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The 10 most-read BCB articles of 2023

Here’s what was most popular on the site in the year that’s ending on Sunday.

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For some reason, I missed posting one of these a year ago, so now this feature returns, last posted here in 2021.

Since New Year’s Eve this year falls on a Sunday, I thought I’d post this retrospective today, even though two days remain in 2023. Basically, more of you will see this article on a Friday and two days left in the year won’t likely make any significant difference in the number of page views of the articles listed.

For the first time since I’ve been doing these, a game story showed up in the Top 20 — a recap of the Cubs’ 7-6 loss to the Marlins April 29 (11th overall, 18,150 page views). In it, I wrote:

The Cubs twice had the bases loaded with nobody out in this game and scored a total of one run out of all that, and that was in part because

Eric Hosmer decided to tag up and run to third on a short fly to left because... why? And...

David Ross wasted THREE players on a pinch-hitting appearance in the sixth inning.

Hosmer got thrown out on that advance attempt and played just eight more games as a Cub before being released.

It should be noted that had the Cubs won this game, they’d have finished 84-78 and the Marlins 83-79, and the Cubs would thus have qualified for the postseason. Sigh.

As I have done previously, I’ll count these down from No. 10 (fewest page views) to No. 1 (most page views). Page view numbers are as of 9 a.m. CT today, December 29.

10) December 27: Here’s a new contract idea for Cody Bellinger and the Cubs, 19,282 page views

Pretty impressive page view showing in only two days. This shows you how much BCB readers want to discuss this topic. If the Cubs do re-sign Bellinger, I’d expect that article to show up in next year’s review.

9) November 21: Wrigley Field construction update, 20,223 page views

Some aerial photos of the work being done on the Wrigley Field roof.

8) November 6: In appreciation of David Ross, 20,412 page views

Written shortly after the Cubs replaced Ross with Craig Counsell. There were some good things about Ross’ tenure, and I tried to capture that in this article.

7) June 27: The Cubs should trade for one of their former prospects to play third base, 20,514 page views

Nailed this one. Five weeks later, the Cubs did indeed trade for Jeimer Candelario. After a hot start in Chicago (16-for-33 with five doubles in his first nine games), Candelario cooled off, then was injured. A healthy Candelario would have helped a lot in September. He’s since signed with the Reds as a free agent. It was still a useful deal at the time.

6) February 20: MLB owners claim they’re in financial trouble again, 21,182 page views

A lot of this had to do with the Diamond Sports bankruptcy and its repercussions. This is an ongoing issue and we still don’t know exactly what the endgame is, though it likely has MLB taking over broadcasts for a lot of teams. Whether this will generate as much money as rights fees is an open question.

5) December 9: Shohei Ohtani is a Dodger. What’s next for the Cubs? 21,522 page views

Posted right after the news broke of Ohtani’s signing in L.A., this proved to be a popular spot. It got almost 600 comments.

4) October 11: Tom Ricketts sends a message to Cubs fans, 23,865 page views

Among the things the Cubs chairman said in his email:

While we are encouraged by many of the individual performances this year, almost making the playoffs is not success. As an organization, we need to build on our progress and become a team that can finish the race. To do that, we will continue to be active this offseason to supplement our roster and look for contributions from our pipeline of elite homegrown talent.

We’re still looking for the team to supplement its roster.

3) May 27: The Cubs made a mistake on the Billy Williams bobblehead — but they’re going to fix it, 28,327 page views

The bobblehead of Williams had the number 1 on the back instead of Billy’s iconic No. 26. The team immediately announced they’d have new bobbleheads made and distributed to those who got the incorrect one, probably in 2024. I can report to you that this distribution actually happened in September.

2) March 27: Major League Baseball’s 2023 early season schedule is a mess — and there will be repercussions, 38,334 page views

MLB got lucky this year because the weather in many northern cities in April, including Chicago, was pleasant, if not outright warm (game-time temp at Wrigley April 12 was 77, about 20 degrees above average). This might not be the case every year. They’re risking it again in 2024 by having the Dodgers, Marlins and Astros visit Wrigley in April — all three making their only scheduled visit. Here’s hoping for another warm, dry early spring in the midwest and northeast.

1) November 22: Cubs free agent target: Jason Heyward, 39,452 page views

Somehow, this one either struck a chord with you, or it got picked up by aggregators, or both. The Dodgers wound up re-signing Heyward to a $9 million, one-year deal, which would have been way more than I would have spent on him.

Thanks for reading all year! Happy New Year, and here’s to a great 2024 for the Chicago Cubs, and for BCB.