The Week Ahead: Week Two

So this is a little strange. From Carrie Muskat's column about Michael Barrett's pinch-hitting heroics over the weekend:
John Mabry hit the Cubs' other pinch-hit homer in the second game of the season, and he was Barrett's inspiration on Saturday. What did Mabry do? "He was down here [in the clubhouse] in the third inning, getting ready for the game," Barrett said. "He starts his routine a lot earlier than most guys I've ever seen. I walked in here to get warm for a split second in the third, and I saw him getting ready, so I thought maybe I need to get ready, too. That way, when I went in to hit, I didn't feel rushed." But what is it that Mabry does? "I don't want to go into details," Barrett said, "but he was getting ready." "I can't tell you either," Baker said.
Apparently Mabry's routine is more involved than just riding the stationary bike during the early innings. Anyway, this week, the Reds come in for three at Wrigley. Know Thy Enemy: Red Reporter, We Heart The Reds Tuesday: Rusch vs. Bronson Arroyo Wednesday: Maddux vs. Brandon Claussen Thursday: Zambrano vs. Eric Milton With the Cubs facing two lefties in the Cincy series (Claussen & Milton), look for Jerry Hairston to get a start or two at second. I'd expect to see Neifi at short in Wednesday's game, too. And is it too much to ask for maybe Jacque Jones to take a day off too? Then the Cubs start a nine-game road trip against the Pirates. Know Thy Enemy: Honest Wagner Friday night: Marshall vs. Victor Santos Saturday night: 5th starter vs. Zach Duke Sunday: Rusch vs. Ian Snell As of right now, Saturday's starter is Jerome Williams, but that could change. Off-day conversation topic: ¿Quien es mas macho, Derrek Lee o Michael Barrett?
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Comments

he jacks off

It'll take more than a grand-slammy to knock Lee of the macho ledge. Lee carried the team last season, and is probably the second most feared batter in the NL (behind Pooholes), although ARam may claim that spot before too long.

Another off-day topic:
Would Cedeno make a better lead-off or #2 hitter? The rookie is hitting so well that you hate to see him get less swings at #8, yet you do not want to put too much pressure on him either. While it's good to have some production at the bottom of the lineup, for now Cedeno is hitting better than both of the guys at the top of the lineup. You typically want a veteran at #2 who can make contact and move a runner along, so maybe Cedeno would fit better at lead-off.

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK?!?

Thanks, Kennylofton, no one would have gotten that if you hadnt informed us.

i'm sure if barrett saw mabry jacking off, he's not gonna say to himself, "maybe i need to 'get ready' too." He'd be like, "dude, isn't there someplace else you could do that instead of my extra mit?"

Hmmm, maybe Bonds should be in the listing for most feared batter, though the jury is still out this season as how effective he will be coming back from injuries and (rumored to be) juice-free.

MarcV, I know Lee is mas macho overall, but maybe we can consider Barrett mas macho at the moment...

re: the muskrat article, I think it's pretty clear that Mabry's nickname should now be "Serrano"

woe be chicagoland chickens.

MarcV: Would Cedeno make a better lead-off or #2 hitter?

I'm kinda liking the lineup the way it was yesterday. Our 1-4 are perfect for my taste.

Pierre had an off day yesterday, but he had some excellent at bats. I think that even on his off days, it puts heavy stress on a pitcher to have to bear down so hard to get out the numebr 1 slot.

Walker has always been my choice for a #2. He's got good plate patience, will take a walk, but also has pop enough that if Pierre does get on, the pitcher has to worry about hitting his mark and making a mistake that could wind up a double or even out of the park.

3 & 4? What's to say. 2 powerful, multi-dimensional hitters. Again, the pitcher is working. Barret and Jones are perfectly placed as 5 and 6 in my opinion. Barret has patience and pop. Jacque is a little hacktastic for my taste, but he can hit the ball hard if he continues out of this slump.

Now to the matter at hand. Murton in a bit of a mini-slump which I think he'll bust out of soon. Cedeno on fire. How long has it been since the bottom of our lineup was a threat? I like Murton and Cedeno where they are because it really makes the opposing pitcher work through our lineup from top to bottom. If an inning starts with Murton, an opposing pitcher has to be concerned that he's going to see Pierre again. I remember in 2003 absolutely dreading those Pierre at bats--all the more so with men on.

We are averaging more runs per game than any other team in baseball right now. We're getting on base at a .366 clip. We're hitting 1.8 HRs per game (2nd in MLB) and are 3rd in slugging.

I doubt the heat will continue through the season, but the lineup and the offense in general are the very definition of a balanced attack: power-speed-patience-timely hitting. Coming from beind is a nice touch as well.

If we get some fearsome starting pitching to back this up...

Ah well, let's into get ahead of ourselves. It's only 5 games.

(Thanks for salvaging the conversation Mr. Whipple)

I need to get that picture (however amusing it is) of Mabry "preparing". Still, whatever works for him...

If Dusty sits Walker down to give Hairston a start when the Red's lefties start, does Hairston get the automatic assignment to #2, or maybe give Cedeno a chance near the top of the order? I doubt the toothpicked-one will want to put a rookie that far up in the batting order.

I also like how this lineup is shaping up as well, particularly as Barrett recovers from his altered spring training regimen. Once Jones gets back into a groove, opposing pitchers will have their hands full against this Cubs lineup.

Do we know this is how Mabry prepares. Or is it just the inference that is jumping to everyone's mind?

I like what Cedeno is doing in the 8 hole because with our 1-4, turning over the lineup is huge. If Cedeno gets on base 1-2 times a game with two outs in the inning he will make a major contribution even if he doesn't score or get any RBIs. Pierre leading off the inning with DLee and ARam behind him as often as possible will lead to good things.

I need to get that picture (however amusing it is) of Mabry "preparing".

Ummm...and why would you want that picture?

Off topic - Did anyone else get a warm, happy feeling last night when the camera panned to the dugout after Marshall was pulled and showed him chatting with Maddux?

Sure but while the camera was focused on Maddog and Marshall I was focused on the ESPN radar gun clocking Wuertz's fastball at 85mph. I know it was cold last night but 85? His slider was at it's usual 83mph so it shouldn't have been a radar glitch. Being cold out shouldn't degrade a FB by 8-9 mph.

Who in their right mind would masturbate to prepare?

Think of the loss in power...

I might fall asleep at the plate.

Who in their right mind would masturbate to prepare?

Think of the loss in power...

I might fall asleep at the plate.

could be that he is just "cleaning the pipes" so that he wont be nervous. It dangerous to go to the plate with a loaded gun.

this is awesome

http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/story/2006/4...

it graphs the expectancy of the cubs winning the game last night, and the leverage of each situation (basically, how critical each moment is)

it's a cool site, poke around on it

Thanks. Very interesting. I don't know how valid the model is, but it provides data to reinforce my impression of why last night was a good sign compared to last year -- it wasn't the homers as much as it was the patience in taking walks before the homers. The two most interesting lines in the analysis to me:

if you look back at the graph, you'll notice that the Cubs' Win Expectancy had already topped 70% before Barrett had hit the home run.

Aramis Ramirez BB, 8th inning (+.163) - Ramirez' walk was Izzy's second and loaded the bases for Michael Barrett. This was a huge play and pushed the Cubs' Win Expectancy north of 70%. The go-ahead run was pushed to second base here, and the Cubs, who have been maligned for their inattentiveness to OBP, actually used it to their advantage here.

With the lefties the Reds will throw out there, I agree--I'm hoping to see Hairston start those games. Against the righty Arroyo, that can be Dusty's excuse to get Neifi a game at SS and sit Cedeno.

I would very much like to see Pagan start in place of Jones against Claussen. And you just know Dusty is itching to get Mabry a start, the game against Arroyo would make the most sense, and let Murton sit out a game.

So long as both Murton and Cedeno start 130 games this year, I'm happy. I'll give Dusty his 30 games of letting the veteran subs see some time.

Jock never needs days off. You guys just enjoy ridin' Jock to the World Series.

Claussen or Milton are both rather poor versus lefites & righties:

3 year splits:

Claussen
Vs left: .281/.352/.516
vs right: .280/.341/.442

Milton
vs. left: .277/.335/.497
vs. right: .277/.326/.516

Batter vs Pitcher:
Milton vs Hairston: 5 for 12 .417/.533/.417
Milton vs. Walker: 4 for 9 .444/.444/.778
Milton vs. Neifi: 3 for 20 .150/.190/.300

Claussen vs. Hairston: 1 for 6 .167/.167/.333
Claussen vs. Walker: 4 for 8 .500/.500/1.375
Claussen vs. Neifi: 0 for 4 0's

Claussen vs Maddux on Wed
Milton vs. Z on Thurs

If Baker continues the trend (if one game can be considered a trend) of benching Walker when Maddux pitches, expect Neifi on Wednesday and maybe Hairston on Thursday. We only face one of PItt's lefties this weekend (Duke) so Walker should start 3-4 games this week.

Those win expectancy charts are fun to look at, and I think they could become crucial tools for enlightened managers to make the best reliever and pinch hitter choices in key situations.

Somebody posted a similar chart after Game 6 of the '03 NLCS; I wish I could find it. It was one of the most depressing things I've ever seen in my life.

Somebody posted a similar chart after Game 6 of the '03 NLCS; I wish I could find it. It was one of the most depressing things I've ever seen in my life.

I think it was Tango at Primer. Someone more motivated to relive nightmares than me might be able to find it.

Perhaps it's similar to a Moises Alou drill, golden shower anyone?

What's his face at the rather unintegrous mlbtraderumors.com says the D-Lee deal is 5/65.

Guess I'm OK with that. Gotta do what it takes to keep him.

http://tinyurl.com/sxt8r

dave: Ummm...and why would you want that picture?

Oh geez. I need to get that picture out of my mind. I left out those key words.

Did anyone notice how milquetoast La Russa & the Cards were about getting swept? I've seen La Russa throw helmets and bats and scream at players, but none of that last night.

Wes: Guess I'm OK with that. Gotta do what it takes to keep him.

ESPN guy (think it was Morgan) said he spoke to Lee and told him he could make more money with the Yanks or Bosox and Lee said he doesn't want to make more money with the Yanks, he wants to play here for the Cubbies. That made me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Ryan

I think Hendry wants to sign Lee ASAP, before Baker starts sqawking about getting his new deal (which may likely never happen, and thus affect Lee's decision to stay here).

Give Lee Konerko money and be done with it. I don't believe that Lee will ever put up 05 numbers again but I do believe that he will hit 30 - 40 hrs and drive in 90 - 100. Thats worth 60 over 4 if you ask me.

it was peter gammons that said that. Gammons is such an assclown. I wasnt sure that he even realized that there were teams OTHER than the Yanks and the sox that played in MLB.

Give Lee Konerko money and be done with it. I don't believe that Lee will ever put up 05 numbers again but I do believe that he will hit 30 - 40 hrs and drive in 90 - 100. Thats worth 60 over 4 if you ask me.

Lee will be worth Konerko money more than Konerko will be. If our OBP in the first two spots in the order are any better than last year, Lee should drive in many more than 90-100.

chris berman too. its like the yankees and whatever bunch of chumps the baseball gods have delivered for them to devour. oops, surprise boomer, they dont win every game.

i think gammons actually picked the cubs to win it all in 04. hahaha, sucker.

i think gammons actually picked the cubs to win it all in 04.

Yep, and he picked Nomar to be the NL MVP last year. Ouch, that sucks.

DLee wont hit much more than 100 RBIs ever in his career. I don't care what his team's OBP is. Last year was a career year and he has shown that he not that much of an RBI machine.

Levine reported on ESPN 1000 that the Lee deal is just about done other than some very minor details. Could/should be announced tonight.

Last year was a career year and he has shown that he not that much of an RBI machine.

You mean besides hitting 46 homers last year with 199 hits and 99 extra base hits? Not counting hitting .335/.418/.662? Other than decreasing his strikeouts by 19 and increasing his walks by 17, in fewer ABs than the season before?

That's without even bringing up the stats that showed DLee had far, far fewer men on base ahead of him last year than did his fellow league leaders.

I'm not debating last year was a career year. But if he gets even an average number of guys on base ahead of him, he'll have more RBI than last year.

I'm saying he won't play to those levels ever again. Yes last year, with more men on in front of him he would have knocked in more guys.

But that was last year.

DLee wont hit much more than 100 RBIs ever in his career. I don't care what his team's OBP is. Last year was a career year and he has shown that he not that much of an RBI machine.

Opinions stated as facts are difficult to argue with, but, hey, I'll give it a shot. He drives balls on the outside and is able to shorten up and yank balls on the inside onto Waveland. He didn't used to do that. He used to get jammed all the time. He's simply seeing the ball better and applying a better swing. I don't expect (I don't think anyone does) 2005 numbers from Lee, but he's become one of the top #3 batters in the business and worth a lot of money.

I'm saying he won't play to those levels ever again. Yes last year, with more men on in front of him he would have knocked in more guys.

But that was last year.

As Ryan said, it's hard to argue with a guy convinced of the certainty of his own opinions. But do you have any evidence that he won't hit close to the same level again? It would take an optimist bolder than me to say he will exceed last year's numbers this year, but there's nothing to suggest he won't. He's only 30, he seems to have fixed a hole in his swing from last year, he has raised his BB/9 and lowered his K/9 rates, and he has upped his slugging percentage. Those are convincing arguments that 2005 wasn't just a fluke.

Or are you going to try to argue that Sammy will return to his mean in 2005, as well?

Or are you going to try to argue that Sammy will return to his mean in 2005, as well?

He is probably smacking mrs. Sosa with a mean right hand as we speak.

He is probably smacking mrs. Sosa with a mean right hand as we speak.

You mean without corking it first?

If AZ Phil is around today, i've got a question for him...

Someone posted a comment at Bleed Cubbie Blue last night that the Cubs either have moved Eric Patterson to SS, or are considering doing so. Have you heard any chatter along these lines? Do you know if he's been taking balls from SS in practice, etc.?

thanks!

The problem for this team isn't about DLee getting to his 2005 levels- something close will be fine. It's the rest of the team's ability to keep manufacturing runs with the merry-go-round offense we currently have.

I don't care if DLee hits 20 HRs, so long as we can have guys on base to move. Remember 2003 when we lived and died with the HR? How well did that work out? With Pierre at the top, our best bet is to get out to quick starts and get under the other team's skin. Like the '03 Marlins it's about setting the table and moving things along.

We will have HRs, the wind will start blowing out, and the ivy will turn green. However it's such a relief that so early on this team is showing that they can play merry-go-round baseball, which is something I can't recal the Cubbies doing very well.

http://www.deadspin.com/sports/baseball/four-...

Joe Borowski named his son Blaze....

As deadspin commented, really cool if he ends up a ballplayer, otherwise really unfortunate.

Well at least so far, Eric Patterson has batted 2nd and played 2b all 4 games for the Jaxx...

Don't know what's in the plans though, I'll make an inquiry for you though...

Re: #36

WSCR says the Cubs have scheduled a 10am press conference tomorrow, presumably for the DLee announcement. Whoot. Nice to have it done.

if no one has heard yet, Dopirak broke his foot on Opening Night, he'll be out 6 weeks...

and Ryan Harvey has been out with a sore knee, day-to-day;

Sorry if I'm being redundant, just catching up on last week's news as I was mostly out of touch...

"DLee wont hit much more than 100 RBIs ever in his career. I don't care what his team's OBP is. Last year was a career year and he has shown that he not that much of an RBI machine."
--

It's settled.... DLee just ain't no "RBI machine".
The Cubs need to buy one of those RBI machine's and install it at Wrigley.

Blaze Borowski?
And I thought Rubby Perez was a funny name.

some other news and more potential redundancy...
---
AAA
Felix Pie, en fuego, .500/.500/.813 (8 for 16) 3 SB/0CS, 1BB/2K
Angel Guzman 5 innings of scoreless ball yesterday, 6 K's, 1 BB
Rich Hill gets his 1st start tonight

AA
Richard Lewis made a start in the OF yesterday

Hi-A
Luke Hagerty 1.2 IP, 5 BB, 2K (I think it's time to stick a fork in him)
Ryan Harvey DID play last night
3rd round pick Mark Hollimann pitched 5 innings, 7 k's, 0 BB, 2 H, 1 R for Daytona

Blaze Borowski?
And I thought Rubby Perez was a funny name.

His nickname will be "Walter."

Did anyone else check out the Gary Gillette chat on ESPN that just finished up?? It was one of the rare chats on there that they actually talk about Cubs issues and this guy just was light'n our boys up....

care to enlighten us on Gillette's comments???

brief summary is all we ask...

oh sorry, i'm still at work....
here's a bit

Alex (Indiana): The cubs looked great against the cardinals. Do you think that the cubs are gonna be better than everyone thinks they will be?

Gary Gillette: (4:05 PM ET ) Actually, I'm not at all impressed with the Cubs chances, no matter how well they have played so far. I think the Cards are still the class of a weak division and that the Cubs will be lucky to contend for the wild card past mid-August.

Kevin (Manassas, VA): Why is everyone so down on the Cubs? They have a much improved bullpen, a proven leadoff hitter, and some good young talent. If Prior and Wood come back that will be like making a great mid season trade. I really think they will be a contender, and do you think Dusty Baker will be back next season?

Gary Gillette: (4:48 PM ET ) I don't think Baker will be back in 2007. And you can spin an optimistic scenario about almost any ML club, but that doesn't mean it's likely to occur. And assuming that Wood and Prior will both be healthy and pitch well is a big leap of faith.

Tim (ATL): Seriously, are the cubs win the WS "if prior and wood are healthy" questions some of the funniest questions possible... isn't that like saying I'm going to retire this year if I win the lottery?

Gary Gillette: (4:50 PM ET ) Hey, are your initials really SB?

Kevin (Manassas, VA): Hey Gary, tell Tim in ATL, that Cubs fans have faith, and we can believe that Prior and Wood will come back healthy, and he needs to worry about his Braves, not our beloved Cubbies. After all, did'nt we eliminate the Braves from the postseason last time we were there???

Gary Gillette: (5:01 PM ET ) I admire your dedication to your club, but plllllllllllleaassseee. How often have the Cubs been playing in October compared to the Braves since 1990.

that was a bit of it, also, he went on to say that the division is so weak that the Reds have a shot, if they get 'average' pitching but the Cubs really can't hope for that

So i guess his comments really aren't off, it was just stunning to see the Cubs on topic so often and NOTHING positive to say...

Hey Big John Stud,

There are RBI machines out there. There's a whole line of them. You should check out the ManRam or Vlad models. They are top of the line RBI machines.

I know it's early in the season, but I hate seeing the Astros win games like they won today.
IF they do anything like they did the last two years, they need to lose these ones early.

Astros down 4-3 in the 10th, tie it up on a Morgan Ensberg homer...win it in the 12th on a sac fly.

There are RBI machines out there. There's a whole line of them. You should check out the ManRam or Vlad models. They are top of the line RBI machines.

Amazing that they are still reliant on players getting on base ahead of them.

Chad...do you care to explain why you think Lee is not an RBI Machine? Solely of his RBI numbers? You do know that RBIs are by far the most team reliant individual stat in baseball, right?

Oh lord, not again!!!

Can we start up a pitch count debate or OBP debate as well? Those never get tiring....

:)

You do know that RBIs are by far the most team reliant individual stat in baseball, right?

Unless you pump yourself so full of roids that you hit over 60 home runs, that is.

Sure RBIs are team dependent. I'm sure Neifi Perez on the Red Sox would have 100 of them and ManRam on the Cubs last year would have had 65.

BS

Chad, that is manipulating their point and you know it.

Put Lee's numbers on the Red Sox or Cards last year, and he would have many more RBI's. Obviously a guy that hits .250 with a slugging percentage of .300 isn't going to get RBI's on any team.

ESPN.com reporting Lee agrees to 5/$65 deal
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2...

Complete no-trade clause. Guess we will be seeing him around for awhile...that's good.

I took Gillette's comments with a grain of salt after reading this:

I don't think Baker will be back in 2007

Regardless of what anyone may think on that subject, few people who actually know what they're talking about would make that conclusion. So I chalk up his comments to someone who has a surface level knowledge of 30 teams and falls back on conventional wisdom/perception to fill in the gaps.

i want all the people walking around humming the "aramis will be mvp" or "aramis will be a candidate for mvp" tune to do me a favor and shut the hell up please, unless you collectively want to be the direct reason his femur snaps in half this year, thank you.

i love the guy, but hey, theres a slight chance all your UNFOUNDED PRAISE (whats this all friggin based on anyway? the whole "he's that magical age" bullshit?) is getting to him via his cousin or agent or cleaning lady if he isnt reading it himself and hes feeling unnecessary pressure?

and dont ask me why, but i see aram becoming like manny someday. no real reasoning (kind of like all the mvp year talk) but i just got a feeling. as opposed to carlos who is just plain eccentric, i can see aram unexplainedly pulling out a bologna sandwich at 3rd one day and looking confused when the ump confiscates it. call me crazy, but i think he'll hit like manny (great hitter year-in year-out but not the mvp) and act like him too (draw a face on his glove which he talks to between outs).

"...Amazing that they are still reliant on players getting on base ahead of them.

Chad...do you care to explain why you think Lee is not an RBI Machine? Solely of his RBI numbers? You do know that RBIs are by far the most team reliant individual stat in baseball, right?"
---

No Dave, Chad is right. Manny just has a mystical power of being an "RBI machine". Pay no attention to the fact that he's had outstanding "OBP machines" in front of him for years.
Real "RBI Machines" pull RBI's out of thin air, they don't even need guys on base to drive in.
DLee ain't no stinkin' RBI machine.

So Cubby we should shut up because you're superstitious?

and cause apparently Aramis has a split-personality or something.....

what an odd comment...

VIVA LA FREE SPEECH!!

LMAO at Cubby...wtf?
That was amusing in how much a short post completely confused the hell out of me.

who wants to bet the holdup in the Lee deal was simply starting the 5/65 in 2006 (throwing out the 9M 2006) vs. 2007?

who was holding it up should be the question? Cause I think for the Cubs it's a lot better to have the deal start now and be out of it by 2010 rather than 2011. Lee gets about $4 million more this year but one less year, potentially losing about $5 million in the process compared to if the deal started next season...

Rob G-
imagine how much he could've gotten from one of ESPN's teams...just off the top of my head, i don't think there are any good 1b going to be FA's are there??

That deal sounds a lot like....

Paul Konerkos.

Yeah Jim Hendry.

No lock up ARAm. the 2006 NL MVP.

it's slim pickings next year, he'd probably be the best hitter available next year regardless of position, his only competition:

Gary Sheffield (team option)
Jim Edmonds (team option)
Barry Bonds (Giant or retire)
Aramis Ramirez (player void option)

couple lesser talents:
Jose Guillen
J.D Drew (player void option)
Carlos Lee

thanks Rob...it's refreshing for a guy like Lee to stay in the place that allowed him to flourish

#43 of 78: By shawndgoldman (April 10, 2006 04:51 PM)
If AZ Phil is around today, i've got a question for him...

Someone posted a comment at Bleed Cubbie Blue last night that the Cubs either have moved Eric Patterson to SS, or are considering doing so. Have you heard any chatter along these lines? Do you know if he's been taking balls from SS in practice, etc.?

thanks!

SHAWN: I have never seen Eric Patterson even WORK-OUT at SS, much less the idea of him actually playing the position in a game.

E-Pat is a borderline "just-OK" defensive 2B with range probably being his best attribute. Otherwise, he still has a ways to go to make himself a consistently good defensive player at 2B, and SS is a much more challenging position than 2B.

With Ronny Cedeno the likely Cubs SS for at least the next six years, the only way I could see E-Pat getting any playing time at SS is when and if the Cubs begin to project him as only a utility infielder, but I believe as of right now, he is seen by the Cubs as their most-likely in-house 2B of the future. So he will continue to play 2B (and ONLY 2B) and hopefully try to master the position, at least until and unless the Cubs acquire a better 2B candidate via trade or FA.

Remember, Eric Patterson played 2B even in college at Georgia Tech, so if he had the defensive skills to play SS, he would have been playing SS or CF there, not 2B.

Hendrys Priorities after Reupping DLee

1-Donuts
2-Extending Big Z
3-Extending Pierre. Stoney was on the Score saying they'll let him go after this year to make room for Pie, but I think you have to after giving up so much quality (and quantity) young pitching.
4-Extend Dusty. Two years max. Then if he hasn't produced, you can go get Joe Girardi, whose contract with the Marlins will be up.

No way Pierre just walks away without a fight. There is a nice spot in right field waiting for him. For two years we can play with four outfielders. Plenty to go around.

btw shawndgoldman on the e-pat thing...

I asked my pal over at Inside the Ivy who's pretty well connected with the Cubs minor league organization and he said he never heard of such a thing and echoed AZ Phil's comments that it seems unlikely.

I think Pierre believes he's worth Furcal money and Hendry isn't going to pay that, as well he should not.

I expect Pierre to hit free agency, we'll se what happens from there.

My take on the Patterson at SS rumor is that West TN is looking for away to put Lewis at 2nd occasionally with EPatt at SS. Not a regular deal but enough to get Lewis's bat into the lineup some.

The comments made about DLee not ever approaching his stats of last year concern me. That would be like saying after Sandy Koufax's first good year that he will never do it again because he will fall back to his normal production, which of course include a huge lack of control. Players develop over time. The great ones make adjustments and never look back. The same has been said about Cedeno because his early years were rather weak. Give the Cubs organization credit because they saw him make adjustments from trying to hit homeruns all of the time to putting the ball in play where it was pitched. The fact that he was under 20 when he struggled seems to get lost in that line of thinking. The Cubs added him to the 40 man roster when they saw him adjust but many "experts" couldn't understand. The normal fan doesn't get to see these adjustments on a daily basis. The guys who make a living making these decisions do. DLee will only get better if his shoulder stays healthy.

You know what's more common than a batter going from good hitter to great hitter? Someone having a career year.

Ah, I've figured it out. Chad is pissed because D-Lee is the new Sosa. But in Chad's poor wittle heart, there will never be anyone like Sammy. Boo hoo.

AZ Phil & Rob G.,

Thanks for the info re:EPat... I had never heard of such an idea, and it didn't really make sense to me, but i didn't want to dismiss the idea outright without confirmation from more informed individuals than myself. Anyways, thanks for confirming my suspicion of that being a... suspicious idea.

DLee is the new Sosa? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!

HAHAHAHAHA

Haha, yeah, I guess I was stretching that a bit. Lee's not half the prick Sosa is, and his ego can't compare either. Lee probably could never top Sosa's mastery of the "I'll-let-my-lawyer-read-my-statement-because-my-Ingles-is-no-so-good" act. You have to admit though that his cajones are probably far larger.

Lee will never top Sosa HALL OF FAME votes or have his number retired.

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