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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  • If it was 2006 Hendry would be there w a Bible and a contract
    https://mobile.twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/77...

    jacos 46 min 16 sec ago view
  • he subscribes to my twitter, he's beyond TCR. #yolo #swag

    crunch 1 hour 23 min ago view
  • Whoops. Maddon must have been reading TCR (for his daily crunch) and got confused.

    CTSteve 1 hour 26 min ago view
  • kuhl is a righty, not a lefty.

    i think maddon might think kuhl is a lefty, too. i wonder what the reasoning is for baez leading off vs a rightie.

    crunch 2 hours 7 min ago view
  • "trout's one of the best, and at this point should probably win over donaldson (and should have more MVPs in the past, too), but the defensive aspect of valuing WAR still needs more tweaking...imo."

    that's from my 1st post. there's no suck involved in that. maybe with a few less posts about bullshit that point would have jumped out more.

    crunch 2 hours 54 min ago view
  • crunch - you do know that, taking defense out of the equation, Trout has led the AL in wRC+ each of those years, right?

    And, if you want to complain about position adjustment (which would be serious #crunchsplaining), he's been in the top 3 in the AL in WC (not park/league/position adjusted). And the only players ahead of him (if there were any players ahead of him) in any of those years have been DHs or 1B that play lousy defense.

    But sure - Trout sucks (or at least isn't as good as WAR says). Because it factors in defense and position.

    big_lowitzki 3 hours 59 min ago view
  • early tim tebow stuff rolling in...

    ran a 6.7 60yd (above average)...shagging flies in RF and showed off a rather impressive arm a few times, but average-at best on most of his throws...hit a few over the fence (both fields), fouled or weak contact a few...he's got a touch of power

    it'll be interesting to see who bites on this project, if anyone. he probably projected himself out of RF and into LF/1st because of his arm, but unless he can make that power work on a steady basis it'll be hard for him to play himself up anyone's system.

    crunch 4 hours 44 min ago view
  • LHP Clayton Richard (released by the Cubs earlier this month) is pitching very well as a starting pitcher for the San Diego Padres and could be a good candidate to get traded to a contender looking for a veteran SP before tomorrow night's post-season roster eligibility deadline.

    Because they released him, the Cubs are paying most of Richard's 2016 salary (the Cubs are on the hooks for $2M, minus the pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum salary that is paid by the Padres).

    Arizona Phil 6 hours 31 min ago view
  • it is honestly awesome (for real) that anyone would even have a strong opinion on AZL playoffs. i guess if you invest enough time watching it, you want to see a fair/just playoff structure.

    plus, the kids deserve it.

    crunch 6 hours 32 min ago view
  • The AZL team with the best record over the course of the full 2016 AZL season and the only AZL team to play .600 ball (the AZL Dodgers) did not qualify for the AZL playoffs, and the AZL East Division team with the best record over the course of the full season (the AZL Athletics) did not qualify for the AZL playoffs, either. 

    That's because of the ridiculous "split season" schedule most of the minor leagues now play, a stupid system that rewards mediocrity at the expense of the worthy. 

    Arizona Phil 6 hours 39 min ago view
  • Despite good movement on his fastball, I think location kept him from getting Ks. Left some pitches up and away that got hammered up and away. Then of course Travis Wood gave up the 2-run double in the 7th, but both runs counted against Arrieta.

    Charlie 7 hours 15 min ago view
  • "i'm gonna make you my main squeeze one day, bro. save the date."

    This level of discourse is #charming.

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 7 hours 15 min ago view
  • I would be having this discussion with anyone who (a) blathered on ad nauseum about the topic. (See, "Olt, Mike, not given an opportunity") or (b) responded directly to what I posted (which you did).

    Have a nice day.

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 7 hours 18 min ago view
  • what would you do without me? aside from having your posting content here cut by 75%+?

    i'm gonna make you my main squeeze one day, bro. save the date.

    crunch 7 hours 21 min ago view
  • In this instance, yes, I care more about the result of this big thing that isn't really a big thing.

    #crunchsplaining

    #willlistentojeffsullivanmorethanyou

    #blessyourheart

    #hitler

    #tcrmartyr

    #billyhamiltonwar

    #baseballtalk

    Tito 7 hours 22 min ago view
  • Two things:

    Fangraphs WAR #s include baserunning and Hamilton is elite at that. He leads in SBs with the 54 and and has an 87% rate which is really good. I'm sure once he gets on base he's able to take the extra base quite often too. Both those things will up his overall WAR value.

    The differences between BR and FG WAR is pretty well documented online and thus If there are discrepancies it's fairly easy to figure out why. It's fairly well accepted that BR WAR is fine as a snapshot but FG is better at predicting future value.

    johann 7 hours 26 min ago view