And He Shall Be Livan

Our jeremiad had no apparent effect -- one day later and no one (not even Transmission) has been fired. So, back to what's happening on the field. GAME THIRTY-EIGHT IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] WASHINGTON NATIONALS (13-25, 4th, 10.5 GB) AT CHICAGO CUBS (15-22, 5th, 8.5 GB) Wrigley Field, 7:05 PM CDT Weather: TV: WCIU, DirecTV 744 Radio: WGN, XM 186
Carlos Zambrano, RHP 1-2, 3.88 ERA, 48 2/3 IP 54 K, 33 BB, 6 HR 233/359/439, .300 BABIP Livan Hernandez, RHP 1-4, 6.52 ERA, 50 2/3 IP 34 K, 17 BB, 11 HR 307/359/533, .323 BABIP

Alfonso Soriano, LF #Jose Vidro, 2B *Nick Johnson, 1B Jose Guillen, RF *Ryan Church, CF Ryan Zimmerman, 3B Wiki Wiki Gonzalez, C Royce Clayton, SS Livan Hernandez, P*Juan Pierre, CF Matt Murton, LF *Todd Walker, 2B Michael Barrett, C Aramis Ramirez, 3B *Jacque Jones, RF *John Mabry, 1B Ronny Cedeno, SS #Carlos Zambrano, P
Nationals vs. Zambrano: Daryle Ward: 6-25, 240/269/280, 3 K Royce Clayton: 3-16, 188/188/313, 5 KCubs vs. Hernandez: John Mabry: 12-21, 571/591/952, 2 HR, 2 K Aramis Ramirez: 6-19, 316/316/737, 2 HR, 4 K Henry Blanco: 5-15, 333/412/400, 2 BB, 2 K Neifi Perez: 8-30, 267/290/300, 1 BB, 1 K Juan Pierre: 18-68, 265/296/294, 2 BB, 6 K

For the last few years, I've wondered if Carlos Zambrano might be a sort of Livan Hernandez 2.0 -- a big, beefy righty capable of putting up 200-inning seasons over and over without succumbing to injury. Up until this season, the comparison would have been a compliment. This year, though, Livo has struggled mightily. He's still a horse, averaging 104 pitches and more than six innings per start, but batters are hitting over .300 against him, something they've never done to him in his career. That number should come down into the .275 range, but it might not happen this year, and I'm actually optimistic it won't start heading down tonight. The current Cubs roster has hit him well, with John Mabry and Aramis Ramirez leading the way. Meanwhile, Zambrano has handled the current Nats, allowing no home runs and giving out only three walks, two to Jose Guillen (who's hurt) and one to pitcher Brian Lawrence. I don't know why I'm optimistic about tonight's game -- maybe it's because I've been travelling over the last three weeks and haven't actually witnessed much of the current skid -- but I am. Whatever it takes, I guess. Go Cubs!
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Comments

Ruz-

Enough already with the hope thing. Your insightful observations have made me think that the Cubs might actually put a W on the board tonight. Thanks a lot.

Great posting heading, great song. Go Cubbies!

Do you think Livan would/did name his son Jesus?

You know, he might like the name.

As I posted in previous thread:

Cubs Lineup:
Pierre
Murton
Walker
ARam
Mabry
Barrett
JJ
Cedeno
Z

Loving Orange Guy batting #2...somewhere Billy Beane is smiling.

give Dusty some more of that "get on base" Kool-aid.

I too am really confident we will see a much improved and rsted Cubs team over the next 9 games. I think they will do well going like 6-3 or so and teasing us enough withe series win over teh CHW that we will get excited enough to be let down again later in the year.

If I were to ever bet the Cubs in a game, today would be it. I don't as I never bet with my heart. But with a day off, Z on the mound and after that horrible stretch needing a win so bad, this is as good of a chance as ever for them to win.

Cubster:
"Loving Orange Guy batting #2...somewhere Billy Beane is smiling."

Well, we know it isn't from enough wins from the most overrated GM in baseball history.

although Mabry at 1B is a short term stop gap, I'm glad to see it because it provides less distortion in the lineup. Meaning that in DLee's absence it's Mabry (a poor man's version of an RBI type hitter) who is replacing DLee tonight not Neifi (a poor man's version of a Giddyup/GIDP hitter).

I still say they should have traded for a 1B-OF type like Conine or Millar...who can platoon with JJ after DLee is back. I don't understand the lack of trade to fill the void when we all knew that Dusty would fill the void with mostly Neifi (which is exactly what has happened).

I guess it's ironic that Sean Casey broke his low back against us...otherwise we could have had Craig Wilson as an ideal void filler...almost but not quite as ironic as Furcal being the cause of DLee's injury.

murton batting 2nd is just sad...but its the best use of him if he's gonna continue to hit like he is.

Furcal wasn't the cause of DLee's injury- Scott Eyre was.

Eyre isn't ironic...he's just got a short attention span.

Nazey...we can play six degrees of separation if you want...in that case we can blame some poor fella in central america who hand stitched that fateful baseball or even Abner Doubleday.

Cubster:
"I don't understand the lack of trade to fill the void when we all knew that Dusty would fill the void with mostly Neifi (which is exactly what has happened"

Hendry must of been on the same page as Dusty there as neifi as the backup as Hendry was the one who resigned him to a two year deal.

Nazey:
"Furcal wasn't the cause of DLee's injury- Scott Eyre was."

Actually Lee was the cause as he was standing on first base to make the play. No matter what the throw or runner is doing, he should never be standing on the bag like he was.

trades just dont happen cuz one team needs one. the yanks have a 3rd/SS/1st logjam many years long and still have eric duncan in their system. they could get a replacement for matsui trading him away, but it wouldn't be one worth eric duncan. it is not a good time of year to be looking...

My preferred lineup against righties based on May #'s:

Walker
Murton
Jones
Barrett
Ramirez
Mabry
Cedeno
Pierre
Starter

"#7 of 15: By mannytrillo (May 16, 2006 06:40 PM)
Cubster:
"Loving Orange Guy batting #2...somewhere Billy Beane is smiling."

Well, we know it isn't from enough wins from the most overrated GM in baseball history."

DUCK MANNY DUCK!!!!!!!!!

Why the hell is Mabry swinging 3-0. Though I guess I should be happy a Cubs hitter worked the count to 3-0.

Why in the hell was Mabry swinging with a 3-0 count? I sure as hell hope he wasn't given the green light...

I like Murton in the 2 hole. I've wanted that all along. It would be even better if Pierre could get on base.

I think Mabry swinging at the 3-0 pitch was okay with 2 outs with the 8-9 hitters coming up ... the at-bat by Aramis was inexcusable (and basically indicative of why he's hitting .215 with just 15 rbi's) -- horrible hacks at pitches clearly outside. take the walk, get runners on 1st and 2nd no outs and put the pressure on Livan.

wow manny....just wow....overrated? please. why? bc his teams don't win in coinflip series? i'm sure he's real sorry that his teams get to the playoffs 2/3 of the time and have more wins per dollar spent than anyone else.

playoffs = slightly weighted coinflips.

you are an absolute asshat if you think that beane isn't one of the top 5 GMs in the game.

trying to bunt with barrett with the man already on second in the 4th inning?

welcome to stupid managing. that is an example of dusty sucking. i don't care that he took it off after the first pitch, it's dumb. really dumb.

I never said he wasn't top 5, but I did say he was OVERRATED!!!!!

And if they are coinflips (which I agree), why can't he just win 1 of them....

If he doesn't make teh playoffs again this year, I want to hear all teh Beane lovers to make excuses as he was picked to be the 2nd best team in AL.

Does Jones pee on his hands, too, or do the similarities to Moises Alou end with the whole head-up-the-butt-while-on-the-bases thing?

Eric: That doesn't mean you swing at a 3-0 pitch from a pitcher like Hernandez. He may not be the guy he was a few years ago, but he rarely throws a hitter's pitch in that type of count. Besides, keep in mind that even though Cedeno is slumping a bit, he's still hitting .285 for the year, and is a good enough contact hitter to make Livan pay if he should have walked Mabry.

Jones just got doubled off...again...are Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell sitting in the stands or something?

barrett's bunt attempt + jacque jones making that play + jones not being benched (i don't even care who's on the bench behind him) = dusty should be fired.

a good manager does not let the SAME SHIT happen every year, and multiple times within a year to jones. you EMPHASIZE that giving up outs is the worst thing you can do, and you actually make that mean something by benching that player. that play was right in front of him, and soriano almost fell before making the throw.

OF COURSE jones should know better, but OF COURSE in any other job the manager is fired if it happens to multiple players many times every year.

as if 3.5 years wasn't enough evidence, the last inning was.

Jock is this year's version of Moises 2004. Doubled off 2nd base.

GL:
"barrett's bunt attempt + jacque jones making that play + jones not being benched (i don't even care who's on the bench behind him) = dusty should be fired.

HA AHHAHAHAHHAAHAH

JJ is only the best hitter the offensively challenged Cubs have had the past 2-3 weeks. Yeah bench him...HA HAHAHAHAHAAA Fire GL!!!

Alou consistantly gets doubled off, Cubs get rid of him.

Cubs bring in a new veteran corner outfielder, Jeromy Burnitz.

He consistantly gets doubled off, Cubs get rid of him.

Cubs bring in yet another veteran corner outfielder, Jacque Jones.

What do you know, he also consistantly gets doubled off as a Cub.

Perhaps, just perhaps, the Cubs should try a baserunning drill once in a while.

dusty has NO concept for two main things. these things are why he is not a good baseball manager:

1) outs are the most precious commodity in the game.

2) people need to be held responsible for their actions.

the first leads to teams that run into outs on the basepaths more than any i've ever seen, bunts made at ridiculous times, neifi batting 2nd, a team that is in the bottom third in OBP every year, walks almost never, and has pitchers that walk TONS of opponents.

the second leads to teams that repeat their mistakes, that feel that it's excusable to lose bc of outside factors (injury, weather being too hot/too cold/too neutral, umpires) and that make dumb mental mistakes.

I'm gonna put a golf club through my computer screen if I have to put up with three years of Jones in right. Do we not get scouting reports on these guys before we sign them? Does somebody not have it written down somewhere that he's more likely to hit himself in the nuts with a throw than to hit the cutoff man. Is it not documented that he's prone to bouts of mental retardation, particularly when he's standing on second base in a scoring situation?

Just like 2004. That's the only other team I've seen play such outright shitty fundemental baseball.

manny, i'm saying you pull him now, and you pull him for the rest of the game. that is what an actual manager does. babysitters who don't care what happens just let the same mistakes keep happening again and again. parents, who care, do something about it. clearly jones' brain deserves to be treated like a child. you pull him. period. like cox did to andruw. mental mistakes won't change if you don't take a stand.

stop being a 5 year old. yes, we all know you're a martyr for standing up for a man whose brain is mush. congratulations.

How can Dusty discipline a player and still be a player's manager? We can't have that. Besides, he was just clogging the bases up in the first place.

my how we all got quite noe that the Cubs scored 4 runs...sparked by all teh bunts.

sparked bay all the errors

There, fixed that for you, Manny.

i didn't really get quiet....i stopped watching bc the only thing interesting about this car wreck is whether dusty gets fired or not....and any reasonable person just had their fears confirmed by seeing more bad fundamentals that dusty will shrug off.

also, i'm sure it's the bunts and not ramirez's double that got us the runs, manny.

that's a great strategy Dusty implemented today, the voodoo hex on the Nationals fielders. GENIUS!!!

You guys are such easy targets...:)

Go Cubs!!!

re: alou and jones similarities:

they also end with the "ability to hit baseballs well".

is jones gonna cry again that the fans are booing him too much? i still have NO idea how he got doubled up on that. it was right in front of him and soriano caught it very awkwardly, took him a little bit to throw it.

it was as bad as i've ever seen.

Sparked by all the bunts...and the poor fielding on behalf of Clayton and Hernandez. I'll take a Cubs win however I can get it, but we need to be able to reel off a few wins in a row--not just 1 win followed by another losing streak. Especially not with the Subway Series against the Suxond*cks this weekend

great post 24, jim.

dempster in the 9th in a non-save situation? or howry in what should be his role?

"1) outs are the most precious commodity in the game."

One of the biggest lies ever told. you will almost always make at least 24 outs per game. You will never score that many runs.

Baseball is a game about SCORING RUNS not avoiding outs.

Common sense is a better strategy...for instance, when its April and 35 degrees, the wind is blowing in, I say sacrifice your ass off. That one run will probably be the difference maker.

Baylor, however, was worse than Baker. He had Ricky Gutierrez sacrifice about 40 times one year.

you can win a game with as few as 12 outs.

CUBS WIN!! IN DUSTY WE TRUSTY!!!

Chad,

you score runs by having more baserunners and prolonging innings. you have baserunners and get long innings by NOT making outs.

the pitching team gets to reset the amount of runners on base to zero after three outs. stop them from doing that for the longest amount of batters and you score runs.

your statement of "it's about scoring runs" is a lot like saying "it's about winning games". sure it's true, but it's childish.

it's obviously the ends, but what are the means?

to win, you score more than your opponent. so it comes down to how do you score runs?

by having baserunners and hitting for power.

period.

Wow a well pitched game can make a team look good huh? 4 runs looked like two touchdowns...

I predict that if Wood pitches well tommorrow all hope will be renewed.

THE CUBS WIN THE PENNANT!

THE CUBS WIN THE PENNANT!

(I just want to say that for real before I die)

Good outing by Z, decent offense. JJ only doubled-off once. What a great night!

I keep wondering if Adam LaRoche wish he played for the Cubs rather than a manager who makes him accountable for his stupid mistakes. How many times would JJ get doubled off second under Bobby Cox?

.......Just wondering

From post #6:
"If I were to ever bet the Cubs in a game, today would be it. I don't as I never bet with my heart. But with a day off, Z on the mound and after that horrible stretch needing a win so bad, this is as good of a chance as ever for them to win."

Damn, wish I made today the exception...

Chad,

Outs are the only finite variable in the game, hence you do the best you can to protect that precious commodity. You only have a limited amout of outs to produce the most amount of runs. When you basically give away an out, you lower the probably of scoring (over the whole). You can score an infinite amount of runs, but you only have 27 outs to score them. Why would you want give away 2-3 outs a game, you are essentially handicapping yourself. Not like I expect you to understand any of that though.

Well with tonights win and a win tomorrow night that should secure an immediate Dusty Baker contract extension.

I bet Hendry is sweating bullets waiting for the first two game winning streak so he can offer up an extension in a vote of confidence to Dusty for a job well done.

you are essentially handicapping yourself. Not like I expect you to understand any of that though.

lol

bless this day.
i couldnt bear to begin another series with another L.

for what its worth i think todd walker at 1st was a mistake. never should have moved him from 1B. shoulda plugged mabry in at 1st from the beginning.

houston and cinci lost, and the cards are down in a game that might get called.

boy we got one hell of a chore here getting as much out of this hole as we can by the time we're back to full offensive strength (i.e. derek returns).

marshall then wood up next.

GO CUBS!!!

I don't know if any of you were at the game or if this was even mentioned...but in the 9th inning after warmup, Jones threw the ball into the crowd...only to have it thrown back at him! This is a complete embarrassment. To boo the man is acceptable, but this clearly steps over the bounds...UGH.

Joey -

That's too bad, but far from surprising. Sadly, the idea that most Wrigley patrons are good/knowledgeable is mostly mythical...

geez...the jerk could have at least given the ball to a kid.

when a homer is hit out there...anyone with any baseball sense in the OF knows that if isnt one of theirs to watch out for the "return".

jones or anyone else milling around out there on either team (or umps/coaches) wouldnt be looking around for a return on that one. that's just dangerous as much as it is stupid.

hell, besides barrett, jones has been the only guy doing crap at the plate the past 3-ish weeks while the rest of the team was under some screwed up slump. yeah he screwed up and he'll earn his boos, but damn...this isnt philly.

Overall, this was a pretty good game for Zambrano and the Cubs this evening (all things considered)....Now lets see if the Cubs can actually string together a few back to back wins...they have some good pitchers coming up and they are playing a team that isn't very strong. It would be nice for the Cubs to build up some momentum as they go into the weekend series against the White Sox. Ozzie's team is coming under pressure from Jim Layland's team up in Detroit (which is now tied for 1st place in their AL Division). The Cubs don't have anything to lose (but a few more games) and know one really expects too much from the Cubs this year. Who knows, maybe the Cubs will surprise us in the next week...You have to take it one game at a time though...;-)

Manny - being that you do not like Beane, who would you say is a good GM?

Beane has done more with less than any other GM in baseball. Is that not exactly what you want from a GM - to maximize the resources available in order to create the best team possible?

I am always grasping for shreds of optimism, but this is surprising to say the least:

On April 29, the first game of the Great Ugly Slide of 2006, the Cubs were 3 games back in the division. As we all know that was the first game of a stretch where the Cubs would lose 14 of 16 games.

If STL loses tonight (they are down in the seventh as I type this), the Cubs will be 7 1/2 games out.

That's right -- after all the crap of the past 18 days, the Cubs have fallen a grand total of only 4 1/2 games in the standings.

Hard to believe. Not cause for celebration -- there are lots of unsolved problems with this team after all -- but the sky has not yet fallen on our heads.

And we've only dropped 2 1/2 games since May 4.

So help me with the math here - what's our magic number?

Was there tonight. Really good efforts by Walker, Mabry and Ronny C. Did you catch the "in the stands" catches?

I can live with Cedeno's errors - this year. I really believe he is a talented kid that could be with the team if the coaches don't fuck him up.

JJones perplexes me. If most of us repeated the same major mistake, at HIGH salaries, within a short period of time - we'd be replaced. The Right Field bleacher fans were kicking his ass tonight. I don't think he knew he was getting into when he assumed the position there.

I don't know if TV showed this, but after his dumb-ass doubling off second for the 3rd or 4th time, he stood - then squatted, with head down - for several minutes between innings. Juan Pierre had to come out and console him on his way out to CF. Again, on his way out to RF, they gave him an earful! Well deserved, JJ.

Brick -- I think it's minus 12.

The backlash - (from the trib)

Afterward, Todd Walker criticized Cubs fans for being too harsh on the team and on Jones in particular.

"Understand the game a little more," Walker said. "Back this team because we have a great chance to do some good things."

Confession: I love the Cubs...I love it when the Cubs win...however...when celebrating their win tonight I am at some level (forgive me) upset that Dusty will be credited with a win.

He deserves the win...tonight he made the correct moves... I felt they were the type of moves that the Cub Reporter bloggers would support.

My father once told me "I never forget" but he stated it like he was cursed.

Baker you put it together tonight..Do it consistently...Because that is what a manager must do to win...Plus I never have forgotten YOU SUCK..Ha/Ha.

are fools in other stadiums still copying the "throw it back" custom at wrigley? i cant remember where it was.

oh and i still think we should go with
JP
RC
TW
AR
MB
MM
JJ
JM
i mean hey, thats a pretty decent lineup i say.
and cedeno hitting 8th all of a sudden with murton in the 2 hole just bugs me for some reason, ya know?

and cedeno hitting 8th all of a sudden with murton in the 2 hole just bugs me for some reason, ya know?

Why? That is exactly where he should be hitting. You should not be wasting such a high OBP (highest on the team among active hitters) in the bottom half of a lineup.

I think that the 2 hole is exactly where Murton should be hitting, especially if he continues to hit without power.

if murton is gonna continue to put everything on the ground and just take singles and walks...he belongs in the #2 slot...its sickning to see him lose the line drive power he had. it should be just a phase once he gets a better selection of stuff to swing at.

murton doent necessarily draw more walks than cedeno to this point does he?
for the rare occaisions that JP leads off by getting on base, what good is it is murton just puts it on the ground? (or watches strike 3) before the meat of the lineup?
i dont care, i like RC hitting 2 better than murton in there.

murton doent necessarily draw more walks than cedeno to this point does he?

Murton: OBP - .366
Cedeno: OBP - .309

57 points is a huge difference, especially when Cedeno is hitting 10 points higher in average.

Murton has 15 walks to Cedeno's 4.

i dont care, i like RC hitting 2 better than murton in there.

Why? The numbers don't support it.

Some somewhat encouraging news on A-Ram.

His BABIP is only .194. That can pretty much only go up.

very little bonus to a team that just has had 1 win in the last 4,000 games played, but the top 3 in the central (stl/cin/hou) all lost tonight.

7.5 games for anyone that cares...i find it hard to care about any standings til the team gets to .500 anyway. (16-22)

#31

Justinh, you are funny! The part about jones hitting himself in the sack with his own throw? I almost fell of the couch. Kudos.

Yeah, crunch. I'd prefer the Cubs fix whatever's wrong with them before I start looking at standings again. Pierre & Ramirez are making a collective $16.75 Mil and batting 231/273/295 & 215/295/415 respectively. Not good.

And where are the freeking home runs?

Jack Jones is a bitch. I hate him and his dreadful skills. Throwing his ball back was a slap in the face and a funny one at that. You earned it Jaque. I love the Cubs and am strting to really hate these guys.

All they do is go into press conferences and whine after a game.

fresh news from the dept. of a joke taken way too seriously:

from the trib...

The Cubs' search for a left-handed batting practice pitcher may be over. Mike Higgason, a 35-year-old who played high school ball at Loyola Academy, threw in the batting cage and off the mound Tuesday and received the seal of approval from coach Gary Matthews. Higgason said he was nervous but credited Michael Barrett with calming him down.

ha.

at this point, I'm embarassed to say I am a Cubs fan. not because of the team, but because of the fans.

have fun getting any decent FA to come to wrigley now...believe it or not, players don't like having stuff thrown at them on their home field.

A woman threw the ball at Jones, it is never condoned to throw anything at the players.
This the third time in 45 days that he has been doubled off. Ugh.

In todays bright one Jones said-
"I'm probably a little excited right now," what is he going to be like when they have a win streak or contending. Will he run straight to third when he hits the ball?

Sadly the girls toss from the bleachers was the most the accurate throw to a cut off man from right field this year.

at this point, I'm embarassed to say I am a Cubs fan. not because of the team, but because of the fans.

have fun getting any decent FA to come to wrigley now...believe it or not, players don't like having stuff thrown at them on their home field.

I thought Dusty attracted all the free agents, damn!

Thoughts from the game:

Great night for some ball. Just beautiful.

John Mabry impressed me. Not only did he make those catches and take his walks, but he hustled his butt off on a sharp groundout. Hustle warms my heart every time.

Cedeno had some great at-bats, and lost out on that RBI thanks to you-know-who. It hurts the worst when good fundamental baseball is spoiled by terrible fundamental baseball. After getting doubled off, Jones threw his hands into the air and curled up into a ball next to the bag. He stayed there until Speier went out to check on him, and didn't move until someone brought him his glove.

The right field fans GAVE IT TO HIM, and I completely approve. I don't boo good baseball, I don't boo the other team, and I don't boo so-so baseball, but I will boo consistently terrible play. Jacque Jones doesn't need my support, he needs a kick in the pants from his manager. That said, the drunken fan who threw the ball back at him was out of line.

Z looked great tonight, and it was good to see him really celebrate the end of the eighth. The fans were behind him all the way, just like they were behind Todd Walker, and even Ronny Cedeno, who had that error.

Ramirez, who I credit for running out his ground balls and for getting 2 RBI's, looked awful at the plate. Awful. I don't know what they did with ARam, but this man is clearly a Communist plant. That, in my mind, is our biggest problem right now.

I hope Dusty keeps that lineup.

Did Hendry save the warranty card on Jacque Friggin Jones? Jones has got the IQ of a chimpanze. How can about be THAT BAD on the basepads? Too bad the other options in right field are Freddie "Jose Macias" Bynum and John "Mr. Cardinal" Mabry.

COMPLETE THIS SENTENCE:

Things are going so bad for Chicago Cubs manager Dusty Baker that on Monday's off-day, the propeller came off his _____.

You've just given chimpanaezes a bad name. Jerk Jones has the baseball IQ of maple syrup. Man is he awful. Hendry should be lined up and shot for signing this guy.

The ball thrown at JJ the papers' stories she was apparently a drunk girl. That is assault and she should go to jail. The mob psychology going after him right now is not only wrong, but really stupid.

Firing Dusty won't fix the problems with this team. Only the Tribune selling the club to a John Henry type individual owner will fix it. After all, it was not Dusty, but Hendry and McPhail who decided to tie up 10 million dollars a year for this year and next on Nefi, Glendon, and Jaquee Jones.

The change in the crowd behavior at Wrigley is probably a result of two things. First, night baseball brings a different crowd, with more young males between 20 to 40 who have a two hour head start at happy hour before the game even begins. Day game crowds had lots of Moms and little kids who were pretty forgiving of the players' foibles. Still, memory is a funny thing as Ron Santo was big target for the boo birds in teh late sixties and early seventies, especially as the (undeserving) scapegoat for that team's failure to win titles in 1969, 1970, 1971, and 1972. So booing has always gone on. But throwing stuff is really out of bounds, and I would extend that to all racial epithets and obscenity.

Second, the Cubs, particularly the last three years have raised prices throught the roof, and then cheated the customer with a lousy product after making representations that it would be a contender. The players, like the poor clerks in the store or the ticket agents for the airlines, then get to bear the brunt of that anger and frustration. If McPhail and Hendry would come out in the seventh inning to be booed, I think that would take some of the heat off of poor Jacques Jones who afterall is, at 31, the player he is and was known to be during his last two years in Minnesota (apparently Hendry did not get the memo.)

Things not management's fault. Ramirez having a terrible slump and D. Lee's injury. Corey Patterson's complete collapse thereby creating the hole in CF that you make a desperate trade for a Juan Pierre to fill. Then Juan Pierre completely going into the tank.

Things that are management's fault. With two aging corner outfielders at the end of 2003, not trying to find a star replacement for one or both. Investing so much into a young player, Corey Patterson, who from AA on up demonstrated that he he had no talent controlling the strike zone and a poor work ethic. Not getting a third starter before this season (one of the unbelievabel quotes I read in Paul Sullivan's interview of Mr. Hendry: Hendry "Mark Prior getting hurt, who could see that coming?" Gee Jim, maybe everyone outside the Cubs executive suite since he has been hurt every year he has played with the Cubs. It is called being injury prone, Jim. Best not to make such a player the cornerstone of your team.) Wasting 10 milion dollars this season and next on fringe talent like Glendon, JJ, and Nefi. Making Juan Pierre your object of desire because of his "speed" when he is past 31 and players like him, Ralph Garr types, lose all their value when their batting average craters, which usually happens right around the 30th birthday.

Pierre's slugging average is .294, his OBP is .273, for a combined, Corey Patterson like, OPS of .568, but without those aesthetically offending strikeouts. Nefi's OPS is .501. Blanco's OPS is an astounding .247. But Hendry is mystified as to why the team does not score runs and blames it on a lack of "clutch hitting." You can't fix a problem if you don't realize you have one.

Imagine where this team would be offensively if Walker had been traded? Hendry values atheletes, not baseball players.

Murton has been a disappointment to me. There is no one else to start over him, and his OBP in the 2nd spot will help, but a slugging percentage of .378 is not acceptable for a regular LF on any contending team that does not have Albert Pujols playing for it.

If the Cubs farm system was suppose to be so good the last five years and Philadelphia's so bad, how come coming superstars Ryan Howard and Chase Utley are playing for Philadelphia and we are playing Nefi Perez at 2B?

Again, firing Dusty is merely throwing out a scape goat when the real problem is the ownership. The Tribune will start paying attention when rating declines on TV and radio and no shows (which means lower concession income) start biting the bottom line come July, August, and September. What they will do then? (fire McPhail, sell the team for needed cash (but then what about the cheap programing WGN and other cable TV venues, as more expensive programing cuts into the bottomline already feeling the pinch of the obsolete daily newspaper business model). The business pages may be more interesting reading than then the sports pages.

Dave:
"Manny - being that you do not like Beane, who would you say is a good GM?"

I never said he wasn't a good GM. I just said he is OVERRATED. The last 2 years he didn't even make the playoffs and this year he is .500. I mean come on. The way people bow to this guy, you'd think he parted the Red Sea. Congrats to him for putting together a competitive team with a lower payroll. Now go out and actually win a playoff series ONCE.

On the Jones thing: The idiots booing him need to look at the sitution. Soriano had to make a shoe string catch. If he stays on the base and could only reach 3rd if he doesnt catch it they would boo him for that. In that case its a 50/50 sitution I dont blame him for that pickoff. As for the drunkass that threw the ball out him they need to put her prision for a month and then that would put an end to drunks doing things like that.

some truth there #88....but Pierre is 28, not 31.

The Neifi man-love is getting old, that's for sure.

I love how some of us are saying that "it was just a drunk girl" as though it was some sort of isolated behavior. Do you think she would have thrown the ball at him if she hadn't been surrounded by a hundred vicious fans who have been booing Jones since day one?

Pathetic. Fans like this don't deserve a winning team.

"If the Cubs farm system was suppose to be so good the last five years"

I'll ask again, where does this come from -- some knucklehead blogger? Some clown sportswriter -- the same guy who also mistakenly thinks that Jim Hendry is a baseball genius who was instrumental in building the World Champion Marlins?

Good farm systems don't produce AAA teams that finish in last place (see the Iowa Cobs 2005) and have a cumulative record of 299-310 the last five years.

Sadly the girls toss from the bleachers was the most the accurate throw to a cut off man from right field this year.

rumor has it, an incognito Mark Prior made that throw

How can you justify Jones' baserunning mistakes?
Third time in a month in a half!!

I would understand if he was slow and was trying to cheat, but he's fast!!!

There is no reason for it.

When people are talking about the wonderous performance of Luis Montanez and Nic Jackson, then you KNOW your farm system stinks. The scouting sucks, the instruction sucks (especially on hitting approach) and the management sucks. Brian Dopirak, Brendan Sing and Jason Dubois are a bunch of high K hacks who can't play the field. Ryan Harvey appears to be a similar hack, but at least he can play the field. Quick look at the stats shows that Felix Pie and Eric Patterson are hacking away as opposed to embracing a disciplined hitting approach. Bobby Brownlie, Luke Hagerty and Chad Blasko have busted out. Oneri Fleita and Jim Hendry have perpetuated a fraud.

Hows this for a solution for the "excited" Jacque Jones-

When Jones takes the field have the rightfield bleacher fans where Hefty garbage bags over their heads.
That way Jones can play in surroundings like he did in MN.

I'm not for throwing things on the field, but it was a baseball that was from Jones. Assault? I guess we should charge the fans with assault when they throw garbage ont he field as well. That happens a few times a year.

I seriously doubt there was danger, especially since Jones is so hard and grew up on the tough streets of San Diego.

Get a grip guys. This team deserves to be booed and ridiculed and they are paid handsomely. And I pay the Cubs well.

"Soriano had to make a shoe string catch. If he stays on the base and could only reach 3rd if he doesnít catch it they would boo him for that. In that case its a 50/50 situation I donít blame him for that pickoff."

Soriano did not make a shoestring catch; he made a running catch on a sinking line drive at about knee level. It certainly was not a 50/50 situation I believe most left fielders would also have made the play. Also, since the hit was deep enough to score the runner on third, Jones had little excuse for going more than half way down the base line as it risked the scoring of one sure run.

"they are paid handsomely"

The question is, Why?

Take Henry Blanco for example. Hank is making $1.5 million (twice as much as Paul Bako) and has two hits in 32 at bats. At this rate he'll get only 140 AB's which makes him a mighty pricey backup catcher.

That's it...I've read all I can handle. It was when "Curt" said that HE paid the Cubs well that pushed me over the edge. What a joke. Iím sorry but a ticket allows you to rent the seat during the gameÖ not give you partial ownership of the ballclub. I read this blog a few times a week especially during the games, and I've never seen alleged fans of an organization be so negative. Besides a few of the posts I read it's just ignorant and misplaced (and usually misspelled) babble. I understand booing every once in awhile and when its relevant. But if you are true fans, constant booing does absolutely no good for the team you claim to be a fan of. I'm starting to think the majority of posters here jumped on the 2003 bandwagon and are just now being purged. I say go pick up your drunk ball-tossing girlfriend from right field last night and go piss on the White Sox cheerios instead. I'm sure you'll somehow be able to find something to bitch about over there too. You're pathetic. One and only postÖ.and Iím out. Later pussies.

Nice post CUBFITZ, except of course for the name calling at the end. But honestly, despite the ignorance and misplacement, what is there to be positive about?

Ruz, excellent choice of words. I had to look up "jeremiad", thanks for the lesson.

I also want to credit whomever came up with the Deracles nickname. That's just aswsome and inspired. Take a bow.

The booing of Jones has been a bit excessive probably but has Jones brought any of it on himself? And by that I do not mean has he brought it on himself by his poor play? What I am asking, and I am being sincere, could Jones have conducted himself a bit differently, p.r. wise, than he has been doing that might have resulted in less booing etc.

Specifically, someone commented awhile back that Jones had made some statements, early on this season, that were negative in spirit about the crowd. Someone suggested that picking a fight with the audience was not a winning strategy for Jones.

I am a bit removed from the situation but I did see Jones hit his first homer of the year on television. I was watching that game. The crowd went wild and were clearly appealing for a curtin call. However, Jones would not come out and acknolwedge the cheers.

The incident might have meant nothing to the world of Cub fans. And Jones may not have come back out simply because he did not want to be seen as showing up the opposition or whatever. It might not be his style. I can understand that to an extent. But I thought that was an early opportunity for Jones to bond a bit with the crowd. I thought that, if Jones did not want to come out because he did not want to show up t he other team, he probably should have made an exception. It was like the crowd was extending an olive branch and I was afraid that some in the crowd might have perceived Jones' response, or lack thereof, as declining the olive branch.

That was just one incident and I may well be wrong about how some in the crowd may have viewed it, but I am just wondering generally if there are things Jones could have done the last few weeks, p.r. wise, to reduce the booing etc.

Jones maybe adjusting, being he played in somewhat anonymity in MN with a 40 foot glad bag behind him, but c'mon suck it up and play some heads up ball. And quit complaining about the fans.

I have to agree w/ Arm. I have watched players get booed at Wrigley and can remember 4 that have stood out. And they have ALWAYS stood out for the same reason. Hundley, Hawkins, Patterson, and now Jones. The reason they have gotten booed never seemed to be their poor play to begin with. We've all watched poor play from poor players but it's their demeanor that has gotten them booed. It always seemed the fact that it hurt these guys so much and that they ALWAYS approached it as a personal insult that fans could boo them. They held an air about them that basically said, screw you, I'm not going to change. All of that always pissed off fans more and continuously and more rigourously booed them. Burnitz got booed slightly early last season and he took it and said I deserve it, I'm not playing well. The fans laid off him and he got it turned around. The four guys I mentioned always approached it as, hey ... you're not helping me and it hurts my feelings. Don't boo me! Continue playing like a bonehead and jumping on the fans for booing you and you'll continue bringing it on.

That said, I was at a game several years ago against the Reds. 9th inning, Griffey threw a ball to the crowd, the crowd returned the ball ... and he was cracking up about it! Not saying that last night was right, but have a sense of humor and good attitude out there and the fans will adore you! If you bring that sourpuss and air of superiority about you to the field, when you are down, they will kick you. These guys are playing a game they should love in front of people who WANT to adore them. Don't kick dirt in those peoples faces or act like you are better than them (See Keith Foulke). When you do, you'll never get them back.

#96 Mike:
Way to focus on a handful of picks. Hagerty blew his arm out, then his control. Blasko is just coming back from surgery, Browmlie..well, ok..he sucks.
Eric Patterson is still doing enough other things at the plate to be hopeful. Montanez is still a bust, after being the 4th pick, but is STILL a good thing to see him hitting so well at West Tenn. Nic Jackson is coming back from a catastrophic shoulder injury.
Please excuse us for enjoying some good news from the minors.
Other good news perpetrated by Hendry/Fleita this year:
AAA: OF Buck Coats hitting .362, with ops of .874
OF Felix Pie hitting .292, 9bb/21K, obp of .353, 20 RBI's.
AA: OF Chris Walker .293 avg, .349 obp, 14 SB's
2B Eric Patterson .303 avg, 14 SB's, .477
slugging
3B Scott Moore .298 avg, 7 HR, 27 RBI, .365
OBP, 6 SB's
P Juan Mateo 3-2, 2.23 ERA, 1.04 WHIP,
33K/15BB's
P JR Mathes 4-2, 3.77 ERA, 1.21 WHIP
28K/9BB's
P Carlos Marmol 3-2, 2.55 ERA, 1.23 WHIP
50K/19 BB's
P Chris Shaver 2-2, 2.29 ERA, 1.08 WHIP
31 K/11 BB's
Hi-A C Jake Fox: .341 avg, 1.052 OPS! 10 HR, 29 RBI's
OF Sam Fuld: .308 avg, .388 OBP, 10 SB's
p: Sean Gallagher: 3-0, 2.09 ERA, 1.20 WHIP
50K/10BB's
Go peddle your sour grapes somewhere else, it's a tired act. Hendry ain't perfect, but he's what we have, so deal with it.

*But if you are true fans, constant booing does absolutely no good for the team you claim to be a fan of.*

Right, if we all just went back to the halycon days of yore and cheered these year-in, year-out pathetic losers like moms watching their 8 year-olds play soccer--WHERE EVERYONE GETS A TROPHY!--things would magically work themselves out. I guess the fans must've been booing since 1908, eh? They've brought this all on by themselves via bad karma!

*I'm starting to think the majority of posters here jumped on the 2003 bandwagon and are just now being purged*

Count me out of your asinine assumption. I've been a fan since 1983 and believe me, I've seen some pretty pathetic play over those years [Actually, fans who came on board around then are pretty lucky to those who've been around since the 50s, but still...]. 2003 only whetted the appetites of fans like me--we get a sniff of glory every 5 years or so and we know it's going to be rare. Add to that the decade-long non-stop hyping up of the Cubs so-called "young talent" which perennially pans out to nothing, add a doofus of a manager who was supposed to fufill some kooky "destiny' and constantly rising ticket prices--you're bound to have some mighty disappointed people out there.

Jones. If he has always played as a bonehead, shame on Hendry for bringing him here. If his bonehead play is a recent Cubbie happening, shame on Dusty and the coaches for creating an atmosphere were this is tolerated. It has to be one or the other.

FROM YESTERDAY:

"Chad,

Outs are the only finite variable in the game, hence you do the best you can to protect that precious commodity. You only have a limited amout of outs to produce the most amount of runs. When you basically give away an out, you lower the probably of scoring (over the whole). You can score an infinite amount of runs, but you only have 27 outs to score them. Why would you want give away 2-3 outs a game, you are essentially handicapping yourself. Not like I expect you to understand any of that though."

Oh wow you read Moneyball too! Yeah I read it, I understand it. I also think the whole concept is HORSESHIT! The concept of not giving away outs also states that you should NEVER EVER EVER sacrifice bunt or steal.

Go tell that to Ozzie Guillen, you know, the Manager that actually won a world series. As opposed to Billy Beane, JP Riccardi and Depodesta who have never won SQUAT! Oh yeah are you going to throw Theo $100,000,000 payroll Epstein at me? HA!

"The concept of not giving away outs also states that you should NEVER EVER EVER sacrifice bunt or steal."

This is of course a complete strawman.

Dusty Baylor:
"Go peddle your sour grapes somewhere else, it's a tired act. Hendry ain't perfect, but he's what we have, so deal with it."

Maybe you should take your own advice about Dusty Baker.

The concept of not giving away outs also states that you should NEVER EVER EVER sacrifice bunt or steal.

I thought you said that you read and understood the book? You clearly did not understand it, because the book says nothing of the sort.

Hendry just signed an extension, Baker has not.
If the team continues to make bonehead plays in the field, and Baker continues to doubleswitch the team out of games, and play his precious Neifi Perez instead of Mabry, then I will continue to call for his dismissal.

While Hendry dropped the ball this offseason in not getting another starting pitcher/bat in the lineup, I am pleased with the players we have in the minors, for the most part.

Manny, shouldn't you be putting the second coat of wax on dusty's car right now??

BTW, I would like to see more emphasis on postion players in the draft this year.

#114 of 114: By Dusty Baylor (May 17, 2006 01:12 PM)
BTW, I would like to see more emphasis on postion players in the draft this year.

We dont have any picks from rounds 2-5. What we really need to see is a big year on the international front. Be it japan,korea, venuzuela or the dominican.

Dusty Baylor:
"Hendry just signed an extension, Baker has not."

Ok, so if Hendry signs Baker to an extension, then you will take your own advice?

I think Jones has always been the sort of player he is now but this year he is playing that way more so. Example: I had heard that his arm was suspect. But I don't think in the past he had a history of repeatedly throwing the ball into the ground before it travels more than say 50 feet.

As Curb suggests, I think Jones would have been much better served if he had taken the Burnitz approach and publicly stated several times something like this: "Yeah, I have been disappointed with my level of play, too. I have been pressing because I want to perform well for Cubs fans because they are some of the most knowledgeable fans around. I won't be satisfied until I get to the level of play that both the fans and I expect from me."

Instead, what we hear from Jones is don't boo me. If I were Jones, I would tell my teammates, like Walker, to not defend me. Jones should apprear to be more concerned with turning things around than trying to insulate himself from criticism.

interesting...I don't recall burnitz getting booed and having things thrown at him for getting picked off.

...yet jones, who is hitting much better than burnitz did, is compared to a "chimpanzee" and seems to be on the verge of getting thrown out of town.

I'm not one to play the race card, but I can honestly only see one big difference between these two guys...so why are Cubs fans treating them so differently?

Chris...I think that there are other differences. Burnitz is/was signficantly better defensively. Burnitz didn't watch his homeruns after when he was hitting around .100. Burnitz was pathetic against lefties.

And of course Burnitz did not receive a three year contract that over-paid him for too long.

With that said, I don't think that Jones is the problem with this team. I am just pointing out that him and Burnitz are different in areas other than their skin color

Manny, if Baker gets signed to an extension, which would boggle my mind, what's left of it anyway, I would be upset, but resigned to another few years of dumb managing by Dusty Baker.

Good thing you got that waxing done....looks like rain.

I don't think the type of fans who boo their own players really care that much about contract length or watching game-winning home runs...no one's booing ramirez, are they?

I agree that jones is far from the "problem" with this team. That only makes his status as scapegoat even more unjust.

Point taken Chris, Jones is not the main problem with this team. It is not his fault that he signed a 3 year deal.
He is, however, not helping his cause any with his horrible throwing, and even more horrible baserunning.
If the Cubs would platoon him with a righty bat, Jones would be a nice addition so far, instead of mediocre.

I just hope the Cubs are patient with Pie. The kid is hitting .292, with only 1 HR and is only 4/7 in SB at Iowa. He needs to have sustained success, so he can keep his confidence when he struggles at the ML level, as he will. He is still a baby. Given the poisonous atmoshpere at Wrigley right now, he shoud not be put in a position as "savior". I sincerely doubt he would outperform Jones this year, who is on pace to hit .265 with 25 HR (you expected more?). Hopefully, Jones' baserunning gaffes are over -- I find it hard to believe he played like that in Minnesota.

Similarly, I fear the Cubs did Guzman a great disservice -- a talented young pitcher who had barely pitched the last 2 years and was not performing particularly well at Iowa. He also needs a base of success to build on. Instead, his confidence is likely shattered and he appears afraid to throw strikes. I know Marshall is much the same story in terms of history, but at least he looked good in ST and seems to be a more level-headed kid.

I do think that the money enters into it for the fans. Jones is being paid particularly well given his level of talent. If he had been signed to a $1 million deal for three years, no way do I think he gets booed the way he has been booed. In addition, if he was fielding his position well, I think the boos would be more muted. Burnitz played a much better right field. Well, at least he could throw the ball, which puts him way in front of Jones.

But even more importantly, Jones is compounding the problem when he could have very easily defused it. All he had to do was publicly state the obvious, that he was playing poorly. Heck, he could have limited the statement to his play in the field. Something. Anything. As someone else said, Burnitz called a spade a spade. I think the fans respect that. I think the fans then figure, hey, he knows there is a problem and is being straight with us and is trying to fix it, let's give him some slack.

Instead, all we hear is don't boo me or don't boo my teammate Jones, and he refuses to come out for curtin calls etc etc etc. It all adds up. No way is this about race.

Chris,

Sosa got cheers and boos from the RF bleacher section depending upon his performance. The problem with this is a good chunk (75%) of the people who sit in the bleachers are casual fans who probably havent been watching any of the games on an almost daily basis since the Dlee injury and do not check the box scores when they did not watch. So they probably still think Jones isnt hitting and have made him the scapegoat for the losing streak.

good point on guzman Billy.
After not pitching most of the last 2 seasons, thinking that he could step into the rotation this year was ludicrous.
I'd rather see a revolving door of AA starters, or Carlos Marmol/Juan Mateo getting a cup of coffee. At least they've been pitching regularly.

"I just hope the Cubs are patient with Pie. The kid is hitting .292, with only 1 HR and is only 4/7 in SB at Iowa."

Actually Pie is hitting .275/.333/.463 with 4 HRs and is 4/8 in SB attempts but he needs to stay in Iowa until at least Sept callups...unless the Cubs fall furthur back and Pierre is traded at the deadline and he's tearing up AAA...though they could always use Pagan or bring up Greenberg or Nic Jackson.

I think to a certain extent contract length and dollar amount play into Jones getting booed. It's not entirely his fault, as Hendry signed the damn thing, but to an extent people are pissed off that he basically misrepresented himself.

When you demand a 3 year, $16 million deal, you're telling your future employer that that is what you are worth. Maybe he was doomed from the start, but he's clearly not worth his contract and the fans are upset that Jones and his agent ripped off the team. If he had signed a 1 year, $1.5 million deal, I would bet he would hear far less boos because the expectations would be far lower.

Just a theory.

#123 of 125: By billybucks (May 17, 2006 01:52 PM)
I just hope the Cubs are patient with Pie. The kid is hitting .292, with only 1 HR and is only 4/7 in SB at Iowa.

---

BILLY B: Actually, Pie's up-to-date numbers are:

37 GAMES
.275/.333/.463 (.796 OPS)
4 HR & 25 RBI
8 2B & 4 3B
16 RUNS SCORED
11 BB & 30 K in 162 PA (1 K every 5-1/2 PA)
4 SB (4 CS)
5 OF ASSISTS (leads minors)
1 E

Since the AAA season has just passed the 1/4 mark, Felix Pie's projected numbers would be 16 HR & 100 RBI (hitting lead-off), with 32 2B, 16 3B, 64 RUNS, 16 SB (16 CS), 44 BB & 120 K, 20 OF ASSISTS, and 4 ERRORS, over a full AAA season.

3 year contract. And he is a moron on the basepaths. And he keeps missing the cutoff man on routine plays.

He may have a higher average, but he plays like an idiot.

Anyone else hear this:
Sing and Greenberg to West Tenn
Hoffpauir and Montanez to Iowa?

I think you hit the nail on the head in post#128 Doug. I think that people are getting on Jack for a few reasons. #1 is obviously his lack of fundamental play (both in the field and on the bases) #2 is that he showboats an awful lot for someone who hasnt exactly been lighting in up. I am thinking of an incident in St. Louis when he was hitting less than his weight, yet still flipped his bat and pimped his dinger. I personally think that rubbed alot of people the wrong way. #3 is the fact that He cant hit a lefty to save his life. While its not his fault that he is not being platooned. Our manager isnt usually on the field of play so Jack is booed in Dusty's place. # 4 and probably the biggest reason that Jack is being booed is also not his fault. Its the fact that we as fans wanted to see a BIG upgrade somewhere in the lineup. Right field is a logical place for such an upgrade. However management went cheap and filled the spot with the epitome of an average player. Then they compound that with the 3 yr contract. Basically resigning the fans to the realization that Jack is our Rfer fro the next 3 years. I think fans are pissed about that. Its not Jacque's fault, its just the way it is.

arent the RF bleachers the expensive 60 dollar yuppie seats now? the "bud light bleachers" or something...

and about the guy actually playing RF...since jones is hated so much who would people rather see, j.encarcenon or r.sanders?

those were the 3 RF's available this offseason and all got multiyear deals in the 5m range. its a bitch market.

the past 2 years RF is a dead market and daydreaming about trades who no one could get done the past 2 years (especially cleveland who is reluctantly playing blake in RF) doesn't hold too much water even in speculation.

Looking at yesterday's box score, it looks like Mike Barrett caught last night. He must be really good working with pitchers, being that Zambrano pitched so well.

Crunch, the Bud Light bleachers is the whole area, you go under the sign as you enter the bleacher section.

Bud Light might also be sponsoring the Batter's Eye in CF that you can't get into unless you are part of a "group".

The extreme right part of the RF bleachers is a special section, yuppie seats or whatever. But there is also a large section of RF bleachers that is just regular bleachers. I don't think you can go from the regular section to the yuppie section, cuz the yuppie section includes some amenities that are not included in regular bleachers.

I'll know a little bit more about this tomorrow, as I'll be sitting in the regular RF bleachers and see the return of Kerry Wood. Please throw strikes!!

thnx...i still have no real concept of how it all lays out. all ive seen is what ive seen on TV.

Whoops - thanks for the updated numbers on Pie. Brain cramp -- although I pulled them off of Baseball America, I knew he had recently hit 2 HRs in a game. My bad.

Still think very young players need to have a history of success, so they can maintain their confidence through the inevitable rough times. Given the current levels of frustration and impatience among the Wrigely faithful, I'd hate to see Pie held to an unrealistic standard so early in his career.

#133 of 137: By crunch (May 17, 2006 02:50 PM)

I think that all of those choices suck. I am speaking in fans perception of the RF situation. Not the reality. However, going into last winter the names bantered about to play Right included Brian Giles, Bobby Abreu and Aubrey Huff. Instead of those options, we have 3 years of Jack Jones to look forward to. I think that Jack will be servicable in right, but not without a platoon partner.

What's the plan for the weekend series? DH Walker, then play Neifi/Hairston at 2B?

I really hope I'm wrong here (and I probably am), but Pie- just looking at his numbers- looks a lot like Korey Patterson. A guy hitting leadoff, who's really fast and plays CF, is too much of a power hitter wannabe. That might be okay if he's 3 hole kind of hitter in the future, but it looks like he's been groomed as a speed/leadoff guy who's gonna have a relatively low obp and strikeout way too much swing for the fences. A leadoff hitter with a projection of 64 runs scored? Yikes. I know that depends on the guys hitting behind him, but think about this: Juan Pierre is on pace for 90+ runs scored with crap hitting behind him. How big is Pie? Korey was a small guy who thought he had Travis Hafner's build. That got him in trouble with the BB/K ratio. Looks like Pie might be similar.

Giles was never an option, and even if he was, he would not be worth what he is getting paid. You don't pay someone 12+ million a year to slug under .400. Abreu would have been very difficult, and who knows where the trade talks broke down.

Huff? Yea...because you really would be happier with Huff (.138/.250/.190) instead of Jones (.264/.301/.472).

Lets be honest here...

"The concept of not giving away outs also states that you should NEVER EVER EVER sacrifice bunt or steal.

I thought you said that you read and understood the book? You clearly did not understand it, because the book says nothing of the sort."

Yes it did. It says statistically that the odds of a man scoring from first with no outs vs. on second with 2 outs is not different enough to risk the out.

Same with stealing.

last year in NY we got to see Enrique Wilson as the player added to the lineup (based on his great knowledge of the American League), not to mention his .136 Cub BA...so based on that I'm predicting we see alot of Freddy Bynum

oh god, no...

The Cubs said that Pie is batting leadoff, Nazey, in order to get him as many plate appearances as possible, but the result has been that he is leading the team in RBI's with 25. Also the Pacific Coast League season is only 144 games long which you have to keep in mind when you compare totals rather than averages with the majors. I won't even go into how weak the Iowa Cubs hitters behind Pie have been.

small quibble, Az Phil, recheck Pie's OPS. I think it's a bit below .800

Pie is listed @ 6'2", 170 lbs....plenty of room to fill out.

He definitely looks like a 3-6 hitter...

He definitely looks like a 3-6 hitter...

Which one does he look like? Cedeno? Murton? A-Ram? Barrett? Mabry? Walker?

#141 of 144: By dave (big lowitzki) (May 17, 2006 03:20 PM)
Giles was never an option, and even if he was, he would not be worth what he is getting paid. You don't pay someone 12+ million a year to slug under .400. Abreu would have been very difficult, and who knows where the trade talks broke down.

Huff? Yea...because you really would be happier with Huff (.138/.250/.190) instead of Jones (.264/.301/.472).

Lets be honest here...

I would have loved to see Giles here. Its worth 12 million to have someone in right who gets on base more than 40% of the time and who consistently makes pitchers throw pitches. I would hope his approach would rub off on the rest of the hitters. Much the same way that Greg Maddux helps the pitchers on the staff.

Dusty,

Its true its on iowacubs.com.

Yeah, Giles would be great, and $12 million isn't an absurd price.

But the cost of moving Wrigley Field to San Diego was probably too expensive for TribCo.

Don't get me wrong. I would love to have Giles in the Cubs lineup. But one, it was never a possibility. He took less money to stay in San Diego. And two, 12+ million a year is a lot of money for a player who's only ability it to draw walks. His OPS is less than Jones.

Giles is a proven slugger. He does a heck of alot more than "just walk" He hit for alot of power when he was in Pittsburgh. Petco park skewrs his power stats. I also dont buy that we couldnt have gotten him. He turned down SD offer at the end of the season to test the market. He ultimately went back to SD after he found that his market was less than he anticipated. Only Toronto was known to have made an offer. Ultimately SD stepped up to the pump and made it work. But an extra 2 mil per year MIGHT have been enough. We will never know.

RE Post 93: Well, the Cubs farm system was praised by Baseball America, Phil Rogers, and the Cubs beat writers most of 2002,2003 and 2004. By the end of last year illusion finally started to collide with reality, except in Andy McPhail's mind (see his interview last September). No, it is not a very good farm system, and is particularly weak at developing major league hitters. The drafting has been atrocious with the exception of the Kerry Wood and Mark Prior picks, who were apparently just bleeding obvious picks.

Again, my mantra, sell Tribune, sell.

Giles is a proven slugger.

Have you seen his power numbers from the last couple of years?

Petco park skewrs his power stats.

You sure about that? Lets actually look at the facts.

This year:
Home: .273/.385/.351 - 1 HR. His Slugging percentage is lower than his OBP.
Away: .273/.435/.409 - 2 HR.

Now last year his splits were more pronounced, where he slugged .545 on the road and .417 at home.

I don't think that you can call a guy who hit 15 homeruns last year a slugger. I do think he is a great player, but one who is at the end of his career. He does not have the power that he used to, and he has become somewhat one-dimensional. And I don't think he is worth 35+ million over three years.

And this article says the Dodgers offered him a deal.

giles isnt one dimensional. He also is an excellent right fielder. He hits the cutoff man. He runs well. He doesnt flip the bat and pimp flyballs.

He also is an excellent right fielder.

I agree...I should have been more clear. He has become a one-dimensional offensive player.

By the way...I would rather have Giles than Jones in RF. I am just not convinced that the money would have been worth it.

#142 of 154: By Job (Chad) (May 17, 2006 03:25 PM)

It says statistically that the odds of a man scoring from first with no outs vs. on second with 2 outs is not different enough to risk the out.

|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||

Does it take 2 outs to sacrifice to second? Unless you've typo-ed it, that isn't a fair comparison.

Either way, there are other circumstances that should go into play that would justify a bunt, lack of scoring opportunities comes to mind easily. It's not all about the overall percentage when there is a condition that stands out. In those cases, there are likely another set of percentages that offer other advice, which may include an effective bunt.

This blog is silly. Comparing Jones to Giles in right field is sillier. I was thinking, it's more like Preston Wilson and Reggie Sanders, because those were the other "proven veterans" who were maybe considered. Or maybe a career 4th OF like Jeff DeVanon. But Giles? On this team? Are you guys high?

preston wilson and reggie sanders would be more likely to get the jack jones treatment from the fans. My point was that the fans were wanting a big upgrade for the outfield. Not the lateral move that we got. Wilson,encarnacion,sanders,burnitz are all basically the same player.

Re: 118 & 119

Way to go, guys. Scoop Jackson now has a topic for his next article.

interesting...I don't recall burnitz getting booed and having things thrown at him for getting picked off.

Not to excuse our strong-armed Trixie friend's behavior in the bleachers last night, but I don't recall Burnitz making as many baserunning gaffes in an entire season as Jones has made this month--and last night's was particularly inexcusable. It resulted in a lost run, a lost out, and a killed rally--on a ball hit in front of him, that was in the air for a couple of seconds. That's inexcusable, especially given the Cubs' putrid offense, which needs every run it can get and then some.

And while I agree that there's not a lot of difference in quality between Jones and Burnitz, Burnitz looks like Manny Ramirez against lefthanders in comparison to Jones. You realize that Jones's OPS against lefties is hovering around .150? That's on-base PLUS slugging, mind you. He's got a single and a HBP against lefties this year. And nothing else. He should not be on the field when an opposing lefty takes the mound. Period.

Allow me to make a ludicrous suggestion: A Neifi/Jones platoon in right would be better (at least offensively) than Jones in right every day. I'm dead serious. Not that I think it's a good option, mind you--but that's just how bad Jones is against southpaws.

#144 of 162: By cubswinthepennant (May 17, 2006 03:34 PM)
small quibble, Az Phil, recheck Pie's OPS. I think it's a bit below .800

CWTP: Thanks. I'll fix that.

Pierre CF
Murton LF
Walker 1B
Barrett C
Ramirez 3B
Jones RF
Hairston 2B
Cedeno SS
Marshall P

Good move to get ARAM out of the four hole. He just cannot handle the pressure. Barrett has less of an upside as a hitter but he at least has the mentality to accept the challenge.

And while I agree that there's not a lot of difference in quality between Jones and Burnitz, Burnitz looks like Manny Ramirez against lefthanders in comparison to Jones.

Sure, but then Jones looks like Manny against righties compared to Burnitz.

In my book, this should be a significant advantage as long as you take advantage of the platoon. Hendry couldn't sign a nice backup veteran without having Murton sent to bench duty, but even a Hairston/Jones platoon would be a nice upgrade from Burnitz.

Burnitz is/was signficantly better defensively.

Burnitz throws a lot better, Jones gets to a lot more balls and doesn't set up in the right field stands before every pitch.

If you put anything into defensive numbers, Jones has generally outperformed Burnitz for most of his career.

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