Game 42 Recap: Cubs 6, White Sox 10

One to Forget Game Center, Play by Play, Recap, Box Score, Photos, Game Chart

W - Massett (2-1), Joe West's ego, infield drying compound stock-owners.

L - Zambrano (4-4), Joe West, Soriano's legs, brooms.

Things to take from this game

1. Just a couple of bad innings

It's not much consolation, but Z actually looked good for most of the game. He totally lost it in the seventh, we didn't get him out of the game soon enough, and Cotts couldn't pitch out of the jam. (That AJ guy brought in four runs with one swing of the bat.) But other than thatinning and the third, Z actually looked sharp to me.

2. 2 out RISP

Barrett had a couple missed opportunities to knock in some 2-out runs. In the grand scheme of things, it wound up being the least of our problems, but at the time it seemed consequential. Sox had far, far more LOB, by the end of things.

3. Sox pitching

Massett looked shakey in the first, but settled down to give up only 3 hits and 2 runs through 5 and two thirds. The Sox bullpen didn't allow a hit until a Theriot single in the eighth.

4. What's up with Soriano?

At this point, I'm convinced that either Soriano isn't healthy, or he isn't hustling. Either way, it's noticable affecting his on-field play. (FWIW, my guess is this is health-related.)

5. Joe West strikes again

With West and Bucknor in this umpire crew, we should have set up a pool for whom would eject whom, and why and when. Answer winds up being West ejects Floyd in the bottom of the 9th, over balls and strikes, and West's inability to distinguish the one from the other.

More interesting observations than you can handle, below.

 

  • Ugh, we get Hawk and DJ for the broadcast. Is there a worse broadcasting crew than these two jokers? I am beginning to rethink my complaints from yesterday, about not being able to see the game on TV
  • Lots of pressure on Massett: first big league start, in Wrigley in the middle of the cross-town rivalry, trying to stop a sweep.
  • Ignominious start to the game, with Z walking Erstad on 4 straight. For a baseball player, Erstad is a hell of a collegiate punter.
  • Hot-headed Joe West calling the balls and strikes, and C. B. Bucknor, often voted the worst MLB umpire in those Sports Illustrated anonymous polls of players, at third. With Z, Lou, Ozzie, Barrett and AJ in this series, it's amazing we haven't seen more ejections.
  • nice 5-4-3 DP for the Cubs, in the top of the first. Theriot shaken up a bit on a hard but fair slide, he seems to be OK
  • Pagan walks, steals second even with the pitchout. This Pagan guys is ok with me.
  • According to Pat and Ron, Massett hasn't pitched more than 2/3rds of an inning in over a month. He now walks Soriano. Will he make it to 2/3rds of an inning, today?
  • Yes. But immediately following Ramirez's fly-out, Ward singles in the first run of the game. Two walks and a single, and we're on the board, yes.
  • Runners 1st and 3rd with 2 outs as Massett struggles, but Barrett grounds out. Only one run from the first inning.
  • Blargh. Soriano goes after a pop foul down the line. A tricky play, as he has to go over the bullpen mound and contend with the brick wall, but the ball winds up dropping in front of the mound, with him standing on it, right next to the wall. He should have made the catch, frankly, even without much experience down that foul line. He wasn't within five feet of where it landed. With a new life, the batter, Mackowiak, bloops a single to right.
  • Crede then singles, loading the bases, and Uribe singles to drive in two.
  • Massett trying to bunt runners over, finally gets it down on 0-2. Barrett throws a dying quail to first, where The Riot has to lunge for it, a great job catching the ball, and keeping the foot on the bag
  • Some fans snuck into the blacked out area of center field, where the cameras are. At least one of them has a Sox cap on. Joe West stops the game until they move out of the blacked out batter's eye area. Ron Santo is very confused about what's happening.
  • Sox can't get any more runs in, with runners on 2 and 3 and 2 out. 2-1 Sox.
  • Dye smokes a Zambrano fastball into the left- CF seats, against the wind. SEriously blistered it. And now, Z is getting in to it with Joe West about balls and strikes, and Barrett orders him back to the mound.
  • Z settles down with a 1-2-3 fourth.
  • and the fifth. Starting to strike people out now, struck out the side
  • Z is really looking pretty good, outside of that one inning. has the Ground Baller and The Strikout working.
  • Which was less impressive, Dye's attempt to catch Soriano's fly ball in the sixth, or Soriano running to third? Really hard to tell how much of this is Soriano guarding a minor injury (we know he's said he's not 100 % in the legs) and how much of it is him not going all-out unless he really has to. Or is it one in the same?
  • Lee in to pinch hit again, and after a wild pitch, he has 2 RISP with 2 outs, and the Cubs down 2. God, there's been some good drama in this series. Another wild pitch, and now it's 3-2 with a runner on third, Lee still batting. Lee walks, and Massett is out of the game
  • MacDougal in, gets Barrett to ground out to end the inning. That's a couple of 2-out, RISP ABs that Barrett has had, without any RBI to show for it.
  • Uribe gets hit by a Z pitch with two outs in the seventh, and Thome comes in to pinch hit, in his first appearance since being activated off the DL. And when the hell did THAT happen? The pre-game guys said he hadn't yet been activated, because of uncertainty about how they wanted to send down.
  • Thome walks, and Erstand singles in a run. 4-2. Z looked quite good, before losing it in the seventh. And now, he's really losing it. Wild pitch. Walk to Iguchi, and Z leaves with the bases loaded and 2 outs in the 7th. Cotts in.
  • Cotts in to face A.J. Grand Slam into the basket. 8-2 lead. Dye walks, Konerko doubles, and I begin observing that the Ivy doesn't seem to be as nicely groomed as it usually is. Different colors and looks overgrown, not trimmed.
  • It gets worse. Mackowiak singles in two more, and a horrid throw by Jones. 10-2, first time Sox have scored ten, all year.
  • Cubs follow it up with a very, very fast bottom of the 7th.
  • Pat Hughes declares the game isn't over yet, as Ramirez hits a 3-run HR off of Aardsma in the bottom of the 8th. 10-5.
  • It's pouring rain.
  • 10-6 after a blooper falls in, between the pelting raindrops. Izturis is up, with 2 strikes and 2 outs, and you canjust tell that Joe West wants to call this game, the moment the inning is completed.
  • AndIzturis grounds out to second, end of inning.
  • I'm astonished they're coming out to play the top of the ninth. Now the ground crew is having to come out to throw the drying compound on the mound. This really isn't playable weather. And indeed, they call them off the field with one out in the ninth. Ugh, so we'll have to resume this one, at some point.
  • Lost track of how long the delay was, but it was extensive. Eyre gets through the rest of the 9th without damage.
  • Joe West calls Floyd out on a called "strike" to lead off the ninth. It was easily six inches inside when it passed over the plate, and was behind Cliff's hip, by the time it was caught. Floyd and Joe West get in to it. Floyd had returned to the dugout, but West was jawing at him, and Floyd came back out. (IT seems to be that West ejected Floyd, inspiring Floyd to get his full money's worth) It took nine innings, but we finally have our expected incident. What does it say about an ump, that you go into a game expecting that there will be an incident involving that ump? I don't care how good of an umpire he is, he's still a clown.
  • Game ends on a Soriano AB. Hits one up the middle, nice stop by Uribe, who tries to get the force at second. Can't, but Iguchi spins and gets Soriano at first. Again, it's hard to say how much of this is Soriano favoring a slightly hurt leg, and how much of it is a lack of hustle. Santo, for one, said "oh man, Soriano not running." I'm at the point where I vote for not playing him until he decides he can run, as this is getting tedious, and affecting the outcome of innings, if not games.

Parachat recap:

 

Inning 1:

What would you rather do than listen to Hawk and DJ? - Stick screwdrivers in your ears, by CT Steve, is early winner. Taking the "Survivor" gameshow title a bit too literally. Getting strapped down, as Hawk encourages. Thome's runt, annorexic brother, ( Erstad), Mexican elections, granny love, dreaming about non-Transmission transes....

Inning 2

Memories of Dave Magadan. A pretty serious, detailed evaluation of Magadan's career. Man, we're weird. Stories about meeting Moises Alou, and slapping him on the back instead of shaking his hand. Will Z melt down?

 

Inning 3

Hawk and the Unabomber: separated at birth? Are the Brewers for real? Are any of us for real? Other epistemological topics. Hall and Oats. Iggy and the Stooges. Hordes of white trash.

Inning 4

More musical debates. Fantasy trade offers

Inning 5

Another round of really, really unnecessary double-entendres on Cherry, Pie, and spots in the batting order. Johnny Weir and Harry Belafonte in fantasy leagues. Misspelling Colin Powell. Japanese pornography (oh great, THAT'S going to get TCR onto some unwanted google search results.)

 

Inning 6

Parachat jumps the shark. Can a shark be unjumped, or, like the fried egg that can't be unfried, are we at the mercy of larger laws of physics? Why every modern philosopher after Wittgenstein can kiss the ass of somebody in parachat.

Inning 7

putting a parachater's hook-up options to a vote. What would Jim Thome be, if he wasn't a ballplayer? Who's overrated? A cameo appearance by Exploding Head Case! Another cameo, by Exploding Bullpen! Despair and frustration. Talent evaluation on the Cubs.

Inning 8

Career years. Is Cotts the symptom, or the disease? Lovers' quarrels. Smart ballplayers, and people whose last name could be a first name. "Christian" "Comics". Anti-intellectualism. Manufactural moral crises used for political gain. Sex.

Inning 9

The known suck versus the unknown potential suck, in evaluating players. Scouting. Comedy and Sadism. Rain delay time-killing. Joe West is dumb.

 

 

 

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Comments

(oh great, THAT’S going to get TCR onto some unwanted google search results.)

ha.

We rule, that's right, we bad, uh huh...

the fat ump behind the plate had something better to do tonight, there was no reason to be playing the game in that kinda rain.

another huge blow up of our pitching staff once we get 2 outs and no one on base

jacque jones is absolutley worthless, he cant throw, hit and if you go back ot last year run the bases, it looks a lot like he doesnt care and wont play hard because he didnt get traded.

Soriano is either hurt and or is doggin it

we face jake peavy on Tuesday

It's hard to imagine Soriano dogging it, with the reputation he has and the kind of teammate he's supposed to be. From the Sox broadcast, it sounded like he was out of position on a couple fly balls, and that he's favoring that hamstring when a dead run is needed.

Soriano isn't producing with his bat -- less than 10 RBIs so far this year...He's paid like a superstar -- more than $15 Million/yr for the life of a very long contract...Sammy Sosa is only making $500k (up to $2 Million this yr if he hits all the targets)...and look at the numbers Sosa has put up so far:

AVG .259 | HR 9 | RBI 32 | OBP .314 | SLG .497

Comcast postgame announced that Dempster is definitely moving to the rotation, and Dempster confirmed in an interview.

If the dempster thing works, Pinella will look like a genius, if it doesnt, not so much

didnt work for dusty...but what's the difference between guzman and dempster as a #5 starter anyway? not enough to bitch about.

who's the new closer?

I'd heard Marmol is to close.

Z can break off the contract talks if he wants, as far as I am concerned, that is if he still is expecting 15-17 million per year. He is not worth that much, no ifs, ands or buts about it. If he insists on that kind of money, by all means let him go or trade him for whatever we can get.

As for Soriano, the guy obviously is injured. He cannot run. He is not producing, either. So put him on the 15-day DL. Period. End of story. It would be one thing if the guy was producing. It would be hard to sit him then. But we are getting close to no production from him. Why not just put him on the 15-day DL and see if he can get healthy. God knows we have enough outfielders to play while he is out of action.

Dempster to rotation? Oh god, that doesn't bode well.

And now CSN is saying that Dempster is staying in the bullpen. Sounds like no one knows what the hell is happening.

What the heck?

So Dempster comes on CSN to say he's going into the rotation...and then they announce he's staying in the pen?

Weird shit.

maybe they'll announce the addition to the roster of Ryne Dempster, the evil twin brother of Ryan...or maybe we've always had the evil twin...can Paul Reuschel still pitch?

Paul Dean would listen, if the Cubs director of scouting in the spirit world called.

By the way, John Perrotto comments:

"The Chicago Cubs desperately need bullpen help, and reportedly would part with outfielder Matt Murton in the right deal."

"can Paul Reuschel still pitch?"

HA HA HA HA!!!

Good one Cubster! I am sorry you guys had to suffer through th cold to watch that performance today!

Murton, the odd man out. Who didn't see that coming.

The Padres could use him, and they seem to have an extra SP.

Soriano is clearly nowhere near 100%. Watching him run, it becomes obvious. If he is hurt, just sit him for a few weeks and get him healthy. It is better than seeing him labor around and then at the end of the year use the fact that he was banged up as a reason he underperformed.

I like Murton. He is a really nice guy it seems. It is obvious (I think) that he will be a good hitter - perhaps consistently a .280-.290 guy. But - honestly, he is a D liability in the OF, his arm is what you guys call a "minus" arm, and he's slow.

so of the "five tools", what does he have after all is said and done, in your estimable opinions?

There is a premium on hitting and also on guys who can hit that are locked in to cheap deals, right?

According to Dr. Phil in AZ, it would appear that we have at least one or two folks coming up that would have at least as many tools as Murton currently demonstrates.

The thing is DO YOU TRUST OUR GM to make a solid trade that makes the team better? THIS is what bothers me - that he'll fuck it up!

So Marmol to close and Dempster to rotation??? HA HA

Only the Cubs!!!

Fire Hendry!!!!

MANNY: I would totally agree - so how does one heal a "hammy"?
Not having had one before, is it just rest?

honestly, he is a D liability in the OF, his arm is what you guys call a “minus” arm, and he’s slow.

Since when if Murton slow?

And I would agree that he has a "minus" arm, but his range is actually pretty decent for a left fielder.

Unfortunately he is no longer a left fielder...

I did hear about a possible Murton for Joe Blanton deal a few weeks back. Do the A's still have injury problems in the OF?

Not having had one before, is it just rest?

Yes, essentially it is just rest... although bad tears can demand surgery, but I believe Soriano's was not a tear, at least not a bad one.

E-Man-
Better question for Cubster, but I would think only rest. But seeing him half ass it out there and still not producing with the bat, needs to stop. It is one thing when ARam is half assing it running to 1B or running out FB's, he was still producing with the bat. But Soriano does not look good. So much for teh 40/40 man we ponies all those millions for, huh?

Dave: O.K. - I guess not "slow". Probably faster than me.

Faster than the catchers and the majority of the pitchers on the team. Faster than Soriano with an injured "hammy". Faster than Daryl Ward or Uncle Cliffy for sure. But that's about it.

So, will average suffice. I have seen him live a half-dozen times, and if Pie is a 10, Pagan and Theriot 9's, Murton is no better than a 5, imo.

MANNY: CUBSTER is trying to get in touch with BOTH the Ruschel brothers right now to see if either of them will come out of retirement to hel us this year. I don't know if he'll have time to answer the "hammy" question.

Didn't both A-Ram and Nomar have leg injuries in subsequent years for us?

Could Giambi Lose His Spot On The Yankees?

http://www.realgmbaseball.com/src_wiretap_arc...

I will send a sternly worded letter to Jim Hendry, Carrie Muskat, Lou Piniella and perhaps others if Murton is traded for mere bullpen help. And don't think I won't really do it.

Murton is a career .298/.364/.449 hitter with some upside. I just don't get why Murton is treated by the organization as a stepchild. Maybe he should dye his hair?

To me, roughly speaking, Dempster = Guzman = Marshall for the 5th slot. All would be OK/serviceable this year, but probably struggle to find .500. The thing is, if you select Dempster, you have also eliminated your closer. With the other two, the downside is slight or nonexistent. So, unless Lou knows something we don't, how could he even consider Dempster for that slot?

The closer slot is arguably more important and certainly more difficult to replace than the 5th starter slot. So if Dempster is moved over, the team will have a more glaring need after the switch than before, yes?

By the way, with that black hoodie on, how much did Hawk Harrelson look like Darth Vader's boss (the Emperor?)?

How is Marmol qualified to close games? Todd Jones said when he comes in to close a game, and I'm paraphrasing, his strategy is to get them out before they realize he's bad.

Funny, but it goes to show you closing games is 5% stuff and 95% grit. I'm not saying Marmol can't do it, it just seems like a "grasping at straws" move.

"Todd Jones said when he comes in to close a game, and I’m paraphrasing, his strategy is to get them out before they realize he’s bad."

RYNOX: Did he really say something like this?! How self-depricating! How funny is that?! HA! HA!

Rynox-
That might end up being the 2007 Cubs slogan:

2007 Cubs "Grasping at Straws"

I have a feeling that Hendry is going to trade for someone to close, You just dont hand the ball to the likes of Guzman and Marmol to close games in a pennant race with no previous expirence. I just dont get why they dont let Wuertz close atleast he did it in AAA.

E-man... yea, Todd Jones really did say that.

And I still have no idea how people think that Murton would just be a 5 in terms of speed. Murton has always had, and still does, above average speed.

Soriano has looked bad rounding bases as well as more difficult routes to balls in the OF. The odd thing is he has stolen some bases. I think it's because he's able to run short sprints but anything other than straight ahead OF routes mean he needs longer strides. That is the problem with a tight hamstring as he feels the soreness when it's being more actively stretched. It takes rest and time to heal but it is also very easy to re-injure. I doubt any timeline of DL rest will guarantee he will be healed enough to be 100%. So the most logical approach is to let him play and hope it improves with more consistent warm weather and ongoing treatment (stretching and strengthening).

If this was a pitcher, he would definitely be on the DL.

I agree with everything 433 says.

If Lou, Hendry and Co. can't figure out that a 25 year old OFer with Murton's line to date is worth more than a veteran middle reliever, then this entire organization is utterly beyond hope of repair.

I just don’t get why Murton is treated by the organization as a stepchild. Maybe he should dye his hair?

Well, he wasn't drafted and signed by the Cubs so he is kind of a stepchild. Like Fontenot, nobody in the Cubs organization has any vested interest in Murt.

Fontenot has red hair too.

Geez - I don't know about "above average". I think you are pushing it there. I was there on Saturday. He hit into a DP and really could have beat the throw from Iguchi.

Also, in NY, most starting OFers make the play on the "HR" by David Wright to RF - he was too slow in getting there, and no hop to the kid.

I have seen him live, as I've said on numerous occasions in LF and RF - he takes incorrect routes to the ball and his "speed" does not put him in position to make up for lost ground.

I'd really think most folks would think Murton has "average" speed.

This just in:

By Kim Tong-hyung
Staff Reporter

In his much-anticipated Korean debut, Kia Tigers cleanup hitter Choi Hee-seop picked up where he left off in the U.S., that is, padding the stat sheets with swings and misses.

The former Major League Baseball slugger went 0-5 in his first game with the Tigers Saturday in a road game against the Doosan Bears, failing to please a sold-out 35,000 crowd at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in southern Seoul.
__________________________________________

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/special/...

I think all the clutch hitting Murt did in '06 earned him a lot of fans. Personally, I don't think he's anything special. He will be, maybe, but this is a year I wouldn't mind seeing him traded if they could pick up a useful part for him.

He hits decent, but he's a left fielder (don't be fooled into thinking he's a right fielder) and you expect more power from left field.

CWTP: Man you certainly do your investigative Cubs bit!

And I remember chanting, "Hee Sop Choi, Hee Sop Cho"

Who did we get for him again? ;)

RYNOX: "I wouldn’t mind seeing him traded if they could pick up a useful part for him."

Well - with HENDRY, this is what concerns me.

A lot of defending is the first step though. Murton might have above average speed and have a slow first step.

I also agree it'd be the height of idiocy to trade him. Bullpen help is so hit or miss, and it's always a crap shoot trying to trade for it. Closer help is even worse. Most of the good closers were starters a team converted from starting.

And jesus, he has a 1.03 WHIP, which is 12th best among closers. Opponents are hitting .186 against him, which is good for 9th among closers.

One bad outing ruined his ERA, but it's just stupid to move him right now, if that truly happens. Make Marmol into the setup man to create a really nice juxtaposition of speeds and you're in pretty good shape.

Speaking of Chicago GM's... looks like Kenny Williams is pissed about his bullpen too.

The lead:

CHICAGO (AP) -- After watching the Chicago White Sox's bullpen blow leads in consecutive games to the Chicago Cubs, general manager Kenny Williams sounded off Sunday, saying the team's overall play has been "embarrassing."

Go figure.

Rynox:
"I think all the clutch hitting Murt did in ‘06 earned him a lot of fans."

Cubs fans in general get too hyped up on their farm hands (Choi, DuBois, Patterson, etc are just a couple small recent examples). Murton is a nice NL player on a team with 3-4 stud offensive players. He has average speed, below average defense, below average power, but hits for good average and has a good eye.

I also agree it’d be the height of idiocy to trade him. Bullpen help is so hit or miss, and it’s always a crap shoot trying to trade for it.
-----
I hear Gary Majewski is available for bullpen "help"

"Murton is a nice NL player on a team with 3-4 stud offensive players. He has average speed, below average defense, below average power, but hits for good average and has a good eye."

MANNY: I'd agree with this assessment. He did not have a good series against the Sox striking out 4 times in 2 games - but usually he has a pretty good eye. A patient hitter which the team needs.

BUT - "A lot of defending is the first step though. Murton might have above average speed and have a slow first step."

I think his 2nd, 3rd, and 4th steps are not super speedy either.

I have noticed that in the earlier part of the year he was catching the ball with one hand only. Since his sparkling OF play has been exposed more, I see he is now catching the ball w/two hands whenever possible.

Catching the ball one handed is a problem I have with so many players, and have for a long time.

I also still don't get how anyone who sat through the years where we led the league in HRs and were at the bottom in runs scored would want to trade away a player who can get on base at a consistent basis. Floyd is very short term player who will not be around probably past this year.

Also, Murton's has a RF ranger factor of 1.71 compared to Floyd's 1.10. Both below average, but Floyd's is way below average.

I really do not like this Dempster to the rotation thing. I think it's a very bad idea.

No me gusta. No me gusta mucho.

Well - with HENDRY, this is what concerns me.

I'm sorry, but are you talking about the Jim Hendry that is the GM of the Cubs? The guy who has made several great trades?

Making quality trades has never been a problem for Hendry.

A new Sullivan article was posted on the Trib website -- it looks like Dempster will remain closer after all, and that's final! For now. It's worth a read.

And evidently it was Guzman, not Marmol, who was going to replace Demp as closer.
________________

The Cubs are asking him to mentor Angel Guzman, who left the rotation and is the front-runner to replace Dempster.

Asked about the miscommunication, Dempster replied, "Just looking at our situation of not having somebody who's really had any experience closing … and also, when you ask a young guy to go down there, especially a young guy like Guzman to close, [you have] to see how his arm responds. It might be a week. It might be the rest of the year. Who knows?"

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

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

Murton is a nice NL player on a team with 3-4 stud offensive players.

You mean, a team like the Cubs? Lets see: Lee, A-Ram, and Soriano is as good as any other top three in the game.

Dempster officially back to the pen.

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

btw... Matt Murton, in 2005 in AA, was 18 for 23 in stolen bases.

You don't steal 18 out of 23 with just average speed, and you definitely don't steal 18 of 23 if you are slow.

From SoxProspects.com, a Red Sox prospects site:

Big, powerful outfielder with a crouched stance and good bat speed. Good speed and OBP. Lives and breathes baseball. Great leadership skills. Raw power.

There are plenty more sites that talk about Murtons good speed. Just search google for "matt murton speed".

You don’t steal 18 out of 23 with just average speed, and you definitely don’t steal 18 of 23 if you are slow.
---------

Kinda like Carlos Lee? He was 19-21 in stolen bases last season. Man that guy can sure fly.

Johan:
"Also, Murton’s has a RF ranger factor of 1.71 compared to Floyd’s 1.10. Both below average, but Floyd’s is way below average."

Good Point. The NYM game I was at (Wednesday rain delay), showed me how slow Floyd is in RF. There were 2-3 plays that most RF's should of gotten too that he couldn't. i know it was a little wet, but still. Overall the OF defense is weak, but Floyd makes it even weaker than when Murton.

Found this freshly posted article about FELIX PIE on The Oklahoman news site. It reads like it could have een written by the Cubs Front Office.

"I need to take more pitches,” the Chicago Cubs' top prospect said in his thick Dominican accent. "I need to learn a little more about my strike zone. If I pick all that up, I'll stay over there for a long time.”

"There's no pressure on me,” Pie said, "because every day I work on something different. People see that I'm working hard, so there's no pressure. Every day I show people something different so that some day I'll show why I'm the No. 1 prospect

The Oklahoma connection is through Koyie Hill, I-Cubs catcher who hails from Lawton, OK.

http://newsok.com/article/3056257

dave:
"You don’t steal 18 out of 23 with just average speed, and you definitely don’t steal 18 of 23 if you are slow."

Carlos Lee stole 19 of 21 bases last year. Does he have above average speed???

"Big, powerful outfielder...Raw power."

You should maybe pick a different scouting report when it says silly things like this in it.

Manny... it is not silly - most scouts think that Murton does have raw power.

dave:
"You mean, a team like the Cubs?"

Yep, I think Murton is a nice little player on the Cubs. Nothing special in my book, but a nice part and cheap. But he would not be untradeable if he could be a part of a trade that would get us a better piece to the puzzle.

Carlos Lee stole 19 of 21 bases last year. Does he have above average speed???

That is fair... but I still say that Murton is far from slow, and has above average speed. And I would say that most scouts and baseball people would agree with me.

The only other person who I have heard say Murton is slow is Chad.

dave:
"Manny… it is not silly - most scouts think that Murton does have raw power."

He might have BP power, most players do, but I don't know where any of the scouts saw his raw power at. He has NEVER hit more than 16 HR's in a season. And that includes his senior year of college ball with aluminum bats.

dave:
"The only other person who I have heard say Murton is slow is Chad."

The only other? So who are the two: Chad and ????

DaVE: "btw… Matt Murton, in 2005 in AA, was 18 for 23 in stolen bases."

Gee Dave - that is truly prolific! How about wher it counts, in the Majors - let's see - in three years 10 SB attempts.

Yep. 10 in three years. Well, 2 and a quarter. But, wait a minute, he was caught 3 times. Hmmm. Speedy guy that Murton!! They let him steal plenty! Must have "above average" speed, as you say.

Or "GOOD SPEED" like the scouting report said.

Well which is it? Or, how about what he is REALLY showing in the MLB games he is PLAYING - not AA or AAA, which is pretty AVERAGE from what we see in the outfield and on the basepaths.

"And I would say that most scouts and baseball people would agree with me."

Who are these "most scouts and baseball people" DAVE?

I mean people who have comments on the record during the last 24 months?

I don't specificaly remember calling Matt Murton 'slow'. He is not fast. He'll never be a stolen bast threat. It's not easy to get him home from first or second. While he may not be 'slow', there is nothing in his speed that is a true asset to his game or a reason why he could contribute to a major league team. The only skill this kid has is a good eye and patience at the plate. He'll never slug very well or be that big of a threat at the plate. You guys fall in love with the Matt Murton's of the world and act they they are the best thing since sliced bread. Excuse me while I wait to throw my support behind real talent like Felix Pie, who may very well turn into a superstar.

Sigh, i think my comment got sent to purgatory. Too bad too, I know you were all dying to read it.

That is a very strange story about Dempster.

Lesson # __ for Lou: Don't tell the local media you have a big surprise a full weekend before you are prepared to spill the beans.

Klesko stole 23 bases twice. Bagwell swiped 30 bases twice as well. Both were plus baserunners but weren't exactly fast. D.Lee isn't fast but he's smart enough to swipe 20 bags a year if he wants to.

Umm - wait a minute on DLEE.

You know he was offered a free ride at North Carolina to play hoops, right? And, if he "is not fast" as you say, and according to DAVE's "most scouts and baseball people" say that Matt Murton has "above average" speed, who do you think would have a better 40 time between the 2?

Again, IF Pie is a "10" speed, Thierot and Pagan an 8/9, are you sayin' DLEE is a 5 like Murton is? Average?

After watching how much money they've wasted on Alfonso Soriano's 9 RBI and 3 SBs, I think the Cubs are ready to think twice about wasting more millions on the unreliable Carlos Zambrano. An ace doesn't pitch like this, and he sure doesn't rate a $15MM/yr paycheck.

Trade him for A-Rod if you can, otherwise let him pitch out the season and walk.

and that was 1993 Eman. I think he may have lost a step since then. Besides, I didn't realize you had to be fast to play bkb. Pretty sure Shaq and Bill Laimbeer never qualified for the 40 Yard Dash Olympic trials.

"After watching how much money they’ve wasted on Alfonso Soriano’s 9 RBI and 3 SBs,"

Good thing we didn't sign Carlos Beltran, you would have run him out of town in his first year. Take a look at Beltran's first year with thet Mets, then look at his second. Give the guy some time to adjust before you claim that we have "wasted money".

Lee isn't fast either?

Wow...

and by the way... I am not saying that Murton and Lee are among the fastest people in baseball.

But I am saying that both have above average speed.

Wow...Dempster as a starter.
That would have been effing hilarious....no, it would have been sad.

As a starter:
162 games, 51-58, 4.99 ERA, 988IP, 1031 Hits, 809K/517BB

As a reliever:
177 games, 7-12, 68 Saves, 3.93 ERA, 166Hits, 164K/92 BB.

a 4.99 ERA as a starter....that is truly horrific. Lou should take a sobriety test just for thinking that.

The thing with Murton and Lee is that they steal bases by running intelligently. They are smart ballplayers and that usually bodes well for future success. What does it say about someone like Felix Pie that he runs at a "10" yet can only steal bases at a 50% clip? If the cubs trade Murton for crapshoot relief help it will be just another example of the organization choosing "toolsy" projects and "proven vets" far past their prime over a coherent plan. Business as usual on the north side.

Look, the deal with Murton is that he has average speed, a 'minus' arm, and takes extremely bad routes to the ball. Because he can hit reasonably well, many teams will keep an OF like Murton to play LF or be a 4th OF if they are heavy with LH OFs. WHERE, please tell me WHERE Murton is good enough to start 5-6 times a week on this team?

Do you trade him for bullpen help? Do you trust Hendry to make a good deal? Those are two different questions with two different implications. But you have to look at the Cubs roster in terms of surplus players by position, 2007 salary, contract status, etc. Then it should be pretty obvious Murton is more attractive trade bait than Jacque of Floyd.

It's not personal, it's just business.

George, What you say is the crux of my argument against trading Murton. Murton is a superior player to Jack Jones and Cliff Floyd in my opinion right now. Just because Murton has more value does not mean you need to trade him. In Murton the cubs have a player who can cheaply fill a corner ouffield spot with plus production. He can provide this cheaply under club control for 4 more seasons after 2007. This would enable a well run team to spend money elsewhere. Instead what will happen is this. The cubs will trade Murton in an incredibly shortsighted deal for a Ron Villone or a Julian Tavarez. Then try and make due with a fading Cliff Floyd and Jack Jones. Then in the offseason we will resign a further fading Floyd or throw unnececessary money at a guy like Randy Winn or some other dreak because we dont have murton anymore. Then when a Raffy Furcal type game changing Free Agent comes available. Convieniently we wont have the money because we are Paying Cliff Floyd or Randy Winn 8 million dollars to give = or Lesser production than Murton could have for 400K. The cubs never have any sembence of a year to year plan. They just throw money at guys who youve heard of and hope for the best.

George, What you say is the crux of my argument against trading Murton. Murton is a superior player to Jack Jones and Cliff Floyd in my opinion right now. Just because Murton has more value does not mean you need to trade him. In Murton the cubs have a player who can cheaply fill a corner ouffield spot with plus production. He can provide this cheaply under club control for 4 more seasons after 2007. This would enable a well run team to spend money elsewhere. Instead what will happen is this. The cubs will trade Murton in an incredibly shortsighted deal for a Ron Villone or a Julian Tavarez. Then try and make due with a fading Cliff Floyd and Jack Jones. Then in the offseason we will resign a further fading Floyd or throw unnececessary money at a guy like Randy Winn or some other dreak because we dont have murton anymore. Then when a Raffy Furcal type game changing Free Agent comes available. Convieniently we wont have the money because we are Paying Cliff Floyd or Randy Winn 8 million dollars to give = or Lesser production than Murton could have for 400K. The cubs never have any sembence of a year to year plan. They just throw money at guys who youve heard of and hope for the best.

Aaron,

I understand completely.....I have no more confidence in Hendry's 'plan' (as if there ever was one) than you do. If the Cubs would commit to this OF in 2008: LF - Murton, CF - Pie, and RF - Soriano, then I would be fine with keeping Murton.

I think the problem is trade value. I fear Jones has little, Floyd has none, and Murton has more than both combined. Since the Cubs are so RH hitting-oriented, they seem more likely to trade Murton.

I'm not saying I'm crazy about the prospect of it, but it will probably be the way they go. We can only hope we get a guy who can provide setup like Les Lancaster in 1989, Dick Tidrow in the early 80's, or Howry of 2006.

What’s frustrating to Murton’s defenders is the failure of the Cubs organization—and of more than a few TCR readers—to recognize that getting on base is the single most important skill a player can have. I would credit the Cubs for figuring it out with Ryan Theriot, but he’s only been playing because he seized playing time when Izturis, Cedeno and DeRosa have faltered.

I don’t think anyone is arguing that Murton is Mickey Mantle. The point is that he had a .309/.380/.451 line in the minors and has hit well in the majors when not being jerked around in favor of Proven Veterans. If started, he will get on base. He’ll be a nice complement to Lee and Ramirez, even if he won’t carry the offense. Furthermore, he comes cheap at this point in his career.

Baserunning? Murton is NOT a minus on the basepaths. Aramis Ramirez is a below average runner (and I don’t care because his overall strengths far outweigh his weaknesses). Jacque Jones is faster than average but is a below average baserunner because he’s so stupid (and I do care in his case because he also can’t hit lefties, draws less than his share of walks, and throws poorly). Spare me the endless debate of where Murton ranks on a scale of one to 10.

The Cubs should be playing Murton and Soriano every day and platooning Jacque Jones with Angel pagan. Yes, this leaves the team without a true defensive centerfielder, but it’s their best chance to putting a winning team on the field with the players they have.

Larry B, Exacly! Very intelligent post that hits the nail on the head. The cubs front office only knows 2 ways to evaluate hitters. HR's and Stolen Bases. Whoever is going to add the most in those 2 categories gets to play.

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