“It’s Worth Noting I’ve Been Playing With a Go-Bot” – Podcast Episode 6.46

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On this, the 283rd episode of The Ivy Envy Podcast, we answer listener questions. Other than bringing Henry Blanco back to the organization, the Cubs didn’t give us much to discuss this week.

There are still lots of “big picture” discussions to have though. Is this team a contender in 2015 like the front office says it can be? Would we rather see the Cubs trade Castro or prospects? How important is it for the Cubs to get a top-of-the-rotation starter this offseason? How great is Rizzo’s contract for the Cubs? Would the Cubs re-consider a bad-deal swap with the Braves – Edwin Jackson for BJ Upton? Is posting photos of mice carcasses on Instagram in bad taste? Why would someone ask 21 questions on a message board?

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Are you unsure of what Christmas gifts to get for the females in your life? We’ve got the answer for you…it’s reasonably priced, the ladies will love them and by ordering them, you’ll buy us Ivy Envy guys a beer at Spring Training. Check out the Jamberry Ivy Envy Beer Money Flash Sale.

“Dat LaStella Doh” – Podcast Episode 6.45

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A few hours before we recorded this episode, the Cubs traded Arodys Vizcaino back to the Braves for 2nd baseman, Tommy LaStella. We discuss why the Cubs may have made this trade and what it may (or may not) signal as far as bigger deals the Cubs are setting up.

Baseball Prospectus released their Top 10 Cubs prospects list this week. We were a little surprised that Addison Russell was ranked #1 over Kris Bryant and talk about why Russell earned the top spot. In this discussion, I mentioned an episode of Effectively Wild. You can find that episode here.

We talk about the general hype that the Cubs have started to get and talk about how that may expand in the future. This conversation comes up because the Cubs/Cardinals Opening Day game has been moved to primetime, the night before.

We also answer a bunch of listener questions, some focusing on Russell Martin and the free agent pitchers the Cubs are rumored to be leaders on.

Saving it up for Saturday Night – Podcast Episode 6.44

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On this, the 281st episode of The Ivy Envy Podcast, we talk about a few of the main off-season rumors flying around about the Cubs. The Cubs are being accused of tampering with Joe Maddon by the Rays. Russell Martin is on the Cubs radar. For some reason, the Cubs are involved in David Robertson rumors. We talk about these things and talk about the impact of potential deals with the Cubs.

Andy checks in on the Cubs prospects that are playing in the Arizona Fall League. Kurt talks about the transactions the Cubs have made since the 2014 season ended.

We answer a good group of listener questions and read a few internet muscle flexes…folks?!

Joe Maddon…FOLKS! – Podcast Episode 6.43

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IyvEnvy_Color_blogpodcastOn this episode of The Ivy Envy Podcast, we talk about the Joe Maddon hiring. When we recorded our last regular episode, we would have never guessed the Cubs would have a new manager right now. A few weeks after announcing that Ricky Renteria would be returning for 2015, the Cubs front office was faced with a tough decision when Joe Maddon was suddenly available.

On this episode, we talk about the one-year Ricky Renteria era. What did he do well and what did he do poorly? We give our thoughts on the Joe Maddon press conference. It didn’t take long for a lot of Cubs fans to become infatuated with Maddon during that press conference. Andy talks about his history as a manager, and lists a few other reasons that the Cubs should be really interesting under Maddon.

Kurt talks about what the Maddon hiring means for the Cubs in this off-season and beyond. The internet muscle flexers were out in force after the hiring, so we read some of those.

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“We’re going to make the playoffs next year.”

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 2.04.37 PMOne of the most sought after days over the past week has finally arrived. Joe Maddon is officially the manager of the Chicago Cubs. With a brand new 5 year, $25 million contract, Maddon, along with President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein and General Manager Jed Hoyer, was introduced as the 54th manager in Cubs history this afternoon at the Cubbie Bear bar across the street from Wrigley Field.

With ripped jeans, no tie, and in a brand new unbuttoned Cubs jersey with his name and the number 70, Maddon began the press conference with a story of the meeting he had with Theo and Jed in Pensacola, Florida. This meeting took place in Maddon’s RV, nicknamed Cousin Eddy. During Maddon’s intro, he expresses his comfort level with this job, “this is a good fit for me.” As the former Rays’ manager recalls his trip to Wrigley Field in August, Maddon spoke of a situation while walking out for a pitching change and seeing the bright blue sky. Madden compared it to a cathedral and said it was like a scene from the movie Gladiator. “It’s magical,” the new Cubs manager stated.

Maddon also addressed the long championship drought for the Cubs calling it, “beautiful,” and saying, “why would you not want to accept this challenge?” One of the best quotes of the press conference was Maddon stating, “this is a one in a 107-year opportunity.” The new Cubs manager isn’t fine with just thinking about contending this year. “I’m going to talk playoffs and World Series next year and I’m going to believe it.” This is on parallel tracks to what Theo stated in his “State of the Cubs” address in October that the goal is winning the division in 2015. To go even further, Maddon said the Cubs are going to make the playoffs next year. *faints*

A few more clip notes in the press conference:

  • Maddon and Theo both addressed the tampering issue. Maddon states that he didn’t know of his opt out clause until then Rays’ GM Andrew Friedman moved on to the Dodgers and Rays management informed him of it.
  • The new Cubs skipper preached continuity with Theo, Jed, the Ricketts family, and the coaching staff. Current Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio was mentioned a handful of times by both Theo and Maddon. You would have to think he would be back for 2015. Also, Maddon will sit down with Theo and Jed to discuss the coaching staff and strategy soon, saying they have not spoken about that to this point.
  • As for the pressure of being the new manager of the Cubs with the championship drought, Maddon stated a phrase that is on top of his lineup card everyday, “don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure.”
  • Maddon explained his managing style a bit while discussing his players. “The players don’t have to be the first on there and the last one to leave to impress me. That has nothing to do with winning. Nothing.” Also, Joe said he will continue to roll with a guy in a 2 for 25 like slump, “I understand development. I love development.”

Best quotes/moments during the Joe Maddon press conference:

  • About the coaching staff Maddon says, “I play good in the sandbox.”
  • Maddon said “do do” in a sentence and immediately giggled.
  • Talking about analytics and advanced stats, “you ever see that card in my back pocket? It’s dripping in analytics.”
  • Theo talking about the RV meeting with Maddon, “We’ll always have Pensacola.”
  • Maddon about managing in the NL, “National League baseball is very cool.”
  • Maddon expressed his thanks for the Rays organization.
  • The new Cubs manager ends his press conference by saying, “Where is the bar keep? First round is on me. Shot and a beer.”

The press conference, in total, lasted 36 minutes. If this press conference was any indication of how these next five years are going to be, Maddon is going to be a fan and media favorite.

Wrigley Field Renovation with Danny Rockett – Podcast Episode 6.42

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IMG_6818On this week’s episode of They Ivy Envy Podcast, I’m joined by podcast listener, Danny Rockett. The Wrigley Field renovation is underway, and Danny goes to Wrigley on a daily basis to check on the progress. Since we, and many of our listeners are hours from Wrigley, we thought it’d be good to get Danny on to talk about the construction at Clark and Addison.

You can follow Danny on Twitter – @SonRanto

Here are a few more of Danny’s pictures and a mesmerizing video he filmed as the bleachers came down.


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“I Can’t Wait to Forget This” – Podcast Episode 6.41

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Welcome to the 278th episode of The Ivy Envy Podcast.

It’s been a fairly quiet off-season for Cubs fans, so far. With baseball still being played, the free agent market hasn’t taken off yet. The Cubs held a season ticket-holders meeting and we talk about the topics that were brought up, by the Cubs and the fans in attendance.

The Arizona Fall League is underway and the Cubs have a handful of players participating. Although the “small sample size” disclaimer applies to the stats right now, we look at how the players are doing for the Mesa Solar Sox.

We go through this week’s listener questions and read some internet muscle flexes.

Review of 2014 Season Predictions – Episode 6.40

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IyvEnvy_Color_blogpodcastThis week’s episode is one that we really look forward to every year. Michael from Galesburg joins us…and does all of the work by going back and listening to our season prediction episode.

We have a clear winner between the three of us in the predictions this season. Here are the players and stats that we weighed in on:

Mike Olt RBIs – Over/Under is 80
Anthony Rizzo Batting Average – Over/Under is .270
Jeff Samardzija Wins – Over/Under is 13
Rick Renteria Ejections – Over/Under is .5
First Trade of the Season – Before/After May 1
More MLB HRs This Year – Barney, Baez, Travis Wood
Date Samardzija is Traded – Before/After July 4
Kris Bryant 1st MLB At-Bat – Before/After September 3, 2014
Starlin Castro Errors – Over/Under is 21
Will Any Cubs Pitchers Have Double Digit Win Totals?
Total Cubs with BA of at Least .275 with 350 ABs – Over/Under is 2
Players on Cubs Big League Roster in 2014 – Over/Under is 55.5
Junior Lake HRs – Over/Under is 10
Junior Lake RBIs – Over/Under is 70
Jason Hammel’s Win Total – Over/Under is 7
Jason Hammel’s ERA – Over/Under is 3.25
Mike Olt’s Strikeout Total – Over/Under is 120

Michael is one of the hosts of The Awesome 80’s Podcast. If you were a child of the 80’s or enjoy 80’s pop culture, you will enjoy Michael’s podcast.

“It took me so long to remember Jon Lester is a guy.”
– Episode 6.39

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IyvEnvy_Color_blogpodcastTheo Epstein conducts his end-of-the-season press conference and we comment on his remarks. He said some things that should be very encouraging for Cubs fans. It’s the first time we’ve heard this front office talk about contending for the division.

We answer a slew of listener questions, Andy gives us an Asshat of the Week and we read Internet Muscle Flexes.

Go buy Puig Destroyer’s digital album here: Puig Destroyer Digital Download

#NationalPodcastDay – Podcast Episode 6.38

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TeachPodcast-300x250-grayThe Cubs season has ended, but we have a bonus episode for you this week…and we don’t talk about the Cubs at all. Tuesday, September 30th is National Podcast Day. Obviously, podcasting means a lot to us and we use this opportunity to talk about this medium that has connected us with so many incredible Cubs fans.

We talk about how we discovered podcasts, we share the history of The Ivy Envy Podcast and talk about our favorite podcasts. We also give you a few things that you can do to spread the word about podcasting on National Podcast Day. We’d love to hear about your favorite podcasts. Leave a comment below to share them with us.