30 Games of Misery Left

Z's Cy Young quest continues tonight versus the generally hapless Pirates. Z of course leads the NL in strikeouts and is tied for the league lead in wins, always a favorite stat of the voters. He's also sixth in ERA, but more surprisingly considering our offense, he's 14th in Run Support at 5.51 runs per game while the team itself only averages 4.22 runs per game. Take out the day's that Z starts and the Cubs average about 3.87 runs per game for the other starters. That would be what the scholars deem --- lousy. Go Cubs or go draft pick....either way. GAME ONE HUNDRED-THIRTY-TWO IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] CHICAGO CUBS (54-77 (Div) 5th - 16.0 GB; (Wild Card) 12th - 12.5 GB) AT PITTSBURGH PIRATES (51-81 (Div) 6th - 19.5 GB; (Wild Card) 13th - 16.0 GB) PNC PARK, 6:05 pm CDT Weather: TV: WGN, DirecTV 734 Radio: WGN, XM 183
Paul Maholm, LHP 6-10, 4.82 ERA, 153 IP 99 K, 70 BB, 18 HR 306/384/467 againstCarlos Zambrano, RHP 14-5, 3.31 ERA, 184.2 IP 180 K, 99 BB, 19 HR 207/315/358 against

*Juan Pierre, CF *Freddie Bynum, 2B Aramis Ramirez, 3B Derrek Lee, 1B Michael Barrett, C Matt Murton, LF #Angel Pagan, RF Ryan Theriot, SS #Carlos Zambrano, P *Chris Duffy, CF Jose Bautista, 3B Freddy Sanchez, SS Jason Bay, LF Xavier Nady, RF Ronny Paulino, C #Ryan Doumit, 1B Jose Castillo, 2B *Paul Maholm, P

Cubs vs. Maholm: No Cubs with more than 10 Ab'sPirates vs. Zambrano: Jack Wilson: 8-31, 258/324/290,2 K, 3 BB, 1 2B Jason Bay: 8-22, 364/481/909, 6 K, 5 BB, 3 HR, 3 2B Jose Castillo: 5-17, 294/333/471, 5 K, 1 BB, 1 HR
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Comments

It is nice to see Jones is finally being bench against left handed starters. Lets hope this continues into 2007, whoever the manager is.

Here's a prediction:

Z gets his 100th BB on the year tonight. I know, I know---I'm goin out on a limb. But, fellas, I just got a feelin' about this one.

Murton, Pagan, Theriot all walked in a row. guess they will all have to be benched.

fwiw, local sports radio (score= bernstein) is predicting that dusty will be fired on the day off thursday. it was said that hendry is extremely upset with baker's recent conversaations in the media on issues other than baseball. and the specualtion was that hendry would fire baker before the giants, and dusty's numerous media friends, arrive in town for the weekend series.
there was no follow-up specualtion (that i heard, anywho) about a replacement.

that makes little sense...

Man, how big of a liar would Hendry be firing Baker after he said he wouldn't. That would be a great way to build trust in future players and coaches and manager. I don't even think Hendry is that stupid...

Also, I can't think of one thing the Score ever got right when it came to breaking stories. They also accused baker of lying about the racist letters he was getting.

What would Hendry/the Cubs gain by firing Baker at this point? I found Baker's comments about Cubs fans being racist insulting (and a bit contrived),but if his poor managing didn't rise to the level of being fired, then I sure don't think his comments to the media did.

Jeez -- looks like Z is fielding his way out of the Cy Young.

Why wasn't the run in the 6th unearned? It didn't score on the forecout, it scored on Z's error. That run should be unearned.

Never mind - they changed he scoring.

Then, Z gives the tying run.

There is just nothing good going to happen this year. Nothing.

shhh billybucks, dusty might get fired at some point. That would be good.

THE Z MELTDOWN SYNDROME

I have seen Z do this numerous times. Too many.

Last year flew to see 'em in DC. Same thing. Was pitching well for 5 innings and BAM!

ONE f-up or bad play just takes him OFF and he just cannot recover from it.

He will need to find a way to overcome this tendancy to unravel if he wants to ever be considered one of the elite MLB pitchers.

murton 2-3 with a walk and 2 RBIs

kid will be very successful in his major league career....i just hope it's with the cubs.

Z needs everygame he can get to make it to cy young, which is about the only thing i'm looking forward to the rest of the season, other than seeing murton succeed and dusty fired.

I got my two seasons for Friday's and Sunday's game vs. SF. If anyone is interested in them let me know. I will sell them for face ($64 total). Sect. 233, Row 10, Aisle Seats. Totally unobstructed.

Let me know...

Good luck getting rid of them Manny. I've got 3 bleachers for Friday that I can't use anymore. I'm struggling to find anyone who will even pay half price for them.

laugh, cry, or vomit?

or yawn.

whoa MAN that was agonizing to follow on yahoosports.

what i assume happened was freddie booted the game ending DP ball.
then dempster issued the "walk-off walk".

cubs baseball baby! you better watch out! and where can i get my 1908 freddie bynum throwback?

I've been a Cub fan for too long to care whether a Cub wins an award. I remember getting excited when Bill Madlock won the batting crown on the last day of the season and then immediatley wondered why the hell I was excited that one guy on my favorite team had a good season. To paraphrase another more meaninglful quote: Rooting for awards is the last refuge of the loser.

And Manny. I gave a friend my four for Sunday which he combined with his two and he sold them on Stubhub in less than an hour. We're in section 228 so it's not like ours are much better than yours.

ONLY 2 1/2 GAMES OUT!

...of last place.

And worst record in the Majors.

Any September Tickets for face (of what I have left) value.

Sec. 407

4 together.

This season has got to set the record for the most ridiculous losses in one year. Game-ending DP ball, Cedeno double-clutches the throw, which Bynum misses because he is flinching waiting for the runner, then Dempster walks in the winning run.

Very few teams are capable of losing that game. Only the Cubs.

If Big Z wants to be as good as Carpenter, he can't let games like this slip away. Big lead over a crap team with no fans in the stands. You've gotta stay focused and put them away.

Even Len and Bob are fed up.

Un-frickin--believable.

It's hard to believe, but this season is actually getting worse. Back-to-back 2-out walk-offs by the Cards' backup catcher, and now tonight's debacle agaisnt a crap team, with Z starting and D-Lee hitting.

Good luck attracting any decent FA to this team --why in the world would they choose the Cubs?

in other news...

mark mulder is still really, really bad.

1.2 IP, 6H, 3BB

marlins could be a game out of the wild card lead when you wake up.

what an awful awful year to have an awful awful team....the cubs of 04 would be leading the division by a million, the cubs of last year would still be in this....instead we're on our way to being the worst team in baseball.

wow.

This "crap team" I believe has played much better baseball than our "crap team" since the break.

You think we're "better" than the Pirates? Think again.

In fact, I'd love to have a couple of their young guys over ours (except Murton, possibly).

at what point does hendry have to concede that Dempster's 2005 performance was an aberration?

Eli18-
at what point does hendry have to concede that Cedeno's 2005 performance (in AAA) was an aberration?

it's still a downhill climb but we're goin for pick #1

our luck we finally get a #1 pick and all we get to show for it is one Shawon-0-Meter

Even if the Cubs get #1 pick, they'll still pick #147 on the list. A 19 year old left-handed reliever who is coming off Tommy John.

CUBBY: then dempster issued the "walk-off walk".

It looked like the Cubs were wiped. I think Larry came out to the mound to tell him "just get this over with". The unintentional intentional walk off walk. Of course, that's just a hunch, but it sure looked that way.

Anyways, you can blame my wife, she said something about Z's no-hitter into the 4th inning. I said, oh you jinx them now, and... I shit you not, the next pitch is when Z gave up his first hit and the beginning of the infamous Z implosion.

Green Lantern: murton 2-3 with a walk and 2 RBIs

2-5 with a walk. His numbers tonight were good, sure, but for me it was the way he carried himself in each at bat. He was very patient, worked counts deep, and generally looked dialed in. I've been talking Pagan over Murton lately, but I must admit tonight Murton looked great at the plate and Pagan looked pretty lost.

As a carry over from the last threads talk about Beane's success, this year OAK hasn't had a good offense at all.

OAK OBP - .335 (16th in MLB)
OAK OPS - .736 (27th in MLB)
OAK Runs - 606 (19th in MLB)

Guess how they have done it? PITCHING PITCHING PITCHING

Not surprising at all and definately doesn't take a genius to figure that out.

OAK ERA - 4.06 (2nd MLB)

Go Moneyball!!

BTW-- Hendry, all I ask for this off season is:

3 bonafide starters. Feel free to spend at least $30 mil a year on them. I don't really care if Aramis, Pierre, Wood, Prior or anyone else re-signs at this point. I could live with a pitching-defense team. At this point the Cubs don't really have an advantage in pitching, defense, or offense.

couldn't tell completely from that replay but was Bynum late coming to the bag? Seems weird that Cedeno would have double-clutched otherwse and then of course Bynum alligator-armed it.

That last pitch by Dempster looked like a strike, but it was close.

Imagine the A's this year if they had Harden...

On the A's, I think OBP is just as important as the major 3 catagories, not more than though. I also believe that the A's won with PITCHING. Hudson, Mulder, and Zito were for a couple of years there as good as what Atlanta had. To Bean's credit: he unloaded them before he lost them Hudson/Mulder and got back good pitching. I highly doubt Hendry will fire Baker, but it wouldn't shock me either. Dusty has really been pushing the buttons lately. Leaving out Schmidt and Zito who are the likely canadites trade or FA for #2 SP???

oswalt signed a 5yr/73m extension earlier tonight.

the 07 posibilities get more interesting/limited as teams shore up their guys before they can even become FA's. hurrah.

it'd be nice to care about this kinda crap in late oct. or nov. one year. =p

To me it didn't look like Bynum was late, but he didn't do a good job of stopping Cedeno's bad throw. Just two bad players making bad plays...SHOCKER.

When are we going to start looking at Ronny Cedeno as having one of the worst baseball seasons for any qualifing player in MLB history. Right now, he is .241/.267/.325 and oh yeah, 21 errors. People talk about Neifi being one of the worst players ever, but Cedeno's 2006 is right up there with Neifi's worse season in 2002 (.236/.260/.303 20 errros).

I know Hendry and Baker want to give him the entire year to see what he can do, but I think we have seen enough. If he is anything more than a backup next year for the Cubs, that should be an automatic fireable offense for Hendry.

oswalt sets the bar at 14.5m a year for a top shelf guy...even with the groin issue i'd put him above zito/schmidt.

its not like its that much distance of tallent away, though...looks like both of them could be in for an easy 12-13m+ payday if this is the watermark for top excellence in the 07 FA market.

I thought too that Cedeno would be a nice player. He just isn't a smart one. I've been wrong before but I would like to see someone else brought in at 2b.

Man if Oswalt gets that, can you imagine what Z is worth? Or what Zito or Schmidt will get as FA's this offseason? It looks more and more like we will be doing a lot of window shopping again this offseason. The only hope is that Hendry can pull a trade out his ass.

Crunch,
Remember Oswalt got that without a bidding war, which Zito and Schmidt might get the benefit of. That could superficially drive up their price.

Those #'s are just part of the reason the Cubs aren't getting Schmidt or Zito, beside they are aces. We will not pay 2 aces that kind of money. It really isn't needed IMO. I will be happy with a solid #2. I can't think of any staff outside of Houston that can boast 2 #1 SP off the top of my head. The 03 season spoiled us into thinking you should have 2 dominant starters, besides Prior was really the only one until the playoffs I think.

Sorry, forgot about Minny, but Liriano wasn't expected to this this year at the least.

Z's gonna get paid, but he's most likely gonna get his money a bit backloaded...the impact vs. what's already being shelled out (6.5m) shouldnt be more than 4-6m given how a lotta these type of backloaded contracts work (assuming he's in for a 13-14m-ish payday average, himself).

Whatever Zambrano gets under 14 mil is worth every penny to me so far. He is a true ace. I think he loves it here enough to give us the hometown discount like Lee did.

Although the 2001 D-Backs proved that with just 2 dominant pitchers, a team can win the WS. I sort of want to do that.

Manny,

hate to burst your bubble, but statheads have infested the pitching side of baseball just as much as the hitting side. Just because the A's are winning with pitching doesn't mean they aren't using sabermetrics. There are just as many methods to identifying undervalued pitchers as there are those to identify hitters.

one of the big myths of this whole 'moneyball' thing is how the story was constructed with so little bearing on the scouts...at points even making the scouts to sound like lazy outdated blobs of wild speculation.

its an interesting foil to the "working in the gym" number crunching (paul d. didnt get enough credit for "selling" the whole idea to beane, but whatever) buff and ready to kick some ass beane that's portrayed in the book.

beane and his boys may have looked at college/highschool #s but they were listening to more from their scouts than the B-Movie detective work on their personality flaws that were in the book. it was painted almost as if the scouts all walked into a meeting a little before draft day after not seeing the draft crew for 1/2 year to report on if they found a new passage to india via the new world or whatever...

btw..i do like some aspects of the "moneyball way" or what the hell ever any of you wanna call it.

i wish i could support the whole draft thing, but it was so superficially explained and died a slow death at the expense of telling a better story. its nice to know its used, but i really would have liked to know how it was applied in a more realistic way.

bob howry speaks via ye olde chicago tribune and paul "ghetto vibes" sullivan...sounds like he's a little peeved at armchair-managers calling for heads on stakes...

----

"The guys ripping them are guys who have never played this game and never been in Dusty's position or in my position," Howry said. "Until they walk in my shoes or his shoes and know what it's like to be out there. Ö You can't rip someone because somebody says: 'This is what a set number of appearances should be in a season, and you really shouldn't go over this.'

"Guys throw all the time. It's like startingóthey say, 'If a guy goes over 100 pitches, you have to get him out.' They groom guys to be that way. Yeah, you can say that in general, but you can't throw everyone into the exact same category."

---

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sport...

Horaito

Your'e right the D-Back's did it in 01. We alomost did it in 03, and it probably cost us a healthy Prior. That WS also maybe worth what happened but Arizona was up shit creek after paying those 2 and had to dismantle and sell. It won't happen here. The only way is IF Prior is ever healthy and he and Zambrano arent making 13-14 each. I just would like to hear some realistic names on this board for pitching, I keep asking for some good names and crickets..besides the ususal Schmidt and Zito bullshit.

Last night's game was a prime example of why Dusty was wrong when he said a healthy DLee would have meant 10-15 more wins. DLee can only do so much. He can't play short, he can't play second, he can't turn the DP, and he can't close out the games. One guy playing well can't make up for all of the guys stinking up the place. About the only thing DLee can do is keep the team in close games so others can blow it in heartbreaking fashion.

Dallas Green: I keep asking for some good names

I think this is a pretty much a complete list:

Free Agency and Arbitration, mlb4u.com

Some second-tier guys that I wouldn't mind the Cubs snagging: Adam Eaton, Greg Maddux :P

Is this box score the Tribs attempt at helping Z get his Cy??? From the Box Score link in the Cub article. What a line he had:

Chicago Cubs IP H R ER BB SO HR PC-ST ERA
Carlos Zambrano 7.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 111-73 3.19
Michael Wuertz 1.0 1 0 0 0 2 0 18-13 2.84
Bob Howry 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 16-10 3.56
David Aardsma 1.0 0 0 0 1 0 0 11-5 5.05
Ryan Dempster (L 1-6;B 7) 0.1 2 2 1 2 0 0 21-9 4.13

He also can't start. Cubs' starters were medoicre outside of Zambrano in 2005, but they have been atrocius in 2006.

A couple of things about "Moneyball." First, it was Michael Lewis's book and he wrote it to tell a good story, and every story you know has to have a protagonist and his antagonists (much like Manny v. the rest of us on TCR). In Moneyball, Lewis made the "old scouts" Billy Beane's antagonists. The theme of the book was not offense over defense, are even OBP v batting average, but Beane's search for market inefficiencies, to get the most talent for the least amount of money over his competitors. Everyone outside of the Chicago Cubs now realizes that OBP is an important quality, so the value of players with good .OBP and slugging stats is pretty high, while defense may be undervalued. Again, Beane picks up some players with questions that nobody else really wants (Frank Thomas, Milton Bradley, Loaiza, etc.) and uses his player development system and trades for young players who are still relavatively cheap (Swisher, Blanton, Haren, etc.) to stay competitive. Hence he is about to get back into the playoffs for the fifth time in seven years and to post his team's eighth straight above .500 season (1999 through 2007). Likewise, Kenny Williams of the White Sox and Terry Ryan of Minnesota, have shown that if avoid you avoid being fat (we are fat with pitching, we have Wood, Prior, and Zambrano! who needs more), dumb (OBP just means you have guys clogging-up the bases), and arrogant (see McPhail's and Hendry' interviws over the last year), consistent winning is possible.

Finally, a little side note, it seems to me that Dusty has ran a very shrewd campaign the last month that has shifted the major media from talking about what a lousy team the Cubs are and whether he might be partially responsible for it to what a lousy group of people Cub fans are and that "atmosphere" in Chicago is a problem. From McCarver and Joe Morgan, it is all "poor Dusty" and what he has as to endure. Apparently he is merely a victim and by-stander to the catastrophe caused by the injuries to Wood, Prior and Lee which all inside baseball people know is just the result of the bad karma the Cubs and their fans have. I have defended Dusty from time to time on TCR, as he does have strengths as manager. But this little game is outrageous.

Today's poll on cubs.com should be:

What's a better way to lose a baseball game?

__ Give up walk-off grand slam home run to backup catcher.

__ Give up walk-off walk to a utility infielder.

Vote now!

Phil Rogers. Emphasis mine.

"He wasted at-bats on Todd Walker and second basemen like Jerry Hairston Jr. and Neifi Perez when he should have given guys such as John Mabry and Michael Restovich (.295-26-82 in 113 games at Triple-A Iowa) the at-bats that could have gotten them going."

I don't think Beane's "brilliance" has much to do with Oakland's success...if the A's were in either of the other two AL divisions, they probably wouldn't have made the playoffs more than twice.

I am now rooting for the Cubs to get the #1 pick. I am uncertain how it works. I believe that the NL and AL rotate the #1 pick, so since KC had it last year, the team with worst record in NL should have it this year. Correct? After that, does it go to worst record, or does worst AL go second and worst record after that regardless of league? Hopefully with the high pick they won't come up with the likes of Montanez, Harvey, etc.

I don't think Beane's "brilliance" has much to do with Oakland's success...if the A's were in either of the other two AL divisions, they probably wouldn't have made the playoffs more than twice.

How do you figure this? They won their division 3 times, each time with more wins than the wild card team. They also won the wild card once with 102 wins - giving them more wins than any team not in the AL West.

During their run, The A's have never once had the fewest wins of an AL playoff team, and up until this year, the AL west had been much more difficult than the AL central.

What the A's have done over the past several years is very impressive, I really don't understand why there is a crowd that wants so badly to discredit them. Is Beane really that threatening?

I can't see a place for Cedeno on next year's team -- and I had high hopes for him this year and wanted him to get a lot of playing time.

Offensively, he is a well-documented disaster -- worst OBP in the league, but with no power. Wow. Defensively, he is shaky, and seems to panic/rush/choke in pressure situations. Young players usually struggle, but he hasn't even shown a glimpse of hope.

What a shame.

I'm glad that Cedeno actually got a chance to prove what he could do this year. I was never that high on him in the first place, but unlike Neifi, at least he had a chance at an upside. Of course, it would have been nice if last year had been his chance to show what he could or could not do at the major league level instead of this year.

I also think his defense isn't nearly as bad as some people would like to make it out to be. Yes, he's had more errors than he should, but most of them came at the start of the season and when he switched positions to 2nd. Other than those times, he has also shown the ability to make some great plays that even St. Neifi would never have made.

But what I don't understand, and what I've never understood, is why Cedeno has been given so many more chances than Murton - and that goes back to last year when Cedeno was put into a 3 way platoon where he took at bats away from Todd Walker. Murton consistantly has had to stratch for his playing time, with Dusty giving ABs to the likes of Angel Pagan, Todd Hollandsworthless, and Jerry Hairston, just to name a few, even when Murton is significantly out performing his competition.

Did everyone see what a proactive GM in Houston does in locking up Oswalt now when he is more than a year away from free agency?

What is our GM doing? Nothing! Enough bashing Dusty, lets spend some time beating up our inept GM and President. Now should be the time that Ramirez, Piere and Zambrano are taken care of, not when the season is over. The Cubs offseason started two months ago, but our GM is to busy stuffing his face to notice. Teams like the Mets and Astros have already locked up players, we do nothing.

BillyBucks...
Cedeno's shown some glimmers, but he can't seem to sustain anything past a 5 game stretch...after which he will absolutely tank for 3-5 games in a row.

Manny-
"When are we going to start looking at Ronny Cedeno as having one of the worst baseball seasons for any qualifing player in MLB history."

2 words...Christian Guzman. lol..

Drey, Hendry has never lost an in-house player he has wanted to keep. He's also done that despite never signing contracts in the middle of the season.

It just seems that panic in this situation is unnecessary when his track record on this particular type of situation is spotless.

I guess the upside to the Cedeno situation is that he (hopefully) hasn't made the decision to upgrade 2B a difficult one for Hendry. If he'd put up a mediocre to slightly below average season, there may have been some temptation to keep him around and hope he improves. He's been so bad, though, that it seems like a no brainer to replace him for 2007.

"Ken Davidoff of Newsday reported just over a week ago that teams may no longer receive draft picks as compensation for free agents who leave as part of the upcoming CBA.

Now comes word through sources that all the clubs have been notified that this indeed will be the case as both the Players Association and MLB have come to terms on the matter."

http://www.maurybrown.com/?p=333

This is good news for the Cubs I guess because we sign free agents and have been too scared to offer arbitration to get the draft pick when our player leave.

I don't think Hendry has done that bad of a job with this club. Yes this season was bad and some of the players that he was counting on have not done a good job, but overall he has done a good job as a GM. We have one of the best, if not the best, 1B in the league. How many other teams would love to have ARAM at 3B? Izturis is a very good SS. Pierre is one of the best leadoff hitters playing today. As many of you that don't like him, Barrett has become one of the better catchers in the league even with his less than stellar defense.

It is easy to say that we shouldn't have counted on Wood and Prior now. But name one other GM who wouldn't have done the same thing given the contracts that were in place. In the time that Hendry has been the GM he has put the pieces in place to make this a very good club. I don't like every move that he makes and I scratch my head over some of the signings (Rusch, for example) but over all I think he has done a very good job.

No one could have predicted that DLEE would lose the season to injury. He hadn't missed very many game the last several years. If all the reports said that Wood and Prior should come back healthy, then why doubt them? (and i know that i am going to be slammed for that one because of their history)

Don't forget, this is the same GM that got Nomar and Lofton when it mattered. He has put together some good talent with out gutting the minor league system. Compared to some other GMs in baseball both past and present I think we could do A LOT worse. And I am not so sure there are a lot of GMs that would be better.

Hendry has shown that he has the ability to bring in talent that other teams don't want (see salary dump trades and Nomar). I am not sure he has demonstrated many other skills.

Someguy, I agree with a lot of what you said. I would rather have Hendry at this point than not, but the jury is still out. He had a horrible year and has to make big progress in the off season. Maybe his worst decision this year was not launching Dusty at the all star break. His first big off season decision will be Dusty. If he keeps him, my opinion changes and Hendry should also be launched. If we lets him go, I give him this off season to rehabilitate himself.

Someguy...

Hendry ignored Wood's injury histry and failed to get a major league rotation in place. He put together a punchless bench, and after DLee went down, he waffled for 6 weeks before making a move to get a replacement first baseman.
His stupid contract with A-Ram may cost the team either his services, or another $3-5 million a year.

great job....

Going along with BillyBucks, here are my reasons to dump Cedeno:

1. .267 obp
2. 11 doubles
3. 8/15 in stolen bases
4. defense
5. mental mistakes

Based on the statistics, he's so far below average, that even if he were to show marked improvement, he'd be average at best.

He was given plenty of opportunity.

His upside is just not that high.

Wow.

- Hendry went into 06 with a starting rotation of Zambrano, Prior, Wood, Maddux, and either Williams or Rusch. He added Wade Miller as a potential upgrade and had four decent prospects ready to step up if necessary in Guzman, Marshall, Hill, and Ryu. Yes, in hindsight it didn't work out well, but I think based on the context at the time (05 performances, the free agent/trade market) Hendry did a decent job with the rotation.

- It's pretty frickin' hard to find decent players available for trade in April/May. Most teams still think they have a shot and aren't going to throw away good players for prospects. See also: Sheffield and Matsui.

- Aramis signed a cheap contract and stayed with the Cubs. He'll almost certainly renegotiate for several more years at a still-reasonable rate. I'm not quite sure how this is a bad thing, especially since the option may well have been the key to getting Aramis to sign with the Cubs in the first place rather than testing the free agent waters.

- The bench? I guess you can have that point. A bench of Pagan/Mabry/Hairston/Blanco/Neifi isn't really that terrible, though, and it would be a lot less terrible if the Cubs had a manager that knew how to use it.

Someguy:

The question is not what Hendry has done. He is no more than McFailure's lackey. He makes no decisions without checking with Andy on bended knee. Don't blame Hendry. This is McFailures club and will be as long as we are stupid enough to keep accepting this inferior product.

For some reason, last night's game really bothered me. I realize the outcome is irrelevant, and the game will be soon forgotten, but it could have been a glimpse of hope for next year with Z dealing (for a while) and DLee getting big hits. Nuts.

I fear Dempster will always be a so-so closer -- he puts too many men on base and doesn't strike out enough hitters, which is asking for trouble. Some times trouble comes, some times not.

I have a feeling next year's rotation is already in-house. Given that Wrigley is now a tough FA destination -- due to the low quality of the team, demanding fans and media, day games, cold spring weather, outdated facilities, etc. -- the Cubs would probably need to pay above market to get a high quality FA, which they are unlikely to do.

Fortunately, the division (& NL) stinks, so it shouldn't take much to be competitive. If they can get/find an MLB-capable 2B who can hit 2nd, the lineup is capable enough, assuming they let Murton play. Lee, A-Ram, Jones, Barrett, and Murton as 3-7 isn't bad, and Izzy can hit 8th and pick it at SS. If Pie tears it up at Iowa next spring -- nice problem to have.

The rotation will then be Z and 4 out of: Prior, Marshall, Hill, Guzman & Mateo. It's scary, but, if Clemens and Pettite are done, nobody in the division has a good, or even decent, rotation.

So, let's hope the kids pitch well in September, D-Lee has a good month, A-Ram and Pierre stick around, and the Cubs can at least post a winning month.

Sorry to be long-winded -- just had to let it all out....

I think Hendry and many of us at TCR (myself included) have fell into the trap of thinking what the Cubs have on the team is better than what it really is. The Cubs have 5, maybe 6 guys who are indispensible, the rest, well...

Also, I think people expected rookies to fill in this year and perform like regular all-stars, and that just isn't how it works. Considering what they were asked to do, Guzman, Marshall, and Hill have been pretty damn good, often facing off against #2,3,&4 pitchers.

The young pitching is great to have, though, it represents a ton of potential for the future as well as useful bargaining chips...although, I'm still trying to reconcile the Koronka-for-Bynum trade.

"I'm still trying to reconcile the Koronka-for-Bynum trade.

Is it the 5.69 ERA, the 145 hits in 125 innings, or the 61/47 K/BB ration that you miss most?

"ratio" even

"Pierre is one of the best leadoff hitters playing today."

And he's been the Cubs leadoff man for all but 10 or 15 at bats this season.

So, him being one of the best, how do we explain his OBP being 2nd worst among the 21 qualified leadoff men in MLB? And how come he's in a league of his own when it comes to not scoring runs? Out of 30 teams the Cubs leadoff man is dead last in scoring runs.

He doesn't get on base and he doesn't score. Add in the fact that he can't throw a baseball into the infield without rolling it on grass at some point and you have a guy who's a triple threat.

#58 of 74: By TJ (August 30, 2006 09:04 AM)
I am now rooting for the Cubs to get the #1 pick. I am uncertain how it works. I believe that the NL and AL rotate the #1 pick, so since KC had it last year, the team with worst record in NL should have it this year. Correct? After that, does it go to worst record, or does worst AL go second and worst record after that regardless of league? Hopefully with the high pick they won't come up with the likes of Montanez, Harvey, etc.

TJ: Both the Rule 4 Draft (June Draft) and Rule 5 Draft used to alternate NL/AL every-other pick, but starting in 2005, all MLB clubs get lumped together and it goes by worst winning %.

As of right now (subject to change, depending on how the clubs play in September), here is the drafting order for the Top 10 selections in each round for both the 2006 Rule 5 and 2007 Rule 4 drafts:

1. KC (48-85)
2. PIT (52-81)
3. TB (52-80)
4. CUBS (54-78)
5. WAS (55-76)
6. BAL (59-72)
7. COL (61-70)
8. MIL (62-70)
9. CLE (62-69)
10-T. ATL (62-68)
10-T. SEA (62-68)

#75 - Koronka was sent down to the minors by pitching challenged Texas. The guy is garbage just like Bynum.

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