Good Carlos, Bad Carlos

Although Z hasn't really been the good Carlos of late, he's certainly better than Mr. Walk Machine who took the mound yesterday. Of course Z is well on pace to walk more than 100 guys himself this year which isn't a very good sign at all. As for the Astros, they're still my pick to win the wild card, the only team with any decent starting pitching in the NL right now, even if it hasn't shown up on the field consistently. But no matter where we are in the standings, it's always kind of fun to beat up on Roy Oswalt. Michael Barrett has a particular good time against him which I revel in considering their past issues. Go Cubs! GAME ONE HUNDRED-EIGHTEEN IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] CHICAGO CUBS (49-68 (Div) 5th - 13.0 GB; (Wild Card) 12th - 11.5 GB) AT HOUSTON ASTROS (57-60, (Div) 3rd - 5.0 GB; (Wild Card) 4th - 3.5 GB) The Juice Park, 7:05 pm CDT Weather: Roof Closed TV: CLTV, DirecTV 740 Radio: WGN, XM 186
Roy Oswalt, RHP 9-7, 3.27 ERA, 157 IP 109 K, 29 BB, 14 HR 280/315/431 sgainstCarlos Zambrano, RHP 12-5, 3.54 ERA, 162.2 IP 162 K, 89 BB, 18 HR 206/316/364 against

*Juan Pierre, CF #Neifi Perez, SS Michael Barrett, C Aramis Ramirez, 3B *Jacque Jones, RF Phil Nevin, 1B Matt Murton, LF Ronny Cedeno, 2B #Carlos Zambrano, P Wily Taveras, CF Craig Biggio, 2B #Lance Berkman, RF *Aubrey Huff, 3B Morgan Ensberg, 3B *Luke Scott, LF Adam Everett, SS Brad Ausmus, C Roy Oswalt, P

Cubs vs Oswalt: Aramis Ramirez: 11-48, 229/220/458, 15 K, 0 BB, 3 HR Juan Pierre: 8-27, 296/321/370 , 0 K, 1 BB, 1 3B Michael Barrett: 12-26, 462/500/654, 1 K, 2 BB, 2 2B, 1 HR Neifi Perez: 10-24, 417/417/458, 3 K, 0 BB, 1 2B Phil Nevin: 5-14, 357/357/857, 1 K, 0 BB, 2 HR Jacque Jones: 3-10, 300/273/300, 3 K, 0 BB Astros vs. Zambrano Lance Berkman: 6-44, 136/296/341, 13 K, 10 BB, 3 HR Craig Biggio: 11-34, 324/465/618, 3 K, 7 BB, 2 HR Brad Ausmus: 8-34, 235/316/265, 9 K, 4 BB, 1 2B Adam Everett: 3-24, 125/160/208, 8 K, 1 BB, 1 2B Mike Lamb: 6-22, 273/385/455, 2 K, 4 BB, 1 HR Wily Taveras: 3-18, 167/167/167, 5 K, 0 BB Morgan Ensberg: 5-17, 294/429/471, 4 K, 3 BB, 2 XBH Jason Lane: 2-12, 167/167/333, 1 K, 0 BB, 2 2B
Got to get Neifi those starts....
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Comments

NEIFII??????!!!!!!!!!!!!!????????

WHY???!!!!!! GODDAMN IT!!!!!!!!!?????

PUH-LEEEZE!!!!

Why not Theriot?

RE #1

Well, it looks like Neifi has done well against Oswalt, and apparently, they're trying to run a lineup out there that gives us the best chance to win.

But then again, who knows?

Carlos:
"Why not Theriot?"

Isn't he pretty much a 2B? How often has he played SS?

he can play SS/2nd...too bad he's not much of a hitter, though.

This one of my major beefs about handing 2B to Cedeno. You have to bat him 8th, which is where your slick fielding SS (Izzy/Neifi) should be hitting. This means Izzy/Neifi bats 2nd, which is no good.

Batting Neif-EE second is a good move. It makes a loss pretty sure, and helps the "evaluation" of the dustbag.

Good point Billy Bucks...

As for the last thread-regarding Dusty still thinking we're in it. Well, he's hoping. He knows if we finish .500 he'll probably keep his job. Fat chance but I'm sure he's trying to win over developing the youth for the future. That constitutes a philosophical difference and is one of the reasons they should have canned him at the break.

As for Hendry, he did address their biggest weaknesses-leadoff and bullpen. Problem is our starting pitching fell apart. Not just Prior and Wood but also Williams, Rusch and Miller. 5 starters going into spring training, 0 production. MANNY will love this but you have to put part of the blame on Hendry for that. Even Mariotti was right-It was a house of cards. You have to also blame Rothschild and Baker.

Its painful to see how weak the Cardinals are and see us with guys like Marmol giving up 8 walks in 5 innings. If we had 4 decent starters we'd be in this thing. Despite everything else.

Regarding Theriot:Dusty says,"I wasn't around to see where he came from exactly. Or where he is going, depending on what we need." Where the hell was dusty this year and last year? Look at the Theriots bio from the Cubs:
Ryan saw his first major league action, appearing in nine games after his contract was selected from West Tenn (AA) September 12...made his major league debut September 13 against Cincinnati, entering the game in the 10th inning as a pinch hitter...recorded his first major league hit the next day, tagging Cincinnati's Brian Shackelford for a pinch-infield single...saw his first defensive action September 21 at Milwaukee...entered the game as a pinch runner in the ninth inning and remained in at second base...spent the majority of the season at West Tenn (AA), batting .304 with 28 doubles and 24 stolen bases - was named the team's most valuable player at the end of the season...struck out 38 times in 448 at-bats (once every 11.8 at-bats) and grounded into just 9 double plays...had 32 multi-hit games, including 13 three-hit and 2 four-hit contests...had a season-high 10 game hitting streak June 1-14, going 16-for-38 (.421) with 1 home run, 4 RBI and 2 stolen bases over the stretch.

dusty has no clue about this? Or he can't see what he is doing now?

Then he says:" the majority of his time has been in triple a." Does he not know he has only been at AAA for about a year. He was part of West Tenns championshp year.

And he is judging our minor leaguers. Please, someone, correct me if I am wrong. But Dusty has no clue about this minor league prospect thing. Theriot is at an age where he can break out. Not sit and collect rust. Maybe he is better than Ronnie, and heaven forbid, better than Neifi as a utility guy. He has played 2b, ss, and 3rd at Iowa.

JMHO
scooter

Get used to Izturis batting second:

Cubs manager Dusty Baker placed newly acquired SS Cesar Izturis in the second position of the batting order Tuesday. Baker has no plans of moving Izturis around in the order. "I would like to leave him there if I could. It gives you a double leadoff man, a guy that can run, a guy that knows how to play. Yeah, he is going to be a very welcome addition to the club," Baker said. Izturis was traded for RHP Greg Maddux on Monday.
(Updated 08/02/2006).

How retarded.

woah...

stop the presses...dusty bats contact hitters who can run a bit 2nd?!?!?

when did this start? woaaaaaaaaaaah.

and about calling theriot a prospect...now that's stretching a definition =p

I've got it! New at Wrigley Field, instead of tracking strikeouts with "k's", we'll track the walks with "W's"...Maybe that way the Cubs organization will know we're noticing...

By the way 3 innings, 3 walks and on hbp for Zambrano.

W W W

Crunch: My post wasn't so much about calling Theriot a prospect as pointing out how Dusty is totally inept at judging talent.

scooter

i personally think its a little nicer than "well, he can only hit a ball 90ft. and i dont think he's even hit one over the fence in BP." or whatever.

personally, i could care less if theriot exists or not...i wouldnt really call him exciting and really only mildly interesting as a role player.

its nice he can play middle IF well, but there's 3 guys already on the club not named theriot that can already do that.

So crunch: Again my point was Theriot could be beter than Neifi in a utility role and might be better than cedeno at 2nd. As for your sarcasm:
well, he can only hit a ball 90ft. and i dont think he's even hit one over the fence in BP.

I don't think that would apply to Theriot as much as it does to Neffie.

scooter

its nice he can play middle IF well, but there's 3 guys already on the club not named theriot that can already do that.

But none of those three guys can hit for shit. At least Theriot will take a walk now and then.

"So crunch: Again my point was Theriot could be beter than Neifi in a utility role and might be better than cedeno at 2nd. As for your sarcasm:
well, he can only hit a ball 90ft. and i dont think he's even hit one over the fence in BP."

well my point is that i believe theriot isnt even as good as either of those two thanks to the fact he's not a good hitter and has beyond alarming lack of power.

btw...neifi has a noticable amount more power than theriot. scarey, huh?

From the Dallas News (www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/colu...)

"If the expected happens and Dusty Baker does not return as Chicago Cubs manager next season, his failure to develop players will be a key reason.

Consider this example. Juan Mateo, a 23-year-old right-hander, made his major league debut with a start against Arizona on Aug. 3. Mateo went five innings for the win.

He was scheduled to make his second start Saturday night at Colorado. Because of an off day, Baker skipped Mateo for one turn of the rotation to keep veterans Carlos Zambrano and Mark Prior on their normal schedule.

That would make sense if the Cubs were in a race for a playoff spot. They lost that chance long ago.

Bypassing Mateo for even one start defeats the purpose of the final weeks of a lost season."

Did the Dallas News write about the Cubs having the 2nd most starts by rookies of any team in MLB? Did they write about Cedeno and Murton being top 6 in AB's for the Cubs? Nah.......

Manny -- It was just a quote from a newspaper. Not something to get defensive about. Regardless of how many starts rookies have gotten this year, the fact concerning Mateo that the article spoke about remains.

Plus, unless I'm misunderstanding you, you are defending Dusty with the fact that the Cubs are 2nd among MLB teams in starts by rookie pitchers. It seems to me that this has had more to do with injuries to veterans (Wood & Prior) than Dusty's love for rookie pitchers.

Inept Dusty, cont.

With 4/5ths rotation all rookies, what is there to lose by playing Cedno at SS AND Theirot at 2b, also.

I believe Izturis is the most talented middle IF, but again, he'd fit well as a complimentary player in an already offensively productive lineup.

But as so many of you point out -he should be batting 8th - NOT 2nd!

For 2007 I'd like NEVIN signed as a backup for DLee. With Neifi ON THE BENCH, it is stronger...But with DUSTY as the manager -

It never happens!!

AAAARRRGGGHHH!

WWWWWWW

Manny: no they wrote they thought the truth about the Cubs and Dusty. Did you have a point? Did they mention position players that struggled and then came back? After Dusty platooned them or switched their position.

scooter

Manny, just for my info who is first in MLB in rookie starts?

scooter

Did everyone read the trib article today on Dusty. Nice to see someone else is paying attnetion and reading into what Hendry and Baker are actually saying. Baker will NOT be back. Book it. Also Bob Knightengale of USA Today states his source with the Cubs tells him they have a hand-shake deal with A-Ram to not opt-out, probably just a minor raise, or even extension? He says Pierre also a priority.

Sweet Lou:
"It was just a quote from a newspaper. Not something to get defensive about."

Just pointing out shotty journalism.

Scooter:
"Manny, just for my info who is first in MLB in rookie starts?"

Flordia Marlins

Proof that the Cubs are cursed: the guy who should be at shortstop (or at least 2b) right now, that is Nomar, is currently sporting a .398 OBP.

Oh, to be a Cub fan. Is there no cure?

Theriot hasn't done much yet, but at least he shows good plate discipline, a trait that perhaps more than anything else hallmarks future success.

"Just pointing out shotty journalism."

Manny, how is it shotty journalism? It's true and it's well documented. I'm not sure what is shotty about it.

I think you and I feel the same way about Jim Hendry. In the end, the blame for the 2006 season rests squarley at Jim Hendry's feet. But I have to part company with you when it comes to Dusty. Defending the job he has done this year, or criticizing those who point out the poor job he has done, simply ignores the role Dusty has played in making the 2006 season a horror for the Cubs and their fans.

theriot has made himself more interesting lately, f'sure.

under it all he's still a guy who puts it on the ground a whole lot who doesnt even have gap power.

cedeno could be an everyday starter...iz is the SS next year (unless some radical changes go on)...theriot just doesnt project to be there, though. though theriot's patience looks fine, when he does get soemthing he can do something with...well, there's not much he can do with it.

it'd be nice if he even had a touch of power or some juan pierre-like speed.

Horatio
"Proof that the Cubs are cursed: the guy who should be at shortstop (or at least 2b) right now, that is Nomar, is currently sporting a .398 OBP."

WITH NO PITCHERS it would have made little difference this year.

He probably would have ended up on the DL again anyway.

"Proof that the Cubs are cursed: the guy who should be at shortstop (or at least 2b) right now, that is Nomar, is currently sporting a .398 OBP."

Sorry buddy, but Nomar doesn't play SS anymore. Nor will he nor would he. He could prbably fill in at short but he is never going to play 80 games let alone the whole season at short.

Hey Real Neal, any credit to Izturis for getting ronny over to third?

Sweet Lou:
"Manny, how is it shotty journalism? It's true and it's well documented. I'm not sure what is shotty about it."

This line for the Dallas News is bullshit: "If the expected happens and Dusty Baker does not return as Chicago Cubs manager next season, his failure to develop players will be a key reason."

They use ONE example of Mateo not getting a 2nd start, but what about all the other youngster/rookies that played this year. They base their point on one player with total disregard to the other players.

Also, the "key reason" Baker would not be brought back would be because the Cubs haven't made the playoffs the last 3 years, almost NOTHING to do with "his failure to develop players". So would of Baker been let go after this season if no rookie started the past 3 years, but they made the playoffs each year adn went to the WS? What, does this Dallas writer not having anything baseball to talk about in his own state?

is it even worth mentioning how taxed the pen was and how mateo was used and who got called up to take a slot as a result?

that blurb was kinda "mailed in" without digging too deep.

btw...todd walker is not a good 3rd baseman.

brave experiment...but its reeking of despiration now.

**This line for the Dallas News is bullshit: "If the expected happens and Dusty Baker does not return as Chicago Cubs manager next season, his failure to develop players will be a key reason."

But Manny, the next paragraph begins, "Consider this example..." The author was making a point and backing it up with an example. He wasn't claiming to list every instance where Dusty did a poor job of developing players nor did he set out to write a comprehensive treatise on the Cubs' season so far. He was writing an opinion piece and backing up his opinion with facts. Granted, there may exist some facts that would tend to disprove the authors opinion, but since it is an opinion piece, journalistic integrity does not require that he list them in his column.

Why do you take exception with anyone that is critical of Dusty? I'm sincere when I ask this. I think people sometimes go overboard in their thoughts about Dusty, but you seem to go to the other extreme. From the posts I've read from you, you seem to always deflect any criticism leveled against Dusty and you avoid criticizing him yourself.

BrantBrown

000000000

Stick the Ws where the sun doesn't shine, ok?

ceda went tonite in arizona...

2ip 1h 1er 2bb 6k (2r)

season total

10ip 5h 2er 5bb 21k with the cubs...

i still have no idea why im tracking this guy...i'll stop soon, i think =p

he's just a 19 year old kid in arizona with 1 pitch as far as i know, still.

I think I figured out the whole no playing time for Theriot mystery. The Cubs depth chart does not have his name on it anywhere.

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/team/d...

Obviously, Dusty consults the web site when filling out the line up card.

heheh

I hate the 1950s logic of having a "contact hitter" in the #2 slot. A contact hitter, such as Neifi, who has a dismal BA and OBP should NOT be hitting 2nd. What good does it do? Very few teams use the hit and run anymore -- I can't remember the last time the Cubs did it successfully. When they do, the announcers go crazy because it is such a rarity.

So, again, what's the logic of a crappy OBP contact hitter batting 2nd? That helps the team, how, exactly?

CRUNCH: i still have no idea why im tracking this guy...i'll stop soon, i think =p

he's just a 19 year old kid in arizona with 1 pitch as far as i know, still."

Please stay on the case!

If he makes to the bigs with the club, its a huge plus for trading TWalk.

well, ceda's not the type of guy who'd go round 1 in the draft...

but, he's got this 1 tool..a 95+mph fastball as a 19 year old.

he's got 5 years to see if he can find another comfortable pitch and gain better control of his stuff.

if his arm stays healthy, his velocity doesnt weaken, and he finds his control/extra-pitch(es)...well, "if"

you got a great starting point when you got a 19 year old who throws that fast, though. his stamina is still TBD...what he'll throw and how well he'll throw it 2-3 years from now is TBD...etc.

"So, again, what's the logic of a crappy OBP contact hitter batting 2nd?"

a lotta managers like a guy who they know can make contact, especially directional contact like putting it in RF or LF areas. a guy with control of his bat (even if he doesnt do much with it). a guy who knows how to bunt...etc etc...a guy who's ego will handle sacrificing himself.

the bane of the contact hitter in that slot is giving up some points on the stat sheet cuz of attempting to put a ball where he's told vs. where he'd natually go for it swinging away (a sacrifice isnt always scored or played (bunted) like a sacrifice).

so when you see a #2 contact hitter lugging a .330-ish hitter...if they're used the way most teams use them, theyre probally a bit better hitter than that shows.

personally, i dont like it at all...its too much micromanaging of the lineup in the era of sluggers. guys will hurt you in 4-6 slots in the lineup on a lotta teams, not just 2-3 anymore.

teams arent just trying to control the speed game with the rest of the lineup after the 2-3 guys who can hit 20+ homers in this era.

its still too common of a managerial trait from the majors on down, though. it might take a while to get it outta baseball's bag of managerial tricks.

dusty's devotion to it really irks me cuz he rarely bends from it...

Sweet Lou:
"But Manny, the next paragraph begins, "Consider this example..." The author was making a point and backing it up with an example."

Yes he was using one example, without looking, or knowing, the entire picture. Because if he did, he would of never wrote what he did. He used one tiny example without even mentioning that Baker has starteed rookies/yougsters all year. And like Crunch said Mateo was used in the pen, and then they called up a youngster/rookie pitcture to use instead of Mateo. To write an opinion piece and say Baker's "failure to develop players will be a key reason (for him not coming back)." is just not true and nowhere close to the truth. He obviously is clueless about the problems in Chicago.

The E-Man:
"If he makes to the bigs with the club, its a huge plus for trading TWalk."

Getting anything for Walker was a huge plus, pretty much no matter was Ceda does. If he puts up any numbers and we can turn him into a real player or if he actually makes it to the bigs 3 years from now, teh trade will be OUTSTANDING, while it is already a very good trade by Hendry.

Billybucks:

I agree. Also, since when did "making an out 70% of the time you step to the plate" make you a "contact hitter."

What, pray tell, are they meant to have made contact with?

Baker in his own words says "He doesn't know where (Theroit) came from"

Sorry, Dusty, but not only has he been on your roster on at least 3 separate occations now, but as manager of an MLB team, you should at least have a fraction of a clue about your team's minor leaguers - the guys who will likely be playing for you in the near future.

Baker's failure to develope young players (or even know anything about them), particularly when they are not forced down his throat, is one (of the many) clear reasons why Dusty needs to be gone at the end of the season (if not sooner).

baker obviously knows what theriot can do..he's seen enough of him the past year and 1/2.

amendment to that statement:

whether he chooses to respect or use what he's seen is another matter, though.

crunch:
"btw...todd walker is not a good 3rd baseman. brave experiment...but its reeking of despiration now."

He only made 2 errors tonight not bad...:) 5 errors in 10 games in a SD jersey for Walker. It might of been brave, but anyone in Chicago could of told them him moving to 3B was a HORRIBLE move.

But you know what is worse. He got PH for in the 7th inning by....................Mark Bellhorn.

Looks like Pedro is learning from Prior and Wood. Get shelled and then say you are hurt.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=26...

"Very few teams use the hit and run anymore "

This statement is false. It is used everyday. In fact I was driving home tonight and listened to two batters in the LA/FLA game. Fla ran a hit and run in the four minutes I was listening.

Guys the line for Dusty's job will form like this I'm told Fredi Gonzalez, Joe Girardi, Bob Brenly, all good choices I'd be happy with based on what we know on Gonzalez, and then we can all get along on without the Dusty issue right?

My wish list for a manager...

1) - Fills out a lineup card and sticks with it for longer than 2-3 days at a time.

2) - Never ever bat Neifi #2 or Izturis. Limit Neifi's starts to 5-10 tops for the year. Like a normal back-up player.

3) - Know what a double switch is.

Other than that I really don't care who the manager is.

i want mathew lesko for manager, myself.

outside of that...any no-name but qualified guy would work for me. if he can keep 25+ guys from wanting to kill each other and performing at/near their peak, cool.

no baylor, no dusty...no more "superstar" names. just a guy who can handle people and get his message across.

btw...im all for giving m.quade a shot, but honestly it seems like he's destined for 3rd base coach at best next year.

iowa's currently going for a playoff spot, btw...part of the reason iowa's added a few scrubs to their roster lately. just filler, not hoping for lightning in a bottle or anything (like mac suzuki). only a couple games back.

Agreed, Crunch. We did the high-profile big name shit. We all bought into it and it sucked. That is why I really don't want any part of Pinella. If Fredi Gonzalez can bring a touch of the Braves way over here without any nonsense, beautiful!

MikeC:
"Limit Neifi's starts to 5-10 tops for the year. Like a normal back-up player."

I don't think any "normal back-up player" gets only 5-10 starts on the year anymore these days if he is on the roster the whole season.

For example, Pablo Ozuna who is the 25th man on the CHW team has 126 AB's already this year and will get low 200's which is about normal for a 25th man. But he already has started 26 games this year.

Another example is Alex Cora for the Boston Red Sox. He is their 25th man, but has 142 AB's and will get mid 200's for the year. And he has already started 27 games so far this year.

I think the trend nowadays for most managers is to keep the bench players fresh by getting them a start every 7 days or so. I would be surprised no matter who the manager is next year, if Neifi wouldn't get at least 25 starts (and get at least 250 AB's), even without any major long term injuries. Just the way baseball is going.

Manny,

Just curious as to whom you prefer out of those names I gave. Gonzalez, Girardi, Brenly?

Crunch-
It will be interesting to see if Hendry would go for a no-name manager (if Baker is not brought back). While maybe some of the diehard fans (like here on TCR) wouldn't care much, but the average fan would I think. I can see if Hendry signed someone like mathew lesko the average fan would say how cheap the Cubs are and how they don't really want to win only save money (as he would clearly be signed very cheap). I don't know, but it will be interesting especially if it is not Baker. Hendry won't have a shield to protect him anymore and deflect most of the critisism.

Manny,

I really don't believe Hendry has ever used Baker as a shield. He has defended him up until lately.

Dallas Green:
"Just curious as to whom you prefer out of those names I gave. Gonzalez, Girardi, Brenly?"

None of them really get me too excited. But Girardi ain't coming here, so you can throw that out. He is under contract with the Florida Marlins. Another problem I think Hendry is going to have, again if he doesn't bring Baker back, is getting any big names to come here. There are many big holes and question marks and the minor league system has gone backwards the past 2-3 years. And after seeing how the media has gone after Baker, they might not want to put themselves into a situation that if they don't win a WS, it will be looked at as a disappointment. Then there is also the fact that the GM is only signed for 2 years. I don't see the new maanger getting signed for longer than the GM and most big name managers would want longer than 2 years. Like I said, it will be intersting, but clearly much less important than resigning ARAM, getting a top notch SP and getting a big bat.

Yeah Manny, I don't think Girardi will end up her either. However, he probably won't be back in Fla so don't count it out. Gonzalez makes sense as far as a 2 year deal goes. Aram and the Cubs supposedly have a handshake deal in place. The top notch SP might be more like a #3 because the word is Schmidt wants to go home to Seattle and the Zito sweepstakes might get a little sickening. The bat is a must. We need a strong 3-5 and there are more of those out there. Sheffield might be a possibility?

Anyone read Banks to Sandberg to Grace? Just picked it up. There is some good stuff on the 84 team, the Dallas Green resignation and the Maddux fiasco.

My Cubs possible Free Agent Targets.

1b/RF - Craig Wilson - kills LHP to the tune of a .988 OPS over the last 3 years. So many lefties in the division you need a player like Craig Wilson. Gives the team a viable 1b back-up as well. Unless you guys like John Mabry?

LF - Frank Catalanotto - kills RHP over the last 3 years at a .310 BA, .368 OBP. Has a wonderful 43 BB to 29 SO's this season.

With a proper manager these 2 guys could greatly help your team. If the Cubs are hell bent on not playing Murton and making him a part time/platoon player then this is the best route you can go.

When lefties pitch Murton can start in LF and Wilson in RF. When righties pitch, Catalanotto can play LF and Jones RF.

The best part is no matter what combination, you have some pretty good bats off the bench. Its not sexy like a Carlos Lee but it will get the job done.

SP - Orlando Hernandez - I doubt he will get more than 5 million a year next season due to his age. Seems to like the pressure of NY and pennant races but seems bored on other teams and doesn't pitch very well. The Cubs can do alot worse than Hernandez on the free agent market.

SP - Vicente Padilla - Pitching winter ball really took its toll on this guy. The mileage on his arm is extensive. Still you can't deny he has talent and is still only 28 years old. Again the Cubs can do much worse. I guess 5-6 million for him. Could be alot more depending on the market.

SP - Jason Schmidt - Probably the only big name the Cubs should go after. 165 IP (136 hits), 3.00 ERA, whats not to like? I want to say he would go for 8ish million a year due to his age and mild health ailments. In order to do that the Cubs need to strike early on Schmidt while everyone is distracted with Zito. Schmidt is still a wild card though as he could go as high as 13+ million.

Presuming Pierre is back and Cedeno is at 2nd base the Cubs could do this....

Against RHP

Pierre
Catalanotto
Lee
Ramirez
Jones
Barrett
Izturis
Cedeno

Against LHP

Pierre
Murton
Lee
Ramirez
Wilson
Barrett
Izturis
Cedeno

If Dusty is back then you got Neifi and Izturis batting #2, Jones and Catalanotto playing against lefties and it defeats the whole purpose of why you got those players in the first place.

Rotation isn't sexy but it looks like a rotation...

Zambrano
Schmidt
Padilla
Hernandez
Prior/Marshall/Hill/Guzman

Likely cost of these 5 players? Say Schmidt goes for 10, Padilla 5, Hernandez 5, Wilson for 2.5, and Catalanotto for 3.5. Maybe 26 million. It could go as high as 36 million for all those guys. Who knows. Its not gonna be cheap thats the point.

And this is just spending on players to fill some of the glaring gaps in our roster. This isn't spending on top flight free agents to fill everything, except for Schmidit.

Me personally, I give Murton every single AB the rest of the season and if he does well then I don't need to spend money on Catalanotto or a Carlos Lee.

I give Theriot the playing time over Neifi. It's a long shot but maybe he is the answer to 2b and not Cedeno. I do like what I have seen from him, lets play him a little more and see if it is luck or real skill. What do we got to lose? We learn nothing by trotting out the corpse of Neifi.

Get Pagan some time in CF and RF. When he is playing for Pierre put him at leadoff, and see what he can do. Again, a long shot, but he might make Pierre expendable. Lets find out a little more about him. To date I like everything about him, except him taking time away from Murton.

Back to Murton...bat the guy #2 the rest of the year. He can't do any worse than Neifi and Izturis. Again lets see how it goes, what do we got to lose?

But then again in my world I am signing Carlos Lee, Luis Castillo, Soriano, Schmidt and Zito and trying to win a damn World Series before the 100th anniversary. But hey thats just me.

For those of you who follow the Cubs minor league teams, you may notice a couple of new names in box scores in coming days.

After getting some good results after purchasing the contracts of LHP Isaac Pavlik and RHP Ryan Bicondoa from independent CanAm clubs last month, the Cubs have purchased the contracts of two position players from the independent Northern League.

28-year old 1B Jesse Hoorelbeke (signed as a NDFA by the Dodgers out of Louisiana - Monroe in 2002) was purchased from Fargo-Moorhead after being named Northern League Player of the Month for July. The right-handed hitting Hoorelbeke hit 61 HR in the Dodgers organization 2003-05. He has been assigned to Iowa (AAA).

27-year old switch-hitting SS Albenis Machado (signed as a NDFA out of Venezuela by the Montreal Expos in '96) has been playing for the Lincoln SaltDogs (Northern) for the past three seasons. He has two brothers (also switch-hitting shortstops) currently playing in the minors (Anderson with the Reds and Alejandro with the Red Sox). Both of his brothers played briefly in the big leagues last season.

This is not to say that either Hoorelbeke or Machado will amount to anything, but it is interesting that the Cubs have been looking at independent leagues for players who are having some success trying to resurrect their careers.

The Cubs acquired the two best pitchers from the CanAm league last month and both have pitched well (Isaac Pavlik at AA West Tenn and Ryan Bicondoa at Daytona), and now they are giving similar opportunities to Hoorelbeke and Machado.

The Cubs have had some success in recent years with indy players, most notably Joe Borowski and Jermaine Van Buren. One character trait you tend to find in players who play in independent leagues is perseverance. There is something about going down to the bowels of professional baseball that helps to motivate a player to appreciate and take full advantage of a second chance should he be fortunate enough to get one.

BTW Manny your use of the term "25th" man is highly subjective. Because Neifi isn't our teams 25th man, Ryan Theriot is.

25th man is generally the least used player on the roster. To even suggest Neifi is the 25th man on our roster is wrong.

Theriot, Wuertz, Nevin, Mateo are far behind Neifi on who the manager calls on to play in games on a regular basis.

A player on pace to get 350+ ab's is never a 25th man on any roster in baseball. He is a teams #1 option off the bench who gets regular starts and pinch hitting appearances.

On talent alone sure he might be the 25th man. I would guess on a real team that if someone better came along he would be the first to be DFA. The fact is Neifi isn't in danger of losing playing time to anyone on this roster or being DFA if someone else better comes along. Izturis came, and Neifi is still around and starting.

25th men on the roster are not players you see on a regular basis playing or starting. You might be lucky to catch them pitch 1 inning a week or get a hand full of pinch hitting appearances.

"Hey Real Neal, any credit to Izturis for getting ronny over to third? "

Yeah that was really well done. I particulary liked the way he failed to get the bunt down and tried to bunt ball four to get to two strikes. I am sure Ernie and Cal are moving their plaques to make room for Cesar in the Hall of Fame even as we speak.

Mike C,

The bidding on Schmidt starts at $48 for four years. Remember AJ Burnett and Kevin Brown?

Why would anyone give Izturis any credit for getting a guy on second over to third and giving up an out in the process? All while, as Real Neal rightly points out, refusing to accept a free base in the process. How about getting a damn hit and "getting him over" to the f-ing plate. This "get him over" crap is the kind of warped thinking that loses baseball games.

Hey Shapiro,

You want to unload that sloth Paralta and get a guy who can cover some ground at short? Give Hendry a call, he has just the guy you're looking for.

I find all the comments on possible free agent signings very interesting. Most people feel the cubs need another power hitter and I agree. The problem I see is most players wanted are right handed hitters. To have a balanced line up you need a left handed hitter between Lee and Ram. I don't think there is a free agent that fits this role,therefore the cubs need to look at trade possiblities. Who would you want in a trade? The cubs have given a number of young pitchers experience this season and with the lack of starting pitching in the majors, there is some value that teams would gamble on. Who would you keep and who should be traded?

Not Cub related, but an interesting topic.

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

Re story in #75:

Lineup construction matters. As far as the story, to quote the immortal Herm Edwards, "You play to win the game."

Even when the players are 10?

I probably have come as close to agreeing with Manny on TCR that Dusty's strengths as a manager, at least with a club with veteran stars, will often outweigh his weaknesses. I still kind of expect Dusty to come back to manage the Cubs, for the very reason Manny mentions, that Hendry, with only a two year contract extension, and after two disappointing seasons, could not get another big name manager to sign on to what could be a sinking ship.

I also note that I have been saying that Prior has a shoulder problem since last year. I also don't necessarily think he was "lying" if by lying one means intentionally saying something is true when one believes it is not. Men don't think of pain in terms of discomfort or impingement, it has to be Dave Dravecky's bone breaking in mid-pitch for us to say, hey, there might be a problem. The ultimate man is that knight in Monty Python's Holy Grail, who upon having his arm cutoff, said "nothing, its only a flesh wound." Prior and Wood break down. Young pitcher (see Liriano) break down all the time. Sandy Koufax quit after 1966 because the pain got so bad in his elbow (pre-Tommy John surgery). Martinez has been pitching with a bad shoulder for the last four seasons and is not the pitcher he was in the late nineties. I do get tired of the snide comments about Prior and Wood. The problem was not them breaking down, the probleme was not bringing in other pitchers to supplement and give depth to the rotation, in not having a Plan B.

Not Cub related, but an interesting topic.
---
I heard about this last week. My daughter plays A-ball fastpitch softball here in Vegas. For those unaware, they are a travel team. We play in only tournaments in the region. It gets pretty intense for everyone involved, and is run very similar to pro sports (signing contracts--even 10 day contracts, releases, loads of paperwork, etc..)

I have only seen two intentional walks. Both were in the last inning, and the walk was to load the bases to get the easiest out (first base was open). That's a fairly normal time to do that. What happened in this little league game was a bit much. The winning coach put the potential winning run on first--that is about a dumb a move as anyone can make. He didn't allow the kids to beat the opposing team's best player to win as I think he did pick on the weak kid.

Was it good strategy? Of course; but at this age (we're not even talking 12 year olds here), let your kids try to get the final out. Maybe the kid grounds or flys out. Let THEM win, and not YOU as the coach.

Interesting article RobR.

If winning isn't everything, then why should losing be everything either?

I'll agree that the intentional walk was a bit of a cheap move, but I'd hardly call it unethical. He walked the best hitter with the game on the line, and there is at least a reasonable chance he would have done it no matter who was batting next. That's just good baseball strategy, which can certainly be taught right along side the fundamentals of the game to youngsters.

What I do think the article points out is how society is so against letting people fail. The sick/handicapped kid got a chance to play, and then got the chance to bat with the game on the line. That's what's important. So what if he struck out.

Its important for kids to get an opportunity to play and everything should be done to make sure that happens, but making sure the disadvantaged kid gets a chance to play is a long way from making sure the kid is guarenteed success. The kid got his chance, and he failed, just like half the other kids on his team would have.

Re story in #75:

Lineup construction matters. As far as the story, to quote the immortal Herm Edwards, "You play to win the game."

--
I'd agree--but sometimes construction of a lineup at the age of 10 gets messed up. You do have to play each kid for 2 innings. I don't know if this boy played the entire game or not though.

I shake my head though because I still wonder what does it matter? At 10, the coach is there to teach the kids, not to manage to win the game. That comes at 12 years old.

What I do think the article points out is how society is so against letting people fail. The sick/handicapped kid got a chance to play, and then got the chance to bat with the game on the line. That's what's important. So what if he struck out.

Its important for kids to get an opportunity to play and everything should be done to make sure that happens, but making sure the disadvantaged kid gets a chance to play is a long way from making sure the kid is guarenteed success. The kid got his chance, and he failed, just like half the other kids on his team would have.

----

Kudos BB for that insight.

The problem is that the kid had this opportunity for the wrong reason. He didn't get it because the kid before him got a hit, or even walked on legit pitches. He got the chance because the opposing manager didn't think he had a shot to get a hit in the situation.

I don't want to labor the point on this because if there is a correct answer to the larger issues here I certainly don't know what they are, but...

"He walked the best hitter with the game on the line, and there is at least a reasonable chance he would have done it no matter who was batting next."

I seem to remember the article saying no one else had ever been intentionally walked, so I don't know how reasonable this is.

"What I do think the article points out is how society is so against letting people fail."

I don't think it was about not letting kids fail. I think it is more about adults being too involved in the process. If we want these kids to learn to succeed or fail shouldn't we just let them play the game instead of using gamesmanship to determine the out come for them?

I found this interesting in the mailbag portion of the article.

"As for the Romney Oaks incident, you left out a VERY important part of the story, too. When Romney woke up the day after the loss, the first thing he told his dad was that he wanted to head to the batting cage so that next time, HE would be the one they choose to walk." - Daryle (Middletown, CT)

http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/mailbagESPN?eve...

I wonder what the pitcher told his Dad?

My dad used to be a soccer coach. When he did it for the local park district he used to play all the kids an equal amount - based on halves. He would play you five halves and then sit you out the sixth or something like that. As I recalled he spaced out the better player's off time so that they weren't all not playing the same half, but I don't think he even bothered to get them all in against the other good teams.

Later when he coached High School he played the best players as much as he was allowed, and injuries, fatigue etc waranted. I think High School is when coaches should do that, because at that point the games really do count. Players are playing for college scholarships or pro-contracts. Anyone who runs his team to win at an age prior to that is just a jerk who shouldn't be allowed around other people's kids.

Screw the kid who can't hit. What about the kid who can, the kid who got walked intentionally instead of pitched to? He was the one who was abused. No chance for him to win the game with a hit if they don't pitch to him.

I'd bet it's probably smart to intentionally walk him EVERY TIME HE'S UP, so let's just do that. That will teach kids about strategy.

CWTP #85

Well said--that is just as much a story.

That opposing coach is a douche bag, he knew the kid from coaching him in basketball so he knew his limitations.

I believe once you hit high school and beyond you can play to win at all costs with in the rules . But for a coach to do this to a kid who will probably not make it to high school was beyond scummy.

Too bad his own father didn't love him or teach him enough to be a man.

The funny thing is didn't the orginal Bad News Bears movie deal with this issue, when the father came out to order his son to walk the Bears' catcher.

He wanted him to walk Engleberg because he just miss hitting a homerun. Then the pitcher threw at Engleberg, and the Dad came out and slapped him for being violent.

Great lesson.

MIKEC:
BTW Manny your use of the term "25th" man is highly subjective. Because Neifi isn't our teams 25th man, Ryan Theriot is. Theriot, Wuertz, Nevin, Mateo are far behind Neifi on who the manager calls on to play in games on a regular basis."

You might very well be correct that today, Neifi is not the 25th man. But those players you mentioned have not been here for the entire year, and most have barely been here. And when looking at the supposed everyday roster, when healthy, I beleive Neifi would be that 25th guy. But even if he was the 23rd guy, it doesn't change my main point that bench players are much more used nowadays and NO bench position player plays on the roster all year and gets only 5-10 starts a year. They get 25+ and get at least 200-250 AB's.

Didn't the coach also order his son to walk someone and when the ball was grounded back to him he just held on to it until Engleberg scored?

The BNB remake has the same thing. Bad guy coach walks the ringer, and they win the game when Billy Bob Thornton puts all his scrubs, including a kid in a wheelchair in for the bottom of the 9th.

The point being, who gives a rat's ass about little league trophies?

CFIG

"Dusty's strengths as a manager, at least with a club with veteran stars, will often outweigh his weaknesses."

And what exactly are those strengths?

From what I've seen he does a great job of losing in a league full of mediocre-to-crappy teams. And he's certainly getting the maximum number of pitches out of his only reliable starter Carlos Zambrano. We may be 18 games under .500 and we may have been out of contention since May but Baker has Z on a pace to make 4000 pitches this year. Thanks to Dusty, he's a lock to win the Silver Rubber Award.

But other than that, I can't think of any strengths.

Manny,

Isn't Neifi leading the Cubs in PA's for non-starters? He's Dusty's #1 option not his 2nd,3rd,4th or 5th. Which would be ok, if he could, you know, hit. I don't think there's another manager in the ML who would replace Derrek Lee with Neifi Perez, and if there is he should be fired too.

I believe Fredi Gonzalez will the next Cubs manager. Just as Hendry hired high school buddy Tim Wilken to be the Cubs Scouting Director, I believe Hendry will turn to an old trusted friend to be the next Cubs manager.

Gonzalez and Hendry were minor league managers in the Marlins organization, and they helped to build the Marlins' minor league system from scratch. That's where Hendry built his reputation as a player development guy.

Gonzazlez is only 42 and has no MLB managerial experience, but has eight years experience as an MLB 3rd base coach, the last six with the Braves. Gonzalez was supposedly one of the finalists (possibly the runner-up) for the Cubs manager job back in 2002 when Baker was hired.

If hired, Gonzalez would probably be more oriented toward instruction, and I suspect that is what Hendry might want in his next manager. Gonzalez also would be coming from an organization where the manager (Bobby Cox) is very serious and business-like and doesn't tolerate distractions, even to the point where music in the clubhouse is not permitted. If he has allowed himself to be influenced by Bobby Cox, I would think Fredi Gonzalez would probably be more like Joe Girardi than Dusty Baker.

I don't know whether the veteran players would be accepting of Gonzalez, though. Scott Eyre said one of the reasons he signed with the Cubs was that Dusty doesn't make his pitchers run. That might not be the case if Hendry brings in a new manager like Fredi Gonzalez. It also could be bad news for Neifi Perez.

It was still Engleberg batting, he missed hitting him with the pitch. Dad came out slapped the kid (Brandon Cruz-Courtship of Eddies Father). He pitches to Engleberg and gets the grounder and holds onto the ball while glaring at the Dad.

Engleberg get inside the park hr, kid pitcher walks over to Dad/Coach and drops the ball at his feet. The kid walks off with his mom and we get a great shot of the mom's most delicous looking onion.

Hoo-haa!

I think Neifi! will start a game at pitcher instead of one of the rooks before the season is out. Probably still hit second though.

"#71 of 95: By The Real Neal (August 15, 2006 07:57 AM)
"Hey Real Neal, any credit to Izturis for getting ronny over to third? "

Yeah that was really well done. I particulary liked the way he failed to get the bunt down and tried to bunt ball four to get to two strikes. I am sure Ernie and Cal are moving their plaques to make room for Cesar in the Hall of Fame even as we speak."

Boy are you picky. So he got the runner over but you don't like the manner in which he did it. Sheesh, you're a tough one.

"#72 of 95: By Horatio (August 15, 2006 08:41 AM)
Why would anyone give Izturis any credit for getting a guy on second over to third and giving up an out in the process? All while, as Real Neal rightly points out, refusing to accept a free base in the process. How about getting a damn hit and "getting him over" to the f-ing plate. This "get him over" crap is the kind of warped thinking that loses baseball games."

You have no idea what we are talking about so stay out of it. This has to do with a thread from three days ago. As far as the actual even, I couldn't care less who gets who any where when we are 20 games under .500.

Dusty doesn't care about the 2007 Cubs because he won't be here.

Right now, his only concern is winning as many games as possible to save face and to earn him a job elsewhere.

That's why he should have been let go months ago.

what does what dusty doing anything now have to do with 07...as long as nevin isnt in the OF every game and he's not pitching Z 140+ pitches a game, who cares?

there's not much around for him to "ruin" or otherwise screw up.

Man, what a pussified country we are becoming. Why even bother keeping score if this is going to be the case? Winning does in fact matter. I'd be pissed if my son's coach didn't do all in his power and within the rules to help his team win, and I wouldn't mind at all if my son was the weakest hitter on the team and the guy before was walked to get to him. My God, what a bunch of babies.

Phil Rogers on whether to give up on Prior or not...

Are you kidding me? There are many things in life that are worth waiting a long time for, and a 25-year-old pitcher with a pedigree and a mid-90s fastballóhigh-90s if he ever gets himself rightóis definitely one of those things. It's insanity to talk about getting rid of Prior now, especially when his trade value is at an all-time low.

He hasn't been in the mid 90's all year. He hasn't even sniffed the high 90's once in any of his starts that I can recall this season.

Prior used to average in the mid to high 90's with his fastball, now he barely struggles to keep it at around 91.

And Prior in the low 90's is not to pretty for a guy used to being a power pitcher. He is forced to nibble the strike zone and become a finesse pitcher. I can't ever recall a pitcher being transformed so dramatically from one style of pitching to another in such a short period of time.

The old Prior had an electric fastball he could blow by the best hitters in the game. Now it's nothing more than a show me Rich Hill fastball that almost any player can knock out of the park.

"Did they write about Cedeno and Murton being top 6 in AB's for the Cubs?"
----

Speaking of shoddy...

Murton is 7th in AB's
Cedeno is 4th

There are only 8 starters.

1 is a Catcher who splits time and missed 10 games.
Murton would be 8th and Cedeno 5th had D-Lee not been injured.

You can shout to the contrary all you like, Dusty doesn't like to or know how to groom young players.

murton, cedeno, pagan, bynum...umm...every pitcher on the club besides Z without a multi-year deal =p

even if you got a stick up your ass about all the kids dusty hasnt played that have gone on to be regulars with other clubs, like...oh there is no one...if you can look at 07 and say dust has a problem with kids, well damn.

pagan/murton have like 400ab's combined...309/97...that's 100+ games of a/b's.

i mean damn...there's only 1 OF slot for the kids and cedeno hasnt sit for almost anyone no matter how bad he stunk it up.

BJS:
"Murton is 7th in AB's"

You are correct. The list I was looking at did not have Todd Walker anymore on the list, but Walker had 318 AB's this year for the Cubs, while Murton has 309.

Isn't being in the top 8 of ABs enough? Doesn't that kinda prove that you are a starter? I dunno?

At least Dusty's wasn't shuttling Murton up and down the lineup, and ignoring his strong OBP skills which would make him a good #2 hitter.......Oh, wait...

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