Cubs Win World Series? What Are The Odds?

Chicago Cubs

With Vegas odds now greatly reduced to 6-1, we all now know that the Cubs are potential favourites to win the Series. Is it warranted? yes. However, there is a great caveat on this prediction. Pitchers and catchers have yet to report and the snow is still fresh on the ground.

There’s a new catcher in town. Miguel Montero and early enthusiasm towards this game breaking guard of home plate, is astounding. We don’t know yet what is to become of Welington Castillo.

That’s okay.

The Cubs are solidified behind the plate. They’re strong on the infield and pitching is respectable although not quite where they want it to be. The outfield could use a few tweaks, but Fowler should carry the load.

With prospects Kris Bryant and Addison Russell leading the pack in the farm system, we know the Cubs are going to be highly competitive and should win between 85-90 games this season.

That’s a fact.

Of course, the excitement that Joe Maddon is bringing to the dugout is unparalleled.

Pitchers and catchers report in less than twenty days. As I write this, I’m listening to The Trio from Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Is this foreshadowing of the National League Central division? Will it be a duel to the end between the Reds, Cardinals and Pirates?

The Cubs won’t be pushed around this season. They’ll compete for the top spot with Ernie’s number patched to their shoulders. The sun will shine bright over Wrigley Field.

Predictions could be dangerous. The Cubs could win and the Cubs could very well lose.

No matter the outcome, what players, managers and fans should take away from the passing of Chicago’s mightiest hero, is to go out there this spring and compete hard, be fair, be humble in victory and gracious in defeat.

Remember, players should not play for the name on the back of the jersey, but play for the name on the front.

Believe it.

“Ìt`s Only One Win, But I Like It Yes I Do“

With the Rolling Stones set to make a tour announcement this morning, I thought I`d bring everyone up to speed on the surreal. Ok, so it was Pittsburgh, but a win is still a win for the Cubs. What better way to kick off the 2013 season than a home run for Anthony Rizzo. He hadn`t hit one all spring training and then on Monday he sets one on fire and if I can recall, it almost landed in the pond.

What was good about yesterday`s victory. Jeff Samardzija(with that hard to spell last name) proved why Epstein and company are believing in him.

“That was probably as good a game as he’s pitched starting his career,” Sveum said.

Carlos Marmol got pulled in the ninth and as much as I hate to see it, Marmol`s days are numbered in a Cubs uniform.

“He’s still the closer,” Sveum said. “I’m not making any changes or anything like that, he just didn’t have it today.”

–Yeah, that`s a sign that says,“Get your ass in gear.“

Listen, It`s only game one, but i like it.

Let`s see that one again, shall we

–Mark

Opening Day 2013-Chicago Cubs

This is it, dreams begin today. The Chicago Cubs square off against the Pittsburgh Pirates at 1:35 this afternoon.

The rebuilding process continues this season under the guidance of Dale Sveum and Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer. Although expectations are there for the Cubs to advance to the post season for the first time since 2008, I don’t think realistically they’re there yet. I’m not saying the possibility isn’t there, but the chances are slim. I think Castro to Barney to Rizzo is among the best combinations in baseball but they still need the experience and a strong rotation to pull them through.

Edwin Jackson will make things exciting and like I said in my previous post, I can’t wait to see what Wellington Castillo will do for the Cubs this year.

It’s Jeff Samardzija’s mound this year. Can he anchor the Cubs to the post season? I think he can. Matt Garza will be back soon, so the pitching isn’t just a work in progress but something that can be solidified.

The verdict is still out on Nate Shierholtz, I’m not totally convinced with him yet, but Luis Valbuena is going to be cool to watch.

I would have liked to see one of the rookies get their shot, but I’ll have to be a little more patient.

Will Starlin Castro earn a Gold Glove? Can Darwin Barney add to his collection? and will Soriano find a new home?

Next Monday is the home opener and we have our traditional Opening Day party. The menu isn’t finalised yet, but I want something spicy.
The Winter is over!!!! Bring on baseball!!! I’ve got my MLB. TV and ready to go!!!!

Go Cubs Go!!!!

Break a leg to all your teams!!!

—Mark

Opening Day Lineup

All right, here is the projected Opening Day Lineup:

1. CF: David DeJesus
2. SS: Starlin Castro
3. 1B: Anthony Rizzo
4. LF: Alfonso Soriano
5. RF: Nate Schierholtz
6. C: Welington Castillo
7. 3B: Luis Valbuena
8. 2B: Darwin Barney
9. SP: Jeff Samardzija

I’m not sure about Darwin Barney batting in the 8th spot. I’d move him up to fifth with Nate in 8th. However, if it were up to me and don’t get me wrong, I’m not discounting Dale Sveum’s managerial decisions but I’d try and put Jorge Soler in the lineup maybe even Almora in as well. I’m a huge fan of putting in the kids. I know baseball trys to keep the prospects down for as long as possible, but in this case let them play. Chicago has nothing to prove except pulling out all the stops this year. So why not put them in?

Is everyone getting ready for the regular season? I hope all your favourite teams do well this year, but I really hope the Cubs win it all. I like Castillo. I think he’s going to be excellent this year and a true “sleeper” player this year.

Ernie Banks will be there Opening Day as well as Fergie Jenkins and Williams. It’s going to be great!!!

Our son who’s two and a half asked me the other day,”Daddy, I want to watch Cubbies with you.” So I answered,”We can watch the Cubs on tv.” and he said,” No, not TV.” and I told him that Chicago is far away but Mommy you and I will get there some day. “Ok, Daddy”

And so traditions begin. Hopes, dreams and that eternal quest for the World Series begins. I believe the Cubs have a shot at the Series. “Daddy, the Blue Jays are going to win, everybody knows that.”

—Mark

Pine Tar Syndrome

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There is an epidemic going around in baseball. I know you’ve seen it, cause I’ve seen it too. Ranging throughout the ranks from Manny Ramirez to Starlin Castro–it’s the “Pine Tarred helmet”syndrome.

Why does this happen? Apparently, it’s from their hands touching the helmets. Would you have thought that Manny Ramirez was believed to be the first player to do this?

So I did a quick search to see if there were any reasons to do this and one of the answers was that it helps put it on their gloves when they put their helmet on.

Call me naive, but I have noticed this for a long time. It bothers me because it looks sloppy. A uniform is a uniform and whether someone fights fires or plays baseball, they should treat a uniform with respect.

Some teams like the Montreal Canadians don’t allow the uniform to touch the ground out of respect for the players who wore it before.

I believe it’s time for a change. Players should wipe that tar off of their helmets when they step up to the plate.

—Mark

Final Countdown

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With just one week left until the regular season, Jeff Samardzija and the rest of the Cubs sunk the Mariners last night in a late game(I don’t know how I’m going to do it this season with those ones. It’s getting hard to watch those ones. Maybe a couple of innings)7-4. Samardzija cracked his second homer of the pre-season and Alfonso Soriano hit his fourth.

Today, the Cubs square off against the Brewers at 3:05. I’ll be home just in time for that one.

So, are the Cubs ready? Who will hit lead off? Will Marmol get traded? What about Soriano? I guess these questions will have to get answered soon enough.

This is what I would do:

Trade Marmol soon. He might start off the season with a bang, hell, he might not, but he should get traded. Get a young guy in and take their lumps.

I want Starlin Castro in the lead off. Yeah, people might think I’m crazy for saying it, but he needs plate control. This is the year he does it, learns it and becomes the future hall of famer we know he’s going to become. Take the lumps Castro. Although, DeJesus will probably bat lead-off and that’s not a bad decision, I think Dale Sveum should just go for it and be creative this season. Call up the rookies, experiment and have fun. I’m not saying don’t go out and not try to win, but pull out all the stops. Last year was excruciating most of the time, so I think being inventive can go a long way.

I’ve said it before and I’ll chirp again, Alfonso Soriano has to go too. Unless he hits at least 35 and catches some balls instead of kicking grass, the man is DH material. I like you Alfonso, but get on with the Yanks.

Play Ball!
–Mark

Snowed In Spring

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I don’t know about you guys, but it’s the first day of spring and there’s snow everywhere! “Everytime I try to get out, They keep sucking me back in!”

Since my last post where the Rangers trounced the Cubs, Yesterday the Cubs came roaring back with a 5-4 win. It was the big bats this time that settled the score. Darwin Barney hit one outta there as well as Alfonso Soriano. Oh yeah, have I not mentioned the great, “Duke” Wellington Castillo scored a crucial run.

Things are winding down as the regular season is all but two weeks away. This is pretty much as close the the opening Day Lineup as we’ll see. Nobody is predicting a World Series or even 70 wins by these guys, but I have a bet goin g with someone that the Cubs will win 75-80 games this season. Hell, look at the Ottawa Senators, nobody predicted they’d be doing as well as they are. Plus, they’ve lost three of their top players and still find ways of winning.

Now, we’re not talking about hockey here. Everybody is well aware of the long baseball season ahead and I think that the Cubs young bats could prevail with notching up some wins.
–Mark