If you’ve found this welcome note, you’ve probably realized that something new is happening around these parts. Baseball Prospectus is stepping into the team-specific website business, and here is where you’ll find all the Cubs analysis you can imagine. Once things get rolling, expect to see the same quality writing you get at our main site, just with a Cubs lean. It’s going to be a fun ride, please join us, won’t you?
I remember the first day I walked into a clubhouse. It was April 2009, and at the time I was toiling away as a nights and weekends radio producer. As is often the case to get a career going in this business, I was lucky enough to have someone there take notice of me. Bruce Levine, who has been in the covering baseball for over 30 years and was the Cubs and White Sox reporter for the station at the time, believed he saw something in me and allowed me to tag along with him as he did his daily duties at the ballpark. Up to that point, I hadn’t really figured out what I wanted to do in this business. Stay behind the scenes, host a daily radio show, be a reporter, none of it was clear to me. But I left the ballpark that day convinced I’d found my calling: I was going to be a baseball reporter.
I headed into work the next day early and went into my boss’s office. I told him that I knew what I wanted to do and that I’d like to get to the ballpark more often. He kind of chuckled and wondered how I could be convinced after just one day at the park. I don’t know if he didn’t believe that I only needed one game to convince me or if he just didn’t believe in me. Either way, he was wrong—I knew it then as clearly as I know it now. This was my calling and I was going to pursue it no matter who told me it couldn’t be a reality.
I didn’t get back to a ballpark on a regular basis until late in the 2010 season—definitely not my choice, but hey, it’s how this business goes sometimes—but since then, I’ve spent my summers covering both Chicago baseball teams for whichever outlet will allow me to do so.
This is all a long-winded way of saying that I may not have always known it, but going to the ballpark and talking to players, managers, front office execs, scouts—basically anyone who will allow me to stick a mic in their face and give me something interesting—is what I’m best at.
And where I really discovered myself, where I got some of my best interviews and did some of my best work, was at Wrigley Field. It soon became apparent that I was doing something that wasn’t the norm on the beat. I felt I was doing BP-quality analysis and adding an extra layer with my access. I knew that I wanted to do this on a regular basis, particularly with the Cubs, but never had a consistent outlet until Baseball Prospectus provided me with one last October.
Then came news that we’d be starting local websites and that the Cubs would be one of the first teams to get their own site. Instantly I knew that I wanted to take on this challenge. To provide Cubs content at a BP-quality level on a daily basis sounded like the job I was born to do, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do on these pages.
Of course, I’m not silly enough to think I can do this on my own. I’ll be contributing regularly, going to the North Side as often as I can and hopefully delivering some strong thoughts from on the field and in the clubhouse (and experimenting with things I haven’t done before). But I’ve assembled a team of regular contributors that I’m quite proud of.
Brett Taylor, who runs the best Cubs blog out there, will be providing a piece once a week (and perhaps we may even resurrect a certain podcast). If you haven’t read any of Matt Trueblood’s work, then apparently you don’t frequent our main site. He’s a machine, and has agreed to help out regularly on this side of things as well. Mauricio Rubio has been a part of our fantasy and prospect teams and he’ll be delivering player profiles and more. Scott Lindholm has been writing for Beyond the Box Score for the past year and has blown me away with his analysis; I was pumped when he agreed to do the same on the Cubs for us here at BP. Joel Reese is gonna cover the lighter side of the game; the rest of us will get into the nitty gritty, Joel will make us laugh with his unique storytelling abilities. Rob Willer has been an intern over the last few months at BP and as a big Cubs fan, he’s finally going to get a chance to show off his writing skills on a consistent basis. Andrew Felper is a Boston native who temporarily moved to Chicago to chase his dream as a comedian. That didn’t work out as he’d hoped, so he’s back in Boston, and having contributed to various SB Nation sites in the recent past, he’s gonna deliver some strong analysis on the North Siders right here. Brandon Decker is a sophomore at Iowa State and a writer at Beyond the Box Score. He’ll be close to the Iowa Cubs, so he may give us a thought or two on some guy named Kris Bryant.
And that’s not all, I have a slew of other writers who will contribute when they can and have already provided plenty of interesting topics for me to consider. This is going to be an exciting endeavor, one that I never expected to happen, but I’m eager to lead. Just like the 2015 Cubs, I have big expectations for what we’re going to do here. I hope you’ll all follow along as we embark upon what’s sure to be an exciting era, not only on the North Side, but here at Baseball Prospectus as well.