The Savior Part Two: Fiery Lou Piniella

The Lou Piniella era is about to begin on the Northside and a new wave of expectations and excitement will come along with him. Personally I'm looking forward to every mention of Sweet Lou being accompanied with the term "fiery". It's really been an underused term in our lexicon over the last few years and particularly when it comes to Cubs managers. The last Cubs manager to be bestowed the "fiery" label was probably Lee Elia who coincidentally was a coach under Piniella in his previous stints. Otherwise you need to go all the way back to Leo Durocher who was about as "fiery" as they get. As for the man himself, there's the public perception of Lou, which is of course "fiery". But it's always good to see what people who watched him on a day-to-day basis have to say. So I went to the very fine U.S.S. Mariner and pestered them for their opinion. Derek Zumsteg, author of the soon-to-be released, "The Cheater's Guide to Baseball", was kind enough to humor me. I would have asked a Devil Rays blog, but I'm not sure if they exist and I'm kind of pretending those years didn't happen for Piniella. So let's touch on some manager traits, the board is yours Derek: Lineup construction Derek: Traditional. Likes speed at the top, bunters. Rob G. Okay, honestly wasn't expecting anything else. As long as that speed comes with some on-base ability, fine by me. Bullpen Management Derek: He wants big guys who throw strikes. Hates pitchers who walk hitters. He can manage a veteran bullpen pretty effectively, but who wants to hand him a bullpen with six guys all paid 2-5m? Has, probably like all managers, a weakness for going to his guy. Used to have one guy be the designated plunker, but he's really backed off that in recent years. Rob G. Sounds pretty standard, besides the "designated plunker" which sounds like it would be pretty cool to put on a business card. In-game management Derek: predictable. Despite his reputation as a riverboat gambler, like most managers once you've seen how he uses different players, you can reliably predict when he's going to steal in games. Rob G.Not breaking any new ground here and he's coming in for a million less a year. Treatment of young players Derek: Generally bad. Prefers known quantities to veterans. Sometimes publicly critical of players he doesn't like in a really unproductive way. Likes scrappy youngsters without talent. Haaaaaates players he pegs as lazy or not grateful for their shot, which means players with a laid-back attitude or who don't sufficiently show their dismay after losses get run out. Rob G. That certainly sounds familiar with the added bonus that if you're untalented but get your uniform dirty who may get playing time. I wonder what Aramis is going to think about all this? History of Pitcher Abuse Derek: Ooooooooooh yeah. He really needs a good, strong pitching coach to reign him in. He was terrible with the M's staff in general and young pitchers in particular until Bryan Price took over pitcher management for him. Rob G. If those rumors of Rothschild coming back are true, I don't think he qualifies as a "strong pitching coach to reign him in." Overall Attitude Derek: Poor? He clashed with management here repeatedly over player decisions - he wants the players he wants, and he wants the players he doesn't like gone - and with management, then weaseled his way to Tampa Bay, where he spent a couple years whining. Maybe being with a new team will rejuvenate him. I doubt it, though. Rob G. Oh yeah, more whining. We didn't get enough of that the last time through. Please serve us some more along with a side dish of excuses. Dealing with the media Derek: Wahhahahaha! It's Lou! His press conferences are hilarious. Generally, the media guys love him because he's so quotable and willing to slag people. Rob G. Make 'em laugh, make 'em laugh, make 'em laugh!!! Talent evaluation Derek: Wildly erratic. For all the whining about his ill treatment of young players, his decisions on who can't hit or pitch turn out to be pretty good, but is that because he breaks them? I don't think he looks for talent in a standard way: Lou takes a shine to certain players and then will find ways to use them, rather than look at his lineup and say "gee, I really need to work in this 4th OFer into two, three games a week". He's thinking "I like the way Rich Amaral gets his uniform dirty, let's give the kid another start." On the other hand, he's also a guy who can take veteran super-utility players like Mark McLemore and utility outfielders like Stan Javier, who both had limited but useful skillsets, and manage to get them a ton of at-bats against pitchers they can do well against while limiting their exposure in situations where (for instance) their lack of defense might hurt the team. Rob G. Well that sounds better than giving a ton of AB's to players who are in there for their gloves but in the end he sounds like Dusty's long lost brother who can tell a good joke. I couldn't be more thrilled. Thanks to Derek for his time and his answers just confirm my suspicion that all fans end up hating their manager unless they win the World Series that year. It has to be one of the most thankless jobs in America. It's not that criticism is necessarily unwarranted or anything, just that fans get so close to the situation and so embittered by unrealized expectations and the one constant during most of that time is the manager, that they end up getting assigned the bulk of the blame. But now that the regime change is place, it's hard not to be a little excited. Yeah sure, it could be just more of the same, but it's going to be very hard to be any worse that what has gone down the last three years and Piniella is cheaper and for less years. More importantly though is the tidbit reported here, here and here that the payroll will be raised to $115 million. If you say it three times that means ití' true. Either that or you bring back Beetlejuice, I forget. But if Lou's presence gets the Trib to open up their pocketbooks, even if it's just coincidental, it's got to be considered a good move. From the pure fan standpoint, I imagine Lou's press conferences and tirades will at least be entertaining. Also, when you're one of the worst teams in baseball, any change, even if it ends being only cosmetic, can only help. Sometimes all that is needed is an attitude change, and that's likely all this move will accomplish. The last guy set the bar so low that I go into this managerial change with absolutely no expectations, no hopes for a better tomorrow. Not to get all George Constanza on you for a moment, but if you could consistently get hired to replace someone who failed to meet all expectations, all you need to do is be mediocre and you'll be praised a genius. Here's your chance, LouPa. But mostly I'm excited about the term "fiery" accompanying just about every piece associated with Lou in the next three years. Because if you're "fiery" at least we know that you care, or you have anger issues, but why split hairs? Welcome to Northside Lou, may it treat you better than the last 49 guys.
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Comments

Pinella's here, now they have to get ARod.

Ramirez and Prior, with Pie as the sweetener?

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

Free Agent Target #1:
Alfonso Soriano, leadoff man and CF

Target #2:
Carlos Lee

Target #3:
Jason Schmidt

interesting, although no way that fits under $115 mil unless they can't resign Aramis.

I think this was mentioned before but that article also says Quade will be the 1B coach, Rothshcild back as pitching coach and John McLaren likely to be bench coach. Someone else mentioned Speier will be back as 3b coach.

Yep, Paul Sullivan in today's Trib said Speier is expected back at 3B.

arod...arod...arod...

"why would the yanks trade arod?" should be the first question asked.

no matter what the media hypes up...

1- there's no FA or trade 3rd available
2- he was a .430ob% guy with RISP and the yanks can read a stat sheet just as good as the rest of us

they need pitching, but they don't need to clear payroll to get it.

they'd need a replacement 3rd and there's no one out there who's close to his level of play.

...and why would a team trade for aram when he could be a FA in 3 weeks?

...and if they did how likely is it that it would be the "key" in the trade rather than a coattail rider on the back of other tallent?

scott moore is not mlb-ready, nor is he a "top" 3rd baseman. eric duncan, sadly, probally would be higher in the pecking order right now over moore in the yanks system and both would/should be AAA tallent.

anything could happen, but i don't see much involving cubs/yanks doing a straight negociation that would give the yanks any advantage without giving up Z as a starting point. the yanks just have no reason to punish themselves because the NY media needs to sell papers and air time.

i propose a 6 month gag-order on all NY press, including the weirdos at ESPN. =p

Lou just said that he wants to do what they did on the North Side last year. Does he know his directions?

Piniella just confirmed in press conference that Rothschild will return. (sigh)

I forgot that LR came up with Lou in CIN.

Lou:
"They'll hustle, that won't be a problem. Believe me."...

lmao...
Q: What's your philosophy on winning.
A: My philosophy is to get 8 midgets up there to walk all the time.

The umpires missed me all summer. {laughter}

Great....Larry Rothschild is back...because the pitching staff has done soooooo well the last 4 years.

WHAT THE BLOODY BLUE HELL????!!!!!!

Does anyone else find this laughable?

Oh boy..this A-rod thing is going to be ridiculous. I agree he is probably teh best player of generation X, however what good does he do for us if we have no pitching. I've been a big fan of Henry but I'm worried he's going to morgage every last little thing we have in the minors to get A-rod and then what...when he gets the boot..we'll be back in the abyss again for the next five years. I'm tired of that. We were close in 03, we have hill, Pie, (nolasco, and others which we gave up for Pierre - some good that was...because we weren't willing to pay the crazy price for Furcal which in the end would have saved our system).

How much is Arod going to help us if we have no pitching...nobody has every won with a patchwork pitching staff from FA..you need to develop players and also add key components. To get Arod you will have to give Aram and pitching. As great as Arod is Aram is pretty good too..and losing pitching will kill us.

Enough of this Prior trade talk...he isn't worth a damn to anybody...so we might well keep him and hope it turns out for the best. We will get scraps for him and he could turn out to be back to 03 from. So slate him as a 5 starter...and whatever else he does is bonus...so get a number 2 in the FA market and keep Hill. All of a sudden you have two studs in Z (Matsuzaka or Schmitt (short term contract) and Hill (a very good #3) Stick Guzman the once #1 prospect...and let him pitch..and learn as a 4/5 pitcher. REalistially three good starters and a potential of Prior is very good to win this pathetic NL Central. If we do add another SP it will only solidify things.

The way to go as henry said today...Soriano is a great idea....you can stick him in the OF and when Pie is ready you have the option to move Soriano to LF or 2B depending on how Murton/Therriot/Cedeno do. Your flexibility has increased tremndously....not to mention Soriano is worth 15 mil and Pirre will probably ask for 10..so the extra 5 mill a year gives us 40 extra HR and 15 less SB's. A pretty great deal....With Aram, Soriano, DLee, Zambrano, Matsuzaka/Schmitt we are a pretty damn good team...look at this terrible NLCS...

Then all it takes is chemistry....and hope that Sweet Lou can make some sweet music in October....and save our minor league system.

Please don't sacrifice the future...how every little there is left for these two remaining years on Henry's contract.

I do live in NYC now..and the media here want's Arod out of town so fast...it is crazy....as much as the poweres at be say he's not for trade...if we can get him for cheap....in a Hendry sort of creative deal (the problem is the yanks can pay...we've been stealing players from teams who cant)...and stick him at SS...i'd be all over it...but realistically who could we give up...and not regret it later. Aram is going to be in the deal...Hill/Pie/Moore/Marshall/Guzman/Marmol...it may take all of them (the yanks don't want minor leaguers they want players that can make them win now.

Honestly, the White sox have the best resources to get him....as much as it kills me to say that

I'm firmly in the "I could care less" about A-rod camp.

If he comes great, but he's no savior. Not even close. He ends up being more of a distraction, a fella who obviously can't handle the pressure of being "the guy" and somebody who everyone is focused on. He's constantly worried about his public perception. Go ask Yanks and Rangers fans about him, the guy has gotten quite the reputation for accumulating his numbers when they don't matter. Need some garbage time homers, he's your guy. Season already over, time to pick it up. Is some of that criticism unwarranted? Sure, but not all of it. This would be his 4th team for the supposed best player on the planet. That is not a good thing.

Sounds like our very own Aramis for more money and prospects. If he comes in to play SS great and hopefully it won't cost us Rich Hill, but I hardly think he's the centerpiece to our offseason dealings.

That all being said, the Cubs have the inside track. If he gets dealt, A-rod's crew is going to want him to go to a big market and it sounds like him and LouPa are still friendly and his no-trade clause gives him the power of where to go.

Honestly besides either LA team, I don't know where else he would agree to go to. I can't imagine him wanting to go to the White Sox and dealing with Ozzie. Mets would be the only other possibility and no way the Yanks would trade him there.

actually Mets aren't a possibility, they don't have a position for him. ignore that.

pin mentioned a need for improvement in ob% and reaffirmed the payroll increase (no specifics).

Piniella in Chicago: The best show in baseball

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/mariner...

angels owner very publically wants a 3rd and wants arod...spoken on both issues separately.

i kinda wonder why the speculative media isnt all over that.

lou said he "was embarrassed" by the arod rumors, btw...and he "dont know where it came from".

suprising, huh?

Rob G.-

I care about AROD. I would love the Soxs to get him. This is the type of thing you wish on your enemies.

If the Soxs get him, they will be moving away from from what made them a sucess - besides dominating pitching - timely hitting.

It would be beautiful to watch the circus on the south side.

From the Larry Stone piece in the Seattle Times:

"I fully expect ó indeed, eagerly anticipate ó at least three full-blown, crazy-eyed meltdowns once Piniella takes over the Cubs. Then we'll see what happens when spring training ends."

Nice.

well if the Angels want A-rod and the mandate that big changes will come this offseason by Moreno come true, then they certainly have the upper hand. Any package they put together would trump ours. Dallas McPherson, Ervin Santana, maybe one other guy and no one touches that unless the Dodgers want to cough up LaRoche. Of course, A-rod has the real power in all of this if the Yanks are determined to move him.

sox got payroll concerns...they free up what...10m or so after raises/cuts?

its not like they got baggage, though...almost everything returning is good or good enough collectively. they shouldnt hurt, but unless they start trading or restructuring they dont have too much room to change things up.

Posted this on the old thread where that was talk that a 3-team trade would be the only way to work a trade for ARod, so I threw this one together:

a little conversation starter -- and stick with me as it is a little long

Yankees Receive:
Joe Crede
Rich Hill
Felix Pie

White Sox Receive:
Scott Moore
Juan Mateo
Sean Gallagher/Donald Veal
Scott Eyre
Cesar Izturis

Cubs Receive:
ARod
Freddy Garcia/Javier Vazquez

I really just put this together off the top of my head, but the IF the Yanks trade ARod, they will need a 3B and want young pitching in return. They get that in Crede (gold glover, blue collar) and Hill, and I am sure Cashman would love to see Tabata (their top positional prospect) and Pie in the same Yankee OF for years.

The White Sox need to unload one of their starters to make room for McCarthy, and that make Garcia or Vazquez expendable. They need MAJOR help in the bullpen as they lost too many games in the 7th and 8th innings. Scott Eyre is the answer there. Josh Fields (their top prospect) is ready to play 3B now, and they wont have to pay big $$ for Crede, who is a Boras client...Kenny Williams DOES NOT get along with Boras at all. Give them one of our top pitching prospects (Veal or Gallagher), Mateo, and Moore to play 3B at AAA Charlotte for them, and just MAYBE. Izturis may fit as Uribe IS IN SOME SERIOUS TROUBLE...can you say Urbina version 2.0!! They have a hole at SS now and I bet Ozzie would love a slick-fielding Venezualan SS. But it also saves them $$ by not paying Garcia/Vazquez and the $10 million a year that Boras will get Crede. They will take this money and go after a big bat in LF (Soriano anyone). White Sox lineup would look something like this:

Soriano LF
Iguchi 2B
Dye RF
Thome DH
Konerko 1B
Pierzynski C
Anderson CF
Fields 3B
Izturis SS

But, MORE IMPORTANTLY, this scenario nets us ARod and Freddy Garcia. We lose a lot in the minors (Veal/Gallagher, Pie, Moore, and Mateo), but it is worth it, especially when we have talent in lo-A (Pawelek and Colvin), and the #3 pick this year as a BIG MARKET TEAM that can afford to deplete the farm.

This would give us:

Pierre/FA CF
Theriot 2B (Cedeno/Izturis would bat 8th pushing Murton to the 2 slot)
Lee 1B
ARod SS
ARam 3B
Barrett C
Jones RF
Murton LF

DOR,

that would be fun, love to see Ozzie verbally bitch-slap A-rod a few times in public too. That would go over well for A-rod, who responds to criticism about as well as Dusty does. Love that Williams offered up Vazquez who was a disaster in NY.

that's almost all of the cubs minor leagues to take on 26m in payroll for arod/garcia.

btw...texas gets relief on money owed on their end if they trade arod.

so much is piled up against arod going anywhere.

I can't see Aramis Ramirez going to the Yankees in a deal for A-Rod. Either Aramis Ramirez exercises his player option and walks away (in which case the Yankees can sign him as a FA if that's where A-Ram wants to play), or Ramirez exercises his player option and the Cubs re-sign him for "Derrek Lee money" and a "no trade." Because without a "no trade," why would A-Ram re-sign with the Cubs? If the Cubs won't give him a "no trade," he will just be a FA and sign someplace else for the same money (if not more) and a "no trade." And if the Cubs don't sign him until after the end of the Free-Agent Filing Period (the first 15 days after the conclusion of the World Series), Ramirez gets an automatic "no trade" until next June 15th anyway.

I also don't think A-Rod would agree to a trade to the White Sox. Ozzie Gullien dissed A-Rod big-time in the period before the WBC. I think the Cubs and Uncle Lou would be A-Rod's first choice. He had his happiest years playing for Lou Piniella in Seattle. And if that's the case, then the Yankees decide either to keep A-Rod, or else trade him to the Cubs in a three-way deal where the Yanks can get a 3B and an established rotation starter back from the third team.

I mentioned the Texas Rangers (specifically 3B Hank Blalock and RHP Kevin Millwood) as a potential 3rd team in an A-Rod deal in a previous thread, because the Rangers are now in a rebuilding mode with a weak farm system, and the Cubs have the quantity of MLB-ready or near-ready young players (Pie, Moore, Marshall, Guzman, Gallagher, Veal, Ryu, et al) the Rangers might want to help fill spots on their MLB roster.

The Cubs are also in a position to relieve the Rangers of some of their remaining financial obligation to A-Rod stemming from the $250M+ contract A-Rod signed with Texas a few years ago.

"Ozzie Gullien dissed A-Rod big-time in the period before the WBC."

hehe..forgot about that. makes the whole thing as likely as dusty going back to SF.

I wonder if Pinella is serious about pushing Hendry for A-rod, but at the same time what does Pinella think of Ramirez?

It can't be good to be hearing your new manager saying he wants to bring in A-rod to play 3rd base. You are sitting there thinking, wait a minute, I PLAY 3RD BASE!

And yes I will forever spell Lou's name wrong, that god damn extra "i" just doesn't belong.

pin stated today he has no idea where the arod rumor came from and was "embarrassed" by it.

end of that.

of course arod still may move, but there's a lot going against it from all kinds of directions that don't make sense for the yanks.

Not to resurrect the stolen base topic or anything, but here is a link to a Baseball prospectus article extolling Piniella's history at using the running game.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

Spongebob: "....in a Hendry sort of creative deal (the problem is the yanks can pay...we've been stealing players from teams who cant)..."

That's not always the case. I seem to recall a certain creative 4-team trade that netted us Nomar and Murton for Alex Gonzalez, Francis Beltran, and Brendan Harris.

The are some common elements between that trade and a prospective A-Rod trade: 1) BOS and NYY are teams with money, 2) Both teams needed to get rid of a guy with chemistry issues, 3) The ARod trade will likely need to be a creative 3-4 team deal. AZ Phil outlined one option in the previous thread, involving the Rangers.

we're going to have hear about this A-rod crap for at least a month if not considerably longer. No one is getting moved until teams know who the FA's are, so this stuff is going to being festering for a good month if not longer.

Now that he works for the Cubs, if Piniella says anything publically about wanting A-Rod, it's tampering, and the Cubs would be in BIG trouble.

Lou could say whatever he wanted to say to the media or to his friends in baseball about wanting A-Rod to play for him until today. But the signal has been sent. The information has been communicated and received. A-Rod knows Piniella wants him on the Cubs. And since A-Rod has a "no trade," the ball is in his court as far as trades are concerned. The Yankees options are very limited.

thanks Dying Cub Fan, for trying to put this thread back on LouPa rather than how we're going to acquire the Maltese Falcon of baseball.

Good article btw, everyone should read it if they can. Lou apparently knows when to send them and who to send.

JUNIOR: #23 WAY too Long, man. Save it for your novel.

Fine I will give up on A-rod and go back to Crawford. Rob you hold the vigil on Wells, and maybe together we can half-ass the Cubs into a good OFer trade.

This is going to be a longgggggg winter.

pin stated today he has no idea where the arod rumor came from and was "embarrassed" by it.

That's not true. Piniella stated he "didn't know where that came from" regarding the rumor for A-Rod, but he said he "was embarassed" about being considered as the lead candidate for the Yankees job before Torre was even fired. Regarding A-Rod, he said something to the effect of: "obviously, you want as many good players as you can get, but we haven't had any discussions about him."

That's splitting hairs a bit, but I think it does cast the A-Rod situation in a different light. He didn't flat out deny it.

Btw, there's a video of the Q and A at ww2.abc7chicago.com.

I disagree that the Yankees won't move ARod. His fielding yips suggest Knoblauch-like head-case issues, and given his teammates and coach wailed on him in that SI peice, I can see the Yankees being concerned that there would be chemistry problems going forward. And they have enough offense they can manage without him, but don't have the pitching they need.

If ARod moves, it won't be to the Cubs. Both LA teams have a need for a 3B, better young starting pitching to dangle (LAA: Santana; LAD: Billingsley), and deeper farm systems. The Yankees don't have much need for an OF, meaning Pie's not going to interest them much. And I don't see Aram signing a deal without some trade protection for this year; without it, he'll just wait and test the market, which he may do anyways.

The Cubs simply don't have the peices that the Yankees would want. Only chance we have of getting him is if he digs his heels in and only agrees to waive his no-trade clause to get back with Lou. If that's the case, I can see the Yankees saying "forget it, either you go elsewhere or you stay here for another year of booing and hell."

Or if we dangle Z, which shouldn't happen.

"Piniella stated he "didn't know where that came from" regarding the rumor for A-Rod, but he said he "was embarassed" about being considered as the lead candidate for the Yankees job before Torre was even fired."

thanks.

"Lou apparently knows when to send them and who to send."

One can only hope that if Lou looked into when stolen bases are valuable that he has also taken a critical look at other areas of the game instead of just going with the common wisdom.

haha, I'd honestly rather just go get Soriano to play CF. Teams should buid their depth through their farm system and I'd rather not have to give up Murton or Pie or Hill to get Wells. Soriano is going to go back to his 800 OPS days next year and that's still quite good for a CF. And if all it costs is money that suddenly we're willing to spend, that's the best route in my opinion.

And no I'm not worried about his D in CF. He's got the speed to cover ground out there and it's a "small" outfield with no real weirdness like a hill or something. Juan Pierre had gold glove ratings by a lot of metrics even though he can't throw anyone out but he can go get them. Soriano will go get them and has a strong arm.

Comment #42 was in regard to #37 btw

Go Lou, now go spend some money in the candy store Hendry and be sure to go for the top shelf stuff, don't go blow it all on candy corn and lollipops when you can afford the premium Godiva.

that SB piece is head spinning...

"The batter at the plate is a double-play threat. Stealing makes more sense with a right-handed batter up than a left-handed one, and with a groundball hitter up rather than a strikeout or flyball hitter."

no...stealing makes more sense with a certain type of RH hitter rather than a certain type of LH hitter.

its not A + B = C.

its this type of logic that makes players of different skill set you can directly point to treated exactly like a totally unsimilar batter.

it may work for hastily judging the actions of a pool of players, but applying it as a broad stroke to a specific situation is faulty.

...buncha other stuff in there that's basically "same issue/same response"

why do some people lose track of the individual in the scope of specific situations?

no...stealing makes more sense with a certain type of RH hitter rather than a certain type of LH hitter.

that's exactly what they said crunch. Geez. Let me highlight.

Stealing makes more sense with a right-handed batter up than a left-handed one, and with a groundball hitter up rather than a strikeout or flyball hitter."

Is Crunch slowly morphing into Chad? With all due respect, Crunch, if you don't agree with what a major mainstream baseball site says, move on. There's a reason they're there and we're here.

So let me get this straight - the Cubs give up most of their top pitchers and top talent on the farm for a Arod. Hmm... how does this make teh Cubs better?

I'm not big on stolen bases, but during the det/oak series piniella had a great explanation of why he thought oakland's offense suffered with poor/slow runners on base. they were all solid points and things that statistical probability is incapable of accounting for.

- a runner who's no threat to steal will have a small lead and the first baseman barely has to hold him on base; giving him more range than he would trying to hold a normal baserunner.

- without the threat of a steal the middle infielders can play further from second base, increasing their range as well.

- without the threat of a steal the pitcher doesn't have to worry about a slide step or throwing fastballs or keeping the ball out of the dirt.

- all of the above make it much easier to get a ground ball, and therefore a double play.

hey, I'm all for guys who can run, but more importantly they have to get on 1st base.

"Stealing makes more sense with a right-handed batter up than a left-handed one, and with a groundball hitter up rather than a strikeout or flyball hitter."

--

i read that "and" as separate to the first the point cuz of that comma placement and relation to the other SB piece. i read them as unrelated.

and besides, that's not the only way to judge when its wise.

i dont think you can blame the basestealer without looking at the surrounding cast and how the manager chooses to handle how the SB's are being cashed in (manager gonna bunt for station to station ball or he making room for a consistant power threat? etc etc).

the broad conditions are what i have issue with. noticing trends is one thing, but when your team only carries 15-20 hitters a season at most its not rocket science to humanize your team and specifically pinpoint sane strategy.

but all that aside, we have to take in this info not in the most ideal way, but how the manager chooses to put it in practice and how it effects their worth in overall stats discussions.

#42 of 42: By Rob G. (October 17, 2006 01:20 PM)
haha, I'd honestly rather just go get Soriano to play CF.

----

ROB G: If he's on my team, I'd rather play Soriano in CF than in LF or RF. If a player has the speed to cover ground, CF is an easier postion to play than a corner OF spot because the ball comes more straight & true off the bat.

Soriano certainly has the necessary speed to play CF, and a plus-arm to boot. He should have been playing CF all along. I also would play Jacque Jones in CF before I would play him in RF.

One other thing is that RF in Wrigley Field is one of the worst right-fields in baseball. With the wind and all of the day games and the sun in the right-fielder's eyes, it is not a position for outfield neophytes. I thought other than his arm, Jacque Jones handled RF pretty well this past season. But he doesn't have the arm to play RF, and neither does Murton, but Soriano doesn't have the defender skills to play RF in Wrigley Field, either.

If the Cubs don't sign Soriano or Carlos Lee, and if the Tigers want to get out from under the back-end of a mega-bucks contract ($15M in 2008, $18M in 2009, $18M vesting option in 2010, and $15M club option in 2011), Magglio Ordonez would be a far better RF option for the Cubs 2007-09 or even beyond (2010-11 if the options are exercised). A Thames-Granderson-Monroe OF with Jacque Jones as DH until his shoulder is 100% (and then he can play LF) might be a better long-term fit for the Tigers than the high-priced Magglio Ordonez. And Ordonez is a "true" RF.

I seem to recall that Carlos Lee was banished from the White Sox by Guillen and Kenny Williams because Lee was less than enthusiastic about working hard and took losing way too easily.

If true, I can't see CLee and Piniella co-existing.

#47 of 51: By Rory (October 17, 2006 01:40 PM)
So let me get this straight - the Cubs give up most of their top pitchers and top talent on the farm for a Arod. Hmm... how does this make teh Cubs better?

-

RORY: It doesn't have to make sense for it to happen. But if it does happen, it's the only way it will happen. Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Zambrano are not going to be part of any deal for A-Rod. If the Cubs do acquire A-Rod (again a big IF), it will have to involve a 3rd team that can provide the Yankees with an established 3B and a proven rotation starter, and that third team will have to be willing to accept about four MLB-ready or near-ready Cubs prospects back in the deal for it to happen.

I can't believe some people on here are comparing aramis ramirez to alex rodriguez. That's like comparing juan pierre to rickey henderson.

The Cubs have just about completely lost the hispanic community to the Sox lately, ARod would help them out from a PR/Marketing standpoing. That and he's the best all-around player in the game. Cubs need him more than any other team in the league, and I think he needs them as well.

"if you don't agree with what a major mainstream baseball site says, move on."

are you serious? =p

I thought other than his arm, Jacque Jones handled RF pretty well this past season.

I couldn't agree more, he was a warrior going into the brutal corners at Wrigley. One or two boneheaded plays isn't going to happen to every player. His arm was an issue, can't deny that, but it wasn't nearly a big a problem as some fans think and the stats bear that out.

Is A-rod popular in the Hispanic community? honest question

hey lou used "fiery" twice in his press conference. Let the count begin.

from Lou's press conferences:

"the people above Jim that make the decisions"

oh jeez, hope he meant that innocently.

"are you serious? =p"

50/50. I don't know what the point is in fighting against a "system" that isn't going to go away. All BP writers are carbon copies one of another and they're gonna preach what they believe per secula seculorum.

After all the WBC stuff this past year, I kind of doubt ARod is all that popular with the hispanic community.

Also, he was born in New York, so other than his last name, he's not really hispanic to begin with. At least not in the sense that guys like Carlos Zambrano or Sammy Sosa are hispanic.

"Is A-rod popular in the Hispanic community? honest question"

He is very close to being idolized in latin american countries. I don't know how he's perceived in the hispanic community of the US.

"Also, he was born in New York, so other than his last name, he's not really hispanic to begin with."

He recognizes himself as a Dominican Republic citizen.

more comments on the Cubs from SI:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/writers...

This caught my attention....

"Folks around baseball were calling Piniella's marriage with the Cubs 'curious' in that they don't appear ready to win and he isn't exactly long on patience. It sure will be something to watch."

#59 of 62: By Doug Dascenzo (October 17, 2006 02:11 PM)
Also, he was born in New York, so other than his last name, he's not really hispanic to begin with

---

DOUG D: A-Rod was born in New York City, moved to the Dominican Republic when he was four, and then to Miami when he was eight.

btw, anyone think Dumpster's days are numbered? Fits the role of pitcher who walks people that drives Lou crazy. Even if he's not traded, doubt he makes it very long as a closer.

#64 of 64: By Rob G. (October 17, 2006 02:19 PM)
btw, anyone think Dumpster's days are numbered? Fits the role of pitcher who walks people that drives Lou crazy. Even if he's not traded, doubt he makes it very long as a closer.

----

ROB G: I believe Bob Howry is MUCH more of a Lou Piniella type of closer (Danys Baez, Lance Carter, Kazuhiro Sasaki, Mike Timlin, Bobby Ayala, et al) than is Ryan Dempster. What would be an interesting question is if the Cubs do re-sign Kerry Wood as a reliever, and if he's healthy, whether Woody can focus for that one inning and throw strikes to the extent necessary to make him Piniella's choice for closer.

i kinda wonder where this extra money is supposed to go.

2 SP, CF need to be culled out-of-house (unless somethign weird like jones going to CF happens...which would lead to needing another OF'r anyway).

2nd/LF arent "safe" though could be produced in-house.

should be an interesting nov/dec.

well, 2 SP doesnt "need" to be developed out of house, but its probally a good bet that 2 will be added...zito, schmidt, lilly, etc...

I keep hearing the Cubs need 2 SP. Who are the 3 existing pitchers? The way I see it the Cubs only have 2 and they will need 3 SP.

#67 of 67: By crunch (October 17, 2006 02:40 PM)
well, 2 SP doesnt "need" to be developed out of house, but its probally a good bet that 2 will be added...zito, schmidt, lilly, etc...

----

CRUNCH: I think it's a pretty good bet that Hendry will add (or attempt to add) two reliable rotation starters from outside, one FA (I believe that could be Miguel Batista, because he can work out of the bullpen if he is not needed in the rotation in 2008) and the other via trade (somebody like Jason Jennings or Jake Westbrook, a starter who will be free-agent after next season).

Giants talking to Bochy and Bud Black fwiw.

#69 of 70: By Ryno (October 17, 2006 02:43 PM)
I keep hearing the Cubs need 2 SP. Who are the 3 existing pitchers? The way I see it the Cubs only have 2 and they will need 3 SP.

--

RYNO: Unless it is discovered that he has a torn labrum or rotator cuff, I believe Hendry considers Mark Prior to be one of his five rotation starters. If I were Hendry, I would certainly want a Plan "B" for Prior's slot, though.

Ryno:

#1: Zambrano
#2: FA
#3: Hill
#4: FA
#5: Prior/Marshall/Guzman/etc.

You pretty much have to pencil Prior in as long as he's on the roster.

Yeah, I'm f*ing tired of waiting for Prior to get healthy. That's just me, though.

I realize that, but as long as he's on the roster you can't do much. No free agent is going to sign on to take the open rotation slot knowing there's a chance they'll get bumped if Prior is healthy, and trading other prospects to get a 5th starter you may not even need is just a waste.

Personally, I'm not that worried about the 5th slot. I'm sure some combination of Prior/Marshall/Guzman/etc. will be able to put up typical 5th starter numbers.

I keep hearing the Cubs need 2 SP. Who are the 3 existing pitchers? The way I see it the Cubs only have 2 and they will need 3 SP.

Z
Hill
Prior or Guzman, Marshall, Ryu, Mateo

Wade Miller is probably still in the discussion too.

Add 2 from that. Cubs are going to make a big push for one of the three, I don't doubt that. Schmidt throws strikes and throws hard, making him the top choice. Matsuzaka is interestiing, but the blind auction is just too dificult to gauge on whether you'll be successful. I mean the Cubs put in a $25 mil bid, beyond reasonable and the Yanks or RSox decide that $30 is fine by them and there's just no way to know what another team is thinking on that.

#5: Prior/Marshall/Guzman/etc.

It's a losing strategy to go with whoever is lying around for the 5th spot in the rotation. I'd rather the Cubs get Sidney Freeking Ponson than plan on Prior pitching in any capacity.

I don't think the Cubs crack .500 unless they get Schmidt. Give him tons of money, whatever.

prior's gonna cost 3-5m...its highly unlikely, especially with a loaded pen that might end up adding k.wood, that he'd stay with the cubs in any capacity other than expected-to-start.

z/?/prior/?/hill...in no particular order...

Prior/Marshall/Guzman aren't crap. 2 of those guys have ##1 stuff and Marshall showed up at Wrigley a year or two to early. Hell Ryu's got talent as well.

Mark Prior as your 5th is an enviable position. The key is to land another top guy in Scmidt/Matsuzaka or Zito and then get another veteran innings eater like Suppan or Maddux or something. If you have the money and can talk a guy like Batista or Wade Miller into a bullpen role with the knowledge that he could turn that into a rotation spot, certainly should go for it.

It's a losing strategy to go with whoever is lying around for the 5th spot in the rotation. I'd rather the Cubs get Sidney Freeking Ponson than plan on Prior pitching in any capacity.

In that case, think of the rotation as: Zambrano, FA, Hill, FA, Marshall. Marshall is good for at least a Sidney Ponson caliber season, and if Prior is healthy he'll bump Marshall to AAA.

"#61 of 80: By Carlos (October 17, 2006 02:14 PM)
"Also, he was born in New York, so other than his last name, he's not really hispanic to begin with."

He recognizes himself as a Dominican Republic citizen."

Where did you get this? He was born in New York and played for the USA in the WBC.

They guy could be president.

So Soriano seems to be the popular choice as the big FA bat in the TCR community. I remember reading that Soriano was horrible hitting down in the order with TEX and WASH which is a bit inaccurate...

leadoff - .294/.368/.588 (541 ABs)
3rd - .153/.235/.333 (72 ABs)
5th - .310/.375/.690 (29 ABs)

those are only his WASH stats this season but I know Soriano has stated that he's most comfortable in the leadoff spot. Personally I would want him hitting 5th behind D.Lee and Aramis and he actually put up his best #s in that spot...granted it's a small sample size, but he had 160 Ks with a 28.7 K rate per PA which doesn't seem to fit Lou's preference, but then again he did hit Crawford leadoff for 2 years. If the Cubs are sans Pierre next year I'd still prefer a Theriot then Murton/Barrett top of the order (assuming there is no FA 2B acquisitions).

Also, in day games Soriano has a career .319/.403/.647 line.

Career at Wrigley 2/12 with 1 HR.

Where have you been Chad? A-rod wasn't going to play in the WBC because he was torn between choosing DR or the USA team. He could play for either team.

Try a google search, its not that hard.

Chad,

Did you forget about the whole hoopla surrounding A-rod and playing for either the Dominican Republic or USA?

Dusty Baylor:
"Great....Larry Rothschild is back. Does anyone else find this laughable?"

I do, but if Teflon Jim got unscathed, why not his boy Rothschild. No shocker to me, but it is sad...

vorare: In that case, think of the rotation as: Zambrano, FA, Hill, FA, Marshall. Marshall is good for at least a Sidney Ponson caliber season, and if Prior is healthy he'll bump Marshall to AAA.

Ok fine. It may sound like I'm splitting hairs, but I envision the Cubs improving the rotation a little, but not to the extent that they need to. I've seen enough "cy young potential" sitting on the DL to drive me bonkers. Just get some workhorses, get 3 of them. Preferrably one named Schmidt.

How is Larry, Hendry's boy? Dusty said he pushed for Larry to stay in 2003 and Larry came up with Lou in Cincy.

no sorry I was too busy compiling my trade proposals for acquiring slap hitting sub .300 ob% guys.

this message has been paid for by TCR staffers on behalf of the abolishment of Cesar Izturis fund.

That, by the way, would set you up for a "pleasant suprise" should Prior ever figure out how to stay healthy. You can always trade off a workhorse pitcher if you have 1 too many. If I fault Hendry with anything it is setting up the team for unpleasant suprises rather than pleasant suprises.

problem is if you sign a FA pitcher, you can't trade them until June 15th w/o their permission. I wouldn't be against signing 3 SP's, I just don't think it's reasonable financially and at least one of them would have to be willing to be a bullpen guy.

Try a Google search?

Try reading my posts. His ability to play for the Dominican Team had to do with his parents and grandparents. Much the way Mike Piazza played for team Italy.

I didn't ask why he could have played for the Dominican, I asked how he knows that ARod has duel citizenship.

Chad, where do I sign up to contribute to that fund?

I really like the idea of acquiring Miguel Batista, he'd be a decent 4 or 5 starter, or a Novoa-style long reliever (but better than Novoa). Plus, he writes romance novels.

Z
Big Name FA
Hill
Batista
Prior or Marshall/Guzman/Ryu/Mateo

That looks pretty good to me.

WILL Super (g)LOU actively "recruit" free agents as we are told Dusty did?

Do you believe he has "cred" being out of the game full-time for a bit?

On Rothschild, he is a very well respected pitching coach. He had an offer from Detroit and i am willing to bet that if he were not brought back next year by the cubs he would be coaching for someone else. I am not a big fan of Rothschild, but i am willing to admit that people who work in baseball know more about the sport and what it takes to be successful than me and bunch of other guys who like to whine and bitch on a blog. it is easy to say that Rothschild is the problem with this staff, but if you do, then you have to give him credit for 03 and 04 when our pitching got us to the playoffs and to a winning record. The pitching did struggle last year, but how many rookies did we have?

And before you start throwing your numbers at me, and you stat guys know who you are. Just remember, figures don't lie, but liars figure. You can make numbers say anything you want if you work them the right way. It is way to easy to say this guy is wrong, but when a large number of people on the inside of an industry has a high opinion of a guy, that should carry a lot of wieght.

Just my opinion. Now feel free to rip it and me apart. :^)

Someguy: "then you have to give [Rothschild] credit for 03 and 04 when our pitching got us to the playoffs and to a winning record."

We can also give him credit for overpitching Wood and Prior to the point where neither of them have been able to pitch a full season since.

Question for those in the know....AZ Phil, et al.

To me...a real wild card next year is Dempster. For those who know his history, is there ANY chance he could be a 4th-5th starter.

Does he have the talent?
Stamina?
Etc?

It SEEMS to me he was Kerry Wood with less talent, who, after surgery was re-molded in to a reliever.

Is it even possible?
Joey PI

Yeah, I think the Rothschild criticism is overblown, too. The Cubs were in the top 3 in ERA in 03-04, they've led the league in K's 2002-2005, they've been at the top of the league in BAA since 2003, and WHIP has been near the top for some of those years as well. Even this year, most of the pitching staff's woes can be attributed to walks and homeruns, and most of that can in turn be attributed to a rotation full of rookies and half-injured vets.

And Chad: here is an article that mentions A-Rod's dual citizenship.

Dempster already did the starting gig and did it poorly and couldn't stay healthy. Probably not best to revisit that.

wow, forgot the extent to which Ozzie went after A-rod. Got to be impressed by Kenny Williams for even asking about him.

Good to know he'll never end up there as comical as it would be.

Rob G......but did Dempster not start PRIOR (GAWWDDDD what a poor word to use..I just jinxed the poor bastard) to his injury and subsequent surgery????

There is some precdent to it with Smoltz, is there not? NO, I'M NOT SAYING DEMPSTER IS JOHN SMOLTZ.

The Cubs have been in the top 3 in walks given up every year from 2002-2006.
That is unacceptable. Rothschild had better be on a very freakin' short leash.

"And before you start throwing your numbers at me,..."

Do you mean "towel-throwing numbers" at you?

"Side-session" throwing numbers?

Im not sure what your asking, but yeah Dempster began his career as a starter and was bad at it and it lasted for a few years so I don't think injury had much to do with it.

He started a few games with the Cubs post surgery in 2005 to start the season before taking over closer duties. I don't recall that going to well either. I'm a bit too lazy at the moment to look up the numbers though.

Is it possible? Sure, I just don't think he'd be reliable in terms of health as a starter and/or performance. He's got some more pitches in the reperoire I know. He sticks to the 2-seamer and the slider as a reliever, but he's got a change and I think a curve as well. Of course he could always break out a 4-seamer too if needed. Every pitcher has that.

ROB: Re: DEMPSTER - What about long relief/spot starting? Sort of a very slight upgrade to "Doughnuts", and he's a RH pitcher.

This way, he stays out of the closer's role.

Rob G...thanks....was not aware he has spot started with the Cubs.....I was drunk for a couple years there and didn't pay attention.

Joey

Here's an honest question--since Mark Prior had perfect mechanics while at USC and seemed to have altered those mechanics to really screw himself up....why wouldn't Mark Prior personally hire the USC coach (or whoever was his pitching coach in college) to be his personal trainer? Seems to me a no brainer...pay the bastard to help you out and get those mechanics back....

Unless of course that guy was his steroid provider--then that could be a problem...but seriously...why not get the guy to help you out on a constant basis?

well first, I would have signed BJ Ryan instead of Howry, Eyre and Rusch last year. Let's make that clear.

Second, long relief/spot starter could very well be in the cards. I don't see why he couldn't handle it. Problem is you need a closer and for all the talk of Howry, he failed miserably in that role as a WSox if I recall (or at least it seemed like he did cause he was on my fantasy team at the time and I recall lots of cursing). I'm not saying it's the same as Hawkins, but it's possible that it's just not a role suited for him. Counting on Wood for that role would be foolish. He may take it eventually, but you can't go into the season with that mindset.

Third, Dempster was screwed by his D last year. The guy walks way too many people for my tastes, but he always keeps the ball down and can strike out a guy, so although he's living dangerously, he's got the tools to escape. It worked exceptionally well in 2005 and for part of 2006. His downfall last year coincided with his lack of regular work in save situations and I do think that closers feed off the adrenaline of the save situation. Take that away from them and you take off their edge a bit. It could very well have been part of the problem last year.

I don't know what to do with Dempster. The closer FA prospects are Gagne and ...um, geez, wow, um, yeah. And as good as Gagne can be, that's one helluva risk. If Dempster can be used in trade bait, that's fine, but we should have some depth especially if we bring back Wood that I'm not going to freak if Dempster is given the role with a good spring training.

And I'm also all for trying Guzman in that role as well. I think he could be nasty there.

CHAD (and other skeptics):

Time to put in practice Spanish 101:

"Voy a jugar por Rep˙blica Dominicana y harÈ que los dominicanos se sientan orgullosos. "Quiero decirle bien fuerte: soy dominicano", dijo RodrÌguez a ESPNdeportes.com y a la cadena de televisiÛn UnivisiÛn el 11 de julio durante las actividades del Juego de Estrellas en Detroit.

"Parece ser que me estoy inclinando bastante hacia allÌ", dijo RodrÌguez refiriÈndose al equipo dominicano, en lugar del estadounidense, durante una entrevista con la radiodifusora WFAN de Nueva York el 14 de diciembre.

---

The gist of the article: "I'm a Dominican citizen."

Let me also add Aardvark into the closer/bullpen mix. He's got wicked stuff.

A-Rod has dual citizenship, Chad. Stop trying to argue from your pre-conceptions and look it up before you argue it is so.

Regarding prior posts indicating that an A-Rod trade would need to involve the Yankees acquiring a 3B as part of the trade (thus necessitating a third team:

Where is it written in stone that they need to obtain a 3B as part of that trade? Why couldn't something else be in the works for the Yanks, for a Blalock or Morgan Ensberg?

Moreover, the Yankees may not necessarily need offensive production from 3B, particularly if they can envision healthy years from Giambi, Matsui, Abreu, Posada and Damon, especailly with the emergence of Cano as a legitimate weapon. They may, and possibly correctly, decide that left-side of the infield defense is much more important than 30-HR power there.

As a result, a player like a Caesar Izturis might be relatively attractive (if they get the right pitchers, of course). A player who can cover for Jeter's weak range might save as good many of the runs as a weak-fielding power-hitter would generate.

And remember that this is the Yankees. They can absorb salary midseason virtually at will. So what if they go into 2007 with an offensive "hole" at 3B? If it turns out to be a problem, they do the mid-season trade for Adrian Beltre or Casey Blake if they have to.

The possible involvement of Texas (and possibly Blalock, who is signed through 2009 at $5-6M/yr) would more be due to fact that Texas is still on the hook for about a third of A-Rod's salary through 2010. I'm sure they'd like to be relieved of that. But it will cost them, and it could cost them Blalock.

I'd set the A-Rod Trade-O-Meter at 33% probability right now. Piniella reportedly turned down overtures from the Nats because he wanted to take over a "veteran" club...that plus the reports of the Cubs management agreeing to increase payroll to $115...

http://catfishstew.baseballtoaster.com/archiv...

it's about Macha getting fired, but they have some quotes from players saying he didn't stand up for them, particularly with the umps. Sounds a bit like the chump we got rid of...

Prior visted Dr. Andrews yesterday.

According to Mark O'Neal, its "to be determined" if Prior will be ready for Spring Training.

http://tinyurl.com/yl2sgs

Maybe you all have trouble reading. I didn't say he wasn't a citizen of the DR. I wanted to know where he got that info from.

Furthermore, I still doubt that he is a DR citizen and will continue to do so until someone can actually prove it. Carlos, my Spanish sucks, and for this I am ashamed cause of my fondness for the language, but I am pretty sure that "soy domincano" means, I am Dominican. Great and I know people who's grandparents were born in the US in the late 1800's and still proclaim to be Irish.

Hilary Clinton proclaimed herself a citizen of the World and Kennedy proclaimed himself a jelly donut. Means nothing.

I'll bet you that either A. He acually isn't a Domincan Citizen or B. Was granted citizenship due to his parents being born there or C. is a citizen there as much as I am a citizen of Israel by the mere fact that I am Jewish.

So now Hendry has up to $115 milllion to spend. I wonder what the excuses he will use when he doesn't sign any top guys and uses that money on the Jason Jennings and Pedro Felix of the MLB.

OK, so ARod has dual citizenship, but he was born in the US and lived in the DR for all of 4 years. Sounds like a marketing ploy to increase his popularity with a huge, beisbol-loving demographic.

What makes him Dominican? Does he live there during the offseason? The guy would call himself a Martian if a billion space aliens loved baseball and bought Pepsi.

http://www.bestsyndication.com/Articles/2006/...

In mid-December, Rodriguez said that he was leaning toward representing the Dominican Republic, which would have been his right because of his parents' citizenship

fwiw. I read a few other things and it seems like he could play for the Dominican because his parents have citizenship, not him.

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

"O'Neal said Kerry Wood is throwing from 45-50-feet in Arizona."

Weeeeee! Let the Wood/Prior updates begin!

The ESPN Article Vorare posted a link to states that Rodriguez is a dual citizen.

Rodriguez, who has dual citizenship in the Dominican Republic and United States, decided to play for the American squad after once saying he wasn't going to play in the WBC because choosing a team was too difficult. Guillen apparently found his wishy-washy attitude to be disingenuous.

What was the original point of this argument anyway? I forget.

"Rodriguez, who has dual citizenship in the Dominican Republic "

From what source? Cause ESPN said so? That MEANS NOTHING!!!!

That is not how you site a source.

Anyone know where I can get simulated tickets for Prior's first simulated game? i think he'll be even better this simulated season than last simulated season. Maybe they can dress the players who stand in at bat as famous players from baseball history. I'd give anything to see Iron Mark strikeout Ruth, Aaron and Mays on nine pitches in a simulated inning. The simulated crowd would be going nuts in a totally simulated way.

And if the the Cubs can push through a rule that moves the mound in 20 feet, Wood's ready to go now.

Let's simulate two today!

CHAD:

Sorry, I didn't get your comment, then. It's been a busy afternoon.

Anyway, Jay Jaffe (homepage), a well-respected baseball writer, confirms that A-Rod has a dual citizenship.

"I realize that some people might point to A-Rod and say, "Why now?" when it comes to identifying as a Dominican. Dual citizenship means he can rightfully say he's an American AND a Dominican, and just because he expresses pride in one facet of his heritage doesn't mean he's denigrating the other."

Emphasis added by me.

I'm guessing that the Dominican grants citizenship to the children of Dominican citizens. That seems to be what's going on here.

God who cares.

Rob, that would be my guess to. But I will bet anything that he never went down there to take some sort of citizen test or anything like that. He is only a citizen cause the DR wants him to be. I doubt he did anything proactive about it.

ROB G:

I care. We need things to argue about in the offseason. TCR wouldn't be the same without the token daily fight. OBP, Baker, Piniella, fantasy leagues, Mark O'Neal... you name it; it's either that or boredom. Or resuming schoolwork.

CHAD:

"US-born children who have a Dominican parent have the option of acquiring Dominican citizenship once they are 18 years old. The person would then be both an American and a Dominican."

Extracted from this article.

So yeah, he did do something proactive to get the Dominican citizenship.

Filling out a form is hardly proactive.

"IN THE UNITED STATES
First, obtain an official copy of the birth certificate (no photocopies). Second, take the birth certificate to the closest Dominican embassy or consular office and have them legalize the birth certificate. There is usually a fee for processing the document, which is about US$40."

Source (since you all love them): article.

It isn't rocket science, sure, but it does take work and time. Get off Rodriguez's case.

I guess I'm surprised that no one actually wants to talk about Lou Piniella. Does everyone feel as burned as I have with you know who? Do we all just not care anymore?

How about the $115 million payroll that's being floated. That's freaking huge!!!! Other than Manny's predictable comments, not much.

Instead we're figuring out how to get the white whale that is A-rod.

No worries really, just surprised on where the direction went .

Go bears!!!

Speaking of Soriano though, I'm guessing this will be his legitamite suitors:

Houston
Both LA teams
Cubs
Baltimore

St. Louis, San Fran and Texas way off in the distance as well

Houston has the no state tax thing that you have to combat. LA has LA weather. Cubs and Baltimore will just have to do it with the cash and years.

From Lou's press conference on day games and the bench:

I like the idea. Weíve talked about that briefly, the bench part of it. The day games here at Wrigley should be an advantage for your home team. But you need to rest your players and you need to have fresh troops out there, so thatís something weíll concentrate on.

We'll see what a uility player is in Piniella's eyes. Looks like starters will get lots of days off.

Don't rule out the Tigers making a run at Soriano...or maybe Carlos Lee. Dombrowski wanted Soriano at the deadline and they really do need another middle of the order bat and can slot him at DH...granted they should be looking for a Delgado/Thome lefty type but there doesn't seem to be anyone with that on their resume via FA or trade this off-season. They'll be losing Percival and D.Young's contracts which would essentially roll over to one of those bats, not to mention the extra $$ they'll receive for the World Series win.

Rob G.:
"I guess I'm surprised that no one actually wants to talk about Lou Piniella. Does everyone feel as burned as I have with you know who? Do we all just not care anymore?"

Piniella doesn't seem too much different from Baker to me, from almost everything I have read, so no big difference to me and not much to talk about. But overall I think people are finally realizing that the ball is in Hendry's court to improve the team and now that he has more money to spend he is the guy people are going to focus on, and should be focusing on. But again, if Hendry's doesn't spend the money correctly, it doesn'ty matter how much the payroll is. $100 million was enough to win every year and we didn't, so hopefully that extra $15 million can cover up Hendry's mistakes. But like Crunch says, we need health from the players we do have first and foremost.

Go Cubs! Go Good Health!!

I guess I'm surprised that no one actually wants to talk about Lou Piniella. Does everyone feel as burned as I have with you know who? Do we all just not care anymore?
--
I care; I'm just trying to stay away from all this for a while. I really hate being angry about the Cubs. It's just not how it is supposed to be. (Plus the Bears are REALLY good and that takes away some attention).

With that said, I owe Chad an apology for calling him names about a month ago (after him talking about kids at the ballpark) before I kinda dropped off.

So to answer your question, I personally like the move. He will bring a different persona from Baker, which is what we really needed there. Girardi had some huge question marks in my mind, starting with his alledged handling of Josh Johnson. Piniella has proven he can win--and win with Rothschild. That is the bright side of Rothschild staying, I guess.

who'd want to play in Detroit? honest question. There FA acquisitions were all guys no one really wanted at least not for the years and money they gave him. Unless there about to cough up a 10 yr deal on Soriano, I don't see it. Even with a potential WS flag flying over...

Wild Thing:
"O'Neal said Kerry Wood is throwing from 45-50-feet in Arizona."

Weeeeee! Let the Wood/Prior updates begin!

Freeking hooray. Maybe by April they'll be ready to get their 50.0 IP of 6.00 ERA ball in and promptly be put on the DL for shoulder soreness.

mannytrillo: Piniella doesn't seem too much different from Baker to me

Good one.

Mannytrillo (Post #133)

Piniella doesn't seem too much different from Baker to me
--

Huh?

Chad:
That is not how you site a source.

That is not the correct use of the word "site" (you meant "cite"), so I guess we're even. Good thing neither of us are professional journalists.

Apology accepted. I didn't even remember that instance. I get called so many names here...

I'd imagine that young starting rotation and that bully would probably entice a few FAs who want to have a legit shot at multiple rings...perhaps not in Soriano's case because he has one, but I could see Carlos Lee there. If you're talking about the city's reputation, the murder rate in Chicago is higher than Detroit and has been for the last few years. The Wings and Pistons don't seem to have a problem getting players to go there, as long as Illich is planning on keeping the club intact and not pulling a Loria, money + winning usually wins out over the peripherals and the D isn't as bad as people think...I don't recall fans rushing the field in Comerica and jabbing senior citizen 1st base coaches or tackling umpires or tipping off near riots in the bully or a fan getting shot in front of the stadium. Great music scene in the D too.

whats with the reports that we r tryin to get soriano to cf????? y dont we just move him to pitcher.

Honest question here:

I know Soriano had an amazing year. Awesome.

But last off-season, there were many, many of us who wanted no part of Soriano. Including some of the writers, I believe.

Have we all just forgotten about why we didn't want him? I'm not saying we shouldn't go after him, I'm just questioning if last season, as great as it was, has completely eased our minds about Soriano's shortcomings.

For what it's worth, it seems like Chicago should have a pretty good shot at him, if they want him. Hasn't he said he'd like to play for the Cubs? Carlos Lee too.

i imagine the only thing that will matter is money and Soriano and Carlos Lee will be coveted by many teams. Pudge and Magglio were not. But hey, stranger things have happened.

Wasn't really putting down Detroit as a city, just saying it has nothing extra going for it. LA has weather, NY is well NY and Chicago is 3rd on the depth chart still. As long as everyone is offering the same cash, no one is picking Detroit.

From http://tinyurl.com/yl2sgs:

Jacque Jones is strengthening his right labrum 3-5 days a week with Prior's trainer in San Diego, due to a shoulder problem Jones only revealed on the final day of the season.

"He had some issues with some motion and strength," O'Neal said, adding that the Cubs will handle it "conservatively," meaning no surgery for the time being.

Woo-hoo, more shoulder problems! Trade his ass.

I feel like Carlos Lee would be an absolutely horrible signing. Just a lot more money for little if any upgrade in LF. If Hendry signs CLee I will be immensely disappointed. Which of course means that you can start sewing the L-E-E on the Cubs jersey right now.

i still have no interest in Soriano as a 2B and I'm not too interested in him as a LF either. If the powers that be feels he's capable of CF, then his bat will suffice there. He'll probably regress a bit next year with the bat, but he did pick up his walk numbers last year which is promising.

But I'm really only interested in him at CF, where his bat would be above average and his glove (I'm hoping) wouldn't be much of a liability. He did seem to handle LF pretty well by most accounts.

Manny,

I'm going to agree with you here. Lou (at least from Derek's description) does sound a lot like Dusty. Bottom line: we need better players.

Jacos:
Have we all just forgotten about why we didn't want him? I'm not saying we shouldn't go after him, I'm just questioning if last season, as great as it was, has completely eased our minds about Soriano's shortcomings.

A lot of people, myself included, thought Soriano's numbers prior to this year were largely a product of playing in Arlington. So, this year proved he can hit in some pretty tough pitchers' parks. This was his "walk" year though, so I guess some of this year's performance could be a fluke. But if he can at least put up the kind of numbers he did in Texas, I'm all for signing him up. And, I'd prefer him to Carlos Lee.

for the most part I expect to be just as frustrated by Lou's everyday moves. What I'm hoping for and (it's nothing more than hope):

a) the team plays hard every day for every play.
b) he stands up for his players on the field
c) he has a better clue on what a bench should look like

I think it solely depends on the type of player. NYY will get players simply by $ and tradition, no one is really picking the Dodgers over anyone else these days like they might have a decade ago, they had to overpay for Furcal and Drew...maybe someone with the personalty like Zito, Pavano, or Johnny Damon type who fancies themself a pseudo-rockstar. Angels perhaps yes. Cubs have the park and some $ but a tradition of losing so I don't see that as real enticing. There are other players who would rather play in a city like STL with lesser media demands and more loyal(read: positive) fans. The Larry Walker, McGwire, Todd Helton types of personalities...the type of market that A-rod belongs in. Then there are others like Schilling who want the NYC, BOS spotlight..all depends on the individual. Soriano probably doesn't really care about any of that as he can play the no habla ingles card.

Rob:
a) the team plays hard every day for every play.
b) he stands up for his players on the field
c) he has a better clue on what a bench should look like

And
d) No more wacky double switches!

e) players will be held personally accountable
f) fundamentals will be stressed

g) Less use of the word "Dude"

h) more use of the word "fiery"

http://tinyurl.com/yz3v47

Prior has been seen by Yocum and Andrews already since the season ended. (surprisingly not the witch doctor kremchek).

anyway he's classified as having a "loose" shoulder (genetic condition, i.e. not overuse) which can lead to some of the fun stuff he's been going through the last few years. Supposedly the "looseness' though also helps with some of the power that he's able to muster up in his pitches. Surgery is an absolute last resort. 4-6 weeks of rest are recommended (from when the season ended) and then he's on a hardcore strengthening program.

Jacque is also on a strengthening program and surgery won't be necessary.

Trainer dude got a 2 yr deal along with Rothschild.

Rob G-
Did you see also that surgery on Prior would have "unpredictable" results?

He's screwed.

Don't even count him on being in uniform next year.

I'm glad the Cubs top focus are two power hitters who should be DH's, and possibly Schmidt.

If starting pitching is not stressed as much as hitting the Cubs will be lucky to win 80 games next year.

Hendry said earlier today that Barrett is about a month away from being able to begin his off-season training regiment and that he "should be 100% by opening day"...of course he said that about Prior last year. He also made sure to clear up any "speculation" that he and McDonough were not on the same page on the managerial hiring...stating that they were both "on the same page" with Piniella decision.

So, what's with the Cardinals fans waving the towels around? Is there a reason for it, or are they just doing it to mock Mark Prior?

#122 rox, btw.

TBS and Fox are alternating the LCS for the next 7 years. TBS gets all the division series games with TNT chipping in when necessary. Does anyone know if ESPN will still do regular season games?

espn has a long contract for its regular season fare of games they signed a couple years ago.

Nice of you to say, Crunch.

"Major League Baseball hit a cable-TV rights home run last week, scoring a new eight-year, $2.4 billion agreement with ESPN. Baseball--whose ESPN rights fee improved by about 50%--also has the ability to connect with a quartet of other national cable packages through 2013."

for the sake "whatever" its from "reed business information, inc"...whatever...

cardinal fans are so fantastic that they're ripping off a decades-old fan gimmick.

also, nothing says "home run at the old ball yard" like a freaking tornado siren. what a joke.

Wikipedia says that ESPN will continue to do a Sunday night Game of the Week as well as games on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The article also says TBS will have a Sunday afternoon Game of the Week. I hadn't heard about that before.

Here's the link.
http://tinyurl.com/ybbazd

#110 of 163: By Rob G. (October 17, 2006 04:30 PM)
Let me also add Aardvark into the closer/bullpen mix. He's got wicked stuff.

-

ROB G: As does Lincoln Holdzkom.

In fact, if Uncle Lou finds himself pining for the days of the Nasty Boys during the next few weeks, he just needs to attend an AFL game when he's out here for the Cubs Organizational Meetings next month in Mesa and watch Holdzkom pitch. Similar physique, similar leg-kick, and similar stuff as Rob Dibble.

Holdzkom was one of the pitchers the Cubs got from the Marlins for Todd Wellemeyer at the end of ST. Holdzkom had been one of the Marlins' top relief prospects about four years ago and had even been added to their 40-man roster before tearing an elbow ligament and needing TJ-surgery in '04. But he's definitely healthy now.

POST-IT NOTE FOR JIM HENDRY: Don't forget you need to add Lincoln Holdzkom to the 40-man roster by November 20th.

Andrew:
Have we all just forgotten about why we didn't want him? I'm not saying we shouldn't go after him, I'm just questioning if last season, as great as it was, has completely eased our minds about Soriano's shortcomings.

Ok, I'll bite. It's hard to argue with 46 home runs, especially at RFK. But... I'm not too enamored by Soriano. He's a dead-pull hitter and I'm pretty sure by the end of the year the NL had adjusted to him.

Sept: 204/298/343

I expect teams to put a dramatic LF shift on him since he only has marginal power to opposite field. Also, I suspect he's not a team player by the way he treated the Nats when they asked him to move to LF.

I would much rather see the Cubs go after Carlos Lee than Soriano.

"According to Mark O'Neal, its "to be determined" if Prior will be ready for Spring Training."

HA HA HA HA HA HA!! That's a good one!

well Carlos Lee presents the problem that he can't play CF cause he's fat and RF isn't much of an option either (shifting Jones to CF) for him cause I don't think he has the arm. Taking over for Murton and resigning Pierre or getting Roberts doesn't sound like a drastic improvement. On the other hand Murton, Soriano, Jones sounds like a huge freaking improvement offensively.

Rob G.:
well Carlos Lee presents the problem that he can't play CF cause he's fat

lol, you're so diplomatic. Just for fun, Carlos Lee appears to be defying physics by getting slightly faster each year:

2006
C. Lee: 19 SB, 2 CS
M. Murton: 5 SB, 2 CS
J. Jones: 9 SB, 1 CS
V. Wells: 17 SB, 4 CS

2005, C. Lee: 13 SB, 4 CS
2004, C. Lee: 11 SB, 5 CS

He's always been pretty fast in the field, too. I guess it doesn't matter, though, since he's not a center fielder.

Also, I suspect he's not a team player by the way he treated the Nats when they asked him to move to LF.

Just to play devil's advocate here, I don't think he did that because he was a dick. I think he did it because 1) he was a FA at the end of the year and he'd rather stay in the IF and 2) he was afraid of being exposed defensively. Since he now 1) put up numbers even an outfielder could be proud of and 2) played OF pretty well, he should be fine staying out there.

I would much rather see the Cubs go after Carlos Lee than Soriano.

Perhaps, but I'm even more worried about Lee. What about his Murton-esque second half? And where would Murton go? Lee can't play CF or RF.

Man I missed the part about O'neal also getting a 2 year extension.

Probably the worst trainer I have ever seen. He never has clue when guys are expected back, his rehab cases almost always have set-backs because they are not properly rehabbed in the first place. Derrek Lee is the greatest example of his total lack of control and oversight.

How confident is anyone that O'neal is over seeing Jones labrum rehab? At some point the odds are Jones will be done for the year with shoulder surgery that should have been performed now. I guess the Cubs like to wait till spring training before they make these tough decisions that could affect next season.

With Dusty gone, I think O'neal takes the #1 spot on people I hate with a fiery passion of a thousand suns on this team.

I should also note that Prior hasn't done much in the last 7 weeks but they think another 4-6 weeks of doing nothing will help clear up his problem without surgery.

Prior hasn't pitched a whole hell of alot in the last 3 years. If they think more rest is going to solve it, I am not buying it.

Just sounds like more of, lets pray it gets better by doing nothing approach.

fiery!

Ya, my spelling sucks ass today. It is that damn letter "i" messing with me.

I blame it on the hiring of Lou.

"cardinal fans are so fantastic that they're ripping off a decades-old fan gimmick.

also, nothing says "home run at the old ball yard" like a freaking tornado siren. what a joke."

Yeah. Anyway, 1908.

http://tinyurl.com/yxlp2f

Regarding Matsuzaka:
Hendry indicated Tuesday the Cubs will enter the blind bidding, but at least eight other teams are in that derby.

Hendry, however, indicated the Cubs put an unusual amount of effort into scouting Asia this season and believe they have found "two or three pitchers over there we feel can start here."

One of those could be Hiroki Kuroda, a 31-year-old right-hander who was 13-6 with a 1.86 ERA last season. He's an unrestricted free agent. Kazumi Saito, who outpitched Matsuzaka by going 18-5 with a 1.75 ERA this season, also could be available.

Intresting that Sandberg asked for and was granted an interview and nobody reported it. Would it be crazy to have Sandberg on Piniella's staff, I think he would be a great coach, and I'm not just saying that because he was a Cub. I hate that crap, but I feel Ryne has alot to offer in terms of playing the game.

* According to Peter Gammons, Soriano is one of the nicer guys in the game. He got a bad rap when he was traded to Washington because 1) he wasn't consulted before being traded, and 2) the Nats wanted him to switch to LF in his contract year when he felt he was more valuable as a 2nd baseman. Gammons also said that Soriano has a lot of pride and his main concern switching to LF was that he would not play the position very well.

* I prefer Soriano over CLee. This is completely conjecture on my part, but Soriano seems like a guy whose skills will continue to grow, while CLee seems like a guy whose skills will deteriorate. I have nothing to base this on.

* Making Sandberg a coach is an interesting idea. He is beloved by Cubs fans, which will further ingratiate Piniella with the fans, and it will give Sandberg and the Cubs a fairly low-risk opportunity to see if he really has what it takes to manage in the big leagues.

Rob:

That's great news, thanks for the link. I'm really hoping that Piniella's background with the Mariners will lead to an increased focus on southeast Asia.

Re: Sandberg as coach

He was so fundamentally sound, in all aspects of the game (hitting, fielding, running), that he could just be a "Special Instructor" or something on the team and help guys to not make stupid plays.

FWIW, Ryne Sandberg has been a Cubs Spring Training Instructor for eight years (beginning in ST 1999). I'm kind of surprised that Ryno wasn't asked to work with Ronny Cedeno when the Cubs moved him to 2B after they acquired Izturis.

"I'm kind of surprised that Ryno wasn't asked to work with Ronny Cedeno "

Dusty promised Speier a six pack if he did it.

Stick a fork in Prior...and Wood. Move on...sign them for rehab and we'll take our daily updates and throw them in the trash. We need to set our team up with them with out morgaging the little future we have left.

I just can't believe these NLCS playoff teams...their SP suck. You're telling me that if we had Z, Matsuzaka/Schmitt, Hill, Eaton/Ortiz/Radke, Guzman/Marshall/Marmol, we wouldn't be competitive against these teams.

We couldn't beat the Cardinals: Carpenter, Weaver, Suppan, Marquis, Reyes

or Mets: Pedro, Glavine, Traschel (the cubs better not pick him up), Maine, Perez

Sign Soriano, Ramierz, Pierre and we're set.

CF Pierre
LF: Soriano
1b: Lee
3b: Ramirez
RF: Jones
C: Barrett
2b: Therriot
SS: Istruez

Pretty solid team...we could be very competitive...that is all we can ask for. Not trading away our future and being in the thick of things.

It would probably cost, Ramierz -14 mil, Soriano 15 il, Pierre (8-11 mil), SP (10-12mil), SP #2 (5-6 mil)

We are subtracting:
Wood 12mil
Maddux 9mil

If we are at 96 mil already....pierre +5mil, Aram +3-4mil, Soriano +15, SP#1 +12mil, SP#2:+5mil)

Total: +42 mil

So if you add the current contracts without Z's renewal/Prior/Wood byout and subtract Blanco/ Mabry/Maddux/Aram '07 contract/Pierre it equal about 52mil

That would put us at about 96 mil

"Intresting that Sandberg asked for and was granted an interview and nobody reported it."

sandberg couldnt manage a Taco Bell before he realized his entire staff was stealing soft tacos off the line and money from the till.

when asked for comment he'd replay "aww, shucks."

then will clark would laugh at him while roger craig walks around being stoic and important as kevin mitchell loads clark's shoes up with matches.

"well first, I would have signed BJ Ryan instead of Howry, Eyre and Rusch last year. Let's make that clear."

Ryan better pick up the knuckleball if he's going to be a 5th starter, and pitch the 7th and 8th in the other games.

solid cheap shot

Rusch was rather replaceable, don't you think?

Ryan/Dempster in the 8th and 9th was what I was thinking. Ohman is your Loogy and Wuertz should have stayed in the majors all year. At least that's what I was thinking back in the day, but it no matter.

Of course Howry/Ryan in the 8th and 9th would have been even better and never resign Dumpster, but that's all hindsight on my part.

Wuertz may have been a disaster had he stayed up all year, and having Ryan and Dempster instead of Dempster, Howry and Eyre doesn't in my mind change our position much headed into next year, anyway.

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