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What Ever Happened to Brian LaHair?

October 23rd, 2014 at 4:00 PM
By Tim Duxbury

Back in 2011 the Chicago Cubs thought they had found a diamond in the rough in, 28-year-old first baseman, Brian LaHair. Relatively unproven at the big league level, but LaHair had proven to be one of the best minor league talents in baseball:

Year

Team

Level

.ave

.obp

HR

RBI

2009

SEA

AAA

.289

.354

26

85

2010

CHC

AAA

.308

.385

25

81

2011

CHC

AAA

.331

.405

38

109

(Stats per baseball-reference.com)

Brian LaHair began the 2012 season as a starter for the Cubs and appeared to be the solution to a struggling offense, hitting .390 with five home runs in the month of April and finishing the first half by hitting .286 with 14 home runs en route to his first career all-star appearance. However, the second half was a different story. All the magic of the first half was gone and he quickly fell out of the Cubs’ starting lineup thanks to his .202 average and two home runs in 109 at bats after the all-star break.

After the 2012 season the Cubs decided to let Lahair walk. They didn’t need him anymore, thanks to his lack of consistent production and the emergence of Anthony Rizzo.

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Cubs’ & Rooftops Moving Towards a Deal

October 23rd, 2014 at 3:00 AM
By Tim Duxbury

The rooftop bleachers are one of the staples of Wrigley Field and help make the atmosphere what it is. However, since the release of the Wrigley Field renovation plan, things between the Cubs and rooftop owners have gotten particularly ugly. Both sides have engaged in public sniping and legal threats over the past year in an attempt to capture their fair share of revenue generated by the ballpark, but according to CSN Chicago, the two sides appear to be moving closer to a compromise. Apparently, the Ricketts family is “nearing” a deal to purchase a number of the rooftops on both Waveland and Sheffield Avenue and hope to have a deal done by opening day 2015.

Let it be known that a deal is still far from being signed, but the fact that both sides appear to be on the same page and willing to negotiate is great news. One of the biggest issues regarding the rooftops has been the impending addition of a leftfield Jumbotron/scoreboard that would obscure the view from many of the Waveland rooftops. With tensions at an all-time low between the two sides, it could make the addition go over much more smoothly. Nearly every stadium in major league baseball has some type of modern video board, even Fenway Park, and it is about time that the Cubs caught up with the rest of the league.

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What are the Chicago Cubs’ Players up To?

October 22nd, 2014 at 4:00 PM
By Tim Duxbury

Baseball’s final hurrah of 2014 began last night with game one of the World Series in Kansas City, but most major leaguers have been “out of the office” for nearly a month. So what have they been doing? After a grueling eight-month season that began in February with Spring Training, it is important for ballplayers to take some time off and get away from the game of baseball. Some guys need to get away from the game to forget their struggles, such as Edwin Jackson, and others should get away from the game for a while in order to keep that fire burning. Pitchers, in particular, shouldn’t even pick up a baseball until November so as to allow their arms time to fully recover from throwing so many innings.

In all honesty, the month of October is really the only month for baseball players to be “normal” people. It is a time where they don’t have to be in the gym or at the field for eight hours a day, and for once, they get to watch baseball. They have time to play golf, be with their families, take a vacation or just hang out. However, come November, many players will begin to dive into their off-season workouts and prepare for the 2015 season. It’s a well-deserved, albeit short, break from the grind of being a ballplayer, but it takes twice as much hard work to stay in the league as it does to make it, so one month of down time is really all that most players can afford.

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The Evolution of the Chicago Cubs’ Lineup

October 22nd, 2014 at 6:47 AM
By Tim Duxbury

The last time the Chicago Cubs made the playoffs feels like a lifetime ago, but the reality of the situation is that the Cubs were one of baseball’s best teams back in 2008. The team’s decline after that season was swift and devastating, as they went from finishing 7.5 games out of first place in 2009, to 16 games out in ’10, to 25 games out in ’11 and finally bottoming out in 2012, finishing 36 games out of first place. The biggest reason for the exponential drop was the decay of core players due to either aging or roster moves. Take a look at what the Cubs’ lineup looked like every year during their decline by the WAR of their opening day starters:

2008, 97-64

2009, 83-78

Pos.

Player

WAR

Pos.

Player

WAR

C

Geovany Soto

3.3

C

Geovany Soto

0.2

1B

Derrek Lee

1.9

1B

Derrek Lee

5.4

2B

Mark DeRosa

1.8

2B

Mike Fontenot

0.1

3B

Aramis Ramirez

3.0

3B

Aramis Ramirez

1.7

SS

Ryan Theriot

2.2

SS

Ryan Theriot

1.0

LF

Alfonso Soriano

2.0

LF

Alfonso Soriano

-1.6

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Remembering the Chicago Cubs’ World Series History

October 21st, 2014 at 4:00 PM
By Tim Duxbury

Since the MLB began playing post-season baseball, the Chicago Cubs have made 12 “World Series” appearances (not all appearances were in the World Series Era; see 1885) but walked away with the hardware just twice. With hours until game one of the 2014 World Series starts, lets take a look at some of the notable events from Chicago Cubs’ World Series History:

1945: The Chicago Cubs lose to the Detroit Tigers in seven games after posting a 98-56 record in the regular season. 1945 marks the Cubs' 5th World Series appearance in 17 years (1929, 1932, 1935, 1938, 1945) and is the last time that they made it to the World Series.

1932: Babe Ruth’s infamous called shot. In the 5th inning of game three of the 1932 World Series against the New York Yankees, Hall of Famer Babe Ruth “supposedly” called his shot before unloading on a baseball to deep center field. The Cubs go on to lose the game 7-5 and lose the series the next night; a four game sweep.

1918: The Chicago Cubs linked themselves with baseball’s other “cursed” team by losing in five games to the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox would not win another world series until 2004.

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