What Is This Strange Feeling?

It's not quite like that feeling you get when you climbed the rope in gym class, and it's a little different than the feeling I used to get before I went onstage. But it's good, and I like it. I won't call it optimism, because I recognize that there are still plenty of problems with this team, and back-to-back shutouts doth not a playoff push make, especially in May. I guess it's...enthusiasm, like I said yesterday. It's amazing what a difference a couple of days and some good news can make: * Carlos Zambrano scatters four hits over eight innings, strikes out eight, and walks only two * Sean Marshall and three relievers combine to one-hit the Nationals * Kerry Wood makes his season debut tonight * Mark Prior makes his first Rookie League rehab start on Friday * Wade Miller makes his first Rookie League rehab start on Monday Like I said, it isn't optimism. All of this news is pitching-related, and even if every rehab start went extremely well, and Prior and Miller were smoothly integrated into the rotation alongside Wood, Big Z and Maddux, we'd still have to deal with the fact that the Cubs have some pretty significant problems on the offensive side, and the eventual return of Derrek Lee isn't going to solve them all. But for now, enjoy. GAME FORTY IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] WASHINGTON NATIONALS (13-27, 4th, 11.5 GB) AT CHICAGO CUBS (17-22, 5th, 7.5 GB) Wrigley Field, 1:20 PM CDT Weather: 54 degrees, cloudy, wind in From LF @ 20 mph TV: WGN, DirecTV 737 Radio: WGN, XM 187
Kerry Wood, RHP Season debutRamon Ortiz, RHP 0-4, 6.30 ERA, 40 IP 13 K, 17 BB, 4 HR 329/403/470 against, .340 BABIP

Alfonso Soriano, LF *Marlon Anderson, 2B *Nick Johnson, 1B *Daryle Ward, RF Ryan Zimmerman, 3B Marlon Byrd, CF Wiki Wiki Gonzalez, C Damian Jackson, SS Ramon Ortiz, P*Juan Pierre, CF Matt Murton, LF *Todd Walker, 2B Michael Barrett, C *Jacque Jones, RF #Neifi Perez, 3B *John Mabry, 1B Ronny Cedeno, SS Kerry Wood, P
Nationals vs. Wood: Daryle Ward: 6-18, 333/350/722, 2 HR, 1 BB, 2 K Jose Guillen: 2-15, 133/133/333, 1 HR, 6 KCubs vs. Ortiz: Neifi Perez: 6-14, 429/467/714, 1 BB, 2 K Jacque Jones: 6-21, 286/423/667, 2 HR, 2 BB, 1 K
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Comments

Well said. Nailed it for me.

Any word on Ramirez? Cubs.com says day-to-day.

I will give the club credit. Last night was the crispest game I have seen from this team in quite some time. I can only recall on time where the 1st pitch was swung at. Murton hitting behind the runner. Jerry protecting the runner on the hit and run. Everyone getting the sac bunt down. I really think that Dusty deserves some credit for going back to the fundamental basics. Even if it did take 15 games to do it.

Scott! Long time no see!

Dusty Baker is not at fault for all of the Cubs woes. That lies with the GM who on a consistent basis puts together teams with players that are fundamentally poor and have no clue how to work the count. Hendry likes to sign the strikeout or homer guys likes Burnitz, Jones, etc. On base percentage is never a focus for him. Blame Dusty for poor in-game decisions. But don't blame him for the crap he has to work with. He's not the one who didn't go out and sign some veteran pitchers in the off-season knowing that Wood and Prior have a history of injury problems. He's not the one that has a pathetic bench with no adequate replacement for Lee or capable players in the minors capable of coming up and stepping in. That's totally Jim Hendry's domain and he has failed miserably. Rescind his contract, give Dusty some smart players and a little better luck with injuries, and I think you'll see he's a lot better manager than most of you think, especially given the Cubs history of managerial hires. They can do a lot worse. As for general managers, they can do a lot better. Hendry has only looked good to people in comparison to the pathetic bodies the Cubs have hired that have occupied the position. He's nowhere near the upper echelon in the game. Until the Cubs have a plan, and don't fly by the seat of their pants, they're destined to lose. Their problems go a lot deeper than the manager.

Posted by: darrell horwitz | May 13, 2006 10:29 AM

http://blogs.suntimes.com/fullcourtpress/2006...

Who the hell dh's this week end?

Right on, Ruz. I'd feel better of course if it were any offense other than the Nats (who are doing their best Cubs' impression) and if we had a left-handed bat. I saw that Erubiel Durazo got released. Anyone think he'd be a sensible minor league signing, just to see what happens?

ARam's slump and now injury, Kerry Wood's start today, the prospect of Rich Hill starting this weekend, and the looming series against the White Sox all fill me with trepidation. But right now, at least there's a little peace in back-to-back wins.

Walker DH, Mabry at 1st, neifi/jhj at 2nd?

I hope Wood can throw a no-hitter...

Pierre cf
Murton lf
Walker 2B
Barrett C
Jones rf
Perez 3B
Mabry 1B
Cedeno ss
Wood P

Who the hell dh's this week end?

Pick one from column A:

Slugging Freddy Bynum
Defensive whiz John Mabry (or maybe I've got that backwards)
almosta cubagain Tony Womack
Enrique Wilson with a bag on his head
Jose Macia$, Dusty still has a YEN for him?
Neifi, wearing a big red cape

Why is Neifi hitting before Barrett and Cedeno?

A-Ram should DH this weekend, if his back is okay. It will allow him to rest his back and have a better defensive 3b on the field (unless it would be Mabry, which I highly doubt).

I'm thinking that Blanco will be catching and Barrett will DH.

jacos: Who the hell dh's this week end?

Kerry Wood?

Scott, I have to take issue with your post #5. Dusty was brought here 3+ years ago to bring in a winner, and thus far he has only brought in whiners. Who is it that didn't stop the BS with Stone two years ago and watched the team go down in flames? Who led the Cubs to an under >500 record last year and this? The renouned Dusty Baker? The manager the players want to play for, will accept less to come here, and bust their butts for?

What have I seen the last couple years? Few players husting, incredibly poor lineup construction, worse fundementals, and yet you still have a Dusty lovefest going on. I can't wait for this overrated POS to leave - the sooner the better!

At the game again last night, and I am very happy with and proud of this team. They played fantastic, fantastic baseball, and were well managed. That is the bottom line.

However, Neifi Perez had two at-bats and swung at two first pitches, both of which resulted in outs, making him one of the most stubborn men I have ever seen, or one of the dumbest. Is there a site that keeps track of first pitch outs? Why does no one in the entire Cubs organization care that he keeps doing this? I wouldn't expect him to be a Silver Slugger, but is it unreasonable to expect him to see what he can do with the second or third pitch, just to mix things up??

He did make a tidy little defensive play though. But geez...

I'm not Dusty's biggest supporter but I will try to keep an open mind about the Cubs' Manager...I just posted a perspective (in message #5) that was out on a Sun-Times blog. IMO, the biggest problem the Cubs may have is at the General Manager level. I compare what Hendry accomplishes with the same budget Kenny Williams has on the South side of Chicago and its not funny at all. Hendry is not in the same league as Kenny Williams when it comes to consistently making intelligent decisions about how to allocate resources. Finally, I wish Jim Hendry had more of a sense of urgency to upgrade his team and make it more competitive...I'll be listening to what he has to say during the next hour when he is interviewed on WSCR's radio show.

It's good to see our rookie league stocked with youngins like Prior and Miller.

Lest we forget that we have beaten the NATIONALS. They arent exactly the Bronx Bombers themselves.

Im not optimistic. Prior, Wood, Miller. Good, but they dont get 4 at bats each every day, do they?

Okay when do we start panicing about Aram?

I'm hoping for a rainout, so Wood can pitch on Saturday.

Maddux, Wood, Zambrano---NICE!!

You would think that with Kerry Wood pitching today, things would be a little busier around here. Where is everyone?

And what does the weather look like?

Anyone else terrified of Wood hurting himself on a wet field?

Yes, it is Jim Hendry's fault that the outfielders never heard of a cutoff man, that our players can't get a sacrifice down, that we have no clue how to run the bases, and the ream overall shows a definite lack of hustle. Certainly, the GM should be out on the field during batting practice to make sure the players work on these things.

What is Dusty's biggest claim to fame? That his players play hard for him? When did this last happen? They'd rather snipe at the press and blame the fans than take any respionsibility.

Dusty and ALL his coaches must go.

welcome back wood! c-ya aram!

hell, its not like aram's even shown up all year anyway. hard to find much written about him in between the 2 guys who dont swing a bat and throw a ball on this blog, but hey...he has been sucking.

i guess its time to fixate on the new 'small item of the week'...i guess neifi's the obvious target, but maybe there will be a relief pitcher throwing 15 pitches that will overshaddow it.

I think this could be a very good day for Woody and the Cubs...We are going up against a pitcher (and a team) that has had trouble this year. The weather has cleared and Ron Santo just mentioned that Ramirez will be rested today and back in the line-up tomorrow.

Neifi is hitting 6th??
Oh my god........

Where is THE RIOT? Why did we even bring the kid up if he's going to rot on the bench and watch Neifi slap at 4 pitches in 4abs?

Wow an 8 pitch first inning for Wood including a strike out. The Nationals must have an early flight to catch.

Wood looks good in the 1st.

THE RIOT will be sent back to Iowa shortly to make room for Tony Womack...

Wood looks good in the 1st. Pierre, not so much.

(correction two strike outs for Wood in the first)

I knew Pierre was on the juice.

For those who think that Jim Hendry is somehow to blame because the players don't do the fundamentals which they are supposed to be taught:

Why didn't Jacque Jones have these baserunning problems when he played in Minnesota.

Why has Burnitz stopped make the baserunning mistakes he was frequently making last year, and why didn't Burnitz have those baserunning issues in Milwaukee, New York, or Colorado.

How often is Moises Alou making baserunning mistakes now that he is playing for his dad?

Why is it that players only seem to have a problem with the fundamentals when they play for Dusty Baker?

It seems more likely that those players are making the same mistakes for other teams, it is just that we don't notice them because we don't watch other teams as much as we watch the Cubs.

bleeding...you'd be suprised on all counts.

So much for Wood looking solid. 2 homers in the second...

for some reason those 91 mph fastballs down the middle and those rolling deuces are finding their way to the seats rather easily.

The "new" Kerry Wood: Only 49 pitches through 3 innings, not trying strike everyone out and no walks! The bad news: 3 home runs. You can't have it all...

Have they started booing Kerry yet? Sheesh -- I realize it's very small and insignificant in the scheme of things, but yet another letdown from Kerry. Bummer.

With this lineup, 4 runs look awfully big...

So BB, you're saying it's Dusty's fault that Jones has gotten doubled off three times? As in, "Hey Jacque, it'd be really helpful here if you could give us a baserunning blunder, OK?"

People here talk about accountability...let's have some on the players' part.

I get it....you're a Jones apologist.

he's obviously not throwing as hard as we're used to seeing...or the batters...

his control, aside from a few weird ones, has been really nice. nice as in, accuracte, not as in 'nailing corners' and mixing it up.

have him back early throwing like this or keep him down another week or two waiting for his arm to find the mid-90s again.

he's not throwing a lot, but his breaking stuff has looked decent and hitting low-mid 80s (his curve thing in the mid-high 70s). that's back at least...good sign there on the shoulder/elbow he can throw that well.

I know it's in our nature to expect too much, but give Kerry some slack, my god. First game back, and while I'm not watching it (so I can't tell his stuff), he hasn't walked anyone yet. I guess we were expecting a 20-K game right out of the chute?

"J. Mabry grounded out to catcher "

What?

bounced off the plate and went about 15 feet.

Two strikeouts to start the 5th. Let's see if he can get Soriano, too...

Not bad. Now unless he can hit a dinger of his own here, he sucks...

Alas, done for the day. Four runs on five hits. 6 Ks. Not bad. Not worth $17M/year, or whatever he gets. But not bad, for his first start back. Now if he can stay healthy for the rest of the season, win about a dozen or more games, maybe I'll get back on his bandwagon.

Somehow I can't imagine he'll stay off the DL. I mean, if he and Prior can both come back and pitch out the rest of this season, that's almost a little victory in and of itself.

Okay, I'm back to pessimism. Or at least severely retarded optimism.

I really think Pierre sets the course of the entire game with his first pitch bunt outs. That is starting to drive me crazy.

As for Wood...nope, I certainly don't expect greatness out of the chute...but, I don't expect greatness out of him at all. Even when he has pitched over the last 2 years he is maddingly inconsistent.

The first two innings represent a microcosm of the type of pitcher I think KW is now.

First inning, Brilliant, 2Ks 8 pitches
Second inning, 2HR, 3H, 25 pitches.
That's what I expect from him game to game...one game brilliant, the next game he'll get shelled.

But Wood means absolutely nothing to this team with an offense like ours...

Welcome to the game Ohman.

So BB, you're saying it's Dusty's fault that Jones has gotten doubled off three times? As in, "Hey Jacque, it'd be really helpful here if you could give us a baserunning blunder, OK?"

I'm not saying the players shouldn't be held accountable. What I'm saying is that under Dusty, it appears they are not held accountable.

When one player makes the same mistake over and over, the blame rest solely on that player. When the same team keeps making the same mistakes over and over, even though the players keep changing, you start have to looking at a large problem with the leadership and coaching.

mlb.com has a top 20 mock draft up. They have the Cubs taking Travis Snider a HS kid from Washington. Here is there scouting report on him:

"This might seem like a bit of a stretch, but if teams are willing to take a shot in this first round, why don't I? The Cubs do like Snider's power potential and despite his "bad body" 6-foot, 230 pounds (and) think he could be a prototypical right fielder."

Gee, Just what we need a 2nd Ryan Harvey.

"I know it's in our nature to expect too much, but give Kerry some slack, my god. First game back, and while I'm not watching it (so I can't tell his stuff), he hasn't walked anyone yet. I guess we were expecting a 20-K game right out of the chute?"

Yeah but considering he hit 97 in the 5th in his rehab start at Iowa you'd expect him to be hitting higher than 91 on his fastball. Velocity isn't vital to some pitchers but it is to a guy who only has 2 pitches. Command was suspect despite the lack of walks...a myriad of pitches right down the middle as seen by giving up a HR to Damian Jackson.

What should Dusty do? Bench Jones, one of the team's few effective (sometimes) hitters? He doesn't seem to have much choice here.

travis snider? are they f'n kidding? whatever...

hell, where did clayton kershaw, kyle drabeck, and chris marrero fall?

all 3 are better than snider...kyle will probally be drafted as a pitcher, though.

where did wes hodges, gtech go?

I really think Kasper and Brenly have become even MORE bland. Jeebus, it's like listening to paint dry.

My point about Wood is that, yes, it's natural to have certain expectations, especially of him. But for today, I'm satisfied with a decent effort first time out of the chute. If 5-6 starts down the line he's still throwing 91 and giving up four HRs, then yeah, time to start bashing.

nevermind...found the link to the mock draft...kershaw the pitcher...yeah...whatever. hah.

Who really knows what a manager does and what they are and aren't responsible for? I don't blame Dusty for being an idiot...but I do question his ability to get players mentally prepared for a game...it seems like when we have so many fundamental problems, from poor baserunning, to giving up too many walks, and taking too few....that you have to look up top and ask why the team doesn't have their shit together.

4 straight singles to start the 6th...let's get something big out of this.

oops, above meant to read "I don't blame dusty for Jones being an idiot (On the base paths)"

come on Cedeno

Let's bring Chip Caray back.

Pierre simply can not get the ball out of the infield...no wonder he bunts so much...it's really pathetic.

Should Dusty bench Jones? If that's the only way to get him to figure out how to run the bases, Then yes. If Dusty can think of some other way to make his players focus, that would be even better. After three mistakes in a month, its clear just talking to him isn't working and a more dramatic step is needed.

But Again, there is the bigger issue, as Blockhead pointed out, that for 4 million dollars a year, Dusty aught to be able to get his players mentally ready for the games.

When the same mistakes keep happening year after year, even though the players are changing, there is clearly a much larger issue than just one player's mistakes.

I doubt Hendry passes on Max Scherzer if he's sitting there at #14.

Pierre is on pace to drive in 8 runs this year, batting .136 with RISP. Hard to drive in runs when you can't get the ball out of the infield. Career .302 hitter now hitting .230. Up there with LaTroy (I know it's early) as the biggest disappointment aquisition of the Hendry era.

Pierre's leading indicator

Last RBI - Game 3 April 7th

1/4 season 2 RBI

We have 9 hits, all singles...that says a hell of a lot. Even on a good day when people get on base, we have no power to spawn a big inning. Thankfully 5 of those singles came in one inning.
7 LOB.

So much for the optimism of the last few days. Sigh. Back to earth. Wow, we beat the lowly Nationals a couple of games. Now we are getting pounded by the mighty Nats. Kerry got hit hard. Sure, it was just his first start and things *may* get better for him. Now let's see what happens on the south side. We could easily lose three in a row. This ship is still a long way from being upright.

Only good news on Pierre is that he didn't sign an extensionin ST. How much do you think that will wind up costing him? And to think, he was the one who started all the nonsense in 2003 with a one out, 2-strike double against Prior...

#67: and he has 8 XBH on 161 ABs this year. Bleah.

Wood did OK but I expected him not to give up as many runs - it may take him some time to get into the groove...Pierre has not been hot today and that's cost us big time...The Cubs have stranded close to 10 players already today...Ron Santo just said "I wish Pierre could be a little more disciplined at the plate."

Cedeno will be good. He had a nice at bat fouling off pitches, laying off outside pitches, and finally lifting a fly ball the other way for a Sac Fly. Nice at bat. Pierre has a slow bat. He cant catch up to 90 mph. He looks done to me. Kerry looked ok. I was really worried about his walks. He made a few mistakes, but 2 solo homers wont hurt you that much. The homer to Damian Jackson was really bad. Cant give up that one to the 8th place hitter with the pitcher on deck. That was the killer. But over all, 71 pitches and 51 or so for strikes. Cant complain too much there. Good start.

Pierre now 0-18 with RISP and 2 outs. Mr. Clutch, he ain't.

Does Todd Walker somehow artificially inflate his BA? Every game I watch or follow, he goes 0-fer.

Did Jim Hendry OVERpay for our lead-off hitter...??

#9 Juan Pierre | CF

AVG .230 | HR 0 | RBI 2 | OBP .270 | SLG .291

2006 Salary: $5,750,000

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/stats?p...

_______________________________________

#22 Scott Podsednik | LF

AVG .297 | HR 1 | RBI 12 | OBP .368 | SLG .435

2006 Salary: $2,125,000

We're losing 5-3 and we're getting "pounded". That's Cub Nation in a nutshell.

Bleeding Blue, I'll just have to agree to disagree with you. Jacque Jones has been around long enough not to make those kind of mistakes, and benching him does this team less good than keeping him in the lineup and hoping he can minimize the bonehead moves. You want to continue to blame it on the manager, nothing I'll say will change your mind. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Pierre is just baffling at this point.

And he's killing my fantasy team (except for SBs).

Bob, You are right that Jones should know better, and if it was only him, I wouldn't put it on the manager. But the exact same mistakes keep happening, even though the players are changing. That just screams of a larger problem in my book.

mlb.com has a top 20 mock draft up. They have the Cubs taking Travis Snider a HS kid from Washington. Here is there scouting report on him:

Don't be worried if Mayo projects Snider for us. Mayo's projections have been terrible in the past. BA's are much, much more reputabe. BA should have their initial projection on their site Monday. Here's who Mayo said the Cubs would take last year:

May 9th, 2005
20. Cubs: Tyler Greene, SS, Georgia Tech
The Cubs have shown a willingness to draft guys who are perceived as "tough signs." Greene, a Boras guy, has had that label hung on him, allowing him to slip down to No. 20. The one-time second-round pick of the Atlanta Braves can join his old Yellow Jacket double-play partner, Eric Patterson, in the Cubs system.

June 7th, 2005
20. Cubs: Justin Bristow, SS, Mills Godwin HS, Richmond, Va.
The Cubs have shown a willingness to draft guys who are perceived as "tough signs." As a result, Boras clients like Tyler Greene and Pawalek have been mentioned here. But the Cubs don't seem to like Greene here, and they likely will pass on Pawalek if he's there. They have no qualms taking a high schooler and if Volstad is available, and a high school bat like Bristow is definitely on their list.

Scott, why don't you just come out of the closet and head to the south side?

Pierre and Pods are both players in the arbitration years of club control. There is very little that Jim Hendry or Kenny Williams have to do with either of their salaries.

A FREAKING BUNT TO END THE GAME?!?!?!?!

Neifi needs to be taken out and shot with a hot bratwurst gun. And then left for dead.

A BUNT?!

WHAT THE HELL!!!!

Two on/two out bottom of ninth down by two and Neifi BUNTS on a 1-0 count!

what the shit was neifi doing there? I don't know if I'd be more pissed if it was Dusty directing him or Neifi being acting on his own.

Terrible.

WHAT THE HELL!!!!

Two on/two out bottom of ninth down by two and Neifi BUNTS on a 1-0 count! And Brenly is apologizing for him!!!!!!!

Aaaaargggghhhh

Just leave it to hot hitting Nefi to end the game for the Cubs...Bob Brenly said "that was a totally bad play by Nefi"...Hmmm...I thought Nefi was an experienced player. The Cubs have to play MUCH better than this if they want to have a chance to take any games from The White Sox this weekend.

michael, so you thought neifi could of actually gotten a hit? Bunt may of been his only hope. who was avail for pinch hitting?

Did he really bunt?

Did he take any pitches?

SPEECHLESS.

pretty damn likely that was neifi on his own, UNBELIEVABLY STUPID!!!

Wow!

The Cubs Dh for this week end bunts with runner in scoring position.

Like to see the post game interview for that. Crowd boo??

"it sure as hell wasn't designed to roll slightly to the left of a pitcher."

to the right, i mean...

horrible execusion...ugg...

That was clearly a cry for help from Neifi, as in "Help! I can't do this!" Tough loss -- crappy team at the end of a losing road trip, crappy starting pitcher, Wood back, etc. Today was a great example of what it means to be a Cub fan -- brief glimpses of hope, quickly dashed by inferior talent.

no crunch, it was a pretty smart idea, give yourself an even less chance of winning by attempting a bunt with an average runner when you need 2 runs

with a 1 run deficit, I'd almost buy it....

wood not wearing the ice-pack-of-doom in his press conference...that's a good sign...i think.

"brief glimpses of hope, quickly dashed by inferior talent."

Thanks Jim Hendry...WHY do we have players like Neifi Perez and Glendon Rusch on this team in 2006...?? Were there ANY other options...??

Ice pack probably already off of him, since he left the game after the 5th. You're only supposed to have it on for 20 minutes at a time.

Ice pack probably already off of him, since he left the game after the 5th. You're only supposed to have it on for 20 minutes at a time.

Ice pack probably already off of him, since he left the game after the 5th. You're only supposed to have it on for 20 minutes at a time.

rusch was a suprise signing all around...he was pretty much a sure-thing 3+m signing for someone, but for the cubs...and for 2 years??

neifi was expected to return to a multi-year, but his pay suprised a lotta people who thought he'd get 3-4m tops. lots of people are big fans of the spirit and leadership he brings at the expense of his bat. guys like that matter over a course of 200 days on the field and on a plane, but i'd settle for matt stairs for a guy like that. i have a hard time having more than 1 2m bench guy around...cubs got a nearly 10m bench.

Otis Nixon ended the '92 World Series on a bunt...I thought it was a crap-ass play then, and it's a crap-ass play today. Neifi had driven in a run today, just swing the bat. I realize he's a lousy hitter, but making contact and possibly hitting it hard somewhere is a much better play.

I am not sure if it makes a difference if Neife bunts or swings away - he sucks! Personally, like everyone else on this message board he should not be on this Cubs team.

no one was expecting that bunt play...neifi screwed it up by not sticking it on the line better. it happens...the timing of the play is a hard one to accept given it doesnt move a runner even if successful.

mabry's up after him...still no sure thing, but definately a better situation.

oh..jones was still on 1st...my bad. still...whatever, he didnt put the bunt where it needed to be.

what sucks about the Neifi bunt was that Cordero had thrown 5 balls in a row. The pitching coach just visited the mound. You know that there is a 95% chance that you are going to see a fastball down the middle in that situation. That is exactly what neifi got. A hard pitch to bunt, but the tailor made pitch to drive in the gap. Neifi shouldnt have been up in that situation. Shouldnt have been batting 6th. Hairston on the bench. Bad move by Dusty and Neifi.

If some bozo hadn't batted that bum 6th, maybe we'd still be playing. As it is, get rid of this incredibly stupid management team!

"Did Jim Hendry OVERpay for our lead-off hitter...??

#9 Juan Pierre | CF
AVG .230 | HR 0 | RBI 2 | OBP .270 | SLG .291
2006 Salary: $5,750,000

#22 Scott Podsednik | LF
AVG .297 | HR 1 | RBI 12 | OBP .368 | SLG .435
2006 Salary: $2,125,000"

That might look good to you today Scott but you failed to mention that in order to get Pods, Williams had to trade Carlos Lee who last I checked is one of the best and most consistent hitters in the game. Coming into this year Pods and Pierre were essentially the same player except Pierre is a better OF defensively and has a better career avg and ob%.

mabry's up after him...still no sure thing, but definately a better situation.

Which goes back to the question, why the hell was Neifi batting 6th, even in this lineup?

#107 of 107: By Bleeding Blue (May 18, 2006 04:58 PM)
mabry's up after him...still no sure thing, but definately a better situation.

Which goes back to the question, why the hell was Neifi batting 6th, even in this lineup?

exactly

you're absolutely right crunch, if he only executed it properly it would have been a good idea down 2 runs!!! my bad, really, what was I thinking. Cause the chances of a successful bunt hit by Neifi "I'm not that fast" Perez are quite high actually and then the chances of Mabry getting another hit are really off the charts...

It was good, smart baseball. What was I thinking??

Crunch, I generally agree with you on most things, but not this time. Neifi had no business bunting. I also don't think he should've been batting sixth (or in the lineup at all). I'd have put Mabry at 3B and Hairston at 2B. I drift from 99 percent of the Dusty Haters on this board, but I think you guys are right on track complaining about this today.

on Neifi: As bad as he sucks that for him was the best % play. I mean there is no way he can get a hit so maybe Cordero makes a throwing error. Instead of being mad at Neifi we should be mad at Dusty for

(A) Playing him
(B) Batting him ahead of Mabry and Cedeno
(C) not PH'ing him with JHJ

on the draft: Does anyone know who BA has us taking? I'm hoping we get a college pitcher cause we need to restock from Pierre trade. Though in one the BA chat on ESPN John Manuel sais Snider was the most advanced HS hitter in the draft, last year they said Pawelek was the most advanced HS pitcher in the draft so maybe if they did take Snider it wouldnt be that bad.

We really can't blame this game on that one at bat, although that does seem to defy all rationale logic for what needed to happen there.

The Cubs left 12 men on base (7 in scoring position)...a whole bunch of singles isn't going to put a lot of runs on the board quickly.

Boy, Neifi really sucks, but we all knew that...to me, Pierre is a FAR FAR bigger concern. He just looks absolutely incapable of getting a ball out of the infield more than once in 10 at bats.

geez...i just said it wasnt a bad play...no one was expecting that...the D wasn't set up for it.

but he didn't put it up the line...he hit it to the one guy who is in possition to field that. put it up the line and he's in good shape.

the execution of it makes whether he'd be safe or out moot cuz well...he screwed up that. hitting it to the right of the only guy in possition to field that effectively is bad execution.

Right. There's "no way" Neifi can get a hit, even though he did earlier in the game and drove in a run. Gotcha.

I'm certainly not blaming the whole game on that at-bat, it was obviously Barrett's fault for calling a hanging breaking ball to Damien Jackson. :)

but that was about the most boneheaded idea the Cubs have pulled off since Barrett's ill-fated rundown last season in Philly.

they should have attempted a jones steal and if anything neifi is good at getting bat on ball, occasionally those find holes. And if even if you don't want to steal, I think there's a much better shot of an XBH by Neifi (rare, sure) than a successful bunt hit by Neifi and another successful hit by Mabry that would have scored Jones from 2nd.

Pierre is actually remarkable to watch. I have never seen a career .300 hitter who literally never hits the ball hard. Other singles hitters usually hit sharp line drives -- Pierre really looks like he doesn't belong out there, like an 8-year old kid who wandered on to the 12-year old diamond. Too bad -- he seems like a good guy, great work ethic, etc. Presumably, we are stuck with him at leadoff for the year.

Speaking of Pawelek -- where is he?

Bob,

Last time I checked Cordero is a hell of a lot better than Ortiz.

geez...i just said it wasnt a bad play

No it was a bad play. I want you to acknowledge that it was a bad play. Goddamnit!

(Pulp Fiction reference, sarcasm)

After the mound visit he had to know a FB was comming. If he cant hit a fastball down the middle then he has no business on the roster.

"Speaking of Pawelek -- where is he?"

At EST he is probably working with a mechanics specialist. He should be assigned to Boise in June.

I agree with Rob G. Tying run on first with 2 outs, weak hitter up. Best chance for a tie is to steal 2nd and hope Neifi can bloop a single in somewhare. The odds that either a) Neifi will geta n XBH or b) Neifi and Mabry will get back-to-back hits are extremely low. Once again, I don't think Dusty lost the game, but he doesn't given the team the best chance to win.

Billy, I have a lot of trouble believing that Baker had anything to do with that bunt...maybe it is just denial...but I would think Perez thought he saw something and did it on his own.

Hell, maybe he thought there were no outs and just wanted to get the tying run in scoring position....wouldn't surprise me with this team.

I agree I don't thnk it was Dusty's bunt, but still, why wasn't Jones stealing? Like last weekend, not stealing with Pierre miraculously on first and Piazza behind the plate in the late innings. Frutstrating.

Sorry about the typos. It's the frustration talking.

yeah, tough to imagine Dusty would have called that. God I hope not...

"Coming into this year Pods and Pierre were essentially the same player except Pierre is a better OF defensively and has a better career avg and ob%."

Career averages don't mean much right now...Pods came through for the White Sox when it really counted late in the season last year...and Pods is hitting well this year -- I've seen him hit doubles, triples, and home runs...Pods gets on base much more often than Pierre and that makes a huge difference. Hendry paid for the Juan Pierre that helped the Marlins win a World Series...Unfortunately, that Juan Pierre hasn't been playing for the Cubs this year. To pay almost $6 Million dollars/yr. for the kind of production the Cubs are getting from Pierre is so painful...The only games we have seen the Cubs do well in are games when we have good pitching, timely hitting and Pierre getting on base...It's gotta happen much more often or this season won't be funny at all.

"Speaking of Pawelek -- where is he?"

As of two weeks ago he was in Mesa at extended spring training working out along side of Blasko and J.Blevins...and just to note Blasko is reportedly at full health but is "being brought back slowly"...where have we heard that before...and yes he will most likely be assigned to Boise in a couple weeks.

I'm not so sure that JJ stealing is the right call...he isn't exactly a sure thing in that regards...but I certainly would have taken my chances with Perez swinging away and looping a double somewhere.

We can say it isnt Dusty's fault till we are blue in the face. You cant deny the fact that the 2004,2005 and now the 2006 editions of the cubs are woefully lacking in fundamentals and acccountability. This team doesnt need a manager. This team needs one of those drill sargeants from the talk shows about troubled kids. " I do what I want. Whatever, I do what I want."

no less of a sure thing than Neifi and Mabry getting hits or Neifi getting an XBH. Take a shot, it wasn't Schneider behind the plate. (although I'm sure Wiki is good too)

a loopy xbh still sounds like a better chance than reaching safely on a bunt hit.

Career averages don't mean much right now...
Pods gets on base much more often than Pierre and that makes a huge difference. Hendry paid for the Juan Pierre that helped the Marlins win a World Series...

Again, Career averages don't mean much right now. But they one of the only things that matter when deciding the salary of a player in the arbitration years of club control. A career 280 hitter in the 4th full season is going to make significantly less than a career 300 hitter going into his 6th full season.

Its how arbitration works. It has almost nothing to do with Jim Hendry or Kenny Williams.

Get beyond your Sox love and deal with it.

Scott you mean home run (singular)..he has 1 more than Pierre..1. You were discussing what Hendry had to give up to get Pierre before the season so we are talking about career average because that obviously is what Hendry had to go on...and when you're discussing one dimentional players(speed) batting average is sorta important. Pods is hitting well SO FAR...he also disappeared in the 2nd half last year and he's battling a groin injury so there's no guarantee that he's going to continue at his current pace. Not to make excuses but Pierre is a DLee-esque career slow starter...there's at least a decent chance that his final numbers will be comparable to Pods's aside from the RBIs...but he better tune it up within the next week or two.

Willis, Pierre trying to help each other cure slumps

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/sports/1...

{...''We're both consoling each other,'' said Willis, who takes a four-game losing streak into tonight's start against the Braves. ``But it's not like we're crying on each other's shoulder. You know J.P. doesn't want anybody feeling sorry for him when he's doing bad, and I'm the same way.''

Willis has never been through anything like this. He has given up 24 earned runs in his past 21 2/3 innings, and the Braves scorched him for seven runs last week, knocking him out in the third inning.

Pierre is hitting .225, and his on-base percentage of .270 is the lowest in the majors among leadoff hitters...}

A Tale of Two Cities

http://www.sports-central.org/sports/2006/05/...

{...Without Lee in the middle, the Cubs' lineup is absolutely toothless, and the fact that Aramis Ramirez's batting average is hovering above the Mendoza line isn't helping things. But the real problem starts at the top, where Juan Pierre is getting on base at a .269 clip ó so bad that manager Dusty Baker actually took him out of the leadoff spot at one point. Dusty could literally put 90 percent of the everyday players in the league in the leadoff spot and do better than .269. Maybe not what the Cubs were expecting for their offseason investment, huh?...}

Four more Zambranos and you've got yourself a time.

How did Wood look today?

The Cubs are the gum under our shoes. We look at Tampa as tougher competition.

Forget Pierre vs. Pods...how about signing Lofton -- a far more productive player than either of them -- for half as much as Pierre and then using the extra cash and some prospects (incl. Mitre, maybe Pie, whatever) to trade for a real top notch RF (Cabrera?)?

Imagine having Lofton in CF and leading off and having a 900 OPS guy in RF? This was the move to be made in the offseason, but the Cubs went with Pierre, who is fading fast.

Years and years of fading stars and mediocre role-fillers instead of legitimate stars (D. Lee is the exception). I'm tired of it!

Here's why our offense sucks and there is only one way to fix it...VIA SMARTER PLAYER ACQUISITIONS and COACHING THAT LOOKS DOWN ON HITTERS NOT WORKING THE COUNT, it's called showing PATIENCE at the PLATE...we should try it

(from John DeWan's stat of the week):
--
Here's where the Los Angeles Dodgers rank in the National League in various hitting categories as a team right now:

Batting Average 10th (.262)
Home Runs 10th (39)
Slugging Percentage 11th (.415)

These rankings are not surprising, given that the Dodgers play in the second worst hitter's park in baseball (according to the park index for Dodger Stadium over the last three years in The Bill James Handbook 2006.)

What is surprising is that the Dodgers rank SECOND in runs scored in the National League. Are they doing it with mirrors? Nope. They're doing it with WALKS. The Dodgers lead all of baseball (tied with the Boston Red Sox) with 181 bases on balls taken thus far this year. They also lead baseball with 41 stolen bases, but the walks are a much more important factor.

The Kansas City Royals rank LAST in walks in the American League, and rank LAST in runs scored as well. The CHICAGO CUBS rank LAST in walks in the National League, and rank LAST in runs scored as well. Hmm, seems to be a pattern, doesn't it?

No kidding, why hasn't anyone else thought of trading for Cabrera. I'm sure Mitre and a few prospects would have got it done.

Damn, why haven't we traded for Johan Santana, David Wright, and Albert Pujols while we're at it.

"I have a lot of trouble believing that Baker had anything to do with that bunt...maybe it is just denial..."

"I agree I don't thnk it was Dusty's bunt"

From the ESPN/AP Recap:

"As surprised as everyone else in this ball park," Nationals manager Frank Robinson said of Perez's surprise bunt attempt.

"Didn't work," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said.

"The third baseman was way back. He wouldn't have had a chance to throw me out," Perez said. "I didn't get the job done."

Now, maybe Dusty is covering for him, since Dusty covers for anyone over the age of thirty, but that sounds like Dusty thought it MIGHT work, and therefore might have initiated it.

hi!
wasnt that one fucking hell of a disappointing let-down return of kid-K?
yes! it sure mother-grabbing was, wasn't it!

was it the failure of kerry to realize that you cant hang shit to big leaguers like you can down at the farm?

was it the twelve men LOB and just 3 runs for our dozen hits + 2 BB + 1 HBP + 1 ROE?

was it neifi hitting fucking sixth?

was it the fact JP sucks ass??? (corey come back! those 11 solo homers are lookin mighty good!)

im gonna have to go with, all of the above!
(and what about "the bunt" you ask? what? what bunt? the was a bunt? no, no....no such thing happened. it didn't fucking happen)

>

>

I used Cabrera as an example...there are other OFs who would provide the offensive numbers you need that could have been had...if you take Prior, Pie and others off of the "no-touch" list.

Put it this way: you could have done a lot better than Pierre and Jones if you did it smart. Lofton was a steal this offseason, and is a good enough lead off hitter to bring you to where you need to be. Pierre is here for only a year, anyway (I hope), so age is not a factor.

You can't have mediocre players at every position (except 1B and maybe 3B) and expect to win. At some point, you have to step up and do what it takes to get some top notch guys. Just rotating through retreads like Jones/Burnitz/Brown/Goodwin/Glanville/Grieve/Hollandsworth/etc ad infinitum is not gonna do it...

please settle with the profanity...PG-13 is what we strive for, not "Scarface"

THANKS!!!!

I used Cabrera as an example...there are other OFs who would provide the offensive numbers you need that could have been had

Such As?

Oh, boy! I'm in trouble. I don't know what to do! I don't think they (fans) are buying into my spin anymore. I can't rebuild and I can't spend any more money - Andy will kill me! If we can just stay in the race I can blame injuries.

Scott,

I will try and handle all the Sox postings for the next 3 days, but please give all your man love for the White Sox posts a rest, will you? They do have blogs you can post at

I agree with Jim Hickman. Consistently signing adequate to mediocre position players just isn't going to get it done. It will keep us somewhere near .500 but never anything more. If I were the Cubs I would try to do the following: target Marcus Giles for 2nd base, keep Demp-Howry-Eyre intact, sign one of the 200 plus inning FA starters, trade Prior and Jones for Abreu, re-sign Maddux.

A lineup of:

2B Giles
LF Murton
1b Lee
RF Abreu
3b Ramirez
C Barret
CF Pie
SS Cedeno

And a starting rotation of
Z, Maddux, FA starter, Wood, Marshall. Miller would be the extra starter if/when Wood falters or gets hurt.

Probably pie in the sky but that's all I got at this point.

So the Cubs, with a full house every day in the third largest TV market (hence lots of revenue) and several good prospects and some tradable players can't put together a deal for ANY of these guys, each of whom would be a gazillion times better than Jones?

Carlos Lee
Manny Ramirez
Pat Burrell
Adam Dunne
Bobby Abreu
Jason Bay

Failing that, they couldn't spend a few bucks for a top free agent once in a while?

How do the Yankees and Red Sox manage to do it? How did they get all those good guys -- most of whom came from other teams one way or another -- on the same team? I'm guessing it wasn't by signing mediocre players with career OB percentages that are laughable (Neifi, Jones, really Pierre for a lead-off guy the past two years).

Do you realize how few players the Cubs have had in the past five years with on base percentages above the AVERAGE OB for the better teams?

The Cubs -- as an organization -- do not value walks. Until the team on base gets to 340+, forget about winning anything.

The point is, another offseason went by, and the best they could do was Pierre and Jones? That would be fine in Pittsburg, but with the advantages the Cubs have, it's absurd.

The problem with your list is that all of those guys are cornerstone guys for other teams that are very hard to make trades for, and certainly won't be had for prospects. Unfortunatly, this isn't fantasy baseball.

Free agents are great, but this offseason was putrid. St. Louis was looking for an outfielder just as bad as the Cubs were, they wanted Jones and settled for Encarnacion.

Carlos Lee will be available next offseason, and I'd love to see the Cubs make a run at him.

Chicago baseball: A tale of two cities
_________________________________________________________

White Sox are fabulous, while the Cubs are, well, the Cubs

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/12861306/

Dusty sticking up for his boy Neifi.

What a dumbass, god forbid he say "You know we suck."
Quit stroking these guys all the time, call them out once just once!
You see why the team does chicken bleep things when the manager is a chicken bleep.
" I'll put in Olgivie, at least he will try!!"

Scott: Please, just come out of the closet and work your way down to the Southside. I'm sure your comments will be enjoyed by readers of Exile in Wrigleyville.

Honestly, the Sox trolls who stop by to taunt are easy to laugh at. Your pro-white sox posts are, quite frankly, just sad.

heard the brewers and Lee were working on an extension fwiw.

Will The Cubs EVER attract a Manager like the leader of the Tigers' turnaround...??

Leyland working his magic in Detroit

As he always has, manager is getting the best out of his team

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/12807551/

{...But Leyland makes teams win. Heís personally intense, but in a feet-on-the-desk kind of way. In an age in which managers talk increasingly like CEOs, heís gnarly and lean, his speech is peppered with profanities, and heís so far managed to live 61 years without hearing the news that tobacco is bad for your health.

He demands excellence, but so, too, do a lot of people who fail. The difference is, he manages to get it.

Detroit has won five consecutive games four times already this season...}

I don't see a problem with pointing out what works with the Whitesox and what doesn't work for the Cubs...forget what city the White Sox are from...they are one of the best in baseball this year, and were the best last year. Seems to me like it makes sense to look at what they are doing right.

My basic premise is, I don't give a crap about the Sox...if they lose, ok...if they win, ok...I've always laughed at sox fans who couldn't get over their grudge against us, and couldn't handle any success by the Cubs...I'd hate to see our fan base become like theirs.

Will The Cubs EVER attract a Manager like the leader of the Tigers' turnaround...??

You mean the FIRST PLACE, AL CENTRAL TIGERS?

Dusty Baker's response to Neifi's bunt attempt with 2 on, and 2 outs was (paraphrasing) "I had no problem with his bunt, seemed like a good play to me"

THAT WAS NOT A GOOD PLAY! YOU DON'T BUNT WITH 2 ON AND 2 OUTS!!!!!! aGGHGHHGHGH

CAN THAT CLOWN AND HIS PET NEIFI!

I grew up in Michigan but have been a Cubs fan most of my life (even when I've lived in other parts of the country)...I've lived in Chicago for over the last 10 years and will support any Chicago team that is a contender and can make a run at a championship title. I respect good management and effective teamwork wherever I see it. Of course I wanted the Cubs to go all the way in 2003 -- just like everyone else out on this discussion board. Yet, last year when the White Sox were contenders I supported them in their run to win a World Series title for our City. If the Detroit Tigers are the only team from the Midwest to get into the World Series in 2006, I would support them. I'm also still a frustrated Cubs fan who wants his team to go ALL THE WAY someday. I think you can learn from high performance teams like the White Sox. Some teams are constructed better by design. Some teams clearly have better GMs and better Managers who know how to get more out of their talent.

*Forget Pierre vs. Pods...how about signing Lofton*

God damn it, GET OFF THE KENNY LOFTON KICK ALREADY.

He didn't up our run production in 2003 and if you had him on this team this year you'd have Jerry Hairston in CF half the season due to his inability to stay off the DL.

Jeebus.

ESPN is reporting that JT Snow wants out of Boston.

Any one want to make odds for him ending up in Cubbie blue?

If Boston takes next to nothing for him sure, I mean we help them by taking Nomar.(ooops)

And Im sure he will be ready to ask for another trade come mid-June from Cubs.

"ESPN is reporting that JT Snow wants out of Boston. Any one want to make odds for him ending up in Cubbie blue?"

I'm trying to get him right now. I love infielders that cant hit.

God!

What a bunch of idiots. In this same post you rag on Neifi for trying to bunt, and the Cubs for having crappy OBP players. But let's look at the facts.

First Scenario:
Neifi, who saw Zimmerman was playing too deep figured probably there was a 50% chance he would get a hit if he bunted. The Cubs would have then had the tying run at 2nd (aka scoring position) and the winning run ON BASE. Then Mabry comes up he needs a single to tie the game and put the winning run at 2nd. .5 X Mabry's average = .212 = 10.6% and leaves us with a .25 chance to win the game in that inning.

Having him Neifi swing away, hoping for a extra base hit - he's had 4 doubles in 74 at bats. That's a 5.4%. And leaves us with a .25 chance to win the game in that inning.

Having Jones steal 2nd on the first pitch (a strike by all acounts) = .62 success rate for his career and you need an outfield hit from Neifi, so say .175 chance of that, which comes to a 10.9% chance of success, but we still need 2 more hits to win the game - about a 7% chance.

There's nothing wrong with a bunt in that position as long as you're sure that you can get it down.

Couple of thoughts:

1. Kerry Wood has character. He'll take the ball with less than his best stuff. I can't see Prior doing that. He's a team guy. As for the win totals, he had two years in 2000 and 2001 where he should have had at 5 more wins each year-the Cubs were running out teams with team batting averages under .250 those years. I don't know the stats but he had several quality starts those years. I'm not saying we need to re-sign him but I like Wood. I love his attitude. I just hope he starts pitching and not trying to strike everyone out.

2. Pierre has a bat speed problem. I remember a guy a couple of years ago named Brian Daubach. He hit .300 for the Red Sox and then the White Sox got him. He lost his bat speed. Fouled off all the pitches that he drove the year before. He was out of baseball soon after. I don't blame Hendry for making the deal for Pierre, however. We had a SEVERE need for a leadoff man and he was best available. Three 200 hit seasons. Right now, however, he's killing us. How do you fix a bat speed problem? Lighter bat? I'd move him out of the leadoff spot. Let him hit 8th or bring up the Pie. He's horrible.

3. Nefi's play was inexcusable. Dusty may have covered for him but thats not winning baseball. I was listening on the radio in my car. Pat said, "well Ronnie, I was not expecting that" Ron said, "he shouldn't have done that". Any idiot knows he shouldn't have done that. I do blame Dusty for the lineup. Just because Nefi's playing 3rd, you don't hit him 6th. He's not Vinny Castilla for christ sake.

4. If Ramirez doesn't demand to play in this series he's a big fat puss. These guys need to be warriors. Think of the guys with broken ribs that play in the NFL. Strap it on, bud.

5. I want to see The Riot. Lets get a scrapper out there.

6. I wish we still had Farnsworth. Maybe he'd hit someone...

The other chase......Neifi's chase for history.

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/the...

There are only 8 teams in MLB that have worse records than the Cubs. If we have a crap weekend, 4 of them will pass us, putting the Cubs in a class with KC, Wash, Fla, and Pitt.

This all makes me feel ill.

Going incognito at the cell phone park this weekend, don't want to take a verbal beating.

go Tigers!

MikeC -
That is one heckuva great article. Thanks for the post. We all know Neifi is awful but it's great to see more evidence.

That article on Neifi Perez isn't valid. You can't use above/below average to compare players who don't play at the same time. It's not Neifi's or Royce Clayton's fault that they played at the same time as five of the 7 or so greatest hitting shorstops in ML history.

He does suck, though.

According to BP our best fielding 2nd basemen is Todd Walker with a 108 rate and 1 fielding run above average.

Bottom line on Neifi -- it may or may not have been a good play if he had executed it (although I don't consider him a great base-hit bunter), but it clearly sent a message to Dusty - "I should NOT be hitting sixth!".

At least Pie (2 hits, HR, 3 RBI) and Guzman had good nights at Iowa.

How bad does a player have to be, when someone says, "Its not like he is Vinny Castilla out there"

Ouch

Comcast SportsNet is televising batting practice today.

You can watch our #6 hitter lay down bunts in the cage.

Neifi will probably be the Dh this week-end.(I just threw up in my mouth)Hopefully he will not be batting 6th, and not 2nd either. This can be Dusty's first chance to bat him in the spot where he belongs, 9th.

This should get Theriot(French for "shot in the arm") his first start since his recall three weeks ago, and start JHJ in Rf against Buerle.

Ugh.

I don't know what this horrible reaction to JT Snow is all about. He gets on base at a fantastic clip, has stellar defensive skills and would be a passable stop-gap until DLee returns. OK, his numbers suck this year, but he's only had 21 ABs. He's not going to give us more power, but he'll be a better sub than Mabry.

This need for every move Hendry makes to be for Manny Ramirez/A-Rod/Jesus Christ Superstar is a little out of hand.

#136

Well, you just lost 2 of 3 to the D-Rays...

"This need for every move Hendry makes to be for Manny Ramirez/A-Rod/Jesus Christ Superstar is a little out of hand."

JC is pressing at the plate a bit, and his contract is sorta hefty.

Reference Nefi's bunt with the tying run at first, runner on third, two outs, and a 1-0 count: "DUMB!!!!" to quote Jeff Brantley on ESPN Baseball tonight. Also dumb, giving Nefi a 2 year contract. It also says something about what Nefi thinks about his own ability to hit major league pitching, even mediocre major league pitching at this point. And to think we will have all of 2006 and 2007 to watch Nefi stink.

Given Jim Hendry's and Dusty Baker's strange fetish for impatient contact hitters with no power, I look forward soon to seeing Pierre, Nefi (3b), Tony Womack (2B), and Dave Bynum (LF) in the same line-up soon. I would start laying bets on someone (Buerhle?) pitching a no-hitter as the Cubs try to break the Mendoza line as a team. These guys are all like the young Billy Beane, they can't escape the batter's box soon enough.

Carmenfanzone, I agreed with your post except for the comment about Prior. I think Prior pitched with pain 2d part of last year, a speculation I inferred from his mediocre results and the problem he had with command of his pitches. I am rather pessimistic about his ability to stay in the rotation and his torn labrum is diagnosed and operated on (it took the Cubs from April to end of July to accept that this was Wood's problem last year). The pitching abuse of 2003 continues to haunt.

For those who subscribe, Nate Silver has a nice article on the Cubs on the Baseball Prospectus web site.

Crunch and Mannytrillo, I give you the following comment regarding bunts, Earl Weaver, the best manager of the modern post WWII era disdained them except when he had his pitcher or weakest hitter (the late Mark Belanger) up to bat. With this team, I would have Nefi bunt whenever there is a runner on first and less than two outs, ditto with Pierre and Hairston and of course the pitcher. I would not bunt with players who have some power (few and are between on this year's team basically Jones and Barrett) or likely to get on base (Murton and Walker)as this team really can't aford to give to many outs up with Pierre, Nefi, and the pitcher taking up 9 to 10 a game. In baseball, unlike football, you can't score on defense, and 3 up and 3 down puts back out on the field pretty quick.

Jim Hendry on the Mike Murphy show yesterday. Jimbo is REALLY defensive.

http://www.670thescore.com/includes/news_item...

The Real Neal---Take your statistics and shove them. There is NO way to justify, as a professional hitter, bunting with two outs when you represent the winning run with 2 outs. Heís not even fast. Letís get serious here. All your percentages and flowery numbers wonít hide the fact that Neifi simply has no sack. Youíve clearly never played organized baseball past tee ball.

CubfanGermany---

It is FREDDIE BYNUM. Not dave. Regardless, he has a homer and single in his last couple of bats. We need to get his name right to make fun of him. He still sucks.

It reminds me, where is Dave Clark? Marvell Wynne? Seriously.

and prior is total wuss. We couldn't fleece Baltimore in that one. Even the the O's knew that.

Let's make sure to sign him for 5 years now. Your move Jim

God this team sucks.

Spats

The other chase......Neifi's chase for history.

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/the...

Wow... ouch... $5 Mil for 2 years. Defense is great and everything, but you still have to score runs. That's almost as stupid as Rusch $6 Mil for 2 years.

Nice signing Womack, though. Obviously, in a perfect world, Womack is a terrible idea, but this is a world in which DLee can get injured. I envision Walker @ first and Womack @ second until the the Lee returns.

#117

Neifi is 1-4 vs. Cordero lifetime. Maybe the hit was a bunt, but I'd still have swung the bat.

wait -- mark belanger is dead?

JHJ was on radio just now, said he is in lineup.

Story going around that Trib writer Paul Sullivan was called into meeting with McFail and Hendry telling him to ease off on Jock Jones.

What a bunch of wusses.

I feel like the only person in the world (or at least, in the baseball world, which is the same thing to me) that was truly encouraged with the return of Wood. Sure, his line didn't look great, certainly not against the Nationals, but he seems to have matured finally. I was expecting 5 innings, 6 walks and 7 k's. I was expecting Cole Hamels, and I got something different -- something I like a lot better considering Kerry's age: a little maturity, 8 years in the making.

Remember in Parachat how I said the Cubs players might be upset with Brenly and his critical comments? Well this doesn't have to do with Brenly but it is just as juicy.....

http://www.suntimes.com/output/sneed/cst-nws-...

All in the family? Sneed hears top Chicago Cubs executives Andy McPhail and Jim Hendry berated Chicago Tribune sports editor Dan McGrath and Cubs beat writer Paul Sullivan over what they felt was the paper's unfairly critical coverage of the team. The expletive-laced tongue-lashing supposedly took place last week at Wrigley Field, according to a source.

It sure is wonderful this organization has its priorities in order.

Oh yeah and a poster from Desipio wrote down the #6 hitters in baseball from last night....

Casey Blake CLE
Chris Shelton, DET
Justin Morneau, MIN
B. Wilkerson, TEX
Bernie Williams, NYY
K. Johjima, SEA
Bobby Crosby, OAK
Toby Hall, TB
Joe Crede, SUX
Alexis Rios, TOR
Juan Rivera, ANA
Ed Encarnacion, CIN
J. Beer-Nuts, PIT
David Bell, PHI
Bill Hall, MIN
Mike Jacobs, FLA
J. Francouer, ATL
J. Encarnacion, STL
Cliff Floyd, NYM
Marlon Byrd, WAS
T. Graffanino, KC

Our's was the great Neifi Perez. Thats how really really bad our team is.

Nats get Real Owners
http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ap-nati...

[Kasten] repeated that the team will emphasize minor leagues and scouting and stay away from high-priced free agents for now.

"I think if you're not ready to win and you squander money on that, at the expense of player development, it's foolish," he said.

If McFail and Hendry are so pissed at Sullivan for writing biting articles about the Cubs, maybe they should send him down and call up Carrie Muskrat....and give her a shot at the 'show'

I don't know how much faith I'd put in an article in a rival newspaper claiming Tribune writers are being influenced by the front office.

I don't know how much faith I'd put in anything written below Sneed's byline anyway. Wah wah.

Murph on WSCR is making fun of "Andy The Clown McFAIL"...That's what he calls him. If you look at how the Cubs have wasted money and failed to fully develop talent it's not hard to get frustrated...This series with the White Sox should be interesting. I think our best chance will be to win the 1st game today with Maddux on the mound (the Sox also just got back into town late last night)...If the Cubs win more than 1 game in this weekend series it will be a massive miracle.

Real Neil:

There is a major problem with your analysis of the Neifi's AB yesterday:

Neifi, who saw Zimmerman was playing too deep figured probably there was a 50% chance he would get a hit if he bunted.

Even if Zimmerman is playing deep - on the premise that no one would be stupid enought to bunt in that situation - the odds of Neifi reaching base on a bunt are well under 50 percent. The odds are about 50 percent that he reaches base, only if he lays down an excellent bunt. The odds of him actually laying down a bunt that puts him on base are much lower.

That pretty much ruins the rest of the math in your theory.

I am watching our new lefty BP pitcher and he fits in with this crew. Half the time he isn't even getting the pitch in an area good enough for them to even hit the ball.

Maybe #98 can start instead of Rich Hill.

Who gives a crap what Mike Murphy thinks? Possibly the biggest idiot on Chicago sports radio, which is saying something.

Bleeding Blew,

Reading comprehension is a skilled that is greatly underestimated.

'Neifi, who saw Zimmerman was playing too deep figured probably there was a 50% chance he would get a hit if he bunted. '

How could you turn that into saying 'Neal thinks there's a 50% chance Neifi could have bunted for a hit'? I wasn't making the decision- you weren't making the decision - Neifi was, that's the only opinion that matters. In hindsight it looks like a dumb move, but had he got on you would have said to yourself 'at least Neifi didn't end the game'. I was being pretty generous by not discountin Jacques's SB% as well. It's not like the Nats were going to let him jog into 2nd standing up and Wiki isn't in the big leagues for his bat.

Bob,

1 for 4 sample size...

Dawson08,

Try and grow up. Maybe come back to this blog when you are Dawson13 or Dawson14. As has been re-iterated ad nauseum- referring to Neifi as a 'professional hitter' is a misnomer of the worst kind.

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