Well It Worked Last Week

Bear down, Chicago Bears, make every play clear the way to victory; Bear down, Chicago Bears, put up a fight with a might so fearlessly. We'll never forget the way you thrilled the nation with your T-formation. Bear down, Chicago Bears, and let them know why you're wearing the crown. You're the pride and joy of Illinois, Chicago Bears, bear down.
There was a good crowd at Chad's Bears Chat site last week, so might as well stick with it if you wish to discuss the game. - In baseball news, the Sun-Times is saying that Cliff Floyd should be a Cub on a one year deal now that Alfonso Soriano seems willing to play center field and the team won't need to waste a roster spot on a veteran stop gap until Felix Pie is ready. Why this is any different than if Jacque Jones was willing to play center field is beyond me though. - Apparently after a bit of booing of Larry Rothschild at the morning Q&A, both Jim Hendry and Lou Piniella were quick to defend Rotschild including this little bit from Piniella about injuries:
"You can't blame a pitching coach for that," he said. "You can't blame a strength coach for that. You can blame a manager if he allows a guy to go out there and throw 100, 145 pitches consistently, and all of a sudden he breaks down, and that won't happen.
Is that a manager taking responsibility for his team? I didn't know that was possible.
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Comments

So does that mean that Murton goes to platoon status?

Brack. Hendry's really starting to lose me. (As if he could care.) Great at trades and at re-signing Cubs talent, but just a mess in free agency and roster construction.

article says he'd spell Murton and Jones at times. I highly doubt it would be a straight platoon with Murton anyway, more like 50/50...

It's certainly unnecessary, but if Floyd hits like he has most of his career versus righties, we're not losing anything. I'm not sure we're gaining anything either, but whatever...

Ah, yes, I should RTFA

Heading to the neighbors

GO BEARS!!!!!

Will try to stop by Chad's chat.

GGGOOOOOO BEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

soriano, j.jones, murton, pagan OF...uh...yeah :)

looks good to me...the soriano moving to CF talk is cool and all, but i'd like to see more "jones sticking around" talk from not only the press, but from the manager or GM, and most importantly from jones, himself.

oh yeah...and floyd =p

You can blame a manager if he allows a guy to go out there and throw 100, 145 pitches consistently, and all of a sudden he breaks down

Huh, interesting...

116, 118, 100, 116, 131*, 129, 110, 124, 131, 133, 133, 116, 119.

*somewhere around that start Prior says he hurt his Achilles

That was Mark Prior's work load the last 2 months of 2003 and the playoffs.

Think you might have rode him a little bit to hard Dusty? Especially after his injury? Prior has never been the same since 2003. He was used and abused that year and still trying to recover.

That Sept 1st 2003 start which I have asterisked has always bugged me. I still remember that game vividly as Prior headed into the 8th inning he look exhausted on the mound.

Staked with a 7-0 lead in the 6th inning, Prior should have been given a much needed rest. Instead he was left in to pitch 2 more innings and run his pitch count up to 131. When he walked off the mound he just looked physically done. Mind you this is likely the same start he injured his Achilles also.

Anyways, that comment by Lou Piniella is another shot across the bow of how Dusty ran this team. He seems to be well aware of the history of the Baker led Cubs.

i doubt lou looked that deeply into it, saw 2-3 starts by prior and decided dusty broke some pitchers.

never understood the whole 'dusty ruins pitchers' thing...especially with other managers doing worse and dusty's injury track records being non-existant.

the best anyone can do is 2-3 guys that dusty touched, but didnt even get injured on his watch...and no one even wants to touch what frank robinson does with pitcher management.

of all the things to jump on dust for its always seemed like the weakest of weak arguements for people to jump on.

his obsession with use of #2 hitters for contact seems to be a more hot-button issue.

the only guy he's sent to surgery was a closer...can't really blame him for that.

he shows up in chicago and all of a sudden fox, wood, prior start having issues...his entire 03 pen, too...and 3 years after touching him last, russ ortiz gets hurt (yet bobby cox cant be blamed for that)...meh.

Mike C - your post, right there, is exactly why I get so angry at the people who question Mark's toughness, his manliness, his desire to win, all that.

Prior pitched his ass off (his arm off?) for us in two of the most important and exciting months of Cubs History in the last 40 years. It's easy to lob taunts at him now that his body is betraying him. Where were these folks back when Prior was pitching us to the NLCS?

"I think pitch counts rob young pitchers in the minor leagues of that opportunity. It's certainly much tougher to pitch in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings than it is in the first, second and third innings."

nice one by lou last season...maybe we can spin that (along with his pre-00's pure abuse of pitchers that dusty never even touched in his wildest dreams).

but reality tells us not to spin that...to look at it objectively, though that one statement can be used to f'n bury his ass.

reality tells us that since the early 00s he HAS been paying attention to pitch counts with his use.

reality also tells us that the world blamed lou pinella for freddy garcia tiring in 02 and the complaints about his use that the media gave him hell for (almost totally based on his past).

looking at freddy's pitch counts, though...you see the hype. he had a few strong high-pitch outtings, but it was pretty damn ordinary, really.

btw, im not accusing spin here..im just saying things have a way of getting a root and never really working their way out to the point they become a casual reality.

dusty ruins pitchers, lou pinella is a hot headed asshole, barry bonds doesnt do any work and only sits around pounding drugs...etc etc

Curious drop by Tim Wilken via 1490 AM the local SB ESPN affiliate who was on discussing Samardzjia's future. Firstly, he claims Jeff is slated for Daytona's rotation to start the year and he'll be heading to AZ to begin workouts with a few of his pals from the Boise Hawks club next week or the week after. The curious part is when the speaking challenged Wilken commented on Felix Pie's immediate future where he claims if Pie shows "more solid contact" and "doesn't look overmatched defensively or on the basepaths" that he has a "realistic shot" to break with the club after spring training. Soriano signing off on attempting to play CF might change all that..then again the chances of Pie making prominent strides in zone control aren't that likely either.

Actually I was one of the few questioning the extreme work load of Prior who was well beyond his career high in IP and his pitch counts were astronomical compared to what he was used to. All I heard back was "Oh Prior has perfect mechanics, he will be fine." My response was always I don't care how good you think his mechanics are, he isn't a robot, he gets tired, he is a human being that needs rest when you can give it to him. Thats why that Sept 1st start sticks in my mind, a perfect chance to give him some rest and Baker refused to sit him.

Oh yeah we enjoyed the run, but at what price? While I certainly don't know for sure that is what ruined him, he certainly isn't the same pitcher he was then.

I don't blame Dusty for any pitcher injury except Prior. It is so blatant and obvious it is hard to deny in my opinion. A guy who has never pitched 200 innings, or had that many starts over 100 pitches, and instead of backing off on him a little, Baker slammed down the accelerator and rode him, damn the consequences.

I hold him accountable to Prior and no one else. You don't push a young pitcher that damn hard when he has never done it before and then think he will just miraculously be healthy and have no side effects.

(Sorry for my Dusty hate, it builds up from time to time and needs to be vented. I still am mad he was ever hired for this franchise, one of the worst decisions ever made in Cubs history.)

I though the knock on Lou was that he burnt out Scott Kazmir's arm in Tampa?

I also read something on cubs.com about Lou and Jacque having a conversation together where Lou described him as "his kind of player."

i can buy the prior argument, but i dont believe it to be a slam-dunk. its definitely a lot closer to cause/effect in direct impact than other names thrown around attached to dust...especially the surprisingly more-than-should-exist-in-numbers people that point to kerry wood as being a dusty-caused disaster.

prior had a few weeks of hard play in sept/oc 03t, but i see his other injuries costing him a whole lot. no idea where to make the division of what happened to him and what was forced on him, though. he's had a lotta freak crap happen to him.

SUPER BOWL!!!!!

AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

WHHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE~!!!!!

FWIW, Bogey, Jim Callis of BA, whose opinion I highly highly respect, exepects Pie to be a solid regular by midseason.

Just got back from the Cubs Convention. Took notes.... I will post something tomorrow giving a rundown. Some pretty interesting tidbits in there, but nothing earth shattering. But the more and more I hear Lou and his baseball philosophy, it seems to follow Dusty's line of thinking. The only major difference is their demeanor. I will post something tomorrow morning...

jacos:

SUPER BOWL!!!!!

Rex looks a ton better than he did earlier in the season. Still think the Colts have an edge, but it will be a good Super bowl.

marquis to wear #21 (sosa) if it hasnt already been mentioned.

My apologies friends. I feel very stupid for not searching all the threads. I just simply didn't have time. My sincerest apologies.

Although it is old news, both ESPN and Fox Sports are reporting this morning that the Cubs are on the verge of signing a deal with Cliff Floyd. It's the same story that has been reported for more than a month, but for some reason both outlets felt they had to report it again.

Dayn Perry at Foxsports.com ranked the MLB GMs and our very own Jim Hendry came in 25th out of 30 GMs. Hendry was right behind Jim Bowden. Ouch...

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6392576

i kinda wonder what the link is between soriano/jones/floyd.

for some reason, about a dozen scenarios i can think of, these players have been tied together in the whole "floyd thing".

dan perry also ranked theo in the top5 for some reason.

win a championship with a 125m payroll, sign ortiz, do little else, and you're a hero rather than a bum.

and how brian cashman gets ranked #11 over almost anyone is a mystery to me.

give a guy 2-3x the average payroll and he fields THAT collection of people...

and dombrowski...#6....damn...how about #3 or #4 at worst? theo above dom?

Thankfully Dayn Perry is a moron.

Is the comment delay going to stick around after the server nonsense is figured out? It's going to make for a lot of redundant comments when it comes time for busy gameday discussions (arguments).

Here are the notes I took from the Cubs Convention. There are a few good tidbits int here.

Friday-
Opening Ceremonies:
- Hendry said “I am going to promise two things. We will be good and we will stay good.”
- Kerry Wood looked great. Definitely lost some weight.
- The video highlight from the previous year was pretty weak, but not surprising coming off a 96-loss season.
- Loudest cheer was for Barrett’s punch to AJ.
- Biggest boos were for George Bush, Larry Rothschild and Dusty Baker.
- Video was mostly about offseason stuff and quotes about offseason or next year.

Saturday-
Management Meeting (Jim Hendry, Randy Bush and Lou Piniella):
- One of the emcee’s said that Wood lost 31 pounds since the season ended and Dempster lost 20 pounds.
- Hendry said “Medically we are in the best shape we have been in years.”
- Hendry said “Painful day when we got Pierre and had to give up a pitcher like Nolasco. It obviously didn’t work out.”
- Hendry said “Marketing Department does not get in the way of the team and never at the expensse of the ballclub.” This was in response to a question (I think by All Yellon) about them having clinics on the field before games and thus the team not being able to practice.
- Hendry reiterated he has never felt handcuffed budget wise.
- Hendry said “Game is all about scoring runs and knocking in runs.” I am sure CHAD will LOVE this comment.
- Lou Piniella finally arrives to session 25 minutes late…There were lots of murmuring throughout crowd and not many people were happy he was late as they felt it was disrespectful.
- Hendry said “It (injuries) just happens…it’s baseball.”
- Hendry said “Jacque Jones has not expressed to us that he wanted to go.”
- Hendry said “We don’t know exactly where we are going to play Soriano.”
- Hendry said “We are not going to do anything to block his (Felix Pie)”
- At one point after a few fans asked some tough questions, Lou turns to Hendry and says “Man Jim, this is a tough crowd.”
- Both Hendry and Lou confirmed it is a virtual lock that Soriano will be leading off.
- Soriano says he wants to lead off and play CF. Lou said he will play all OF positions in Spring Training and then settle in one for the year. No moving him around.
- Lou said “You don’t want your 3-4-5 hitters taking too many pitches. OBP is important, should have a team one at .345 or better.”

A New Beginning (Jim Hendry and John McDonough):
- Some one asked about why they didn’t sign Lofton. Hendry basically said he wants to give Pie every chance to play when ready and doesn’t want him blocked in any way.
- Hendry reconfirmed he offered Furcal years $47.5 million contract.
- Hendry acknowledged that he is not trading for players who can be FA’s after this season and have the possibility of losing them after one year like he did with Pierre (he used Jason Jennings as an example).

Sunday-
Business Operations Meeting (Marketing, Lawyer, Tickets, Stadium Operations)
- Tickets for season ticket holders will be unchanged for this year, but because of the jump in payroll the Cubs have decided to raise ticket prices for individual ticket sales starting when they go on sale February 23rd. Every ticket will go up $2.00 per seat with the newer seats behind homeplate going up $5.00 per seat.
- The ticket brokerage company the Cubs have (Wrigleyville Tickets???) only sold 12,000-15,000 tickets last year.

Minor Leagues (Tim Wilken, Oneri Fleita, Eric Patterson and Donnie Veal)
- The Cubs will have the 3rd pick, 31st pick (first sandwich pick) with a 3rd and 4th round pick this upcoming year (and more later round picks).
- Oneri said that Angel Guzman was granted a 4th option year. AZ Phil will love to know this information.
- Oneri said that Casey McGhee decided to try catching again.

Overall the mood of the fans seemed upbeat, but they were not overconfident by any means. It seems like they feel the team has improved but are on a wait and see basis.

I know the notes are kind of all over the place, but I kept them as they came. Hope this was helpful…

Vorare:
"Thankfully Dayn Perry is a moron."

But unfortunately he is almost spot on IMO on what he said about Hendry.

Vorare:
Thankfully Dayn Perry is a moron.

MannyT:
But unfortunately he is almost spot on IMO on what he said about Hendry.

How did I know this would be Manny's response? I'm not Hendry's biggest fan but he's certainly better than Bowden and Sabean and arguably better than several other of those guys like Colletti, Moore, Purpura, and Gillick.

Besides, Perry looks like a fatter version of Cillian Murphy, so what would he know.

SWEET LOU: I wonder if anyone has RANKED web sports writers?

Wonder where Dayn Perry would fall?

Andrew:
"How did I know this would be Manny’s response? I’m not Hendry’s biggest fan but he’s certainly better than Bowden and Sabean and arguably better than several other of those guys like Colletti, Moore, Purpura, and Gillick."

I didn't say anything about his ranking. I was just talking about what he said about Hendry.

Re: Constantly making and remaking the point that you hate Hendry. Hendry is awful. Hendry is inept. Hendry is e-e-evil.

WOULD YOU PLEASE GIVE IT A REST. Take this year off.

There is nobody in the entire Cubs organization that has accomplished anything great in the last 98 years, not just Hendry. And we all know, if the Cubs don't win the next two years, he's already gone.

Is the comment delay going to stick around after the server nonsense is figured out? It’s going to make for a lot of redundant comments when it comes time for busy gameday discussions (arguments).

Is it back? It was working well from about Thursday on, but maybe they turned the caching business back on as they try to fix their problems.

But yeah, I harp about it just about everyday, so I'm hoping it's all fixed by spring training.

the comment #'s and comments updated properly for me just now, but let me know if there are hiccups (once again).

Thanks for the report Manny.

"There were lots of murmuring throughout crowd and not many people were happy he was late as they felt it was disrespectful"

If I can drive all the way from Iowa he can be here on time!!!! Where's my Beanie Baby, McDonough!?!!?

CWTP:
"And we all know, if the Cubs don’t win the next two years, he’s already gone."

By "win" do you mean win the WS? Because if they don't make the playoffs this year he better be gone after this year. Not given another year.

Thanks for the Convention info Manny.

Although it is old news, both ESPN and Fox Sports are reporting this morning that the Cubs are on the verge of signing a deal with Cliff Floyd. It’s the same story that has been reported for more than a month, but for some reason both outlets felt they had to report it again.

They're probably just picking up on the Sun-Times article I linked to in the post.

Rob,

The posts seem to be updating now, so maybe the problem was on my end. Thanks for keeping the pressure on them about these problems.

Manny's recap is a new post if you wish to discuss...

For Bogey

It sounds like Wilken wasnt so challenged in the " down on the farm segment" ! According to a fair amount of bloggers he spoke quite well and there's even some mention of him on www.ChicagoCubsonline.com

The Dayn (who spells their name like that?) Perry article was fascinating, if off base. He did call the the Austin Kerns trade one of the worst of the decade--I agree. I know we lost Nolasco and it was a mistake, but any GM who gets rid of Todd Hundley, Nefifi (ok he did resign him), and sergio mitre (personal hatred, except that one start against Toronto) I like. The point is, who knows...I hope Tim Wilken will continue to help and I do like the fact that we didn't trade any real prospects this off season. Come July...

And, my real beef is this...what is all the revisionist history on Dusty (doesn't abuse pitchers--whateer), the guy was a jerk, refused to change, and I jumped up and down when he was canned==I was just slightly less excited about that as when the Bears won last ngiht. Sad, I know.

and...

This fantastic article from Grand Rapids and Detroit--if only hendry and dusty had been this sharp:

eyland: Perez can do better

January 19, 2007

BY JON PAUL MOROSI

FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER

Tigers manager Jim Leyland said the team might have "made a mistake" when it acquired infielder Neifi Perez from the Chicago Cubs in August, telling WDFN-AM (1130) on Thursday that Perez "played terrible" in Detroit.

(Editor's Note: Please do not post full articles, a link and a few lines is enough. Thank you) http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AI...

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