TCR Friday Notes

Just a few things that I've been meaning to mention. - In case you haven't heard the Cubs are up for sale. Also, the Earth is round, Ryne Sandberg retired and Sammy Sosa was traded. The two most intriguing candidates to emerge so far are Mark Cuban and us....the fans. 4 Fans Sake is the site and I encourage you visit them before brushing off the idea. If you scoff at the notion that the fans of a team could own a major sports franchise, you should be reminded of the Green Bay Packers, who just happen to have the MLB commissioner on their leadership board. Is it a longshot? Sure...but I leave you with these words from Robert Morgan:
"...a legitimate revolution must be led by, made by those who have been most oppressed:..."
Who's been more oppressed in baseball than Cubs fans? - Of course, if you prefer the Cubs to be lead by an ultra-competitive billionaire with a bit of a crazy streak, there's Mark Cuban. You may have noticed the ad in the right sidebar from TCR Founder Christian Ruzich who's selling the cleverly mocked up Cubs logos that read Cuban at his Spreadshirt store. Support the Revolution! You can also read his musings on life in Harrisburg, PA and whatever else he fancies at his blog, The Dilettante's Dilemma. - A number of fine folks have emailed me over the recent months about their blogs or Cubs articles they've written. I do apologize if I never got back to you and I don't want them to think I was just brushing them off. Life's just been a bit chaotic lately and I just haven't had the time to visit all the fine sites. So I extend a digital olive branch to all those I may not have gotten back to and wanted to briefly mention the following sites. NBX.com - If pictures of attractive women and rants by Dave Stewart are your thing, this is the place for you. They also have a free Fantasy Sportbook you can play which looks interesting. Rob Blackstein - Rob's all over the fantasy landscape, from his own site to Rotoworld to Creative Sports and a few others sprinkled in between. He's emailed links to a few Cubs articles I neglected to get up and we collaborated briefly last year on a newsletter for Creative Sports that I was unfortunately unable to keep up this year. Ted Lilly Fan Club - Nothing like a healthy man-crush on one of your favorite pitchers. You've probably seen TLFC in the comments or the game chats and he scored major bonus points with TCR when he called out Paul Sullivan for dissing us a few weeks ago. Seamless Baseball - I'm just bringing this site up since I'm beating the fantasy guru currently in our H2H MVN roto league. Suck it, loser! But Derek Nelson (who happens to be a Cubs fan) does a fantastic job over there along with his partner, Edwin Van Bibber-Orr. And don't forget about frequent commentator Carlos Rubi's site at The Transaction Guy that he shares with a few others and our fine minor league site here at MVN, Road to Wrigley. - And welcome to our newest full-timer, Dr. Joseph Hecht AKA Cubster in the comments. He'll continue to provide us with his excellent medical reports and I'm sure whatever other Cub commentary he wishes to articulate upon.
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Comments

I am a fan of the ted lilly fan club.

Sullivan is a douchebag. You heard.

If TCR owned the Cubs . . .

Day one, Pie and Gallagher traded.

Day two, board room bickering for 24 hours. Good points made, nothing gets decided, we start talking about sex.

If TCR owned the Cubs...

Day one, DFA Koyie Hill, call-up Soto

by the end of the year, Cubs set various records including:
- Most managers in a season (102)
- Most Roster moves (535)

"Who’s been more oppressed in baseball than Cubs fans?"

Matt Murton

What do I win?

Estimated salary spent by TCR at the helm?

Over / under at 260m.

I'd go under, we could do it under $150 mil, we have Arizona Phil on our side, plus we'd save a ton on medical bills with Dr. Joseph Hecht.

260mil? How? Our lineup would be littered with Ryan Theriots and Mike Fontenots and Matt Murtons. We wouldn't have one player making over 1,000,000 bucks.

You know what's the best about Cubster's comments? Without the 'insider' info that Will Carrol imagines he has, Cubster's info is always more articulate, informative and accurate. Just think if he had the time (and the interest) to go around humping the legs of the trainers' assitants and press secretaries how good his info could be.

except for DLee. Soriano and Ramirez would be booted so fast cause they hot dog and don't hustle.

A case study in perception...
VA Phil thinks the majority of the people who comment hate the minor leaguers and would trade them in a heartbeat.
Chad thinks the majority of the people who comment fall too much in love with our young talent and want more of them on the team.
As always...the real answer lies somewhere in the middle.

This may be Schmidt 3/44, but on the way home i heard on the radio that the Cubs claimed Podsednik off waivers from the South siders. I guess they have a couple days to work out a trade. I dunno if he could be the Kenny Lofton spark or not. I didn't even realize he was playing again of the DL.

Our lineup would be littered with Ryan Theriots and Mike Fontenots and Matt Murtons. We wouldn’t have one player making over 1,000,000 bucks.

Sure we would lead the league in OPS and OPS against and laugh our way through the playoffs, but our clutchness and Chadballness would be in the bottom 10 of all ML teams.

In the meantime, Izuris, Weaver and Floyd would be leading the Pirates to a umpeeneth bottom of the division finish.

Chad... you really don't get it, do you?

Murton, Theriot, and Fontenot are valuable precisely because the Cubs DO NOT have a 260 million dollar payroll. They are valuable as affordable role players.

And who on this site doesn't like Soriano or Ramirez? I mean, sure, I would rather have A-Rod over Ramirez. And Vlad over Soriano. And there are legitimate reasons to criticize each player at times. But no on here would like role players instead of them.

Stop making things up Chad.

Yes, but Joe Morgan likes the Pirates, Neal. And I have the same question I had in the chat: If I went to the front office and told them that since it felt like we were in first place, the actual numbers are meaningless, you think Morgan would back me up? He hates numbers right?

i heard on the radio that the Cubs claimed Podsednik off waivers from the South siders. I guess they have a couple days to work out a trade.

Yea... 3/44. A few times.

I dunno if he could be the Kenny Lofton spark or not.

Probably the "not." Pods isn't half the player that Lofton is/was.

"Sure we would lead the league in OPS and OPS "

either you meant OBP and OPS and you would be half right. You need a SLG component which would be lacking. This is where you always misstep on you Saber thinking.

Or you meant OPS and OPS+ in which case you would be wrong.

A team of 9 3 Murtons 3 Theriots and 2 Fontenots would get demolished by 3 sorianos 3 Arams and 2 cliff floyds. (assuming the pitchers are the same.)

Oh Rob,

Pie would be traded in a heartbeat. NO TOOLSY PLAYERS ALLOWED!!!!

Man, I really remember how Kenny Lofton sparked Carlos Zambrano to have a 2.51 2nd half ERA (down from 3.58), Clement to have a 3.74 2nd half ERA (down from 4.39), and Prior to have a 1.52 ERA (down from 3.01). He was awesome. A lot of people think Catcher's ERA is important, but really what we should be examining is Center Fielder's ERA. That's where it's at!

dave, there are people here who do not like Soriano. They never wanted him signed. There are people who want Rammy moved cause he doesn't hustle enough. This much is true. Not everyone. But too many people here think that players like that are not needed and that a team full of Theriots will win ballgames. I get it plenty. I read every word here (as do you, I'm sure) but we look at it differently.

did Cubs win the claim for Pods or just put one in? Big difference...

IF we did get him and all and the plan is to platoon Murton again, I may have to disembowel myself.

Pods could be useful in the playoffs though as a pinch-runner.

There are people who want Rammy moved cause he doesn’t hustle enough.

Name one.

But too many people here think that players like that are not needed and that a team full of Theriots will win ballgames.

Again... name one.

Chad says:

August 10th, 2007 at 3:40 pm

“Sure we would lead the league in OPS and OPS ”

either you meant OBP and OPS and you would be half right.
_________________________________________

Or you could, do something crazy and read the entire sentence. 'we would lead the league in OPS and OPS against ' being the key element.

Nice job at comparing the 8th, 7th and 5th most valuable players in the defensive spectrum to the 6th, 4th and 2nd, Chad.

AIENTKILIMFYORB for evah!

Pods could be useful in the playoffs though as a pinch-runner.

I guess... he if he has two healthy legs.

And too bad we don't have any other fast guys who could play a similar role... :)

"I read every word here "

And as we just proved, there's a differene between reading and reading comprehension.

AIENTKILIMFYORB for evah!

did Cubs win the claim for Pods or just put one in? Big difference…

I don't think anyone knows... it is all rumors from what I can tell. Reported rumors (by people like Levine), but still rumors. But the only credible sources that I have seen is that the cubs have put in a claim, and no word on whether or not they won the claim.

And too bad we don’t have any other fast guys who could play a similar role… :)

We do?

Theriot would be starting, so who else do you have in mind?

Theriot would be starting, so who else do you have in mind?

Pie? E-Pat? Pie could be an ideal bench player in the playoffs - great defense in either cf or rf, and great speed to pinch run when needed.

E-pat doesn't give you great defense...

Pie isn't a very good basestealer.

I haven't seen Epat steal enough to see how good his instincts are or how well he reads pitchers. He stole at about a 76% rate in the minors which is about what Pods is in the majors. Of course I don't know if Pods has slowed down much.

Padres put in a claim for Kei Igawa and won it according to Rosenthal.

Well... E-Pat and Pods are probably pretty similar in their defense in the outfield. And E-Pat has to have a better arm.

I just don't see Pods being an upgrade over Pie or E-Pat, even on the bases. Pods hasn't been over 71% since 2004.

And I would rather have Pie on 1st or 2nd than Pods if a I need a runner to score on a single (from 2nd)/gapper (from 1st).

I want Aram to hustle more, that doesn't mean I want him moved. It's that kind of absolutism that destroys arguments Chad. "You don't like my hair, so you must think I'm ugly and I bet you want to break up with me." You're making that kind of argument.

On Soriano, I didn't particularly want him signed because I wanted to rebuild, becuase he was making too much money and because his skill set doesn't belong in the leadoff spot. That doesn't mean I wouldn't want to spend a lot of money on a very good player like ARod, Santana or Ichiro, I just didn't want it spent on Soriano. So see the difference? Just because I do not like Soriano does not mean I want all Theriots. And just because I want ARam to hustle more does not mean I support trading him, except for maybe ARod.

"Padres put in a claim for Kei Igawa and won it according to Rosenthal."

Yeah, it's probably time for more revenue sharing in MLB. How much did they pay to negotiate with Igawa 26 million?

"There are people who want Rammy moved cause he doesn’t hustle enough.

Name one."

Stop being a child. Name one. We have had these discussions. Some people in these discussions have said that they don't like Ramirez cause he doesn't hustle and he hot dogs and it brings down the team. I didn't write down the names, dave, but I was involved in these discussions. So I guess you are calling me a liar. The worst part of it all is that you bore witness to these discussions. I'm not saying you agreed with it. I'm jsut saying that you have seen these ideas posted.

"Sure we would lead the league in OPS and OPS against "

Whatever Neal. So I misread your sentence. I'm sorry but you are not exactly Steinbeck and sometimes i gloss over the boring sabermetric bullshit. But explain to me how Murton, Theriot and Fontenot would have the lowest OPS against? Isn't that up to the pitchers? Oh and I you are trying to say that their dynamic defense would prevent runs then you are dillusional. Murton is a very average defender. Fonty is average AT BEST and Theriot can field his position well enough but will never be confused with Omar Vizquel.

"dave, there are people here who do not like Soriano. They never wanted him signed."

Not trying to bandwagon on Johann here, but who ever said they don't like Soriano and didn't want him signed. I will admit to saying that his contrat is an albatross waiting to happen, but I can't recall anyone saying they were displeased that he would be a memeber of the 2007 Cubs.

and Johann, I don't even know what you are talking about. I never said YOU wanted him gone and I never said that EVERYONE who didn't like his hustle wanted him gone. I am just saying that there are people here.

"Not trying to bandwagon on Johann here, but who ever said they don’t like Soriano and didn’t want him signed.'

Well, by golly! We must have had 100% agreement on that one! BULLSHIT!

Yeah, it’s probably time for more revenue sharing in MLB. How much did they pay to negotiate with Igawa 26 million?

Yeah $26 mil, his contract though is something like 5/20 though.

so if only a few people might have said it or believed it, why the bandwagon statement that TCR would get rid of them?

By the way, this is meaningless to Chad, but for everyone else Theriot is 7th in baseball in Zone Rating at SS.

"But explain to me how Murton, Theriot and Fontenot would have the lowest OPS against? "

Chad, I am going to use small words for you. If you understand the value of OPS, you should also understand the value of OPS against (unless you're Dusty Baker). So, if we are building our lineup and bech on players who give us the most OPS for the buck, guess what we are going to do with our staff? Build the staff that gives us the best OPS for the buck. I know that kind of 1 = 1 logic makes blood come from your ears, and I was using hyperbole but buidling a team full of Chadballers and clutch players is what we've done for '99 years, maybe, just maybe it's time for a change?

", guess what we are going to do with our staff? "

WRONG!

I never said that and I am the one who proposed the concept!!!!!!!!

I said "A team of 9 3 Murtons 3 Theriots and 2 Fontenots would get demolished by 3 sorianos 3 Arams and 2 cliff floyds. (assuming the pitchers are the same.)"

That is what sparked the whole thing. So if anything OPS against is MOOT!!!! Pitching was never part of this concept. You just threw that in there.

I said Theriot can field his position well enough but he'll never be considered a very good defender amongst baseball people.

Hmmm...I'd rather having a pitching staff with the best ERA than have a pitching staff with the best OPS against.

And I'd probably rather have an offense lead the league in runs scored than lead the league in OPS.

Perhaps it's just personal preference.

well if you can lead the league in OPS against, there's a real good chance you'll lead the league in ERA.

If you lead the league in Team OPS, also a real good shot you're going to lead the league in runs scored. Maybe not every single time, but pretty damn close.

game thread up...

Chad,

I know you have reality issues, but I didn't realize you had timep-space continuim issues as well.

1st: Neal's statement 'we would lead the league in OPS and OPS against '

2nd: Chad's statement 'either you meant OBP and OPS'

3rd: Neal's statement 'we would lead the league in OPS and OPS against' (this of course is remarkable similar to the 1st above due to the virtues of copy and paste)

4th: Chad's statement '“, guess what we are going to do with our staff? ”

WRONG!'

No Chad, in my original statement I said 'OPS against'. I am sure in Chadworld saying the same thing three times is trying to change the argument but here in Einstein's version of planet Earth, it isn't.

Well Chad, baseball people (and of course, baseball people is a pretty meaningless, unprovable term) have been wrong a lot, especially in the handing out of gold gloves. But again, no idea what the term baseball term means. If Joe Morgan is in there, then what baseball people think becomes meaningless. But again, the Theriot thing was thrown out there for others, because I know your views on Zone Rating.

For other people though, he's so far been one of the best defenders in baseball.

[*puts snarling dogs in the back yard, closes door*]

Say, is there a game tonight? Late starts make me sleepy, so last night I tried to drift off to the dulcet tones of Pat and Ron. They got so friggin HYPER at the unexpected spate of scoring, that they yelled for about three innings and woke me up. It was nice to hear, but ruined a good nights sleep, something that the previous three losses had restored.

A good chance, yes. Such as this year. Philly with the best OPS and they've scored the most runs in the NL. Padres with the best OPS against and they've surrendered the fewest runs.

But i'm not after good chances. I'd rather score the most and give up the least.

but I didn’t realize you had time-space continuum issues as well....
---------
Baseball meet quantum mechanics. Chad vs Neal on opposite sides of the worm hole.

But runs don't just appear magically Wes. They appear because you have a good hitting lineup, and signing players with the best OPS generally gets you that.

I wonder if a team has ever lead the league in those two stats and not won the pennant.

I like Theriot and I don't really have any complaints, but I wouldn't put him in the top 7 in baseball. I think the Lee factor probably boosts him up some, artificially. His bat also suffered earlier in the year which seem to be cured by about five days off, but he's due for another cool down if that was the real reason. He doesn't have the range, arm or power that Cedeno has, nor has he hit in the high 300' twice in AAA. At this point I can totally understand going with him, but Cedeno has All-Star talent and Theriot has journeyman talent.

Hey big feller, you do yours your way and I'll do mine my way.

I think you need more things than just guys who get on base well and guys who hit well for power. Both of those factors are very important, but if you want a true offensive juggernaut, there are more necessary pieces.

"For other people though, he’s so far been one of the best defenders in baseball."

At shortstop or in all of baseball? Cause if it's all of baseball then 7th in zr at your position isn't even close.

"Wes — August 10, 2007 @ 4:34 pm

A good chance, yes. Such as this year. Philly with the best OPS and they’ve scored the most runs in the NL. Padres with the best OPS against and they’ve surrendered the fewest runs.

But i’m not after good chances. I’d rather score the most and give up the least."

Damn Wes, you fell right into their trap.

Just SS, Chad.

get on-base, hit extra base hits = runs scored

Those are the components that make up run scoring. The only other major component is batting average with runners on. That though has a tendency to fluctuate pretty randomly just like batting average.

For pitching, you don't put people on and you don't give up extra base hits you will not give up earned runs. These are the components that build it.

Yes, I want to lead the league in runs scored and runs allowed, the question is how do you build a team like that? Your best bet is to try and build a team that will lead in OPS and OPS against.

and there's probably been a half-dozen or so articles I've read that show the same thing.

"Damn Wes, you fell right into their trap."

Yeah, me and Johann have been fixing major league games for 120 years to set up Wes for this diablocical trap.

Wes, you can buy yourself out, but it will cost you:

ONE MILLION DOLLARS

Unsurprisingly, I'm with Wes on this one. I prefer runs scored and era. Call me simplistic if that pleases you.

What a bust Kei Igawa was. Do I remember correctly that he was on our to be considered list at some point?

I don't think I fell into any trap. Look, you need production from the top of your order to be successful. There's a reason all of your best hitters hit there. Your top of the order guys need to get on base for your power hitters. You need your power hitters to hit for power. That's OBP and OPS. But to say that's the 'end all, be all' for scoring runs isn't something I believe. Correlation? Sure. But I'm not after a correlation. I'm after scoring runs. I also need other things.

Ideally, my leadoff guy A) gets on base but also B) steals a lot of bases and runs fast. He can score from first on a double. He can go first to third on a ball hit to center. Why not have a speed guy who gets on base at the same clip as a slow guy? High OBP at the top is nice, high OBP + speed at the top is nicer.

I need guys who hit after the power hitters (5th, 6th, maybe 7th) who hit well with RISP. I also need guys who can lay down a bunt when I need one. (bunt?!? gasp! what nerve! giving up outs? boooo!) You do need good defenders (hopefully they can bunt.) Especially if allowing the least runs is the secondary goal. The Phils lead the league in runs scored but they won't make the playoffs because they have no pitching and suck in the field.

Problem is, you can't possibly afford to field 8 great hitters who play terrific defense while still having a great pitching staff. If you could, the Yankees would win the pennant every year.

Bedard vs Dice-K or Hughes vs Carmona tonight...

Yeah the Cubs were supposed to be looking at him, but I think the signing of Marquis put an end to that, or the Yankees bid lead to the signing of Marquis.

Runs scored and Runs allowed is great, but what we're really talking about is what causes runs scored and runs allowed, and that tends to be greatly dependent on the numbers of baserunners and total bases you get and give up.

If you have three teams that have an OPS of:

.800
.775
.750

You can't guarantee the .800 OPS is going to score the most runs, but if I had to bet $75 million on it I know which team I would go with.

Sure, if I have to pick one. But I didn't think we were picking one. I thought we were making one.

CHAD "dave, there are people here who do not like Soriano. They never wanted him signed."

Honestly, I recall this was a very small minority of people. I think the overall sentiment was that the Cubs would never get the "best" free agent available. Ever. Most folks never even thought it would happen based on 99 years of cheapness - or wrong purchases.

I mean, you're kinda pigeonholing me a little bit there, Real Neal.

"Sure, if I have to pick one. But I didn’t think we were picking one. I thought we were making one."

Say you have a lineup that had an OPS of .775 last year. You're thinking about makign changes. You have a option of a fast guy who had a OPS of .750, who you think is likely to maintain his skill set and another guy who had a .850 OPS and is likewise likely to maintain his skill set. If you pick option A, you are now 'making one' likely to guve a team OPS of .773 and if you pick option B you're making one that's likely to help have a team OPS of .881. Every decision you make as a manger and an GM is 'picking' your team's OPS. I know there are other factors involved, but often times those other factors are over rated.

I'm not pigeon holing you at all. I am not saying that baserunning isn't a valuable skill. I will argue that timely hitting is a skill, and that clutch hitters are just guys that have ADD but I won't argue that all other factors being equal teams with good numbers with RISP situations are going to score more runs. But being able to predict that your team will be good with RISP can't really be done, so thinking that you're going to build a team around it the concept is fool's good.

"I’d rather score the most and give up the least."

WOW....That is some forward, out of the box, thinking. Maybe Chad and Joe Morgan can team up and write a book about you someday.

Someone hurry up and call Hendry. Maybe he hasn't thought of this strategy yet, and can still pull off a deal.

I found two teams that lead the league in OPS and ERA. The 1906 Cubs and the 1998 Yankees. They combined for 230 wins, but the Cubs lost the WS to the White Nothings.

#85... Gee, you think? You think 100 OPS points is more valuable than speed? Don't believe I ever made that claim. Never said a crappier player who ran fast was more valuable than a better player with 0 speed.

Now, a .350 OBP with tremendous speed is more valuable to me than .360 with no speed. That 1% of the time the guy doesn't get on base out of 100 AB's isn't going to kill me when the speed guy scores from first many more times out of a 100 when Lee goes shopping at the right centerfield gap.

I'd also say if I signed guys with good career #'s when there are RISP, that I'd be on my way to finding good fifth and sixth place hitters.

Thanks for your help, Vince.

Really glad you could participate in this conversation.

Yes, after reading comments - if TCR owned the Cubs, the College of Coaches would be re-instituted.

Wow... glad I missed this one, at least when it started to get fun. Actually... I kinda' started it, didn't I? Oops...

Go Cubs!

Hobart Mike — August 10, 2007 @ 5:49 pm
Yes, after reading comments - if TCR owned the Cubs, the College of Coaches would be re-instituted.

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

HOBART MIKE: Actually, I think the College of Coaches was a good idea. Employing teachers and experts as MLB coaches instead of the manager's cronies, drinking buddies, and gin rummy partners. It was the rotating Head Coach and the Athletic Director that was absolutely stupid.

Even more important then speed is an ability to run the bases to me. A guy who steals a lot but gets thrown out a lot (like, say, Juan Pierre) is to me hurting the team a lot more then he hurts it. Having a guy on second over first isn't enough of an advantage over not having someone on the bases at all, which is what getting caught stealing does to you.

And yes, I don't like bunting, outside of the pitcher or whatever horrible hitter you have on your team. It's just been mathematically shown to hurt the team more often giving up that out for one base then it helps.

But yes, I like spped. If I can have OBP and speed, then I will take it. But I will never take Juan Pierre for anything ever.

Where is your break point? At what OBP does a guy like Pierre become your kind of player? .330? .340?

I thought the College of coaches was the rotating manager (before my time). Guess I'm wrong, but you know what I mean AZ Phil.

Where is your break point? At what OBP does a guy like Pierre become your kind of player? .330? .340?

When he become Brett Butler.

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