“Watch Some Other Teams Who Can Actually Play This Game And Watch Them Win”

Excellent advice for an off-day from TCR reader Dr. Johnson. I'd call it a prescription, but I don't know if he's a real doctor. GAME FORTY-SEVEN IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] DETROIT TIGERS (32-14, 1st, +1.0) AT KANSAS CITY ROYALS (10-34, 5th, 21.0) Kaufmann Stadium, 1:05 PM CDT TV: None (MLB.tv only) Radio: WXYT, WHB, XM 181
Mike Maroth, LHP 5-2, 2.45 ERA, 47 2/3 IP 22 K, 15 BB, 5 HR
gainst, .283 BABIPDenny Bautista, RHP 0-2, 3.75 ERA, 24.0 IP 16 K, 10 BB, 1 HR 250/340/352 against, .296 BABIP
The Tigers have been the biggest surprise in baseball so far this year. They haven't finished above .500 since 1993, and a succession of uninspiring managers (Buddy Bell, Phil Garner, Alan Trammell) has helped erode the fan base to the point where even a new stadium (Comerica Park, opened in 2000) couldn't pull the team's attendance out of the lower depths for more than one season. This year, though, things have been different. A new manager (Jim Leyland), a couple of breakout players (Chris Shelton, Curtis Granderson, Justin Verlander, Mike Maroth), and good numbers from a couple of veterans (Magglio Ordonez, Ivan Rodriguez, Kenny Rogers, Todd Jones) has added up to the best record in baseball over the first quarter of the season. On the other side of the ball, we have the Royals, otherwise known as "the Cubs on the cheap." They're currently on a 12-game losing streak, their second double-digit skid of the year. They have the worst record in baseball, are near the bottom of the majors in just about every offensive category, have an injured first baseman (Mark Sweeney), a young pitching prospect who has yet to pitch this year (Zach Greinke), and a general manager (Allard Baird) under fire after the misguided decision to bring in mid-level free agents (Mark Grudzielanek, Doug Mientkiewicz, Scott Elarton, Mark Redman) in the off-season. It's like looking in a mirror sometimes.


I think its almost time for the Farrelly Brothers to make a movie about the Cubs. Just so long as they use lines like "I think I tore my sac."

I'm sorry, but this is really lame. Previewing other teams?

Barry Rozner on WSCR this morning:
"I'm not worried about the Tigers, it's the Indians I'm worried about....I can see Detroit struggling to finish .500."

The Tigers are 32-14, and would have to go 49-67 the rest of the way to finish at .500.
What about the Tigers make Rozner think that they will do this? Let's look at the Tigers:
C:Ivan Rodriguez: .304 avg....740 SLG..not in his prime, but solid

1b:Chris Shelton:Has cooled considerably in May, still hitting .309, with OPS of .972

2b:Placido Polanco: Batting .300, and has been battling injuries..a solid @b

SS:Carlos Guillen: bating .316, OPS of .926. when healthy, he's very good...and he's healthy.

3B Brandon Inge: A weak link so far at .231, but still has 11 Hr and 28 RBIs

Lf: Craig Monroe hitting only .229, but still has 9 Hr and 27 RBI...not bad from the 8 hitter, but needs to improve contact...can steal a few bases.

CF:Curtis Granderson .262 avg, but obp is .359, and has 8 HR and 20 RBIs..pretty solid.

RF: Magglio Ordonez: .322 avg....933 OPS, 11HR and 31 RBI....Solid, typical Magglio.

As for the pitching?
When Jeremy bonderman is the weak link in the rotation, you're pitching pretty well. these guys took their lumps over the last 3 years, and have the experience to go with their stuff.
would a Nate Robertson or Mike Maroth look good on the north side?

Fernando Rodney has been a good set-up man, with ability to close..Zumaya is a flamethrower, and Todd Jones is 15/16 is save situations.

What about this team says "we're going to tank?"

I'll have to forward your post to my girlfriend Ruz..she grew up in Kalamazoo and is a pretty knowledgable Tigers fan so I've watched at least 20 of their games this year and have been quite impressed. Even if Rogers tanks like he usually does after the A/S break they will still have a pretty good shot at a wild card because I don't think they'll have enough to fend off the White Sux but they do have just as good a shot as Cleveland who need 2 starters. With the exception of their LF Monroe, and since D.Young is on the shelf now, there really isn't an easy out in the lineup and it reminds me a lot of the 2002 Angels lineup. Even better news for Tigers fans is that with the exception of Maggio's 5/$75 contract, their only other two "bad" contracts (D.Young & Percival) will expire at season's end so they'll have about another $15m to spend next year even if they don't raise the payroll. They really don't have any other long term deals that will weigh down the front office because I-Rod, K.Rogers, T.Jones will be up after 2007 so with the young core they have they should be able to fill in another starter, maybe an upgrade at 3B for Inge, and a LFer which should be all they really need. Their farm system isn't strong but Cameron Maybin looks like a lock and Zumaya should be a dominant closer with Rodney as one of the best setup men or trade bait. I'll bet Dombrowski is glad he was outbid for Aj Burnett right about now.

Gene Clines needs to go.

Keep in mind though, that when the Royals aren't on a double digit losing streak they are an almost respectable 10-11! They can turn this thing around still!

I give up on the Cubs, I'm watching Iowa's games from now on. For $10 you can get the entire year of IowaCubs.tv

I'm most excited about Montanez & Hoffpauir. I hope AZ Phil was wrong about the Cubs not adding Montanez to the 40-man by the end of the year. He can take Bynum's spot for all I care. And Hoffpauir is a future Dunn.

I rather see a Dusty Baker advice column, then another team's profiel.

The Tigers, ruz?!! Let's get this blog back on topic, The Minnesota Twins.

But seriously, how can we talk about the Tigers without mentioning the Chicago connection--- Dave Dombrowski -- the guy who actually built the 1997 World Champion Florida Marlins not Jim effing Hendry.

And the fact that Jim Leyland is the total opposite of Dusty Baker. Leyland is a manager notorious for kicking his team in the ass when they don't perform up to their potential.

Didn't we have a shot at Ivan Rodriguez?

This season is a huge kick in the nuts. Right after the Sox win the series, we take 10 steps back.

Does anyone else have a huge problem with changing the line-up every day? I know an adjustment needed to be made after DLee, but I still think guys need to know their role in the line-up and on the team, day in and day out.

The only thing I have to say about the lineup is- Neifi should never start.

I live half way between Chicago and KC. So besides getting to most of the Iowa Cubs games, I manage to attend some KC games. Obvious both the Chicago Cubs and the Royals stink. The difference is the Cubs are no longer fun to watch and the Royals inept as they are, are fun.

The Tribune Columnist Paul Sullivan answers a question about the Cubs' coaches:


May 25, 2006, 11:33 AM CDT

{...what are the chances that the coaches would be replaced? My opinion is that they all need to go except third-base coach Chris Speier and only because he hasn't had enough base runners to show his stuff. Does it depend solely on Dusty getting an extension? --Nich Spang, Edgerton, Wis.

Answer: I'd imagine some of the coaches are worried about being the fall guy, but the Cubs don't tend to fire coaches in-season, so I believe their fate is tied with Dusty, except pitching coach Larry Rothschild, who already got an extension last winter...}

re: tigers...

as long as dombrowski is running that club you will continue to see 95+mph fireballers come in/out of the club. he LOVES a fastball more than hendry ever could. d's probally salivating hoping brandon morrow lasts long enough to draft him (high 90s fastball, right hander).

"Chris (Martinsburg, WV): Do you think the Yankees would go after Prior because Stark and Olney say he is available for the right price? They have the money to meet financial needs, are the prospects in place to get him (not Hughes hopefully)?

Tim Kurkjian: (1:03 PM ET ) The Yankees are going to look at every option I'm sure. The bigger question is whether the Cubs would move Mark Prior. The Yankees do have some bullets with which to deal. That is Philip Hughes and Eric Duncan in the minor league system. But it would take a HUGE trade to get Prior from the Cubs and my guess is that is not going to happen."

"Jon (Milwaukee, WI): Do you think that Dusty Baker will finish the season as the Cubs manager? Please tell me no!

Tim Kurkjian: (1:07 PM ET ) I do. If he doesn't get fired today, on an off day, after being swept by the Marlins, my guess is he is going to make it through the season. I don't think he will get fired today. The Cubs are terrible right now but I can't blame the manager for that. The injuries to Prior, Wood and Lee are too much for any manager to overcome."

Sorry for the direct cutting and pasting.

21 games back on May 25? Ouch.

*The Cubs are terrible right now but I can't blame the manager for that. The injuries to Prior, Wood and Lee are too much for any manager to overcome."*

Kurkijan and the rest of the idiots on ESPN apparently don't have the time to watch and see just how bad of an in-game manager Dusty is. I've heard Steve Phillips--the genius who "ran" the Mets for a while--defend Dusty. Yeah, buddy, you also trusted Mo Vaughn, too.

I'm living in Kalamazoo this year and I love watching the Tigers! Leyland has really given the team some swagger. I went to 12 White Sox games last year, and this team reminds me a LOT of that team.

Dusty Baylor forgot to mention three names. Kenny Rogers, despite all the anger-management jokes, has led this rotation to a new, supreme level of cerebrality and confidence. He's not going to keep pitching as well as he has been more than likely, but he's a key, key piece on this piece. Justin Verlander might be a legit No. 2 by the end of the season. And Omar Infante is absolutely killing it off the bench. With Dmitri Young going on the DL he has a chance to play a lot more, and he's learning to play outfield as well.

Zumaya blows my mind. He's ridiculous. If I was drafting a dynasty league I think I might take him in the second round or so. I know that young pitchers flame out all the time, but if this one is healthy and has his fastball and changeup, he's going to be Mariano-type ridiculous for a long time.


One more thing: Mike Illitch and Dave Dombrowski are the blueprint that the Tribunes need to read.

Dombrowski knows how to create "a real contender" (unlike McFail and his management team). Hiring Jim Leyland was essential for the Tigers to complete a turn-around and create "the culture of winning"...Leyland is the kind of Manager the Cubs have always needed but have never had. Yet, ideally you need a great working relationship between the Manager and an effective GM...You also need ownership that supports them. And you need that sense of urgency to win and to position the team for the post-season. This year there clearly are some teams that are on track to have a great season...The Tigers, The Mets and The White Sox come to mind...Any of these teams could end up in the World Series in 2006.

Scott, how can you read Ask Sullivan and not mention that Sullivan is abruptly "going on hiatus" in the middle of the baseball season.

"May 25, 2006, 11:33 AM CDT

In the final edition of Ask Paul before he goes on hiatus"

Now that's news!!

Just a coincidence or does it have something to do with MacPhail and Hendry calling Sullivan into their office to berate his coverage of the Cubs?

Sullivan on hiatus!?!?

Screw him!

we are stuck watching this garbage of a team and HE gets to take a hiatus.

Consider him the lucky one!

if Paul Sullivan is going on hiatus, there should be a huge outcry for the Cub brass creating a conflict that violates the First Amendment.

Manipulating the press = McPhail investigation leading to him being GONE. Maybe it could even lead to the Tribune divesting the Cubs. Scandal, scandal, scandal.

Why? Cause he couldn't/didn't attact the Sun Times nearly identical report/story on JJones. His (and the Tribune's) conflict of interest is the heart of this mess.


maybe he's going on vacation...maybe he needs a break from 3/4 of his mail being hate-mail or the same few questions asked 1,000,000 different ways.

you can't automatically assume he's being whipped by his bosses. sulivan could work for almost any paper you can think of in almost any market. some people think he's cocky, but i personally, think some mistake confidence and getting to the point with being cocky.

he's not made a lotta friends in the stat-lovers community or the internet community, but he's not gonna stand for being pushed around.

if Paul Sullivan is going on hiatus, there should be a huge outcry for the Cub brass creating a conflict that violates the First Amendment.

Um, I'd like to hear how.

A conflict of interest, perhaps, but its a long way from anything to do with the first amendment.

guy is taking a week off from his column...its not even clear if he's taking a week off work or what he's gonna do insted of the column.

Thanks for the quote, ruz.

The Cubs need to change their uniforms, get back the original Cubs pinstripes for all home games, and the plain CHICAGO (across the front) road uniforms, instead of wearing them blue warm-ups. Opposition thinkers of a more professional look not the softball league look.

I have only been reading TCR for about a year, and apologize if this point has been made previously. But I have to ask...

Why have the Hendry/Dusty Cubs been so eager to overload on defense-oriented position players, if their pitching staff doesn't intend to throw pitches that can be put in play?

That's disjointed.

Using team stats from sportsline.com, I calculated 2006 team BB-allowed per 9IP for every NL team. The most generous pitching staffs are:

Cubs 4.75
Fish 4.33
Nats 4.04
Bucs 4.03

These four also happen to be the only teams in the league playing sub-.400 baseball.

There are plenty of reasons why the Cubs are losing games, but IMO the free passes are the most demoralizing, and perhaps a big reason why the '06 Cubs seem so much more pathetic than underachieving Cub teams of decades past.

So you couple free passes with a punchless lineup. And they still can hit a cutoff man. I mean, lately it seems the game is over as soon as Sarge strides to home plate to swap line-up cards.

I don't know how you fix this. But I'm pretty sure it's not by calling up Tony Womack.

"That's disjointed."

Try pointing out any symetry on this team involving one game plan.

Given the news about Sullivan's hiatus, the following should be required reading. It's a very well written description of the Hendry-McPhail-Sullivan blowup, from May 22:


I really hope that this hiatus was Sullivan's idea, or this may truly get ugly.

The trib website just changed "hiatus" to "a week off."

How is it punishment for a Cub beat writer to be taken off the beat? If that's the case I expect some kind of slander piece from Kiley and Miles this week. If it is true that Sullivan misquoted JJ and did not correct it it is bad journalism and he should face a suspension if that is what this "hiatus" is. For all we know he could be on assignment writting profile stories on guys like Rowell, Snider or other guys the Cubs could take at 13. The draft is like a week and a half away.

Bring up Montanez!

#31 of 33: By jacos (May 25, 2006 01:33 PM)
"That's disjointed."

Try pointing out any symetry on this team involving one game plan.

LOL. Besides a love of second-basemen? I suppose a conspiracy theorist could find a subliminal connection to all hotties on WGN's Budweiser Fan Cam.

Think about this though - if Womack is recalled to replace Theriot as our 4th-string 2B, Dusty could still start 6 2Bs in the same game:

1B - Walker
2B - Womack
3B - Neifi
SS - Cedeno
LF - Hairston
RF - Bynum


well, theriot/bynum/womack/hairston are all multi-use players...theriot mostly lumped with neifi in the SS/2nd, but he's seen OF work in the minors enough for it to matter.

that said, the points about a defensive minded middle IF with a crew that puts guys on base anyway only really comes in handy if they can get that DP after the walk. unfortunately, aside from Z and dumpster, no one else is a wild ground ball pitcher with the ground ball consitancy of them.

the team needs sluggers more than a womack/hairston type 2nd baseman, but unless the team wants to give restovich another spin there's not much left to give a shot until they decide what to do with pie.

Hmmm, rumors of Womack following Theriot to the big club. Perhaps Hendry and Baker are thinking about showcasing an all-secondbaseman team.

Bring up Womack AND Fontenot, the forgotten man who's swinging a hot bat at Iowa, rescue Jose Macias from the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters and there you have it:

1)Womack RF (hey, he played OF for the Yankees)
2)Cedeno LF (let's put those powerful overthrows to better use)
3)Walker 1B (natch)
4)Macias Catcher (most likely spot Dusty would put him in this order)
5)Hairston CF
6)Perez SS
7)Fontenot 2B
8)Theriot 3B (I believe he came up as a third baseman)

from the very, very, very little inside info I have, Hendry doesn't take too kindly when he feels the press reports something that isn't true, fwiw.

McPhail on the other hand is a douchebag, your team sucks, take your lumps like a man.

re: team made of second basemen

I see we're all on the same page again.

White Sox face new obstacle in Tigers


{...With manager Jim Leyland's leadership and an offense featuring former White Sox star Magglio Ordonez, the Tigers promise to be a formidable obstacle all season.

After beating lowly Kansas City on Wednesday night, Detroit has a 32-14 record. The Tigers have won 12 of 13 and own a major-league high 19 road victories.

"We've played good baseball, but not like them," Guillen said. "We're not real consistent. Hopefully we continue to stay with them. It's going to be a tough fight all the way to the end."...}

Is Macias still fighting ham in Japan? I do miss him so.

Somebody needs to put together an All-Time Dusty Team. Macias, Neifi and Ramon Martinez would be co-captains.

Scott: for the 6 millionth time.

This isn't a white sox blog. If you want to join the southside bandwagon, a link to Exile in Wrigleyville can be found at the top of TCR's homepage.

I have been a loyal Cub fan for almost 60 years. During that time we had some really horrible teams that I loved and rooted for. I never thought that I would give up on the Cubs but this team is just no longer fun to watch.

BB, we can agree on this. Scott, go pick up Podsednik's dry cleaning and stop posting Sox crap on this board.

Comments on "Watch Some Other Teams Who Can Actually Play This Game And Watch Them Win"...Is that what we're discussing here...?

"The trib website just changed "hiatus" to "a week off."
Posted by: 433"

At this moment it now reads "some time off":

Updated:1:51 PM
Before he takes some time off from the Q&A, Paul addresses whether Dusty should be fired, cheerleaders should be hired and Bartman should be exonerated.

But in the article Sullivan refers to his "hiatus" several times.

By the way, have I mentioned I'm going on hiatus?/Has my hiatus started yet?/I'm going on hiatus, if you didn't catch on, and hopefully some celebrity will pop up soon to answer your Cubs e-mails until I return in a few weeks.

Didnt Sullivan take some time off last season? Seems to me Trib editors just needed to say he is going on vaction instead of using a loaded word like hiatus.

You got me Free Swingin'!!

Where the hell is Augie Ojeda, the uber midget no hitting Cubs middle infielder?

It seems like Hendry get preoccupied on one position or transaction every off season while the rest of the team goes to crap.

2004- got get rid of sosa
2005-need bullpen help
2006- oh crap!!

"this team is just no longer fun to watch."...I totally agree...There are a lot of frustrated Cubs fans out here. Yet, there's nothing wrong with acknowledging that the Tigers and White Sox are better teams by design and are playing great baseball...I have decided to cut out 90% of the Cubs games I would have attended at Wrigley Field this year...I'm also cutting back on watching and listening to the Cubs games...As long as Hendry and Baker are running things we can't expect much improvement...I'm going to be traveling for a couple of projects and won't be posting out here very often in the next few weeks. Hope everyone has a good holiday weekend.

he goes to hawaii almost every year. usually not this late i dont believe, though he has gone in march before.

"2006- oh crap!!"

haha...pretty much. i mean hell, even with the wood/prior/d.lee crap, aram/pierre hitting slumps and cedeno/walker taking a may slump hasn't been predicable or fun. the pitching is walking the park...the losses are piling up...wee.

the meek shall inherit the central...

cubs lose 3 in a row to florida and the astros are close to losing 3 in a row to washington.

433: Is Macias still fighting ham in Japan? I do miss him so.

Somebody needs to put together an All-Time Dusty Team. Macias, Neifi and Ramon Martinez would be co-captains.

Don't forget my all-time favorite Cub Enrique Wilson.

Figures, he we bring up the Tigers, and now they're losing 7-5....Maybe it's us?

The Astros are scuffling (I hate that frickin' "baseball word"- can't they just say "struggling"?)- fantastic. Just more reason for the Cubs to say it ain't over yet and it ain't just them who's falling on hard times.

The next time I read or hear Dusty mention the 03 Marlins or 04 Astros, I'm gonna blow my brains out. Is he really too stupid to realize that both those teams turned things around ONLY AFTER THEY FIRED THEIR MANAGER????????????? I'm not saying that is what would turn this team around- they just plain suck. But damn, why can't anyone from the Cubs or defending the Cubs point that out?

OK, well maybe I was shouting FIRE in a theater...but on the other hand after thinking about what Sully did say on a radio interview about Hendry/McPhail was that he seemed to be OK with Hendry but was still upset about McPhail's tirade. He wasn't going to say more than nonspecific stuff on the radio.

So maybe it's the other way around...when Sully goes away...it's his conspiracy to get the lynch mob after McFail.

ah, the Hatfields vs. the McCoys.

Too bad we have to entertain ourselves with this off the field junk and can't watch some good ol' baseball from our team.

I have the next post for a TCR scribe. Who will be the lone (token) Cubs all-star this year? 10 days ago I would've said Maddux, but right NOW it probably can't be anyone other than a reliever...probably Dempster at this moment unless Garner takes middle relievers like a Howry or Eyre. Maybe Aramis if he can raise his avg that at least gets above his weight. If Maddux can't go on at least a 5 out of 7 start win run we're going to be the embarrasing former TB Lance Carter token representative of the NL.

I think someone wised him up on it, the last time he brought it up he specifically said 2005 Astros.

And it is too bad that everyone in the division is scuffling(Astros losing, Carptener might go on DL). This is Jim Hendry's wet dream the division has finally come down, but so has the Cubs but at a faster rate. This is a winable division, don't be shocked after all the choking and injuries the Reds win it with 89 wins.

It will probably be Z who goes to the AS game. He's leading the league in strikeouts- he probably needs to have at least 6 or 7 wins, but his K total should be notable enough to get serious consideration.

I began following the Cubs in the 1970s. We had some bad teams back then, ie, Jose Cardenal in left field at towards the end of his career, Greg Gross in Center, Jerry Morales in the outfield, too, and Bobby Murcer at the end of his career, Kingman out in left field after Cardenal left, Steve Ontiveros at third, DeJesus at short, Barry Foote behind the plate etc etc etc.

As bad as those teams were, the potential was there for them to be fun to watch on any given day. The same cannot be said for this group of guys. Pierre? Yuck. Jones? Yuck. Neifi? Yuck. ARAM at the moment? Yuck. Blanco, our soon to be catcher, yuck. Entire starting pitching staff with occasional exception for Zambrano? Yuck.

Dusty apparently survives another day. After we are swept by the Braves, it will be interesting to hear what people are saying then.

#49 of 56: By jacos (May 25, 2006 02:55 PM)

Jacos - sadly this level of mismanagement is by no means limited to the Hendry era. As you alluded to, there is no plan.

#54 of 56: By Ryno (May 25, 2006 03:00 PM)

I'll nominate Lenny Harris.

Thank God for beer.

Sullivan tikes time off during the season from the Q&A column. He's already asked fans to suggest celebrities to fill in. That's most likely all it is, not him being banished by the Trib.

Then again, after what Bush pulled today, protecting a Congressman caught on video for taking a $100,000 bribe from being fully investigated by the FBI, anything is possible.

Arrogant, arrogant people. The Cubs organization and the Bush administration have a lot in common.

Well here is something to cheer you up. Unfortunately the Cubs bullpen is set so they can't give this guy a chance-


Even he would have a hard time turning down Glendon Rusch's contract.

"Too bad we have to entertain ourselves with this off the field junk and can't watch some good ol' baseball from our team."


your theory is just as valid as everyone else's cuz no one who knows anything has said for sure, though.


Thank you, Nazey. Thank you, Nazey. It took a new manager to stimulate the same 25 players go 31 over .500 the last 4+ months of the season.

No one in their right mind thinks this team is going to duplicate that -- even when D. Lee, Prior and Miller are healthy. (I've written off Wood -- if he doesn't replace the Navoa/Weurtz disaster in the pen as he should for the remaining months of his Cub career.)

And what do we get - Dusty talking up Womack! This is straight out of Bizzaro-world.

This is a team going backwards, with veterans slamming coolers with bats in the dugout and otherwise excellent players (like Ramirez) who no longer run down baselines and dive for grounders. Somebody at the Tribune Co. DO something!

I want someone in there as manager (and GM - another rant altogether) who will DO something that makes the team and the fans look to the future - sit Pierre, bring up Pie (I don't care if he hits .220, play him now); play Bynum at 2B and lead him off for 10 straight games and see what he can do; get another major league catcher before Barrett goes on suspension (can Eli Marrero still catch? I know he'd look good in RF against lefties). DO SOMETHING!

Then again, after what Bush pulled today, protecting a Congressman caught on video for taking a $100,000 bribe from being fully investigated by the FBI, anything is possible.

While I don't want to turn this into a political debate, Bush's temporary moves today are teh result of Congressional Leaders of both parties screaming about separation of powers since the raid took place.

Its just not a good comparison to the Cubs, unless you are really trying to get a political shot in.

Interesting how the Cubs and politics can be talked about in the same discussion. General management and ownership in sports IS political. It's all about spin, pr, and marketing. And the Cubs have mastered this political art form.

why matt lecroy isnt a very good catcher...the latest update.

SB - P Wilson 2 (5, 2nd base off T Armas Jr/M LeCroy, 3rd base off T Armas Jr/M LeCroy), E Bruntlett 2 (2, 2nd base off T Armas Jr/M LeCroy, 3rd base off T Armas Jr/M LeCroy), W Taveras (6, 2nd base off S Rivera/M LeCroy), C Burke (3, 2nd base off S Rivera/M LeCroy), M Ensberg (1, 2nd base off J Rauch/M LeCroy).

it only il the 7 inning for them to get him out from behind the plate. wow.

Jim Leyland's Tigers love to comeback...it's now 8-8 in the 8th inning...;-)

Both political parties are screaming about getting caught redhanded taking bribes. The FBI is the one doing the investigation and Bush has put the kabosh on that.

The fact that they think they can break the law and then blatantly stop law enforcement from prosecuting them is as ridiculous as the Cubs refusing to hold anyone accountable for this crap.

It's quite funny, but using another baseball analogy, the Congress complaining that people are investigating them taking bribes is like the players union a couple of weeks ago complaining about George Mitchell investigating their steriod use. If neither party had broken th law to begin with there would be no need for investigations.

The Tigers were the laughingstock of major league baseball just a couple of seasons ago. Now their record is right there with the very best teams in all of baseball. The frustrating thing for Cubs' fans is that we have absolutely no reason to hope for a similar turnaround. We are in a tunnel and, sorry gang, there ain't no light at the end of this tunnel.

on the political tip...the cooperation shouldn't be too shocking. some like to paint this picture of liberal-democrat and conservative-republican with your wishy-washy lieberman/mccain's mixing it up. its just not that way, though.

quite honestly, unless you wanna talk about abortion or religion related issues, a lotta democrats (especially the more popular ones) aren't very liberal. a few issues don't make your character. i may do volunteer work a few hours a month, but its not a defining characteristic of what i am.

in a few months we'll be in "gay marriage is bad!" vs. "gay marriage don't hurt anyone!" hell...

hey, remember that whole campaign finance reform thing? that got a bunch of noise until the mexicans became and issue...it only took lou "some people think i'm liberal" dobbs talking about it every damn day for the past 3 years for it to become an issue, but it shelved almost all coverage and action on campaign reform. both parties probally couldn't be happier...

speakign of the tigers...and cubs...etc...

what happened to or where is bo flowers?

bo flowers was released before the season started


Top 10 Cubs prospect list by STATS only...
Luis Montanez (OF)
Micah Hoffpauir (1B/OF)
Sean Gallagher (SP)
Jake Fox (C)
Scott Moore (3B)
Matt Craig (1B, C)
Ryan Norwood (1B)
Sam Fuld (OF)
Donald Vea (SP) *En fuego recently*
Adalberto Mendez (RP)

Eric Patterson up to 294/344/462 btw

Basically Congress thinks they are above the law. They have no problem with allowing warrants to search private citizens but god forbid a Senator or Congress man get the same treatment.

One of the basic foundations of our Constitution is that the people we elect will be held to the same standards as the rest of the population. What this looks like is 1700's British Royalty saying common laws dont apply to them. Which is kind of why we didnt want to be a part of them anymore over in America.

Bush didn't order them to stop, he just sealed the records for 45 days. Which basically gives Dems and Reps time to cover their ass.

Neither side is looking very good and they should realize how stupid their latest "show of unity" against the raid looks to the average American.

Oh yeah and the Cubs still suck........life goes on.

#65 of 75: By crunch (May 25, 2006 03:41 PM)
"Too bad we have to entertain ourselves with this off the field junk and can't watch some good ol' baseball from our team."


your theory is just as valid as everyone else's cuz no one who knows anything has said for sure, though.


Harrington is on the same Indy league team as Hochever. Peter Gammons wrote about him and Harrington a few weeks ago. Harrington has lost almost all of his velocity. He was throwing in the low to mid 80's when he came in and pitched relief in Hochever's debut in Ft.Worth. We didnt miss out on anything. The only person who missed out is unfortunately Harrington.

harrigton screwed his own career over and is one of the sorest points in borras's professional history with his advising in his case. the both of them missed 3 oportunities to make him a millionaire.

btw..i have no idea what that has to do with what i typed, though =p

tanzer i mean...not boras...my bad

"It will probably be Z who goes to the AS game."

Yeah, if he gets any run support...could be Barrett too considering the NL catching crop is weak beyond McCann though I'm sure Garner will take Ausmus so Barrett would be #3 on the depth chart and if Piazza is voted in by fans as the starter Barrett will probably get the shaft.

The investigation isn't the problem.
It's the fact that the Justice Department (Part of the executive branch) went into a representatives office (legislative branch) and took files out of the office...an unprecedented action in the past 219 years.

No one is claiming this guy (Jefferson) shouldn't be investigated...not even Democrats are bothering to back him up, he is guilty as sin. They are saying that there is a massive potential problem when the executive branch can seek and obtain a warrant to go and search through congressional files.

Again, no one is claiming this is the case now...but the potential ramifications of this precedence are that this can be abused by the executive branch to seek political vengence. And I personally think those concerns are valid. There is a danger in the long term that something like this could be grossly abused for political punishment.

Also, Bush did not kill the search, he simply sealed it for 45 days so a deal between congress and the justice department could be worked out to obtain the paperwork necessary to get the files they need for their investigation. Ultimately, they are going to get the files they need...it just won't be simply from a warrant search and seizure of a congressional office.

As for the Cubs...well, politics is much more interesting to watch these days.

It doesnt have anything to do with what you wrote crunch. I pasted the wrong thing. Boras DID represent Harrington after the 1st draft. So his story IS a huge black eye on Boras. Hochever is another black eye.

if Piazza is voted in by fans as the starter Barrett will probably get the shaft.

I had to paste that, too funny

Garner doesn't really get to pick anymore I believe, isn't a combination vote of players and managers for the reserves now? My guess is LoDuca gets voted in (NY vote) and Barrett is the reserve.

Z or Dempster are the only other possibilities in my opinion. That's assuming Z keeps pitching like he has and Dempster recovers to his pre blowing saves days.

D.Williams (CIN) traded to NYM for A-baller Robert Manuel, btw.

yeah, harrington sued boras later for his "advice" but tanzer was the guy who literally went off the deep end negociating with colorado and basically had his career tank afterward as far his name in the industry goes. everything that could go wrong, did...including an audio tape of tanzer blowing up threatning to own to colorado rockies and give coors field to the homeless (ha!).

#74 of 82: By crunch (May 25, 2006 04:27 PM)
speakign of the tigers...and cubs...etc...

what happened to or where is bo flowers?


CRUNCH: Bo Flowers is presently trying to hit a breaking ball (just ONE friggin' breaking ball) for the Windy City Thunderbolts (located in Crestwood, IL) in the independent Frontier League. There had been rumors that the ex-Walther Lutheran star QB would enroll at Marshall in time to play NCAA Div 1-A football in 2006, but it didn't happen. Maybe next year.

thnx rob/phil for the bo update.

Arizona Phil where have you been? Have you been drowning you sorrows with the rest of us?

I know they are minor deals but the NY Mets have made 2 trades over the past 2 days. Not a whole lot of significant players moving BUT at least they are showing some effort to improve their team or minor league system. We give up Van Buren, Koronka, and CPat (who are all playing in the bigs) for low level players that have had no impact on our system.

I just want someone, anyone, someone, to show some effort in making a change with this team. the frustrating part is no one seems to want to make any kind of move.

Really pissed today that nothing happened with this org today!

We give up Van Buren, Koronka, and CPat (who are all playing in the bigs)

Just for the Record, Van Buren was sent back down to the minors more than a month ago.

#94 of 94: By Bleeding Blue (May 25, 2006 06:43 PM)
Just for the Record, Van Buren was sent back down to the minors more than a month ago.

B BLUE: The Red Sox recalled JVB yesterday.

I hadn't seen that, thanks Phil.

#92 of 95: By aaronb (May 25, 2006 05:11 PM)
Arizona Phil where have you been? Have you been drowning you sorrows with the rest of us?


AARONB: I have been trying to determine if the collapse is real or just a bad nightmare. I am beginning to suspect it's real, but that it may be tied to some kind of voodoo spell. If it is indeed a voodoo spell, I believe the best way to handle it would be to restore names to the backs of the home uniforms (an absolute MUST), fire Dusty Baker and the entire coaching staff (another absolute MUST), DFA Mabry, Hairston, Neifi, and Rusch (ASAP), and bring up Mike Fontenot from Iowa (also ASAP). I believe having Theriot and Fontenot (plus Todd Walker, who went to LSU) on the same team will provide sufficient Cajun Cajones to counteract any voodoo trip that may have been booked.

Not sure if these were posted before...This is funny stuff about the Barrett/AJ fight

These Two probably from Cubs Fans

This one from a Sox Fan

Personally, I think the Sox one is the funniest....ahh the sad times we live in

Do you seriously think that Barrett has a shot at picking selected as an all star back-up after the punch and likely being suspended for 10 games? I mean, I know the guy he punched is not the most loved guy in the league but I don't think the punch helped Bsrrett's chances, not to mention the stats he loses by sitting out and the time it takes to get back in a groove. Oh, hitting anything about .250 for a Cub is being in the groove.

While the punch won't help Barrett's chances of getting into an all star game, being a violent prick didn't stop Kenny Rodgers from getting a selection last year.

If Barrett does get in, it will be as the token Cub. Zambrano will likely be more deserving, but there are lots of good pitchers and very few good catchers to pick from in the NL.

I agree in part with AZ Phil. Why stick to the same losing formula? Gotta fire Dusty, got to find out which kids can play. Make an investment in your farm system. Determine right now who's part of the future core team and who isn't. You've got to shit can guys that don't figure in your future because the young guys need the innings/experience. Someone may surprise you.

Theriot 2b
Murton lf
Ramirez 3b
Barrett c
Hoffpauir 1b
Jones rf
Pie cf
Cedeno ss




That means you trade: Maddux, Walker, Williamson, Rusch, Nefi, Hairston and Pierre.

You create spots for guys to develop and stock pile as many prospects as you can through trades. If Prior comes back he's only 25. 2008 will be the 100 year anniverary. Go for it then.

Even though he has been on the DL for most of the season, I think Derrek Lee (if he has returned to action by that time) could still be the Cubs rep at the '06 ASG. Or at least he should be. Just because a player has been hurt does not mean he isn't an All-Star, especially if he finished Top 3 MVP and won a Silver Slugger Award the previous season.

After further evaluation, I'd probably insert Jerome Williams in for Aardsma and possibly Rich Hill for Will Ohman. Williams and Hill need major league experience and should get it in the pen.

Seeing how Leo Durocher was pretty old in '66 when they got him, how old is Whitey Herzog? Wouldn't 4M a year get him off his ass to manage the Cubs?

blanco will most assuredly be a gonner as well

Herzog was a disaster the last time he came out of retirement. With the Angels in 90/91.

the big problem with nix everything you dont need and play the kids is there's only 1 possition player worth giving full time right now (pie) and all the pitching worth a damn has already been given their shots.

pie's not exactly a finished product though he's doing very well for a 21 year old in AAA.

theriot, coats, sing, montanez, fontenot...they'll get their shots but they all project for bench.

e.patterson might be ready next year, but he's thought to be a 2008-ready type...dunno if he'll get a 06 taste of the bigs or not.


McCann leads the NL in BA. The players and managers vote on the back-ups now and I doubt they leave McCann off the team and if they did they would be stupid because he is best C in the NL.

CRUNCH: I think Brandon Sing is very close to getting released. Matt Craig (at Daytona) has been playing a level too low all season, and he really needs to go back to AA and play 1B every day.

In my opinion, Sam Fuld is the Cubs CF and lead-off hitter of the future. (I believe Felix Pie is the future RF and will be a middle-of-the-order run producer, but should start out as a #7 hitter in the big leagues). With his international experience with Team USA and four years at Stanford, Fuld needs to be moved along much faster than he has been moved. Just like Eric Patterson skipped Daytona and jumped from Peoria to West Tenn, Fuld (who is dominating the FSL) should be moved to AA right now, to get him ready faster, possibly as soon as next season. Unlike Pierre, Fuld is a good enough hitter (with solid gap power) to drive in runs out of the lead-off spot (he has 24 RBI and an .897 OPS hitting lead-off).

I believe Felix Pie is the future RF and will be a middle-of-the-order run producer, but should start out as a CF and #7 hitter in the big leagues, moving to RF when Fuld arrives and moving up the lineup to 3-4-5 only as he proves himself.

Murton should hit #2 in the order. Right now. Every day. And if he starts to show the power he displayed last September? Fine, leave him in the #2 hole anyway. The Cubs need OBP at the top of the order, and if that guy can hit doubles and HR, more the better.

Ronny Cedeno needs to stay in the #8 spot. I like a #8 hitter who is aggressive but who also can hit the ball hard. But he should not be put anywhere near the top of the order.

And I am tired of small ball that depands so much on bunts and stolen bases. Get guys who hit doubles and triples, and you don't have to depend so much on walks and bunts to get on base and stolen bases to get into scoring position.

As to who I would go after to replace Dusty Baker, from within the Cubs organization, I would say Don Buford (retired MLB player with street cred currently managing at Daytona, and a long-time MLB first-base coach).

Among the ex-managers hanging around waiting for the phone to ring, I guess Art Howe would be the most attractive of those out there. But I would give Don Buford a shot first, at least for the rest of the season.

re:all star rep- most deserving:
1. eyre
2. dempster
3. zambrano

and the winner is...
barrett- all the other players will pay him off for slugging a.j. by electing him the backup.


is there any conceivable way the club decided NOT to fire baker (today), because from one standpoint it could look as though they are trying to de-fuse the planned "protest vs. the tribune" this saturday? or caving in to the pressure being brought to bear on them via the negative publicity route? and they will instead fire him next week on the day off prior to playing the cardinals? dusty can take his time packing, and the new manager will meet the club in st. looie?

I agree with you Crunch that there aren't really any prospects outside of Pie waiting in the wings to get a major shot to prove themselves for the Cubs for future years.

However, what it could do is showcase some trade bait in preparation for building a very different club for 2007.

My prediction for the Cubs #1 selection in the upcoming Rule 4 Draft (June 6-7).

(If he is available)

RHP Jeremy Jeffress, 6', 175, Boston, VA.

A power arm with the mechanics and arm slot of Dwight Gooden. Most importantly, it's the Virginia connection with superscout Billy Swope ready to... swope down and sign 'em.

Sean Marshall, Jason Dubois, Brendan Harris, Nic Jackson, Justin Jones, and Clay Rapada, are just a few of the guys signed for the Cubs by Billy Swope over the years. When in doubt, go Virginia.

The Cubs have only one pick in the first 148, so they better make it a good one.

Since Dusty didn't get fired today, the next key date is June 12, the day before the next homestand.

- They will lose 2 of 3 to the Braves, which will put them at 19-30.
- They will lose 4 of 6 on the road trip to the Cards/Astros, which will put them at 21-36.

To me, the key question is what happens in the 7 games against the Reds.

If they can go 4-3 against the Reds, that will put them at 25-39 on the off day on 6/12. That's the same 63-99 pace that they are on today, and senior management will blame it on the injuries and bad luck, and argue "well, they have a reasonable chance to go 10-7 for the rest of June (lots of AL Central teams), 35-46 at the halfway point... with all our players back, we still have a shot at the Wild Card. Firing Dusty now kills any chance of it." [Once they don't go 10-7, but go 5-12 instead... well they might fire Dusty then, but by then everybody WILL be back, and so they'll ride it out for another couple of weeks, and then it's August 1 and "there's no point firing him now" arguements kick in.]

But if they go 2-5 against the Reds, then they're at 23-41, and they can't really argue going better than 8-9 for the rest of June and hitting the halfway point at 31-50. Even with everybody back and 100% healthy and playing like 2003 on July 1, what are they going to do in the second half? The most miraculous turnaround at that point is 50-31 the rest of the way, and that puts them at 500.

That means that Hendry and McFail have to start thinking fire sale as of June 12. So then they offer Dusty a lame extension, he rejects it, and they agree that Dusty should pursue other opportunities and offer to release him from his remaining obligations with pay. That way they didn't "fire" two African-American managers in a row.

BTW, Tony Womack has already wrecked havoc down in AAA.

He collided with the A's top prospect Daric Barton at 1b. Barton is looking at missing 2 months now.

Guess the play it happened on? A sac bunt in the first inning.

Can't wait for more bunting players like Womack to help jumpstart this team.

Same game Felix Pie had to be helped off the field after an awkward slide into 2nd base. He stayed in the game and finished 5 for 6, so probably nothing.

Just saw Frank Robinson crying on Baseball Tonight. Had to pull his catcher in the 7th inning after allowing 7 stolen bases. Apparently LeCroy is the emergency catcher who Robinson should have never had catching in the first place, but boy, would I love to see Dusty sobbing after pulling Neifi Perez for a pinch hitter late in the game. I, however, am crying for different reasons all together.

Hey Arizona Phil, perhaps the Cubs would be better off with the mantra: "When in doubt, go with Georgia (well, at least the greater metropolitan Atlanta area)" -- seems to be working pretty well with the Braves.

Sure would have been nice to have taken Francoeur instead of Brownlie a few years ago ...

After seeing the Cubs' inability to develop young players, Francoeur would still be in the minors and Brownlie would probably be Rookie of the Year by now.

Sam Fuld will turn 25 this November -- definitely needs to get out of Daytona pronto. Pretty good stats (though not great pop) last year in Peoria 300/377/433, 50BB, 39K (which you would expect, much like Epat's, they were very mature for the league). It's a shame they didn't send him to AA (like they did with Patterson) last year for the Diamond Jaxx playoff run.

Since this thread started on the topic of other teams, I'd like to predict the Cubs final record to other teams.

Royals: 55-107
Pirates: 64-98
Marlins: 63-99
Cubs: 74-88

That $98 million payroll is looking well worth it.


Tony Womack did not play for Iowa tonight at Sacramento, so be prepared for what looks like the inevitable...

TOMORROW ???? The Cubs acquire IF Tony Womack from Iowa, option IF Ryan Theriot to Iowa, and transfer P Mark Prior to 60-day DL.

Thank god we got the savior back in Tony Womack! just when I thought the season was over the Cubs bring in the big hitters to save the season.

If Tony is back Clines may have his work cut out for him getting to swing at the first pitch. As I remember he got developed a pretty good eye in bird land.

"transfer P Mark Prior to 60-day DL."

Retroactive to when?

ROB R: A player on the 15-day DL can be transferred to the 60-day DL at any time, and it is backdated to when he was originally placed on the 15-day DL.

In the case of Mark Prior, he was placed on the 15-day DL effective March 27, so as of today (Friday) he has spent 60 days on the DL. So theoretically, he could be transferred to the 60-day DL today, and reactivated from the DL tomorrow.

Thanks Phil

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  • This fucking game

    Baez lucky to not have hurt his hand with headfirst slide on play at plate in 12th inning.

    Rob G. 50 min 22 sec ago view
  • #$@!$!@$!@$#@!$@!$!@#!@!


    crunch 1 hour 55 min ago view
  • Maddon's master plan to challenge his offense to improve on coming from behind late in games is working amazingly.

    Rob G. 2 hours 27 min ago view
  • Everyone remember Starlin Castro dropping or misplaying just about every ball near second base that involved a tag?

    Javier Baez is the opposite of that.

    Rob G. 2 hours 37 min ago view
  • on the wild pitch thing, did they really call that a wild pitch on Jansen that Heyward scored on Friday? If so, I don't know what a passed ball is anymore.

    Rob G. 2 hours 40 min ago view
  • Let's see -- up 3-0, at home, Jake on the mound annnnd....compare and contrast 2015 to 2016. Bleh.

    Hopefully, the Pirates will uncork a series of 9th inning wild pitches.

    billybucks 2 hours 43 min ago view
  • modern media

    @BNightengale: Former #MLB pitcher Dan Haren will be throwing to Tim Tebow tomorrow during his tryout in LA, he announced.

     [email protected](dan haren): @BNightengale nope, I was offered the opportunity and declined.

     @ithrow88 Oh and memo to my agent, @bvanwagenen: Pitching to Tim Tebow tomorrow DOES NOT count as getting me a real job offer.

    Rob G. 3 hours 2 min ago view
  • I think the Cub Reporter should be politics free.
    Build Bridges. Don't anyone dare pull out a trump card.

    Cubster 3 hours 11 min ago view
  • The Cub offense is in on the con.

    1-for-10 so far w/RISP.

    billybucks 3 hours 15 min ago view
  • swing and a miss.

    i'm gonna like...go stand over there. *points*

    crunch 3 hours 16 min ago view
  • This is all a long con by Arrieta to lull playoff opponents.

    Rob G. 3 hours 20 min ago view
  • the factual correction on your mistakes on your post that I barely bothered to read the first time because it had nothing to do with anything I wanted to talk about is indeed a sign of my degenerative brain condition. I appreciate the safety tip and will be looking into with extreme urgency now.

    Rob G. 3 hours 43 min ago view
  • it took you 4 posts to get to this?

    have you checked the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector?

    #droppingknowledge #savinglives

    crunch 4 hours 7 min ago view
  • Fwiw, Billy Hamilton's actual WAR numbers that relate to the ones that I posted for Mike Trout are:

    • 2014: 2.5
    • 2015: 1.0
    • 2016: 2.6

    But by all means #crunchsplain on the stupidity of WAR while exaggerating your points. I can't wait to read more.

    Rob G. 4 hours 12 min ago view
  • jacos 4 hours 13 min ago view
  • *stroking intensifies*

    crunch 4 hours 16 min ago view