Today in Cubs History: 12-15

12-15-2003 - Traded Damian Miller and cash to the Oakland Athletics. Received Michael Barrett. 12-15-1997 - Drafted Roosevelt Brown from the Florida Marlins in the 1997 minor league draft. 12-15-1912 - Traded Joe Tinker, Harry Chapman and Grover Lowdermilk to the Cincinnati Reds. Received Bert Humphries, Red Corriden, Pete Knisely, Art Phelan and Mike Mitchell. Baseball-reference has the date of the Tinker trade as today, Baseball Library has it as happening on the 11th. Either way, it ended Tinker's eleven-year run as the Cubs starting shortstop. Tinker evidently was unusually focused on his salary for a player in his time, and after 1912 the Cubs had had enough.
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Korey's getting arbitration.

If he's not traded he'd have to hit his way on to the team (plan K, how appropriate is that!).

Jacques Jones is plan J and Preston Wilson wants to play for Dusty but he's plan L (for loser?)

The free agent route won't happen unless both of Hendry's two trade proposals fall through.

...and my take is one is for Aubrey Huff but the other one is for TCR to guess at ( we all know the list includes Floyd, Mench, Gibbons, Ibanez and on and on).

from Sully in today's trib

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sport...

After Pierre's introductory news conference Wednesday at Wrigley Field, general manager Jim Hendry disclosed he would offer Patterson arbitration next week and might give him the right-field job in 2006.

Hendry continues to search for a left-handed-hitting outfielder to replace Jeromy Burnitz, but nothing appears imminent. He has spoken to the agent for Minnesota free agent Jacque Jones, who is seeking a three-year deal and reportedly has a three-year, $15 million offer from Kansas City. Jones probably would have to settle for a one- or two-year deal with the Cubs.

"I've given [the agent] our level of interest and told him we have some trade possibilities," Hendry said.

I think Hendry is terribly desperate (obviously) and basically has to offer Corey arbitration and say he is going to play him. In Hendry's eyes it saves face, keeps Corey tradeable, and gives him leverage for other trades by hopefully making it look like the Cubs have a viable RFer. Who knows if it works on any level -- but I think it is probably the right move given the current state . The bigger question is how he got himself into this position -- but since he is in it this is the right move. Hopefully the $$ will work in Cubs favor in arbitration.

Also you never know if Hendry hasn't approached Corey and his agent and said "Look we'll offer arbitration, IF you guys keep the high $$ number low. If I release Corey his value will be at an all time low and his career could be in jeapordy, plus he'll make nothing close to the low end of arbitration, etc."

you know---for all the corey bashing that goes on here--and we all know its justified; i really do feel like we need to give him one more season to completely lose our hope. and i know what you'll all say--this franchise has been a perennial loser because of that philosophy. a la kerry wood, nomar--
but if we really look at this situation and compare it others like DLee's who struggles in his early years turned around, i don't see it being a huge sacrifice unless the cubs are willing to drop top dollar on a RF stud--which aint the case.

so whats to lose between CP and Jacque? they both hit for horrible avg and strikeout with the best of them; but corey has talent--a bigger upside, no one here will argue that--its the intangibles that need to be fixed, and i'm willing to give him one more season to see if he can get it together mentally.

not playing winter ball did not help his case at all. we'll see how things pan out once we get to pitchers and catchers. 60 DAYS!!!

Dawson08...about time somebody had the guts to step up and talk like a baseball man (woman). The Hall of Fame is full of players who showed flashes of brilliance statistically early in their careers, then slumped temporarily. You can't teach speed or power. Patterson has both, AND he's a left handed hitter, AND he's been sacrificing his natural ability to play the most unatural hitting position on baseball. Gee, does that sould like a player you all are crying for?

Bat him anywhere in the lineup below number 5, let him swing the bat, and you'll get 25-30 HR's, 85 RBI's (only cuz Lee adn Ramirexz will have already cleaned the bases in front of him), and a .300 hitter. Will he be an All-Star or a Hall of Famer? Probably not, but for god's sake the man is a baseball player...and he could be the difference between the Cubs winning the Division or not.

Why can't you people understand the sacrifice he made and stop jumping his shit for trying to do what his employer's ask? Changing a power hitter into a contact hitter is tough...if not impossible. Mickey Mantle didn't hit leadoff and he was the faster man in baseball at one time!!!!

And another thing, there are a couple people in this blog that seem like they're piped in to MLB, as scouts, admin people, or simply buddies of the brass especailly with the Cubs. I have news for you........no matter the meetings you have in dark alleys, or stadnding next to a bar with somebody in the know.........you're not that good. To even CONSIDER giving up on Patterson is proof to me you never played the game, or if you did, not well enough to recognize what you're seeing on the field. Throw the damn statistics and trust what you see, not what you read.

For me, Go Patterson. I'll be the first one to chew your ass when you screw up and swing at a pitch over your head, but I'll also be the first one to give you a highy five when you slap one in the gap for a triple.

Bring it on. As of today, I'm the George Steinbrenner of this blog....the most hated man in baseball.

Joey

Tinker was so concerned about his salary that after one year with the Reds, he jumped ship to play and manage the Chicago Chi-Feds/Whales in the Federal League in 1914. Which means that Tinker played shortstop in Wrigley Field before any member of the Chicago Cubs ever did!

You know, Corey can't do worse.

Look...I hate Corey just as much as everybody else. He was the worst leadoff hitter in the history of baseball. And yes hit did hit only .215 last year. But let me propose the following:

Player A: 288/342/478, 4SB,20HR, 20XBH, 80runs
Player B: 252/293/414, 20SB,15HR, 20XBH, 60runs
Player C: 272/334/484, 2SB,20HR,30XBH

Obviously Corey's B (Career avgs..estimate). However, he's B for next to nothing. When Huff(A) and Mench(C) are in fact better, but are they so much better that it's worth dumping our opening day #3 and a couple decent prospects for? Obviously Texas doesn't want to deal with Hendry, or we would have Mench last month. We've all seen how retarded Tampa Bay has been. They coulda had Andy Marte and peed the bed.

I don't think Corey will hit .215 the rest of his career. Last year sucked, and nobody will disagree with that. But throw him in RF and put him in the like 7 hole and it wouldn't be THAT bad. He's got a little pop, if he's swinging well. If nobody's biting on picking him up now, somebody sure will be in early June.

Pierre
Walker
Lee
Ramirez
Barrett
Murton
Neifi/Cedeno
Patterson

While that's not exactly what we envinsioned last week, that's the way it is. And while that's probably not the best way to write out that lineup card, that's probably the way it is. Bummer, dudes.

Corey has had a good half-season, and a decent 2004. I have said that I'd give him another chance, but saying that we haven't played the game if we don't give another chance is a bit arrogant, Joey. He has not shown improvement in BB/K ratio, his average is brutal, and he started to look clueless in CF last year.
Joey, sacrifice or not, he still was terrible last year. Period...end of story.

I was sooo expecting to come to the CR today and read nothing but Corey bashing due to Sullivan's article. I am relieved - and generally pleased - to see that there are others who think like me and beleive C-Pat deserves one more shot. I wouldn't give him a whole year (as mentioned above) but a solid 2-3 months. If it doesn't work, here's the door Mr. Patterson.

However, my only concern is C-Pat & Murton in the same OF is not getting us to the playoffs. My hope is to obtain a STUD outfielder somehow - be it right or left - and use a Murton/Patterson platoon in the remaining spot. And, it doesn't have to be a strict platoon as I'd like to see Murton get more at bats than just against LHP's.

Thanks for still beleivin' in Corey P! I think our patience should pay off for the Cubs not the next team he may go to.

You know, Corey can't do worse.

Weren't we saying the same thing about Korey last offseason?

Offering him arbitration seems to be the right move here. If we can pay Neifi Perez 3 million a year for a couple of years, I think we can find a way to give the same money for one year to someone who at least has some potential to be a worthwhile player. Even if I don't think he'll ever find that potential with the Cubs.

Hendry's still going to sign someone to play RF, but the first time Murton gets into a slump, I bet we'll see Korey creep back into the lineup. Time will tell though.

Now if only the Cubs had also offered arbitration to Nomar and Burnitz too...

Pierre
Walker
Lee
Ramirez
Barrett
Murton
Neifi/Cedeno
Patterson
--WesCHC

This is not a terrible lineup. It definately has potential considering Patterson (as eloquently flamed by Joey from Newton). Since before Patterson was sent down last year, I've been very frustrated by his performance, cursing every AB.

We had Burnitz in RF last year. We let him go. I absolutely don't want to give up players unless we can do significantly better. Lets live with KP unless we really have a shot at someone much better. He does have the tools. If he is a big bust in his more natural role, swinging away, then we look for the trade.

Let me reiterate, IF we can get someone MUCH better, then lets do it. Don't pull the trigger on an everyday RF like Jacque, Mench, or god forbid Preston Wilson.

(Another thing: I don't understand why people keep saying they HATE him; maybe they're saying they hate the way he plays, but that's a lot different.)

"Some of it is really not up to me,'' Hendry said. "We have talked to a couple clubs about outfielders and made some inquiries to free agents. It's hard to put a time frame [on making a deal] when somebody else is really in control of it."

Obviously Corey's B (Career avgs..estimate). However, he's B for next to nothing. When Huff(A) and Mench(C) are in fact better, but are they so much better that it's worth dumping our opening day #3 and a couple decent prospects for?

Yes...they are that much better. Look at the numbers that you posted:

Huff: 288/342/478, OPS: 820
Korey: 252/293/414, OPS: 707
Mench: 272/334/484, OPS: 818

The difference in OPS is over 100 points - that is huge. Huff and Mench are both significant upgrades over Korey offensively.

According to the Sun-Times, there are two deals on the table for an outfielder (one a long shot). Does anybody know what they are?

Apparently Jon Garland turned down a 3 year offer from the Sox. They're looking to trade him for 2 top pitching prospects.

Garland would look pretty good as a #3/4 on our staff.

Dusty B.

You got me. I was trying to be a little arrogant......and some people have now stepped up in support.

Let me throw another analogy in here. You said Patterson was ..."terrible last year, end of story" and ".....had a good half season in 2003 and a decent 2004."

Based on that rationale, Derrick Lee should NOT have been traded for....his numbers were jnot THAT much better than Hee Sop Choi at the time, and for god's sake should be with ANY OTHER TEAM THAN OUR MIGHTY CUBS.

D. Lee has had one All -Star year and played stellar Gold Glove Defense in hsi career.......like about all 1st baseman in the National league until 2005. But, guess what.....Hendry knew the guy was a baseball player and look what we have now!!!!! Sort of sounds like Patterson without a knee injury and without the pressure of trying to learn a new position inte batting order.

Let up on Patterson. The guy can play baseball....period, end of story. Don't make him the next Lou Brock.

And I stand by the so called experts in here. If they're as piped in as they insinuate, their analysis should be better...period.

"Bat him anywhere in the lineup below number 5, let him swing the bat, and you'll get 25-30 HR's, 85 RBI's (only cuz Lee adn Ramirexz will have already cleaned the bases in front of him), and a .300 hitter. "

Thanks. I needed a good laugh.

I have to admit, waking up this morning and finding out that Corey was staying on the North Side, I didn't feel the least bit anxious. This compared to the disbelief I've been feeling as the White Sox rearm themselves for a shot at dynasty status.

What I'm wondering is, now that the pressure of the lead off position is ostensibly lifted from KPat for the remainder of his Cubs career, does he suddenly start to relax at the plate and do what he's obviously been wanting to do for the last few years--hit for power? If he comes into the season with nothing more on his mind than producing runs low in the lineup, will he turn a corner and become a more consistent player?

For some strange reason, I feel fine with Hendry's current approach--keep a cool head and make the best of what's in front of him, rather than bet the farm on unknown quantities. Hopefully that means he'll refrain from throwing away Walker.

All that being said, I wouldn't mind seeing Hendry signing Jones or Wilson, purely as insurance if Murton or Corey take a dive. 5mil or more seems a lot for a bench guy, but it seems to me that a little depth never hurts.

Speaking of which, what about Encarnation? Is he worth a look for a platoon role such as this, and what kind of price is he looking for?

First the Cubs will not trade with the Sox. However, even if it was a possibility Garland was a .500 pitcher the last half of last season. He has had only one decent year, his most recent previosly all he had was a good arm and terrible results. I wouldn't trade for Garland and if the Sox do trade him it has more to do what they think of him than just the money to retain him. Just say NO!

Not what I what was hoping for certainly, but given the present options, simply signing Wilson to a 1 year contract and keeping Patterson seems like the best choice. Wilson is simply better than Jones (and cheaper). I'd obviously prefer the Cubs swing a deal for Mench or Gibbons or sign Sanders, but those options don't seem to be in the cards. As for Huff, I think trading for him is essentially trading for Wilson but with worse defense. Patterson could be used as a 4th outfielder who plays above average defense, a pinch runner, etc.

So why didn't Hendry just exercise the Cubs 2006 option on Jeromy Burnitz? Or if Hendry didn't think he could get a RF as good (but younger) or better than Burnitz for 2006, why didn't Hendry offer arbitration to Burnitz on December 7th? It CAN'T be that Hendry believes Corey Patterson would be a better option than Burnitz in RF for 2006. Nobody on the planet Earth (or even planet Cubs) is that stupid. So then, what's up with RF, and what's up with Patterson?

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Jim Hendry said yesterday that he would offer arbitration to Corey Patterson next Tuesday. If you are trying to trade a player, it doesn't do any good to tell everybody that the player will be a free-agent next week. And it's precisely because next Tuesday is "non-tender day" that Hendry has not been able to trade Patterson. There is a legitimate reason for other GMs to suspect that the Cubs might not offer Patterson arbitration, and if that's the case, why give up players for him and pay him "arbitration money" when you can just sign him as a free-agent for next to nothing?

Hendry's comments sound like typical GM posturing/spin to me. Like "Hey, Corey's not bad. In fact, we wouldn't have a problem keeping him and playing him every day in RF. So for those of you who might think about making a deal with us, we don't NEED to make a deal for a right-fielder, so don't expect us to overpay for whatever you have that we might want. And for those who think they can sign Patterson for next to nothing next week, it's not going to happen."

That said, Corey Patterson will NOT be back with the Cubs in 2006. How do I know? Because I know the sun will rise in the East tomorrow.

So given that Patterson will NOT Be back with the Cubs in 2006 (and I am not going to argue with anyone over this, it's just a forgone conclusion, and you can't argue about forgone conclusions), what Hendry's comment about offering arbitration to Patterson and speculating that Patterson could possibly play RF for the Cubs in 2006 means is that Hendry believes he CAN trade Patterson. If Hendry didn't think he could trade Corey, he would just non-tender him.

The main problem with offering Corey arbitration is that he can't make less than $2.24m in 2006, and that's only if he loses his case. If he wins, he could make $3m, or maybe more, depending on what the arbitrator believes he's worth, and how the arbitrator's figure compares to what the Cubs are offering and what Patterson is asking.

Most clubs who might have an interest in Patterson aren't going to want to spend $2.24m (much less $3m or more) on a "reclamation project." A $1m or $1.5m base salary with incentives would be an appropriate contract offer from most clubs, but that is only possible if Patterson gets non-tendered. And if Hendry offers arbitration to Patterson, then a contract with a low base salary with incentives CAN'T happen.

What CAN happen if Hendry goes to arbitration with Patterson is that Hendry can trade Patterson to a club where Hendry takes back salary (guaranteed money) in excess of Patterson's 2006 salary such that the cluh that acquires Patterson ends up paying him $1m or $1.5m (net) AFTER they subtract the contract they trade to the Cubs. Remember when the Cubs traded Todd Hundley to the Dodgers for Mark Grudzielanek and Eric Karros? Like that.

To do this type of trade, the Cubs need to find a club that believes they have the "necessities" to "reclaim" Patterson. Ideally, that would be a franchise in a small (or "low profile") market with few expectations, forgiving fans, and minimal media scrutiny, where the new club tells Corey "Forget everything the Cubs told you, just relax, and be yourself."

This franchise must have a player (preferably a pitcher) they can trade to the Cubs who will make at least $4.5m in 2006 (so that Patterson's "net" salary comes down to $1m or $1.5m after the pitcher is traded to the Cubs), and the Cubs must also send a major league-ready pre-arbitration (auto-renewal) pitcher to this club, directly replacing the pitcher the Cubs are getting back in the trade.

Since the Cubs do have some major league-ready pre-arbitration (auto-renewal) pitchers on their roster, that would limit the possibilities to a club with a pitcher making $4.5m or more in 2006, where the club would take back a pitcher who would replace the pitcher acquired by the Cubs.

EXAMPLES:

Corey Patterson and Todd Wellemeyer to Colorado for Jason Jennings. (Possible add-on: Jerry Hairston, Jr and John Koronka for Ray King).

or

Corey Patterson and Todd Wellemeyer or Roberto Novoa to Pittsburgh for Kip Wells or Josh Fogg (Pirates have too many starters, they need relievers).

or

Corey Patterson and Todd Wellemeyer or Roberto Novoa to Kansas City for Mark Redman.

Something like that.

Then the Cubs would have an extra starting pitcher (to "back-up" Kerry Wood) that would make it less painful to include other young pitchers (Jerome Williams, Michael Wuertz, Rich Hill, or Angel Guzman) in a two-way or three-way trade for a RF, a RF who would HAVE to be an upgrade over Jeromy Burnitz (see my first paragraph above). And that RF would probably be Bobby Abreu, or MAYBE Raul Ibanez, Aubrey Huff, or Jay Gibbons.

Unfortunately, all that said, I continue to have nightmares that Hendry is going to sign Jacques Jones to play RF. Something about Hendry saying he wanted to go "younger and more athletic" in RF in 2006. Jones can't hit LHP, and he doesn't have the arm to play RF, but he certainly IS younger than Burnitz, and he is "athletic"...

*Apparently Jon Garland turned down a 3 year offer from the Sox. They're looking to trade him for 2 top pitching prospects.

Garland would look pretty good as a #3/4 on our staff. *

So let me get this straight...we should trade TWO MORE PROSPECTS to get a PROSPECT we traded away years ago?

Let's just keep it at one prospect lost, shall we, instead of adding another one and a few more years of misery on top of it all.

Lots of venom and conviction in your voice there JJ.

We'll be laughing, or crying, out the other sides of our mouths if Patterson goes....oh gee maybe to the Cardinals.....and hits the numbers I threw out. I'll say it again....Lou Brock revisited.

Sorry all....I'm off the Patterson bandwagon for now. Tools are tools......and men who can play the game of baseball as opposed to simply pure athletes, are hard to find. When you have both in one guy, you settle him in and invest.

Where is John "One Nut "Kruk when we need him. There's a LH power guy who can play a LITTLE right field.

Off for the day. The boss might kick my ass and make me work harder if he thinks I have enough smarts...arguable I know.... to be on here.

Later,

Joey

My point about Corey (#7) not being significantly worse than Mench or Huff was intended to sound more like this. If we aquire either of those guys, which is realisticailly just about the only options we've spoken of the past few days, then you have to assume that J-Wil's in the deal.

I don't know how many wins you think Huff or Mench adds in RF over Corey, but it's probably a handful or so.

The question is, is it enough to overcome a rotation of:

Z
Prior
Maddux
Rusch
Hill/Koronka/Welly? (yikes)/pick your poison

I don't think the Cubs can afford to lose J-Wil. I know he's not going to go 19-5 or something like with a sub 3.00, but he and Z are about the only guys you can be sure you'll get 200 innings out of. Maddux's arm may fall off if he throws 200, and I will cry if Rusch gets 200+.

Yes, Huff is good. But if we give up Williams to get him, and don't make another pitching move, this team will have to score 1,000 runs next year to win.

You know what disgusts me.....

is how incredibly bad Ken Williams and the Chumpions on the otherside of town are making us look... Especially when they land Tejada or Blaylock for Garland/Crede...

and when this happens.... we're all gonna wanna bury our heads in the sand....

Last one....really.

To AZ Phil.

I am going to argue about Patterson, but differently than you think.

I'm not saying your sceanarios or something like it won't play out in some way shape or form. I AM saying it would be a huge mistake if they do.

I know, I know, MLB is big biz.....frea agents, past trades, analagous trades from history, yada, yada.

Fact is, in my opinion, unless you're paying dough (team totals) like the Marlins (in their high dollar years, Yankees or Red Sox), Billy Beane ball doesn't work in the long run.

Call me old fashioned, but give me 9 ballplayers with some guts, that love each other like family, who would eat nails for the boss...guys who would bunt out of the cleanup spot.....and let a solid manager who is a leader of people do his thing.....and you have yourself a team.

Can anybody say Ozzie Guillen? Terry Francona? Tony LaRussa?

D. Baker is THAT kind of manager, and his philosophy isn't congruent with the style Hendry and/or McPhail wants him to play....yet!!!!

Couple that with the obvious...which is MLB and the Trib don't care cuz it's a HIGHLY PROFITABLA FRANCHISE as opposed to a World Series Machine, and you have Cub Nation futility.

With that said, right is right. Keep your ballplayers and build a dynasty, not a one year wonder based on historical stats.

Done for the day. I promise. My style isn't good for you guys.

Joey

"Some of it is really not up to me"

Actually Jim, you are the GM. This is ALL up to you. It is up to you to have a plan. It is up to you to identify, in advance, who plays where for this team. It is up to you to execute that plan. That plan should include multiple options. If you were (formerly) Dave Littlefied, it isn't up to you. If you are Billy Beane, it isn't up to you. But in your case, you can identify a short list of options, pursue them, and utilize your financial leverage of having a 100m payroll to sign players who fit roles you need.

I like Hendry the scout. I like Hendry the trader. I just don't like Hendry as a planner or a manager of a full organization. I don't feel he adequately utilizes his resource to try and win now. I think he utilizes his resources to reduce the likelihood of total disaster.

#10: All I said about Corey last year was that he wasn't "injury-prone" and would likely have a productive season. I've always been hot and cold on him (hot early 03, cold see almost all other dates).

# 21 AZ Phil: Good breakdown on Corey. The sun does indeed rise in the East. But Jim hasn't exactly been Mr. Regular, has he? I think Dan O'Brien wins that award. I'm still not entirely sold that Corey is gone, and if he is, I doubt we get anything back that makes it "worth it." I know Hendry has a budget, but we're talking about a sliver of the Trib's pie. That's what kills me about these situations.

"So let me get this straight...we should trade TWO MORE PROSPECTS to get a PROSPECT we traded away years ago?"

a) You won't get Garland for one or two prospects. That's not why they gave up a prospect to get Vazquez.

b) the prospect we traded away a few years ago is gone. He's been replaced by a pitcher who had a great year last year, and has materialized into being, at worst, a middle rotation guy, and possibly more.

c) We can't not make deals because of prior mistakes. Each deal needs to be evaluated on its own.

The fact that you're saying all the Cubs could get for Patterson AND other players is a mediocre pitcher like Fogg, Redman, or Jennings shows that there's no point dealing Patterson now. Get a decent corner outfielder like Encarnacion as a back-up plan in case Patterson still stinks or Murton doesn't do much. It's worth the first half of next season to see if Patterson can return to somewhere in the 2003-04 range before giving up on him. It's not like the Cubs are going to win the World Series in 2006 anyway.

"It's not like the Cubs are going to win the World Series in 2006 anyway. "

If that's the case, we should be looking at a totally different set of trades/moves. Teams like the Sox and Mets are giving up lots of prospects for talented major league players. If we aren't going to compete, Hendry/McPhail need to take an organizationally prepared approach and deal with that reality.

I don't believe they have come to the same conclusion that you and I already have.

Joey,

You want players with guts? Patterson is not your man then. This is the same guy who was quoted as saying "it's only a game." when asked about how he feels about his struggles.

I don't care what he does from here on out. He can bat .240 with 30 home runs and 10 walks if he wants. He can do it some place else. If you wants guts, look at 38 year old Kenny Lofton. While he's not my first choice, I'd take him any day of the week over Patterson.

Everyone should read AZ Phil's post on the financial side of any C-Pat trade. It makes a lot of sense and it is the type of trade the Cubs, for whom effectively picking up one-half of C-Pat's post-arbitration salary is chump change.

But if that is what is in the works, who the heck is going to play RF? If Jacque Jones is the plan, this off-season the Cubs have gone from this:

SS Nomar/Neifi
CF C-Pat
RF Burnitz

to this:

SS Cedeno/Neifi
CF Pierre
RF Jacque Jones

Jones is no better than Burnitz and will require at least a two-year deal (KC has offered three.) That is not a significant improvement -- maybe 30 runs, which translates to a handful of wins. Not the 10 wins we need to gain to make the playoffs.

I do wonder whether this seeming lack of movement on RF right now may be a function of waiting for another shoe to drop. For instance, if Tampa trade Gathright to the Marlins, they might need Corey. That might put Lugo or Huff back into play.

Not to nitpick, but I have to defend my guy. I believe Corey was quoted saying, "It's just a game." However, he claims that he was saying, "It's just the game." As in, sometimes you're up in big spots and the ball doesn't roll your way. I wasn't there in the press conference, so I don't know with what intonation he said it.

Corey is a very quiet kid. He doesn't say much and goes about his business (even if he sucks at it). I think he's a fine player, character wise, to have on this team.

I guess I'm just saying that I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on the quote if only for the reason that I have always liked Corey and will continue to.

Brian: Patterson is not your man then. This is the same guy who was quoted as saying "it's only a game." when asked about how he feels about his struggles.

You do know that Korey's quote was taken completely out of context, right? it does not help anything to perpetuate an inaccurate quote.

For instance, if Tampa trade Gathright to the Marlins, they might need Corey.

Why? They have two other outfielders that can play CF and hit better than Korey.

AZ Phil said:

And if Hendry offers arbitration to Patterson, then a contract with a low base salary with incentives CAN'T happen.

I say, why not? Once both sides agree to arbitration, they can still agree on a contract before the arbitration date. Are you saying it's not possible, or simply that it would never happen?

Joey..your assertion that Lee's stats were not that much better than Choi's is false.

"Based on that rationale, Derrick Lee should NOT have been traded for....his numbers were jnot THAT much better than Hee Sop Choi at the time, and for god's sake should be with ANY OTHER TEAM THAN OUR MIGHTY CUBS.

D. Lee has had one All -Star year and played stellar Gold Glove Defense in hsi career.......like about all 1st baseman in the National league until 2005. But, guess what.....Hendry knew the guy was a baseball player and look what we have now!!!!! Sort of sounds like Patterson without a knee injury and without the pressure of trying to learn a new position inte batting order."

2003 Lee: 31 HR 92 RBI BA .271, with .379/.508/.887

2003 Choi: 8 Hr 28 RBI BA .218, with .350/.421/.771

Lee's numbers were better than Choi's in 2002 and 2001 as well.
Put down the crackpipe, and walk away.

Ranch, Korey must make at least what he made last year per arbitration rules.

In the last four seasons, Corey Patterson has had exactly four good months at the plate.

April 2002
May 2003
June 2004
August 2004

The rest of the time he's ranged from unacceptable to below average at best.

His "great first half" of 2003 is largely a myth. He had a great May, 2003. That's it.

KKKorey's strikeout/walk ratio isn't just bad, it's a horrendous 5:1 lifetime! And last year he was worse than his career averages. For comparison, free swinging slugger Sammy Sosa has a career ratio of 5:2. 100% better than Corey.

Add in his brittleness, inability to isolate his defensive game from his offensive game, poor attitude and work ethic, and boo-ability and

what's to like?

His sparkling wit and personality?

BL,

I don't believe it. You can if you want. The quote was

"I just pretty much grounded out," Patterson said. "You usually go back to the at-bat before, almost the same pitch, and I lined it to third base. That's just how it goes, and so be it. It's just a game, you know?"

You can spin it in your context, or mine. I'll stick with mine though. So he apparently went to Mesa after the season to rebuild his swing and game in general. Is it because he took crap for what he said? Maybe. Maybe he's growing up. Either way, I don't care. He has not shown me, as a fan, any selflessness in making the team better. I hope he does get better and learn how to play the game. I just don't care if it is with us.

Not sure hitting Patterson eighth is a good idea. With the pitcher on deck, he'll never get anything good to hit, and we know how well he does with those types of pitches.

Big Lowitzki, you assume Baldelli's elbow is healthy so that he can play every day. Damon Hollins is not really a center fielder and does not hit better than Corey:

Hollins career numbers: .253/.296/.412
Corey's career numbers: .252/.293/.414

A Corey/Hollins platoon would not be a bad option and would give them flexibility to rest Baldelli. I doubt we could net Huff, but Lugo?

Huff is who they want to trade. They have corner outfielders all over the place there. The fact that they turned down Marte for Lugo would lead me to believe that Chuck Lamar is still running the show somewhere in spirit

Let up on Patterson. The guy can play baseball....period, end of story.

This isn't the end of the story, its hardly the beginning of it.

Korey is a great athlete, that does not mean he can "play baseball." In fact, Korey's inability to take those great talents and "play baseball" is the great disappointment of watching Patterson.

If Korey could "play baseball" he would have shown an ability to be a great player for more than half of a season 3 years ago.

If Korey could "play baseball", he would have taken his demotion to Iowa last year and tore up AAA, but he even struggled there against minor league competition.

If Korey could learn to use his many athletic talents to "play baseball" he would be a valueable member of the Cubs. But he's now in his mid-20's and hasn't done it yet, and if he doesn't prove he can "play baseball" soon, he's going to go down with the other can't miss prospects who never learned to "play baseball."

I wonder if the Rays declined Marte in part because they are finally giving up on Upton as a shortstop? Either way they could have moved Marte for some other talent.

"If [C]orey could "play baseball", he would have taken his demotion to Iowa last year and tore up AAA, but he even struggled there against minor league competition."

2005 AAA - .297/.366/.505 SB 6 CS 1 (91 ABs)

WPZ: Ranch, Korey must make at least what he made last year per arbitration rules.

Actually this is not true. Korey can make 20% less then what he made last year per arbtiration rules.

Ranch: "Once both sides agree to arbitration, they can still agree on a contract before the arbitration date. Are you saying it's not possible, or simply that it would never happen?"

As WPZ said, the arbitration rules prevent him from making less than he made this year. But even if this wasn't the case, why would Corey agree to a contract for less money instead of going to arbitration where he's guaranteed to get more?

Big Lowitzki, you assume Baldelli's elbow is healthy so that he can play every day. Damon Hollins is not really a center fielder and does not hit better than Corey.

I see no reason why Crawford could not move into CF, but I am pretty sue that Baldelli will be able to play every day. I don't think they trade Gaithright unless Baldelli is healthy enough to play consistently.

2005 AAA - .297/.366/.505 SB 6 CS 1 (91 ABs)

And in 2004 Jason Dubois hit 316/389/630 in 386 ABs with the Iowa Cubs.

Hitting below .300 with an OPS of 870 in the hitter friendly PCL is not impressive for someone who can "play baseball" at the major league level.

I was thinking that an incentive laden contract could net Corey more. As BigL noted, the Cubs can offer a 20% cut. Presuming that Corey/agent come in with a reasonable dollar figure(a BIG presumption, I know), the Cubs can then offer to beat their contract if Corey earns incentives on top of his 20% cut. Would he take an offer of guaranteed $2.5mill with the chance to make another $2.5mill in incentives? Might not work if we can't guarantee playing time. But I believe this is theoretically possible. Unless the 20% cut is NOT possible under arbitration...

So why didn't Hendry just exercise the Cubs 2006 option on Jeromy Burnitz?

Cause it was for $7M?

The fact that they turned down Marte for Lugo

I heard they held out for a little more and Boston moved in on the deal. Marte has a torn UCL in his elbow, not catastrophic for a 3B, but at some point he'll need surgery and miss a portion of the season.

Your right Blue it is not impressive, but it certainly is not struggling.

D. Baylor:

I lied....I'm here.....boss can fire me if he needs to.......could give a shit less about your stats. There was a time when Choi's stats had you all thinkig he was the second coming of Dave Kingman or Leon Durham. Use them to create a story or a point, but not to make a final decision.

I live near DesMoines Iowa. I watched Patterson play almost every game while he was in AAA the first time.....and while he played the second time last year.

For anyone to say the guy "didn't take his demotion well" is simply looking for a way to stir up shit. He was a pro about it when he could have cried and whined the whole time. Hendry and Baker even complimented him on his handling of the whole thing.

Are there better RF options than Patterson statistically? (YES).
Was He Sop Choi staistically better than or equal to than D. Lee prior to the trade (Close before he took the shot to the head while falling down)......then why did Hendry trade for Lee? CUZ THE MAN WAS A BETTER OVERALL BALLPLAYER THAT WAS COMING IN TO HIS PRIME, AND WE TOOK A RISK GETTING HIM. REMEMBER, JIM THOME WAS AVAILABLE.....AND BY YOUR RATIONALE (SOME OF YOU ANYWAY) THOME SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE MAN WE TOOK.

Anybody glad we didn't, or can your Billy Beane stats argue THAT was a mistake as well?

Please don't give me stats. You're boring me, and just like in the business world they too many times are indicative of a crutch for a lack of courage to take or evaluate a future risk.

If your opinion is Patterson is an idiot who can't play, fine. Just don't tell me HIS future success is conditional on his past lack thereof. There are too many dynamics involved that effected his past performance.

I still say John Kruk is our answer.

I can feel the love pouring out now from some of you!!!!

Signed, Harold Reynolds

I read message boards from many different MBL teams and let me tell you, GMs in general are getting lambasted this offseason. Other than NYM, TOR and a few other teams, nobody is doing anything. Read some of the boards from St. Louis where Walt J. is getting killed or Houston. It's a very poor free agent year, the free agents that are available are getting obscene contracts, and because low market, "come from out of nowhere teams" have been successful in the post season recently, no body, except the Marlins think they are out of it and want to give up any good players. it's a tough market out there are many teams are going to have to go with what they have and what they can promote from the minors. It's a really strange offseason.

For anyone to say the guy "didn't take his demotion well" is simply looking for a way to stir up shit. He was a pro about it when he could have cried and whined the whole time.

I'm not sure that this was directed at me, but he didn't perform well when he was sent down to Iowa. And I saw him play their too.

Just because he didn't "cry and whine" about the people who would decide if an when he would return to the major leagues, it doesn't mean he took the demotion well.

Especially for the first couple weeks, Korey kept up the same problems that caused him to struggle at the major league level. Eventually he started to make adjustment and his numbers improved, but he went right back to the same old Korey when he came back to the majors.

It takes more than raw talent to "play baseball" in the major leagues, Korey still as not shown that he can use that talent to become a good ballplayer on a consistant basis, and considering his age and experience now, he's running out of time.

if patterson stays on the with club he's a bench option at this point...what's the big deal?

as of right now, considering every indication from the front office, patterson is not a starter for the 06 cubs.

yeah, they havent filled RF yet, but theyre not stopping looking for one.

some people seem to think hendry's on the ropes and freaking out and i dunno where the hell that's coming from. the guy has 2 and 1/2 months to figure out *1* possition on the field...to take his money left and/or his prospect pool and turn it into a RF'r. that's not a huge deal given what hendry has to work with.

re:#58

f'real. cards nation is in full 100% freak out state. the bjays spent over their heads to commit 22m a year to 2 guys who will be lucky to put in 300 innings combined. the mets literally traded away 2/3rd of their top prospects to get what they got.

hell, a lot of teams are VERY lucky the marlins decided to sell off their team's tallent or it'd be even more nuts out there.

Gripe, bitch and complain. That's what baseball fans everywhere are doing this year. "Our team hasn't done enough". "Why didn't we pay that extra five million on that free agent?" "Why did we give up all those prospects and get so little?" "Why did we give that free agent such a big contract that will handicap us in the future?" On and on. It's really funny when you stand back and look at it.

JSTURTY - Wish I had more time to write at TCR, but for now, let me just say I completely endorse posts 58 and 62. A bit of perspective helps - there are about 27 other teams who have fans that are pissed and ready to slash their wrists (or those of fellow fans who disagree with them) because of the off-season moves, or lack thereof.

I'm not thrilled with what I've seen, so far. But we have 3.5 months to go before the season. A lot can happen. A lot more will happen over the six months of the 2006 six season. Do we really need to re-hash all the trite old wars of the last couple off-seasons? Stats vs scouting, Dusty vs Hendry vs. Beane.... ~yawn~.

BB,

Wasn't directing my diatribe at you exactly. If I'm directing something I'll put the name is so the counterpoint can hammer back.

Performance at Iowa isn't indicitive of how KP handled the obvious downer of being disppointed. You said it yoruself.......it took him a few weeks to adjust......I;m fine with that. Hell, it takes me two weeks to make a habit out of changing my dircing directions in this hellhole we call an interstate system in DSM. Might as well be as bad as Boston.

Point is this.........toughest athletic function in all of sports is hitting a baseball at the MLB level. Consdiering KP was asked for 1 1;2 years to chaneg his style completely, he really only has 1 1/2 years of hitting "his" way, which for one of those years and amybe all 1 1/2, the guy was just short of being a frachise player.

Is 1 & 1/2 years enough decide whether a guy is going to make it or not? Rhetrocial question I hav the answer to......no. Good god, even Ty Cobb got cut his first two years attempting to play organized ball. Billy Beane wouldn't haven't invited him to Spring Training.

I say again, look at the Hall of Fame for all those guys who had slow starts. For you stat boys you can probably prove it out with your numbers.

Signed,

Tyrus Cobb

Vegas has the Brewers at 80-1. No way they're that bad, and the Central appears as if it could be down. FYI, Cubs are officially sitting at 8-1 and I've seen them as high as 15-1. Non-betters, remember that those numbers include built-in bias for the large fan base to bet on the Cubs. That's the highest the Cubs have been in the offseason since 03.

I'm not a betting man, but if I were, I'd put some money on the Brewers at those odds.

While it is true that some all-star's and hall of famers started off badly in their careers they were showing signs of actually being good.

Bonds was .240 hitter in his first 2000 AB's. But his walk rate continued to improve from year to year.

Patterson has actually regressed in every aspect of his game. He isn't adjusting his game to out smart the scouting reports. I think we all know on this board to just throw Patterson high fastballs and he will chase them all night. If we know that the opposing teams sure as hell do.

The reason alot of players struggle early in their career is because scouting reports are always being updated. Once a weakness is found pitchers will keep pitching you that way until you can prove you can hit them. Once a hitter figures out how to hit a high fast ball, for example, they will try fastballs in on the fist or away from you to see if you chase. So the hitter might struggle for a year in that aspect of his game and figure out how to hit when pitchers do that.

Pitchers adjust, you adjust. Patterson hasn't done that yet in his major league career. If you have not seen signs of him trying to adjust his hitting style in the first 2000 AB's of his career the odds of him being a productive major leaguer are slim to none.

Re # 58:

Yes, things could be worse. We could be the Twins, who who have "upgraded" their infield by bringing in Luis Castillo and Tony Batista...about as mirror-opposite players as you will ever see.

didnt know batista was back in america...neat. him and his screwed up batting stance.

Batista's slotted as a MIDDLE INFIELDER?!?!

I'm always in favor of more idiosyncracy and oddity, so I'm happy to hear his funky batting stance has a chance of reappearing on my TV...

Batista would be playing 3rd for the Twins.

Trans, I have to believe that the Twins will play Batista at 3B. Brilliant...this "frees up" Mike Cuddyer to play RF. See, things could be worse...Free Terry Tiffee!

Whose stance is weirder - Batista or Craig Counsell?

Counsell's ... by far.

X

your take on Hendry's comment about not being in control of trades was off the mark. He was saying that he can't make other GMs make trades, nor can he force FA to sign with the Cubs.

Unfortantly the real world doesn't work like this blog, where any low level AA player can be traded for a MVP type major league player.

Re #73: Counsel's does not count as truly weird stance because he brings his hands down to normal when the pitch is delivered. But Willie Stargell's windmill bat was a thing of beauty -- he would twirl bat in a Garry-Sheffield style waggle in slow big circle that he would speed up until the pitcher threw the pitch.

funniest thing about counsel to me is his dad's a scout. i know he sure as hell didnt teach him that approach. wonder where he picked that up anyway.

I'll vote for Batista's stance as the freakier. To me, it looks like the stance leaves him at an unusually high risk of taking a fastball between the eyes.

#54 of 76: By retro-shiite (December 15, 2005 11:40 AM)
So why didn't Hendry just exercise the Cubs 2006 option on Jeromy Burnitz?

Cause it was for $7M?

---

RETRO: Obviously.

My point was that if the Cubs end up playing Corey Patterson in RF in 2006, then even Jeromy Burnitz at $7m would be a better option. Heck, even Byron Browne would be a better option.

I then went on to explain that I doubt very much that Hendry said what he said because he actually intends Corey to play RF in 2006, or that he even intends Corey to come back with the Cubs in 2006.

Rather, I believe Hendry intends to acquire a RF who is "younger and more athletic" than Burnitz (which is why the Cubs declined the 2006 option AND declined to offer arebitration), and that the RF Hendry is after could be either Bobby Abreu (probably the deal Mike Kiley called the "long shot," mainly because it would require a three-way with Oakland involving Barry Zito), Aubrey Huff (probably the deal Kiley says "has been on the table for a while"), Raul Ibanez (although Kiley says the Cubs were unable to find a "personnel match" with the Mariners when they inquired about Ibanez), and possibly Jay Gibbons.

The way Kiley's article in the Sun-Times reads, it sounds like Hendry has merely "touched base" with Jacques Jones' agent, and Jones will get an offer from the Cubs ONLY IF Hendry cannot acquire another better RF candidate via trade. And some of the right-handed hitting FA RFs (presumably Juan Encarnacion and Preston Wilson) would supposedly be in the mix at that point, too.

What's REALLY weird, though, is how Paul Sullivan took Hendry's answer of "Sure" to the question of whether Corey Patterson could play RF for the Cubs in 2006 and ran with it. Way to go Sully!

It was also bizarre that Sullivan would mention Luis Gonzalez and Cliff Floyd as other potential candidates for the RF job. Gonzo's arm is shot, in fact it's so bad that he can barely get throws in from LF, much less RF, and Floyd doesn't have the arm OR defensive skills required to play RF at Wrigley, either.

Joey from Newton,

I have to say that your ending every post with something akin to "and you statheads can put that in your pipe and smoke it!" kinda irks me. I hear comments like this all the time when I watch baseball on TV. "You see," the announcer will say, "it's situations like these that show why you can't use stats to make baseball decisions..."

Why the absurd reactionary tactics? Why use every opportunity to take a potshot at statheads? It's reminiscent of what Catholic Priest, circa 1492, might say when looking out at the horizon. "You see, it's things like the sunset that show why you can't assume that the world is round..."

Look at it this way: let's say you're an investor looking at buying one of two stocks. If it's your money at stake, wouldn't you want the most sophisticated information available? You'd want to know about trends, about past performance, how likely the given stock is to repeat past performance, how likely it is to experience a severe dropoff. These are the types of questions that statheads ask about ballplayers, who after all are million dollar investments themselves. Why, then, is any effort to evaluate baseball players rationally met with such vitriol? Such vehement resistance?

"You see, it's things like the sunset that show why you can't assume that the world is round..."
----
eeek...the f***ing world isn't flat?

now DON'T tell me there ain't no santa claus cause I saw him and the Mrs. in a picture on this baseball story:

http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/mets/n...

I just want to say that is one of the best threads of the offseason.
It was only about 45% hate, which is a good number for this group.
It also made the most important point of the offseason: No team is happy right now. If my team was happy rihgt now, I would be mad.

Frankly, for RF, i think the Cubs may need to really consider starting the season with Corey there. Play .500 ball for awhile. Wait for a team to fall out, and make the trade then. I'd rather them do that then jump the gun and overpay for a marginal player.

"And another thing, there are a couple people in this blog that seem like they're piped in to MLB, as scouts, admin people, or simply buddies of the brass especailly with the Cubs. I have news for you........no matter the meetings you have in dark alleys, or stadnding next to a bar with somebody in the know.........you're not that good. To even CONSIDER giving up on Patterson is proof to me you never played the game, or if you did, not well enough to recognize what you're seeing on the field. Throw the damn statistics and trust what you see, not what you read"

AMEN-You hit the nail on the head

80 - I fully agree, but I've also learned that people who write that way aren't interested in discussion, they're interested in irking other people. It's worth letting it slide and holding conversations with people who want to listen

82 - "only" 45%? I'd actually thought that we were doing much better, a much lower percentage than that, so far. We'd better be, because things are only going to get more testy as we head towards February.... may cool heads prevail...

The problem with your idea, Bacon, while it's not a terrible one, is that Hendry has stated a few times in recent months that part of the problem of last year was the Cubs coming out of the gate weak. He's commited to putting the "Best Possible" team out on the field from the get-go, so I don't think he'd let Corey start the season in right, unless he somehow makes it to Spring Training and has a monster March.

corey was asked to go to winterball without being told to go...he chose to stay at home and settle for a few weeks in arizona working on the side then hanging out at michael barrett's baseball camp for a few more weeks.

he was replaced without a huge deal being made of it.

at worst he's a solid OF bench option with pop. actually at worst he's the opening day RF'r for the cubs, but that's highly unlikely. there's a few teams out there he could start on, but it doesnt look like the cubs are one of them nor does it seem c.pat is these team's first option.

A few observations on the Cubs and Corey, if you please.

I read about the first 40% of the posts above, so if I'm repeating something posted above, well, sorry about that.

It is less than prudent to, as suggested by a poster above, ignore the statistics and rely on "what you see". However, I had cable access last year to WGN for the first time in 19 years, and I did "see" a few things.

For one, it seemed to me that Corey was not seeing the ball well - quite literally. His reactions on some pitches - especially pitches up - were slower than all but a few non-pitchers I can remember. I wonder if the Cubs have checked his vision.

We forget sometimes how difficult it can be for a player to a player to successfully come back from a serious injury. Many don't (eg., Sammy after his beaning). Corey's career may have been done in by his blown knee; we just don't know it yet.

Clearly, Patterson has had difficulty dealing with the mental aspect of the game. His refusal to play winter ball has been well hashed out here, and will only add to the burden he will face to win over the fans. If he doesn't get off to a quick and sustained start, the fan abuse could get ugly, which can sour a home team atmosphere and expected advantage. Because of this, the Cubs may choose to bring him north only if he plays REAL well in the spring. They may release him or trade him for little value if he doesn't. And they should.

It's funny to look at the batters considered most similar to Patterson at the age of 25 on baseballreference.com. Ruppert Jones, Chili Davis, Rick Monday and Jimmy Wynn. All but Jones walked a ton and had lifetime OBPs way above Korey's single season best. The two years Jones played over 160 games, he averaged 70 BBs per season. He too finished with a lifetime OBP, .330, higher than Patterson's single season best of .329.

I guess baseballreference.com doesn't hold OBP in the high esteem most of us at TCR do. Guys with OBPs over .400 some seasons and over .360 for their careers bear little resemblence to Corey Patterson other than that they all played major league baseball..

#80 Marshall,

The problem with stats, is that they exist in a vacuum. The treat players like robots and act if situations don't matter. Statheads don't believe in 'clutch' yet us old schoolers swear by it.

It is my sincere belief that there is a Church of Baseball. And us 'old schoolers' are devout believers while statheads are the agnostics of the world and I dare say, atheists.

But that is the rift between the two.

tbone: here are some of Corey's comparables from BP's PECOTA system (from before the 2005 season):

1. Lou Brock - 1965
11. Sammy Sosa - 1994
13. Jacque Jones - 2001
16. Johnny Damon - 1999
18. Jim Edmonds - 1996
20. Juan Encarnacion - 2002

any guesses to the 2006 PECOTA comparables? Because I imagine they will be QUITE different...

Chad, I tend to agree with a lot of your posts on here even though I consider myself more of a stat guy than an old-schooler. Instead of religion vs. atheism, I like to think of it more like Christians vs. Jews, but without the centuries of bloodshed.

Mazel tov!

I don't know why I bother, Chad..

Oh yes I do, because you keep insisting on defining other people when it's not your business.

I'm a stathead, and I believe that "clutch" exists, and I worship at the Church of Baseball.

I'd explain how I synthesize these beliefs which in your world evidently are mutually exclusive, but I don't think it would ever get past the filter in your head that defines the world into "us" and "them".

Marshall are you an investor? This is a game. This is a game that is played on instinct not numbers. do you think that players in the field run through numbers when tracking a ball? No the react. most gm's except for sabermatricians rely on these almost exclusively. Go out and find a real scout old time scout and ask him about stats. He will tell you that he FEELS this player is going to be good more so than saying he PROJECTS to be good. What do you think scouts looked at with guys like Ryno. He was never a masher, never had absolutely blow your eyeballs out stats. He understood the game and played hard. find a stat that shows this and you have found yourself a stat. Stats were invented for barroom arguments, not projections.

5, there is a perfect balance between scouting and stats. Most statheads readily admit this, and I would imagine most GMs do as well, Billy Beane included. The whole "stats vs scouts" rivalry seems, to me, to be largely created by people who subscribe more to the latter than the former, as you almost never see statheads say "Watching baseball is totally worthless." Yes, there are intangibles that can't be measured by stats, but can you really say that stats, as a rule or as a whole, are useless?

Please do not degrade other people's religions or lack there of. This is a Basball message-board. Stating that Atheists have less understanding than those of devout religion.

If you were to equate baseball "analysts" to a religion, it would follow as so:

The so-called "devout" would actually believe soley baseball superstition, the "atheists" would believe soley in statistics, and the "agnostics" would believe a little bit of both.

No way Trans! No way! Statheads do not believe in clutch. As a rule. There are exceptions. There are no stats to prove clutch. At least that I've seen. But I 'believe' in it. Its about faith. And Nate, I have to say its not like Christians and Jews. Stat heads need to see the stats to believe it. Religion is based on faith without any hard evidence.

I just don't know what to tell you Trans, you are wrong on this one. It is the stat heads that will tell you there is no such thing as clutch and its the stat head that will tell you that unless you can prove it with stats, its not true. Did you even read Moneyball?

Nate,
Lou Brock does have some similarities to Korey. He did strike out A LOT. When he retired I think he was second lifetime only to Mickey Mantle. In fact, all the guys baseballrefernce.com mentioned also struck out at a pretty good clip though not quite at a Koreyesque pace.

Brock stole bases with a success rate of only 67% so a person could argue that Patterson is more successful at that discipline than Brock. Of course Patterson never completely took over a World Series, a three game series nor too many games period with his speed as Brock did in the '67 WS.

i dont really believe there's much room for any stat unless you realize how the person got there.

im not gonna name off some extreme differences in 1 .800 ops player to another or etc...but it really does matter how you got the #s more than what the #s actually are.

*drags the dead body of jason dubois out* okay, look at this pile of crap. *points at dubois* what we got here is a wild-swinging fastball hitter. sure he put up some great #s, but it wasnt that ob% that made him desirable...it was his pure power. unfortunately, you take him outta the fastball/undeveloped-offspeed leagues and he gets eatten alive. as far as his ability to adapt, no one saw any adaptation in his swing for years and it didnt suprise many when he sank in the majors. and unless cleveland is doing something with his patience and swing, he's still a free-swinging guy who's gonna get fooled on combination pitching.

CINCIKID:
"is how incredibly bad Ken Williams and the Chumpions on the otherside of town are making us look... Especially when they land Tejada or Blaylock for Garland/Crede...

and when this happens.... we're all gonna wanna bury our heads in the sand...."

Actually most Cubs fans on TCR will not. They will be happy, because it will make the Cubs be forced to go out and try harder for a winner. Or at least that was their nonsensical thinking when they said they were rooting for the White Sox to win the WS this year. Now we see how that thinking is going NOWHERE.

"Religion is based on faith without any hard evidence."

Not true - the Bible is considered 'hard evidence' to a lot of Christians. That's why I like Christians vs Jews - the faith in clutch vs. the faith in numbers!

And that's why I say Mazel Tov - remember the Hasidic Jews in the movie Pi who were obsessed with cracking the code?

*the mets literally traded away 2/3rd of their top prospects to get what they got.*

Consider the Cubs recent lack of success developing ANYTHING out of their farm system. If they traded away 2/3 of nothing and got LoDuca and Delgado, that'd look pretty good, wouldn't it? Also consider that there's no way Beltran is going to be as bad as he was last year AND they upgraded their closer AND they still have Pedro, wouldn't you feel pretty good about the Mets chances?

First, to answer your question, Chad, I did read it, cover to cover.

Let me make sure that I understand what you're saying, Chad, so that we're all clear on this:

You are telling me that I am wrong when I say that I believe in both A: in statistical analysis (stathead) and B: in the existence and importance of Clutch

If that's what you're saying, then let me ask you this follow-up:

Could you tell me which one of these two things it is that I actually really DON'T believe in, in spite of my claiming that I believe it?

I'm curious to learn what it is that I believe in, you seem to have a better idea of it than I do...

And I think I have been convicted in my point that it's not worth explaining to you how it is that I hold both A and B in my head, simultaneously, since it wouldn't get past your "us vs. them" filter.

"Not true - the Bible is considered 'hard evidence' to a lot of Christians. That's why I like Christians vs Jews - the faith in clutch vs. the faith in numbers!"

That is Not True, most christians do not take the Bible Literaly! It is only in the USA that we see christian literal fundementalism.

And Karl, your example is exactly what I was talking about. I was saying that the devout don't need stats to prove anything. We believe in things like clutch or some one is 'due' or people who we percieve to be Cub killers. We don't have to crunch the numbers. We just believe. In no way does that give us better understanding of the game. It just gives us a DIFFERENT perspective.

God, I hate the Mets... everytime I see the Cubs at Shea they play like ass - Wood in 2004 walking in a run AND hitting a batter to force a run, Maddux in 2005 pitching well but the Cubs with zero offense against Jae Seo. (I was also sitting in what turned out to be the Seo fan section, with literally hundreds of people smacking those horrible thundersticks with every pitch)

But I'd still rather have Barrett than Lo Duca, and Lee instead of Delgado.

To follow up my last post: it is principally in America were we see the most radical fundimentalism.

Interesting discussion. Speaking as a bible scholar, all I know for sure is that God is a Cubs fan, but the Cubs have REALLY pissed him off.

Agreed, The Joe. LOL

This discussion also reminds me of the short list of current Jewish MLB players... someone add to this list if you can because I'm sure I'm forgetting a few:

Shawn Green
Jason Marquis
Gabe Kapler
Kevin Youkilis
...

The Bible is not hard evidence. Whethet taken literally (The world is only 6000 years old) or taken as a parable, no one alive has seen any of it. Moses is not around to part the Red Sea and Jesus can't show us how he walked on water. The people who belive in the Bible believe on FAITH. You guys are getting ridiculous. Religion is FAITH. Its the whole basis of religion.

Also Trans, to answer your challenge, I can't. You have contradicted yourself. How? Here's how, if you are a stathead, prove there is clutch.

Well Karl, Christian fundamentalism originated in America and is thus predominantly American. But 'fundamentilism' can also be used to describe parts of other religions, such as Islam.

Moses didn't part the Red Sea, he parted the 'sea of reeds'...different body of water.

KarlH,

Agreed with everything you said up to this:

"That is Not True, most christians do not take the Bible Literaly! It is only in the USA that we see christian literal fundementalism."

The fastest growing religion in the world, faster even than Islam, is Pentecostal Christianity. They believe the Bible is the word of God and thus, is true without error. One church in South Korea alone has nearly 800,000 members. Mega-churches are also springing up in the poorest areas of poor Third World countries. Indonesia has a growing number of Pentecostals as does Brazil, the Phillipines and many African countries.

Millions of fundamentalist Christians living next to millions of fundamentalist Muslims... what could go wrong?

Been away for a while, but I have to weigh in on this "Clutch" debate. I've heard it said that Derek Jeter isn't really "clutch," because when you look at his playoff numbers, they're virtually the same as his regular season numbers. But isn't that "clutch?" To be able to perform at the same high level under much more intense, pressure-packed circumstances? Against--presumably--better pitching (considering you don't generally get to face the 4 and 5 starters in the playoffs)?

Joe,
I simlpy forgot to put christian in front of "fundimentalism" on my preceding post. Thank you for noticing it. (You are very correct!)

Chad. I can't prove that Clutch exists with stats. You're absolutely right. Does that mean that I only believe in the things I can measure? No. By your logic, every statistician must be an atheist, must not believe in ghosts or magic or ESP or Love At First Sight or etc etc etc, because they can't be measured.

As a guy who's about to finish a dissertation i the history of science that includes a whole lot of statisticians in it, I can tell ya: statisticians may make their living my measuring the measurable, but it doesn't mean that they don't also believe in things like God and Magic and Love.

In my case, I believe in the ability of Statistical Analysis to reveal many things about baseball, and believe that it cannot measure everything. Like Clutch. My eyes tell me that Derek Jeter has Clutch, and LaTroy Hawkins does not. And I believe that as completely as I believe in the importance of OBP.

So again, tell me: am I not a Stathead, or am I not a Clutch Guy. I'd like to know.

I really, really don't want to wade in on a religion discussion, but I think that most people take the same view of religion. If they believe, they choose to believe on a combination of evidence and faith. Like my view on Stats and Clutch, it's not an either/or proposition, they can be complimentary. To borrow from my History of Science background, again, virtually every scientist found it possible to hold Reason and Faith in their minds and hearts, simultaneously.

They didn't combust, or go mad....

"most people take the same view of religion" should read "most people take an analagous view towards religion as what I take towards blending stats and clutch"

I expect you figured that out, but wanted to be clear.

"Been away for a while, but I have to weigh in on this "Clutch" debate. I've heard it said that Derek Jeter isn't really "clutch," because when you look at his playoff numbers, they're virtually the same as his regular season numbers. But isn't that "clutch?""

jeter's clutchness...esp. in the field...making the play he's "not supposed to make" ive seen work against him. yes, he made that unreal play in the playoffs a few years ago (slide into home when the ball is in the infield, eh pros?), but he's also made a lotta plays at 3rd/LF into dropped balls or a confused mess based on jeter's refusal to believe he's not supposed to play every ball foul-line-to-foul-line.

as far as his hitting goes...hell, he's a good hitter hehe.

#106 - Karl

You sure you last name isn't Marx? Anyway, I would love to continue this conversaion but I am a firm believer that this should stay with Cub talk. There is plenty to aruge about here without bringing in politics.

Yeah, sorry...I was just getting too picky. My bad.

Chad,

Where is it KarlH said anything that sounds like the father of Communism speaking? By acknowledging that America has a lot of Christian fundis?

"The fastest growing religion in the world, faster even than Islam, is Pentecostal Christianity."

-the fastest growing religion in the world is Mormonism...

-either way you put it, literalism is not good in religion. It is what leads to intolerance, bigotry, and ignorance.(Crusades, Evolution, etc.)

-Many people also believe that devoting oneself to an organized religion is resigning one's self to beliefs instituded soley for control and minipulation is not to be desired in an enlightened society like our own. If you yourself does not truly believe what is being instituted by an insitutionalized religion, then you are denying your own right to thought and/or belief.

so, do you think that KPatt is actually getting arb. to stay, or is Hendry just "trying" up his value?

#106 of 121: By KarlH (December 15, 2005 05:16 PM)
To follow up my last post: it is principally in America were we see the most radical fundimentalism.

Any one who actually believes this does not have a favorable veiw of Christianity. In fact, has a HORRIBLE view of it. In fact, probably hates/fears Christianity.

Let me state that I am a Jew and I find it outrageous to try and compare fundamentalist Christians in this country to people who blow up busses full of school children.

My last post was to TBone. Sorry for any confusion.

I've read many of the arguments at BP and by Bill James that say that statistically there isn't that much merit to "clutch" hitting.
I agree to the extent that "clutch" hitting is overrated, and it's less of a factor in the game than the mainstream media would like to think.
But on the other hand, I don't see how you can say that certain players don't respond better under pressure than others.
That's just counter intuitive.
We know that there are people who do better when the stakes are higher. Some people rise to the occasion, others wilt under the pressure. We see this in all walks of life. We see this in all sports. How Michael Jordan and Reggie Miller played their best when it was all on the line. We see how Brett Farve can channell the urgencey of a game situation to his advantage.
If clutch playing exists in so many areas of life and sports, why wouldn't it exist in baseball?

Chad - I think that in that person's statement, the adjective "most" is modifying "fundamentalism" and not "radical".

The statement, I think, is we have the most fundamentalists, not the most radical of the fundamentalists.

I'm not saying I agree with this assessment, just that I think you're misinterpreting what got said.

I'm sorry Brett Favre. I can never get that one right.
I should of edited that first.*

New topic: The Cardinals signed former Mets closer Braden Looper today. Discuss.

If I was a better Wisconsinite I would punish you, Dan.

Oh well.

Read my earlier posts - there's nothing in the Sabremetric Bible pronouncing that Clutch doesn't exist. Just that you can't measure it with numbers. And I haven't yet met a statistician who thought that only the things that can be measured actually exist....

For fun, I think I should go into the TCR systems page, and replace every use of the word Clutch with Crunch.

We could then be debating whether or not Crunch exists. That's much more interesting to me.

Crunch? Prove you exist, and aren't just a good mass-hallucination.

What did they sign him for, to pitch?

Actually, I like Looper....

Yeah, I know this should be Cubs talk but one last thought,

Christianity as represented by much of the Christian world is not true Christianity, but "Christendom". True Christianity, the Christianity follows and is in direct relationship with the Hebrew prophets is at its very core pacifist, uncondemning and humble.

So, faith, for a Christian is not accepting the status quo (as you seem to see it Karl). True religion is not manipulative, but loving and open. It is Christendom that you describe, not Christianity and certainly not a life devoted to God (but to society).

...and go Cubs.

Nice thoughts, The Joe.

I am sorry, but it is the Israelis who are in Palestine! They would not be blowing anything up if it was not for the Fundimentalists on both sides! They would not be blowing anything up if the Israelis did not refuse (although there are great steps be made right now toward peace) to agknowlage the occupation of Palestine.

Also, you realize that the US sends a lot of money to Saudi Arabia
(which is a despotic, totalitarian regime not unlike the one previously in Iraq), the Saudis in turn use that money to fund a radical form of Islam. You know, countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, and Pakistan have a real interest in seeing the Palestinian/Israeli conflict continue; by keeping the people occupied on the conflict, the people do not see the severe corruption and outright totalitarianism of it all.

I do not like Fundimentalism/Literalism in ANY religion!

I say we trade the farm system for Abreu!

Chad,

I think to see fundamentalist religion of any kind as a benign or even positive force is naive. Anyone who thinks there is only one true anything is dangerous. Are people that blow up abortion clinics or shoot doctors on religious grounds any better than people who blow up buses?

History is full of crimes committed by Christians, Muslims, jews etc. who claimed to possess the one and only truth.

just because you can prove i exist doesnt mean you cant prove that i dont exist.

har.

okay, im busted...im really a advertising bot.

who wants a bigger dick or refinance their home?

LOL, Crunch

#134 I can smelly a commie liberal for 10,000 miles away. I would love to discuss the so called "Palestine". But I'll leave you with these two thoughts:

1. Find me a time when the nation of Palestine existed. Show me the constitution, or explain their form of government. Please list the leaders of that nation. (trick question cause you can't Palestine was NEVER a country in the history of the world).

2. Your point about the Jews wouldn't be blown up if they weren't there. Well, if there the Jew would have just left Europe, the Hitler couldn't have killed the all. Right?

Please change your topics back to the Cubs and take your commie rhetoric over to MichaelMoore.com or moveon.org. They will welcome you with open arms.

Let me state that I am a Jew and I find it outrageous to try and compare fundamentalist Christians in this country to people who blow up busses full of school children.

you're confusing the words fundamentalist with the word radical.

The radical christians who blow up abortion clinics are the ones who should be compared to radical islamic suicide bombers.

all this because someone compared the use of stats to religion....

Crunch, did you find the magical Penis Mightier? Connery would be proud.

(SNL fans, anyone?)

ME ME ME!!!

Yep, I can't prove that you DON'T exist, got me there, Crunch...

Tbone - I'm with ya all the way. The people that frighten me are the people who can't fathom the possibility of being wrong. Those people aren't limited to one religion or political party, and also includes the a-religious and a-political.

Give me a person with a healthy dose of humility and modesty, any day...

"The radical christians who blow up abortion clinics are the ones who should be compared to radical islamic suicide bombers."

Sure, if abortion clinics blew up with the regularity of hospitals and busses in the mid east. AND if Christians took to the streets cheering once it happened.

Give me a person with a healthy dose of humility and modesty, any day...

You would have to say, for the most part, this sums up being a Cub fan.

Chad - calm down the name calling, or you'll be the one asked to leave.

I have no problems using the 140th or so post in this thread, when there's no other baseball news happening, to talk politics. I do have problems with name-calling.

Fine. I take back the slanderous commie/liberal label. I do think that those are pretty tame names to bandy about.

"Find me a time when the nation of Palestine existed. Show me the constitution, or explain their form of government. Please list the leaders of that nation. (trick question cause you can't Palestine was NEVER a country in the history of the world)."

-Find me a time when the state of Israel existed before 1948 that existed without Palestine?
(you will find that Palestine was considered part of modern Israel)

-Yes, I am a liberal, and proud of it!

-Call me commie? Persucute me for it? (if I was, because communism does not work) Tell me I cant be an Anarchist or a Socialist or a Democrat? Guess what I call you...a Fascist!

-if there were not Israeli tanks and an Israeli built wall surrounding and enclosing the west bank, there would be less suicide bombings!

Do not attack me without expecting a rebuttle!

Chad, are you my grandpa? Because you sort of sound like him right now...

Thanks Chad. It's not the name that worried me - we've all been called worse things than "Communist" - it was the direction. I don't mind political/god talk, I just want to make clear that we do it without resorting to name-calling or telling people to leave. Go ahead and fight your political battles if you must, everyone, just

A. don't do it when it's stealing oxygen from a baseball discussion and

B. try not to do it in a way that antagonizes.

147 and 148 - that's why I asked Chad to stop the name-calling, because I didn't want to see name-calling responses.

Please. Baseball, or god/politics that is more constructive than seeing who can slap the most mis-representative lable on someone else.

OK i withdraw my statement, It took me a while to write my post and i did not see your post Trans, thx...

But... I love my grandpa.

Ok sorry - I will stop.

Thank you, Nate, Karl and Chad. It's appreciated very much.

For the 1000th time, we have 3.5 more months to kill. Let's make sure it's only time that we're killing....

Here's something else I would like to do, if I can find the free time: do a chat-box where we re-create a game that's already been played. Like say, a random game from 1986. I'd provide the play-by-play, everyone else would provide the "oh my god, why did Frey start Steve Lake/not start Shawon Dunston" and "why can't F-ing Dunston learn to take a walk?" We could have John Hill write the game preview and re-cap...

Fun? Lame? Too much work for what it's worth?

With 20/20hindsight, my first comment about Frey during a 1986 game would be, "Man, I sure hope they never make this guy the GM!"

3yr/13.5m for looper...wow.

LOL Tbone, yes....

3 years 13.5 million for Looper really isn't that surprising, is it, given the market-price established by Eyre and Howry?

So let me direct this at myself - I kinda am a Fascist.

"You label me, I label you. So I dub thee unforgiven" - Metalica

I think that would be fun, do it!

I actually have picked out the game I want to recreate. Lots of interesting old names and a good ending to the game.... No idea if I will have the time or motivation.

Anyone else interested?

Karl - Isreal was a Jewish homeland 2,000 years ago. They won some wars they lost some wars. Every time they lost Jews had to pretty much flee. I think they have a pretty strong case it is their homeland more than it is Palestinian. But then again Jews have been hated through history they don't deserve anything.

Also Karl you were wrong about aid to Saudi Arabia. Why would they need aid from us when they are oil rich?

http://denbeste.nu/cd_log_entries/2003/05/Eco...

We do give alot of aid to Middle Eastern countries and many other countries around the world. It is one of the last remaining relics of the Cold War. Russia would offer $200 million in allegiance to their side America would offer $400 million to ignore Russian interests. It was a high stakes battle of wills. Hence why it was called the Cold War.

Also it should be noted that the Kurds in northern Iraq are the biggest ethnic group in the world without a country. No one ever stands up for them and demands that Iran, Iraq under Saddam, or Turkey give them land to form a country.

With the new Democracy in Iraq, Kurds are finally feeling free to live their lives. Most importantly they are not pushing to break away and form their own state. They want to be integrated into the new Iraq because that is what is best for their future. It doesn't hurt that Northern Iraq's Kurdish area is the most stable part of Iraq. Iraqi's from the south are moving to the Kurdish north because it is safer and better jobs exist in that area. Kurd's are in turn building the largest indoor soccer stadium in the Middle East and have housing projects under development that start at $250,000 per house!! The markets are open nearly 24hr's a day with virtually no fear of suicide bombers.

The people in the Kurdish north credit this with the persistance of Kurdish troops who fought against Saddam and the local populations intolerance of people whose main goal is to destroy what they have achieved.

I remember an article from about a year ago where the most popular name for new baby boys born in the Kurdish north was either George or Bush. You may find that a little crazy depending on your political beliefs but Bush is a national hero to those people. They would throw a massive celebration if he ever decided to visit that part of Iraq.

and turkish kurds are still being killed by US helicoptors and ammo.

All very true, Mike. Very well put, and it's important we remember that.

Problem is, from my view, there's a whole lot more of Iraq that ain't Kurdish, and wouldn't throw a party.

I hope with all my heart that these purple fingers transform the region for the better, and as a historian I know that it's too soon to pronounce this endeavor a failure, we need time to look back at it from afar. But 3 years into the endeavor, I see a lot of happy Kurds and a jailed Saddam, but also a whole lot of wealthy private-military security contractors, a whole lot of dead and mutilated bodies, precious few WMDs or 9-11 ties, and little grounds for optimism that Iraq will avoid religious civil war.

Well that is the complicated part of the issue. Saddam hated the Kurds, Iran hates the Kurds, Turkey hates the Kurds. If they push to form their own state then Turkey says they will invade and seize land in the north. Which happens to be the oil rich section. So the Kurds can either stand up to Iran or Turkey or take their shot with freedom in Iraq. I think they are making the wise choice.

Turkey is NATO right? So yeah they get military stuff from us. But we also kind of need them for strategic bases in the region. It sucks Turkey does that to the Kurds, but hopefully they can get across the border and into Iraq.

An interesting History side note is that Saladin was a Kurd and born in the city of Tikrit. It kinda seems the Kurds as a people are much more tolerant of other people than other people are of them. For whatever reason.

Damn MikeC, layeth the smacketh down!

I also agree that there's an interesting historical/political/sociological riddle to be solved in explaining why the Kurdish nation seems to be so much more interested in the values of a liberal democracy than their neighbors to the south.

Again, if in ten or twenty years Iraq has a democracy that resembles the Kurdish way, and we get the sort of domino-theory of democracy spreading throughout the middle-east as Bush says, I'll be the first to congratulate him, or at least admitting that blind squirrels find nuts.

I just don't see a pluralistic, tolerant democracy blooming in a peaceful Iraq any time soon and I sure don't see a future where Iran and Saudi Arabia peacefully make a transition to that sort of society, either. (I sure hope I'm wrong, again). and I think the planners and supporters of this war should have planned for the worst-case scenario instead of planning based on the assumption that we'd be greeted with flowers and chocolates. No WMD, No 9-11 ties, 2150 US dead, a dwindling "coalition" and (in my opinion) a greater chance at producing a failed state (like Somalia, Taliban-era Afghanistan or Bosnia) than something resembling Free Kurdistan or even Jordan or Quatar or the UAE or hell, even Turkey.

I study history and foreign relations just for fun. Yeah I know that is pretty twisted!!

The Middle East is a fascinating and extremly complicated region.
No one answer, no one action can ever be accomplish without a sacrifice in another area. That might be less true than with other nations but In the Middle East you can't avoid it. You try to help one side and the other side gets pissed off. So you help the other side to make it even and the other side is pissed off.

The turning point in Iraq is the Sunni's getting on board. They realized they royally screwed up by boycotting the last elections. More importantly they have turned against Zarqawi and Al Qaeda. Zarqawi messed up big time when he killed a very powerful Sunni Imam who was telling his people to listen to the Americans and join in the process to vote.

What is even more interesting is that Sunni's like Allawi the former Prime Minister who happens to be a Shia. Sunni's voting for a Shia? Cats and dogs living together oh my!! They like Allawi's stance on an integrated Iraq.

What doesn't get reported in the news is that the average income in Iraq has doubled since the days of Saddam. Families in the Shia south who could never get jobs under Saddam's rule are making more money than they ever dreamed of. In fact Iraq is booming in the cell phone market. I think upwards of 60% of the population has one now.

Health care system is leaps and bounds ahead of anything Saddam had. Though in some area's it can be improved by a massive margin.

And my favorite part of news from Iraq is that the marsh lands in the south have been restored. The ancient marsh arabs are a culture that has existed for thousands of years. When they rose up against Saddam and were put down he punished these already poor people by draining the marshes and destroying their way of life. It is right up there with genocide what he did to these people. He tried to exterminate an entire culture. I am glad these people are getting back what amounts to their history and way of life. If that is not worth fighting for I don't know what is.

I'm gonna say this right now. This will probably light this board on fire. This is all the fault of one man....wait for it...wait for it....

Jimmy Carter.

The worst president since Hoover. He is a good and decent man. Probably the best in that category since, well, maybe, ever? But what a lousy president.

While I don't give too much blame/credit to the economics of the era that they were president (I don't give Clinton tons of credit for the internet boom he happened to be in office for, nor the crash when everything was overvalued and this whole country was Enroned.) I do blame Carter directly for the mess he made of Iran. If Bush (I or II) or Reagan were president then, we would have wiped out the Iotola Assahola and his Fabulous Mulas. We would never had to support Saddam and Iraq would be a very different nation.

#167 - Great post MikeC and I'm with ya 100%.

Not exactly what I expected when I decided to catch up on the message board for the night, but hell, that beats reading the same predictable criticism of Neifi/Hendry/Baker, etc. over and over again.

Not that the criticism is unfounded, just nice to get away from the Cub negativity once in a while...

It's all very good news there, and is worth reporting. I still don't have much optimism that the Sunnis will stay on board as minority partners in the govt., and ultimately, if the govt. is incapable of providing security for its people (and its oil pipelines) or restoring electricity and sanitation (both of which are still more or less crippled), the goverment will fail.

So I love hearing the good news. But when you go to war, you plan for the worst case scenarios, not for the best. All the good news in the world doesn't change the basic failure to plan in a responsible manner for this war or the fact of on average 90 terrorist attacks on the Iraqi population, per day. Because we didn't get the planning right, because we went in with a bunch of hopes and dreams instead of armor and manpower, we now aren't able to do anything about those 90 attacks per day other than to pray that this emasculated Iraqi goverment and religiously divided populace figures out how to stop them. I hope my pessimism is proven wrong.

MikeC,

I've been trying to make sense of the Bush administration's case for going to war since... well, since they started making it. To me, one of the larger problems is that all the data coming out of Iraq against going to war were either ignored or supressed, while the data in support of going to war were pumped up to the point of discrediting the current administration with many of our allies.

What i'm wondering with regards to your post is whether there was good reason to believe we would be welcomed in at least large sections of Iraq... if so, the administration's expectations of flowers and chocolates would fit the larger pattern of selectively choosing the best data out there for their agenda and applying it to the whole situation, rather than taking in all the data and applying them appropriately. Do you think this its possible this could have been the case?

Trans,

Doing a 1986 game would be awesome! Do you plan on doing a text-based play-by-play, over TCR? Also, will AZ Phil give us a report on the minor league happenings that day?

That's a fabulous idea, Shawn - getting AZ phil to join in.

Yes, the plan would be to do a text-based play-by-play reenactment of the game in the Para-Chat. Again, this is going to be very labor intensive, and it's only worth doing if I can do it in, say, February. I am doubtful that I would have the time, to begin with. But what I really need is interest - I couldn't justify doing or aksing AZPhil or John Hill or others to get involved if there was no audience. I suppose if we advertised enough in advance, we could round one up....

Will see. May have to be saved for next winter, but I think it'd be fun.

I'd be down, as long as i'm not visiting my in-laws in the bustling metropolis of Utica, NY. I'm also betting that Al over at Bleed Cubbie Blue was at the game if it was played in Wrigley.

doh! forgot the close tag...

Psssst. Fly's down....

Wow! All kinds of shit all over the board! There are 2 'l's' in Metallica....lemme see, oh yeah - The Turks blatantly murdered 2.5 million Armenians starting around 1915 - the 'forgotten genocide.' I believe in Hitler's book of crap, Mein Kampf (sp?) he was asked how he thought he could get away with the holocaust and he replied: "who today remember's the Armenians..."

Trans, how 'bout actually replaying some of the '86 games using baseball mogul and/or Diamond Mind/PTP? That would be an interesting twist, no?

I am dying to have the chance to learn to use/play both baseball mogul and Diamond Mind, but I have never bought either one, and am not going to be able to get started on that, anytime soon.

It's a great idea, though, and I certainly would encourage someone else to give it a go....

Nate
Re post 109 . You did miss my favorite
nice Jewish boy baseball player Brad Ausmus
He had one very funny quote a few years ago
when both he and Marquis ended up playing
in games on Yom Kippur . When someone
asked Ausmus about it he said he was
"attoning for my bad first half of the season"

Still hoping Adam Greenberg who seems
not who have been picked up will AT least
be invited to Spring Training as a non roster
player.

Staying out of the political discussion
as I think folks who think things are going
much better in Iraq should try changing from
Fox news to real news.

"Also Karl you were wrong about aid to Saudi Arabia. Why would they need aid from us when they are oil rich?"

Umm, Mike, you have to sell the oil to be oil rich! And guess who buys it? The United States of America. They sell 1.1 millon barrels a day to the US.

Also, the Saudi despot is an oppressive regime! We are one of their biggest political supporters as well. You saw how chummy our "president" is with the Saudi Royal Family.

People should stop defending countries who severly abuse civil rights. The president got rid of one (Iraq) but is allied with the likes of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

What an amazing change of subject and it all started with posts 89 and 95...

Ausmus is jewish? I thought he was part of the numerous hard-core born-again Christian contingency on the Astros....

LOL, trans

What are you laughing at? I'm serious! I thought he was Christian! Damnit, take me seriously!!!

Nobody is taking ME seriously!

does it bother anyone else that the Cubs have done nothing to garner any sort of baseball news and we are reduced to arguing religion over baseball topics? I mean, I'm not really offended that people are actually talking about something, but it would be nice to have something to talk about. Just my two cents....happy holidays everyone, regardless of denomination

I don't expect the Cubs to make news every day. Hence, the start of the TICH stuff. But yeah, I wish they were more active. It's one thing to stand pat with a good team, but this ain't a good team, yet....

And happy holidays back at ya.

I agree with the Fox News statement...all news should either be gotten from NPR or John Stewart. Seriously.

Look what the Cubs have to forced us to resort to talk about...

Wes Helms Wannabe-
Like I thought at the end of last year, the 2006 Cubs are going to be very similar to the 2005 Cubs. We have added two set up men (Eyre and Howry), a CF (Pierre) and a bench player (Mabry). So as of right now, 21 players of the 25 man roster would of been from the sub .500 team last year.

Besides Pierre, none of the starting 8 and starting rotation has changed. And if anything got worse as two rookies will be starting and with Wood most likely out at the start of the year, we will have Maddux, Williams and Rusch as our 3-4-5 in the rotation (VERY WEAK!!).

I really hope a HUGE trade will come to fruition before April 1st, becuase I have a hard time thinking this team as currently assembled can compete easily for a playoff berth.

You'd think with Hendry's, and in turn Bakers, job on the line, he would of been more aggressive. Unless he, and in turn Baker, have been told they will be resigned and thus they have little pressure to take many risks.

Amazingly the team who won the WS last year has been more agressive in improving their team with a smaller payroll and a better team to start with.

So much for the nonsensical theory that we should of rooted for the CHW to win the WS as it would put more pressure on the Cubs to go out and try and win this year.

Sadly after who has won the past two WS, it has clearly taken some of teh wind out of my sail, even if they win the WS this year. I will still be unbeleiveably excited, but not as excited as if they would of won BEFORE both BOS and CHW won.

Trans - I am trying to think up a response to your last post but it just isn't flowing to well. Could we of planned better? Maybe. But the military has a saying, "No good plan ever survives first contact with the enemy." It is impossible to plan for everything, and even when you try and plan for the worst case scenerio something new pops up. Our military prides itself on adapting and over-coming. A problem pops up they do their best to solve that problem. Usually before policy makers even get involved. Maybe I will have a better response tomorrow.

Shawn- Yeah we over-estimated how we would be accepted when we invaded for the second time. The Shia were not sure if this was a repeat of 1991. Were we really there to stay or were we just a bunch of talk? What most people don't know is that after the 1st Gulf War Saddam's center of power was only in Baghdad. I think it was 90% of the country was in open revolt against Saddam. He had lost control of his country.

What happened after the 1st Gulf War was what the anti-war folks basically wanted. Anti-war people tend to believe if a group of people are oppressed in a nation they should rise up and fight for their freedom. More importantly a nation's soviergnty(?) should always be respected. This is their conflict.

So the first Bush told them to rise up, rise up against Saddam. And they did, boy did they. But they thought we would be behind them if they stood up. We didn't stand behind them. We encouraged them but that was it.

The major problem with this was Saddam had his Republican Guard virtually intact still. Due to faulty intelligence on the ground of where Republican Guard units were we stopped the war too early. Bush and General Schwarzkopf were under the impression that the so called "noose" had been sealed on those Republican Guard units. All forward advance would stop and any Iraqi units caught behind this phase line would be annihalted. The noose was never sealed and those RG units escaped. If we had 24 more hours the noose would of been sealed and Saddam would of lost his best troops.

So now we are telling the people of Iraq to rise up and Saddam still has his best troops at his command. It is one thing to rise up against another side who has rifles and you have rifles. It is nearly impossible to rise up when Saddam has tanks and you don't. So he slaughted by some estimates 100,000 or more Shia's right after the war.

I would be a little skeptical as well if the Americans came back. I don't want to be seen spray painting Saddam's picture only to find out we were just on a joy ride through the country and soon would be gone.

Was it an unrealistic expectation? We certainly hoped for it. Did that have an impact on how we conducted the war? I don't think so. It has put a greater burden of doing what you say not just talking about it. People in Iraq are skeptical if we will leave or not. They aren't exactly thrilled we are there, but in nearly every poll they don't want us to leave either.

We bring a double edged sword to party. We are greatly respected on the ground by most Iraqi's. But Iraqi's don't want to get near us because Al Qaeda will kill them. These people are not stupid, they see who goes out of their way to protect civilians and who goes out of their way to kill civilians. I think the message in Iraq is, if you don't mess with us we don't mess with you. So the average Iraqi doesn't fear us.

But now your getting into a whole new area of why Iraq is important in the central theme of things. I might do another post on that but that gets complicated with many twists and turns.

I don't know if I answered any of your questions clearly enough. I am not very good at putting out a clear point over the internet because I basically suck at writing.

Jessica:
"Staying out of the political discussion
as I think folks who think things are going
much better in Iraq should try changing from
Fox news to real news."

Yeah let me watch CNN/CBS/ABC/NBC, and read papers like the New York Times and get a one sided negative report on the war and anything right of center. Sounds like good, fair and honest journalism to me.

Manny, are you insinuating that there is a leftist bias in almost every other news outlet? Holy Crap!

Man. I came here and saw 100 new comments since I left 4 hours ago and got all excited, figured some news had come out...then I opened it...sigh...

CNN actually reports a lot of positive things on the news. the very idea a time/warner company is liberal is as laughable as the whole "liberal media" claim itself.

just cuz a news show devotes 10 minutes to american idol doesnt make it conservative...it makes it stupid.

news avoidance isnt liberal...its usually entertainment tonite.

CNN is not a liberal news outlet...not even close to one. just cuz lou dobbs or that angry white guy jack cafferty get the best ratings...their 2 hours dont make up for the other 22 hours of fluff and etc.

hell, the media here is SELF CENSORED...you dont see even 1/2 of what foreign media outlets show for news clips off that war footage you see on the news. there's a lot more to it than some brown people standing around a bombed out car...you dont see much of the war...you see the bombed out remains of a war or the rebuilding after the fact. they dont feed the story, just the event...then move on to a story about the new ben afflec movie.

Media is a business. They publish not necessarily the truth, not necessarily lies...but whatever sells.

I don't pay attention any news (except the occasional NPR, because I believe it to be honest) mainly because I am a pacifist and I am not entertained by war. I also don't believe there is ever an issue of a war being just or not.

CNN not liberal. Please, tell me another one.

Has anyone noticed that mlbtraderumors has begun referring to their stories as a 'scoop'? How do you scoop something that is imaginary?

Joe, please tell me you are kidding? Should we have NOT fought Hitler? Should we NOT have taken up arms against the English? There is NEVER a just war? Oh boy.

Chad:
"Manny, are you insinuating that there is a leftist bias in almost every other news outlet? Holy Crap!"

Naw, they are right down the middle and report equally and fairly on both sides of the political spectrum (sarcasm). :)

I will just do a quick thing on why Iraq is the central fight and for good reason.

Well not really, I will leave that to a little site called USS Clueless written by a former blogger called Steven DenBeste whose train of thought is on an entirely different level.

If you want to know reasons why we invaded Iraq, why Afghanistan was never thought of as the central point to fight terrorism, why the WMD debate was used. He will put it all in context.

The WMD debate is the single most over-exaggerated piece of evidence for why we went to war. That was not the sole reason, it was simply the reason we tried to get the UN to act on. They would not support an invasion to spread democracy. They have this perverted sense that sovereignty that they think is absolute. As long as your killing within your own borders your fine, kill away. You take your killing outside the borders your messing with another nations sovereignty.

I so wish we would get involved militarily in Ruwanda. I think the estimates are 1 million people have been killed. We have repeatedly called on the UN to officially describe what is going on in that country as genocide. The UN refuses to call it that for one specific reason. If they call it genocide they MUST intervene militarily it is in their charter. They have no other choice. So they choose to call it everything other than what it is. The US and Great Britian are the only nations who have stood up and called it what it is. We can't do everything in the world, but we would like for the UN to do what it was created to do. To stop crap like what is going on in Ruwanda.

Anways you can read the article from DenBeste from this link if you so wish. It is a long read....

http://denbeste.nu/essays/strategic_overview....

The Joe:
"I don't pay attention any news (except the occasional NPR, because I believe it to be honest)"

Honest?? I don't know. But they are a liberal radio station, paid by the taxpayers dollars. Even "NPR's own official ombudsman, Jeffrey Dvorkin admitted a liberal bias in NPR's talk programming". Check out this link for more details:

http://www.townhall.com/opinion/columns/brent...

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