The All-Time Greatest Cubs Team

I believe I heard in the promo that on today's 30 Clubs in 30 Days show on MLB Network that covers the Chicago Cubs that they're going to announce their all-time greatest Cubs team. That seems pretty easy for the most part and I'm not sure of their criteria, but let's see if we can guess.

C - Gabby Hartnett

1B -Mark Grace

2B - Ryne Sandberg

SS - Ernie Banks

3B - Ron Santo

LF - Billy Williams

CF - Hack Wilson

RF - Sammy Sosa

SP - Mordecai Brown, Ferguson Jenkins, Charley Root, Hippo Vaughn, Bill Hutchison

RP - Lee Smith,  Bruce Sutter, Randy Myers

Bench/Honorable Mention: Joe Tinker (SS), Billy Herman (2B), Frank Chance(1B), Stan Hack (3B), Jody Davis (C), Bill Nicholson (OF), Kiki Cuyler (OF)

If they go with pre-1900 players, Cap Anson will probably knock Grace out at first base. Center field is really the only position up for grabs I think besides how many pitchers and how they choose their relievers. Andy Pafko might deserve the nod over Hack Wilson, otherwise I'm drawing a blank there.   My guess is they won't go with so many pitchers from the early 1900's, so I wouldn't be suprised if Greg Maddux or Rick Reuschel sneaks on there. I've got it Tivo'd for tonight, so if you watch it before then, drop what MLB Network comes up with in the comments.

Comments

Go ahead and slide Candy Maldonado right on into the outfield.

No Jose Cardinal? No Al Spangler?

No Neifi?

They actually put Neif! on the Rockies all time team.

yeah, you gotta be careful with those.

almost every team they've profiled with that "best lineup" list has some "whaaaaaaaat?" omissions and additions.

unless there is some criteria of "best years with" Maddux has to make it. He won a cy young with the club.

well so did Rick Sutcliffe, but I wouldn't put him anywhere near an all-time greatest Cubs team. I assume the criteria would be being somewhere on the Cubs leaderboard at their position, otherwise Rogers Hornsby, Pete Alexander,  and a good number of other HOFers that the Cubs grabbed for a year or two would be on there, although the bulk of their work was somewhere else.

Maddux is in the discussion, just for his Cubs years, but there are a few who put up more impressive numbers as Cubs.

i know Greg Maddux, I've seen Greg Maddux play. And Rick Sutcliffe is no Greg Maddux.

(although Sut was the first pitcher to appear in the post season for the Cubs twice in a very long time)

Point being I'm coupling the overall career with the greatness of the play as a Cub.

Aramis Ramirez will make it as backup 3Bman. Mark it down.

not a bad pick, a bit early in his career, but by the end of his Cubs career he probably deserves to be in the conversation.

there was only a 30 gap of nothing. so for 1/3rd of the cubs existence, Aramis didn't have a any competition.

Take that back! Are we forgetting...

Bill Madlock
Steve Ontiveros
Ken Reitz
Ryne Sandberg
Ron Cey
Manny Trillo
Keith Moreland
Vance Law
Luis Salazar
Gary Scott
Steve Buechele
Jose Hernandez
Kevin Orie
Gary Gaetti
Shane Andrews
Bill Mueller
Chris Stynes
Mark Bellhorn

That's full of all-stars, so take back that "30 years of nothing" nonsense

Now that would be harder to do!

well always tricky as you have to manage unwarranted playing time versus level of suckitude they brought...

I'm up for the challenge though...I'll see if I can put something together.

You'll have lots of suckiness to choose from, to be sure.

You could also base it on guys who were supposed to be superstars and didn't live up to the hype (like Corey Patterson, for example).

For the most part I think your starting 8 will hold up, unless they go with Anson over Grace.

If they go with honorable mentions or a bench, I would guess Randy Hundley, Heinie Zimmerman, Andre Dawson, Phil Cavaretta, Hank Sauer, all make it. Depending on how big this bench is they might go down to guys like Rick Monday, Don Kessinger, Glenn Beckertt, Shawon Dunston, etc.

I don't think there is anyway Hutchison makes the starting 5. There is a good chance that Maddux does make it. I also think Pete Alexander has enough Cubs time logged to usually make these all-time teams. The reserve pitching list could be big, and if it is, you could see a guy like Z or even Wood on there.

They generally want all generations to see someone that they know on the team, so there will be a couple modern reps, like Ramirez as was pointed out above.

Dunston? Seriously?

What a sad organization this has been...

Seems sad, but the shortstop position in Cubs history is not deep.

Banks - obviously
Tinkers - of Tickers-Evers-Chance fame, but overrated
Woody English - 1 AS game
Billy Jurges - 1 AS game
Don Kessinger - 6 AS games
Shawon Dunston - 2 AS games

That's about it...

didn't anyone watch it last night? One of the twins was sick so I couldn't...

I DVR'd it. The comments in a nutshell were:
Cubs have good starting pitching
Cubs have good bullpen
Cubs have good lineup - to criticize it is nitpicking
Cubs will win the Central

Interviews with Lou, DLee, Milton, Theriot, Reed

Also of note was the interviewers demanded for Reed Johnson to show his beard in profile. But, as was mentioned in some writer's blog, Gaudin has a hideous beard. It's like a chin-wide flap of head hair combed straight down. It flaps back and forth with every throw he makes. He really looks like a massive douche

finally watched it, Matt Vag is a retard...complaining that Dawson wasn't in RF over Sosa.

just to have it...
C - Hartnett
1B - Grace
2B - Sandberg
SS - Banks
3B - Santo
LF - Williams
CF - H. Wilson
RF - Sosa
SP - M. Brown
Manager - L. Durocher

Pitchers & Bench
CL - Lee Smith
SP - F. Jenkins
SP - G. Maddux
RP - B. Sutter
OF - A. Dawson
3B - A. Ramirez

good call Trans...

Recent comments

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  • I think while I get what you're saying with moving around a lot of baseball is very rhythm based and for many players moving around a lot could disrupt that. It's the same reason many players aren't cut out for phing or dhing since they need to be in the rhythm of the game to hit.

    Of course then you have players like LaStella who are terrible as starters and should only PH. Really hope Madden doesn't get enthralled with him starting too much.

  • The players are required to perform with minimal thinking, relying on reflex, reaction, and muscle memory (or, as you say, rhythm). I think this point of view doesn't lend itself well to changing things up. Wearing Zany suits, on the other hand, does sound like fun and definitely keeps things interesting.

  • Scared me for a minute with your anagram for "Almora".

  • KKVG: Among the players at Extended Spring Training, Isaac Paredes is the most-impressive position-player from the Cubs 2015-16 IFA class (I'm not including OF Eddy Julio Martinez, because he skipped EXST and began the season at South Bend). Paredes has legit game power and handles himself well at SS, although I think he will likely eventually end-up at 2B or 3B (maybe not this year, but down-the-line). It is possible that Paredes will get assigned to Eugene (and skip AZL) next month, and I would say he's the only one of the Cubs 2015-16 IFA position players who could.

  • Having been a mediocre HS player, I would think at a professional level - and in their 20's - doesn't it sound actually FUN to have a chance to play different positions in a 162-Game, uber-long season?

    It has to take some of the monotony out of the job and keep you on your toes.

    In fact, the best manufacturing floor job satisfaction training theories include job rotation as a way to improve employee satisfaction.

    I hope Maddon can keep it going.

  • (It's usually KK, because his DNA is more like ours.)

  • Not just Maddon, but the organization as a whole. If the rumors are to be believed, they did a good job of letting Baez learn that he needed to change his approach, and Baez has done a good job listening to their instructions an adapting. Hopefully the same is true of Alomar, who is ripping up AAA.

    Previous management teams haven't been as good at this (e.g. Corey Patterson).

  • Man, this team makes you greedy. Going into Pittsburgh -- with Cole vs. Hammel Game 1 -- I was hoping for 2 out of 3. After winning the first 2 games 14-3, I now want a sweep. Same thing happened in STL. Very, very fun.

  • Repeating myself, but I give Maddon a lot of credit for Baez's success. Instead of talking about monster HRs and high K totals, he has talked up his defense, versatility and being a "special" player. The kid seems to have responded.

  • BOB: The attendance has taken a big hit since you left. 

  • K-DUB: I think the Cubs might consider skipping Dylan Cease past South Bend and starting him at Myrtle Beach next season, especially if he gets some time at South Bend this season and pitches well there. As a southern kid with TJS history, pitching at Myrtle Beach in April is probably a lot more attractive than pitching in South Bend, but Cease can't go to Myrtle Beach if he isn't ready for Hi-A. 

  • His story makes him someone I completely root for to succeed but it's interesting that he's not succeeding in the way anyone thought when he was just a prospect. Great defense and contact instead of power. I think failing so glaringly and getting sent back down might have been the best thing for him and his ego.

    He still swings at too many balls out of the strike zone but he's making a lot more contact on them which I think is helped by the less violent swing. So we might not get all the HRs we were expecting but I'll gladly take what he's giving.

  • "KingKongVsGodzilla"? So - was there a winner?

  • Baez is looking like a pretty special player.

  • Hey AZPhil,

    Love checking TCR for your writeups. Quick question - any of these 2015 positional IFAs stand out to you yet? I'm most specifically referring to Kwon, Sierra, Paredes, and Amaya, but I know there's a couple other guys from that class in EXST as well.

  • bored...looking at stats for the hell of it...

    felix pena (26yo) moving to the pen in AAA is looking like an insanely good fit so far in a smallish sample size

    13ip 4h 3bb 20K

    remembering back to spring training he was regularly hitting mid-90s (though he didn't have a good spring stats-wise). as a starter in the minors he usually worked low-90s.

    this could be an arm worth keeping an eye on even if he's only a 1-inning guy who was "demoted" to the pen to start the year.