The fascinating and authoritative 2007 Bill James Handbook is in the stores, and I'll be damned if the '06 Cubs season isn't at least as depressing when viewed through James' microscope as it was from the comfy tv chair in my living room.
Here are a few of the Cub-related stats that caught my eye:
Ronny Cedeno had the lowest Offensive Winning % in the NL and second lowest in the majors, .207. He also had the 6th lowest RBI % in the NL at 4.39%. Eventual World Series MVP, David Eckstein, had the lowest, 2.86%. Maybe that's what Cedeno was going for.
Jacque Jones swung at, but didn't hit, 19.2% of the pitches he saw in 2006, 4th highest figure in the NL.
Juan Pierre (1st), Matt Murton (4th) and Jones (5th) were among NL leaders in Ground Ball/Fly Ball ratio, not a good category to dominate for a team housed in Wrigley Field.
Pierre was second in the NL in steals of 3rd base (12), but his 74.4% SB success rate was 9th worst in the NL among players with at least 20 SB attempts.
The Cubs were one of five NL teams to never hold sole possession of 1st place in their divisions at any point in the '06 season. The Phillies, Marlins, Nationals and Pirates were the others.
The Cubs had the lowest OBP (.319) in the NL. Only one AL team, Tampa, was worse (.314).
The Cubs and Marlins tied for the NL lead with 76 unearned runs allowed. Also on the subject of fielding, only Arizona had fewer outfield assists (13) than the Cubs (15). (A special shout-out to JP and JJ!)
I'll share some pitching stats later in the week. Of course, you could also buy the book yourself.