The Beer List: Our Favorite Pieces from 2015

This is The Beer List. It’s an opportunity, once every two weeks or so, for the staff here at BP Wrigleyville to get together (virtually, of course) and respond briefly to one small, usually quite open-ended, question. Despite the strenuous efforts of certain members of the writing crew to make it so, it has nothing to do with beer and is therefore agnostic between, for random example, Miller Light and Daisy Cutter. This week’s question is this: what was your favorite piece we’ve published this year?

This week, we did things a little bit differently here at the Beer List. We asked our staff to put together a list of their favorite pieces we’ve published here this year, then we had all of you—at least, those of you who follow us on Facebook and Twitter—vote on your favorites. Here are the results:

(1) Sahadev Sharma, How the North Siders Created a New Cubs Culture.

Just as the season was about to end, our estimable Editor-in-Chief put together a long look at how the Cubs have transformed their organization from top to bottom. It was, by a wide margin, your favorite piece of the year.

(2) Sahadev Sharma, Jake Arrieta Arrives on the National Scene With Higher Mountains on Horizon.

In a few weeks, Jake Arrieta might win the NL Cy Young Award. That discussion started in earnest after he threw a no-hitter against the Dodgers in the closing days of August. Sahadev Sharma profiled his rise, and the rise yet to come.

(3) Sahadev Sharma, Eventually, Every Party Ends.

Sitting in the Wrigley seats a few hours after the season ended, Sharma (think he’s any good?) reflected on the season that was, and the feelings all of us felt as everything came crashing down.

(4) Rian Watt, Away From the Lights, Humanity.

Rian Watt had an amazing year at Wrigleyville, which culminated in a few trips to the clubhouse in late September (followed by postseason coverage from Wrigley throughout the playoffs). In this piece, he shared some impressions from that first experience.

(5) Rian Watt, Cerebral Kyle Hendricks Pitching With Carolina Confidence.

During that same first trip to Wrigley, Watt had an opportunity to sit down with Kyle Hendricks, the Cubs’ young starter. He dove deep into Hendricks’s growth as a pitcher, and approach to a game filled with bigger arms.

(6) Carlos Portocarrero, Players are Human: On Quantifying Makeup and Personality.

It’s a theme with so many of these pieces, but Carlos Portocarrero perhaps said it best: players are human. In this piece, Portocarrero looks at just how much makeup matters when it comes to building a team.

And there you have it! Of course, these pieces are just the tip of the iceberg (we hope) when it comes to the great reporting and analysis our team has brought you this season. We have a heavy offseason schedule coming over the next few months, and we look forward to bringing you another great season of Cubs baseball!

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