LCS Preview (Never Bet Against the Ex-Cub Factor)

I know that technically the ex-Cub factor is three or more Cubs on your post-season roster, but it's better not to tempt fate. Each division series winner had less ex-Cubs than the team they beat, at least on their pre-playoff rosters. It's going to make the Mets vs. Cardinals series very interesting. Also my Rule #1 of picking a team with a good run over the last few months has been completely blown up over the last two years. White Sox won it all last year despite almost coughing up the division to the Indians, Tigers looked unbeatable after dismantling the almighty Yankees and the Cardinals beat up on the formally hot Padres. It's all luck in the playoffs baby (and pitching). Onto the brief and useless preview and predictions: ALCS: Detroit Tigers vs. Oakland Athletics It's like 1972 all over again, as these two franchises meet in the ALCS once again. Bert Campaneris won't be around to throw a bat at anyone who throws a him, but I hear Marco Scutaro can be pretty feisty. These are two complete teams in my opinion and it's going to be a helluva series. The ex-Cub factor is marginal here, the Tigers have Neifi!, while Beane proves his smarts once again by going sans ex-Cubs. I just have my doubts on Verlander pitching another gem, he looked like toast at the end of the season and visions of Carlos Zambrano's 2003 playoffs dance around in my head. Plus I picked the A's to win it all, so might as well stick with my pick. A's in 7 NLCS: St. Louis Cardinals vs. New York Mets It's 2000 all over again and Tony Larussa keeps on chugging along. The Mets will be heavy favorites after trouncing the Dodgers and that offense looked good and they got some pitching in the Division Series which was a bit of a surprise. But man that ex-Cub factor is staring me in the face and it's best not to tempt the Gods. Cards in 7 So I put an informal playoff contest up in the last preview and some of you put up your guesses. I'll give you guys a chance to change your picks, but first let's see how we're doing. The Scoring system we used was: 1 point for the division series, 3 points for the LCS, 7 points for the World Series winner. A 3 point bonus if you guess the games correctly but you only get those points if you guess the correct team to win that series as well. Syrith - 6 Mordecai Brown -6 MannyTrillo - 3 Carlos - 2 DC Tom - 2 Rob G. - 2 Adam Block - 0 Sweet Lou - 0 Syrith and Mordecai Brown got 3 series right and nailed the Cards in 4 for the bonus points. I'll give the winner a free post on the site (baseball related, preferably Cub related). But you're not out of it yet. If you'd like to change your original picks, go ahead, but there's a penalty. Instead of the 3 pts for the LCS correct guess, we knock it down to two and we'll knock down the World Series Winner to 5 pts. I'll keep the bonus points the same. So put in your new guesses if you wish and those who didn't participate can give it a try, although the odds are against you. Also, if you did put in your prediction during the Division Series, but you want to keep the same team but change the games, you can do that. But you'll only get the diminished points for the LCS guess if you get it right. For example, I originally picked A's over Twinkies and then A's in 6 over Yanks and then A's over Padres in 7. I'm going to change my picks now to A's over Tigers in 7 and A's over Cards in 4. I'll lose out on the opportunity to get the 3 points for the LCS win and 7 pts for the World Series win had I kept the games the same. Confused? Me too, just put in your guesses, realize there's a risk in changing your original picks and I'll figure out the rest. Here's a nice template for you to cut and paste if you wish: A's over Tigers in 7 Cards over Mets in 7 WS: A's over Cards in 4


Mets over Cards in 5
A's over Tigers in 6

Mets over A's in 4

Again, my picks are based on the theory that these things never come out the way I prefer, so I'm guessing my least favorite in each case.

MINN just picked up Torii Hunter's $12m option.

A's over Tigers in 5
Cardinals over Mets in 7

A's over Cards in 7

I didn't partake in the first round of guesses, but I'll give it a shot here.

Tigers over A's in 6

Mets over Cards in 6

World Series
Tigers over Mets in 5

A's in 6
Mets in 6

A's in 6

Why are we all of a sudden defending members of a 96 loss club? I could give a rip if any of these losers is back. Also, earlier in the year everyone was hating Girardi, now all of a sudden he's the best candidate ever. Lord.

My bad wrong thread. Sorry. xo

Thanks for the kiss and the hug Curt

Tigers over A's in 7
Mets over Cards in 5

Tigers over Mets in 6

Mess over Redbirds in 6
Tigers over A's in 5
Tigers over Mess in 4

Mutts over Birds in 4
Tigers beat A's in 6
Tigers over Mutts in 6

So how does this Daisuke Matsuzaka posting process actually work. Here is a blurb from

"Seibu (Matsuzaka's current team) is expected to use the posting system in which major league teams present bids for Japanese players and the highest bidder wins the negotiating rights. Ichiro Suzuki signed with the Seattle Mariners under the same system."

What if you bid and don't win, do they still keep your bid money? How much did Ichiro's posting go for?

The more and more I read about this, the less and less I think it is realistic for Hendry to sign this guy. BOST, NYY and NYM will all be involved and most like both LA teams and SEA.

Teams get one shot on the posting bid and yes you get to keep your money if you lose out. It's a one-shot auction basically, you dont' get to re-up or put in a 2nd bid. Once his Japanese teams accepts the highest offer, Matsuzuka gets to negotiate his own deal with that team exclusively and he can choose not to sign if he wishes. And I'm not 100% sure on this one, but I believe whoever wins the auction loses their posting fee if they can't sign him to a deal, but that's obviously unlikely.

Unless the Cubs marketing dept has decided they need to make a big splash in Japan, I have my doubts that they'll make a serious offer.

but...matsuzaka once threw 250 pitches in a 17 inning game (which, btw is mathmatically impossible, but it happened anyway in a wormhole) and he followed it up by showing up the next night and throwing a complete game no-hitter.

yes, this was in 1998, but you can rest assured that even though he's still pitching he is in fact pitching on a severely torn elbow and bum shoulder.

yes, he's not showing it...and he's throwing low 90s still, but its an illusion...he is in fact damaged goods who's arm is held on by mystical japanese rug and pottery gods.

leaving japan would break all mystical powers leaving his arm on the airport tarmack as soon as he got out of it's top 3/4 ROP% (realm of power percentage).

Billyuki Jamishii wrote a great book on ROP% btw...i suggest anyone read it before they get excited about matsuzaka coming over.

Thanks Rob.

So the team that wins the auction, does that money get wrapped into the new deal, or like a finders fee and thus paid to his current team in Japan and is on top of the contract they sign him to? Also, any idea how much Ichiro's posting went for?

Nevermind I found answers to both:
"After the 2000 season, Mariners executives wrote "$13.1 million" on a piece of paper and delivered it to commissioner Bud Selig. It was their sealed bid in the "posting" of Japanese star Ichiro Suzuki, and won the right to negotiate a contract with Ichiro, the posting fee going to the Orix Blue Wave."

That is AMAZING they paid that much just to negotiate with him. Based on Daisuke Matsuzaka being a starting pitcher and also it being 6 years later, you can bet that figure will be much higher, and there is NO WAY and NO HOW the Cubs put $15-20 million on that piece of paper and hand it to Selig. NONE, ZILCH, NADA, ZERO!!!!!

So I suggest we cross the 26 year old pipe dream, Daisuke Matsuzaka, off our want list as we are not getting him.

in a rare instance, I do not disagree with you Manny.

although I will stipulate that if the Cubs marketing dept has decided that Japan is an untapped resource, then the sky is the limit. Of course that will mean it has nothing to do with a baseball decison which sounds par for the course on the Northside.

Here is a link to US-Japan Player Contract Agreement from 2000.

Interesting parts:
- Posting can start between November 1st - March 1st
- Teams have 4 days after official posting start date for that particular player to get bids in
- Japanese commish then has 4 days to tell Japanese team of bid and them approve bid
- Winning bidder gets a 30 day period to negotiate. If they don't come to an agreement, bid money will be returned.

oh, they do get their bid money back, I thought it was more vicious than that. Thanks. has their 2006 stats up.
OPS+ team leaders
(100 is average and it's adjusted for the league and park, not sure if it's adjusted for position though)
Theriot 134
Ramirez 126
Barrett 121
Jones 107
Nevin 107
Murton 103

Near the bottom
Pierre 81
Walker 88
Cedeno 53

ERA+ (same concept)
Z 136
Hill 111
Maddux 99
Marshall 83

Cubs used 14 starting pitchers this year...

I'm gonna wait til all this is over before I make any predictions.

The highest bidding team has the right to negotiate with the player. If the player and the Major League team come to terms on a contract within 30 days, the Japanese team receives the bid amount as the transfer fee.

So the team has 30 days to sign him. If it doesn't happen in 30 days then likely the next team on the list gets a chance.

You have to understand also, contract negotiations factor in this posting fee when players come over from Japan. Ichiro signed a reasonable 2 year, I think, 14 million dollar deal. Hideki signed a similar 3 year 21 million dollar deal.

Matsuzka will probably be had for 15-20 million and sign a similar 3 year 21-25 million dollar deal. It comes in at around $12ish million or so a year. Which puts him right in the mix with some of the top free agents this off-season. He is going to be one of the most sought after free agents and to recieve his services you will pay as much for him as you do for Zito or Schmidt. He isn't more expensive or less expensive.

err edit: Matsuzka isnt a free agent, lets just change that to player.

I don't know, Matsuzuka is 26 I believe? Ichiro was 28 and teams didn't know what Japanese players could do then. Hideki was 29 and wanted to play for the Yanks or nobody if I recall that correctly. I would guess Matsukuka gets 5/55 range. But who really knows..

rotoworld is speculating a 25-30 mil posting fee and anywhere between $10-$15 per year on the deal for matsuzuka fwiw.


ive seen estimates as low as 7-10 and as high as 20, but 25-30? wow.

Although off topic, I want to re-visit A-Rod and theNew York unloyalty to him. According to the Sporting News his post season stats are just as good, if not better, than Jeter's.

Jeter has 462 ABs, 81 runs, 142 hits, 16 HRs, 47 RBIs, and .307 AVG(including a whopping .244 with RISP)..

A-Rod has 118 ABs, 19 runs, 36 hits, 6 HRs, 16 RBIs, and .305 avg.. Projected out I take A-rod. I hope NYYs don't. I think White Sox will get him with a package of Crede, Garcia and a prospect or two. FWIW.

I would love to swap A-ram for him and trade for Blaylock or Crede(if we had the package and I am not sure we do).


some dude at a computer at rotoworld is just throwing out numbers, I wouldn't put a lot of stock into it.

Count me in the MannyTrillo/Rob G. camp. The Cubs won't and shouldn't get involved in the
Matsuzuka sweepstakes.

I don't see any way Matsuzuka costs less than Schmidt or Zito per year when factoring in his finders fee.

I think $20 million is going to be in the running for his rights, based on everything I read. If Ichiro got $13.1, how could anyone guess a younger SP who just dominated in the WBC and is basically part of a HORRIBLE FA class would get less? Let alone only $7 million.

I's be shocked of we finished in the top 5 of bidding.

"Ichiro signed a reasonable 2 year, I think, 14 million dollar deal."

Fwiw, Ichiro signed a 3 year, $15 million deal. But in that contract he also hit $5.125 million in incentives, making it 3 years for $20.125 million. He did get a good chunk of that deferred.

A's in 7
Cards in 5

Then A's in 4

Matsuzaka is too iffy to be worth that much money. I'd infinitely rather see the Cubs plunge into the market for Barry Zito, who is a known quantity, or trade for some other established starter. We have Zambrano and Hill; we should be able to land one good starter this off season and shuffle the deck to see which two of our suspects (Mateo, Prior, Marshall, Guzman, and anybody else at 2A or 3A) rise to the occasion.

I'm with Scooter in eyeing A-Rod covetously. Given his shabby treatment in NY, what you want to bet he'd rebound BIG in the Friendly Confines? I could learn to enjoy a lineup of Theriot, Murton, Lee, A-Rod, a real RF, Barrett, Pie, Izturis or Cedeno at ss. Even if we have to live with another year of Jacque Jones, this lineup and a bolstered pitching staff should do a lot better next year. Houston looks about cooked, the Cardinals have come back to earth, and nobody else in the division is really ready. I'm hopeful the Cubs can compete in 2007 with relatively little change. Just a world series, please, is all I ask. A modest request, right?

Theriot 134
Ramirez 126

Reason enough to prove that OPS+ and other such Sabrestats are bullshit.

By now way shape or form is Theriot a better hitter than Aramis Ramirez.

really Chad, thanks for the drop-in, no one would have gotten that on our own. I sensed a 3-day thread on Theriot vs Ramirez as a hitter was about to hit.

for amusing fun and to irriatate Chad....

Theriot's numbers if he had the same PA's as Ramirez

46 2B, 12 3B, 12 HR, 141 R, 182 H, 66 RBI's, 54 SB's

Good thing you put that word "IF" in there. You almost convinced me...

AFL update day 1:
E-Pat 0-3
S. Moore 0-4

Adam Harben: 2 IP, 1 ER, 3 K, 1 HR and got the loss
Carmen Pignatiello: 1 IP, 1 BB, 1 K and a WP

12 homers...did you mean year or career? =p


"Theriot's numbers if he had the same PA's as Ramirez"

NO WAY ROB. You're not getting off that easy. YOU may look at that and be able to put it in perspective. But you know damn well that there are people here who think that kid is not only a major league baseball player but would use that stat to prove that he should leadoff for the Cubs.

what? white guys can't leadoff now Chad?

I'm completely indifferent on theriot myself, but you said something about Theriot being better than Ramirez, now your talking about him leading off. So you've lost me now...

here's something fun, I don't know if anyone read the Q&A of Theriot over at Inside the Ivy, but it was the Cubs who told him to become a switch-hitter out of college (he had never done it before). Then last year he said, F.U. basically and went back to being right-handed exclusively.

He was also a 3rd round pick in 2001 which means some scouts must have liked him back then. Not like he came out of nowhere. I do recall reading that he was rated the 2nd best DEFENSIVE SS in that class behind Bobby Crosby.

theriot's not slow and he's shown he can actually pick up mlb offspeed stuff (well better than thought).

the only thing that concerns me, personally, is how much he uses the right side of the field.

when he's got someone on 1st and the 1st baseman is covering the runner, he's shown to be pretty damn effective at putting it to the right side.

he's worked the lines a bit...he's had 2 freak homers...but he definately favors one side of the field. his stuff to left tends to crap out.

i dunno how that will play out once other teams get time to digest how he's earning his production.

he's looking like a guy you wouldnt mind giving a shot to earn a starting spot at this point...and that's a long way from the possible auggie-ojeda-like middle IF bench role (yeah, he can play SS as well as 2nd...natural SS) he was pigeonholed for.

considering the *yawn* 2nd base market out there (m.giles trade possibilities might interest some i guees), i wouldnt mind seeing theriot/cedeno/izturis as the 2nd/SS crew.

Rob I'm talking about people thinking that using Sabre numbers like OPS+ that he should be batting leadoff. I'm not saying that YOU advocate that.

a's in 6
mutts in 6

a's in 6

and frank thomas mails his white sox ring back to kenny williams, with postage due.

"But you know damn well that there are people here who think that kid is not only a major league baseball player but would use that stat to prove that he should leadoff for the Cubs."

He needs to go to leadoff school?
Is there a leadoff hitter out there anywhere who can instruct Theriot how to hit the invisible baseballs that are used against leadoff men?
Will he be able to find the batter's box without seeing someone else step into it first?

We can always count on neanderthal Chad for some valuable input.

Neanderthal. Sure. Or maybe baseball minded. You know, like the people who run baseball teams and manage baseball teams. I guess they're neanderthals too.

Boy Billy Beane's was unlucky tonight. As we all know playoffs are about luck and I guess the A's didn't get lucky tonight. But tomorrow is another day and another roll of Billy's magic Dungeon and Dragons dice that will dictate whether his team wins or not. Perhaps I can sell him some magic beans. We can call them Billy's Magic Beanes.

Big John, you the ignorant one if you don't think that hitting leadoff is any different than any other spot. There is a skill to being a good leadoff hitter. And yes PART of it is getting on base. But Kevin Youkilis is NOT a leadoff hitter and was never supposed to be. He got the job cause Coco Crisp got injured. Juan Pierre will be hitting leadoff next year for whatever team he plays for (barring him going to the Dodgers or other team with a proven leadoff hitter).

"Or maybe baseball minded."

"But Kevin Youkilis is NOT a leadoff hitter and was never supposed to be."

Yep, we all know you aren't interested in having a good offense. That's what I call baseball minded. You were the victim of a pile-on last week when you tried this same line about "leadoff hitters".
Juan Pierre will probably leadoff next year...
and there's a good chance he'll have the lowest OBP of any leadoff hitter in the league and score far fewer runs than most players who have the same number of plate appearances.

Pile on? OK I'll take the side of 29 major league teams. You can have the other 3. Whatever.

Everybody who thought LOU PINIELLA didn't want the challenge of managing the Cubs next year was wrong...

The Sun Times has it HERE

Still crossing my fingers... Long-time reader, first time poster... if I win it, I'm going to have to give some long hard thought to a post...!

I'll take the side of 29 major league teams. You can have the other 3. Whatever.

There are only 30 major league teams...

In Chad's world, my friend there are as many teams and rules as he needs there to be to fit in with his philosophies. He never lets the facts get in the way of an argument.

Pinnella inside track? I'm sure many of you have read today's reports that Sweet Lou is perhaps being seriously considered for the manager's gig.

For those of you who think he is "just like Dusty", here is one man's opinion, courtesy of Mariotti (whom I loathe) for the sake of discussion:

"Even in his 60s, Lou would be a crackling leader, an in-your-face bulldog, a clever strategist who shamed Jerry Manuel and the White Sox in the 2000 divisional series. But he also takes losing hard, accustomed as he was to winning in Cincinnati and Seattle."

Sweet Lou Pinella essentially slept-walk through his three year tenure in Tampa Bay, which by the way has been his permanent residence (Temple Terrace, a Tampa suburb) for 30 years. I just cannot buy into the theory that Sweet Lou is going to be all charged up to manage the Cubs.

CUBSBEARS: You have an excellent point, no doubt with some local experience.

However, this is not Tampa. No one really gives a shit about the Rays. Not here, not there.

He would be completely under the microscope more than ever before, other than working in a place like NY, Cinci, or Boston. Cinci because of their baseball tradition.

We are all speculating, but is it possible, uder these conditions, that his performance might be different?

Whoa sorry, I'll double check my typing next time meant to type 27 and typed 29. I actually was going to type 29 and 1 but it didn't work out. Sorry.

By the way, Total Ass Hat, I some how feel you are trying to call me a name with you crappy moniker. Cool. Then come out and say it. By using that name, you are calling yourself a total ass hat. Just a thought.


Other than having to hit with a leadoff bat, which is tough to do if you've never done it before, what "special skills" other than being a good hitter does a "leadoff man" have to have?

Remember, speed only scores yourself, it does practically nothing to sustain rallies. Myself, I'd rather play for the 3 or 4 run inning. In order for that to happen, your guys need to be able to avoid getting out. Leadoff guys who get out a lot are pretty darn useless in my book.

Fox News is reporting that a plane piloted by Yanks pitcher Cory Liddle has crashed into a condo building in NY. Sad news...

ESPN says they have confirmed that Liddle was piloting the plane and that he was in the plane by himself.

"ESPN says they have confirmed that Liddle was piloting the plane and that he was in the plane by himself."

Well...ESPN was wrong.

Irrisponsible journalism.

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