Now’s the time of year when creativity and inspiration often run and hide from writers (or maybe it’s just me). As such, I have chosen to go the route of every media outlet ever and compile a “best-of” piece for you. It’s actually a little more difficult than it might sound, since you can’t really go off of the number of views (could simply be due to timing). Popularity plays a role, but I also wanted to get a fair representation of the various writers here at CI, along with some of the topics that really made this year special.
You’ll notice that the list is pretty January-heavy, which might seem a little odd. But that’s when speculation was really ramping up and several of us were looking to the future because there was little happening in the present. It’s pretty fun to look back over some of those predictions and assessments now. As you might imagine, what follows is but a small percentage of the total Cubs Insider canon. As such, I’d recommend you devote the next few days to poring through the entire site to compile your own best-of.
Evan Altman made 10 Bold Predictions for the Cubs in 2015.
Tom Loxas asked, Did Cubs Promote Javy Baez To Fail?
Dexter Fowler’s Defensive Woes Are (Probably) Overblown, said Tommy Cook. Boy was he right on that count.
Mark Jablonowski wrote that Some Prospects Will Be Traded, but Kyle Schwarber Won’t Be One of Them. Still holding water.
Drew Brown sat down for a Cubs Conversation with Len Kasper.
Evan listed 21 Different Types of Cubs Fans. Which one are you?
After the passing of Mr. Cub, Evan shared Thoughts on Ernie Banks’ Funeral.
Nate Schmidt offered Visual Proof of Kris Bryant’s Awesomeness.
Drew Brown took a break from recording Finding October to look at Gleyber Torres: The Next Big Prospect.
Drew also gave us 10 Stupid Things You Will Hear During the 2015 Season.
The Sox lost a legend of their own, as Evan wrote in God Bless You and Godspeed, Minnie Minoso.
Evan tries to Explain ‘New’ Cubs in 4 Letters: B-A-E-Z.
You never know who you might run into at a bar in Mesa: That Time I Had a Beer With Wally Pipp, Sort Of
Even though he’d flown the coop, Ryan Davis wasn’t too #BigTime to let us know that Kyle Hendricks is Going to Be Just Fine.
As prospects started making their way to Chicago, Evan looked at his watch to see Next on the Call-Up Clock…Kyle Schwarber.
Todd Johnson looked at how Javier Baez Changes Feet, Swing in Effort to Get Back to Chicago.
He might be a Hall of Famer, but Evan explained Why I’ll Never Invite Wade Boggs to Wrigley Field.
Evan headed to The Mistake on the Lake to watch the Cubs rock and roll: Hot in Cleveland: Cubs Bust out Bats for Historic Beatdown.
Evan describes another road trip to St. Louis in I Walked Through Hell with Gasoline Boots (and my kids) and Lived to Tell the Tale.
Evan gets an unexpected surprise on a trip to see some minor-league play: My Visit with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, or Why I’ll Never Make Fun of Seventh Inning Guest Conductors Again (Video).
Evan wrote about wardrobe choices and bros before hose in Socks Appeal: Jake Arrieta’s Hosiery Sparks Conversation.
Bryan O’Donnell’s Rundown from the day after Cole Hamels no-hit the Cubs was a good one.
Mark Jablonowski claimed that Albert Almora has Figured Out Double-A Pitching, and That’s a Big Deal.
Evan stayed up late one Sunday night to proclaim, Now THAT’S How You Stop a Losing Streak: Jake Arrieta No-Hits the Dodgers.
Todd Johnson tries to figure out The Mysterious Splits of Jake Stinnett.
Evan took a break from waxing rhapsodic to say: I Hate to See You Go…But I Love to Watch You Walk Off: Video from All 13 of the Cubs’ Last-AB Wins.
Todd Johnson gave us A Very Early Look Ahead at the Cubs and the Deep 2016 MLB Draft.
Teddy Eley looked to the minors to find that When it Comes to the Cubs Adding Pitching, There Are Some Internal Options on the Horizon.
Tommy Meyers took Another Look at How the Cubs Can Best Distribute Playing Time to Their Stars.
Evan went with a different sort of recap by providing A Stream-of-Consciousness Account of My Wild Card Viewing Experience.
Evan got down on some rumor-mongering: More Rumblings of Talks Between Cubs and Indians Include Some Big Names.
Todd Johnson looked at six Fast-Tracked Prospects who could move quickly in 2016.
Todd Johnson looks at Some Pitchers the Cubs Could Have Ready in 2018.
Is the Cubs’ newest pitcher really a cannibal? Evan wrote On the Perception of John Lackey as an Insufferable Jerk and Why I Like the Cubs Signing Him.
I’m know I missed a bunch of good stuff in there and probably underrepresented the other guys who write here (particularly Bryan O’Donnell, who ran The Rundown for most of the year, and Michael Canter, who runs it now), and for that I apologize.
If I can be a little honest and vulnerable with you for a moment, faithful reader, I have a few things to share. First, I want to thank you for reading this, whether it’s your first visit or your eleventieth. This whole blog space — or blogosphere or whatever we’re calling it these days — has changed a lot even in the short time I’ve been a part of it. Where it was once viewed as the realm of hacks and mavericks, there’s now a great deal of credibility. There are also a great deal more outlets.
Several years ago, the landscape was pretty barren when it came to getting reliable Cubs news and solid analysis from anything other than a mainstream source. Now? There’s a blog site everywhere you turn and it’s not easy to gain a foothold. I don’t claim to know the pageviews the other guys are pulling, but I can guarantee that it’s Bleed Cubbie Blue, Bleacher Nation, Cubs Den, and everyone else. BP Wrigleyville is probably up there too, come to think of it.
Some of you may already know the brief history of Cubs Insider, so I’ll spare you the boring details (if you really want them, let me know), but suffice to say this has always been a passion project for me. That doesn’t mean it’s always been easy though, and I’d be lying if I said there weren’t times that I had seriously considered shutting this whole thing down. Every time those doubts creep in, though, I get a kind word from a friend and/or reader that keeps me going forward. In an ideal world, this thing would grow enough for the monetization methods I’ve put in place to provide me with better means to compensate the guys (and on that note, I’d love to have a woman with strong writing and analytical skills on board) who provide our #content.
If I’m being totally honest though, one of the biggest drivers when it comes to keeping this thing going is selfishness. I love to have an outlet for my voice and this affords me the easiest way to make that happen. I don’t need to clear my concepts with an editor, don’t need to worry about whether my fart joke will be cut out. I can write about Kyle Schwarber traveling back in time to watch himself play and can put it up whenever I want. And if I’m being more honest, I’m not really sure any of the more reputable outlets would have me anyway.
It really is fun though, writing about the Cubs and the various facets of the organization. I greatly appreciate that people are willing to write for Cubs Insider and that more are willing to read. I’m humbled and honored every time someone drops a line in the comments or on Twitter to say we’re one of their go-to reads. So my resolution for 2016 is stop lamenting any of my own shortcomings and to stop downplaying my own talents as well. I’m also resolving to improve myself and this site so that Cubs Insider can be better for those of you who read it.
Thank you for bearing with me and for making this thing possible. I truly do appreciate it and I want to wish you and yours a happy and healthy new year.