TCR Friday Notes

The first Friday of the New Year, the first edition of TCR Friday Notes for 2007. - The annual Cubs convention is fast approaching, January 19th to the 21st. I've never been but I hear good things if you like insanely large crowds. I'm supposing though that many of you are going and I'd like to throw two things out there. First, if anyone cares to volunteer as our TCR correspondent, we'd love to have daily reports. You can do it anyway you wish and I suppose it depends on your schedule and Internet access. Either update as the day goes on or just provide a daily recap at the end of the day. The most important element that needs to be covered is the Q&A with Jim Hendry which I believe is on Saturday morning. Never being there I don't recall if it's at the same time as the session with Hendry, but also anything with Lou Piniella or any of the other higher-ups like Oneri Fleita. And it doesn't have to just be one person, if different people want to take different days, that would work as well. Secondly, if the readers who are going care to meet up, I'm more than happy to help facilitate it any way possible. Someone would have to volunteer to sort of spearhead the whole thing like when and where to meet, but if you need me to post something so everyone is on the same page, just let me know. - Our friends over at The View From The Bleachers are sponsoring a January writing contest. You can peruse the details by following the link but the winner gets a copy of The Bill James Handbook, 2007 Edition. The topic is three predictions for the upcoming Cubs season and the reasoning behind them. - Speaking of The Bill James Handbook, does anyone own a copy? And if so, can you tell me if includes park factors that are split for left handed and right handed hitters and pitchers? It would help with something I'm trying to write.  Of course, if someone knows a website that happens to publish that information, I'll take that too. - Does anyone have any ideas on a new chat program? Parachat seems fine enough to me despite some annoyances, but might as well take the opportunity to investigate any potential improvements.  So if you have any suggestions, drop it in the comments. - Funny man Ryan Dempster doing his Harry Caray impression: [kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/Qk7CX1Ne4nQ" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /] Enjoy the Weekend!!!
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Comments

I can't imagine games without the Parachat sounds. Let's keep it. But let's pony up the cash to upgrade it to the full version.

One vote for Parachat

Parachat's alright with me and I'm fine with Carlos upgrading it.

Parachat SUCKS!!! I have no clue hough what chat system is better. But as long as there is one that doesn't constantly kick you out or keeps the cursor in the typing field at all times would be nice.

My wife and I will be flying in for the Cubs Convention and will be staying at the Hilton. If somebody wants to set up a little get together, that would be cool.

As for writing a diary, I would be willing to write somekind of recap that could be posted Sunday night when I get back, but the days are too long and filled with stuff to do to be able to get updates throughout the day. And also I am meeting friends and family both night for dinner and drinks, so I don't even have time at night. I would be willing to take notes throughout the event of what I do and then write something up on my laptop when i am flying back Sunday after noon and then can send it off when I get home. Let me know...

Am I the only one who is concerned that we dont appear to be in the market for a Jack Jones platoon partner this offseason? Craig Wilson is still on the market, and presumably getting cheaper by the day. Someone give Hendry a call and remind him that his Rfer hit less than .220 against lefties last year. That is all

AaronB:
"Am I the only one who is concerned that we dont appear to be in the market for a Jack Jones platoon partner this offseason?"

JJ wasn't signed to be a platoon partner. He was signed to be an everyday starting OF. JJ has had bad splits against LHP his whole career and neither Tom Kelly, Rod Gardenhire nor Dusty Baker platooned him. I don't see it happening now. He will either be an everyday starting OF for the Cubs next year or be traded.

But I do agree with you I think he should be platooned, but for some reason the managers just won't do it.

Maybe Bernie Williams for platoon partner?

http://www.newsday.com/sports/printedition/ny...

Espn poll with HOF voters regarding 1990's sluggers-

No love for Sammy-
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/hof07/news/stor...

Could you imagine if McGuire received less than 5% of the vote?

Rob-

I'd be happy to provide a weekend recap sometime Monday, but I won't be able to provide daily reports. My wife and two kids are taking the train in from Michigan Friday morning and returning Sunday night.

This will be our first Cubs Convention. My wife and I are excited, but don't really know what to expect. Our teenagers think we're nuts...but not nuts enough to pass up a trip to Chicago.

I wouldn't miss the sounds that's for sure, but I'm just a vessel for the masses. I once found a chat program that seemed to do much of the same stuff parachat did without the ads and the button for it would tell you how many people were in it at the moment which I liked. I'll look around for it again. And I'll check out the one someone suggested in the other thread.

What I'll try to do is pick a few and maybe we can test them out during the Bears playoff run which will hopefully last more than one game...

Thanks for the volunteers for the Cubs Convention, keep them coming. I'll contact you all in a few days and we'll figure it out from there.

Rob G-

How can you so easily dismiss the Homerun Dolphin on Parachat?

I vote for parachat on the basis that it's "good enough".

I won't miss the sounds if they're gone, either.

And I never had a problem getting kicked out or anything. I do have a problem with "JD" being taken. But I don't mind being the sequel. Look what Teen Wolf, Too did for Jason Bateman's career.

that other chat program I referred too I believe also allowed for registering of names which is nice....

Re: Jacque Jones

I'm perfectly fine with Jones as the everyday centerfielder. It would be nice to find a platoon partner, but it doesn't appear there are any right-handed hitting centerfield types on the market. If i were up to me, Alfonso Soriano would play center and Jones would stay in right. Right field at Wrigley is very tough. The mid-afternoon sun in your eyes, the changing wind patterns, zero foul territory. I'm not sure the wisdom of plunking a $136 investment in right. Much easier for him to transition to center. What happens if he struggles in right and it affects his pysche...and hitting?

well first, JJ sticking around isn't such a sure thing. Second, Theriot or Derorsa or some other combination could spell him against lefties, chances are he'd just sit against some of the tougher ones.

Not having a platoon partner for JJ makes more sense than bringing in a platoon partner for MM. Sometimes it is difficult to understand 'veteran baseball minds'. But I suppose, if you're an organization that trades Greg Maddux for Izturis when you already have two no-hit slick-fielding shortstops on the roster, then replaces Maddux with Jason Marquis, it's best not to try to be understood at all.

The Astros signed Stephen Randolph.

I vote for parashat... it's cutting edge. It recognizes when people are starting to piss me off and boots them out.

"What I’ll try to do is pick a few and maybe we can test them out during the Bears playoff run which will hopefully last more than one game…"

HEY! Are you trying to kill my site? Or did you forget about www.chadsbearschat.blogspot.com?

If Jock stays, then I do think Lou will sit him against tough lefties and put The Riot or Derossa out there. I'm alright with that, too. I also expect, at the beginning, Lou will NOT sit Jock against the first couple of tough lefties(cuz ya just gotta see for yourself) and that the entire cubs blog community will be up in arms talking about how Lou is just like Dusty Baylor. But, patience, my friends, is a virtue. Lou will see the light and, even if he knows Jock can't hit lefties, he'll run him out there at first to show he's got confidence in him. Then, later in the season, when he sits Jock, Lou can say it's the perfect time for a rest. It's a win-win.

yes and no

Cubs Baseball
it’s best not to try to be understood at all...

Let's petition for them to put it on the marquee.

Rob G.:
"that other chat program I referred too I believe also allowed for registering of names which is nice…."

Yeah, that is nice...Just gotta make sure the real person with that handle registers it first. I hope they are thinking about registering handles on this site too. It would eliminate a lot of crap, if you know what I am saying.

No, I don't know what you are saying.

That was me. Sorry. Couldn't resist.

That should be Dempster impersonating Harry Caray as Will Ferrell, because he definitely ripped his impression from Ferrell's. Still good, though.

I'm not on it much, but I've never minded Parachat too much.

Chicago's most famous wind sock, Mariotti, is doing well after heart surgery-

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/198417,CST-SPT...

the comment # doesn't seem to be updating on the front page, huh? The gremlins are out of control....

Rob, as far as I can see, you're shadowy icon in not available and you are a question mark.

it seems to be back up, I'm trying to get rid of those images all together. No one needs to see our ugly mugs, otherwise I'll rotate the images with someting funny.

Rob G-

For your picture id's, may I suggest since there are five of you, the 1979 Cubs starting rotation-

Rick Reuschel
Mike Krukow
Lynn McGlothen
Ray Burris
Ken Holtzman

good one, I had something in mind I may spring on you guys one day.

jacos — January 5, 2007 @ 1:44 pm
Chicago’s most famous wind sock, Mariotti, is doing well after heart surgery-

he was having a heart put in?

is anyone else not getting the site to come up sometimes? it seems that since the site changed recently, i am often not able to get on board. anyone else?

Where is the G-Funk?

Lilly looking like a bargain now-

Jeff Weaver and Mets?

NY Post-
"According to one Internet site dedicated to major-league salaries, Weaver is looking for a four-year deal worth $40 million - a staggering sum even in this escalating market. The Mets, according to a report yesterday, were said to be wary of Weaver because of his previous experience in the Big Apple with the Yankees"

Selling Bass Attack DVDs.

Hmm, now the permalink and the Dempster video aren't working...

the comments on the permalink and video were coming and going for me for awhile, they seem to be back. Meh.....

Mets were considering Ohka, Weaver or Armas Jr. I hope they pick Weaver, they should pick Ohka.

Juan Uribe might be out for the year, a judge ordered he must be in court on the 15th and 30th of each month in the D.R. until his case is resolved.

Reitsma signs with the Mariners

Saltalamacchia still got the top spot for the Braves from BA despite the down year, Cubs set for Jan 29th...

an old Bill James article on the persecution of Bonds circa 2004.

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

Amusing....

henry - yes i was experiencing troubles the last couple days just trying to get this site to load. today seems better though.

http://www.corkedbatdugout.com/

this is one of the ads on the sidebar, sweet!!!

Jeff Weaver did the same thing last year, and couldn't find a long-term suitor for his services.

He'll pitch for whoever offers 1/8.5M.

Some fantasy business....

Carlos.....how much damage would it take to get Brandon Webb?

Crunch.....is Abreu available?

Rob....Beltran probably isn't available is he?

JD....you stole Ortiz from me, I have nothing to say to you, lol.

one vote against parachat. I'd like something I can point a real chat/irc client to, instead of being locked into a web client.

everyone's available for a price...but I'm not motivated to trade him that's for sure.

noone's available that i have without a nice offer...i got more keepers than slots and not looking much.

some of the offers ive recieved in email leads me to believe some have no idea i know what baseball is. hehe...

Mike, you might want to do this privately through email. Now that everybody knows who you want, you've put yourself at quite the bargaining disadvantage.

I inquired about Abreu a long time via e-mail but never heard back. Probably didn't go through at the time. Still using the yahoo account right?

I don't know, I pretty much got my keepers set but i am looking to move a package of Sizemore, Haren, and Zumaya for a player. I am just kind of window shopping at the moment.

It is fine Chad. Don't you worry my little buddy.

(Yes that was a Gilligan's Island reference.)

"I inquired about Abreu a long time via e-mail but never heard back. Probably didn’t go through at the time. Still using the yahoo account right?"

yeah...sorry i didnt reply, i was busy getting ready for finals and looking a new place to live.

Oh sure, you don't have time for the important stuff Crunch.

hehe

is this a repeat?

Cubs signed former top Padre prospect Ben Howard

http://www.jacksonsun.com/apps/pbcs.dll/artic...

probably going to Iowa

Hairston Jr. back to Rangers on a minor league deal and Roger Cedeno to O's on one.

MANNYTRILLO: an email I sent bounced back, "dude".

Whasssuuuuppp?!

What company do you all use for keeper fantasy baseball?

I've always played on Yahoo, but they don't allow you to keep rosters through the winter.

Yahoo it is, but we're doing the keepers on our own in a complicated system that requires a 100 page manuel to understand.

mets got newhan...gave him a major league deal, too

I can't believe you advertise that piece of paper you got from that commuter college.

GO ILLINI!!!!!

Crunch, I know you're not talking about that offer I sent you for Lee. And I don't know why you haven't jumped on it already.

nah, ive had lots of offers since the thing started.

honestly, ive got my keepers in mind and it'd take a hell of a trade to get me even interested in a trade.

furcal, dlee, halladay, abreu, damon, atkins

that does leave b.roberts(2nd) and c.schilling(SP)...and whatever...but i'd still have to shed one of the guys up top and want the other player coming my way to make the trade.

abreu's just not gonna be on the table.

I was the one that suggested the other chat program. If it works, cool. If not, that's cool too, I have no vested interest. I just enjoy the chat once and a while. Especially during games.

Is anyone gonna start a thread for the Cubs Convention? Maybe a few of us could meet. I'll be staying at the Hilton. I'll be wearing my "BEER, getting Cubs fans by since 1908" shirt.

crunch:

mets got newhan…gave him a major league deal, too

Newhan: The one that slipped away.

By the way...

Has anyone heard any updates on Barrett? Will he be rehabbed fully from the... {cough}... intrascrotal hematoma... {wincing from the sound of it}... for him to be 100% come February 15th?

this is the thread for the Cubs Convention for now...

there's a story on cubs.com about Barrett, seems fine, working on his D, etc

Questions I would ask Hendry if I had a chance at the Convention:

1. Over the last 4 years the offense has ranked 3rd to worst, 3rd to worst, last and last in the NL in drawing walks. Is this part of your team building philosophy, or are you just going for some sort of record?

2. For his career Matt Murton has batted .289 against right handers. Jacque Jones has batted .226 against lefties over the last three years. Why are you looking for a platoon partner for Murton instead of Jones?

Chad:
"I can’t believe you advertise that piece of paper you got from that commuter college."

I know, "state schools" education isn't what it once was, or so I have heard.

Rob G.,

The new James handbook has park factors split into various categories and it includes average and home run factors for both right and left handed pitcher. the other categories are avg, H, R, 2B, 3B, HR, BB, K, E, and E-infield.

Rob G. — January 5, 2007 @ 6:24 pm
is this a repeat?

Cubs signed former top Padre prospect Ben Howard

================================

ROB G: Yes. I mentioned it about two months ago, but the article wasn't very memorable.

Since I wrote that one, the Cubs lost Jason Smith in the Rule 5 Draft, and have signed C-3B-1B-LF-RF Mike Kinkade to a minor league contract. With considerable MLB experience (222 games), Kinkade will almost certainly get an NRI to ST.

In addition to Jason Anderson, Ben Howard, Koyie Hill, Les Walrond, and John Webb  (and probably Kinkade), there are about a dozen in-house guys who will likely get an NRI to ST, too, including C Jake Fox and Jose Reyes (if he has re-signed or does re-sign with the Cubs), 2B Eric Patterson and Mike Fontenot, 3B-1B-C Casey McGehee, 1B Micah Hoffpauir, LHP Carmen Pignatiello and Ryan O'Malley, and RHP Adam Harben, Randy Wells, Federico Baez, and Jeff Samardzija (who was supposedly promised an NRI to '07 ST with the big club when he signed with the Cubs last year).

I've always liked Kinkade, I hope he makes it with the Cubs. I remember when he flirted with .400 in the Texas league, and thinking he was a can't miss. I've always wondered wy Beane didn't snatch him up. If he can play three of those positions, it is hard to see why he has spent so much of his career as a 4A'r.

Neal, Jones isn't going to be on the team, so they don't have to find a platoon partner.

Soriano in RF. Murton in left. CF is a work in progress but it won't involve a guy making $5-6 million because that obstructs Pie. I don't see how Hendry could be clearer about any of this.

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

The Orioles have signed 4 former Cubs/Cubs farmhands to minor league deals:

1b Brandon Sing and outfielders Luis Montanez and Jason Dubois, plus RP Francis Beltran. They also signed former Pirates superstud catching prospect J.R. House. (I wish Hendry had signed House instead)

Beltran's player page on ESPN says he was given an NRI.

House should have stuck to football.

Kinkade has always been a solid minor league hitter (career .325) with great obp (career .389 obp in minors) but has struggled to hit in the majors. He's a classic no-position guy. His best spot is either dh or 1b, but he doesn't have the power to win a job at either and doesn't have the speed to be a Paul Molitor type guy. He could perhaps be a workable utility guy, although he's 34 next May, so he's not a pup. His last two years in the minors have been mostly playing 3b, with fielding percentages of .912 and .947. He's also only caught 3 big league games, and a total of 6 games at catcher in the past 6 years, so he sounds like just an emergency catcher type. Maybe a step up from Jose Macias on that level. Still a decent guy to give an NRI to.

Nate, House is a career .328 hitter in the minors with a career .391 obp. The Pirates gave him a grand total of 19 big league at bats, hardly enough to make an informed decision.

Last season House split between Houston's AA and AAA teams. He hit .345 with 38 doubles, 15 hr's and 105 rbi's.

I would eagerly have signed House to a minor league deal.

Jackson,

My statement had nothing to do with House's baseball talent.

I grew up about 20 minutes away from his hometown, and all I was saying is that I would have liked to seen him play football out of high school rather than baseball. The guy was unreal on the gridiron (national records for passing yards and TD's) but couldn't turn down the ability to get paid immediately in baseball.

With that being said, I would have liked to have seen us sign him to a minor league deal also. If he could learn to stay healthy, he could still turn into a hell of a catcher. The talent is definitely there.

I really CAN'T understand why anyone would book a room and fly to CHICAGO in January to attend a Cubs Convention. It's for locals mired in Illinois.

The real Cubs Convention starts a few weeks later in Arizona. That one's worth a trip.

"The Orioles have signed 4 former Cubs/Cubs farmhands to minor league deals:

1b Brandon Sing and outfielders Luis Montanez and Jason Dubois, plus RP Francis Beltran."

According the the newspaper, they also signed Jon Leicester. That makes 5 assuming it's the same JL that pitched for the Cubs.

Seems like a Lansing Lugnuts reunion...

This relates to nothing being discussed above: I was perusing Can't Stop the Bleeding (Gerard Cosloy's sports blog, for all you indie rock heads), and I found a link to a Mets blog with a most incredible story in which, by strange turns of chance, the author is compelled to impersonate Glendon Rusch. Here's the link to the Mets blog:

http://tinyurl.com/wl65k

CWTP:

WHOA! Them's fightin' words! Due to global warming, we have been having one of the warmest winters on record. Today was beautiful - sunny and in the low 40's. Nice enough to take my 1964 Corvair Monza out for its monthly spin.

So don't you be talkin' 'bout "...the REAL convention..."!

VIRGINIA PHIL: "Neal, Jones isn’t going to be on the team, so they don’t have to find a platoon partner."

On opening day, please repost this "prediction".

Thanks.

"sunny and in the low 40’s. Nice enough to take my 1964 Corvair Monza out for its monthly spin."

Nice enough to take my outdoor Xmas decorations down.

I have those long plastic tube lights on my gutters, so I just grab one end and pull them down.

Kind of taking a bandaid off your leg, but less painful.

moving sucks but having 70F for 2 days in a row and low 60s today in january...woo.

not having internet til monday, though..not woo.

local coffee shop dive with internet 2 blocks from the house...woo.

a coffee shop that roasts from raw/green beans that wont let a pot of coffee sit for more than 3 hours after being made with 2 dozen different beans...woo.

cubs...woo.

Could we just migrate TCR back to the old software? This new stuff isn't working out.

try jiggling the handle.

cubswinthepennant — January 7, 2007 @ 2:56 pm

Could we just migrate TCR back to the old software? This new stuff isn’t working out.
---------------------------------------

I agree 100%. Not to bitch too much, because it's not like this is a paysite or anything, but I'm still not sure what the advantages of this "switch" are.

The unreliability of the current software compared to the old software is enough by itself to make me in favor of the old TCR.

I haven't had any problems with the new site. Maybe Firefox makes it more stable?

Switch to Firefox damn it! All the cool kids are doing it.

Go IE7 + latest patches.

Carlos:

IE7

IE 7 really annoyed me, so I removed it. Firefox is just fine.

"I haven’t had any problems with the new site."

Well, I couldn't get the site to load for over a day. That's the third or fourth time that's happened since the switch.

MikeC — January 7, 2007 @ 3:24 pm

I haven’t had any problems with the new site. Maybe Firefox makes it more stable?

Switch to Firefox damn it! All the cool kids are doing it.
--------------------------------

I'm using Firefox... so the browser doesn't seem to be the problem.

90% of the time the site comes up perfectly fine... it's just that 10% of the time where the site won't load that is kind of annoying.

Again, not to bitch too much because to me 90% of TCR is still better than 100% of other Cubs Blogs. It just seems to date that any advantages of this switch seem to be outweighed by the problems, at least IMO.

At least it's early January though... pretty good time of the year to work out software bugs on a baseball blog.

the only question i have about the whole change is why it wasnt stress tested and/or rolled out somewhere besides MVN's most popular site.

i think this one is MVN's most popular, anyway.

it couldnt have been an impulse thing or etc...there are signs of this being a planned turnover, but this rollout has been a bumpy ride.

What a sickening display in the latest Tribune article

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

1 guy out of all those writers votes for McGwire. He is the only guy thinking with his brain. So we are excluding Hall of Famers based on nothing but pure speculation now? What a bunch of self-righteous pricks.

Most will probably be lining up to write down Barry Bonds name as a first ballot Hall of Famer. A bunch of hypocrites.

Look at some of the excuses....

I'm not completely closing the door on McGwire, but he could have cleared the slate in March 2005 by telling a group of obnoxious politicians whether or not he had taken performance-enhancing drugs.
...
But this year is the worst with the inclusion of Mark McGwire, the supposedly tainted slugger.
...
Dan McGrath is one of those hypocrites...

I didn't vote for him this year, his first on the ballot. His accomplishments suggest he's deserving, but until we have a better sense of the role chemicals played in those accomplishments, I will withhold judgment.

Barry Bonds? He's in when his time comes, no matter the source of all that late-career power The Barry Bonds of the '90s was baseball's best player, Hall of Fame-worthy long before that extra milkshake at the training table turned him into an ebony-toned Michelin Man.

That crap boils my blood.
.....
Slugger Mark McGwire does not yet pass the smell test for me as Major League Baseball attempts to sort through its steroid-era debris.
.....
The only man with his brain plugged in is Mike Downey.

Yes, in the end, I indeed did give him my vote.

Seventh-greatest homer clubber of all time, McGwire's power numbers are too mighty to ignore. He deserves the benefit of the doubt.

Suspected is not convicted. If it were, you wouldn't vote Lance Armstrong any awards either.
.....
As for McGwire, he is only a suspect in baseball's steroid culture, but his silence is troubling. If he did it—if—all he had to do was say I'm sorry..
....
For now, the point is to stick it to McGwire.

Supposedly, suspected, if....those writers don't have a damn clue and yet they want to sit in judgment and try to be the moral authority of who gets in the Hall of Fame.

Mark McGwire is also eligible, but perhaps you have heard of that clause about "integrity, sportsmanship [and] character."

I am sorry but when did Ty Cobb get kicked out the Hall of Fame? And based on that alone Barry Bonds should never be a Hall of Famer right?

I can't believe a guy with 583 HR's is going to be excluded based on nothing more than speculation. How do we not know Tony Gwynn or Cal Ripken was using steroids? It is not like all steroid abusers were puffed up giants, look at Palmerio and many of the guys busted. Average looking guys.

Why stop with the speculation on McGwire, if thats all it takes to exclude someone. If McGwire isn't a Hall of Famer then neither is Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken. There all guilty until they can proven their innocence.....

...which of course is impossible for them to prove.

I agree with you Mike, but I see the difference between him and Bonds. If Bonds never does roids, he gets in first ticket probably unanimously. I don't agree, I just see the difference.

Circumstantial Evidence is enough to convict.

Mike:

It's a bit more than "pure speculation." McGwire has repeatedly refused to answer questions about past steroid use. The congressional hearings in particular appeared to be a tacit admission of guilt. Now personally I respect McGwire for refusing to lie; I think he's a much bigger man than Palmeiro or probably Sosa who got up in front of Congress and told a flat out lie. Nevertheless, a one dimensional player who refuses to clear up doubts as to the legitimacy of that one dimension probably doesn't deserve to be in the Hall.

The far greater atrocity in that article is that several of the Trib's writers voted for Harold Baines. WTF?

I am pretty sure no none is going to get into the hall of fame unamiously.

Just because Bonds got really big headed into 2001, doesn't preclude him from being a user previously either.... whee! This is fun.

They should just put the best of the best in, and let it go. What are they going to do, say no one who played from 87 to 2004 should go into the Hall of Fame?

Everyone was on a level playing field, one that included the availability of steroids. If you wanted to be a Hall of Famer, and you saw other guys hitting 60 HR's on roids, then go get yourself some roids, just like Bonds did, or make the players association put through drug testing, which all of these 'clean' players never bothered to do. Why not? Because the homeruns that Sosa and McGwire were hitting, were all adding to their paychecks and Fehr was telling them it was a bargaining chip. So if Fred McGriff (or whoever is your paragon of clean living, no hall of faming) doesn't get into the HoF, and really 'should have' it's his own fault for being a low character greedy bastard.

the HOF is a tainted club anyway.

myself, im more upset about the mid-level trash in the HOF than whether mark "did i do something? you tell me cuz i wont tell you" mcgwire ate a crapload of drugs to pump himself up.

with all the talk about it, mcgwire's in no hurry to clear things up, so why should anyone else?

the sad thing about bonds is roids or no roids he probally would have been one hell of a HOF candidate.

mcgwire was a guy who nearly retired in the early 90s cuz his 1-dimentional show of dingers and little else was making him look like rob deer.

If Big Mac does not get in the HOF (unless absolute proof comes out he used steroids for a long period of time) in the next few years, the HOF is a bigger farce than I already thought it was.

This is the first time I have been able to get on site since Saturday.

I have Firefox at home and regular internet at work.

What's the deal?

"Trib’s writers voted for Harold Baines. WTF? "

I was stunned by that too, Baines was a good hitter was quiet and didn't give the media any problems which is why they like him I guess.

I'm hoping Dawson gets in.

those having problems, please explain the exact nature of it, the more details the better. (browser, computer type, error messages, etc...) I'm honestly having no problems loading the site other than issues with the comments which I haven't been experiencing too much of either.

First thing though, have you updated your link? The only problem I have experiences is using the old link and waiting for the redirect. That doesn't seem to work to well. If I go to the new link, it loads everytime (mvn.com/mlb-cubs)

but still give me your situation and I'll forward it...

thnx

stupid smileys....

It was giving a timed out message on Firefox.

I just updated my favorite list at work.

I'll let you know.

stupid smileys….

Are there any other kind of smileys?

Rob,

I am using Firefox, and when the site has been down for me, it has simply been an issue of the bottom left hand corner saying:

"Waiting for mvn.com....."

If nothing loads after 10 seconds or so, I will try a few more times and if that doesn't work, I just stay away and try again a few hours later.

I'm running a Gateway laptop at numerous locations and have received no further error messages than the one I listed above, which I guess really isn't an error message at all (the page just won't load).

And my bookmark has been updated to the new link.

I haven't had any problem with the comments except the #'s not matching up between the comment box and front page of TCR.

Two quick things:

1) Am I the only one who thinks that the D-Backs are absolutely nuts to trade 4 quality players for a fossilized Randy Johnson, plus the huge financial commitment?

2) The Astros get Mark Loretta to play 2B for a 1- year/$2.5M deal, while the Cubs invest 3-years/$13M in Mark DeRosa. While ReRosa is a bit younger and a bit more versatile, why do I fear that Loretta will outplay him in every phase of the game this year?

for the last few days, i was constantly getting a timed out message using firefox

other stuff,

the only question i have about the whole change is why it wasnt stress tested and/or rolled out somewhere besides MVN’s most popular site.

yes I'm not too thrilled we're the guinea pigs, I suppose I can throw a fit about it but that's really not me. I rather just move forward and get it working the way it should be. And I'll repeat, none of the writers here had any say on any of this. It just happened and now we're in crisis management mode.

At least it’s early January though… pretty good time of the year to work out software bugs on a baseball blog.

Someone gets it....

This is the first time in two days I've been able to access TCR.

Hooray.

Go Wordpress! Yeah, I'm a whiner.

Btw hey Trans.

Loretta has the range of a a Daisy air gun.

Rob - I couldn't get on the site yesterday evening or Friday afternoon, and I've had problems more than half the time over the last several days. Firefox. I can't recall which site URL I was trying, but I know that at one point, I tried the new URL and that was down as well.

Thanks for passing the problems along. And stop the flirting with all those smileys.... :)

thanks, if anyone else has issues, please include them but I'll forward these.

FWIW, the server slowness appears to be consistent across all the mvn.com and mostvaluablenetwork.com sites. Hopefully this is a fixable problem on the host's end and not a flaw in WordPress as some have suggested.

The Permalink is down again.

Very infrequent poster but everyday reader...
Using IE at work and have been unable to even get on the site all day until just now (1:45 est). Tried googling TCR and MVN and no luck. I could not even get on the MVN home page by typing the address into the browser. Kept getting the generic "Cannot Find Server" message that says check address, refresh, blah, blah, blah. Had the exact same problem last thursday and once before Xmas. Never happened before the changeover. Not having TCR comments to read through the day makes work even more unbearable....

I could never get mostvaluablenetwork.com sites to work to well for me, but honestly, mvn.com has loaded up fine for me for the most part. Very interesting that it seems to work fine for some but not others...

Loretta has the power of Neifi as well...

Don't sweat the chances that Loretta will outplay Derosa. Possible but not very likely.

FWIW, I'm running IE 7 + latest patch on a 1.6GHZ, 512MB RAM, Win XP SP 2 Toshiba Satellite and I'm still getting constant glitches and the occasional "server not found" message. Also a couple of 500 Internal Error messages.

fyi, comments in the pop-up box seem to be a lot more reliable than the permalink ones for the moment. Hopefully the permalink comments will be just as reliable in the near future

Possible platoon partner for Murton???????

From today's Boston Globe-

"According to a friend of Palmeiro, the former Cubs, Orioles, and Rangers star wants to return to baseball even after the embarrassing events of 2005."

http://preview.tinyurl.com/vukle

Barrett working with Jody Davis on his D, works out with Murton and E-Pat as well.

"I sent in a blank ballot. I didn't vote for anybody. It's nothing personal against Tony Gwynn or Cal Ripken Jr., who have numbers that speak for themselves. ... (But) to me, the steroid era is not worthy of my vote. Anyone who played in that era makes me reluctant to jump on bandwagons."
--Chicago sportswriter Paul Ladewski, on his HOF ballot.

"I want him to vote his conscience. I want him to vote how he feels. I don't want anybody trying to sing my praises. If he feels like I'm worthy enough, then hey. ... If he doesn't, for whatever reason, then don't."
--Padres OF Tony Gwynn on Ladewski. (Tim Sullivan, San Diego Union-Tribune)

"I'm not the kind of person who will rant and rave. I want to make a conscientious vote on this. I don't want to go in half-cocked. I'd rather vote for someone one year too late than one year too early."
--Ladewski

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

The baseball hall of fame has jumped the shark.

(BTW I have also had frequent problems getting on the site)

THIS MORNING logging onto cubreporter resulted in

(1) a timedout message the first try
(2) a "500 server error" the next try
(3) the following WORDPRESS ERROR message on the third try:

This either means that the username and password information in your wp-config.php file is incorrect or we can't contact the database server at internal-db.s5174.gridserver.com. This could mean your host's database server is down.

* Are you sure you have the correct username and password?
* Are you sure that you have typed the correct hostname?
* Are you sure that the database server is running?

If you're unsure what these terms mean you should probably contact your host. If you still need help you can always visit the WordPress Support Forums.

that last error message is weird, why would it ask for a username/password if you're just trying to access the main site. That would be something I'd expect trying to login to create a post or changes.

I've been getting that same WordPress error message semi-regularly.

http://cubtown.baseballtoaster.com/archives/5...

the new writer at Cub Town expounds a bit on Net Win Shares Value that I mentioned in the THT Annual review.

Rob -- how fast does the THT annual ship?

Robr-

I'm not suprised. Half of baseball's sports writers would sell their first born for a free lunch.

I got it at a bookstore...

I’m not suprised. Half of baseball’s sports writers would sell their first born for a free lunch.

No they wouldn't...they're the moral leaders of our society, the voices of reason in a world filled with corruption and hate....blah, blah, blah, blah (whatever sells papers or gets me on ESPN for a cush guest spot)

McGuire was a one-trick pony......mediocre batting average...few hits, and a low # of RBI's for a guy who hit 583 HR's...only 7 ahead of Jose Canseco, and fewer than Andres Galarraga, Joe Carter, Rusty Staub, Dave Parker, and Fred McGriff, to name a few.
This was a guy who suddenly, after 2 injury plagued seasons in 1993 and 1994, and a solid comeback season in 1995, suddenly started, at age 32, belting 50+ HR's every year from 1996-1999.
He was in no way a HOF candidate before the sudden jump in power. I'd vote for Parker, Dawson, or even Alan Trammell ahead of McGuire.

dude hit 49 his rookie year when Oakland stadium was a pretty extreme pitcher's park. He was also a very underrated defensive first basemen. He's no Derrek Lee, but he was better than his reputation.

He also only hit below 30 twice, a horrible 1991 campaign and his final year (excluding the 1993 and 1994 when he barely played at all).

His other trick was getting on base at an exceptional clip. He also has an incredible BB/SO ratio 1596 K to 1317 BB. I know that's not what gets you in, but this one trick pony stuff is a bit silly. Even if you believe in that one tool stuff, it's the most important tool for a hitter and he excelled at it.

McGwire is actually one of the few cases where it makes sense to wait a few years to be elected into the Hall.

Once he's in, he's in, but there are plenty of questions out there that he has decided not to answer. Ultimately, I think he goes in, but I can completely understand writers who want to wait and see if and what more information comes out before casting their votes.

Compare that to someone like Sandberg, who had to wait 3 years for no real reason other than the voters who apparently thought he was a hall of famer, just not a first ballot hall of famer.

Nothing changed with Sandberg (or the dozens of others like him), but we could learn plenty more about McGwire and others from that era over the course of the next few years.

And yes, I realise that assumes that the writers are actually using some sort of logic when casting their ballots - which is almost certainly a faulty assumption.

"even Alan Trammell ahead of McGuire. [sic]"

You're kidding, right? Trammell hit .285/.352/.415 for his career. McGwire? .263/.394/.588. No contest, argument is over. McGwire > Trammell.

http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/gon...

Nice take on Dempster being a shoddy closer...

Of course if one feels burned about Hawkins, you'd be weary of Howry who's had many of the same issues with previous closing gigs I believe. (at least that's my recollection of it, you can wow me with stats though)

Trammell deserves the HOF, I can't really compare him with McGwire but I think he's screwed. Great glove, an actual bat, 2nd best (possibly best) shortstop of his era with Ozzie Smith who couldn't hit a lick but did backflips on Opening Day.

"Trammell deserves the HOF"

I agree, but not before McGwire makes it. No way.

I guess that depends if you count Ripken as part of his era by the way, obviously I wasn't.

Trammell was a shortstop, back when a shortstop was a good field/no hit position. If he'd have done backflips and hosted This Week in Baseball, maybe he's be a hall of famer too....or if he hadn't been overshadowed by Cal Ripken for most of his career.

McGuire got on base...that's true...i have to give you that Rob.
Of course...wasn't 1987 a bit of an aberration for McGuire until his binge that may or may not have been steroid fueled? Dawson hit 49 that year...Dale Murphy hit 44 that year...George Bell hit 47...Wally Joyner hit 34....there was something strange that year, because none of those guys approached those numbers again.

He'll probably get in the HOF in the next few years, and I'll tip my cap.
I just don't think he's that great, and I don't think he'd have gotten in without running for the shelter of mother's little helper....same for Sosa, same for Palmeiro.

God...Dempster as closer...I'd almost blocked that out of my mind...

Rob G.:

that last error message is weird, why would it ask for a username/password if you’re just trying to access the main site. That would be something I’d expect trying to login to create a post or changes.

Every time you access a page on this site, the web server must query the database and pull the latest entries, comments, etc. For this it requires a database password and that's what the error message is all about. It uses this login every time the page is loaded and happens behind the scene on the server level, before the final web response is sent to the browser. wp-config.php must be the include file that stores the user/password credentials.

Dusty Baylor...that is a cool opinion. It would be nice to just leave out the steroid discussion and talk about the merits of his career on whether he should be a Hall of Famer or not, so thank you for that.

I will counter with Harmon Killebrew who had his fair share of seasons hitting nearly 50. He also had a .256 career BA and .376 OBP. Finished with 573 career HR's.

Both Killebrew and McGwire were feared hitters across their entire career. Killebrew's best season came at age 33, McGwire at age 34. Each player 3 years after their best season they were not healthy/good enough to be an everyday player anymore.

Killebrew also played 22 seasons and knocked in 1584 RBI. McGwire played 16 seasons and knocked in 1414 RBI.

it was a bit of an aberration, I just think the league figured him out after his rookie year. His homer totals were in the 30's after that, including a 42 in 1992, then the big jump (along with the rest of baseball) starting in '95.

Dawson in '87 though played in one friendly home run park as did Murphy. (using BR's park factors hardly the most reliable though).

What McGwire was hitting in Oakland at that time was far more impressive. Oakland has changed since (pretty much neutral) but back in the day, it was quite a pitcher's park.

any player who did so much walking/striking out (See Dunn, Adam) is going to suppress their RBI totals. Whether that's a good or bad thing or just neutral is up for discussion.

Amen, MikeC.

Plus, whether we like it or not, McGwire/Sosa brought baseball back to life.

They're both first balloters.

JEEZ! Great Blog host site last year, crappy Cubs season. This year, crappy blog host site (no end of problems for me anyway) = ....? ;-)

Anyway, for the funniest in "God I hate my job reporting on the Pirates," check out Gene Collier yesterday in the Post- Gazette. Things could be worse than nonsensical profligate offeason spending, skeptical Cubs fans.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07007/751908-1...

Biggest laugh:
"The hot stove metaphor for offseason baseball talk, a decidedly cold stove in recent Pirates history, isn't a stove at all this winter. Think of it more as the rusted-out hibachi you've left on your apartment balcony since July 30, the night the Bucs completed a three-game sweep of the Giants, ascending to 40-66 and within 3 1/2 games of the fifth-place Cubs"

http://ahundrednextyears.blogspot.com/2007/01...

fella was listening to Levine over the weekend who said that the Floyd signing was contingent on whatever they do with Jones and they still might be looking at Ryan Church.

Floyd/Church >>> Jones

Floyd instead of Jones = treading water

from Yahoo sports:

Current speculation is that the Yokohama Bay(watch)Stars are now trying to sign Sosa for the 2007 season, although it appears to be a long shot, the Japan Times reports.

Pam Anderson cheering for Sammy Sosa?

Rob, re Howry having had problems as closer (#142):

Howry may be ready to step up to the closer role. He's started to develop an off-speed pitch. I saw it a couple of times toward the end of the season, and then later, when Rothschild was briefly out a job, Howry gave him credit for helping him develop a breaking ball.

Howry has amazing control of a 94 mph fastball but, as might be expected, he has had trouble finishing people off with the same fastball to the same spot. He would be a very efficient closer if he could change speeds.

"Pam Anderson cheering for Sammy Sosa?"

no, he's supposedly being courted by the Yokohama BayStars, not the Yakult Swallows.

about the dbacks/r.johnson thing...seen no indication, but arizona might be making a strong play for their first HOF induction player.

another couple years of randy along with the ring would let him in the HOF in an ARZ cap pretty easily...too bad for seattle.

I just recall a bunch of "makeup" issues with Howry when he tried the Wsox closing gig, doesn't have the "closer mentality" or whatever...

Most of the time that's B.S., but then there's Latroy Hawkins.

I also read an article somewhere about the D-Backs having some financial difficulties and Randy Johnson being their biggest creditor. By bringing Johnson back, it gives the D-Backs an opportunity to re-structure the money they owe him. I think they owe him something like $44 million in deferred compensation.

ROB G: "...the Floyd signing was contingent on whatever they do with Jones and they still might be looking at Ryan Church."

Floyd/Church >>> Jones

Right! Its kinda how I usually feel about "decaf". Like...why bother!

I don't know what the "closer's mentality" is, but I believe in it. Some guys can do it; some can't.

I think I was saying that Floyd + Church is greater than Jones. Floyd instead of Jones, pretty much the same thing.

I think you over-estimate Church. Or I under-estimate him. One of us is right.

Sometimes I feel like the John Kruk of TCR.

ROB G: Do you real feel that Ryan Church has the bat to take the place of a run-producer who is now "cheap" by this year's standards?

Floyd/Murton, Church, Soriano

yeah I like that a lot

Jones is okay, I think he got a bum wrap, but Church has in all likelihood plays better D in center and brings precious OBP to the team along with Floyd/Murton combo. If Soriano somehow keeps up his OBP swing from last year, that's only Cesar and Derosa keeping us down, that's not bad at all in an NL lineup.

Church has some pop, not quite Jones pop, but pop. Much better lefty/righty splits as well. The K's are a little high for his skill set. And we know Jones doesn't really want to be here, I think I'd take the guy excited to finally get regular playing time.

Of course it all depends on the cost to get him and what we'd get for Jones.

O.K. - I'm gonna check him out once more. Thanks.

From my quick view, it just didn't seem like it was much, if any, of an upgrade. I do like JJones lefty bat - and he will get some clutch hits down the road, as well.

Church is a lefty too, that isn't much worse against lefties (at least so far in his limited playing time)

MikeC-That's a good comparison on McGuire/Killebrew, EXCEPT:

Killebrew's first 5 seasons totaled 113 games as part of the "bonus baby" rule he had to be on the big league club...he actually played 17 full seasons...also, Killebrew played in the 1960's and early 70's, which were a bit more pitcher friendly than the mid-1980s to 2002.

Al McGuire play baseball? Damn fine basketball coach that's for sure....

anyway j/k, Chad will be along soon enough to correct you with McGwire.

the SN all steroid team

http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/Lester's%20Legends/31760/

Sammy somehow nabbed starting CFer. I agree with pretty much all those roster spots.

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