Sean Sears

Jed Hoyer says the focus is on internal improvements to fix Cubs offensive woes

Jed Hoyer says the focus is on internal improvements to fix Cubs offensive woes

Theo Epstein addressed the media Wednesday during his end of the year press conference with a tone of disappointment and a desire of addressing the issues with the Cubs offense that "broke" according to Epstein. 

Cubs General Manager Jed Hoyer echoed Epstein's thoughts on Friday during an interview with WSCR 670 The Score, acknowledging the offensive struggles this group went through but also mentioning he felt the mindset was off for the Cubs in 2018. 

Hoyer talked about the Cubs 2016 club being relentless and constantly going into games engaged and ready to grind, while he made it clear he felt the 2018 Cubs were ready to compete all season, road games with nobody in the seats can be hard to get amped up for. 

But he felt the club was ok with finishing 4-3 on a road trip earlier in the season because they knew they had been a 2nd half team over the last three seasons. But Hoyer doesn't want future Cubs teams to have that thought process during the season. 

Hoyer was also specifically asked about the Cubs offense and what was being done to fix it, and the Cubs GM said the focus was on internally improving. It's obvious the Cubs were dealing with plenty of slumping bats and injuries in the 2nd half of the season. But across the board, the Cubs lacked the power that had come to be expected from this group and nobody is really sure how or why it happened. 

The Cubs never thought they would be in the spot they were in this season, with an offense that just stopped seeing pitches and working at-bats and a pitching staff that didn't find themselves until Cole Hamels joined the North Side in August. Hoyer even admitted that adding a bat like Daniel Murphy never crossed the front office's mind prior to the season, but Hoyer summed up the Cubs issues in one thought. 

"I think there are baseball players who don't always think situationally who are still good ball players," Hoyer said. "Trying to get your A-swing off instead of being willing to change your swing to not strike out or hit a ball on the ground or go the other way with a pitch." 

Cubs go into the off-season with plenty of internal questions to answer before they can change their focus to the external factors that can improve the club. As Epstein said Wednesday, the Cubs offense broke during the second half of the season, and the front office will spend this off-season finding out why and doing their best to ensure it doesn't happen again in 2019. 

Cubs odds of signing Bryce Harper have improved

Cubs odds of signing Bryce Harper have improved

Cubs fans could really use some good news right about now. After their team fumbled away the NL Central division in the final month of the season and failed to score more than one run in a 13-inning loss to the Rockies in the NL Wild Card Game, it's been hard to find a silver lining on the North Side. 

Well, this might help cheer some people up. 

That's right, the Cubs are heavy favorites to sign the 25-year-old superstar, after the dismal display the Cubs put forth in Game 163 and the Wild Card Game, Harper would be a welcome addition. Now, there were some fans who were on the fence about the Cubs adding Harper to this club, but after suffering through this final month of baseball most fans would agree the Cubs need another bat. 

Having odds that high is great, but they really don't mean anything until negotiations truly start between the Cubs and Harper. Theo Epstein made it clear he never wants to be in this situation again, signing Bryce Harper would be a massive step towards avoiding another early playoff exit.

Javy Baez is teaming up with Kobe Bryant on a new ad campaign

Javy Baez is teaming up with Kobe Bryant on a new ad campaign

While he may not win the MVP and his team was eliminated from the playoffs Tuesday night, Javy Baez is having an excellent 2018. After putting together an MVP-type season for the Cubs, being featured in ads for Toyota and local law-firms while wearing sweats, and having his first child, Baez is now working with Kobe Bryant and a slew of athletes for the Art of Sport

In that photo with Baez is reigning NBA MVP James Harden, Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, pro skateboarder Ryan Sheckler, Motocross champion Ken Roczen, pro surfer Sage Erickson, and of course, the Black Mamba himself, Kobe Bryant. 

According to the Art of Sport website, they are an athletic brand that features things like deodorant, antiperspirant, body soap, shampoo, and sunscreen tailored specifically for athletes. The new brand shared an ad earlier today that feature all the athletes in the tweet above. 

Great to see Baez getting the national recognition he deserves, even if it rubs a little salt in Cubs fans wounds as their teams sits at home but their star player gets featured in an ad campaign.