Freakin’ Cursed

Derrek Lee will miss the rest of the season to tend to his 3-year old daughter. They haven't clarified what illness she's suffering from but she has lost some vision in one eye. As Lee states, you think breaking a wrist is a big deal and then something like this happens. Our thoughts and prayers to the whole Lee family as I don't even want to imagine what his family is going through right now. Z is back on the mound today to try and give the Cubs the series win after Rich Hill's gem yesterday. Go Bears, I mean Cubs! GAME ONE HUNDRED-FIFTY IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] CINCINNATI REDS (73-75 (Div) 2nd - 6.5 GB; (WC) 5th - 4.5 GB ) AT CHICAGO CUBS (60-89 (Draft) 3rd - 2.5 GB) Wrigley Field, 1:20 pm CDT Weather: TV: WGN Radio: WGN, XM 188
Carlos Zambrano, RHP 14-6, 3.50 ERA, 193 IP 188 K, 104 BB, 19 HR 212/318/359 againstEric Milton, LHP 8-7, 4.84 ERA, 152.1 IP 89 K, 42 BB, 27 HR 262/314/461 against

*Dewayne Wise, CF *Scott Hatteberg, 1B Rich Aurilia, SS *Adam Dunn, LF Edwin Encarnacion, 3B #Javier Valentin, C *Todd Hollandsworth, RF #Ray Olmedo, 2B *Eric Milton, P *Juan Pierre, CF Ryan Theriot, 2B Aramis Ramirez, 3B Matt Murton, LF *Jacque Jones, RF Henry Blanco, 1B Ronny Cedeno, SS Geovany Soto, C #Carlos Zambrano, P

Reds vs. Zambrano: Adam Dunn: 7-32, 219/366/594,10 K, 8 BB, 4 HR Jason Larue: 4-24, 167/231/208, 11 K, 0 BB Royce Clayton: 3-18, 167/211/278, 5 K, 1 BB Ken Griffey Jr.: 5-16, 313/421/875, 1 HR Ryan Freel: 2-14, 143/294/143 Rich Aurilia: 3-12, 250/308/250 Scott Hatteberg: 4-11, 364/563/727, 2 K, 5 BB Cubs vs. Milton: Aramis Ramirez: 9-27, 333/333/741, 4 K, 0 BB, 3 HR Juan Pierre: 6-22, 273/385/318 , 1 2B Derrek Lee: 4-18, 222/286/722, 3 HR Matt Murton: 6-17, 438/471/813, 1 HR Cesar Izturis: 3-11, 273/273/545, 1 HR
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Comments

so, will pierre hit a HR today? everyone else is.

Wow, Theriot hit two.

I actually kind of feel sorry for Eric Milton; he is the friendliest pitcher in the bigs (to gopher balls).

So I am thinking we know our 2nd baseman next year. We have the following:
1st: D. Lee
2nd: The Riot
SS: ??
3rd Aramis
LF: Murton
CF: ??
RF: ??Does Jones stay?
C: Barret
P:
1 Z
2 FA
3 Hill
4 Marshall
5 TRY_OUT position

do we re_sign pierre or promote pie? trade jones?

ScooterÆ

SS = izturis

extremely doubtful pie's in the 07 april plans.

marshall isnt a sure thing with his shakey injury comeback

and 2nd isnt guarenteed to theriot...

you forgot prior, too...

You fuckers wish the Cubs were only 2.5 GB

I agree with Crunch, there is no guarentee Theriot is starting 2B, Izturis will definately be SS. Prior will be in starting 5 as long as he is healthy. Also, I don't see how anyone can think JJ is going anywhere. And as much as I like how Murton has progressed, i really hope we don't see him starting in LF next year, unless it is in a platoon with JJ. Even though he might have good numbers for a 2nd year player, his numbers compared to other LF's are not very good, almost last. He is an intersting dilema, but unless we can get something real good in trade I hope they keep him around to platoon or be 4th OF at worst.

Wait...Theriot is hitting the CRAP out of the ball..playing solid defense, stealing bases, scoring and driving in runs...but he's "not guaranteed second base..."

Izturis has done next to nothing. He was hurt, again, but is hitting .233/.282/.260 in 73 AB's. His really good defense doesn't make up for that, not unless they're hitting hitting him 11th, next to Cedeno. By all means, let's serve the starting job to a guy whose career numbers are .259/.295/.336.

This is not a team that is a player or two away...we all know this!!! Why not make one big signing to the pitching staff, if for nothing else, to give some stability...Why not give the job to a guy who comes in and does everything the right way, like Theriot? Why not let Murton continue to develop and see if his resurgence is going to lead to even better things?
Ok...getting a bat for the lineup is a given, but why not fit a bat into RF or CF? How about trying to get Vernon Wells?

1)2B Theriot
2)LF Murton
3)1B Derrek Lee
4)3B Aramis Ramirez....please sign him!!
5)CF Vernon Wells
6)RF Jacque Jones
7)C Michael Barrett
8)SS Cesar Izturis? Cedeno? Augie Ojeda?

1)Z
2)Zito/Schmidt/Padilla
3)Rich Hill
4)Mateo/Marshall
5)Prior

Bullpen of:
Eyre
Howry
Ohman
Marmol
Aardsma
Wood
Dumpster

Find a closer...please...I can't handle another year of Dumpster....

as much as I like how Murton has progressed.... his numbers compared to other LF's are not very good, almost last.

You've said this before mannytrillo ...for some reason... but it's just not right.

Most NL teams don't have a regular left fielder, they use a platoon. As a result, there were only seven qualified National League left fielders the last time I looked. If Murton were one of them his .295 batting average would place him SECOND on that list NOT LAST.

How about compared to the sixteen teams in the NL? If you look at what the total hitting is for the left fielders for each team and rank the teams, Murton's .295 BA is good for 3rd not last. His .360 OBP is 8th not last. And his .800 OPS is 11th not last.

And since the All-Star break this is what he's done: .325 .385 .527

And .413 .491 .587 with runners in scoring position.

Look at his career stats. Right now they are very near the equivalent of a full season for a regular starter. 553 at bats. His totals are:

.302 .367 .459

19 home runs and 72 RBi's

Not bad for a guy who has spent a lot of time at the bottom of the order.

"Wait...Theriot is hitting the CRAP out of the ball..playing solid defense, stealing bases, scoring and driving in runs...but he's "not guaranteed second base...""

yeah.

"Izturis has done next to nothing. He was hurt, again, but is hitting .233/.282/.260 in 73 AB's."

izturis was picked up for 07, not 06.

btw...there is no closer to be had and its very doubtful hendry's looking into a very competitive and drained FA relief market.

who's the top dog anyway...speiers?

howry's here...eyre/wuertz/ohman...

"This is not a team that is a player or two away...we all know this!!! Why not make one big signing to the pitching staff"

Nice contradiction. If this team is not one or two players away then there is no need to sign a big ticket free agent.

Chad-
It is not a contradiction. This is a team that needs to add a veteran starting pitcher to ease the burden on the bullpen. I'm not saying to sign Bilionaire Barry Zito, but a Vincente Padilla would look pretty good in the rotation on the North Side.

I'd love to see Hill and another one of this year's rookies in the rotation, but as long as Prior continues to get hurt and compromise the rotation, then someone there to eat innings is a must.

I meant more of a medium-ticket signing Chad...those were the first guys that came to mind.

Not very clear on my part.

..and yes, Zito and Schmidt will be expensive...

if the club does decide to go with cedeno-theriot/murton at 2nd/LF that leaves them money to splash CF/SP. not like there's a big splash to be made in CF barring some tb/tor/etc. trade.

cedeno/theriot might make the 2nd crew...it would take away trade chips. its pretty obvious hendry has a hardon for theriot the past year+, i just wonder what he sees him as. trade chips or letting cedeno/theriot battle it out in spring.

*shrug*

Crunch-
What should the Cubs do?
Realistically, they are not going to sigh Soriano or Carlos Lee, so what do they do?

Besides plugging superstar Cesar Izturis in at SS?

they very well could sign soriano and lee...put murton on the bench or trade him off.

its a wide open field...

very few things are set in stone right now for anyone's team.

soriano or lee, rather

If Hendry doesn't sign CLee or Soriano, or trade for someone like Vernon Wells, it will have been a failed off-season. The Cubs need to add a big bat and a starting pitcher (or two) to be a legit contender next year. It's hard for me to believe that Hendry will sit on his hands over the winter. Of course, he'll have to be more creative and aggressive than he has been in past off-seasons.

Some of you may find this amusing, some will undoubtedly find it annoying, but it's late and I'm a little drunk and thereís no one else to show this to.

My parents are moving, so I had to remove several layers of my crap from their basement. In going through it all, I found a poem I wrote in junior high school.

CHICAGO CUBS

Washington's home to the President,
Metropolis may have Clark Kent,
Miami may have Crockett & Tubbs,
But I'm glad Chicago has the Cubs.

Punch my nose, rip out my tongue,
Cover my brand new shoes with dung,
Throw a stick and make me fetch,
But don't let me miss the 7th inning stretch.

Sandberg steals second, watch him slide in the mud,
Let's celebrate! Pour me another Bud!
Here's Leon Durham - the pitch is his,
Way back - It might be, it could be, it is!

How 'bout those Cubs! They're winnin' scary,
Led by Awesome Dawson and Harry Caray.
Wait - what's that? Another Dawson home run?
Well counting that, that makes sixty-one.

Lookit all the Cub fans, screamin' and yellin'.
Hear 'em all whistle as they watch Mariellen.
And now, once again, here's good ole' Ryne.
Watch him hit the ball back over the vines.

The fans stand up as Jody Davis hits the cycle,
See the camera focus in on a happy Gene Michael.
I don't care if he wins every game he plays,
As long as they're in first place a couple of days.

The Cubs bring joy to the Windy City,
As another New York Met is struck out by Smitty.
Sure, there's a lot of other ball clubs,
But I'm glad I live near the home of the Cubs.

I'm way more worried about the 2-man starting rotation next year than I am the mediocre offense.

cwtp: As a result, there were only seven qualified National League left fielders the last time I looked. If Murton were one of them his .295 batting average would place him SECOND on that list NOT LAST.

By this logic Murton (.295) is a better hitter than Adam Dunn (.236). Blah.

CWTP:
"Most NL teams don't have a regular left fielder, they use a platoon. As a result, there were only seven qualified National League left fielders the last time I looked. If Murton were one of them his .295 batting average would place him SECOND on that list NOT LAST."

Firstly, there are 9 LF's in the NL that qualify. And looking ONLY at BA means nothing to me and most people. Looking at OPS, which I think a vast majority think is a better judge of his offensve abilities, Murton would only beat out Preston Wilson in the NL.

brick.

that was awesome. thanks for the good memories of the 80's.

CWTP:
"If Murton were one of them his .295 batting average would place him SECOND on that list NOT LAST."

And I did not say LAST, just repeating your emphization, but I said almost LAST.

Ryno:
"By this logic Murton (.295) is a better hitter than Adam Dunn (.236). Blah."

Very good point...

Since the All Star Break, Murton's OPS has been .900, which puts him 8th in the league, as well as being 2nd in BA. He's not Jason Bay, but he's improving.

8th in the league among left fielders, to clarify. (with 150 PAs)

Can the Cubs somehow dump Ryan Dempster on someone? I mean, really, this guy needs to go. With a half-dozen teams always looking for bullpen help each offseason, surely SOMEONE would look at Dempster's 33 saves last year and take a flyer on him if the Cubs ate a little money or took a bad contract back in exchange, right?

I am thinking with Wood, Howry, Eyre, Wuertz, Aardsma and Ohman, we have no need for Dempster, anyways.

I am incredibly bored at work and have decided I would put together the best possible team at the lowest price given this years stats/salary...

C-Joe Mauer $400k
1B-Justin Morneau $385k
2B-Chase Utley $500k
SS-Jose Reyes $401,500
3B-Miguel Cabrera $472k
LF-Matt Holliday $500k
CF-Grady Sizemore $666,667
RF-Jeff Francoeur-$384,500
Total-$3,709,667

Bench
C-Brian McCann-$333,500
MI-Bill Hall-$418,500
CI-Garrett Atkins-$335k
OF-Nick Swisher $335k
Total-$1,422,000

Starting 5
Scott Olsen-$327k
Chien-Ming Wang- $353,175
Justin Verlander-$980k
Francisco Liriano-$327k
Jered Weaver-$327
Total-$2,314,175

Pen
Jon Papelbon-$335,400
Joel Zumaya-$327k
Justin Duchscherer-$344,500
Cla Meredith-$327k
Matt Capps-$327k
J.J. Putz-$415k
Huston Street-$339,625
Total-$2,415,525

A Grand Total of $9,861,367!!

Woot.

I'm trying to find a reasonable explanation for the Dusty record in SF vs. here in Chi. First of all, I recall it being reported that, as a tactician, Dusty was known to do puzzling things from time-to-time (remember, this kind of descriptive understatement is much easier when occaisionally observing a guy manage someone else's greener lawn vs. the kind of emotion we have after living with him for the last few trainwreck seasons). Well, we got our share of "puzzling things," all right, but those things did not prevent SF under Dusty from compiling a much better record. Perhaps the "Peter Principle" applies here, in that the mix of players and circumstances here ended up creating a situation that was beyond Dusty's ability to overcome -- thus, the management style that was credited with creating a loose but productive clubhouse for the Giants (remember the Darren as batboy incident in the '02 WS?) ended up creating chaos and loose ends all over the place for the Cubs. Maybe he did manage the same way but if SF never had serious problems with team fundamentals and physical training/injury prevention then his ability to recognize it and fix it was never effectively tested. Perhaps Dusty skills were better in taking a solid group of self-responsible players and getting them to work well together. I don't recall him having the reputation for of being skilled at fixing a team with multiple problem areas. Sometimes certain combinations of factors and circumstances just expose a particular person's weaknesses and when that happens, the person ends up looking pretty bad. This happens in marriages and other relationships, too. It doesn't make them a bad person. It just makes them the wrong person for the situation.

I think Dusty is a very admirable person with many strengths. I hope he goes to a situation where those strengths can be used to their best advantage. I just don't think that situation is here anymore.

I understand the strength of frustration that causes alot of the insulting comments about Dusty. I don't think they are really intended to be personal (see the failed marraige analogy again). It's just not a good fit anymore and the Cubs need to take a different direction (I also think all of this stuff has beaten Dusty up pretty good and it would be best for him to find a different situation better suited to his strengths). I wish it had turned out better and I sincerely wish him well in the future.

Newport/Racine:
Starting 5
Scott Olsen-$327k
Chien-Ming Wang- $353,175
Justin Verlander-$980k
Francisco Liriano-$327k
Jered Weaver-$327
Total-$2,314,175

Yikes, that's a whole rotation that costs much less than Mark Prior. And a whole roster that costs less than Kerry Wood. That's sort of amusing.

Mark Prior '06 - $3,650,000 (9 G, 43 IP)
Kerry Wood '06 - $11,000,000 (4 G, 9.2 IP)

That's why I would part ways with Mark Prior and Kerry Wood after this season. I wouldn't even mess around with "incentive" contracts. It's time to move on.

A few weeks ago there were some comments in the Trib about Brenly being a candidate for manager. Brenly was cool about it-not wanting to lobby for Dusty's job but did say the Cubs need "grow their own, and get away from free agents".

I think most managerial candidates would feel that way.

So, when Dusty is fired (and I feel strongly he needs to be), I look for a new manager with a new 4 year plan.

I'd say keeping Theriot and Murton would be logical, given the "new" plan.

I'd say Jones might be traded and I would advocate that.

I'd also say they're likely to sign or trade for a starter but based on they way the whole thing is unfolding, definetely not a Jason Schmidt or Barry Zito.

First, it sounds very serious for Derek's daughter based on her reported symptoms. Let's all keep her in our prayers and thoughts.

Re: Post 29, an excellent sample of what a team can do when its farm system produces league average or better position players. I would expeck Ryan Howard, in just his second year at Phillie, is also making about what Morneau made.

Re: Post 30, Dusty had Barry Bonds and Jeff Kent in San Francisco and they, in the prime of their careers, could make up for Dusty's many sins, such as batting Marvin Bernard lead-off for years.

Re: Baseball America's rating of farm systems has to be treated with a big grain of salt. In 2003 and 2004 it rated Cubs as one of the best and the Phillies as one of the worse. However, the Phillies have produced Ryan Howard, Jimmie Rollins, Chase Utley and Pat Burrell (Burrell may be a semi-bust, but he still has a higher OPS then Matt Murton.) The Cubs, aside from the aforesaid Murton have produced what in the way of position players from 2003 through 2006?

Re: Murton, is a nice role player and would make a useful part if Cubs got star level production at CF and at least one of the middle infield positions. But his low power production (12 home runs and 19 doubles) is simply inadequate when the Cubs not going to get any power from Pierre, Izturis, and Cedeno. Yes, I think the Cubs will resign Pierre. Otherwise Hendry would feel that the trade last winter wuold make him look foolish. So a mistake will be compounded by a mistake. They have been doing everything wrong the last two seasons so "why not stay the course."

Organizations, like fans, develop "man crushes" on players and despite his horrid 2006, the Cubs it seems to me will at least give Cedeno the first half of 2007 to redeem himself because they love his "speed" and "tools." As regards Izturis, we will often miss both his dazzling defense and abominable offense much of the season given his history of being on the DL.

Finally, if the Hendray and McPhail were to acknowledge that they might not be certified geniuses, and that the roster they have constructed really sucks, they could sign Soriano to play LF. Since Boston and the Yankees are not competing for him, his price may be reasonable by free agent standards. Don't hold your breadth.

I still say that this is Murton's first full year in the majors. Let's wait to say that this is as good as he'll be, that he isn't developing power, and we should jettison him to the scrap heap.

"his low power production (12 home runs and 19 doubles) is simply inadequate when the Cubs not going to get any power from Pierre, Izturis, and Cedeno. "

Here's an idea. I know it's crazy, but what if Murton were to hit for more power next year? Oh wait, that would make him the first ever major league player to get better as he got more experience, that's totally impossible. What was I thinking?

I really like the logic: 'We're shitty at short, center and second, let's 'upgrade' our left fielder' too.

First, I am not saying that Murton is the equal to or even close to these guys, but I just want to put a little perspective to this undercurrent of unhappiness from a couple of TCR posters.

Mike Schmidt's first full year: 132 games, batted .196, with 137 total bases.

Harmon Killebrew: took five full years before he gained a full time starting job.

Carl Yastrzemski: only one time in his first six years did he hit twenty homeruns.

Henry Aaron: batted .280 with 13 homeruns in his first year.

Willie Mays: batted .274 his first year.

Now, again, I'm not saying Murton is anywhere near these guys, but let's cut the kid some slack. He has been great for a rookie or even a second year player.

The season is so incredibly long, and these guys have all kinds of things to make adjustments for--of course they are well-paid for that, but it still does not mean that each and every rookie will play like a hall of famer every day.

I have a lot more patience for guys like Murton and Cedeno and Moore and Theriot and Hill and Marmol and Mateo and Guzman than I do for guys like Rusch and Mabry and others. These kids are real people, not just the composite of some fantasy league scoring sheet.

The folks wanting to condemn Murton based on his season stats are either being disingenous or don't actually watch the games. Murton went through a horrid streak in late May through the end of June when opposing pitchers found a hole in his swing. Rather than going the K-Pat route, Murton worked his ass off, adjusted his approach, and has mashed the ball since July. Murton in June != Murton today, and judging his abilities by his season OPS is pointless.

Just for kicks, if you applied Murton's post-All Star performance to a whole season (600AB), you'd be looking at 192H, 362B, 29HR, 113RBI, 62BB, and 69K. Even if he regresses slightly from his post-All Star level, he's still going to do a fine job in LF and he'll do it for $10+ million less than a Soriano or a Lee.

Hey Cubster, if you're out there, would you mind applying some of your wealth of medical knowledge to this whole Lee situation? Any ideas what the problem could be / how serious it is?

In terms of Murton he spent part of 2005 in Double A (which was a jump from A ball the previous year) and then spent what would have been this AAA year on the Cubs roster for 2006. So before we try to discard him like yesterdays trash lets remember the guy is a young player who is only getting better with time and as post #37 suggests he has had a great 2nd half of the season and over a course of a year would be amazing numbers. I don't see any reason why he should not be given another year playing feft field regularly in 2007. Although there are excellent hitters available as LF candidates like Lee and Soriano I would rather see the Cubs do something about their starting pitching or simply giving some of that money to make sure ARAM comes back.

It's sort of silly to split hairs over the production of Murton & Pierre. Murton may lack the typical LF power numbers, but he'll be fine. I'd rather Hendry focus his attention & money on the pitching rotation.

...that is a pitching rotation that doesn't include 3 rookies, Kerry Wood or Mark Prior.

I'm trying to find a reasonable explanation for the Dusty record in SF vs. here in Chi.

I'll make it really simple for you, the difference can be summed up in two words: Barry Bonds.

Ryno's realistic '07 roster, if I'm GM:

Pierre, Murton, Jones, Ramirez, Izturis, Theriot, Lee, Barrett, Blanco, Zambrano, Schmidt, Eaton, Hill, Cook, Mateo, Aardsma, Ohman, Wuertz, Howry, Eyre, Dempster, Fontenot, Huff, ?, ?

If Pierre is signed long term, that doesn't really leave room in the organization for Pie. I'd trade him for pitching, i.e. Cook. The Rockies are looking for CF.

Player (A) .321 .385 .527
Player (B) .236 .363 .448

One is Adam Dunn since the All-Star break.
One is Matt Murton since the All-Star break.

If you think Player (B) has done better, you might be Ryno or mannytrillo.

HERE'S YOUR SIGN!

CWTP:
"If you think Player (B) has done better, you might be Ryno or mannytrillo."

HA HA, where did I say Player B has done better?

It looks like to me that player A has done better. I never said otherwise based on you criteria. But those stats are based on 10 weeks.

brick...nice. thanks for sharing.

woo...original content. someone give him 1.5% of each click from the webads.

"But those stats are based on 10 weeks.

So what, Manny? You're basically condemning Murton because of just four bad weeks.

Murton by month (50+ AB):
09/05: .315/.383/.603, 73AB, 7HR, 8BB, 10K
04/06: .286/.368/.442, 77AB, 2HR, 10BB, 13K
05/06: .286/.358/.393, 84AB, 2HR, 8BB, 12K
06/06: .212/.257/.227, 66AB, 0HR, 4BB, 11K
07/06: .360/.421/.440, 50AB, 1HR, 6BB, 4K
08/06: .317/.364/.574, 82AB, 5HR, 6BB, 8K
09/06: .333/.410/.574, 54AB, 3HR, 7BB, 9K

He's had one month where his OBP dipped below .358 (06/06); he's had just two months with a SLG below .440 (05/06, 06/06). So why do you keep judging him by season numbers that don't represent his abilities?

The Cubs have a lot of problems, but Matt Murton isn't one of them.

I'd priortize the fact that our starting rotation is terrible/nonexistent and out-machines like Cedeno, Izturis, and Pierre have a regular spot in the lineup. Fix those problems and the Cubs will be better.

Dumping Matt Murton would be quintessentially Cub-like as it would be an action that would a) not result in additional wins, b) allow a young player who should live out his most productive years in a Cub uniform to go elsewhere.

Vorare:
"So what, Manny? You're basically condemning Murton because of just four bad weeks. So why do you keep judging him by season numbers that don't represent his abilities?"

If Murton only had 4 bad weeks, then looking at his season numbers would be a fair judge. And I am not condeming him. I think he should be a platoon partner for JJ or a 4th OF on a team with an actual good overall OF, but his numbers in LF just don't match up with other LF's in NL. And I was wrong it was not 10 weeks, but 8 weeks since ASG.

Horatio:
"The Cubs have a lot of problems, but Matt Murton isn't one of them. I'd priortize the fact that our starting rotation is terrible/nonexistent and out-machines like Cedeno, Izturis, and Pierre have a regular spot in the lineup. Fix those problems and the Cubs will be better."

Yes Pitching OBVIOUSLY needs to be adressed forst and foremost, but the offense needs to improve too. And Hendtry just traded FOR Izturis, so he ain't going anywhere. And Hednry has showed no signs of not wanting to resign Pierre. And again, the easiest and fastest way to improve this team offensively is to get a big LF bat. Upgrading at CF, 2B or SS unlessHendry makes some blockbuster deal is not going to dramatically improve the offense enough to make a HUGE difference which is needed. If he can make that blockbuster deal, then I am all for keeping Murton in LF.

"And Hendtry just traded FOR Izturis, so he ain't going anywhere."

Which GM traded for Murton?

"And Hednry has showed no signs of not wanting to resign Pierre"

Unless you count not signing him as a sign.

"Upgrading at CF, 2B or SS unlessHendry makes some blockbuster deal is not going to dramatically improve the offense enough to make a HUGE difference which is needed."

But upgrading at two of those positions, like bringing in Lugo and Matthews would address the offense, and the center field defense and not leave us wondering what to do with a 270 lb backup first basemen in 2 years, or sign Soriano to let him play center or 2nd(yeck).

Is Matt Murton the problem? No, he's part of the solution. So how do you fix the problem? By replacing Matt Murton, obviously.

Oh, and the main things the offense needed this year was to not hit Neifi Perez 2nd and to have Lee healthy. Both of those things should be addressed for 2007 - with Lee's health and God willing, Dusty's removal.

cwtp: If you think Player (B) has done better, you might be Ryno or mannytrillo.

Actually, what I said was:

Ryno: It's sort of silly to split hairs over the production of Murton & Pierre. Murton may lack the typical LF power numbers, but he'll be fine. I'd rather Hendry focus his attention & money on the pitching rotation.

If you think Murton has the same kind of power as Dunn, you haven't see Dunn swing the bat. He's an ogre. Murton will be fine, though, and I believe he's in Hendry's long term plans.

Manny, the point is that Murton had an abysmally bad month and a half that dragged his season stats (particularly the SLG) way down. He has an OPS for the season of .798, but he's been solidly above that level in five of his seven months in the major leagues. He's also had three .900+ OPS months. You're being either incredibly dense or incredibly disingenous in insisting that his OPS ranking for this season reflects his abilities or his potential.

And, just to repeat what I said earlier, if you've actually been watching the games this year you know that Murton developed a major weakness in his approach at the end of May through the beginning of July, and he had the talent and work ethic to overcome that weakness. That's a very, very good sign in a 24 year old ballplayer.

Vorare:

You are right on about this guy. He already is a good player, and I believe he will continue to progress. I hope he stays with the Cubs. I sincerely hope that they have some patience with him, but I look back and see Palmeiro and others, and hold my breath.

It takes time for some of these guys. And not just with the Cubs. Look at Laroche in Atlanta--two years before he came alive after the All-Star break this year. I alluded to others who did not perform at Hall of Fame levels when they first came up earlier in this thread.

Re: Post # 42

Bleeding Blue, I wish it were that simple. The Giants had three sub-.500 years in a row following Dusty's first year with a 103-59 record. Bonds' performance wasn't the difference (see below).

Dusty's (and Bond's) first SF year was '93 -- the '92 Giants were 72-90 (.444) (5th) under Roger Craig.

Giants under Dusty as manager:

'93 Giants 103-59 (.636) (2nd)
'94 Giants 55-60 (.478) (2nd) (strike yr)
'95 Giants 67-77 (.465) (4th)
'96 Giants 68-94 (.420) (4th)
'97 Giants 90-72 (.556) (1st)
'98 Giants 89-74 (.546) (2nd)
'99 Giants 86-76 (.531) (2nd)
'00 Giants 97-65 (.599) (1st)
'01 Giants 90-72 (.556) (2nd)
'02 Giants 95-66 (.590) (2nd)

Evidently, he managed to make the Giants an effective team in his first year, then spent the next three years in the desert before running off 6 straight 1st or 2nd place finishes. I don't think he'll work magic here in a 5th year, despite the parallels with his Chicago stint (1st year success, followed by three of failure).

Bonds' stats were pretty steady over those first 5 years -- in fact, the '97 Giants improvement to 90-72 (.556) (1st) after a 68-94 (.420) (4th) in '96 happened despite a slight dip in Bonds' output.

If Murton only had 4 bad weeks, then looking at his season numbers would be a fair judge.

That might be fair, if Dusty would have stuck with Murton all season.

However, we all know after that poor 4-6 week stretch, Dusty relegated Murton to part time duty. Thus, those 4 weeks bringing down his overall numbers far more than they would for an everyday player.

Joe,

You'll also notice that the Baker's Giants string of 1st and 2nd place finishes also correspond rather closely with Bonds' numbers "naturually" changing from All-Star caliber to All-Time great caliber. Throw in an MVP year by Jeff Kent, and the key to Baker's sucess is really simple: Get on the back of one of baseball's best players, and take credit for the ensuing sucess. Yes, there are some other factors in there, but that's the majority of it.

You'll also note that the Giants actually improved under Alou, until the Bonds train was derailed by injury.

I thought it was interesting, I was at the Sept. 2 game Cain v. Marshall. I was sitting next to a couple Giants fans. Neither one liked Dusty Baker past or present.

Just thought that was interesting.

The Real Neal:
"Which GM traded for Murton?"

Jim Hendry.

BBlue --

I'm totally with you about how much Bonds had to do with the Giants' success. I wasn't trying to paint Dusty as a managerial genius who made a winner out of an average team.

"Just for kicks, if you applied Murton's post-All Star performance to a whole season (600AB), you'd be looking at 192H, 362B, 29HR, 113RBI, 62BB, and 69K. Even if he regresses slightly from his post-All Star level, he's still going to do a fine job in LF and he'll do it for $10+ million less than a Soriano or a Lee."

This is one of my points. Murton can hit, more so than JJ. Grade his numbers out over a season. He is getting better. JJ? We've seen what he can do. The Riot? No question, and I am frustrated as to why so many question him. He has hit at every level, won at every level, was an MVP at every level. What more does he have to prove? Both of them will increase their power levels as they get experience at this level. Cedeno? Big question, but hits better than C-Iz at SS. Hits worse at 2nd and that should be The Riot's positition. Did ANYONE see THE RIOT in the CWS? We got another in Colvin, who is tearing up short season ball. Let's get another RF-er, and 3rd baseman, starter and then talk. But don't talk bad about the ones producing. Guzman? Iam his biggest fan but he hasn't shown anything so far.

"The Riot? No question, and I am frustrated as to why so many question him."

its cuz of his past. the things he's being judged on were solely based upon what he's shown.

it was known he had a good eye, but an eye on this level with so many variety of pitches...that's suprising.

a big thing about his hitting game is he keeps it on the ground, and a lotta it to his right. in fact, you put a guy on 1st and you can pretty much count on him putting it between the 1st/2nd baseman when the 1st baseman loses some of his territory holding the guy on 1st. he's made a huge chunk of his #s on this so far.

he's gone from interesting middle IF bench option to possible 2nd base starter since august. that's a hell of a step for him.

there is nothing except "small sample size" and his past contridicting what he's doing now.

personally...i wanna see him handle more inside stuff...putting the ball to other fields for hits...but given what he's showing from all sides and even righties vs. lefties, its hard to complain.

given the past 1-2 month wonders that have snakebitten the cubs, though...well...

So Murton should be rewarded for driving in five runs in May/June combined?

Tito:

Those five runs are more than some other guys drove in.

SamClyatt:
"Those five runs are more than some other guys drove in."

Which guys?

I stand corrected.

I thought Pierre, Cedeno, and Blanco had fewer, but I checked and was wrong.

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