If Not Jacque Jones…

The Cubs continue to go with an 11-man pitching staff (six-man bullpen), but with a stretch of ten consecutive games looming starting tomorrow, and with hot and humid weather now a factor affecting the stamina of Cubs starting pitchers (Zambrano said he was sapped by the second inning yesterday), it seems very unlikely that Lou Piniella will want to go with a "short" (six-man) bullpen through the weekend. Trading Jacque Jones was supposed to be the method used to open up a spot on the 25-man roster for the 12th pitcher, but now it appears JJ might not be going anywhere anytime soon. So if Uncle Lou does indeed believe he needs a seven-man bullpen (and 12-man pitching staff), what move will the Cubs make to clear a spot for the 12th pitcher? Well, Daryle Ward could get released. He is only making $1M (with about $500K left), and Jones could perform the same role as Ward (#1 LHPH). Except Ward will probably be needed to platoon with Mark DeRosa at 1B when D-Lee serves his suspension or if D-Lee were to get hurt later in the season, and DW is also a legitimate, proven, high-quality MLB LHPH, which Jacque Jones is not. Of the 14 position players presently on the Cubs 25-man roster, only four have minor league options available. It is far more likely that if a position-player on the 25 gets cut, that it will be one of these four: 1. MIKE FONTENOT: He isn't going anywhere. 2. ANGEL PAGAN : A switch-hitter who can play all three OF positions, Pagan (hitting right-handed) has been used a lot recently as both a platoon CF and RF, as well as an occasional PR and defensive replacement in RF for Cliff Floyd when he doesn't get a start. 3. FELIX PIE: A potential Gold Glove CF, Pie has struggled at the plate the last couple of weeks, and has been used mostly as a late-inning defensive replacement in CF and pinch-runner. 4. RYAN THERIOT: Capable of playing 2B-SS-3B, Theriot is the Cubs #1 utility infielder and RHPH. I believe the key here is Jacque Jones. He obviously had some value to the Florida Marlins. (If acquired, he supposedly was going to be their everyday CF!). The Padres apparently considered him as a possible everyday LF. And the Twins wanted him as a 4th OF/DH. So if he remains indefintely on the Cubs 25-man roster, what legitimate (non-sarcastic) role could he play in the immediate future? I would say if Jacque Jones remains with the Cubs and is given some role to play, that it will be in a CF platoon with Angel Pagan, not #1 LHPH. Which means when a 12th pitcher is added (probably by sometime this weekend), unless a Jacque Jones deal can be rekindled, or unless the Cubs are wiling to eat $6.6M of JJ's remaining $7.2M in salary owed to hom through 2008 by releasing him, that Felix Pie will probably be the Odd Man Out, and will get optioned to Iowa where he can play CF every day, work with Iowa hitting coach Von Joshua on his approach and stroke, and wait (probably impatiently) for the Cubs to move Jacque Jones.
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WELL, IF I WERE RUNNING THINGS. AT THIS POINT I SAY THE MOVE IS TO SEND FELIX DOWN. PAGAN IS TAKING MOST OF THE PT IN CENTER RIGHT NOW. AND JACK JONES IS STILL AROUND TO BE THE 4TH OUTFIELDER.

1. MIKE FONTENOT: He isn’t going anywhere.

Why? According to you he sucks.

KHill has options. Jacque can be the backup catcher until he gets hurt and needs to go on the DL.

I'm about 60 percent joking.

As an unrelated aside, are there any African American catchers anymore? The last one I can think of is Charles Johnson. I must be overlooking someone.

3. FELIX PIE: A potential Gold Glove CF, Pie has struggled at the plate the last couple of weeks, and has been used mostly as a late-inning defensive replacement and pinch-runner.

I don't think they hand out gold gloves to .200 hitters.
Pie is the quintessential late inning defensive replacement player. He had great value when the Cubs outfield included the rag arms of JJ and Murt.

Less so now.

Probably better for Pie to go down again, even if the club has to burn another option on him (is that correct?) - the kid needs to play every day, no matter what league he's in. I don't care if he hits over .400 in AAA, at least he'll have the opportunity to keep learning.

ZHL — June 28, 2007 @ 10:04 am
KHill has options. Jacque can be the backup catcher until he gets hurt and needs to go on the DL.

I’m about 60 percent joking.

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ZHL: I know you were joking, but FWIW Koyie Hill is out of minor league options. So is Rob Bowen, BTW.

Options go in years. Pie can shuttle back and forth all season and will use just 1 "option"

Dmac — June 28, 2007 @ 10:06 am
Probably better for Pie to go down again, even if the club has to burn another option on him (is that correct?) - the kid needs to play every day, no matter what league he’s in. I don’t care if he hits over .400 in AAA, at least he’ll have the opportunity to keep learning.

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DMAC: Felix Pie's option for this season has already been burned, so sending him to AAA won't affect that.

Hill's out? My bad. That's surprising though.

FWIW, I just heard McDonough on the Score. He says the decision not to trade Jones to the Marlins "was made at Clark and Addison." He also said negotiations with Z's agent are "ongoing."

I would hate to see Felix get sent back to Iowa, but it looks like Uncle Lou's hands are tied with Jacque still on the roster. While it would be nice to see Pie's swing compacted and have him get away from the uppercut sweep, I don't know if he has the time or the motivation to change it during another minor league stop. That tippie-toe left front foot stance is aggravating too.

One other potential negative factor is the impact on Soriano. He and Pie seem to be best buds. Will Alf go in a swoon with Pie gone? Yeah, he's a "major leaguer" and all that, but when Alf is hitting well it sets the table for the rest of the team.

For AZ Phil: Can Petrick develop another reliable pitch to go with his heater while he is in Chicago? A one-pitch wonder will not last long in the bullpen.

FWIW, I just heard McDonough on the Score. He says the decision not to trade Jones to the Marlins “was made at Clark and Addison.”

As I posted yesterday, Hendry says he himself nixed the deal...

nobody seems to believe him.

"I don’t think they hand out gold gloves to .200 hitters."

Golden gloves are based on the feilding, not hitting. He just needs to play everyday, and he would quailfy.

Guys that won the Golden Glove: Mike Matheny, Cesar Izturis, Bob Boone, Graig Nettles, etc.

Not exactly triple crown winners.

As far as him being a late inning replacement, I think the entire Cubs organization and most of the fan base would totally disagree with you. He is a rookie and needs time to adjust.

In the perfect world, they would move Jones for bullpen help, start Pie everyday in CF, and use Angel Pagan as a back-up at 3 OF spots.

I just don't see how Pie is going to benefit from "playing every day" in AAA. His problem is he can't hit LHP's. e.g. this year at Iowa he batted .468 vs RHP and .156 vs LHP. With Chicago, same type of thing --- .257 vs RHP .129 vs LHP

He doesn't need to play CF every day. He needs to face LHP every day.....and even if that were possible there's no guarantee he will ever figure out how to hit lefties.

Hi,
I am planning to go for my first Iowa Cubs games tonight to Des Moines. What are the best seats for the game -

Here are the options I found online:

Ticket Type:
=========
1. General Admission
2. Reserved Grand Stand
3. Club Box
4. Field Box

Ticket Location:
============
1. Best Seats
2. Level 1 - Section C
3. Level 1 - Section W

What would be the best combo from the above.

Thanks...

Along the Clark and Addison/Zell lines. I wonder if a mandate could be comming to reduce Cliff Floyd's at-bats. He has a 10 million dollar option that vests with 450-500 at bats. If we can't commit to Z or a Jack Jones trade because of future money. How on earth can we commit 10 million dollars to a 35 year old DH with one leg?

Felix Pie is a rookie that just needs time to adjust. Ronny Cedeno is garbage and doesnt need time to adjust. End'O Subject

cubswinthepennant — June 28, 2007 @ 10:01 am
1. MIKE FONTENOT: He isn’t going anywhere.

Why? According to you he sucks.

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CWtP: When did I say Mike Fontenot sucks? Here's what I've written about Fontenot recently. Most of what I wrote was trying to explain the fact (and it is fact) that the Cubs and the other 29 MLB clubs have not valued Mike Fontenot over the past couple of years.

My own personal opinion of Mike Fontenot is highlighted in bold....

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June 14th, 2007 at 11:07 am
Arizona Phil says:
Again, that does NOT mean Fontenot was or is garbage, just that he had little value to ANY of the 30 MLB clubs over the past couple or three years. Not just the Cubs.The Cubs could have easily given Fontenot an NRI to ST in 2005 or 2006, but they chose not to do that. The Cubs also could have brought Fontenot up to the big leagues (as they did with Theriot) last August-September after all was lost and given him a chance to play 2B everyday (or at least in a platoon with The Riot), but they didn’t do that either.

cubswinthepennant — June 14, 2007 @ 10:43 am
re:#86

I’m puzzled why you keep repeating this “point” about Fontenot when the Cubs admitted recently (and I posted it) that they had been doing their best to hide him from the rest of major league baseball (basically by intimating that he was weak on defense). Fontenot was the one person in their entire system they were worried about losing because he was unprotected.

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CWtP: The Cubs have been hiding Mike Fontenot from the rest of MLB for three years?

Fortunately the other 29 teams don’t have AAA managers and coaches who get a chance to watch Fontenot play against them, or scouts who evaluate players in other organizatons (or if they do, at least the ones who are doing the evaluating are easily fooled by what they see). Because otherwise the Cubs might have lost Fontenot off waivers when he was outrighted in November 2005, or in the 2005 or 2006 Rule 5 Drafts, when even Jason Freakin’ Smith got selected.

I could understand it if you’re saying Fontenot was undervalued because he is a good hitter who plays one position (2B), precluding him from being an MLB utility infielder. But that does NOT mean that he couldn’t be a quality MLB PH (like Bobby Hill was for PIT a couple of years ago) or (in the right situation) maybe even an everyday 2B. Personally, I would take Fontenot over Adam Kennedy (for example), but Kennedy has more MLB experience, and apparently that matters to the Cards.

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Arizona Phil says:

June 14th, 2007 at 2:21 pm

cubswinthepennant — June 14, 2007 @ 11:37 am
re:122

I didn’t say it. THE CUBS and HENDRY said it.
They said it last year and they said it again recently. You can look it up.

They were worried about losing him.

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CWtP: Actions speak louder than words.

Look, if the Cubs were SO afraid of losing Mike Fontenot, why did they place him on outright waivers (which are irrevocable) in November in 2005, and then why didn’t they put him back on the 40-man roster sometime in the year-plus before last December’s Rule 5 Draft?

And if they thought so highly of him, why didn’t he get at least an NRI to ST in 2006 or 2007?

Look, I like Mike Fontenot, too, but the idea that the Cubs were afraid of losing him and were trying to “hide” him from the rest of Major League Baseball for three years by falsely claiming he has defensive shortcomings is absolutely mind-numbingly absurd.

It’s pretty clear that the Cubs did not place a high value on Mike Fontenot’s future as a major league player, and neither did the other 29 teams. Maybe he has the potential to be a Todd Walker-type second-baseman (good bat but with defensive limitations), but if he does, he needs a chance to prove it, and with Mark DeRosa, Ryan Theriot, and Eric Patterson in the organization, he probably will never get that chance with the Cubs.

Personally, I like Fontenot, and I hope he does in fact get a chance to prove himself, but to claim that the Cubs have been secretly in love with this guy for the last three years but have been pretending he is a below-average defensively in order to fool the other 29 MLB clubs is preposterous. The Cubs were as suprised as anybody when he went on his May hitting binge at Iowa.

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Arizona Phil says:

June 15th, 2007 at 8:22 am

Horatio — June 14, 2007 @ 5:45 pm
880 OPS in 126 games at AA
roughly an 800 OPS in 258 games at AAA

Yep. Total shocker that he started hitting.

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HORATIO: You’re an intelligent person.

So how could you possibly believe that Fontenot was of any value to the Cubs or any of the other 29 clubs prior to his May hitting binge (1.090 OPS by a player with a career AAA OPS in the .800’s), or that the Cubs weren’t surprised when it happened?

Because if you are saying you believe the Cubs and the other 29 clubs weren’t surprised, then that flies in the face of the facts…

The Cubs outrighted Fontenot to the minors in November 2005 (taking a chance that he would be claimed off waivers).

None of the other 29 MLB clubs claimed Fontenot off waivers for $20K when they had the chance in 11/05.

No MLB club selected Fontenot in the ‘05 Rule 5 Draft.

The Cubs did not give Fontenot an NRI to ST in 2006 (but they DID give NRIs to the likes of Adam Greenberg, Buck Coats, Casey McGehee and Jake Fox).

The Cubs did not bring Fontenot up in August-September 2006 after the season was lost (although they DID bring up Theriot, Coats, and Jose Reyes).

The Cubs did not add Fontenot to the 40-man roster after the 2006 season, taking a chance that he might get selected in the Rule 5 Draft.

None of the other 29 clubs selected Fontenot in the 2006 Rule 5 Draft (although Jason Smith WAS selected).

The Cubs didn’t give Fontenot an NRI to 2007 ST (even though they did give an NRI to Hoffpauir, McGehee, even Chris Walker).

So I just can’t see how you could possibly believe that Fontenot was of any value to the Cubs or any of the other 29 clubs prior to his May binge.

BTW, the ONLY reason Fontenot was recalled by the Cubs this month was because Ramirez was hurt and Cliff Floyd went on the Bereavement List. Otherwise, Fontenot would still be at Iowa right now.

The Cubs have 2 players -- Jones and Eyre -- who are basically wasting roster space. Meanwhile, the Cubs are about to embark on a 10-game stretch where they despeately need to build on their recent success.

I don't really see a big difference between DFA-ing them or trading them and agreeing to pick up most of their salary, as the Cubs were willing to do with JJ and the Marlins. Yes, you don't get a long-shot prospect in return, but so what?

So -- DFA JJ and Eyre, bring up 2 low-cost kids, and your total payroll doesn't change that much (at least for this year).

Hendry would lose face in the short-term, but would have a better chance of making the playoffs this year, which is what he needs to keep his job.

Unfortunately, I think the Cubs will send Felix Pie back down to Iowa. The only other viable choice, given that Jacque Jones isnt' going anywhere, is to ship Ryan Theriot. Angel Pagan brings too much versatility to the table given the other mix of guys, so I don't think he will be the victim.

Except Ward will probably be needed to platoon with Mark DeRosa at 1B when D-Lee serves his suspension or if D-Lee were to get hurt later in the season

Why? DeRosa has shown that he can hit both lhp and rhp this year.

I'm sure this is old news by now, but from Wittenmyer this morning:

Outfielder Jacque Jones' last at-bat as a Cub might have come in the sixth inning Wednesday, when he pinch-hit and grounded to first.

Jones -- who was put in an awkward spot Tuesday when he learned he was about to be traded, only to find out the deal fell through -- could be gone by the time the Cubs open a three-game series Friday against Milwaukee. They are expected to get back to a 12-man pitching staff for the opener.

Manager Lou Piniella said he won't hesitate to use Jones as long as he's with the team.

Jones, who appeared headed to Florida until the Cubs balked at paying almost all of his remaining salary through next year, hasn't started in more than a week. He's hitting .233 with two homers.

He'll be on the bench until the Cub's determine he can't be traded. Reason being you don't want to injure a guy you're trying to trade.

And from the Minneapolis-St. Paul paper:

The Twins were interested in dealing for Chicago Cubs outfielder and former Twin Jacque Jones before Jones' trade to the Marlins fell through. But indications are that the Twins and Cubs won't be able to rekindle talks because of finances. According to sources, the Twins looked into the deal before the Cubs agreed to send Jones to Florida for a minor leaguer. The Cubs reportedly were willing to eat $6.6 million of the $7.2 million remaining on Jones' contract through 2008. Now there are indications the Cubs have decided they can't afford to eat that much salary, causing the deal to fall apart.

http://www.startribune.com/twins/story/127294...

Daryl Ward will get the majority of at bats when Derrek Lee is out. Sweet Lou has intimated as such. I think it's a good idea. You want Ward to be sharp for the remainder of the season. Getting him a steady diet of at bats right now will help the cause. And he adds a desperately needed left handed bat to the mix.

Derrek Lee should spend his time in the penalty box figuring out where his power stroke to the alleys disappeared. He is not driving the ball this year. He needs to step up in the run production department.

Right on DeRosa

DAVE:

This is my DeRosa post from last November from the archive thread you posted previously:

E-Man:

"c’mon guys!

you don’t think DeRoda is going to be the starting 2b this year for the season, do you?

He will be the “super sub” that the team can surely use.

Lou’s history is “produce or find the pines”.

Really.

I believe that this money will be “the going rate” for similarly skilled and tenured players."

Bottom line on Jacque Jones. Unless Jim Hendry is granted permission to include at least $4 million in a deal, for all intents and purpose Jones is unmoveable. And it is a fallacy to think that the market for his services will heat up as July 31st approaches. There will be plenty of other similar and much cheaper options available to teams.

To say the Cubs are screwed is an understatement.

Just like CWTP on the right Fontenot call, so far, I'm takin' the props for the DeRosa thumbs up.

Mark DeRosa is a good ballplayer. He rapidly is becoming one of my favorite Cubs. He is a professional in every dimension of the word.

Billy Bucks this sentence of yours makes too much sense:

"I don’t really see a big difference between DFA-ing them or trading them and agreeing to pick up most of their salary"

That is a great point.

He is not driving the ball this year.

Yes he is... not sure what Cubs games you are watching, but he has been driving the ball and hitting it very hard.

He has just been hitting more line drives than fly balls. But we have already gone over this...

Chad/BillyBucks:

At least in the case of the rumored Marlins deal, the difference was getting back a 23 year old pitcher with a 75K/5BB ratio over 100 innings versus getting absolutely nothing. That's not an insignificant difference.

No Dave, he isn't. Derrek Lee of old drilled the ball to left-center and right-center. And on regular ocassion he'd get elevation and drive the ball over the fence in left-center and right-center. He isn't doing that this year on a consistent basis. And he has been very "un-clutch." I can't help but believe it has something to do with the wrist. It reinforces my long-term argument that Aramis Ramirez is absolutely the most important player in this lineup.

"He needs to step up in the run production department."

Slugging over .500 and hitting over .400 with RISP even I can say it's probably a matter or opportunity.

What the Cubs get back for Jacque Jones is 95% function of how much dollars Jim Hendry is permitted to include in the deal. And like I said before, if he isn't able to include at least $4 million in a swap, then the Cubs are saddled with Jones for the duration.

He has just been hitting more line drives than fly balls. But we have already gone over this…

Per stats at Hardball Times:

Lee is hitting about the same number of line drives as he did in '05 and '06 (actually fewer LDs this year than in '05). The big difference is how many fewer of his flyballs are leaving the yard--just 7% this year compared to 14% last year and nearly 22% in 2005.

He's a different hitter than he used to be. Still a great hitter, but different.

And he has been very “un-clutch.”

oops... lets try that again...

And he has been very “un-clutch.”

WTF?!?!

Define "un-clutch."

Lee's "clutch" numbers:
RISP: .385/.449/.577 OPS: 1032

So lets see - that would mean that having OPS of 1032 with RISP isn't clutch. Then what the hell is clutch?

Do you just enjoy making things up that do completely go against all semblance of fact?

To move a guy who is overpaid (Jones), you must include in the deal someone who is underpaid. I wonder if other GMs see a guy like Fontenot as a "flash-in-the-pan". Even further, I wonder if Fontenot is a "flash-in-the-pan".

Young pitching is another deal sweetener and the value on Marshall is at a high point. Unfortunately he also adds a lot of value to the Cub's.

Define “un-clutch.”
-----------
...it's self explanatory where I come from.

Dammit, Dave, will you stop putting facts in your arguments. Don't you know by know who you're dealing with?

I, of course, agree with you FWIW.

Vorare, c'mon. Sure that kid could be the next Dontrelle Willis but if he was valued that highly, they would never give him up in a move like this.

What are the chances of sending JJ down to Iowa to work on his swing and base running? I know that there is a number of issues involved with this, but it would seem to solve the roster problem.

I know it wouldn't happen, but what would it take?

I think Jones would have to ok that, and no way Jones would accept a demotion.

I know it wouldn’t happen, but what would it take?

One, JJ would have to clear waivers.

Two, JJ would have to agree to being sent down, which is EXTREMELY unlikely.

If Jim Hendry is not permitted to include $4 million plus in a deal involving Jacque Jones, then as pointed out one other option is to sweeten the pot with something beyond a green propsect. Perhaps throw in either Ryan Theriot, Mike Fontenot or Matt Murton in addition to $1 or $ 2 million ?!? I sorta doubt any team would be excited about any of those three guys, so maybe the Cubs would have to throw in a Sean Gallagher type?!? Teams will be looking for projectable quality, not volume of players.

Or, who else has flotsam on their roster that they are anxious to flush? The Nationals would be anxious to dump Christian Guzman, but I think he just went on the DL. The Phillies would like to dump Pat Burrell.

The Big Hurt hit #500...

Dave, I watch Cub games and I attend plenty others at Wrigley (and in Milwaukee). The Derrek Lee that I have seen play isn't the same player. And his RBI production is down to go along with his HR power being down. There is no dispupting that he is hitting for a high average and is carrying a wondrous OBP. But the POINT is that Derrek Lee is a changed hitter. And the type of hitter he is right now is relatively less valuable to the Cubs then the type of hitter he has been historically.

The Big Hurt hit #500…

The most underrated player of any active player?

Silent... I have finally figured out what the "silent" means.

It means that you are silent when anyone uses facts to prove your opinions wrong.

I still would like to know what "un-clutch" means.

Frank Thomas officially punched his ticket into Cooperstown. Consensus is that he has forever been guilt-free in the whole steroid thing. During the mid-90's he was one of the most awesome hitters I have ever seen. Huge average and gaudy OBP to go along with tons of RBIs and runs scored for a lengthy stretch. Two MVP trophies, and he should of won a third but was narrowly beaten out by Roid-Boy Jason Giambi.

Good for Frank. I've always liked him and I don't understand the question marks next to his HOF status.

Silent Towel:
The Nationals would be anxious to dump Christian Guzman, but I think he just went on the DL.

You might have hit on something. Maybe trade for someone already on the DL, but could maybe help down the stretch. Does MLB rules & the CBA allow that?

I don’t understand the question marks next to [Frank Thomas's] HOF status.

The press hates him. And the press votes on the HOF.

Whatever Dave. I live baseball. And used to play the game in organized fashion throughout my senior year in high school. You and I have a very different perspective on things. I can't really argue with sabermetrician geeks ad stataholics. And it's not because I don't understand numbers. My undergraduate degree was in finance with a double minor in statistics and economics.

I'll stand by my argument that Derrek Lee is a distinctly different hitter. The one I have seen play directly at the ballpark and on my TV screen as opposed to the one who lives on page x of Bill James' latest book.

JJones/KHill for Kendall? Probably a fantasy trade but not totally unreasonable.

some Frank Thomas historical numbers before today's game.

Career: 303/423/562

16th in Career OBP
19th in Career SLG
11th in Career OPS
72nd in Career Runs
66th in Career 2b's
48th in Career Total Bases (sosa 30th)
21st in Career Home Runs
12th in Career BB's
26th in Career RBI's (Sosa 24th)

That sounds reasonable ZHL. I don't think Oakland is overly thrilled with Kendall, so they might listen.

Hmmm. Interesting notion on Jason Kendall. Mike Piazza is due to come of the disabled list, and Billy Beane and Bob Geren have already talked to hiim about playing some catcher once again in order to keep Jack Cust's bat in the lineup at DH. Kendall is having a woeful year, but is a guy I always liked. And there is no question the Cubs can't get away with Rob Bowen and Koye Hill behind the plate for long.

Jacque Jones and Matt Murton for Jason Kendall???

Kendall's a vast wasteland of horridness..

AZ PHIL,

Give it a rest about Fontenot, you were WRONG about him. And you certainly did dump all over the guy. Slow, crappy infielder who is so bad he belongs in the outfield except he's too slow to play the outfield. You couldn't imagine ANY MLB team giving him a shot at 2b. --- That's what you said.

But he didn't draft himself in the first round. The LSU Tigers didn't win the college world series over the inept inert bodies of Fontenot and Theriot (the guy you called an INSECT?!!) . Fontenot didn't knock that home run clean out of the park yesterday because he got lucky. You can't fake 415 foot power! And he's had that power since setting the record for home runs by a freshman at LSU. Fontenot didn't luck into that quick compact stroke of his after he was called up, he had it all along. But apparently you didn't notice. And according to you he's slow?? HUH? and un-athletic?? --that's crap the Orioles put out about him. Crap that Dusty Baker subscribed to. Absolute nonsense.

As for the Cubs saying they were afraid of losing him this year, THAT'S WHAT THEY SAID! And the reason they gave was the internal politics of the Cubs organization. Players like Eric Patterson who was signed and drafted by the Cubs have greater standing in the organization than players coming into it via trade. And the Cubs were stacked high with 2B prospects. They didn't expect him to break out both in fhe field and with the bat because he didn't have a scout in his corner. He came from another organization.

It is a pretty simply question. You said Lee was "un-clutch."

And I would like to know what you mean, because the facts say something very different.

It has nothing to do with Bill James or sabermetrics.

So a simple question - define clutch. I would question whether "clutch" exists, but most people would sat the clutch is the ability to come through when needed, typically with runners in scoring position. Derrek Lee's numbers with RISP are phenomenal.

Derrek Lee is 11th in the NL in OPS with RISP (minimum 50 at-bats).

Interestingly, Cliff Floyd is #1.

Kendall I believe is a FA after this season but gets paid a lot more than JJ. Maybe straight 2-for-1 or at most no 07 money and the Cubs paying 1/2 of JJ's 08 salary - which I guess would be about $2.5 million. Knowing Beane's philosophy I'd think he would prefer Bowen to KHill but I don't think that would be a very smart move on the Cubs' part.

The thing that significantly enhances Frank Thomas' credentials is that he has never even remotely been linked with performance enhancing drugs. It makes his cumulative numbers all the more impressive. The guy might be a surly world-class jerk, but the Hall is populated with lots of those types (e.g., Ty Cobb, Eddie Murphy).

And Rob, yes he's not hitting well. He was a much better player in PIT.

But JJ, of course, isn't exactly Roberto Clemente this year.

Kendall originally signed a 5 year, $50 million contract with the Pirates. So that implies that he is making at least $10 million on this the last year of his deal. Meanwhile Jock Strap is owned a little in excess of $7 million thru next year. The big problem I see is that Jones is the antithesis of the type of ballplayer Beane craves.

JJones/KHill for Kendall? Probably a fantasy trade but not totally unreasonable.

Why would the Cubs be interested in Kendall? He is terrible - his only ability is to draw walks, and the Cubs already have a catcher (Bowen) who can do that.

Kendall 2007 Salary: $13,429,623
Kendall 2007 batting line: .215/.254/.259

And we thought JJ was struggling?

No thanks.

We've had Kendall AND Christian Guzman trade suggestions in this thread. Is it raining blood, by any chance?

Kendall 2008 Salary: $0

That's all I'm saying, really.

yeah I know we're not getting anything for JJ at this point, but why waste a lineup or roster spot to Jason Kendall to complicate matters?

They guy's useless, he's never been good defensively(he's okay) and he hasn't hit in 4 years.

How much of that $13 mill is left? If it's only $6.5 and we don't have to pass any $$ back to the A's then you're coming out about $700,000 ahead. We won't have to pay Jones $5 mill next year, or the $2.2 or so he's still owed this year. And you're throwing Hill in so you free up a roster spot for basically the same production

Kendall 2008 Salary: $0

Sure... but Kendall's 2007 salary is significantly more than what the Cubs owe JJ for 2007 AND 2008.

and don't the A's have a crowded outfield? Isn't that why they're dumping Bradley?

and don’t the A’s have a crowded outfield? Isn’t that why they’re dumping Bradley?

No Rob... the A's are dumping Bradley because he is black.

Really ST? Eddie Murphy is in the Hall of Fame? I hear Richard Pryor had a wicked heater as well.

Yeah I know that. I did say it's a FBB trade. I was actually just answering the question posed by ST: "who else has flotsam on their roster that they are anxious to flush?"

No, but I hear Sinbad will get voted into Cooperstown this year.

Bradley used to be way less black in Cleveland and LA.

AZ Phil--dear cousin--I think it's best not to repeat the boilerplate description of Angel Pagan as "a switch-hitter who can play all three OF positions." The switch hitter part is accurate. I'm not sure he's much of an outfielder. People tend to assume he is because he's fast.

Sunday against the White Sox he turned a fly to center into a comic web gem. (I think Rob described the play pretty accurately somewhere.) First he did a slow 360; then he dove to the side to catch the ball. Someone on TCR recently said Pagan had five tools. I thought, yeah, but he doesn't have to use them all on a routine fly.

Playing right field against Texas, I thought he messed up two important catches in a game the Cubs lost by a run.

I think Cliff Floyd is a better outfielder, to be quite honest.

Playing centerfield is a serious affair. Pie can do it. Pagan and Jones can't.

Playing centerfield is a serious affair. Pie can do it. Pagan and Jones can’t.

Jones has done a very good job playing CF for the Cubs this year when he has done it.

As long as he didn't really need to throw the ball...

re: #60

okay cwtp...you've hitched your trailor to the mike fontenot truck and been hauling ass all over the place the past few weeks.

ya know what's been missing from your rants, though...anything resembling a scouting report from you that would lead to anything but numbers pointing to why he belongs.

its like picking a minor leaguer based on the numbers and going with it.

btw, you're calling people wrong about stuff they're right about.

fontenot is a 5'7" light hitting middle infielder who's got a nice linedrive stroke he's been showing off this year. his lack of ability to play 3rd/SS the past many years have caused him to not only be passed up by the cubs, but 29 other teams...including mr, beane's club while 2nd base was in the toilet for them.

its like saying "i told you so!" over calling whether the ball is gonna land on red or black on a roulette wheel without some substance to why he's great or what he's done to improve his stroke at the plate.

you "won" a game of chance.

i mean hell, old kicktoy bobby hill has gotten more cedibility on the waiver wire than fontenot...pretty much solely cuz he can play SS/3rd, too.

too bad the kid's knees got shot...that was most of his game.

The Onion rips Schilling, in case you missed it:

http://tinyurl.com/yqsk5q

Fontenot's waiver-clearing days are over. He's the fourth best position player on the team right now. I don't know who could even contest that except DeRosa.

dave — June 28, 2007 @ 12:24 pm
and don’t the A’s have a crowded outfield? Isn’t that why they’re dumping Bradley?

No Rob… the A’s are dumping Bradley because he is black.
........................................................................

None of this would have happened if Milton was Latin.

VP...they said the same about theriot last year.

that said...fontenot is not theriot. they have a different plate approach and fontenot is a more solid hitter even if he's limited with the glove/arm beyond 2nd base.

and yeah, his waiver clearing days are over for now. he's got value...but so did marcus giles and mark loretta this offseason, and look how much respect they got.

Silent Towel brings up Pat Burrell as someone who has a contract that is unwanted.

Soriano in Right and Burrell in left.

Do it Jim

End o' Subject!

He’s the fourth best position player on the team right now.

Hmmm... the more accurate way to say that would be that he is playing the 4th best of any position player.

Don't get me wrong - Fontenot has been great, but we also all know that he is not going to maintain this pace.

Theriot was the 4th best of any position player on the Cubs for a while also...

Mike Fontenot will turn back into the pumpkin that he is. It always happens. Enjoy his wondrous streak. Because I guarantee within 6 weeks the debate will be on how he doesn't belong at this level.

and why will fontenot turn back into a pumpkin?

just cuz?

what hole you seeing in his swing there? where's he being exploited? what's the deal? with all these teams who dont know how to pitch to him yet, what's your advice to neutralize fontegod?

seriously...pttttttth.

no, he probably wont hit .400 and his power is a bit exagerated right now on the production side, but mr. pumpkin needs to be exploited to regress to crap any time soon.

Jesus....we are not actually kicking around the idea of:
1)Acquiring Christian Guzman? (who is having a nice season so far, but still)
2)Trading anything but a bag of baseballs and a fungo for Jason Kendall?
3)Actually, in our desire to get rid of Jacque, "sweeten" the deal by throwing in Murton, or for crying out loud, Sean Marshall?

Cripes....bite the bullet....send Pie to AAA and let him play every day for a few weeks....bring up a pitcher...Pignatello? When the Cubs finally unload Jones, or someone goes down, bring Pie back up.

I want Pie in CF every day, but I don't wan to cut off my nose to spite my face in getting rid of Jones in a trade.

DFA. Sorry Donut Jim, you did this to yourself.

hell, theriot at least you could point to a lot of infield hits he beat with speed and situations with a man on 1st where he split the gap between the infielders.

that's tangible.

Last day of All Star voting people. Here's my selections:

AL
First Base: Ortiz, D., BOS
Second Base: Roberts, B., BAL
Third Base: Rodriguez, A., NYY
Shortstop: Guillen, C., DET
Catcher: Posada, J., NYY
Outfielder: Guerrero, V., LAA
Outfielder: Ordonez, M., DET
Outfielder: Sheffield, G., DET

NL
First Base: Fielder, P., MIL
Second Base: Utley, C., PHI
Third Base: Jones, C., ATL
Shortstop: Ramirez, H., FLA
Catcher: Martin, R., LAD
Outfielder: Bonds, B., SF
Outfielder: Griffey Jr., K., CIN
Outfielder: Holliday, M., COL

for last year's theriot, that is.

btw, i value theriot, personally. patient enough and can play all over. not exactly a strong arm, but not weak.

Whatever the future holds for Fontenot. He looks to be a solid fundamental player. Sure he won't hit 400 the rest of the year. But he sure looks to be at least Todd Walker with a better glove and attitude. It is a shame that the cubs rostered crap like Neifi/Macias/Mabry/Hairston/Womack the last 2 years when Fontenot was ready for the show. I don't see him "turning into a pumpkin". He will be useful in some capacity. You can win with guys like that.

I think Guzman's out for the year anyway....

You can win with guys like that.
__________________________________________

You have to win with players like that. Despite some people's seeming desire to have every player be an Albert Pujols, winning teams have multiple Fontenot like players that help them get to the World Series. Solid, high OPB guys who will get on for the power guys.

FWIW,

George Bush doesn't care about Milton Bradley.

If Fontenot hits .250 in his next 250 at bats, he's still hitting .287 for the year, with plenty of doubles and a decent number of home runs.

He hit .340 at Iowa but maybe knocking off 90 BA points isn't enough, AAA being a step up from little league according to many assembled Cub Reporters. Maybe he's really a .225 hitter who hit .340 at Iowa and is hitting .408 today.

I agree 100% Johann. If you are not going to spend 150 million a year on player contracts. It is imperative that you fill holes with guys from the ML system. Dusty Baker really disliked playing kids, it seemed. So the cubs have been forced to fill holes with low cost 3rd tier free agents to stay within their budget. Unfortunately a team full of bloated contract vets seem to bring laziness to the clubhouse. Now the club seems refresed with the influx of high energy, happy to be here, kids. The fact that the team is playing better isnt a coincedence?

what was Felix Pie hitting in AAA again?

I really need to proofread before posting. Typo's are getting reducculis

Chad — June 28, 2007 @ 12:56 pm
FWIW,

George Bush doesn’t care about Milton Bradley.
.........................................................................

And Frankly, I blame Michael Barrett for the whole thing.

with fontenot's swing...especially his current very level swing...hell, i personally believe he could be a .280+/.350+ type 2nd baseman. his power (even that homer yesterday) points to more of a line drive stroke. no idea what he'd slug, but his swing, itself, looks healthy.

no, he's not gonna hit 50 doubles, 16 triples, and 20 homers....at least its not very likely.

He hit .340 at Iowa but maybe knocking off 90 BA points isn’t enough, AAA being a step up from little league according to many assembled Cub Reporters.

Ah... love the sarcasm.

But you do know that he only had one other year in the minors where he hit over .300, right?

And that his career line in the minors is this.287/.364/.427, right?

Again... I have been impressed with Fontenot. And I think that Fontenot could very possible be a legitimate 2b in the major leagues. But to pretend that his .340 batting average this year in AAA is the norm is intellectually dishonest.

"Outfielder: Bonds, B., SF"

I don't understand why you think at 43 year old man way, way, way past his best years is still an all star.

He's 10th in home runs. 50th in RBIs and 21st in average. These are not all star numbers. He's no longer the best hitter in the game. Far from it. He's is totally one dimensional at this point and is a bore to watch. It's not fun watching a guy walk three times a game. Get over him. There are a lot more deserving players. Ones who didn't cheat either.

You put his stats from this year on any other player INCLUDING OPB and he's not even considered for the All Star Team.

Mike Fontenot is 27 years old and could have been had, for FREE, by any team last winter. He is classic definition of lightning in a bottle. Just like Ryan Theriot, although Theriot in my mind has a better major league future. Fontenot won't be in the big leagues next year. I'll make the predicion boldly. The POINT is this...the Cubs are benefactors of a minor league journeyman coming up and being hotter than shit. Relish in the moment. Don't worry about the future. Because the kid has no future.

End o' subject.

I don't know, Rob, it was 126 at bats. He's streaky, and his streaks happened when he was in Iowa. Last year he hit .280 at Iowa, .250 in the first half. I NEVER SAID PIE COULD HIT--not once. I said he would hit later.

But if I have to admit that, then other people have to admit some things too--for instance, that Pie is the only guy on the team who can play center field the way it ought to be played.

yeah, I always hate that they do 3 of'ers instead of lf, cf and rf.

Should be Holliday, Rowand and Griffey by my standards.

Barry Bonds:

Rankings - NL
OBP: 1st
Slug: 5th
OPS: 1st

You say he is in 10th in HR like it is a bad thing. To still be 10th in HR, even when constantly walked, is quite impressive.

And 21st in average? That isn't too lousy either considering his other impressive numbers. Who would you rather have instead of Bonds?

I think Fontenot has a really nice swing. Again, I don't really know hitters. I know pitching.

The only way I would try to get him out was with sliders in on the hands. Maybe ladder a circle change with two strikes. That's typically a bad idea, but he seems to be sitting heater with two strikes.

Just my two cents. He seems fundamentally solid in his approach regarding certain pitchers. If I try to go against what I normally do with 2 strikes, I might be able to get him out.

be nice to have some...ya know...reasons...behind some of these "bold statements".

hell, i can sit here and throw out a prediction a day from now til the end of time without backing it up with reasoning.

hell, even loose use of stats is a reason...or a place to start.

Fontenot won’t be in the big leagues next year. I’ll make the predicion boldly.

Based on ST's previous predictions, he has just guaranteed that Fontenot will be starting in the major leagues next year.

Triple A batting averages are what is dishonest. Have any of you sabermetrician drool monkeys examined the pitching staffs of teams in the PCL and International League lately?!? It's overwhelming populated with the Les Walrond's and Roberto Novoa's of the world as opposed to major league potential. The talent of pitching at the Double A level is gobs better than the flotsam at the Triple A level. So keep this in mind when examining the wondrous offensive production of the Ronny Cedenos and Micah Hoffpauiers of the world. And the Mike Fontenots.

we could all be having this fontenot discussion about brian f'n giles if we wanna bring age into it.

a player is what he is...not what he was.

I think you should call him lighting in a bottle or flash in the pan just one more time. I think this would really hit your point home.

Oh wait -"End o' subject" - nevermind, I guess we're moving on.

so those 80 more AB's by Fontenot in AAA make all the difference?

a ton of guys put up numbers in AAA and can't get anything done in the majors. Do yourself and all of us a favor and look at the numbers and the scouting reports.

and out come the ST insults.

and its in a rant about things no one has challenged him on.

and it doesnt cover any questions asked of him.

at least he's consistant...

Re: Felix Pie

Not all baseball people are sold on his upside. Some scouts aren't convinced he will ever hit for much of an average. But you have to like his makeup and his ability in center to go along with all that speed. If he tops out as the next Juan Encarnacion, that won't be the end of the world. Especially if the Cub lineup can afford to slot him in the # 7 hole. I like the kid.

I don’t know, Rob, it was 126 at bats.

Hmm... so Pie's 126 at-bats were a fluke, but Fontentot's 209 at-bats were an accurate assessment of what he can do as a major league. I know 80 at-bats is a decent amount, but I am not sure that it would make a large difference in the significance of the data.

take a drink every time ST says "juan encarcenon" in a post about felix pie.

woooooo...party!!

can we all pitch in and get ST a thesaurus?

Flotsam, that's awesome, say it again, say it again!!!

It really would make for a great drinking game, though. You have to chug any time he calls someone else a "Comic Book Store Guy type."

Well wait for Fontenot to face left handed pitch...

What, he did?

Monday, when he went 5-5?

Oh.

He's not hot, he's nuclear.

can we all pitch in and get ST a thesaurus?

Sure Rob...

ST - here you go.

there's so many ways to turn a TCR drinking game into alcohol poisoning within 1/2 hour.

take a drink everytime i use "..." in a post!

no dont, i dont wanna get sued.

3 drinks for "back of a bubble gum card" references

1/4th of a drink for a neifi perez mention.

oh yeah...happy birthday mark grace, btw. 43 years old.

crunch - I believe that you have adopted the ideal stance on dealing with ST. Just take him for what he is and make jokes about what he says. There is no arguing with him. I think you may find that, if nobody argues with him, he will just continue making bolder and bolder irrrational statments until someone can no longer resist arguing with him. It's best to just let it go. Any humor that can be derived from it is a bonus!

1/10th of a drink every time ST refuses to respond to people who correct him.

Any more than that, and you will be drunk in 5 minutes.

That's a good idea Rob.

Now here's my opinion on Fontenot:
Infield rake, flotsam, lighting in a bottle, dumber than a bag of hammers, blah blah blah, sabermetricians, I go to 400 Cubs games a year, Cubs suck, monkeyboy, twinkies. End O' subject.

"drool monkey" would have to be a real small sip... we don't want anyone dying in this game...

hell, i tried to talk to ST...then i tried to point out some things to him...about 2-3 direct insults later along with "i dont care what any of you say"...well, *shrug*

Now here’s my opinion on Fontenot:
Infield rake, flotsam, lighting in a bottle, dumber than a bag of hammers, blah blah blah, sabermetricians, I go to 400 Cubs games a year, Cubs suck, monkeyboy, twinkies. End O’ subject.

Crap... I think I am drunk.

C. Guzman had hand/thumb surgery, probably out for the year...not new news but just a followup on his being mentioned earlier in the thread.

http://tinyurl.com/2y6l66

Rob said: a ton of guys put up numbers in AAA and can’t get anything done in the majors.

I've heard you say that before. The last time I think your example was Brandon Sing. A career .245 hitter in the minors, his best BA was .276. He hit some home runs. But a righty-hitting first baseman--that tells you right away he can't play any position.

Give me examples that aren't in the Jason Dubois-Mike Kinkade mold. Give me some guys who play a real defensive position--center or middle infield or catcher--who hit .320 in AAA who can't make it.

I know Ronny Cedeno stank last year but he bounced back a couple of times, including in winter ball, and I honestly don't see why he can't make it the next time.

I certainly don't want anything to do with the Cub-fan pessimism that says our rookies stink.

AaronB,

How can you fill out your ASG ballot and not list Fontenot? Fontenot for President!

'End o' subject'

im still puzzled how ronnie cedeno went from an above average fielding SS with a great arm to an above average fielding shortshop with questionable arm accuracy.

2 winters ago he showed up in winter ball and lost his arm...he's been struggling to get it back since.

no idea what's going on there.

no idea what’s going on there.

I don't know, but maybe you can ask Rick Ankiel or Chuck Knoblauch.

"Barry Bonds:

Rankings - NL
OBP: 1st
Slug: 5th
OPS: 1st

You say he is in 10th in HR like it is a bad thing. To still be 10th in HR, even when constantly walked, is quite impressive.

And 21st in average? That isn’t too lousy either considering his other impressive numbers. Who would you rather have instead of Bonds?"

Where to begin?

You do understand the concept of the All Star Game right? It's to watch the games biggest stars playing at the highest levels.

Barry Bonds plays well to this day. Still is a very good player. He should still be the the representative from the Giants. Why? Cause he's Barry Bonds. A huge name and a huge star. But he no longer has the gaudy stats that makes you an all star. No, OBP/SLG/OPS does not matter here. It matters when trying to win games over a season but not to show case the best in baseball.

I would much rather see Matt Holiday or Alfonso Soriano out there.

I wonder what ST would have been posting about Lou Brock circa 1962 and 1963 with the Cubs.

Ellis Burton (Juan Encarnacion variation) blah, blah, blah...

1962: .263 .319 .412
1963: .258 .300 .382

okay cool, now it's just middle infielders and catchers who's AAA numbers matter?

(and for the record I was talking about Brandon Sing in AA when you brought up Josh Kroeger)

well Neifi hit 316 and 363 in AAA, does he count?

Question. If Barry Bonds is invited to the All-Star game, does he get to bring along his syringes and funny pills for the ride?!? I don't know how ANYBODY can look at his career accomplishments with any seriousness. The guy is a national travesty, just like Mark McGrwire, Rafael Palmiero and Sam-ME Steroid. Put down your Bill James book when examining these dirtbags.

It’s to watch the games biggest stars playing at the highest levels.

And Matt Holiday is a bigger star that Barry Bonds?

ROFL...syringes...Barry Bonds...

where does ST come up with this stuff?

I expect a Monica Lewinsky joke anytime...

ST brings this Penny Arcade classic to mind:

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/03/19

I am just picturing Barry Bonds sticking a syringe in his rear (ala The Program).

Maybe later he goes out and lies down in the middle of the street.

haha Vorare, now that's funny....

I would like to direct this to the distinguished members of the panel: You lousy corksuckers. You have violated my farging rights. Dis somanumbatching country was founded so that the liberties of common patriotic citizens like me could not be taken away by a bunch of fargin iceholes...like yourselves.

"You confuse the great and powerful Towel for somebody who gives a shit what a bunch of drool monkeys and doorknobs who live in the basement of their mother’s home and were picked last in gym class think of the Towel.
The great and powerful Towel has spoken. Now go away !!"

Then why do you keep coming back? But, seriously, that nickname you game Sosa..."Sam-ME Steroid"...is comedic gold. Keep it up.

iceholes? does that mean we can go ice fishing?

Vorare, are you insinuating that Troll is a normal person?

lol The Joe - I was thinking the exact same thing.

Loneliness and cheeseburgers are a dangerous mix, ST.

iceholes?

now we're really getting off topic:
http://tinyurl.com/285suy

#149 is from Johnny Dangerously if you guys are curious....

ST -

Iceholes? Referring to yourself in the third person? Boasting of your great achievements like "playing organized baseball throughout (your) senior year in high school?

In the words of the great Brian Fantana, "Take it easy, Champ. Why don't you sit this next one out, stop talking for a while."

the last time he played playful victim we got the same quote, rob.

ignore critcism, dismiss your audience as below you, play victim, move to to next rant. the ST way...

The last step there is: get banned from one Cubs blog, move to another.

Wet Towel-
You used that "Johnny Dangerously" line the other day.

Add an Movie Quote book to that book list for him.

"I am just picturing Barry Bonds sticking a syringe in his rear (ala The Program).

Maybe later he goes out and lies down in the middle of the street.'

Two different characters. The meathead lineman with the face paint did the steriods. Joe Cain, the QB laid down in traffic.

Yea Chad... I know. I was just playing off the whole ludicrous syringe idea.

Rob, I proposed a compromise to your Scott Olsen question.

"ignore critcism, dismiss your audience as below you, play victim, move to to next rant. the ST way…"

Sounds like the Bush administration!

Sounds like the Bush administration!

Hahahaha. And this coming from a conservative.

Maybe ST = George Bush. They do seem to have similar attributes.

dave,

forget politics. i never miss a chance at making a joke at all costs!

...I'll stay out of this one. Proud of me?

I don't even get what you're talking about Chad. I hate Bonds, despise the man, but he is tied for 3rd in HRs among NL outfielders (tied with Soriano), the second highest SLG, he has 5 steals (and no caught steals, while Soriano has 10 steals but 3 caught steals), an insane OBP. He has a pretty good AVG too, tied for 7th among NL outfielders.

For me, the All Star game is for the guys doing the best, not the biggest names. People voting for the biggest names is why Pujols might get in when he has no business doing so.

Bonds over the hill is still better then the majority of the league. Will I be happy when he retires? Oh god yes, but until then he is an All Star guy every year.

like or hate ob%, the dude is on base over 1/2 the time (literally) he's on base. while he's not the speedster he was, he's not the 1/2 injured gimpy bonds that was around last year.

a chunk of his ob% has to do with the lack of someone behind him worth a damn, but he wouldnt be a mistake pick to be an all-star...or not belonging...unless its based on his disgusting roids thing and not his performance.

its a popularity contest, anyway.

"the dude is on base over 1/2 the time (literally) he’s on base"

pretty deep huh? no? stupid? okay...

yeah, i meant on base 1/2 the time he comes to the plate.

=p

to one of our Phils:

who is Mario Mercedes? a cub prospect/catcher who steals bases and hits .400?

CHC SS Mercedes, Mario C .......... 4 2 3 0 .455 - SB (1)

Johann, correct me if I'm wrong here but don't you think that Barry Bonds is still the best hitter in the game?

Then you say that the game is for the people who are playing the best not for just big names. Bonds is not playing the best. His stats are not as good as the people's ahead of him. The all star game is not to show off your OBP. Its for guys that hit the ball the best. HIT. Not walk. I can go on and on about how Bond's OBP and SLG % are factors of his unwillingness to swing at balls he can't crush. My whole rant about, if he was willing to make more outs, he'd have more RBIs and help his team more. As well, find himself seeing more pitches in the zone. Why? Since pitchers are always trying to just nibble the corners with him, they rarely throw a strike. Sure his OBP and average would go down but his homers and RBIs would go up. We can get it to it more if you really want.

You said it yourself: "Bonds over the hill is still better then the majority of the league. " this is very true, but its not all star material. these stats on a lesser player would not get him on the all star team unless there was not a better option on his team. i.e. you gotta pick someone from every team, right?

Don't get me wrong. Barry Bonds should go. Steroids or not, he's a huge name and will soon (hopefully not for long) hold the most hallowed record in sports.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/unfiltered/...

sorry if that's a repeat, but great take on Hendry and the Cubs "decision-making" process.

What bothers me, rather, is that the Cubs’ have developed a nasty habit under Jim Hendry’s tenure of doing everything in their power to degrade a player’s value, and then trading him for pennies on the dollar. The mere fact that the trade seems almost palatable now is proof of this

re:#81

Crunch, you're full of crap. Please queue up the video from the last six games and watch Fontenot.
Report back to us when you actually have seen him play.

When I tout a player,... often going against the stream... it's based on my impression of the player....NOT SOMEBODY ELSE's. much less raw statistics.

As I've mentioned a number of times, my evaluations of certain players come after watching them and their competition, either in spring training in Arizona or during the regular season. And I make my predictions.....like Felix Pie would be the first player up from AAA this , Theriot would make the team last year, Sean Marshall as well... before they happen and ususally, e.g. Mike Fontenot, before anyone else.

So far, according to you, I've been "lucky" every time.

although discussion has moved on..... trade Izturis or package him w/ JJ and/or AAA player for pen help. the middle infield is covered without him, and in the case someone gets hurt, we'll call up cedeno or patterson. izturis and jones worth a little together, right?

ST needs a good ol' handjob.

"Crunch, you’re full of crap. Please queue up the video from the last six games and watch Fontenot."

i stand by everything i said.

"When I tout a player,… often going against the stream… it’s based on my impression of the player….NOT SOMEBODY ELSE’s. much less raw statistics."

should i even ask how much fontenot you've seen to get to this point...esp. when he was still in AAA?

hell, ive seen him swing in AAA both last and this year...im yet to see you say much of anything about his skills, though...just that you like him.

what did you see of him in AAA last or this year that's got you all excited anyway?

Rob G. — June 28, 2007 @ 2:38 pm
http://www.baseballprospectus......red/?p=426

sorry if that’s a repeat, but great take on Hendry and the Cubs “decision-making” process.

What bothers me, rather, is that the Cubs’ have developed a nasty habit under Jim Hendry’s tenure of doing everything in their power to degrade a player’s value, and then trading him for pennies on the dollar. The mere fact that the trade seems almost palatable now is proof of this
........................................................................

This is an astute assessment. I also would add that they have zero trust for players developed by their own ML system. Or really just young players in general. That is why, when making trades as sellers. You see guys like Cesar Izturis comming back instead of a guy like Joel Guzman. That is why guys like Cliff Floyd and Jack Jones and Mark DeRosa are brought in. Even when perfectly capable in house guys are in the fold.

Carlos???

***THUNDER***

Carmen Electra — June 28, 2007 @ 3:03 pm
Aaron B needs a good ol’ handjob.
....................................................................

There, fixed it

aaronb????

***THUNDER***

the weird thing about these "devalued trades" hendry is making is almost no one you can throw into that list went on to directly do much of anything...a lot did worse.

only real "mistake" that pops to mind (i might be missing one or a few) would be the t.walker trade which netted the cubs a promising fireballer vs. a high draft pick. you can spin that to say the cubs got a high-talent pick for pennies vs. the millions they'd spend on a pick, though.

*shrug*

starting an article blasting the barrett trade pretending its 2005 and 2006 is kinda retarded, imo...its 2007 nate...

wow...and mark f'n bellhorn? and sammy sosa?

sorry, this article is getting junkier by the paragraph.

geez...okay, what a pile of crap article.

seriously, this isnt texas holdem...baseball also isnt run by 4-5 guys who share a scouting pool and a spreadsheet.

bellhorn...sosa...patterson...barrett...jones...

we're supposed to pretend that people were beating down the cubs doors and playing them more would sweeten their value? dont think there was much mystery in those names about the downward decline at the time of their trade..and it wasnt just a bad month.

hell, what was the maddux trade in the eyes of this article? =p

AARON B, DAVE:

That's the only thing off the top of my head (no pun) that could lighten up an otherwise bleak day for the Towel.

true Carlos... very true.

I don't think it is necessarily what those players did after they left. It is more just pointing out a shiiiiittteee pattern that Crueller Jim and management have fallen into. Whenever you decide you want to trade someone. Try and get the best return why their value is at a fair level. Instead the cubs have bashed and benched the player before trading them. Thereby diminishing what you can ask for in return. If Lou/Hendry wanted to trade Barrett. So be it. But was it tactful to announce that he wouldnt be playing much anymore? The cubs devalued Barrett for no reason at all. Felix Pie is hitting .220. If you really want to trade Jack Jones so badly. Send Felix down. Play Jack in center. Hope he can rebound into 2006 form. Its not like you are going to miss Pie's production?

but when the ends dont prove your point, its weak.

there isnt a "one that got away" and the players he mentioned were not exactly "hot" at the time of their trade?

the soution given is to play them more. barrett was playing enough...what happened?

im not even calling strawman...im calling it straight up flawed.

Rob (#143):

Sure Neifi counts. He's a long-time major leaguer who's a lot richer than his doctor brother. Cedeno should hope he does as well.

Not just middle infielders but you have to ply a trade in the field. Kroeger is an athletic right fielder with an arm. Sing had no position, nor did he hit .380 or even .280.

You get weeded out if you're not exactly the right combination of offense and defense. I'm sure Mike Kinkade could hit .300 in the majors. But at what position? He doesn't hit enough home runs for third or first, and he can't cover short or second.

Tell the truth. You think Kinkade is not in the majors because his perennial .320 in AAA doesn't translate to the majors. It does. But he has a different problem, that leather thing on his left hand.

Buck Coats: he can hit. But when he moved from short to the outfield, he forfeited the chance to play in the majors unless he shows he can hit for power. He's not there yet!

But he has a different problem, that leather thing on his left hand.

Ever hear of the DH?

wow, so you think defense matters too VA Phil? So why do you think Fontenot hasn't gotten much of a shot before this year?

Does anyone have an idea if a trade possibility of an unwanted milton bradley for an unwanted jacque jones would be? i see milton as a better fit for the cubs....even with the 3-4 months of baggage.

"Does anyone have an idea if a trade possibility of an unwanted milton bradley for an unwanted jacque jones would be? i see milton as a better fit for the cubs….even with the 3-4 months of baggage."

Jacque is also black, though.

"And used to play the game in organized fashion throughout my senior year in high school."

This statement reminds me of the usual rejoinder that the immortal Rob Dibble used to say to anyone questioning his opinion when he was hosting the show on ESPN with Patrick: "I played the game, you didn't."

How many players who "played the game" have any idea what the hell they're talking about? I'll give you a few out there currently working - Al Leiter, Orel Hershiser and Steve Stone. The others who come off as mongoloids - Joe Morgan, Tim McCarver, John Kruk, and of course our man Dusty - the list on that front is endless.

DMAC -- Ha, Dibble still does the same "I played, you didn't crap" on his show on XM. If it were up to him no one but former big leaguers could comment on MLB.

cubswinthepennant — June 28, 2007 @ 12:08 pm
AZ PHIL,

Give it a rest about Fontenot, you were WRONG about him. And you certainly did dump all over the guy. Slow, crappy infielder who is so bad he belongs in the outfield except he’s too slow to play the outfield. You couldn’t imagine ANY MLB team giving him a shot at 2b. — That’s what you said.

But he didn’t draft himself in the first round. The LSU Tigers didn’t win the college world series over the inept inert bodies of Fontenot and Theriot (the guy you called an INSECT?!!) . Fontenot didn’t knock that home run clean out of the park yesterday because he got lucky. You can’t fake 415 foot power! And he’s had that power since setting the record for home runs by a freshman at LSU. Fontenot didn’t luck into that quick compact stroke of his after he was called up, he had it all along. But apparently you didn’t notice. And according to you he’s slow?? HUH? and un-athletic?? –that’s crap the Orioles put out about him. Crap that Dusty Baker subscribed to. Absolute nonsense.

As for the Cubs saying they were afraid of losing him this year, THAT’S WHAT THEY SAID! And the reason they gave was the internal politics of the Cubs organization. Players like Eric Patterson who was signed and drafted by the Cubs have greater standing in the organization than players coming into it via trade. And the Cubs were stacked high with 2B prospects. They didn’t expect him to break out both in fhe field and with the bat because he didn’t have a scout in his corner. He came from another organization.

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

CWtP: You can give a rest if you want. That's up to you.

It's interesting how you use the argument that Fontenot was a 1st round draft pick in 2002 to justify how obvious it should be that Mike Fontenot is a great talent now and always has been, except you conveniently disregard the facts that override that argument:"

1. Fontenot was NOT claimed by the other 29 MLB clubs when placed on Ourtright Waivers in November 2005 when he was available for $20,000,

2. Fontenot was NOT selected in the 2005 Rule 5 Draft when he was available for $50,000.

3. Fontenot did NOT get an NRI from the Cubs to ST in 2006. Brandon Sing did, though. So did Casey McGehee. But not Fontenot

4. Fontenot did NOT get brought up to the Cubs last August-September when all was lost. Jose Reyes did, though.

5. Fontenot did NOT get selected in the 2006 Rule 5 Draft again in 2006. Jason Smith did, though. So did Richard Lewis.

6. Fontenot did NOT get an NRI to ST again in 2007. McGehee, Hoffpauir, even Chris freakin' Walker did. But not Fontenot.

But the best one is when you said the Cubs were so enamored of Mike Fontenot that they've been hiding him from the scouts and AAA managers and coaches of the other 29 MLB clubs for the last two years. That was a real side-splitter.

As I have stated many times, I like Mike Fontenot a lot. I believe (and said so) that the Cubs should have given Mike Fontenot a chance to show what he could do at the big league level (especially in ST 2006 and ST 2007, and/or last August-September), but they did not.

What I had said about Fontenot in the past is that in my opinion, he is a below-average defensive second-baseman whose best position would probably be LF. I never said Fontenot wasn't a good hitter.

Fontenot still bounces throws from 2nd to 1st when turning the DP even when he's not under pressure from a baserunner (I've seen four so far in the last two weeks) because he has difficulty throwing from a flat-footed position (something required of a second-baseman when turning the DP), but at least he hustles to get to balls and he's a good ball hawk on pop ups and fly balls. Hustling can make up for below-average defensive tools.

I would compare Fontenot's defensive skills to Todd Walker's, except Fontenot is more of a hustler and runs faster. If he can hit .300 with an .350 OBP at the big league level, he's good enough to play 2B. If he doesn't hit, he's not. On a team with a plus-defender at 2B, Fontenot would probably need to play LF.

But in order to find out if Fontenot can play 2B, LF or any other position in the big leagues, someone had to give him a chance, and I did not see him getting such a chance with the Cubs. But then he finally did get a chance, although it happened only because of the injury to Aramis Ramirez. If Ramirez had not gotten hurt, Fontenot would still be at Iowa. But he was (finally) in the right place at the right time.

As far as my calling Ryan Therot an "insect,":you know damn well that description was part of comments I made about Theriot last year that compared him to Ryan Freel and David Eckstein, where I was advocating him as the Cubs everyday 2B. By "insect" I was referring to The Riot's tendency to play the game with pure nervous energy, driving the opposition crazy. Freel and Eckstein are the same type of player. And I like that type of player.

Bam!

cubswinthepennant — June 28, 2007 @ 2:39 pm
When I tout a player,… often going against the stream… it’s based on my impression of the player….NOT SOMEBODY ELSE’s. much less raw statistics.

As I’ve mentioned a number of times, my evaluations of certain players come after watching them and their competition, either in spring training in Arizona or during the regular season. And I make my predictions…..like Felix Pie would be the first player up from AAA this , Theriot would make the team last year, Sean Marshall as well… before they happen and ususally, e.g. Mike Fontenot, before anyone else.

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

CWtP: And remember how you told everybody here how Jake Fox was SO much improved as a catcher? (Spring Training 2006).

Ah, yes. I remember it well...

Maybe you were having a bad hair day.

Oh, well. You can't win 'em all.

Rob asks: So why do you think Fontenot hasn’t gotten much of a shot before this year?

Have you seen him? He makes Theriot look big. Soriano thought he was a batboy. Anybody else in the league who's 5'7"? So people assume he doesn't belong in the league, either.

But it turns out he "hits like a man."

Hahaha... I love it when AZ Phil gets pissed. It doesn't happen too often, but when it does, look out!

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