2006 TCR Postseason Award Show

Itís time to hand out the postseason awards and weíre going to do it hockey style because naming your awards after obscure things is clever or something. Splendid Splinter Award (Honoring the Rookie who was firmly planted on the bench for no real good reason) While Angel Guzman looked like an early frontrunner in June when he was called up for almost a month, but got into a grand total of three games for about seven innings, it's "scrappy" Ryan Theriot who takes home the hardware. Theriot began the year with a decent showing in spring training to a tune of 214/395/250 but couldn't impress the coaching staff enough to avoid the Cubs going hard after A's reject Freddie Bynum for the 25th man. Theriot's first callup of the season came May 8th and despite no one on the team hitting, Theriot got a grand total of 5 plate appearances. Apparently Neifi and Jerry Jr. were just due to break out of that career slump that month. Theriot was sent back down later in the month and got called up to warm up the bench once again on July 14th. Theriot was able to squeeze more AB's in that week than his previous stint but Prior's brief return put him back in Iowa. It took Derrek Lee's second DL trip to get Theriot up for good, but that didn't mean he'd play right away. Once everyone in front of him either got hurt, traded or released, Theriot finally got a regular shot at playing time near the end of August where he overachieved himself to a line of 328/412/522. To sum up, once Neifi, Walker, Jerry Jr. got traded and Izturis got injured and Womack got released, we finally were able to give Theriot a shot(reluctantly). That doesn't even include the abysmal season Ronny Cedeno made us witness. Good job keeping that pine warm sir Theriot. Tallest Midget of the Year (Perceived Greatness amongst Mediocre Peers) Despite walking every player in baseball this year, Carlos Zambrano looks like a demi-god to Cubs fans due to his fiery temper, overswinging and the next best pitcher on the club basically had one good month. Kudos to you Carlos and be sure to buy Hendry dinner once you're done raping him over that new contract this spring. It's the gentlemanly thing to do. Nomar Garciaparra's Groin Award (Crushing Injury That Ruined the Season) Mark Prior and Kerry Wood were tough guys to lose but who expected them to play (oh crap me, at least in Wood's case). No, this year's winner was of course poor Derrek Lee who's apparently signed his contract extension in blood with Satan standing next to him. You see Derrek was living the good life, playing ball, getting paid millions, winning a world championship, a wife, a kid, set for life, you name it, he had it. Then of course on April 19th, Mr. Durable tries to chase down an errant throw by Scott Eyre (more on that in a moment) and collides into a guy that should have been wearing Cubbie Blue. Luck, Chance, Fate or Cursed? I think we all know the answer. Of course it results in the worst case scenario and Lee is out for 2 months before rushing back to play like crap for about a month before he sits again. Once healthy, he returns for a nice three week stretch before tragedy moved onto his family. Sorry Derrek, that's what happens when you deal with the damned. Cecil Fielder Award (Most Unathletic Player) While Butterball Rusch would seem the obvious choice, we have to remember that this is the Cecil Fielder award and Cecil actually provided some value on the diamond, which you'd be hard-pressed to find any in Rusch. No, the winner this year is Scott Eyre who cited that one of the reasons he signed with the Cubs is that Dusty didn't make you run and stuff. Eyre's un-athleticism proved particularly costly on that faithful April 19th night when he attempted to field Furcal's grounder by falling on his beer gut and then thought he could somehow manage a decent throw from that position to get the speedy Furcal. He of course threw the ball a few feet over 6'5 Derrek Lee's head pretty much costing Lee and the Cubs the season. It takes a special talent and sport where someone who probably has trouble getting up a few flights of stairs can make millions. Mitch Williams Award (Heart Attack Bullpen Guy) It's a tough call between Roberto Novoa and Ryan Dempster but Dempster self-destructed on the mound with flavor not seen since the days of, well, um...Latroy Hawkins. Despite a red hot April start, once the save opportunities dried up so did Dempster's magic elixir potion. Each time Dempster was called into a game, Cubs fans experienced shortness of breath, their chests tightened and a strange tingly feeling in their left arm popped up. Then through a combination of walks, wild pitches and the occasional botched defensive play, defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory. The American Heart Association strongly suggests that pregnant women, small children and those with high blood pressure turn away from the TV during the Ryan Dempster experience. Lord Voldermort Trophy (Most Hated Cub) Unfortunately managers and coaches and front office personnel are excluded, meaning Neifi Perez wins in a landslide. While players such as Freddie Bynum, Roberto Novoa, Ryan Dempster and Glendon Rusch made runs at the title at various points, no one could quite match the animosity that Neifi brought out in Cubs fans. Despite a mountain of evidence showing Neifi to be one of the worst hitters to ever play the game, Neifi managed to get himself 246 plate appearances. Each Neifi appearance was met with millions of voices suddenly crying out in terror, suddenly silenced by a weak groundout to second base. While no one is quite sure what methods Neifi uses to blackmail his managers, hypnosis and high powered surveillance equipment have been suggested. A small parade around the Chicago River was organized the day Neifi was traded along with a scholarship in his name that will give a no-hit, slick glove kid a roster spot on Dusty's next team. Brant Brown Award (The Most Amazing Way to Lose a Game) While any of Dempster's meltdowns could be considered, the first nominee is Neifi's double error that allowed the winning run in the form of Marcus Giles to score on a sac fly from second base. But not to be outdone, the very next day, the Cubs come back from a 12-9 ninth inning deficit to tie the game, only to see Aramis Ramirez take an infield popup off his head that allowed the winning run in the form of Ryan Langerhans to reach base, who naturally came around to score. Probably the closest vote of the awards, but Neifi's double error did directly lead to the winning run scoring and a run scoring from second on a sac fly is about as rare as they come. Grady Little Award (Boneheaded managerial decision of the year) It's like trying to find a needle in a haystack, so many choices, so little time. There were all those unnecessary double switches, my personal favorite being to take out Jacque Jones in a tie game and replace him with John Mabry defensively in which the very next play Mabry basically loses the ball in the sun costing us the game. Anytime Neifi started and was inserted in the #2 spot in the lineup was pretty darn silly (insert Bynum, insert Cedeno, insert Izturis). But ultimately Dusty's worst move was to move Todd Walker to first base and play Neifi/Womack/Jerry Jr. at second base when Lee went down.. Oh, he had no other choice you say? I beg to differ. Baseball is a simple game, 50% is scoring runs (Offense) and 50% is preventing runs (pitching and defense). You can further subdivide the run prevention into about 40% pitching and 10% defense roughly. You don't need Stephen Hawking to tell you that missing Lee's bat was going to be a lot more hurtful to the team than losing out on his defense. But damnit, Baker's not buying what you're selling. Oh sure, the choices weren't sexy. Bascially Mabry or Restovich at first base and Phil Nevin when he finally arrived. There were also some other creative ways of attempting to solve the problem like trying Barrett at 1b or what not. Baker wasn't having any of that though, must get that impact glove in there and then act shocked and befuddled when the offense couldn't muster up a rally. Allard Baird Award (GM's worst move; Could also be called the Cam Bonifay Award or Chuck Lamar award and by next year possibly the Jim Hendry Award) We want to make sure everyone gets a chance to be honored, so we'll try and pinpoint Hendry's worst decision this offseason. Hours of extensive research, a team of 100 sabermetricians and a NASA computer (from like 1960 that we found cheap on Ebay) poured through the numerous missteps Hendry has made to try and pinpoint his worst decision. And while not firing Dusty Baker received some early support (pick whatever point in the season you wish), and there were plenty of non-decisions and non-moves that could have been made (like maybe grabbing some more starting pitching), it's best to stick to the concrete examples of his lunacy. And the winner is.... Well duh, giving Neifi a 2 year/$5 million deal when no market even remotely close to that existed and the two main reasons he stayed were to sway a possible FA acquisition and because the manager likes his swagger. Let's break out another random obscure analogy for everyone. Let's say you have a drug addict, let's call him "The Manager" and he's hooked on heroin. He's not only hooked on heroin but he actually prefers the really awful heroin because that's what they were dealing when he grew up. Now what's the best way to get "The Manager" off his heroin addiction? I know, buy him some more and pay a premium price for it. Freaking brilliant. --- There you have it, the inaugral TCR postseason awards show, a solid showing by Neifi this season. I'd love to hear your suggestions for some more awards, maybe I'll include them next year or your suggestions for the awards I did present. And I do hope everyone realizes the sarcastic tone of all this, just having some fun with this pathetic season.
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Comments

Worst season ever.

How about the Courtney Love award for the Category 7 trainwreck this offseason is about to become?

Better one: The Yogi Berra award for the stupidest quotes that have come from a member of this organization this year. Any of Baker or Hendry's OBP comments are good nominees. The "Catching the ball" comment is also a solid nominee.

John Mabry is only about 20 months away from being the answer to one of those drunken quesitons in a bar that everyone has the answer to on the tips of their tongues but can't quite get - "Who was that first baseman the Cubs had? He only played a year. He'd been on the Cardinals. He was just totally done when the Cubs got him but down the stretch Baker played him anyway? Against the Reds a grounder almost hit him in the foot that he didn't react to in any way? Anyone remember him? No? Man, was he ever a bum."

I like the Yogi Berra Award, the Courtney Love one is too much forecasting and we're really trying to honor the "achievements" of our heroes.

How about a Neifi Perez Bonehead At Bat Award? Like bunting with two out in the ninth inning while trailing?

Did anyone see that Bruce Miles said the cubs are going to look into OBP at their organizational meetings this year? I hope they look at maybe bringing some of it into the organization. Maybe look into value-ing it a little. Just a hope

On base percentage. We looked at it. Dont really care for it. Just going to proceed on like we have.

How about an Eddie Gaedel Award? Not for the shortest player but for the person allowed on the field who is, in even the most liberal interpretation of the word, simply not a baseball player. My vote this season goes to Steady Freddie Bynum. He looked like Charlie Brown playing second with that big-ass outfielder's mitt on. So clueless that even Dusty had to sit him down. Now THAT'S clueless.

ha, Aaron, but yeah I mentioned it in the post below this one yesterday.

WSCR reporting Lariano having Tommy John Surgery on Monday. No 2007.

oh yeah, that Neifi bunt was something special. I'll have to remember that for next year, thanks.

and there goes my fantasy team for next year, thanks for ruining my day Jacos.

"#11 of 12: By jacos (November 3, 2006 04:02 PM)
WSCR reporting Lariano having Tommy John Surgery on Monday. No 2007."

DAMN YOU GARDENHIRE FOR BURNING OUT PITCHERS!!!!! DAMN YOU!

perhaps the "rick danko stage fright" award, to counterbalance the splendid splinter award?
given to the player who got the most number of calls proprtional to his talent?
could be a dead heat between bynum and novoa.

Jacos:
"WSCR reporting Lariano having Tommy John Surgery on Monday. No 2007."

What a shame...Will most likely never be the pitcher he once was. I am sure the Twins and Loriano wish they never brought him back this year. And no there is no proof it would have made a difference as you can't prove something that will never play out. But we do know how the story played out this year and it turned into basically the worst possible scenerio. Also, this is a shot to the pitch count police. They basically babied this guy not letting him pitch beyond 100 pitches very often, but he still has Tommy John.

Chad:
"DAMN YOU GARDENHIRE FOR BURNING OUT PITCHERS!!!!! DAMN YOU!"

HA HA!!!

Sorry Rob-

Well think about how exciting it will be when the Cubs give him a $ 1 million dollar contract in 2010 so he can pitch long relief!

How about the Andy Dick award for the outfielder that throws like a girl? Either one of the Frenchmen would be deserving candidates.

#18 of 19: By jacos (November 3, 2006 04:13 PM)
Sorry Rob-

Well think about how exciting it will be when the Cubs give him a $ 1 million dollar contract in 2010 so he can pitch long relief!

False,

The cubs will give him the 1 million so he can "rehab" with the organization. Once he has proved healthy, he will go somewhere else.

Hey Rob,
I will trade you Jaime Moyer for Fransisco Loriano.

Aaron B-

He will get the Mark Prior Memorial Holiday Inn Towel when he arrives.

"How about the Andy Dick award for the outfielder that throws like a girl? Either one of the Frenchmen would be deserving candidates."

Why leave out Murton? In fact give the '06 Cub outfield the first Supremes or Dixie Chicks Award for having three members who throw like girls.

The Dixie Chicks award for the outfielder who throws most like a girl. I like it!

I am sure the Twins and Loriano wish they never brought him back this year. And no there is no proof it would have made a difference as you can't prove something that will never play out.

You can't prove something that will never play out, but you can use a little logic and reach a conclusion pretty damn easily. Someone gets hurt, so they shut him down for a month, and somehow you want to conclude that trying to slowing bring him back is what caused him to need Tommy John?

News flash, if 1 month of rest didn't make a problem that requires surgery go away, 6 months of rest isn't going to make it go away either.

I'm quite confident absolutely no one in the Twins organization thinks bringing him back in Sept after a month off had anything to do with him now needing surgery.

Murton though looks like he can throw a baseball, I think Jones wins the Andy Dick award hands down.

btw, anyone have a name suggestion for the "Tallest Midget Award"? Every other award is named after someone (mostly ballplayers) but I couldn't think of anyone (preferably ex-Cub) who was overrated most of his career just because he played with a bunch of crap around him.

"In fact give the '06 Cub outfield the first Supremes or Dixie Chicks Award "

How about naming it the Pete Gray Award?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pete_Gray

Wow, that was amusing. Good post.

Rob G.:
Despite walking every player in baseball this year, Carlos Zambrano looks like a demi-god to Cubs fans due to his fiery temper, overswinging and the next best pitcher on the club basically had one good month.

We figured it out one day in August or September, but if Z was in the lineup every day he'd be about a 20-25 HR hitter.

re# 26-

That's tough Rob to find that in baseball.

The only thing I can think of is when the Cubs got Bobby Murcer and his great power hitting.

When he was exposed my Dad would yell at the TV-
"The great Bobby Murcer, Mr. Warning Track Power."

But J Jones' shoulder is shot. At least he's got an excuse. Pierre looks the most pitiful for someone who's healthy and Murton, while maybe looking like he can throw... can't.

#26 of 28: By Rob G. (November 3, 2006 04:31 PM)
Murton though looks like he can throw a baseball, I think Jones wins the Andy Dick award hands down.

btw, anyone have a name suggestion for the "Tallest Midget Award"? Every other award is named after someone (mostly ballplayers) but I couldn't think of anyone (preferably ex-Cub) who was overrated most of his career just because he played with a bunch of crap around him.

I don't know about the tallest midget. But Anthony Young was the ace of the pitching staff for 2 brutal years in the early 90's.Good lord if that isnt #1 starter by default. I dont know what the definition could be?

Bill Buckner, while good, was deified by a lot of Cub fans and was mostly surrounded by crap. You have to be good to be overrated in the first place so I'm not dissing Billy Buck, just saying he wasn't quite the God many made him out to be.

A.Y. !!! Good call!!

There was a throw from Pierre from the warning track that Cedeno caught in mid centerfield that was such a rainbow I thought Cedeno was going to wave his arm to signal fair catch.

Sorry if this has been mentioned already but I believe the gold glove awards for the National League will be announced in about ten minutes . . . . I am assuming no Cubs will be on the list.

Ryno:
"We figured it out one day in August or September, but if Z was in the lineup every day he'd be about a 20-25 HR hitter."

Yeah, but unfortunately he would have an AVG of around .200 and an OBP of around .225.

Rob, the Mike Sweeny award. You know, being the forced KC Royal on the AL All Star Team.

Your NL Gold Gloves:

C: Brad Ausmus, HOU
1B: Albert Pujols, STL
2B: Orlando Hudson, ARI
3B: Scott Rolen, STL
SS: Omar Vizquel, SF
OF: Carlos Beltran, NYM
OF: Mike Cameron, SD
OF: Andruw Jones, ATL
P: Greg Maddux, LAD

NL Gold Glove winners:

P: Greg maddux
C: Brad Ausmus
1B: Albert Pujols
2B: Orlando Hudson
3B: ???
SS: Omar Vizquel
OF: Andruw Jones
OF: Carlos Beltran
OF: Mike Cameron

The best part is that Aram played in 15 more games and made 2 less error. Not that he deserved it, just sayin...

RobG - kudos, finally a good post!

I think it was the fly ball that got him in the forehead that sealed his chances at a Gold Glove.

Maybe they have a Gold Forehead trophy to give out.

Rob, the Mike Sweeny award. You know, being the forced KC Royal on the AL All Star Team.

albeit funny, not Cub related. I suppose if you want to be the forced Cub on the NL All-Star Team that would work, but I'm sure we could find an ex-Cub player to name the award after.

RobG - kudos, finally a good post!

Your backhanded compliment of the day. I feel like Bill Simmons.

if someone wants to humor me (and feels it's worthy), email the link to this post to deadspin. It would make my weekend....

yes pathetic I know, but I'm a publicity whore.

and don't do it just because I asked, only if you feel it's worthy. Don't even mention that you did it, I'll know it if I see a link there.

"The best part is that Aram played in 15 more games and made 2 less error. Not that he deserved it, just sayin..."

renteria robbed agonz in 03...palmiero robbed EVERYONE in 99...every year someone gets robbed.

GG probally has the least amount of legit credibility of the major awards.

hell, the rolaids relief award (or whatever corporate shell payed money to sponsor it now) shockingly is one of the more stable with an actual formula. GG just kinda flys by the seat of its pants.

btw Matsuzaka update...

http://matsuzaka.blogspot.com/2006/11/yankees...

some blurb in a Tokyo paper that the "Yankees are considering the bid to be below $20 million, and that may not be enough."

rotowire says Yanks, Mets, Cubs, RSox and Rangers are the serious teams. At least we're trying to play with the big boys.

Kei Igawa (LHP) is another Japanses player that may draw lots of interest btw.

It is funny how many teams are "supposedly" backing out of the Matsuzaka bidding lately. It is a good ploy to make other team think there are less in the sweepstakes thus they can maybe bid less.

I would be shocked if the NYY didn't win the bidding and if it doesn't go for $20+ million.

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/sports/20061104TD...

speaking of Igawa, he's being posted. A link to his #'s:

http://www.japaneseballplayers.com/en/player....

not quite Matsuzaka, but good and just a year older. Of course Matsuzaka has a bunch of scouting reports raving about him, I haven't read much on Igawa.

its funny how the NY media is almost solely focused on japan.

zito? barely a whisper in weeks and a lotta whispers pointing toward the yanks staying away while he stays on the west coast.

schmidt? havent seen a word about him, though there probally has been a few.

NY media was all about some zito til they found a mystical japanese guy with a yanks-trademark "too expensive for 4/5th of MLB" tag on him.

guess its time to obsess over Zito again...or begin a love affair with Schmidt. the writers have to pace themselves or they'll run outta wild ass ideas to promote before the yanks actually sign someone.

its been crazy how the chicago media has all but up and died compared to the sheer bulk of bullcrap and speculation from the latest manager search. someone throw those guys a bone...give them something to write about. hehe...

Oh, does the GG have any credibility? I'll say that if a guy starts winning 7,8, 12 in a row we're probably onto something, but guys like Varitek or what not who sneak in for a year or two mostly based on their bats are kind of ridiculous.

that being said, Rolen was a fine choice. Pedro Feliz is the only other guy really worth mentioning this season. Ramirez isn't that good, people need to get over it. He improved dramatically this year and has gone from a horror show to adequate. Still doesn't go to his left very well nor field bunts to great. But he's much better at making routine throws to 1b now and not botching routine ground balls.

NL Defensive Win Share Leaders:
C Ausmus/Molina
1B Pujols
2B Hudson
SS Everett (by a landslide)
3B Feliz
OF Beltran, Cameron, Pierre(WOW!)

I knew Pierre rated pretty highly on most of these metrics, but I didn't think that high. Go Juan.

while I agree with the chicago media bit, the NY Media is still working on A-rod and Sheff and a bit on Glavine. And that Yanks posting thing is actually from a Japanese paper, fwiw.

i just love the NY media's complacency with how it can treat its audience.

thanks to what i theorize as their heavy sports-talk community (radio and tv), the "reporting" can rely heavily on huge speculation pieces or dead news while the public accepts it.

there's a lotta press pushed out that's beyond dead horse beating going into pure needless hype by guys who know better.

slow news for some papers means, well, you dont write a lot...its going down at the Sun-Times right now.

slow news for other papers, especially in markets that accept heaps of unsubstantiated "news" because it gives them something to discuss (regardless of validity), means writing something for the sake of saying something.

yeah, its okay/fine/excepted to speculate because this is a slow news period by nature when it comes to baseball and change is imminent for all teams, soon...but wow, daily barrages of baseless crap cuz of fear of market share to other pumping out crap can really do strange things to the writer's mentality and view of their jobs.

Rosenthal's new article

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6132704

nothing really Cub related except that Brad Penny might go on the trade market. He has a very reasonable contract.

anyone with Insider access care to tell us that Ramirez/Angels story is about? not that it's anything new....

someone on BCB heard this on the radio fwiw.

Re Matsuzaka:
steve stone, good friend of the cubs team president, heard the cubs would only bid $10MM

of course who knows the truth behind it but that would be the token offer we were all expecting.

Aramis Ramirez
Cubs Angels? Angels focus on Ramirez
Nov 3 - ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney reports that Ramirez is the No. 1 offseason priority for the Angels.
Ramirez, 28, is coming off a season in which he hit .291 with 38 home runs, 119 RBI and a .561 slugging percentage that ranked second among all major-league third basemen.

He is expected to draw one of the biggest contracts among free-agent position players and could be too rich for the Cubs.

If the Cubs truly, honestly plan to bid $10 million given the information that is publicly known, I say just go ahead, bid $1 million and use the rest to knock a buck off a cup of beer next year.

Any chance the Cubs can "post" Carlos Zambrano? At the rate Matsuzaka seems to be going, we could replace Z with Schmidt and Zito.

#57: "too rich for the Cubs."

The thing that should not be!

wow, you have to pay $$$ for that Ramirez info. Well thanks for reminding me why I don't pay for that. :)

How about the Delino DeShields Award for the most unnecessary in-season pickup.

I think all this low bid stuff on Matsuzuka is a big smoke screen. Even if 10 or 20 million was the winning bid Seibu would reject it. My best guess is that the Mets or Cubs will win the bidding.

Delino Deshields award is pretty brilliant....

Tony Womack I assume runs away with it this year.

K-rod and Trevor won the Rolaids Relief man of the year awards. Gagne optioned turned down of course.

the last 20 search engine queries that led people to TCR:

Yahoo: cub trade rumors
Yahoo: the cub reporter
Yahoo: steve Smythe Baseball
Google: bryan hipp
Google: mlb free agents
Yahoo: Jim Thome penis pic
Google: surgeon for gale sayers knee injuries
Google: jarrod parker georgia tech
Google: knoblock syndrome baseball
Yahoo: the cub reporter
Google: cubs
Google: cubs top prospects
Google: calculus in baseball
Google: 2006 baseball free agent rumors
Google: robert fick punches eric karros
Google: ichiro posting fee
MSN Search: Chicago_Cubs
Google: free agents mlb 07

TCR has a picture of Thome's cock and it's not on the banner..?

I sure hope we don't....

I would say the hands-down winner of the Yogi Berra award for the stupidest quote is one of a couple "clogging up the basepaths with walks" episodes. I feel, however, that this unfairly maligns Mr. Berra.

the Jim Thome Penis Pic Award goes to the entire TCR community...congrats, everyone.

No consideration for Jacque Jones as most hated Cub for 2006? I'm not saying he'd be my pick (definitely a consideration), he had to be in the running. How about the Moises Alou clueless baserunner award? Jones by a mile. Perhaps the Waving Wendell Kim award for most incompetent coach on the staff? Quite possibly should be given to the one coach who was retained by Pinella - go figure.

Damn Pujols and his bat! I'm not saying he didn't deserve the GG this year, but he really is only slightly above avg. If D-Lee had played the whole season, he would have had no competition for the GG.

Lee makes Albert look like Freddi Bynum...

Not to be nitpicky, but I believe it should be the "Allard Baird" award as that is his name.

"and there goes my fantasy team for next year, thanks for ruining my day Jacos."

Didn't I warn you in early July?

"#44 of 72: By Rob G. (November 3, 2006 05:26 PM)
Rob, the Mike Sweeny award. You know, being the forced KC Royal on the AL All Star Team.

albeit funny, not Cub related. I suppose if you want to be the forced Cub on the NL All-Star Team that would work, but I'm sure we could find an ex-Cub player to name the award after."

Rob, I'm calling BS! You asked:

"btw, anyone have a name suggestion for the "Tallest Midget Award"? Every other award is named after someone (mostly ballplayers) but I couldn't think of anyone (preferably ex-Cub) who was overrated most of his career just because he played with a bunch of crap around him."

Asked and answered.

aaronb:
He is expected to draw one of the biggest contracts among free-agent position players and could be too rich for the Cubs.

Yeah, because the Cubs are a small market team. Hooray for mediocrity. *sigh*

I misunderstood you Chad, I thought you were proposing a new award. That's quite good actually, thanks.

I did a quick google search for allan baird cause I thought I had allan spelled wrong and a bunch of results came up. But he BA exec database does say Allard Baird. Thanks. Fixed.

somebody woke up Phil Rogers..

http://tinyurl.com/yxbsqe

here's his rumors:
Ted Lilly might get pursued...
Miguel Batista is on the radar...
Sheff put both Chicago teams on his okay list...

It would be another nail in Hendry's coffin if he trades for a formerly great hitting, recently injury prone right fielder with attitude issues.

I wonder if Sammy is coming back.

1976 ... Steve Swisher ... Worst All-Star ... ever.

I wonder if the Cubs will put a posting bid, or whatever the term is, in on this Akinori Iwamura guy.

His 2006 stat line:

http://www.geocities.com/s_borisov/jb2006/ind...

His TBC link, which doesn't include the '05 season for some reason:

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/I/Akin...

But his 05 was about in line with 04 and 06.

Supposedly, the Indians are looking at this guy for 2nd base. He hasn't shown the plate discipline that Ichiro or Matsui showed, but his BB/K rate is very similar to Iguchi and Iguchi's numbers translated over to the majors pretty well. Getting this guy for 2nd or (3rd!) may be a pretty viable option for the Cubs and if they were just to bid for him, even if it's a amount they know isn't going to win, it could give them some leverage in the Ramirez negotiations.

Billy Williams had a pretty crappy arm, but Pierre and Jones made him look like Clemente.

Any fielding evaluation statistic for outfielders that doesn't include their propensity to stop runners from taking extra bases is incomplete.

I am going to have to try and watch two weeks of the Indians games this year to see what is going on with Peralta. He put up great fielding numbers but the Indians don't think he has the range to play short.

He and Blalock could be possible Buy Low targets for Hendry, if the Cubs scouts and coaches think their bats can be fixed.

Vizquel on being awarded Everett's Gold Glove:

"I felt I had a Gold Glove kind of year. I made three errors until the last weeks of the season. It is amazing I can keep that kind of concentration."

I think he probably meant to say "it's amazing to me" but it's prety funny.

Here's a quick and dirty on the Cubs outfield arms for last year.

Start with the DIPS premise that there are two types of batted balls, home runs and not homeruns. On balls hit to the outfield that don't get caught you're going to get a single, double or triple. What seperates or distinguishes a single from a double or triple is the amount of time it takes the outfielders (and infielders in the 2006 Cubs case) to get the ball back to the infield. Some of that time is going to be alotted to chasing the ball down in many cases. The rest of it, though, is the outfielder's arm, both strength and accuracy. So, by looking at how many hits are doubles and triples you get an idea about how often the opposing teams 'take liberties' with the Cubs outfielders.

Here's the numbers for the Cubs.

Year 2B & 3B %
2006 26%
2005 24%
2004 23%
2003 23%
2002 25%

I am not sure if that's meaningful or not. The Cubs had the same outfield from 2002 - 2004 for the most part, with a good helping of Lofton in 03 and Roosevelt Brown in '02. But the 2% spike after three consecutive years where it is 24% or below is sort of alarming. So what about the Pierre effect, leaving Florida?

Year 2B & 3B %
06 Marlins 24%
05 Marlins 26%
03 Marlins 26%
02 Marlins 27%

The Marlins got a bit better when Pierre got there, but they used a lot, like 10 outfielders in '02 with only one Wilson making over 100 starts in the same position.

Pierre leaves Florida and the Marlins get 10% better at limiting hits to singles. He joins the Cubs (and Murton and Jones) and the Cubs get 10% worse.

I didn't look at the Rockies because Coors is just too crazy when looking at extra base hits, especially now that they are hosing down the balls.

Good job on the article Rob, but one suggestion: I'd change the Brant Brown Award to the Jose Offerman's Helmet Award. Brown's game-losing gaffe was epic, but all he did was drop a fly ball. Hawkins screwed up with impossible precision.

Just a thought.

I wonder if you googled "hosing down balls in Colorado" whether you'd get more links to the Rockies or to the good Reverand Ted Haggard?

1976 ... Steve Swisher ... Worst All-Star ... ever.

I counter with 1999 All Star, Ron Coomer.

Not only was he the Twins sacrificial offering for that year, but that pick paved the way for the Cubs to brag that they aquired an All-Star when they signed him the very next year.

And Hendry wasn't even GM at the time.

Check that, the Cubs signed Coomer 2 years later.

ROB G: "Waving Wendell Kim" AWARD

This is a terrific award! Can you consider for the future?

REAL NEAL: Are you a mathematician? Math Professor? Finance guy? Mortgage broker?

Your appreciation for numbers is quite impressive.

#83 above

Your detailed analysis is such that I would be surprised if the previous Cub's staff would have employed any kind of statistics of this type - or many else for that matter.

Beginning in 2007, you could have the 'Dusty Baker Say What? Award'.

I'd probably call it the Latroy Hawkins Helmet Bounce Award, but the Brant Brown game holds a special place in all our hearts for the gravity of the situation.

The Moises Alou Baserunning Clinic and the Wavin Wendall Kim award are good as well.

I'm also kind of thinking the Yogi Berra Award might as well just be the Dusty Baker Award because who said more non-sensical things than Baker? Yogi was trying to be funny most the time...

All the suggestions are great btw, thanks. I think Sweeney leads the Tallest Midget Award for now. He was able to translate his "success" into multiple All-Star appearances. With Neifi's strong showing this year, he's definitely going to have to have an award named after him next year; "Neifi Perez Worst AB Award".

just what I said WPZ, but that's even better.

fwiw, here's another guys take on the GG and he's had a peek at "The Fielding Bible" for this year which is a pretty thorough new defensive metric using play-by-play data

Not that his picks are completely based off that, but he has Pierre up there too.

I'm not fond of Pierre's or Jones's arms either, but Wrigley's a pretty small OF to be honest and getting to baseballs is still the most important thing. Both of whom do it very well. Murton's not so bad either at that.

Korey gets some love too, always thought he got bagged unnecessarily for his D on here. He doesn't have the instincts of Jones or Kotsay, but he still gets there with his speed and had a strong and accurate arm for CF.

CEDENO: For the start of 2006, I was very excited to see the next chapter in what I thought was a promising 2005 season for Ronny Cedeno.

Speed, great range, slap hitter....

I was like, "Finally, this is the ONE."

I was wrong.

I suppose I should be more patient, but with the veteran SS's absolutely sucking ass on the team, it was too much to expect from the youngster to step in and pull it together.

I had resigned myself to allowing for 2006 as a throw-away season for Cedeno, living with the errors, and just was looking for Ronny to improve over the course of the season.

He got WORSE. He made spectacular plays that Neifi could only dream about, but he made other routine errors that only cost games.

I wouldn't know what to do with this guy now. He's still young, but is his confidence shattered?

"Are you a mathematician? Math Professor? Finance guy? Mortgage broker?"

Currently my job falls under the auspice of the finance department, but no I don't work with mathematics.

http://www.nj.com/sports/ledger/index.ssf?/ba...

Supposedly 3 teams have tried to tamper with Seibu on Matsuzaka. Rumor that Mariners did this with Ichiro.....

rotoworld news...

Yanks are close to a 2 yr extension with Mussina

Yanks will wait until about 5 minutes before the deadline to make their bid on Matsuzaka.

Mets interesteed in Mulder

O's possibly offered Benson and a reliever for Sheff

Astros talking with Gary Matthews Jr..

Indians talking with Luis Gonzalez

in a sad note, Restovich signed a minor league deal with the Nats

Brook Jacoby's first project will be to eliminate Adam Dunn's strikeouts. (Chuckle)

I'll be surprised if Cedeno is even on the bench next year, forget starting.

some more rumors...

Dbacks also talked to Mulder

Cameron pushing for Baker to be hired

Padres will probably get in on Maddux talks...

Rob G,

I agree that Pierre gets to a lot of balls, but describing his 2006 season as "terrific", I don't know, that's a stretch. I'll be interested in seeing what the book comes up with. I really think his arm probably cost the Cubs something like 50 bases this year.

Baseball Prospectus described a treatment on how to use play-by-play data to evaluate how effective an outfielder is at keeping runners from advancing, but I am not sure if that can be carried over to the original hit, so there may still be some gap. Then you throw ontop of that the problem that the 'best arm' will usually take the ball in the cases where two guys get to a pontential sac fly (for instance). Outfielders who play next to someone with a great arm may get 'rewarded', where Pierre who doesn't have a great arm on either side of him may seem to be even worse than he is. I think he's really bad though, like I could go to a local Little League game and find 10 twelve year olds with better arms than him bad.

The thing about using out numbers to determine how good an outfielder someone is, is that there are plenty of outs that can be recorded by two outfielders. How those two relationships work is going to have a huge impact on the number of outs that any outfielder records.

Yeah E-Man,

Cedeno is going to be a tough call. He has the physical tools to be a decent hitter and an excellent shortstop. I don't think the Cubs can be a WS contender with him playing everyday in '07, but Izturis has proven that he needs a back-up. Maybe he can be fixed in Iowa, or maybe he needs a fresh start. A trade to KC for Grienke (sp?) would spark my interest, if Grienke's medication is keeping his condition under control.

Barrett Sucker Punch Award?

for the biggest onfield meltdown next year. We can just give Lou the award right now...

I doubt anyone will ever find the perfect defensive metric, but enough stuff is out there to give you a reasonable guess at who the better players out there are, then go and read some scouting reports and you have a pretty good idea.

"Yanks will wait until about 5 minutes before the deadline to make their bid on Matsuzaka."

Maybe, this will just turn into an eBay auction?

I agree Rob, but I am really interested in fidning out about the arm thing, because if Pierre, for instance is as bad as I think he is, it may totally negate his value as a player. I can't think of a weaker armed centerfielder.

I guess that makes sense on the 5 minutes for a bid. Less time for the info to leak to other teams.

I have a hard time believing anyone is going to shell out $70 to $80 million for five years of this guy, it should definetly be interesting.

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/can...

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/mor...

a study on Hardball Times from the beginning of the year. I think Bill James may have done one as well as BP. I'm sure the Fielding Bible and Lichtman's UZR ratings would take this into account as well. There all sharp fellas, doubtful they would just miss something like that.

I only skimmed through that HT article but Jones shows up in top 5 among RF arms. (Ducking)
Pierre sucks to a tune of about 3 runs a year.

This is all based just on one season though (2005)....

I'm impressed though, about 100 comments in this post and we're not trying to kill each other or trade insults. There's hope for us yet.

Freakish stat department:

According to that Hardball times link, the Cubs played 64 close games last year (and were 18 under .500 in them). The only other team that played close to that few in the NL was the Dodgers who played 68. Every other team played 70 to 81 of them, Pittsburg the 2nd worst team played 81 and was only 5 under 500. Tampa Bay played only 65, but they were just 11 under .500 in them.

Really, a disatrous season for the ages.

the one about the outfield arms? Because that was published before the 2006 season, so they would be talking about the 2005 seaon.

haha

Giants are telling Bonds to stop being a crybaby if he wants to come back.

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/sp...

Cubs organizational meetings start Tuesday btw, I suppose we'll start hearing some more names starting next week. Hopefully.

I swear all the beat writers went on vacation after Lou got hired.

UZR doesn't take into account arms at all. Just hits and outs then uses a flawed methodology to divide the hits between two players.

The Harball times one, it doesn't count the initial hit either. Couple that with the sheer number of base runners the Cubs staff allowed last year and maybe Pierre's arm comes in at 5-7 runs, not that bad, if Pierre threw as well in '06 as he did in '05.

He had two fewer assists, and you would think Wrigley and all those baserunners would increase that number. Maybe he was hurt or has some sort of degenerative condition. I don't see mention of park factors in that hardball times either, but I skimmed it.

"the one about the outfield arms?"

No different link, one of them you put up took me to the team stats page.

From what I recall, UZR was built trying to get to a "runs" value and Lichtman (sp) built in some flawed logic to get there. It's been a couple of years since I really looked at it closely, though. He also doesn't take into account line drives for infielders, which to me is bizaare anyway you slice it.

From Peter Gammons' blog today on his best guess as to who will won't be traded this winter:

A-Rod - No
Willis - No
Sheffield - Yes
Manny - No
Andruw Jones - No
Crawford - No
V. Wells - Yes!!
Tejada - No
Todd Helton - No
Pat "The Bat" - Yes

Here's the link (subscription required:

http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?na...

no one knows what's going on with UZR anymore because Lichtman or however you spell it works for the Cards now and the info is theirs. (Big shocker they always have a good defensive team).

But I would guess whatever he uses these days or calls it, that it takes into account their arms.

Kind of pointless anyway, no one can read it except Jocketty and the Cards.

to fuel the fire IM Slacker

http://www.metronews.ca/column.aspx?id=16208&...

Canadian fella who seems to be on the up and up saying that the Cubs are going to put together a big package to try and get Wells.

The only question is will Hendry say Pie and Hill are still untouchable? If he is still being stubborn on that front he won't get Wells.

who knows if JP even wants Pie to be honest. But I'd love to know the plan for the pitching staff if Hill is traded? unless the payroll doesn't have a cap.

I could see Barrett being part of the deal though..

Barrett, Pie or Murton and Marshall or Guzman?

Too much?

I'll answer my own question, yes, unless Wells signs an extension the day we trade for him.

playing GM for a second...

suppose we did trade Barrett for Wells. Would a Piazza/Benjie Molina combo interest anyone?

Piazza/Lieberthal?

Piazza/Zaun?

of course if people thought Barrett was bad behind the plate, wonder what they'd think about those options?

just throwing that out there btw. Don't necessarily think it's a great idea.

I think Barrett may be too much. I wonder how Hendry feels about him, as his hitting gets better his fielding seems to get worse. I was hugely dissapointed in his defense last year. But I don't think Hendry will make the same 'mistake' he did with Pierre. If he brings in Wells he'll probably have the paramaters of a deal locked in. I just don't know what to trade for him, the Jays aren't going to want prospects.

Maybe Murton and Marshall and Pawalek, ooh that spelling looks really wrong, where's Chad?

Molina would be the obvious target. I think I would rather have Soriano and Barrett than Molina and Wells.

not much of a fan of Bengie fwiw. Can't DH in the NL, bat isn't all that great, defense has slipped badly.

Same can be said about Piazza of course, although his bat is better.

You can't think like that with Wells. "Well if he isn't going to sign an extension right away, then don't trade for him."

If Wells is traded it is going to take some top talent to get him and he isn't going to sign with anyone right off the bat. What you get is a year of exclusive negotiating power to convince him your organization is the place to stay. That is all you get if you trade for him.

MikeC,

I am pretty sure the Cubs would be allowed to talk to Wells and his agent and ask what he wanted before making the trade, just like they did with Lee.

But if your worried about signing Wells or not then just get Carl Crawford whose contract breaks down like this...

2007 - $4 mil
2008 - $5.25 mil
2009 - Team Option - $8.25 mil
2010 - Team Option - $10 mil

That is a very cheap and affordable next 4 years on Crawford.

If Wells is traded it is going to take some top talent to get him and he isn't going to sign with anyone right off the bat.

I agree with you of course, but it would factor in who I would be willing to deal. Can you really give up Pie if Wells is going to walk in a year? Do you trade more pitching instead of outfielders if Wells doesn't want to sign right now? I'm certainly not going to give up as much if Wells can't be signed right away. Of course I'd still give up plenty. I'm not one who believes you can pull a Hill/Bruback for Ramirez/Lofton deal everytime. A matter of fact, pulling one over someone everytime is going to hurt your rep big time among other GM's.

Making each team better should be the goal of every trade. Of course you want to focus on your own team first...

http://tinyurl.com/y4aktg

Internet Baseball Awards
MVP's - Jeter, Pujols
Cy Young - Webb, Santana
Roy - Ramirez, Liriano
Manager - Girardi, Leyland

I would include Pie without any indications on whether Wells would resign.

But the team damn well better show some improvements in 2007 and look like a team that can seriously contend. If it is another train wreck Wells will almost certainly walk.

If the Cubs were a good team would Ramirez be on the market right now? I highly doubt it. This is the price you pay for being a losing team. He might have taken a 13 million a year deal to be part of a winning culture. But since no winning culture exists he is just going for max value. If he does return to the Cubs atleast he will have a fat contract to comfort him while we lose.

aram wanting to maximize his earnings probally has little to do with the cubs or their win/loss record, probally.

guy is in a position to lock up his security for 5+ years and this is a prime time to do it.

people dont take discounts to play for the yanks and guys like burnitz will turn down more competitive teams to go make an extra 200-300K.

I would include Pie without any indications on whether Wells would resign.

I can't say I find that to be a very smart idea. Worst case scenario here is that you get Wells, he walks and you gave away his potential superstar replacement at the same time.

That's the kind of stuff that gets GM's fired pretty quick. I'm not against trading Pie for Wells, and it's one of those things where you just have to trust that Hendry is really damn confident he can keep Wells.

Whatever though, we don't know what JP wants, we're just guessing. Murton seems more like there kind of player anyway, just don't know who plays CF for them.

According to Gammons, Wells wants Betran money (who doesn't?) from Toronto, but they can't afford that. So, if the Cubs or another team want to sign him before he hits free agency, that's probably what it's going to take. Assuming A-Ram will get something close to Beltran's per year figure ($16.4 million), Wells' demands seem pretty reasonable in the current marketplace.

Sosa/Jack Jones platoon in RF in 2007?... anybody?... anybody?

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2...

Count me in Slacker.

Yea, that will probably happen. And Santo can be brought in to play 3B if Aramis leaves. I bet Ernie can still pick it at SS.

yeah, count me in too. When do the clowns come out of the tiny car and who plays the bearded lady?

Well Alan Trammell is the best SS on the roster now.....

MikeC:
"You can't think like that with Wells. "Well if he isn't going to sign an extension right away, then don't trade for him."

Then hopefully Hendry learned from the Pierre trade not to give top dollar or a one year rental.

will farrell plays the bearded lady

eckstein comes out of the car

He wouldn't be a one year rental if you just won baseball games.

Losing sucks doesn't it? Changes lots of things.

MikeC:
"He wouldn't be a one year rental if you just won baseball games."

So you are saying the ONLY reason he wouldn't sign is if we didn't win? I think that is a bit near sided, but if that is the case, we better not trade for him becuase we ain't "winning" next year. Just like we weren't "winning" this year.

Fun read, Rob. How about a Davy Rosello Useless Middle Infield Depth award? They would never lack for candidates.

Circus Clown Knife Fight....2007

pierre was top dollar? somehow I guess you wouldn't care for any of those pitchers if they were still cubs.

Rob G.:
"pierre was top dollar?"

I think they traded "top dollar" for Pierre, not that Pierre was top dollar. And when I say top dolar I mean they gave top talent.

"somehow I guess you wouldn't care for any of those pitchers if they were still cubs."

I don't really care for almost all of the Cubs minor league system. But that is not the point. The point is that I feel Hendry gave up too much for Pierre if he is only a one year rental. And I hope he doesn't do the same thing with Wells. I have zero problem paying top dollar for a guy who we lock up long term, so if we were able to sign Wells to a 3 year extenstion, Hendry can give him Pie, Gallagher, etc. and I wouldn't really care.

the cubs gave up nolasco...a guy who was ranked behind 3-4 other pitchers in the cubs system.

mitre was a nice toss-in...pinto is boring/average.

And Pierre was overated.

It would probably be a shame if it comes to light we could have had Andruw Jones for a those three guys and one more prospect/closer candidate but most likely we'll never know.

Not signing Furcal lead to the Cubs desperate situation and offering those three guys for Pierre. Had we signed Fural I think Hendry would have told the Marlins to go fly a kite when they asked for Mitre and Nolasco.

Oh yeah.

I am with Chad on bringing back Sosa, provided he hit the weights and looks closer to his 2004 physique than the coat hanger he was in 2005.

I have never quite been able to get behind all the Sosa hatred generated in 2004. Were not he and Wood the only reason to watch the team for 7 years?

"And when I say top dolar I mean they gave top talent."

Sorry, but what else can you mean by top dollar? Top percieved talent? How is that different, or are you saying you're a better minor league talent evaluator than the Florida Marlins (aka the team with the guys who are going to get all of the rookie of the year votes)?

So you are saying the ONLY reason he wouldn't sign is if we didn't win? I think that is a bit near sided, but if that is the case, we better not trade for him becuase we ain't "winning" next year. Just like we weren't "winning" this year.

I think what you just wrote is what is near side, or sighted.

Well if we won and made the playoffs why would we not re-sign Pierre? It would pretty much be a fore gone conclusion. Certainly wouldn't be the same level of bitching about him. But the team is in shambles. It needs more offense desperately. Things have changed and there are only a few positions that we can upgrade at, CF is one of them.

If everything worked out perfectly, Wood and Prior actually pitched, DLee didnt get injured and Dempster didn't implode this team would be looking to tweak and keep vital role performers instead of upgrading massively on the short term.

Pierre is a role player, not an impact player and if the team can flip his position into an impact player like it seems they want to try and do then Pierre doesn't get resigned.

So what should the Cubs do Manny? Just go ahead and resign Pierre, forget about trying get Vernon Wells, or anyone else for our OF just because they used prospects on him? The Cubs took a gamble, the team sucked, and they need to change course quickly. We could have signed Pierre to a fat 3-5 year contract for CF and boy would we really be in trouble trying to fix this team.

But something tells me nothing would make you happy. You would complain if Pierre was signed to a 3 year deal and how it blocks Hendry from doing anything for the OF. Your going to complain no matter what so whats the point of arguing with ya.

MikeC:
"Well if we won and made the playoffs why would we not re-sign Pierre?"

Becuase we might want to sign a better player to play CF and leadoff.

"So what should the Cubs do Manny? Just go ahead and resign Pierre, forget about trying get Vernon Wells, or anyone else for our OF just because they used prospects on him?"

No, like I said back in post #137, I hope Hendry learned from his mistake with Pierre and not do it to Wells unless you get an extension. I would like Hendry to try and upgrade CF, but not to continue to make the same mistakes.

"But something tells me nothing would make you happy. You would complain if Pierre was signed to a 3 year deal and how it blocks Hendry from doing anything for the OF. Your going to complain no matter what so whats the point of arguing with ya."

Oh yeah, winning would make me happy and our GM making solid moves to get us there would be a start, but that hasn't happened in a few years. But I do love the idea that you know what I WOULD say. That is a cool talent.

*Jacos:
"WSCR reporting Lariano having Tommy John Surgery on Monday. No 2007."

What a shame...Will most likely never be the pitcher he once was.*

What, like Kerry Wood?

*Jacos:
"WSCR reporting Lariano having Tommy John Surgery on Monday. No 2007."

What a shame...Will most likely never be the pitcher he once was.*

What, like Kerry Wood?

No, like I said back in post #137, I hope Hendry learned from his mistake with Pierre and not do it to Wells unless you get an extension.
----

Hendry likes when you talk dirty.

Keep Barrett. Good hitting catchers are hard to find, and I thought his defense was adequate in the games I saw. However, where I live, the only games available are on WGN, and I work during the day so my viewing is a bit limited. Can someone tell me why Barrett's defense is unacceptable?

The Cubs can't plug EVERY hole this winter. They're going to have to take a few gambles. One I would take is on Theriot. If he can give you .275/.360/.400, with the same defense he showed, then he's already better than anyone they could reasonably acquire. And, for a pittance in salary, money they can spend elsewhere. He may fall flat in his face, but it's a gamble worth taking. Try to have a Plan B in place. How 'bout Patterson? He may be ready to bring up by June 1, which will be long enough to see if Theriot was a 2006 flash-in-the-pan. Like I say, the Cubs have to take some gambles.

Another gamble the Cubs have to take is on Murton, that he'll continue to improve and will blossom into .310/.410/.470. It's a reasonable gamble, and, like Theriot, would be a bargain at his salary.

It's a bad situation: a GM who has to win next year to keep his job is unlikely to be thinking long-term. Is he going to bring in more "veteran help", ala' Mabry, Neifi, Pierre,? Goodness gracious, haven't we has enough of that?

I believe for the Cubs to contend next year EVERYTHING has to go right, including a miraculous comeback for Prior and even Wood. Unless they do rehab in Lourdes, the chances are not great. That's not much of a plan, but it seems to be the model used by the Cubs. With the odds of getting to the playoffs being less than great, does it make sense to go out and spend a lot of money on old second-line starting pitching and to try to eke out 88 wins next year and hope it's enough? Just asking...

#151 of 155: By mannytrillo (November 4, 2006 11:44 PM)
ìBut I do love the idea that you know what I WOULD say. That is a cool talentî

Manny, MikeCís talent is about as ìcoolî as you knowing the results of the 2007 season before the Free Agent negotiation period has even started:

#141 of 155: By mannytrillo (November 4, 2006 07:38 PM)
ìwe better not trade for him becuase we ain't "winning" next year.î

You both are absolute geniuses!!!

Who's up for a Red-Eye trip to Vegas?

Cubs for sale for a cool billion according to:

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/...

The most detailed article I have seen on Matsuzaka bidding process:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/05/sports/base...

A lot of personal background on him including a cautionary analogy:

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/st...

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