My scorecard request to the Cubs

My request to the Cubs for scorecards to be sold online

The final question on the Cubs survey (of about 25 questions) is: Please share any other comments or feedback you have for the Chicago Cubs.

Given my moment to let them know my request, I wrote:

I would like purchase authentic Cubs scorecards online from any series. Best if sold through Amazon Prime, so I don’t have to pay for shipping.

The Amazon Prime part might be a stretch. But hey, they are asking me for any feedback. This is my desire.

Categories: Fun with baseball scorecards | Leave a comment

MLB twitter accounts ranked by followers

The great data folks over at fivethirtyeight put together a great chart of all the MLB teams and their twitter follower numbers. The Cubs rank 9th overall, but are second in growth! Only the Blue Jays saw more growth with 570,000 new followers this year.
Chart of MLB accounts and number of followers

Categories: Fun with baseball stats | Tags: | Leave a comment

Awkward celebration photos

Let's hug, but not really

The Kansas City Star ran this awkward photo of the catcher Drew Butera and relief pitcher Wade Davis celebrating. They are in an awkward embrace, like, “uhhh, yeah, we’ll kinda hug, but not really.” The actual celebration isn’t that akward, it’s just the timing of that particular photo. Odd that the hometown paper of the Royals went with that frame.

Topps celebrated the Met’s National League Championship with this awkward photo of Jeurys Familia and Travis d’Arnaud in an uncomfortable embrace.

Familia and d'Arnaud aren't so sure

It would be fun to see a series of awkward celebration photos. If anyone has some, please tweet them out and at-reply to @57hits. I’ll update this blog post with your tweets.

Just for the record, THIS is how you do a celebration:

Categories: Etc | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Two Cubs players have not thanked the fans on Twitter

Sixteen Cubs are on Twitter. 14 of them have tweeted thanks to the Cubs fans for the great season (see all 14 tweets). That means two of the Cubs players with Twitter accounts have not thanked the fans yet for the great season.

Javier Báez (@javy23baez) and Fernando Rodney (@F_Rodney56)

1. Javier Báez (@javy23baez) has a fair amount of tweets with 1,398; but none for the fans. However, he did play just 28 games due to an injury and the death of his close sister. We are definitely looking forward to what Báez will do next year.

2. Fernando Rodney is another player who spent only a small portion of the season with the Cubs. He arrived to the team via a trade on August 27th. Having only been with the team for a little longer than a month, it’s understandable that he didn’t thank the Cubs fans. Plus factor in that his twitter account @F_Rodney56 has only 228 tweets–where he mostly retweets images of himself doing the Air Arrow.

Maybe Rodney and Baez are enjoying their time off from the long season. Hopefully as the World Series continues, Rodney and Baez will give a shoutout to the Cubs fans.

Follow the 16 Cubs players via this handy Twitter list, 2015 Chicago Cubs players. I plan on making a new Cubs list for every year.

Categories: Fun with baseball stats | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Collection of thanks from 14 Cubs players on Twitter

What a wonderful season for the Cubs. Thirteen of the Cubs players have publicly thanked the fans for the great season.

Rizzo’s tweet has the most retweets and favs among all the Cubs.

Hammel’s tweet got the least amount of favs and retweets. Awww.

Dan Haren’s tweet is more to all of baseball, but we’ll take it. The guy is retiring from the game he loves.

Pedro Strop @pstrop46, thanked the fans by retweeting the WrigleyBlog. We’ll count that.

David Ross calls the Wrigley crowd “amazing.” We’ll count that as a thanks.

Dexter Fowler gives it up to Chicago during the playoffs. In his 38 tweets since the end of the playoffs, he hasn’t given an official tweet thanking the fans, but we’ll count this one.

Tomorrow we look at the two Cubs who have not yet thanked the fans.

Follow the 15 Cubs players via this handy Twitter list, 2015 Chicago Cubs players. I plan on making a new Cubs list for every year.

Categories: Fun with baseball stats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Game five tickets for a series sweep

You have tickets for game five in a best of seven series. Certainly your team can win one game so you can see them play? Right? Have you ever had that happen where your team gets swept the game before the tickets you had to see them play?

That’s happened to me twice in my life–both with the Cubs. Once in 2007 when the Cubs got swept by the Diamondbacks in four games, I had tickets for game five at Wrigley Field. I was to see the game with my dad. Seeing your team get crushed in four games is heartbreaking. Not even able to see your team eek out one win so you can see them in person.

The second time is this year (2015) with the Cubs getting swept by the Mets. The Cubs had the better record. They just crushed the Cardinals in the series prior. Things were looking up. But then the Cubs lost all four games, and I’m left with game five tickets in my hand. So close. I’m at least thankful for the potential opportunity, and for a great season.

Today Outlook just gave me a past due reminder to leave for Wrigley Field on last Thursday.

Thanks, Outlook. I wish I could have gone.

I’ll set an office reminder for next season.

Categories: Etc | 1 Comment

How to watch the MLB playoffs without cable

Cubs Playoff media center

Not able to watch the MLB playoffs because you don’t have cable? You don’t have to be stuck. There are a plethora of ways of keeping track of the game live. Baseball is a game of stats, so while visuals are nice, you have lots of other ways of being engaged with a live game.

I set up a media center with two monitors, laptop, and cell phone. A mission control of updates are running across all four screens.

Baseball-Reference: Batter vs Pitcher
Gives in-depth stats on how batters have done against the starting pitchers. This also lists all the relief pitchers. When it comes time to take a starting pitcher out of the game, it’s interesting to cross-reference the next batters up in the lineup against how they have done across the opponents relievers.

ESPN: MLB Gamecast
Their live updating stat ticker is immensely valuable. Every couple seconds it rotates through:

  • Probability of scoring 1+ run in the inning
  • Probability of scoring 2+ runs in the inning
  • Batter’s average against pitcher
  • Batter’s average with current count

1st column: My Cubs stream
Four reliable Cubs Twitter accounts that give you just the live information you need:

2nd column: Cubs keyword, min 2 favs
This column searches all tweets mentioning the word “cubs” with or without the hashtag. Minimum 2 favs. If you set it to one minimum fav, you get too much spam. 3 fav-minimum doesn’t refresh enough. Two is the sweet spot.

MLB Gameday
The core standard of game updates. Although, I might be dumping this for ESPN’s Gamecast. However, it’s nice to see when MLB releases new videos, but they tend to be only for when runs are scored–typically via homerun.

MLB Audio
Always running in the background is Pat and Ron on WBBM 720 radio.

CBS Gametracker
I’m not really sure what value I get out of this tracker. I do like their twitter stream. At some point, I might add some of the sources they use to my Cubs list.

Just a regular text editing program to compile ideas for future blog posts.

AIM instant messenger
Chatting with friends.

Instead of monkeying with your phone to text your friends, use the Messenger desktop application to text your friends that use iOS.

Fangraphs: Probables
Fun to see the probablity of winning or losing update throughout the game.

If I can get a live stream, I’ll have it on. However, it’s usually two pitches behind.

I don’t use Sports Illustrated’s Game Flash. It’s a piece of trash.

Do you use other services to keep track of baseball games? If so, I’d love to know. Please leave your tips in the comments or on Twitter.

Categories: Etc | 2 Comments