TCR Friday Notes

Not sure if I'll be able to throw up any more previews as we're preparing for a very busy off-season here at TCR. Okay, I got to work this weekend and I'm far too wrapped up in trying to secure third place in the TCR Fantasy Pool. - A San Diego paper tells us that in 2002 Jim Hendry approached Kevin Towers in trying to acquire Bruce Bochy to manage the Cubs and was told he wasn't going anywhere. According to the article:
One Cubs official said Bochy would be his first choice if something can be worked out. Bochy is guaranteed about $1.9 million in 2007.
Interesting... - Speaking of managerial speculation, this Trib article has a doozy for you. Bob Brenly in as manager of either the Cubs or Giants and Steve Stone back in the booth. - Juan Pierre became the first Cub to reach 200 hits since Ryne Sandberg. Yeah for meaningless milestones. The Cubs offense has actually been decent since Pierre started hitting, unfortunately it didn't happen until June. They say speed never takes a day off, but you know what does take games off? Singles hitters with little patience. - I know we're way past this, but bottom of the 9th, 2 on, 0 outs, a tough lefty on the mound in Brian Fuentes. Guess who's coming up? That would be Jacque Jones and I believe my exact words in the parachat were "just strike out and give Murton a try". Jones predictably grounded into a double play squashing the rally. Think Baker has seen him fail enough yet? - If you're the praying type, say one for Derrek Lee and his family. His daughter has been diagnosed with something known as LCA (Leber's Congenital Amaurosis), an "inherited form of blindness that is usually apparent shortly after birth." So far it's just affected one of her eyes and let's hope it only gets better from here on out. Otherwise see you in the Parachat on Sunday...
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Juan Pierre became the first Cub to reach 200 hits since Ryne Sandberg. Yeah for meaningless milestones.

No kidding. Since Pierre (1)walks about as often as he's thrown out stealing and (2)also gets picked off base too often his actual OBP (OBP-COB)is around .300 . Somebody with 700 AB's has to be on base more than 200 times to make a difference. Is it any wonder Pierre only has 85 Runs Scored..

Today was a great example of what Pierre brings to the Cubs. He collected his 200th hit in his first plate appearance ..and that was it. No run scored. Nothing else.

The Cubs offense has actually been decent since Pierre started hitting, ..

But Pierre isn't the reason. But a good case could be made that Theriot is. With only 124 AB's Theriot has scored 32 Runs!! And although Pierre had a poor first half and is supposedly doing better since the All-Star break he scored 43 runs before and 42 runs after. Not much difference where it counts-- On the board.

When you consider that Pierre has almost as at bats in September as Theriot has all year, Pierre really looks like a bum.

Went to the game today and the Cub garage sale is on. Crappy blue game jerseys available from such Cub greats as Nevin, Pole and Rothschild. I actually thought about buying a Rothschild or Pole jersey just because it would be so bizarre but I think I'd soon get tired of telling people it's just a joke.

Lefties are hitting .175 off of Fuentes on the year.

Just so we're perfectly clear on that managerial decision.

I don't know how Tribune reporters get away with stuff that you could never get away with on TCR.

In his latest hatchet job on Jim Henry--who I guess didn't return his phone calls this week--Paul Sullivan says this:

"The proposed deal that had Tejada and left-hander Erik Bedard coming to the Cubs for Mark Prior, Corey Patterson and prospects never got off the ground.

"Once the suggested trade was leaked to reporters, an outcry from angry fans prompted Hendry to back off, leaving the Cubs with Plan C (unproven prospect Ronny Cedeno) at shortstop."

My recollection is that the Cubs wanted to trade Prior and Patterson for Tejada. The Orioles said, give us Rich Hill. The Cubs said, okay, give us Bedard--lefty for lefty. The Orioles balked and that was it.

Funny that Sullivan doesn't mention Rich Hill in his description of the deal. If you're going to lambaste Hendry for trading Nolasco, you ought to be fair and give him credit for holding on to Hill. Imagine if Hill was doing that double-digit strikeout routine for somebody else--and he had a lot of suitors last winter.

That whole Prior/Tejada-gate has been so overblown. All the names that have been flying around that were supposed to be involved in that deal and the only thing I ever remeber being actually confirmed by Hendry is that the Orioles asked about Prior for Tejada. Everything else seems to have taken on a life of it's own...

First time poster......Can someone help me out on these two questions? First of all, months into the season, i heard Jacque had gone without a single hit, after having two strikes on him. They mentioned this on WGN, and then stopped talking about it....i assume since it was a deeply embarrassing stat. Anyone know.....How did this play out, over the course of the season?? Is that an available stat?

And secondly, when all is said and done, did Korey Patterson really show substantial improvement in his glaring weaknesses over the course of this season???

andrew

MORRISEY column today. Excellent summary of Fitzsimmons, MacFail, Hendry.

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

Andrew:

After getting to an 0-2 count, Jacque Jones has a grand total of 6 hits and is batting .055/.088/.055. That's 109 at bats. His numbers aren't quite as bad after 1-2 and 2-2, but after 3-2 he has just 4 hits and is batting .093/.339/.233 in 43 at bats. So, yeah: after two strikes, Jones is in a world of hurt.

As far as Corey is concerned, he rebounded slightly (which is pretty much a given, since he was at rock bottom last year) but he hasn't turned things around by any means. Aside from a hot May and September, he hasn't shown a ton of power and he still can't get on base to save his life. He's also gotten more aggressive (see his P/AB). Just scanning his numbers, it looks like he's been a lot luckier (.317 BA/BIP '06 v .263 BA/BIP '05), which is probably a big factor in his improved numbers.

Maybe someone who has watched him play a lot this year can give a more in depth analysis, but his numbers suggest that he hasn't changed his game much from last year aside from getting confident on the basepaths.

Thanks Vorare,

That's about what i expected. What source do you use for these more obscure stats??

Are you saying Korey is actually seeing less pitches than he did with the cubs?? That almost doesn't seem possible.

When you refer to Korey's luck and the BIP stat, what does the BIP mean? Thanks again.

"There won't be a Dombrowski, who has too much power in Detroit for the Cubs to lure him away. Too bad."

that's funny. domb and hendry practically share a brain.

they both have the exact same love of pitching for the exact same reasons (if you can throw 94+ both GMs would love to talk to you).

they both value defense, especially in the middle IF...they both value "toolsy" hitters that show pop over all attributes, especially in the OF.

hell, domb just picked up neifi's contract with an 07 pricetag no strings attached.

J. Pierre cf
R. Theriot 2b
A. Ramirez 3b
M. Murton lf
J. Jones rf
H. Blanco 1b
R. Cedeno ss
G. Soto c

dusty still hating on the kids...there should be 5 in there, not 4. fire all the pencil pushers...cedeno should have been playing insted of neifi the whole time...blah blah blah...crap 1 vs. crap 2...the battle rages for supremicy of the toilet bowl.

Well I dont know what purpose Blanco serves playing 1b when you got Scott Moore. But hey I don't get paid $4 million bucks a year to think this kind of shit up.

I agree, MikeC. I like Blanco as back-up C as much as anyone, but playing him at first when Moore could be getting at bats is pretty mindboggling.

CWTP,

Thanks for the detailed breakdown of how useless Juan Pierre is. All we can hope is that Jim Hendry has a moment of clarity and looks elsewhere from production from CF.

watching moore play 1st is pretty mind boggling in itself...he's no todd walker...not like blanco is a gem, himself.

moore's not in the 07 plans anyway...no big deal.

and as for your love of the detailed pierre breakdown...how about adjusting him being on 2nd/3rd about 100 times a year with the slugging. you might get that lovely magic .800 OPS you wanna make sweet passionate love to. go ahead. live the numbers!

VORARE:

MOST players with two strikes are in a "world of hurt".

The Sabremetric proponents herein can underline this point that the MLB average with an 0-2 or 1-2 count is around ("AROUND", Manny/Crunch) .120

JJones still had a terrific offensive year for the team. If you had lobbied for Burnitz, Hendry did truly much better.

"("AROUND", Manny/Crunch)"

what's that supposed to mean anyway?

do i spend time dancing around crap and busting people on semantics or do i get to the point?

i think i spend a lot more time getting to the point, honestly.

how about adjusting him being on 2nd/3rd about 100 times a year with the slugging. you might get that lovely magic .800 OPS you wanna make sweet passionate love to. go ahead. live the numbers!

http://www.all-baseball.com/cubreporter/archi...

John Hill and I (well mostly John) sort of tried to answer this in the comments of that thread about when Pierre was acquired. You're talking at most 50 pts of slugging, but your also talking about a drop in his OBP to the tune of 10-20 pts for the times he gets caught.

Yeah - you're right. You do get to the point usually pretty quick.

not that im always right or anything, but i dont really feel like i avoid people calling out my points or ignore their points and rant on other things unless points are getting mixed up...that's all im saying.

ROB G/PHIL: Are you planning to do anything on the "manager's selection possibilities"?

It seems as if one of the following will likely be chosen:

Bowa
Pinnela
Brenley
Gonzalez
Girardi (IF he gets fired)

OR

The Longshot

Gotcha, Crunch...

and as for your love of the detailed pierre breakdown...how about adjusting him being on 2nd/3rd about 100 times a year with the slugging.

A good idea, Crunch, and definitely something to consider, but Pierre a) doesn't get on base enough and b) gets thrown out and/or picked off too much for it to materially impact his numbers. He's still below average for CF.

Read #18 horatio...

I'm sure we'll do something on the new manager possibilties at some point soon. First we'll need to write Dusty's eulogy when/if he goes on Monday.

Tonite's and today's assignment-

Write Dusty's Epitaph-

"Walks Clog Bases"

R.I.P.

A quote on doing it the right way in L.A. - courtesy of Derek Lowe:

""It started off with a complete change from top to bottom," said pitcher Derek Lowe, set to be the Game 1 playoff starter. "We spent money in the right places. I give them credit. In spring training they told us that throughout the year they were going to get it right and make changes."

"A good idea, Crunch, and definitely something to consider, but Pierre a) doesn't get on base enough and b) gets thrown out and/or picked off too much for it to materially impact his numbers. He's still below average for CF."

Yet next year Juan Pierre will play center and lead off for a major league baseball team. You ever stop to think that how little you actually know about this game?

I always read the comments thread using a RSS permalink. So, I only get to see who posted the comment after I've already read it all. But, lately, it's gotten easier. As soon as I read the words "You ever stop to think that how little you actually know about this game?" and immediatly knew Chad had posted the comment.

'06 Cubs Who Made it to Playofffs (fill in where I missed):

Scott Williamson
Greg Maddox
Todd Walker
Phil Nevin
NEIFI Perez

Congrats! You lucked out!

Correction, and = I

You can't really just add Pierre's stolen bases to inflate his slugging percentage because part of the value inherent in slugging percentage is the ability to drive in runs with those extra bases. Pierre isn't driving in any runs when he steals bases where as a hitter with the same slugging percentage is driving in runs because his slugging measures actual extra base hits.

MikeR,

if you follow the link and trudge through the comments I said something to that effect, fwiw.

But anyway,my opinion is that Juan's speed influence is quite measurable and it's not that significant.

Wow, Not only is Pedro going to miss the playoffs, but the AP is reporting he's going to have rotator cuff surgery and will miss at least half of next season.

Bad news for Pedro, very good news for Zito and Schmidt who will probably cash in at least an extra million or two with the Mets in on the bidding.

days old news Bleeding Blue.....j/k

you want real news...

http://tinyurl.com/qksqb

it was Clemens, Petitte, Brian Roberts, Tejada, and Jay Gibbons names who were blacked out in Grimsley's affadavit.

No Sosa as some suspected....
Oh nellie!!!!

I just read the Clemens thing too.

Other things I just saw: today's Cubs box score.

26 players!

I suspect that's a record?

1) Another irresponsible Sullivan comment: In one of his mailbag columns, he said the Cubs were to be blamed for not realizing Jones' arm cost the Cubs "many" runs, as if it totally wipes out his offensive value. And he doesn't provide any statistical backup for this opinion.

Sorry, but I don't get the importance of outfield arms. Good baserunning (and sliding ├▒ witness Pierre in today's 14-inning game) and base coaching should eliminate the importance of outfield arms. Outfielders' arm strength seems to be down throughout the majors. Is there some sort of statistic where we can quantify how many runs the Cubs' poor outfielders' arms have cost.

Or do people just love picking on Jacque Jones because they know he's sensitive to criticism?

I can't imagine Williamson will make the Padres' postseason roster.

And I tend to think the Todd Walker trade will be a blunder. Walker will be at least serviceable for five more years. Nothing against Ceda, but pitching prospects usually turn out to be busts.

Rosenthal mentioned on Fox that Piniella seems to be intrigued by the Cubs and draws parallels between himself and managing the Cubs and Leyland going to the Tigers. I don't know what to think of Piniella. If he is a deep thinker, he hides that vibe in the broadcast booth. Rosenthal mentioned the Bochy rumor . . . also said Girardi is a possibility in Washington.

By the way, the consensus seems to be that the Marlins' players love Girardi and that Girardi's problems are as much if not more with Beinfest (GM) than with the owner. Isn't this exactly what all the Girardi fans DON'T want to hear? Don't Girardi fans want to hear that Girardi gets in the face of all his players and that his players hate his guts?

A few belated comments on the HBO Cubs special:

1) They never mentioned the name "Sammy Sosa" once. No matter what your opinions are of Sammy, you have to mention his name. No player was the subject of more fan debate.

2) Nothing about the rivalries with the Cardinals or White Sox.

3) Nothing about 1989 or 1998.

4) Dallas Green comes off as a badass genius in the documentary. But there's no mention of the Eckersley trade to Oakland, which was probably the worst trade in Cubs history (yes, even worse than Brock for Broglio and Smith for Nipper and Schiraldi). DALLAS GREEN MADE THE ECKERSLEY TRADE.
By the way, if Dallas Green is so awesome, how come he hasn't been a GM in the majors since?
Dallas Green's tenure was mostly overrated. If you can rip Hendry for overrelying on Wood and Prior, couldn't you rip Green for overrelying on guys like Trout (flaky), Sanderson (injury-prone) or Eckersley (alcoholic) in 1985 and beyond?
If Dallas Green realized one thing, it was that you need to score runs to win too. The 1984 Cubs had an AWESOME offense, the only time during the Tribune Co. era in which the Cubs had a really good offensive team. (I would not call the 1998 Cubs an awesome offensive team, not with guys Lance Johnson and Scott Servais.)

And I tend to think the Todd Walker trade will be a blunder.

He's a FA after the season. If they want him back, just sign him again and you get a pitching prospect in return. He certainly wasn't going to do much over the last 2 months.

Someone, somewhere keeps track of how much individual outfield arms save runs and keep runners from advancing, but it's not readily available as far as I know. Everything I read usually indicates that the impact of strong or weak arms isn't as significant as most would like to believe. Certainly it's more important on how much ground they cover.

one thing that's always bugged me about piniella is how he's promised he's "mellowed out" the past few jobs he's had (m's/tb) only to end up getting himself thrown out and making an ass about himself.

while he's in the clubhouse having a beer being pissed his team's got a game to finish with a manager with a "here comes asshole" reputation anytime any ump seeing him coming out after a questionable play.

otherwise he's a pretty reasonable manager i guess...still, im sick of heros/bums that dont even swing a bat or throw the ball. gimmie *insert mr. no-name* who can keep everyone working happily and ready to perform.

come on the Eck trade, just give credit to the A's for turning him into a closer. He came off a horrible year and had all sorts of personal issues. Worst trade ever....sheesh.

Green went back to being a manager for awhile and wasn't he a big higher up in the Yanks organization (might still be)? Just from memory, I thought I recall him being a big behind the scenes guy there that got a lot of credit for their late 90's, early 2000's teams.

I could be mistaken....

Anyway I got that special Tivo'ed for when I'm feeling particularly sorry for myself one evening...

Uh Mitterwald,

The whole point of the documentary was the heartbraek aspect. How close we came in 69 84 03 were the years you point to in dissapointment. 89 and 98 do not rate. 89 overachieved and got blown away by SF. 98 we were swept in the 1ST ROUND!
It wasn't a HISTORY of the Cubs. How can you call Eckersley a drunk yet, it was the worst trade in Cubs history to trade a drunk who didn't get his act together until Oakland. Dallas Green is owed about everything when it comes to what the Cubs are today. There was no fucking 2 mil fans until '84. He built up a real farm system that produced Dunston, Grace, Palmerio,Moyer,Girardi, Dave Martinez,and oh yeah Greg Fucking Maddux. He made some mistakes like everyone but only clashing with the Trib suits stopped this guy. Ned Colletti (LAD GM) has stated many times, the Cubs would have won mulitiple WS had Dallas finished the job. He was the ONLY Cub official that would utter the word "CHAMPIONSHIP". Yes he managed the Mets and Yankees before being an important part of the Yankee front office that produced 4 WS Champs. He now is the Senior Advisor for the Phillies. If I bought the Cubs tommorow, he might be the first guy I call to bring back, even if it wasn't to GM.

Oh by the way FUCK SAMMY SOSA!

Mitter,

As you said, Eck was an alcoholic. So which was it? Was he a player that shouldn't have been counted on or a player that shouldn't have been traded. Way to talk out of both sides of your mouth.

Dallas,

Fuck Sammy Sosa? Why?

"if Dallas Green realized one thing, it was that you need to score runs to win too"

Yes, and thats why the trade for Ron Hassey in the middle of the season put them over the top. I think Sutcliffe was thrown in when they got Hassey.

Grimsley said most of the HGH was coming from a Yankee trainer Brian McNamee. Brian Roberts, shockingly, was named also.

HGH, not tested by MLB.

"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

On the arm issue, I noticed on some hits to Pierre and Jones the runner on first did not even slow down going around second heading to first.

I don't know the stats on how that converts to runs, but to the viewing public it looked like an advantage.

CHAD: "Fuck Sammy Sosa? Why?"

Uh, that wasn't meant to be taken literally I'm pretty sure.

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/...

Ramirez's agent and Hendry started talking this week. hopefully it's just hendry being careful in the media but he doesn't sound nearly as confident as I'd like him to. But I can't recall any Cubs free agents leaving that Hendry wanted to keep, so hopefully it'll stay that way.

Pierre sounds like he's gone

Wood is almost a lock to be back

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