Found January 25, 2013 on Obstructed View OLD:
Spring training is just around the corner and the 2013 Cubs are set to kick off their Cactus League schedule on February 23rd. It's a split squad game and the game against the Angels will even be televised on WGN. It's not until April 1st that non-practice games will be played, but it's time to get excited. They might be better than we think. A few weeks ago I came up with a wild ass guess of 73 wins for the Cubs. It was pretty close to the projected wins based on the CAIRO projections, which was 72. While 72-73 wins isn't like a contender, a lot of strange things can happen during the season and even teams that poor will contend from time to time. However, being the optimist on the site I thought it my job to provide a little more optimistic wild ass (optimistic) guess. It's not quite The Hope Monster kind of optimism, but it will do. I'll start with the rotation this time as I think the rotation can actually be pretty good. It won't be great, and there is a chance it stinks, but it could be well above average. Jeff Samardzija: 4 WAR Matt Garza: 3.5 Edwin Jackson: 3.5 Scott Baker: 1.5 Scott Feldman: 1.0 The total WAR for the rotation here is 13.5. Let's pencil in a few in the bullpen, but not get carried away. Most relievers are next to useless so I'm keeping that in mind. Carlos Marmol: 1.5 WAR Kyuji Fujikawa: 1.5 Carlos Villanueva: 1.0 James Russell: 0.5 The total bullpen WAR is 4.5 giving the Cubs a total pitching WAR of 18. Now I'm just going to go around the infield. Welington Castillo and backup (Dioner Navarro, Steve Clevenger): 1.5 WAR Anthony Rizzo: 3.5 Darwin Barney: 2.0 Ian Stewart and Luis Valbuena: 2.0 Starlin Castro: 3.5 Alfonso Soriano: 2.5 David DeJesus: 2.0 Nate Schierholtz and Scott Hairston: 2.0 That's 19.0 WAR. The total WAR for the 2013 Cubs is 37.0. Using a .300 replacement level team, which is 48.6 wins, that would mean the Cubs win 85.6 wins A lot of things would have to go right for this to happen and things generally don't go right for the Cubs, but I havne't penciled anyone in for an MVP caliber season here. I think most of these are reasonable. It may not be so reasonable to expect all of them to get this, which would mean they probably all overperform to some extent. I'll admit that's not likely and I'm not suggesting you clear your schedule in October. I'm only saying that this team could contend. They're not as bad as I previously thought. I don't believe any WAR prediction is far-fetched. I'm not asking you to believe that Scott Baker and Scott Feldman are going to be all-stars, or really even that good. If you go bet all your money on the Cubs winning 85 or so games, you're an idiot. The flip side to this optimistic version is a team worse than we saw a year ago. But this team could contend and it's worth at least getting a little excited about as spring training nears. The post It’s time to get excited about the 2013 Cubs appeared first on Obstructed View.

Sammy Sosa Wants The Cubs To Retire His #21 (Video)

Sammy Sosa had an opportunity to go down in history as one of the best Chicago Cubs ever.  Then in 2003 a report came out that labeled Sosa as one of many players the used PED’s, and well the rest is history. Sosa now says he’s ready to forgive the Cubs, and during a live webcast that he set up, stated that the Cubs should have been retired his #21 jersey via ESPN Chicago. “I...

Villanueva, Cubs complete $10M, 2-year deal

Pitcher Carlos Villanueva and the Chicago Cubs have completed a $10 million, two-year contract. Villanueva will earn $5 million annually as part of Saturday's deal. The sides had agreed to the contract in mid-December, pending a successful physical. The 29-year-old right-hander spent the past two seasons with Toronto and went 7-7 with a 4.16 ERA last year in 16 starts and 22...

The Chicago Cubs 42 Man Roster Needs to Get to 40, While Still Fixing a Glaring Hole

I am not sure how closely you have been paying attention, but the Chicago Cubs have been making a number of free agent signings over the off season making their 40 man roster a mess, Their free agent signings did not stop last night when reports came out of the newest acquisition Scott Hairston, formerly with the New York Mets. Even though the ball club has not yet confirmed the...

Chicago Cubs finalize $10 million deal with Villanueva, DFA Castillo

The Chicago Cubs and right-handed pitcher Carlos Villanueva agreed to terms on a two-year $10 million contract. To make room for Villanueva, right-handed pitcher Lendy Castillo was designated for assignment. Villanueva, 29, joins the Cubs after pitching the last seven seasons with the Brewers (2006-10) and Blue Jays (2011-12). Villanueva has 56 starts and 245 relief appearances during...

Spring Training Broadcast Schedule Announced

Less than one month until Chicago Cubs baseball is on the air! WGN Radio will broadcast nine games. I wouldn't be surprised if most of the rest are covered on Gameday Radio, as was the case last year. No word yet on any televised games, though I would be surprised if any are non-weekend games. The post Spring Training Broadcast Schedule Announced appeared first on Obstructed View.

Sosa: McGwire and I should be in Hall

Sammy Sosa answered several questions during a web chat, and he said that he and Mark McGwire should be in the Hall of Fame.

Assume the Position: First Base

First base looks to be quite a bit rosier for the Cubs than catcher does. They Cubs have a budding star at the top and some very intriguing options at the bottom.       Last Year 2013 Career   Name Age AVG OBP SLG wOBA pwOBA AVG OBP SLG wOBA MLB Rizzo 22 0.285 0.342 0.463 0.349 0.368 0.245 0.324 0.402 0.320 AAA Rohan 26 0.290 0.330 0.449 0.338           ...

Cubs vs. Wrigleyville rooftop owners: more friction inevitable

In the 2000s, the Chicago Cubs and the owners of the rooftops surrounding Wrigley Field had quite a tiff going on. The Cubs put up fences in the bleachers blocking the view of the Wrigleyville rooftops, so the rooftop owners built their seats higher above it. Then the ballclub put up another screen blocking the view, claiming it was for “post 9/11 security screens.” After years...

Sources: Cubs, Hairston agree to deal

The Chicago Cubs, adding another veteran to their outfield, have reached agreement with free agent Scott Hairston on a two-year contract, according to major league sources. Hairston, 32, figures to platoon with another free-agent signee, Nate Schierholtz, in right field. David DeJesus is projected to be in center and Alfonso Soriano in left. The New York Mets, New York Yankees...

Worse Presidential Candidate: Sammy Sosa Or Wilmer Valderrama?

Last we checked in on former Chicago Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa, he allowed me to absolutely, 100% legitimately spend two days with him and his new public relations team, as they are trying to attempt to rebuild his image with the hopes of getting him back into the good graces of the incredibly evil Baseball Writers Association of America. Basically, it seems that Sosa wants to get...

Sammy Sosa speaks his mind. Yawn!!

Sammy Sosa woke up.   Someone must’ve told him he didn’t get elected to the Hall of Fame.  Now he’s all over the media talking about he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, and how the Cubs should’ve retired his number a long time ago.   To the first point, I say no. [...]

Ricketts vs. Rooftops, or, The Man vs. the slightly smaller The Man

It’s pretty rare that I ever side with “The Man” in any business argument, and yet here I am, siding with Tom Ricketts when it comes to his little border war with the Rooftop association. To be honest, however, this isn’t a case of “The Man” vs. small business. This is “The Man” pitted against a smaller “The Man” situation. Let’s backtrack a bit. You see, the...
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