636 Reasons for Cub Fans to be Thankful in 2008

In a special, Thanksgiving edition of his Stat of the Week, John Dewan chronicles the Cubs' aversion to taking walks from 2003 through '07.

Here is how the Cubs hitters ranked among NL clubs in BB:

2003 14th of 16 teams
2004 14th of 16 teams
2005 16th of 16 teams
2006 16th of 16 teams
2007 15th of 16 teams

Last year  was a different story.

The Cubs led the NL with 636 walks--the league average was 551--and, as Dewan points out, "the Cubs increased their run production by over 100 runs...leading the 2008 NL in runs scored with 855."

Based on the individual player stats at FanGraphs, here is how the key figures in the Cub lineup aided the cause and how their willingness to walk in 2008 compared to 2007 and the rest of their careers:

Player  '08 BB%
'07 BB %
Career BB %
Jim Edmonds 13.9% 10.1% 12.8%
Mark DeRosa 12.0% 10.4%  8.7%
Aramis Ramirez 11.8% 7.8% 7.4%
Ryan Theriot 11.2% 8.4% 10.0%
Derrek Lee 10.2% 11.1% 11.3%
Alfonso Soriano 8.7% 5.1% 5.7%
Reed Johnson 5.4% 5.5% 5.4%


Geovany Soto  (just 79 career AB's before last year) and Kosuke Fukudome aren't listed because they had no MLB track record to compare to, but both wore their walking shoes last season: Soto walked 11.2% of the time (2nd among NL catchers) and Fukudome finished at 13.9%, a higher BB rate than all but three other regular NL outfielders, Adam Dunn (19.1%), Pat Burrell (16.0%), and Atlanta's Gregor Blanco (14.7%). As much as Fukudome appeared to be overmatched for much of the season, his patience at the plate, at least early in the year, seemed to set the stage for the Cubs' overall offensive approach in 2008.



some may not miss jim edmonds at all, but the guy's partial production would be a MVP-calibre season over a full year.

hope someone picks up the slack there...at least DLee has room for improvement in that area.


My guess is the A's, as they are trying to win the division next year, Peavy on the Angels doesnt help that. Also what SD needs OAK has a surplus of (pitching and outfielders).

It could be our AAAA affiliate in Pittsburgh. I hear that Jack Wilson has been seen on the mound shagging flyballs.

I have to think that whatever the deal, it wouldn't be a great one for the Cubs. Vitters is a lock to be in it and probably Pie, Marshall, or Castillo as well.

I'd love to have Jake Peavy, but I hope that after signing Dempster, acquiring him doesn't preclude us from getting a solid RFer. Adding Peavy and, say, Dunn or Ibanez to this team make it pretty stout, but are Jim and Lou on the same page?

I just can't accept all those numbers, Rob. Do you mean to say that THE MORE BASE RUNNERS WE HAVE, THE MORE RUNS WE SCORE?

Ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous. That can't be right. Ok I'm gonna go look for witches to burn at the stake now.


The heresy was mine, not Rob's. But enjoy your witch-burning. : ) 

My apologies to you, Cubnut. We all know that Rob is the witch here. hehe

Don't forget Chad's foray into Gay Witchcraft!!

Apparently there have been some talks about the Cubs acquiring Peavy from San Diego.


I am thankful and give credit to Fukudome for showing the way in terms of patience at the plate. I honestly believe he influenced the team in that reguard. I hope the '09 Cubs follow that approach.
Please do not get Adam Dunn, I cannot bare to hear the laughter coming from Cincinnati. Let him go play football in Europe.
Is Ichiro available?

Oops I mean, "bear." Go bears.

Recent comments

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  • Remember, as I told my wife when our kids went off to college -- this is a good thing! Enjoy it!

  • Fully agree -- can't prove it. But, the numbers are what they are, and a lot of his OF games have come in Aug & Sept, when he has been killing the ball otherwise. And, knowing how baseball players love routine, it seems logical that it could at least be a a factor.

    Really, really, really hope I'm wrong on this.

  • Indeed! It has been absolute blast -- from getting swept by the Phillies to sweeping the Giants, I have always enjoyed being part of this group. Hope we have a lot more games to talk about this year.

  • Yes, cheers to me! I've noticed a fairly strong correlation between my tenure and Cubbie victories. 

    And thanks to Michael for our new diggs--and to y'all for sticking around! 

  • CHEERS to CT Steve for keeping this alive in 2015. Who would have thought that the season would have been so successful to this point? Thank you CT STEVE!

    I think I may be too nervous to watch the entire game. I will probably watch in bits and pieces - and constantly check MLB App. I will be like Blockhead: Nervous Nellie.

  • You can't prove the performance is because he played the OF. You just can't. Sorry.

    BTW, Bryant hit .168 in July playing 3B exclusively.

  • oh man, early on it seems like he made at least 1 stupid baserunning blunder per game and almost every single one turned into a positive for the cubs. it was magical.

  • Not surprised about Lester but bit surprised about Hendricks. Guessing that if something happens to Arietta right away they go to Lester but if they've burned relievers and are in extra innings they go to Hendricks.

  • My kids' 8:30pm (ET) bed time will be waived tonight (They are Rizzo & Castro fans). We'll get geared up in our Cubs apparel and will watch this as a family. I am stoked. Go Cubs!

  • Bryant: Base running adventures.

  • Remember Bryant's home-away splits, too.

    Wrigley: 21 HR, 59 RBI, .311/.408/.629
    Road: 5 HR, 40 RBI, .243/.333/.360

  • Good Lord this season has flown by so far. I need more Cubs gifs--the four on the MLB.com article today are not enough. I need a 100 best moments of the season listicle of gifs.
    Rizzo: The slide, the catch.
    Russell: All the defense.
    Bryant: Pelting the video board.
    Soler: 125 MPH ground balls.
    Schwarber: DINGERS, surprising LF catches.
    Fowler: Walks, the many walks he should have had on 3-2 BS strike calls.
    Baez: That 3B play.
    Ross: Walk-up music? Bullpen appearance?
    Denorfia: Walk-off.
    Castro: Walk-offs.

  • No evidence other than 8 hits and 0 HR in 45 AB....

    I just think hitters like their routines -- think Boggs or Ted Williams -- and messing with that routine adds an element of change. I want my best hitters in their normal routines.

  • evidently i was busy burying context and meaning.

    i was excited about this playoff season kicking up in the drama of that environment, but it was stated insanely muddled.

  • Woke up early and couldn't get back to sleep in excitement/anticipation. Go Cubs Go!

  • The only issue with this dead horse is that there's no evidence that his performance during those games is solely due to playing the OF. I would tend to agree that I'd rather see him play 3B, though.