Restovich to Join Cubs Friday

With Derrek Lee expected to be out of action for anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks, the Cubs have apparently selected 27-year old OF Michael Restovich to replace D-Lee on their 25-man roster. Although no official announcement has been made by the Cubs, Restovich was not in the Iowa lineup Thursday night in Albuquerque, and Iowa Cubs broadcaster Dean Ellis with KXNO radio in Des Moines reported tonight during the game that Restovich was no longer with the Iowa club, and that he apparently was set to join the Chicago Cubs in St. Louis. If so, he should arrive in plenty of time for Friday night's game at the new Busch Stadium. A right-handed hitting slugger from Mayo HS in nearby Rochester, Restovich was selected by the Minnnesota Twins in the 2nd round of the 1997 Rule 4 (June) Draft. He turned down a scholarship from Notre Dame to sign with the Twins. He spent seven seasons in the Twins organization, including 61 major league games in the years 2002-04. Baseball America had Restovich rated as the Twins' second-best prospect in 2000 and 2001, and as their third best prospect in both 2002 and 2003. BA also had him rated as the 37th best prospect in all of baseball as recently as 2003. Out of options, Restovich was claimed off waivers by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on March 31st of last season, and then was claimed off waivers again five days later by the Colorado Rockies. He was traded to Pittsburgh on May 11th, and spent the rest of the 2005 season with the Pirates. He played LF and RF, and also had 28 PA as a PH, where he went 4-27 (.148) with four singles, one walk, and 14 strikeouts. He was designated for assignnment by the Pirates on November 21st. In 132 MLB games, Restovich has hit .254, with a .333 OBP and .408 slugging %, including 3 HR and 6 RBI. He has 1 + 123 in MLB service time. Restovich signed a minor league contract with the Cubs on January 3rd, and received an invitation to Spring Training as a non-roster player. He had a mediocre Spring Training (he hit .222 and led the team in strikeouts) and was sent to Iowa on March 29th, but he has been on fire his last six games in AAA: .480 (12-25), .536 OBP .760 SLG 1.296 OPS with 1 HR, 7 RBI, 2 2B, 3B, 3 BB, 2 K. Although Restovich played some 1B in Spring Training, it was the first time he had played the position since high school. So expect Todd Walker and John Mabry to get most of the playing time at 1B until Lee returns, although Restovich could get some starts against left-handed pitchers. Restovich could also spell Jacque Jones in RF against a tough LHP. Because he will be out of action for anywhere from 8-12 weeks, it is likely that Derrek Lee will be placed on the 60-day DL, although either Mark Prior or Wade Miller (or Kerry Wood, but he's too close to returning) could be transferred to the 60 DL. Players on the 60-day DL do not count against the 40-man roster. Or the Cubs could recall Brian Dopirak (who is out of action at West Tenn with a broken foot) and then immediately place him on the 60-day DL. The problem with doing that is that Dopirak would immediately begin to accrue MLB service time, and would receive the MLB minimum salary ($327,000) instead of the $60,000-ish salary he is getting now per the "split contract." If Lee is placed on the 60-day DL or Prior or Miller is transferred to the 60-day DL, Lee would be eligible to be reactivated on June 19th, Prior would be eligible to be reactivated on May 26th (he was placed on the 15-day DL effective March 27th, and time spent on the 15-day DL counts toward the 60 days), and Milller would be eligible to be reactivated on May 31st.
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Comments

Anyone know where Durazo is currently? I want to saw he is w/ the Red Sox, but am not sure. If he is in their minors, are maybe even a FA, wonder if he would be worth a shot........

BTW, I like the Restovich callup. The last thing the Cubs need is another light-hitting IF, which is what some ppl were suggesting in calling up The Riot. At least now, Restovich can play 1b vs. Lefties, as AZ Phil mentions. Also, it should give us a righty off the bench that we lack right now, as evidenced by Walker as PH several times this year vs. a left-hander. Gonna need a lot of speed, great execution, and the bullpen to be lights out if we want to stay in this thing w/o Lee.

#1 of 1: By Keith (April 20, 2006 10:52 PM)
Anyone know where Durazo is currently? I want to saw he is w/ the Red Sox, but am not sure. If he is in their minors, are maybe even a FA, wonder if he would be worth a shot........

---

KEITH: Durazo is with Oklahoma (Texas Rangers AAA).

Durazo would increase Cedeno's errors by 50% at least. I think Texas signed him to mnor league contract after they released him in ST.

The Cubs should look and see if Tony Clark is available. He is the best stop gap that could be available anywhere.

Walker at 1st base, and Hairston at 2nd I could stomach for the next 2-3 months. What I can't stomach is Walker at 1b and Perez at 2nd base for 2-3 months.

If the Cubs plan on using Neifi full time at 2nd base so Walker can play 1b, get Tony Clark, rape the farm system, do anything to prevent that from happening or the season will be over.

For the present time Walker should be moved down to the #3 hole, keep Ramirez at #4. The problem now is who hits #2? If Neifi gets the gig then he is our #2 hitter probably, which would be a disaster. Hairston gets the gig he should bat #2.

Beyond that Murton would be the other option but I don't see Dusty throwing him in the #2 hole. But desperate times call for desperate measures. So you never know, Dusty might do it.

I just fear the Neifi factor at this point. He is a one man wrecking crew on how a lineup performs.

On the optimistic side this may force the Cubs to go out and get that impact power bat we have needed. Which would finally, when Lee is healthy, give us the ideal 3 offenisve forces in the lineup to hit #3-#5.

Where that bat would come from and where he would play would be a complete unknown and test how creative Hendry can be and how much of a risk taker he really is.

Because if the Cubs do go out and somehow find that bat either Cedeno, Murton, or Jones is going to be traded along with some highly touted prospects.

If we can get a bat in the OF and exchange it for Pie, Hill and Jones then it probably needs to be done.

We can't keep throwing away seasons and going with the "Oh well maybe next year." This team needs another bat and in the long run it will make us a better team when Lee gets back.

durazo is out of shape and has lost bat speed...and as was said, while he may be a very visible target at 1st, he's not a good one.

Well there we go. Thanks phil. Looks like Walker/mabry platoon is the immediate answer will Restovich be given a chance at 1B in STL?

#8 of 8: By EricW (April 20, 2006 11:34 PM)
Well there we go. Thanks phil. Looks like Walker/mabry platoon is the immediate answer will Restovich be given a chance at 1B in STL?

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ERIC W: I wouldn't be too surprised if Restovich doesn't get a start at 1B Saturday when Mark Mulder goes for the Cardinals. Restovich was indeed "on fire" at Iowa this past week, for whatever that might be worth. Adding Restovich will also provide the Cubs a power hitter off the bench in the late innings, when he isn't getting an occasional start at 1B. He also could play RF if Dusty wants to give Jones a day off against a tough LHP.

The other potential bright spot here is that if Restovich hits well, we may have found our platoon partner for Jacque Jones...

Cubs will put Lee on the 60-day to make room for Restovich. No way Lee will be ready before June 20th, so move makes sense. I think it unlikely we see him before the ASB.

Season is indeed lost to injury. Again. Three straight years.

I probably missed this in the previous
thread but what is Choi's status. I recall
him finishing a rehab assignment for
the Red Sox. It would seem like he is
VERY expendable to them and only picked
up off of waivers.

Youngest Cubs team in a while? Could be exciting. Now we just need a manager who isn't going to shit his pants over this new youth movement.

"I probably missed this in the previous
thread but what is Choi's status. I recall
him finishing a rehab assignment for
the Red Sox. It would seem like he is
VERY expendable to them and only picked
up off of waivers."

I agree, Boston can't be that attached to him with J.T. Snow and a hot Youkilis already platooning at 1B. Do we have any C prospects that can catch a knuckle ball?

No joke but look at the Braves last year.

You have to realize also the margin of error when thinking about the Cubs now. Without Lee the Cubs margin for error just pegged to zero.

All of our current offensive players need to exceed expectations across the board to survive this injury.

Which means Jones will need to hit .300, Murton will need to be a 20+ HR 80 RBI guy. Cedeno will need to keep his average above .300. Walker will need to have a career year. Pierre will have to return to .340+ OBP days and Ramirez will have to avoid any injury at all costs. The odds of that happening are remote at best.

This is why adding a 3rd bat has been such a big deal for me over the last 3 years. You can do OK with 2 offensive forces. But you can do better with 3. But if you only have 2 and 1 gets injured, you are in a world of hurt. And the Cubs are in a world of hurt right now.

I'm sorry, I can't understand if you guys are kidding. Please tell me that you are kidding about bringing back Choi. You're all kidding, right?

Few things:
First, am I correct is assuming Eyre, who also came out of the game on that play, is okay? Losing Lee is a huge disaster, no doubt, but having Eyre go down would be no picnic either. Also, I don't like him talking like this:

"I feel bad that I think I got Derrek hurt," Eyre said. "You're human. You second-guess yourself. I keep thinking in my head now that if I didn't flip it, he wouldn't be hurt."

Speaking of ways I don't like people talking, the last line of the Trib article, Dusty on the Cubs coming back to win after the disaster:

"It was a big victory for us," manager Dusty Baker said. "I just hope we don't win the game and lose the war, so to speak."

Thanks Dustbag, way to keep your chin up for the team.

One last thing. Miggy Cabrera is a Marlin, therefore, always available. There is not enough room for me to list the things I would be willing to give up to put him in the royal blue.

Once again from someone who has followed Restovich in MN since I'm stuck here at school....

He was a favorite of the Twins because he is a homeboy (from downstate Rodchester). He always was sooooo close to being on the team, but never came up with the club because he can't cut it, he's a AAAA player at best.

If he is our best option, then Prior, Wood, and Miller better be better than advertised because we are in trouble (DANGER! DANGER! DUSTY BAKER!). Good-bye any hope of that defense theory we had going into the season. Say what you want about Walker, but with him, Ramierez and Cedeno around the horn....we are in some deep doo-doo when it comes to defense.

then there is the offense...The only positive I can come up with is that we somehow take to heart the "small ball" approach every game...otherwise it's "Wait 'til next year"

...and I'm not going over the edge here- this is how it is. We didn't grab a bat over the winter, and we'll end up being a swing and miss team. Someone better heat up at the plate so we can at least put up a number in the run catagory.

You heard it here first, Cubs go 2-7 to round out the month. A win for sure against Florida, and another win somewhere else along the line.

One question...where are these guys, and would they be availible to play?

Santo
Rickey Henderson
Henry Rodriquez
Mark Grace

:)

the club isnt solely bound to small ball.

granted, it looks like a powerful small market team rather a 90-100m team right now.

couple speed guys up top, 4 15-25HR guys, and 1 35+HR guy anchoring it. its not a dead lineup, its just a bruised one without lee...missing a very important bat, runner, and power source.

along with that is his range/reach and overall D at 1st...which shouldnt be understated. at least walker's problem for most of his career hasnt been catching the ball.

playing STL, the cubs jump head first into a fair test of the sink/swim cubs who are gonna be without wood/prior/d.lee for weeks to months, and eyre probally for the series to his knee bruise.

borowski,

We all would love Cabrera. He's worth just about any player. He could play first until lee came back then move around the outfiled and thirdbase. Having said that, I predict that he will NEVER EVER EVER be a CUb. Too bad too.

If Lee insists on fixing his broken bones before returning to the lineup, I think the logical thing is:

Mabry @ first, Murton batting 3rd.

But, knowing Dusty, he'll probably do something strange like:

Neifi @ second, Walker @ 1st, Neifi batting 2nd, Walker batting 3rd.

Although the Restovich callup almost looks like a replacement to Mabry on the bench... hmmm...

Is it just me or does it look like the Cub's management is a bit more prepared for a big injury this year? Obviously there's no one in the org who can fully replace D Lee or he'd be on the Cubs playing every day, but at least they have some options this year.

Well Walker should bat #3 now. I am just scared to death who he will put in the #2 spot.

Todays game will be the first indicator on whether our manager is an idiot or learned anything from last year.

It's always something with this team...

I know most people are going to want Murton in the #2 spot, but he's not a good choice for it. He hits the ball on the ground too much. Neifi, Hairston, Walker are all good fly-ball hitters.

Neifi is a fly ball hitter? You did watch baseball last year right?

MikeC, yes. I based that on GO/AO stats.

Wait....what does hitting the ball on the ground/air have to do with it?
He's patient, makes contact, and has decent speed.....sounds like Murton could fit @ #2 temporarily to me.

Ramirez (our best hitter) bats third, Murton or Barrett bats fourth (Dusty already put Murton there when ARAM was injured earlier this year), and the top of the lineup stays unchanged. Pierre, Walker, ARAM, Murton/Barrett, Jones, Barrett/Murton, Neifi/Hairston, Cedeno, Z/Maddux. Even without DLee, that lineup doesn't look any worse than last years Milwaukee Brewers who had a better record than we did last year. IF the bullpen stays tough, and Wood/Prior/Miller all get back by mid-may, we are still in this. Atleast until Lee gets back, you all are seeming to forget that there are SIX months in the regular season, not the 2-3 that Lee will be out. If we truly are playoff calibur, or "the real deal" this year, we can survive this.

"I'm sorry, I can't understand if you guys are kidding. Please tell me that you are kidding about bringing back Choi. You're all kidding, right?"

He would be a better defensive option than anything we have, no? Would he really be that much more of a black hole in the order than Hairston/Neifi/Mabry/Restovich? I guess I'm overvaluing the ability to snag a cedeno type throw.

Neifi was also third in the league in double plays last year - and that was with Corey "Never on base" Patterson in front of him. You don't want him batting second.

Really not sure how it matters. I didn't think this team was very good before. My prediction - Wood is moved before the deadline.

BTW, if Hendry could get Miguel Cabrera, it would be his best deal besides the one that sent Choi to FLA to Lee in the first place. Any deal for Cabrera would transform our lineup from good to GREAT when Lee gets back.

I'm a Choi fan - I know Chad isn't - but even so the guy is hurt and it was a serious detriment to his WBC performance. You'd need some serious luck for him to be productive right now.

Neifi was also third in the league in double plays last year

Touche. I'll go ahead and say I was totally wrong about Neifi being a good #2 hitter.

Touche. I'll go ahead and say I was totally wrong about Neifi being a good #2 hitter.

You needed his GIDP stats to figure out he wasn't a good #2 hitter in 500+ AB's last year? I thought it was pretty obvious he was an abomination at the top of the order even if a person didn't know about that.

Hey, atleast you are on the same page now. Welcome aboard.

can A-Ram play any 1st?

Lineup should be....

1) Pierre, CF
2) Walker, 1B
3) A-Ram, 3B
4) Barrett, C
5) Murton, LF
6) Jones, RF
7) Hairston, 2B
8) Cedeno, SS
9) Pitcher

can A-Ram play any 1st?

Lineup should be....

1) Pierre, CF
2) Walker, 1B
3) A-Ram, 3B
4) Barrett, C
5) Murton, LF
6) Jones, RF
7) Hairston, 2B
8) Cedeno, SS
9) Pitcher

can A-Ram play any 1st?

Lineup should be....

1) Pierre, CF
2) Walker, 1B
3) A-Ram, 3B
4) Barrett, C
5) Murton, LF
6) Jones, RF
7) Hairston, 2B
8) Cedeno, SS
9) Pitcher

You needed his GIDP stats to figure out he wasn't a good #2 hitter in 500+ AB's last year?

I'm not quite as anti-Neifi as most everyone else here (just antimisuse of Neifi). I also like some of Neil Diamond's music and am a Republican.

Oh my God!

Let the proverbial beating into submissive agreement begin...

On the bright side, I'll admit when I'm wrong.

If Barrett is our #4 hitter, pack up the season now. That might be the worst #4 hitter in all of baseball.

There you go retrofade, thats what I'm talking about. And DUSTY, for the love of god, do not put neifi anwhere near the top of the order.

Would it be out of line to suggest that Walker hit 3rd, with A-Ram staying at 4th in the line-up? We could then try Ronnie or Hariston in the 2-hole. I guess Hariston has some speed.

Do you think the Cubs will blame Lee's injury on the fact that he played in the World Baseball Classic?

As a Padre's season tix holder, I belive Mike Piazza is the worst #4 hitter in baseball.

Do you think the Cubs will blame Lee's injury on the fact that he played in the World Baseball Classic?

Hard to see how that has anything to do with it. The Cubs organization may not always give us the whole truth, but something that outlandish? They're just as likely to blame it on communist infiltration into our bodily fluids.

The WBC has nothing to do with this injury and I don't understand why people keep bringing it up.

Let me explain this to you as plainly as possible.

He was hurt when someone ran into him.

It was not the fault of Bud Selig, Major League Baseball, the Cubs front office, or the yellow menace.

A guy ran into him. He hurt his hand.

The only way this could possibly be related to the WBC is if the injury was pre-existing. So far this year he's hitting .318 with a .614 SLG and 5 SBs on 7 attempts.

Does that sound like someone trying to cover up a wrist fracture to you? No? That's because to think the WBC has anything to do with this injury you'd have to be a gigantic maroon.

This is not a wear and tear injury. It's a broken bone from a collision.

Ye gods, what's wrong with people.

I've heard Mienkewitz's name mentioned as a possible replacement for Lee. Can he be traded right now anyway, or since he was signed as a free agent does the same rule that applies to Jones, Mabry, etc apply to Mienkewitz?

Though I don't think he would be a great replacement, I am afraid of our infield defense now. Lee has saved A-Ram quite a few errors over the last couple of years and Cedeno has shown some throwing problems. At least we would have a comparable defensive replacement for a couple of months until D-Lee is back, even if Mienkewitz isn't a good hitter.

i've figured out what happened. Neifi performed his voodoo that he does to get himself in the everyday lineup. Though it backfired a little cuz he was aiming at walker.

In all seriousness, forget the trade talk. Someone else said it already. It's April.

I think the best solution would be to bat Walker third. He's got some pop and he hits for average. I'd then move Cedeno or Murton to second. We will soon find out what the dice do for Dusty though.

I've thought about it a bit and I think we are going to be ok. Obviously we lose something. But I agree that this team is "capable" of adjusting. We shall see very soon. Give it 10 games and we will have a good idea.

Ok lets blame Hendry!

This is tongue in cheek ofcourse but I will let Desipio explain...

Is now a good time to point out that the ramifications of Jim Hendry not pressing Furcal on a deadline back over the winter and getting him signed before he ever left for LA to visit, continue on? It set dominos in motion that cost the Cubs an extra prospect in the Juan Pierre trade, put Hendry in a panic situation where he overpaid for Jock, the money that he overspent on Jock took them out of the running to add a veteran starting pitcher to deepen up the rotation, and then Furcal runs into the Cubsí best player andÖ No, this probably isnít a good time for any of that.

What are the odds the player we wanted so badly and lost out on runs into Lee and puts him on the DL? It makes even the staunchest non-believers believe a curse is on this franchise.

I believe Raphael Furcal is now pronounced "Ratfink fuck-all", even if 'it wasn't his fault.' The three replay angles I saw showed a runner who was bracing himself to MAKE a collision happen.

Just bitter, bitter, bitter.

umm dbt, more like what's wrong with you

i know internet sarcasm is hard to pick up on, but i think that one by Z was pretty obvious.

btw, to the list of prospects i would offer if that isn't enough, i would add "west tennesse diamond jacks franchise"

seriously, the marlins are probably thinking about trading him....the cubs have a lot of talent in the minors, go ahead and make your bid for him. this could be the ultimate silver lining opportunity.

Do you think the Cubs will blame Lee's injury on the fact that he played in the World Baseball Classic?

No, but it probably won't stop some folks on this board from labeling D-Lee as "injury-prone" and waiting for his next DL stint next year. :)

I heard a interview on the radio with Peter Gammon's talking about Lee's injury. He said that when he questioned Lee about why he didn't test the free agent waters, he had a couple reasons.

He said that he loved the Cubs, and loved playing for them. He also said that the future was uncertain, and you never know what could happen. He said that 2 weeks or 2 months down the line, he could break his wrist, and then where would he be.

Just about 2 weeks later, he breaks his wrist. I find that truely eerie.

Oh please Dave, don't even go down that route. People just want to blame Furcal because it is the easiest thing to do. He was trying to beat out a bunt hit and when you run through the bag at 1b you are not expecting the 1b man to cross in front of you.

You can watch the replay all you want, but Furcal was not trying to make a collision happen. How in the hell can he make it happen? How did Furcal force Lee to get on top of the bag so he could run into him at full speed?

Lee crossed over the bag in the split second before Furcal was on the bag. In that split second Furcal probably had enough time to brace for impact. Lee had no clue he was about to get hit.

If you need someone to blame, blame Derrek Lee. He put himself in the path of the runner. He had no idea how fast Furcal was coming and made a bad error in judgement to try and catch that ball.

Guys running to 1b (other than Blaze Ramirez) are taught to run through the bag not pull up 20 feet and glide into 1b.

The Furcal blaming needs to stop. People just look like fools trying to figure out a way to blame him for what happened to Lee.

A lot of suggestions have been posted about putting Murton or Barrett behind A-Ram. That's a great idea, then A-Ram will get absolutely no pitches to hit. Barrett might have started hot, but he's definitely cooled down since then, and Murton's a rookie. I would put Walker in the 5 hole behind A-Ram, Murton in the 3 hole and just tell him to keep doing what he's doing = get on base. JHJ in the 2 hole.

Pierre
JHJ
Murton
A-Ram
Walker
Barrett
Jones
Cedeno

This season is on A-Ram's shoulders now. He needs to start showing up. Think about it this way...we have a 9-5 record w/ A-Ram hitting jack squat so far. Lose Derrek Lee, get A-Ram back into form and it's a wash. We can still post a winning record until the All Star Break.

Sleepless in Iowa, Cubbiefan

He was hurt when someone ran into him. It was not the fault of Bud Selig, Major League Baseball...

I think they were contributing factors. According to the rules of baseball, once the runner is half way up the first base line he is not allowed to have even one foot outside the marked and denoted base path.

But Furcal was far out of the path running on the infield turf beyond the half-way point.

Have you ever been driving in the fast lane, had a car come up on your bumper at a much higher rate of speed, pulled over to your right to let him pass only to find he was passing you on the right?

I think something similar happened to DLee on that play. Because the throw was so high, and Furcal running inside the path, I believe Lee lost his bearings for a split second and didn't understand that Furcal had to veer to Lee's left instead of continuing straight ahead in order to reach the bag.

If the rule were enforced on all infield grounders maybe there would be less confusion around first base and fewer unnecessary injuries. Make the rule unambiguous and not so much of a judgement call.

And that is up to Bud Selig and major league baseball.

#49 of 49: By Q (April 21, 2006 11:33 AM)
I've heard Mienkewitz's name mentioned as a possible replacement for Lee. Can he be traded right now anyway, or since he was signed as a free agent does the same rule that applies to Jones, Mabry, etc apply to Mienkewitz?

Q: The Type XX FA "no trade" right does apply to Doug Mienkiewicz until June 15th, but the difference between not being able to trade Jacque Jones for a major league first-baseman (somebody making at least $327,000) until June 15th and the Cubs acquiring Mienkiewicz from the Royals (presuming Mienkiewicz agreed to waive his "no trade" right), is that the Cubs probably would not have to send the Royals a player or players making more than $50,000 (aggregate) in salary.

The player or players the Cubs could send to Kansas City for Mienkiewicz would have to be a minor league prospect(s) making less than $50,000 (aggregate if more than one player), which means somebody NOT on the 40-man roster.

Auto-renewal players on the 40-man roster who are on optional assignment to the minors receive a lesser salary than what they would get if the were on a regular season MLB roster (which is at least $327,000 annually, or about $28,000 every two weeks), but it still in excess of $50,000. It's called a "split contract," and it is negotiable for each player, but there is a minimum "split," and that minimum is 1/6 of the MLB salary (1/6 of $327,000, or $54,500).

So the Cubs could trade somebody NOT on their 40-man roster, like (for example) Ryan Harvey, Buck Coats, Luis Montanez, Micah Hoffpauir, Juan Mateo, Randy Wells, or Chris Walker--in fact, even two or three of those players, because a lot of minor league players not on a 40-man roster don't make anywhere near $50,000.

But they could not trade somebody off their 40-man roster (like Scott Moore, Rich Hill, Angel Guzman, or Jae-Kuk Ryu), because each is making at least $54,500. And again, that's presuming Mienkiewicz would even agree to waive his "no trade" rights. Maybe he likes playing in Kansas City.

Ariz P - In your opinion, who is the better defensive 1st baseman: Walker or Mabry?

I would be fine with either Walker getting the majority of the starts at first base and Hairston starting at 2nd base(with Hairston batting 2nd/Walker 3rd in the order) or a platoon of Mabry/Restovich at 1st base and Walker cont. to get the majority of starts at 2nd base (with either Walker/Cedeno/Murton batting 2nd in the order).

I think the one thing that (hopefully!) will prevent Neifi from getting the 2-hole spot in the order will be Dusty's preference to keep another legit base stealer in the vicinity of Pierre at the top of the order ...

I can't believe we're talking about if Furcal was to blame.

Eyre made a stupid decision, a bad throw and s*** happens. Deal with it. Furcal did nothing more than try and run to 1st, doubtful he wanted to get in collision considering he has sore knees and a sore back. Guys run inside the baseline all the time and it's only an issue if the catcher nails the runner in the back with a throw.

Let's hope some Cubs hitters get hot the next 2 months and the pitching staff gets/stays healthy.

Thanks for the clarification Phil. I'm guessing Mienkiewicz could probably be had for someone who is not on the 40 man roster.

#61 of 61: By Eric S (April 21, 2006 12:15 PM)
Ariz P - In your opinion, who is the better defensive 1st baseman: Walker or Mabry?

----

ERIC S: In my opinion, Walker is the better defender, but Mabry has more experience at the position, and he isn't bad. The main problem with Walker is that he is only 6-ft tall and so he doesn't present much of a target (Mabry is 6'4), and he may not have the whole how-far-can-I-range-to-the-right thing down yet. But both can play 1B OK, although neither will win a Gold Glove.

I don't like Mabry at 3rd base, though.

I think they were contributing factors. According to the rules of baseball, once the runner is half way up the first base line he is not allowed to have even one foot outside the marked and denoted base path.

The one thing the "Blame Furcal" crowd can argue is that Furcal might of been out of the baseline and should of been called out, thus the injury shouldn't of happened.

It is still a paper thin arguement because just like with a strikezone it is a judgement call of the umpire. Unless he is half way to the mound on the first base side a runner will never be called out for running on the grass.

But if you want to penalize Furcal for doing that get ready to call Pierre out 20-30 times a year for doing the exact same thing.

Either way it still has no relevance because Furcal is not getting in the path of the fielder getting the ball and is not going out of his way to take a defensive player out of the play like with a slide into 2nd base.

Everything Furcal did was normal and what hundreds and thousands of players have done before him.

Green Lantern,

You are dead on about Cabrera. He is a Puljos type of player and worth any prospect or many of them. Even if Pie becomes a star, we will at best call the deal a draw as we already know what we are getting.

Seriously, MikeC and Rob are dead on here.

If you are trying to blame Furcal you simply need to stop whining. Even if Furcal had been on the foul side, he still could not have avoided the collision because DLee was on top of the bag and moving toward foul ground when the collision happened.

The only people who can be blamed for the collision are Eyre for making a really bad throw, and DLee for crossing right over the top of the base into Furcal's path as he tryed to catch the bad throw.

#60:

"Maybe he likes playing in Kansas City"

You cannot be serious.

Its one thing to play on a crappy team in say New York, Chicago or Miami but to play on a crap team and have to live in Kansas City? Sounds to me like Dante's 4th level.

Any interest in JT Snow?

The Cubs aren't trading for anybody unless it's an impact player that they can keep around past this year and that won't be happening until June at the very earliest. We'll have to live with Walker playing 1st for the most part. As I said, a couple players get hot at the right time and we can definitely survive this.

Doug probably doesn't like playing in KC, but would he rather be playing everyday on a bad team or would he rather take a trade and come to a team with lots of question marks where he would certainly become a bench jockey in 2 months.

Seeing how he acted in Minnesota and Boston, I think he'd probably choose to stay on as a starter in KC.

Just to clarify, inside the baseline or outside the play took place ON THE BAG. Furcal has the right to that bag even more than Lee. I just watch some replays for Cub.com and in the last one, you see Furcal watching Eyre up until a step or two from the bag. I don't even thing that Furcal knew where DLee was until too late.

Not his fault. FREAK ACCIDENT.

Randall Simon, come on down! McFail can pay him in Italian Sausage. We might as well send in the clowns; this season is ovah. How about Larry Bowa? Gracie? Sammy? oops okay I went too far with that. It is bleak.Official team of the damned.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that many guys like to run on the grass instead of the dirt. Thats why he was running inside the line. And there is no rule about running in the baseline unless you obstruct a play or are trying to avoid a tag.

What ever happened to El Chorizo Grande? I saw him on a rehab assignment with the Pirates AAA affiliate in Sacramento in 2004.

#70 of 74: By Rob G. (April 21, 2006 12:44 PM)
The Cubs aren't trading for anybody unless it's an impact player that they can keep around past this year and that won't be happening until June at the very earliest. We'll have to live with Walker playing 1st for the most part. As I said, a couple players get hot at the right time and we can definitely survive this.

---

ROB G: I agree.

That should have read playing in Sacramento. The River Cats are the A's AAA team.

According to the rules of baseball, once the runner is half way up the first base line he is not allowed to have even one foot outside the marked and denoted base path.

This is simply not true.

The running lane rule only applies if there is interference. Eyre's throw was clearly not catchable, thus there was no interference.

Similarly, when running the bases, simply being outside the baseline is not illegal. Its only illegal if a runner goes outside the baseline to avoid a tag.

Lets give this a few weeks to play out.

Dusty just need to play the best line up every nite. If a guy gets hot ride him until he's not. With all the injuries every one will be plenty rested.

If Neifi plays he better have the pitcher batting behind him. Other than that there is nothing much more he or the Cubs can do.

furcal stinks. I was glad hendry didn't sign him and he's proving to be a huge FA bust.

if he didn't stink he wouldn't have to resort to a drag bunt and run on the inside of the diamond to try and break it up.

I posted this on the previous thread, but it makes more sense here. Sorry for the double post.

Another roster question: With D-Lee out, how long can we keep Bynum on the 25 man? I know that he is a player that can play a lot of positions, but he looks like he is overmatched. With D-Lee you could hide him at the end of the bench, but can you really afford an automatic out sitting there. And is there anyone in the system that could take his place? In my way of thinking Pie wouldn't be a possiblilty simply because i think it would be bad for him to only get a few ABs a week. C-Pat had a very hard time when Baylor used him that way. I think that Pie is better than C-Pat, but i wonder if C-Pat would have turned out better had he been used correctly when he was first called up. I know that i have opened several cans of worms with that one. Sorry!

Does anyone have an ESPN Insider account to see what Neyer has to say in this article? It's probably worthless, but he usually has some good things to say...
http://tinyurl.com/q6ghy

i agree that the cubs can overcome this. if lee comes back july 1, he still has half the season left here.

the cubs lineup still isn't worse than the cards lineup. all we need is for everyone else not to suck and the cubs can get through this very very much in contention. we should have at least one if not two of wood/prior/miller coming back and pitching well to very well for at least half the season.

however, i'm not opposed to looking into trades that help the cubs now and when lee comes back. i'm just saying, i hope hendry is at least sniffing around at cabrera. he's worth a lot, but the cubs have a lot of minor league talent to deal.

AZ Phil wrote re: Restovich " He had a mediocre Spring Training (he hit .222 and led the team in strikeouts)"
And Camryn Mannheim has a mild weight issue?
Don't ever set me up on a blind date.
.222 and leading the team in K's are CPat stats, and I haven't seen his name as a possible solution. Standards Philly, Standards.

Two words.....

Raphael Palmeiro.

for one this question is worthless, b/c the Cubs are done...but anyways, what are the medical odds that he won't even come back 'till next season??

Two more words....

Elderly Juicer.

Chris: and run on the inside of the diamond to try and break it up.

I've heard Hendry, no one, WBC, Furcal, and Eyre blamed, but not much about blaming Lee. He makes a ton of amazing plays, sure, but that play he just had a brain cramp and was in a spot he knows he shouldn't have been. Furcal had every right to be where he was.

Rob G,

#70 of 74: By Rob G. (April 21, 2006 12:44 PM)
"The Cubs aren't trading for anybody unless it's an impact player that they can keep around past this year and that won't be happening until June at the very earliest."

I agree, to a point... I think the thing the Cubs may look to acquire via a trade would be someone who could play 1st and OF, given the injury to Pagan. I'm thinking a Craig Wilson-type (except Wilson's needed in Pitt now that Casey's hurt). Someone who can be used once Lee returns as a power bat off the bench, or even (dare we dream) as a platoon partner for Jones. Other than that, i don't see the Cubs making a deal for anyone right now. And for those suggesting Cabrera is the answer, yes he'd be great but even if they deal him (a HUGE HUGE IF) they will wait until the trade deadline to ramp up the competition for his services.

The only potential deal i can come up with off the top of my head would be to get one of the Twins many OF/1B/DH guys, but i'm not sure if any of them would be a significant upgrade over Hairston/Mabry... We could send Hariston their way if we decide we want one of those guys, as Castillo has a bum knee and they may want a better backup for him.

a little clarity may be in order. reword that one sentence as:
"Someone who can be as a power bat off the bench, used once Lee returns."

There, that's better. Last thing i need is to get people thinking Lee's useful as a "power bat off the bench"

That would be a hell of a bench.

The people who are excited about restovich scare me. The guy can't hit major league pitching and strikes out too much. C-Pat was better (I'm thrilled he is gone, but has 4 hits in two games for Baltimore)...I said that last part in jest.

Still, I like getting Macavitch (spelling). The guy is good glove and modest hitter. His presence helped propel the Red Sox in '04. A good club house guy too.

Those who are saying trade away the farm system are nuts. Rich Hill I'd understand--I'd trade him tomorrow. Pie? Patterson? Look Pierre wonb't be here forever, Pie will play. Eric Patterson is terrific. It is nonly AA, but this is your 2b of the future. There is no one in the cubs system even remotely as good as these guys at their positions. Luis Montenez any one?

The other thing I think of is that any GM will try to take Hendry to the cleaners on this. He may overpaid for Pierre, but that was a worthy risk. Sure, Cabrera would be great, but come on...that is aout as likely to happen as Nomar staying heathly (altough, I sort of miss him now).

Realism is needed. I love the way Cubs fans here are putting the positive spin on things. Still, this team is over achieving. Jerome William, Freddie Bynum, Michael Weurtz (at AAA but...), Will Ohman, even Glendom Rusch are not championship players. Sure, Randall Simon was to an extent, but that was catching lighting in a bottle.

If we can play .500 ball, that would be good.

I'm a seaon ticket holder who is very scared.

You know, the more I think about it, the less far-fetched the idea of trading for a quality replacement 1B seems. As bad as this injury is, at least the timing is good -- we need a guy until mid-July or so. So, we could turn around and trade the replacement 1B before the trade deadline -- essentially renting him for a few months.

The rental price, essentially, would be the difference between the prospects we give up now and the prospects we get in return, assuming we do "flip" the guy in July.

To make this happen, we would of course have to find a willing trade partner and a guy without no-trade rights. Not an easy task, but worth looking into.

Here's some fun statistics:

Total Cubs '06 payroll:
$94,841,167

Amount of Cubs Salary on the DL:
$26,393,667

Percentage of Salary on the DL:
27.8%

Payroll stats from ESPN.COM, team salary from FOXSPORTS.COM.

From that Rob Neyer ESPN Insider article:

----

I know some of you get weak-kneed at the thought of clutchy Mabry playing regularly. And yes, he's batting .462 this season. But let's remember for a moment that he's 35 and he's got a .413 career slugging percentage, which would be all right if he also had Mark Grace's career on-base percentage, except of course he does not.

Hairston can't hit, and at this point -- he'll be 30 next month -- it's time to stop pretending that he can. Pagan's a kid who lucked into a roster spot, and isn't a solution to any real problem. Perez is one of the worst hitters in major-league history (which isn't to say Dusty Baker won't use Lee's injury as an excuse to get Perez more action, because he probably will).

Essentially, the Cubs don't have a decent back-up first baseman, which means they have to either cope with playing a lousy first baseman (Mabry) or with playing a second baseman at first base (Todd Walker, with Perez taking over at second base), or some combination of the above.

Or they could get creative. The Cubs could play the lefty-hitting Mabry at first base against righty starters. And against lefties, the righty-hitting Michael Restovich could play first. Restovich always has been an outfielder, but did play some first base in spring training this year. The only catch is that Restovich is, at this writing, on the roster of the Iowa Cubs. And he's not on the Cubs' 40-man roster, which means they'd have to clear a space for him. But these problems could be, and should be, rectified any minute now. Restovich is the only man for this job, and there's no time to waste. There's actually a chance the Cubs could survive this mess, but their margin for error is exceedingly small.

I know its not easy to do at this point in the season, but teams that are serious about contending do not fill in with spare parts, but go out and get quality replacements. This is how the Yankees and Red Sox operate. If a couple of weeks from now we still don't have a viable replacement, I will very dissapointed in the Cubs. This is where they can really show the fans how serious they are about wanting to be contenders.

I also want to complain about Hendry. During the off season, I, along with many others, said the Cubs needed 4 things to improve this year: bullpen, lead off hitter, another power guy and another quality proven starter. Hendry only satisfied two of those needs, and the season is now in jeoprady because he got Jones instead of a true 3 - 5 place hitter. No one could have predicted the injury to Lee, but if he did aquire a 35 HR guy for RF, the Lee loss wouldn't be as devastating.

How about Phil Nevin? Texas can always use pitching, young or otherwise. Seems like a fit to me.

I am not the World's leading expect, but why wouldn't Brandon Sing be a viable ML 1B for the next couple of months? A slow start in AAA isn't bad considering he did pretty well in Spring Training (0.300/0.364/0.500 in 16 AB). He is only 25 and probably has more of a future than Restovich who just didn't have much success in his 4 previous ML seasons. Sing was the Southern League's (AA) DH of the year in 2005 (0.276/0.404/0.538 with 26 HR, 71 RBI in 409 AB) but his natural position is 1B. If he does well when Lee comes back in a few months Sing's stock could have risen enough to trade for another bullpen arm or something. With Lee's contract in place Sing and Dopirak become fairly expendable so a trade would be a prudent move. I might be more confortable using Sing than changing around the roles of other players when things seem to have been going fairly well thus far. Thoughts?

anyone who thinks mientkiewicz would be even a mild help to this team is either not a cubs fan, or doesn't understand baseball. seriously.

433-
thanks for summing that up for me...

I'm not a huge Mientkiewicz, fan but realistically he is the only first baseman available who is comparable to Lee defensively. Ordinarily first base defense wouldnt matter much but when you have a left side of the infield that is prone to making terrible throws, first base defense is a necessity.

anyone who thinks mientkiewicz would be even a mild help to this team is either not a cubs fan, or doesn't understand baseball. seriously.

I disagree GL.

No one will replace DLee's bat, but Mientkiewicz would come pretty close it replacing DLee's glove. Right now, the Cubs are a speed and Defense team, without the defense. Doug's glove would go along way towards fixing the defense problem.

Put bluntly, I'll take Mientkiewicz/Walker - over Walker/Neifi as the 1b/2b combo. The offense would be about the same, but with Doug you'd have better defense at the more important position.

I think Kevin Millar makes the most sense. He's not playing every day in Baltimore, and you could use him as a valuable RH hitter on the bench when Lee returns. He's no all-star, but he's a heckuva better hitter than Mabry or Restovich. Plus, this way you'd get to keep Walker a 2B and thus Neifi and JHJ out of the lineup.

I'm just not that impressed with Rich Hill, I'd send him to Baltimore for Millar and a respectable AA-level prospect.

Doug Spellcheck (not mine, totally stolen from Cub Town) hasn't batted over .250 the last 2 years. Why would anyone want him? He's not allergic to a walk, but he hits for as much power as Neifi. The guy's only in the majors cause of his glove by this point and the Royals have to put a team together.

As long as we're talking about Twins castoffs, I think an okay adjustment(not a solution by any means) Hendry could make would be to throw a mid-level prospect at Minnesota for former first-rounder Michael Cuddyer, who they never have totally given a fair shot after he hit 30 hr in AA. He can play nearly every position (including 1B), none of them fantastically mind you, and has decent pop. I still think he has a chance at becoming a regular some day, but for now, I'd take him as a 23rd man or so, spelling whoever needs relief and getting a start every two weeks or so at first. He'd, at very least, get Bynum off the 25-man.

A note on Minky--I've met him before. GREAT guy, not that it makes much of a difference given our situation. But he'd be a real clubhouse asset and would not complain when Lee returns and he either gets sent to the bench or traded to another team. He's a weak hitter for sure, but fantastic glove, I think he's better than Lee on that count (barely).

Maybe our opportunity set is current and former Boston 1B? Minky, Millar, Choi....

Neyer is a dumbass. Hairston hits well enough and takes enough walks to carry a .340 OBP
The thing that scares me most is how confused Dusty will be by all of this.

*don't give me the "6 million dollar players aren't bench players". *

They are on the Yankmes, who have won, what? 8 division titles in a row?

The Cubs should trade Pie (who, if true to the rest of the Cubs history of "developing" position players, will never live up to they hype) and whomever else the Marlins want for Cabrera and when Lee gets back Jock-Strap Jones becomes a bench player.

Jones on the bench is not realistic. It not going to happen. Move on to the next topic.

IF the cubs got cabrera, after lee got back it could (and with Dusty probably) be murton and not jones who was sent to the bench.

on the other side of that coin, cabrera could provide the insurance in case murton doesn't pan out the way it looks like he will.

This is all kind of ironic if you think about it...a player on a team named the "Dodgers" runs directly into DLEE.

Millar stinks defensively, that's why the BoSox brought in JT Snow...why else would they dump a great clubhouse guy like him when he didn't make very much $ either. As for Durazo, he would compete with David Ortiz and Frank Thomas as the worst defensive 1B in baseball...oh and his line at AAA Oklahoma(a total hitters league) is .211/.302/.342. Doug Mientky isn't worth anything to give up and i'd rather see Mabry/Walker over him but I wouldn't mind seeing Tony Clark here. He's solid defensively, switch hitter with 25 HR power and good clubhouse guy. However since he only makes a little more than $1m a year and is signed through '07 it's going to cost the Cubs a pitching prospect like R.Hill or Marmol or a Marshall type. Yes the DBacks do have Conor Jackson but there's no reason to dump Clark for a fringe prospect. Maybe Eric Hinske could be a cheap option but I'm not sure he's a better 1B option than Walker...I can live with Walker as long as Hairston is playing 2B 95% of the time.

Too bad DLee is not a trolley.

I have not read all the posts carefully but my question is, realistically, how easy will be it be to trade for an appreciable upgrade at first baseman in the month of April or May when no teams have yet raised the white flag? Sure, we have a need but that is only one-half of the equation. Which teams can you identify that *realistically* would be willing to trade us someone who would be an appreciable upgrade at first base. And secondly, if such a team exists, which prospects would we have to give up?

Look, it was questionable at best whether this team, even with Lee, would make the playoffs. Obviously, whomever we put at first, from in or outside our system, is going to be a downgrade from what we had in Lee. I would be reluctant to trade ANY of our top pitching prospects or position players to replace Lee. Hard as this is to say at this early point in the season, I think it may be wiser to just go with what we have and let the chips fall where they may. It would be different if we were a serious playoff contender with Lee. But I just do not believe we were.

Re cubswinthepennant (April 21, 2006 12:10 PM):
I've been thinking almost the exact same thing but have not been able to articulate it nearly as well as you did. And to those "complaining about the complainers," I don't think cubswinthepennant is complaining, per se, nor am I. I get the point that Furcal's action may not be illegal (i.e., the umpire was correct in awarding him first base), but I for one think that perhaps it SHOULD be illegal. The injury that D-Lee is not uncommon for first-basemen and the inside route to the bag is a contributing factor. To be clear, I am not blaming Furcal, and I certainly don't think he intended to injure Lee. Other than the occasional D.U.I, he's a good guy.

I don't recall who it was that commented on the quotes by Eyre and Baker, but I only half-agree. Baker's quote was a bad omen that he will set himself to be absolved of all responsibility for a sub-par year while dragging down the morale of the team. He has annoyed me much less this season, so I'm hoping, without much confidence, that he will surprise me. But Eyre's comment doesn't trouble me. Unlike Baker, he was TAKING responsibility for his actions. I don't see him crying about it all season. He'll tell D-Lee how much he wishes had had put the ball in his pocket, D-Lee will tell him not to worry about it, and Eyre will do everything he can to keep the team winning.

By the way, I'm really hoping that D-Lee (new nickname D.L.? Naa.) will fly to St. Louis and give the team a tough pep talk a la "I don't want to hear excuses or see this team waiting on me and the rest of the guys to get off the D.L. Just play the game and get it done!" I also think that, unlike Wood and Prior, Lee's presence on the bench could be a real positive. His mentoring of whoever plays 1st would be a big boon, too.

Adam, I think your suggestion of Palmeiro is absolutely fascinating. He was a fine fielder (Gold Gloves and all that) and, if he's been keeping in shape, it would also be an ideal opportunity for him to end his career on a significantly better note. Not to mention the fact that he would come cheap and would be coming back to, and reconciling with, the first team that traded him away. I think it's definitely worth pursuing!

Rob G.,
I prefer "Doug Misspelling."

#114-
That last paragraph was a joke, right?

There is a better chance that Sammy Sosa returns to the Cubs than Raffy ever returning to town. Zero chance with probability one.

Re #116:
It sure as hell wasn't, Jacos. It has the potential for great reward and there is limited risk. If he's been keeping in shape, I can't see any rational reason for not pursuing it. But if you want to just throw insults around, be my guest.

I can not believe people have not brought up the 2 names in a trade of people who are good and avalible:

Raul Ibanez
Shea Hillenbrand

Has anyone mentioned Rafeal Palmero?

Joey Jo Jo Jr. Shabadoo?

That's the worst name I ever heard.

Ronald-
I'm not trying to be insulting but, the last I check on Palmeiro was he could not hit worth crap after serving his suspension.
And the only way kept in "shape" was illegally.

And finally the last GG he won has been argued as the worst awarding of a GG since its inception. He played like 40 games at first base and won.

It's times like this I think, boy I wish we had Enrique Wilson back.

Ibanez was available last year but he isn't anymore. He is considered a vital part of the offense in Seattle now.

I am also in the crowd that I can't believe people want Doug Eye-Chart for 1b just because he plays slick defense. News flash........we need offense, defense is a very distant second at this point.

The only guy that has the potential to give close to Derrek Lee production is Tony Clark. He is cheap and he can hit. The only unknown is how much he loves Az and whether Az would be willing to trade him. If I was the Cubs I would be on the phone with the D'backs asking how much it would take to get him. They want Rich Hill? Done, lets get the paper work signed.

If the Cubs are planning on a Mabry/Restovich platoon at 1b. Just kill me now. That group might be lucky to hit .250 with a .300 OBP and drive in 30-40 runs.

A real team with an injury like this would be calling up Sing. They wouldn't fill in with lousy bench parts.

Jacos,

You can't extrapolate performance from after the time it was revealed that he was juicing. I can't remember the chronology now, but I know that he was a leper in the Orioles clubhouse after it came out that he had mentioned Miguel Tejada's name in his defense.

Is he still juicing? I doubt it, but it's not difficult to find out. Is he out of shape? I don't know, but it isn't difficult to assess. Is his hitting crap? I don't know, but again it's pretty easy to judge from a single workout. In any case, I'm much more concerned about infield defense than I am about hitting.

Yes, his last Gold Glove wasn't deserved--not because his fielding was poor but because of the limited number of games he played. I didn't say that he was still Gold Glove fielder, but if his fielding hasn't fallen off the table like a Bruce Sutter splitter than he has something to offer?

Finally, I make no apologies for his steroid use, but before that he was a good teammate. He was nothing like a Sammy-Sosa type, a clubhouse cancer. If he is hoping for baseball redemption, this is the perfect opportunity and maybe the only opportunity he has. And what would it cost the Cubs to pursue it? Pursuing doesn't mean deciding; it means assessing the possibility. The only downsides I can think of are (1) his taint rubs off on the Cubs, and (2) the Cubs' players don't want him in the clubhouse, because they find his implication of Tejada to be unforgivable. I'm not worried about #1: I think that's a negligle effect. If #2 applies, end of story. But again, that's easy to assess, before making any commitment.

Costs nothing to consider. Costs little to try, including little $. Rewards could be anywhere from little to huge; somewhere in the middle could be quite helpful.

palm tried to pass the buck of his failed roid test to baltimore's team leader and run producer.

he's done. no one wants this man in their clubhouse.

Sorry, but I still fail to see the sense in trading any of our legit prospects for a first baseman. We were unlikely to make the playoffs even with DLEE. We will be even less likely to make the playoffs with any first baseman we trade for. If this premise is correct, what do we really gain in trading one or, shudder the thought, more than one, prospect for a first baseman? And if the answer is we will have a shot at the playoffs, I just do not see it happening, either with or without DLEE, at least this year.

Weiner, you're out of your mind. There's no friggin way in hell that Palmeiro would bring anything good to the Cubs. You'd cause less of a distraction by bringing Bozo out of retirement to play 1st base.

Crunch,

I happen to think it was an unintentional fingering of Tejada, that he wasn't trying to implicate him but merely suggesting that Tejada had been given tainted stuff that got into Palmeiro's system. I understand that he's not the most popular guy in MLB now: That's why this unique opportunity is his only one, and that's why he comes cheap.

But it doesn't matter what I think. If the players don't want him in their clubhouse--a definite possibility that I mentioned in the post above yours--then there's no reason to pursue him more. But it's not like no one has met him. If the guys think he deserves the benefit of the doubt, then you continue assessing. If they don't, you don't. Go ask Maddux, Walker, Neifi!, and Pierre today.

What's the friggin' harm in looking at it? If they end up giving him a try, I wouldn't be surprised if our opponents have it out for him and throw at his head. Okay, his risk and our HPB or BB, with the opposing pitcher likely thrown out of the game.

Why do you fail to understand the concept of a risk-reward assessment? Lottery tickets are not a good bet. But if they're handing them out for free, grab a bunch for Chrissake!

umm...the players probally wouldnt want palm in their clubhouse...baltimore's players didnt.

nevermind the fact there's no record of him even working out this winter/spring or any indication he's looking a job...and his age...

arm: I disagree, I think the Cubs had good playoff material. I don't intend to change your mind, my point just being that other opinions exist.

and yes, its a harmless suggestion, palm just has soooooo much crap going against him...

Big John Stud,

When you read the paper, do you just scan the headlines and conclude that you know everything that's going on in the world? If you cannot keep more than a single concept in your head at a time, then don't hurt yourself trying to think. Go take a nap or something.

T.Walker was just on ESPN1000. He didn't give up much on what Baker might do with the lineup. He was asked if he may be moved down to the 3 hole but only said that it's a possibility but that it could also be Murton or Barrett as well. It was implied that he would get PT at 1B but noted that it's still the manager's decision on how much time he'll receive there. No mention of who will play 2B when he's at 1B.

Crunch,

I don't disagree that it's a longshot, but like you said, it's harmless to look at.

Okay, enough of that subject. Anybody wanna explain to me why we're going with Williams-Rusch-Maddux in this key series, instead of Williams-Maddux-Z?

Weiner, don't be such a pussy...

file under "damn, that's cold." dusty on ohman:

"He knows he has good stuff, he trusts himself enough to get the big guys out," Cubs manager Dusty Baker explained. "Maybe he trusts himself too much."

totally off topic, but did anyone else notice that Ryu is pitching against Pinto in tonights AAA game???

btw..yes, ohman has a big ego...but its not one of those "rickey henderson" style ones. ohman believe's he's just that good, but he's not gonna tell anyone with a mic, pen, or ear that 100000 times.

Ryno, okay even if we assume that we had a chance at the playoffs with Lee, one of the best players in the National League last year, I just do not believe that we can trade for a replacement that comes anywhere close to what we have with Lee, both offensively and defensively. If that is true, and maybe you disagree, but if that is true, then I just don't see how we have any shot at the playoffs after we compete a trade. That said, I guess I would be very careful before trading one or more of our prospects.

I apologize, you big, hairy stud. When you said, "you're out of your mind," I should have responded more politely. My mistake, Studly.

arm...seriously...you've doomed the team to fail after 14 out of 162 games where they're 4 games over .500 with d.lee.

and that's even with d.lee they're still doomed in your eyes.

you're working on a hard sale there...and reguardless, its what hendry thinks about the competitiveness of the team that matters.

all signs point to this not being a rebuilding year.

Why not move Cedeno to second and play Neifi at short (and bat him 8th)? Wouldn't that compensate for the defensive downgrade at first with Walker/Mabry/Restovich? That way, the first baseman would only have to worry about wild throws from third.

the whole bench is a crew of interchangable parts this year...

1st - walker/mabry/restovich
2nd - walker/hairston/neifi/cedeno
SS - neifi/cedeno
3rd - aram/neifi/mabry

as of now 3rd is the only "static" possition and SS should mostly remain cedeno's...anyone but the regular plugged in can effect 1st/2nd at this point, though.

this could very easily lead to 1000s of posts of dusty this and dusty that...hell, i just hope the players play. they need to prove they're the starters some of them think they are insted of the handy backups they are now.

oh yeah, byumumnunuunununmunnm can play all those slots, too...dunno if he has a 1st baseman's glove, but he can play middle IF + 3rd...allegedly...hehe.

allegedly he can hit too

Crunch: I would like to think we can compete. I am mainly just saying that let's be careful about what prospects we give up when it is tough to say we are, or were, legit playoff contenders. I just would hate to lose one or more of our blue chip prospects, not make the playoffs and then have that prospect or those prospects go on to have great success in the big leagues.

I was just reminded, BTW, that while I was at that fateful game, my wife (who is a baseball fan) decided to check in on the game. Sure enough, she tunes in just in time to see that very fateful accident.

Coincidence? I think not! For I took her to Wrigley last summer and got those awesome front row behind the plate seats. And that was the game that Prior broke his arm.

Of course she was watching with me on the bad day (you know the one I'm talking about).

So I say, blame her.

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