2006 MLB Payrolls

The Associated Press has obtained the 2006 MLB player payrolls. The Cubs' 2006 player payroll ranks third in the N. L., behind the Mets and the Dodgers, and just ahead of the Astros, Braves, and Giants. NATIONAL LEAGUE: 1. NYM - 100.9 2. LAD - 99.1 3. CUBS - 94.8 4. HOU - 92.5 5. ATL - 92.4 6. SF - 90.8 7. STL - 88.4 8. PHI - 88.2 MID-POINT 9. SD - 69.7 10. WAS - 63.2 11. CIN - 59.4 12. AZ - 59.2 13. MIL - 56.7 14. PIT - 46.8 15. COL - 41.1 16. FLA - 14.9
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Comments

Does anyone else think/hope the Mets have the same situation the Knicks are having?

Lot of money spent, bad record.

wow, florida really did clean house. we've got more money than that just sitting on the DL.

"Does anyone else think/hope the Mets have the same situation the Knicks are having?"

Not really because at least the players on the Mets generally show up, and now that Piazza is off the books there really aren't any deplorable contracts outside of Kaz Matsui's. Sure Pedro, Beltran, and Glavine are making more than I would want them to if I were a Mets fan but the money isn't thrown away like Yankee contracts on Mussina, Giambi, Pavano and J.Wright are. Not much to seperate them from bad contracts of the Cubs with Maddux at $9..that's close to Glavine's and Wood at $11 which is wasted. If it weren't for the Beltran and Matsui contracts I wouldn't have a problem with the Mets payroll...I'd be more concerned with trading away all their top prospects (aside from Milledge) for people like Victor Zambrano and LoDuca. It could've been worse for the Mets..Minaya actually wanted Sosa but was vetoed by ownership.

Chan Ho Park ($15m)is making more than the entire Marlins payroll...to sit in the bully at that..unreal.

The Marlins win/payroll dollar ratio this year is going to blow everyone away....

So are the Yankees going to win 13x as many games as the Marlins this year? Because that's how much more money they have in their ridiculous payroll.

Bogey - do you really think Maddux's $9million is wasted? At this point I'd almost rather have a starting rotation top to bottom with guys who you know will start 33+ games per year and post an ERA of 3.90 - 4.20 than what we currently have. Consistency is a highly underrated asset in baseball, even if you're only consistently average (scoring 4 runs every game is better than scoring 12 one game and 0 for the next two). Not to mention he's perfectly content to lecture Matt Murton and anyone else who will listen on the finer points of baseball. Considering the ridiculous money thrown around at starting pitchers these days, I'll gladly give the Professor 9 mil.

One last thing - AZ Phil didn't post the American League numbers up there, but the White Sox are currently sitting at over $102 million. That should be even more of a wake up call to the Cubs than the World Series title. They're pretty serious about making this a Sox town, and if the Trib isn't careful, that just might happen.

Doug:
"the White Sox are currently sitting at over $102 million. That should be even more of a wake up call to the Cubs than the World Series title. They're pretty serious about making this a Sox town, and if the Trib isn't careful, that just might happen."

Yeah, and to think some crazy Cubs fans said we should of been rooting last year for the White Sox to win the WS becuase it would force Hednry and the Cubs to go out and get the top players (via FA or trade) and open up the checkbook some to get a winner. As this offseason shows, that did not happen.

From previosu thread...
Jacos:
"Espn 1000 Bruce Levine reporting Hendry signing today and that Dusty will be evaluated at the end of the season."

Too bad Levine was wrong again about something. No press conference today about Hendry.

"They're pretty serious about making this a Sox town, and if the Trib isn't careful, that just might happen."

As long as Wrigley is where it is and Comiskey/Cell is where it is, it won't happen.

"Too bad Levine was wrong again about something"

He is getting brutal, some of his reports for ST-

-Prior is fine,-two days before he admitted he was hurting

-Walker would be gone by end of ST

At this point I'd almost rather have a starting rotation top to bottom with guys who you know will start 33+ games per year and post an ERA of 3.90 - 4.20 than what we currently have.

What you said, Doug ..

If the Cubs had a rotation of Maddux, Maddux, Maddux, Maddux, and Maddux and this year's bullpen, they'd be in great shape for a run at the wildcard.

Hendry did open up the checkbook to try to sign an impact free agent Manny T --- it just didn't work, if you recall.

Manny:
Yeah, and to think some crazy Cubs fans said we should of been rooting last year for the White Sox to win the WS becuase it would force Hednry and the Cubs to go out and get the top players (via FA or trade) and open up the checkbook some to get a winner. As this offseason shows, that did not happen.

Not only did it not happen. The team ADDED 1800 high revenue bleacher seats and actually LOWERED payroll by 16 million. That is a disgrace to all of this clubs fans. Luckily we stayed away from Brian Giles. We definately didnt need his bat in RF at that price.

*sigh*

when did the Cubs' fan base merge with the Real Madrid/Manchester United fan base?

spending money on whatever is available isn't indicative of either intelligence or the desire to win.

cubs didnt have a 111m payroll last year, aaron.

it was about the same...less if you wanna take into account sosa's contact sitting in baltimore.

wsox also have a bit shaved off their payroll (though it is noticably increased) cuz thome's money isnt all theirs.

besides, pending losses, that 95m will creep up to 100m pretty easily via trades if the past few years are any indication. you dont gotta spend it all at once in the offseason.

AZ Phil didn't post the American League numbers up there, but the White Sox are currently sitting at over $102 million. That should be even more of a wake up call to the Cubs than the World Series title.

However, The $102 Million includes Thome's contract - of which about 8 million a year is being paid for by the Phillies.

That means the Cubs are spending about the same amount of money as the White Sox.

Luckily we stayed away from Brian Giles. We definately didnt need his bat in RF at that price.

Giles took less money to stay in San Diego: he was not available this offseason.

I guess since Giles' "price" would have included the costs of physically relocating California to the Midwest, Hendry was probably wise to pass.

CWTP:
"Hendry did open up the checkbook to try to sign an impact free agent Manny T --- it just didn't work, if you recall."

Well then he clearly did not try hard enough this past year (and for the past 3 other years with Free Agents for that matter).

From an ESPN chat today with Nate Silver of BP:

Lee: Now that he is getting an extension where would you rank Jim Hendry among NL GMs?

Nate Silver: (3:28 PM ET ) Lee, I've become increasingly critical of the Cubs, but I'm not sure how much of it is Hendry and how much of it is Tribune Corp. being a little bit too conservative with their budget. If it was a matter of spending that extra $1 million for Furcal - Hendry might not have had the power to do that, because the Cubs operate VERY much within a budget. It's the lack of flexibility and creativity that's the problem, especially when you compare Hendry to someone like Kenny Williams, who is very good at feeling out market dynamics.

" Does anyone else think/hope the Mets have the same situation the Knicks are having?

Lot of money spent, bad record."

Well, if that is the case for the Mets, it seems to be that way for the Cubs as well.

RobR-
Well, Hendry has said the past 3 years that he has the extra money if needed from the Tribune. I think the ARam trade and Nomar trade should show that to be the case. If Hendry/McPhail go to the Trib and say we need a couple extra million for a certain player, they have proven over the past couple years to do so. I don't think Hendry was willing to go higher for Furcal. We will never know for certain, but I think Furcal wanted to come to Chicago and if Hendry came back with say 4 years, $44 million, we very well might of gotten him.

But I think it is only a LAME exccuse to blame the Trib for payroll anymore. They have been top 3 or so in NL the past few years. Hendry is the one who should be held accountable for the payroll as he just hasn't spent the about $100 millon very well.

It occurs to me more and more absurd that the CORE of our pitching staff (that Hendry would have us rely on) are intentionally signed arm surgery projects.

We draw 3,000,000 fans through the gates, have a huge road following and good TV deals YET our most exciting offseason acquisition (maybe all around but certainly with regards to pitching the last two three years have been injury rahabs:

Dempster
Williamson
Miller

Now I like all of these signings (fox is the only one that flatout fell apartfor Hendry), but what irks me is that these pitchers are joining Wood who is a surgery rahabber of course) and to some degree Prior (oft injured( as the CORE of our pitching staff.

Without a doubt Zambrano is a solid star, but he is home grown and cheap. This means that we are COUNTING ON four arm surgery rehabs and three of them in STAR roles on the staff:

Dempster - CLOSER
Wood - TOP of rotation starter
Miller - TOP of rotation starter
Williamson - mid-late inning setup man

Again I like these talents and they are bargains (with the exception of Wood who is already on the books) but what is it about The Cubs that these bargain reclamation projects are signed INSTEAD of big stars and put in KEY roles instead of supplementing reliable full price stars?

The Chicago Cubs with their fanbase and history should have more reliable stars than Lee and Ramirez (oft injured) Prior (oft injured) and Wood (terminally injured arm surgery) who are borderline stars themselves.

Cubs can afford it and owe it to the fans.

Haven't won in 98 years, draw 3,000,000 fans, huge road draw, TV deals, major market and our big signings are 1,000,000 arm surgery rehabs and overvalued 3 year albatross contracts to setup men and platoon outfielders.

Help! Someone buy this team.

"Hendry might not have had the power to do that, because the Cubs operate VERY much within a budget."

hendry had no problem getting extra money to sign maddux when his "budget" was close to done...

he's had no problem adding mid-season additions...

whatever's going on with trib/money/office someone is managing to pry the money loose when presented with an oportunity on more than a few occasions.

honestly, how do you start contract negociations with d.lee when you just gave a .350ob% 10-15 homer SS 13m+ for 3+ years?

So the Cards spend roughly 6.0M dollars less than the Cubs and still have a superior team, year after year. That's upsetting.

6.0M dollars is another quality infielder or 2 quality bullpen arms.

cubs didnt have a 111m payroll last year, aaron.

it was about the same...less if you wanna take into account sosa's contact sitting in baltimore.

You have to account for sosa's contract. Wasnt his contract status the excuse for not spending money last winter?

And Just because Giles stayed in SD doesnt mean he wasnt available. He turned down Toronto to stay in SD. Toronto has problems attracting FA's every offseason. Who is to say that 3/36 wouldnt have brought Giles to Chicago?

Revisiting the Furcal non-deal again:

I don't think Hendry was willing to go higher for Furcal. We will never know for certain, but I think Furcal wanted to come to Chicago and if Hendry came back with say 4 years, $44 million, we very well might of gotten him.

First, 4-44 would not have got the deal done. Why would Furcal take a four year deal, when he can get just 5 million less and be a free agent one year earlier? A big reason why

Second, According to Furcal's agent, who I spoke to at the Winter Meetings, Hendry had put a best offer of 5 years 50-ish million a year on the table. After the Dodgers made their rediculous 3/13 offer, Furcal's agent did go back to Hendry but Hendry was not allowed to increase his offer and Furcal ended up in LA.

Now, maybe that's just a line Hendry told Furcal's agent, but I don't know why he would tell him that.

But I think it is only a LAME exccuse to blame the Trib for payroll anymore.

I will point out to Manny, that when I said all of this back in December, you thought it was a good thing that the Tribune was keeping Hendry from desparation overspending as he neared the end of his contract.

It occurs to me more and more absurd that the CORE of our pitching staff (that Hendry would have us rely on) are intentionally signed arm surgery projects.

I look forward to your vociferous support the next time I say essentially the same thing.

Yeah I know you CWTP and MikeC are in the same camp with rehgard to Cubs rummaging through scrap heaps like beggars in a small market city. I just need to vent myself once and a while.

Hendry has said the past 3 years that he has the extra money if needed from the Tribune.

That's absolutely correct. Hendry has gone further to say that he's never been denied money to sign a player he thinks is worth it.

He didn't think Furcal was worth more than he offered.

And Just because Giles stayed in SD doesnt mean he wasnt available. He turned down Toronto to stay in SD. Toronto has problems attracting FA's every offseason. Who is to say that 3/36 wouldnt have brought Giles to Chicago?

Giles took 3/30 from San Diego instead of 5/55 from the Blue Jays. If 5/55 wasn't enough to get him to the Toronto, 3/36 wouldn't have been enough to get him to Chicago.

But more importantly, Toronto was hardly the only team that were interested in Giles. A number of other teams had also been very active in going after Giles, but he decided to take a significant discount to stay in San Diego. Giles didn't want to move, and its a pipedream to say he could have ended up in Chicago.

Hendry's philosophy of avoiding bloated long term contracts is probably a big part of why he has some flexibility with the Trib's money.

It's also how he has avoided winning.

Not bloated contracts of course . . . but evaluating WHO to give a big contract to is a skill not just spending little.

Okay, then WHO should he have signed that would have put the Cubs in the playoffs in '04 and '05?

This means that we are COUNTING ON four arm surgery rehabs and three of them in STAR roles on the staff:Dempster - CLOSER Wood - TOP of rotation starter Miller - TOP of rotation starter Williamson - mid-late inning setup man

Wood really shouldn't be included here, as you mentioned, he wasn't brought in as an injury rehab. He's turned out in hindsight to be a bad use of the money, but not many people thought it was a bad move after his 2003 season.

Dempster is now the closer and signed to be in a star role 2 years after coming back from Tommy John and proving himself to be effective and healthy.

But the other two are hardly expected to be stars.

Williamson is the fourth guy in the bullpen, because Hendry went out and signed Eyre and Howry to bloster the bullpen. If he was counting on Williamson, he wouldn't have needed to bring both of those guys in.

Miller was not brought in to be a top of the Rotation starter either. While he has that potential, he would be the 4th or 5th starter on a healthy Cubs team. Remember, when he signed, Prior was believed to be healthy (at least healthy enough to get widespread complaints that he should not be traded), so even with Wood out, he wouldn't be counted on to be at the top of the rotation.

Seriously though. In the case of Furcal you can say "well look how smart Hendry was: he didn't spend 13 mil on a potentially injured SS".

Well he did offer 11 million or something for a potentially injured SS, so just how smartis he?

The real issue is something always happens to preventus from gettin gthe full price tag reliable stars. And to say in hindsight that Hendry is smart for not signing free agent X is a red herring because he has passed on almost everyone (or made faux offers) so you can certainly pick the losers out of a list of EVERYONE.

Blue I see your point BUT I was just saying that Wood is already injured and Williamson and Dempster were already rehabs and still our most exciting upside signing this year (along with Pierre perhaps) was Wade Miller (and injury rehab).

Hendry said Furcal was his man and he didn't sign him. That seems to be the core of the disappointment in recentyears. Faux offers and getting little cogs like a small market city while the box office receipts pile up.

I would have recommended signing a Billy Wagner or ace closer. NOT signing Howry, Eyre and Neifi and using youth. Moving Dempster to the setup role. But this would have required Hendry taking a risk and he is a play it safe guy becasue he is financially motivated FIRST then voctory motivated. I think this is increasingly his mindset as he gets further into his career. Despite that he overpays for the cogs and is afraid of the bigger commitments which require REAL talent and guts to try JUST ONCE.

when did the Cubs' fan base merge with the Real Madrid/Manchester United fan base?

somewhere after the 95th year of abject futility, i think, chris. sort of the last resort before suicide.

Giles took less money to stay in San Diego: he was not available this offseason.

convenient meme for apologists, but not true.

But I think it is only a LAME exccuse to blame the Trib for payroll anymore. They have been top 3 or so in NL the past few years. Hendry is the one who should be held accountable for the payroll as he just hasn't spent the about $100 millon very well.

i only half agree, mt. hendry surely has been inefficient with his allowance -- no argument.

but the cubs are making more fistfuls more money that houston and atlanta, their closest neighbors on the scale. making a profit may not be a sin, but the trib is certainly getting all the blood out of this particular turnip that it can.

rather than compare teams'payrolls to each other to test their commitment to winning, i find it more enlightening to compare teams' payrolls to their revenues. on this measure, the cubs are sorely lacking.

convenient meme for apologists, but not true.

It is absolutely true that Giles took significantly less money to stay in San Diego.

"i find it more enlightening to compare teams' payrolls to their revenues. on this measure, the cubs are sorely lacking."

What is your source for revenues?

WSCR reports Dusty has said Neifi will play 2B and bat second in the order tomorrow.

Let the bitching begin. I'll start it: This is retarded.

Bleeding Blue:
"First, 4-44 would not have got the deal done."

That is your assumption, but you, nor I will EVER know what it would of took to get Furcal.

"According to Furcal's agent, who I spoke to at the Winter Meetings,"

Yeah, agents NEVER lie, especially to somebody they don't know.

At the time, when I thought they would smartly hold off any contract extenstions till the offseason, I did think it was a good thing. But if they were, wrongly, planning on extending Hendry, then obviosuly they should give him a free reign. And like I showed above with two PERFECT examples, the Trib has let Hendry spend more when he asked for it.

Gaius:
"rather than compare teams'payrolls to each other to test their commitment to winning, i find it more enlightening to compare teams' payrolls to their revenues. on this measure, the cubs are sorely lacking."

I might agree with you, but as the NYY show, just having a big payroll does not guarentee a WS victory, so with that said, the GM needs to know how to spend his money, which Hendry has had plenty of the past 3 years and he has done poorly overall. Again, hendry can go back to the Trib and get more money. he has done it a few times over the past 3 years, so anyone using the Trib as an excuse for Hendry is just an apologist.

DBT:
"WSCR reports Dusty has said Neifi will play 2B and bat second in the order tomorrow.

Let the bitching begin. I'll start it: This is retarded."

While I agree, I think Walker should still start tomorrow, Maddux is on the mound. And with it going to be very COLD, RAINY and I am sure the wind will be blowing in tomorrow, defense will be of high priority. Suppan is a RHP, so it would be either Walker or Neifi starting.

While I agree, I think Walker should still start tomorrow, Maddux is on the mound. And with it going to be very COLD, RAINY and I am sure the wind will be blowing in tomorrow, defense will be of high priority. Suppan is a RHP, so it would be either Walker or Neifi starting.

Which doesn't explain why Neifi should bat second.

nothing guarentees a WS victory.

even TB could win in a short series...its about getting there.

and about spending money unwisely, this club is loaded with contracts that pay players well below what they're worth.

most people have to complain about is 500K here or 1m there...

seen how much d.lee/aram/barrett/walker are paid? they're worth their appx. 27 million bucks i'd say.

backloaded contracts like maddux/wood this year arent helping things...sosa's contract...

a lotta the bitching is about guys who are getting maybe 500K+ more than they're "worth" or undervaluing the true market value of guys like eyre, howry, neifi...

yes, in a world where guys like royce clayton get a minor league contract unguarenteed, hit around .200 in 70+ ab's in spring, and get added to the roster when they dont need a D backup for 1m bucks of cost to a small market club...neifi's probally worth at least 2m-ish.

This was Hendry in Mike Kiley's Suntimes article in January,

"The company not only has provided enough finances to win, but we have never been stifled in the middle of the year [at July's trade deadline]," he said. "We added Nomar [Garciaparra] and Aramis [Ramirez] then and could pursue anyone we wanted if we were in the race."

Hendry also explained to fans why he didn't match the Los Angeles Dodgers' contract to free-agent shortstop Rafael Furcal of three years, $39 million.

"I have no regrets about our offer," he said. "The Atlanta Braves, where he played his entire career and they liked him, they were at $34 million and we were at $47 million [for five years]. We blew the Braves away. The highest salary in the National League for leadoff hitters was $8 million a year for Jimmy Rollins.

"Furcal got $13 million a year, which in the industry was almost absurd. There are only so many dollars I'd feel comfortable paying anyone at that position. I felt we were way out there on Furcal -- probably farther than I felt comfortable going."

Total bs:

the notion that Hendry wanted to offer more but the Trib wouldn't let him.

"Again, hendry can go back to the Trib and get more money. he has done it a few times over the past 3 years, so anyone using the Trib as an excuse for Hendry is just an apologist."

Yep, the Trib loves to hand out money. That's why there's a self-imposed payroll limit by a company who's printing money.

I get it, every free agent is more than the Hendry wants to pay for. That is why he overpays for Jaque Jones, Burnitz, Neifi, Howry, Eyre, Dempster

It makes total sense.

Wait, wait, no it doesn't. If you stop blowing insane amounts of money on players not even worth half that you might have some cash around to get players who make a difference.

how much money was "wasted" combined on howry/eyre...maybe a million a year total on the BOTH of them?

i mean, geez...how can anyone support giving furcal 3 million more than he's worth and blast someone for adding 2 things the club needs, good relief, for maybe a few hundred thousand than they're worth.

and i dunno how many times it needs to be said that eyre isnt a loogie. the past year and a 1/2 he has blown apart that image. he handles the righties and he is a pitcher, not a thrower. howry's track record speaks for itself.

i dont like the dumpster signing, and i hate the years involved, but i find it very hard for anyone who watched the pen blow 25-30 games last year complain about adding 2 relievers and juan pierre who combined make as much as furcal is getting paid.

That is your assumption, but you, nor I will EVER know what it would of took to get Furcal.

A little common sense goes a long way. A major reason Furcal took the 3 year deal with the Dodgers is because he'll still be near his prime when he the deal is over. If he wasn't willing to take a 5 year deal for 10-11 per year, he certainly wouldn't accept a 4 year deal that is worth just 5 million more than the contract that was on the table.

Yeah, agents NEVER lie, especially to somebody they don't know.

Well, I met him because I was talking with an ESPN-tpye who Furcal's agent did know, so while its possible that he lied, I have no reason to believe that he would.

At the time, when I thought they would smartly hold off any contract extenstions till the offseason, I did think it was a good thing.

What difference does it make? If you think the Trib was smart for not allowing Hendry to spend what it would have taken for him to sign Furcal, then you can't say that Hendry was dumb for not signing him.

Again, hendry can go back to the Trib and get more money. he has done it a few times over the past 3 years

Here is the keep point - he has to go back to the Trib.

While the Trib has been more willing to spend money, every time there has been a major money issue - be it signing Maddux or dumping Sosa - the Trib has had to sign off on it. So having to get permission for a $50 million dollar deal doesn't seem unusual to me, and if he had to get permission, then you can't assume that the Trib just say yes. (if that was the case then he wouldn't need to get permission in the first place)

But either way giving Furcal much more than 5/50 would have been pretty foolish. He's just not that good of a player.

Which doesn't explain why Neifi should bat second.

Excellent point.

It also does not explain why Neifi should start instead of Jerry Hairston.

well, if you wanna go strictly by the numbers, neifi's the best hitter outta the 3 vs. suppan...but this is 2006 and unless the differences are huge, personally, i wouldnt even bother.

hairston was 2/11 3k 0bb
neifi 2/10 0k 0bb
walker 1/9 2k 0bb

meh...

Retro-Shite:
"Which doesn't explain why Neifi should bat second."

As I have stated before, I think lineup construction is VASTLY overrated. So that does not bother me all that much.

which explains why you like an inferior manager like Dusty who thinks winning is overrated.

Bleeding Blue:
"It also does not explain why Neifi should start instead of Jerry Hairston."

Neifi should CLEARLY start over Hairston tomorrow. This is a NO-BRAINER:
1) Suppan is RHP (Neifi switch hitter, Hairston RH batter)
2) Neifi is better defensively than Hairston
3) Hairston is 2-19 against Suppan (.105/.105.105)
4) Neifi is 3-12 against Suppan (.250/.308/.250)

Now, a case can clearly be made for Walker, but with Maddux pitching and the weather going to be cold and the wind blowing in, runs will be hard to come by thus defense will be very important.

#13 chris-
when did the Cubs' fan base merge with the Real Madrid/Manchester United fan base?

1. since united and real have been known to, believe it or not, win championships? put a little silverware in the case?
2. since united and real actually sign the top players? does vlad = zidane? does tejada = ronaldo? does burnett = beckham? does damon = rooney? does pudge = van der sar?
3. since the cubs have been unable to spend wisely, they need to quit shirking the obligation to spend more profusely?
4. since united and real are known globally as successful, and the cubs are known universally as anything but?
5. since the market has shifted, requiring greater outlays of the revenue that is already available, and being supplemented each year?
6. since they have less and less homegrown talent at their disposal they face facts and "buy" what they need- both for their own clubs, and to stay competitive with their fiercest rivals? and maybe even to prevent a rival from making the signing/acquisition?

Superjimmer:
"which explains why you like an inferior manager like Dusty who thinks winning is overrated."

Dusty thinks winning is overrated?? Where did he say that?

Warning, warning.

Hendry is quoted as saying: "The highest salary in the National League for leadoff hitters was $8 million a year for Jimmy Rollins."

I have a big problem with Hendry's manipulative language here. Once we didn't get Furcal, suddenly he is a "leadoff hitter". Hendry knows damn well he is a leadoff hitter, with POWER, who happens to be very young AND an agile SS with a rifle arm.''

He may be a leadoff hitter but to categorize him as if he is comparable to other NL leadoff hitters is, well, at best incomplete and at worst manipulative political propaganda. It makes me feel he is being dishonest in some way to simply compare Furcal to others as a LEADOFF HITTER.

Manny,

Dusty wants to be compensated (extension with raise) based on gate receipts and revenue not on his winning percentage. I think that says it all about Dusty's dedication to winning. Plus he sucks at winning and appears more interested in his image than winning.

furcal isnt worth what he's paid...

you give furcal that kinda money what you think dlee's agent is gonna want...aram...almost anyone who approaches the club while furcal is under tenure?

that just is not a good move to pay a guy like him that much money.

he's not even a top glove man at his possition...he's got a cannon arm, true...but he's not ozzie or vizquel.

the furcal thing is getting played out...you'd probally hear a lot more bitching if hendry did actually give him 13m+, and it would probally negatively effect the price of any negociated pickup he tried to make after that...especially with tenured cubs players who are already playing at levels above what they're paid.

Superjimmer:
"Dusty wants to be compensated (extension with raise) based on gate receipts and revenue not on his winning percentage."

I think his winning percentage speaks for itself in the Cubs organization and he doesn't need to mention it. His winning percentage is better than any other manager since Leo Durocher in the late 60's early 70's.

"Plus he sucks at winning"

Yeah his 1,096 wins and .537 winning percentage (tied with LaRussa) do "suck".

Come on man....

Crunch:
"you give furcal that kinda money what you think dlee's agent is gonna want...aram...almost anyone who approaches the club while furcal is under tenure?"

You keep saying that, but don't you realize that Maddux and Woods money frees up this next year. That is $20 million. We know Hendry will NEVER sign a top FA so we won't have to worry about saving any money for thos kind of players. With those contracts going off the books and other young pitchers coming up (remember we supposedly have such a deep staff and talented minor leagues), we will more than enough money to pay Furcal and resign ARam and Lee.

and how many Wolrd Series victories for Dusty? Plus sorry but we have all seen him try and do his job and he is BAD at it. he does not get performance on par with the talent he has had. Period.

Lineup construction is vastly overrated?
That's a nice thought, but it's total horseshit.
You don't put the guy who makes the most outs right before your two best run producers.
That's why D-Lee had 46 HR/.335 AVG and only 107 RBI's last year.

Iowa Cubs lose home opener to Albuquerque (Marlins AAA), 8-4.

HIGHLIGHTS/LOWLIGHTS

Pie: 0-4, BB, 2 K
Theriot: 2-3, R, RBI, 2B, 2 BB, SB, K
McGehee: 1-4, BB, K
Restovich: 0-4, R, BB, 4 K
Sing: 2-3, BB, HBP, K
Soto: 1-5, RBI, K
Coats: 1-4, K, SB
Ojeda: 2-3, R, BB
Ryu: 2 SH

Ryu:
5 IP
5 H
1 R (1 ER)
1 BB
5 K
1 WP
76 pitches

Brownlie:
0.2 IP
5 H
4 R (4 ER)
1 BB
1 K
32 pitches

Watson:
1 IP
3 H
2 R (2 ER)
1 BB
3 K
1 HBP

Emanuel:
2 IP
2 H
1 R (1 ER)
2 BB
2 K

For Albuquerque
Pinto (ex-Cub traded to Marlins in Pierre deal) ):
3.2 IP
2 H
3 R (3 ER)
7 BB
5 K
3 WP
87 pitches

I'm totally with Manny Trillo on the Furcal thing. Why the hell not sign a Vlad, Furcal, Arod, Manny or Irod ONCE. We have tried fiscal responsibility and it has been 98 frickin' years. You obiously need to know WHEN to spend money too. It's not about ALWAYS setting a price and sticking to it. (Especially when you know your price is never comptetitive). Free agency is also about knowing what your team needs to succeed and utilizing your leverage. Our leverage is money and our needs are not getting met. We NEEDS a World Series appearance and victory.

phil...what pos. did coats play? they still trying to make him a SS?

#71 of 71: By crunch (April 6, 2006 08:47 PM)
phil...what pos. did coats play? they still trying to make him a SS?

CRUNCH: Coats played RF today. The Cubs want him to move around like Ryan Freel (2B-3B-SS-LF-CF-RF) and see if he can master enough positions to be a super-sub utility guy.

sounds like a stellar idea...he's just not got the feet for full time SS. thnx.

it only took 6 homers in 3.1 innings for r.a. dickey to get removed from the game tonite...very very very ugly stuff.

wind is blowing IN 15mph, btw...ow.

Hey guys, I'm stuck at school in Columbia, Mo and have a bunch of tickets for this Sunday. I'm willing to sell them for face. I have 12 total tickets that are all in the 200 sections. E-mail me if you're interested -- I'll get back to you tonight and have them shipped tomorrow next-day. Let me know: [email protected].

SuperJimmer:
"and how many World Series victories for Dusty?"

He has 3 WS victories but 0 titles. But yes, if you are rating managers ONLY on WS titles, then yes you are correct, Dusty "sucks at winning". And I guess Bob Brenly is great at winning.

"Plus sorry but we have all seen him try and do his job and he is BAD at it. he does not get performance on par with the talent he has had. Period."

You are 100% entitled to your opinion...

Big John Stud:
"Lineup construction is vastly overrated?"

Like it was talked about mutiple times last year, multiple studies show the best possible lineup to the worst possible lineup has only a difference of like 30 runs over a total season. Not enough to get your panties in a ruffle, unless you like that kind of thing.

#74 of 75: By crunch (April 6, 2006 09:06 PM)
it only took 6 homers in 3.1 innings for r.a. dickey to get removed from the game tonite...very very very ugly stuff.

wind is blowing IN 15mph, btw...ow.

-

CRUNCH: Facing a knuckleball pitcher with the wind blowing in (at the pitcher's back) is better than batting practice. Without any wind resistance, the ball just floats in straight.

When the Cubs faced Dickey in Spring Training at Surprise a couple of weeks ago, the wind was blowing OUT about 20 MPH and Dickey's knuckler was darting all over the place and the Cubs hitters couldn't touch him. And the Cubs hitters were messed up for a few days after that, too. It's like voodoo.

I shoulda posted this before, but I have 4 seats in row 433 (shocking coincidence) for Saturday's game. I'll take face, which I think is $40/seat. Anyone interested?

Neifi should be able to rub out Pierre tomorrow on a muddy track with last season's great addition to his bag of tricks: the 4-6-3 DP. Nothing like a guy with zero power who doesn't walk also rolling into over 20 double plays. But I guess second basemen bat second whether they can hit or they suck. Seems like using that logic, DLee should be hitting first and ARam third.

433-
Are you going too, or you looking to unload them all. I might go with you if youa re going. I am going tomorrow for Opening Day, but am always down for going to games with peeps from TCR.

Manny -- I can't go Saturday, so I am dumping them all, but I'd definitely be up for a game sometime. We can settle the Dusty vs. Hendry debate once and for all.....!

"Like it was talked about mutiple times last year, multiple studies show the best possible lineup to the worst possible lineup has only a difference of like 30 runs over a total season. Not enough to get your panties in a ruffle, unless you like that kind of thing."
-

"Studies" have shown nothing because they haven't been applied on a ball field. They're done on a computer program.
D-Lee: .335/46 HR's - only 107 RBI's

It shouldn't be hard to understand, even for you:
You don't put the 2 guys who make the most outs in front of your 2 best run producers.
There's no defense of a move that stupid.

i believe lineup construction has somewhat of an impact...

but i also believe you cant do it with raw #s.

if you have a slow dude with a .350 ob% and a fast dude with a .300 ob%...the impact can fall in many directions...

...from how it effects the game with speed on base to how it effects how much better hitting-worthy pitching d.lee would see without any men on base.

Two rules i wish baseball minds would employ more:

1. Knuckleballers shouldn't pitch when the wind is blowing in
2. Neifi shouldn't bat in the first two spots of the lineup

for the hell of it...

i'd bat jones 2nd vs. any righty...esp. one where walker wasn't playing.

even if not, murton probally deserves the nod there over neifi.

Anyone want three face value, section 229 for tomorrow's opener? They're under the roof and out of the rain. No obstructed views. I could go down and drop them at will call in the morning but it would be nice to meet you further north if possible - Evanston, Wilmette, Rogers Park. Email me. Tickets are 32 bucks apiece.

433:
"Manny -- I can't go Saturday, so I am dumping them all, but I'd definitely be up for a game sometime. We can settle the Dusty vs. Hendry debate once and for all.....!"

Sounds good...

Loser of the debate has to buy the other a beer. I will have an Old Style...:)

Its simple, whatever people said about the Trib in the past, Hendry has $100 million to go with. That is more than enough money to win.

People can bitch about overpaying for free agents. Furcal is worth more to the Cubs than other teams. But you have 2 choices. Go the A's, Indians, Braves, Blue Jays, Twins way and draft strong and develop players (and dispite what some people believe the Cubs do not draft good, and they sure as hell do not develop players) and use them while they are cheap. Or you have to OVERPAY for free agents and take some risks that they will pay off.

Hendry and the Cubs do neither. Hence, the most pathetic use of $100 million dollars I have ever seen. Its funny how some of you bitch and say how horrible it would be to overpay a few million dollars for Furcal, but rave and rave about the Dempster, Eyre, Howry signings. If we don't overpay for them, along with resigning Rusch and Neifi, we can easily up Furcal a few million.

Hendry and the Cubs are direction-less. I may be alone, but I firmly believe that Hendry is actually a poor evaluator of talent. He has pulled some good trades, but he has no clue on how to evaluate free agents and figure out who to go after and who to stay away from.

I was praying he would go after Giles. He would great in our lineup. You can debate whether he was actually available or not, you don't really knoow. I would take less money to play in my hometown before Toronto too, but my problem is that Giles was the perfect fit, and Hendry made no effort to go after him.

And its funny that Hendry only used the salaries of NL leadoff hitters which conveniently left out the highest paid leadoff hitters and shortstopps

Mike C,

Quote:

'I get it, every free agent is more than the Hendry wants to pay for. That is why he overpays for Jaque Jones, Burnitz, Neifi, Howry, Eyre, Dempster'

Seriously get a grip. Every free agent that he doesn't get can be had for a little bit more, and every free agent that he does sign he overpays for. You see that little blue-white speck in the distance? It's planet Earth, come on home.

Let me give you a concrete example.

Saves ERA Average Salary
33 3.13 $5.17
40 2.10 $5.5
36 2.43 $9.4
38 1.51 $10.75
16 2.19 $5.68
2 2.57 $6
43 2.97 $6.75

If he had waited until December to try and re-sign Dempster he would have had to pay him $7 million a year.

Sound familiar?

Just as he was on the verge of returning as the Dodgers closer...

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

Poor Joe Girardi...

Vince,

Quote: 'He has pulled some good trades, but he has no clue on how to evaluate free agents and figure out who to go after and who to stay away from.'

AJ Burnett: 15-day DL as of Mar 27, 2006 (Right elbow soreness)

Garciaparra: 15-day DL as of Apr 4, 2006 (Strained ribcage muscle)

Julio Lugo: Shortstop Julio Lugo was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Lofton: 15-day DL as of Mar 30, 2006 (Left calf muscle

Millwood:0-1 9.00

Carlos Beltran: in 2005
.266 .330 .414

Pavano:
C. Pavano SP
2005 - 100 IP 4.77 ERA 1.47 WHIP

All those people were highly sought after by various arm-chair GM's on TCR (including Garciaparra by me).

I can't deny my dismay in the lack of apparent interest in signing Giles, but maybe he knew Giles was just getting other offers to bolster his Padre's contract and he had better things to do than make Giles more money.

Crunch,

'if you have a slow dude with a .350 ob% and a fast dude with a .300 ob%...the impact can fall in many directions...'

What if you have a slow dude with a .300 OBP? Oh excuse me, Neifi has a career .301 OBP.

i would honestly rather see cedeno/neifi starting everyday at SS in 07 than even entertain the idea of lugo at SS for the cubs unless he has some intense learning curve experience with his glove/arm.

upton dont need a learning curve experience with his D...he needs a learning horizon. he'll need a miracle in his career to remain the team's SS of the future. the sad thing is with the RF (killer D, killer arm) they got in AAA who needs playing, and the 72389472394623 OF'rs they have in the majors, the last thing they really need to do is move him to the OF. wish i could say he'd be a decent CF'r, but he's had problems wiht popups, too. killer swing, though...and too young/athletic to be a DH.

neifi's not slow.

he's not gonna steal 30 bases, but he can run.

btw, the point i was making about is there's impact guys like that have...positive AND negative to the hitter behind you in hypotheical circumstances like "what if a better ob% guy hit in front of d.lee when he hit a ton of solo homers?"

with guys not on base you'll generally see more relaxed stuff rather than sticking to your best stuff you'd use for a power hitter with men on.

with guys on base would d.lee hit the same amount of homers? see the same stuff thrown? etc etc blah blah blah

im not even trying to say hitting him 2nd is a good idea.

he wants his contact hitters up top...he loves him in the #2 slot...he uses them off the bench early and save the sluggers for later. i thought he'd favor putting jones there vs. righties given his speed, honestly. i guess he isnt enough of a contact hitter for him.

Ha, Ha, Ha, I cursed Ned Coletti after the Furcal B.S. this is what he gets.

i got the 100th post...i win at the internet.

woo...boredom.

Manny tried to pull the studies arguement last year and it didn't fly. I can't believe after watching the 2004 and 2005 teams that people still think lineup construction doesn't matter.

I guess people never wondered how Carlos Lee was knocking in as many RBI as Derrek Lee while hitting .100 points less than Lee. It was probably because once our guys got on base they either got picked off or were caught stealing before Lee could knock them in. Or wait, maybe they didnt even exist!

The difference between the top of the order and the bottom of the order could easily be something like 600-700 AB's to 400-500 AB's. You do the math, do you want Neifi Perez getting the 600-700 and Walker the 400-500 or do you want it the other way around? You want your best hitters to get the most AB's over the course of the season.

But let me quote from the resident big three of TCR about what went on that day.....

Arizona Phil -

"I believe a manager should try and get any little edge possible in every game, even if it really only makes an actual difference a small number of times each season. I mean, why NOT get an edge if you can? That's why the batting order is importsnt, that's why it matters who's on the bench to pinch-hit or pinch-run or go in as defensive replacement in the late innings, that's why it matters who the 12th pitcher is on the pitching staff.

"But these "little details" require effort and logical thought, and maybe some managers just don't want to be bothered with "details," or don't have the brains for the job. Fine. Then hire a bench coach who IS interested in the details, or who DOES have some brains, and pay attention to his advice.

"Any little edge can make the difference between finishing a game out or a game in front at the end of the season. I would agree that for a weak team like Colorado or Kansas City, or for a strong team like the Cardinals or White Sox, the batting order or bench or bullpen is probably no big deal. But it IS a big deal for a team like the Cubs. Every little possible edge is critical. Just ONE more victory might mean the difference between having a chance to play in the post-season or going home after 162 games. Who knows? So why NOT go for every little edge you can?"

Lets shoot two birds with one stone on the next one. Manny brought up in a previous thread how John Hill proved that Dusty's players walk more under him. Notice how Manny is trying to end the discussion and make people just accept he was correct..

Manny--
"This is a point not worth even discussing, similar to the one where Dusty's players supposedly don't take BB's, because of his style (proven wrong by John Hill)."

What I proved is that players under Dusty walk more than under other managers. That doesn't mean to say that Dusty and his style is the reason for that. It may be because of Dusty, it may be in spite of Dusty. I don't know, because without being ridiculously extensive, there are so many factors at work that it's next to impossible to say. It's like asking why did a player go 2-for-4 on such and such a day?

Regarding lineups, I think the most important things is that the lead-off hitter on average over the course of a season gets about 18 more plate appearances than the next guy, who gets about 18 more than the next guy, and so on. So if you bat Neifi 1st instead of 8th for an entire year, you're giving roughly 125 plate appearances to Neifi that could have been given to more able hitters on the team unnecessarily. If you're comfortable with that, fair enough! Personally, I'm not.

And to finish it off RobG...

no....cause my bone of contention is that you're trying to use all these articles and studies as some sort absolute truth, when
most of those studies weren't done very well, and many, by their own admission, advocated more research. So I don't know where the range should fall......

If you want to say something like, "let's say the best possible lineup construction nets us 10 to 50 runs over the course of the season", then I might accept that, but everything you've written on this subject has a "this is the way it is" tone to it and there's no way you can accept any of those studies as an absolute truth.

Dopirak hurt in West Tenn win tonight.

MikeC:
"Manny tried to pull the studies arguement last year and it didn't fly."

You might not buy the studies and that is cool. I don't know where you are going with all the other stuff, but any chance you can take a shot at me you will, and that is cool. People who read TCR know that about you and expect it, no biggie to me. Maybe you should spend more time on your fantasy team...

And for the record, no study is the absolute truth, but I would rely on a legit study more than what the "perception" is of things. Like the perception is Baker doesn't like his players to walk, but the stats don't bore that out. [His players walk more under him than with other managers, per John Hill's study. It might be because of Baker or not, but John Hill did show it to be true. And I am sure if his study showed they walked less (like he was out to try and prove), every Dusty basher would use that every day, even though they keep repeating the perception everyday now even though they are wrong.] Also, just like the perception is that lineup construction makes a huge difference, when the few different studies done have shown it to be a very minimal difference, if any at all.

Hey, you can have your opinion and that's you right, but no matter who the manager for the Cubs is, you won't see me crying everyday about the lineup order. I care much much more as to who is in the lineup as to where they are.

Oh yeah, let's take those 125 extra plate appeareces that Neifi got for batting 2nd (assuming an entire year, which he DID NOT), instead of batting 8th. Neifi has a career OBP of .301. Walker has a career OBP of .348 and you and most people think he should of been there. Do you know how many times more Walker would of been on base over Neifi over the course of an ENTIRE season????? Neifi would of been on base 37.625 times in those 125 plate appearences. Walker would of been on base 43.5 times in those 125 plate appearences. So, the big mistake Baker is making is costing 5.875 times on base the ENTIRE season. THE ENTIRE SEASON!!!

And of course that doesn't even take into account speed on basepaths, L/R matchups, ability to bunt, etc.

I hope now you can see why lineup construstion makes minimal difference. You won't want to see any of it, becuase you would have to admit you were wrong or take away another innacurate perception of Baker.

The problem is you are trying again, unsuccessfully, to pass off your opinion as unchallenged fact. You went head to head against 3 of the most respected TCR people and it wasn't pretty.

Your studies were basically crap and this was what you latched onto to try and sway everyone to your side....

"some lineup analysis done by Pete Palmer and John Thorn in their 1984 book The Hidden Game of Baseball. In the chapter "The Book...and the Computer" Thorn and Palmer analyze the average production at various lineup positions in both leagues from 1969-1971 which produced 4.141 runs per game. They then discuss how they used a computer simulation to test various lineups to see which produced the most runs. What they found was that a maximal number of runs could be score, 4.154 per game, when the traditional order was changed to 1-3-4-5-6-2-7-8-9. Since this equates to only 2 runs over the course of a season it seems to have little effect. In fact, the worst order (9-8-7-2-1-6-5-4-3) which no manager would ever employ produced 4.003 runs, a difference of 24.5 runs over the season."

An obscure 1984 book that looked at 2-3 seasons in 1969-1971 using some computer formula. Yeah, that is highly scientific and we should all just accept it.

I play around on the free version of Baseball Mogul and when I have crap hitters at the top of the order my #3 and #4 hitters dont drive in as many runs. It uses a computer formula, probably a hell of alot more complicated than the one they used in 1984. So I guess my study trumps your study and we should all bow to this huh? The fact is both are meaningless.

I thought I would just let the rest of TCR know the background of went on with that discussion instead of accepting your version of it. Excuse me for actually showing the other side of your biased arguement.

If Hendry really, Really, Really wanted Furcal, he could've offered 2 years, 32 million. But even if Furcal could have been had for 2 years, 28 million, we'd still be in a spot right now where we're bitching about Hendry not addressing centerfield or the pen or some other stupid thing. It's hard to do everything you want to do in a free agent-friendly market when 10 percent of your payroll is tied up in plyWood.

And it's easy to sit here and be a Monday morning quarterback but in day-to-day action Hendry hasn't made any colossal contract blunders ala Eric Milton or Adrian Beltre or someone. He's made a series of amazing trades and usually doesn't end up on the short end of swaps. I don't expect everyone to agree but in my book he still gets good will from the Hundley deal.

If Hendry is going to do his job effectively heading into 2006 he needs to focus on doing a few more of those magical swaps. He also needs to focus on doing them early. If this team doesn't start picking up steam before July it's likely going to be too late.

Maybe revisit Tejada, God knows what Baltimre will want for him but pretty much anything out of the arms bin besides Z I would say. I'm sure there's some other impact players who will be "available enough" if Hendry goes in and makes the right offer. Starters should also get a good look. If there's a premiere closer I'd say do it but that looks unlikely and I think Dempster would have to really blow to lose his job.

One more thought... sorry if this has been mentioned too much here or even at all here, but I don't read every day ... there's still a free agent out there by the name of Clemens. I'm aware that the Cubs are not on his list of teams. But I propose that list has either two lengths: one (Houston) or more than one (Show me the money!). When the word starts to circulate that he's taking offers Hendry should try to swoop in and wow the Clemenses with a cool $20-30M (whatever it takes), full "family day" privileges and a headful of stories about being the greatest hero in half-of-Chicago history. If there's anything Clemens loves more than Texas it's his own superinflated ego. But at this point, I'm taking it.

maddux/wood - 20m (backloaded contracts)

aram/d.lee/barrett/blanco/t.walker/williamson - 28.5m

pierre/zambrano/prior/hairston - 18.2m

eyre/howry/jones/dempster/rusch/neifi/mabry - 23m (includes bonuses)

there's 89.7m...add in the kids and minor contracts like ohman/etc...blah blah blah...that's where the money's going.

w.miller/ohman make 1.6m

wood is also owed 1m in bonus money that was spread out via condition of his contract.

breakdown of why its grouped like that...

high money backloaded contracts
cheap/reasonable contracts+options picked up
arbitration eligable pickups
FA eligable pickups

it kinda flows where the money's exactly going and how/why its there.

StubHub Top Ten 2006 Opening Day/Night MLB Games
Average price per ticket:

1. St. Louis Cardinals (vs. Brewers) - 4/10 - $263
2. Chicago White Sox (vs. Indians) - 4/2 - $186
3. Boston Red Sox (vs. Blue Jays) - 4/11- $160
4. New York Yankees (vs. Royals) - 4/11 - $112
5. Chicago Cubs (vs. Cardinals) - 4/7 - $105
6. Los Angeles Angels (vs. Yankees) - 4/7 - $95
7. New York Mets (vs. Nationals) - 4/3 - $94
8. Los Angeles Dodgers (vs. Braves) - 4/3 - $88
9. San Francisco Giants (vs. Braves) - 4/6 - $86
10. Oakland A's (vs. Yankees) - 4/3 - $70

crunch: i'd bat jones 2nd vs. any righty...esp. one where walker wasn't playing.

even if not, murton probally deserves the nod there over neifi.

Admittedly I sort of cringed when I heard he was going to bat second, but looking strictly at the numbers, it might not be a bad idea.

When it comes to a #2 hitter you want someone with a low GO/AO so they don't ground into double-plays, and also someone whose going to advance the runner.

Walker is ideal for this, since he's usually a 300+ batter with a whopping 0.88 GO/AO (2005).

Neifi on the other hand doesn't strike out too terribly much and still has a GO/AO of 1.06 (2005).

Let's look at other candidates for the #2 hole:

Hairston: 1.02 GO/AO (2005)
Jones: 2.14 GO/AO (2005)
Murton: 2.52 GO/AO (2005)

Hairston's GO/AO is so low due to his notorious flare hits in front of OF'ers.

So if you insist on not batting Todd Walker #2, then the best options will be Hairston Jr or Neifi. Now let's look at splits:

v. RHP (2005)
Neifi - 277/301/360
Hairston - 263/351/366

Basically Hairston gets on base more, Neifi hits a little better.

In summation, Dusty, if you insist on sitting Walker (which I'm still not convinced is a great idea), I'd bat Hairston Jr 2nd instead of Neifi, Jones, or Murton since the name of the game now days is get on base before the Savior and the Aram.

Except for Hairston doesn't hit Suppan which is why Neifi is starting today.

"neifi's not slow."

Just slow enough not to beat the middle infielders turn on a double play.

A few of positive notes:

"Kerry Wood threw a pair of 20-pitch batting-practice sessions Wednesday as he continues to build up his rehab schedule. Pitching coach Larry Rothschild said Wood will throw another session of closer to 60 pitches in several days and will be re-evaluated.

Mark Prior also is picking up his rehab pace and will throw off the mound today."

and

"It's good for us because we're counting on them,'' Baker said of Murton and Cedeno. "They're on the team, and we feel they're ready to handle it. The more success they have, the more comfortable they feel, and the more comfortable all of us feel."

Lets just hope then don't give Dusty a reason to gets uncomfortable.

http://www.suntimes.com/output/cubs/cst-spt-c...

throw off the mound? until he's throwing towel drills i'm not impressed.

I am just happy that they both appear to be rehabing faster than expected.

Prior starts off with a dish wash cloth, a few days later moves to a bathroom towel, and then finally the beach towel.

Now will Prior and Wood need to make a couple of rehab starts in minors?

So if you figure another week or two of throwing off mound for mechanics and then a week of starts in minors it looks like first week in May.

towel drills.... lol

Dodger Thougts on the Baseball Toaster has an interesting take on the Gagne injury. It is interesting to us Cub fans due to the similarities and differences to Prior's injury.

http://dodgerthoughts.baseballtoaster.com/arc...

Robr

Did the part about removing a senory nerve spook you as much as much as it spooked me? It painted for me a picture of the future in which pitchers have complete nerve complexes removed and pitch until their arm literally falls off.

Pitchers put such an amazing amount of strain & torque on their elbows & shoulders that things are bound to rupture, break, tear, swell, etc. The pain is there to tell you something is wrong.

Manny,

As several of us tried to explain to you last season, the problem with those studies is that they use an arbitrary set of "typical" stats when they run their simulations. That's fine for making general observations about lineup construction; I'd even agree that in general lineup construction doesn't have a huge impact on a team's production. But the Cubs '05 lineup was far from typical, with two sub .300 OBP hitters (one of which was near the top of the league in GIDP) hitting in front of a slugger with a better than .420 OBP for most of the season. Your studies simply don't apply to such a scenario.

Can you honestly look at D.Lee's RBI total for '05 and think Dusty's lineup choices didn't hurt the team?

Ryno that was pretty scary.

Pain creates an interesting dilemma for pitchers and teams. How much pain should they pitch with or put another way how do you know how much pain is too much. Did Gagne pitch with too much pain, which caused him injury? Is Prior not pitching even with a little pain, which is causing him to miss starts?

It seems TCR got their wish, sort of. Dusty's using a non-traditional platoon in that he's going with the better defender when a groundball pitcher such as Maddux is on the mound. Walker will start for the flyball pitchers.

The only problem is the defender is Neifi, not Hairston, and Neifi's batting second.

I mostly agree with Manny that lineup construction doesn't matter nearly as much as WHO the players are. The fact is, for every 20 plate appearances, Walker will get on base one more time than Neifi. That said, I'd still rather bat Neifi 8th because every little bit helps.

And the real question is, will Neifi record one more defensive out every five games than Walker? One more double play turned, maybe? Judging by the way people trash Walker's double-play making ability, especially with a groundball pitcher like Maddux on the mound, I think the answer is obviously yes. He may even make two more outs than Walker every five games, in which case Neifi's OBP theoretically increases by 100 points.

To flip-flop my stance a bit and point out another problem, it appears Dusty might use Blanco as Maddux's personal catcher this year. Combine that with Neifi and we're looking at four "automatic outs" in the lineup. Unless he uses Hairston at 2nd in most of these games, in which case it won't be nearly as bad.

Seriously if Neifi is batting #2, our manager needs to be fired ASAP. He didn't learn from last year and will never learn.

At some point this organization just needs to cut its losses with this manager and get a guy with a clue.

MIKEJ-

Where'd you hear that Neifi would be batting second? I saw in the Trib this morning that Neifi would be starting, and was hoping this would mean Dusty would have him 8th in the lineup... no such luck.

"Baker will make his first change to the starting lineup today when he inserts Neifi Perez at second base in place of Todd Walker. Like Walker, Perez will bat in the second slot."

http://www.dailysouthtown.com/southtown/dsspo...

Dopirak hurt last night in West Tenn's win over Birmingham... Something to do with his foot, possible stress fracture is the rumor

furcal sucks and isn't worth anywhere near $13m/yr.

THT had a great article today about the Marlins and their 'attempts' at getting a new publicly funded stadium. One great point is that their 15 mil payroll is actually 60% of what they received in revenue sharing alone last year (27 mil)! A great read and really paints an interesting picture of Loria and Samson.

http://www.hardballtimes.com/daily/article/wtf/

From my other post in the NL Preview Thread:

I really don't get this move...
Here's the numbers for Neifi and Walker vs. Suppan:
Neifi: 12 AB .250 AVG .308 OBP .250 SLG .558 OPS
Walker 34 AB .294 AVG .314 OBP .412 SLG .726 OPS

Is Suppan a ground out pitcher? Is that why this is happening? Still... I think this is bad considering it's happening so early in the season.

Not much new here, but WMAQ TV investigating Cubs ticketing scam.

Are Cubs Fans Getting Squeezed Out Of Tickets?

Hmm, interesting. I just received an email from the Cubs about Ronnie Cedeno's appearance at the Toys R Us in Niles after tomorrow's game. Lots of rules. You do not see Ronnie unless you spend 30 bucks first. You do not see Ronnie unless you are one of the first 225 people to spend 30 bucks. If you are lucky enough to see Ronnie, he will sign only authorized MLB stuff. Nothing else. Umm, thanks Ronnie but no thanks. I think I will wait for the Neifi Perez event! I imagine that we might need to spend $50 for that event!

Should Dusty bat Neifi second? No. Is it a big deal? No. Is it annoying? YES!

Does just about every other manager do something similarly annoying? Yes. Does that make me feel better? No.

AM I going to let this bother me today while i'm at the game? No. Why not? Old Style

Thanks for putting that in perspective milky!

Every free agent that he doesn't get can be had for a little bit more, and every free agent that he does sign he overpays for. You see that little blue-white speck in the distance? It's planet Earth, come on home.

lol -- but there's a bit of market truth that should be understood in evaluating free agency, and that is that EVERY free agent is "overpaid". the market rewards the highest bid -- the highest bid is by definition high, often outrageously so in the view of most or all the losers.

if you take league salary averages or the average bid for a player as the metric of what you should try to pay, you will NEVER land a free agent and ALWAYS lose out.

i have a lot of problems with the cubs management, but their inability to bring themselves to consistently overpay is one of the bigger ones. a team that doesn't bring young talent to the majors consistently is faced with a choice between overpaying or losing. the cubs have consistently chosen to lose, despite being brilliantly profitable.

Your studies simply don't apply to such a scenario.

i tend to agree, with apologies to mt. lineups are not simple systems; they are deeply complex and feed back through multiple channels. the statistics reflect the performance not just of the player but the system the player was in.

no study that is forced to hold constant performance statistics as the system is reordered is going to be valid or even approximately valid by necessity. it's just too reductive to be useful.

How's about a happy nugget from Will Carroll today:

"The Cubs ... begin to plan for the return of three pitchers. The order should go: Kerry Wood, Mark Prior, and finally Wade Miller, though Miller and Prior seem to be on about the same schedule. Wood is throwing well, rated by many who saw him this spring as 'fully back.' One player who watched him throw batting practice said that his 'BP curve was better than most guys' "A" curve.' Wood is on track for a late April return ...."

"Should Dusty bat Neifi second? No. Is it a big deal? No."
---
Hoorayyyy!
This is a big deal. Dusty will once again be sticking the worst hitter and OBP-black-hole Neifi Perez right before the team's best hitter.
Not to mention that Neifi is one of the GIDP leaders in MLB because of the weak ground balls he constantly hits to the right side.

"Studies" show that it doesn't matter.
Dusty has a career .537 winning percentage.
Surely that doesn't have anthing to do with his having managed the greatest player of this generation.

Chris said: furcal sucks and isn't worth anywhere near $13m/yr.

that's right folks. Chris nailed the situation on the old head. Furcal SUCKS. Why didn't I see that it seems so obvious now. Why were we gonna give him 10 million when he sucks. We would rather pay around 3 milllion for sucky players.

How's about a happy nugget from Will Carroll today:

"The Cubs ... begin to plan for the return of three pitchers. The order should go: Kerry Wood, Mark Prior, and finally Wade Miller,...

Eh, whaaat??

Last week Wade Miller was reported to be a week to ten days behind Wood. Prior was off the charts.

Nothing has changed. Wood is a bit ahead of Miller. Miller threw 3 sets of 15 pitches off the mound earlier this week. But Prior is scheduled to throw off the mound for the first time TODAY.

So, IF ANYBODY CAN BELIEVED, the order of return should be Wood, Miller, Prior.

Will Carroll if you are out there, How does Prior figure to be ahead of Miller?

Here's more from Mr. Carroll, via BP:

"Mark Prior is about to move from flat ground to the mound, which is certainly a big step . . . Assuming that he continues to move forward, heís still looking at a few weeks of work before even thinking about some rehab starts. Wade Miller is at about the same stage as Prior now, as he comes back from his shoulder surgery, but isnít progressing as fast.

Gaius,

'ones. a team that doesn't bring young talent to the majors consistently is faced with a choice between overpaying or losing. the cubs have consistently chosen to lose, despite being brilliantly profitable.'

Except that's not correct. If you occasionally overspend, you wind up being the late 90's Orioles - 2nd highest payroll in the league and bad. The only 'solution' is to do like the Yankees and buy free agents every year, but of course the Cubs don't have or are uninterested in spending that kind of money.

i think you can use free agency intelligently, neal -- one needn't be the orioles. for example, boston has done remarkably by fielding key free agents.

i wouldn't totally disagree -- i too think it's best to be able to identify and nurture talent to maturity. but the cubs have shown no ability to do this for what seems like decades.

MikeC:
"Seriously if Neifi is batting #2, our manager needs to be fired ASAP. He didn't learn from last year and will never learn."

And in perfect timing, Neifi goes 3-4 with a run today...

PRICELESS!!!

In Dusty We Trusty!!!

Gaius,

Almost every team signs free agents every year. Every team that wins the World Series is going to have a free agent or two that have big years to help them get there. However, correlation is not causation.

Any team that wins the World Series is going to have better years than expected from 3-5 players (with the exception of the 21st century yankees I guess). And the truth is, if the Yankees had been able to get 1 more out, the 2004 Red Sox would have just been written off as another $125 million mess.

Did you rave about what a shrewd move the White Sox signing of Jermaine Dye and Dustin Hermanson were at the time of signing? No, but a year later you say 'What smart moves'. Hermanson had to have the 'Done' tatoo lazered off his forhead before the season started. They're only smart moves because the worked out. They didn't work out, because they were smart moves. Are they smarter than the Dempster signing, coming off his injury? No, not at all. Was Drayton McClain 'Smart' for putting the Astros franchise in Houston where he would be able to attract Pettitte and Clemens for below market value?

It makes no sense to argue 'Only sign free agents that are going to be very productive players for the length of their contracts', because no GM in the history of the game (with a tenure of reasonable length) has ever done it. Every team signs dud free agents, it's the nature of the beast.

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