Home MLB BGB Team Picker – 1st place Chicago Cubs

BGB Team Picker – 1st place Chicago Cubs

by Matt Smith

Once the data had been collated and all the scores checked, there was one team that stood out by a mile.  The Cubbies already have a decent smattering of fans in Britain and if our Team Picker is a good indication, plenty more Brits will be bemoaning the Curse of the Billy Goat and hoping that next year will finally be the year of the ‘Loveable Losers’. 

Team Picker Scores

Roots and Tradition Underdog Status Hope for the Future Following from afar Road trip potential Total Score
20 13 17 20 14 84.5

The Cubs basically tick every box and their total score was a full 15.5 points higher than the second-placed Giants. 

Their history is second to none, being residents of Chicago since 1876 (although they were not always known as the Cubs throughout that time).  While our score doesn’t take into account their 100 year World Series drought or the historic Wrigley Field, those factors only reinforce the point that if a team’s past is important to you, the Cubs offer as much (if not more) than anyone.

The north-siders also rank first in the ‘Following from afar’ category.  Thanks to the unique nature of Wrigley, the Cubs are only allowed to use their floodlights for a certain number of games each season.  This means that they play more day games than any other team in the Majors, allowing British fans to follow a good proportion of their home games live during the British evening.  Most especially, the Cubs often play home games on Fridays (normally starting at 19.20 BST), allowing you to watch their game before heading out for a (celebratory?) drink or two to start your weekend off on a perfect note.

The Cubbies do have some excellent young talent, none more impressive than 2008 NL Rookie of the Year Geovany Soto, but the main reason for their high ranking in the ‘Hope for the Future’ category is the number of ‘Type A Free Agent’ ranked players that they have under contract for at least another two seasons.  They have spent good money to acquire (and tie up) a strong core of players, but they’ve been able to combine this with a relatively high number of regular season wins to keep their ‘Underdog status’ up. 

And, of course, arguably their 100 year and counting wait for a World Series win makes them the biggest underdogs out there.  With Chicago also being a popular tourist destination, the Cubs took first place in the first ever BaseballGB Team Picker rankings by a comfortable margin.

So, those were the top three teams.  How did the rest get on?  The full rankings will be published on Saturday.

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Matt Smith November 20, 2008 - 7:05 am

Sorry Chico!

Chico November 20, 2008 - 7:02 pm

Matt: The Cubs do fit the Team Picker Score Box. I knew it yesterday when I really studied the categories. That’s ok. It might be hard for people to understand the rivalry between the two teams unless they have lived it. It would like London having two historic teams on the north and south sides. It would be away of life for fans. I realize also how Brits love their Football teams and are diehards to the extreme sometimes. That’s what makes following a team so much fun(most of the time)! I’m lucky because I coach and put much of my energy into my local boys and can sometimes really help (or hinder unfortunately) to win some games by developing the young men into good ball players. Media wise, Chicago leans toward the Cubs. Tourist wise the Cubs have it. Historic ball park wise, the Cubs have it. A lot of people go to Cubs games because of Wrigley Field and are not necessarily very knowledgable baseball fans. It’s a destination and a “cool” thing to do to be seen at Wrigley. On the Southside, its more pure baseball. The Cell is obviously newer and much more fan friendly. Food at the Cell has been rated the best in the Majors in most studies. It took 89 years for the Sox to finally win the WS as they did in ’05. That is the bragging right that Sox fans have.

Matt Smith November 20, 2008 - 7:37 pm

I fully understand the rivalry Chico. Local bragging rights are very important in our football.

The full results are out on Saturday and I can say your White Sox didn’t do badly at all.

Ron November 21, 2008 - 8:05 pm

I grew up in Missouri, and I’m a Cardinal fan. If you pick the Cubs as a franchise for people here to follow, I might not be able to come back to this site. Please don’t do that.

Its really not funny, and I don’t want to have to choose between the Cards and reading this site.

Matt Smith November 22, 2008 - 10:57 am

Sorry Ron! We put together the most important factors that British fans might consider when picking an MLB team and, when you look at them, the Cubs were always going to rank high up on the leader board. In particular, the amount of day games they play really does make them a good choice because of the time difference.

We’re going to take all the comments into account and put up some new rankings in March. I can’t promise the Cubs will be seriously downgraded though!

Ron November 26, 2008 - 10:31 pm



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