West Coast Cubs

The Dodgers have done a fine job through Paul Depodesta and Ned Colletti of acquiring a bunch of players the Cubs should have had over the last two years including: Rafael Furcal Nomar Garciaparra J.D. Drew Derek Lowe Wilson Betemit Kenny Lofton Okay, I'm stretching a bit especially on Derek Lowe since the Cubs weren't really looking to acquire a starting pitcher last year but the point remains that I like the Dodgers pickups of the past few seasons a lot more than I like the Cubs pickups. I also like the Dodgers record this year a lot more than the Cubs record. GAME ONE HUNDRED-FORTY-FIVE IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] LOS ANGELES DODGERS (76-67 (Div) 1st - 0 GB) AT CHICAGO CUBS (57-87 (Draft) 2nd - 3 GB) Wrigley Field, 7:05 pm CDT Weather: Overcast, 66 degrees, Wind From L to R @ 13 mph TV: CSN, DirecTV 742 Radio: WGN, XM 188
Sean Marshall, LHP 5-9, 5.27 ERA, 112.2 IP 69 K, 50 BB, 17 HR 266/350/435 againstDerek Lowe, RHP 14-8, 3.64 ERA, 193 IP 105 K, 49 BB, 13 HR 254/304/353 against

#Rafael Furcal, SS Julio Lugo, 3B Nomar Garciaparra, SS #J.D. Drew, RF Jeff Kent, 2B *Andre Ethier, LF Matt Kemp, CF Russ Martin, C Derek Lowe, P *Juan Pierre, CF *Freddie Bynum, 2B Derrek Lee, 1B *Jacque Jones, RF Matt Murton, LF *Scott Moore, 3B Henry Blanco, C Ronny Cedeno, SS *Sean Marshalll, P

Dodgers vs. Marshall: No Dodgers with more than 10 AB's Cubs vs. Lowe: Jacque Jones: 8-23, 348 ./348/522, 6 K, 0 BB, 3 XBH Juan Pierre: 2-16, 125/176/125 Derrek Lee: 7-14, 500/533/714, 6 K, 1 BB, 1 HR John Mabry: 3-10, 300/364/700, 4 K, 1 BB, 1 HR, 1 2B
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Comments

Boy, am I glad Freddie Bynum is getting playing time. The kid Theriot might have made two errors in the first inning or something.

And now Bynum dropped an infield pop he poached from the shortstop.

Followed quickly by a homerun of course.

Freeeddie!

Just curious -- what's the record for most errors in game by a really, really fast guy who has no idea how to play the game of baseball?

Hey Jimbo -- keep those toolsy guys coming!

Just think how all those FA pitchers must just drool about having either Fast Freddie or Cedeno in the mix a 2B next year.

Okay...if someone makes three errors in the first two innings, it is time to be benched.

How the hell is Bynum getting so much playing time? Can anyone justify this? Manny?

Derek Lowe is the greatest groundball pitcher of this generation. There is no reason why he isn't a Cub. Either trade or free agent.

Man, good thing we did not sign that Furcal guy.

Dave:
"How the hell is Bynum getting so much playing time? Can anyone justify this? Manny?"

I have no clue why you addressed this to me, maybe you should subscribe to my newsletter to find the answer though. :)

But seriously, the Cubs (Baker and Hendry) are playing pretty much all the youngsters and seeing what they do. The last 2 months of the season is being used as a pre Spring Training. I think it is a great idea and I condone it 100%. Hopefully Hendry sees that many, if not most, are not ready for starting postions next year and he attacks the FA market hard and/or trades.

I turned to the game to see errors two and three. My wife asked why am I punishing myself?

I'm not, its like being at the circus and all of a sudden the clowns start a knife fight with each other.

How do you turn away?

I have no clue why you addressed this to me, maybe you should subscribe to my newsletter to find the answer though. :)

Oh Manny...you know exactly why. You continue to support Dusty's odd decision making. We know that Bynum sucks. Bynum should never be a starting baseball player. He probably should never be on a major league roster.

Theriot, on the hand, has the chance of at least being serviceable, if not better. Instead we need to continue seeing Dusty trot out Bynum, which makes absolutely no sense.

Dave:
"Bynum should never be a starting baseball player. He probably should never be on a major league roster."

Well, Hendry traded for him, and Hendry will definately be here next year so you should hope he thinks the same thing after seeing him play. But that is why Hendry said he wantede to see the younger players play, so he can determine the ones who should be here next year. And again, I like the move by Hendry.

maybe you should subscribe to my newsletter to find the answer though. :)

I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

CWTP:
"I would like to subscribe to your newsletter."

433, gave me the idea, so I am waiting for him to help me get it started. :)

Wow! What a suprise. Maddux supposedly has told friends " he wasn't impressed with Baker's managing abilities".

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...4.scoo...

Boy, Maddux is sure sounding like a racist these days.

Dallas Green:
"Boy, Maddux is sure sounding like a racist these days."

He is? What did he say?

6 fucking errors.

you're my cubs
you're my cubs
you're pathetic, through and through
the whole team sucks, every word is true

but you're my cubs!

-

if you don't root for them, they are the most entertaining thing on tv, and the most consistent. it's like money in the bank betting on these guys.

If you are playing blackjack in a casino, and Dempster sits at your table, pick up your chips and leave immediately.

That man is seriously jinxed.

Three botched routine plays by the infield gives him another blown save. Gotta feel bad for the guy -- does D-Lee not like him? Those were 2 plays he normally makes in his sleep.

they are obviously trying to throw the game. gotta get that top draft pick.

Bottom of the 10th, tie game, one of your best base stealers on base. Dusty says he loves speed. Theriot never moves.

Please, please fire this man.

CUB FEVER!!!!

CATCH IT.

CUBS ONLY 17.5 GAMES OUT OF WILD CARD LEAD!!!

ITS NOT OVER!

I turned to the game to see errors two and three. My wife asked why am I punishing myself?

I'm not, its like being at the circus and all of a sudden the clowns start a knife fight with each other.

How do you turn away?

That seriously made me laugh really hard Jacos, good one.

Our young pitchers really aren't very good, other than Rich Hill. Actually, neither are the majority of our "older" ones.

I was somewhat optimistic about Marshall, not so sure now.

Mateo - still a year or so out.

Marmol walks TOO many!

Guzman is just a lost cause. If he hasn't made by now - it ain't gonna happen.

He'll be really good for another team someday. I don't know when.

Nolasco was probably one of the most promising of what could have been.

Dempster is not a closer. If we're stuck with him, I'd rather have Howry as a closer, and Demp as a 5th/6th starter or longer reliever.

And then there's Rusch. Geez...

So we can perhaps "count on" these guys being on the staff and actually pitching: Z, Hill, Demp, Howry, Eyre, Wurst, Aardvark, Oldman, and a FA pitcher.

The problem as we all have seen this year, is the youthful arms are very inconsistent which is a BIG problem.

Dodgers 8, Blind Squirrels 9

"The problem as we all have seen this year, is the youthful arms are very inconsistent which is a BIG problem. "

Does anyone have any idea how me get youthful arms to become consistent? I am pretty sure it doesn't start with signing Jeff Suppan and Adam Eaton, but I can't possibly think of any other option.

At least the White Sox might be on the outside looking in for the playoffs this year too.

They lost today in extras with MINN and DET winning. That puts them 2.5 back in the WC (3 in the loss column) and 4 games back in Division.

If the White Sox miss the playoffs, I can't wait to see how Ozzie blows up.

Ummm young arms are usually inconsistent.

And if Guzman hasn't made it by now he isn't going to make it? Yeah right. He is 24, hello.

Marshall, Mateo, Marmol should all be on the AA squad. But it didn't quite work out that way this year.

All of them except Marmol has shown some ability in the majors. Yeah its going to be up and down, thats the life of 99% of the rookies.

As for the bullpen. You build from the closer down, not the way the Cubs have done this season. Makes no sense to invest in expensive bullpen arms when your Closer just self destructs each time. There is nothing more demoralizing to a team than handing a 1 run lead over to your closer only to fear he is more likely to blow it than save it.

Why the Cubs threw 3 years 15 million at a 1 freak wonder I will never know. Wait I do know. Shitty player has 1 decent season, Cubs lock them up to multi-year deals. Then the Cubs are shocked said player sucks, and his contract is an albatross.

"Guzman is just a lost cause. If he hasn't made by now - it ain't gonna happen."

Had the same reaction to this as MikeC. Whaa? The guy is 24 and it's the first time he's pitched April through September since 2002. I don't think I'd give up on someone his age with his stuff based on this season.

Mike C wasn't Dempster an All-Star?

Dempster was on the NL All-Star team in 2000, when he went 14-10 with a 3.66 ERA and 209 strikeouts for the Marlins. That was by far his best ERA until last year with the Cubs (3.13). He did not pitch in the 2000 All-Star game.

These and other (park-adjusted) stats at: http://www.baseball-reference.com/d/dempsry01...

A pretty good year, I guess, six years ago. But whatever he had working for him then sure isn't around now.

Clown Knife Fight-

I'm now sorry I didn't watch the rest of the game. From the highlights it looks like some gun toting monkeys got involved.

Why is Bynum now dusty obessession (the word I want to use starts with a b, but this is a family board). The neifi clone, who is actually less talented. Another brillant move, three errors...Teriot should be in there every day. Cedeno banished to the independent leage. It feels like Dusty is trying to say another bad word to the Cubs. I have seriously come to think that Jim Essian, Bruce Kimm (or wendel), and Gene Michael were better. I'd like them bring back John Vuckovich (who had cancer and I hope is better).

That is an absurd statement as Dusty has won, but his incredibly stubborn nature is hurting this team. Notice how Howry has barely picthed? I wonder if Dusty hurt his arm from overuse...disgusting. Maybe not.

I think Dusty is a very good man and who the heck cares if he says "dude" or wears wristbands.

Only two weeks left and a top draft pick are at stake...

Speaking of which, how much do we trust Jimbo to draft at the top (of a fairly thin college crop I think). He will probably draft another high school kid from Dunedin Florida who will stink it up.

Enough already. Ben Wallace and Cedric Benson time.

steve stone on WSCR:

"If I had to start a baseball team from scratch and I could pick anyone, I'd take Derek Jeter. I think you look at the number of runs a guy scores and the number of runs he drives in and you see how important he is to a team. Derek Jeter is usually looking at over 200 of those every year."

...you guys still want him to be the Cubs' GM?

"steve stone on WSCR:

"If I had to start a baseball team from scratch and I could pick anyone, I'd take Derek Jeter. I think you look at the number of runs a guy scores and the number of runs he drives in and you see how important he is to a team. Derek Jeter is usually looking at over 200 of those every year."

----

Uhhhhh, who are you and what have you done with the real Steve Stone?

Bottom of the 10th, tie game, one of your best base stealers on base. Dusty says he loves speed. Theriot never moves.

Come on, how can you possibly blame Dusty for this decision. I mean, you know its Jim Hendry deciding when players should be given the steal sign. Its not Dusty's fault Hendry didn't give it.

duh!

I think Bynum is a pretty good-looking rookie player, especially compared to his predecessors, Neifi and Macias.

Having said that, whenever a guy is labeled an infielder/outfielder, it means he hits like an infielder and fields like an outfielder, a la Jerry Hairston.

Bynum should not be considered a candidate for starting second-baseman. Of course Dusty doesn't know that, but he doesn't know a lot of things.

Re Juan Pierre: John DeWan of STATS, Inc. was interviewed yesterday on WSCR. He stated that while Pierre may end up leading the league in hits, he is currently last in OBP among the top 40 MLB batters in hits.

He also stated that Pierre is actually better in CF than we might expect, as in DeWan's "Plus/Minus" system for rating fielders, Pierre is a solid "Plus" in terms of reaching balls hit to CF. (Plus/Minus only rates range, not throwing ability.)

Not suprisingly, DeWan thinks that Pierre is a lousy leadoff man, and that the Cubs way over-emphasize the value of his speed vs. his inability to get on base. For DeWan, the #1 attribute of the first and second hitter in the lineup is OBP, with speed being a nice secondary trait.

He also downplays the value of having a switch-hitter in the #2 slot, and thinks the Cubs are nuts for insisting that Izturis is a #2 hitter simply because of his switch-hitting ability.

if "dewan" needed to prove pierre's ability in the field with a number...he's already lost his case.

and he's on the right track with how the cubs use the #2 slot, but he's still wrong.

"if "dewan" needed to prove pierre's ability in the field with a number...he's already lost his case."

I don't believe he was trying to prove it, but merely looking for additional information that would help to confirm or disprove what we think we see.

well given that most people knock pierre for his arm, not his ability to get to the ball, dewan plugged in a stat to "prove" something 1- no one needed proving on 2- his stat doesnt even address.

smart guy, but is he that outta touch?

i mean..this is the guy who's pimped a LOT of really awful (but somewhat better than what was there) defensive stats...zone rating/etc.

the part that really confuses me is his assumption on how the cubs, or rather dusty, uses his #2 slot.

i also dont fully agree with him you can toss speed outta the setup slot for your guys hitting 100+ doubles a year behind you, either...but that conditional given what you got on your team, imo.

Hey MikeC:
"All of them except Marmol has shown some ability in the majors. Yeah its going to be up and down, thats the life of 99% of the rookies."

I agree with what you said except for that.
Marmol MUST get better control of his pitches, but even he showed some promise, with a few solid starts, and a few good outings out of the bullpen.

They've done okay for guys who should be in AA ball, like you pointed out.

This is comedy gold. Shows how much Baker knows about his players, and asks for help, only to ignore it...

Mateo looked like he was running in slow motion and scored standing up, barely beating the throw home. Baker had asked around the bench to see if any remaining pitcher could run faster than catcher Geovany Soto. After being rebuffed by Rich Hill, who said Soto was faster than him, Mateo finally answered the call.

Then why even ask the question Dusty? Don't you even know the skills of the players on your roster? Jesus.

Crunch,

Nearly all human advancement in science and math finds its root in a quantification of the "obvious." The Cartesian planes come to mind. Pretty simple really, but from there great things sprung. Berating another for attempting to quantify what one sees as "obvious" is extremely short-sighted, seeing how much of what people have thought to be obvious at one point or another has turned out to be completely false.

I think its good to get confirmation of JP's superior range. If it helps us to get a stronger hold on a true evaluation of his abilities, then why not?

That said, I agree with DeWan's outlook on speed. It is silly to prioritize the ability to run fast over the ability to avoid being put out. To me, speed is like your favorite BBQ sauce. Of course, given two identical racks of ribs, you're going to want the one with your favorite BBQ sauce on it. But in order for BBQ sauce to be worth a damn you first need to have a rack of ribs. And I don't know about you guys, but I'll take a sauceless full rack over the sauce-slathered (even my fave) half-rack any day of the week. Yeah I'd like it better with sauce, but I'm fine with just the meat.

To take this metaphor one step further, Freddie Bynum is basically one of those mini paper cups filled with BBQ sauce. JP is two ribs off the kids menu absolutely drenched in sauce. Derrek Lee is a full rack covered in sauce.

I don't think anyone's done anything with Steve Stone. Derek Jeter is consistently one of the best players in baseball. And for all those of you in love with "intangibles" and the "things that don't show up in the stat sheet," you should absolutely love Jeter cause he's one of the most intangible, not-in-the-stat-sheet, pure-winner dudes in the history of baseball.

MikeC:
Then why even ask the question Dusty? Don't you even know the skills of the players on your roster? Jesus.
___________________________________________________________

I would say that at this point in the game, when you've already used every position player in the game, and the game doesn't matter anyway, I would probably have done the same. I assume that pitchers don't run much in the majors, because who cares if your closer can run a 4 second 40? I would bet that Dusty (and most major league managers) doesn't have a sheet that lists the sprint times of all his pitchers.

So at this point, when you're tied at 8 after 10 innings, and pretty much everyone on the bench has been used, and the clowns are having a knife fight with gun-toting monkeys, who cares what Dusty asks his pitchers?

I would bet that Dusty (and most major league managers) doesn't have a sheet that lists the sprint times of all his pitchers.

If they don't, why the heck don't they? As we saw last night, it can be the difference between a win and a loss.

"Derek Jeter is consistently one of the best players in baseball."

...is this sarcasm?

Personally, I'd call a short stop that rarely dips below .310/.370/.450 one of the better players in baseball.

Anyway, the more disturbing thing about that Steve Stone quote is that it's just wrong. I think Jeter's only passed 200 R+RBI twice prior to this season.

#39: I think Bynum is a pretty good-looking rookie player, especially compared to his predecessors, Neifi and Macias.

Well, compared to those guys, he's Rod Carew. But that's not saying much. And, just like those guys, he doesn't -- or shouldn't -- have too much of a future in the organization, so why play him so much? Especially with the egregiously brutal errors; it's like watching Neifi play with his glove on backwards.

Good call Vorare,
Stone was off, but just by a bit:
1996: 104 Runs, 78 RBI= 192
1997 116 Runs, 70 RBI = 186
1998 127 Runs, 84 RBI = 211
1999 134 Runs, 102 RBI = 236
2000 119 Runs, 73 RBI = 192
2001 110 Runs, 74 RBI = 184
2002 124 Runs, 75 RBI = 199
2003 87 Runs, 52 RBI= 139
2004 111 Runs, 78 RBI = 189
2005 122 Runs, 70 RBI = 192
Career #'s of .314/.386/.461

I think that Jeter is a bit overrated as a fielder, but if the Cubs had him at SS and leading off or hitting second, he'd be worshipped here!

horatio...if you think range factor is proof of defense, you should take a stronger look at range factor...especially how it related to what actually goes on the field.

right out of the box there are ways, mike bordick at SS playing at the lip of the grass, that nullify it as a standard.

if you are willing to blindly accept a stat you are going miss out totally on how to guage a player's worth.

you were actually proved nothing...

this isnt math..this is baseball..all that's guaged in math is the result, not what it took to get to the result, and very seldom the factors influencing the result.

for someone that cares about math so much, your blind faith in applying it to a medium that is not static is alarmingly complacent. you've bought into something, but im not sure you know what you're buying.

Yep, the number is still pretty impressive. Runs plus RBIs is basically just a poor mans OPS. Runs gives you a rough idea of a player's ability to get on base while RBIs gives you a rough estimate of a player' slugging. Unfortunately they're both heavily dependent on team stats, lineup construction, and at bats.

Compare Murton and Pierre, for example. Murton has an R+RBI of 116 and Pierre 111, but Murton has ~250 fewer at at bats.

...is this sarcasm?

Uhh, no.

Jacos wrote, "... it's like being at the circus and all of a sudden the clowns start a knife fight with each other. How do you turn away?"

A perfect summary of this year, sir - and one of the funniest comments I've read in a long time. Thanks!

MikeC:
"As for the bullpen. You build from the closer down, not the way the Cubs have done this season."

Hendry thought he had closer, that is why he gave him a 3-year deal last year. So he did start with the closer and work backwards (Howry and Eyre), it is just that his talent evaluation wasn't good on Dempster.

I have a problem with pretty much everything Stone said. First of all, Runs+RBIs is a retarded stat to look at when you're talking about a guy batting second on the Yankees. Of course he'll get his RBIs batting behind Damon (and probably 2 other All Stars in the 8th and 9th spots), and he'll get his runs with guys like ARod, Abreu, Giambi, etc behind him.

Also, he said if he had to start a team from scratch today, he would pick Jeter first? WHAT?!?!? First of all, he's 32. Second of all, he's making $21 million a year. Third, come on that's just crazy talk.

Derek Jeter over every single other player in the league to start a team from scratch? In 2006? I don't buy this whole, "he's a winner" thing for one second. Would he be a winner on the Royals? Saying Jeter is a winner because he plays for the Yankees is like handing someone a winning lottery ticket and saying, "That guy just knows how to make money."

At least since 2001, Jeter is a loser. His team has had the absolute best talent money can buy for the past 5 years and haven't won a World Series. Why? Is that Jeter's fault? Of course not, but as long as people are going to arbitrarily call him a winner, we might as well call it both ways.

A question: Given the weakness our outfielders' arms, do any of our outfielders have an assist this year? Thanks!

Murton double someone off first earlier in the year.

Urbs:
"A question: Given the weakness our outfielders' arms, do any of our outfielders have an assist this year? Thanks!"

In LF:
Murton 3 assists in 908 innings played.
Pagan 2 assists in 202 innings played.

In CF:
Pierre 5 assists in 1,279.2 innins played.

In RF:
Jones 5 assists in 1,096 innings played.

wow ,TIgers have 2nd worst record since Aug 7th to the.....Cubs.

Stone's R+RBI comment was kind of silly, but I don't think he's crazy for considering Jeter a great centerpiece. From the minors to the present, Jeter has consistently hit for average, gotten on base via the bat and the base on balls, and driven in runners with his solid (for a shortstop) power. Add in sound defense and fundamentals, good speed, and his leadership on and off the field, and I think Stone has a point.

Dempster 2004:
3.13 ERA, 92 IP, 35 R, 32 ER, 1.82 K/BB, 8.71 K/9, 4.79 BB/9, 0.39 HR/9, 3.11 FIP (Fielding Independant ERA)

Dempster 2005:
4.59 ERA, 68.2 IP, 42 R, 35 ER, 1.69 K/BB, 7.73 K/9, 4.59 BB/9, 0.65 HR/9, 3.89 FIP (Fielding Independant ERA)

Not that big a difference other than the blown saves and much worse defense behind him this year. I'd prefer a closer who doesn't walk as many guys but it's hard to evaluate a closer who doesn't get regular work in save situations personally.

2005, 2006 that should be of course

"I'd prefer a closer who doesn't walk as many guys "

He walks alot of guys. How does he compare walk wise to Jenks, Wagner and Hoffman?

I don't want him as the closer next year, although with his contract there is not much choice.

Derrek Lee after-game comments on Mateo pinch-running: "I don't ever want to see him pinch run again, I think that's the slowest I've ever seen a man run. (laughter)"

dumpster's only "real" plus is the todd jones effect...puts guys on, doesnt give up the long ball too much, and cashes in on the double play occasionally.

kinda risky, imo...

good enough for a 2-3 run lead most of the time, but makes me sweat when he's protecting a 1 run lead.

Assists are misleading because other teams run wild on Pierre, so he has a large number of assist opportunities.

He also seems to play a deep center and doesn't get a great jump on balls in front of him.

I just prefer Edmonds' approach to center.

btw..swap out howry/dumpster and im happy.

howry does work the OF more than the dumpster, but he can at least find the plate when needed.

i think its easier to count guys dumpster hasnt going 3-2 count on rather than looking at the guys he didnt. =p

he's not making that much more than Eyre or Howry. Kerry Wood could be looming around the corner as well.

BB/9 rate:
Jenks: 3.91
Hoffman: 1.70
K-rod: 2.89
Wagner: 2.89
Borowski: 4.09
Izzy: 5.86
Lidge: 4.43
Gonzalez: 5.17

wood and the cubs are both making rumblings that sound a lot like wood + cubs + bullpen are inevitable.

blah blah incentive laden blah blah contract something blah blah.

wood, wood's agent, and hendry have all talked about wood/cubs and the pen...they all seem to be on the same page.

that also leads to an extreme excess of arms in a tight/slow relief (and for some clubs, starting) market.

dumpster, howry, eyre, wuertz, ohman, novoa, aardvark...Z, prior, rusch, ryu, guzman, marshall, mateo...etc.

if wood does join in on the bullpen games the excess trade bait becomes an even stronger pool of excess trade bait.

what to trade for, though...and what's available...and what the cubs will do in the FA market before looking into that...etc etc...so much to be determined.

Wood is like the plague. If they count on him to be more than a setup man/long relief they are brain dead.

LIriano out for the year probably as he left his game today with elbow pain.

if Wood is pitching lights out in spring training/april and you have dumpster, eyre, howry around, there's really nothing to lose by putting Wood in as closer. Likely he'd start in a setup role and if he's pitching well and Dumpster is not, he'd get the call.

DougD, I think you nailed it on the Stone/Jeter discussion. Sure, Jeter could be an excellent teammate and leader. But picking him first? I'd go with a young slugger in the Pujols/Cabrera/Howard mold. Jeter would not even be the first SS on my list, although he would be on the short list.

"if Wood is pitching lights out "
If Wood can tie his shoes with out hurting himself that would be a successful ST for him.

I just don't want the Cubs to pass up someone available via trade or someone like Mateo or Aardsma doing well to get passed up because of Kerry "If" Wood.

Rob G.:
"Liriano out for the year probably as he left his game today with elbow pain."

A very stupid decision to bring Liriano back this year. Made absolutely no sense, I don't care if you are in a pennant race or not, you need to look into the future. I hope the kid is not seriously injured.

This is a perfect example of why Z should not pitch the rest of the year. Why risk anymore of an injury to an already tender back.

Cubs aren't going to acquire any relievers this offseason, not unless it's part of a multi-player trade where we're giving up somebody.

Mateo and Aardsma have options, along with everyone else on the team except Bynum and possibly Guzman, nobody is getting passed up there. If Wood isn't healthy, one of those players or whomever you'd like gets called up. There's absolutely no risk in signing Wood for next year.

#60 of 80: By Urbs in Horto (September 13, 2006 12:31 PM)
A question: Given the weakness our outfielders' arms, do any of our outfielders have an assist this year? Thanks!

URBS:

CUBS OUTFIELD ASSISTS LEADERS:
Jacque Jones - 5
Juan Pierre - 5
Matt Murton - 3

CUBS MINOR LEAGUE OUTFIELD ASSISTS LEADERS

FULL SEASON CLUBS:
Felix Pie ñ 18 (AAA)
Ryan Harvey ñ 9 (DAY)
Luis Montanez ñ 9 (AA & AAA)
Yusuf Carter ñ 8 (PEO)
Miguel Negron ñ 8 (AA - TOR & CHC)

SHORT SEASON CLUBS:
Matt Camp ñ 6 (BOISE)
Wilson Inoa ñ 6 (MESA)
Alfred Joseph ñ 6 (BOISE)
D. J. Lewis ñ 6 (BOISE)
Tyler Colvin - 5 (BOISE)

Rob G.:
"There's absolutely no risk in signing Wood for next year."

No risk?? You don't even know how much he is asking for. Yeah, if we give him $1 million plus incentives, then there would be little risk, but still risk. And like some people have said there is emotional risk involved too. The team and fans have relied on wood for so long and he has failed us, emotionally thinking he can be a reliever or even closer is setting us up for another letdown. It might just be time to cut ties...

Manny...I am pretty sure that the Cubs are not too worried about the "emotional risk" that Cubs fans may endure.

I would not hestitate to sign Wood to an 1-2 million dollar contract with incentives. He could be flat out dominating out of the bullpen, as we saw last season. If Wood is affordable, he is worth the risk.

yeah no risk, boohoo emotional ties by the fans. Yeah if they give him $4 mil and hand him the closer job while trading away dumpster, howry or eyre, that would be pretty damn dumb. Since that's unlikey to happen, there's no risk.

Your adding a spare part to an already stacked bullpen for what will likely amount to very little money. It's going to boil down to if another team is willing to add years to a contract and how much more they'll pay since they don't have to pay his buyout. But Kerry and his wife do a lot of charity stuff around here and seem to like the city, so I think if he wants to stay he will. Hendry will certainly offer him something.

Dave:
"Manny...I am pretty sure that the Cubs are not too worried about the "emotional risk" that Cubs fans may endure."

You would think not considering they have lost for so long, but they did ship Patterson, Sosa and Hawkins out pretty quickly after the fans started booing them.

It will cost atleast $ 4 million to bring Wood back. Correct? $ 3 million for buy out and atleast $ 1 million for the Jim Hendry Recovering Injured Pitcher contract.

I see your point Rob but the Cubs brass still gets starry eyed about him. Also his home is in Phoenix.

Kerry's wife is actually from the Chicago area, as I recall, and she probably still has family in the area.

And Manny, that's a complete apples to oranges comparison.

"I just prefer Edmonds' approach to center."

And I prefer the Babe Ruth approach in center. You are comparing Pierre, who is a GOOD fielder, to Jim Edmonds, who is a SUPERIOR fielder. Apples and Oranges.

Jacos-
The $3 million is Wood's no matter what, so you can't count that in there and anyways, that money would be given to Wood the day his option is not picked up (late October, early November?).

And also, he is from TX, so TEX and HOU might take a look at him. If anyone offers him more than 1 year or more than $1 million, I hope Hendry sticks to his scrap heap offer of 1 year $1 million (+ incentives) and NO MORE.

Wood has sucked over $30 million from the Cubs and only gotten like 30+ starts. At some point you need to cut your losses and just say goodbye.

Would you live in Chicago during the winter if you didn't have to?

If Wood is holding out for a bigger payday he'll get it somewhere else. If he understands that the Cubs can't pay him more than his buyout and another $1 mi or so on top of that (cause you have to pay him something for next year per union rules) I expect him to be a Cub. I don't know how teams internally figure buyouts, whether they're part of this year's budget or next, but it's $3 mil the Cubs had to pay no matter what, so you can't really factor it into what we'd pay him next year.

Wood would be lucky to get $1 mil on the open market. I say offer him a $500k contract for 1 year and basically pay him per IP. $1 mil is way too much. If he doesn't take it, say goodbye, let him find work elsewhere.

As for Prior, let's just say I wouldn't get too generous when it comes arbitration time.

And for the record, I think depending on Wood as _________ (fill in the blank, starter, closer, long relief, mop up) is a terrible terrible terrible idea.

#80 of 82: By Rob G. (September 13, 2006 01:41 PM)
Cubs aren't going to acquire any relievers this offseason, not unless it's part of a multi-player trade where we're giving up somebody.

Mateo and Aardsma have options, along with everyone else on the team except Bynum and possibly Guzman, nobody is getting passed up there. If Wood isn't healthy, one of those players or whomever you'd like gets called up. There's absolutely no risk in signing Wood for next year.

----

NO MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS LEFT:
Freddie Bynum
Les Walrond

ONE MINOR LEAGUE OPTION LEFT:
David Aardsma (see NOTE 1)
Ronny Cedeno
Angel Guzman (see NOTE 2)
Rich Hill
Miguel Negron
Roberto Novoa
Will Ohman
Geovany Soto
Michael Wuertz
NOTE 1: David Aardsma will get an additional (4th) option year in 2007 because players get a 4th option year IF they have not played five seasons in the major leagues or minor leagues by the time they have used up their three minor league options.
NOTE 2: Because of time spent on the DL in 2004 and 2005, Angel Guzman will likely get a 4th option year in 2007, because he will probably not have played five ìfull seasonsî (minimum 60 days on major league or minor league active roster in each of five separate seasons) by the time he has used up his three options.

TWO MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS LEFT:
Brian Dopirak
Adam Harben
Carlos Marmol
Angel Pagan
Felix Pie
Mark Prior
Jose Reyes
Jae-Kuk Ryu
Ryan Theriot

THREE MINOR LEAGUE OPTIONS LEFT:
Buck Coats
Sean Marshall
Juan Mateo
Matt Murton
Ryan OíMalley

--

POTENTIAL MLB TYPE XX FREE-AGENTS AFTER 2006 SEASON:
Henry Blanco
Kerry Ligtenberg (at AAA IOWA)
John Mabry
Wade Miller
Juan Pierre
Aramis Ramirez (player option for 2007-08)
Kerry Wood (club option with buy-out for 2007)
NOTE: Aramis Ramirez has a player option for 2007. If he does NOT choose to be a free-agent after this season, and if his contract is NOT renegotiated, then the orginal contract remains in force as written, and there is either a mutual option for 2009, or a player option (only) for 2009 if he plays 270 games (combined) in 2007-08

SIGNED BEYOND 2006:
Michael Barrett (thru 2007)
Glendon Rusch (thru 2007)
Scott Eyre (thru 2007 & player option for 2008 - limited ìno tradeî thru 2008)
Cesar Izturis (thru 2007 & club option with buy-out for 2008)
Ryan Dempster (thru 2008)
Bob Howry (thru 2008)
Jacque Jones (thru 2008)
Derrek Lee (thru 2010 ñ ìno tradeî thru 2010)

-

OTHERS UNDER CLUB CONTROL

(PROJECTED POST-06 MLB SERVICE TIME IN PARENTHESIS)

NOTE: Although the MLB season is 182 days, 172 days constitutes one full year of MLB service time

WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR ARBITRATION AFTER 2006:
Carlos Zambrano (5+42 - FA after 2007)
Will Ohman (4+40 - FA after 2008)
Mark Prior (4+131 - FA after 2008)

AUTO-RENEWAL (PRE-ARBITRATION) FOR 2007:
David Aardsma (0+168)
Freddie Bynum (1+35)
Ronny Cedeno (1+108)
Buck Coats (0+35)
Brian Dopirak (0)
Angel Guzman (0+95)
Adam Harben (0)
Rich Hill (0+87)
Sean Marshall (1+0)
Carlos Marmol (0+121)
Juan Mateo (0+62)
Scott Moore (0+28)
Matt Murton (1+87)
Miguel Negron (0)
Roberto Novoa (1+169)
Ryan OíMalley (0+47)
Angel Pagan (1+0)
Felix Pie (0)
Jose Reyes (0+27)
Jae-kuk Ryu (0+38)
Geovany Soto (0+60)
Ryan Theriot (0+112)
Les Walrond (0+53)
Michael Wuertz (2+4)

----

SIX-YEAR MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENTS (PLAYER OPTION) IF NOT ADDED TO 40-MAN ROSTER BY 10-15-06

Hugo Castellanos, RHP (AA)
Gary Cates, IF-OF (AA)
Wilton Chavez, RHP (AAA)
Jeff Deardorff, OF-1B (AAA)
Brandon Emanuel, RHP (AAA)
Cristian Gonzalez, RHP (RESTRICTED LIST)
Nic Jackson, OF (AA)
Casey Kopitzke, C (AAA)
Albenis Machado, SS (AA)
Luis Montanez, OF (AAA)
Augie Ojeda, INF (2+61 - AAA)
Carlos Perez, LHP (Daytona)
Carmen Pignatiello, LHP (AAA)- see NOTE
Michael Restovich, OF (1+140 - AAA)
Brandon Sing, 1B (AA)
Jon-Mark Sprowl, C-1B (AA)
Mac Suzuki, RHP (3+40 - AAA)
Carlos Vasquez, LHP (AA)
Aron Weston, OF (AA)
NOTE: Although Carmen Pignatiello is eligible to be a 6Y MLFA after this season, the fact that he has been assigned to the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League as a "Cubs" player means he must have already agreed to a 2007 Cubs minor league contract (probably with an NRI to Spring Training 2007, as happened with Brandon Sing last year).

ELIGIBLE FOR 2006 RULE 5 DRAFT IF NOT ADDED TO 40-MAN ROSTER BY 11-20-06:

* was not assigned to a minor league club as of end of 2006 season

Thomas Atlee, RHP (AA)
Federico Baez, RHP (AA ñ 6Y MLFA after 2007)
Justin Berg, RHP (Daytona)
Oscar Bernard, RHP (Mesa - 6Y MLFA after 2007)
Ryan Bicondoa, RHP (Daytona)
Todd Blackford, RHP (Peoria)
* Chadd Blasko, RHP
Jerry Blevins, LHP (AA)
Bobby Brownlie, RHP (AA)
Edward Campusano, LHP (AA)
* Jose Caridad, RHP
Rocky Cherry, RHP (AAA)
Robinson Chirinos, 2B (Peoria - 6Y MLFA after 2007)
Matt Ciaramella, OF (Daytona)
Matt Craig, 1B-3B (Daytona)
Darin Downs, LHP (Boise)
Mike Fontenot, 2B (0+19 - AAA)
Jake Fox, C (AA)
Alfredo Francisco, RHP (Boise)
Sam Fuld (Daytona) - see NOTE 2
Alberto Garcia, 1B-OF (Peoria)
* Lee Gwaltney, RHP
* Luke Hagerty, LHP
Ryan Harvey, OF (Daytona)
Lincoln Holdzkom, RHP (AA ñ 6Y MLFA after 2007)
Micah Hoffpauir, 1B (AAA)
Jesse Hoorelbeke, 1B (AAA)
Jonathan Hunton, RHP (Daytona)
Fabian Jimenez-Angulo, LHP (Peoria)
Scott Koerber, LHP (Peoria)
Tim Layden, LHP (Daytona)
Richard Lewis, 2B (AA - 6Y MLFA after 2007)
* Dary Maria, RHP
J. R. Mathes, LHP (AA)
* Zach McCormack, LHP
Casey McGehee, 3B (AAA)
Adalberto Mendez, RHP (AA)
Ryan Norwood, 1B (Peoria)
Isaac Pavlik, LHP (AA)
Leonel Perez, RHP (Mesa)
Billy Petrick, RHP (Daytona)
Jose Pina, RHP (Boise)
Elvin Puello, 3B (Boise)
* Robert Ransom, RHP
Clay Rapada, LHP (AAA)
Tony Richie, C (AA)
Alan Rick, C (Daytona)
Carlos Rojas, SS (AA - 6Y MLFA after 2007)
Issmael Salas, INF (Daytona - 6Y MLFA after 2007)
Joel Santo, RHP (Peoria)
Paul Schappert, LHP (Daytona)
Chris Shaver, LHP (AA)
Andy Shipman, RHP (AAA)
Jemel Spearman, INF (Daytona)
Nate Spears, INF (Daytona)
Jesus Valdez, OF (Peoria)
Chris Walker, OF (AA)
Randy Wells, RHP (AAA)
Jake Whitesides, INF (Peoria)
Olin Wick, C (Daytona)
Jesus Yepez, LHP (Peoria)
NOTE 1: Although they were selected in the 2004 Rule 4 (June) Draft, Jeff Culpepper, Jesse Estrada, Grant Johnson, and Eric Patterson will not be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft until after the 2007 season because the first contracts they signed were for 2005 season.
NOTE 2: Although he did not make his pro debut until the 2005 season, it is possible that Sam Fuld signed a 2004 contract in July of that year (he had expected to play once his broken wrist had healed, but he was never activated). If he signed a 2004 contract at that time (expecting to play later that Summer), he is eligible for the Rule 5 Draft after this season; if he signed a 2005 contract in July '04, he will not be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft until after the 2007 season.

NEXT YEAR AT THIS TIME...

1st TIME ELIGIBLE FOR RULE 5 DRAFT POST-2007 (TOP 5)
1. Donald Veal, LHP
2. Sean Gallagher, RHP
3. Eric Patterson, 2B
4. Mitch Atkins, RHP
5. Yusuf Carter, OF

unlike 25+ other clubs, the cubs really dont need to think about pen this coming season...thankfully.

wood here or not here isnt really an impact move...hell, even adding a top FA reliever (not like that's even on the radar) really wouldnt be that huge of an impact compared to wants/needs in other areas.

its gonna be a reasonable gamble, or a parting of the ways most likely. dont think anyone would complain either way unless wood gets handed 5-6m+ base pay (gonna get 3m reguardless).

I would like to see Z's contact extension priority one on October 2.

Jacos:
"I would like to see Z's contact extension priority one on October 2."

Yeah that is #1 on my wish list, then close thereafter is cleaning up ARam's situation. Then we will know closer to how much money we will have to spend in the offseason.

It should be pretty easy to sign Z unless he wants much more than market value or Hendry is looking for a big hometown discount. Oswalt has set the market and I think Z's contract will be close to what Oswalt just got. Oswalt got 5 years/$73 million.

The glass is one-tenth full vs. 9/10 empty...

Always dangerous to look at partial-season stats, but, since the A/S break:

- Wuertz 2.20ERA, 32K/9BB in 29 games
- Hill 5-2, 3.05, 52K/19BB in 9 starts
- Murton .336BA/.398OBP, with 7HR in 146 AB
- Theriot .320/.407, 8/9 SB (although only 75AB)

- Also, FBynun, 5 Errors in 13 games at 2B. Enough, already.

None of this guarantees future success, but it does show some talent and ability in the Cubs' youth.

Also, FWIW, I'd love to see Kerry Wood in the pen. If he doesn't pan out, use Howry/Wuertz to close (never been a Dempster fan -- too many base runners + not enough K's = trouble).

Howry, Eyre, Wuertz, Ohman, Dempster, Aardsma and Wood == pretty good pen.

Z deserves more than Oswalt, he's 4 years younger. He definitely should get more years than Oswalt.

Rob G.:
"Z deserves more than Oswalt, he's 4 years younger. He definitely should get more years than Oswalt."

It will be intersting to see what he gets. Yes, Z is 4 years younger than Oswalt, but Oswalt's numbers are better than Z and they both have played 6 seasons now.

Zambrano (25 years old): 62-41 (.602%), 3.30 ERA, 1.28 WHIP in 956.0 IP
Oswalt (29 years old): 95-47 (.669%), 3.08 ERA, 1.18 WHIP in 1,122.1 IP

I think it would be very fair to give him the same deal Oswalt got, but we will see.

Also -- Aardsma since ASB:

2.89ERA, 26K/10BB in 28IP -- and that includes the disasterous outing vs. the Cards when he gave up 3HR in an inning (and I was there...). Since that ugly day, he has only given up 2 runs in 17 innings, with 17Ks.

You can add another win to the Oswalt numbers I posted above. His line today 8.1 IP, 7 hits, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3K's and a W.

garcia 6 perfect innings so far against the angels.

iguchi made one of the more interesting baserunning blunders I've ever seen. On 2nd with 2 outs, Konerko singled to the gap, Iguchi strolls around 3b with an easy score and then just stops midway. He seemed to realize they were going to make a play, but still had time to go home, but he just stopped and then ran back to third. Really no idea what he was thinking unless he thought the ball was going to be caught or going to easily reach the wall and then just froze when he realized a play was going to be tried or something.

Very odd, ozzie was his usual animated self.

I was just wondering what our bench players will look like next year. If we kept all of the players that we currently have, then it would be Pagan, Moore, Bynum, Blanco (if re-signed), and Theriot (if he is not a starter). Moore can play for Ramirez and Lee. Pagan can fill in at all three outfield positions, and Bynum and Theriot can take care of the middle infield positions. Blanco of course would be the backup cathcher. I hope that Theriot can play everyday though. Even though I do not like it, he reminds me a lot of D. Eckstein. What are your thoughts on our bench?

Moore won't be a bench player next year, he'll start in AAA unless (god forbid) he's our starting 3b cause Ramirez walked.

6.1 of perfect ball by Garcia

6.2 of perfect ball with only 2 K's

i would really really like hendry to do something he's not done the past couple years...

realize there IS a place for a heavy-bat 1st/LF type. yes, he wont play 3-4 fielding positions, but some power off the bench would be nice. nevin was nice. mabry was a 1/2-assed version of what that role was supposed to be, but part of his appeal was something he played himself out of in spring, 3rd.

7 perfect for Garcia, was down 3-1 on Vlad but got him to ground to SS.

I've been calling for that for quite awhile crunch, (and I mean that in a I agree with you way not in a I said it first way). Not every guy on the bench has to play 6 positions and not hit. At least one guy should be there solely for his offense, mostly his ability to hit homers. I'd have no problem bringing back Nevin or if no one wants to give Craig Wilson a job next year. I also like both of them because they can be emergency catchers and you can pinch-hit for your backup catcher on the days he starts.

Wilson though will get a DH/1B job I'm sure, Nevin I'm not sure about though, but I doubt they'll bring him back.

sheets' perfect broken up...

im still trying to figure out exactly why MIN wanted nevin.

including today he's played 6 games for 17abs (didnt play today, either) since he came on board.

hope he's worth the 40 or so ab's he seems to have been traded for by MIN.

billybucks: Also -- Aardsma since ASB:

Yeah, don't forget Aardsma! Last game I was at, my seats were near the bullpen so I got a good look at him warming up. His fastball is wicked. It's very lively. If he can keep locating that pitch like he has been, he should be a solid force out of the pen for years.

crunch: He cost MIN next to nothing. He's got a lot of pop, too. I think it was a good trade for them, even though he probably will just be used as PH.

I think he was free for them because the Cubs sent over cash, I mean other than Harben, who I'm sure we'll be a whole lot of nothing.

7.2 IP of perfect ball by Garcia, K'ed Anderson, 6-3 groundout by Rivera, Kennedy up

over...Kennedy singled on a 3-2 count.

ADAM KENNEDY!!!!

BYE BYE PERFECTO, BYE BYE NO NO!!!

Just as I tuned in. Oh well.

Nobody's mentioning Ryu. He's got a nifty changeup, maybe the best on the staff.

I haven't seen as much improvement as Dusty seems to have in Novoa, Wuertz and Ohman, last year's eighth inning disaster crew. Aardsma seems to have moved ahead of them. So will others.

I've liked Ryu since seeing him pitch in ST. He seems to locate his pitches right on the edges of the zone. His stuff is so mediocre that if he doesn't locate, he ends up with outings like that 6 ER outing against the Braves earlier this year. Take that outing out of the equation and the guy is pitching 2.57

I'd say he should be our long reliever. Rusch... I don't know, have to get him off the roster somehow.

Why would anyone cheer against a perfect game (unless it's against the Cubs)? It makes no sense.

Remember, it's the Sox fans who hate the Cubs.

To Cubs fans, the White Sox are just another random AL team like the Royals or Rangers or Orioles. Not hatred, indifference.

Jealousy?

Nope. I hate the White Sox with ever ounce of energy in me.

#106 of 106: By crunch (September 13, 2006 04:42 PM)
i would really really like hendry to do something he's not done the past couple years...

realize there IS a place for a heavy-bat 1st/LF type. yes, he wont play 3-4 fielding positions, but some power off the bench would be nice. nevin was nice. mabry was a 1/2-assed version of what that role was supposed to be, but part of his appeal was something he played himself out of in spring, 3rd.

--

CRUNCH: I agree with you. I even wrote an article on this topic last off-season!

Phil Nevin did a fine job hitting off the bench for the Cubs this season. And as you mentioned, John Mabry did not (sub-.200 as a PH). Having some late inning thunder available on the bench isn't a bad thing.

The '84 Cubs bench is the best one I can remember, with professional hitters like Richie Hebner, Thad Bosley and Bill Buckner (before he was traded for Eckersley), and then later Ron Hassey (who came to the Cubs as part of the Sutcliffe deal) and Jay Johnstone, plus Henry Cotto and Gary Woods and eventually Davy Lopes... Now THAT was a bench that was built for late-inning rallies and comebacks!

Of course, 1984 was B. P. C. (Before Pitch Counts), and so ten-man pitching staffs (and five-man bullpens) were still the norm, which allowed for a seven-man bench. With today's 12-man pitching staffs and five-man bench, a premium is placed on versatility (which is how guys like Jose Macias & Freddie Bynum keep getting work), and "pure" hitters--guys who can smoke an XBH "cold" off the bench in the late innings--are just an after-thought.

That said, I would like to see Jim Hendry acquire a couple of free-agent PH/1B/3B/LF bats for the bench during the upcoming off-season. He probably won't, but he should. The best available ones will be:

RIGHT-HANDED HITTER:
Wes Helms, 3B-1B (FLA)

LEFT-HANDED HITTER:
Geoff Blum, 3B-1B-LF-RF (SD)
Daryle Ward, 1B-LF (ATL)

Sign Helms and either Blum or Ward and mix them together with Angel Pagan (4th OF), Ryan Theriot as the back-up middle infielder and PR (if he isn't the #1 2B), and Henry Blanco or Geovany Soto as the back-up catcher, and that's a pretty good 21st century bench.

I also believe Micah Hoffpauir (Iowa) might be the type of hitter who can hit off the bench. I could see Hoffpauir as a possible Ross Gload-type 1B-LF-PH.

Horatio-
You obviously don't live, nor work, in Chicago.

But if you do, I envy you for feeling an indifference to the White Sox. I don't, nor will I ever. And if you do live in Chicago, I am surprised you don't know that there are many Cubs fans that think the same way about the White Sox.

The type of power hitter you guys are talking about will probably have too low of a batting average for th likings of the TCR crowd or Hendry for that matter.

*rolls eyes*

The Cubs don't have that Dunn, Glaus, Swisher force in their lineup that drives in runs. That's why the Cubs rank last in offense, IMHO.

Dunn and Glaus drive in runs? I mean they're always around 100 but for the amount of homers they hit, they're hardly world-beaters in the RBI department. It looks like Swisher is in the same mold. Good power, but lots of K's and walks that tend to drive your RBi's down.

Oh, ok. They're probably overrated.

Wow. It's been a weird couple seasons for injuries.

http://tinyurl.com/h2h8r

Well, I'm sure this is NOT how we wanted Rusch off the mound. What a strange season... here's hoping for a speedy, uneventful recovery for him.

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

Put another way, I'd rather have a .240 avg, .500 slg'ing guy in LF over Murton any day of the week.

I wish Rusch the best...this injury appears to be real, unlike the last two made up injuries that put him on the DL. I hope for a quick return to full health.

But this all but guarentees he won't be released or traded this offseason.

they're very good players, don't get me wrong, but it's not for their run-driving ability. They get on-base and hit homers, but they also leave a lot of guys stranded or leave it to the next hitter to bring them in. But yeah, I'd take them over Murton too.

doubtful he'd be released in the offseason if he made it this far anyway.

he's probally due for a spring tryout and sorted from there...speculation, but it seems that's his logical course since he's hung on so long and the club has to pay him anyway.

the sad thing is with all the injuries rusch never even got the chance to block someone more deserving. =p

Yes, Manny, I have lived in Chicago all my life. I'd counter your supposition about me by assuming you don't know many Sox fans. What you might see as "hatred" for the Sox among your circle probably wouldn't hold a candle to the burning passion of rage that Sox fans feel for the Cubs. There's really no comparison. I think there is certainly a vibe out there that increasingly says "Cub fans must hate the Sox," but is a relatively new phenomenon.

High team OPS = lots of runs scored. If the Cubs want to score more runs, they need to junk the guys with the crappy OPS (Juan Pierre, Izturis, Cedeno, et al.)

all the cubs need for a high OPS payroll with guys who can actually field, too is a yanks payroll and/or the best draft/sign/scouting team baseball has ever seen (and they better be consistant).

i guess they could just go with all kid pitching and hope it doesnt look like the 07 cubs kid pitching growing pangs while throwing 5-15m a year at 7-8 slots on the field.

Don't be so defeatist, Crunch. The Twins seem to get by. The Mets are a pretty decent team. Rumor has it that the A's win a game now and then. Two of these teams have payrolls 2/3 that of the Cubs and the other (Mets) is comparable at 100 mil. It can be done. The Cubs just choose not to do it.

its not defeatist...its just not realistic.

aside from the fact there are a very few 'sure things' as far as the way a guy will play (and im not even factoring injury)...its just not a guarenteed winner.

YANKS, cle, wsox, toronto, boston, philly, atl, METS, cin, tex...that's your top10 OPS.

its just not as simple as isolating that stat...

pitching matters...and it all costs money if you dont CONSISTANTLY produce it.

btw, the 05 mets?

btw...if you DO like isolating stats...ob% comes closer to predicting top finishers over OPS in this era on whole.

except well...last year's wsox who cruised on power and pitching.

lots of ways to win...a lotta it has to do with how your team performs collectively in the virtual-vacuum of a game/series/etc, not on whole.

Crunch:
"pitching matters..."

Can I get an AMEN from the bobbleheads?

"in my days we didnt have bases...we had rocks." - h.wagner

"rocks? hey, what's up guys?" - d.strawberry

"hey Darryl, back off, this is my turf." - Steve Howe

I agree that the Cubs need pitching in a major way. I'm not sure where you'd get the idea that I think otherwise. But we do have to remember that the Cubs are ALSO, in addition to their pitching suckitude, last in MLB in runs scored. BOTH areas need major work.

Why on earth would anyone root against a perfect game, unless it was against your team?

And for the record, Manny, I live in Chicago and don't hate the Sox. Some of their fans, yes.

Tito:
"Why on earth would anyone root against a perfect game, unless it was against your team?"

I think I answered this, but because I HATE the White Sox, not just their fans, but the team also.

It was more of a rhetorical question, because I think it's pretty silly to root against a perfect game just because you hate the White Sox.

Then I am silly...

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