Oh Sorry, Today is the Day We Get Swept

Yeah my bad on yesterday's headline, didn't realize this was a Friday to Monday four game series. Of course the premise still applies for today. Good news is three weeks from today, you'll wake up without having to worry about how the Cubs will embarrass themselves on the field that day. Instead it will be how they'll embarrass themselves in the front office. At least we're giving Atlanta fans some hope. Go Cubs! GAME ONE HUNDRED-FORTY-FOUR IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] CHICAGO CUBS (56-87, (Draft) 2nd, 2.5 GB) AT ATLANTA BRAVES (69-73, (WC) 7th, 5 GB) Turner Field, 6:05 pm CDT Weather: Partly Cloudy, 82 degrees, Wind from R to L @ 12 mph TV: WGN, DirecTV 737 Radio: WGN, XM 184
John Smoltz, RHP 12-8, 3.63 ERA, 201 IP 183 K, 45 BB, 20 HR 245/291/391 againstRich Hill, LHP 4-6, 4.83 ERA, 30 IP 21 K, 11 BB, 4 HR 317/384/488 against

*Juan Pierre, CF *Freddie Bynum, 2B Aramis Ramirez, 3B Derrek Lee, 1B *Jacque Jones, RF #Angel Pagan, LF #Cesar Izturis, SS Henry Blanco, C *Rich Hill, P Martin Prado, 3B Marcus Giles, 2B Edgar Renteria, SS Andruw Jones, CF Jeff Francoeur, RF *Brian McCann, C Matt Diaz, LF *Daryle Ward, 1B John Smoltz, P

Cubs vs. Smoltz: Juan Pierre: 6- 24, 250/250/292 John Mabry: 6-21, 286/375/429, 1 HR Derrek Lee: 3-16, 188/235/313, 7 K, 1 BB Aramis Ramirez: 4-11, 364/364/909, 2 HR Braves vs. Hill: No Braves with more than 10 Ab's
Izturis is back and Cedeno and Theriot sit so Bynum's family can watch him play. Makes perfect sense, no?
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Comments

One thing you can say about Dusty is he enjoys having his family around.

Your not serious that Bynum is playing because of family are you?

Cuz that is exactly what Larry Brown did with the Knicks before he was fired. Some say he did it specifically to be fired. He also played guys based on the town they played college ball in and other weird scenerio's.

that's what someone said in the comments yesterday on why Bynum was playing.

3-0. maybe dusty is on to something here.

jk

yahoo has a different lineup than si did...

anyway prado at 3b for atlanta leading off and ward playing 1b and batting eighth

cubs are now dead last in si's power rankings. go team!

I heard Hill is excited about this opportunity to audtion for Scheurholz (oh that's gonna get Chad going) and the the Braves.

Lee and Jones are making Baker look like Earl Weaver!

Hanley Ramirez scored his 108th run tonight.

Juan who?

Murton's from Georgia...what's the excuse for him NOT playing?

He is white?

Yes I said it!

Anyways...Z and his agent don't seem that confident with our doctors and our trainer. He has flown to Miami for a second opinion.

"He and his agent have requested a second opinion with a doctor in Miami," trainer Mark O'Neal said.

Zambrano was examined on Tuesday by Dr. Frank Eismont, a back specialist at the University of Miami. Results of the exam were not immediately disclosed.

Smart move, I wouldn't trust the Cubs medical staff either.

I have seen my last Cub game in person for 2006. I am picking up tickets for the remaining Minnesota Twins home games. GO TWINS..........Down with MacFailure.

MIKEC:
"He is white?"

Go Cubs fans!!!!

MIKEC:
"Smart move, I wouldn't trust the Cubs medical staff either."

Good, hopefully this extra time will all but secure Z from not pitching the rest of the year.

Nice to see something positive for a change. Mateo and Hill with back-to-back solid outings. Any opinions on whose the real deal and who'd make great trade bait? Personally I think Gooz has the best stuff and will be pretty nasty when he starts locating his pitches. Hill... maybe, if he keeps up outings like tonight. All the other rooks I could part with if it means trading up for some veteran offense/defense/pitching...anything.

MikeC: Zambrano was examined on Tuesday by Dr. Frank Eismont, a back specialist at the University of Miami. Results of the exam were not immediately disclosed.

Rumor has it Dr. Eismont took O'Neal aside and told him to stop being a little b****, and proceeded to slap him in the face. Sources close to the Cubs clubhouse say O'Neal is likely to go on the 15-day DL tomorrow.

Six more wins needed to avoid a 100-loss season. Will they do it?

It's funny, though, how this season's goals have receded:

April - Win Division, World Series
May - Get Back Into Contention for Division
June - Get Back Into Contention for Wildcard
July - Get Back To .500
August - Stay Out of the Cellar
September - Avoid 100 Losses

My guess is that if the record at season's end is 63-99, management will be calling it a triumph, given all the injuries, etc., etc. It all in how you spin it.

I think the injury excuse with the Cubs is overblown. True, DLee, Wood and Prior each missed the majority of the season. But losing Wood and Prior to injury shouldn't have been a surprise to anyone, least of all Jim Hendry. When you don't plan for the inevitable, you can't use it as an excuse when the inevitable happens.

Losing DLee to injury certainly hurt, but doesn't just about every team deal with injuries? The Yankees lost Sheffield and Matsui, the Cardinals lost Pujols, Edmonds and Mulder, and the Dodgers lost Nomar and Kent. Each of these teams is about to win their respective divisions, not lose 100 games. Good, well-managed teams overcome adversity and find a way to still win. Obviously, the Cubs are not a good, well-managed team.

It made no sense for Jim Hendry to build a team that could compete only if things went perfectly. Rarely does a team go through an entire season without some injuries. A good team needs to have built in redundancies. And when things go wrong, the GM needs to react quickly, not sit on his hands like Hendry did.

Of course, Dusty doesn't get a pass on all of this. While he can't be blamed for the injuries (although some have tried), he can be blamed for the way he reacted. As far as I can tell, Dusty did nothing to hold the team together and to overcome the injuries. Although I can't know what was going on in Dusty's head, it seemed to me that he put on a "woe is me" persona and when the going got tough, he just gave up.

The injuries the Cubs sufferred this year can't be ignored, but the greater reason for this horrible season rests with Hendry and Baker.

"It's funny, though, how this season's goals have receded'

Offseason- Don't get contracted.

Does anyone who watched the game yesterday think that Rich Hill had his best stuff or did he lack command. I did not see the game but the 120 pitch for a guy who did not get out of the 6th inning is a bit strange. Was he having problems with his breaking stuff location or where guys just laying off his pitches?

Well said Sweet Lou. Good teams, good managers and GM's find ways to overcome injuries. True, with the injuries they probably couldn't have competed at a high level, but playing this poorly is inexcusable. They have a crappy record because of (not in this order): injuries, poor planning by Hendry, failure to react to injuries by Hendry by acquiring adequate substitutes, poor bench, bad use of players by Dusty, bad lineups, poor judgement by reliance on Williams and Rusch, players that went into crapper when Lee got hurt instead of sucking it up, bad in game strategy, etc. First official act of planning for future should be launching Dusty. If Hendry fails to do that, I will offically be on the dump Hendry bandwagon. Otherwise, I give him this off season to fix the mess based upon some good trades (Nomar, Lee, Ramirez, Hundley gone), however he has to change his approach and get some quality free agents. Some times you have to over pay to compete at a high level.

By the way, has anyone mentioned that not one Cub minor league position player had a very good to great season. Just a couple had good seasons (Fox, Pie, possibly Patterson, Norwood). A couple pitchers had very good to outstandong seasons (Veal, Gallagher, Atkins, possibly Pawelek and Hill, with Mateo and Marmol included, ML ganes excluded). Once again we continue to produce pitchers, but not hitters. This has been going on for along time. Is there an organizational approach responsible for this? I know that in some years their top picks have been mostly pitchers, but they have had top choices that were hitters and they have fizzled, i.e., Harvey, Montanez, Hill, Kelton.

Everything he threw seemed to get fouled off. He threw 80 strikes among those 120 pitches. Only 6 Ks. Z, Wood, Prior seem to throw more 50-50. Hill will never stay, he doesn't nibble the corners enough.

1) Hasn't the approach been to teach the young hitters "plate coverage" as opposed to "plate discipline"?

2) It also seems, for whatever reason, you can knock the bat out of their hands once they reach the major leagues with a decent fastball.

For example, Cedeno's hitting problems all stem from being unable to hit a fastball. As a result, he has to start his bat early, which makes him vulnerable to anything off-speed.

From what I've seen so far, Buck Coats is even worse.

3) I still think the young pitcher to trade is Marshall. He's a No. 4 starter on the best day of his life, and I'm concerned he's injury-prone. I'm sure the Cubs can find a team that like Marshall's "makeup" and "mound presence."

Re: Hill's high pitch count.

The multiple-error 4th inning didn't help his pitch count either.

#22-
"Hill will never stay, he doesn't nibble the corners enough." If this was sarcastic, then hahaha. Otherwise...

Are you kidding??!! That was Hill's problem his first time up this year...he nibbled too much. Now it's not enough?? He has good, not great stuff, and will get people out by pounding the strike zone, moving the ball up and down, inside and outside. He has pitched very effectively in the second half!!
After the ASB?
5-2, 3.05 ERA, 52 K/19BB, 59IP, 48H 7 HR.

I'll take the other side of tht view, and say that he's earned a spot in the rotation for 2007, barring a collapse or a trade to another team.

Freedom.

That's what the start of the NFL season has provided me. Freedom from feeling compelled to watch the Cubs. Thanks to tivo and a subscription to mlb.com I've watched nearly every game this year. But no more. An 8-3 win or a 6-1 loss. I don't care...it's of no consequence to me. Who plays 2nd? Who cares. Who's at short? Who cares. What a wonderful place to me. All during the year I might say "ah who cares" or "it doesn't matter". But I was just lying. Now...doesn't matter. Awesome.

I was in another room last night watching the Vikings play the Redskins and my wife walked in and said somewhat shocked "Aren't you watching the Cubs!?". Ah, freedom. Didn't even know what the score was.

Turn up the suck.

It's OK, boys! It's only one game! Shake it off and get back out there tomorrow! With the way KC's playing recently (read: .500), I know we can do this thing!

Also, my 2003 NL Central Champs shirt is now OFFICIALLY old-school. :)

Manny: Are you trying to call Mike C racist for suggesting that Dusty might prefer a dark-skinned player to a white player of "equal" ability? Would you please clarify your funny?

I actually think it is the plan to "catch lighting in a bottle" once every five to six years.

The Cubs organization, partially because they think of Wrigley Field as such a "hitters" ball park, obsesses over pitching which they have stocked up in the minor leagues (although until Rich Hill's and Juan Mateo's recent performances, those minor league stars have not crossed over to the major league team, except when that team is the Malrins). As far as current position prospects, Ryan Harvey, after an abysmal start, apparently had two very good months and finished with 20 home runs, but a 125 K to 25 BB ration and OPS of just over 700 reminds me more of Rob Deer then Mickey Mantle. Felix Pie and perhaps Eric Patterson at 2B could become above average major league players. Outside of them there is not much in the Cubs farm system but pitchers. And for some reason, the pitchers don't make the jump smoothly from the minors to majors under Larry Rothschild's tutelage.

I have been pessimistic enough that is starting to bore me, let alone the rest of you. I would say Hill's and Mateo's performances in the darkness of the last three weeks and D. Lee's showing his power has returned have been nice glimmers of hope that at least next season, even if they are back in the second division, there will be some interesting story lines.

Reference Juan Pierre. He is leading the league in "hits." Whoopee. His .OBP is low and his slugging is abysmal, and his defense is awful. Yes, his speed on the base paths, not just stealing, is a positive, but is outweighed by the negatives. The Cubs would be better off leading off with Murton.

The other thing to think about with a guy like pierre is that he can lose a step at any moment. Can anyone think of a worse roster albatross than Juan Pierre making 10 million dollars a year with only "average" speed? Pierre is not a player who is going to age gracefully. He has only one tool. A tool that ALWAYS disapears with age. Let Pie and his bigger bat play center and let Murton lead off in 2007.

WPZ:
"Are you trying to call Mike C racist for suggesting that Dusty might prefer a dark-skinned player to a white player of "equal" ability?"

No, if I wanted to call MIKEC a racist, I would. But I do think it is senseless to even bring the color of one's skin into the discussion.

I don't think it's senseless to consider how race affects the Cubs' organization.

It's a hyper-charged topic - some accuse the management of being racist one way, some accuse ownership of being racist the other way, and there's certainly no denying that a lot of the team's fans are racist. The city itself is a giant racial/social metaphor - North Side/South Side, machine politics, 1968, etc.

Obviously Murton vs. Bynum *Should Not* be an issue of race - putting the best players on the field regardless of race is a no-brainer.

But against such a hyper-charged racial background, is it really senseless to consider whether people in the organization make decisions based on race?

Clearly this all here stems from an attempt at humor by Mike C, not from somebody saying so-and-so should play because of skin color. I'm not going to defend Mike or presume to know what he thinks about this.

But I do know that it shouldn't be considered senseless to wonder whether somebody in the organization shows subtle tendencies against certain players with repetition.

Personally, in Dusty, I won't say it's never crossed my mind. It goes two ways, though - if there were some sort of absolute test on this subject I'd bet money that Ken Macha would fail as well.

I'm a long-time reader that has posted sparingly.

CubFanFormerlyInGermany writes:
"I actually think it is the plan to "catch lighting in a bottle" once every five to six years."

I believe this very much be the case. When Hendry speaks of this team in the off-season and pre-season, he usually refers to them as "competitive". When do you ever hear him or McFail say the goal is to win a World Series....let alone the division? Except for Murph backing Hendry into a corner a few weeks ago, I can't recall ever hearing him say "We are going for it all" or "We think we have a team that can win the World Series". I can't recall ever hearing that. At least he's honest.

The Cubs always seems to be contructed on the premise that they have to get off to a good start and then the bean counters will "approve" additions to the payroll to make a run at the playoffs.

This is an icredibly frustrating organization to watch. Just once in my life, I'd like to see the Cubs ownership demand better on-field and off-field decision-making. Take steps like the Mets did. They mixed in high-priced talent, with some home-grown guys. They committed to building a winner.

With the state of most teams in the National League in recent years, the Cubs have missed a golden opportunity to have some very successful years. I don't know how much longer I can pay attention (let alone for tickets) to the crap coming from Clark and Addison.

of course its racism...remember when dusty insisted t.walker was "his guy" when hendry was pushing for hairston? wait a minute...nevermind.

btw...miluakee's prince fielder has been called to help lure g.rusch to MIL

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y106/brewers...

btw...talking about hendry/mcphail being tools of the mighty trib are very overblown.

the trib is so hands-off in this organization...a lotta it based up 80s and early 90s screwups...esp. the early 90s manager-gate crap.

cubs- need money.

trib - why should we?

cubs - cuz blah blah blah.

trib - okay, here.

need extra money to help aram/lofton/etc. trade go through...ask and recieve...need extra money for maddux...ask and recieve.

yeah, hendry/mcphail are running a club AND trying to keep it profittable as far as they can control, but they're not under the thumb of the trib. answering to their every call. while the cubs might be a very visable holding for the trib, they pay their guys so they dont have to deal with the cubs or other minor holdings on a hands-on basis.

if anything hendry/mcphail have been effective at getting the trib to fork over loot based on decisions they made. this was a 60-ish million team just 5 years ago.

"90s manager-gate crap"

i guess i should say administration-gate..cuz it was GM to manager crap that rotted the team out.

i wanna talk about theriot...

anyone notice how he exploits the right side (something people got on neifi for...).

with a runner on 1st he LOVES to try to part the right side. so far he's been damn successful with it in a limited sample.

i dunno how much i like that cuz its a pattern he's really starting to show with regularity, though.

he can guide a ball to the outside to right, but what happens when he gets it inside? anyone seen enough of a chunk to rate how he handles that?

how long until 2nd basemen start playing deep/wide-to-1st with a SS shift...and can he adjust to left?

http://tinyurl.com/jtp4q

Hendry talks about himself...

http://tinyurl.com/enb7g

Bakes asked about Pierre's OBP troubles...


Manager Dusty Baker said it's not all Pierre's fault. "He's tried," Baker said. "You see him take a lot of pitches, but the umpires know, the league knows that he takes a lot of pitches, especially the first pitch, which a lot of times is a strike. It's hard to walk when you're 0-1 all the time. Good thing he's a two-strike hitter."

and ex-Cub Dwight Smith was busted for cocaine possession

what an odd hendry article...its answers to questions...mostly unedited to give a fluid read.

point to point to point.

questions arent given...just answers.

is this that dude's writing style?

Crunch:
"is this that dude's writing style?"

It is from the back page of the Trib Sports Page. That is how all those articles are written everyday, with different sports personalites everyday.

I agree kind of weird style...

Juan Pierre doesn't walk because he has no power. If a pitcher knows that he can keep JP, even with all the hits, to a below average OBP by throwing it hard right down the middle, that what he's going to do. There's very little chance of extra bases, so the pitcher has very little to lose.

Reading it again, that quote from Baker about JP trying to take pitches and get on base is really bothering me. I feel like there's a line between standing up for your guys and apologizing for their shortcomings. How is it going to help JP make adjustments (if it's even possible) if Baker's take on the matter is to play the victim. "Accountability? Adjustments? Hell no, we already tried all that and, well (shaking head and repositioning toothpick), the league has us figured out so what're we supposed to do?" The excuse-first mentality of Baker is really disappointing to see. Not very professional in my opinion.

Crunch, you think Walker and Hairston qualify as perceptively equally skilled players? C'mon.

Whatever one big happy team yea go Cubbies! I hope today it's sunny and everyone gets wasted. Let's lose two!

Crunch,

I love Theriot. What's your take on him at short? I don't see any reason why he couldn't just park his nice .400 OBP at 6 for all of 2007.

Someone let Pierre know he's a good 2 strike hitter.

0-2: .271/.271/.390
1-2: .198/.215/.198
2-2: .197/.209/.227

I guess there's this, though:

3-2: .364/.509/.545

Another reason we don't develop guys is that people like Fontenot, who did nothing but get on base while he was up for his cup of joe, don't get a chance to play. They fixate on guys like Pie, while forgetting all about Fontenot at AAA. Then they go out and sign Freddie Bynum or Neifi Perez someone to REALLY drive it home to Fontenot that the Cubs don't want him.

So if you're that kind of player, the high OBP type without a lot of flash (Nick Johnson, Scott Hatteberg, Reed Johnson), you simply are not considered a prospect by the Cubs. Either you change your game and stunt your development in an attempt to get noticed, or you just move on.

Of course, there aren't a whole lot of guys like this in the Cubs system in the first place because not liking them, they're not exactly high of the Cubs draftboard. But the pattern is the same. A guy like Kevin Youkilis simply does not get a chance if he's on the Cubs, while the Shawon Dunston type (flashy, fast, inconsistent power, lots of K's, zero walks) is worshipped as the lodestone of baseball potential.

"Crunch, you think Walker and Hairston qualify as perceptively equally skilled players? C'mon."

i do?

well, thanks for telling me.

btw...i have no idea how you came to that unless you think i'm dusty or hendry.

Vorare,

Most guys don't bat .400 when down in the count 0-2 . The only really alarming number there is the 2-2.

Dusty is correct that you need a lot of power to walk often - unless you've got an extremely short strike zone. Pierre would probably be well served to occasionally (like once or twice a week)to take a home run cut when ahead in the count, just to keep the thought in the back of their minds.

What he isn't correct about is not benching Neifi Perez for continually swinging at 2-0 pitches like he's Adam Freaking Dunn, or encouraging hitters to take walks (marginal pitches when they're up 2-1, 2-0 etc).

31:
"Can anyone think of a worse roster albatross than Juan Pierre making 10 million dollars a year with only "average" speed? "

Oh, I know!

Todd Hundley!

Kerry Wood?

Sosa hitting .230 in Baltimore?

Vorare-
What is the league average at 0-2, 1-2, 2-2, 3-2? To be fair to Pierre, those stats really mean nothing unless compared to the league average. Maybe .200 BA at a 1-2 count is GREAT.

"I love Theriot. What's your take on him at short? I don't see any reason why he couldn't just park his nice .400 OBP at 6 for all of 2007."

SS..2nd..same thing for him..he's a good glove, period. he's probally more comfortable at SS, its where he's played most of his life and deservingly so.

and i dont know how you can predict or what you're using to base your skill asumption of theriot being a .400ob% guy.

he's showing a very suprising and nice pitch selection...a few nice gappers going for extra bases, but i can't imagine him being a starter with his lack of power.

i wanna see how the pitchers adjust to his suprising start and how he readjusts, honestly...the fact he's not as lost on breaking stuff as i was lead to believe he might be on the mlb level requires a longer look for me.

cant complain much about a slick fielding middle IF, pinch runner, injury/late replacement type, imo...if he's something more that'd be an interesting turn in his career.

btw horatio...re: fontenot, etc.

#s isnt why a person is or is not a prospect, its how they get those #s.

fontenot's downfall is his lack of ability to play anythign but 2nd (failed at 3rd)...and he's a bit of a fastball crutcher.

ob% isnt what they want...they wanna know how they get that ob%...that's more important.

Horatio:
"How is it going to help JP make adjustments (if it's even possible) if Baker's take on the matter is to play the victim."

Juan Pierre has NEVER walked, not in the minors, not in Colorado, not in Florida, so there should be nothing to make anyone think he will all of a sudden walk here in Chicago.

Contrary to Dusty's guess Pierre sees the SECOND FEWEST pitches per AB of any Cub. Second Fewest.

Crunch -

he's showing a very suprising and nice pitch selection...a few nice gappers going for extra bases, but i can't imagine him being a starter with his lack of power.

I hear you, but what power does Izturis give you? Less, if anything.

ob% isnt what they want...they wanna know how they get that ob%...that's more important.

I have to admit I have no idea what you're talking about here. I always thought the old adage about sports was "they don't ask 'how,' they just ask 'how many.'"

izturis is on an ozzie smith/omar vizquel level with his glove. i really have no hesitation making that comparison.

"I have to admit I have no idea what you're talking about here. I always thought the old adage about sports was "they don't ask 'how,' they just ask 'how many.'""

well, start with jason dubois

he doesnt even know what a breakign pitch is...well, he does, its that thing he cant even make contact with to foul off, much less drive it.

guys who get by not swinging at breaking stuff on pitchers who dont have contol over it waiting for something hanging or a fastball they can drive (if a pitcher doesnt have his breaking crap, he's not gonna throw it a ton) get a number pump.

when it comes to 2 guys with .350ob% its not the number, its how they got it...how they're earning it...their skills that translate to the bigs.

Manny,

Fair enough. JP has never walked (although I did allow for the fact that he'll never improve with my little "if it's even possible"). Not walking is a major hole in JP's game. So then why does Dusty try to make the excuses about how it's not his fault? Of course it's his fault. More important than the message it sends to JP (a veteran who will, you're right, probably never change) is the message it sends to the youth on the team, who may learn to view their shortcomings as though pitchers exploiting their weaknesses is some sort of injustice done upon them. "What's a poor baseball player to do?? We tried real hard and everything."

Crunch,

Just out of curiosity, did you ever see Ozzie Smith play?

yes, im 30.

btw...i really cant pin it down to what ive seen vs. what age i saw it at...proximity of time might be influencing...

but i'd take vizquel over ozzie with the glove...both are/were just...wow.

viz has(had) that bam-bam-bam robot-like motion to his D...really mechanical and precise.

smith just made it look easy to the point you really didnt look that hard at it...

everyone looks the same in slo-mo...its when you see that real-time chase/pick/toss that separates the mike bordicks from the omar vizquels.

"when it comes to 2 guys with .350ob% its not the number, its how they got it...how they're earning it...their skills that translate to the bigs."

True, but what if we are talking about one guy with a 400 OBP while another has a 320 OBP. How much weight do we give that it looks like the 320 hitter might make a better major league hitter?

what's cool about izturis...aside from the fact he executes all the basics and can cover ground...he can go to both sides and throw accurately with a nice arm.

with aram/izturis covering that side...if its on the ground, you better be hauling ass running to 1st cuz if any of them touches the ball, your easy single is now a foot vs. arm race.

Perhaps you are right, Crunch, but still it's fairly established that success at the minor league levels translates fairly well to success at the MLB level. So, at the end of the day, you promote the guys with the high OBP. Some work out, and some don't, but I think you'd see the success rate is a lot higher with that stat than a lot of other stats. Cause you can inflate a batting average by swinging at everything (a la JP), you can inflate power by swinging hard at everything (a la Korey), but you absolutely cannot fake that fact that the pitcher can't get you out.

Bad last sentence there. Let's try again: You can't fake being a hard out.

"True, but what if we are talking about one guy with a 400 OBP while another has a 320 OBP. How much weight do we give that it looks like the 320 hitter might make a better major league hitter?"

sample size, other skills like D/slugging...

i assume you're comparing theriot to bynum...

bynum's bat is more powerful, but who's isnt...theriot's a better defender.

i'd like to see more ab's from both...i really dont trust theriot's early returns cuz of what he's doing with the right side of the field. i would really like to see how he handles inside pitching a bit more and if he can work the left side.

im not holding a torch for either guy...they both got their flaws and skills.

Why Pierre doesn't walk: he doesn't swing at high pitches, outside pitches or inside pitches; but he never saw a low pitch he didn't like.

I guess when you're a speed guy you learn that low pitches are your friend because when you swing at them, the ball never goes up.

BTW, Crunch, I like your analyses of hitters.

Horatio: I love Theriot. What's your take on him at short? I don't see any reason why he couldn't just park his nice .400 OBP at 6 for all of 2007.

I like his insect-like qualities. Problem is, he's spent so little time in the big leagues. I remember Cedeno getting off to a good start until opposing scouting reports started figuring him out. I'm not saying that will happen to Theriot, I'm just saying it might be a little too early to tell. Either way it looks like he has a bright future.

Speaking of taking walks-
OBP: The Movie

http://s171230060.onlinehome.us/NewsDescripti...

We should get a group together for the premiere.

"i assume you're comparing theriot to bynum..."

Actually I am addressing the larger issue. Your point was that when the numbers are the same we (you) need to look at other things. While this is true (because the numbers are the same), what do we (you) do when the numbers aren't the same?

When do we ignore what they do and instead just look at how they do it?

robr...ah...sorry for the tangent, then.

pretty much: skills like D/slugging...need for use, of course...what theyre hitting to get their #s (are they fastball/mistake feeders? does their slugging make up for any possible hit in other departments? is their D even good enough to contribute at the major level?)

though it is a reality, im not gonna make a big deal outta things like personal attitude and readiness (d.young TB last year).

there's no real magic stat...stats point out readiness, but looking into the stats points out the skills that enabled them to earn the numbers.

j.burnitz has made a living at free-swinging at low pitches with this golf-style heavy uppercut swing. he's gotten away with hitting badly by providing a nice glove, a killer arm, and slugging. though francour in ATL has a different approach/swing in ATL, he's there for similar reasons.

Perhaps, Ryno, but Cedeno never touched .400 either.

HORATIO:

I suppose that there is conventional wisdom that in many cases, a player who shines in the minor leagues also does so in the Majors, it surely is no "slam dunk". The following is from a Bill James Slate Magazine interview:

"The principle that minor league hitting stats predict major league hitting stats as well as major league hitting stats predict major league hitting stats can be perfectly trueóand yet still not enable me or you to reliably..." predict who will be successful in the major leagues

From the always entertaining Muskat mailbag, here is this gem:

Will the Cubs re-sign Pierre? He's been the best center fielder we have had for a long time.
-- Ricardo G., Chicago, Ill.

"There are a lot of reasons to keep him. Pierre can run, he's picked up the pace offensively (.395 this month), a workaholic, a good example for young players and full of energy. He's figured out Wrigley Field. He doesn't walk much and doesn't have a great arm, but he covers a lot of ground on defense."

Here's the best part from her answer:

"Leadoff batters are hard to find. Pierre could be the Cubs' best option. Imagine a 1-2 combination of Pierre and Cesar Izturis in the lineup."

Wow Carrie..........Just Wow

Just imagine that 1-2 combo. Then all we need is Prior and Wood back and BAM!! we are right there

Batting Pierre and Izturis 1-2 next year is what Dusty wants. Doing so will strangle the Cub offense in its cradle. The Cubs would be better off batting high OBP guys high in the lineup and getting them the extra at bats. They need to stop fixating on speed and focus more on clogging the bases.

One of my favorite pieces was Bill James' examination of the 1961 Yankees, who batted Bobby Richardson and Tony Kubek 1-2 most of the year. Richardson (OBP .295) scored 80 runs that year in 706 plate appearances; Kubek (OBP .306) scored 84 in 658 plate appearances; this for a team that hit 240 homers and scored 827 runs. The Yankees won 109 games in spite of that. The Cubs won't be able to overcome their 1-2 hitters not scoring more runs.

Perhaps the above is a little harsh. If Pierre can have an OBP above .350 that may be acceptable, as he could score some runs if he got on base at that rate. However, if the Cubs can upgrade over him at CF (and I think they can do so), they should do so. As I have said in other threads, I think there is a good argument that Pie (an in-house option that would not be expensive) could be more productive that Pierre right now.

Vince,

I'm with you, man. Carrie Muskrat has the misfortune of being an idiot as well as a company mouthpiece. Outside of Lacy Banks, there is not writer working in Chicago who knows less about baseball than Carrie Muskrat.

Here's my batting order for next year:

Matt Murton LF
Ryan Theriot SS
Torii Hunter CF
Derrek Lee 1B
Aramis Ramirez 3B
Michael Barrett C
Jacque Jones RF
Frank Catalanotto 2B
Pitcher

A lot of OBP in this line up. I don't think it'd break the bank to go out and get Hunter and Catalanotto. Plus, at age 31, Hunter will be a nice bridge to Pie when he finally is ready.

In general, I'd like the Cubs to place a lot more emphasis on OBP in putting together their roster, perhaps choosing high OBP guys as backups to the extent possible, at least over the athletic/versatile players like Macias/Bynum/Neifi that they have chosen in the past. This past year they chose Mabry as back 1b, while Hatteberg almost didn't get a job. While no one would have predicted Hatteberg would have had the year he's had, I can't imagine the Cubs though seriously about him at all.

I think you're right, DCF. Players like Hatteberg are simply not on the Cubs radar screen. And it's one of the main reasons why the Cubs are so shockingly unsuccessful.

You hit the nail on the head Horatio with regards to Muskat. I don't know how someone with so little knowledge about baseball, can get, and keep, a job that involves writing about baseball.

The way she writes, you would think she is on the Tribune payroll instead of MLB.

DCN,

It would be wonderful if this management actually took a forward looking view. But until the top men get over their fixation with idiotic stats like BA with RISP, they will never put together a top notch offense.

DCF not DCN

Catalanotto hasn't played 2b in 4 years and doesn't look like he was any good at it when he played there.

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