Half-Hearted Victory

Well thanks to everyone who responded to my call for action last week. Not only did you make us the top Cubs blog, but you voted us the top MLB blog out there. I'm not going to put a lot of merit into the award, considering the list of entrants didn't include some of the better MLB blogs out there, the most glaring admission being Athletics Nation. But a win is a win and apparently this victory earned us a year subscription to baseball prospectus.com so we can fill your heads with an array of abbreviations that Einstein would have trouble comprehending. Thanks for the support and congratulations to you guys as well. The victory says as much about our readers as it does us writers. I can say with a fair amount of certainty that the comments section and those who contribute, is as much a part of TCR's success (if not more) then the daily ravings of a few crazed Cubs fans scattered around the globe. Congrats once again and looking forward to another fun year in 2006!!! And feel free to use this as open thread to discuss whatever is on your mind regarding our boys in blue.
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Comments

That's right, we bad! Uh uh...

I guess there is something to be said for clogging up the ballot box.

not exactly sure how you guys accomplished the clogging. It only let me vote once from work (I assume it went by IP addresses). I didn't even try at home.

Let's hope they don't do a recount. :)

Different computers different votes :)

Good job on a nice blog!

Maybe you had to be born in Chicago to do this but it let me vote twice.

...from one computer.

Congrats all. Now if we could only vote on a starting lineup and have Dusty abide by the winning results.

cf pierre
ss neifi
1b dlee
3b aram
rf jack jones
lf grissom
c blanco
2b augie

Ok, that's not even funny...

Come on, Dusty. Mabry can play 1st OR 3rd. You gotta work him into that lineup!

all i know is we cant take the bat out of mabry's hands. He's been one of the best lefthanded hitting bench guys for along time. he is always in the top 40 of slugging % for guys with less than 80 starts and names that end with a Y

I'll allow that lineup on the basis that our pitching staff is as follows:

Big Z
Jesus Christ
Cy Young
Sandy Koufax
The Easter Bunny (has the best circle change in the business)

Then we might win some games.

I've heard Christ is a good clubhouse guy.

Dusty, if ever there was any doubt about whether you are or are not really Dusty Baker, referring to computer stats seals the deal. You are not Dusty! The real Dusty knows baseball Dude, and knows that the true value of a player can never be captured in mere statistics. Take Neile Perez (Please!), a true baseball fan knows that maybe next to D. Lee, he was the Cubs most valuable player last year. Without him we wouldn't have finished were we did finish.

Re: #11

The Easter Bunny (has the best circle change in the business)

NOT HARDLY

The Easter Bunny doesn't even have the best change among rabbits. I saw Bugs Bunny strike out a guy on ONE pitch, his change was so slow. I was young, and it was early on a Saturday morning.

And that is why Neifi was given a ridiculous by me. And why he will start at short or third this year and bat 2nd in the lineup

That damn site is saying that the O's offered Tejada for the Sux for Contreas, Uribe, Ryan Sweeney and Alex Woodson. Anyone can see this is BS because if BAL offered they would have wanted Garcia or Buerhrle from them if they wanted Prior from us. Does anyone think Contreas would pass one of Angelos Physicals after the arm touture Castro put him through when he was on the Cuban national team.

Speaking of voting... Does this site support polls? It would be a nice feature...

Jim Hendry = MannyTrillo

ERICW = Jack off

jim Hendry and Dusty baker = Aaron b

HALF HEARTED VICTORY? That's rude. You ask us to go vote for your site and then say you're not that excited about it? That's kinda rude. I'm not kidding either.

I disagree that the W. Sox proposal would have had to include Buerhle or Garcia. Their proposal has something ours doesn't, a decent major league SS. That is why the pitcher doesn't have to be as good, although Contreras was pretty damn good last year.

Posts with these "this = this" stuff = NOT funny.

It was a joke... since you don't like Jim Hendry.

stop it now, I get it was a joke, but it was an uncalled for joke and honestly didn't make a lot sense. I deleted the age reference jokes as that was just pointless and a cheap joke at a reader's expense. Keep it about baseball....

Don't most 10yr old kids live at home with Mom? The joke might work if you use either one of the two elements separately but not when you combine them...

(signed)
Comedy Critic

"I'll allow that lineup on the basis that our pitching staff is as follows:

Big Z
Jesus Christ
Cy Young
Sandy Koufax
The Easter Bunny (has the best circle change in the business)

Then we might win some games."

This is how rumors start. But yeah, if Hendry used the red phone, he may be able to pull it off, and then, we'd be unstoppable.

Anyone know what the countdown to pitchers and catchers report is currently at?

peter gammons said less than 6 weeks. I want to say feb 15

Sorry if you felt that was rude, Chad. I definitely appreciated you guys spending the time to vote for us (apparently multiple times), but I'm not going to go shouting from the rooftops that we're the best MLB blog out there as the contest was a bit flawed. That's all. I appreciate and thank everyone who did vote. Winning is always better than losing, I just wish the contest was run a little better and I can say we were voted the best MLB blog out there and not feel guilty saying it. Hopefully they'll make some adjustments next year...

OK, ignore my previous post. It refered to the post that Rob G. deleted (quite rightly) and now makes no sense in isolation. Discovered Rob G.'s deletion just as I posted MY comment. Sorry for the waste of time & space.

Then why compete? Or care? Count me out next time.

Then why compete? Or care? Count me out next time
mostly cause BCB decided they really wanted to beat us and my competitive nature wouldn't let that go without a fight. I in no way expected you guys to put us top.

In terms of competing, we didn't really have a choice, our site was nominated without our knowledge. If by competing, you're referring to me asking you guys to vote, then I refer to the previous paragraph about defeating BCB.

And it's not like I'm unhappy about it, it gives me the warm and fuzzies. I just can't consciously boast to everyone that "WE'RE THE BEST", that's all. As I said, hopefully they'll tweak some stuff next year and our victory next year won't be tainted.

Would you prefer that I have said, "Thanks for voting us the best MLB Blog out there". Posted graphics all over the site, put it in the footer of all the posts and never mention anything about the ability to vote multiple times or the omission of some excellent blogs? That seems worse to me than calling it "half-hearted".

Anyway, thanks for your vote this year, hopefully you meant it.

Jackstraw it's not just you that saw that...I've read Eric Gagne's change up referred to as a bugs bunny change up many times.

You know, Bugs actually struck out three batters with one pitch.

Does this matter? No, but I just wanted to say something.

#11-- I laughed out loud, very nice.

#14--True, and Bugs can play the other 8 positions at the same time. :D (the bad news, dusty, is neifi does NOT go by B. Bunny)

Wow. Too much negativity today. Come on, I'm excited about the cubs winning it all this year. Of course, i just got done flying and am probably a bit hypoxic...

No matter what, IF (and that's a HUGE IF) our pitching stays healthy (and Wood goes back to 2003 Wood) this team will compete for the playoffs and beyond.

Seriously, thought, I think it was at mlbtraderumors, i just read grissom's splits vs. lefties, sounds like a helluva platoon with j jones to me.

Also, anybody have any thoughts on the team's constant assurance that Kerry's not going to be around yet come opening day? Somebody correct me here, I thought they just went in and cleaned the shoulder up, I'm taking it that wasn't the case?

as good as it may sound the chances of j.jones sitting for 150-175ab's worth of lefties is slim to none. maybe he might bat deeper in the lineup or see very late inning replacement, but he'll get his ab's.

Chad, that's very true.

Z
Prior
Maddux
Rusch
Williams/Hill

ain't too shabby at all, healthy (meaning Prior). Of course

Z
Prior ('06='03)
Wood ('06='03)
Maddux
Rusch/Williams/Hill

is better. And if I had my way

Z
Prior
Zito
Wood (Rusch/Williams/Hill)
Maddux

would be best of all. THAT'S a 100 win season right there.

Crunch-- point. do you think he'll look more like '03 or '05 this year, though? (i'm holding out hope for a return to "form") also, how bad were his splits in '02/3 (his best years)?

next question--how much faith do any of you have in dempster as a closer? i wanna believe, i really do, but it seemed like every time i watched him close a game last year (which, admittedly, wasn't too many) he was fairly free with the base runners and almost always turned a soft save into a nail biter

i dunno how jones will look..he's a free-swinging contact hitter with occasional power. at least he's a free-swinging contact hitter rather than a free-swinging hitter. its easy to have skitzo seasons when you make contact with a dice roll of where it'll end up. him having power should give him more IF/OF/gap room depending on how the opposing manager plays him.

He got the job done. EOS (end of story)

that's a pretty loose description of a contact hitter if you consider J. jones one :)

" Their proposal has something ours doesn't, a decent major league SS. That is why the pitcher doesn't have to be as good, although Contreras was pretty damn good last year."

TJ,

Uribe stats are only a notch better than Neifi with the only noticeable differance being SLG%. Besides I cant see Angelos wanting Contreras because he is in his contract year and he runs from those guys like the plague.

well, he's not a contact hitter...he's a free-swinging contact hitter.

he'll K, he wont walk much, but he'll make all kinds of contact. he's not a spray hitter, but insted of waiting for a pitch he can hit well, he'll swing at something in the dirt for weak contact.

he makes a lotta questionable contact, basically. i should have expanded on that...im just used to talking like a i talk to friends on stuff like that.

The Orioles are lost. They're going to turn down Clement + Ramirez for Tejada? Are they nuts? They'll regret turning that deal down.

But did ManRam agree to go to Baltimore? I doubt it.

Friend heard on the radio today in Denver of all places that this deal is imminent:

BOS gives: Bronson Arroyo, Tony Graffanino, PTBNL
BOS gets: Jeremy Reed, Will Ohman
CHC gives: Corey Patterson, Ohman
CHC gets: Raul Ibanez, Graffanino, cash
SEA gives: Reed, Ibanez, cash
SEA gets: Arroyo, Patterson, PTBNL

Anyone else hear that today??? I've heard rumors of similar trades....but nothing concrete.

never know what to believe, but are the o's holding out for manram, clement and either papelbon or lester or is it manram and either papelbon or lester and no clement? I just heard something about wanting young pitching.

Awhile back, there was a claim that Manny would approve a deal to Baltimore, and then a couple days ago he wanted his 2 option years guaranteed. Who knows? I think with Damon leaving, he just wants to get out. And I think the Red Sox hope to string 'em along until spring training and then let El Papi change his mind.

CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs pitcher Mark Prior voided the final year of his contract, making him eligible for salary arbitration.

Mark Prior
Starting Pitcher
Chicago Cubs

Profile
2005 SEASON STATISTICS
GM W L BB K ERA
27 11 7 59 188 3.67

The right-hander's agent, John Boggs, said Wednesday that Prior notified the team of his decision on Nov. 29.

Prior's deal, agreed to in 2001 after he was drafted, allowed him to void the contract after 2004 or 2005, but only if he had accumulated enough service time to be eligible for arbitration. He just missed having enough service time after 2004.

His first contract had called for a $2.75 million salary next year, and he will earn far more because of arbitration.

Prior went 11-7 in 2005, posting a 3.67 ERA. The 25-year-old had 188 strikeouts against 59 walks in 167.2 innings of work. Prior has only topped the 200-inning mark once in his career, and that was in 2003.

from ESPN/Associated Press

Geez, I wonder if this has anything to do with the trade rumors?

Damn, AZ Phil was right on that one. :) I remember us having a lengthy discussion on whether that option only applied to 2004 or if it extended to 2005. I apologize Phil.

Doubtful that Prior voiding his contract had anything to do with the recent trade rumors. Hendry had to have expected it the moment he was called up in 2002. If anything, the Cubs lucked out and gained an extra year cause of his recent injury woes. It's just business. If the Cubs had an opportunity to save $$$ in a deal, they would have exercised that option, in this case, the players has the option to make more $$$. I expect him to get between $5 to $6 mil.

We still have exclusive rights to him through the end of the '08 season. Sure, he's gonna make more dough. Good for him. Hendry would have just wasted it on locking up Marquis Grissom long-term anyway.

carmen..prior was expected to do that and it happened a month+ ago.

prior could have opt'd out of his contract last year, too. thanks to his injury he just held onto the contract rather than bargaining for that extra 500K-1m he could have probally gotten. classy, imo...if not just trouble-free.

doh..yeah, what rob said..i need to refresh before i post. hehe

Not sure about this 3-way "imminent" deal. We do dump Corey, and while Ohman was awfully solid last year, we get a guy in Ibanez who's career line is 283/341/460. He's never struck out 100 times and he's hit 30+ 2B every year for the last 5. Don't know what we'd do with him unless we wanted to package him somewhere else. He doesn't exactly fit in our picture in LF.

Graffanino's a solid bench guy who plays some good D, I guess. Although if Neifi is in fact the guy at 2B, I guess you don't really need a defensive replacement for him. I reckon Graffanino can play just about anywhere in the IF, though.

And on another note, what the hell does Seattle want with Corey?

fwiw, according to the article, prior didn't qualify last year for arbitration, so he could not have opted out of his contract last year.

you're friend's radio seems to be tuned to WMLBTRumors.com

or is it KMLBTRumors.com

=p

what would boston do without a backup IF...what would the cubs do with another backup IF who's gonna get 2-3m bucks?

what would the cubs do with m.murton?

granted...boston does need a loogy, but if the cubs can pull that trade off they just robbed bos/seattle and what they'll have to show for it is 2 above average players they have no use for.

oh yeah, bos still has alex cora...still, the whole thing seems sketchy to me.

Speaking of voting... Does this site support polls? It would be a nice feature...

No, we're a bare-bones outfit here. Although it would be nice at times. I suppose we could find a 3rd party site if necessary.

and the usc ass-kicking has begun. Glad Texas special teams is so much better.

I highly doubt Seattle is going to trade Ibanez. They were practically giving him away last year before spring training. Randy Winn and Ibanez were on the block with Ibanez the odd man out. Seattle then traded Winn mid-season to the Giants making Ibanez the full time LFer.

I wanted the Cubs to get Ibanez before spring training last year to avoid the Holly disaster. But the Cubs are not that forward thinking.

I highly doubt Seattle is going to rip apart their OF to get a below average starter and a .215 hitting OFer.

Their OF would be Patterson, Ichiro, and probably that rookie Shin-Soo Choo. That is not very good. Hell Seattle can just trade Reed straight up for Arroyo and plug in Choo in CF if they think Choo is ready without giving up one of their more productive bats.

I call bullshit on that rumor because it boils down to Seattle trading Ibanez and Reed for Patterson and Arroyo. That is a god damn joke and not even close to fair value in return.

Here's a REAL trade, Pat & Ron love to say "J-So", it's the fastest name to say in MLB!

Seo...he did pitch a terrific game against the Cubs (7.1 IP, 4H, No Runs; 2-0 Cub loss...and Maddux pitched weill, had a hit and a stolen base) in that awful 8 game losing streak highlighted by Macias as our CF in Shea. I think Ned Coletti made a nice move getting J-So

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/w...

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired right-hander Jae Seo and left-handed reliever Tim Hamulack from the New York Mets on Wednesday for right-handed relievers Duaner Sanchez and Steve Schmoll.

A 28-year-old South Korean, Seo made 14 starts for the Mets last season, going 8-2 with a 2.59 ERA and 16 walks and 59 strikeouts in 90 1-3 innings. He also was 7-4 with a 4.29 ERA in 19 starts for Triple-A Norfolk.

"Seo's going to get a chance to start," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said. "He had a real good year with the Mets and in Triple-A, pitched close to 200 innings. Seo is a no-frills guy who knows how to pitch."

Seo joins a Los Angeles rotation that includes right-hander Brett Tomko, who signed last month, and three returnees: right-handers Brad Penny and Derek Lowe, and left-hander Odalis Perez.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2...

you can bs that rumor just from where it originated. I hope it really didn't make the radio in denver.

I heard that rumor came from that stupid little site everyone likes to visit.

He makes up half his crap and the other half comes from Foxsports rumors.

Rob G...our hopes on getting Craig Wilson may be going to the Indians

espn.com rumors sez:

Jan 4 - The Cleveland Indians, in the market for a right-handed bat, have inquired about the availability of Pittsburgh's Craig Wilson, reports ESPN.com Insider Jerry Crasnick.

one more espn rumor:

Estes to join Padres
Jan 4 - Left-handed starter Shawn Estes is expected to sign a one-year deal with the Padres, MLB.com reports. Estes is scheduled to undergo a physical examination Wednesday.

Try pollhost.com

Makes sense that a more saber-friendly team would jump all over that. Guess they really don't expect anything from J. Dubois as I assume Wilson would be the lefty platoon-mate of Broussard that Dubois was supposed to be.

case #30,003 Duquette vs H. Simon/J. Burnitz

Plaintiff: Daniel Duquette?

Clearly the excuse to go elsewhere had little to do with playing more games on the west coast by being a Pirate vs an Oriole. That has to rank with famous lame excuses. Excuse #2 was he discovered he's allergic to crabcakes and vitamin B12 shots (both indiginous to Baltimore).
----
from the AP:

"My feeling is we had an agreement," Orioles vice president of baseball operations Jim Duquette said Wednesday. "Obviously, the agent didn't feel we did. My personal feeling is it sets a bad precedent when that's allowed to happen."

Burnitz never took the physical called for in that agreement. Burnitz's agent, Howard Simon, said that language regarding the physical resulted in the breakdown of Baltimore's deal.

"There was harsh, intimidating language that appears to be very subjective and open-ended. ... The club almost has the right to do whatever it wants, at its option," Simon said. "That's how complicated the language is. The other clubs simply have one line that states it is subject to the player passing a physical. That's what Pittsburgh's document has."

Because of the contract language, Burnitz and Simon apparently felt the Orioles could have delayed completing the deal for as long as they wanted after the physical -- even while shopping for other players, such as Red Sox outfielder Manny Ramirez.

Duquette thinks Burnitz simply had a change of heart. An Orioles official he didn't identify spoke with Burnitz last weekend.

"We got hold of the player, and the player said he had a change of heart and for family reasons wanted to play in the National League because of the trips to San Diego and Los Angeles, which are close to home," Duquette said. "I'll believe that over the other one."

Duquette said that in 15 years of negotiating contracts he has never had a player not finalize a deal because of the language concerning the physical.

"I'll believe what the player said and give him the benefit of the doubt," Duquette said.

Simon is unhappy that the Orioles are trying to paint Burnitz as the villain and said the ballclub broke an agreement that neither side would disclose the signing until the contract was finalized.

"I stuck to my end of it and if they had, they wouldn't be wearing so much egg on their face," Simon said. "There is never a deal until it's done, and done means everything, all the terms and conditions have to be agreed up, not just some of them. I'm not looking to throw darts, but the fact of the matter is it's really a Baltimore problem."

Duquette said, "A lot of agents don't sign term sheets. They just say, 'We have an agreement, get on a plane and go take a physical.'"

What's the deal with Wilson? Everyone complains about $2.5 for Neifi, but wants to trade a player to pay Wilson $4 for the short side of a platoon?

Explain.

pretty good point, but considering our payroll we can afford such luxuries I suppose. Neifi's contract is more upsetting for the years and the fact that having him around means he'll likely be misused.

Wait to see how much Prior's newly expanded contract takes off the books before you're so sure how much room Hendry still has...

Prior should make $5 to $6 mil, the Cubs knew about this last year. There's no suprise here. If they were willing to sign Furcal and go after Tejada, there's plenty of $$$ to have C. Wilson on the team.

Damn, don't look now, but Texas is simply a better team than USC. USC will need some breaks to get back into this one. Leinart looks lost and Texas defense looks great, and VYoung is making USC's defense look silly.

Carmenfanzone: Well, if the article is truly accurate, and if Prior's agent is to be trusted (both are big "if's," granted), then I don't see how the Tejada trade rumors would factor into his decision. The article said that he notified the team of his decision on November 29, which means Prior must have come to the decision before November 29. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the Prior/Tejada rumor start cooking in December?

Re: Proposed three-way deal with Seattle and Boston: Anything you read on mlbtraderumors.com should be taken with a grain of salt. I like the site myself, but I also like science fiction movies. And while people may say that they are accurate sometimes, that accuracy is probably due to them reporting almost every trade possible in MLB (sorry to break it to the editor of that site, but there is no way in hell that the Sox end up with Tejada...just ain't gonna happen).

As for my opinion on this "imminent" trade, it makes no sense from any perspective. The Cubs made offers for Ibanez earlier this off-season...if all it would take to land him was Patterson, don't you think the deal would have been done? We all know Hendry is shopping Patterson to anybody in MLB, and everyone in MLB knows Hendry is shopping Patterson. So, isn't it logical to assume that Hendry offered Patterson for Ibanez? Now, it's possible that Bavasi was playing hardball, but if he has such a huge man-crush on Patterson, why not make the deal when he caught wind of Hendry preparing to sign Jones?

Taking it a step further, it makes zero sense for the Cubs to sign another utility infielder. We're looking to trade a second baseman, remember? What good would it do to pick up yet another back-up infielder when we already have Neifi and Hairston? And why would Boston look to trade Graff when they are thin in regards to middle infielders?

Whole trade proposal sounds VERY far-fetched to me...but hell, if we can get Ibanez for Patterson, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

I love those Duquette quotes about the Burnitz situation by the way. Here's my translation:

"Blah blah blah blah I tried as hard as I could blah blah blah. Blah blah, it wasn't my fault, blah blah; blah blah I am trying to sign free agents to make us better blah blah blah. Blah blah, Miguel please believe me blah blah. Blah blah, blah blah. Miguel blah are you paying attention blah blah?"

433:
"Damn, don't look now, but Texas is simply a better team than USC."

WOW!! So leading by 6 points after one half of football makes you "simple a better team"? It is not like the score is 31-7 at the half, it is 16-10. USC made some bad mistakes down in and around the red zone in the first half (going for it on 4th and 1, Bush's lateral, Leinert's INT). They correct those problems, they win this game. Even when one of Texas's TD came on a blown call by the replay officials and clearly should of been no TD.

As I type this, USC scored again. USC leads 17-16, so they must simply be the better team (sarcasm).

No, being better team makes a team the better team.

Nice score by USC. They may go on to win, but they aren't better than Texas. Their offense is probably better than Texas' offense, but Texas defense is much better.

And by the way, I hate Texas (no sarcasm -- Husker fan here).

433:
"They may go on to win, but they aren't better than Texas."

I thought winning the national title by going undefeated and beating the #2 team makes you the better team, but I guess not, if you say so.

Well, then I think the Cubs were better than the White Sox last year, who cares who won the World Series.

I can't agree that it's logically impossible for a team to lose a game to an inferior team, which is what you essentially said.

I agree it is not impossible. If Temple would somehow of beat USC this year I would not say Temple is better. But by declaring Texas a better team at half winning by only 6, is very vey very very generous.

College football sucks. Bowl games are retarded.

Did anyone watch the Mineral Water Bowl?

I wasn't even talking about the score; I was just offering an opinion based on my observations of the skills and execution of the teams. After a half of football, Texas looked like the better team. They still do.

Last year's USC team would have beaten this USC team by two touchdowns IMO.

I know USC has been hyped to horrifically annoying levels, but if it wasn't for Leinart slipping on a QB sneak and Bush's ill-advised lateral, it should easily be a ten point lead for USC. Texas was the team fumbling over themselves in the first half. Whatever, I'm actually thrilled it's a good game. Makes it that more interesting.

Rob, don't forget Texas' fumbled punt return early on that gave USC 7 points and Texas getting jobbed on that interception by the LB falling backwards, etc. The big breaks have gone both ways.

USC has no answer for Young. That guy is good. Bush on the other hand hasn't been much of a factor (except for that goofy fumble!).

At this point it's pretty much a coin flip. I'd give a slight edge to USC. Should be a good quarter. I am rooting for them to score a combined 69 1/2 points or less, personally.

433:
"I was just offering an opinion based on my observations of the skills and execution of the teams."

I am sorry then because the way I took your original post was that you were stating it almost as fact that clearly Texas was the better team and I clearly did not see the first half anywhere close to the way you did then. But it is your opinion, that is cool, I just don't agree.

texas has really been executing on special teams. Wasn't that suppose to be their decided advantage.

Bush hasn't taken over the game but he's got well over 100 all-purpose yards I believe. The beautiful thing with USC is they really don't need him.

As I said, glad it's a good game.

Holy Jesus, what a run by Reggie Bush. I still can't believe he scored on that run.

Simply AMAZING.

USC has a second gear no one in college has.
And this is from an ASU fan.

Bush is a complete freak of nature. He literally jumped from the 4 yard line and landed 2 yards deep in the end zone... that's 18 goddamn feet.

On a basketball court, that's like jumping from 3 feet behind the free throw line and landing under the basket.

433:
"Texas getting jobbed on that interception by the LB falling backwards, etc. The big breaks have gone both ways."

Like USC just got jobbed on the fumble recovery...

I HATE instant replay, it works nowhere near enough.

yeah, there's your bush sighting for you. Just too many weapons for Texas to handle. I did love the comments of "USC has never seen a defense like Texas this year". Pretty sure, Texas never saw an offense like USC either.

I'm pretty impressed by Young, didn't think he was this good. If Texas scores here, the 2 pt conversion might decide the game.

Yeah that was a fumble...but I don't think USC could have ended up with the ball anyway -- whistle blows on an incomplete pass before the recovery, etc.
Bad call though.

Manny,

They need indispituble evidence to overturn something while he probably fumbled it did not meet that standard on the replay.

"Pretty sure, Texas never saw an offense like USC either."

I think Ohio St. has as good of an offense.

Naw, Ohio State is not even close.

the blown call was on that young lateral for a td when his knee was clearly down and he they didn't even review it. Yeah, Texas probably still would have scored but they may have had to trot out this reject of a kicker they have.

I don't have the sound on, but it looked an incomplete pass fwiw. He didn't make a move and the guy hit him immediately in real-time to knock it loose.

Chifan-
How about Young's knee down on the TD?? My blind grandfather could of called that down on instant replay.

If you want we can go to parachat, for the final minutes of the game......

Just a thought....

good one chifan, that's funny. EAST COAST BIAS!!!

USC has 5 1st round picks on offense (Leinart, Bush, Jarrett, White and one of the offensive lineman). Plus they've been doing this in big games for 3 years now.

I'm there, give me a minute to do some housekeeping

ABC, maybe you should use a real name and real e-mail adress before you rant like a child.

you joining us mike?

Hey, 433, as a fellow Husker fan, aren't you just THRILLED to play BOTH these teams next year?!?! I think we could win either one as long as Bush, White, 1/2 the USC O-Line, and Vince Young all go pro like they damn well should.

ABC-
They will never leave a post like that up there...sorry man, even if there is some truth in it or not.

Now if you were talking about me, that's another story...;)

Manny,

I agree on that young play. these refs in all of these bowl games have sucked.

you can be critical, don't have to be childish though and resort to profanity and personal attacks.

Man Young is awesome. Texas's D is going have to repeat that 3 and out on the 1st drive. If USC holds on Texas's K and PR should be the MVP.

No kidding. What an unbelieveable player Young is.

What will Prior get, 3yrs 18 - 20 mil? Probably a one year deal in the meantime to avoid arbitration?

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

So was Michael Vick...

Yeah, Young is making Bush look like he should not be the #1 draft pick....even though Young says he is staying.

Vick could never throw as well as Young. Both great college players, though, no doubt about that.

Vick threw for like 1500 yds his last year in college. Young has thrown for over 2600 yds i think. He is a much better QB than Vick, and maybe just as fast.

Good God, what a game. 100X better than that "instant classic" piece of crap last night.

This is one hell of a game!

Hey Karl, want to talk about France?
Just Kidding.... David Carr should be scared about his job next year.

WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW!

Horray!!! Go Big 12!!!

Go Texas!!!! Longhorns Rule!

Mostly bad play calling by USC's O-coordinator in the first half. The one time Bush ran inside he had 9 yards- so never have Bush run inside the rest of the game.

GO HOOOOOORNS

F U pac 10. you suck. your teams suck.

Wow. Unbelievable. Young is silly good.

And yes, I still believe that Texas is better than USC, but not by much. And only because USC's defense has no answer for Young.

manny....you WOULD be a guy that would hate instant replay. dusty probably hates it too. any argument you have against it is flat out wrong. if it solves one play a season, it works. in reality, it solves much more than that. how could anyone say it is bad?

in baseball it's another story. but in football it's excellent.

was a good game, the forward lateral for a TD left a sour taste in my mouth, as did the bad call on the fumble after the Texas reception. USC simply didn't have an answer for Vince Young. What ended the game for USC was that run up the gut by LenDale that came up short on the 4th and 2 or whatever it was, they should've run Bush on the outside or a QB keeper, but Texas was waiting for LenDale.

Green Lantern:
"you WOULD be a guy that would hate instant replay. dusty probably hates it too."

Thanks man, you comments don't even deserve a reponse from me and I will just let the blown calls of this game and games all over the NFL and NCAA to talk for themselves.

Have a good night...

KW says the Sux arent intrested in Tejada:

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

On the game the reason USC lost was Carroll. He made horrible decisions. On that 4th&2 he should have punted and made them go atleast 80 yars in 2 minutes to win the game. He went into prevent D after that facemasking penalty when he should have continued to use the rush that worked on the first two plays he let Young pick apart that D. Lastly why call that timeout before the 2 point try you needed that TO to stop the clock when you get the ball to set up a FG if Bush had that he could have tried to create something to get them atleast into FG position on that screen.

Player A:3492AB, 492R, 974H, 132HR, 476Rbi, 231BB, 737K, .279/.327/.455

Player B:3215AB, 471R, 864H, 118HR, 492Rbi, 466BB, 784SO, .269/.367/.442

Player A is Jocko Jones, Player B is.....

BEN GRIEVE!!!

ben grieve...

he can take a walk. he'll hit the occasional homer. he'll hit some singles.

he can also murder RF and LF...too shakey to play 1st...and is slower that he really should be. im not sure if he's had knee issues or what. its a shame his arm is also inaccurate and comically variant in velocity.

he's one of those guy's that's 1 tool away from a career. if he had a bit more of the pop he had in his youth or could field more reliably...maybe even a RF'rs arm.

i keep hoping he latches onto someone's bench. its amazing how amazingly bad D can kill a decent bat's career.

Yeah, something must have happened in 2002, he has not had a SB since(324 games). He stole 24 before then. I think his knee 'sploded!

Green Lantern, your logic is flawed. Instant replay can RUIN as many good calls as it makes up for bad ones. I hate instant replay in all forms. If me must live with it, I say that each coach gets 1 challenge per game. Thats it. Make it worth it.

Chad,

I like the NFL style of replay. It lets you review the plays that should be looked at. Yes you should have replay in football because the game is too fast for refs to judge every play in the game with bare eyes. But how college replay is stupid they look at everything it is like the games go into Clement-Trachsel mode.

Take tonight's game for example, when the Texas player may or may not have fumbled the ball. Manny saw the replays and thinks it was a fumble, I saw the replays and think it was an incomplete pass. Under my system you would save the instant replay for a time when there is clearly a horrible call.

Instant reply came back because of Vinny Testaverde's non TD that was called a TD a few years ago. He didn't even come close and it was called a TD. Under my system, you'd save your challenge for that moment.

Don't forget, there has always been a human element in officiating. Like in baseball. Should we have an electric eye for strikes and balls? I say NEIN! NEIT! NO! NUN! (OK, I'm not sure if nun is no in any language.)

craig wilson redux (they love me, they love me not, they love me...):

again from the pitt post-gazette/Dejean K...

General manager Dave Littlefield said the free-agent signing likely was his last, though he did not rule out another.

He also said he did not intend to trade Craig Wilson, even though Burnitz and Casey would start in right field and first base, Wilson's two positions, and even though Wilson could make $4 million or more next season.

"Whether it's media or fans, everybody has to realize that, if we are going to get better, part of it is having better backups," Littlefield said. "Through ownership, we've been able to increase payroll, so you're going to have the opportunity to have quality backups. Craig brings things that we need. He has power, gets on base and has versatility in the field. To me, that piece makes a lot of sense for us."

#31 of 137: By Chad (January 4, 2006 02:57 PM)
Then why compete? Or care? Count me out next time.

CHAD: Even though ROB G didn't care that we won, I do. Why compete? I get an extra $750,000 every time TCR wins a poll. Please don't stop voting.

#54 of 138: By crunch (January 4, 2006 05:18 PM)
carmen..prior was expected to do that and it happened a month+ ago.

prior could have opt'd out of his contract last year, too. thanks to his injury he just held onto the contract rather than bargaining for that extra 500K-1m he could have probally gotten. classy, imo...if not just trouble-free.

CRUNCH: Prior's MLB service time came in just under the Super Two baseline last year, so this is the first year he is eligible for arbitration.

#75 of 139: By Rob G. (January 4, 2006 07:08 PM)
Prior should make $5 to $6 mil, the Cubs knew about this last year. There's no suprise here. If they were willing to sign Furcal and go after Tejada, there's plenty of $$$ to have C. Wilson on the team

The Cubs still owe Prior the last installment ($800,000) from his signing bonus, too.

Zambrano got $3.85m in his first year of arbitration a year ago (avoiding a hearing when he agreed to "split the difference" with the Cubs' offer), so I would expect Prior to get no more than $5.5m (tops) this time (and that's only if he "wins"), and less if Prior and the Cubs "split the difference" (which almost always happens).

Hendry could even give Prior a "multi-year" deal (through 2008) that will take him to free-agency, but why give a pitcher a multi-year deal if it isn't to buy a year or two beyond free-agency? And I just can't see Hendry offering Prior a four or five year deal to do that.

For arbitration purposes, I would expect the typical thing: Prior submits a figure of about $5.5m (doubling his 2005 salary) and the Cubs offer $4.25m (about 10% above what Zambrano got last year). If they "split the difference," that's about $4.9m. Add the $800,000 from the signing bonus, and that's about $5.7m (total), which is about $2m more than he would have gotten if he hadn't voided his contract. (He would have gotten $3.55m in 2006, a $2.75 salary plus $800,000 in prorated signing bonus).

Remember, the arbitrator will compare Prior to what other pitchers in his "class" (the same combined MLB service time and performance as Prior's) received in arbitration last season (like Zambrano, for instance) and those who have received multi-year contracts since (which usually "escalate" each year, so players with 3+ years of MLB ST don't make that much in the first year of a "multi-year").

Now Zambrano is another matter, because he is one year further into MLB service time and arbitration than Prior is AND he had a very good year in 2005, so "Z" will probably be able to get around $6m-$7m this time, depending on whether he and the Cubs "split the difference" again or "go all the way" to the hearing.

And you never know which figure an arbitrator might choose, because the arbitrator CANNOT just "split the difference." The arbitrator uses pure statistics to determine what he believes the player's salary should be, and then he just simply picks the figure (the player's or the club's) that is closest to his, whether it be hugher or lower, it doesn't matter.

That's why both clubs and players like to avoid going to a hearing, because it can be very costly to whichever side loses. It could cost the player a couple of million dollars if he loses, and the club has to "trash" the player statistically (in front of the player and his agent), and this can lead to "bad blood" that might cause a player to make sure to leave once he gets to free-agency.

im glad we got the win :)

When was the last time the Cubs went to an arbitration hearing? I cannot recall Hendry ever taking a player all the way to a hearing.

In my general view, the guidelines arbitrators are to follow in these hearings -- particularly the rigid focus on "service time" -- ends up hurting starting pitchers. If Prior or Z were a full-fledged free agent this year, they clearly would receive multiple offers for $8-11 million per year, probably more, guaranteed money for multiple years.

I know the arbitration process is not meant to mimic the free agent market -- it is, essentially a transition from full team control to full player control. It was designed to be a balance, the player cannot depart for another team, but the player is (supposedly) assured a salary that is in-line with what he would derive in the open market.

That balance is out of wack when pitchers like Prior and Z to play for 40-50% less salary than what they would receive in free agency.

Interestingly enough, it is possible that the system is differently out-of-wack for position players. Would Soriano draw a $10 million salary if he were a free agent this year? Maybe, but maybe not -- he's a defensive liability at 2B and has said he will not play OF.

It has been awhile since I've looked at the arbitration standards and cases in any systematic way. But I think such a review would find that the process grossly undervalues starting pitching and overvalues position players.

Interesting points, DC Tom. Makes sense.

I don't think the arbitration process is supposed to provide club-controlled players with open market salaries; it's meant to balance the player's worth with overall competitive balance. If young stud players got true market value in their first years of arbitration, small market teams could never hold onto them and thus could never compete.

The arbitration process is a compromise between the owners and MLBPA over two things: money and control.

When Curt Flood got the reserve clause "reversed" (actually, the contract provision at issue was sore poorly worded, it is amazing it took until the 70s for some court to rule the owners' interpretation unenforceable), owners and players fought over "how long" a player would be under team control. The concept of "team control" at that time had nothing to do with competitiveness...in fact, unlimited club control would enhance the power of rich teams to dominate the sport. The reserve clause in the 50s and 60s forced baseball (for competitiveness reasons) to have in place some rather sharp roster-control rules (like the First Year Player Draft, etc.) (AZ Phil did a nice job explaining in his Holland article.)

I do not believe "competitiveness" should be the players' burden (through lower salaries) to bear. Arbitration is supposed to give the club some certainty that players it develops will play for them at least 6 years if the club wants them to. In exchange, players are supposedly assured that they receive a fair-market wage even if they cannot sign with another team. And for SPs, that is not a fair deal right now -- Prior and Z are not going to get anything approaching a fair-market wage in arbitration.

Any one else want to put their heads under a slow moving train after trying to buy spring training tickets?

My connection timed out three times, each time I returned my seats were worse. When I got through on the phone, talked to Miss Robot, and her circuits fried during the order.

Finally did talk to a human, and she hooked me up with a nice pair of seats in the parking lot beyond the outfield.

This will be my third year down there, and each year it has become more of a pain than the previous. Next year, I'm just watching games at Fitch.

umm, how many times have you seen a replay take a correct call from the field and make it incorrect? (crickets)

that happens about once a season in all the football i watch (a lot)

it has to be INDISPUTABLE in order to change it. that's why correct calls almost NEVER get made into incorrect calls. in fact, i can't think of one instance. at all.

incorrect calls DO get changed to correct calls, in both the college and NFL systems, quite often. over once a game on average i'd say.
they work excellently. i don't know how you can argue against instant replay in football....seriously, there's not one good argument.

Even though ROB G didn't care that we won,

When did I say I didn't care? Argh!!!!

Dear Cub Reporter:

Are you mad at me? (Check one.)

[ ] Yes
[ ] No

I don't have strong feelings one way or the other about instant replay, but how on earth did the replay officials last night not review that Young lateral when his knee was clearly down?

They spent five minutes earlier in the game reviewing a catch that was a first down, and they don't review part of a play that resulted in a TD? Inexcusable.

Green Lantern, you must not watch much football. Cuase it happens all the time.

Cuase? Whoops - Cause

Bob,

The replay officials definitely missed it. Obviously, I don't know why, but when they showed the guys in the booth after the extra point, they looked pissed. I wonder if somehow they had some issues getting a look at the replay, because they were able to show it 10 times on ABC before the kick.

I like the college way better than the pros for the simple fact that the idea of a coach only being able to challenge twice doesn't make sense to me. Why not once? Why not 3 times? Why does it go to the booth under 2 minutes only?

Sure, there are answers, but are they the only answers? I say if they want replay in football, then have it all, not just parts of it.

I also believe it should be used in certain instances in baseball:

Determining home runs in close instances like fair/foul balls, or hitting "yellow" lines or not. Plays on the bases should stay with the umps only.

The only way to allow to instant replay in baseball (and I'm not for it) is if they did something to cut the time between pitches and at-bats. Otherwise the games would be horrifically long and boring.

Bob and Brian,

ESPN just reported that the review booth had technical difficulties in seeing the replay. Makes sense, but I still would have stopped the game to see if ABC could send over clips or something. It definitely changed the potential outcome of the game.

"Otherwise the games would be horrifically long and boring."

But, Rob, if you use replay only for fair/foul, home run calls, how often would it actually be used? Once every few games or so? I'd take that. Think about the NLCS game between Houston and St. Louis -- I can't remember who it was but somebody hit a HR in MinuteMaid that actually wasn't a HR. Those kinds of calls are too big and often too far away to leave up to the umps alone.

You shouldn't need replay to make close fair/foul and home run calls. Simply put a magnetic field around the ball and sensors on the lines and poles that trips a light, fireworks, or choo-choo train if the ball hits the line or pole.

But this is baseball, loathe to change or innovation. It took them 100 years to figure out how to cut pretty designs into the grass...

But, Rob, if you use replay only for fair/foul, home run calls, how often would it actually be used?

Once would be one too many times for my tastes. Find a way to incorporate it without slowing the game to the crawl that it's already become and I'd consider it. If they used as an excuse to speed up the game in other areas, then I'm all for it.

rob g, please delete the ericw = jack off post, as well as this one.
thx.

Check your email ericw. We can discuss it further through those means.

I didn't get an email from you. Was it returned?

I agree that replay should be used in baseball for home run/not home run calls, fair/foul calls and catch/trap calls in the outfield. That's overdue, really. It would likely only be used probably once or twice a week, and that's OK with me.

It's tempting to say that it should also be allowed for bang-bang plays at first, but as Rob points out that's a dangerous road to start down.

no, and it seems to indicate that I never wrote one. I just sent you another...

UGH! Where does it end? Like I said, in the rules of fairness, lets use an electric eye for stikes and balls. How about using the Southwest Plane View Camera for check swings? Instant replay BLOWS!!! Football and baseball were FINE for 100 years without it.

it's amazing how the people whose views on cub-things (chad, manny), also have ridiculous views on totally unrelated things like instant replay in football. coincidence? no.

i bet you also still think that computers are bad bc they eliminate jobs.

and i bet joey from newton also agrees with you, along with dusty.

What's your point? That I'm a traditionalist? That's ridiculous? BS! Just cause it's new doesn't make it better. Yes a calculator is better than a slide rule but ALUMINUM FREAKING BATS SUCK.

"It's tempting to say that it should also be allowed for bang-bang plays at first, but as Rob points out that's a dangerous road to start down."

Exactly. This is also why Chad wonders where it would end. That is why it should be used sparingly like in hockey. That way, game winning home runs like Jason Kendall's versus the Cubs a few years back won't end the game.

Chad,

I would like to think I was a traditionalist at one point. However, I came to realize you can't stop things from moving forward. That ship long sailed when the created 3 divisions, a wild card, and interleague play. Perhaps I want replay because I feel the Cubs seem to get screwed more than not...i don't know. I just figure if you have the resource, why not use it in circumstances where an umpire is most likely too far or out of position to make a call?

EricW:
"rob g, please delete the ericw = jack off post, as well as this one."

HA HA

Chad-
Just disregard Green Laentern, it is obvious he is attacking us becuase we don't attack Dusty Baker in every other post (as he still mentions Baker in his instant replay posts). Let him go, there are tons of people who don't like instant replay. So I guess tons of people "have ridiculous views on totally unrelated things like instant replay in football."

Let him go, he must of had USC and the under...let him go and pay his bookie.

Dear Manny,

Please shut face.

Sincerely,
EricW

You started it man. Don't unprokingly call people out for no reason than to just try and make fun of them. Thanks!!!

Vegas Brian, I understand your point. I still believe in the forward pass AND the face mask. I just don't believe that every little thing makes for better sport.

I supported the Wild Card and I think it has made baseball even better. But do you like the designated hitter? (Rhetorical question as your favorite team resides in the NL) Do you like dome stadiums? Artificial turf?

I love the three point line and shot clock in basketball.

While I will ALWAYS have a traditionalist point of view but what's the old adage, "only a fool stands in the way of progress". (or something to that effect)

Chad, I am somewhat of a traditionalist too, and I agree a lot of those baseball "improvements" you mentioned actually hurt the game. However, there are some changes that are not only a good idea, they make the game better, or at least increase its appeal.

To me, examples of these kind of landmark improvements are lights in baseball; cable TV contracts; free agency; and the (supposed) steroid crackdown. These are things that cause fans to look back on and say "how did we ever do without it."

I really think that instant replay can fall into this category too, if used appropriately and with restraint. Replay shouldn't be a tool for managers to go on a scavenger hunt to catch a break (as is sometimes the case in football), but rather as a backup when umpires' human limitations make it difficult or impossible for them to make the correct call (i.e. on catch/trap plays, some foul/fair balls, etc.).

I believe that replay can be used unobtrusively in these limited, potentially game-defining situations to make the game better.

YOU LIKE FREE AGENCY? ACK!!!!!! Curt Flood be damned if that didn't ruin sports as we know it. That single-handedly ushered in corporate baseball as we know it. ACK, ACK!!

433--I think it can only be limited to dead ball calls to make it fair. A catch/trap play has to be an umpire call only; otherwise, how could you determine where other runners are to be sent back to (or whether they could've tagged up).

Not to get on a Crash Davis ramp:

-I dislike artificial turf.
-I think the DH is for people who can't play the game, but can only hit.
-I live in Vegas. I sweat it out to watch the stinkin' 51s. I wouldn't want a dome, I don't need a dome. My 3 year old can sweat along with me and like it.
-Free agency is one big reason why kids don't follow baseball anymore. At least make it more like basketball and give a player a reason to stay in the city.
-Aluminum bats are for players who can't hit home runs, and--for whatever reason--don't want to take steroids.
-Oversized gloves are for players like Troy Glaus and Manny Ramirez, and not Omar Vizquel or Vernon Wells

And the writing of Susan Sontag?

I'm not that refined. Bill Simmons is my Susan Sontag.

I think the writings of Bill Simmons are self-indulgent, overrated crap, too!

hi manny

i had texas and HATE USC

thanks for trying though.
replay is awesome. sure they missed that one call last night....but without replay the EXACT SAME THING would have happened! replay did not create the bad call on the field. complaining that it did not work on this one play is making my whole point....there would be a LOT more of those instances being wrong and staying wrong without replay. in fact every wrong call would stay wrong.

seriously, no one has provided a coherent argument about why replay is bad in football. the ratio of:

(wrong calls it makes right) to (right calls it makes wrong) is probably 10:1.

and i'm being conservative. seriously.

GL is right. But I would say probably 40 or 50 to 1. (maybe more -- I can't remember a good call that was turned into a bad call via replay)

I have seen DOZENS of times a ball ruled a fumble and rightfully so reversed. It happens all the time. Down by contact? Its so judgemental. Its all perspective.

I am such a traditionalist that I think calling a "muff" because the "ground can't cause a fumble" is a crock. Part of being tackled is hitting the ground, if you can't hold onto the ball when you hit the ground, tough nuggies, it's a fumble. We didn't play that way in the sandlot in Cicero, it pains me to see kids play a pick-up game of football today and get into arguments over "down by contact", the "clutch rule", and where the "plane" of this mythical goal line is!

Chad -

Maybe I'm just not understanding your position, but I genuinely can't think of a single example where a good call on the field was reversed (i.e. made a bad call) via replay. There has to be "indisputable video evidence" to overturn a call, so that would really be rare.

I can think of lots of cases where a "bad" call wasn't overturned because there wasn't enough video evidence. I can also think of lots of cases where a good call was validated by replay, and of course where a bad call was overturned. But I watch a ton of football (too much, probably) and I can't think of a single case where a "good" call on the field was reversed.

That doesn't mean it has never happened. When was the last one you saw?

You hit it on the head DC Tom. It's not replay that people should be upset with. Replay is a product of the dumb rules that have been implemented over the past 15 years due to our Politcal Correctness attitude in the country. We wouldn't need replay if rules were black and white.

433 expresses my sentiments well

ditto.

DC TOM, talk about old school thinking, right on! Ground causing a fumble? But remember, many of these rules are implemented to help scoring. Less opportunity for turnovers means more scoring ability. And that's one thing the league wants, more scoring.

433, once again, its all a matter of perspective. There are many times that I have agreed on with the call on the field only to have it over turned. You act like its so clear cut. Its not. Its so subjective. The whole perspective changes when you watch it in slow motion. And 'indisputable video evidence?" BAH! If that was actually the case, I would be ok with it. But there are so many times that they will reverse a call cause they are 'sure' that the guy was in/out of bounds buy a distance of a blade of grass. You are so unrealistic about instant replay. I have seen 1,000,000 more call that were iffy either way calls than I have seen OBVIOUS Vinny Testaverde not getting any part of the football or his body over the goal line to give the Jets a win plays. (in case you didn't know, that play was the straw that broke the camel's back and basically was the reason that they brought instant replay back.

Chad, I guess we just have to disagree, because I don't even know what you are saying. By a "good" call, I mean a call that was objectively correct. If you can't say it was objectively correct, then you can't say it was a good call. You seem to be talking about something else. (More likely, you are exaggerating your point because you don't like instant replay on principle.)

As you say, the "whole perspective changes when you watch it in slow motion." Yes it does: most times it becomes clearer and easier to understand, so the right call can be made if necessary. If it doesn't become clearer, then there can't be a reversal.

Let's do this: in the NFL playoffs, if you find me even a single example of a "good" call that is reversed (and therefore wrecked) via instant replay, I will change my TCR name to "ChadIsACoolGuy" for a day.

I would never want you to propagate a lie like that.

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