Category Archives: Cartoons

epstein

The Cubs’ Brain Trust

There are pissed-off Cubs fans who see the losing of the past few years through the same lenses they’ve worn since 1974. It’s all the same, all crap and it will never end.

There are those of us, however, who feel that this time is different. The Cubs have abandoned Band-Aid strategies for a grand plan. Like any plan worth its salt, it’s not easy, but if you’ve ever tried to get back in shape, you know that “no pain, no gain” is a real thing.

For those of us who believe in Theo Epstein and Co., this article by Ryan Ferguson of Cubs Insider is right on.

He writes: “The Cubs’ plan, to build through outstanding player development a sustainable roster of impact players who’ll flourish into their prime years at the same time whilst providing greater financial flexibility with which to acquire the accent pieces required to win championships, has been attempted by other teams in the past, but never with such discipline, sincerity or meaning.”

Well said, as they say.

And since he wrote it, I figured I’d add my visual take of the “Cubs Brain Trust.”

You can reach us at Cubs Fan Therapy.

Cubometer shirt

Cubs-O-Meter Remains Positive

The Cubs-O-Meter reflects how I’m feeling about the Cubbies at any given time. The name pays homage to the famous Shawon-O-Meter of Cubs days gone by.

The meter is sticking in the comfortable “I shaved and this is a new shirt” region, but the shirt is really clean and fancy looking because I’m feeling good about the Cubbies.

Why? Jake Arrieta looked outstanding again today. What Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and others do for hope on the hitting side Arrieta is almost single-handedly doing on the pitching side. Not that the Cubs don’t have some decent pitching prospects, but this guy is pitching like an ace. How does a 2.11 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP sound alongside his 6-2 record?

I also love how the trade deadline played out for the Cubs. There’s got to be a misprint in what the Rays got for David Price. Pitcher Drew Smyly and infielder Nick Franklin? That’s it? The deal makes Theo and Jed look like geniuses for landing one of the top MLB prospects in Addison Russell when they traded Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the A’s.

The Cubs then received a solid catching prospect, Victor Caratini, from the Braves for journeyman infielder Emilio Bonifacio and reliever James Russell, who has been solid for Chicago but has a lot of mileage on that left arm.

Tom Loxas at Cubs Insider wrote a nice brief piece on the A’s being a blueprint for the Cubs.

I can picture sitting around reconstructing how the Cubs became the Cubs when they are mopping up the league in a couple of years. “Remember how Theo jumped the market and landed Russell? That was genius.”

Also feeding my Cubs enthusiasm is a nice nostalgia piece from Evan Altman of Cubs Insider that reminded me of watching baseball with my grandpa. Good stuff and maybe I’ll steal the idea and do a version of my own sometime.

Someone give me a sedative. I’m feeling a little too good right now about a franchise that trots out a 45-62 major league club. Whatever. Hope ain’t just a city in Alaska.

Where would you set your Cubs-O-Meter? Maybe you think I’m nuts and believe this is as bad as it gets. Let’s hear it. Leave a comment and/or tweet to #CubsOMeter.

You can reach us at Cubs Fan Therapy.

Soler

Soler Shows Easy Power, Easier Smile

Cubs fans have been keeping tags on Javier Baez and Kris Bryant, but it’s time to include Jorge Soler in your prospect watching.

The 22-year-old Cuban hit a mammoth homer in Iowa last night, his first at Triple A.

Soler appears to have very easy power, with the ball jumping off his bat as it did in his round tripper to center field last night. He’s also got a very inviting smile. You might remember that he’s the guy who lost it and went after some opponents with a bat in Single A last year. Well, watch this interview and not only will you not believe it could be the same guy, you won’t be able to help rooting for him.

He seems like a pretty happy dude. And he’s making Cub Nation very happy with the way he is manhandling minor league pitching. A September call-up is entirely possible since he’s already on the 40-man roster.

Anyway, he doesn’t actually smile when he hits, as depicted above, but what the heck.

You can reach us at Cubs Fan Therapy.

Cubometer shirt

Cubs-O-Meter Looking Up

The Cubs-O-Meter reflects how I’m feeling about the Cubbies at any given time. The name pays homage to the famous Shawon-O-Meter of Cubs days gone by.

Cubs-O-Meter going up to “I shaved and this is a new shirt,” which basically means I feel good enough for a night out on the town. I’m buying the first round.

How can I possibly turn the Cubs-O-Meter up a notch when the team is 17 games below .500? Good question.

The answer? I’ve got a good gut feeling about the Cubbies today. They beat the archenemy Cardinals yesterday. That helps.

But what really has me excited is the middle of the Iowa Cubs lineup. Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, Jorge Soler … ahhhh. They even went a combined 2-for-10 with one RBI in a loss and I still feel great.

I can’t help imagining those guys surrounded by Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro. And while we’re at it, let’s throw in Addison Russell, who hit two homers yesterday.

I understand that some Cubs fans aren’t paying as much attention to what’s going on in the minors. They look at a 42-59 major league team that traded away its two best starters and they are disgusted. I hear ya. I do. My friends will tell you I’ve muttered “Cubs suck” in the past years more times than can be counted.

Not anymore. Well, yeah sometimes. But I am looking at the pipeline of players on the way and I am fired up.

And it’s always nice to beat the Cards.

Where would you set your Cubs-O-Meter? Maybe you think I’m nuts and believe this is as bad as it gets. Let’s hear it. Leave a comment and/or tweet to #CubsOMeter.

You can reach us at Cubs Fan Therapy.

Cubometer fine

Cubs-O-Meter Set To I’m Fine

The Cubs-O-Meter reflects how I’m feeling about the Cubbies at any given time. The name pays homage to the famous Shawon-O-Meter of Cubs days gone by.

In 2003, I approached “best day” territory, but then … I don’t remember much because I ended up drunk and living in a box.

Today, well, the Cubs have lost five straight games. They’re coming off a sweep at the hands of the lowly Diamondbacks. But as you can see my Cubs-O-Meter is not being set to anything close to DEFCON 1 — impending doom. Like it says, I’m fine, really, I’m fine.

Every loss brings us closer to another top-5 draft pick. The Cubbies are only a game out of having the worst record in the whole league! Yippee!! Alright, that’s too much.

Obviously, I’d like to see the Cubs win. But I want the wins to mean something. In this lost season, they really don’t help in the grand scheme. They might help a young pitcher here or there or give Anthony Rizzo some added confidence when he knocks in a game-winner. But they hurt draft position.

So I still root for the Cubs to win game by game, but when they lose I think draft choice and perk right up. Usually.

We’ll see where the Cubs-O-Meter goes tomorrow.

One caveat to the meter. I’d like my wife to know that it only goes to “Sorry honey” status when they win the World Series. Not even the pennant. I swear.

Where would you set your Cubs-O-Meter? Maybe you think I’m nuts and believe this is as bad as it gets. Let’s hear it. Leave a comment and/or tweet to #CubsOMeter.

You can reach us at Cubs Fan Therapy.

baez 7-14 cartoon

Baez Shows Future Is Almost Here

Cubs top prospects Javier Baez and Kris Bryant played in the Futures Game in Minneapolis ahead of the All-Star Game on Sunday. And in some ways this was the All-Star Game for Cubs fans.

With the big league club not going anywhere in the standings, Cubs fans are looking to the future. And from the looks of Sunday’s performance, we’ve got to wear shades. There look to be some very bright days on the horizon.

Arismendy Alcantara is tearing up the majors in his brief promotion. Bryant didn’t get a hit Sunday, but he is killing it in the minors. And Baez, well, he showed the rest of the world what Cubs fans already know: He’s got some serious power. He whacked an opposite field homer in the Futures Game that sailed well over a 20-foot wall in right-center.

The drawing above is my take on that KOO KOO KA BOOM round tripper.

You can reach us at Cubs Fan Therapy.