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Chicago Cubs: Cubbies Will Be Competitive in 2015, but 2016 Is Their Year

January 30, 2015 by Heath Clary · Leave a Comment 

For the first time in a long time, things are looking bright on the North Side of Chicago.  Theo Epstein, the team's president of baseball operations, has quickly transformed the Cubs' farm system into one of the best in baseball, been aggressive on the trade and free-agent markets and lured one of the game's best managers to lead the squad. Confidence is brewing in the clubhouse, especially for Epstein and All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo. As MLB.com's Carrie Muskrat reports, Epstein stated that the club's goal for the upcoming season is to win the NL Central. Rizzo took it a step further ...

Handicapping Chicago Cubs’ Hotly Contested Spring Training Position Battles

January 30, 2015 by Jacob Kornhauser · Leave a Comment 

The Chicago Cubs enter the 2015 season with high hopes. They have more stability than they've had in several years, and some of their bright young stars are finally starting to fall into place. For all that stability, the Cubs still have a few question marks heading into the year. It's not a bad thing to have competition in spring training, and the Cubs will have exactly that at a few positions as the spring wears on. Here are three key position battles entering spring training and who's most likely to win the job.Begin Slideshow

How the Cubs Should Handle the Unleashing of Uber-Prospect Kris Bryant

January 27, 2015 by Jason Catania · Leave a Comment 

The Kris Bryant era in Chicago will begin in 2015. The question is: When? Or alternatively: How soon? In the wake of the Chicago Cubs' acquisition last week of center fielder Dexter Fowler, in which they sent young righty Dan Straily and incumbent third baseman Luis Valbuena to the Houston Astros, speculation already has begun that such a move cleared the path at the hot corner for Bryant, arguably baseball's best prospect. That's not how the Cubs decision-makers see it, however—at least, according to what they're saying publicly. "When we think Kris is ready to come up to the big leagues, we’ll make ...

Why Chicago Cubs Need to Win World Series for Ernie Banks

January 24, 2015 by Jacob Kornhauser · Leave a Comment 

Friday night, the Chicago Cubs, which had been used to getting good news during the past few months, got a piece of devastatingly bad news: "Mr. Cub" Ernie Banks, the greatest player in franchise history, died at the age of 83, per ESPN.com. Undoubtedly, the team will honor Banks by wearing a commemorative patch this season, but the Cubs must honor him by more than just wearing his patch on their jerseys—they must honor him with their play on the field. Banks, who made his debut on Sept. 17, 1953, was so many things to so many different people. He was a beacon of ...

A Cubs Fan’s Tribute to the Legendary Ernie Banks

January 24, 2015 by Jason S. Parini · Leave a Comment 

To some people, being a dedicated fan of the Chicago Cubs can seem like a struggle at times. Years—even generations—have come and gone without experiencing the long-coveted celebration of a Cubs World Series championship. For Ernie Banks, there was never a bad moment in being a Cubs fan. It was always wonderful. He realized to the fullest that being a Cubs fan was a privilege and a joy every single day. Sure, there were difficult times, but all of those struggles would make that inevitable World Series championship that much sweeter. Most Cubs fans have been waiting 'til next year. Ernie always ...

Cubs Legend Ernie Banks Dies at Age 83

January 24, 2015 by Adam Wells · Leave a Comment 

Legendary Chicago Cubs player and Baseball Hall of Famer Ernie Banks has died at the age of 83.  According to Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune, Banks' wife Liz confirmed the news of her husband's passing. "Ernie Banks, one of baseball’s most ebullient and optimistic ambassadors, died Friday, his wife, Liz, confirmed," Mitchell wrote. On Sunday, the Cubs noted the cause of Banks' death, citing Banks' family attorney: NBC Nightly News tweeted out this statement from Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts about Banks' legacy: The Cubs and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel have confirmed they will be hosting a public memorial for Banks on Wednesday at the Daley Plaza according to Fred ...

Projecting the Chicago Cubs’ 2015 Opening Day Roster

January 23, 2015 by Jacob Kornhauser · Leave a Comment 

Changes are everywhere on the North Side of Chicago this baseball season. The bleachers—which won't be fully constructed until May—are undergoing renovations, a big board is going up in left-center field, and the product on the field is changing drastically. Obviously, any change from the past five miserable years of Chicago Cubs baseball is welcomed by a fanbase hungry for a World Series title that has eluded them for over a decade. Based on their moves this offseason and the performances by returning players last season, here are the projections for who will be in Cubs uniforms when they open the MLB season ...

Piling World Series Expectations onto Youthful Chicago Cubs Is a Mistake

January 23, 2015 by Anthony Witrado · Leave a Comment 

When you are the Chicago Cubs, maybe the most cursed, endearing and followed team in Major League Baseball, there is no hiding. When you are this popular and have lost this ugly for this long, you cannot duck great hope. And while most would try, the Cubs do not. The expectations are welcomed by a franchise that has not won a World Series since 1908 and more recently finished fifth in the National League Central five consecutive times. It is also a franchise relying heavily on players in their early 20s who have never dealt with such expectations. That isn’t quelling the ...

Chicago Cubs: How Much Better Does Dexter Fowler Make Them?

January 19, 2015 by Jacob Kornhauser · Leave a Comment 

The Chicago Cubs made what is likely their last major offseason move when they sent infielder Luis Valbuena and pitcher Dan Straily to the Houston Astros for outfielder and leadoff man Dexter Fowler. He gives the team some speed, the ability to get on base and a solid glove in the outfield. But just how much better does Fowler actually make the Cubs? Let's break down the numbers... Fowler's batting average when leading off an inning last season was .393; that's a pretty staggering stat. Since leadoff men are only guaranteed to lead off in the first inning of every game, their ...

Breaking Down the Chicago Cubs’ Trade for Dexter Fowler

January 19, 2015 by Jason S. Parini · Leave a Comment 

Hopefully, Luis Valbuena will look back at his time at the 2015 Cubs Convention with fond memories. He may or may not have known at the time, but it was his last hurrah in a Chicago Cubs uniform. Just a day after the Cubs Convention ended, the team announced on Monday that it sent Valbuena to the Houston Astros along with right-handed pitcher Dan Straily for outfielder Dexter Fowler. Perhaps Valbuena's departure will be to his benefit. With "mega-prospect" Kris Bryant soon to begin his major league career with the Cubs, Valbuena's time at third base was beginning to dwindle. Had he stayed with the ...

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