The 2007 Ex-Cub Factor

Hi, everyone. What's new? With the Cubs back in the playoffs for the first time in four years I thought it was a good time to dip my toe back in the Cub Reporter writing pool again. Truth be told with the group of guys writing here now, I've been content to sit back and relax, and just read and enjoy. But since it's playoff time, I thought it was time to dust off the old Ex-Cub Factor and see whose quest for the Commissioner's Trophy is, ultimately, doomed. For those who are unfamiliar with the Ex-Cub Factor, I wish I could point you to the pages and pages of stuff I've written about in the past, but all my All-Baseball archives are in limbo at the moment. I was able to find a couple of pages that show what the Factor has looked like back to 1980 (as well as showing my propensity for starting a big project and then not following through, but that's another story). So what is the Ex-Cub Factor? As I wrote long, long ago:
The Ex-Cub Factor was originally coined by writer and Cub fan Ron Berler, who wrote an article in 1981 stating that since the Yankees of that season had five ex-Cubs on their roster, they were doomed to lose the World Series if they got there. Chicago newspaper legend Mike Royko picked up on the factor early on, and was a tireless champion of it, especially after Berler's 1981 prediction turned out to be right, as the Yanks lost to the Dodgers in six games.
The ECF is very simple: if you have three or more ex-Cubs on your playoff roster, you cannot win the World Series. Only twice since 1945 has the factor not held, 1960 and 2001. Interestingly in both of those cases, the ex-Cub-laden team won the Series by beating the New York Yankees in the bottom of the 9th inning of Game Seven of the Series. As Mel Allen said, "how about that?" On to this year's rosters (a caveat -- playoff rosters don't need to be set until tomorrow morning so it's possible that some of these guys will be left off the rosters once they're finalized. Of course, that only matters for one team, as you will see). Here are the ex-Cubs currently lurking on the rosters of the eight playoff teams: PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (3): Antonio Alfonseca, Tom Gordon, Jamie Moyer LOS ANGELES ANGELS (2): Gary Matthews, Chris Justin Speier ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS (2): Juan Cruz, Augie Ojeda CLEVELAND INDIANS (2): Joe Borowski, Kenny Lofton CHICAGO CUBS (1): Steve Trachsel BOSTON RED SOX (1): Julian Tavarez COLORADO ROCKIES (1): Latroy Hawkins NEW YORK YANKEES (1): Kyle Farnsworth So as you can see, the Phillies are phucked this year, since all three of those guys are locks to make the roster. All they can hope for, I guess, is to match up against the Yankees and hope that the Game Seven Corrollary continues to hold true. One thing I think is interesting (though unrelated to the Factor itself) is that every single other team in the playoffs this year has at least one ex-Cub reliever. The Cubs have scattered their late-inning pitchers around baseball like a Johnny Appleseed of million dollar arms and ten cent heads, and many of them are pitching for a ring this year. Odd. Oh, and to answer two questions that come up every so often: * The Cubs can be affected by the Ex-Cub Factor. This came up in '98 when the Cubs had three ex-Cubs and I got a ruling from Ron Berler himself. * Players who only played in the Cubs' minor league system do not count. For this year that means the Red Sox don't need to worry about Eric Hinske.

Comments

Welcome back!

I think the Phils are phucked no matter what because you have to win that game 7 in the bottom of the 9th against the yankees... at home.

FYI, here's the archived version of the old page:
ex-cub factor

Overdetermined for Phils. They have Alf, who alone would doom the best team in the world, regardless of the number of fellow ex-Cubs on their team.

Chris Speier was a Cub....in 1986! Julio Franco isn't so interesting anymore. Does having a father who also played for the Cubs increase the ECF at all?

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/mlb/sweepstakes/y...

Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana residents can win NLDS tickets for Game 3.

Oh sure, now he comes back....

Just kidding, Ruz. Welcome back!

> Chris Speier was a Cub….in 1986!

D'oh! I meant Justin, of course...I'll fix that.

Colorado also has Dan Serafini

Interesting Stats I heard on the score today.....

Arizona is the only team to ever have 90 wins when they gave up more runs than they actually scored.

The Cubs gave up 40 somethin less runs, and scored 40 somethin more runs than the D-backs.

Liking our chances!

I hope Serafini gets to pitch

http://colorado.rockies.mlb.com/team/player.j...

His ERA is 54.00. I doubt he made the playoff roster.

All this optimism is making me nervous. Stop it!

It really doesn't matter who the Cubs play, what their record is, what weird statistics come into play. The bottom line is if the Cubs lose, it most likely will be the Cubs losing the series more than the other team winning.

In years that Cubs have made the playoffs, hurricane activity in the Atlantic has been unusually low. This is because the low pressure systems that typically create the conditions for a hurricane have moved from the West Coast of Africa to just west of Lake Michigan around Addison and Clark streets. This unique atmospheric anomaly has the effect of lowering the ground temperature at Wrigley Field. So instead of the field feeling like 110 degrees with the humidity index, it only feels like 80 degrees or so. Thus, the incredible disadvantage of playing all of those day games in the Friendly Confines is neutralized. So pitchers can pitch in comfort, balls get caught and the atmosphere is less dense, meaning Cubs sluggers can pop them out with ease.

According to my climatologist friend I.M Storm, the tropical depression also brings the soothing breezes off of Lake Michigan in August and September, bringing the additional benefit of natural air conditioning. When I asked him if Global Warming would benefit the Cubs, play, his response was "of course it will." No longer will the Cubs have to battle snowflakes in April or frosty nights in September. "They will have much warmer weather at both ends of the season."

You might have also heard that legendary Chicago folk singer Steve Goodman (the author of the song "Go, Cubs, Go") had his ashes spread in the outfield. So I consulted my friend Vig R. Ro, the famous horticulturist, what this would mean for the ivy and grass conditions. "As you know, human ash contains generous amounts of phosphorous and potassium, which is generally good for the grass and even better for the ivy." In layman's terms, that means balls hit out of the infield will roll slower and are more likely to get caught in the ivy. That will enable Alfonzo Soriano to get perhaps a second more to get to the ball and employ that cannon of an arm.

dailywombat.blogspot.com

*golf clap*

[...] The 2007 edition of the Ex-Cubs Factor. (Cub Reporter) [...]

The Yankee's Jose Molina is also an ex-Cub.

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  • I love winning! It's, like, better than losing?

    billybucks 1 hour 24 min ago view
  • LOLLYGAGGERS!

    Dusty Baylor 2 hours 47 min ago view
  • You lollygag the ball around the infield. You lollygag your way down to first. You lollygag in and out of the dugout. You know what that makes you? Larry!

    Jackstraw 5 hours 31 min ago view
  • Its too bad Warren didnt get to pitch. He would have saved us.

    The E-Man 5 hours 49 min ago view
  • Whoa -- that Contreras play in the 8th looked too much like a "Schwarber" -- nearly crashed into the wall going full speed, with Heyward doing the same.

    New rule: if you are a catcher playing LF, and find yourself sprinting after a fly ball in the gap -- stop, let the CF go after it and get ready to play it off the wall.

    billybucks 6 hours 24 sec ago view
  • Cubs have no spark and no life. Pretty boring to watch these days.

    billybucks 7 hours 33 min ago view
  • I thought trips to Miami were supposed to be fun. This one sucked.

    The bottom half of the bullpen now turns close games into blowout losses. Not good.

    Once Fowler went to the DL, the team went into the tank. Wonder if he'll get any love this offseason? Probably not.

    billybucks 7 hours 37 min ago view
  • 6IP, 2ER. The last one scored because of another botched Zobrist DP turn.

    And now, a bad throw by KB. Sloppy.

    billybucks 8 hours 19 min ago view
  • What is it with Hammel always starting well and sucking after a couple months?

    The E-Man 9 hours 53 min ago view
  • Ahhh...sad. Lke a few of you here, I saw him play during the '69-'71 seasons. He was the "hot Zobrist" for the club in August/September of '69 while everyone else was fizzling out...

    The E-Man 10 hours 32 min ago view
  • I predict: "They will play hard and if they give the same effort every day, they'll win a lot of games."

    The E-Man 10 hours 35 min ago view
  • OK, boys -- find a way to win today.

    billybucks 11 hours 29 min ago view
  • There's some BA is missing too, here's all signing bonus BA doesn't have some:

    -6 Hockin $241,000 (slot price), 7 Cruz $75,000 (saved $110,00), 8 Ridlings $120,000 (saved $53,800), 9 Robinson $30,000 (saved $132,300), so far the Cubs have saved an extra $297,100

    cubbies.4ever 13 hours 19 min ago view
  • per Muscat...
    Zobrist (2B), Hayward (CF), Bryant (3B), Rizzo, Contreras (LF), Montero, Russell, Coghlan (RF), Hammel

    Cubster 13 hours 28 min ago view
  • Also -- despite losing 6 of their last 10, the Cubs picked up a game on both STL and PIT during that period. Weird, given that they swept PIT and were swept by STL.

    billybucks 13 hours 28 min ago view
  • Also, I'd like to know if there are numbers to back up my suspicion that there are a lot more fast starts than late June romps. This seems like a time where everybody not named Willson Contreras is looking a little tired and/or banged up a bit.

    For once, the Cubs got off to a fast start. Seems like I've been waiting for that for 50 years.Everybody is really gunning for this team, too. It's their playoffs.

    Old and Blue 14 hours 53 min ago view