Cubs Baseball for Dummies: 2015 Edition

When it was first announced, many bemoaned the $240 million partnership with Anhueser-Busch, perhaps because the Cubs’ biggest rival plays in their beer sponsor’s eponymous ballpark. But I think it’s all going to work out for the best, and not just for the obvious benefit precipitated by 2.4 million Benjamins.

You see, one of the ancillary advantages of working closely with A-B is access to some of their vaunted Clydesdales, which is of particular importance now. While those hard-working draft horses are used to hauling draft beer brewed “the hard way,” the Cubs will soon need their help with the rapidly filling bandwagon.

It’s possible we could lose a few folks to dysentery as the season gets going, but unless this thing tips while trying to ford a river, it’s going to take quite a few ponies to keep us rolling. Too often we speak of these late comers in terms and tones of derogation, but perhaps they’re just being fashionably late to the party. In the Nick of time, some might say.

I can’t speak for other blogs (though I think most would agree), but here at Cubs Insider we tend to cater to those who’ve had their fingers on the pulse of the team since prior to Joe Maddon’s hiring. There are inside jokes (can you find mine?), advanced stats, and assumed knowledge in our posts that might seem intimidating to someone who’s just tuning in.

But given all those who are back to paying more attention to the Cubs than to their favorite American League team, I felt that perhaps we were being a little irresponsible in our approach. After all, fairweather fans are people too.

With that thought in mind, I set about creating Cubs for Dummies, a quick-reference guide for all those folks, a collection of catchphrases and concepts that will help them to stay up to speed when conversing with other fans. Just study up and throw a few of these tidbits out; it’ll be like you never left. But beware, newcomers, here there be red herrings too.

Joe Maddon

  • Hipster glasses
  • Keeps card dripping with analytics in his pocket
  • John’s nephew
  • Enjoys cheap red wine, life on the road, and loud rock music
  • Founded a university

Anthony Rizzo

  • Rakes against lefties
  • His great aunt was the inspiration for the character in Grease
  • Overcame Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Acquired by members of Cubs front office three separate times

Starlin Castro

  • Has a Mini-Me
  • Top-5 offensive SS in MLB
  • Questioned in relation to two shootings in offseason
  • Moved to States and is focused on making better decisions

Kris Bryant

  • Unicorn
  • Those eyes, though
  • Personifies his first initial a lot
  • Debut determined by arbitration clock

Addison Russell

  • Main reason Shark is not a Cub
  • On par with Bryant, prospect-wise
  • Cubs already named street after him
  • SS now but final position perhaps TBD

Jon Lester

  • Huge offseason signing
  • Lefty ace
  • overcame anaplastic large cell lymphoma
  • Called Kerry Wood to ask about wearing 34

Javier Baez

  • Bat speed
  • Strikeouts
  • Bat speed
  • Strikeouts
  • MLB tattoo on back of neck

Jorge Soler

  • Pronounced as though you’re calling to a lady of the night
  • Looks like Bears linebacker
  • Cuban hustle crisis
  • Homered on first-ever MLB at-bat

Edwin Jackson

  • Yes, he’s still here

Kyle Hendricks

  • Dartmouth educated
  • “Heady” pitcher
  • Not a direct comp, but reminds me of Greg Maddux
  • Stuff isn’t great, control is

Wrigley Renovations

  • Bleachers not ready until at least May
  • Battle with rooftops
  • Cubs sold minority shares to help finance
  • New ads and video boards


  • Miss Lippy’s car is green
  • Billy likes soda

So there you have it. Even those who fell furthest away in the first three years of the Theo Epstein regime can bounce right back as though they’d never left. As a skilled practitioner in the fine art of BS, I feel it’s my civic duty to help those less fortunate to fake it until they make it.

Best of luck, returning fans! If those bleachers ever do get done, it appears that you’ll actually have folks to talk to into the 6th and 7th innings this year. So when the guy next to you leans over and asks, “How ’bout dat Soler?” you can respond, “Oh, Whore-hey? I know he had some troubles in the minors after leaving Cuba, but it’s been great ever since he homered in that first AB.”

My work here is done.



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