The Rundown: Season Winding Down in Cincinnati, It’s Peer Recognition Week, Judge Breaks AL Home Run Record
“Gotta get back to the midwest Hunny, I miss that deep dish taste. And, I’m sittin’ on the roof at Wrigley Field, call where to call ’em off too late.” – Buddy Guy, Meet Me in Chicago
It’s Yom Kippur. I’m wishing our Jewish readers an easy fast.
This is also Peer Recognition Week, at least according to all the memos and meetings at my day job, so I’ll be mentioning a few of our competitors this morning. I only do it once a year, but then again, I’m never mentioned on those sites, and that’s okay. I mean, people who come here for the first time tend to stick around for good.
We close the books on 2022 today and win or lose, I’d love to see Adrian Sampson hold the Reds to one earned run or less. I’d also like to see Chicago hand the Reds their 100th loss of the season. By 7 pm this evening I’ll start dissecting the season and preparing for what should be an exciting winter for Chicago’s North Side baseballers.
I didn’t watch many Cubs games this year, though I do tend to watch the condensed games. I have a personal beef with the organization that I cannot get into, and though my fandom hasn’t wavered, my pocketbook is a little gunshy when it comes to supporting the team. For that reason, I have not been to Wrigley Field for a Cubs game since Opening Day. During the summer, I saw Dead & Co., paid about $25 for two hot dogs and a beer, and decided that Wrigleyville is pricing itself out of my budget.
I never ask how many people read The Rundown, but most bloggers, including my peers here and those who write for other sites, do our thing as a passion project. So, I’d like to see the organization do more to recognize what we do. We put butts in seats, and we help sell merch, but the biggest thing we do is help perpetuate the vibe of being a Cubs fan. It’s free advertising for the organization. The average fan spends about $175 on MLB-related goods and services each year according to Finance Buzz. Cubs fans likely spend twice that. When Jed Hoyer goes shopping this winter, he can do so partly because of what we do here.
To the best fans in baseball,
You make Wrigley Field the Friendly Confines. pic.twitter.com/Gtdr3boTXH
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 30, 2022
If we keep 600 fans interested no matter how poorly the team plays, that’s $105,000-210,000 in revenue to the league and the organization, and that’s probably a light number. It would be nice if the Cubs hosted Cubs Insider one game, and Bleacher Nation another, then Bleed Cubbie Blue for example. Let us throw out the first pitch or sing the 7th inning stretch. Give us a tour of the facilities, and buy us a dog and a beer. The Bears should do the same for what we do at Bears Insider, too, and other organizations across all professional sports should follow suit.
The latest blog statistics prove that blogging was the second most popular content type for B2B marketers as of 2020, coming right behind social media content (95%). All of the dedicated blogs mentioned here have a heavy social media presence, too, and those numbers continue to grow. Additionally, producing long-form content has been on the rise with 38% of B2B marketers writing articles of 3,000+ words. You have to also include all the inbound links we provide to MLB sites and merchants, and third-party, team, or league-affiliated businesses. What I wouldn’t give for a little reciprocation.
Regardless, we will all keep doing what we do because of our love for the Cubs and because of the readers who check in with us each day. Believe me, writing here is no great sacrifice. That said, there’s not much pay in it and there are few perks, but it does keep us involved and lets us promote the game and its greatest franchise. Baseball is timeless, and so are the Cubs for that matter, and the fact that the organization and the league often frustrate us shows just how much we truly care.
I truly believe the Cubs are going to have a wild and active winter. Thanks for choosing Cubs Insider to bring you all the details. I mean it when I say your loyalty is reason enough to do this each day.
Cubs News & Notes
- Several Cubs minor leaguers helped to kick off the AFL, and top prospect Brennen Davis launched a two-run blast in Game 1 on Tuesday.
- Sahadev Sharma is one of the best reasons to subscribe to The Athletic, and he wrote a great piece about Seiya Suzuki and why the rookie outfielder is such an integral part of Chicago’s future ($).
- Sharma also touched on the Cubs’ rotational depth in a companion piece ($).
- Hayden Wesneski will be one anchor of next year’s starting staff and his understanding of advanced analytics is helping to keep his whiff rate elevated to an elite level. He knows how to get the ball by hitters, and has the command to hit those spots, and that’s a recipe for near-guaranteed success.
- Sampson and Marcus Stroman have been the team’s most consistent starters during the rotation’s second-half surge.
- Javier Assad has been working his way into Chicago’s long-term plans as well.
- Ben Brown and Jordan Wicks are next in line, and they’ll be followed by Luis Devers, DJ Herz, Porter Hodge, and Daniel Palencia. Caleb Kilian will be in the mix next year, and Cade Horton and Jackson Ferris will be waiting on the periphery.
- If you’re looking for an untouchable MLB record, look no further than former Cubs catcher Jody Davis. In 1986, Davis threw out an unfathomable 89 baserunners attempting to steal and he has 445 career notches on his chest protector.
- Over at Bleed Cubbie Blue, Sara Sanchez is always a delightful read. You can hear her on some of our podcasts every once in a while, too.
- Speaking of podcasts… Don’t forget to watch for new editions of our podcasts all winter long. In addition to The Rant Live hosted by Jon and Evan, you can find great audio content from Danny Rockett with the Son Ranto Show, the Growing Cubs podcast formerly hosted by Greg Huss, and Wrigleyville Nation, hosted by Jeremy Diemer. Don’t forget to hit those subscribe buttons!
Odds & Sods
I hope Contreras plays today otherwise yesterday’s tater may have been his last as a Cub. The All-Star catcher reportedly did some background checking on the Cardinals. However, if Hoyer qualifies Contreras, I doubt St. Louis would sign him. In case you’re wondering, José Quintana provided the Redbirds intel to the Cubs catcher.
Of Note: The article on Contreras linked above was written by Gordon Wittenmyer of NBC Sports Chicago and it has a Rundown vibe of sorts. I’m flattered.
22nd home run of the season for Willson Contreras! #SkylineWilly pic.twitter.com/7NBY8Bp66Z
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) October 4, 2022
Climbing the Ladder
“I’m running and I won’t touch ground, oh no, I got to keep on moving.” – Matthew Wilder, Break My Stride
I was super happy to see Nico Hoerner reach double-digit home runs. I’d love to see the Cubs sign a double-play partner with a little more pop than Nick Madrigal, however. A great effort yesterday by Zach McKinstry, who stole two bases in the 9th inning of a meaningless game after entering as a pinch runner for Franmil Reyes. It’s safe to assume McKinstry wants to return next season. He’s really been playing with a lot of vigor, and his stats since arriving bear that out.
Games Played: 161
Total Plate Appearances: 6,024
Total Strikeouts: 1,438
Strikeout Rate: 23.87%
Team Batting Average: .238
Runs Scored: 642
Runs Allowed: 729
How About That!
The reigning World Champion Braves clinched their fifth consecutive NL East title on Tuesday.
A wild Tuesday night finalized this year’s playoff picture.
That said, the final day of the regular season still holds some intrigue.
This year’s Wild Card round will start on Friday.
Boog Sciambi, Doug Glanville, and Jesse Rogers will be the broadcast team for the Guardians’ first-round series.
Mets catcher Francisco Álvarez notched his first big league hit, and it was a 439-foot blast that left CitiField.
It’s premature to talk about next season, but 1-in-5 MLB pitchers this year would be guilty of violating the league’s pending pitch clock. Giovanny Gallegos of the Cardinals and Braves closer Kenley Jansen will have the toughest time adjusting.
Tuesday’s Three Stars
- Aaron Judge – The 6-foot-7 soon-to-be free-agent slugger blasted No. 62 last night and it was magical. Rangers pitcher Jesús Tinoco served up the record-breaking home run. Next up for Judge? The chase for the Triple Crown, of course, and Patrick K. Flowers over at Bleacher Nation has some nice insight.
- Roger Maris – No one should forget what that man endured in his home run chase, and kudos to his family for recognizing Judge’s feat. Reportedly, the wife of Babe Ruth was not very happy when Maris passed The Great Bambino in 1961.
- Baseball Fans – I love it when fans put rivalries aside, no matter how bitter, to recognize historical accomplishments.
Your new AL home run king, and for those of you who refuse to recognize Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, and Sammy Sosa, your new single-season MLB leader. But please, no asterisks. In fact, John Heyman says Judge is baseball’s undisputed champ. I disagree. Let the debate commence.
Aaron Judge breaks the AL home run record, a breakdown pic.twitter.com/8QGJkAgfLX
— Jomboy (@Jomboy_) October 5, 2022
Wednesday Morning Six-Pack
- Is a recession truly imminent? The surest sign of an economic downturn has been a Philly-based baseball team winning the World Series. It happened in 1929, 1930, 1980, and 2008. On Monday night, the Phillies clinched a playoff spot for the upcoming postseason.
- Elon Musk has once again agreed to buy Twitter, potentially saving Delaware residents from what could be a shitshow of a trial. Musk reportedly realized that he was probably going to lose the legal battle.
- Celebrate Musk’s reversal with a Dogfish Head IPA. That’s what I’m going to do.
- Goodwill Industries finally launched its own website. That’s as historic as Wrigley Field getting lights in 1988.
- Country music icon Loretta Lynn passed away yesterday. She was 90 years old.
- Brain Teaser: Forwards I am heavy, but backward I am not. What am I?
They Said It
- “What you’ve seen from [Suzuki] this year is just scratching the surface. Just away from the game of baseball, just life-wise, I think it’s got to be incredibly challenging. We’ve talked about it some, but he’ll come into next year with a real sense of what’s ahead of him from weather to travel to opposing pitchers to food to everything in between that a lot of us take for granted. If this is his baseline, I think you’re looking at a really, really solid player and a guy who’s going to continue to improve.” – Hoerner
- “I know [Suzuki’s] a worker and puts in the work to be the best he possibly can. He’s still super young, and it’s his first year in the league. I think we all would have liked to have seen him stay healthy the entire year and see what that was like. But there’s definitely real signs there of an All-Star-caliber player.” – David Ross
Wednesday Morning Walk-Up Song
Godspeed Ms. Lynn. I’ve loved this song for 45 years.