Does Every Post Need A Witty Name?

GAME 43 PREVIEW HOUSTON ASTROS (15-29) at CHICAGO CUBS (20-22) Wrigley Field, 7.05pm CT, TV: WGN, Fox Sports SW
SP Sergio Mitre SP Roger Clemens
CF Willy Taveras CF Jerry Hairston
RF *Todd Self SS #Neifi Perez
2B Craig Biggio 1B Derrek Lee
LF #Lance Berkman RF *Jeromy Burnitz
1B *Mike Lamb 3B Aramis Ramirez
3B Morgan Ensberg C Michael Barrett
SS Adam Everett LF Jason Dubois
C Brad Ausmus 2B #Enrique Wilson
Pitcher's spot Pitcher's spot
Compared to Brandon McCarthy and Wandy Rodriguez, Sergio Mitre is pretty much a proven veteran - he has a whopping 60.1 major league innings under his belt. On the whole they were relatively useless innings, carrying a 6.86 ERA, but Mitre can at least fall back upon a couple of good starts and the excuses that his peripheral numbers deserved better and that he genuinely wasn't ready for the opportunity that fell to him with Mark Prior's injury. A year on though and he's refined his changeup to go with a decent slider and a plus sinker that he throws in the low-nineties and with which he induces a multitude of groundballs, groundballs which have the useful habit of never leaving the park for home runs. That, combined with good control and a decent strikeout rate has made him an extremely effective starter in the minors. The changeup though represents the key to translating that to the big leagues - if he can figure out how to get left-handers out, though he'll never be an ace, he'll find himself a job chewing away innings somewhere in the majors. Somewhat sadly, since I'm a big "Meat-tray" fan, that job probably won't be with the Cubs, since this is his final option year and no long term pitching vacancy seems, well, vacant. In the short term though, these upcoming weeks until Wood returns and tonight in particular, going against Roger Clemens, the most proven veteran in all of baseball, Mitre has a chance to help himself, and the Cubs, by showcasing his talent to any prospective buyers. Ben Grieve has been sent down to make room for him, which is sheer idiocy given we're currently carrying an eight-man bullpen (and that Grieve has over his career really hit Clemens). If he didn't come across as such an, er, disagreeable person, shall we say, I could almost find it in my heart to feel sorry for old Roger, who right now probably is wishing he hadn't settled for just $18m this year. Clemens has started 9 times this year and thrown 63 innings of 1.29 ERA ball. The Astros' record in those 9 games? 3-6. Clemens' own record reads just 3-2. He's not going to vulture another Cy from anyone with just three wins to his name, particularly not when his ERA rises a few points, as it inevitably will, starting tonight we hope. Actually, the Cubs have historically hit Clemens better than most (they have a 3.89 ERA against him), and they beat him in the matchup of the 300-game winners in late April, so perhaps that hope's not entirely unfounded. Then again, Enrique Wilson's starting tonight (Corey rides the pine, a scratch because of a sore left wrist from his collision with Burnitz yesterday). Is there a rule that says all terrible infielders have to switch hit? As for Bruce Levine, he's been terribly and suspiciously quiet all day. He did though get around to explaining that, while he didn't have the names, the big trade involved another National League club, with four players leaving the Windy City (an outfielder, a reliever and two prospects) and two new Cubs (a power-hitting left-handed corner outfielder and a middle reliever). The departing outfielder, he clarified, was not Corey Patterson, which is strange given that he says he doesn't have the names. Anyway, this has me wistfully day-dreaming about Adam Dunn or Bobby Abreu manning our pinstripes (do we still play in them?), so if you could just leave me in peace... Oh, and go Cubs! [Update] Bruce Levine has just rudely interrupted my day-dreaming. How inconsiderate. The team involved in this supposed trade, he says, is the Mets, which fits with a New York Post speculation that they're interested in LaTroy Hawkins. By my estimation that makes the power-hitting left-hander outfielder reportedly heading our way Cliff Floyd. The prospects they're scouting are, apparently, from Peoria. Hands off Eric Patterson! In fact, hands of LaTroy if all you're offering is Cliff Floyd, whose second home is the disabled list. We're not so short of outfielders that we need to sacrifice the pitcher that remains our best reliever plus a whole plentitude of other talent for Cliffy and a Mets reliever. Or maybe Levine has sources no better than, er, mine.
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Comments

Are the Cubs interested in a catcher?

Sal Fasano, late of the Orioles where he went 3/9 with two homeruns in 4 games, is available. He's gone to make room for Sammy Sosa who has come off the DL today.

Fasano has the option of becoming a free agent, but will return to Ottawa if not claimed off the waiver wire.

The Cubs need a player from the Orioles to replace David Crouthers (obtained in the Sosa trade) who retired after spring training rather than play for West Tennessee.

If the Cubs swap 4-for-Floyd, I'll leap headlong off the Jim Hendry bandwagon. For what we paid Baltimore to take Sosa off our hands for Hairston, a(nother) minor league utility infielder, and a now-retired yutz of a pitcher, we could've just gotten Floyd in the first place.

Instead, Hendry's going to overpay for a guy who's stayed healthy far too long to be trustworthy the rest of the season, considering his injury-plagued history?

No thanks. Personally, I'm hoping Bruce Miles just got this one completely wrong...unless by "left-handed" he really meant "switch-hitting" and by "Cliff Floyd" he really meant "Carlos Beltran."

fasano is as worthless as the newly released former mets reliever washup scott strickland.

they could use a solid AAA catcher, though...

hey..sammy's mouth is back...and he brought sosa with it, too....

"People were talking [stuff], knowing nothing. They don't know I feel," Sosa said. "Why am I going to be hiding from Chicago? For what? That I'm scared? Never."

NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEVER!!!!!!!!!!

dont get me wrong, i could have lived with another year of sosa even though the burnitz trade is playing out for the cubs WAY better than anyone anticipated (hairston has come in handy and burnitz is easily outplaying sosa even before the injury to sosa).

its nice to not have your team defined by the media as a 1-person operation with some "kid pitchers".

wonder if wood is getting sick of being refered to as a kid...he's gonna have to turn 30 before he can shake that tag.

The outfielder must be Dubois (if it's not Patterson), the reliever has to be Hawkins or one of the young dudes. The prospects, who knows. Interesting.

burnitz trade = sosa trade...

...hell, most of you should know i dont proofread my stuff already heh...

So we are looking possible at:

Dubois, hawkins, 2 prospects
for
Cameron/Floyd and middle releiver

Doesn't look like a good trade to me. It would a huge upgrade in LF, but a possible downgrade in bullpen and then we would lose two prospects.

But this is another example of hendry catering to the fans too much and getting rid of the players they want. Cubs fans have booed hawkins mercifully and Hendry hears that and wants to appease them. UGH!!

By the way, I've realised that Mike Cameron obviously isn't left-handed, so I think that narrows it down to Cliff Floyd, Manny.

Dubois, Hawkins and 2 prospects for Floyd and a middle reliever

Please be wrong, Levine.

John, what is Floyd's contract situation?

Floyd isn't healthy anymore. He popped a tendon off of one of his fingers, but is going to play through the pain. He's also something like 1 for his last 21.

Floyd's contract--

2005: $6.5m
2006: $6.5m
Limited no-trade clause

Floyd in 2005:
.280 avg, .346 OBp, .553 Slg, .898 OPS, 12 HR, 29 RBI, 15 BB, 25 K

And he is 2 for his 31, maybe due to the finger injury.

JH-
thx...

looks like Floyd is a bit injury prone as in the past 6 years he has played over 125 games only 2 times.

Trade as it is described makes no sense to me unless Hendry feels getting hawkins out of town is soooo important.

Once again trade rumors = impending doom. These type of moves really won't accomplish anything...

JH,

I dreamt for a minute about Victor Diaz being the OF we're getting in return, but alas he also bats righty... Is there still a chance this is a 3-way with San Diego and the more reliable Ryan Klesko or one of their many many bullpen arms?

I'll believe it when I see it. So far, none of the rumors make any sense.

astros are scoreless
sun still rises in the east
the cubs also suck

Am I the only one somewhat concerned that C-Pat is not in the starting lineup?

Hawkeye,

Patterson hurt himself in a collision with Burnitz the other day. Today he couldn't swing a bat.

What happened on the Lee "fielders choice" to score the first run?

Big-
Lee went hom to try and get the runner and he made a gfreat slide around the tag...probally not a great decision.

But thank Mr. Dubois for those 2 runs with his clueless defnese out on LF.

I think the Mets want to move Cameron more than Floyd. His contract is bigger and he whines more.

What happened on the Lee "fielders choice" to score the first run?

The throw was to home and the runner was safe. Close play.

But thank Mr. Dubois for those 2 runs with his clueless defnese out on LF.
Posted by: mannytrillo

I thought you used to be a Cub fan. That comment really isn't fair. He's a rookie. Dubois simply doesn't have a feel for the left field wall yet and he's not the greatest defensive outfielder to begin with. It was a tough chance. The type of play Moises Alou used to butcher. Almost a homerun, the ball came straight down right at the point where the wall jogs deeper.

Geez, let's bring back Holly.

Was It All Just A Bad Dream?

Jeff Gordon just got booed out of the booth as he screwed up singing TMOTTBG during the 7th Inning stretch.

Way too much booin' goin' on .

Who is Jeff Gordon?

Just some terrible hitting...

by E Wilson. J Dubois doubles to start the 8th inning. Cubs down by two. Anything hit to the right side moves Dubois to third.

Wilson flies softly to ..left...

part of that red-state collective called NASCAR

Steve T

Jeff Gordon races cars for a living.

Boats:
"I thought you used to be a Cub fan."

I am a Cubs fan. Dubois has looked like a lost child out there all year, not just on that play.

Well, Dad just walked the bases full! C'mon Jeromy!

Sometimes I just love listening to Ron Santo. This is one of those times.

Cubs WIN!!!!!

In Dusty We Trusty!!!!!!!!!

Wow...great game.

This is the first game I remember all year in which the Cubs snatched a victory from the jaws of defeat. These kind of games happen all too infrequently anymore. Lets get more of these type of games.

Oh and thankyou Houston for blowing this game!!! All those pitches in the dirt and ending up in front of the Cubs dugout didn't hurt too much!!

I loved Lidge when he was mowing down the Cardinals in the playoffs last year, and I must admit, I very much love him now.

THANKS BRAD.

#26: See http://www.bsod.net/~petek/linked/Gordon.mov

It wasn't a dream... Too bad...

Hey John;

The prospects theyíre scouting are, apparently, from Peoria. Hands off Eric Patterson!

Unless I am mistaken, they Cubs can't trade Eric Patterson (or Sean Gallagher) until June 7th. They can't trade guys they drafted for atleast a year. June 7th is near, so this leads me to believe Ryan Harvey? Bo Flowers?

jeff gordon is from illinois, btw ;p

on the flip, i'm from north carolina.

im not a fan of autoracing or automobiles for that matter, but one thing that is cool about the "sport" if youre a fan of it is the racers are pretty damn accessable. for a lot of them you can drive up to their garage on an offday and they'll let you have access to all kinds of stuff, including the driver, depending on the mood of the garage and what's going on when you visit.

i doubt gordon is that accessable, though...he's a bit too in the public eye...

there some useless information about the exciting world of turning left really fast.

btw...Baseball America is based outta north carolina, too. some nice baseball minds wandering around the state.

Great to see the win, but please note that Dusty frittered away an out in the big inning by use of his favorite out-wasting tool, the bunt. I don't watch/listen to every game, but I've seen him do that at least five times this year.

Cubs record when Josh S is at the game: 3-0
Highlights:
Maddux 10 Ks
2 homer game by Patterson
Homer for Dubois
Lee walk-off homer
Clemens groin strain
4 run rally in the 8th, BS by Lidge
3 ER in 20.2 innings from the starters

So who is buying me season tickets?

FWIW, while you can't trade draftees for a year, there are a lot of done deals out there for many teams that involve a PTBNL, and I'm willing to bet that most of those guys will turn out to be draftees from the class of '04.

By the way, I knew who Jeff Gordon is. I just don't care.

well...here's something you might care about...though its just rumor-mongering...mmmmmmm rumors

there's a cubs scout at the pit/stl game

on the flip...there were at least 4 there tonite as spied by the announce crew, 2 are still left apparently.

Isn't Gordon from Indiana?

Bonk:
"Great to see the win, but please note that Dusty frittered away an out in the big inning by use of his favorite out-wasting tool, the bunt. I don't watch/listen to every game, but I've seen him do that at least five times this year."

Did you even watch/listen to this game?? When did Dusty waste an out? The only thing I think you could be referring to is Neifi trying to clearly bunt for a basehit (not sacrafice) in the 8th. There was 1 out and guys on 1st and 2nd, Dusty was not bunting there, that was Neifi on his own for a basehit. Come on man, please know your complaint before you actaully complain. UGH!!!!!

Cubfan:
"This is the first game I remember all year in which the Cubs snatched a victory from the jaws of defeat."

Have you seen many games lately?? The Cubs have had two late inning comback wins just in the past week before tonight. Last Tue and Wed nights they came back in the last inning and beat Pitt's closer Mesa when they were losing.

Come on guys...

Jeff Gordon was born in Vallejo, CA and now lives in southern FL. I worked with Pepsi Sports Marketing and worked very closely with Jeff for 2 years. Nice guy, quiet and very secluded.

I am a Cubs fan. Dubois has looked like a lost child out there all year, not just on that play.

As per usual, because Dubois didn't make a leaping catch on a ball hit directly into the well and the wind, it means that every other left fielder in baseball, Hollandsworth and Alou inclusive, would have. I was at the game and didn't catch any replays, but nothing about the play looked routine, at least from my vantage point.

I left after the sixth, but those at-bats in the eighth look wonderful.

Just got home from the game. Refreshing to see someone else's bullpen implode (Ok, so it was especially fun watching Lidge implode...)

Mitre, for the most part, really impressed. He definitely seemed much more accomplished and confident out there.

Dubois' fielding: it's almost as if he's not aware of how the ball will react when it hits the outfield grass. He runs the bases well, but seems to just sorta meander while out in the field. The near-home run was a tough play from my vantage point (right field), but as an eariler comment pointed out, Alou probably would've missed it, too. If he continues to hit the way he has, I don't see how Dusty can take that bat out of the lineup.

And can somebody PLEASE take a pitch?!?!? The crowd hadn't finished booing Gordon over that horrific 7th inning stretch and there were already 2 outs!

Re: Gordon... oh my.

Ron Galt:
"it means that every other left fielder in baseball, Hollandsworth and Alou inclusive, would have."

I never said that, nor inferred that. Jsut staing the fact that he made a poor play that cost teh Cubs 2 runs and has made many poor plays so far this year. Never compared him to other OF's.

"but nothing about the play looked routine, at least from my vantage point."

I wouldn't call it routine either, like the ball he dropped earlier this year where he was camped out underneath it and dropped it. But it was a play much easier than CPat's the other night that everyone was pissed at Cpat for not making. I think the ball tonight was a ball an average LF should make most of the time.

Jesus Holly cant field to save his life and earlier in the season he was bobbling balls and not even trying to catch some easy singles to the OF that a guy in a wheel chair could get under and make the catch on. Did we hear one single peep from these people? Nope we sure did not.

But these are the same people who can't get off Jason Dubois -the rookie- jock strap for some odd reason. He didn't come in as a defensive super star we all know that, he is here for 1 reason only and that is to hit the hell out of the ball and he has done that to date.

Give the rookie some slack just the same way some of you guys gave Hollandsworth some slack. Again Holly is a 10 year veteran. He has no excuse for his inept hitting and fielding. Dubois is brand spanking new seeing pitchers and a field that isnt exactly easy for an OF to learn on.

This is just part of the "rookie" fan wars. Apparently you have to be either a fan of jason or a fan of corey, which means you have to rag endlessly on the other.

I'm a fan of both players: I guess I just love watching guys strike out. Honestly, though, I'm happy to have both on my team. Just for the record, Jim Edmonds has struck out more times than Corey and has fewer homers and is hitting only 6 points better (.278 vs. .272).

However, Jim is getting on base at a .399 clip where Corey is stumbling about in the low .300s. I guess my point is I think Corey will become an above average player if he can get that average above .300. Everything else seems to be coming along fine.

That and I hate Jim Edmonds. A lot.

I think Corey will become an above average player if he can get that average above .300.

To do that, he's going to need to cut down on the strikeouts. Look at their OBP% difference, 40% and 30%. That means Patterson makes an out 70% of the time compared to Edmonds just 60%.

I'm a Dubois fan but sitting out by the leftfield bullpen tonight I can tell you, that was not a tough ball he dropped. he actually played it perfectly - going back, feeling for the wall, then holding his mitt up and ... dropping it. He just plain dropped it. No mitt full of vines, nothing. He just muffed it.

A post only needs a witty heading if one of the Witt pitchers was involved...

Just got back from the game myself. I missed JB's play/muff, but I agree with Andrew about Mitre, he seemed really composed out there, reminded me of the *switch* in Josh Beckett in 2003. I'm not saying he has comparable stuff mind you...

Don't listen to me cause I'm ahead by 8 drinks but Dempster seemed like a closer tonight. We can all agree that a closer has to learn the position as it's a unique assignment especially when it's considered with major league standards in mind. Didn't Eckersley walk a ton of batters as a starter for the Cubs before defining 'light's out' as a closer?

Jeff Gordon is also a sportswriter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. I would have preferred him to Jeff Gordon the stock car racer...

Some random thoughts.

Boy, looking at the box scores for the last few games, Houston has a really pathetic offense. This is what happens when your core gets old/hurt and there are no young studs coming up to replace (as in Atlanta). Beware of trading your potential studs.

Joining the trade discussion on this link, I really hope the Cubs' management can avoid a panic trade for Cliff Floyd (and a dump of Latroy Hawkins). Although he would in theory provide the lefty power hitter they lack (and have lacked the last five years), the magic phrase "if healthy" renders that all meaningless. His contract would be a dead weight on the team's freedom of action to acquire more valuable players later this year or over the winter. At most he would be a bridge until Pie, Murton, or (if he can learn to play left) Sing is ready to play in the majors in 2007. A very rickety bridge.

If the Cubs are going to use prospects in trades, they should use them to find a long term solution for SS (someone who can play the postion and provide acceptable offense for the next five seasons - Do they have Dombrowski's phone number in Detroit?).

Rather than a stupid trade, I would prefer to see how the offense performs after Walker is called back up, starts playing regular at 2d, and Dusty start using Hairston in left, center, and right field as a 4th outfielder/swing man while using him regularly as the lead-off hitter.

Looking at tonight game's box score and recap in the Trib's web site, I would offer the 8th inning as evidence of the power of not making an out (also called taking a walk) can have on a offense. Lee's and Hairston's walks were crucial for a nice long inning, helped to wear down Lidge, and showed how runs are scored without home runs.

I would recommend folks to check out the baseballprospectus web site that is linked from Ruz's and John's blog for for the story they have on the Cubs in their "triple play feature." As their numbers show, we are not imagining that the Cubs bullpen has stunk so far this season. But some of these performances are so far off these pitchers's expected performance levels, I would wait a bit longer and see if some of these guys bounce back before I make trades to pick up somebody else's mediocrity.

Reference SEDAGIVE's post, I am doing this from my memory, but Eckersly normally had good control. What happent to Eck is that he hurt his arm (shoulder I believe) in the 1985 meltdown and when he came back could no longer sustain his velocity as a starter (and started walking more batters as started trying to live on the black as a result). That, and his drinking problem, led the Cubs to give up on him after 1986 and do a contract dump with Oakland in Spring training 1987. In Oakland Alderson, Duncan and LaRussa figure he could still throw hard for one to two innings and come back and pitch the next night. And it helped that Eckersley gave up the sauce. Result: A Hall of Fame career. (It was another historically bad Cubs' trade, up there with the Lou Brock and Bill Madlock fiascos. Trivia question: who did the Cubs get for Eckersley? (hint: he is still working in baseball, but of course not as a player (he stopped being a player in 1987).

Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.

Who is Steve T?

(He is a Cardinal fan).

I knew that. I just didn't care.

A few observations from last night (since it was actually on tv and I could watch it for once)
1. Dubois looks lost in the field, but damn he hits it hard when he makes contact.
2. Holly is thriving again in the role he should have been playing all along. Big at-bat in a PH role last night.
3. Mitre looks sharp. Granted it was only against Houston, but his breaking stuff was pretty good and when he missed he generally missed low, not in meaty part of the zone.
4. Dempster looked like a closer. Everytime this year Hawkins came into the ninth we had this here we go again feeling. Dempster may not be as good as Hawkins, but he seems to have the closer mentality you need. This coming from me, a guy who thought closer mentality was bunk, until having to watch Hawkins for the past two years.
But another great come from behind win. Very fun game to watch.

Tbone:
"I'm a Dubois fan but sitting out by the leftfield bullpen tonight I can tell you, that was not a tough ball he dropped."

Jedi:
"Dubois looks lost in the field,"

Thank you...the voices of reason.

Jason has done about what I expected him to do. Bat .250 with some power, K a lot and play below average defense. I can't/won't expect him to do much better than that for now. I think he will get better, but it will be a 2-3 year process for sure. But unforunately, at this point, he is the best choice to start in LF.

A the delights of repition...

So what if Dubois is not the next Gold Glove outfielder! As we have all agreed, his hitting is good, his baserunning is good, and he is still fairly young.

We are two months into the season. Dusty is actually playing a ROOKIE! Let the growing pains happen and then we can enjoy the fruits of our farm system.

On a related note, there is not a Mets outfielder (save a healthy Beltran) that I would want this year. It might be a homer bias, but I think that this is a good core. Let's see what happens.

Is everyone so full of bile for Hendry's inaction in the offseason that they've forgotten how so many of his past moves were terrific?

Let's assume for a second that the Sosa trade was the Sosa trade and stop expecting that he's going to show enormously bad judgement. I refuse to believe he's going to trade Dubois and Hawkins for anyone.

The Floyd trade rumors don't make any sense and Hendry, while perhaps hamstrung this offseason by both management/fan pressures to dump Sosa as well as serious budgetary constraints, did not all of a sudden become a dottering idiot.

Let's think positively. Isn't it a little possible that this could be of the Nomar/Simon/Lofton/Ramirez/Grudz/Karros/Barrett/Lee variety, and not of the Sosa variety?

Seiously, Hendry's track record is by and large good.

Q 1: What is Wrigley Stadium like? Is it close to Wrigley Field?

Q 2: Why no vitriol on the board about sending Grieve down (to make room for Mitre) instead of Macias? Is Macias still around because of his "versatility"/ Is there some roster related reason that it had to be Grieve and not Macias?

Q3: Who's going down to make room for Walker?

Whipple...

Hendry has done a very good job IMO. I wouldn't say the same for Baker.

Hendry had his hands tied with this team. Sosa's contract was simply impossible to deal with and we are still dealing with it. But next year we won't be. I honestly think Hendry took a look at this season and just honestly analyzed that this team would be competitive...but they wouldn't compete for the championship and he knew no matter what he did as far as personnel it wouldn't get them over the hump.

He has a BUDGET the Tribune Co. has given given him...and that's that. We can say all we want that they should be in the Red Sox/Yankee salary range but the tribune has given him constraints. 20% of the teams salary is in BALTIMORE this year and I wouldn't say any other players salary is out of line.

The Cubs haven't won it all in my lifetime and most likely everyone on TCR. It isn't like not winning this year is any different than any other season. But I DO think good things are possible with NEXT years team. Hendry has a ton of possible moves to make with a hell of a lot of FREED up CASH. That to me is more exciting than making A, B and C move come this trade deadline only to get them to a strong 2nd place finish...and 5 games behind the wild card winner. I think next season is truly the one we've been waiting for and Hendry I suspect realized this last October and knew he had no moves that would really make a difference.

About Danny Graves:

"The Reds say the decision to designate pitcher Danny Graves for assignment had everything to do with the closer's performance, and nothing to do with the obscene hand gesture Graves made to a fan during Sunday's 9-2 loss to Cleveland. The Reds parted with Graves because they think his stuff is fading. His fastball, which once hit 93 mph, tops out at 87. His ERA was 7.36. He's allowed 30 hits in 18 1/3 innings. A lack of velocity plays a major role in that decline. Graves plans to get his shoulder examined in the next few days."

Dusty!! If the Reds no longer want the guy, that should really tell you something!!! The Reds, Dusty, the Reds!!!

I think when Walker comes back a pitcher will go down. I'm very surprised Grieve went down instead of one of the bullpen guys for Mitre.

As far as Grieve v. Macias, I'm pretty sure Macias is signed to a major league contract (can someone back up my assumption on this?) therefore he'd have to clear waivers to be sent down, where Grieve was signed to a minor league contract so no problems sending him down. Although come to think of it Macias on waivers would be very pleasing to most of us on here.

Mike Kiley in the Sun-Times this morning (Wednesday - 5/25) is dismissing the Hawkins-to-Mets deal. Headline calls the deal "Bogus."

Thank you, master Jedi. I know f***all about roster rules. They should just release MAcias anyway.

Does anyone think Macias wouldn't clear waivers?

Manny:

At that point, I was following it on MLB Gameday - I saw bunt=lead runner out. I assumed that as with many other bunts this year when the Cubs were within a run or two, Dusty called for it because, you know, small ball. If Neifi! did it on his own, Dusty should personally kill him; swing the frickin bat.

I'm also not sure how it would be "obvious" that it was (a) Neifi! deciding, and (b) for a base hit specifically. Does he try and make an out when sacrificing? I mean, isn't he trying to lay down a good bunt either way? That said, I wasn't watching the play, so maybe it was obvious. I for one would sure as hell rather he swung in any case.

If you almost dropped off this string during the Jeff Gordon discussion, you might have missed some nice observations by Cub Fan in Germany in Post 59. Read it!

This was a good win, one that we should be celebrating, not kvetching about DuBois's defense or why Neifi tried to bunt in the 8th (heck, maybe he just didn't want to hit into a DP. He succeeded!)

We should be gazing in awe at the implosion that is the Houston Astros and counting our blessings. Next time someone posts a lament about "Prior not getting run support", think of Clemens...And I think losing Bagwell is hurting the Astros much more than the loss of Beltran and Kent. Biggio is doing fine returning to 2B, mitigating the loss of Kent. But Bagwell's loss just seemed to rip the heart out of this team...they are lethargic, can't mount a sustained rally, and losing every close play. Let's sweep 'em outta here before they wake up!

Biggio is about their only hitter right now, but have you ever seen such awful range at second. I noticed last night and especially in the first series a few balls hit up the middle I thought would be sure outs and somehow they snuck into the outfield. He really kills them in the field.

DC Tom, hallelujah. A win is a win is a win, and to manage it after Clemens was mowing people down, so much the better. I do feel kind of bad for the Astros - the second wild pitch did it.

I'm taking my little girl to her first Cubs game tomorrow. Here's hoping for a Zambrano win to vault above .500.

And God bless Neifi! for avoiding the DP.

I was at the game last night too and was very impressed with Mitre - Biggio's ball was the only well-hit ball off of him all night (even including outs). The Stros inning where they scored 2 runs was a reall bummer as they actually didn't record a single hit - Dubois should have caught the ball in left, and Mitre was just a tad slow starting the attempted double play that allowed the second run to score. Mitre's line should have read 7 innings, 0 runs, 4 hits.

On the Mitre ball - both parties are right - it was not a routine ball and it was close to the wall and Mitre clearly did get confused by the bend in the wall - a case of inexperience.

But - it was indeed a very catchable ball and his little jump to get it was pathetic - he just misplayed it - pure and simple and it cost the Cubs 2 runs.

But in the end, all is forgiven - Dubois' double was the ley to starting the 8th inning rally and it was a greta victory. I've never seen Lidge so wild before.

The Astros must really think they're cursed this year. Its good to see the Cubs beating teams they should be beating.

Hawkeye:
"As we have all agreed, his (Dubois) hitting is good,"

We all have not agreed to that. I think he hits for good power (.565 SLG), but K's way too much (26 K's), does not BB (2 BB) and does not hit well for average (.261). Actually, thus far this season, the only thing he has done well is hit for power when he does hit the ball.

But again, at this point, there is really no other realistic option in LF and he should be playing there, but he is not hitting good, IMO. And of course that does not take into account his below average fielding.

I know some will attack me for this stance as many really like Dubois, but these are the stats so far and pretty much as expected. An upgrade in LF is needed if this team is to contend.

This team will not contend this year, if by that you mean winning the wildcard. Give the kid a chance. Sure, he butchered that play, but he's still learning.

I wouldn't call it routine either ... I think the ball tonight was a ball an average LF should make most of the time.

Hmmmmmm.

Based on Tbone's comment, I'll admit to being wrong about the nature of the play; I thought he'd dropped it mid-leap.

Will Walker be starting again today? He's back from Iowa - anyone know what the schedule looks like with him?

I think he hits for good power (.565 SLG), but K's way too much (26 K's), does not BB (2 BB) and does not hit well for average (.261). Actually, thus far this season, the only thing he has done well is hit for power when he does hit the ball.

Good Power, high strikeouts, almost no walks, and bad defense.

Sounds like every corner outfielder the Cubs have had over the past 10 years.

"Good Power, high strikeouts, almost no walks, and bad defense.

Sounds like every corner outfielder the Cubs have had over the past 10 years." - Bleeding Blue

There were a few years there where Sammy walked.

a few things:

-i am a huge dubois fan, to get my bias out there. it was not an easy play but not the toughest play. i'd say about half the leftfielders in the league make it. that well/ivy/brick wall are a bitch to deal with, and he's just learning it. makeable, not butchered though

- dubois minor league stats had much higher walk rate than he has now. to me, this says that he will likely get more walks as he gets used to and sees more major league pitching, since he understands that it is useful. the double he hit in the 8th last night was a good example of a ball he would have whiffed on in april, in my opinion

- i would put dubois just outside the top ten LFers in the NL. cabrera, dunn, bay, burrell, luis gonzalez, floyd (ahem when healthy), klesko, carlos lee, reggie sanders, craig wilson.

- i'd say that being 11th/16, while not awesome, is not bad at all for being a very green rookie. give the kid some more time and he'll continue to hit for power, and hopefully increase the walks.

all hail the return of todd walker! in any logical world, this would mean that either wilson or macias would go *poof* and disappear, but since we sent grieve down for no particular reason, it pretty much has to be a pitcher leaving. a 13 man pitching staff makes no sense, and i believe that's what the cubs have right now.

finally, this amazing clip from the daily herald today, which shows how inept the cubs have been at improving their main weakness, offensive on-base, which oh just happens to be the most important stat there is (not making outs):

"E-mailer Sanjay H., my favorite GM not working in baseball today, dug up the fact that only three NL teams in the last 10 years have failed to post a .340 OBP in any single season, including this year. They are the Pirates, Expos/Nationals and Cubs. The Brewers even did it twice.

Says Sanjay, ìThereís no excuse for an upper-echelon payroll team like the Cubs to be so dismal in its ability to get on base.íí

Oh, yeah. The last time a Cubs team had an OBP of at least .340? That was 1945, the last year the Cubs went to a World Series."

btw, i believe that a .340 OBP was the NL average for the entire league last year...it's not like we're asking for a team of Ted Williamses here.

Regarding Graves, are the Braves interested? If they don't see a reclamation project, then nobody will.

Lantern--
"i would put dubois just outside the top ten LFers in the NL. cabrera, dunn, bay, burrell, luis gonzalez, floyd (ahem when healthy), klesko, carlos lee, reggie sanders, craig wilson. i'd say that being 11th/16, while not awesome, is not bad at all for being a very green rookie."

Interesting way of looking at it. By process of elimination that means you think he's better than Barry Bonds/Moises Alou/Pedro Feliz (Giants), Jayson Werth/Ricky Ledee/Jason Repko (Dodgers), Brian Jordan/Ryan Langerhans (Braves), Matt Holliday (Rockies), Ryan Church (Nationals) and Jason Lane/Mike Lamb/Orlando Palmeiro (Astros). I disagree with him being better than the options of the Giants and Dodgers, and being the rest of the others is damning the man with faint praise.

If Levine is correct and the proposed deal will happen with the Mets, I would think it more likely to be Cliff Floyd and Mike DeJean for LaTroy Hawkins and Todd Hollandsworth (NOT Jason Dubois), plus Ryan Harvey and Bo Flowers. The Mets need to open a spot in the OF for Victor Diaz, and acquiring Jason Dubois wouldn't do that.

Blue:
"Sounds like every corner outfielder the Cubs have had over the past 10 years."

Sad, but true. :)

For those of you who questioned me when I said some people think OBP is the most important stat of all, here is proof:

Green Lanteren (post #84):"offensive on-base, which oh just happens to be the most important stat there is (not making outs):"

Arizona--
"If Levine is correct and the proposed deal will happen with the Mets, I would think it more likely to be Cliff Floyd and Mike DeJean for LaTroy Hawkins and Todd Hollandsworth (NOT Jason Dubois), plus Ryan Harvey and Bo Flowers."

That'd be a horrible, horrible trade for the Cubs. We add a tonne of payroll, we get by far the worst of the relievers, we lose a cheap and decent bench bat, we lose one of our top prospects and another more marginal one and all we get in return is stinking injury-prone Cliff Floyd.

For those of you who questioned me when I said some people think OBP is the most important stat of all, here is proof:

It seems to me you said MANY people think OBP is the most important, which to me would be more than one poster over 2 months.

but you made your point.

#68 of 90: By Jedi Knight (May 25, 2005 07:09 AM)
I'm very surprised Grieve went down instead of one of the bullpen guys for Mitre.

As far as Grieve v. Macias, I'm pretty sure Macias is signed to a major league contract (can someone back up my assumption on this?) therefore he'd have to clear waivers to be sent down, where Grieve was signed to a minor league contract so no problems sending him down. Although come to think of it Macias on waivers would be very pleasing to most of us on here.

----

JEDI: Once the Cubs acquired Ben Grieve from Iowa, he had a major league contract just like Macias. Not the same money, but a contract with the same MLB rights and guarantees.

Even though he had minor league options left from his days as a hot prospect in the Oakland A's organization, Ben Grieve had to give the Cubs his permission before they could option him to AAA because he has accrued 5+ years of MLB service time. Most players in Grieve's position won't agree to be optioned to the minors unless they have received some verbal assurance that they will be brought back to the majors ASAP, or unless they really like the organization a lot.

SHAME ON YOU FANS....The booing was so totally discusting....maybe Jeff Gordon can't sing but who in the heck cares..you invited him there...he is the GREATEST NASCAR DRIVER you will ever find...now I know why I hate baseball so much..I hope your team doesn't win another game all season..HE RACES, HE'S CUTE AND ALOT BETTER THAN YOUR TEAM COULD EVER BE. GROW UP..I live in Ohio with the Cleveland Indians and I hope they come to Wrigleys field and blow you away....DOUBLE SHAME ON YOU...................

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