Baseball Hangover

Today's tale of the tape:
Pettitte  vs. O'Malley:
  350 &nbsp&nbsp GS &nbsp  0
  183 &nbsp&nbsp W &nbsp&nbsp  0
  1661   K &nbsp   0
  2257.1 IP &nbsp  0
Ryan O'Malley gets the default start today with Scott Eyre hitting the DL with a strained hamstring. According to that Trib article, he's the 7th Cubs rookie pitcher this year and 4th to make his major leage debut in a starting role. As for last night's marathon affair, I tuned in on my XM radio on my drive home to hear the Astros take the lead and pretty much got through the bottom of the eighth. Forgetting the game was on WGN and figuring it was over, I went inside and spent a couple of hours with the kids before putting them to bed. I went to check the boxscore to see the final damage and saw the game was still going on and in the 15th inning. I decided to check out the parachat to see if any insomniacs were still around and there were a good 10-15 TCR'ites still fighting the good fight. Of course they were playing Hangman and 20 Questions, but most stuck around until the end. There were calls to officially reference the game as "The Murton Game" ala the '84 "Sandberg game", but I'm not sure ballplayers can get games named after them in a non-playoff season. But still what a performance by Murton and by most of the bullpen sans Wuertz and Ohman. Today should be fun, Go Cubs! GAME ONE HUNDRED-TWENTY IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] CHICAGO CUBS (51-68 (Div) 5th - 12.5 GB; (Wild Card) 12th - 10.0 GB) AT HOUSTON ASTROS (57-62, (Div) 3rd - 6.5 GB; (Wild Card) 6th - 4.0 GB) The Juice Park, 1:05 pm CDT Weather: Roof Closed TV: WGN, DirecTV 734 Radio: WGN, XM 186
Andy Pettitte, LHP 11-12, 4.86 ERA, 159.1 IP 136 K, 54 BB, 22 HR 300/353/493 againstRyan O'Malley, LHP (AAA) 7-7, 4.08 ERA, 123.2 IP 71 K, 30 BB, 9 HR 286/330/429 against

*Juan Pierre, CF Ryan Theriot, 2B Michael Barrett, C Aramis Ramirez, 3B Phil Nevin, 1B #Angel Pagan, RF Matt Murton, LF #Neifi Perez, SS *Ryan O'Malley, P Wily Taveras, CF Chris Burke, 2B #Lance Berkman, 1B *Luke Scott, LF Morgan Ensberg, 3B Jason Lane, RF Adam Everett, SS Brad Ausmus, C *Andy Pettitte, P

Cubs vs Pettitte: Neifi Perez: 8-29, 276/276/414, 2 K, 0 BB, 4 2B Phil Nevin: 6-21, 286/423/524, 6 K, 5 BB, 1 HR Aramis Ramirez: 6-17, 353/353/882, 2 K, 0 BB, 3 2B, 2 HR Jacque Jones: 2-16, 125/176/188, 7 K, 1 BB, 1 2B Michael Barrett: 5-15, 333/474/600, 4 K, 4 BB, 1 HR Matt Murton: 4-14, 286/412/286, 3 K, 3 BB, 0 XBH Juan Pierre: 4-11, 364/417/455, 1 K, 1 BB, 1 2B Astros vs. O'Malley: No Astros with more than 10 AB's
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Comments

Jones gets the day off? There is a lefty on this hill, how can this be?

Dusty must have lost his mind...sitting Jones against a lefty...

Poor Barrett, I guess it doesn't matter becasue Blanco was in the dugout when they won.

I will always remember last night as "The Neifi Game"

It warmed my heart to see him squirming in the dugout for 4 hours. And then he came in to pinch hit and grounded into a double play.

Perfect!

Reds acquire another pen arm, Schoenweiss, Oswalt may miss next start cause of the ball that hit his forearm Monday.

Some very cool Matt Murton stats...

RISP - .317 BA, .402 OBP, 37 RBI, 12 BB, 11 SO's

RISP/2outs - .317 BA, .404 OBP, 17 RBI, 6 BB, 5 K's.

In fact his situational stats are pretty consistent across the board. Which is pretty remarkable for a player with less than a full season's of AB's in the majors.

This team is in dire need of guys that can not only hit, but hit with RISP and RISP/2outs. Yet we have one right before us and people think he is nothing more than a platoon player (including our manager).

I think Cubs fans forget he is 24 years old. Has ups and downs, but is far more talented than they give him credit for. He has no holes in his swing, his judgement and bat control are excellent. The only piece to the puzzle missing is his power stroke. He is the most complete hitter we have seen from our minors in the last 20+ years. Hell since Mark Grace. (To bad Boston was the one that drafted him, lol).

ah, but with that double play Neifi and his favorite manager have parlayed it into a start the next day...obviously he's the only one who's fresh today (well maybe Ryan Theriot...but they are making The-Riot wear a "kick me" sign on his butt today)

I want my players to be smelling fresh even when they stink. (nice oxymoron, eh?)

neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi neifi.

Dusty told Milo Hamilton that Theriot banged Petitte's wife.

After last nights more than decent performance, it is time to think of making Dempster a starter for next year. The positives easily outweigh the negatives i.e., started from age 21 to 25, has 4 pitches, veteran that seems to know how to pitch, dare I mention he's healty without giving him the curse of the torn rotator cuff? Would make an excellent #2 or #3 man in the rotation.

Crunch, crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch, crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunchcrunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunchcrunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch,crunch

adam dunn?

MikeC, couldn't agree more about Murton.

I can't believe how bad Phil Nevin is....

When will Murton learn to catch the ball?

Was the Ramirez HBP a purpose pitch?

I'm totally going to jinx O'Malley but its nice to see a Cubs pitcher throw first-pitch strikes....but once he gets a good dose of Rothschild, he'll stop that silly practice...

Tommy-
What happened with Murton today?

I am surprised nobody has mentioned anything about Z finally getting a PH opportunity that some posters on TCR have said should happen over some of the other bench players like Neifi.

And Murton did have a great game and might be a decent OF in the future, but if there is one offensive position that can most easily be seriously upgraded it is LF (CLee or Soriano). I would have no probelm with Murton becoming basically a 4th OF next year, but getting a good chunk of AB's vs LH with JJ in RF.

4th OF's should be able to play more than one OF position.

And I'd still put Z up there if we needed a homer over Neifi

Manny:

There were no position players left on the bench when Z got his shot to PH, so it wasn't ahead of Neifi.

"4th OF's should be able to play more than one OF position."

that might be murton's undo'ing.

the most obvious/easiest point of upgrade for a near "sure thing" for the cubs is LF. murton can pretty much only play LF.

now, i'd love to see him kept around another year to see what he can do, but i dunno what his fate will be if an impact LF'r is signed (or one is failed to be signed and the cubs pursue the trade market, cuz he's a hell of a chip).

an OF bench of murton/pagan would make me feel very comfortable as a cubs fan in 07.

I enjoyed seeing Z pinch hit last night, even though it didn't work out. I like Rob had walked away from the game, only to notice during BB Tonight that the game was still going on, and Z was just coming to bat at the time.

I did think it was a little odd Dusty used a Marmol to pinch hit for Dempster though. While it wasn't a big deal, and saying all 25 players were used was amuzing, having one player left on the bench in case of an emergency would probably have been the smarter move. I'd hate to see 19 innings of baseball end in a forfeit because someone got injured.

Manny,

We could sign Soriano to play 2b. He would be sandwiched in bewteen two gold glovers so we could live with his bad D.

I think we need to see what he is capable of. He's, what, 24? 25? I think he's got the potential to be solid offensively, especially when considering OBP which this club SORELY needs. He's really looking good as of late.

Why can't he play right field? Jones can play it but can't throw from RF, ditto Pierre from center. Jones isn't exactly an offensive force to be sure. Couldn't Murton play RF and ship Jones and a bag of dirt from the sidewalk outside Wrigley to someone needing offensive aid?

What is up with Theriot sacrificing both times up?

Theriot sac bunting twice already and its not even the end of the third....

Isn't Soriano's defense almost as bad as not having anyone at 2b?

I don't know if Lee and Izzy could off set that, I believe most teams would use him in left field.

Frank Robinson said Soriano is one of the easiest coachable and likable players he has ever had.

"What is up with Theriot sacrificing both times up?
"

Well lets see Theriot in Dusty's head is light hitting (.360) and runs against Petitte will be hard to get (4.77 era).

Seems logical.

And of course we can count on one run holding up with O'Malley pitching. He does have a zero ERA in the bigs!

Chifan-
Yeah that is a possibility and Soriano has said he want to play 2B again, so by saying he could, maybe it will give us a big leg up on other suitors.

"Why can't he play right field?"

not enough arm...he also isnt very sure-footed in LF and it probally wouldnt translate very well to RF.

Well the Cubs caoching staff did a very good job working with ARAm at 3B, maybe they think they can help Soriano at 2B

"maybe they think they can help Soriano at 2B"

What were most of his errors?

Kicks? Throws? all of the above?

If he's not grasping second base now I doubt if he ever will.

Not sure jacos, but I don't expect him to be a GG but replacing Cedeno's bat with Sorianos is a HUGE upgrade. And who is to say taht Cedeno doesn't improve much from this years defense.

Should say "does improve"

"We could sign Soriano to play 2b. He would be sandwiched in bewteen two gold glovers so we could live with his bad D." How do you put together a thought like that? Other than Lee saving a few wild throws, I can't see the relevance of two other plavers being able to field. Will Izsturis cut off balls headed for Soriano? Will Lee range to his right leaving the line open and the pitchers to cover first?
Soriano has the stats to prove he's the worst second baseman in MLB. Bad idea.

Pierre
Soriano
Dlee
Aram
JJ/Murton
Barrett
Cedeno
Izzy

I could live with that.

#6
What were Murton's stats with RISP before August? Don't get me wrong, I like the guy, but he had one RBI in June. One.

Far as Theriot sacrificing, you can disagree with the strategy, but I'm guessing it's because Pettitte historically has been difficult to steal on. So why not put Pierre on 2B with the 3 and 4 hitters coming up? It's not unheard of, you know.

Pierre was already on second for the second sacrifice.

My mistake, not watching/following the game at the moment.

I agree in that I wouldn't necessarily sacrifice in a lot of the situations that most managers would, but it's certainly a move that can be defended.

"So why not put Pierre on 2B with the 3 and 4 hitters coming up? It's not unheard of, you know."

Well in the 3rd inning he was already on second. As for the second point, it is certainly not unheard of, but most managers no longer bunt so early in a game as it has been pretty convincingly been proven to be an unsound strategy.

1) Pierre was already on second....wasted out.

2) How is Murton's arm any worse than Jones' arm, crunch?

Sure footed? OK, I don't get to watch too many games on TV so I can't comment on that part...

No radio or tv

How does O'Malley look? I see he has learned well in the Cub system- 6 walks.

Eh, much ado about nothing, IMHO. With Pierre on 2B, The Riot would try to hit to the right side anyway, effectively sacrificing. Again, I wouldn't necessarily do it.

So I just looked at the box score, see O'Malley batted in the 8th and has tossed 96 pitches. Let the pitch count bitching begin!

And how does he walk six guys and not have any of them score?

Tito-96 pitches over 8 innings? That's a very reasonable number.

Its not like the Cubs emptied the bullpen yesterday or played in an 18 inning game, right?

"And of course we can count on one run holding up with O'Malley pitching. He does have a zero ERA in the bigs!"

So far I am pretty prophetic.

Dusty Baylor: O'Malley is a young pitcher, and it seems like every time one of them throws a seemingly high number, someone says something. I was being facetious based on that.

Oh, and thanks for the info on last night's game, I never would've known what happened without you mentioning it.

109 pitches through 8 innings isn't that many and O'Mailey isn't that young he is 26.

He's young in terms of, uh, it's his first big-league game. Sheesh, forget I said anything about it.

Wow..you are a witty bastard there Tito...

Hey something to cheer about!!!!

Congrats O'Malley!!!!

Wow, an insult from someone I don't know. That's a real deep wound there.

CUBS WIN!!!!!!!!!!!

The NL sucks.

The West and Cental could be won by teams a few games over .500 and the wild card could be .500 or less.

This was Hendry's dream season, everyone sucked but unfortunately the Cubs sucked more.

The Cubs are still in the playoffs if they can finish up 34-10 and as long as none of the 10 teams in front of them gets hot! Go Cubbies!

WPZ-
You know Baker and Hendry are thinking, "Look at the Dodgers, we can win 18 of 19 and then be right back in it."

But Jacos, you are right, Hendry's lack of offseason moves was somewhat based on the fact that he thought most of the top teams were going to get worse, and he was right, but too bad we got worse too.

Sorry if this has already been posted, but it's worthy of being posted twice:

CUBS HAVING A BIG PROBLEM WITH WALKS
Rob Neyer, ESPN.com Insider, August 16, 2006

The Cubs picked up three walks last night. That's not so bad. You draw three walks in every game and you'll finish the season with 486. Actually, that is so bad. A year ago, the Mets drew 486 walks and finished 11th in the league. But if you finish 11th, at least there are five teams worse.

The problem for the Cubs -- who did win, by the way -- is that their three walks came in 18 innings. Which is low for the Cubs ... but not absurdly low. See, the Cubs aren't going to finish 11th, or 12th, or any other number that's at least halfway respectable. The Cubs have drawn fewer walks than any other National League team this season. Far fewer. And we shouldn't be too surprised. In 2005, the Cubs drew fewer walks than any other National League team. In 2004, the Cubs drew fewer walks than 14 National League teams. Ditto in 2003.

Adding up the four years -- coincidentally or not, the four years Dusty Baker has been the man in the dugout -- and projecting this season's walks through the full season, we arrive at 1,803 walks for the Cubs, 2003-2006. That's the fewest in the league over that span, and there's more space between No. 16 (Cubs) and No. 14 (Marlins) than between No. 14 (Marlins) and No. 5 (Rockies).
--
Edited by Rob G:
The rest can be read at:
http://tinyurl.com/g4x69
----
Fire them all.

Wow, send that to Hendry asap.

Sorry if this has already been posted, but it's worthy of being posted twice:

Uh, usually people don't post premium content articles from other sites in their entirety. So, no, it hasn't been posted before.

Off the subject..

For the last word on Mel Gibson going insane, we take you to last night's telecast of the Red Sox versus the Tigers, with Denis Leary and Lenny Clarke visiting in the booth.

http://www.deadspin.com/sports/top/denis-lear...

thanks for the info Andrew, but I don't want TCR to get nailed for copyright infrigment particularly on an Insider article.

I had to edit your post and left what ESPN shows everyone.

For the last word on Mel Gibson going insane, we take you to last night's telecast of the Red Sox versus the Tigers, with Denis Leary and Lenny Clarke visiting in the booth.

speaking of fun on youtube, check out this fake Mastercard ad with Denis Leary, funny stuff.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMIJ7uWOIWY&mo...

CRUNCH:

Re#8 - IS that the number of Neifi starts for '06?!

LOL

If you're not watching Denis Leary in "Rescue Me" on a regular basis, you are missing out. Very twisted. Lenny Clarke is also hilarious on it.

Cheers to Ivan Rodriguez. I thought Leyland was nuts for using such a free swinger in the leadoff spot but the future Hall of Famer responded by working a 10-pitch AB into a base on balls from David Wells.

Unfortunately for Pudge, he was picked clean at first before another pitch was thrown. (oops)

But the point stands. We as the general baseball populous suffer from a fairly extreme case of groupthink.

Hey.... Does anyone know about Haray Caray having an affair with the wife of the owner of the cardinals??? Somebody told me that is why he ended up coming to chicago...

I never heard that before.... Please verify

Great stuff from the AP report on the game:

___________________________

Zambrano smothered him with shaving cream, and Barrett and reliever Michael Wuertz dumped two pitchers of beer on O'Malley as he walked into the clubhouse after a postgame interview.

"King for a day," Pierre said with a smile as reporters crowded around O'Malley.

Growing up a Cubs fan in Springfield, Ill., O'Malley idolized Ryne Sandberg. The rookie heard about Tuesday night's 18-inning game, but had no inkling he would be called up. He was originally scheduled to start in Round Rock on Wednesday.

"I was just like, I wonder what's going to happen?" he said. "I didn't really have time to get nervous. It all just happened so fast."

Why did they have beer in the club house? I have no problem with post game drinking but two pitchers in the club house? No wonder they can't get up for day games.

WGN RADIO:

Listening now to Will Carroll on 'GN. Its really funny that Dave Kaplan in going on and on and on about CRUNCH's favorite issue:

WHY NEIFI????!!!!!

Maybe Dusty gets a percentage of Neifi's salary every time he plays him.

Did you guys think of that???

Anyway, Will Carroll is perplexed as to why the retreads are playing so much. This is the evaluation period for next year.

He (Carroll) believes that Jim Hendry is a good baseball man, but is tarnished on the Dusty.

He states,
"He [Hendry] has a chioce right now on where to take this franchise..."

Its a long time 'til next year.

thanks for the info Andrew, but I don't want TCR to get nailed for copyright infrigment particularly on an Insider article.

Understandable, Rob G. Sorry about that. I sometimes forget that TCR's profile has gotten much bigger the last few years, rightfully so. I know that issue has come up in the past before, and I wasn't sure what the final verdict on the subject was. I figured it would be edited, as it was, if need be. I'll follow suit from here on.

For those that aren't ESPN Insider subscribers and don't understand the extent of the sad state of the Cubs both taking and giving up walks, pay the $40 and read the article. Even for relatively poor individuals like me, trust me, it's well worth it.

Matt
That story has circulated for years, almost from the very day he was fired in St Louis.
Can't say one way or the other, but I've never seen a firm denial (or any proof for that matter).

Andrew, thanks for the article. I, too, subscribe to the Insider and have since it became available. I think it costs $5/mo? and well worth it.

I did notice that O'Malley had just 30 walks in approx 130 innings, one of the better ratio's in the Cubs minor league system. The 6 today are hopefully more attributed to nerves?

I say firing Baker and Rothschild are an absolute must.

Probably not true in that he was big into hawking Budweiser (I'm a Bud man, I'm a Cubs fan) or maybe it was 'and a Cubs fan', it's been a while. The Busch's are all about making their money, but I very much doubt they'd use a guy who was screwing their mom to sell beer.

"Why did they have beer in the club house? I have no problem with post game drinking but two pitchers in the club house? No wonder they can't get up for day games."

God, I hope that was a joke.

Indeed, CarmenFanZone. If you're going to play fantasy sports, it's also well worth it to subscribe, as you get access to the Insider features, most helpfully the Scouts Inc. game previews in fantasy football.

I haven't been posted in a while, but I was encouraged to hear that Mark Prior is going to reassess his offseason conditioning. Fire Baker, Rothschild (and his nibbling philosophy) and get this team healthy. I'd be fine with Hendry being fired too but I don't think that'll happen.

Matt, I've always heard that it was August Busch's daughter-in-law with whom Harry was reportedly linked. Not sure if that is accurate, that's just what I remember.

Chad:
"Why did they have beer in the club house? I have no problem with post game drinking but two pitchers in the club house? No wonder they can't get up for day games."

They have an off day tomorrow, so no biggie. But it is good to see the clubhouse not in as much shambles as some people think.

why did they have beer in the clubhouse?

what clubhouse doesnt have beer in it...or the kitchen/room beside it? =p

Batting Title Update:
Michael Barrett is batting .325 and is 7th right now. Barrett just qualified today. The Cubs have played 120 games, so he needs 372 PA's (3.1 PA per Cubs game), and Barrett has 372 exactly according to ESPN.com (332 AB's + 31 BB + 3 SF + 1 SAC Bunt + 5 HBP). Freddie Sanchez is leading right now with a .345 average.

Oh yeah, I say firing Hendry is an absolute must.

take one off the "07 wishlist" for those who arent cedeno fans.

grudz signs a 1yr extension with KC.

for what its worth he had a 3m vesting option at 500ab and would have probally made it anyway.

DAMN...

He has been on my wish list for the past 2 years and would of been this year too if he was availible.

Yeah he has over 450 PA's already this year, so he was going to get the $3 million vesting option anyways. Did you hear for how much Crunch?

Bonds just hit his 16th HR of the year and #724 of his career. He is a FA after this year, but is there anyway he doesn't resign with SF? The only way I think he wouldn't is if his knee is so bad that he thinks he can't play the field and has to go to an AL team.

What might have been -- for what it's worth (not much), the Cubs have the best record against the Central division of all the NL Central teams... Cincy is 2nd.

Grudz must like living in KC -- either that, or he thinks he can't get a deal anywhere else.

Or not play at all. Recent statements by Bonds suggest he may be done, wanting to spend time with his son in his senior year of high school.

You think Andrew? He is so close to Aaron and after all the abuse he has taken, I would think he would want to at least get the record. If he can stay healthy next year, he should do it. Figuring he hits like 7 more HR's this year, he would only need 24 next year. It will be an intersting offseason story though.

Bonds might also get suspended or banned, Mitchell's report is due in November.

Buster Onley is saying that the Astros would be the front runner to claim Soriano.

Which is on par for the Astros to get a big mid-season acquistions and then walk away after the season.

Not to mention possible jail time if this perjury thing ever gets followed up on.

Manny, I'm just passing on what Bonds himself said. Perhaps he realizes the game is up as far as steroids and he doesn't want to rock the boat anymore (and thus sink his own ship) by passing Aaron.

The story I always heard about Harry was that he was "involved" with August Busch's wife and when Auggie found out, he hired someone to run Harry down with a car. I don't remember the specifics, but I believe Harry was involved as a pedestrian in a hit & run accident, so that much may be true.

I was living in the Chicago area when I first heard this story. I moved to St. Louis in the early 80's and heard the same story there.

Could just be an urban legend. Who knows?

I was listening to the I-Cubs pregame today and they had a minor pitching coach (believe the name was Lester) on talking about O'Malley. Apparently he was not drafted and was only considered an "organizational guy" aka filler. He said that O'Malley is a great person, great clubhouse guy, does anything asked of him but never was projected to have major league stuff. The only reason he got the call because he was demoted out of the starting rotation for Miller/Marshall rehabs and had a fresh arm. Plus the I-Cubs were in Red Rock, so it was only a two hour drive to Houston. Got the impression he was only called up as a last resort and convenience.

I think O'Malley did a wonderful job of sticking to what he does best and that is hitting his spots and changing speeds. With Hill and Guzman the biggest reason for their struggles up here is they try to get away from what made them domiant on the farm. Hill being that he kept all his pitches in the same location and not changing the hitter's eye level and with Guzman not challanging enough hitters with his good stuff, but instead pitching like Maddux and try to get the inside and outside strike calls. He earned himself a start at Wrigley vs. the Phillies next week. I think he will break camp with the team next year as the long guy/ 3rd Loogy

I just love the panic over ARod. On Sportscenter tonight, Buster Olney declared that ARod is "on the Hot Seat" this weekend against Boston. Tino Martinez went so far as to say "the pressure is really on" ARod, but the upcoming series against the Red Sox would be a good opportunity for ARod to have a great series and erase all of the problems ARod has had this year. I wish the Cubs had a SS who was having all of the problenms that ARod has had this year.

ARod will end the year hitting .275-.300 with 35 +/- HR and 100+ RBI. It's amazing this poor schmuck is still playing in the bigs.

Sweet Lou,

Arod's best days as a SS are behind him. After that game in 04 where Jeter broke his nose and he had to play SS for about 3 or 4 innings he talked about being out of shape to play there. Now with a off-season to get ready he could get in decent shape to play it, but dont expect him to gold glove caliber SS he was with Seattle and Texas. Also he should have learned, when he signed that contract and demanded that trade, to quote Shakespere "Heavy is the head that wears the crown."

It seems Hendry did take the best available pitcher from the I-Cubs

Plan B was: Wade Miller. tonight in Round Rock, TX, he got a no decision, pitching 6.0 innings, 7H, 3ER, 1BB, 7K and two HR's. Three runs vs Andy Pettitte would have made his record 0-1.

"We didn't want to take a chance with Wade," Hendry said. "He's come a long way. We've come this far with Wade and he's shown progress. We didn't want to force the action."

...but we'll see Miller soon. It sort of has a "college of coaches" feel to the roster merry-go-round we've seen lately. Nonetheless, four game winning streaks aren't to be sneezed at given how this season has gone.

Cubster:
"Nonetheless, four game winning streaks aren't to be sneezed at given how this season has gone."

Especially when that 4 game win streak gets you within 11.5 games of the division and 10 gaems of the WC. Hey, we are only a LAD type streak away from being right back in this thing....:)

I think the Cubs are 3-8 in swept series this yr. I'm all for giving out samples of lithium unless we get more mania and less depression.

The six walks might have been a combo of nerves, senority calling by the umpires to teach the kid a lesson and situational walking also.

I have had a certain debate over the years about just "playing for the wild card." You should go into every season determined to win the division. You should play out every season to win a division, even if the team ahead of you is 15 games above you in the standings. Cut into that lead, and the more you do the wild card will take care of itself. Which is why I love Curt Schillings comments on the subject...

Curt Schilling snapped at a reporter who asked him about the AL wild card race, saying that it is a defeatist way of thinking. ìI donít care about the wild card,î he said. ìThatís for second-place teams and we canít think like a second-place team right now.î

Never ever play for the wild card. Once you start doing that, you already lost.

Curt Schilling:
"I donít care about the wild card," he said. "Thatís for second-place teams and we canít think like a second-place team right now."

Well, Curt, firstly you are a 2nd place team right now. And for matter of fact, the Red Sox have been a 2nd place team for the past 8 years. But even more importantly, how did 2nd place do for you and the Red Sox in 2004?

The overall goal is to get to the playoffs, how you get there is all but meaningless.

But I do agree a team shouldn't rely on the WC. They should be going out everyday and tring to win every game, no matter what place they are in or how many games back they are in the division or WC.

And to me Curt snapping at the reporter shows they might be feeling some pressure there in Boston, being both 2 games out of the division AND WC right now. And maybe a little antsy with a big series vs. NYY on tap for this weekend.

Good Luck Mr. Bloody Sock, I am rooting for you guys to beat out the CHW for the WC.

The way I look at it, go out and try to win games. There is not such thing as playing for the wild card vs. playing for the division.

"Look, I said before the game that I was hoping to get five innings from the kid, and that was it," Baker said. "It didn't have anything to do with him hitting Roger or any of that stuff. He had given us what we wanted and it was time to go to the bullpen."

And if anyone believes that line of BS, I got a bridge to sell you in San Francisco.

76, pitches Baker. Baker is trying to tell us that even if he threw 56 pitches, he would still have come out of the game regardless.

Yeah, whatever. Pussy.

The way I look at it, go out and try to win games. There is not such thing as playing for the wild card vs. playing for the division.

It's a mind set. If a team openly plays for the wildcard then the sense of urgency isn't that great. The team always thinks they have time to make a run.

This is exactly what happened to the Cubs over the last couple of years.

The fans, the organization, the players all see the Cardinals 15+ games ahead but have no sense of urgency because they are within striking distance of the wild card. People just sit back and keep saying, "Well, we are still in the Wild Card, one little run and we got it secured." Like Baker was prone to say in various forms during that time. And what happens? Nothing happens. Time runs out. Its a false sense of security.

And when teams start openly playing for the wildcard they don't care how far they get back in the division. And when that happens they think its ok to drop the occasional series or not play well when it counts. Because always looming in the back ground is that false sense of security. Like Schilling says, its a loser's mentality or a deafist way of thinking.

Like Yogi Berra used to say, "Baseball is 90% mental, the other half is physical."

Aflac?!?

I have to say that I've really noticed Michael Barrett emerging as this teams' leader. Especially since Maddux left. Its refreshing to see. He's been far better than expected this year.

"If a team openly plays for the wildcard then the sense of urgency isn't that great"

See the 2006 White Sox. Good point , MikeC

I seriously don't think that any team decides they are going to play for the division or the WC for the majority of the season. They just play to win as many games as they can.

Toward the end of the season, if the team is clearly out of the divisional race, they may then set their sights on the WC, but the strategy is the same as earlier in the season: win as many games as possible.

The divisional race vs. the WC race is something that we as fans get more interested in than the people playing the game. All they care about is going out every day to win. Even though the Cubs season is lost (except in Dusty's mind), they are (or should be) trying to win every game. It's a baseball tradition that you don't let down at the end of the season. In fact, teams take pride in being the spoiler. You never quit and you never let down, regardless of what you are playing for.

RE: #72

"WHY NEIFI????!!!!!

Maybe Dusty gets a percentage of Neifi's salary every time he plays him.

Did you guys think of that???"

I believe it was MikeC who speculated last season that Dusty goes out of his way to make sure that veteran players hit their incentives no matter what. Does anyone know if Neifi gets more money for games played or ABs?

Haray never said anything one way or the other about the Busch wife/daughter rumors...when asked why, he laughed: "if people were saying things like that about you, would YOU deny it?"

How about some props for Barrett? Everybody rags the guy for not being able to call a good game, but he must have done something right yesterday.

#84 of 109: By mannytrillo (August 16, 2006 09:44 PM)
Bonds just hit his 16th HR of the year and #724 of his career. He is a FA after this year, but is there anyway he doesn't resign with SF? The only way I think he wouldn't is if his knee is so bad that he thinks he can't play the field and has to go to an AL team.

---

MANNY T: I wouldn't be surprised if Barry Bonds doesn't get the Rafael Palmeiro Treatment after this season. Blackballed. Or at the very least, a Sammy Sosa-like $1m take-it-or-leave-it offer.

His best bet might be an A. L. DH gig somewhere like Seattle, especially if Dusty end up there (which he might). But I doubt that Bonds will get anything close to a big bucks contract.

I would be surprised if he returns to SF.

Not to change the subject, but how did Wade Miller do against ROund ROck last night?

what clubhouse doesnt have beer in it...or the kitchen/room beside it? =p

I believe one of the AL West teams (I'm thinking Oakland or Texas) actually banned beer in the clubhouse this year after someone with the team got a DWI. Except, they didn't just ban it from the home clubhouse, they also refused to stock the visitors fridge too.

Isn't the Colorado Rockies clubhouse dry?

Born again owner and alot of born again players I read about in USA today earlier in the summer.

Denny Nagle ruined the fun for that team.
World's most expensive hummer.

Harry, see post #96 regarding Wade Miller in Round Rock, TX

Re: drinking in the clubhouse:

The A's have eased up on their unpopular -- with players, anyway -- ban of beer in the clubhouse and on the team plane. Due to liability concerns, the home clubhouse in Oakland will remain dry because players typically drive to and from work, but visiting teams are welcome to provide their own adult beverages, and the A's are once again allowed to partake -- "within reason," a source said -- on the team plane and in the clubhouse while on the road.

mlb.com link

Isn't the Colorado Rockies clubhouse dry?

wait, the Coors Field clubhouse is dry? Now that's damn funny.

Is Dusty Baker drunk all the time? or just nucking futs?

The SunTimes reports, "When asked if he lifted Mateo because he might get drilled, Baker said, "No. He's just a kid, and they had[Mike] Lamb and [Lance] Berkman and [Luke] Scott coming up. Those are the same guys that hit him."

WERE YOU EVEN WATCHING THE GAME, DUSTY?? Nobody was really "hitting him." Berkman went 0/6 in the game!!! Lamb and Scott had widely spaced singles. He only gave up 4 hits in five innings.

Baker also forgot that his bench coaches told the broadcast booth that Dusty had removed Mateo so he wouldn't be hit. And just to show even more contempt for Ryan "where'd he come from?" Theriot, he admitted he sent him up to get drilled, "Theriot was up there as sort of a sacrificial lamb."

Of course he immediately contradicted himself by saying he was "surprised Clemens threw at Theriot," because Ryan is the smallest guy on the Cubs.

....

Nobody can say he doesn't play the kids.

What is this the Clinton Impeachment? Can't you understand that there are certain reasons why you do things and maybe you don't/can't explain that to people. If Baker wanted to protect his young pitcher, then fine. He should be applauded for that. But damned if you do, damned if you don't with you guys.

Carmenfanzone writes, "I have to say that I've really noticed Michael Barrett emerging as this teams' leader."

I strongly agree. Since he returned from his suspension - actually, ever since he blew his stack and popped Pierzynski - Barrett's been the player Hendry hoped he would be: focused, in command, and a terror at the plate. He's never going to be an outstanding defensive catcher, but he's improved in that part of the game as well. Barrett's been one of this year's pleasant surprises; long may it last.

I have to disagree on Barrett.

Dusty had to tell him to go to the mound when Zambrano was melting down against.... crud, whoever was whooping us last week. One of the reasons Zambrano was melting down was because Barrett couldn't seem to catch the ball.

If I were whichever coach is in charge of Barrett's defense I would tell him one thing: Tony Pena can let pitches go by if there's no one on base. You're not good enough, nor will you ever be good enough to do the same. You catch EVERY FREAKING BALL like the bases are loaded in the bottom of the 9th in the 7th game of the WS!

I can put up with the weak arm, and his blocking pitches in the dirt is at time excellent, but other times it's matadorial.

So far as calling the game, he needs to take into account who the pitchers are. If it's Wild Carlos or Novoa he needs to set up in the middle of the plate, because they don't know where the ball is going anyway. With Howry and Eyre, he can move from side to side, but part of the teams' problems with walks this year is definetly because Barrett is asking them to be too fine.

It was the Brewers, and if you listened closely after Barrett dropped one pitch a fan yelled out 'Catch the Freaking Ball!', which is the same thing I was thinking as I was fuming on the sofa.

" he needs to set up in the middle of the plate, because they don't know where the ball is going anyway"

UM NO. This doesn't happen in baseball EVER.

Chad,

1. Because something doesn't happen ever, it doesn't mean it shouldn't happen. For instance Neifi Perez should take a pitch when he is up 2-0, but it never happens.
2. I know you think walks have no influence on the outcome of a game, but you're wrong and Barrett encouraging them is a bad idea.

Nice try though, you were right about the Cubs trading for Izturis, maybe you'll be right about something August too!

How are Carlos Lee and Matt Murton comparing since the all-star game, btw?

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