Game 29 Thread / Nationals @ Cubs (3 of 3)

Game Chat Shawn Hill vs. Angel Guzman Lineups:
Lopez 2B Soriano LF
Langerhans CF Theriot 2B
Zimmerman 3B Lee 1B
Church CF Ramirez 3B
Kearns RF Jones CF
Schneider C DeRosa RF
Casto 1B Barrett C
Wilson SS Izturis SS
Hill P Guzman P
Ronny Cedeno was sent down to Iowa to make room for Guzman's call-up. Interesting lineup considering Shawn Hill is a righty.
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Comments

Derosa in the OF? Really? I know he can play there, but we already have a 5 outfielder glut out there, so why make it 6?

derosa has a better arm than floyd/murton combined...which is sad.

the guy playing CF and the guy playing LF has a better arm than the 2 current RF'rs that are being favored.

go figure. it hasnt bit the cubs much yet, luckily. aside from floyd's bad arm there's also his horrid ball tracking skills.

and pie's still hanging out...hell, why not put him in RF a little if he's gonna be here...not like he doesnt have an arm, either.

I saw Murton throw yesterday and he looked pretty darn good to me. Granted I don't have a huge sample size but he obviously can make the throws.

Granted I don’t have a huge sample size but he obviously can make the throws.

Forget about "sample size" (which has to be the most misused term in sports), ----you can't fake a good arm. If Murton is throwing well now it's probably because all that work he did in practice is paying off. As he learns to use his legs more, he should only get better.

i wouldnt be so fast to say obviously he can make the throws...he's pretty weak out there with the arm even in LF.

having derosa at 2nd to back up your throws is a huge plus if you hit him. his arm is one of the best on the team for a position player. floyd is just...awful at both.

its nice to have all these excess players, but the positioning and mad scramble for a new position for the players every other day is getting weird when the 'experiments' im seeing seem to be guided more by a "well, he's done it before" rather than a "how well did he do it before" approach. the stuff im seeing the past many weeks are things that you experiment with in spring, imo.

I still think the Soriano experiment was given up on way too quickly. Jones isn't a passable center fielder at best and his arm is the least effective of all the outfielders.

jones in CF has looked great to me, and not just because of 1 stellar play. his arm, discouting derosa, is probably the best of the OF as far as ive seen.

im disagreeing with a lot lately in posts it seems, especially this one...but im not seeing a shred of bad outta jones in CF and his arm looks great to me.

One reason the Cubs may have decided to recall Angel Guzman today (instead of starting Ted Lilly and waiting to recall Guzman until next weekend) is that Guzman had spent exactly 19 days on optional assignment to the minors through yesterday. One more day on optional assignment to the minors in 2007, and the Cubs burn Guzman's last minor league option. (A minor league option is only exercised once a player has spent 20 days on optional assignment to the minors in a given season).

As has been discussed here at TCR before, Guzman gets a 4th minor league option year until he has spent at least five "full seasons" on an active (NOT including DL) minor league or major league roster (a "full season" being defined as at least sixty days as an active player on a full-season minor league or MLB roster starting on Opening Day, or 90 days aggregate as an active player on minor league and/or MLB rosters in a given season).

Here is Guzman's history since he signed with the KC Royals (contract voided) and then with the Cubs starting in 1999:

1999: DID NOT PLAY

2000: VSL (short season league, did NOT qualify as a "full season")

2001: Boise (short-season league, did NOT qualify as a "full season")

2002: Lansing/Daytona ("Full Season" #1)

2003: West Tenn ("Full Season" #2)
NOTE: Was added to the Cubs 40-man roster after 2003 season.

2004: Optioned to West Tenn out of ST (minor league option #1), was on DL at start of season, was activated May 13th at Daytona, then went DL again on July 30th at West Tenn through end of season, so with less than 90 days on active minor league rosters, '04 did NOT qualify as a "full season"

2005: Optioned to AAA Iowa out of ST (minor league option #2), was on DL from start of season through August 9th (then rehab assignments at AZL Mesa and Boise), so '05 did NOT qualify as a "full season."

2006: Optioned to AAA Iowa out of ST (minor league option #3), split year between Iowa and Cubs, this qualifies as "Full Season" #3.

2007: Optioned to AAA Iowa for 19 days (so far) in 2007, and even if he doesn't spend any time on the DL, this will still only count as "Full Season" #4.

BOTTOM LINE: As long as Guzman spends the rest of the '07 season in the big leagues (starting today), the Cubs will still have a 4th minor league option year to use on Guzman in 2008 (if necessary). But just one more day on optional assignment to the minors in '07, and Guzman will have used minor league option #4, and he will be out of options come ST 2008.

Also, if Ronny Cedeno spends at least 20 days on optional assignment to the minors in 2007, he will be out of minor league options as of ST 2008.

Roberto Novoa and Geovany Soto have already spent their 20 days on optional assignment to the minors in '07, so they will DEFINITELY be out of minor league options as of ST '08.

And...now the possible implosion.

As I have noted here, as well as others, as soon as Guzman in the past has gotten into adversity - he falls apart.

This is a head thing, and we see even more experienced pitchers like Big Z do the same thing. When they do not get the call, or a cheap base hit, or a walk - the guy unravels.

This is why he was 0-7 last year. He'd look great for 3 or 4 innings, then something would happen, and he would just fold.

I hope he learns how to pull it together - but he is a head case.

eman, you are exactly right.

i was just gonna get on and say the exact same damn thing.

To me it looks like both Z and Guzman let the umpire get to them. Guzman had that strikeout and didn't get the call. next thing you know he's walking in a run.

These guys have got to stop worrying about shit like that and just keep throwing the way you were.

and here's the other thing. the pitchers have got to relax and realize their offense might just have their backs this year.

Clemens returning to the Yanks afterall...I guess his crush on Pettitte runs pretty deep. I guess he can waive goodbye to his 10 year personal services contract with the Astros. The Central just got a bit easier...HOU should have no shot...STL continues to struggle and Carpenter out for at least 3 months.

LA Times ran a story today noting the possible trade acquisitions LAA might be tempted to make. J.Jones name came up..but so did about another 20 names.

Clemens to the Yanks. I wonder how if he will be the highest paid Yank this year because if was about winning another world series he would have gone to Boston.

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

"I guess he can waive goodbye to his 10 year personal services contract with the Astros."

I doubt it means anything for that. Its not like he signed with us or the Cards. Drayton McClaine's feelings for Clemens are that of Clemens for Pettitte.

Erye in the 6th I guess this means Cotts is our new primary LH set up guy. Of course he gives up a double to Ryan ".064" Langerhans. I have a feelings Zimmerman is going to make this a 3-2 game.

dunno about that...didn't the Astros break Nolan off of his when he signed with the Rangers?...I think so anyway, then years later they let him back into the mix.

Izzy at SS again...Woo!!!

When will enough be enough???

Real Neal: i hope you are joking about the soriano experiment. Jones is twice the cf that sori is.

So - what happened to Eyre?

He was pretty reliable last year.

This year he either can't find the plate, or finds it with reckless abandon.

Does he have trade value? Actually, the trio of Oh-Man!, Howry and Eyre just sucks...

"dunno about that…didn’t the Astros break Nolan off of his when he signed with the Rangers?"

He currently owns there AA and AAA teams so I imagine he is still in their good graces.

MIL wins again...ugh!!

Woo Theriot!!!

Bench Izzy for good...PLEASE!!!

extra innings.

got to love the riot. great at bat.

yeah ChiFan but that was years later.

Nice effort by Soriano...very 90s Sosa-esque...swing for the fences no matter the count and situation.

I thought for a second there that the Cubs were going to win a 1 run game. I should've known better. I actually thought that they could get a run in from 3rd with less than 2 outs.

"90s Sosa-esque…swing"

As opposed to?

Cubs Win!! WOO!!!!!!

SWEEP!! SWEEP!!

Above .500 here we are...

Great Game!!!

Go Cubs!!

woo...drama and a win.

THE BENCH COMES THROUGH.

Pinch me. So much is *right* with this picture at the moment, it can't possibly be real.

RELEASE WARD!!!!

some nice Ab's in the 9th and 10th to get the tie and win.

Go team!!!

Daryl Ward gets the shaving cream pie afterwards.

Good Times!!

Go Cubs!!

I'm heading to Disney with the family this week.

Keep the streak going!

Good thing you guys aren't running the Cubs. D. Ward would have been dfA'd before the game.

Ah! Whatta difference a real 5th starter makes!
Great job by Guzman.

Henry-

Check this article out-

http://gridskipper.com/travel/new-york/new-yo...

Amused that Soriano wound up at 2B today after the recent chatter here. Not that much was asked of him there in the last inning or so (can't remember if he played the 9th there or not).

Yay Ward! Go Cubs!

While not wanting to DFA Ward, I wasn't the most vocal proponent. Was anyone? Were YOU CWTP?

It was really great to see Guzman - for the FIRST time I have seen in the MLB - not let bad calls and a shitty inning get to him.

This has always been his MO with the Cubs.

I truly hope he can "be the master of his mind", rather than the other way around, in the future.

What a much bigger plus than Miller.

Can we trade him for a LH reliever????

All I can say is... wooohooo. It was ugly, especially Michael Barrett's first-pitch-swinging-at-bats, but it all worked out in the end. I was also disappointed Ramirez & Jones could get that run in in the 9th.

love it when the cubs come back to win. theriot and ward's ab were huge.

BTW - their closer is usually a beast - so double kudos to the team for coming back - even though they're fighting it out with KC for the worst MLB team.

Theriot's AB was awesome.

And Murton looked good in both of his ABs.

And D-WARD!!!

And Lou Piniella, playin' the game to WIN.

Good stuff.

Good day.

agree rynox. thought aram swung at bad pitches in that ab.

In the end, I'll take it. Sure it was against a shitty team, but a win is a win. I will say that this is the first game I can remember in a long time where we snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. Usually, its the other way around.

We survived terrible bullpen pitching (I know you can't expect to win 2 - 1 but you can expect to NOT walk back to back batters).

We survived poor execution by our best players. DLee with a bases loaded dp to end an inning. Soriano and Ramirez not coming through with the winning run on third and less than 2 out.

And lastly, we survived yet another game of mismanagment from Lou. I really don't like him. How the hell do you start your entire middle infield? I know, in the back of his mind, he was going to put Soriano at 2nd but it really should never have come to that. If you need Theriot in the lineup, fine. Then Izzy or DeRosa must sit. You want more offense, start DeRosa at second. You want D, then you need Izzy in there. But starting all three was criminal. We won this game IN SPITE of Lou.

And thank you very much Daryl, you were a big hero today. Keep it up.

agree that murt should have started in right (with izzy sitting). wotEva though. we won.

Yeah, I could do without having to play every single player, every single game as Lou seems to like to do. BUT playing every game like it's game seven of the World Series and a must win seems a lot more forgivable than the laundry list of stupidity that Dusty brought from game to game.

I am curious about the lineup as well though, seems Pie or Murton could have just started if Floyd couldn't go.

Chad:
How the hell do you start your entire middle infield? I know, in the back of his mind, he was going to put Soriano at 2nd

Before it comes to that, you could also do this. Say, for example, Ramirez needs to be taken out. You can sub Murt for Ramirez, and swap Murt & Derosa. Having players you can move around like Derosa really makes this sort of thing a non-issue.

I don't get all of the "mismanagement" criticism on this site. If Pinella makes moves and the Cubs lose its his fault for utilizing his players poorly, yet if he makes moves and the Cubs win why can't we then give him credit for pulling the right strings? Surely the players are responding, so does it make any difference if armchair manager on blog x disagrees with it?

I for one am rather enjoying this year so far. Every game has that feel of a must-win playoff game. If we lose at least I don't feel that there were stones left unturned.

By the way, 4 of our 5 starters have ERAs under 3. Then there's Z.

WiscGrad, I know it maybe hard to understand, but after all you did graduate from Wisconsin.

Using almost 25 players for a 10 inning game is criminal. Especially when its game 29 against the Washington Nationals.

re:46

or does it matter what real manager x does?

all it is...is a gamble and there's a lotta ways to gamble.

and its not a gamble using chess pieces. chess piece A doesnt automatically get chess piece B because that's the moves it can make. the human element moves into every one of these moves.

the manager gets to pick his situations, but the people in the situations execute (or fail to).

that said...in this game it was in the 10th with 1 reliever left, no bench, and 1 guy playing grossly out of position in a defensively important position he hasnt fielded since 2005. im not sure you can put much of a positive spin on that...

I will say that this is the first game I can remember in a long time where we snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

You can't remember Friday? :-)

my real problem isnt this one game.

i can understand gambling to win and taking izturis out...i can also understand leaving him in given how he burned through the bench early.

my problem so far is more with lou's continuous use of the bench and pen like there's an endless supply of tallent down there.

he cant keep doing this, though...its not like its a no-brainer that's not impacting lou in the dugout. he doesnt look like he's enjoying using things like this, anyway.

Chad, was attacking the guy's school because he was talking baseball necessary. You post as if you are the end-all, be-all of baseball, but why can't you just settle down and discuss things rationally and constructively.

The comments on this site have become a freaking pissing match between armchair managers. Chill the fuck out and let the guy express the fact that he disagrees with you, constructively, and he's enjoying the Cubs this year.

Lou is making calls that are working so far. If he starts to manage the team out of games, like Dusty did, then we can critique him. I understand you think Soriano is "grossly out of position," but he did play 2B for quite some time, and I believe he is quite a good athlete. Its a gamble, and its a gamble based on the fact that Lou believes his bat is capable of winning the game with one swing.

Well said, Jordan.

Jordan:
"Lou is making calls that are working so far."

This team is 1 game above .500, let's take it easy...

Manny, while that is a good point, I think the utter lack of offense in the first few weeks was something Lou could do little about. While you are right, we have a LONG way to go to catch the Brewers, the Cubs have won something like 9 or 10, and I'll take that in early May.

The jury is still out. We just swept the second worst team in baseball. That's not a really big accomplishment. Its a warm fuzzy, but it doesn't make the Mets and Phillies any easy comin' down the pipe.

One thing you guys may be able to illuminate for me: how is using all the position players every game a bad thing? Do they get tired from their one plate appearance every day and an inning or so of work in the field? So what if he likes to use his players. Yeah, I get that he can put himself into some sticky situations in long games, but I personally like an aggressive approach that looks to win games quickly. Bases loaded and one out is not a time where you worry about the 14th inning.

I'm not talking about the bullpen here, either. I understand not wanting to burn through that, but we've got an off day tomorrow and two more later in the month. Five games on the trot and superb starting pitching; I have no right to complain about this team.

"Chad, was attacking the guy’s school because he was talking baseball necessary"

Jesus. I was kidding. I'm an Illinois Alum and I was giving him shit for going to Wisconsin. It was just a joke. Someone's baseball knowledge is not dictated by their college. I was implying that he's not as smart cause he went to Wisconsin, I was just ribbing him.

Ok..Pinella overmanaged...and the Cubs dodged a bullet and still won.

For all of the niceties, Andrew, Jordan, we got lucky against the worst team in basaeball today.
Burning through your entire bullpen, except for Cherry, and then the entire bench as well in a 10 inning game, is excusable in that the Cubs won. Moving Jones from CF...to RF, back to CF....having to play Soriano at 2B, a position he HAS played, but not practiced at much since the end of 2005....it was not very efficient, and put a marginal defensive team on the field.

Scott Eyre?...yeah, he's bad.

" If he starts to manage the team out of games, like Dusty did, then we can critique him. "

So we can only critique wins and losses and not how we got there? So if Dusty would have been more successful, everyone here would be all the sudden happy with how he manages? HELL NO! We are winning in spite of Lou right now.

And to answer your question Rishi, it's not about emptying your bench in the 9th. its the moves leading up to that. All that was left was our backup catcher to pinch hit. You don't want to get yourself into that position. Our defense in the 10th was horrible. Thank God they didn't put the ball into play better. I'm not sure we could have turned two on a ball to short. Daryl Ward looks intimidating at the plate but not so much in the outfield.

Yes, you play to win but you can't be reckless. Managing every game like its the 7th game of the world series is not a good idea. This is not sprint, its a marathon.

I do like the fact that Lou has gone to a very short leash for his relievers that walk the opposition but that leads to these innings with 4 relievers making appearances...if it happens too often we are going to see a starter (instead of the usual side session) making appearances in about the 12th inning, that is unless he's already burned Marquis and Z as pinch runners or pinch hitters.

I've just got to say I find it absolutely comical that the people here who are complaining about Lou's use of strategy or discounting the differences between him and Dusty are the exact same people who had an excuse for every single boneheaded decision that Dusty made.

Lou has made a few puzzling decision, and he made a few today. But he's clearly managing to do everything he can to win every game - and perhaps going overboard at times - but I'll take that over the 'maybe we'll win, but if we don't, what are ya gonna do, there's always tomorrow' attitude of the previous regime.

"Burning through your entire bullpen, except for Cherry, and then the entire bench as well in a 10 inning game, is excusable in that the Cubs won."

Dusty, maybe Lou wouldn't burn through the entire bullpen if Eyre and Wuertz and the rest of the gang could throw strikes. He pulls these guys because he's trying to find someone who avoid walking the opposition into contention. And more switches on the mound means more switches in the line, as he tries to avoid sending a weak-hitting reliever to the plate.

Likewise, if our big guns were able to get a key hit and give the relievers a cushion, Lou wouldn't have to be so finnicky: he could leave a guy out there, let him give up a run or two, and let him pitch his way out of trouble. But in these one-run games, he just doesn't have that luxury.

Long and the short is, if the bullpen were more effective or the clutch hitting better, Lou would be using fewer players.

Lou has to play the hand that's dealt him. If the hand isn't very good, then that's Hendry's fault, not his.

1) I don't think Lou is "overmanaging," at least not by much. Compared to Dusty? Sure. But Dusty basically just sat there and did nothing. So this is pretty different for us to see, because we saw very little "managing" the last three seasons. Dusty's attitude was that these guys are pros and that in the end their talent will win the game for Dusty. But it does not work that way. LaRussa did not have loads of talent on his team last year. But he knows how to manage. Lou does too. All the concern about, "gee, what happens if the game keeps going and we have to used a starter," well, if Lou learns the hard way once or twice, okay, fine. But it is nice to see a guy who actually wants to win every game and manages like he wants to win every game. Ohman sure had better get control of his pitches or Lou will send him to Iowa in no time flat.

2) This team is starting to emerge as a "team." I am seeing some personality now, personality I have not seen since 2003. Guys are contributing. Everyone is contributing. That is what happened back in 2003. We have to keep this going and win the series against the Pirates.

I am so please with the current Cub situation. Dusty would have sat back and done jack crap, then blamed a youngster or said they are paid professionals and they should have come thru. This is Lou's team. Not a bunch of players playing.

scooter®

Most of our relievers suck, so if Lou wants to burn through them, no problem with me. Though you have to admit, Dempster is pitching great this year, back to his 05 form. If you must have ONE reliever that can get the job done, Dempster is the one we need, so that's a big plus.

Also, Neal Cotts is starting to look much better, a huge difference compared to spring training. And of course, Wuertz is usually OK.

Ohman, Eyre and Howry though, I'll grant you those three. Howry in particular, he needs to step it up or we're in trouble.

Daryl Ward!!! He won this game with his two ABs. If the designated PH and 24th/25th man on your team can win you just 5 games over the course of the season, they have fulfilled their role. Good job, pancake!!

okay...even though its not a wise move its okay as long as it works independant of it being not a wise move.

gotcha.

its not just 1 game...lou's been a burner this season and has put the team in iffy situations late more than once.

insted of seeing this as dusty vs. lou BECAUSE FOR SOME REASON YOU HAVE TO PICK A SIDE CUZ ITS EITHER DUSTY OR LOU maybe look at it from a dusty-free point of view.

Also, I saw someone at the game today had a Piniella #41 jersey, love it. I think I might get one for myself. This is the best manager we've had since Leo, and I'm digging it.

Chad — May 6, 2007 @ 5:37 pm

Managing every game like its the 7th game of the world series is not a good idea. This is not sprint, its a marathon.
-------------------------

Doesn't bother me in the slightest if it is the bench you are talking about, not the bullpen.

Who gives a shit about our defense in extra innings if we aren't there in the first place.

Just win baby.... just win.

Crunch, I do not see Lou burning through his bench and bullpen as a problem if it gets results. It's a 25-man roster for a reason. You can count on one hand the number of times during a season you get in trouble with deep extra-inning games because you've run out of players. There are MANY more games where it ends in 9 or 10 and having the right players used at the right time matters more.

This team of lunkheads is back over .500 and only needs to chase down the unproven Brewers. I like our position.

i dont see "results" as an A+B=C thing. he's not getting results solely cuz he's burning bench/pen. if he was the game would have ended in the 9th.

this game went into the 10th with 1 short reliever left, no bench, and a clusterfuck on the defense with the bats left.

i have no idea how all of a sudden this is a good thing except for the fact it worked and it worked quickly. making those moves in no way was a sure thing for getting a win.

its not today, but a pattern of burning through people while others dont get work that's iffy.

hell, if i wanted to lay into pinella for the hell of it i could bring up his use of cotts, ohman, pie, lineup shuffling/possition shuffling and a buncha other crap i dont even care about...that's good fodder.

im saying he's doing something i dont like and dont consider very wise at all.

Man, this Giants line-up is freakin' dreadful.

They could really use Jones...

Chad,

"So we can only critique wins and losses and not how we got there? So if Dusty would have been more successful, everyone here would be all the sudden happy with how he manages? HELL NO! We are winning in spite of Lou right now."

Not quite my point. I'm saying that Lou's moves and gambles are actually paying off. I think there is some credit due there. He's using the bullpen he has, and living with the fact that the power hitters aren't hitting for much power. He plays to win in those late innings, and thats refreshing. He won't let Eyre walk the bases loaded and wait to see what happens next. If a guy can't throw strikes, he tries to find someone who will. I like that.

I'm all for your ability and right to critique all you want, win or lose. I'm less for close-minded criticism and pedagogical methods of arguing. Simply, I'm more for a discussion and less about who is right or wrong. I'd love to hear what your opinions are on why you think Lou isn't effective, if you are willing to discuss it and accept that it is a topic that none of us are really capable of claiming definitive authority on.

I do agree, to some extent, that Lou could get burned by some of his defensive moves, but I'm personally willing to give him something more than 30 games to prove his skill. If in the end, there appear trends that are harmful to the win-loss record of the team, I will move off the fence. Right now its working, but we'll see. This guy, in my opinion, is light-years ahead of Dusty.

Crunch,

You do have a point, I think many of us (including myself) seem to see it as Lou vs. Dusty.

I'm just so glad we don't have Dusty :)

If the designated PH and 24th/25th man on your team can win you just 5 games over the course of the season, they have fulfilled their role.

5 games is what an average player, like Jones or Barrett gives you in a season. Get that from your 25th man? You'll win 135 games.

hell, im glad the dusty era is over, too...and for all the bitching i did about dusty's use of the #2 slot ive praised lou for his use of it, too.

i just dont like how quickly he's burning through players in games in non-vital or even stupid (imo) situations.

burning 3-4 pitchers during 2 innings...making everyone a specialist in the pen except howry/dempster who gets to work full innings. i mean damn, he's gotta use more than just him and lately wuertz has been used in specialist roles, too...and where the hell did cotts go for a week and why's he a specialist, too, upon his return?

the bats/bench...im not really upset about his use of it, but he's finished with a dead or depleted bench on more than just a couple occasions. its so much, so early that has me concerned whereas its a small sample size to others. that's gonna be a viewpoint thing...

i'll take lou over dust...no issue...i do got concerns about how much lou knows and trusts these guys, though.

Look CRUNCH - if Lou had a goddamn reliever who would do wtf they are supposed to do (and stop WALKING the first batter up in an inning, walking the bases loaded, allowing go-ahead hits) he wouldn't get put in compromising positions necessitating the use of multiple pitchers in an inning.

Seems like you bitch no matter what. Maybe its the North Carolina way? Maybe the minor league baseball you watch in rural North Carolina the folks manage different down thar.

HA!

But seriously, Lou's MO is as follows: 1. he is a stat guy. He WITH TRAMMEL like numbers and use 'em. 2. He goes with the hot hand. Period. Although that doesn't explain his use of Izzy. 3. He is using the playas that Hendry saddled him with. 11 players for 8 positions. Like a basketball coach - he is playing "offense-defense" when he has a lead to give his team the best chance of winning. I have no problem with this.

When KEY guys (i.e. highly-paid relievers) do not do their job - it fucks up this "formula" and he has to scrable some to make up for their fuck-ups.

sometimes it works out, sometimes not - but he tries to put the team in the best position to win. Had Howry gotten ONE fucking out and Demp pitched his now regular 9th - nothing would have been questioned and he would have been a "terrific manager".

True, E-Man. While I'm not all that big into stats, what Lou has been doing is working. One more thing... and I know slamming Dusty is so last month, but I have a hunch if Dusty were running the team today, he probably wouldn't have even gone as far as to sub Ward for Izzy. I could be wrong, but that's just the feeling I have.

"...burning 3-4 pitchers during 2 innings…making everyone a specialist in the pen except howry/dempster..."

BTW - this is NOT unusual in todays baseball world. It is the era now of 6 inning quality starts and total specialization. Sorry - but thems are the facts. Joe Torre, LaRussa, Leyland, Ozzie - ALL of them are responsible for what you say is "burning through pitchers". Look at the boxes...

BTW, everyone used today except Cherry and 3 starters!? That's called using all the tools at your disposal.

You really can't compare the AL managers to the NL. The DH changes everything 100%. Whether they double switch or have to pinch hit in the next inning makes the NL managers manage differently.

Come on Crunch, after 2-3 years of telling us Dusty wasn't doing anything differently from any other manager, you're now going to complain because people are pointing out the differences between Dusty and Lou?

I am very much in agreement with Jordan, I'm not sure I love Lou's use of strategy, but I'm going to let him have enough time to build a pattern before a decide I like it or not.

However, I can already say that Lou is much different from Dusty, and that is a very good start to me.

Agreed. The DH makes such a difference. In fact, I think its so much easier to manage in the AL that you have to consider that when a guy moves from AL to NL with no NL experience. There's a whole lot more to the game in the NL. But its still a, somewhat, valid point. There are other managers who are in the upper echelon of MLB who use a lot of pitchers.

you can make your point without sounding like a f'n crybaby e-man.

"Come on Crunch, after 2-3 years of telling us Dusty wasn’t doing anything differently from any other manager, you’re now going to complain because people are pointing out the differences between Dusty and Lou?"

well, that's a REALLY broad stroke painted there bleeding blue.

ive said more and you know it. and you should know what im saying here vs. what i was saying there.

what im saying now is no f'n different that me bringing up dust's use of the #2 slot...a managerial quirk...something that makes them unique. if you're not gonna jump down my throat about pointing something about that then maybe you should lay off now.

HEY, LET'S TRY TO APPROACH THIS CRAP AS IF DUSTY ISNT PULLING STRINGS CUZ...WELL...ITS NOT...ITS PINELLA.

THERE IS NO DUSTY VS. PINELLA...DUSTY IS OVER.

now, im aware he's gone. who else is?

"You really can’t compare the AL managers to the NL..."

Bullshit CHAD. All of the above mentioned either managed or played in the NL. Leyland and Ozzie won a World Series with the MArlins (what league?) La Russa managed in which league? Torre was a catcher for which teams? Oh - what's his record against NL teams? 55W/35 L in the last 5 years in Interleague play! And ya gotta figure, with this outstanding winning percentage, halfo of the Yankee interleague games were played in NL parks.

These guys know what's going on.

Its just that DUSTY didn't.

"now, im aware he’s gone. who else is?"

Good CRUNCH. Good start. LOL!

So far on this thread I have seen written that what Lou is doing is working like 3-4 times. Hey guys...newsflash...the Cubs are 1 game over .500. RELAX!!!

Yes the team is playing very good over the last week or so, and they can keep up a similar pace, but to but let's keep in mind this team is 15-14, with 3 starting pitchers playing over their head, and a few batters doing so too.

It only bothers me slightly about Lou blowing through the bench/bullpen so quickly, the thing that irks me more is Izzy still starting almost every game. BENCH HIM FOR GOOD!!!

But I, too, am starting to get a bit excited, but I guess I am just saying maybe we should relax a little, or not...GO CUBS!!!

BENCH HIM FOR GOOD!!!

MANNY: Can Lou send Hendry down? or BENCH HIM?!

Again - as I keep saying - if the set up guys would do their f'n jobs - Lou would be scrambling a lot less.

Howry has 2 blown saves already as a setup guy.

Cherry - blown game. Oh-Man! Eyre. These guys are just not doing the job yet.

Yeah we're 15-14 - but EASILY there are 3 wins they should have under their belts that they let slip away. Z's 5-0 lead is one (OhMan!)

E-Man:
"Yeah we’re 15-14 - but EASILY there are 3 wins they should have under their belts that they let slip away. Z’s 5-0 lead is one (OhMan!)"

And I am sure there are a few games like today that we could of lost too.

Lincecum getting beat up a little tonight by Philly. Given up 4 runs in 4 innings. Maybe Sabean should of stuck with his first instincts and just left him down in AAA for the year.

"And I am sure there are a few games like today that we could of lost too."

Well, we can say that about any team/games.

However, the level of overall play has been improved over the last 10 games, imo.

It just pains me to realize that we blew a couple that were "in the bag" considering we're 5 games still behind the Brew.

Manny, we have lost a few games like today. We lost a lot of one-run games. Our XWL based on RS vs. RA is much better than our actual record. I think people are pointing to the overall performance of the team as a trend, and less to W-L record.

"Bullshit CHAD. All of the above mentioned either managed or played in the NL."

It doesn't matter. Joe Torre and Jim Leyland may know damn well how to manage in the NL. I have no problem with that. I'm saying you cannot compare their moves with the Tigers and the Yanks. It doesn't equate.

It is soooo refreshing to have somebody in charge of the Cubs for the first time since Don Zimmer was the manager. It is also refreshing to see a manager using the tools he is giveninstead of sitting every rookie down on the bench and ignoring him. I'd bet it's refreshing to know your not going to sit on the bench for two weeks at a stretch simply because your hair hasn't started to turn gray yet.

CHAD: you stated this:

"You really can’t compare the AL managers to the NL. The DH changes everything 100%."

I am saying, both theoretically, and actually, the top AL managers, and the winning managers I named above (including Leyland of the Tigers) can manage effectively and have track records that show they could, and have, managed by "burning pitchers" in the NL.

And - in spite of the DH, the above-named managers and Torre head to head against NL managers in NL parks, have managed to win without the DH, too.

What is your point?

if anyone cares what the players think, Ward after the game said something along the line that it's good to know you're playing to win every game and that you could be called upon to help the team at point (major paraphrasing on my part fwiw, just going off memory).

But yeah, as a bench player, I'm sure they love it and I don't see anyway it's detrimental to them or the team. Soriano on the other hand thanked god that the ball wasn't hit to him at 2b.

Blowing through the bullpen could possibly have some long-term effects, but the Cubs had an off-day Thursday and another tomorrow and a ton so far this season, so we'll see if he uses them a little more sparingly as the year goes on.

When you have a reliever like Wuertz up that has put up amazing numbers, you can't yank him for someone like Howry simply because of one walk.

I can see yanking Ohman and Eyre who have already struggled, but not Wuertz. Bad players have short leashes, good players do not.

I also think it's pretty silly trying to get Izzy playing to the point DeRosa starts in RF. Theriot has looked perfectly fine at SS, and Izzy is simply not someone you have to get starts.

Fine, we won the game, against the worst team in baseball. I am happy with it, happy with the sweep. But put the team that was out on the field today against a better pitcher and better batters and the stupid mistakes made would have meant a whole lot more.

EMan,

If you want to go back some years and compare Leyland's usage of players with the Marlins or Pirates, fine. What I am saying is that you can't look at the box score of a Yankee game and compare it to a Cub game. It's not that they can't manage "NL" style, I'm sure they can. I'm saying that you can't compare the styles.

Is it possible that Hendry is forcing Lou to play Izzy?

To try to somehow validate what a great trade he made for Mad-Dog?

"I’m saying that you can’t compare the styles."

Oh - o.k. I just think - ya know how with the world of the "revolving door" of professional sports - players, coaches, managers, that the good ones can "go both ways". But yeah - of course with the implement of the ridiculous DH rule, the style is obviously different.

Yeah, the master puppeteer, Jim Hendry...

dude can't tie his own shoes if you listen to some folks here, but is forcing Lou to play izturis and keeping it out of the media at the same time.

"...but is forcing Lou to play izturis and keeping it out of the media at the same time."

I had only given it a passing thought. One thing is pretty clear - Lou is not stupid. So, either Trammel is convincing him to keep playing him, or perhaps Hendry truly is throwing his (ahem) weight around.

Anyone else?

here's a radical thought...

lou is penciling him in the lineup for his glove.

i think part of what lou is doing is teaching his pitchers that walks have to stop. if they give up a walk, they are out. sooner or later that message is going to be instilled. in the meantime, lots of trips to the mound....

I love the riot.

Peter Gammons posted a Cubs[related report yesterday on the pay portion of ESPN's website. Interesting portions:

Best is yet to come
posted: Saturday, May 5, 2007

They reached May labeled as the same old recycled Cubbies, even though there are only two position players in the same place as a year ago and three-fifths of the starting rotation has changed.

Yes, Lou Piniella is trying to change some of the culture, but the first matter he addressed was to blame himself for Alfonso Soriano going into May with one RBI and no home runs. "I take the blame on that," says Piniella. "I should have allowed Soriano to stay in left field. When he went to center, he put a lot of pressure on himself. As soon as he went to left, he was a different guy."

Teammates noticed that Soriano immediately became more relaxed in the field, especially throwing. "He's used to throwing across his body," says one Cub player. "In left, most of your throws are back, across the body. He was throwing the ball all over the place in center."

..........

Then there's the matter of plate discipline and on-base percentage. After one frustrating loss in April, Piniella went into the clubhouse and yelled, "There's nothing wrong with taking a walk once in a while."

"In reality, plate discipline and patience has to be taught in the minors and become part of the club's culture," Piniella says. "But we'll get more aware on the big league level. Believe me, it'll happen."

...........

They believe Zambrano will get going and eventually signed. "He doesn't want to go to the American League because he couldn't hit," says one teammate. Lee agrees: "Carlos has the most power on this club."

.............

And the ace, for now? Rich Hill. Last May, Hill was 0-4 with a 9.31 ERA, his future in doubt. When he went back to Triple-A Iowa, Rothschild gave him a copy of Harvey Dorfman's "The Mental ABC's of Pitching" and got Hill in touch with a legendary sports psychologist who has helped countless players from Kevin Brown to Al Leiter. Hill went down as Paul Assenmacher, punched out 134 in 100 innings at Iowa, and came back as Barry Zito. Since going into the rotation full-time on Aug. 20, Hill has the best ERA of any starter in the game (1.87) with 56 hits and 87 strikeouts in 90 2/3 innings.

And where did he hone that changeup this winter? Inside at Buckingham Browne and Nichols School in Cambridge, Mass., right across the Charles River from Harvard.

"When they get Soriano, Lee, Ramirez and all those guys hitting together, they are going to be very good," says Cardinals GM Walt Jocketty. "It will come."

A month into the season, they have survived, and everything should only get better.

On a separate topic -- Mark Holliman? Is this a fluke, or has he jumped ahead of Gallagher and Veal?

Also -- Angel Guzman -- in the biggest start of your life, you gave up one run in 5 innings. Well done, young man.

"lou is penciling him in the lineup for his glove"

Umm...but he still has to throw, right?

Cubs are tied for 4th best in BB's allowed although I don't think it includes today's game.

Seems to be getting through to them if that's true.

ROB: In mlb? NL?

433-
Thanks.

Im sorry.... Not to beat a dead horse here but this game is everything Dusty could not do....

I know Manny is sitting in the corner somewhere rocking himself to sleep listening to some old Lionel Richie records....

fantastic game today, lots of good to say about lots of people. derosa's AB in particular was great, and ward is not dead, can't believe people wanted him out after 8 ABs.

i can't believe the negativity about lou using too many people too quickly. he recognizes that you have to succeed early or it doesn't matter that you have a full bench when you lose.

this is a game that many managers (ahem, dusty) would have lost with izturis making an out to start the 9th. you've got to get a run there, who the F cares if it means soriano has to play 2B for the 10th inning on. you've got to use your best hitters or you'll never get there. it's not like once you get to the 10th every play will be a ball to the hole for soriano to get and make a throw.....

not being afraid to use the bench early will win you some games on offense, like today. it will put you in some tough spots in the field once in a while, but only for a few innings. dusty would have kept neifturis up there bc "i gotta keep his glove out there, dude", and the cubs looooose.

love lou more and more each day. a little curious as to why guzman didn't pitch the 6th, but i'm guessing he said he needed out or something. i'll take it from the 5th starter though.

soriano played in the infield his entire life until last year.....he wasn't a good 2B but jesus, settle down here, we're talking about an inning or two....if you don't think that's worth having floyd bat for izturis in a one run game in the 9th, I don't know what to say.....

going to philly for sat/sun next week, getting very exciting. i'll probably see guzman/marquis which is disappointing, but hell, everyone's pitching well now.....

As far as Izzy goes... who gives a shit... He is a defensive shortstop... He plays very good defense..

Look at the last couple of world series winners... Red Sox, White Sox, Marlins

Its not like they had a great hitting shortstop....

I seem to remember us doing pretty well in 03 with gonzo.

jacos — May 6, 2007 @ 8:40 pm

JJ on Angels’ wish list-

OLD news, dude...

re #115 - izturis makes AGonz look like a hybrid of ARod and Vizquel.

NL of course, rather pointless to compare stats between leagues with the DH imo.

"He plays very good defense.."

You're kidding right?

Re Gonzo -

HE FUCKING COST US A TRIP TO THE WORLD SERIES!!!!!!

THIS IS How High You "hold the bar"???

Geez! I hope you never work for me!

good luck trying to trade with the Angels....

I love that Garrett Atkins is on the list, yeah right.

JJ and Emil Brown would probably be the cheapest. Not sure that Saunders or Mosely really help us though.

btw
pirates series:

Lilly
Marquis
Z

@phillies:
Hill
guzman
lilly

@Mets:
Marquis
Z
Hill
Guzman

White sox at wrigley:
Lilly
Marquis
Zambrano

then the cubs have an off day as they fly out to SD and LA for a week trip.

also, now that we're 5 weeks in and start to have a feel for teams, interleague 4 series are home-home with the white sox, seattle at wrigley and at texas. sounds pretty darn good to me, texas could be a series with lots of home runs....also derosa and soriano's homecomings.

What is the rush to trade JJ now?

Very competent CF. Good career hitter. Power from the Left.

As we see, Cliff Floyd gets hurt alot (10x on the DL!).

so many bashers here...

Izzy is one player that Louhas to get going. He isnot a valuable asset on the bench and he isn't going anywhere. There are others in MLB who are getting the same chances to turn it around ie: Inge, Punto, Sexon etc. I know that those players have bigger bats over the years but Izzy's glove is his bat. If he can get his confidence back and field SS like he can we will be better for it. This clearly is not a perfect roster. Lou is doing an outstanding job making the most of it. In time it all may shake out but until then he has to use what he has.

Th bullpen situation of using a new pitcher when guys like Ohman come in and walk the first batter will also probably change over the next month or so. Sometimes a manager has to make the point that if you don't throw stirkes you aren't going to pitch. These guys aren't stupid. The culture will change. The fans just have to relax and let Lou change a losing culture.

"The fans just have to relax and let Lou change a losing culture."

This is well said, Walt. I have said this in the early games. I personally don't have patience as I'm not getting any younger.

But it is true - to change a losing culture takes time.

It seems like Jim Leyland is the best recent example of this.

Perhaps today's win will take a little chink out of the loser's armor.

*Look at the last couple of world series winners… Red Sox, White Sox, Marlins*

Didn't Orlando whathisface hit like, .400 for the Red Sox during the stretch drive?

You know, after they dumped Nomar on us?

TCR infighting used to be reserved for Cub losses and off days... what's going on here?

mannytrillo:
So far on this thread I have seen written that what Lou is doing is working like 3-4 times. Hey guys…newsflash…the Cubs are 1 game over .500. RELAX!!!

They're scoring runs, starting pitching looks good so far, 8-2 in last 10 games. Sue me if I'm getting excited. "But rynox they've been playing the Bucs & Nats..." yada, yada, yada...

Erratic Carlos Marmol pitched 7 sterling innings with no walks and 9 K's as I-Cubs won 3-2 over the New Orlean's Zephyrs. Oops, forgot to mention his giving up back to back HR's.

Ronny Cedeno's riverboat must not have gotten down the delta fast enough for an appearance.

Matt, Eckstein hit .292 for the Cards last year. That's pretty darn good in the leadoff spot.

marmol also hit his 7th batter of the season.

another low/no walk outting, though...he's having an interesting numbers season so far down there.

Why are we so skeptical? Man, the team is going well, on a 8-2 stretch (who cares what teams we're playing?) and we just can't stop arguing. Let's enjoy the ride.

losing streak followed by a winning streak..wait til next losing streak when everyone needs to get fired and everyone starts to ask when jake fox/ is gonna get called up. =p

I got in an argument with a friend that thought Russell Martin was a better offensive catcher than Barrett.

Thing is, I barely lost the argument. Rusell Martin = very overrated.

"Not sure that Saunders or Mosely really help us though."

Orlando Cabrera sure would. The Angels have enough infield depth with Aybar, Figgins, M. Izturis, Hillenbrand, and Wood to play 3b, ss, and 2b until Kendrick gets back.

Yeah I would take Cabrera. He's essentially what Ronny Cedeno could be, solid defense, some pop and some speed.

The question is what do you like better: Izturis/Jones or Cabrera/Pie. Defensively, it's a no brainer, and offensively I think by the end of the season Pie could turn that into a no-brainer as well. Plus it would open up PT for Murton, which is also a good idea.

As to the 'Defenders of Ward' society. Yes the Cubs won with a defense that featured Ward in left and Soriano at 2nd. Niether of whom got tested. As crunch has pointed out, ad nauseum, just because the Cubs won the game, it doesn't make all decision by the manager beyond reproach. And even though I dislike Izturis, he had been on base three times, pinch hitting for him, so that you have the privalege of having Soriano at 4 and Ward at 7 should be questioned.

Oh yeah. What happens if he doesn't do that stupid double switch, lets Eyre pitch his one shut-out inning, then starts the 7th with Weurtz?

In Joe Morgan's Idiot's guide to baseball does it say 'all relievers must be accompanied by a bench player when they enter the game"?

One for Chad from the Astros MVN site:

Then Phillips hit the next pitch down the 3rd base line into the LF corner where Carlos Lee loped over to finally get it, looking like Bengie Molina with sore feet - Phillips slid EASILY into third on what should have been at BEST a double - and there wasn’t even a play anywhere NEAR the plate.

There was another comment abou thim breaking the Astros' GIDP record...by the ASG, as well.

The Real Neal:
...Cabrera. He’s essentially what Ronny Cedeno could be, solid defense, some pop and some speed.

Ok, I was going to give you a bunch of shit for this comparison, just because you compared a potential gold-glover to a guy we just sent to the minors, but actually it's pretty fair.

Ronny needs to work on one thing this time down to the minors... more patient at-bats. I'd like to see him turn into one of those guys who takes a bunch of pitches and fouls off 5-6 pitches once he gets to a 2-strike count. He has some pop, sure, but he could be more useful as a the high-OBP type. Especially if he's going to be batting in front of sluggers like Jason Marquis & Carlos Zambrano.

"Ronny needs to work on one thing this time down to the minors…"

Umm, have you seen him in person, ever?

How about working on "how to catch a pop-up" as a SS? Baserunning 101 when called on as a pinch runner? Tagging a sliding runner - when not to pull out from fear"? This is IN ADDITION to raising his average from .057

Izturis got on base three times because of a HBP and intentional walk. That is not what I'd call great ABs there.

Rusell Martin = very overrated.
What is this based on Carlos??

I'm not going to say who is better, but here is some stats to consider:
Martin:age 24
2007- .314/.392/.451, 2HR, 19 RBI, 5 SB
Last season (ROOKIE): 121 G, 10 HR, 65 RBI, 10 SB, .282/.355/.436
32/103 for 31% CS rate, 5 PB, .993 PCT

Barrett:age 30
2007: .235/.287/.378, 4HR, 17 RBI
Last season: 16 HR, 53 RBI, .307/.368/.517
21/110 19% CS rate, 10 PB, .994 pct.

Martin seems pretty effing good...what says overrated about him?

Matt:
"As far as Izzy goes… who gives a shit… He is a defensive shortstop… He plays very good defense.."

You do realize that Izzy has the worst fielding percentage of any qualified SS in MLB, right?

"I seem to remember us doing pretty well in 03 with gonzo."

Yes we did, but:
2007 Izzy - .590 OPS (0 HR, 3 RBI), 5 errors already
2003 Gonzo - .704 OPS (20 HR, 59 RBI), 10 errors all year

Carlos Rubi:
"Why are we so skeptical?"

Do we really need to answer that question? This is the Cubs we are talking about, right? :)

mannytrillo ladies and gentlemen!!!!!

Manny, that is right...it is the Cubs after all, and they just swept a team that they should sweep.
"The Wolf" was right, let's enjoy it, but not get carried away just yet.

Exactly Dusty..

I am starting to get a little excited. Carpenter basically done for the season, Clemens to the AL, Cubs on a nice roll, but this is the Cubs and I will only have cautious optimism for awhile still.

Now if the Cubs sweep the Pirates, well then of course they are playoff bound.....lol....

Dusty Baylor — May 7, 2007 @ 8:35 am

let’s enjoy it, but not get carried away just yet.
---------------------------------
Who is getting "carried away"??

It seems like everyone here IS simply "enjoying it." I haven't seen anyone proclaim we are a lock for the playoffs, etc. (i.e. getting "carried away.")

Hell, even our own manager is admitting there are many things we need to improve on.

You can be optimistic about our chances without getting carried away. Manny's post in #143 demonstrates exactly how I and I think others feel about this team right now.

A couple observations after sitting in the bleachers for the first time this year on Sunday:

- Soriano is a perfect fit for the Wrigley outfield. He seems to have a lot of fun just being out on the field, and he loves to interact with the crowd. I think the fans are a lot more forgiving with that kind of player than they are with the more surly/quiet types like Jones/Corey who tend to ignore the crowd.

- I'm not sure how he managed it, but Murton seems to have achieved demi-God status among the Bleacher Bums. He was getting bigger cheers than Soriano just for making routine plays.

- Kory Casto is a funny guy.

I couldn't care less how early or often Piniella "burns" through the bench. That's what they're there for...to use. I'd much rather have a manager thinking "how can I win this game now" as opposed to "how can I make sure I have enough players to last 12" in the 8th inning. Take a look at yesterday's box score. It looks hillarious. One things for sure, for all the appearances the relievers make, they sure don't bat very often. I wonder how many of them have incentives related to appearances.

I find his use of the bullpen curious but it has been effective so far. I'd imagine once Piniella thinks a certain guy is locked in and can actually throw strikes, he'll give him a little more latitude.

Like others have mentioned, I'm just glad it appears the players and manager actually give a crap about whether they win or loose. When things were going bad a few weeks ago it seemed like they were actually pissed. I like seeing Lee slam his helmet down in disgust when he runs in to the 2nd out of the inning at third, or grounds into an inning ending DP with the bases loaded. I like when Piniella, with a dismissive eye roll and condescending stroll, takes the ball from a reliever who comes into the game and walks the first batter. How often did Baker just sit back, sigh and say "It is what it is." or "What are going to do?".

It's just so fricking nice to think the Cubs have a shot of winning every day. It's nice to think that if some one is under performing, they actually may be held accountable.

Cautious optimism for sure, but optimism nonetheless.

MANNY: On Gonzo - yeah, but he made the ERROR of ALL ERRORS. Bill Buckner error. Leon Durham error. Its funny, but given similar circumstances, I could easily see Izzy doing the same as the above, now.

CHRIS: How about, "Gee that's a tough break right there." Or, "I have no problem with Neifi bunting in a situation like that. The dude is a good bunter." Or, "I just got no answers."

Nice to see this trend reversing. Hope they keep it up.

Cubs Team OBP (NL average over this period -- .333)

2002 --- .321 12th
2003 --- .323 13th
2004 --- .328 11th
2005 --- .324 11th
2006 --- .319 16th --LAST

2007 --- .340 7th --ABOVE AVERAGE

Sean Marshall is pitching for Iowa in about an hour.
You can listen to the game for free at MILB.COM

It's interesting to see Lou quoted in the papers today proudly admitting that he is going to "take care" of his veteran players and give them priority over the younger guys (most notably Pie). For example, when asked about Pie's playing time, he responded (in the Sun Times), "I've got veteran players here that I need to take care of, and I will."

We all recall that this was one of the main criticisms of Dusty. The difference was, Dusty continually denied that he favored veterans, even in the face of all the evidence that he did. So, the story became a point of controversy and had "legs." Lou, on the other hand, is essentially saying that he favors veterans, take it or leave it, so it's mostly a non-story.

Dusty could have made his life a lot easier by following that path. Dusty responded to criticism by denying and deflecting, which only fuels the fire. Lou responds to criticism by explaining why he is doing what he is doing and leaves it at that.

I don't recall Piniella said he was going to take care of the veterans, I thought he said he was going to play them to make for a happier club house. I actually prefer Dusty on that issue. Dusty wouldn't have gotten Theriot 100 AB's by now though...

433:

The big difference is that the "vets" Lou is talking about are Jacque Jones, Cliff Floyd, and even to a lesser extent Matt Murton. There's a huge difference between benching a rookie so some scrub (Neifi, Hollandsworth, etc.) can rack up incentives, and benching a rookie so a vet with proven MLB talent can go out there and contribute.

I'd love to see Pie go out there and tear things up, but the truth is that at this point Floyd/Jones/Murton are more reliable players.

Re #135:

Thanks for the Carlos Lee is slow update. He's still a masher at the plate and will probably make up for any runs he costs with the runs he creates, oh crap, that sounded so Sabremetric.

None the less, I am happy we have Soriano, but if we didn't get Soriano, I would have been very happy with Carlos Lee as the second place prize.

433, you left this part out

Since being called up April 17, Pie has appeared in 16 of 18 games

AND

Pie has been used as a defensive replacement lately, getting late-inning at-bats.

....which is exactly how he should be utilized.

CWTP,

You think that Felix Pie should be used only in late innings. You expect an unproven rookie to be able to come off the bench and play his best? NO FREAKING WAY! He needs four or five ABs at day. He needs to learn MLB pitchers. You can't expect him to succeed when he sees one pitcher once. The kid needs three at-bats against a starting pitcher to learn anything.

yeah, I'd rather have him play more regularly but I'd rather win too.

Until Jones gets dealt and if Pie stays up in the majors, this is the way to handle it.

Just to be clear, as long as he's up with the big club, Pie should be used as a late inning defensive replacement--- when he's not starting, Chad.

"“I’ve got veteran players here that I need to take care of, and I will.”

Well, you may be taking this statement out of context some.

However - as is becoming apparent -Lou's MO is: 1. He IS a numbers guy 2. He goes with the HOT HAND

If one of his veterans is not doing the job - they will not get "taken care of" so readily. Although, with IZZY, this seems to be the exception. RobG and I last night both suggested that perhaps Jim Hendry is (ahem) throwing his weight around with suggesting that IZZY play more.

This is very Un-Dusty, imo.

okay...now THIS is funny.

if that statement came out of dust's mouth...oh man...OH MAN...

but it comes outta lou's mouth therefore it must be "no! it cant be true!!!" spin.

no seriously, lou's a man of his word one minute with vague proclaimations of screaming and ass-slapping for wins...the next he says something directly and its open for interpretation on anything but a literal level.

get over this dust vs. lou crap...quit trying to quantify the man's worth vs. the man who just left. its not a competition...dust is gone. lou is here. lou is doing lou things. there is no more dusty to kick around...this is someone else's show, someone else's lineup to manage, and someone else's press conferences for those that wanna hang onto the words said there as gospel from the pulpit.

"cubswinthepennant — May 7, 2007 @ 12:16 pm

Just to be clear, as long as he’s up with the big club, Pie should be used as a late inning defensive replacement— when he’s not starting, Chad."

OK you just made your post make even less sense. How else would he be used? Not at all? Either start or don't play? Is that what you are saying is the other option?

So just to clarify, you are saying:

Felix Pie should start
When he doesn't start he should be a late inning defensive replacement.

Wow. That's some insight there.

How else would Pie be used? You gotta be kidding Chad.

If Lou were Dusty, Pie would be picking splinters out of his butt like Theriot did.

As it is now, Lou is using Pie in the manner I hoped he would----playing most every day, mostly for his defense. He's also gives you a dangerous hitter with upside-- at the bottom of the lineup when he starts.

Pie's fine play in CF made moving Soriano back to LF easy. The contrast between the two was so dramatic. Then Pie, being a rookie, made it politically feasible in the clubhouse to play JJ, a veteran, --and his bat--- there .. Something that's really worked and wasn't going to happen as long as the Cubs were committed to Soriano in CF.

Breaking news: Bobby Brownlie signed with the Newark Bears of the Atlantic League.

Here's the full context of the Sun-Times' account of Lou's Pie vs. veterans quote, just for the record:

------------

''We'll see,'' Piniella said about how Pie will be used. ''He's playing every day, just about. But I'm going to play my veteran players. We'll get Pie in there as we can. He's been getting in there every day [with] an at-bat or two. He's been invaluable in that regard.

''But I've got veteran players here that I need to take care of, and I will.''

CWTP:

What are you talking about? I am saying that Pie is not playing near enough. He's totally being misused. I don't know why you threw that Dusty comment in there as no one was talking about him. Yeah, Dusty certainly benched the hell out of Corey Patterson.

Moving forward. I was saying that getting one or two at bats a game is not enough for a developing player and is actually hurting him. He needs to get rhythm. Getting two at bats against two different pitchers in a game will only hurt him. How can you expect him to succeed in these conditions?

I rarely agree with Chad, but I do here. Pie should be sent back down to AAA if he's not going to start on a consistent basis at the majors.

I understand Lou not wanting him to start right now with the Cubs, but he needs to start somewhere, so AAA is the best choice.

Johann,

Word.

IMO, Pie has proven that he can play ball at the major league level but as long as this team has Soriano, Jones, Floyd and Murton, that is enough outfielders. Couple that with DeRosa's ability to play OF as well and I think we are set. We actually need another middle infielder on this bench.

CWTP:
"If Lou were Dusty, Pie would be picking splinters out of his butt like Theriot did."

What about Cedeno and Murton last year, or all the rookie pitchers?? Revisionist history, or just how quickly one forgets??

No, Dusty apologist just like to ignore reality and then call it revisionist history.

The difference between this year and previous years is simple: This year Hendry didn't have to trade away all the bench foder, like the Hollandsworths and Hairstons of the world for the rookies to play.

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