The Week Ahead: Week Six

In last week's Week Ahead, I said:
Hi Carlos! How are you? Have you remembered that you are very good yet?
And:
As of today the Cubs' next three opponents are a combined 28-47 (.373). With or without Wood, Prior, and Lee, these are games the Cubs need to win.
If you're scoring at home (or even if you're alone), that would be one yes and one no, which is a .500 percentage, which is something the Cubs are now three games away from. Bleah. San Francisco Giants Know Your Enemy: McCovey Chronicles, El Lefty Malo, Only Baseball Matters Tuesday, 9:15: Rich Hill vs. Jason Schmidt Wednesday, 9:15: Carlos Zambrano vs. Matt Cain Thursday, 2:35: Sean Marshall vs. Jamey Wright It looks like the Cubs will get a second chance to be party to a slugger passing Babe Ruth, as Barry Bonds sits on 713 home runs with the Cubs on their way to the Phone Booth in The City by the Bay. Did you know that legendary San Francisco newspaper columnist Herb Caen used to refer to San Francisco as "Baghdad by the Bay"? I'm sure it was a compliment when he said it, but I doubt any city wants to be compared to Baghdad right now. This oughtta be a barn-burner of a series. Rank in the NL in key offensive categories: Runs: Giants 11th, Cubs 16th Home Runs: Giants 11th, Cubs 15th Average: Giants 9th, Cubs 14th OBP: Giants 11th, Cubs 15th Slugging: Giants 13th, Cubs 15th Of course, the Padres rank below the Giants in all those categories and they just waxed the Cubs for four straight. On the bright side, the Cubs scored 6 runs over the last two games, as many as they had scored in the previous eight. Bleah. San Diego Padres Know Your Enemy: Ducksnorts, Gaslamp Ball Friday, 1:20: Woody Williams vs. Angel Guzman Saturday, 1:20: Greg Maddux vs. Chris Young Sunday, 1:20: Rich Hill vs. Clay Hensley Padres.com has a TBA scheduled for Friday, with Williams pushed back to Saturday -- not sure why. Also, Dusty has not officially named Angel Guzman as the starter for that game. It doesn't seem like there's any chance that the Cubs will activate Kerry Wood, though, so the only other option seems to be bringing Glendon Rusch back to the rotation. Of course, Dusty says that will "probably not" happen, but what are the other alternatives? Bringing back Jerome Williams? Bleah. If the Cubs really don't want Guzman in the rotation for another start, how about calling up Les Walrond for one start? He's a minor-league journeyman (29 years old, 8 major league innings) who is off to a 4-1, 2.12 start at Iowa. He's not a long-term solution, but it might be nice to reward him for what he's done over the ifrst month. He's not on the 40-man, so they would need to make room for him, but do they really need to keep Mike Restovich on the 40-man roster? Bleah. [UPDATE:] As mentioned in the comments, Restovich was outrighted to Iowa because he is out of options. So, he's off the 40-man and there is a spot open.
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Comments

I've been taking a bit of a break from Cubs news, sports radio (and yes even TCR) in order to protect my sanity. However, this morning driving to work I couldn't avoid it -- Mike & Mike were discussing the Cubs on ESPN 1000 radio.

I was startled to hear these guys discussing Baker's firing as though it were a foregone conclusion, and that the only question what when it would happen (now or after the season). They were saying that it's not necessarily fair in light of the injuries, but sometimes a team just needs a shakeup. Mike & Mike usually don't play into rumors or hype, so this caught me by surprise.

I'm curious -- is this new? Is this the general sentiment these days or are these guys overstating things?

433 - I haven't read or seen any of that sort of speculation at all, so that's surprising to me.

they're probably going off of some internet poll somewhere...baker hasn't really had much to do with the cubs middling performance so far.

I heard the same commentary from Mike & Mike, who actually were expanding on the opinions and speculation of Buster Olney. I repeat, all opinion and speculation.

I think with the injuries Hendry has a great excuse to keep Baker around. I don't think he's going anywhere.

Are the Cubs really going to turn things around this season? Or is it time to make some trades, send Pierre and Jones to the Yankees or Red Sox for some low level prospects and start developing our own talent? Can Dusty make a difference? If not, then let him go now and bring in a manager with a track record of developing young talent. Id rather see a team of guys like in Tampa Bay with Lee, Ramirez, Prior, Wood, Z, Miller and Marshall in the rotation.

Lets get some runs. Please.

Why do you think the Yankees or Red Sox would want Pierre or Jones? To make a trade, both teams need to think they're getting something worthwhile.

If Dusty has shown us only one thing over the past three seasons it is that he does not have a special ability to make teams good. I am all for letting Dusty go so that we can save his salary to be used for better players. If we were not spending $4 million per year on Dusty you could have spent more on Furcal, or right field (say Drew if you could come up with a couple extra million over Jones/Burnitz).

There are of course other areas where I would not have spent as much Hendry, but no longer over spending on a manager who adds little seems to be a good place to start.

Dusty should be canned for many reasons....but it won't happen because of the injuries.

I've heard speculation all over the chicago air waves and papers as to Dusty's firing. If the Cubs finish sub .500 which looks like the best bet, he will be fired or not retained at the end of the season. I can't see Hendry keeping Dusty if the Cubs win 70 games.

It looks like Restovich is off the 40-man - maybe you're onto something, Ruz!

"The Cubs outrighted and sent Michael Restovich to Triple-A Iowa on Monday and called up versatile Ryan Theriot from the Minor League team."

For those who don't live in the city...it seems the tide is really turning. In a bar this weekend, I looked around and saw TVs with two things.

1) Sox
2) NBA Playoffs (without bulls)

That is right, a north side establishment, cubs playing late on the west coast, and not a single tv on the game. This team is in a spiral in more ways than onfield performance.

Hmmm. Probably not, actually - I had thought they had just optioned Restovich but most likely he's out of options and they needed to outright him in order to get him into the minors.

Whatever, that means there is an open slot on the 40-man...

according to AZ Phil yesterday, he is out of options. i thought just meant he had to clear waivers to go to the minors, but i didn't realize it forces the player off the 40-man roster. in any case, it looks like we've probably seen the end of Restovich as a Cub.

The Baker on the hot seat rumors have been swirling for the last 3 days on ESPN with the usual suspects Olney, S.Phillips and of course Mariotti etc leading the charge and of course these same experts have not brought up any possible replacement candidates.

Crisp isn't going to be out long enough for the Red Sox to be interested in Pierre. He's expected back within the next 10 days or so. Nor will the Yankees need Pierre with his fellow rag arm Damon in CF. If Colorado wants Pierre back that could work. They need a CFer and they're stocked with some good young prospects. They're not going to trade 3B Ian Stewart or SS Tulowitzki but others like ND grad Matt Macri would work in a package of about 3 prospects.

Hendry won't take the heat for breaking up this team but it wouldn't be the worst idea to unload about half of this roster if the Cubs can't turn this around over the next two weeks and that can start with Pierre and J.Jones and I wouldn't lose sleep to see Aramis leave either..nor will I be surprised to see Maddux traded near the deadline in July. Next years FA crop is another weak one so for some viable roster improvement it's going to have to come via deadline trades. We need some good young positional players and outside of Pie I don't see anything on the farm. Coats will probably be little more than a 4th OF with subpar defense and Dopirak and Ryan Harvey appear to be Rob Deer at best...ie K or HR. Keepers will be D.Lee, Murton, Cedeno, maybe Barrett since the catching crop is so weak, I'd keep Walker, Dempster, Howry, Eyre, Marshall, Guzman should be back in Iowa, Z and put the rest on the block including getting Wood to waive his NT and he can go back home to TEX to help the Rangers contend for the playoffs in a weak division.

Dusty is Rusty, or
In Dusty we Frusty, or
Get that Toothpick out of Your Mouth and MANAGE

Fire 'em. It won't make the team better, but it will make me feel better about the thousands of dollars I've blown watching him not manage this team over the past few years.

I know that we are less than thrilled with A-Ram's play this year, but it looks like he is starting to hit.
More importantly, who in the bloody hell would the Cubs play at 3B if they let him go??
Even in last year's "off" year he hit 31 HRs and 92 RBIs.

Take a second look at Les Walrond - we don't want him up. First, we'd have to place him on the 40-man roster, and second, despite having a low ERA, he has given up a shit-ton of runs. 8 earned runs but 18 runs!! I don't care if some of these do get on base due to errors, you can't let 10 of them score in only 35 innings. There is a reason he is 1-3, the ERA is just an anomoly now.

Also, I believe this website has already had a discussion about trading Jones - which the Cubs can't do yet since they just signed him.

Yeah, I know Walrond isn't very good, but really, what are the current options for a spot start? Guzman, Rusch, Williams, Walrond -- that's about it. Maybe add Ryu to the list. None of those thrill me.

Re: trading Jones. None of the authors of TCR have suggested it, only people in the comments. But people in the comments say a lot of things.

I for one will be sorry to see Dusty go. There isn't a manager in baseball that could make a pennant winner out of this team. The problem still rests with the front office. Andy McFailure is still coasting by with his lucky World Series win with the Twins. He continues to sign mediocre ex-Twins to bloated contracts. The rumor in Minnesota is that the Cubs will trade for outfielder Lew Ford, another McFailure type player. Jim Hendry is strictly a PR guy to smooze the press. He makes no important decisions and is merely the front office press secretary. Even without the injuries, this team with all it's holes looked like just a third or fourth place finisher.

I haven't read or seen any of that sort of speculation at all, so that's surprising to me

When a team loses 7 straight and 9 of 10, it's going to start getting tense. If they can't pull a win out of San Francisco, 10 in a row might be the impetus for some major changes. Justfiable or not, the manager is almost always the first to go.

Given the affairs of the past week, its obviously much more interesting to look forward to what a new Cubs team might look like if the Cubs made some player dumps to semi "rebuild." But its all fantasy talk (which is fine). Realistically, the Cubs are not going to be trading anyone or looking to rebuild at all at this point...nor should they. Its May 8th and the team is 2 games under .500. They also aren't going to dump baker now either...nor should they. The team is just going to be lucky to stay around .500 as currrently composed for the next month or so and bringing in a new manager now would just set him up for a poor performance.

ALl of this may change if the Cubs are 10 under or so by the All-star break...but the Cubs management shoud be run out of baseball if they threw in the towel at this point.

I for one, will not be sorry to see Dusty go.
It is unfortunate that this steaming pile of cow dung has been handed to him, but it it also unfortunate that he cannot manage his way out of a paper bag!! Silly double switches, inexplicable lineup shuffling, and a devotion to Roberto Novoa, Neifi Perez, and Glendon Rusch are a few of his gaffes.

Don't let the door hit youor ass on the way out Dustbag!

From his chat today:

Kevin (Manassas): With the Cubs struggling, and Dusty Baker's job on the line, will the Cubs make a trade for another bat, and with Wood and Prior due back soon, is there any hope for the Cubs this year?

Joe Morgan: (11:28 AM ET ) I dont' see how Dusty can get the blame. Without Derrek Lee and other injuries no one could get the team above .500 and stay there. They will not only have to depend on Wood and Prior but wait to get Lee back, and I don't know where they would find another bat at this point.

I dont know why anybody would want Pierre or Jones, I just want them off the Cubs. Perhaps we could get a bag of used practice balls for them. Or perhaps somebody needs some speed off of the bench. A 4th outfielder. A hefty contract. The Sox and Yankees can afford to waste the cash. They surely have some 4th rate talent to swap for those guys.

Kind of amused by the Trib piece about not being sure if Guzman will start Friday or where he'll go after Wood returns. Yeah, he's sucked but was Rich HIll do damn impressive in his first start? Cause unless they sewed a 2nd robotic arm onto Wood he can only take one rotation spot.

unless they sewed a 2nd robotic arm onto Wood

Dude, that would be SO FREAKIN' COOL.

Until it developed a torn robotic rotator cuff.

Rob...it kind of makes sense. Guzman has had two starts to "prove" himself, and he simply has not done it. Hill has only had one start, so I woudl think they would want to see him in another start or two.

At least Hill pitched will in the minors (in contrast to Guzman, who before getting moved up pitched poorly down there too!).

NOTE TO WEBMASTER: When Browsing with FIREFOX, The scripts on this site (not every all-baseball.com site) still don't complete and finish loading the PERMALINK view of an active thread.

I'm not sure what this does to your bandwidth but as FireFox becomes more popular it could be a problem.

Guzman didn't pitch that poorly in the minors, the ERA didn't look pretty but his peripheral numbers did. (still wondering where Guzman's case of walk-itis has come from, must be sitting next to Z in the dugout instead of Maddux). ERA's can be pretty misleading, especially in the minors when the defenses aren't so fantastic. I agree that Hill looked better, but if the Cubs were higher on Hill than Guzman you'd think he would have been the first one to call up. And if Hill sucks tonight, what do you do?

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Will you get on that Ruz? Sheesh. You'd think we'd get better service for what we pay around here........oh wait.

(sarcasm)

As a long-time reader but rare poster, I know I'm treading into dangerous territory here, but I agree with Big Jim: Baker has a lot of failings as a manager, but this season can't be blamed on him. I like Hendry, but for every great signing (Lee, Ramirez, Dempster) there are two or three mediocre or downright terrible decisions. To employ an overused phrase, Hendry needs to hit some singles and doubles and build a more consistent team.

Let me just clarify my post #20..

While I don't feel that Baker deserves to be blamed for this latest losing streak, it's the nature of baseball to fire the manager first when trying to get out of a funk. The longer this streak goes, the more likely Baker gets fired.

Fire Dusty!

But wait-a-minute. What would the guy who said this think?

"Dusty was one of the main reasons I was excited to come here. He's one of the best managers in the game. He's so easy to play for and supports his players so much. This team deserves Dusty..."

Bogey,

Cory Sullivan is a good CF.

As for Jones to NYY "talk" I could see it happening depending what happens with Sheff. If he is regulated to full-time DH'ing they will need a new RF and they do not have good internal options. They could just bat him ninth and live with his defense. Plus Jones has done OK vs. the Yankees in the playoffs and Steinbrenner has a thing for acquiring guys who did good aganist the Yankees.

CWTP - actually I have just noticed that myself - I will talk to the MVN guys and see what's causing that...

"I know that we are less than thrilled with A-Ram's play this year, but it looks like he is starting to hit.
More importantly, who in the bloody hell would the Cubs play at 3B if they let him go??"

Like I said Dusty, it would have to take a sure fire young 3B like Ian Stewart to move Aramis and although the Rockies need to make some moves to protect Helton in the cleanup spot and despite the Rockies being in 1st place and their attendance is still terrible, there is probably no scenario that they would trade Stewart if it didn't include a F.Liriano or some other young stud pitcher who could be the ace that they desperately need. Although it seems like Aramis has been around forever, he's still around the same age as guys like Hafner, Utley, V.Wells, who are just starting to begin the primes of their careers whereas Aramis has already put up 4 solid seasons. However, I also don't care to see Aramis loitering in the box admiring a HR that barely reaches the 2nd row of the left field bleachers.

#13 of 15: By nate (May 9, 2006 09:40 AM)
according to AZ Phil yesterday, he is out of options. i thought just meant he had to clear waivers to go to the minors, but i didn't realize it forces the player off the 40-man roster. in any case, it looks like we've probably seen the end of Restovich as a Cub.

----

NATE: When a player is out of options and his team wants to send him to the minors, the only way they can do it is by placing him on irrevocable "Outright Waivers" (which the Cubs must have done with Michael Restovich last week, because it takes three business days for a player to clear waivers), and then if the player does clear waivers (as happened with Restovich, who didn't get claimed by anybody by the close of business Monday), the player is removed from his club's 40-man roster, and he can be assigned outright to the minors. (BTW, the player can continue to play for his team while he is on Outright Waivers).

What you might have been thinking about is that "Major League Waivers" (which are revocable the first time they are requested in a given waiver period) are required if a club wants to option a player who has minor league options left to the minors if the player has accrued MLB service time in at least three separate MLB championship seasons.

For instance, the Cubs had to place Corey Patterson on Major League Waivers (and he had to "clear" waivers) before they could option him to the minors last year, and they likewise would have had to get Michael Wuertz and Jerome Williams through Major League Waivers before they optioned them to the minors this year. Since Major League Waivers are revocable, there is no point in another club claiming a player off Major League Waivers during the waiver period prior to the one that begins on August 1st.

However, since trades cannot be made after July 31st without first getting a player through Major League Waivers, clubs are much more likely to claim players off the Major League Waiver list beginning on August 1st than they would prior to that date. So it is understandably a lot more difficult for a club to option a player with MLB service time in three separate seasons to the minors after July 31st.

its better than whatching Steve Bucshele popping the ball into medium left. Who played 3rd before aram got here? can we get them back?

Lenny Harris
Chris Stynes
Mark Bellhorn
Bill Mueller
Willie Greene
Shane Anderews
Gary Gaetti
Jose Hernandez
Kevin Orie
Steve Buschele
Luis Salazar
Gary Scott

I think I just threw up in my mouth.

"Bogey,

Cory Sullivan is a good CF"

Chifan, Sullivan is a decent CFer with the ability to be very mediocre. He's already been benched this year for a career minor leaguer in Choo Freeman so I guess it depends on your definition of a good CF. He doesn't have the speed to cover the largest CF in baseball either. He's a LF who plays CF because of Holliday and his lack of power and the fact that the Rockies other options are Freeman and a steroids violator in Piedra. That said, he's still been better than Pierre this year if you take away Pierre's SBs.

Errors directly attributable to Dusty:

Jacque Jones making 4 base running erros in two games, and then sitting in right field grimacing like a fool. Bench that idiot!

Jerry Harriston, who we all know is useless, and that is putting it nicely, can't get the ball down for a bunt in any critical situation, and goes up there swinging for the fences every time.. bench him, play anybody younger in the minors who at least has a chance of success.. or put mabry at first and let walker play second.. cant stand harriston.. he's my new todd hundley/ latroy hawkins..

Michael Worst, how the hell did he ever make the major league roster this year, let alone last year?

Neifi Perez.. can we cut this guy?.. he seems like a nice person for whatever that is worth (nothing), but again, bring anybody up from the farm system and let them play..

Dusty is too tolerant and a bad judge of talent.

#17 of 37: By Andy (May 9, 2006 10:15 AM)
Also, I believe this website has already had a discussion about trading Jones - which the Cubs can't do yet since they just signed him.

ANDY: Because he was signed by the Cubs as an MLB Type XX FA, Jacque Jones has automatic "no trade" rights through June 15th. Jones CAN waive this right, but even if he does, the Cubs cannot trade him for a player or players making more than $50,000 (combined) or for cash in excess of $50,000.

However, the Cubs can trade Jones without any restrictions after June 15th.

Its official the Cubs are in panic mode...

Theriot will get shot at 2nd base
He was hitting .309 for Triple-A Iowa

"He'll give us some energy, and he can play all positions," manager Dusty Baker said. "He's basically an infielder that can give us some speed. We've got to try something there."

Infielder that gives us some speed. Hmmm why are Bynum, Hairston, Neifi on the roster then? No mention by our fearless leader of his batting skills. I guess a little speed and defense is the cure for a team that can't pitch or hit.

So Theriot is up to win the 2nd base job now. Brilliant.

yep Theriot was to bring some much needed energy so when Dusty pulled off one of his "masterful" double switches last night he walked on by Theriot on the bench and pointed to his boy Neifi to get out there with his .193 BA.

Theriot's slugging percentage was 309, his actual line is

282/328/309

Rich Hill just cancelled a phone interview with the Score a few minutes ago.

He said he was battling a sore throat.

May not be anything, but watch tonite.

Rob, those numbers look pretty gaudy to me.
Kindest Regards,
Neifi Perez

Look at these offensive numbers:

RF - .304/.347/.565
SS - .405/.421/.608
2B - .357/.403/.500
LF - .400/.500/.600

The first three are Jones, Cedeno and Walker against right-handed pitching, while the last is Murton against LHP. Cedeno continues to demonstrate, as he did last season, a severe reverse-platoon split and I'm curious if anyone here knows whether he showed this trait in the minors?

One reason the line-up is so inconsistent, IMHO, is the number of every day players who are demonstrating major platoon splits. Throw in Pierre - he normally doesn't show much of a split but is truly struggling against LHP this season (.140/.178/.140 in 47 PAs), as well as Barrett, who is hammering LHP to the tune of .294/.381/.588 (Barrett normally shows a modest advantage towards LHP but it is stronger this season) and a Ramirez who has been generally punchless against both southpaws and righties, and you have a recipe for massive inconsistency.

I realize these are small sample sizes and there will be some correction as the season goes on, but in asking the question about why the offense has struggled to score runs so mightily, I believe the severe platoon splits demonstrated this year alone are a major factor.

One final question: is Buck Coats for real? After a very strong spring training appearance, and a .364/.406/.468 line in his first 100 PAs in Iowa (a new level for him this year) it looks like he has really put things together. At 23, he's not that old for his progress either. I wonder if the move to outfield full-time has taken pressure off (he had well-know defensive troubles at SS). Curious if anyone is more familiar with him or any changes they've seen that might have resulted in such improvement, or if this just a fluke? Thanks.

I'm worried what Dusty's bunch of terrible hitters is doing to our young players like Cedeno and Murton. They're holding up pretty well but for how long?

Golfers know all-too well how watching bad swings can screw up your own rhythm. Same with hitting a baseball. If I were them the only Cubs I would watch are Walker and perhaps Barrett. What are you going to learn from Pierre's hacks and chops, Jones' whiffs and tops, Ramirez's pops and poses, much less Neifi, Hairston, Blanco and the rest of the ineptitude on the bench?

And I said it last year (although it wasn't well-received) that Gene Clines sucks as a hitting coach and needs to be replaced. This Cubs team hits like 8 Gene Clines on a bad day.

You know with all of the talk about the Cubs not having any punch in their lineup especially a corner outfielder - I am suprised no one is talking about bringing back Sammy - as a platoon or just give him the job - do you really think JJ is better or has an upside.

I want Sammy back in town!!!

is Buck Coats for real?

No....

He's slugged over 400 once in his career, is a defensive butcher (slightly less butcherous in the OF), and strikes out a bit much for a guy with no power. Naturally I expect him to be with the Cubs by the end of the year. :)

I think Hendry absolutely despises Sosa, I believe he didn't even address him by name during last year's Convention, something to the effect of "our last RF'er...yada, yada, yada". Never going to happen.

Probably would make a great platoon partner if he's not completely out of shape and had an ego transplant over the off-season.

For all those who want to fire Dusty, please name me a manager (realistic one please) that would come here and turn this team around. Jack McKeon, whom I like, is too damn old at this point but is a great turn-around manager. You ain't going to get Lou Pinella, so get real and tell me who can fix this. Baker was brought here for that purpose.

McFail and Hendry to me, are fair game. And as much as it pains me, Sarge and Gene Clines should be shown the door. Before DLee was carrying the team, we had Sammy doing the same for a few years. The Cubs offense is truly awful. Why shouldn't fans boo? At these prices? I am a very sad Cubs fan these days.

Are we talking about Buck Coats? He is no defensive liability - have you seen him play or are you going on stats - if anything he would be an improvement as the Macias type player. Personally, I expect him to be on this ball club before the eoy and I do not see FB, or JH to be on this club.

"One final question: is Buck Coats for real?"

Probably not. In nearly 1900 minor league ABs he has a .277/.340/.378 line with only 14 HRs(coming into the year) with only 177 BB and 354 K's. He does have almost 100 SBs but that looked a little more impressive when he was still a SS...albeit a very bad one. In other words, he'll probably be lucky to be a 4th or 5th ML OFer but he's also a below average defender so that doesn't help his cause in the NL. He would probably be a decent backup OFer for a club like the Royals...who already have a better version of him in Matt Stairs.

Well he is/was a middle infielder, the Cubs seem to like those guys.

Wait, is our entire farm system full of punchless middle infielders who all seem to start playing the OF either in the majors or AAA?

Who the hell drafts for this organization, a retard?

AZ Phil - any comments on Buck Coats? I am kind of suprised by the comments on him being a defensive liablity. Personally, if he was on teh team from what I have seen he would be the best corner outfielder we have.

Hill has a sore throat? Yeah, I'd have been getting a sore throat two days ago if I knew I'd be facing Bonds with Hill's stuff and a baseball milestone on the line. By now I'd be sharing a hospital room with Prior while he battles whatever the fuck is no doubt wrong with him now.

"For all those who want to fire Dusty, please name me a manager (realistic one please) that would come here and turn this team around."

Unfortunately I'd have to believe our next field manager is currently sitting upstairs giving TV viewers next to nothing on broadcast commentary. Yep, Bobby Brenly...and I don't think it will happen until next year. If Hendry does whack Baker we'll probably get the "interim" manager of Chris Speier or Iowa's Mike Quade.

I know it wont happen, but I would really like to see stoney in the dugout. He has an extremely high baseball IQ. That would be in sharp contrast to the garbage that is running the team right now.

Don't think Stone has any desire to be a field manager...he'd make a pretty good pitching coach though...but he wants to be a GM.

Are we talking about Buck Coats? He is no defensive liability - have you seen him play or are you going on stats

If Buck Coats plays a day in the infield on the Chicago Cubs, we're in trouble. I believe he set the record for the Lansing Lugnuts at 51 errors in 2003. The fact that he was so horrible with the glove that we moved his middle infield bat to the outfield is all you need to know.

Maybe he'll turn it around and it sounds like he's been decent so far in the outfield, but everything gets pretty magnified in the majors. There will be no patience for him the first time he butchers a routine play. I'd rather have Theriot, his defense is outstanding and he seems to be pretty smart.

Neither guy is a difference maker though, we're talking the 24th and 25th guys on the team.

#56 of 59: By rory (May 9, 2006 12:40 PM)
AZ Phil - any comments on Buck Coats? I am kind of suprised by the comments on him being a defensive liablity. Personally, if he was on teh team from what I have seen he would be the best corner outfielder we have.

--

RORY: Buck Coats is a defensive liability only when he plays SS. He's OK at 3B, 2B, and 1B, and is a VERY good defender in the OF. He has two OF assists in the last week. Coats has a strong arm and is a fast runner with a very long stride. He looks kind of like Don Kessinger when he is running.

As for his bat, he does not hit HRs, but he does have line-drive gap power and can turn a single into a double and a double into a triple. I saw him quite a bit in Spring Training this year and in previous years, and he has improved a LOT as a hitter and is even starting to occasionally turn on the ball. He is only 23 (going on 24), so I would expect him to continue to improve and develop more power as he matures.

Coats will be a six-year minor league FA if he is not added to the Cubs 40-man roster by ten days after the close of the 2006 regular season, and so I fully expect that he will be added to the 40 by then (if not sooner). The Cubs would be foolish to let him get away.

As far as I'm concerned, I would take Buck Coats over Freddie Bynum as the super-sub utility guy (IF-OF-PR-PH) right now and any other day. At least Coats hustles.

I wouldn't have a problem with a 2007 bench consisting of Angel Pagan (4th OF), Ryan Theriot (2B-SS), Buck Coats, (OF-IF), and Geovany Soto (C), plus a veteran PH to provide some thunder off the bench in the late innings.

Frankly, if they still haven't one a game by the time they return to Chicago, I'd be surprised if someone's not fired, but I doubt it'd be Baker. The more likely candidate would be Rothschild or Clines or Matthews. I don't know if Dusty would let Clines or Matthews be fired, but I imagine Hendry would let Dusty try to survive and blame the losing streak on bad pitching or bad hitting. If we hit a second slide though, look out.

Do you think the Orioles have any interest in dealing Tejada?

Delmon Young was suspended 50 games for clocking an ump with a bat. Should have been the entire year.

no

#63 of 64: By Andrew (May 9, 2006 01:17 PM)
Frankly, if they still haven't one a game by the time they return to Chicago, I'd be surprised if someone's not fired, but I doubt it'd be Baker. The more likely candidate would be Rothschild or Clines or Matthews. I don't know if Dusty would let Clines or Matthews be fired, but I imagine Hendry would let Dusty try to survive and blame the losing streak on bad pitching or bad hitting. If we hit a second slide though, look out.

-

ANDREW: If things don't turn around fast, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Larry Rothschild get canned and be replaced by Dick Pole, with Sonny Jackson taking over as bench coach. And Von Joshua could get the batting coach gig, although I don't know what Dusty thinks of him. Joshua has done a great job with Felix Pie, though.

If Joshua were to become the Cubs batting coach, I could envision Pie getting recalled to play RF every day, with Jacque Jones moving to LF and platooning with Matt Murton until the Cubs can trade Jones. I'll betcha Jacque Jones realizes he made a BIG mistake signing with the Cubs, and can't wait to get out of Chicago. And vice-versa.

unfortunately Miggy decided to hit the crap out of the ball to start the season, so his pricetag is higher than ever. Considering they were quite against trading for the injured likes of Wood or Prior, it either means Z or in the slightest of remote chances Aramis. I only say that cause the O's apparently re-worked the Melvin Mora deal after it initially stalled in spring training, but once again no announcement has been made. So just maybe they'd consider Aramis in the deal. I guess it all depends if Miggy wants to make their life hell over there.

Hey, look on the bright side. If Buck Coats is called up, think of all the wacky hijinx we can have by playing with his name. I'll start.

Here's a headline for his call-up:

"Buck Coats Promotion Designed to Boost Marshall's Summer Results"

(I don't know if he would particularly help Sean Marshall, but Marshall's is my favorite store so I couldn't resist)

(And I really need to work more)

And this might be something to ponder: Miguel Tejada at SS, and Ronny Cedeno at 2B. I actually might consider trading Carlos Zambrano for Tejada, as long as Prior and Wood are healthy, and if Marshall and Guzman look like they can hold a rotation slot. The Cubs absolutely MUST get a big-time run producer for the middle of the order, and Miggy would qualify.

How about giving Jody Davis a mid-season call up and see what he can do with this team?

I appreciate the comments on Coats. Of course, choosing between Coats and Bynum is like choosing between Donald Sutherland and Rob Schneider - one will give you dreck but some nuggets here and there as well, while the other is pure dreck all the time.

Just to iterate my other question that was lost in the shuffle, does anyone know whether Ronny Cedeno demonstrated a reverse-platoon split in the minors or is this a new thing at the majors level (albeit in a relatively small sample size)?

"How about giving Jody Davis a mid-season call up and see what he can do with this team?"

A callup to do what? Play?

Carlos Zambrano for Tejada, as long as Prior and Wood are healthy

Bwaaaahahahaha, it hurts too much to laugh. :)

Rossbarnes,
I've never been able to find splits on hitters for their minor league stats, sorry.

"big-time run producer"

Watch out Phil. Around here that doesn't exist. You see, according to the posters here, runs and RBIs are purely team dependent.

Tread lightly my friend.

Phil -- do you really think we would have enough information regarding your 4 conditions (Wood and Prior being healthy, Marshall and Guzman being legit starters) before the trade deadline?

Wow, Chad. Generalize much?

AZ Phil,

As I said with Prior, you'd have to get a Bedard or Loewen to make that deal work. Both preferably. With Mazzone over there, the O's would have themselves a perennial bonafide Cy Young contender.

Yes Virginia, there are run producers. You're overgeneralizing the argument Chad. But if we did obtain Miggy and then batted him 8th behind Neifi and Blanco, he would have a lot less RBI's. Actually he'd have a lot less RBI's if you batted him behind the current crap that Pierre is churning out.

Right now Miggy's living the high live, generally hitting behind Brian Roberts(387 OBP) and Melvin Mora (367 OBP). Any hitter who can hit for power and keeps his K rate down (in other words a decent batting average), is going to put up lofty RBI numbers.

433 if we wait until the trade deadline there will likely be little reason to make such a trade this season.

maybe they will consider Larry Bowa for a replacement at Pitching Coach...he may not know much about towel drills or mechanics but he'd probably beat the crap out of any pitcher caught doing a towel drill.

#82 of 82: By cubster (May 9, 2006 02:17 PM)
maybe they will consider Larry Bowa for a replacement at Pitching Coach...he may not know much about towel drills or mechanics but he'd probably beat the crap out of any pitcher caught doing a towel drill.

Bowa's got a gig as the yankees 3rd base coach. Maybe we can call up wavin wendell and make some kind of a trade?

Tale of the Tape:

Bowa 5'10" 155 lbs
Wood 6'5" 220 lbs
Prior 6' 5" 225 lbs

Bowa's not beating the crap out of any pitcher doing the towel dril unless he brings a ladder.

Rob -- that was my point -- I don't think we would know the answers to those four questions before the trade deadline, so if those are preconditions to a trade, it can't happen.

For those of you scoring at home, that's 5 subpar second basemen, and 3 legitimate starting pitchers.

Anyone know when Dopirak is expected back?

Bring Brenly out of the booth!!!!!

///ooooh alliteration...

Can we just have a draft with only the Cubs and Orioles participating? Maybe then we could get an OF'er who can hit and maybe get a workable team. Fact of the matter is as much fun as it is to play Fantasy GM with this team, the moves aren't going to come.

This team is going to sit on its ass and watch the revenue come in. This team hasn't done a job of going out and signing key free agents (all of our guys have come via trades), and until we learn how to play the free-agent polka we're going to continue to have a lifeless team.

If any of you remember the Cubs teams from 95-02 (minus 1998) this is that kind of team. For those of you who don't, just replace the names of today's players for one's you never knew exsisted. This team sucks and its not going to get better. A hitting coach, or any other coaching move isn't going to help, and Dusty's outster won't mean a damn thing if we don't have someone to replace him that MLB-ready.

Pinella has stated on-record a few times already that he wants to manage again, but only for a contender. I don't even know if the Cubs fit that right now. You can make all the excuses in the world about it still being early and all, but seriously there is no hope for this team and there is no hope in the minors. Once again we based our entire season on the bluff of Wood and Prior coming back.

The sooner that management understands they have to begin the season with a strong hand (and not 100% on hope), the better this organization will be. Until then I'm all for having a Marlinesque fire sale. Watching a bunch of sCrUBS can't be any more painful than watching this bunch.

Cubs, Hill won't back down vs. Bonds

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

_______________

I'll be surprised if Bonds doesn't get the magic home run number 714 (especially when you consider the way the Cubs have been pitching).

Anyone know when Dopirak is expected back?

similar to Lee, it was about a 6-8 week rehab process and he had surgery around April 15th, so mid-June maybe.

Selig shows once again he's spineless

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12702881/

"until we learn how to play the free-agent polka we're going to continue to have a lifeless team."

what FA did you want from the last couple years? beltran? giles? they wanted nothing to do with chicago...furcal? jd drew? aj burnett? they suck/are hurt/all of the above. troy percival? magglio ordonez? juan encarnacion? indulge me.

the only guy I can think of who I really wanted the cubs to get was vladimir guerrero, and I don't think the windy city was ever on his list either.

Tejada?

why the hell would anyone celebrate 2nd place? Should we have a parade if someone hits 68 homers in a season? Most home runs by a lefty you say? If a switch-hitter passed Mickey Mantle, would we celebrate that? I doubt it. The Giants will do something if it happens in this series, that's more than enough.

I suppose 71 home runs would have been a better example...

It's not about who I wanted. It's the fact that we have a pitiful $100 mil. payroll. Trades are great when you have a need to fill, but those have been our only moves. We were a few pieces away the last two years, and Hendry failed to get the job done. Drew would have been a good pick up for the club (he certainly couldn't do any worse than Burnitz or JJ and Drew would have given us that 3rd big bat in the lineup). Beltran would have come here, but I don't even think the Mets think he's worth the amount they paid for him.

Matt Morris, Preston Wilson, Milton Bradley. Sure this wasn't a cash-crop year for FAs, but our FA signings the past two years:

Burnitz
JJ
Pierre
Eyre
Howry
Hollandsworth
Mabry

That is a sad list. The two pitchers on that list filled a dire need, but everyone else (minus Pierre, who will be fine- people are expecting him to do too much) is garbage.

you don't want JD Drew, a man who openly admitted that he won't play if he's not feeling 100%....

pierre was a trade

AVG .290 | HR 6 | RBI 23 | OBP .387 | SLG .505

AVG .253 | HR 5 | RBI 12 | OBP .298 | SLG .460

i dont know, he seems to be outproducing our current right fielder

"Which Cubs pitcher gave up both Barry Bonds' 714th home run to tie Babe Ruth on the all-time list, and his 715th home run to surpass Ruth, in a single game?"

Oops, sorry. Getting ahead of myself there. I was working on the Today in Cub History trivia questions for the May 9th, 2036 edition of TCR. Damned prescience.

drew's great when he plays, but considering the venom spewed at wood and prior around here, I can't imagine what the reaction would be to Drew.

its nice to daydream, but unless cubs fans are looking to get rid of zambrano or similar they are just not gonna get some top tier player.

GMs fight for their payroll and even though some cubs fans here are ready to give up in may, the real world dont work like that. clubs dont give up in may even if their fans do.

no GM fights to get every dollar they can to throw away a key player in may for kids...those players are just as valuable if not more valuable come trade deadline when there will be more teams looking.

there might be some weak options like huff, given their OF glut...but he's gonna cost big. TB may not be going anywhere fast, but they got no reason to move anyone they got for anything but a killer deal.

#102 of 102: By Rob G. (May 9, 2006 04:34 PM)
drew's great when he plays, but considering the venom spewed at wood and prior around here, I can't imagine what the reaction would be to Drew.

No doubt that Drew is an injury risk. But I would rather roll the dice on greatness than to go with proven mediocrity. JMO.

I never thought Drew was the answear personally, but I really wanted Tejada after the 03 season. AGonz was the obvious weak link on the team, yet management wouldnt spring for tejada because Agone was due big money. That is part of the reason I have been so angry as a fan. It seems like decisions are made for financial reasons instead of competative reasons.

I'm with you on Miggy, I always felt the Cubs should have went after him and to a lesser degree Vlad that off-season, money and depth chart be damned. These were already great players entering their best years who were going to get below market contracts cause everyone was scared of revenue sharing and the luxury tax. I don't remember who was after Miggy, but the only suitors for Vlad were the Mets, Dodgers, O's (who bowed out when they signed Miggy) and the Angels snuck in at the end. The Angels at the time didn't need an OF'er either and they certainly worth looking, they already had Salmon, Erstad and Anderson, but you have to recognize value when you see it.

In the year 2006, in the Fifth month
Atop the Hill will climb the Giant of Stolen Might
Surpassing the Corpulent Baby from the Great Eastern City
Large hooks hung, McCovey splashing

miggy really didnt want to go to baltimore. He went there because there was absolutley nobody offering him market value. He signed with Baltimore for what ended up being little more than what we gave Maddux at the end of that winter. Then we gave cruz to atlanta as soon as we signed maddux. Truthfully, its been downhill for Hendry ever since that cruz deal. He has perfected the .75 cents on the dollar trade.

Christian:
"Re: trading Jones. None of the authors of TCR have suggested it, only people in the comments. But people in the comments say a lot of things."

I will give you the benefit of the doubt, but this comment comes off very condesending merely us posters, compared to you "authors". Many posters have just as good if not better things to say than the "authors" at times.

I think all Cubs fans know about giving up value. We gave up Dontrelle... I'm WILLING to part with this whole team, but ONLY because I know that there is not going to be a shuffling of management. IF we were to get rid of Dusty/McFail/Hendry/coaches then fine, keep this team, but since that won't happen, fire sale it is.

The Cubs wouldn't go after Tejada because they didn't want to bench A-gonz and his $6 million for a year. Much like the Cubs wont go after a RFer because they wont bench $6 million in Jones for the next 3 years.

j.mays refuses his minor league assignment...now let's hope hendry stays away from that trainwreck.

Phil says " I could envision Pie getting recalled to play RF every day, with Jacque Jones moving to LF and platooning with Matt Murton until the Cubs can trade Jones."
On what level does that make sense? Pie is an unproven, raw, K machine that has Corey Patterson skills at his point. Why replace Murton with Pie?
Murton has been among the 2-3 most dependable hitters on the roster since last September. So now you want to sit him (against righties I presume) for a .260 hitting minor leaguer? Based on what? Press clippings, and what people think they see? How many players do you have to rush through the system before you realize it doesn't work? Let them earn it as Cedeno did, as Murton did.
As bad as Jones has been, do you really think Pie will be better this year? Will 5 months of being overmatched really help his confidence. Will you be ready to platoon him next year, as you are Murton this year, for Ryan Harvey or the next can't miss kid?
I'm as anxious to see Pie make it as the next guy, but this logic escapes me. Especially at the expense of the best young hitter we've had in a long long time.
And Baker is horrible. The team has regressed opver the past 3 years. He emphasized fundamentals the last 3 springs and we are worse for it. He apparently has no take sign. Freddy Freaking Bynum dogs it in the outfield. Freddy Freaking Bynum. And he started the next day.
If,...If he disciplines his players behind closed doors, it isn't working. He obviously has no respect from the players, deserves no respect
for his in-game skills and needs to go.

"He obviously has no respect from the players"

actually he's well recieved...and contrary to popular belief it isnt cuz he lets them do what they want.

Patpiper:
"He obviously has no respect from the players"

Do you have any proof, a quote maybe, from a player that would back up this statement??

It is good that people are really seeing how overrated Hendry has been. I guess it took the contracts of JJ, Neifi and Rusch and the Pierre trade to see it. Baker may bery well take the fall for Hednry's serious ineptitude, but after the new manager comes in and 3 years go by with more sucktitude, then hopefully teh rest of the Cubs fans and most importantly the Trib sees that Hednry will never win as a GM and move on.

#113 of 113: By crunch (May 9, 2006 05:47 PM)

"He obviously has no respect from the players"

actually he's well recieved...and contrary to popular belief it isnt cuz he lets them do what they want.
----'

Really? I think you're wrong there, he's considered a player's manager because he plays his vets and never holds them accountable for their mistakes. He always finds an outside enemy to blame his own poor managing on, and to blame his teams crappy performances on. When was the last time Baker said anything critical about a veteran?

Those are the exact reason's he's considered a players manager, because anything goes and vets know if they are on his team they will never lose their job to a youngster.

actually he's well recieved...and contrary to popular belief it isnt cuz he lets them do what they want.

I believe Dusty's well liked by the players, but it absolutely is because he lets them do whatever they want. He's just one of the guys - or at least that's what he wants to be.

Dusty isn't going to take any fall for anything this season. He's going to take the fall for 4 seasons of managerial incompetance, and never once being able to "get the most out of his players."

plays his vets and never holds them accountable?

exact reasons he's considered a players manager?

never lose a job to a youngster?

...ptth...you may disagree with me, but wow, i gotta return the favor on that pile of statements. its alarmist crap from where i stand. the only youngster he's ever held back was a no-fielding SS named aurillia and he got his chance to fail in the field before he earned that.

the players themselves have plenty to say about baker and his personalized treatment...

the baker doesnt play kids thing is so damn played out its not even funny, legit, or believable. give him a kid worth playing and its worth talking about. dubois? choi? hill? they all got their shots...they all showed their worth. cedeno? murton? they got their shots...they showed their worth.

i'm not even gonna touch the pitching kids cuz that'll be a lotta names.

it ranks up there with the "dusty ruins arms" comments...it doesnt hold under scrutiny.

sorry if people cant accept that grown professional baseball players, be they rookies or vets, are capable of failing or succeeding on their own with their own equipment on their own chances.

i said it in the last thread...

at what point do professionals who are given a chance to thrive in their proper possitions responsible for their own performance?

MannyTrillo is right, if anyone is finally held accountable for this crappy team it will be Baker, who will be the fall guy. But don't count out the team turning around and winning 75-78 games and Baker suddenly getting an extension with the excuses that everyone was injured, so it's not Dusty's fault.

Baker is a crappy manager who should have been fired after 2004, but this mess is Hendry's fault. Hendry never should have gotten an extension. At best, the Cubs should have waited until the end of the season to decide what to do, not make some spur of the moment decision based on a fast start. This looked like a fourth place team before the season started, with everyone healthy. Now that the Reds are actually playing well the Cubs might end up in 5th place.

What is there to be optomistic about? Hendry is incompetent and doesn't understand how to build a team. Baker is a horrible manager who makes crappy lineups and bad in game decisions. The pitching coach has a long history of mysterious arm injuries with his young pitchers, with two organizations. And the roster, the roster is full of crappy players. How this team has a payroll near $100m is ridiculous, where is the talent? The Tribune doesn't respect the fans, which is evident by the crap they trot out there, then claim that their payroll has gone from $40m under Hendry to $100m, so nobody has the right to claim they aren't trying to win. But you know what, they were in fifth place at $40m and fifth place at $100m. I can spend $100m and finish in fifth place.

And Felix Pie, let's rush him, as someone else posted, so he is a carbon copy of Korey. Either let the kid play in AAA and mature or trade him. Don't bring him up, ruin his career, then cry wolf in three years.

Besides firing the entire management team of the Cubs, and 99 percent of the players, the team desperately needs some direction with their minor leagues. They need coaches who teach fundamentals and a farm director/GM who refuses to promote players until they have shown they understand the fundamentals, and furthermore, never promote a player until they have a knowledge of the strike zone. Those are things the Oakland A's do. Why do the A's consistently contend with young players? Because they are forced to fit into the team's system. Learn to be a patient hitter who knows the strike zone or you'll never be called up.

Until those things change I refuse to root for this team. I have their games on in the background for amusement now, seeing what new way they'll find to blow a game.

The Cubs are an embarrassment, to their fans, to the city of Chicago, to baseball in general, and to humanity.

"I believe Dusty's well liked by the players, but it absolutely is because he lets them do whatever they want."

very very wrong.

dave miley let players do what they want...baker assigns roles and the players know them. any player interview you got aside from a few injury questions where roles are not determined yet you hear it.

there is no reason whatsoever to believe dusty lets players just do what they want. it may be easier to imagine its all one big party there where dusty is smoking weed in his office and going "yeah man" to any question asked while he keeps rookies caged up in the back making gatoraide...but its just not true.

perception meet reality...

when the cubs were in L.A. to meet the Dodgers, Rob Dibble & Kevin Kennedy had Derrek Lee on their XM radio show. Talking about his extension, Lee went out of his way to mention how much he enjoyed playing for Baker. When the hosts persisted on why he liked playing for Dusty, here were some of the items that I recall Lee mentioning:

- He doesn't ever stab a player in the back in the media
- He's upfront with all the players, you know exactly where you stand with Dusty.
-Despite the popular belief, he addresses EVERYTHING. Out of respect to the players, he does it behind closed doors, but Lee insisted a few times that any missed signs, missed plays, etc are always addressed.

There was more, but I distinctly remember the last point since it's something that's been discussed here over and over.

Now, his method of addressing them may be questioned, as it really doesn't seem to be getting through. But we all should remember, there's a lot going on that we as fans are completely unaware of. Just because we don't hear about it, doesn't mean it's not being taken care of or being addressed. There's more than what is being reported in the mass media.

Nice strawman there Crunch.

Just because Dusty's not toking up in his office doesn't mean he's not letting the players do whatever they want.

I don't even question that Dusty addresses the problems on the team. What I don't believe is that Dusty is willing to do anything to correct those problems if it endangers the friendship he has with his players.

The laundry list of behavior that were deemed to be acceptable by inaction in Dusty's clubhouse is well documented and goes back far longer than he's been the Cubs manager. Supposedly that friendship he builds with his players is helps him to get the best out of his players - making up for his total inability to grasp even basic baseball strategy - but I've never once seen the benefit.

And yes, I do think there will be anger in the clubhouse when Dusty is fired. Hopefully when that happens the players will realise that their failures are one of the reasons their friend lost his job.

"Now, his method of addressing them may be questioned, as it really doesn't seem to be getting through. But we all should remember, there's a lot going on that we as fans are completely unaware of."

now that's a fair review of the dustbag.

even if someone thinks dust is the most worthless, ineffective piece of crap to ever throw on a uniform it doesn't mean its open season to ASSUME he's a hands-off party-time manager who's just showing up and collecting his check...especially when there's plenty out there that doesn't point to that.

i'm ready for him to be gone if for no other reason that it might shed some light on player problems rather than assuming the problem is dusty isnt patting them on the butt enough.

"Nice strawman there Crunch."

if you think dustbag is out there just fumbling and has no desire of clue you're fooling yourself. if you think i'm trying to fool you with facts, well...sorry to break the illusion that dust will let the players do what they want.

you said "I believe Dusty's well liked by the players, but it absolutely is because he lets them do whatever they want."

i said...that's a pile of crap...because it is. then i said why...

i said...that's a pile of crap...because it is. then i said why...

Yes, You said why. You said Dusty isn't throwing parties and getting high in his office.

It will take more than that 'fact' to prove to me that Dusty is actually willing to risk his friendship with players by daring to prevent them from doing whatever they want.

risk his friendship with players?

is this summer camp or professional baseball?

does dusty cry himself to sleep at night about throwing kent against a dugout?

christ...you're willing to jump to a conclusion based on your opinion with no substance in the face of players and others with daily contact with the guy that says otherwise.

dude's been at this over a decade...he's not some kid.

and you must have missed my first paragraph and jumped straight to my humor if that's what you wanna pick on. ya know...the one that said "baker assigns roles and the players know them. any player interview you got aside from a few injury questions where roles are not determined yet you hear it."

maybe you missed that.

Yeah, Dusty assigns roles and the players know them.

And what happens when they don't fill those rolls or do other things that distract from the team's ability to win?

Is it baseball or is it summer camp? That's a question you should ask Dusty. But I'm sure its a lot easier for him to get through the summer knowing he's one of the guys, who is well liked by the players.

man..you are just obsessed with the opinion that dusty desires to be one of the boys to the point you can ignore the FACT that he is not a hands-off manager.

managers lead...managers are not peers. dusty asserts himself as a leader, not a buddy.

your obsession with pushing your baseless assumption is flying in the face of reality.

you hate the guy, we all get it...but the things you assume about him just are not true no matter how much easier it would be to accept if it were true.

i'm not argueing his effectiveness here, but i am calling b/s on your assumption.

I don't understand how the cubs acquire players but dusty refuses to use them in the their designated role. Why get Mabry as insurance to D Lee if you don't play him when the opportunity arises.

quite honestly, mabry probally has the best arm of any cubs OF'r...which is kinda sad.

walker/mabry platoon on paper is the best thing going right now discounting the OF bench option, but i still think hairston is up to the job at 2nd, myself.

i wish mabry was a tad faster...and right handed...it would solve a few minor problems.

Casue Todd Walker was hitting the snot out of the ball. Keep Mabry on the bench as a PH and utilize the other 35 second basemen.

Capice?

That's right, you are the all knowing Crunch, how dare anyone question your assumptions. Afterall, you must spend hours upon hours inside the Cubs clubhouse.

managers lead...managers are not peers. dusty asserts himself as a leader, not a buddy.

Based on what?

Was Dusty asserting himself as a leader when he needed Sammy's permission to move him down in the line up?

Was Dusty asserting himself when he allowed a conflict between his players and a broadcaster to distract from playing good baseball?

I could go on and on. Like I said, The cases of Dusty allowing players to do whatever they want in the clubhouse are numerous and well documented. If that's your definition of leadership, then I guess we have very different definitions of what that word means.

from 103 crunch said:
GMs fight for their payroll and even though some cubs fans here are ready to give up in may, the real world dont work like that. clubs dont give up in may even if their fans do.

sorry i am late to the party. crunch, the opposite side of the coin you mention above is that some clubs are less active in november and december and january than their fans would like/have a right to.

your opinion on furcal is well known on these pages; i believe that hendry/mcphail/tribune letting him get away was penny wise and pound foolish. he filled 2 needs (ss and leadoff) with one paycheck, even if it was top dollar/above market.

craig wilson could have been had for less than 2 truckloads of money during the winter; with the pirates obtaining casey and signing burnitz wilson was pretty well out of a job. (good thing the sox got mackowiak, or willson would have been even more absent). wilson would look darn good as a 1b relief for lee, and a platoon partner for jones. hendry passed.

addressing what was known to be shaky starting pitching health with a re-signing of rusch and a signing of a recuperating miller was doing things on the cheap. the cubs clearly did not have a player to give up in exchange for javy vazquez; could they have assembled 3 or 4 players and enticed arizona? we'll never know. passing completely on byrd, millwood, rogers, and burnett were troubling in that it did not matter who or how much, hendry was going to keep his hands in his pockets.

the 2 bullpen signings were needed, and well done; only time will tell if the contracts were too lengthy. but they were necessary. and i hope they aren't completely gassed by father's day due to the calamity called the starting rotation.

hendry is now in a situation where he needs to be doubly creative to compensate for the quiet winter he spent. or didn't spend, if you prefer. and because his club is in dire shape, the price tags will be marked up, and not down.

maybe some fans will give up because it is a losing streak, maybe they won't. but it would have been a breath of fresh air if hendry had made a bigger splash during the winter; i feel he is now reaping what he planted.

thanks for reading.

I agree Dusty and the Cubs need to part, but Hendry hasn't really done much since the 2004 chokefest. He let Clement, Alou, Farnsworth, and Sosa (agreed with this one) go and received virtually nothing (Burnitz, Hairston, and Novoa) in return. If you have poker chips you need to get something in return even if you don't like the players involved personally. It seems like it would have been a lot easier tweaking that roster than our current one.

bleeding...at this point im saying the same thing over and over again.

you choose to believe your assumptions and call them facts...fine.

you even wanna make this about me for some reason...probally cuz that's where your straw grasping has led you.

i told you why...i told you where its coming from...and i told you what it is.

you're telling me what you BELIEVE and why its fact without any base of reasoning at all...not even a shred of reasoning besides its what you believe.

i'm not derrick lee and i'm not todd walker, but both of them have spoken on this matter numerous times the past few years...for starters. there's a laundry list in SF, too. its not a very contriversial subject or a very private one.

talking about guys we could have gotten, couldn't we have petitioned the league and let thome play short center or something. Hit another one tonight....

btw..the sammy lineup thing is disputed with both sides saying different things and i have no idea why so many fans are fixated on alou/mercker vs. stone besides those that think stone can walk on water and he was "pushed out of a job" (another thing i find laughable). there's very little indication the stone incidents had much impact on the club.

btw..alou/mercker both did very very well while that was going on..but that dont fit in with the illusion of a broken clubhouse in dissarray.

you're telling me what you BELIEVE and why its fact without any base of reasoning at all...not even a shred of reasoning besides its what you believe.

Crunch, you are right I am making assumption. I'm making assumptions drawn from the evidence of how he behaves as a manager.

I've even gone so far as to list off examples of how he is doing exactly what I'm accusing him of doing.

You haven't been able to refute any of it. All you been able to do is continue you saying that my assumptions are wrong, that I'm grasping at straws, I'm making this about you, blah blah blah.

If you want to call -your- assumptions fact, then you should at least go so far as to back them up with evidence.

there's very little indication the stone incidents had much impact on the club.

btw..alou/mercker both did very very well while that was going on..but that dont fit in with the illusion of a broken clubhouse in dissarray.

Yeah, the Cubs did real well during the last week of 04 when all of that was going down...

You can try to sell that, but I ain't buying.

Pierre
Cedeno
Walker
Ramirez
Barrett
Jones
Murton
Perez (2B)

The usual suspects.

So much the "the riot" being a spark to this team.

You can't really be a spark if you don't play.

bleeding...i'm drawing my conclusions from players and those in the clubhouse and what they say...

i dont like to drag others into my pissing contests, but for christ's sake didnt what Rob posted have any kind of weight whatsoever in your future responses?

that'd be a good start to figure out where some of this might be coming from.

sorry, but your baker-the-buddy theory is shot clean out of the water...its just not that way...he isn't a handsoff manager who just wants to make friends with everyone.

We could split hairs on all this all day, but I think tonights lineup is the best lineup with the tools available. Theriot was brought up for bench support. To take Restovich's spot. How long does Pagan have? I really miss having him on the bench.

francour drew a walk today! hahah

new post up btw

I think tonights lineup is the best lineup with the tools available.

Do you really think that "the riot" would be worse than Neifi? At least give the young guy a chance - we have little to lose at this point.

Theriot was brought up for bench support. To take Restovich's spot.

You sure? According to the quotes, it was to "give a spark." That is pretty difficult to when you ass is glued to the bench. And if they are not going to play Theriot, why bring him up? Why not just keep Restovich, who at at least have has a little bit of power.

It's really suprising how little power Restovich has. Anyways, I'm just saying I'd probably do the same thing. I hate seeing Cedeno bat second, but beggars can't be choosers.

Bleeding Blue:
"Yeah, the Cubs did real well during the last week of 04 when all of that was going down..."

Letting the facts get in the way of the truth again? Revisionist history??

The Merker/Stone incident happened on August 28 vs. Houston. That is when Merker called the booth.

Interestingly, the Cubs were 71-59 at the end of that series. They went 16-7 in their next 23 games. Real big distraction I see.

Just another revisonist history slant against Baker. SPIN SPIN SPIN

sorry, but your baker-the-buddy theory is shot clean out of the water...its just not that way...he isn't a handsoff manager who just wants to make friends with everyone.

It's shot out of the water because you choose not to believe it, I guess. Sorry, I'm just not that used to people ignoring evidence as a basis to declare victory.

I've already said that I don't doubt that Dusty talks to his players about mistakes and issues. And I've already said, even though he talks to the players, I do not believe he is willing to back up his words if it might threaten his friendship with the players.

If that's the kind of quote you are using as the basis that Dusty must be a hands on manager, well, lets just say it doesn't prove a lot.

But then again, if you can't even see how distracted the team was the last week of 2004, because it disagrees with your opinion that Dusty is so hands-on, then further discussion is probably pointless.

"Sorry, I'm just not that used to people ignoring evidence as a basis to declare victory."

now that is funny...and ironic.

funronic.

Manny, The call might have happened on that date. I was refering to when the whole "scandal" spiraled out of control and became public during the last week of the season and the team was distracted - which I made very clear.

You really can stop trying to twist peoples words so you can scream "Revisionist History" and "Spin Spin Spin" over and over again.

ps- nice to come up with a nice round number of 23 games to prove your point - going right up to the point where I was talking about. The Cubs lost the game in question, the following game, and went 3-5 over then next 8 games despite having 6 of those games against lowly montreal.

The clear point, which you choose not to see because it blasts your theory, is that the distraction was occuring way before the last 10 days. There was tons of tension during those 23 games between the players and Stone. But they were winning then, so I guess that doesn't count since it doesn't match your theory?? Also, the story first hit the newspapers on August 31, by Rick Morrisey in the Trib (http://www.sportsfrog.com/archives/2004_08.html). So what about the next 3 weeks of ball they played when the cat was out of the bag and the scandal had surfaced?

Sorry man, but you are wrong here.

Again, what a shock you picked 23 games. Pick a string of long enough that it includes the games where they spent a week and a half beating up on the Reds and Pittsburgh to dilute the mediocrity that cost them the playoffs in the stretch during and right after the phone call and the last week of the season when the blow up became a major story in chicago as the team choked away the post season.

But maybe you are right, perhaps the Stone thing at the end of the year wasn't so much a distraction for the team, as it was a distraction from the all the other horse-shit managing by Dusty Baker that cost the Cubs a playoff birth in a year where they had overwhelming talent.

But its not like anyone was pointing those problems out while watching others scream 'In Dusty We Trust' as Wrigleyville's playoff chances burned...

Here's an example of why I believe he does not have the respect of his players. Freddy Fuckin Bynum dogs a play, and starts the next day. Does he do that to Cox, La Russa, Leyland, Torre Guillen and on and on???? Do those guys get permission from ineffective aging 232 hitting clean up hitters before they drop them out of the 4 spot (in August)? Do their players leave the clubhouse in the second inning of the last game of the year.
Other than the semi-retarded Hairston, do any players pay the price in playing time after they miss the cutoff man or a sign for the second game in a row?
You don't talk about the respect you have for someone you show it. Seen any?

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