ago.

But the idea of being hated slightly misses the point for a couple of reasons. First, because I can't imagine Cubs fans anywhere care about that.

Why not? Over a century of failure and frustration. Years of 1908 jokes, Bartman references, people wearing goat masks to playoff games, and now we're the ones supposed to care how other fanbases think of us? Come on. And some of what he expresses about how Cubs fans are seen had already taken hold before the World Series title.

Namely, the idea that we'll suffer an onslaught of bandwagon fans or that it will be assumed that most of us are newly minted Cubs fans ourselves:

Everywhere you go, you'll see Cubs hats. Casual fans are annoying, and they are fickle. They will give you a bad name (completely undeserved, of course).

And in general, so-called "bandwagon" fans are an easy target, but we forget two things: Fandom has to start somewhere for everyone, and latching on to a winning team is a logical time for that to happen, and that it can't be expected that everyone will follow this team with the same fervor that many of us do. The die-hard Blackhawks fans have tolerated for close to a decade now the people like me who really only tune in to the postseason games.

The problem with Marrone's assumption here is also that people haven't already cast the characterization over Cubs fans that they are of the casual variety anyway. Wrigley has not-so-affectionately been referred to as a giant beer garden for a long time now, and even the current President has taken shots at Cubs fans when compared to their south side counterparts.

But in all, Marrone's piece struck me as good-natured and mostly tongue-in-cheek. We'll do our best not to be obnoxious about it, but at the same time, it's going to be a while before I'll forgive the guy in San Francisco wearing a goat mask or the guy in Cleveland holding up the "Bartman for President" and "Cubs '84 and '03 Chokers" signs.

In all, other fanbases have been laying it on pretty thick for a long time, so they can learn to tolerate exuberant Cubs fans for a little while longer.

Filed under: General

Tags: Being loathed, paradigm shifts

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    I don't have a problem with "bandwagon" fans either, Jared. To me a "bandwagon" fan is the one that says, "I'm not a Cubs/baseball fan but I am cheering for them in this game/series." I have no problem with the person who I simply didn't know followed the Cubs closely. Or wasn't as fervent all 2015-2016 as I was. Or things like that. It was pretty easy to ignore the Cubs from 2011-2015 (2016?). That doesn't make them "bandwagon" in my mind.

    In all I am super excited for the upcoming year. And I can't wait to enjoy "live" baseball again. And if that means putting up with some "bandwagon" fans--or fans of other teams might have to put up with me--then we can all get over that.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I didn't really notice the bandwagon fans this time, but I really noticed it back in 2003. At the time, I was in college at Southeast Missouri State. Mostly Cards' fans. I started noticing Cub hats coming out all around the campus and town after we took four of five from the Cards at Wrigley at the beginning of September. I'll be honest, I was a little annoyed because I was the kid that proudly wore his Cubs hat through the multiple 90 loss seasons.

  • We have endured like no other fan base, and have learned how to accept losing. We took each season one at a time, and will continue to do so. There are no fans' signs at Wrigley proclaiming how classy we are, nor self righteous fans having to proclaim we are baseball's best fans. We ARE baseball's best fans that have supported this team for decades. If there are bandwagon fans, great!! This team hopefully excited them to watch, and they will always remember this year. The Cubs.

  • Some great points here, Jared. First of all no, I could not care less if the Cubs are hated. Why would I? Most teams that are hated are uber successful and are so well covered by the media that a groan usually follows another piece on one of those teams. I get it. It is a bit nauseating to read article after article of the team du jour but I don't view that as real sports hate like you would build up with a rival. It's natural and normal. Bandwagon fans are also natural and normal. Unless you came out of your mother's womb with a Cubs hat on we're all bandwagon fans at some point. Maybe you came on board during a winning streak or maybe a playoff run but you came because something was exciting even that excitement came from parent simply taking you to the ballpark. My cousin hated team sports his entire life until teh age of 34 when he discovered the 2003 Cubs. He knew I was a huge fan so he would come over, watch games and pick my brain. We'd go to games together as well from time to time. He was one of the 5 million fans celebrating in downtown Chicago in November. Was it a bad thing that he jumped on in 2003? Of course not. The other kind of bandwagon jumpers are people who like an interesting and exciting story to follow. I don't mind them either because I almost always do that for nearly every sport's playoff run if one of my team's isn't playing. Everyone is welcome, well except Cardinals fans but they don't want any part of us anyway ;) .

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    In reply to TC154:

    +1000

    This is what I meant to say in my post but didn't phrase it NEARLY as well. Thanks, TC.

  • In reply to TC154:

    Well TC154, you've given me an opening to tell my story. I was not born a Cubs fan nor have I ever been a bandwagon fan. Back in 1956, I was a 9 year old that want to join the Cub Scouts. Sleeping in a tent and starting fires sounded very exciting to me, but we were a family of meager means and the uni et al was not in the family budget. One day my Dad came home and asked me if I would want to join the Cub Scouts or the Great Lakes Little League. My dad was in the Navy. I quickly responded in favor of the Cub Scouts since I had no exposure to baseball. The next day he signed me up for the Little League. "Come on Dad, weren't you listening?" Well I was placed on the Great Lakes Cubs and fell in love with the game and started collecting Bowman baseball cards (the TV screen set). Out of some sort of irrational loyalty to my Little League team I started following the Chicago Cubs and have stayed with them for 60 years. I don't believe I ever qualified as "bandwagon fan" with them. Bears, Bulls and Blackhawks ... yup!

    f
    loyalty to my little league Cubs I

  • In reply to Moonlight:

    As a kid, I was always a Cubs fan (third generation). Oddly, I was also an A's fan due to the loyalty of my little league team too. It was at the time the A's won 3 titles in a row in the early 70's, had the mustaches, and the cool, bright yellow and green unis. It was pretty easy to be a fan of theirs back then. I still have a fondness for them even 45+ years later.

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    In reply to Senator Blutarski:

    While many fans that grew up in or live in the Chicago area have obvious reasons to be Cubs fans. It is fans from across the country that latch onto the Cubs--or other teams--for almost random reasons that intrigue me. Even those with little or no family history of rooting for the Cubs.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Cable companies offered WGN in Montana. Most baseball people I met there were Cub fans. Some family followed the Twins, because of Harmon Killebrew. Most of my family, like Killebrew was from Idaho. But I saw plenty of Dodger and SF hats. We had about 350,000 of our 800,000 people who were relocated Californians.

    But what I will say is this. When someone doesn't even know the players who really work under that hat, I find the bandwagon annoying! I remember in 1979 when Pittsburgh won the World Series, and for a month, the P was everywhere. Cub fans are different because they are long suffering like Russia whose history has contributed a massive contribution in poetry, dance, literature, and music, where it seems everyone there is a musician, poet, dancer, etc, Cub fans have their own stories and history to tell. I don't think a Cubs hat is quite the same as many others.

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    In reply to Quasimodo:

    I grew up in Western ND, less than 100 miles from Montana. Cable companies here also carried WGN when they carried virtually ALL the games. I watched many games at my grandpa's knee. He was a Yankee fan, but when we watched the cubs almost daily they soon became our team.

    FWIW: I think many Cards fans outside of STL are "KMOX Cards Fans." That was the team that they could listen to. They got familiar with them. Pretty soon that was "their" team. Because, as is still the case, the broadcasters were partisan for the team so they would focus on their team.

  • I do not live near Chicago. I have a colleague from southern Wisconsin who is a big sports fan, including the Brewers. We always talk baseball and can agree on hating the Cardinals. Over the last few years we could agree that the Cubs were a compelling story. And the last time that the Brewers were a threat to contend I felt the same way about them - better than the Cardinals at least. I know he was pulling for the Cubs during the 2016 playoffs. When I saw him right after the NLCS, though, he said he wasn't sure he could be for them in the Series. His reason? "Do you know how obnoxious Cub fans in Milwaukee for the Brewers games are going to be if they win the series?" I cracked up. He did come around, but for the last time I bet.

  • I will be celebrating the championship until the cubs are no longer the champs, but I will always remember the yearlong ride.

    Excellent point that fandom has to start somewhere.

    And while it is annoying that the days of grabbing a $10 bleacher ticket the day of at the ticket gate is long gone because of tourists and/or people wanting to drink expensive cheap beer in the sun, I'm not sure how only going to a game when your team is good is an indication of being a true fan...

    As for being a despised fan, does anyone think patriot fans care what other fan bases think? Yankees fans? Or bulls fans during the 90s?

    If I'm ever asked to prove my fandom, I refer back to the 1997 cubs, who started out 0-14, yet I knew were destined for the world series.

  • In reply to 2Toes:

    "Expensive cheap beer". Boo!

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    Unknowledgeable fans are annoying at the games. Otherwise, who cares?

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    In reply to Brad Lyerla:

    I saw first hand when I went to a couple games at PIT this summer (Yes, I saw the Cubs at their lowest point). I was embarrassed by some of the fans in Cubs jerseys and Cubs hats. For me the greatest compliment I got was when the Pirates fans sitting next to me commented, "It was nice to watch a ball game next to a BASEBALL fan." They were surprised that I knew things about Josh Bell and Gregory Polanco and had nice things to say about McCutchen and Marte.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    That is an indicator of a true baseball aficionado! There are players I admire with a passion because of who they are as a player. Most players do not play for their childhood dream. I dare say I have even really liked some Cardinals.

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    In reply to Quasimodo:

    I absolutely like some Cardinals. Albert Pujols was one of the best players of his generation in my opinion. I very much respect Stephen Piscotty. While I think Matt Carpenter is very self-righteous I would love what he brings to the table.

    I hate them when they hurt the Cubs. But I admire them very much as players.

  • In reply to Brad Lyerla:

    Correct, and every fan base has their share. The White Sox, Cards and Met each hit a double portion of them.

  • Kinda annoyed you linked the Matt Marrone piece and I read it.

    Amazing how ESPN and Yankees fans find ways to make everything about themselves.

  • For those who don't have the DVD and want to see that final game again, it's on youtube: https://youtu.be/w58N8X5uZ1o

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Until I watched the 7th game on the WS DVD, I didn't know that KB's foot slipped (on the wet turf) on the throw for the final out. Ben Zobrist commented that he saw the slip, saw the ball start to sail, and prepared for the worst.

    So, now i KNOW that all of the curses are finally behind us.

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    In reply to DropThePuck:

    I remember they asked him about it and he said he thought, "Really? Is this Really going to happen NOW?" Apparently he thought it was possible the throw would sail. And possibly if it had been a regular throw from 3B it would have sailed.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I recall watching it live and I immediately noticed the huge smile on Bryant's face as he was fielding the ball. Of course it was only a split second, and lots of other thoughts were going through our heads at the moment, but I remember thinking in that moment, knowing this will be a "where were you when Kennedy was shot" iconic event, " Is Kris Bryant smiling as he fields this ball?". I don't know who had a bigger grin, me or him.

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    In some ways I am happy it was a "running" throw. I read an article and it pointed out he has more trouble with "sailing" when he has plenty of time and simply "flings" the ball. The analogy they made was of a shooter suddenly faced with a wide-open 3-pointer. He takes his time, sets his feet. Aligns himself just right, and clanks it off the back of the rim. Yet, he can catch it, spin, leap and shoot all in one motion with nothing but the bottom of the net. Because he had to make an athletic play he was able to make it relatively cleanly compared to if he tried to field a ball in his normal position.

    I think he was smiling because he knew this was it. It was all over. And they were about to have the party of a lifetime (or two, or four).

    Honestly, when it first happened I didn't interpret it as a smile. I thought it looked like a grimce and thought maybe there was more effort than I initially realized. Now, when I re-watch it, though, I realize he was smiling.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Seriously, each and every time I've watched the replay I've expected that "this time" its gonna sail over Rizzo's head, allowing Perez to hit the walk off.

  • My daughter gave me a decal for the holidays that reads, "I was a Cubs fan before it was cool."

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    In reply to clarkaddison:

    I got my 10 year-old grandson a WS t-shirt for Christmas. My daughter got me a picture of the infield celebration. He studies the photo for a bit and comments, "That was the hug of the century right there."

    I told him, yes it was. He thanked me for the shirt and commented on the number of new Cubs fans in his class, he lives in small-town SW Missouri in what was traditional Cardinals country until the Royals won. He tells me he is a Cubs fan from the start and comments on the state of bandwagon fans in his class.

    Gotta love the kid. He only has an inkling of what Cubs fans have gone thru, but he is now hooked. His final remark was, "Once you're a fan of a team, you're a fan of that team for life. You don't switch back and forth."

  • In reply to Julie Willson:

    You said that well. I have no problem with new fans. But I am loyal. I don't think people who root for one winner, then the next, are true fans.

    I read the article Jared linked, and agree it was tongue-in-cheek. To heck with what others think of us. We have put up with a lot, and deserve our moment in the sun. Nobody can take this away. Ever.

    I've traveled the country and seen bandwagon fans. College football is probably the worst. Now I have a new dilemma. My whole life, when accused of being a fair-weather fan, my response was a dead-panned "I'm a life-long, die-hard Cubs fan". That always ended any discussion of my level of loyalty. To people who know baseball, I liked to offer "have you heard of Tinker to Evers to Chance? I've been a fan since DeJesus to Trillo to Buckner". Now that lovable loser innocence is lost, and I say "good riddance".

    I am a Cubs fan. I have suffered a long time. I will not become "that" arrogant fan, but I refuse to repress my elation. I know, deep down in my heart and many of yours, the satisfaction is more rewarding after decades of worship. GO CUBS!

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    If people follow sports at all saying you are a "life-long Cubs fan" should still carry weight when discussing if you are a "fair-weather fan."

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Yeah, that still carries weight. The 108 years, goats, and black cats narrative is gone, but we still have a way to go to begin being cocky.

    Cherish this moment, ya'll. It feels devine, and we don't know when it happens again. But don't let anyone shame you into feeling bad for feeling good.

    That's one of the benefits of being a long-suffering Cubs fan. Victory was that much sweeter. Everyone can take it their own way, based on their level of fandom and/or obsessiveness. I'm ecstatic.

    You and I have had some discussions about being introverted, Joel. I'm a chameleon, adaptable to any circumstance, but left to my own terms I'm an introvert. I remember back in Spring Training 2016 I said I felt "this is the year", and I didn't know how I'd react when we won it all. I do remember, even back then, saying it was very possible I might stay home to enjoy it solo. I love a party, but the possibility of the Cubs winning the World Series would be an experience I'd want to enjoy on an almost spiritual level. I recall expressing these feelings of wanting to be alone, and being told to go join the party. I needed to be by myself to fully experience the gravity of the moment.

    You've told a lovely story of your wife and daughter on the night we won. I watched the Cubs win the World Series with my 15-year-old "rally dog". No distactions. Again, as much as I like a party, this was too personally emotional. It was all perfect.

  • Nice job Jered. One way to learn to be a good winner is by learning to be a good loser. Cub fans have had lots 'fieldwork' at that. Bandwagon's entertainment $$ are as good as that of a Die Hard. The Americana draw of Wrigley and Wrigleyville served the Cubs well during the lean years. It's 2017 and I'm still waking up with a smile. Cubs are World Champs!

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Sorry Jared not Jered.

  • its funny to me when I see people say, "..because of what you did or are doing, it makes all other fan bases hate you". guess what? I dont care. its not my job to make sure you like the Cubs or any of its fans. thats a you problem. if you dont like it. good, I prefer you dont

  • read the espn article and PLEASE, OH PLEASE, I hope Cubs fans chant "twen-ty, eleven" to the cardinals when they play at wrigley this year..

  • Include me with those who truly don't care what fans of other teams think of Cubs fans. There are no fans in baseball more deserving of a great team - none. Complaints to the contrary are petty and childish.

  • I like to do lyrics. Sometimes I try to match them up with the topic at hand, and sometimes we just have fun. This one is a little tricky, although the overall theme of the song matches the indifference we will be feeling from fans of other teams. We need to chill:

    "Oh, come on and kick me
    You've got your problems.
    I've got my eyes wide.
    You've got your big G's.
    I've got my hash pipe".

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Your comment's a day old, so I'm not sure if you'll see this message...but I see what you did there, and I approve.

    While re-watching game 6, I was reminiscing my recap of a 2014 game where I used lines from "Falling for You" to describe my man crush on Jake Arrieta. Who knew at that point that he'd win two games in this year's World Series? You'll always get a thumbs up for a weezer reference from me.

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    Hey Urge, glad to see a lifesign from you!

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    In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    I noticed I hadn't read anything from him in a while too.

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    In reply to BarleyPop:

    I like that song.

  • The day I take advice from a Yankees fan (i.e. Matt Marronne) is the day I kill myself.

  • In reply to Oneear:

    +1 (tongue in cheek)

  • I have always found the discussion surrounding "bandwagon" fans to be an interesting one.

    Thanks to my love of the Cubs, and this website in particular, I follow the Cubs closely and feel relatively knowledgeable about the team. However, when it comes to the Bears or Blackhawks, I will freely admit I simply do not have the time to watch them religiously due to family and work obligations. As a result, I am at times, in football or hockey, a "bandwagon" fan as I tend to get more interested if the team is winning.

    The Cubs fan that shows up when the team is winning, and is respectful of the game, I embrace with open arms.

    The "fans" I loath, and they exist for all teams not just the Cubs, are the disrespectful or disloyal fans. They could be at the park whether the team is winning or losing--ignoring the team, ignoring baseball norms, and ignoring general decorum. "Disrespectful" because they didn't understand the game and don't even appreciate their lack of understanding like someone showing up at church and talking loudly or the person on his or her cell phone at a memorial service. "Disloyal" in that they give up easily and don't understand the up's and down's of baseball and how it parallels life.

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    In reply to carmonfanzone:

    I hate those fans too. And they think they will "impress" everyone around them by being the first one to "pounce" on Bryant if he has a bad game and insisting he is "over-rated" and "not nearly as good as..." Have some knowledge. Have some respect for the players--on BOTH teams.

  • Any fan who was willing to put up with the grief we would've gotten had the last Cleveland batter hit a HR instead of grounding out is a true fan.

  • I first got dragged to see Cubs game in 2005 by sweetheart who lived on Addison... "Why on earth did I want to watch a sport I've never played...?"

    Very quickly she noticed that my transatlantic trips were based around homestands.

    After discovering Cubs Den, transatlantic trips had to correspond with suitable Cubs and KC Cougar homestands, and extended into early spring trips to Mesa.

    She kind of forgave my shallowness when I got us into Wrigley Field for WS Game 5. Sadly I could only get 5 days leave from my Kuwaiti client for the World Series, and flew back to Kuwait the night after game 5.

    Fandom has to start somewhere, even if you have no connection with the team or the city.

    Perhaps the nicest thing I personally experienced after the Cubs got to the WS and then won was the text messages from people who I had never spoken to about the Cubs but respected me wearing that Cubs training top nearly every day over the last 11 years, through thick, thin and famine.

    I still feel elated. Lord knows how those of you who were lifelong sufferers felt.

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    In reply to Hustlelikereed:

    Great story!

  • In reply to Hustlelikereed:

    "Fandom has to start somewhere, even if you have no connection with the team or the city."

    Great statement! The kid who only comes to see home runs today could be a Sabermetrics freak tomorrow. Fanship, like friendship, develops over time and in a different way for each individual.

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    I got the 8 disc WS set & all it is the games. No highlights, interviews, fans, etc. Yeah, having all the games is cool, but I can re-watch those on MLB.TV.
    Does the 1 dvd have all that stuff? It would be greatly appreciated to get a response.

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    In reply to Wrigley0923:

    there is one about 90 min long and it has some interviews and back of the scenes celebrating too. I don't know if you get CSN in Kuwait but they have had a few programs that detail that. I'll bet you can access them.
    I know that Cubs Den is world wide, I didn't think that some Denizens were in Kuwait--welcome!

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    My grandfather moved to LA from Guatemala in the 1970s and my dad followed shortly thereafter in the 80s. He was there for the 88 dodgers WS and had followed the team since the 70s. I was just a kid when we moved to Chicago in 1995 and lived close to Wrigley basically at Grace and Elston. My dad took me to a Dodgers @ Cubs game in 1998 when I was 6 years old. I didn't really understand baseball at the time other than winning/losing/home runs. I told my dad if the Cubs won I'd have to be a Cubs fan because we lived in Chicago now. The Cubs won 2-1 that day and Sammy Sosa went on to have a crazy season. I was hooked. I guess I jumped on the bandwagon because the Cubs won that day in April 1998. My dad is still a dodgers fan (and goes every year to see the Cubs/Dodgers series...he wears a Dodgers hat with a Cubs shirt) even after living in Chicago/Illinois for the last 21 years and I have a soft spot for them. The NLCS was interesting as my dad and I are both baseball fans in general and can appreciate the other team. He was beyond happy the Cubs won and you could tell he was struggling with who to cheer for.

    As for annoying "bandwagon" fans: I now live in Seattle and let me tell you about bandwagon fans......Seahawks and Sounders are recent champs and they all became fans. I'm a casual bears fan but follow the NFL since I play fantasy football. My co-workers kept getting blown away at how much I knew about the seahawks even though I'm from Chicago.

    During football season they all wear jerseys on Fridays and call it "Blue Fridays". One Friday I told someone I liked their Thomas jersey and he was like, "oh I don't know who that is I just borrowed it from my friend." And that is what it is like to be bandwagon fans. I can appreciate new fans than learn the team and learn to follow. But the people that hop on and wear a jersey just to wear a jersey bother me.

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    My favorite Cardinals:
    1) Dex
    2)The bird

  • I really didn't get the article. Lame in my opinion. Where is the hatred of the Giants and the Royals? Why should something be said about the Cubs joining the Yanks and Red Sox? Seems like a reach to make something out of nothing.

    Of course every fan base will have some over the top blowhards who spout off because "we are the champions" and will lead to some blaming all Cubs fans are like that. But from what I have seen thus far, Cub fans are not doing this type of braggadocio move. Much like my Giants friends and Royals friends--keeping it classy.

  • There's that old quote by George Herbert that goes like this:

    "Living well is the best revenge".

    Just let the dislike and animosity roll off you,... Enjoy what you have and where you are headed.

    I intend to do so as long as this runs.

  • That is a really great quote. I intend to do likewise.

  • It's looking like the rangers are gonna sign tyson ross.Talks are advancing between his camp and texas reports the rangers beat writer

  • In reply to bolla:

    Good. He is not healthy yet and when he does get healthy who knows how he will pitch. I would like to see how Zastrynzy does if they throw him in the rotation.

  • Traveling across the Midwest over the holidays I realized after the fact that wearing my 20 plus year old Cubs cap demonstrated I was no "Bobby come lately" fan and one who experienced the whole package. The first despised expression came in IA City on the way to Chicago on I-80 as I came across a smitten and defiant StL Cardinals fan sporting an old Cardinals T shirt where when I walked by simply pointed to my cap and she just glared and exclaimed I hate Cubs fans! It used to be that Cardinals fans simply patronized us, now well they know.

  • I don't care if fans hate the Cubs bc they are good. I just hate when the "new" fans go around bashing other fans or teams & give the knowledgable & respectful Cubs fans a bad name. Everyone remembers how annoyed many were by CristianPs comments. There are tons of Ps commenting on almost every baseball story now. I know every team has them, but I think the World Series win funnily released these individuals from their baseball commentary pergatory

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    In reply to Bamacub:

    Honestly I didn't find ChristianP to be offensive in the posts I read. The ones I read--certainly not all--he disagreed with people but was willing to give reasons (which we were free to disagree with).

    But, yes, winning has suddenly released many unknowledgeable fans from baseball purgatory. What drives me nuts is when they start bashing the Cubs despite only really following them for a year or so. Yes, Bryant will strike out and sometimes it will happen with guys on base. It is a small price to pay for the other things Bryant brings to the table. Yes, Lester will lose his cool on the mound and start jawing with the umpire. But he has shown the ability to throw 200+ IP in his sleep so sit down and let the season play out.

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    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    +1000

    I have no problem w ChristianP or others voicing their opinion as long as they are willing to be humane about it. I feel sometimes some posters let their emotions get the best of them along w them wanting the team to win soooooo badly, I commend the guy because he was saying what many were thinking but didn't want to say out loud, and most of the time he had reasons for his opinions. ( rt or wrong).

    There are big picture fans, there are the fans who live and die w every pitch, there are fans who want things to go according to a book/manual, ect. Thats what makes baseball so great, there are sooooo many different ways to dissect and analyze the game as the writers here at Cubs den have showed us for the better part of this decade.

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    In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    The thing I value about those who give dissenting voices is that it prevents this board from becoming an "echo chamber." I do demand that people give reasons and that those reasons be coherent. But beyond that I have no trouble with someone disagreeing with me. I have no problem with others correcting me. Some of my favorite exchanges on this board were between a few people who passionately believed what they believed and were able to use appropriate data to back up their point of view. Then the other side would give reasoned critiques of it and provide data to support their views. I remember one exchange (though I don't remember who was involved) where at the end of each post I said, "That is what I believe." Then the other side would post and I found myself agreeing with them. But it was done civilly, with respect. There was no "name-calling" or casting doubt on the other's intelligence, competence, knowledge base, etc.

    I am always intrigued by the 1 person who stands up and says, "The emperor has no clothes." It is a danger on a board like this that "group-think" can take hold. Again, I am dismayed by those who simply operate as "provocateurs"--the politically correct word for "trolls--unless they express that they are playing "devil's advocate" to stimulate discussion. Those that are simply "contrarians" who "don't care what others think/believe/want" are really irritating to me.

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Agreed re Christian. There were people who took issue with him whose posts, quite frankly, were much more antagonistic than his were.

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    I have been a DIE HARD Cubs fan for 50 years since Little League in Elgin.

    I will Celebrate the Cub World Series Championship for the rest of my life.

  • In reply to Ironman McGinnity:

    Although I know I watched some games with my Grandpa before then, I didn't really become a real 'fan' of the Cubs until ~1973 or 1974. Was about 8 or 9 at the time,....

    This last season has been a long time coming from anybody's perspective - over 40 years of active fandom for me. Agreed Ironman,... even if the Cubs manage to win a couple more WS before they have to rebuild/reload again post Rizzo/Bryant/Russell/Baez+ - this season and WS win is always going to be special.

  • Jeff passan reported the rangers and cubs are the favorites to sign tyson ross.Rangers don't want to offer more than one year,both clubs talked to ross yesterday.

  • In reply to bolla:

    If that's the case I would think Ross would sign with Texas all things considered. I can't imagine the Cubs would want to sign him to a 1 year deal, basically have him for 1/2 a year and then have him go to FA, whereas Ross would likely want that 1 year deal, prove himself and get a big deal next offseason. I would think the Cubs would be looking at something like 1 year with a club option, the first year with incentives.

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    In reply to TC154:

    I could imagine the Cubs wanting to do a "club option" but I can also imagine them signing him to a straight up 2 year deal (with maybe a 3rd year option).

    The rationale would look something like this:
    Let's say Ross signs a 1 year contract (really a 1/2 year) for $10M since there are likely serious questions about his health. He comes back and is stronger than ever. Next offseason he gets a deal worth $20M. Total value $30M. But then, let's say that he pitches really poorly and goes downhill in a hurry. Then, next year he gets a contract for $8M from a rebuilding team just looking to get a "name" on their roster. Total value: $18M. What if a team comes out and says, "We'll give you a 2/$22M contract" effectively splitting the difference. Maybe even have it "front-loaded" so they have a little more in the off-season next year. Possibly with a team option for an additional year at $17M with a $2M buy out or something like that so if he becomes really good he will get a substantial raise, or pocket $2M and go out looking for another job.

    I don't know that this could work but I think it would be worth exploring and my numbers may be off. But the Cubs could take advantage of an enormous amount of financial flexibility this upcoming season. If they can do this then they go into next off-season with Lester, Hendricks, Ross all under contract (not a bad 1-3). Suddenly we can try to sign Arrieta and make Ross the #4 (again, not bad). Then we just need a BOR guy. We can fill that internally (Montgomery, Zastryznye (sp?)) etc but these guys come cheap. Arrieta is forecast to make about $16M in arbitration. Add that to Lackey's $16M and that is $32M. We can then use that $32M to sign Arrieta to an extension (or someone else for that matter). Then use the savings ($14M) from Montero leaving (possibly) to allow us to give normal raises to our young guys and maybe bring in some more role-players.

    In short, having a guy like Ross under contract for a couple years can be REALLY handy at this point. Especially if we can get him for a discount by guaranteeing him something. If he just wants a 1-year contract I would consider signing him and then that money is available at the end of the season. I believe the Cubs are trying to stock-pile as much money as possible for a HUGE off-season next year. But having Ross coming back toward the end of the year could become the "6th starter" that Maddon has said he wants to have in August and September.

    If we have the cash we might as well sign him. He could pay big dividends if he works out, even on just a 1-year deal.

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    In reply to Joel Mayer:

    So sign Hammel 1 yr to pitch 1st half, trade him, & Ross takes his place. Never happen, but would be cool. Especially if Bosio could figure out Ross.

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    In reply to Wrigley0923:

    I was very surprised by the fact that we let Hammel go as he was likely to be worth his salary relatively easily and we might have even gotten away with giving him a qualifying offer.

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    I would like the Cubs to sign Ross, even if it's a one year contract. The Cubs have made a lot of money for pitchers over the years and who wouldn't want to pitch for the WS winners? I understand the Rangers have a good team but we have the best team and the best city too. How about the headline "Tyson Ross wins game 3 of the WS today".
    As for all the Cubs fans who come late to the party or are doubtful and have been, these are a new team, different players, much more talented, etc. When people have said to me in the last year or two that the Cubs would blow it, I just told them that's this is not your Cubs of old, just watch them.
    But teams do fail, and I'm sure teams in LA or SF or Cleveland are questioning their teams after the 2016 year. Stuff happens, this year it didn't happen as much to the Cubs--thank you rain delay and JHey and Kyle etc!

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    While all this talk about Tyson Ross is being crammed down our throats by the media, I believe the opposite will happen. A decent trade for rotation depth, or a trade that will p.o. a lot of people at first.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    I'm not sure what this has to do with the media. Signing Ross simply makes sense especially considering that they have tried to acquire him on more than one occasion in the past. As far a trade goes I sure hope we don't trade assets for rotation depth. Your assets need to be used for impact pieces which is of course what the did in trading for Chapman. If they could still pull off a deal for a Chris Archer or even a Sonny Gray (if their scouting shows 2016 more as an outlier than it is predictive) I'm down with that. I realize that will hurt, probably hurt a lot, but that makes sense. If you're looking for depth though someone like Ross makes a ton of sense especially considering the confidence they have in Mike Montgomery.

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    In reply to Wrigley0923:

    Remember, it is the off-season so "the media" is going to write about things that might be of interest to readers (and deliver advertising dollars). As you acknowledge, this doesn't mean it is what the Cubs will do. Sometimes "where there's smoke there's fire" and sometimes it is just "grist for the rumor mill."

    My thought is that there can be a mutual interest from Ross and the Cubs and they can agree on a price. There is also the possibility that Ross wants more than the Cubs are willing to pay. Really any contract is a gamble, a bet on both sides.

    My gut tells me that the Cubs aren't going to sign him. Not that he wouldn't make sense but I think he is thinking in terms of maximiizing his financial potential--which is his right--and I don't think the Cubs are interested in getting into a high priced bidding war with someone who is coming off an almost entirely missed year. What the Cubs seem most interested in is having as much money AND roster spots as possible next off-season. Even if they don't win the WS but make the playoffs they will be an appealing team for a veteran looking to "add a ring" to his resume. Maybe sign a multi-year deal with an "opt-out" so he can leave and try to get a ton a cash again. But my prognostications rarely come true. I can often spot trends (trying to maximize their budget for next year) but lousy at predicting specific signings/acquisitions.

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    Baseball America's top 10 Cubs Prospects.

    Some familiar and some very familiar names ( thanks to John)

    1. Eloy Jimenez, OF

    2. Ian Happ, 2B/OF

    3. Albert Almora, OF

    4. Dylan Cease, RHP

    5. Oscar de la Cruz, RHP

    6. Mark Zagunis, OF

    7. Jeimer Candelario, 3B

    8. Trevor Clifton, RHP

    9. D.J. Wilson, OF

    10.Jose Albertos, RHP

    Sad all the pitching prospects are far away or you can look at it that all the pitching prospects that are closer to the show have fallen off a bit. I wonder where he has Eddy Julio Martinez?

  • In reply to Jim Odirakallumkal:

    Seems funny that a guy who hit .277 and contributed to a WS victory with his post season defense and base running is listed as only the 3rd best prospect.

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    In reply to Lildude:

    Lets hope that means that Eloy and Happ are future all stars!

  • I have said this in the past, but did not get much of a comment on it, so I'll try again.

    What about using 6 starting pitchers, but not necessarily a 6-man rotation? Let me explain.

    You have a 5 man rotation, but that 6th man piggybacks on a different starter every time through the rotation. This way, the real starting pitchers get their normal rest/schedule, while their workload is reduced, and the 6th man pitches every 6th day.

    1st time through rotation:
    SP1+Piggyback pitcher
    SP2
    SP3
    SP4
    SP5

    2nd time through rotation:
    SP1
    SP2+Piggyback pitcher
    SP3
    SP4
    SP5

    and so forth.

    I forgot where I saw it, but Arrietta is insanely ridiculous when he pitches on an extra days rest, which would make him a quality candidate to be the 6th person. While you would get fewer starts from him, those starts would be better. Although, he would never do it in a contract year (extension?) and he may not like not starting.

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    Question about the possible 6 man rotation.....has it been tried before and was it successful? Also...does that mean the cubs add another arm in the bp and one less position player?

  • I had a comment caught in the system, please free it!

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