Cubs, Sox Out: Bye-Bye, By The Numbers

Last week, I offered this equation: October + Baseball=By the Numbers, as I reprised my research-and-writing role for the Daily Herald.

I was hoping for a month filled with Chicago baseball. With both the Cubs and White Sox in the post-season, and the Cubs sporting the best record in the National League during the regular season, I figured I’d be wearing out my calculator.

Alas, both teams flopped–especially the Cubbies, who were swept for the second straight year. You know it doesn’t bode well when I’m spending an inordinate amount of time researching Chicago players’ errors, strikeouts at the plate, and streaks such as the last time a certain slugger (yeah, you, Alfonso Soriano) had homered.

For the By the Numbers’ body of evidence of Chicago baseball woes, see:

White Sox, Game 1 preview

White Sox, Game 1

White Sox, Game 2

White Sox, Game 3

Cubs, Game 1

Cubs, Game 2

Cubs, preview Game 3

Tennis Player Outreach Nets Coverage

I had a post on Friday regarding my media outreach about a 12-year-old tennis player named Jordan Belga who trains at Five Seasons Sports Club in Northbrook, Ill.

On Saturday came this Daily Herald feature, which included an interview with Jordan’s coach, Five Seasons tennis pro Jacek Dabrowski.

It doesn’t always work out so nicely. In this case, fortunately, the Daily Herald opted to devote some attention to the club where Jordan has developed his game to the point of being rated No. 1 in the nation. Of course, it helped that when the reporter spoke with Jordan, he talked about Jacek–among other things, sharing that he texted his coach upon learning he’d gained the top spot.

One last note, and something that publicist Peter Shankman taught me through his book, Can We Do That?: Sharing Jacek’s number with the media is important, but sources must be coached to be responsive.

When Jacek tipped me off to Jordan’s No. 1 ranking on Thursday, I reminded him to be ready for phone calls from unfamiliar phone numbers (the media)–and to pick ’em up, if at all possible.

October + Baseball=By the Numbers



It’s October and Chicago playoff baseball is under way, so that means my statistical hat is fit snugly atop my head.

Allowing my numerical passions to run wild again is Daily Herald sports editor Tom Quinlan, who began publishing my “By The Numbers” baseball blurbs on the Cubs and White Sox in today’s newspaper.

My numbers-related writing dates back to August 1997, toward the end of my eight years at The Courier News in Elgin, Ill., when I began writing a weekly “By the Numbers” column. It was later syndicated by Copley News Service, and served as the springboard for my numeracy training program called “Go Figure: Making Numbers Count.”Along the way, I had a stats column for Sports Illustrated For Kids and developed the Home Run Power Ratio, an inflation index for home runs.

This is the fourth time over the past six Octobers that the Daily Herald has allowed me to be a part of their baseball post-season coverage.

On the Herald‘s website, you can read the first round of figures I came up with in connection with the Chicago Cubs and their Game 1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, as well as previewing the Chicago White Sox’s Game 1 clash with the Tampa Bay Rays this afternoon.