Prior’s Revenge

Once again, I'm in a bit of a crunch at work, so this will be brief. All I ask is for the real Mark Prior to show up sometime before the season ends, the guy with the impeccable control, the killer breaking stuff and the winner-take-all competitive edge. You know the guy who we saw for most of 2003, the last month of 2004 and the beginning of 2005. Because the guy who's been wearing his jersey since he took a liner off the forearm isn't very good. Go Cubs! GAME ONE HUNDRED-FOURTEEN IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] CHICAGO CUBS (48-65, (Div) 5th - 13.0 GB; (Wild Card) 12th - 10.5 GB) AT MILWAUKEE BREWERS (53-60, (Div) 4th - 8.0 GB; (Wild Card) 8th - 5.5 GB) Miller Park, 1:05 pm CDT Weather: Roof Closed TV: WGN, DirecTV 736 Radio: WGN, XM 184
Doug Davis, LHP 7-6, 5.01 ERA, 140 IP 101 K, 76 BB, 14 HR 274/364/421 sgainstMark Prior, RHP 1-5, 6.64 ERA, 40.2 IP 37 K, 24 BB, 9 HR 263/382/461 against

*Juan Pierre, CF Ryan Theriot, 2B Aramis Ramirez, 3B Phil Nevin, 1B *Jacque Jones, RF #Angel Pagan, LF #Neifi Perez, SS Henry Blanco, C Mark Prior, P Brady Clark, CF Jeff Cirillo, 2B *Prince Fielder, 1B Kevin Mench, LF *Gabe Gross, RF Tony Graffanino, 2B David Bell, 3B Marco Rivera, C *Doug Davis, P

Cubs vs Davis: Neifi Perez: 6-24, 250/280/375. 3 K, 1 BB, 3 2B Aramis Ramirez: 3-17, 176/211/412, 3 K, 1 BB, 1 HR Michael Barrett: 4-16, 250/400/313. 3 K, 4 BB, 1 2B Juan Pierre: 6-15, 400/412/667, 1 K, 1 BB, 3 XBH Phil Nevin: 2-11, 182/308/273, 4 K, 2 BB, 1 2B Jacque Jones: 5-11, 455/455/545, 3 K 0 BB, 1 2B Brewers vs. Prior: Geoff Jenkins: 3-15, 200/278/400, 6 K, 2 BB, 1 HR David Bell: 4-11, 364/417/455, 1 K, 1 BB, 1 2B
Wow, there's a lefty out there that Jones has hit well. With the walk-happy Davis on the mound, it would be a good day to keep Murton in the lineup.
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Comments

Murton in August-

.450 /.522 /.950/ 1.472

YOU PLAY HIM UNTIL HE DIES!!!!

Then prop up his corpse and play him some more!!!

I guess we should add another hole to fill next year with Prior looking like Glendon Rusch. Good Luck HENDRY!!

Nice first inning so far Prior.

Prior looked like crap, but so did everyone out on that field (Aramis and Hank White excepted). The damage would have been contained by a better team.

Can't see the game, but from the linescore, it looks similar to Prior's start right after the trade deadline passed and Hendry was a guest of Len and Bob for an inning. Prior proceeded to, among other things, give up a leadoff HR, hit a batter, then give up a grand slam -- all while Hendry was bantering (and sweating) away in the booth trying to ignore the crap that was taking place on the field.

Wow, with Prior pitching so poorly this year, I wonder if those people who wanted to crucify Hendry for even allowing Baltimore to mention Prior's name in a potential Tejada trade are feeling pretty stupid right about now.

What a bunch of weenies. Typical cubs fans. All thinking Prior was a Savior. You always think you have a savior.

Prior has always been a grade A prospect. He still is.

Why the whining? Lots of teams would kill for a Grade A prospect.

Morons.

Was going to drive to Milwaukee for the game, but my son got sick and we stayed home.

Thank goodness -- Prior walks 2 of the first 3 batters and loads the bases with no outs in the first.

What to do with Prior? His command and confidence are completely gone, but he appears to be healthy so it's tough to shut him down. Maybe Glendon's tennis elbow is contagious.

I say shut him down and send him back to Tom House and the mad scientists to recreate the pitching machine that he once was. This is ridiculous.

Oh stop being so mean Prior on the Cross! You just make us so darn mad!

I'm finding Prior very unlikeable this year. Get your shit together.

Nevin now 3 for his last 26. He is absoultely killing them. Bases loaded, one out, crap lefty on the mound. And...He gone.

How's the wrist, Derrick?

Who cares how Nevin does. He is not going to be on the team next season so what difference does it make. Far more important is that Jones got to again prove to Dusty that he can't hit left handed pitching.

losing is one thing - but losing without a purpose by playing crap like Nevin and Neifi is beyond pointless. nevin should be DFA'd.

433, good u have a sense of humor. I'm a longtime cubs fan, which means I'm a weenie, too.

eli18, Dusty thinks we're still in the wild card race. Of course, any other manager who thought that would not be playing those guys, but I'm just sayin'

And...He gone.

I'm going to have to request that BillyBuck be banned, stripped naked, and forced to leave the blog with the TCR stone of shame tied around his neck for using this obscene phrase.

Prior is the last real connection to the 2003 season and all of its hope and promise. With each craptastic performance that Prior provides us, 2003 becomes more of a distant memory with no tangible connection to the present.

That's no news flash, but it does highlight the fact that this team is a rudderless, drifting pile of dog poop. The Cubs of 2006 are not part of an evolution that included 2003 or even 2004; somewhere along the way they went off track. They are not a good team. There are valuable pieces, but the product as a whole sucks.

Lately I've been starting to hear the optimistic whispers of Cubs fans who think that this team is a free agent or two away from contention if a couple of other tweaks are made here and there. It's simply not true. This team as currently constituted sucks.

If they replayed 2006 (allowing for the same tough luck injuries), the Cubs would lose 90-95 games again. And if they replayed it again, they would lose 90-95 games again. Why should we think that different rules should apply to a new season in 2007?

On the bright side, any team with a $100 million payroll should never be more than a year away from contending. But that's a different, more optimistic post for someone else to make...

Bleeding Blue: Whoops -- sorry. Point taken.

I used to think Prior's 7+ ERA was a small sample fluke. Now, it appears to be his new base line.

On Nevin - he fits the mold of someone who's not helping now and won't be around next year. And he's playing because....why, exactly? There's nobody in AAA/AA who can hit .220 like Phil?

Funny how other teams don't seem fazed by day games.

Prior done after three innings and 58 pitches. Anyone else see a DL stint in his neart future?

Now people want Nevin benched or DFA'd? But when he was traded for people wanted him playing everyday.

manny - that was many games closer to .500 ago.

and you know that...

Vorare:
"Prior done after three innings and 58 pitches. Anyone else see a DL stint in his neart future?"

I am shocked he has now gone 4 straight starts w/o going on DL.

I don't know what is best, shutting him down and HOPE he can be ready for Opening Day next year or continue to let him pitch to see if he can find a way to get people out this year.

Manny...would you shut the fuck up...it's getting tiresome, really.

Hey..Neifi made an error..but he won a Gold Glove??

"Prior's Revenge"-

A condition of stomach pain and exploding diarrhea experienced by Cub fans while watching Mark Prior pitch.

Also known as "Wooditis".

sorry Manyy...bad day today..

What I meant was..

Manny...anything positive? Ever?

good point on Prior though..

Eli:
"manny - that was many games closer to .500 ago."

Many? When they acquired him they were 12 games under .500. Today they are 17 games under .500. Not that different.

Dusty Baylor:
"Manny...anything positive?"

The team is going to be 18 games under .500 and have like the 5th worst record on MLB. And we still have like 50 games of this shit to watch. Not much to be positive about.

Manny,
Nevin is not the first. Whatever is opposite of what Dusty is doing seems to be the fans fancy.

"Now people want Nevin benched or DFA'd? But when he was traded for people wanted him playing everyday."

Actually I remember most people saying..."oh great, another one of those guys" when we picked him up...I don't remember much love for him when we aquired him. Although, at the time it certainly made sense to give him a chance to prove himself and he could possibly immediately help our team.

Didn't work....so I don't think it's unreasonable not to play him anymore.

Manny:

Their record was 20-32 when he was acquired. Conceivably, something could've been salvaged...

But honestly, keep on fighting the good fight...it's rather comedic during the dog days.

"The #1 topic of conversation these last few days has been the possibility of trading Mark Prior...My basic take is that trading Prior would make me very sad."
Ruz

"I cannot properly articulate just how absolutely furious, thoroughly devastated, inconsolably upset and terribly disappointed I would be if Jim Hendry pulled the trigger on a Mark Prior deal for Miguel Tejada"
John Hill

"If Tejada was 4 years younger, I'd do it, but otherwise enjoy watching Prior carve up the American League, while we wonder what could have been."
Rob G.

"four things to evaluate before deciding to trade Prior for Tejada. We need to evaluate:
1. His future injury risk
2. The degree to which his recent struggles were injury related
3. The risk that he simply will not re-sign with the Cubs at any price
4. The talent received in return (Tejada)
I am relatively bullish on points 1-3. "
Transmission

"Worse idea ever...Prior's best days are ahead of him and Tejada's are behind him. "
Scott - at this point not a Tigers fan, I guess

"I just can't believe that Hendry is even considering this, let alone offering this deal....This would be a HORRIBLE trade for the Cubs if it is done"
Mannytrillo

"But for Mark Prior, I would only take the other three guys you mentioned. ARod, Puljos and Cabrera."
Chad

"I wouldn't trade Prior. Not even for Tejada."
carmenfanzone

....................................

In retrospect I wish I hadn't said this:
"There's a very real chance that Prior is JD Drew as a pitcher. If you don't understand that, you're dellusional. I guess it could be worse, he could be Tim Drew."
The Real Neal

"When Prior comes up with arm soreness again in ST if he is not traded and is on the DL until the 2nd week of April please dont blame Hendry for not making the trade. Prior= Brittle baby Tejada= Ironman"
Chifan to Mannytrillo

Cubs give up 8 runs in 4 innings on 5 hits.

The math is challenging, but it is possible. No other team can do this.

other than the tiger/wsox fan I don't recall too many people pining for Nevin to play too often and that was mostly to play 1b instead of Lee.

Yeah, I'm not sure why Prior was pulled after three innings. Yes, he sucked, but after taxing the bullpen the night before, could he not have gone out for another 2 innings? He only threw 58 pitches. It's one thing if he's pulled during an inning, but he made it out of the third. It's not like it was a tight game anyway? And it's not like their playing for anything. Why ruin Mateo's Saturday outing? It must be an injury or something to Prior. I just don't get it.

I agree that Murton should be playing every freaking day in left. After Pagan's brutal play in the first inning, I'm convinced his saving grace (speed and defense according to Dusty) has hit the skids. Play the Irishman Dusty!!!!!!!!

cool Real Neal, care to bring up some quotes about signing Jeff Weaver?

"Play the Irishman Dusty!!!!!!!!"

Irishmen were not made to play in the heat of a day game in Milwaukee - it's not Dusty's fault, blame God or Darwin as best suits you.

Manny, did I get that one right?

This is only my not-a-doctor, just-a-fan-with-a-TV opinion, but Prior seems to be in lousy shape this season. He's quite a bit thinner, he has a constantly tired/sickly look to him, and he seems to be laboring from the first pitch in each of his starts. Watching him pitch, it's hard to believe he's only 25.

I'd say shut him down for the season pitching-wise, but make sure he's on a strict training regimen. Hopefully, if he can get back to looking like the '03 Prior he may also start pitching like the '03 Prior.

Eli:
"Their record was 20-32 when he was acquired. Conceivably, something could've been salvaged..."

So now it is becuase the season could of been salvaged. Just before it was their record in regards to .500. Pick a side...

"cool Real Neal, care to bring up some quotes about signing Jeff Weaver?"

I'd take him and Tejada over Prior and Izturis.

Anyway, it was for funs. Don't get your diapers in a wad.

guess I would get Madducks too.

Hey Real Neal, don't forget there was a small contingent of us who were (very much) in favor of the Prior/Tejada deal, even straight up...

I remember more than a few posts complaining about Nevin not playing every day from the time of the trade.

This hindsight stuff on Prior/Tejada is kind of silly. Obviously it would've turned out in the Cubs' favor had that deal been made. But if Tejada ended up being outed as a 'roid user and Prior won 18 games for the 0's next year, we'd be having the same discussion in reverse. Not sure why someone felt compelled to bring it up.

Hey Real Neal, don't forget there was a small contingent of us who were (very much) in favor of the Prior/Tejada deal, even straight up...

The Nevin factor:

20 - 32 .384 winning % before Nevin
28 - 33 .459 with Nevin

DAMMIT! If we had Nevin all year would could won 74 games!!!!

(excuse me while I vommit)

Manny:

My bad, dude. I guess being 5 games closer to .500 just feels a lot more manageable when there are 110 freaking games left...you disagree?

Uh oh, The Riot is 3-3 today. If he starts tomorrow, he's impeding Cedeno's progress. If he doesn't, it's "Murton all over again".

Let's play the Real Neal game with Nevin:

"Good old Dusty is finding a way to under-utilize Phil Nevin...I'm sure our opponents appreciate that." - Scott

"Steve Stone said Nevin can't help the Cubs much on the bench...He said he would start Nevin every day (at first base) until D. Lee gets back" - Steve Stone on WSCR

"GM finally trades for some power (Nevin)...womack stays in lineup instead of power (Nevin)...FIRE DUSTY" - Green Lantern

"Dusty needs to get Nevin in there" - BlueDog

"I agree with Steve Stone that Nevin should be playing first every day until DLee gets back, regardless of who's pitching." - Sweet Lou

"If only Nevin had been in the lineup," - Kevin in Pittsburgh

"As for Stoney's comments about Dusty not playing Nevin-I have to agree. The Cubs severely need Slugging %." - carmenfanzone

"I'd have Nevin playing everyday" - Tito

This is all just from one thread not long after he got acquired. It got more intense when the Cubs were getting killed in later June. And sports radio was even worse.

Neal, your argument is easy to look at and claim victory...for now.

But that deal can only really be evaluated in five years from now. The reason we all wanted to keep Prior is not for what he would have done this year, but for what we think he still can do.

And I still think he'll regain his 03 form. As do many people. But if it make you feel good to point your finger and say "I told you so" then have at it.

I remember a lot of discussion about Magglio Ordonez when he was a free agent. Then he got hurt and people thought that it was a good move to not sign him. But look at him now. He'd look great in this Cub outfield. Same with Carlos Beltran as last year he had a less than spectacular year. But now...

"This hindsight stuff on Prior/Tejada is kind of silly. Obviously it would've turned out in the Cubs' favor had that deal been made. But if Tejada ended up being outed as a 'roid user and Prior won 18 games for the 0's next year, we'd be having the same discussion in reverse. Not sure why someone felt compelled to bring it up."

Tito,

I brought it up because I thought it was funny, and though you may not have noticed it, Prior was the starting pitcher today. I am not sure if the posters (besides Manny) are in the Fire Hendry for not preparing for more of Prior and Wood injuries bandwagon, but I supsect a couple of them are.

Imagine had we gotten Tejada and then traded him for Oswalt and Everett (the real best SS in the NL) and a prospect at the deadline - that would have ruled. Fire Hendry!!!

I agree Chad, and also the deal was NEVER going to get done. BALT would of wanted a VERY intensive exam of prior and he obviously would of never passed. But I would never fault hendry for not making the trade, never have and never will. But it doesn't matter as it appearently was never offered.

Actually, Neal, I think someone else brought it up first. I didn't mean to be as accusatory as it sounded, to anyone in particular.

While the Nevin neven complaints were mostly based on everybody's favorite Tigers/Sox fan, there was also the point that Nevin was basically being benched in favor of Neifi.

And even today, I'll still take a Nevin/Walker or even a Mabry/Walker combination over a Walker/Neifi combination if thats what the available options were today.

Theriot now 4/4 in SB. Just sayin'.

Immediately after the Lee injury, I'd have gone with Mabry for a month and see what happens. I don't think the results would've been all that much different, if at all, record-wise. The entire team blew donkeys for two months.

Chad,

"Neal, your argument is easy to look at and claim victory...for now....And I still think he'll regain his 03 form."

It's not my argument. I actually said, while Prior was on the DL, that I still favored not trading him, depending on the deal.

Have you ever heard the expression "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me"? 2007 is going to be fool me four times with Prior, Chad. How many times will it take for you?

"But that deal can only really be evaluated in five years from now. The reason we all wanted to keep Prior is not for what he would have done this year, but for what we think he still can do."
--

In 5 years, Prior will be doing whatever he does somewhere else. He'll probably bolt out the door the first chance he gets.

Manny...This isn't May anymore...at the time it certainl;y made sense to play Nevin over Womack...but Nevin got his chance and proved that the year with Texas wasn't a fluke. Things change over time, the team is in a different position. While they may have had a 20% chance of turning things around then, they have zero chance now. So why are you trying to imply that people are being hypocritical. All we knew then was that Nevin couldn't have been worse then the alternative....now it doesn't matter...Nevin isn't doing crap...so get someone in who is in our future.

It's the one thing I have disdained about you on here, your constant interest in going into the past and trying to prove people wrong...and almost always it's out of context or irrelevant.

Nevin joined the team in early June. He had 82 at-bats in June, 45 in July. Neifi had 50 ABs in June, 56 in July. Not sure that qualifies as being benched for Neifi. More like a quasi-platoon with Walker getting more ABs than either one (82 in June, 65 in July). But that said, I definitely would've played Nevin every day.

I'd really like to see Theriot over Cedeno the rest of the season. For a low power, contact guy, at least he doesn't strike out unlike Cedeno. Seems more willing to walk and so far seems to have shown better baserunning skills. And supposedly his defense is top-notch....

I don't get what Neifi's playing time has to do with Nevin's? Did you mean Mabry?

Many? When they acquired him they were 12 games under .500. Today they are 17 games under .500. Not that different.

Manny, I aint no economist, but that is a 41.6% increase in games under .500, I believe most sports fans, stock traders, business owners and simply educated people would believe 40% is significant and different. If I made 41.6% more money, I think I would consider that different too.

Adam,
So who should be playing 1B today?

not to mention the % decrease in games left to play.

Blockhead, BB said Nevin was basically benched in favor of Neifi. I was trying to show that wasn't really the case, at least if you go by number of at-bats per month.

I don't have any problem with the Nevin- Mabry platoon. I am pretty sure Restovich and Hoffpaiur aren't going to take Lee's job away, so what difference does it make?

Neifi was getting starts at 2b, with Walker at 1B, while it could (should) have been Walker at 2B, Nevin (or Mabry) at 1B. At least once Nevin arrived. Of course it could (should) have been Mabry at 1B, Walker at 2B until we traded for Nevin.

Manny, doesn't matter...that's not my point at all. I really never thought about Nevin outside of this thread...I just don't like the game you are playing by feigning shock that people may have changed their views since early June as if everyone is being hypocritical.

Rob G...but then what do we do with Cedeno? Do we give up on him completely and try to move him in the off season...that doesn't seem likely, so it seems like we might as well give him the experiece.

Neifi got 11 starts in June, Nevin 19. Neifi 13 in July, Nevin 8. (This is extremely unscientific by the way, just looking at game logs and guessing, using 3 ABs in a game as a benchmark. I could be off by a game or two or three.)

Again, platoon not benching. The larger point remains that Neifi shouldn't have played as much.

got it about the Neifi/Nevin thing...I guess I thought of it being more about Dusty keeping walker away from second.

if you're going with a low power contacty guy for his defense, I think Theriot is a better option for the reasons I outlined, that's all. But Cedeno has been on the 25-man roster longer and seniority rules Dusty's lineup choices. I actually believe that Theriot could put up a 350 OBP if given the chance or something close, there's no way in hell Cedeno ever will unless he hits 330 that year by sheer luck.

it don't matter all that much, if the Cubs go with Izturis, Cedeno or Theriot and PIerre next year in there lineup as the regulars, I'm going to be watching a lot of Angels games next year.

Platooning/Benching, whatever. My point was that frequently Nevin wasn't playing because Neifi (or Womack) was. That's what people were complaining about earlier in the season.

Except for the TigerSox fan, I don't think anyone expected Nevin to be the great savior, so the point made earlier in this thread that one person today wanted Nevin DFA'd so earlier complaints that Nevin wasn't playing enough was very much an apples to oranges comparison. Not that anyone is surprised.

Right, and your point doesn't really seem to hold up that well, but, as you say, whatever.

I think if we benched Neifi, went with a Nevin - Mabry platoon, we probably would have won 20 more games. Otherwise who cares?

only 20 games? we're talking abuot nevin/mabry here...that's good for 30 games, easy.

Thankfully, I don't think Rusch is eligible to come off the DL until the 19th.

I think you're just not getting my point, because I don't think we disagree that much.

My point was that when people were complaining about Nevin not playing, it was because it was Neifi on the field instead. Call it benching, call it a platoon, it doesn't really change the point.

Except for a couple of outliers, no one was complaining that Nevin wasn't playing because he was a great player, they were complaining because he was sitting on the bench while a worse player was playing. Nevin and Neifi are no longer in this psydo-platoon, so any complaints today are pretty much irrelavant as a comparison to the previous complaint.

This would NEVER happen:

"Imagine had we gotten Tejada and then traded him for Oswalt and Everett (the real best SS in the NL) and a prospect at the deadline - that would have ruled. Fire Hendry!!!"

BJS, King of Baseless Statements of Fact:

"In 5 years, Prior will be doing whatever he does somewhere else. He'll probably bolt out the door the first chance he gets."

Based on what?

(based on nothing)

i forgot that where rusch is...

so theyre either gonna go with a 4-man and push marmol up or bring up guzman.

marshall supposedly is gonna do some minors rehab this weekend.

Tito:
"Right, and your point doesn't really seem to hold up that well, but, as you say, whatever."

HA HA

And it is funny when someone says he is tired of the same tired excuses about Barrett, but then keeps coming up with the same tired excuses himself on other topics.

I think I get your point -- you say Nevin was benched for Neifi. But if Nevin got more ABs than Neifi over a period of time, he wasn't being benched for Neifi. If you want to argue that Nevin should've gotten even more at-bats than he did, fine...I'd agree with you. But that's not really what you were saying.

BP had this on Pie today. Remember to subscribe to BP, they have pretty good articles (shameless plug in hopes that they won't revoke my subscription for posting this)

"Age: 21.5 Hitting: .273/.332/.416 in 114 G (AAA)

It's been a frustrating season for Pie at Iowa this year, but in his defense he's been rushed through the system, is young for the league, and has been showing signs of life in the second half with a .327 batting average in 37 games since July 1. Pie is blessed with tremendous tools and athleticism, and he's just beginning to reach his potential. With 10 home runs, he's just one off his career high and could be good for 20+ home runs in the majors once his power matures. Pie's approach remains incredibly immature, though. He's an impatient hitter who is prone to chasing pitches outside the strike zone, and the veteran hurlers of the Pacfic Coast League have responded by feeding him a steady diet of breaking balls, which has led to 104 strikeouts. While he's a plus-plus runner, he's not a good base stealer, with a career success rate of just 62% (94 for 150). He'd be best served by another season of Triple-A to polish his rough edges, but the Cubs current outfield situation might not allow for it."

#80

I feel sorry for you, Manny, when you get attacked (and you really do get a lot of unwarranted abuse). But you just basically attacked BB in an unsolicited way there...so I won't feel too badly if you get a smackdown.

Tito:
"But you just basically attacked BB in an unsolicited way there...so I won't feel too badly if you get a smackdown."

Who do you think BCB is referring to in post #71: "I don't think anyone expected Nevin to be the great savior, so the point made earlier in this thread that one person today wanted Nevin DFA'd so earlier complaints that Nevin wasn't playing enough was very much an apples to oranges comparison. Not that anyone is surprised."

Manny - get over your "vendetta"

Maybe you can get over Classy name calling, and then actually answer the question you dodged twice and then refused to answer in the last thread.

nevin? neifi? mabry? who cares...you want some numbers...he's some that REALLY matter from that era.

0ip 0h 0bb 0er 0k 0.00era - k.wood
20ip 14h 13er 15bb 17k 5.85era - m.prior
.266/.317 0hr 2rbi - d.lee
.237/.260 3hr 9rbi - j.jones

.244/.327/.489 - nevin
.304/.298/.446 - neifi

and mabry (almost exclusively vs. righties in 25ab's) .280/.444/.560

My point wasn't that Nevin was benched for Neifi, my point really had nothing to do about complaining about their individual playing time or the reasons for it - be it a platoon or whatever.

I agree with you that Nevin should have got more playing time, and you can call the situation a platoon if you want. Neither thing has really any impact on my point.

My point was that when people were complaining about Nevin's playing time it was because when Nevin was on the bench and it was Neifi who was on the field, thus the complaints about Nevin today are an apples to oragnes comparison from two months ago.

oh yeah...forgot maddux

38ip 46h 22er 4bb 25k 5.21era

wee. maybe nevin could pitch.

"there was also the point that Nevin was basically being benched in favor of Neifi."

Seems pretty clear to me, but I won't argue the point any further.

BleedingBlue:
"Manny - get over your "vendetta"

HA HA, nice to me you Mr. Pot. How about this, you stop reading my posts, and I will stop reading yours. I am sure TCR will appreaciate that.

Manny, BB and I were debating his point. You chimed in when nothing was directed at you in the exchange. That's what I was talking about. If you want to directly challenge BB about something he said about you, feel free.

Real Neal,

The O's never wanted to trade Tejada and kept stalling the process so that Tejada would give in. At the deadline they turned down a Blalock, Diamond, Ensberg, Everrett, and a 3rd Tex prospect for him. Even if Hendry gave them Cedeno Pie and Hill for Tejada and Bedard/Carbera/Penn Prior wouldnt have passed the Physical. So it is a waste of bandwith to type about how we should have traded him for Tejada. This is coming from the guy who loathes Prior and came up with a list of 20 guys who I'd trade for Prior.

I mean with this all love, but manny's the A.J. Pierzynski of TCR, he's in the middle of everything but it's never his fault.

that's a joke btw, don't send me hate mail.

.244/.327/.489 - nevin
.304/.298/.446 - neifi

why are people arguing about this? 56ab's and 45ab's...both of their workload combined make up a bit less than a full month's work from 1 starter.

its hollandsworth vs. dubois...macias vs. neifi...cedeno vs. neifi...etc vs. etc all over again. 1 flavor of crap vs. another flavor of crap without a shred of defensive weight on it.

rome is burning, but people wanna bitch over whether the fire on the right is more/less intense than the fire burning to left...meanwhile the core of the city burns like crazy.

Manny, do you know what I think TCR would apprieciate.

I think TCR would appriciate it if you'd stop calling people names - saying you are defending yourself by throwing the first punch.

I think TCR would also greatly appreciate if you'd try to back up your rediculous arguments with facts instead of playing the victim and bitching about being personally attacked because others question your 2nd grade logic.

In fact, I'm quite confident TCR would appreciate it because the fine gentlemen who maintain this site have asked you to do just that on many occations now.

Crunch, just to be clear, I was only arguing for basically the same reason you said not to...because it was minor in the grand scheme of this lost season.

why are people arguing about this? 56ab's and 45ab's...both of their workload combined make up a bit less than a full month's work from 1 starter.

Just to again be clear, I was not trying to start a debate between whether either player should have gotten more playing time.

I'm simply saying that when people were complaining 2 months ago it was because when Nevin wasn't playing, it was Neifi who typically was. Leaving the better player on the bench about half the time. No one -except maybe scott- was ever trying to say that Nevin was a great player who should be playing everyday irregardless of what the other options were.

yeah, im not calling anyone out...im just throwing a view out there about the nearly daily pissing contests over whether scrub 1 is better than scrub 2.

im not telling anyone to stop or calling every conversation about them stupid/pointless/etc...its just the constant focus that weirds me out.

a lotta things were going on in july...neifi/walker/nevin/mabry just seems to be a small impact, especially given their performances were not night/day, compared to the impact of wood/prior/maddux/jones/dlee. im not even picking on the rookies here, but a lotta them didnt help either...especially in the place where they needed to, making up for 3 starters not pitching like they belong (or in wood's case, not pitching, period).

the thing that's more sad is may/june was worse...sigh. it was pretty much barrett/jones/bullpen...

I know Prior couldn't have been turned into all those players, I was making a joke. Also, if you think that the Astros offered Oswalt, Everett and Endsberg, you're smoking stronger crack than Angelos.

oswalt's gonna be an issue for hou...he's not gonna take a penny less than 14m it seems.

he's still asking for the 15m he wanted this offseason and hasnt done much to damage his demands.

I'm with Bleeding blue.

Actually, Crunch, McClane said he was going to talk to Oswalt and his agent this week and try to get something done shortly with Oswalt.

i dont doubt that, but they're gonna pay huge.

In fact, I'm quite confident TCR would appreciate it because the fine gentlemen who maintain this site have asked you to do just that on many occations now.

um, I don't recall ever saying anything that quite approached what you wrote in #95, and whatever I did say was much more diplomatic than that.

Can we go back to talking about the Cubs and baseball?

For example, if Dusty goes, where could he end up?

I honestly don't see a lot of job openings this off-season, there's Philly, Washington, San Fran, Seattle and Texas.

Starting from the bottom, I only envision Texas cause Showalter has had some health issues recently, but I don't think him and Daniels would get along too well.

Seattle's been a hot rumor but personally they're massively overperforming over there and I don't see Hargrove leaving. And I can't imagine Ichiro and Kojima getting along with Baker. "What do you mean we don't practice?"

San Fran if Alou calls it quits could be open. Best fit personally, I think him and Sabean are a match made in heaven. Two guys who have no patience for youngsters.

Washington if Frank calls it quits, new ownership could be looking for a big splash too. Not a horrible fit. Cue Baker ruining John Patterson's arm outcries.

Finally Philly, talk about a toxic relationship between Philly fans and Dusty.

I don't see anyone else who would think about paying him his salary. Maybe the Dodgers if they miss the playoffs again and McCourt goes berserk for a 2nd off-season, but I doubt that.

So is this going to be our LF next year after we fail to add any real productive bats? Hey, we can get him cheap as he has been on the DL only 10 times in his career.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2...

"So is this going to be our LF next year after we fail to add any real productive bats?"

lotto #s please.

Bleeding Blue:
"In fact, I'm quite confident TCR would appreciate it because the fine gentlemen who maintain this site have asked you to do just that on many occations now."

I am quite sure TCR has asked you to stop with the vendetta stuff. So let's see if you can do that. Again, please just stop reading my posts.

Crunch:
"lotto #s please."

7,11,14,21,23,28 powerball 13

But honestly, I'm just trying to be realistic man.

I agree on the Theriot issue.
He seems to make contact..not strike out much, can handle the bat i.e. bunt, steal bases and play 2B.

So there's no power..ok. Besides that, where's the downside?

I think Dusty's 2007 managerial position is going to closely resemble Sosa's 2006 season as a player.

You know what would be really fun though? Is if Guillen bashes one more protected minority and Baker replaces him on the South Side (not a ethnic/sexual preference slur, just a way of describing a portion of Chicagoland).

"What do you mean we don't practice?"

Rob, there is nothing that I have seen that Baker doesn't want to practice. If anything it seems that he might like it but is unwilling to force players to do it.

Children,

I asked Bleeding Blue to stop going after Tito mostly cause he kept trying to accuse him of being a fella named "Mike" who we banned a few months back cause he thought it would be cool to continously insult everyone. As far as I recall, Tito is not this Mike fella cause I rememeber him before that episode occurred. And that was the only thing I meant by the "vendetta" comment because I thought Bleeding Blue was falsely accusing somebody of being somebody else, on top of saying a bunch a stuff about Dusty and his posterior that weren't necessary.

It had nothing to do with you Manny, it was very specific to that situation.

it was a joke Chad, you know Japanese work ethic vs Dusty's perceived laziness/lack of practice issues.

But I don't think the laid-back Dusty would work so well with their owners and Ichiro and Kenji. But I don't think Hargrove is going anywhere either.

You are overlooking the fact that Ichiro is probably the ULTIMATE Dusty player.

Actually Barry Bonds is the ultimate Dusty player. He puts him in the lineup, they win and Dusty doesn't know why, but he starts him the next day too.

"But honestly, I'm just trying to be realistic man."

there's nothing realistic about it.

reality involves facts...and there are no 07 facts as of right now...even aram isnt a fact yet.

he's not immune to the big contract, dlee just got one...just cuz it didnt come from the FA market doesnt mean its impossible or will never be done.

I am quite sure TCR has asked you to stop with the vendetta stuff.

Not only has Rob shown how you took that phrase well out of context (notice a theme here), but just to be clear.

I used the word vendetta because I just find it so gosh darn ironic.

If you'll recall, you first accused me of having a vendetta for pointing out how you did excatly what I said you would regarding the Maddux trade. Which, oh surprise surprise, came AFTER you'd "defended yourself" by calling me out unprovoked for being wrong for saying I though Walker would be moved after the trade deadline. Throw the first punch, and then whine about being the victim.

Again, I'll stop pointing out the idoicy of your statements when you stop making idoitic statement. I'm sure you'll keep crying about how it is a personal attack, but as we've well seen, if you aren't called on these statement, you start to repeat them as facts after a while.

As for Dusty, I could see him ending up in Washington. A team with new ownership and a barron farm system looking to make a big splash would make a lot of sense. Go for the style of the big name, and hope the fans don't notice the (lack of) substance.

Let me preface this by saying I am not sure if it's true, just a story I heard.

Dusty walks out to the mound:
"How's it going?"
Pitcher, "Urgh, not too good, coach"
"that last one came out of your hand sort of funny"
"yeah, I'm in a lot of pain here"
"You want to finish up the inning?"
"I'd really like to Dusty, but I am thinking I should go get checked out, maybe an X-Ray"
"Ok, Dravecky, hit the showers"

crunch:
"reality involves facts"

I am talking about expectations, not facts, realisitic exepectations. I am NOT saying that we won't sign a top FA or that we even will. But considering Hendry has shown in the past that he doesn't pay top dollar for top tier FA's, I think it is a realistic expectaition to think that there is a very good chance that we don't come away with CLee or Soriano. And that doesn't even include the possibilites that they might not want to come here or that another team might overpay for them and give them an offer they can't refuse.

dust is gonna make millions, though.

who's gonna pony it up?

they'd probally go with davey johnson, first. they hired him as a consultant a few months ago...his very very quiet return to american baseball.

davey's career is filled with venom from ex players, especially vets...he's not known as a great communicator...he's been in trouble in the past with levying 'kangaroo court' fines that he funneled to his wife's charity.

guy's been fired or "let go" a lot for a guy who's coached some winning teams. maybe a field full of youth who are happy to just be playing, period, in WAS is a good fit for davey to get his feet wet again and perhaps not repeat the mistakes of the past that pretty much earned him a cold shoulder through the years.

Do you really believe this not signing top FA's is a Hendry problem only? Cause the Cubs have a nice long list of not signing top free agents since Tribco took over (if not longer).

saying hendry wont sign a FA based on a little bit of past means nothing.

he just handed out a 13m contract. to me that says he will give out those kinda contracts. saying it not likely solely cuz it didnt come from the FA market is a bit of a stretch.

hendry enjoys a good deal...he's reveling in 3/12m on barrett...but that's not all he's looking for out there.

Rob G,

Are you really asking Manny for a reasonable answer on Hendry? Might as well ask Mahmoud Ahmadinejad if he'd like Jewish bankers to take over the Iranian Department of Finance.

I am....people surprise me everyday.

Rob G.:
"Do you really believe this not signing top FA's is a Hendry problem only? Cause the Cubs have a nice long list of not signing top free agents since Tribco took over (if not longer)."

No, but before Hendry the excuse was the Trib never spent the moneyb they should to play like a big payroll team. Well, that can't be an excuse anymore. They have a payroll more than fair and more than enough to compete year in year out. Don't you agree?

Crunch:
"saying hendry wont sign a FA based on a little bit of past means nothing."

I am not saying he won't sign one, just I don't have any "expectations" that he will. You might, and that is cool, but I don't.

And I am not saying I don't have "expectations" he won't sign any FA. I don't expect he will sign a top dollar, top tier FA.

Neal, Dravecky's last year was in '89. The manager was Roger Craig.

more than enough? yeah, they have enough to compete most years barring catastrophic injuries.

What the Trib does not allow is flexibility in any way. For example, Rafael Furcal. The Cubs offered more than a fair deal, hell it was insane in my opinion but Furcal at his age would have likely been worth it in the long run. But then some individual owner comes along, says "I really want this guy" and offers something beyond crazy that will bust their budget this year. Hendry then has to go to Tribco suits who only look at spreadsheets and have no real care or competitve desire to win every year and say we need to offer this to get this guy. Tribco laughs at him and says "what? $100 mil isn't enough to build a good team?"

The same thing will happen with Zito this year. George over in NY or the guy that runs the Mets will go, yeah we really need this guy, give him what he wants, even if the Cubs offer is more than fair. (assuming they make one)

And I don't really think Hendry actually went to the Trib or McPhail and said we can get Furcal if we offer this. I'm sure he realized that it's a waste of time and effort and he has too many other holes to fill to waste his budget on that player.

Rob G.:
"The same thing will happen with Zito this year."

You gotta give Crunch lottery #'s for a statment like that....:)

okay,

5,6,16,22,28 powerball 22

plus I think hendry will go after schmidt or eaton harder than he'll go after zito. He's in love with radar gun readings.

I think there's a small chance he could get schmidt only because he'll likely get a reasonably lengthy contract (3-5 years), while Zito will get something otherworldly in the 6-7 range. I think Hendry's more worried about years than dollars generally.

Rob G.-
So don't you agree that since hendry took over and the Tribco has opened up the checkbook more, that he has less excuse to not sign top tier FA than Cubs GM's in the past? I mean, not to agree with the TribCo accountants and all, but $100 million Opening Day payroll should be more than enough to win.

"But I don't think the laid-back Dusty would work so well with their owners and Ichiro and Kenji"

I think you have watched the movie "Gung Ho" too many times.

If Dusty does not get Seattle job, I see him getting a network broadcasting job ala LouPa. Seems to be the popular route among out of work managers awaiting for a job to open.

Eaton? UGH...

Injured last year, injured more this year. I guess he wouldn't be horrible if we took a shot on him for cheap and he was our 4th or 5th starter. But i hope hendry doesn't "count" on him as our 2/3 starter, and pay him accordingly.

But let me add, that $100 million payroll teams shouldn't have to constantly take risks on injured players to be productive.

How happy will you be if Floyd is in LF and Eaton is our biggest FA pitching signee this offseason? Anyone interested in season tickets for next year? :)

You can only sign so many "top-tier" FA's if you want to fill your other positions with decent players and a decent pitching staff.
If Z gets a big dollar extension and A-Ram gets extended, that would make 3 big dollar players.

but more than enough to win and signing the best of the best FA's is 2 different things in my opinion? Hendry's done extremely well in getting top talent into the organization without handing out ludicrous contracts because he had to get into a bidding war with other teams (I don't think I need to name these players). Other than the Yanks and maybe the RSox and Mets, just about every other team out there has to get some value players either by shrewd trading, developing talent or creative contract work (such as signing up Johan Santana before he hit FA).

Trib's never going to let him sign a Beltran or A-rod, cause they don't have the desire to crush the competition that an individual owner has and you ALWAYS have to overpay in terms of length and money on the top of the top FA's. (as will likely happen with Zito).

But with that $100 mil, he certainly could have gone after different players and allocated that money differently. And this past off-season was just horrible for Hendry, 2004 wasn't so great mostly cause he butchered the Sosa situation and yeah ultimately Hendry needs to be held accountable for this mess.

But I would like to see what happens under a different manager.

I think it was moreso McFail's arrival and Sosa's decline that led to the TribCo loosening the purse strings. Hendry was still in player development when the payroll got a boost.

and bjs makes another good point, we are paying quite a bit for top talent, Hendry got them through trades or draft and has paid them accordingly. Just because he hasn't gotten into a bidding war that he'll almost always lose doesn't seem so bad to me.

The fact that he thinks Eyre and Howry and Neifi and Rusch were worth their contracts, now that sucks.

"Hendry's done extremely well in getting top talent into the organization without handing out ludicrous contracts..."
--

He's done a very good job at this, but unfortunately he also wastes money on replacement level players like Neifi & Rusch. Even though I'm sure Neifi's Cubs tenure has as much (if not more) to do with Dusty's infatuation for him, Hendry is the one who hands out the money. Hopefully Hendry's Manny-like love for Dusty is over... I'd also like to see what he can do with a different manager.

BJS:
"You can only sign so many "top-tier" FA's if you want to fill your other positions with decent players and a decent pitching staff."

Very true, and at this point, I would be happy with just ONE top tier FA.

But that is why it is so important to spend your budget properly, so you can have the money aviailible to add the big pieces that are needed.

I ran across this the other day.

Cubs payroll 2001.

Sosa $12m
K.Tapani $6.5m
J.Lieber $5.1m
E.Young $4.5m
Rondell White $4m
T.Hundley $3.5m
R.Gutierrez $3.4m
M.Stairs $3.2m
B.Mueller $2.75m
J.Fassero $2.4m
J.Tavarez $2.3m
J.Bere $2.25m
J.Girardi $2m
T.Gordon $2m
K.Wood $1.9m
F.Heredia $1.15
D.Buford $1.1m
R.Coomer $1.1m
Van Poppel $850
M.Aybar $665
Farnz $245
M.Fyhrie $240
Rosy Brown $230
G.Matthews Jr $225
Augie $212
Courtney Duncan $200

Total $64m....ranked 14th in ML behind the usual suspects plus Sea and Col...$2m more than the White Sox...I believe (without looking it up) that was the year when many of the ridiculous contracts were handed out to ManRam, Mussina, Darren Dreifort got 5/$55m...the guy who the Cubs had targeted that off-season...Gehhh...may have been 2000..BTW, the Yanks only had a $109+ change payroll in 2001.

So yes the payroll has risen but it's still not even where it should be and that is somewhere between $115-120m a year. However the main problem isn't the total dollars issued, it's the lack of quality contracts in the middle...we have like two in Barrett's and Eyre's contracts. If the Cubs prospects ever materialize like Pie, Guzman et al are supposed to, the GM needs to lock those guys up like Shapiro does with the Indians young stars and Minaya is doing now so the Cubs aren't spending $10+m during early arbitration years then on top of that getting reamed on a 5 year deal afterwards. Z should have been tied up 3 years ago.

Rob G.:
"But I would like to see what happens under a different manager."

Still gotta get the players. Hendry did a good job of finally getting the bullpen fixed last offseason, hopefully he can work on the rest of the mess this offseason, but with like $24 million left to spend there isn't much wiggle room.

different manager, different preferance in players.

I'm hoping said potential new manager has some radically different ideas on the bench and bullpen mostly and how to develop young talent.

or we could be stuck with the same crap for 2 more years....

HA HA HA HA!

BOGEY'S 2001 PAYROLL and WOODY.

$1.9MM in 2001

Somethin' tells me Hendry's boy could get re-signed, 6 years later, for something slightly below this!

Tejada seems like a Cub already-
http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ap-orio...

I believe the bullpen is not going anywhere next year based on contracts alone.

If Cubs get $ 105 million (wish) in payroll next year(largest attendance ever) how much does that free up in fa money? 25-30 million?

Rob G.:
"different manager, different preferance in players."

But what if the players we have now are Hendry's preference also? Remember Hendry did actually go out and trade FOR Jose Macias.

And doesn't the GM usually hire a maanger who has the same philosophy than himself.

Jacos:
"If Cubs get $ 105 million (wish) in payroll next year(largest attendance ever) how much does that free up in fa money? 25-30 million?"

If they give Hendry $105 for the Opening Day payroll, which is a huge IF. The Cubs would have $29 million left to spend.

Jacos, here is the breakdown:
SET CONTRACTS:
Michael Barrett - $4.73MM ($4.6MM base + $130K prorated signing bonus)
Ryan Dempster - $5.0MM
Scott Eyre - $3.5MM
Bobby Howry - $4.0MM
Cesar Izturis - $4.15MM
Jacque Jones - $5.33MM ($4.0MM base + $1.33MM prorated signing bonus)
Derrek Lee - $13.0MM
Neifi Perez - $2.5MM
Aramis Ramirez - $11.0MM
Glendon Rusch - $3.25MM
TOTAL (10) - $56.46MM

AUTO RENEWAL:
Ronny Cedeno - $350K
Sean Marshall - $350K
Matt Murton - $350K
Roberto Novoa - $350K
Angel Pagan - $350K
Michael Weurtz - $350K
TOTAL (6) - $2.1MM

ARBITRATION (Guesstimates):
Will Ohman - $800K
Mark Prior - $6.8MM ($6.0MM base + $800K prorated signing bonus)
Carlos Zambrano - $10.0MM
TOTAL (3) - $17.6MM

TOTAL PAYROLL (19) - $76.16MM

***These figures do not count any possible incentive/performance bonuses & does not count the $3.0MM buyout of Kerry Wood contract***

sometimes, not always, GM's fire managers all the time and things start clicking for a team. Wsox would be one example. I mean Beane despised Howe basically. Many times, much like I suspect with you Manny, is they see a shiny win/loss record and that's good enough for them without going any deeper into their philosophies and strategies.

4 years ago I thought Dusty was a good idea because of his win/loss record and now I know better. Should have realized that a team willing to let go of their manager after making it to the World Series didn't think too highly of the guy.

Jacos,
Those players leave us with 6 players left to sign:
Backup C
Backup 1B/3B
CF
5th OF
SP
SP

Of course all of this does not count a raise to ARAM ($1-3 million) nor upgrades to positions like LF, SS or 2B. If ARAM get $1 million raise, we sign the 3 backups for $1 million each and resign Pierre for $8 million, that leaves us with $17 million (based on your WISH Opening Day payroll of $105 million) to sign 2 SP and upgrades at 2B, SS and LF.

Of course, ARAM could jump town and we will have more money, but be even more fucked.

23.84 mil based on a 100 million dollar payroll.

At 110 (which I think it totally possible)

We can get Carlos Lee and any top tier FA pitcher.

Rob G.:
"GM's fire managers all the time and things start clicking for a team."

And GM's fire managers all the time and things continue to go shitty.

Chad:
"At 110 (which I think it totally possible)
We can get Carlos Lee and any top tier FA pitcher."

I hope $110, but I can't see it. The Cubs over the past few years have added many more revenue streams (additional bleacher seats, rooftops, dugout box, bullpen box, bleacher box, etc.), but really haven't upped the payroll. They have had $90, $87 and $94 million payrolls over the past 3 years. I think $110 is pushing it. But we can all hope.

I'd pay $1 million to erase the agony I've suffered as a Cubs fan the last 22 years of my life.

Chad:
"At 110 (which I think it totally possible)
We can get Carlos Lee and any top tier FA pitcher."

Carlos Lee is a bust waiting to happen and there are no Top Tier FA pitchers. Take a look at Zito's #'s - then take a look at Vicente Padilla's. They look eerily similar to me.

Hendry will have to pull a trade out of his ass.
And he will have to trade Murton, Pie, Hill, and Guzman to get a good everyday mlb player to play a corner position or second base.

That or he's hoping for a healthy team, with career years out of everyone and the NL sucking as bad as it did this year.

I believe he will go for the latter.

why is Carlos Lee a bust waiting to happen? Besides do nothing but hit 30 + homers every year for the last 4 and mid twenties before that. If he's a bust waiting to happen then so was Carlos Beltran, Vlad and Tejada. But they weren't.

And if you don't like Zito, the how about Schmidt? Whatever. We need a BIG bat and a strong durable arm that can be a good #2. You go Z and Schmidt, you're in good shape. If Prior turns it back around, we would be unbeatable.

jacos:
"Hendry will have to pull a trade out of his ass."

I agree. Chances are even if Hendry is willing to spend the big bucks on a top FA, he very well might get outbid. Thus leaving the trade route to seriously upgrade this team.

Cubs didn't have an $87 million dollar payroll last year, what was it? $16 mil was going to Sammy that's not in that figure.

btw, amusing piece about Ryan Freel via deadspin..
http://www.deadspin.com/sports/top/ryan-freel...

Hendy wants to talk to Farney's agent.

manny doesn't understand that games over .500 isn't the measure of your chance to get anywhere...

1 game under after opening day....5 games over when the season is over....what would you rather be?

also, are you really going to argue that choosing to play womack over nevin isn't a fireable offense when you really think that you're in it since it's only june??

"Why is Carlos Lee a bust waiting to happen?"

Carlos Lee
Carlos Lee Noriel (El Caballo)
Bats Right, Throws Right
Height 6' 2", Weight 235 lb.

Debut May 7, 1999
Born June 20, 1976 in Aguadulce, Panama
Similar Batters through Age 29
1. George Bell
George Bell slugging
Age 31 .468 (With the Cubs)
Age 32 .418
Age 33 .363
Age 34 Out of baseball

Fat, righthanded hitting left fielders don't age well.

Baseballprospectus #1 comprable to Carlos Lee?

Ivan Calderon
Age 32 = Out of baseball

1 game under after opening day....5 games over when the season is over....what would you rather be?

If I am the Cubs I would rather be the first. If I am the Royals I would rather be the later.

What's the point?

Here is an interesting stat:

According to STATS Inc., and published in last weeks SI, Albert Pujols has swung and missed at three pitches in the same at bat only 4 times in his entire career. He did it for the first time this year against the Cubs just recently.

I would love to know that stat on former players like Tony Gwynn, Wade Boggs or Ted Williams.

Donald Veal still at it, not his best performance but he beat Carl Pavano who's on a rehab assignment.

5.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K,

5-2, 1.40 ERA in Daytona now

according to nameless journalism corps AP writer #18A-38XA...baker to testify in the mitchell roids investigation...

"I don't have any choice," Baker said Thursday, where the Brewers beat the Cubs 8-6. "I was already scheduled to (testify) Aug. 2 and for whatever reason, it was canceled. All I know is I didn't schedule it. I didn't cancel it."

he doesnt know what he's gonna be asked about but offered up him managing bonds/sosa as a possible explaination.

Crunch-

When do they go after LaRussa?

i'd be suprised if he got more than a few passing questions about sosa...this whole investigation seems to be barry-centric, not roids-centric.

they seem to be focusing on the bonds-aspect of the whole thing, anyway...at least as far as who's being called in to be talked to.

ceda goes 3ip tonite (started, but that dont mean much in arizona league) in his 4th appearance...

3ip 2h 0r 0bb 4k

that brings him to:

9ip 5h 0r 1bb 13k

he's off to a hell of a start...gotta say, though...its way to early to say he's turned a corner unless the cubs directly picked him knowing they could quickly "fix" whatever was wrong with one of his secondary pitches. that's highly unlikely, though not impossible.

anyway...for a 19 year old guy with 1 pitch, he's off to a hell of a start after putting up a 5.00era in 23ip for SD in the same league.

Some things I don't get:
Many have advocated Nevin/Mabry should be DFA'd, but who would play at this point int he season. No minor leaguer is ready or worth taking a look at.

Murton shouldn't be sitting. I think he should have played vs a lefty today but IF everyone thnks we need to sign a big bat and it is most frequently suggested that it be CLee of another LF, why should we spend every game looking at Murton? If he sizzles for the rest of the season do you still think we need a thumper? If you say yes, then why complain that he's not playing every game.

Barrett sucks behind the plate. We need a good leader out there. Hank White does what some suggest, throws well, calls a good game etc. Why does everyone moan when Henry plays?

I think there are several teams in contention that do not have more than two thumpers in the lineup...Oakland, Giants, SD, LA, Minn. even Boston etc. If we have Dlee and Aramis then we have two thumpers and what is wrong with a lot of good doubles HITTERS?

There are probably even more scenarios presented nere from time to time that perplex me but for now I'll stop.

Put a first base glove on Murton and see what happens or Pagan, what can it hurt by this point?

it might not hurt murt too much put on a 1st baseman's glove and check his durability...i hope they've at least given it a run by now in a practice or drill.

what the hell is going on with him in LF...he played a pretty confident LF for a lotta the year, but the past month and 1/2 or so he's taking some bad/confusing routes. he's chasing down a lot more stuff he was getting under.

hell, at least he's hitting the ball outta the infield now.

You got to be kidding! When Walker was moved there there was some initial outroar and he had some experience there. Changing positions in the middle of the season is not easy. When Cedeno moved there wasn't much patience shown on this page. Is that what we really want to see?

Crunch,

He's a rookie. We seem to say we want the rookies to play but no one wants to sit through the growing pains. That's why the Cubs cannot go through a Marlins rebuilding plan. The first thing that will come up is the potential of our payroll. Let the bitching begin!

changing positions is one thing, but this is LF and 1st.

its not C/2nd or SS/2nd or 3rd/1st...

the only reason i'd even suport giving murton a look at 1st in addition to his LF work is im not totally convinced murton isnt gonna be handed a starting job.

not because he's not good, but because he's gonna be cheap for years afterward and the easiest point of upgrade for the cubs is gonna be in the corner OF.

its not a sure-thing occurance, but its looking like he could be the odd man out on the offseason "upgrade" period.

i just hope he gets another year to show what he's got, even if just off the bench.

Its not C/2nd/CF/LF like some else in the NL Central.

Why not try him out at 2B? He's still young. With his bat a second that would be great.

Does he even look like his hands or feet could handle 2nd? As a former coach I marvel at the suggestions here.

I doubt it. but it cant hurt.

I think we should try Aramis at 2B. Can you imagine how good his numbers would be as a 2B? Then move Murton to 3B. Then maybe try Lee at C, with his heght and ability to pick the ball out of the dirt, be could save this pitching staff lots of WP. (all sarcasm)

But it is sad, and shows how sad of state this organization is in, that people are even talking about moving everyone around because "it can't hurt".

Boy does this headline make me worried
"Rothschild dealing with youth"

Poor, poor youth
http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/a...

I'm glad you said you were being sarcastic Manny, cause I really thought you wanted to put lee at C! DUH!

Prior has a theory about his lack of consistency but declined to discuss it.

"I have some ideas, but I'll keep those private," he said. "I'm just not finding the plate and not being aggressive."

Translation: I can't pitch without Gabor behind the plate!

vorare, I'm guessing a yeast infection.

You mean Prior has ideas about his pitching woes that go beyond his belief that he may be a victim of the Cub curse? Maybe he's dixcovered that his humors are out of whack and he can be bled back to health.

Oh, and add Greg Luzinski to the list of big leftfielders done early. Like Jesus, Luzinski was done at 33.

What about a strict platoon of Murton (LHP) and Pagan (RHP) for the rest of the year? It seems like a hell of an (cheap) option for 2007 in LF and we can spend the FA $$ on Starting Pitching, which is what gets teams to the Postseason.

Murton vs LHP (only 95 AB) -- .305 / .391 / .463 / .854

Pagan vs RHP (only 64 AB)-- .313 / .343 / .547 / .890

Sample size may be an issue for Pagan, but not Murton because he put up big #'s against LHP last season as well.

I like it, Junior.

Junior, I would rather the platoon be in right, as we know Jones can't hit left handed pitches. If you platoon in right, even if you sign a big money left fielder (which I am not really sold on) Murton and/or Pagan should still be able to get a reasonable amount of at bats.

"Carlos Lee is a bust waiting to happen"

Ok..so, given the example of George Bell, Carlos Lee will be out of baseball in 3 or 4 years.

I'd take him for the next 3 years...he's not showing any signs of slowing down.
Why compare him to 2 guys whose careers ended 15 years ago?

Calderon had a lot more problems than being a big guy....Bell was a head case.

I'd take a chance on Carlos Lee...

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball...

"Maybe," Baker replied. "But at .270 . . . you guys have been talking `Felix, Felix, Felix,' but Felix has to be the Felix you're all talking about if you're going to bring him up. I'd like to see him do a little more. I'd like to see everybody do a little more. I'd like to see everybody get here not only on name, but on merit at the same time."

Agreed Dusty.

"Everybody is talking about the Florida Marlins," he said. "Yeah, they're young, but Hanley Ramirez was Boston's No. 1 dude, and how many years did he start in Triple A? And the first baseman, [Mike Jacobs], wasn't he in Triple A [last year], too? Look it up. It's not only youth, it's youth that earned [a promotion]."

The reporter didn't, but I did look it up.

Hanley Ramirez never played in AAA. Does someone know his BA ranking while with Boston?

http://www.tsn.ca/mlb/teams/players/bio/?id=3...

Mike Jacobs started 27 games in AAA in 2004, and played badly. His AA numbers are very good BTW.

http://www.tsn.ca/mlb/teams/players/bio/?id=4...

It is likely that if the Marlins had veteran at either positions neither of these players would have "earned" a major league job.

1. Again, after seeing Prior in pitch in Washington two weeks ago, it appeared to me that his mechanics, particularly staying balance in his stride and maintaining a consistent release point seem to be his major problems. His body language was very diffident. I have to worry that after getting his arm broken by a line drive, that incident haunts him as he has certainly not been the same pitcher since that incident.

"Dusty and I give [chemistry] a lot of thought in the off-season. It's not just talent. We try to get as many guys as we can that we feel are winning-type players. As Dusty does such a marvelous job of blending the guys over a 162-game schedule, that's important."
--Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry as quoted in the Chicago Tribune on 3/22/04

2. For subscribers, Dan Fox has a great article on the Cubs, from which I took the above quote, and their clearly flawed criteria for selecting players, the latest example being Cesar Izturis. The article is on www.baseballprospectus.com. (paid subscription required). Most TCR folks seen to fixate on Dusty as the root of all evil; Mannytrillo and couple of others look at Hendry. I think they are both pretty much equally responsible in their different ways for this edition of the Cubs path to perdition. But ultimately, it is McPhail's and the Tribune Company's philosphy on running a baseball team (as primarily an entertainment and advertising vehicle), one inherited from the Wrigleys, which make the Cubs a national joke as a competitive baseball team. I know that I now present a pretty relentlessly negative view of the Cubs on TCR now, but since McPhail's unintentionally revealing interview in the Tribune last September, I think taking an optimistic view of the medocrity they put on the field is just enabling more of the same, and after 40 years I am sick of it.

3. I do believe Dusty will be back as manager because Hendry believes he really is the best. And as insider and baseball lifer, Hendry is certain in his own mind that he knows much better than us ignorant fans what makes a good manager.

4. I do look forward to the interesting experiment of a regular line-up with Izturis, Cedeno and Pierre, and Nefi as the infield back-up, will do to the the runs scored per game next year. I know, that was pretty much the offense we had this season. I look forward to the explanations for why the team can't score runs and why on-base percentage and slugging should be ignored if we get "timely hitting." Evidence of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Perhaps the one thing that can make the team even worse is to get rid of Barrett, who at least will win the silver slugger award this year at catcher, and replace him with a platoon made up light hitting catchers like Blanco and Bako. Besides eliminating 3 or 4 pass balls over a 162 game season, that should reduce or runs scored by another 60 to 80 runs over the course of that same 162 games. Great way to assemble a winning team. Pretty soon we will be as good as the Pirates and Royals with 3 times the payroll.

CFFG, agreed. It is not a merely a Baker problem or a Hendry problem it is an organizational problem. They clearly don't understand the "dynamics of baseball" or in other words how to build a winning team.

Some questions to gauge for TCR-

SI this week said that the Braves have no young pitching and have a glut in position players making Jones available this off season.

Would you trade some young arms(you pick) for Jones and then with the cash go after two FA starting pitcher?

I believe with Jones, Lee, Aram, Barrett you are set with hitting. This team is in dire need of starting pitching. Right now to count on Prior for 2007 is like counting on Wood for 2006.

I also would talk to the Indians about Casey Blake.

Just some thoughts.

How many more years does Jones have on his contract?

IF Hendry can sign a top FA SP (Zito/Schmidt) and add (via FA or trade) a solid #3/4 starter...I think a Carlos Lee or Soriano acquisition goes out the window.

That would leave us with a lineup like this:

SP Zambrano
SP Zito/Schmidt
SP Marshall/Hill
SP #3/#4 via trade/FA
SP Prior

1 *Pierre CF
2 #Izturis SS
3 Dlee 1B
4 Aram 3B
5 Barrett C
6 *Jones RF
7 Murton/#Pagan platoon LF
8 Cedeno 2B
9 SP

Realistically, I think that is a team that can win 90 games and contend.

If Pierre wants too much $$ or too many years, sign a stopgap CF like Dave Roberts that will play 130/140 games and put Pagan in CF when Roberts needs a breather.

I find the Murton/Pagan platoon very intriguing and that is a solid rotation -- as long as the #3/4 SP is solid. A guy like Guzman or Hill (if his head straightens out) can be effective for us in 2007. Our bullpen is a strongsuit and I think Dempster will straighten it out with more consistent, meaningful work.

I really think Jacque Jones in RF is a minor concern considering the team's current makeup.

I think this is a team that contend with good pitching, a good bullpen, and an intriguing offense. Are you confident enough with this lineup to pass on the $13MM it will take to sign CLEE for 5 YEARS? I think I am IF we can get Schmidt/Zito AND trade/sign a solid #3 starter.

Note: I am nervous that I am counting on Prior too much...

How many more years does Jones have on his contract?

Just one more, 2007 for $13.5MM. But, he's 10 & 5 now, so it's likely that any club who wants to trade for him will need to agree to an extension in order for him to approve the deal.

Bring AJones in give him extension, he could always move to corner if he slows down, and then Pie can come up when he's ready. This is a great opportunity for the Cubs. JJones should be the Cubs 5th best hitter in the lineup, anything higher would not be beneficial.

As I watch Prior now I see him being replaced by Rusch in the rotation at some point in 2007. That's why the starting rotation must be addressed priority one. Z has number one stuff but with his mentality he's not an ideal number 1.

Well I would rather spend $13+ million on Jones than $13+ million on C Lee. So depending on what it would take to pry him away in a trade and what sort of contract he would accept I would pursue it.

Cubs should get Carlos Lee, Andruw Jones, Chipper Jones, Cliff Lee, David Lee. Then they could have Tommy Lee Jones sing for the 7th inning stretch.

Good thing I'm not GM, because I'd be all over that.

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