Phillies as a lesson, spend to win, judge gets booed and other Cub balls

The season finale of ‘Rings of Power’ was pretty awesome from where I was sitting, as was the whole season. I know it’s not for everyone – in fact, I’m not SUPER into this high fantasy stuff, myself – but I really like how it turned out. If you liked the movies and were waiting to binge, I give it a solid recommendation.

  • The Phillies, who could very well make the NLCS (they just have to win one of the next two games), have won 87 games in the regular season this year. An 85-win team with real talent will frequently see the coin flips fall in their favor and win over 87 games, which is apparently enough to get you into the playoffs, where good things can happen.
  • That’s why we keep saying the Cubs need an 85-win team on paper and some real talent this offseason. It’s not that you WANT the Cubs to win exactly 85 games next year. It’s just that, if that’s your true level of talent, then you give yourself at least one realistic chance — in that meaty center of the bell curve — to make the playoffs. And while you can’t guarantee results once the season begins, you CAN work in the offseason to make the team an 85* winner on paper. * In my opinion, with the current Cubs team, it can be done RELATIVELY EASILY with the right moves and the right level of aggression this offseason. They have the money. They have depth of perspective. They can make the necessary additions for 2023 without imploding a hypothetical future season.
  • By the way, none of this is to say the Phillies are a MODEL of how you want to proceed this offseason if you’re the Cubs. Only that their success this year offers some kind of lesson in the many ways you can get things done if you just give yourself a chance.
  • Aaron Judge gets booed by Yankees fans in the ALDS:
  • If you missed it, Matt Mervis has AGAIN homered. Everything that was possible in the Arizona Fall League to confirm that he was just a flat monster stallion this year, he does. I can’t wait to see this guy in spring training, where he’ll absolutely have a very real chance of earning an opening day roster job, no matter what additions the Cubs make this offseason.
  • Here’s how the Pirates view their offseason and self-imposed financial limits, plus a great refresher on the relationship between spending and earning:
  • Another look at spending and earnings, from before last season:
  • Three of the teams with a winning percentage above 50% had a lower than average relative salary mass. Seven of the teams with a winning percentage above 50% had a HIGHER-than-average relative payroll, and three of the top-winning teams in the group spent significantly more than the other teams.
  • This is not a perfect correlation between payroll and earnings, and we already know that spending a lot does NOT guarantee you win. But we also know that big spend helps in many ways, and if small market teams aren’t going to do it, then big market teams are supposed to use it to their advantage (ABC is explicitly set up this way ). So, anyway, point there: if teams like the Pirates and Reds (and, to a lesser extent, the Brewers) plan to never spend a lot of money, then there’s all the more of reasons the Cubs are sure they do.

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