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ipstaff last won the day on June 8 2012

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  1. Not sure I've ever heard anybody suggest before that pitchers age "better" than hitters. Can you provide something to back that up?
  2. Oh man, this is good stuff. Nice work!
  3. Bold predictions, or "most likely results" for the season?
  4. I'm on the other side. I'd rather take Darvish, who is 4 years younger. Verlander's 2016 was a beautiful return after a lost 2014 and a short (and devoid-of-Ks) 2015, but relying on that again for his age 34 season feels pretty risky, too. And on Ks, Verlander has averaged 8.5 K/9 for his career and only made it to 10 twice - 10.0 in 2016, and before that 10.1 all the way back in 2009. Darvish has never had less than a 10.4 season and has averaged 11.3 for his career. Verlander tosses a lot of innings and that can reduce the K gap, but that age 34 number starts to put some more jeopardy in that.
  5. Props to @taobballfor kicking a lot of offseason a** to prop this thread together. I've just read through it and am so glad to see baseball coming back, and with it, it means I get to read more excellent contributions from the RW baseball forum posters, who collectively form a great group of information providers and thought-provokers. Can't wait for April!
  6. f--- that. Bartman needs to forgive the Cubs, not the other way around. The Cubs need to apologize to that man.
  7. With news that Hayward may be back by end of next week, probably not going to find someone willing to buy high. His return to "recent vintage Joe Johnson" after game 1's "old days of Joe Johnson" hasn't helped it, either.
  8. The Cubs have had fun with Bauer and basically haven't been able to do a lot with anybody else. It couldn't happen to a more deserving guy, either.
  9. Hoping you nailed the Cub prediction,
  10. I think the difference is that he'll be super careful on the way to the playoffs... but as you said, all-in when it's win or go home.
  11. Just wrote this above, but Clemente compares. He was moving to the late phase of his career, but was still winning All-Star nominations and Gold Gloves in his final season.
  12. Yes. The closest comparison to this is probably Roberto Clemente's untimely passing at the height of his Hall of Fame career. Many of us on this board would be too young to remember, or in fact may not even have been born when this happened on December 31, 1972. Roberto was also much beloved, an amazing attitude, a fantastic ambassador of the game - he died when the plane he and others were using to deliver aid to Nicaragua in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake went down - and a transformative talent on the field. Baseball's annual humanitarian award is named for him. A piece of history I am sure we all wish had never been repeated.
  13. His story was an inspiration. Loved his toughness and his clear love for the game. The quote from the interview after his first start always stuck with me. No, he wasn't scared to face guys like David Wright: "The only thing I was scared about was getting in that boat, getting shot at. Sometimes jumping in the water. After that, I'm not scared about anything else. I've been in jail. I've been shot at. I've been in the water. What am I going to do? That's why, when people say to me, 'Are you nervous, are you scared?' I'm not scared to do anything." Sickened by the loss for his girlfriend and impending child. This is a sad day for any fan of baseball, or fan of a man's will conquering adversity, but it's the worst news imaginable for his young family to be. My heart goes out to them.
  14. As expected based on who they had lined up...
  15. Reports of the Cubs' death as of this ASB appear to have been... greatly exaggerated. First half 53-35 with a +139 run differential and a .602 win%. 2nd half 41-19 with a +87 run differential and a .683 win%. They won 78.6% of their games in August. And they have followed it up by winning 56.3% of their games in September (so far). Their .786 August was even better than their .773 April. Heck, take out their two hottest months, April and August. Just get rid of them entirely, and you get a 55-43 record, good for a .561 win%, which would still have them atop the NL Central. That win% over their total games played would be equivalent of an 83-95 record, just about the same as the Dodgers (84-64) and just behind the Nationals (88-60). So in other words, even with their best two months ignored, this is still a division winning team. Other interesting schedule split info, courtesy of their baseball-reference schedule page... They are 15-5 this season in interleague play (2-2 vs the White Sox and 13-3 vs the AL West). 9-4 in extra innings. And they've been in 50 blowout games (out of 148 total... so about a third of their games total) this season and are 38-12 in those - so they blow teams out about 3x as often as they get blown out, and 40.4% of their wins have come in blowouts. And they're not somehow winning by virtue of random good luck in close games - they're 22-23 in one-run games. Oh, and something really unusual for Cubs fans to enjoy... they've never been under .500, the entire season, not once.