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Jed wants to 'give the fans what they deserve'
Why does that sound like a threat?
Yesterday was time for Jed Hoyer’s the season is over press conference. I’m not quite sure why he didn’t do this in April, but hey, whatever.
Maybe he just wanted to do a “the Cardinals’ season is over” press conference instead.
He started with an opening statement and then took questions from the assembled throng of weirdos who cover the Cubs on a daily basis.
“I watched playoff baseball with my sons. I missed it, and it hurts not to be there. I want to give fans the thrill of October baseball. I can’t wait to get back there.
Well, the Phillies only had to win 87 games to wander into the playoffs and knock off St. Louis. I’m sure you’re up to the task of putting together a mediocre ball club. Dare to dream.
Really good teams with special seasons were done three or four days after the regular season. “That’s baseball.” Random things happen.
Yes, random things happen. Like a bad team wins 12 of their final 15 games and finishes 19 games out of first place and some fans are dumb enough to think they are actually good now.
When we were building this up the first time we talked about sustained success. We had three long runs and a World Series but fell short at the end of the run. How do we build something stable and lasting for the fans so we are playing in October and not watching on TV?
“Not watching on TV” is what Cubs fans are doing thanks to Marquee.
The first half of the season was not up to our standards. Had a lot of holes to fill, we were inexperienced, lacked depth and played poorly. It was frustrating for all of us.
Not up to your standards? You put together a shitty team and they played shitty. What a shock that was to us all. And honestly, Jed. It kind of feels like your standard.
I was incredibly impressed and excited by the way we played in the second half. Created some momentum (1), we’re building depth and we pitched exceptionally well. A lot of credit to the players. Never stopped competing every day. Also give a lot of credit to the coaching staff, led by David Ross. What we saw at the end, that momentum (2) has a chance to really continue to lead into he offseason and create a lot of confidence in a young group. Far cry from where we started. Ultimately, we need to build on that momentum (3), that’s the focus of the offseason. We want to compete next year and build something special, lasting and sustainable.
Did Jed have a bet that he could say momentum 57 times in a half hour? He got off to a good start right there.
It really seems like lauding your manager about team effort is faint praise. Isn’t effort the bare minimum a manager or coach should get from his players? It’s not the kind of thing you should credit for, you should just get fired if it’s not happening.
And yes, I’m sure the momentum generated by beating the Reds and Pirates seven times in the last two weeks will last all winter.
We want to give these fans what they deserve.
Uh oh. I don’t like the sound of that.
OK, then it was time for the crack Cubs beat reporters to pepper Jedly with questions. First up? They went with Bruce Levine because his nap time was coming up rapidly.
Does the success of underdogs in the playoffs change your focus, that you can rebuild and piece it together year by year as you go?
You could hear Bruce reading that question fresh off the notepad of Crane Kenney. “Since bad teams have won playoff series, why bother spending what it takes to put together a good one?”
You have to build a complete team. There are some teams with a few holes, and in a short series you don’t have to have a complete team, but our aim has to be higher. Our goal has to be to build a team with the best chance to win in October. I’ve been part of underdogs who have had success and good teams that fell short.
The accepted wisdom is that you just need to get into the playoffs and anything can happen. You know what works better? Take the best fucking team into the playoffs.
It doesn’t work every time.
It works a lot, though. A lot.
What will a successful offseason look like?
I’m going to guess one that doesn’t have 32 year old rookies in center, second or third.
We try to view our transactions through the right lens. Intelligent spending, we’ll look to do that again. I want to build on the momentum (4) we ended the year with, we have holes to fill.
Ahh yes, intelligent spending. Basically their way of saying, nothing over six years and nothing over $100 million. The kind of spending that ensures you never get anybody you really need.
We can definitely compete next year but we want to create something lasting and special. A successful offseason involves filling the holes we saw. At the end of the season our pitching and run prevention stepped forward. But you never have enough. Offensively, despite the fact we played well, we didn’t score enough, and we had a lack of depth. Clear focus is taking a step forward in our run scoring.
Woah, woah, woah. Jed, did you just say that you didn’t have enough pitching or score enough runs, or have enough good players? What about the precious momentum? You’re going to get tsk tsked by the Cubs fans who were super impressed by all that meaningless winning at the end of the season.
Sahadev: You mentioned fans a couple of times. How important a factor is it to have a team that spends aggressively and contends by mid summer?
First off, when the Cubs say they want to win games for the fans, they don’t mean they feel they owe it to us, they mean they want to win enough games for us to keep showing up and buying lots of beer. You might think that’s 100 wins and a chance at winning a World Series. They know it’s 82 wins and the excitement that comes with not being eliminated from the bullshit third Wild Card spot until the last 10 days of the season.
Pretty sure Sahadev’s second part was meant to ask if Jed expects the team to be good enough by mid-summer to compete. But the Cubs will take it as selling the illusion of competitiveness through mid-summer so fans buy enough tickets before everybody realizes the team is shitty again.
We need to bring along a team of young players. You can’t win today without a stable of young players. No question the first half, we took hope off the table with how we played early. We didn’t fill holes effectively. We want to play more like we did in the second half. We want to compete. We have an eye on creating something special, that ultimately is the focus. We’re not going to do anything that doesn’t make sense for both short and long term.
On it’s face this is the kind of answer we want to hear, right? It’s Jed saying the current roster is thin and shitty and they can’t rely just on young players to turn it around, and they want to win both now and in the long term. But notice he didn’t actually say “win.” He said compete. That’s the problem with these expanded playoffs. It allows cheap owners to stay cheap and sell hope (the exact word Jed used in that answer, “We took hope off the table.”) Because that’s really what they’re trying to sell. Hope they might win. Not expectations that they will win.
And they didn’t just take hope off the table. They threw it on the floor, rolled around in it and then crawled into a dumpster.
Gordon - How big of an offseason is this to make sure you get it right in the larger picture of the process, given where you are in the second half and what you’re trying to build off? Do you have an idea of the timeline and where you are in the long run?
Here’s Wittenmyer with a good question buried in a thick veneer of over wordiness and condescending whining.
That [question] was longer than my opening statement. I think we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to execute every offseason. We did last season. We feel good about Stroman and Seiya, We missed on some that set us back.
When he says “we missed on some that set us back” do you think he means guys they tried to acquire but didn’t, or guys they did who sucked? Did he wish they’d signed Carlos Rodon or Carlos Correa, or just that they shouldn’t have signed Andrelton Simmons, Jackson/Clint Frazier or traded for Sean Newomb?
We project well out in the future. We know who is going to be a free agent in out years and that’s a big part of our job, thinking about what those markets look like, who might be available and how they fit.
Ooh, fancy. The Cubs know who is going to be a free agent next year and the year after and maybe even the year after that. Somebody there knows how to Google! Or do they have to use Todd Ricketts’ right-wing search engine, Freespoke?
We have to keep one eye on the future as we do this. You can get caught up in transactions that feel good in the short term, but don’t make sense long term. We’ll avoid those. As a staff we put a lot of pressure on having a successful offseason.
This from a guy who traded for Nick Madrigal.
How much of the pitching success is a direct result of the development of the pitching group? What’s the plan to augment that?
Hey, one of the pitch lab interns got to ask a question!
That pitching development is something we take great pride in. In 2019 we brought in Craig Breslow and he and Kyle Evans looked at our pitching infrastructure and we made a commitment to overhaul that. We got delayed a year like everyone did when Covid hit, and when you look up, a lot of the things we saw in second half and in the minor leagues were things as a result of that. We’re really proud of that pitching infrastructure. There’s no finish line there. You can never have enough. Need to augment through transactions. We need to improve that year to year and build on that.
There is nothing more overrated than the Cubs’ fabulist pitch lab. Not even Ian Happ’s defense. They have the same magic cameras that almost every other team has. The thing they are good at is convincing the local media that every pitcher who improves is because the lab is so great and that every pitcher who sucks is that pitcher’s own fault for not being able to process the fantastical bullshit that the pitch lab craps out.
And check this out, this thing coming up is a “question.”
“Intelligent spending,” a lot of people have talked about the four free agent shortstops. Last year Corey Seager signed 10-year deal for something like $320 million but the Rangers didn’t come close to making the playoffs. You can make a case that intelligent spending wouldn’t include spending that much, but you need some of those guys.
You need great players to win championships. Great players that you don’t develop yourself are super expensive. One great player on a bad team isn’t going to make them not bad all by himself. Hell, the Angels have the two best players in baseball and they are still bad. The idea is to add great players to a good team and then you get a great team. Why is this so hard to grasp?
Big contracts can bog a team down, and it’s easy to talk about a player you’re acquiring, but if it hinders what you’re trying to build it wasn’t a good signing. We want to compete, we want to add players that can help us in 2023, but keep an eye on the future.
Wait? Big contracts can bog a team down? Good big contracts don’t. Bad ones like the one you gave to Jason Heyward can. We know. He’s gone and it’s still bogging them down. Great players are worth the money. Paying non-great players like Heyward isn’t. The only way signing an actual great player will “hinder” what you’re doing is if your boss suddenly decides to not increase your payrolls year to year like he said he would. But when would that ever happen?
What is the definition of competing? Even without injuries this was not a group probably competing in a division.
The truest question of the day. For all this talk about the wonderful second half the Cubs had if you brought that same team back for a full season you’d lose 120 games. So it’s good to pin Jed down on what he thinks “competing” is. Is it to be in the playoff mix? Because in the NL last year only two teams that actually “tried to win” didn’t make the playoffs—the Giants and Brewers. Every other team that didn’t make the playoffs didn’t even try to build a playoff roster (D’bags, Rockies, Cubs, Pirates, Reds, Marlins, Nationals.) The NL was nine teams playing for seven playoff spots. Ooh, how exciting.
We were on a 90 win pace at the end of the year.
Yes, that’s how the math works. The Cubs had a .557 winning percentage in the second half. Over a full season that’s 90-72. You know what else math can show you? Mike Quade took over the 2010 Cubs with 37 games to go and had a .647 winning percentage. That’s a 105-win pace. They brought him back for 2011. He went 71-91, that’s a .438 pace. Bring back the same team that finished this season and no way do they win 71 games. The end of the 2022 season wasn’t even “Quade good.”
We want to build a team that can compete for the playoffs. That is the goal. We also know where our minor league system is, some prospects are younger and we won’t matriculate all of those players next year. We want next season to look more like our second half than our first half. Hopefully that means competing in October.
I don’t want next season to look like the first or second halves of this season. I want to watch good players.
Do you see Ross’ staff returning?
Hey, it’s time for the annual firing o’ the hitting coaches!
Going through exit meetings, still have a couple to go. We have a process in place and we’re not done yet, hopefully by end the week.
Oh, you haven’t told them yet?
Isn’t there a danger in evaluating way you played at the end of the season you weren’t contending and Central was weak? Is there danger in overrating that?
Only if you read Bleacher Nation.
Yes. You can play free and easy when you aren’t in a pennant race. We played a harder schedule in the first half. Played well against the Phillies and swept the Mets in New York. Had good moments against good teams but it’s important to remember some of what we saw in first half was schedule and injury related and in the second half guys could play free and easy. We have to be mindful of that.
I’m glad he actually said it. They were still shitty in the second half, but they played more equally shitty teams. We just ticked off the list of teams that didn’t try to win this year, and it was a lot.
Mark Gonzales: Your strikeouts were down one a game from last year. Slugging was down, so were homers. Free agency is the Wild West, how much can you bank on power going up with guys like Seiya healthy, Nico improving power, etc?
The Cubs were ninth in the NL in homers with 159. Honestly, I don’t know how six teams hit fewer homers than that. Patrick Wisdom and Willson Conteras were the only guys who hit 20. Nico hit 10 and he was sixth on the team. That sucks.
It’s an area we talk about, need to be a more quick strike offense. Cutting down strikeouts was good but we have to be able to pull away and we played close games because we couldn’t. Close games lead to more randomness, best teams in baseball blow teams out. One run games are generally a 50-50 proposition. Great teams blow people out. We have to be able to score runs in bunches we were not able to do that this year.
The Dodgers were 16-15 in one run games. They won 111 games. They were 42-8 in games decided by five or more runs. Jed’s not wrong. They hit 53 more homers than the Cubs.
Have you talked with Happ and Hoerner about in house extensions?
Oh lord, please do not extend Ian Happ. We just talked about how overpaying guys “hinders” your team. Ian’s middle name might as well be Hinder. That was his career year and he did it by not doing anything poorly and not doing anything all that well.
Nico? Sure, sign that nerd up. We love that guy.
We’ve taken first steps. We won’t talk about it but there are players we want to keep in a Cubs uniform for a long time.
Notice he didn’t say that those two were the players they want to keep long term. Still, Nico seems like a good bet.
Gordon, again: Do you need to get more athletic in the middle infield with shift going away?
I have total confidence in Nico’s ability to play short, but yes the game will demand more athleticism without the shift. I see no reason Nico won’t continue to get better there, but the way the game is trending athleticism in middle infield will make a big difference.
Nico was good at short, but he’s still injury prone and as a good shortstop he still looks like a really good second baseman. And nobody is blocking him there, unless you look down and squint.
How will guys who can move around help you in the free agent market (Nico, Morel, etc.)
An excellent question. Since those guys can play multiple positions you can sign the best available players and not really block them.
Our pitching is similar, we have a lot of guys who can start or be relievers, and we have that offensively as well. You focus in the offseason in writing out lineup card, this what we are, this looks good. That happens five games a year other times you have injuries, etc. The entirely of your 40-man roster is important and too many times this year we didn’t have the depth to handle it. A significant focus as our system turns out players is to get deeper, but depth has to be a constant focus. It’s not something people talk about in the winter, but oftentimes the deepest teams don’t go through long ruts. We’ve had a couple of those in the last few years. We have to focus on depth a lot.
A couple of long ruts the last few years? That last few years have been one big rut.
And that entire answer is a lot of words that comes dangerously close to saying, “We need to sign so many guys, that maybe we’ll just sign a bunch of cheap ones.”
Bruce, again - There was a lot of conversation that money wasn’t the issue, but trying to be smart about how and when you spent it. How close are you to the 2014 Cubs, and how important is it to identify not a great All-Star but the right one?
Lot of talk about how we compare to 2014 and it’s hard to compare those two things. In 2014 our best prospects were in the big leagues by the end of that season, and had dominated in double-A or triple-A. At that point we were further along as far as when those hitters were going to be in the big leagues. That said, from a a pitching standpoint we are further along than we were at that time.
I really don’t think they are farther along pitching wise. The 2014 Cubs had Jake Arrieta and a 24-year old Kyle Hendricks (who had a 2.46 ERA in 13 starts). The 2022 Cubs have some potentially nice young pieces, none who look to be as good as Jake or Kyle were…and Adrian Sampson.
I will say when we went out prior to 2015 it was only for one signifiant player, Jon Lester. We knew his makeup, toughness and maturity, other than that we made small trades for Montero and Dexter.
True, though some would say if you’d kept Luis Valbuena you’d have won the World Series in 2015 and 2016. OK, that might just be me.
(Some asshole brings up signing David Ross that offseason, too.) “That was a package deal.” Lester deal made headlines, but Montero and Fowler trades made a huge impact.
If Cubs fans are going to over-love a mediocre player I’d rather it be Ross than Ryan Dempster. But I’d really rather it be neither.
What was the message to Nico at exit meeting about possibility of a new SS?
We had a great conversation with Nico. It’s hard to imagine a young player more focused on the team. He gets mad when you talk about him. Wants to talk about the Cubs and winning and culture. Nico is totally on board. He’s an incredible teammate. I’m glad he’s a Cub.
Even Nico said, “Sign a good shortstop.”
Patrick Mooney - Tom says ball is in Jed’s court, is that more exciting than what you’ve had to do so far?
Patrick, are you insinuating that Jed doesn’t live for finding somebody to trade Dixon Machado to?
Great feeling, it’s what someone in my position wants. You want the autonomy to make it work and to research how players fit and that at the right moment when a player fits, you don’t want to do things off the cuff and be well researched. I know if I present Tom a plan to do something like that I have his support.
Tommy tells me all the time, ‘Jed, make out a wish list and give it to me any time. I always enjoy a good laugh.’
He’s good about pushing Carter and me for answers, and making sure we think about things the right way. I have total confidence that if we get to a place where we ask to spend significant money that we have his blessing, and the resources will be there.
Oh my, I forgot about Carter. Jed should have brought him to sit next to him and have nobody ask him any questions the way Theo used to do it to Jed.
The way Happ played, and the leader he’s becoming, how does he fit in long term on the Cubs?
Remember the story earlier this year where Maddie Lee quoted somebody about what a good player Nick Madrigal was going to be and the guy she quoted was Nick’s agent?
I mean, come on.
Are we sure Ian’s agent didn’t ask this question?
One of the most gratifying things for me in this job is watching the arc of a player, that development. He took a remarkable step forward in consistency. His career had been marked by high highs and low lows. Off the field part of it was with the trades last year he stayed and he took a leadership role. He saw those veterans were gone and his voice was important. He took Seiya under his wing and mentored him. I’m excited he’s a Cub. He had a really good year. Did good job of finishing the race. There were times in September when Seiya was gone, Nico got hurt, Willson was hurt, Madrigal was hurt and Ian never missed a beat. Really impressive. He had a heck of a year.
What about Seiya’s adjustments?
I’d be all for them. Just kidding. Seiya was the balls at the end of the season. And that’s progress you can trust. I think. Probably.
You talk a lot about the transition in the theoretical. First time I’d watched a guy go through it every day. It’s a real transition, from facing Major League pitching every day to travel and time zones and not having every Monday off. It’s a real grind and he learned a lot about how to take care of his body and things he’d change for next year.
And, he had to do it all in the immense shadow of Ian Happ! Or something.
A two parter:
Did anybody need surgery?
With the starting pitching depth that emerged, how important is it to add top of rotation starter?
It’s important that we continue to add quality innings. Actively looking for quality innings, pitchers we can work with and make better. Far from done building the staff, especially in the bullpen. We feel good about number of arms we have and those guys will continue to step forward.
Sounds like, “I don’t want to pay for pitching.”
Are you good with Seiya playing in World Baseball Classic?
Is that still a thing?
Yes. It’s always honor to represent your country. We’ve had a lot of conversions about it, we’re open to him playing in it. He’s balancing having a normal spring with the WBC. He had a really short spring, and we forget that the truncated spring had a real impact on guys’ preparation, none more than a guy who came over from Japan.
Smooth. He gives the definitive “yes” then follows it up with a bunch of reasons why Seiya shouldn’t do it. But if Seiya begs off, he’ll be the bad guy, not Jed.
How do you evaluate Ross’s job both positives and areas of improvement?
Ugh. Do we really know David Ross doesn’t suck? We don’t, do we? Sixteen good games at the start of his career and then shit since? He’s baseball Matt Nagy.
Love working with David, he’s a great partner for Carter and me. Enjoy our daily interactions. All he cares about is how can we get better and build this to be special. He says he knows what wining looks like as a player. He won World Series in ‘13 and ‘16. That’s his focus.
I haven’t been around many people who are as good at creating a culture that’s fun and and one of accountability. He builds relationships with players and when he has to hold them accountable they know it’s for the right reasons. The job he did in the second half was special.
Special doesn’t always mean good.
To have me trade away four relievers and to have the team eight over .500 was a heckuva job. Every year he’ll get better and better. His first season was a strange season with Covid. He hasn’t had a normal spring yet.
I’m sure some plague or another will ruin this spring, too.
From a game management standpoint he’ll get better and better with more reps.
In other words, Ross sucks at game management.
He has a great relationship with Andy Green and they talk constantly about developing our roster. Couldn’t be happier to work with him, I enjoy our interactions every day and having him as a manager.
That makes one of us.
What does the new playoff format effect on team building?
Great question. It’s early, but we’ll see. I felt the impact of a bye would be extreme. We’ll find out if that’s the case. Fatigue will be factor in the next round or the one after. You have to tax your bullpen your starters and travel will be a factor. My first impression was a bye would be a massive advantage.
At this rate, Trent Grisham is going to be tired of hitting homers.
Will Matt Mervis be ready to start next year in the big leagues? How’s Brennen Davis doing?
Without answering directly,
I thought Matt had one of the best minor league seasons I’ve been around. Certainly best of someone who went in and it was unexpected. He struggled last year in Myrtle and he started this year in South Bend and dominated three levels and improved at each level. Hopefully he’ll continue that this fall. Special season, I’ll give a lot of credit to our scouting department. He was our priority guy to sign. We put on a full court press on him the day you could sign them [undrafted free agents in 2020] and he bounced back from a not great 2021 to an awesome 2022 season.
I hope Mervis turns out to be good, but if you really do think you’re going to win next year you can’t just hand first base over to him after one good full season in the minors. Then again, you can non-tender Big Poopi and work Mervis into the DH rotation.
Brennan? Excited he’s playing and off to a good start in Arizona. He’s not a strong as he’ll usually be but when the fall league is over he’ll get back to his normal strength. Excited to have him back this spring. He lost a fair amount of reps this season.
I’m not a prospect pervert.
Except for Brennen Davis.
Bruce Levine, again, again - Players talked about David Robertson and Chris Martin bringing in winning culture this year.
Did they? Why would anybody do that?
Always want to have stabilizers in the bullpen. Love to think we can get to a point where we can almost entirely build our bullpen internally. We’re not there yet. So, that will be a focus this offseason. We made those trades at the deadline. I’d be lying if i wasn’t concerned about our bullpen and the way our guys stepped up was really impressive. They were forced into a big situation at a young age.
Can you make Michael Rucker shave off that creepy little mustache?
Bruce Levine, again, again, again - What about catcher?
Catcher? That’s the one who wears the pillows and squats, Bruce.
We’ll make Willson a qualifying offer and continue the dialog. You don’t want to make assumptions.
Hey, actual news from this media session thing!
Yan was a terrific addition to our pitching staff. Every one of the pitchers feels he’s invested in what they do. PJ [Higgins] is the same way. With [Miguel] Amaya has been one injury after another. I feel terrible for him. He has to come back from another surgery [Lisfranc]. Really talented, great kid hasn’t been able to get over the hump. He’s a good prospect, and I think he’s still gonna be a good player.
Yan and PJ suck. Amaya’s a pin cushion at this point.
Alive, dead or in Reno?
He’s feeling good, hasn’t started actively throwing. He should have a normal off-season. He has extensive goals to get back to where he was and get better. I have confidence that he will do whatever he can to be the pitcher he’s been since 2014, but there’s a level of uncertainly with anyone who misses the second half of the season.
Is it a good sign that Kyle is only passively throwing? I’m sure it’ll all be fine. Just like these things always are for the Cubs.
What do you think the impact of the rule changes will have? On base running?
What I wanted to know is why they made the bases bigger but didn’t go to the safety base at first? How does it make any sense to “fix” the bases and still make players run in foul territory to touch first base in fair territory?
Stolen bases with pitch clock, step-off rule and bigger bases will be a focus. Our base running was not good enough. We give up too many outs and make too many outs on the bases.
It doesn’t help that your oft-concussed manager calls for stolen bases at an alarming rate and at the most inopportune times.
Probably because we didn’t have much power we were purposely too aggressive, but at times we were sloppy on the bases. Winning teams don’t do that. Base running is an area we can improve significantly.
Maybe hire a coach to remind the guys to keep making left turns?
Mooney, again - Have you been watching playoffs and wondering why any team didn’t acquire Willson?
Everyone has to run their own railroad and make their own decision.
Choo choo, I guess?
I feel the trade we made with the Yankees was a good old fashioned baseball trade. They knew Scott [Effross] was pitching well and had good makeup and we got a starter who will help us. That was a baseball trade, not just future for present. As a team in the race when you trade seven years of control for two months, those deals mentally can be too hard.
How did this turn into five minutes on Scott Effross?
Willson was waving goodbye and saying he wants to be somewhere where he’s wanted. Where’s that relationship at?
I had a great conversation with him. We have always have had a great relationship. I admire his passion and we’ll make him a qualifying offer. I’ll take the comments he makes to me directly, not the ones in the media. I’ve always enjoyed working with him back to 2012 in Boise.
Let’s not bring Boise into this, Jed. What happens in Idaho stays in Idaho.
Talk about depth, but what about how teams that are left have star power where’s that on the priority list?
Star power? You don’t think Esteban Quiroz is a star?
That’s a great question. It comes down to timing. You need to add those players at the right time. No question those caliber players can swing a playoff series but you have to make sure you sign those players at the right time.
You know when the right time to acquire great players is?
Any time. Waiting is for morons. Great players don’t come available very often, so you go get them whenever you can. It’s like when the Dodgers traded for Mookie Betts and fans said, “They don’t need him.” How dumb was that thought?
How much of the bad base running is inexperience versus coaching?
Some of it.
When you struggle to score you push the envelope. We talk it through. I don’t blame coaching but it’s going to be a real focus on our decisions, in spring training and next year.
Here’s something else to work on in spring training. How about improving your base running by making your third base coach stop hiding on his belly in the grass?
How did you think the first year of PitchCom went?
How did it go? The Cubs innovated putting the transmitter on a guy’s shin guards! They are the best.
It looks like at times in the playoffs like it’s not loud enough. I look forward to having that problem. It’s been really good and it cuts down on sign stealing paranoia and trying to disguise it and slowing things done. The pitch clock made a lot of minor league games more enjoyable and that and Pitch Com will help that.
Wade Miley. Smyly? Do you want them back?
How about a rotation where all of the names rhyme? That’d be cute!
Every day Wade pitches is a great day for all of us.
All nine of them?
It was unfortunate for us that he didn’t pitch often enough. So many guys on a new to a team would probably have left to go rehab somewhere else. The way he is as a person, he felt he wanted to make his money somehow and he was great at team building and working young guys. I wish I’d seen him pitch more, but I couldn’t leave the year with a higher opinion of a person.
Nothing endears a pitcher to a team like not pitching.
With Drew, he had a stretch out of the All-Star break to the last couple of weeks. He was outstanding. The time he got things going he was really good. With both guys in the right setup we’d like to have them back. They have positive impact on the organization. There’s no finish line on adding guys who can make starts in the big leagues and add to your culture.
This seems like Jed saying, “If they want to come back for cheap, sure, why not?”
How’s Ed Howard?
He’s starting to move around.
The injury was a long road but he’s worked like crazy to come back. We’re excited to see him on the field soon and hopefully in spring training.
Are you looking to add a closer?
The way our bullpen is set up we’re not there yet, so there will be a focus on bringing in a veteran presence whether it’s closing or not. It’s important to bring in external options.
I hear Aroldis is available again.
Well, that was an eventful media session with Jed for once. I’m sure there will be many more this offseason as the Cubs sign all those big free agents.