Game Recap

GAME 30
PADRES 5 CUBS 9
W: Steve Trout (2-0) L: Mark Thurmond (2-2) S: Lee Smith (4)
I have no interest in giving a review of the May 14, 2006 9-0 debacle. Instead, here's a review of the Cubs/Padres game from May 11, 1986. It was a real team effort today, with six Cubs driving in at least one run, and the bullpen picking up the slack for Steve Trout, who despite the win, logged his fourth consecutive poor outing. No one can get Gwynn out, and Terry Kennedy went four for four, after seeking out some pre-game tips from the hitting coach about how to approach left-handed pitchers - from the CUBS hitting coach, Billy Williams. While Trout's struggles are cause for concern on a team desperate for a reliable starting pitcher, the offense showed signs of life. Lopes hit his first homerun of the year, Sandberg doubled twice and Cey once, while Durham and Davis contributed two hits and Dernier scored twice. The Cubs' half of the second inning featured some of the ugliest baseball seen this year, as the Cubs scored four off of fielding errors by Jerry Royster and Garry Templeton, with Tim Stoddard coming in to replace Mark Thurmond. The Cubs should have had more, really, except for a botched bases-loaded squeeze play that resulted in Durham being picked off third. After Baller put two men on in the ninth, Big Lee was woken up from the pen to throw a one-pitch save. Dunston took the 0 for 5, snapping his modest six-game hitting streak. With Dernier hitting even less than Dunston, something needs to be done with that leadoff spot. That something, frankly, should be Lopes, who continues to pound the ball and show the best baserunning instincts on the team, forty years old or not. It's probably too much to ask him to play Center, however, and so far, the rumors of Moreland's moving from Right to Third, with Cey benched, traded, or released, prove to be just that, rumors. The other corner positions are manned, unless we want to ship off Matthews and/or Durham to make room for Lopes this year, and then Grace and Palmeiro next year. While there are plenty of Cubs fans ready to throw in the towel with our slow start and play for next year, already, it's premature to call for either of the kids to be brought up, as each one probably needs at least another year of seasoning. Same with Dave Martinez, but realistically, he could out-hit Dernier, now. Tomorrow is an off-day, and with exhibition games scheduled later this week against Des Moines and then the White Sox, Frey plans on going with four pitchers in the starting rotation. This will effectively keep Guy Hoffman in the bullpen, while Sutcliffe and Trout try to figure things out. So while problems abound for Frye and the '86 Cubs, at least today provided some much-needed respite.
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Comments

Eerie how 20 years later it's the same story, different year. Good god.

Good grief. Is Davey Lopes really 59? Dang. I feel old. I remember him rolling in in '84 like it was yesterday. I remember reading an article the day after the Cubs clinched the playoff birth about Lopes not being festive. He was upset because he didn't feel like he'd contributed jack. Wierd the things that stick in your mind.

I was about 200 days old when that game was played.

An off-day, thank God! I've never looked forward to an off-day so much.

Wait. You buried the lede. A Cub hitting coach gave someone advice... and it worked?

So I open up my Google home page this morning and this quote is sitting there:
"We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action."
- Frank Tibolt

Hmmmm. Hopefully Hendry has a personalized Google home page.

...or at least hopefully some of the players do.

Buster only on Espn radio this am said Cubs should not let Dusty "dangle in the wind" sign him or fire him. I vote for the latter.

And those who say Pinella wants to go to a "contender", what contender manager's job is in jeopardy. I believe he does not want a job with an organization that does not spend money (Both FL. teams, KC,Pitt) the Cubs spend the money, but not wisely.

Lets get LouPa in here so atleast we can see some players get throttled in the club house.

Any ideas on what the market for Maddux might be like? (Or do the Cubs plan to get nothing for him twice in one career?). What teams would be the most interested, and what MLB-ready prospects do they have to give back?

Off the top of my head, I have to think the Mets, Rangers and Yankees would all be interested, plus maybe the DBacks or Tigers or another fringe team.

Who else has marketable skills in a contract year? Pierre no, because who would trade for him right now? Not even Baltimore, that's who. Aramis? Doesn't seem likely he'll take his player option unless he reaggrevates the groin this year. Wood, if he pitches well in the next few starts. Anyone else?

God......I was an old man back 20 years ago. Still hoping for a Cub's World Series. Hope I am still around in another 20. If McFail is still in charge, I will still be waiting for a World Series.

When you say that we should not let Maddux go a second time without getting anything in return, keep in mind that we signed him this time as a free agent. We gave up nothing for him. Also, while the tag should not wag the dog, the Cubs are not gonna screw Maddux. The Cubs know that Maddux does not want to play in New York under any circumstances. So don't look for us to trade Greg to either NY team. In addition, the Cubs know that Greg does not want to play for an AL team. So the Rangers are not an option. Greg might be okay with going to a west coast team. Maybe. If your reply is gonna be that he does not have a no trade clause so we can just trade him where we like, don't hold your breath too long on that thought. The reality is that Maddux is a hall of fame pitcher. He is owed a bit of respect. I believe he has won more games for the Cubs the last two plus seasons than any other pitcher on our staff. In reality, whether he has a no trade clause or not does not matter. The Cubs are gonna treat him as though he does have a no trade clause. He will only be traded if he wants to be traded. You may not like that. But that is what will happen.

I miss the Shawn-o-meter. I can't imagine Cubs fans supporting an average player like that again.

Has Wrigley lost its innocence?

The Cub fans will support a player who absolutely busts his ass on every play. Dunston did that. It didn't always work and the results weren't always pretty, but I can't remember any other Cub who ever ran out every single grounder like Dunston.

I think there are still some Cub fans that stand behind the players on the field no matter what. There does seem to be a new breed of cub fan who wants to boo every player no matter what. JJ was booed before he was even given a chance to show what he could do. I didn't like the signing, and his base running has been terrible, but to boo a player on his first home stand is not something that should be done, imo. That being said, I have no problem booing a player does does something stupid or doesn't run out a ball. But at the same time, that same player should be cheered if they make a great play or have a good day at the plate. To answer the question that was asked, yes Wrigley has lost its innocence and that is too bad.

I absolutely agree that the Cubs wouldn't trade Maddux to a team he doesn't want to play for. In fact, I'm not sure he would be okay with any other move than back to the Braves. Here's the relevant portion of some interesting comments from Greg (from http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/article...):

"People don't understand how difficult it is to go to a new team. [Tom Glavine] spent a lot of years with Atlanta where he had the same pitching coach, the same people around him. It was very comfortable for him there.

"He goes from that to New York and he had to get used to all sorts of new things -- new pitching coach, managers, catchers. It's a lot tougher than it looks, believe me, because I've been through it a few times."

You know, I'm really hoping that Sutcliffe can get out of this funk he's in. Rick's one of the premiere arms in the league, and I hate to see him struggle this way. It's still early, and I think he can turn it around.

He won the Cy Young two years ago... ERA in mid 2's and he went 16-1. WTF happened?

why are we talking about trading maddux? keep him another year or two and let him retire as a cub (like we should have with grace). where the hell are we going that we can't bring him with us? its not like maddux will hold us back from the world series - we have 24 other guys to do that.

I would think if it gets to a point later this season (somewhere around the latter part of July or even into August) where the Cubs are hopelessly out of it, Jim Hendry will probably ask Greg Maddux if he would be willing to accept a trade to a contender, and if so, to which one(s), and then if Maddux does answer in the affirmative, Hendry will do what he can to get Mad Dog to where he would most want to go. Which prospect(s) the Cubs would get back in any deal involving Maddux would be a secondary issue.

If the Cubs do go "seller" post-ASB, I believe the guys Hendry would be most likely to trade would probably be any and/or all of the free-agents to be, probably in this order of value to another team:

1. Greg Maddux (very high demand)
2. Scott Williamson (high demand)
3. Todd Walker (fairly high demand)
4. Wade Miller (in demand ONLY if he comes back healthy AND pitches effectively)
5. Juan Pierre (if he gets hot he would be a valuable chip, otherwise not)
6. Kerry Ligtenberg (currently pitching well at AAA Iowa)
7. John Mabry (August dump, like Hollandsworth & Lawton last year)
8. Jerry Hairston, Jr (pre-August 31st spare part for somebody)
9. Henry Blanco (if somebody wants catching insurance for post-season)

If the Cubs could trade all nine of these guys on or about July 31st, they would save a total of about $8m in 2006 payroll.

Other than Rusch and Neifi (neither of whom are likely to be in demand, anyway) and Jerome Williams (like with Mitre, Leicester, and Wellemeyer this past off-season, JW will be out of minor league options going into next Spring Training), I doubt that Hendry will be inclined to trade anybody who is signed or is otherwise under Cubs control for 2007, including Wood (club option, but with full "no trade" through 2006), Ramirez (player option), Zambrano, Prior, J. Jones, Dempster, Eyre, Howry, or Barrett, or certainly not any of the "auto-renewal" (pre-arbitration) guys.

I was just in SoCal this weekend and happened to catch a sports talk show. They made an interesting observation. "The Cubs are the baseball equivilent of the New York Knicks" After thinking about it, I realized it is a perfect comparision. Both organizations have terrible top management with a respected field manager or coach and some talent. The president/ general manager just has no concept of how to put all that money into a team that wins.

speculation of Cubs being interested in Rockies Ryan Shealy..

http://tinyurl.com/rybp6

Baseball Cubs page:
http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/S/ryan...

he's kind of old for a prospect(turns 27 in August), for some reason I thought he hit lefty, but he's a righty and he's blocked by Helton. Shown great patience at the plate and good power throughout minors.

I imagine the Cubs would trade for him and he'd immediately stay on the bench while Dusty figures out how to use him. :)

If the Rockies are trying to make a run at it this year. you'd figure they'd like a SS as Barmes has struggled mightily this year, maybe a 2nd basemen (Luis Gonzalez is nothing great) or as many arms as they could burn through in Colorado.

not sure the comparision is quite fair, the far worse thing about the Knicks and Isiah Thomas is they just continue to throw money at the problem but keep accumulating even worse talent with longer contracts. Making moves that even the most casual fan is left scratching his head wondering. It's actually one of the most amazing displays of ineptitude ever witnessed in sports. Of course the Cubs have 98 years of ineptitude to fall back on. :)

shealy was out with an elbow injury this year and there was talk of moving him to the of, but apparently that has subsided. In 11 games this year, he's hitting 293/370/683 in AAA Colorado Springs. Big boy by the way, like 6-5", 250.

Someone with Baseball America give us a scouting report. :)

I respected the heck out of Shawn Dunston, average play or not. I would love to have more "average" players that just flat out bust their butts all the time then some of the guys we have.

Arizona Phil........Much as I respect your knowledge and opinion. The Cubs need to have their vehicle completely stripped down and rebuilt from the ground up starting with team president McFail. The Cubs have some talented players that right now are just not winners. Players like Barrett, Jones and Zambrano are extremely talented but lack the winning attitude.

I guess I find it so disturbing because I am old enough to have been a long-time fan in the Wrigley era when the Cubs were losers because they would not spend any money. Now they spend money on 2nd level players that nobody really wants. Prime example is JJ. The only club with any real interest was the Royals. The smart teams wouldn't even return his agents phone calls.

I agree with Sweet Suzy......The Cubs are the Knicks of baseball

I believe Dunston even got on Sandberg for not diving for balls. This was well after their playing days but I recall a radio interview when someone asked him about playing with Sandberg and he said his only complaint was he never dove for the ball. (of course he was always excellently positioned and had great range, but whatever)

Crap as he was, Dunston did play hard.

Why do I need to keep pointing out that JJ has the third highest OPS (behind Lee and Barrett), and the second highest against RHP.

His OPS against RHP is a very good .916.

Jacque Jones is the least of our problems.

Our bigger problems are A-Ram not producing, Zambrano being so inconsistent, and having 4 minor league pitchers in and out of our starting rotation.

back to Shealy, he's rated as the #9 Rockie prospect so you figure something comparable.

You might possibly have to part with either Guzman, Hill or Marshall, which I'm sure most around here would do without hesitation, particularly Guzman or Hill. I can't imagine the Rockies would be too intereted in Hill though, they can't be stupid enough to think he'd have any luck in Colorado. Scott Williamson is certainly a possibility I would think. There was some talk in the off-season of the Rockies wanting Neifi, if anything we can throw him in sort of like a car dealer throws in floor mats when you buy a new car. I'd say Todd Walker, but that would be the Cubs admitting the season is over and I don't think they're there yet.

Crap as he was, Dunston did play hard.

He was one of my favorite players to watch though. And he had a canon for an arm. You never knew where it was going, but you know it was going to be thrown hard!

If the Cubs do go "seller" post-ASB

That's a great list, Phil, though I differ on whether Walker would be in high demand, given the lack of interest during a whole career of being on the market. Why don't you think they'd want to shop Howry and Eyre? Both of those guys are producing and seem like just the sort of commodity that is superfluous on a rebuilding club like the Cubs and wildly overvalued to contenders with spare prospects.

293/370/683 in AAA Colorado Springs

The air up there is thinner than the Collected Wisdom of Dusty Baker. I bet that would MLE to about .260/.320/.490, which would look. . . well, pretty good about now.

our worst problem is maddining lack of plate discipline. I have never seen so many 7 and 8 pitch innings in all my days.

I think it was the first inning of the first game vs. SD in SD, 3 pitches, 3 outs....ugh.

well one thing Shealy would help with is taking pitches, looks like he has quite the eye. Curious to hear a scouting report and if he's just another Brandon Sing or Dubois or something better. Had a nice run as a fill-in for Helton last year.

He did put up comparable number is the lower minors as well that aren't played in Colorado, fwiw. He's so old for a prospect that his minor league #'s at this point don't really matter. Basically you have to ask if he's been held back by Helton this whole time or was he just not that good?

Matt, I think that some people are talking about trading Greg just out of respect for Greg. He is a hall of fame pitcher at the end of his career. If Greg wants to finish out this year in Chicago, knowing that we will be about 30 games out of first at the end of the year, fine, that is his choice to make. But if Greg maybe wants a shot at another ring, then we should accommodate him but just trade him where he wants to go. If Greg chooses to stay here and play for this train wreck of a team, my guess is that he will not sign with us next year anyway. This team will be terrible for at least this year and next year as we try and rebuild, hopefully minues McPhail and Hendry. As painful as this is to say, that is why I won't lose sleep if we were to lose 90 or so games this year. It will just about guarentee that we get rid of either McPhail or Hendry and hopefully both of these guys.

shealy wont require anything close to Guzman,Hill or marshall. Shealy is a AAAA player. While he would be an upgrade from what we have now, he is ultimately a spare part. If shealy comes to chicago it will be for a lower level arm. Clay Rapada,Bobby Brownlie,Juan Mateo or something along those lines.

McPhail and Hendry will be here next year no matter what happens. Join reality. Not saying they should be, but upper management has a much longer leash than the field generals. Look how long Allen Baird has lasted in KC.

I doubt that aaron. While I'm not speaking of his talent, the Rockies are dealing from the position of strength here. They have no need to move Shealy right now and being only a game out of first, I'm guessing any move they make would be to improve the current major league club more than an eye for the future.

and if he would really only cost us brownlie or mateo or some other minor league spare part, I'd put the bullet in hendry's head myself if he's holding off pulling that deal.

McFail has made this team a cash cow for the trib. He gets a lifetime pass. History has shown us that this organization will not eat money to make a change unless it is unavoidable (ie. Sosa). The contract extension will ensure that Hendry will be back. If only because history has shown us that this regime will NEVER admit to making a mistake (ie Dusty, Alex Gonzalez, LaTroy Hawkins) About the best we can hope for and expect is that Dusty will finally be gone. If for no other reason than his contract will expire. If he had gotten the extension that he wanted. Even he would have survived this stretch.

"And those who say Pinella wants to go to a "contender", what contender manager's job is in jeopardy."

The Yankees job if they dont win the WS this year. Pinella is not going anywhere this year. He wants the NYY job and Steinbrenner will fire Torre if they dont win it next year. If they do win it maybe he think about the Cubs, but honestly I think he would prefer retirement than working for an organization that is not 100% committed to winning.

Rob,

I saw on Pro Sports Daily the other day that the Rockies were wanting to use Shealy to get an established rotation guy. Shealy wasnt good in the OF when the Rockies tried him there in ST. Given want COL wants for him I dont see a fit. A Maddux-Shealy swap doesnt help us because Shealy could only play LF and Murton cant play RF. Maybe they think Shealy can play 3b, but then why not add Hill or Guzman to that trade and get Ian Stewart. As for the Knicks-Cubs thing I think Isiah is doing the job he wants to do and that is to bring another NBA title to his hometown. Man I am going to write him a thankyou note when we get Greg Oden in the draft next year on top of either Aldridge or Tyrus Thomas this year.

#36 of 38: By Rob G. (May 15, 2006 11:23 AM)
I doubt that aaron. While I'm not speaking of his talent, the Rockies are dealing from the position of strength here. They have no need to move Shealy right now and being only a game out of first, I'm guessing any move they make would be to improve the current major league club more than an eye for the future.

If indeed the cubs are even considering trading bonafide legit prospects for a Ryan Shealy then this management team is more inept than I could even fathom. Shealy is a 1st baseman who has not been able to make the transition to the OF. Why on earth would a flatlining team deal a piece of the future for a guy who will fill in for 30 games and then not have a spot when lee returns. It would be one thing if it was to stay in a race. However, anyone with eyes can see that this team has already quit.

Let's not trade Juan Mateo, Carlos Marmol, or Sean Gallagher for a marginal player like Shealy.
These 3 look very promising, and
trading away pitching prospects for crap is getting old.

I know everyone will say that he wasnt available. But for arguments sake, it sure would have been nice to have gotten Giles over the winter. He drew more walks yesterday than this cubs team did all of last week. Plate discipline is contagous.

Shealy plays 1b right now and I see a glaring hole. We'll deal with where to put him later when the time comes. As for an established rotation guy as the asking price, then it would get a whole lot trickier.

If you want Ian Stewart, you'd have to cough up Felix Pie (at the least).

Btw Reynel Pinto got the callup for the Marlins. Going to the bullpen according to rotoworld, had something like 40 K's in just over 40 innings, all kinds of walks again.

If Jim Hendry had a shred of professional integrity, then he would submit his resignation to the Tribune Company today. The man is handed generous financial resources and full rein to run this franchise, and this is what he gives us for a roster?!? Juan Pierre wasn't good last year, and is even worse this year. Good scouting Jim. Jacque Jones is a qualified loser. Good investment of $16 million over three years Jim. Glendon Rusch converted one year of decent performance in what has otherwise been a trainwreck of a career into a fat two year contract. Again, nice investment Jim. A defensive substitute in Neifi Perez is handed a two year, $6 million contract. Again, nice Jim. A catcher who can't catch worth beans in Michael Barrett, a 2nd baseman who can't play 2nd base in Todd Walker. I thought the offseason priority was to beef up the defense Jim?

Jim, go ahead and fire Dusty. That way you deflect critcism, buy yourself more time, and try to institute your 200th formuala change for winning baseball.

Well I agree with that Aaron, probably not the time to be trading anything useful for a 30 game spare part. If they are interested in Williamson though (and of course something else), I'd definitely consider that.

If a Shealy deal happened though, it would have to be for players ready to contribute immediately for the Rockies, so I think anyone AA or below isn't part of the equation unless it's a throw-in.

Firing Dusty will accomplish very little. The team might go on a two week sugar buzz under a new manager and perhaps put together a modest win streak, but eventually it will fall back to being generally dreadful. The caliber of talent on this roster is frightening if you are a $50 million payroll team, let alone the $95 million payroll Cubs. Yet Pope Hendry can do no wrong in the eyes of Andy McFail and the boys in the boardroom at Tribune Tower.

I heard about a Shealy deal several weeks ago from a Rockies blog. I think he's pretty well-regarded by Rockies fans but indeed he's blocked by Helton. If it takes Brownlie or something comparable, I say sure, do it. I'd agree though about not trading Mateo, Marmol, etc. for a spare part. They could be very nice pitchers in a few years.

Mike just becasue you feel the GM is at fault for 2006 doesn't mean we have to be saddled with an inferior managerial mind as well. Dusty has proven again and again that he is not top flight as a motivator or tactician. Dusty is a big part of why we are where we are - though I do not blame you for your criticism of Hendry.

that said can we please raise our standards for manager too?

I'm in the minority, I guess, but I really don't think this team is lacking talent-wise. Our 1B, 2B, 3B, and C are near the top of the offensive ladder for each of their respective positions, our bullpen is solidly above average, we have two quality rookie position players, and there are enough quality starting arms between the rotation, the minors, and the DL to give us an above average rotation for several years to come. That may not be overwhelming talent, but I think it should be safely .500+ talent.

The problem--this year, last year, and at the end of '04--is that this team cannot handle adversity. Put a couple bad games back to back and the whole team goes into meltdown mode. After three years and numerous changes to the roster, I'm not willing to dump the blame for that on the players any more; it has to be a coaching problem.

It is now inevitable that Dusty Baker will be fired. It will be the best thing to ever happen to Dusty. He will have suitors lining up for his services next offseason if he still maintains interest in managing. Meanwhile, the Cubs will be implementing their upteenth formula change for winning and we are right back in the same old vicious cycle. The Tribune Company cares about making money, period. The Cubs and Wrigley Field provide the company with bushel baskets full of money whether the team on the field wins or loses. Winning is nice, but strictly a secondary concern to making money. If the White Sox winning a World Series title didn't shock the Tribune into action, then nothing will. And I guess when there is still 3 million fans at Wrigley, to include folks paying $60 a pop for a bleacher seat, I can sorta understand their depressing logic.

Hendry has been an abysmal failure. I could care less that he once upon a time obtained Derrek Lee from a Florida team that was in dire economic straits. What has he done lately? Other than change course 72 times, very little productive.

i agree with that vorare, the amount of long losing streaks over the past 3 seasons is troubling.

Hendry has been an abysmal failure. I could care less that he once upon a time obtained Derrek Lee from a Florida team that was in dire economic straits. What has he done lately? Other than change course 72 times, very little productive.

Manny Trillo's long lost twin....

I held off on joining the "Fire Dusty" bandwagon as long as I possibly could. After "Stoney-gate" in 2004, I stood by Dusty. Even after last year, I gave him every benefit of the doubt, placing blame on Hendry and the players, who deserved their fair share of blame, no doubt. In 2006, I still place blame with Hendry, who I do not think earned the extension he received, but I am completely, wholeheartedly on board with the "Fire Dusty" crowd. I was a late arrival, but I'm here. I'm like Benjamin Franklin during the American Revolution...the reluctant patriot, holding out to make sure your position is correct. But Dusty needs to go. The same problems persist year in and year out, despite numerous roster changes, and this team has simply put too much talent on the field since the near miss of 2003 to be where they are.

I doubt that dusty will have suitors like you think. He has been exposed as wildly overrated during his cubs tenure.

Truth be told, the talent really isn't there. The outfield is dreadful, outside the encouraging promise of Matt Murton. Aramis Ramirez is a dog who plays only when interested. Rarely do you see a player of his "qualities" on a winning team. Ronny Cedeno is a promising young talent, but Todd Walker is a clubhouse cancer and dreadful defensively. Neifi Perez and Jerry Hairston are little more than reserves. Derrek Lee is a bonafide All-Star. Michael Barrett is terrible working with pitchers and dreadful behind the plate. His shortcomings as a catcher cancel out his offensive contributions, especially on a team that likes to think it is building around pitching.

Speaking of the pitching, Kerry Wood is an enigma, who simply is not reliable. Either he is injured, or highly erractic on the mound. Mark Prior has proven fragile and doesn't like to play hurt. Carlos Zambrano is a quality pitcher. So too remains Greg Maddux. Some nice arms in the bullpen.

Final analysis? In a perfect world where injuries are minimal and a couple players have nice years, this is little more than a .500 ballclub.

Vorare - I completely agree with you. Well put.

I think people like Chad and Mike who think everyone in MLB biz loves Dusty will have an eye opener when he hits the free market. Just pray for our sakes that he DOES hit the pavement so we can play baseball again at Wrigley.

Look folks, the Dusty bashers are going to get their wish. Dusty will be gone soon. Then you can whoop and holler and get all excited for teh Cubs again. Trouble is the level of talent will still be severely subpar. Doesn't matter if the Cubs hire the next Jim Essian or Leo Durocher. Doesn't matter if Lou Pinella or Bob Brenly or Connie Mack is brought in to manage. THE ROSTER STINKS. AND THE MINOR LEAGUE PLAYER DEVELOPMENT PIPELINE STILL STINKS.

If you have faith that Jim Hendry's 73rd change of course will magically transform the Cubs into World Series contenders, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you.

Firing Dusty does little.

Todd Walker is a clubhouse cancer and dreadful defensively.

He is not dreadful defensively. He is average. And his offense very much makes up for his defensive short comings.

Michael Barrett is terrible working with pitchers and dreadful behind the plate.

Didn't we talk about this last week? And you couldn't support this assertion then. Can you support it now?

Corey is currently have a nice season for the O's -- hitting about .280, with 10 SBs, 0 CS, 4HR and hitting 7th or 8th (as he should be).

If they make him a productive player, and if Koronka continue to win and pitch well while Rusch and Hill continue to fail -- SOMEONE at the Trib has got to wonder why Hendry's organization continues to misjudge and/or mismanage talent.

I simply cannot undestand how any organization that has failed as miserably as the Cubs minor league system has not been dramatically overhauled.

IF Dusty would go, potential suitors for his services next year:

Texas
Philly
Washington

that is of course if Showalter ends up canned, if the Phils fall back down (Dusty in Philly, now there's a reality show waiting to happen) or the Nats new owners decide to make a splash instead of a rebuilding effort. Maybe, just maybe the Mariners as well. So few teams can afford him anyway.

Baker would probably be better served sitting out a year or two, so teams forget what happened in Chicago and then just look up his overall record, kind of like people forgetting Jim Leyland quit on his team and then remembering he's won a lot of games.

I can see only the Dodgers being interested in Dusty.
And if Dusty is such a master strategist why would he not give Ryan Theriot one start at 2nd base, his natural position, rather than trotting out Neifi the last week and even batting Neifi at the two hole. That alone is enought to can his ass, that and consistently sitting Murton one of his top obp guys.

Fact: Montreal dumped the 26 year old and imminently affordable (even for them) Michael Barrett for a reason. And that reason was that he was lousy working with their pitching staff and behind the plate. Instead of sticking with Barrett, they opted to go with the lesser offensively Brian Schneider. Montreal tried to trade Barrett, and found minimal interest. The Cubs picked him up for a broken down Damian Miller after the great Billy Beane in Oakland didn't want the guy.

Fact: Examine the performance of Cub pitchers and Expos pitchers during Barrett's tenures with both those teams. Cub pitchers have performed statistically better with either Paul Bako or Henry Blanco behind the plate. In Montreal, Expos pitchers performed statistically better with Brian Schneider and anybody else behind the plate.

Fact: Barrett has a nice bat. Barrett is a dreadful catcher. In my book, the offense does not cancel out the work behind the plate, especially on a team that alleges pitching is its strength.

End o' subject

Korey was the poster boy for "change of scenery". Whatever success he's having, (fleeting as it is), wasn't going to happen here.

As for Barrett being horrible with pitchers, please note that Ryan Dempster blew his 1st save in god knows how long with Blanco behind the plate. It's ALL YOUR FAULT BLANCO!!!! Why did you call that hanging slider on the inside part of the plate?

consistently sitting Murton one of his top obp guys.

Consistently? The Cubs have played 37 games. Matt Murton has started 35 of them, and pinchhit in one other game.

It is normal to give players days off.

As much as I don't like Dusty, sitting Murton for two games is not something to get upset at him about.

A. It was Hendry who granted Neifi a 2 year, 6 million dollar contract.

B. Hendry didn't sign Neifi to that kind of dough to collect splinters in his butt riding the bench.

C. Last time I checked, Dusty didn't have Ryno or Glenn Beckert at his disposal to play 2nd base. Rather he had the dreadful Jerry Hairston and a minor league journeyman in Ryan Theriot.

The Dusty basher can keep bashing the man. Trouble is he is only small part of the problem. The larger part of the problem is ownership and the man acting as GM.

I can see only the Dodgers being interested in Dusty.

They seem pretty happy with Grady Little.

Montreal dumped the 26 year old and imminently affordable (even for them) Michael Barrett for a reason. And that reason was that he was lousy working with their pitching staff and behind the plate.

I'm going to guess that they were pretty happy to get anything for a guy with OPS's of 565, 656, 740, 678 over the last 4 seasons and was approaching free agency sooner than Schneider.

Barrett is a TERRIBLE defensive catcher and anyone who believes otherwise is watching a different game than I am.

I don't disagree that Barrett was terrible defensively with Montreal. But Barrett had gotten a lot better both defensively and offensively since then.

As for working with pitchers, I don't buy it and I have yet to see any legitimate reason for me to believe otherwise.

Last week you pointed out that Blanco caught Z's last good start. And I pointed out that Barrett caught Z's other really good start.

As I metioned last last week, I know that Barrett is not great, or even good defensively. But he is serviceable. I would say that he is average, maybe a little below average. And being the best hitting catcher in the league very much makes up for it.

Barrett is definitely not the problem on this team, and Hendry's trade for Barrett is one of his most underrated moves in his tenure.

wouldnt get too excited about patterson yet...yeah, he's batting later...but other than his 12/31 stint in the #7 slot he's hitting sub-.200 in every other slot...except for his 3/6 in the #6 slot.

he had a hot end of april and spotty/good-enough may...he's still got 81ab's to draw these numbers from.

his SB/CS numbers are excellent, though (10/0)...cant even begin to knock that no matter how small of a sample size.

TODAY IS RON SANTO DAY IN FREEPORT, IL

where they're raising money to build Little Cubs Park, a replica of Wrigley Field scaled down for Little Leaguers.

I want one in my backyard>>>
http://www.littlecubsfield.com/ron_santo.php

Are all these Corey sympathizers the same posters last year talking about Sisco getting away?

Dusty will have lotza job offers. MLB understands what a crap organization the Cubs are. McFail is the Soupy Sales of baseball.

It is comical that for the past 2+ seasons the biggest excuse for the Dusty Baker apologists was that Dusty can't be bad because Jim Hendry has stood by him. Now those same people are saying firing Jim will suddenly make Dusty a better manager.

Dusty Baker cost the Cubs a World Series in 2003 by both being outmanaged and by allowing his team to implode after game 6. In 2004, Dusty Baker took the most talented Cub team since 69 and couldn't even get 90 wins out of the team. In 2005, Dusty took a good, but not great, Cub lineup and couldn't even crack the .500 mark. And in 2006, more than 1/2 of the Cubs roster is playing well below their career numbers and is in the middle of a 2 for 16 stretch. All of this from a manager who supposedly can "get the most out of his players" to make up for his 3rd grade understanding of baseball strategy.

And despite all of that, some people still think the 4 million dollar idiot is a great manager!

Last time I checked, Dusty didn't have Ryno or Glenn Beckert at his disposal to play 2nd base.

No...but he does have Todd Walker, and he does have John Mabry to play firstbase.

Which is much better than Walker/Hairy or Walker/Neifi. But for some reason Dusty has refused to do that for the most part.

#29 of 30: By H. Vaughn (May 15, 2006 11:07 AM)
If the Cubs do go "seller" post-ASB

That's a great list, Phil, though I differ on whether Walker would be in high demand, given the lack of interest during a whole career of being on the market. Why don't you think they'd want to shop Howry and Eyre? Both of those guys are producing and seem like just the sort of commodity that is superfluous on a rebuilding club like the Cubs and wildly overvalued to contenders with spare prospects.

-

H VAUGHN: I suspect that even if he raises the White Flag for 2006 (and he won't until sometime after the ASB at the earliest), JIm Hendry will generally keep the team intact for 2007--minus the nine free-agents and (if there is any interest in them) Rusch, Neifi, and J. Williams. In other words, even if the Cubs drop out early this season, I don't think Hendry will rebuild.

For better or worse, like it or not, I believe Hendry signed Eyre, Howry, Dempster, and J. Jones to multi-year deals because he fully intends them to be key members of the Cubs core roster through 2008. If he trades Eyre or Howry, then he has to replace them with another veteran reliever or two, and he simply might not be able to do that as easily as he did last off-season.

Signing FAs and making a trade for just the right player is a real crap shoot (see Rafael Furcal), because you never know what the free-agent player and his agent or the other team (in the case of a trade) is going to do.

I realize it's too early to dwell on this, but IF the Cubs continue in their losing ways to the point where they are out of it come sometime around the end of July, I believe Hendry will jettison as many of the Cubs FAs-to-be as he can for whatever he can get for them (even if it's just a gaggle of Class "A" pitchers like he got for Hollandsworth and Lawton last year), save anywhere up to $8m in 2006 payroll, and go into 2007 with what's left PLUS a new 2B (could be Walker, but also could be ???), a veteran SP (could be Maddux, but also could be ???), and a different PH-1B-OF (TBD). I also would not be surprised if Hendry tries to trade Mark Prior during the off-season (although he will NOT just give him away), just because of his perceived "high maintenance."

It's POSSIBLE that Aramis Ramirez will exercise his player option and walk away from the Cubs after this season, and (depending on how he performs the rest of 2006) it's also possible that the Cubs will not exercise their $13m 2007 option on Kerry Wood and buy him out for $3m. But for now, I am presuming both will be back in 2007, because while if A-Ram walks and/or Wood is not brought back the Cubs would save a lot of 2007 payroll (about $21m after Wood's buy-out), they then would probably have to spend most or all of whatever they saved to replace either or both with somebody new (and quite possibly not as good) to be acquired via FA or trade.

BTW, I am NOT advocating the following, just projecting the most likely 2007 course Hendry would probably take AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW:

2007 STARTING LINEUP:
1. Felix Pie, CF
2. TBD, 2B or SS (or Cedeno, SS or 2B)
3. Derrek Lee, 1B
4. Aramis Ramirez, 3B
5. Jacque Jones, LF (moving to LF from RF in ST)
6. Michael Barrett, C
7. Matt Murton, RF (moving to RF from LF in ST)
8. Ronny Cedeno, SS or 2B (or TBD, 2B or SS)
NOTE: Jones would probably hit 5th vs RHP and 7th vs LHP, and the back-up catcher would hit 8th with the usual 6-7-8 (Jones, Murton, and Cedeno or TBD) each moving up one spot when Barrett is not playing.

NOTABLE FA 2B POSSIBLY AVAILABLE AFTER '06:
Luis Castillo (club option)
Craig Counsell
Mark Grudzielanek (player option)
Mark Loretta
Alfonso Soriano
Todd Walker

BENCH:
Buck Coats, IF-OF
Angel Pagan, OF
Neifi Perez, INF (yes, he COULD be the starting 2B in 2007)
Geovany Soto, C
TBD, 1B-OF-PH
Ryan Theriot, INF (at AAA)

STARTING ROTATION:
1. Carlos Zambrano
2. Kerry Wood (or Cubs could buy him out)
3. Mark Prior (or he could get traded for a 2B or a SS)
4. TBD (could be Maddux, or else another veteran SP)
5. Sean Marshall
OTHER CANDIDATES:
Angel Guzman (at AAA)
Rich Hill (at AAA)
Carlos Marmol (at AAA)
Juan Mateo (at AAA)
Jae-kuk Ryu (at AAA)
Chris Shaver (at AA)
Randy Wells (at AA)
Jerome Williams (will be out of options in 2007)

NOTABLE FA SP LIKELY AVAILABLE POST-2006:
Jose Contreras
Kelvim Escobar
Tom Glavine
Cory Lidle
Greg Maddux
Jason Marquis
Mark Mulder
Toma Ohka
Vicente Padilla
Chan Ho Park
Andy Pettitte
Jason Schmidt
Jeff Suppan
Jeff Weaver
Woody Williams
Barry Zito

BULLPEN:
Ryan Dempster
Scott Eyre
Bob Howry
Will Ohman
Michael Wuertz
Roberto Novoa (will be out of options in 2007 if he spends eight more days in minors in 2006)
Glendon Rusch (if he doesn't get traded or released post-'06)
David Aardsma (likely at AAA)
Clay Rapada (likely at AAA)
NOTE: Also any of the young pitchers not in the starting rotation could be assigned to the bullpen

Fact: The statistics of Expos and Cub pitchers with Michael Barrett behind the plate versus somebody else (Bako, Blanco, Schneider) don't lie.

Fact: Damian Miller was the man in charge behind the plate last time the Cubs made the playoffs (2004)

Fact: The Cub pitching staff has greatly disappointed since Michael Barrett arrived in town. Barrett certainly doesn't deserve all the blame and has zero to do with pitcher health, but he certainly has been a major player in a tragic formula in 2004, 2005, 2006.

Fact: If the Cubs are going to win around pitching, then they need a material upgrade behind the plate.

Glavine and Contreras are very unlikely available, fwiw. Well Contreras definitely isn't, he signed an extension, Glavine reworked his deal to include some odd options for next year, I assume you don't rework a deal like that if you're looking to leave.

mabry...macias...etc etc etc...

how about j.pierre, a.ramirez, c.zambrano, t.walker (hitting around .200 his last 15+ games), r.cedeno (hiting around .250 with no walks last 15+ games)...hell, when's the last time murton did anything but hit a single or get a walk, what was that 2+ weeks ago?

how about them?

granted, they don't have a clipboard or a pencil...but they do use balls and bats.

The Dusty bashers are going to get their wish. The man will be gone soon. Trouble is the team will still suck and little will ultimately change in terms of wins and losses. If you want to put a Band-Aid (firing Dusty) on a patient that needs major surgery (the Cubs), then be my guest.

Fact: you should look up the definition in the dictionary

The statistics of Expos and Cub pitchers with Michael Barrett behind the plate versus somebody else (Bako, Blanco, Schneider) don't lie.

I could care less about stats with Expos. I strongly believe that Barrett is a much better player than he was when he was with the Expos.

Damian Miller was the man in charge behind the plate last time the Cubs made the playoffs (2004)

This irrelevant to the conversation.

The Cub pitching staff has greatly disappointed since Michael Barrett arrived in town

To blame Barrett for this is foolish. They have dissapointed when pitching to Blanco also. If you want to blame anyone, blame the pitching coach and the pitchers.

Fact: If the Cubs are going to win around pitching, then they need a material upgrade behind the plate.

I think you are confused about what a fact it. Your last statement is a thing called an opinion. That is no where near a fact.

Maybe the Cubs pitchers should learn how to throw strikes if they want to build around pitching. That would be a better idea than getting rid of your second or third best offensive weapon.

Mike: simple question:

How does Dusty Baker make the team he manages better?

And for a follow up, how have we EVER seen that in action during his tenure as a Cub?

I hope this doesn't come as a revelation to some of you, but Felix Pie is not top of the order material. Rather he ideally projects as a guy who bats #6 or #7. He is an aggressive swinger who doesn't walk, much like everything else produced by this organization. Pie should spend the entire 2006 campaign in Des Moines. He still has lots of things to work on.

And to think Juan Pierre cost this organization Ricky Nolasco and Renyel Pinto. Again, nice work Jim Hendry.

Mike...we all know that Pie is not a leadoff hitter. But we also know that he is fast, so Dusty will probably bat him lead off.

And the Pierre trade was the right thing to do, even if Pierre has underperformed. That was a deal that had to be made.

Fact: The Cubs didn't make the playoffs in 2004

Fact: The Cubs didn't make the playoffs in 2004

Hehe...

I'm not defending Dusty. Fact is he has made more than his share of mistakes and is better suited to manage a high expectation, veteran laden team like the Red Sox or Yankees. But to think that whacking Dusty is magically going to cure what ails this ballclub, is just plain wrong. The sharks smell blood in the water, and they will invariably soon have Dusty for lunch.

The Cub roster is poorly constructed and a big fat mess. Meanwhile Jim Hendry's much ballyhooed farm system continues to greatly disappoint (recent "can't miss" prospects Angel Guzman and Rich Hill are submitted as Exhibit A and B, respectively).

Someone please tell me how no more Dusty is going to magically transform the Cubs.

Meanwhile Jim Hendry's much ballyhooed farm system continues to greatly disappoint

Disappoint? They have produced Lee, A-Ram, Cedeno, Murton, Marshall, Prior, Wood, Pierre. And that is just on the current roster.

Why do you only point out the disappointments without pointing out the rewards of the farm system?

#84 of 84: By Mike (May 15, 2006 12:49 PM)
I hope this doesn't come as a revelation to some of you, but Felix Pie is not top of the order material. Rather he ideally projects as a guy who bats #6 or #7. He is an aggressive swinger who doesn't walk, much like everything else produced by this organization. Pie should spend the entire 2006 campaign in Des Moines. He still has lots of things to work on.

And to think Juan Pierre cost this organization Ricky Nolasco and Renyel Pinto. Again, nice work Jim Hendry.

MIKE: The idea that Pie is not a top-of-the-order hitter sure doesn't come as a "revelation" to me, since I have posted many, many, many times here at TCR that I do NOT see Felix Pie as a lead-off hitter, but I believe the Cubs DO project him as a lead-off hitter, which is why I put him there in my projection for 2007. Like I said, the projection is what I believe will most likely happen given the current circumstances.

However, I don't see Pie as a #7 hitter either. I believe Pie will be a middle-of-the-order run producer.

Not a Corey sympathizer, just an interested observer. IF (and I realize that's a big IF with Corey) he keeps playing at a reasonably productive level, he becomes Exhibit A of the incompetence of the entire Cubs organization -- never taught plate discipline, promoted to the majors despite poor performances at AA and AAA level, then thrust into the guaranteed failure spotlight of leading off. Mismanagement 101.

I disagree on Juan Pierre. The "deal to be made" was for Rafael Furcal, his early struggles with the Dodgers notwithstanding. Furcal is an exceptional defensive shortstop and lead-off man. With Furcal, Ronny Cedeno could have been slotted to play 2nd base with Neifi Perez and Jerry Hairston coming off the bench. Hendry swung and missed on Furcal, got desperate and went out and paid a premium for Pierre. The guy is showing that his disappointing 2005 wasn't an aberration, but rather a precursor of a major downslide in performance for a guy hovering around 30 and whose game is heavily dependent on speed and the mechanical health of his legs. Pierre cost the Cubs two quality prospects in Ricky Nolasco and Renyel Pinto, both of whom are now pitching for Florida. Meanwhile, if Pierre DOES work out, then where does number one prospect Felix Pie fit? Answer is nowhere. Matt Murton doesn't have the arm to play right and Pierre is strictly a centerfielder.

Last offseason, Hendry swung and missed on the opportunity to acquire a 27 year old five tool talent in Carlos Beltran.

The list goes on and on. The only thing Hendry seems to be good at is swinging deals for players making major dough (Ramirez, Lee) who other teams are anxious to move for economic reasons. Whoopie. My 68 year old mother could have made either of the trades that landed Ramirez and Lee.

"Someone please tell me how no more Dusty is going to magically transform the Cubs"

I can show you what keeping Dusty has done to the Cubs-
last 16 games
14 losses

How can it be worse?

Uh, Dave -- in #89 -- are you seriously NOT including Pierre -- currently the worst leadoff man in baseabll, under "disappointments"? Wow --how far below expectations does a guy have to perform to make your "disappointment" list? I'd love you to do my annual review at work!

patterson has 5 walks in his 81abs...not much is different at all between cubs corey and baltimore corey besides his sb/cs #s...he looks like his timidness on the bases has been thrown away.

he's stated he's not changing anything and he's gonna be "corey being corey" (not his words).

he's only a single 0 for 4 day from being in the mid-.260s/low-.300s avg/ob%...

I agree Dusty should go, but not because he sucks. Because he is a manager that manages veterans. Veterans know their job and they go do it and Dusty flips his toothpick.

With young guys, they require leadership.

I say get Baltimore's old manager, Lee Mazilli.

Mike and Arm, I agree with you about McPhail and Hendry. If the Trib were remotely interested in putting a winner on the field, Andy and Jim would be gone after this season. At the beginning of the season, there were rumors that the Trib would be selling the team. As you know, the newspaper business including the Trib are seriously bleeding money. The Cubs revenue is keeping the S.S. Trib from sinking. The true motives of this organization remain obvious.
I asked before and I didn't get too much response when I asked who realistically would come here to manage? Bob Castellini has been wooing Lou Pinella since he left the Rays. The Reds have Lou's buddy, Billy Hatcher (first base coach, I know, big deal). Either the Reds or the Yanks would get Lou. He has no ties here. Steve Stone wants Hendry's job. A big no thanks for Brenly-he's underwhelming.
My vote goes to Ryne Sandberg or the ancient, grouchy one, Jack McKeon (1-2 year deal, he kicks players' butts and they get sick of him quick).
Please no more, "just happy to be here" managers.
I was at Saturday's game, which absolutely should have been won. I felt really sorry for Greg Maddux, who made a great defensive play AND stole a base. I'm sure he would have gone for a CG, if he could have. That team should have been inspired by his efforts. Those of us freezing our asses off in the stands sure were. That game to me, sealed the deal that Maddux won't be here next year. I'd say LA, SF or SD get him.I wish I could quit the Cubs, they seem to have no trouble quitting us.

"I can show you what keeping Dusty has done to the Cubs-
last 16 games
14 losses"

and what did juan pierre, aramis ramirez, todd walker, ronnie cedeno, and pretty much everyone but j.jones/m.barrett do in those 16 games?

#92 of 92: By Mike (May 15, 2006 01:04 PM)
"Pierre cost the Cubs two quality prospects in Ricky Nolasco and Renyel Pinto, both of whom are now pitching for Florida"

#88 of 92: By Mike (May 15, 2006 12:55 PM)
"Meanwhile Jim Hendry's much ballyhooed farm system continues to greatly disappoint (recent "can't miss" prospects Angel Guzman and Rich Hill are submitted as Exhibit A and B, respectively)."

----

MIKE: Really? How do you reconcile those two statements?

I don't think Hendry will rebuild. . . If he trades Eyre or Howry, then he has to replace them with another veteran reliever or two, and he simply might not be able to do that as easily as he did last off-season.

Phil, this has the disappointing ring of truth to it. I'd prefer they go in a different direction and look to develop Aardvark, Ohman, Guzman or Brownlie.

The "deal to be made" was for Rafael Furcal

I don't necessarily disagree. But I am glad that Hendry did not overpay Furcal. And he is not as nearly as good defensively as he used to be. It is pretty clear to me that Hendry made the right decision on Furcal, especially seeing how Cedeno and Walker have performed at SS and 2B.

Answer is nowhere. Matt Murton doesn't have the arm to play right and Pierre is strictly a centerfielder.

Pie could easily play any of the outfield positions. But that is somewhat irrelevant, because it would appear that Pierre will not be re-signed at the end of the season.

Hendry swung and missed on ...Carlos Beltran

I would have loved to see Beltran in CF for the Cubs. But I woudl not love to see his mediocre numbers for the price that he is getting paid. Again, Hendry made the right decision on Beltran.

The only thing Hendry seems to be good at is swinging deals for players making major dough (Ramirez, Lee) who other teams are anxious to move for economic reasons.

Both Ramirez and Lee were great deals. And you know it. You can say that anyone could have done it, but they didn't. And the Cubs very much have benefited from those deals.

And it didn't stop there. The Nomar/Murton trade was a phenomenal trade. It didn't work our because of Nomar's fragility - but it was a great deal if just for Murton. The Barrett trade was a great deal. Signing Walker for such a cheap deal was solid. Getting Dempster and Williamson was good.

Again - there are things that I would have loved to see Hendry do differently. I strongly believe that the Cubs could have signed Tejada, we the Cubs missed out. I hate the three year deal to Jones and the deals that Rusch and Neifi got. But I think that Hendry had done much more good for this franchise than bad.

furcal sucks and isn't close to being worth DLee money.

beltran took less money to play in NY.

neither of these things have anything to do with hendry's ability as a GM. please try again.

From Mike, post #80:

"If you want to put a Band-Aid (firing Dusty) on a patient that needs major surgery (the Cubs), then be my guest."

What are your suggestions to improve this team then Mike? I have seen you blast Hendry, Walker and Barrett, while defending Dusty, but I do not see any alternatives proposed.

From what I can understand you want to bring in a strong defensive 2nd baseman and catcher, a new GM, and keep Dusty.... I'm sorry, but that scenario doesn't seem to be the "major surgery" you are looking for either.

Maybe I am simply misunderstanding you though...

#99 - AZ Phil -- easy to reconcile. Cubs keep the lousy pitchers, give away the good ones.

Uh, Dave -- in #89 -- are you seriously NOT including Pierre under "disappointments"?

No...that is not what I was saying at all. Pierre has definitely been a disappointment. Miek said the farm system has been a disappointment.

I was pointing out that the farm system has produced a lot, including Pierre.

beltran took less money to play in NY

that's a new one...

I'm not going to get into the whole Barrett argument again, but I'll quickly rehash the points that have been made in the past.

1) CERA is a useless statistic, especially when you're comparing two catchers that are working with different pitchers (i.e. Barrett catching Maddux and various minor leaguers in '05, while Blanco primarily catches Zambrano).

2) Multiple Cubs pitchers (including the Professor) have gone on record saying that Barrett is a good catcher and they have no problem throwing to him. I posted citations to several articles with the quotes earlier this year. The "pitchers hate Barrett" thing is a conspiracy theory until someone can dig up a citation to support it.

3) Unless Barrett has a sadistic streak we're not aware of, he wasn't responsible for the injuries that have kept this team's two aces -- Wood and Prior -- from performing up to the '03 standard. Anyone blaming Barrett for the poor starting pitching since '03 without addressing those injuries is either willfully ignorant or simply disingenuous.

Sorry, but Barrett is just a scapegoat for a pitching staff that was way overhyped after '03. It isn't his fault that some pitchers can't stay healthy, that minor leaguers often pitch like minor leaguers, and that a 40 year old Greg Maddux sometimes pitches like a 40 year old.

vorare - I completely agree with you on everything but the "overhyped" staff. The staff was not over-hyped. The only reason that they disappointed was because of injuries. They didn't underperform as much as they were just unable to perform at all.

Maybe our pitchers need viagra...

One last Corey thought -- by last year, it was evident he was a guy with 25 HR/30 SB potential (as in 2004), and could play a good defensive CF, but who had no plate discipline and was a high K guy. Why in the world would you bat a player like that leadoff, the one spot that puts the spotlight on his biggest weakness? Because he's fast?
...annnnnd if "speed at the top" is your logic, why isn't Pierre stealing 2B in the 7th inning with no outs and Piazza behind the plate Saturday? Even Piazza was yellig "Go ahead and steal, I've got no chance to throw you out!"

I agree firing Dusty won't fix the current problems -- and who knows, maybe the Cubs can pull an Astros and go crazy after June 1, as my 9-year old son keeps telling me -- but Dusty's decisions just don't make sense.

#104 of 106: By billybucks (May 15, 2006 01:16 PM)
#99 - AZ Phil -- easy to reconcile. Cubs keep the lousy pitchers, give away the good ones.

-

BILLY BUCKS: I suppose if you automatically believe any young pitcher the Cubs keep must be "lousy" and any young pitcher they trade away must be a "quality prospect," then I guess it makes sense.

But I just cannot see how anyone can label Nolasco and Pinto as "quality prospects" while describing Marshall, Guzman, Hil, Ryu, Marmol, et al as "lousy" or even "disappointing." I like Nolasco and Pinto (especially Nolasco), but I'd take Marshall and Guzman over Nolasco and Pinto, and even Hill (who I am not crazy about) over Pinto, any day of the week.

Rob G: beltran wanted to play for the yankees so badly that he offered to sign with them for less money than the mets and astros were offering, but they were apparently not interested. he went with the mets instead.

it should be pretty obvious that he was set on NYC from day one.

Chris...He didn't take less money from the Mets though. If I remember correctly, the Mets offered signficantly more than any other team was offering.

Dusty Baker needs to be fired for his offensive coaching alone. The last 3 years our offense has underacheived with some real good players. I get the feeling Baker just tells his players to swing at the first pitch no matter what. Pretty lame team....

okay, never heard the yankees thing about willing to take less $$$. Being a Boras client, I don't think that's even allowed.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/bb...

this article claims beltran took the mets offer for the no-trade clause, the $$$ was about the same when you figure in state taxes.

I'm not going to defend Dusty. Go ahead and have him whacked if that will make some of you happy. The result will be like giving morphine to a solider who is dying on the battlefield. It might prop the patient up for a little while, but in the long-term the prognosis is the same.

The Cubs need a major A to Z overhaul. Fire Hendry, Omar Fleita and Dusty. Do a complete makeover of the minor league system and player development philosophy. New scouting, coaching and instruction philosophy. No more Brian Dopirak, Brendan Sing, Ryan Harvey, Jason Dubois, Corey Patterson types. More focus on pitchers with solid mechanics and geniune pitching talent (e.g., Mark Pawlenty, Sean Marshall), less focus on the untamed flamethrowers with mechanics that scream out future inconsistency and injury. In terms of the big league club, I blow the thing up, even if it means I have to endure a boatload of losses for a few seasons. Only true "keepers" are Derrek Lee and Ronny Cedeno.

Something else for the Pro Pope Hendry crowd to chew on. In 2002 Hendry brought in Larry Rothschild to be pitching coach under Don Baylor after the Oscar Acosta debacle. Dusty has little say in who the pitching coach is.

Can anyone name me the last Cub pitcher was was "coached up" by Rothschild? Or any young pitcher outside of perhaps Carlos Zambrano that Rothschild had a material positive impact on? A few years ago all we kept hearing was the embarrassment of riches the Cubs had in terms of young pitching talent. How come none of that talent has benefitted from presence of Rothschild? Certainly not Farnsworth, Leicester, Wuertz, Wellemeyer, Guzman, Ohlman or Hill. It's been three years in a row that Kerry Wood and Mark Prior have been plagued by issues with their mechanics that led to injuries. Jon Koronko gets shipped to Texas where they teach him to throw a cut fastball and POOF, he puts up quality, steady numbers inthe Rangers' rotation.

Exactly WHAT IS IT that makes Rothschild some damned special in the eyes of Pope Hendry?

Mike, you really must be Manny Trillo's twin. Are you enjoying writing the same post over and over and over and over ad infinitum?

Btw, it's Oneri Fleita, not Omar. It's Brandon Sing, not Brendan. It's Mark Pawelek, not Pawlenty.

Are you one of those annoying troll White Sox fans?

Someone please tell me how no more Dusty is going to magically transform the Cubs.

Of course, the very simple question; "How does Dusty Baker make the team he manages better" can still not be answered, even by people who say Dusty will be better off when he is not on the Cubs.

But in answer to your question. A new manager won't magically transform this Cub team into a championship caliber team. However, a new manager should be able to at least use strategy that makes it more (not less) likely that the Cubs win and/or he should be able to motivate his players to care about winning ballgames.

More importantly, when the Cubs do have a championship caliber team again, they will have no longer have a manager that is unable to win when it matters most.

But again, I'd still like an answer: What does Dusty Baker do that makes the team he manages better? AND How have we seen that during his tenure as Cubs manager?

Ohman, not Ohlman.

Koronka, not Koronko.

Update your calendars. Pencil in:
Kerry Wood's debut later this week --"if he feels good in two side sessions"

Mark Prior - June 3

Wade Miller - Mid June

But there's this additional caveat, while all reports are that Kerry Wood and Wade Miller feel great --Miller says he hasn't felt this good throwing since long before he was injured-- I can find nothing about Prior's level of comfort. He pitched a sim game Sunday.

Down at Iowa, Jerome Williams was shelled for six earned runs and didn't go five. He's back. This is the JW the Giants lost patience with and Larry Rothschild failed to rehabilitate. But David Aardsma and Michael Wuertz have proven to be virtually unhittable. Aardsma is doing multiple innings stints and may be in line to take over Glendon Bag-a-doughnuts' middle relief role -- but then Hendry would have to admit he blew it by signing Rusch to a multi-year contract.

Andrew. My apologies to the Luvable Loser Society if my frank assessment of matters doesn't set right with you. Sorry, but a 98 year old and couting record of futility doesn't make me happy. Sorry also if I'm not about to chalk everything wrong with the Cubs to the presence of Dusty Baker in the dugout.

Hendry's inability to recognize his mistakes, and then correct them, is probably his biggest flaw in my opinion.

Which explains why both Larry and Dusty (and the rest of Dusty's staff) still have jobs with this team.

Mike,

My apologies to the Luvable Loser Society if my frank assessment of matters doesn't set right with you. Sorry, but a 98 year old and couting record of futility doesn't make me happy. Sorry also if I'm not about to chalk everything wrong with the Cubs to the presence of Dusty Baker in the dugout.

No apology necessary, you're the one that looks like an idiot. I'd simply like you to spell names correctly if you don't mind. Counting, not couting.

Andrew, this is a blog, not a spelling test.

CWP-
Where did the Prior and Miller dates come from?

I agree that this is not a spelling test, however, a typo is one thing, not knowing a players name is another.

Example:

It is OK to not know how to spell Doug MAN-CAVE-ITCH

It is not OK to spell Kerry Wood as Kerry Woods or Mark Prior as Mark Pryor.

Mark Prior contracted a mild case of athlete's foot and therefore his recovery timetable has been pushed back 5 weeks.

Chad - what is with "Job?" Is your life going to hell or something?

"Mike, you really must be Manny Trillo's twin"

You may be on to something. Both of them spell "the" t-e-h.

#120 of 120: By cubswinthepennant (May 15, 2006 01:49 PM)
Down at Iowa, Jerome Williams was shelled for six earned runs and didn't go five. He's back. This is the JW the Giants lost patience with and Larry Rothschild failed to rehabilitate. But David Aardsma and Michael Wuertz have proven to be virtually unhittable. Aardsma is doing multiple innings stints and may be in line to take over Glendon Bag-a-doughnuts' middle relief role -- but then Hendry would have to admit he blew it by signing Rusch to a multi-year contract.

--

CWTP: Jerome Williams is on target to be the next Leicester/Mitre/Wellemeyer... that is, a pitcher who will be out of minor league options after this season, and, having no future with the Cubs, will be worth one (or maybe two) Class "A" pitchers unlikely to ever see the lights of AAA, much less Wrigley Field.

And Roberto Novoa could soon join J. Williams in that same class (out of options come 2007), because once he gets sent back to Iowa (and I would expect that to happen pretty soon, with Michael Wuertz likely rejoining the Cubs sooner rather than later), Novoa will need just eight days on optional assignment for his third and final option year to kick-in. And once Novoa is out of options, he becomes a likely candidate to get traded before the start of the 2007 season, too.

BB,

I agree that this is not a spelling test, however, a typo is one thing, not knowing a players name is another.

There you go. I was trying to demonstrate to Mike that if you're going to be a know-it-all contrarian, you should get players' names right. Otherwise, it shows that you're not that familiar with the team yourself.

The "counting" remark was petty but was in the same vein.

Class dismissed, teach?

Maybe Rusch's long-term contract would not be a total waste if Dusty knew how to use him correctly. He'd be perfect as that left-handed BP pitcher that Dusty says we need. Two problems solved.

re: beltran, the article I recall was in the context of houston's shock at losing him...boras called cashman at the 11th hour trying to get a deal, even though it'd be well below the mets' offer. cashman declined and beltran went with the mets. the article was focusing more on how houston didn't get a phone call at all.

Maybe if somebody swiped Glendon's dinner fork away from him everything would be okay too. Hendry needed to add a weight clause in that otherwise ridiculous contract he handed over to a guy who has produced precisely one decent major league season and is more than 30 games under .500 for his career. But I guess when you have 95 million smackaroonies to play with like Hendry does, who cares if you throw around a few extra million here and there for utter crap (Rusch, Neifi, Jones). Or so the thinking goes at Tribune Tower.

well if you have that article I'd sure like to see a link. It doesn't sound at all like how Boras does business. My recollection is the Yankees stepping out of the sweepstakes rather early. Really no big deal though, in about 4 years we'd complain about what a bad deal it was. Actually we would have been complaining last year.

Dave,

My life is not going to hell but I feel unfairly beaten down as a Cub fan. I give an undying devotion to this team and they just keep on pounding me into the ground.

Makes me feel like Job.

I understand...

Andrew: Fair points, but the names he misspelled aren't exactly the household names that Wood and Prior are. However, considering Mike also said 2004 was the last year for a Cubs playoff appearance, you've certainly got a point.

Mike: I'd still like an answer to my question.

If you believe getting fired by the Cubs would be the best thing to ever happen to Dusty, then my question should be easy to answer.

What has Dusty Baker done to make the teams he manage better, and how have we seen that from Dusty during his time with the Cubs?

What is Piniella's reputation as a strategist? This is a serious question...can anyone comment? Because if he got the job and wasn't a top-flight strategist -- like people on this board surely would be if they were the manager -- then how is he going to help?

Meant to say 2003, not 2004. Honest mistake. In terms of spelling, I pound out this messages in rapid fire from my office laptop. Not really into spellchecking and the like, but the points regarding spelling miscues are duly noted.

I have never said Dusty is a great manager. I am also indifferent as to whether he gets whacked by the Cubs. But all I know is that replacing Dusty will do little to fix what is fundamentally broken with this roster and organization. All I also know is that nine of the ten teams that Dusty managed in San Francisco were legitimate playoff contenders despite having average overall talent outside of Barry Steroid. All I also know is that Dusty won three Manager of the Year awards while in San Francisco. Has he done a great job in Chicago? No. Should his current job be on the line? Yes. Will replacing him wiht the next Tom Treblehorn, Jim Lefebrve, Jim Essian, Jim Riggleman, Don Baylor, Bruce Kimm amount in a hill of beans difference if everything else remains the same? Nope. Again, some of you think a Band-Aid (firing Dusty) as opposed to major surgery is required for the patient. We shall continue to disagree on diagnosis.

Meant to say 2003, not 2004. Honest mistake. In terms of spelling, I pound out this messages in rapid fire from my office laptop. Not really into spellchecking and the like, but the points regarding spelling miscues are duly noted.

I have never said Dusty is a great manager. I am also indifferent as to whether he gets whacked by the Cubs. But all I know is that replacing Dusty will do little to fix what is fundamentally broken with this roster and organization. All I also know is that nine of the ten teams that Dusty managed in San Francisco were legitimate playoff contenders despite having average overall talent outside of Barry Steroid. All I also know is that Dusty won three Manager of the Year awards while in San Francisco. Has he done a great job in Chicago? No. Should his current job be on the line? Yes. Will replacing him wiht the next Tom Treblehorn, Jim Lefebrve, Jim Essian, Jim Riggleman, Don Baylor, Bruce Kimm amount in a hill of beans difference if everything else remains the same? Nope. Again, some of you think a Band-Aid (firing Dusty) as opposed to major surgery is required for the patient. We shall continue to disagree on diagnosis.

Makes me feel like Job.

Well, Lee Elia always thought Cub fans should go out and get a Job, so I think you are on the right track.

When Dusty gets whacked or walks away in disgust in a few weeks, someone like Chris Spieier will invariably be slapped with the "interim" tag for the remainder of the season. The Great Jim Hendry (he the man of minimal accountability and strategy for constructing the ballclub that changes with the wind) will conduct a full scale search for a new manager at the end of the season. I can imagine the candidates won't include major "names" (e.g., Lou Pinella, Bob Brenly), but rather guys seeking their first crack at managing in the bigs.

Speaking of Pinella, he is little more than an aging, puffed out guy who doesn't seem to want to work very hard at this stage. He's never been known as a strategist or an exceptionally hard worker. In other words the last set of ingredients needed in the Cub duguout.

Now Carrie Muskat, over at cubs.com, is staing in today's piece that "[t]he Cubs could turn things around and win 20 out of the next 25 games . . . ." I am not sure what she has been smoking. She has got to be the # 1 apologist for the Cubs. I realize that it is her job not to be tough on this club but, please, Carrie, 20 out of 25? Give me a break. This team would be lucky to even play .500 ball in the next 25 games.

In the same article, Williamson is quoted as saying that the guys are "hitting the cover off the ball." His comments suggest that the current bad streak is just bad luck. I wonder if he really believes that. If the majority of the players on this team believe that, too, then we are in trouble. Has Scotty looked at some of the recent scores? You don't lose 9-0 or the like day after day based just on bad luck.

BTW Bob, sarcasm aside, it would be nice to have a decent strategist on the bench.
After Dusty's Follies over the last 3 years, it would be welcome.
Now lay back down at Dusty's feet....

it's some bad luck when you've only outplayed the Pirates & Royals so far this season.

If you are indifferent about whether Dusty Baker stays or goes, then it should be easy to say how he makes a team better, and how he has done that for the Cubs.

If you can't answer the simple question, then what justification do you have for allowing him to keep his job.

I don't think Hendry has been great, he certainly has flaws, and in an offseason with poor talent availablity, he didn't do a great job. But I'm not going to ignore how well Hendry built the Cubs teams of 2003, 2004, and even 2005 because of a poor performance in one single offseason.

What this organization really needs is a new fundamental offensive approach from the Minor leagues up. Now firing Dusty Baker may not accomplish this. Nobody can argue that is the man to institute such changes. This organization as a whole seems to run away from any new school philosophy and overspends on players that can dispel the notion that players with high obp help you win.

any fundamental change in the organization would have to start at the top and McPhail is all about old school scouting (as is Hendry and pretty much everyone else in the organization). We'll shall enjoy our toolsy, athletic players who can't work a count and you will like it.

Firing Dusty isn't going to fix many of the problems since McFail and Hendry need to go as well. I'll go further and say Fitzsimons needs to be fired too.

However, an incompetent, lazy, moronic boob like Dusty (AND every coach who has ever even looked in his direction) should be fired asap.

Dusty should have been fired after 2004 when he lost control of the team in mid season. Alou blaming the umps, Hawkins attacking umps, Barrett putting his own issues with Oswalt over the team, Dusty/Alou/Walker/Merker/Hendry blaming Stone and Chip for every woe. Isn't that the season Dusty also blamed white players for not playing well in the heat of day games?

It doesn't matter who the GM is, Dusty needs to be fired.

I was at the game yesterday and was surprised there wasn't more booing. There was some here and there, but not enough. After the game people walking out were talking about how pissed they are at the team and management. Then start showing it. Don't buy any tickets. If you already have tickets and choose to go to a game, you can do two things. 1- Don't buy any concessions, and I mean ANY. NO food, no drinks, no hats, blankets, etc. 2 - If the team deserves it, then boo vehemently. Don't sit on your hands and be polite. The squeeky wheel gets the oil. Fans who keep giving their money to the team and refuse to make their feelings known are only making the matter worse. The Trib will respond when they are realizing this is hurting their bottom line.

Why don't the groups that are talking about some form of protest do it on a game day, picket in front of the stadium on several days this year. Hand out flyers asking people not to buy any concessions in the ballpark.

just because someone trys to shift focus on players...the people with the bats...the people who throw the ball...it does NOT mean "dusty baker is the best thing in the world."

it means...at what point do grown professionals put in their proper place take responsibility for their own actions.

dust isnt putting pierre in to catch and s.williamson out in CF. he's not asking everyone out there to popout, ground out, strike out, or otherwise drag their hitting to the basement.

its pretty safe to say pierre, aram, and walker know how to play this game. their last 15+ games have been horrid...for pierre/aram all year has been horrid. not bad...horrid...really really bad.

like it or not...these guys along with j.jones/barrett/murton are being counted on and even those 3, while having some positives with the bat lately, also have some defensive downsides or power downsides in the case of murton.

murton's lack of anything but a single/walk the past many weeks SHOULD bother people. it really should. i dunno why it isn't. sometimes i feel like i'm the only one alarmed by this on this board. we all know he's capable of more than these grounders.

murton's lack of anything but a single/walk the past many weeks SHOULD bother people.

It does bother me, but not nearly as much as other issues with the Cubs right now. At least Murton is getting on base.

The play of Pierre, A-Ram, and to a lesser extent the recent play of Cedeno and Walker are much more bothersome than Murton.

totally...i'm bothered by many player's play recently...a lot more than murton.

i just cannot look past what he is doing out there and just hold his ob% in high esteem. yes, its nice, but that is not murton's complete game. its like praising jones for his nice catches, but ignoring his throwing woes...it may "even out" a bit but its still an issue.

Crunch, you are right.
However, to repeat an often used cliche,"the Cubs are not going to fire 25 players."

The attitude of this team stinks, their lackadaisacal play and apparent lack of fundamentals is appalling. Dusty "Nero" Baker fiddles while Cubdom burns around him, and this just isn't good enough. His lineup mismanagement, atrocious bullpen management, and the team-wide lack of discipline means that he has to go. Period.

It would be nice to see Murton turn on a pitch and drive a 2B to left center or a HR....

#148 of 152: By aaronb (May 15, 2006 03:22 PM)
What this organization really needs is a new fundamental offensive approach from the Minor leagues up. Now firing Dusty Baker may not accomplish this. Nobody can argue that is the man to institute such changes. This organization as a whole seems to run away from any new school philosophy and overspends on players that can dispel the notion that players with high obp help you win.

I meant to say that nobody can argue that Dusty ISNT the man in institute such changes. He has made it clear that the name of the game is hitting. Not walking.

I go to around a dozen Cub games per season. I've been going to games at Wrigley since 1977. Believe me, the fan base has completely transmogrified. Gone is a ballpark filled by mostly diehards and baseball purists. In their place are boatloads of professionals and yuppies making healthy incomes. Sure, some are diehard Cub fans and come to root baseball. But most don't really know (or care) a whole lot about the Cubs or baseball. Rather they come to Wrigley more for the appearance or to hang out on a beautiful sun drenched day. Or they come with co-workers or an important client. Or they come out to be seen by other attractive young people. Wrigley has morphed into a shopping mall experience.

If the Cubs are on pace to lose 110 games, Wrigley will still remain packed. Just like with the Tribune Company, for most Wrigely fans nowadays winning is nice, but not the most important or sole criterion.

Those advocating a tear-down of the Cub player development philosophy need to begin with Jim Hendry. He's the man who presides over a system that keeps pumping out guys who post massive strikeout totals and can't play the field (Jason Dubois, Brian Dopirak, Brendan Sing). Maybe somebody should let Hendry know that the Cubs don't play in a beer league that employs the DH rule.

yuppies happen...i dunno how the fan base in LA feel about their now 2 decade old embarrasment of the "arrive late, leave early" fans.

the dodgers fans i frequent find it a pretty sore subject on a small, but sensitive, level.

I have no desire to lay down at Dusty's feet. Of course, anything resembling non-criticism of him is viewed as being a lapdog. There are bigger problems on this team than him, but I personally would not mind if he were let go. I do believe he brought an average team to to the brink of the WS in '03. I believe he underachieved in '04, obviously. Last year and part of this year, I don't think he's been the major problem. I did not expect them to contend last year, and that's what happened. I did expect them to contend this year, but I didn't plan on seeing D-Lee get hurt and see the rest of the team go in the tank. I also don't feel like he is responsible. Now, can/should he be held accountable? Of course, he's the manager.

But if you really think he's the reason this team can't hit, then there's nothing I can say to convince you otherwise.

If saying he's not the main reason for this team being lousy right now is "laying at his feet," fine. It's an idiotic statement, but go ahead and make it.

avg/ob% - slugging (may)

.259/.259 .296 - r.cedeno (13 games)
.236/.259 .436 - a.ramirez (14 games)
.172/.238 .224 - j.pierre (14 games)
.184/.241 .245 - t.walker (14 games)

.263/.364 .263 - m.murton (13 games)
.311/.340 .489 - j.jones (13 games)
.273/.400 .455 - m.barrett (11 games)

that's just for reference...yes, its that damn bad at the plate. yes, that might have a pretty huge impact on recent losses.

Well...the good news is that Barrett and Jones have been hitting the ball pretty well...

dusty is not the guy to institute these changes. I am writing like a mongoloid today.

Rob & anyone else who gives a rat's ass...

Here's the Beltran situation:

Mets were offering $17 mil. per for 7 years with a complete NTC.
Astros were ready to pay similar money, but wouldn't include the no-trade clause.
Boras went to the Yankees at the last minute and actually did offer them a "discount". They were offered Beltran's services for $16.5 mil for 6 years... presumably because Beltran thought his chances of winning were better with the Yanks and at the time, Reuben Sierra was romancing Beltran with how wonderful it is to be a Yankee.

In March I predicted the Cubs would be a 4th place ballclub. Hence why I too do not believe firing Dusty Baker will cure all ills. It is a broken ballclub regardless if Joe Torre, Joe Girardi or Joe Pesci were its manager.

cool, I never heard that, sorry for questioning.

Could where Murton is batting in the lineup be a reason for lack of hits? Not seeing good pitches?

Just asking.

Firing Dusty Baker will not be a cure-all to fix all the Cubs problems.

But the Cubs can not begin to fix their problems until Dusty Baker is fired.

i commented on murton weeks ago and some concerns about his plate approach.

he can hit all over the plate...pitchers are now pretty comfortable with this and they're pitching him some tempting low-low/outside stuff. he hit this well last year, but he also got a mix of stuff cuz of his inability to turn on the inside pitch.

now they're just feeding him "least dangerous" stuff and murt is taking it. its stuff he can hit, but just cuz he can hit doesnt mean its his pitch. with his eye he's capable of waiting on something...a mistake, a more solid pitch, something he can elevate, etc.

he may have claimed the plate, but he needs to reclaim the pitcher's mind.

Mike,

I'd rather a 1st time manager like Black, Cooper, Hershier, Mattingly, or Pendleton before I have some who has been a manager but is a burn out (Lou) or someone who only won a WS cause he was smart enough not to use 4-man rotation in the playoffs (Brenly).

we got bigger fish to fry than Murton. I think we're all just happy that Baker isn't shuffling him in and out of the lineup. His current lack of power is concern, but I don't see any reason why it would last. I guess it could, but it doesn't make a lot of sense. He has the power, he has the eye, he has the skill, it's just putting it all together and essentially "not thinking so much". And at least he's doing something positive on the team by not making outs and a few big hits way back when. Ramirez, Pierre, Z to an extent, worry me much more.

agreed rob...he's got the skills to change the scouting report.

Sounds like Murton could use some coaching at hitting.

*COUGH*

espn.com has all of their columnists appoligizing for Dusty Today. Not sure what that is all about.

believe it or not (and I realize you were making a joke), but I think he needs less coaching in this case. It seems like someone got in his head a little bit about making some adjustments and he's forcing the issue a little. Mostly speculation though on my part.

So no one has a scouting report on Shealy? Anyone, I'm genuinely curious.

its not an instant process to change these things. its easy to change the in-house scouting report...but there's 15-29 other teams out there for a NL team to deal with.

he was taught to exploit the inside...he's not stupid.

I honestly wonder if they're hearing a buzz about Dusty being shown the door. Hmmmm.....probably dreaming.

But a 0-6, 1-5, maybe even 2-4 week and I could potentially see a move by Monday. If he get our asses handed to us on by the WSox over the weekend, Hendry would be a fool not to do SOMETHING.

hell, dust is on the hot seat and then some.

rightly or wrongly, he is a target in the press and has been one for the fans for a while.

buster onley at ESPN (not everyone's cup of tea, including mine, but a good baseball man) is already calling for hendry to make up his mind on him and sign him or cut him.

found something, John Sickels sure likes him

http://www.minorleagueball.com/story/2006/3/5...

Rating Ryan Shealy at B+ may seem controversial, but he is sort of the hitting version of Jon Papelbon, another guy I like more than some experts. Shealy can really hit, and what he did in the majors last year is not a fluke. The hard part is finding him a place to play in Colorado.

If Dusty does indeed get whacked or quits, the following are two guys on my short list to replace him.

1. Bud Black - pitching coach Anaheim
2. Mike Maddux - pitching coach Milwaukee

The Cubs stuck with Sammy Sosa two seasons too long....tis better to trade a player a season too early than to trade him a season too late.

I was saying in 2004 that Sosa was a huge hole on the team and they should get rid of him in a trade while he has value....if only Hendry had been reading the boards...

I was saying that putting all your eggs in the Wood/Prior basket was dangerous.

I was saying that Corey Patterson needed to be coached--not traded...but the Cubs and Dusty want no part of grooming a player at the major league level.

The Cubs were burned by holding on to Sosa until his contract was up--when they did get rid of him the year his contract was up they ate his salary--got Jack squat in return and lost out in the free agent market to replace him....Hendry should pay for that fiasco.

The Cubs will never succeed as long as tribune co. owns them....Unlike the idiot Cub fans who pay to see the game--I refuse to give them one red cent until they commit to winning. Lately I haven't been watching them every game...I'd say my viewing is down 50% over most years. If fans would quit supporting this crap--this crap would be sold to someone willing to put a winner on the field.

Stop going to the damn game Cub fans!

I like both those guys Mike, but for whatever reason pitching coaches (pitchers in general) rarely get the call to be manager.

One of those odd baseball facts.

Wow, sounds like all of the Cubs' problems would be solved if Cubfan was the GM. He knows everything before it happens!

CUBFAN= Mrs. Cleo?

Manny's pud-whackery knows no bounds...

Posted 5 games after Lee was injured, during the Marlins series.

"The team is really showing me something to me. Dusty is squeezing every ounce from this team. Who would of thought this team would be 12-7 without Wood, Prior and Lee? AMAzing!!!"

Posted this weekend, after Dusty stopped "squeezing every ounce" from the Cubs...

"I would NEVER root for the team to lose, but I will continue to boo the team when the play like crap like they did to day. And I will continue to scream constantly on here and at the games about how bad of a position Hendry has continued to put this team in. My yelling at the game actually got through to a couple other fans who didn't see what I saw about Hendry. After long talks, they saw where I was coming from and started agreeing with me. They still think baker should go, but they now see Hendry is the main culprit and how BIG of a mistake it was to sign Hendry to an extesntion and that will put the Cubs 2-3 years off schedule again.
Ok, my rant's over, let the scorching commense, but keep yelling for Dusty to be fired (I agree 100% he should be gone if they don't make the playoffs this year, so keep that in mind as I have said it since the end of last year), but his departure means absolutely nothing good for the Cubs as they will continue to be the laughing stock of all sports until hendry gets his fat doughnut eating ass shipped out of town."

So, when the Cubs were winning a couple of games against a virtual minor league team, Dusty gets credit...

But, when they look and play like shit the following 3 weeks, Hendry gets that credit...

Brilliant!

One day someone will realize that all this Vubs team needs is a big bat, you can talk about Dusty getting the axe but it wont matter. The Cubs problems are all related to lack of a punch not the Dude!

If Dusty is let go in the next few weeks, I suspect that he will be replaced by a guy who will be clearly labelled as an interim manager. I don't think you are gonna see us sign someone to a two or three year contract in May or June. For one thing, who would want to step into this mess in May or June when we are pretty clearly destined to lose maybe 90 games? No, most quality guys would rather wait until the off season so they can at least start off the season tied with the opposition. My guess is that we could get someone like Chris Speier to finish out the year.

Put me in the camp that believes that if we continue to play the kind of baseball we have played the last couple of weeks, and say get blown out by the Sox, I expect that Dusty will be fired. I agree that this is not all his fault. I definitely agree. But, look, we might be 12-15 games out of first by the time the Sox leave the north side. If that happens, some sort of drastic move will just have to be made. I would rather see McPhail fired, and then Hendry fired but, barring that, it is going to be Dusty.

Gene Clines is Murton's hitting coach now and he hits more and more like Gene did. Who'd a thunk it?

Gene Clines' Notes for Coaching Matt Murton:

Average down - check. Murt's been hitting way over his head. Too much pressure on him to maintain that .302 career average. Nothing wrong with .277 or .278.

Slugging way down - check. I know we told him to pull the ball last year. This year we're working on hitting weak taps behind the runner.

OBP - way down but still much too high -- have the orange guy stop taking so many pitches. They don't call it HITTING for no reason.

The fact that Dusty still has a job might be the most damning piece of evidence against Jim Hendry.

If a 2 for 16 streak, along with the proven failures of the previous 3 years, aren't enough for Dusty to be fired, what is it going to take?

Seriously?

cubswinthepen...that's a bit of a stretch there.

gene clines isnt making murton into a worse player...the way murton hits is being taken advantage of.

there is a pitching strategy to go with a batting strategy...that's why some people get pitched some ways, some people get their own special defensive shifts, and why some hitters will rarely see a fastball.

CUBFAN= Mrs. Cleo?

Go through the archives if you wish...from 2004 and 2005. Many longtimers on this site remember me saying Sosa was a huge hole on the team coming off a season he hit 40 HRS....most laughed me off the forum...but I was right.

Same thing with the rest of the clubs.....I've pegged them dead on the past two seasons.

got a world series pick there nostradamus?

Cubfan,

I was about to call my bookie. Give me some insight and I will split my winnings with you. Whattaya say?

Cubfan;

"The Cubs stuck with Sammy Sosa two seasons too long."

So we didn't need his 40 homers and 103 RBIs in 03? Newsflash for you but with out Sosa in 03, we would never had been close to the post season that year. And that was our year. Yes they blew it that year but it wasn't Sammy's fault.

#193 of 193: By Job (Chad) (May 15, 2006 05:24 PM)
Cubfan;

"The Cubs stuck with Sammy Sosa two seasons too long."

So we didn't need his 40 homers and 103 RBIs in 03? Newsflash for you but with out Sosa in 03, we would never had been close to the post season that year. And that was our year. Yes they blew it that year but it wasn't Sammy's fault.

it was the players union's fault for agreeing to steriod testing

Aaron, I have no idea what your comment means.

No, I said following the 2003 season heading into 2004 that the Cubs should trade Sosa while he stil had value. Hendry held on to Sosa until he couldn't get a cheesecake for him....just like he will hold onto Baker.

No, I quoted EXACTLY what you typed.

Again here is what you typed:

#180 of 196: By cubfan (May 15, 2006 04:38 PM)
The Cubs stuck with Sammy Sosa two seasons too long....tis better to trade a player a season too early than to trade him a season too late."

The last season he played was 04. Again, contributing to a +.500 team that almost made the playoffs.

So two seasons too long would be 2 +.500 seasons that he was needed.

FYI....Guy Hoffman is from my hometown of Ottawa, Illinois. He's now working as a car saleman. Funny thing is his brother Greg was a heck of a softball player, actually 10 times the ball player Guy was.

Hendry held onto Sosa too long as I was saying they should have unloaded him after the 2003 season (CHECK THE ARCHIVES)

I specifically said he had VALUE but his value would drop drastically in 2004....and it did.

Holding on to a player too long is MUCH more costly than letting him go a year too soon.

Hendry again believed he had much more talent in Sosa than he actually did....as he consistently makes this same mistake over and over again.

Just for you CHAD

From the archives of none other than the Cub Reporter dated August 16, 2004

http://www.all-baseball.com/cubreporter/archi...

and I quote...

"I've been writing about Sosa's demise on the Cubs since spring training. Others better at writing than me (sports writers) are doing the same thing. I've caught much flak for not "believing" in this club. Problem is I do "believe" in this club but I think we've held onto Sosa a year too long. His trade value is now very minimal which equals his production contributions. I for one think the Cubs will not reach the playoffs or World Series until the Cubs do something about Sammy Sosa--that something is replace him with much better production and a "FEARED" presence in the lineup.

in the same article Chad posted...

"Sammy can and will come back. Don't write his eulogy yet."

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