Kerry As Kloser? Krazy

Jim Hendry acknowledges that Kerry Wood will have to show he can occasionally pitch on three consecutive days to become a full-fledged closer. But can he even pitch on two? Woody pitched in both ends of the 9/15 doubleheader in St. Louis, but other than that, he never pitched in consecutive days in ’07; in half of his 22 appearances, he was going on two, three or four days rest. The Cubs also saved Kerry for the low-leverage innings. In fact, according to Fangraphs, Wood pitched, on average, in lower leverage situations than any other Cub pitchers, except young Gallagher, Petrick, Pignatiello and Marshall (relief appearances only.) The stat I’m drawing on here is Average Leverage Index per plate appearance, which measures the possible change in win probability due to the result of any one at-bat. Wood’s pLI was 0.52; Marmol (1.19), Howry (1.44), and Dempster (1.57) were dealing with entirely different stress levels altogether. I thought the Cubs handled Wood well after his return from the DL in early August. He contributed, and he didn’t get hurt. But if he really does get the closer’s job, I don’t think either will be the case for very long in ’08.
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Comments

Cubnut, I am unsure why Kerry has so much arm trouble. I have read about poor mechanics, and throwing across his body, etc., is that the case? Is there a physiological reason that his arm just can't give more than 50 innings or so next year?

I don't think we spent $4 mil. for a mop-up guy. At minimum, I would expect him to fill the role Marmol did last year, basically mid-innings go-to guy for a jam or tough inning.

Right on - Cubnut. I am all for Woody haveing a productive 2008. I just don't know how he will do given his 22 relief apearances in 2007. Just because we paid him big money in 2008 he will compete for closer? I hope the Cubs spent the money for Wood based on what they saw in him during and after theh season not because he is a sentimental fav of all Cub fans.

I guess I don't see the correlation between Woody's Leverage Index and his health. He throws 97 with a nasty slider. His arm gets taxed as it is. I don't buy that throwing under stress makes him more fragile. Hell, he worked himself into enough jams that he saw stress last year.

I am on board about him not pitching successive days at any point in 2006, though. That concerns me a bit. But, if he's going to be a vital cog in this bullpen, he's going to have to do that anyway.

If he wants to be the fireman/7th inning guy that Marmol was last year, he'll have to throw a lot. If he's going to be the setup man, he'll have to throw a lot. The closer didn't have the most appearances last year. Howry and Wuertz did. Marmol would have had he been in the pen for the entire year.

"The stat I’m drawing on here is Average Leverage Index per plate appearance, which measures the possible change in win probability due to the result of any one at-bat. Wood’s pLI was 0.52; Marmol (1.19), Howry (1.44), and Dempster (1.57) were dealing with entirely different stress levels altogether."

So basically, stat nerds found a way to measure pressure. Wow.

yeah, tough one to understand Chad...

guys on 2nd/3rd with 0 outs in the 8th is higher leverage moment than coming in with nobody on in the 6th.

Try to wrap your brain around it...

Thanks Rob. And good afternoon to you. I am saying that I don't need a fucking stat to tell me that there is more pressure to pitch in the ninth of a 1 run game than to pitch in the 7th of a 10 run blow out. My problem is that they use stupid formulas and made up stats like 'win probability' to put a number on it. Just another reason to hate statheads.

To me it seemed like Lou just didn't trust Wood last year more than that he was protecting his arm. I got the impression that by the end of the year especially Lou was favoring "proven" entities, and that Wood kind of was a piece that he didn't necessarily want but that Hendry had given him. With Marmol, Howry, and Dempster he knew what he had because they had been pitching for him all year. With Wood, it was impossible to gauge how effective he would be, and so Lou only wanted to use him in low-leverage situations.

I have absolutely no problem with Wood competing for the closer's role. It was said last year that his arm started to hurt after around 45-50 pitches, which a closer will seldom come close to. Another good offseason of workouts, and who really knows how his arm will respond? I am just glad to see Dempster gone from that role, and would prefer to see him traded rather than put him as a below average MLB starter. Surely, he can bring a low level prospect back, or even a bag of used batting practice balls...

With Dempster as a starter, the bullpen will HAVE to throw more pitches!

ESPN.com says Cubs are willing to trade Prior.

Why bother? If he ever gets healthy, he could be good or great.

Unless you can find a team dumb enough to give up something...

Has Dempster been guaranteed a spot in the starting rotation?

I know he is moving out of the pen, but with Marquis, Marshall, Dempster, etc. all fighting for the last 2 rotation spots, who's to say Dempster will be in the rotation Opening Day?

I think all of this "Dempster to the rotation" talk may be a ploy to boost his trade value, first and foremost.... not a guarantee that he is our #4/5 starter even if he blows up in 'Zona.

I am saying that I don’t need a fucking stat to tell me that there is more pressure to pitch in the ninth of a 1 run game than to pitch in the 7th of a 10 run blow out.

No... but you do need a stat to know how often a pitcher pitched in such situations.

Or do you like to just make it up?

I doesn't matter dave. I don't care if Wood never pitched in a pressure situation. I want him to get a shot at it.

The stat was created (by Tom Tango, i.e., Tangotiger) to define degrees of "clutch," which, as you so eloquently pointed out, Chad, you're able to define for yourself. Attaching a specific number to various hitting situations has enabled Tangotiger to measure who is clutch, who isn't, and to what degree that ability even exists. I believe he has concluded the skill exists, but not nearly to extent most baseball watchers have always assumed.

Re: Pico/#1...

I, too, have always heard/thought that Wood's mechanical problem is throwing across his body. Steve Stone has harped on that for years, and even last year, said he thought Wood had made minor modifications to his delivery but nothing that would make him significantly less likely to wind up on the DL, at least in the long term.

at least there's howry and marmol...not all is lost if wood becomes a 4-8m dud.

im a bit more worried about CF and...until the settle it...RF.

All I know about Woody is this:

Eric Brynes, who is a professional baseball player (you can argue how good he is amongst yourselves but I'm reasonably certain he is better than anyone posting here) was guest hosting during the Turkey day holidays for the regular radio sports guys and he said that when he saw Wood towards the end of the year "he was absolutely filthy."

He said that as a batter, you can't really hit him when he's on.

I would say that a one-two of him and marmol, whatever order, would mean that the game is over after 7.

"I think all of this “Dempster to the rotation” talk may be a ploy to boost his trade value..."

could be - we certainly don't know for sure. However, it is well known that Teflon Jim and Dempster are good buddies. And, we know Hendry treats his buds with loyalty, to a fault.

It seems foolish to even think about Wood filling a key role in 2008. Whatever he may contribute should be considered unexpected and most welcome.

If he puts out 70-80 productive innings I'll be surprised ... pleased but surprised.

I don't know why people are so worried about the starting rotation. It was solid last year, and you have to assume that Z will have a better year than he did last year. Hill should continue to get better. Even if Marquis sucks it up (I expect this), you still have Dempster, Marshall, Hart, Gallagher competing for 2 spots. Lets spend our money on the part of the team that needs it - OFFENSE. RF/CF/SS need upgrades.

Chad is bored.

I know this is literally years ago but it seems like Kerry Wood could hardly ever get out of the FIRST inning without throwing 40 or more pitches, so I don't know why some people think this dude could close games.

Y'all don't think that the money the Cubs are wasting on Wood, Prior and Dempster could, I don't know, be used to go sign some guys who produce?

Well, hey, you just actually typed "y'all", so forgive me, but I am going to proceed through my day as if I never read your post...

Y’all don’t think that the money the Cubs are wasting on Wood, Prior and Dempster could, I don’t know, be used to go sign some guys who produce?

Hahaha. Dempster hasn't produced?

Do you even watch Cubs games?

HEY - YO!

Considering (if you've been paying attention) what mediocre set-up relief has been garnering in deals (Linnebrink, et. al.), Woody was signed in a very fair deal for a short -term that shores up a need. Sorry, but he did "produce" when asked last season, when he finally developed some consisten health.

IF Ryan Dempster is in this rotation, we'll rely on our 'pen even more than last year. Finally, as many have opined here, I do not think that his signing would have much bearing on stifling other potential strong moves by the GM.

Old and Blue:
"He said that as a batter, you can’t really hit him when he’s on."

He should have added:"...when he's on and not injured."

See that is my problem on counting on Wood to be the closer.

Danville Joe:
"It seems foolish to even think about Wood filling a key role in 2008. Whatever he may contribute should be considered unexpected and most welcome.

If he puts out 70-80 productive innings I’ll be surprised … pleased but surprised."

Good post. That is exactly what I am thinking.

OK, this is the 2nd time I've seen that Wood didn't pitch in consecutive days in 2007.

Maybe I have a faulty memory but didn't Wood pitch in back-to-back games in the minors before he came up to the big league club?

If he thinks he can do it, and the Cubs brass and medical staff thinks he can do it... guess what, it doesn't matter what we think.

The whole situation thing, I don't understand the point. He knows he didn't pitch in high leverage situations, we watched and know he didn't pitch in hign leverage situations, but he's done it before, and with the exception of game 7 of the '03 NLCS he's done pretty well. He is always going to be a maximum effort guy. It's just his personality. He's not going to suddenly try really really really really hard. He's always done that.

"See that is my problem on counting on Wood to be the closer."

OK, we've already established that we aren't going to be counting on him as the closer. So what is your point? Did Piniella call him the closer? Did Hendry? Did Wood? Who called him the closer for the 2008 team?

mannytrillo says:

"He should have added:”…when he’s on and not injured.”

See that is my problem on counting on Wood to be the closer."

If Wood pitches one game as a closer, it will probably be a win.

One win added to last year's count makes a difference. Just watching the guy pitch is like watching art. How can you not like that?

I

The Real Neal:
"OK, we’ve already established that we aren’t going to be counting on him as the closer."

Have we?? Where?

"Who called him the closer for the 2008 team?"

There have more than a few posts here suggesting he be the closer and it has been opined in various articles after the signing that he is possibly going to be considered for the closer role. But nobody has officially anointed him the closer, not have I suggested he was. But his injury history is my problem on counting on Wood for closer or any significant role on the Cubs, so thus I hope they just leave him in a regular relief role and count on someone else as closer.

Old and Blue:
"If Wood pitches one game as a closer, it will probably be a win."

Really? Well since you have shined up your crystal ball to determine that, can you tell me what game it will be in, so I can bet that game?

"so thus I hope they just leave him in a regular relief role and count on someone else as closer."

OK, so now say he goes into ST and wins the closer role. Then on May 16th his arm explodes. What's the downside?

I thought it was great that the Wood signing was announced the same day as the Trib's Sullivan wrote that it was unlikely that Kerry would return to the Cubs.

Oh, to get paid make up stuff about baseball. Great gig.

For you Damon Berryhill fans:

He was named Manager of the Ranger's A-level MiLB club in Bakersfield.

Harry would be proud.

I almost wish we could shelve Woody for September or the playoffs. Nobody disputes that when he is healthy, his stints out of the pen have been great. He has a Filthy Fastball, and a nasty slider on the black you couldn't hit with a boat oar.

He still walks too many guys, but hey, that's OK.

Has Johan or his agent come out and said or even hinted at what teams he would waive his full no-trade for?

throwaway line in the SI piece from today said this..

Santana has a full no-trade clause and can control where he goes. Word is, he has interest in New York, but the Red Sox, Dodgers and Angels have to be considered attractive options.

As for any Prior talk, I thought we all discussed this site being a 'PFZ' (Prior-Free-Zone) some time ago.

I suspect that the list of teams that Johan wants to be traded to closely coincides with list of teams interested in offering him a 7 year $147 million contract.

its 1 year...if wood "breaks" he can either sign another "below market deal" or go away.

even at worst he's 1-4m overpaid depending on incentives...though some would like him gone, period.

its a high-end risk, but one that carries a 1 year weight and the fans seem to like him.

Just to speculate.

Santana to the Mets for

Milledge,Pelfrey,Martinez

You heard it here 1st

mannytrillo — November 27, 2007 @ 3:13 pm

But his injury history is my problem on counting on Wood for closer or any significant role on the Cubs, so thus I hope they just leave him in a regular relief role and count on someone else as closer.
------------------------

Manny, there is a clear difference between "counting on" Wood to be the closer and "giving him a chance to earn the closers role."

From what I have seen and heard, absolutely NO ONE within the Cubs organization is "counting on" Wood to be the closer in 2008 in remotely the same manner we "counted on" Wood to be our ace a few years ago.

He HAS to close...that's why I snatched him up in my keeper league last July!

The only way I can take any Cubs executive seriously is if they get us another starter. The current rotation ain't gonna bring us a ring. Everything else they say is blah blah blah. Matsui would be a pursuit in mediocrity. Get Santana if at all possible. The Yankees will probably get him, but I say what the hell...Hang Fire!

Cubnut:
Jim Hendry acknowledges that Kerry Wood will have to show he can occasionally pitch on three consecutive days to become a full-fledged closer.

Wow... a closer? Seriously? I wouldn't have even signed him, but that's just me, I guess.

The E-Man:
With Dempster as a starter, the bullpen will HAVE to throw more pitches!

lol...

put hill dempster zambrano lily marquis
in rotation
marquis dempster hill 100 pitches in 5 innings
more often then not.
zambrano and lilly after 6 innings.

the cubs bullpen doesnt need dempster in rotation
they need a innings eater.

also what are the odds that not one starter
gets injured for 2nd year in a row

Unless your building your starting rotation around Wood and Prior, then no team can forecast injuries over the off-season. It would seem that with Z, Lilly, Hill, Marquis, Dempster, Hart, Gallagher, and Marshall that the Cubs could find at least 4 reliable starters. Check out most 5th starters around MLB and most suck (below .500 records, 4.80 - 5.30 ERAs).

With Marmol, Howry, Wood, Wuertz, Eyre, Ohman, and some of the above leftover starters, the bullpen doesn't keep me awake at night. I also haven't seen or heard anything from the Cubs that have them counting on Wood for anything but to be a part of the bullpen in a role to be determined. The $$$ risk isn't something that will break the budget for the 2008 season. Like AZ Phil, I would like to see a deal for another bullpen arm.

My perception is their biggest need is an offense that has more speed, athleticism, and the ability to manufacture runs rather than waiting on Lee, Ramirez, and Soriano to hit the long ball. Coincidentally, Lou seems to share the same opinion. Maybe I'm missing something but a 2B/SS rotation of Matsui, DeRosa, and Theriot while adding a LH bat doesn't seem like a bad thing in helping Lou accomplish his stated goal.

Adding Sam Fuld to the outfield mix and making a serious pitch for Fukudome and/or Crawford and/or Ryan Church would also give the Cubs LH bats with a more balanced offense that waiting for a Cliff Floyd / Geoff Jenkins long ball.

Improving the offense is Hendry's primary challenge in my opinion. All that being said, if they could get Santana for Hill, Pie and Murton I would make that deal in a heartbeat.

there's like 20-25 teams out there looking SP.

guys that arent even marquis talent are gettting his loot or more for 3+ years. people are coveting guys for their middle rotation that would be end-of-roation 3-4m guys just a couple years ago.

there is only so far you can go with pimping out your SP, esp. in this 07/08 offseason market with so much demand and very little supply.

in order to get a guy like santana the cubs would have to mortgage the cost/futures of guys like r.hill and f.pie to START with in a package...then give santana 20+m over 5+ years...then find a replacement for r.hill.

r.hill isnt comparable to santana...hardly anyone is...but r.hill subtraction would leave a pretty big hole to fill.

From today's Japan Times...

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/sb2007...

..."the Hanshin Tigers have dropped out of the hunt for Kosuke Fukudome" leaving "the Yomiuri Giants and major league clubs as the remaining bidders..."

So the Cubs' odds are better, but who knows how much better.

"So the Cubs’ odds are better, but who knows how much better."

there is such a small chance any japanese team will pay him what he could get in the US, by millions per year.

it could come down to where he wants to live for 6-8 months for the next 3+ years and how badly he wants to apply his trade in MLB.

Agreed, but hasn't it been written that his boyhood dream was to play for the Giants? Yomiuri, that is.

in order to get a guy like santana the cubs would have to mortgage the cost/futures of guys like r.hill and f.pie to START with in a package…then give santana 20+m over 5+ years…then find a replacement for r.hill.

r.hill isnt comparable to santana…hardly anyone is…but r.hill subtraction would leave a pretty big hole to fill.

Uh...what?

Subtract Hill, Add Santana with extension = No Hole to Fill. Simple Math, really.

totally...personally, though im not a person who's swayed by money given the jobs ive left, i would want to be where im comfortable.

its not like he's got considerations like how big his desk is or a compensation package or etc...well, kinda...

he's got some real social/cultural issues to deal with and not everyone handles it well.

the orioles, years ago, had a minor leaguer from africa...toolsy guy with very little baseball skills....who just couldnt hack it. not being able to talk to people who know his language, lack of bonding with teammates, different social arena...well, he went f'n crazy and eventually went back home after a series of incidents where he showed a total lack of wanting to be in a US society (and some speculate the start of a true mental illness showing itself).

Hey Altman, dead on in your post. The Cubs need to improve their situational hitting in 2008; hit behind the runner to advance, sacrifice bunt, hit and run etc... I would love to see more guys like Theriot. Guys who can also hustle for a change. If we wait for HRs from Aram, Fonzie and Dlee we are not going to improve.

"Uh…what?"

yeah, logical brainfart...i meant to stick with the money vs. return issue on that, but it went somewhere...uh...stupid.

For those who are high on Santana, I just talked to a very knowledgable and in-tune Twins fan. He said for Hill, Pie and Ryan Harvey he doesn't even blink before he makes the trade.

FWIW.

Ryan Harvey? Fuck, let's throw in Brian Dopirak too. Can we make your Twins fan friend their GM for a day?

LNL:
"From what I have seen and heard, absolutely NO ONE within the Cubs organization is “counting on” Wood to be the closer in 2008 in remotely the same manner we “counted on” Wood to be our ace a few years ago."

While that may be true, the Cubs must have confidence that someone will do a better job than Dempster did last year or why move him out of the closers role and Wood is the odds on favorite now to get that position. But you make a good point. I just wish they cut ties with him, and Prior, before last year and move on.

"FWIW."

Thanks, Rory........let's hope Hendry can make these moves.

Ryan Harvey can be ruled 5---isn't on the 40 man

the Cubs must have confidence that someone will do a better job than Dempster did

I think that confidence is well founded. We're talking about a guy, Dempster, who saved only 81.3% of his chances the last 2 seasons while posting a 4.78 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP. It's hard to imagine the Cubs can't do better than that. They've got at least 5 guys, probably more, who could give you that kind of work.

Wood is the odds on favorite now to get that position.

He is? Based on what?

Wood was clearly the 4th option in the pen on a good day in 07, subtracting Dempster doesn't make him #1. Hendry is even discounting the idea when he talks about Wood proving that he can pitch on multiple days.

Except for some internet speculation based on the romance of Wood's past, there is no evidence that Wood has done anything to put his name at or above the level of Howry or Marmol on the post-dempster closer depth chart.

Kaz Matsui sigs with the cubs

http://cubshotstove.blogspot.com/

BB:
"He is? Based on what?"

My opinion. But if Lou/Hendry wanted Howry the closer last year, why was he not closing. The same can be said for Marmol. They were both healthy and more than ready to step into the role. Wood was not healthy till late and was never able to step in and take over the closer role last year due to being hurt. It is my opinion it is his job to lose going into ST next year.

Man I hope that's not true... and untill I see it on ESPN or rotoworld I won't believe it!

5M per year for Kaz Matsui is insane! Worse then the Marquis signing IMO

"Kaz Matsui sigs with the cubs"

Go Hendry!!!! I thought the only reason Hendry signed all these no hit middle IF was because of Baker. Look at this guys numbers away from Coors. And he got almost $5 million a year? WOW!!!!

I agree.... I need to see that deal on something other than "Cubs Hot Stove" before I believe it.... although their banner does claim the site provides "Cubs Rumors and News as Soon as it Happens." :)

Yep, if this seals the deal for Fukudome, then it is worth it. If not, then we just have the potential, once again, to put like 8 2B in the field all at once...

mannytrillo — November 27, 2007 @ 8:52 pm

While that may be true, the Cubs must have confidence that someone will do a better job than Dempster did last year or why move him out of the closers role and Wood is the odds on favorite now to get that position. But you make a good point. I just wish they cut ties with him, and Prior, before last year and move on.
------------------------------

I have to disagree that Wood is the "odds on favorite" to become the closer. I know the media has portrayed it in that way, but I think Lou will need to see Wood throw in three straight days before I agree with that statement. You may very well end up being right, and it is obvious most of the beat writers share your opinion, but I'm sure not counting on him being the closer until I see how his shoulder holds up in Spring Training.

As for cutting ties and moving on, I definitely understand where you are coming from. If we were still in the same mindset we were a few years back and relying on Wood and Prior a great deal, I would absolutely share your opinion. I just differ now given their relative low salaries and the teams lack of dependence on them being healthy. Anything we get from them at this point is simply a bonus and I truly think Hendry and the rest of Cubs management see it that way. I have no problem with that mindset as long as their salaries are cheap and their inevitable injuries don't leave huge holes on the roster.... both of which seem to be true at this point.

"there is no evidence that Wood has done anything to put his name at or above the level of Howry or Marmol on the post-dempster closer depth chart"

the chance of k.wood signing a deal like he did without first crack at closing is very very slim.

no matter what we think of him, he could have gotten multi-year 5+m deals elsewhere...its highly doubtful he signed a 1 year below market deal to be middle relief.

I keep chuckling about that post someone had yesterday about the possibility that K-Fuk thinks Matsui is a douchebag... Thanks for that, whoever that was...

You're welcome.

Hope it's not true though.

Pro Sports Daily shut down a thread on the Kaz signing as being a false rumor. Apparently people in the Denver market have not heard this on the Updates there, also no other Cub or Rockies blog or news paper has reported it.

http://www.prosportsdaily.com/forums/showthre...

Hope that is the case Chifan...

That signing would make zero sense. It would be a stupid signing, even for Hendry.

On BCB they claim thru the ESPN radio station in Denver is announcing that Matsui has signed with the Cubs for 3yrs and 14 million in cash.

My best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who heard ESPN radio in Denver report the Cubs signing of Matsui 3/14m.

I guess it's pretty serious.

Where there's smoke there's fire!!

Yay! Sign me up for a Matsui jersey.

j.kendall's deal worth 4.25m

...um okay.

On BCB they claim thru the ESPN radio station in Denver is announcing that Matsui has signed with the Cubs for 3yrs and 14 million in cash.

Read above... BCB is quoting the same source that was linked above.

yeah some dude trying to be funny...

started on prosports daily and then to NSBB and apparently BCB.

Go Internets!!

ha...the internet...ive been there!

I have a question on Kaz.........short of going into the season with DeRosa/Theriot at the keystone again or having Kaz/DeRosa/Theriot rotate through there all season, what's the next best option? And eating $26M of Tejada's contract and death are not options?

Nats signed Brownlie and Dubois to minor league deals..

3/14 appears to be the new 3/44. Let's hope this deal never happens either...

Nats signed Brownlie and Dubois to minor league deals..

Shouldn't they be in Baltimore? Close enough I guess.

i seriously dont see much wrong with going with theriot/cedeno/derosa up the middle...while matsui would make that mix even more interesting and the speed would be nice it just seems to be a luxury item rather than an upgrade.

i wouldnt mind matsui, but i could definitely be satisfied with what's already here.

George Altman:
"short of going into the season with DeRosa/Theriot at the keystone again or having Kaz/DeRosa/Theriot rotate through there all season, what’s the next best option?"

Before Renteria and Cabrera were traded or after?

After. Quit livin' in the past, man.

crunch:
"i seriously dont see much wrong with going with theriot/cedeno/derosa up the middle"

I do. Theriot is not a good offensive SS and DeRosa in an adequate 2B at best, but better fitted to be the super sub, playing RF, 2B and 3B when needed. When ARam eventually tweaks a hammy and misses 20+ games, DeRosa will have to play 3B, Cedeno SS and Theriot 2B. What a horrible IF that will be. Now if you are saying that we don't need to add Kaz because we already have Cedeno, then I am in agreement. Kaz is a little better than Cedeno, but not worth 3 years at $5 million per. But SS should be a key spot to upgrade this offseason. This team needs to upgrade somewhere and SS is a very good place to start.

Is 13 Million of Tejada better than 5 million for Matsui? I say it is. Tejada is an actual upgrade that will translate to the field. Matsui is more of a window dressing move to justify a 25% ticket hike.

Nats signed Brownlie and Dubois to minor league deals..

Shouldn’t they be in Baltimore? Close enough I guess.

This reminds me of a "Welcome Back Kotter" bit.

They were doing a skit in class and Kotter named the character that Freddie "Boom Boom" Washington was playing "Freddie Baltimore".

There was confused silence until Horshack piped up, "Well, that's close to Washington".

That show was awesome. I can't wait for the remake starring Ice Cube.

dr. aaronb:
"Matsui is more of a window dressing move to justify a 25% ticket hike."

The Cubs are hiking ticket prices 25%? I hadn't heard anything yet. Is that seasons or individual?

Is Ice Cube going to be Washington in the remake?

Yeah well Theriot is still a good situational hitter. 120 AB's with RISP only 7 strikeouts and 15 walks. .283 BA - .355 OBP.

Its funny how people forget how Theriot just kept coming up with big hits after big hits. For a rookie in his first season he did pretty well and deserves a chance to build upon that. Or we can sign Matsui and watch him hit roughly the same, while being 5 years older and being insanely more expensive.

Do the Winter Meetings start next week or in 2 weeks?

Question:

How is K Matsui defensively??

Do the Winter Meetings start next week or in 2 weeks?

Next week. December 3-6.

How is K Matsui defensively??

Supposedly an excellent defensive second baseman and a generally poor defensive shortstop.

"The Cubs are hiking ticket prices 25%? I hadn’t heard anything yet. Is that seasons or individual?"

News has been out about three weeks now.

Exact figures should be known upon receipt of invoice, but season tix are going up "20-25%"

Call your banker.

MikeC:
"For a rookie in his first season he did pretty well and deserves a chance to build upon that. Or we can sign Matsui and watch him hit roughly the same, while being 5 years older and being insanely more expensive."

I don't think Theriot did as well as some people do, but if the choice is Theriot vs. Kaz (crap vs. crap), then yeah definitely go with Theriot.

E-Man any link?

There's mention of up to a 20% increase here, but it's just speculation.

I just looked in my email and I got my renewal notice last year on Nov. 13, so they are already 2 weeks later this year. Last year they froze season ticket prices, but rose individual ticket prices like $2 across the board, if I remember correctly.

Looks like my post got eaten or held up in moderation. There was an article in the Sun Times that said there are "indications" of up to a 20% increase, and that renewal forms would be delayed.

This is really going to cut into your profit margins, Manny.

MANNY: Yep. All of my ST buddies are saying the same thing. "where's my invoice?".

If you Google for ticket increases, you'll find numerous articles. I recall the usual Cubs beat guys writing about it. Indeed, I heard Crane Kenney myself on WGN with Cap and he was asked specifically about it, which he did confirm. This was last week, or week previous. The reason was - "...we will be spending the additional revenue on players [and my membership at Medinah]."

Oh - I am theorizing that the invoices will not go out until after the GM meetings when Hendry signs all of the great players and makes a trade for Oh-Man!

DeRosa in an adequate 2B at best,

Since when is DeRosa just adequate at best?

DeRosa was 5th among NL 2b in BA, 6th in OBP, 10th in SLUG, 8th in OPS. That would make him an average offensive 2b, at worst, in the National League.

Do you feel that the Cubs need a superstar at each position?

vorare:
"This is really going to cut into your profit margins, Manny."

Nah, just pass it on to the buyer...

vorare — November 28, 2007 @ 10:56 am
Looks like my post got eaten or held up in moderation. There was an article in the Sun Times that said there are “indications” of up to a 20% increase, and that renewal forms would be delayed.

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

VORARE: Your post wasn't held up in moderation, it got caught by the TCR Spam Catcher. So I put on my proximity suit and went in there and rescued your comment (see comment #106). BTW, you'll never believe what Tanya and Jessica will do for $100.

BTW, you’ll never believe what Tanya and Jessica will do for $100.

Well... if it is anything like Johann's mom, I can believe it. Except she costs less than $100.

Phil with the funny! So what does Silent Towel think about the Wood signing?

dave:
"Since when is DeRosa just adequate at best?

DeRosa was 5th among NL 2b in BA, 6th in OBP, 10th in SLUG, 8th in OPS. That would make him an average offensive 2b, at worst, in the National League."

I said he was adequate, which means capable. Which goes along with him basically being average. What's the problem?

"Do you feel that the Cubs need a superstar at each position?"

No, but the team needs to improve somewhere, don't you agree? They won 85 games in a horrible division. With everyday players, they are set at LF, 3B, 1B and C (Soto deserves the shot), so we can upgrade at CF, RF, SS and 2B. I wouldn't be upset with DeRosa starting at 2B and Maybe Pie in CF as long as we seriously upgrade in the other positions. Gotta improve somewhere.

Wrigley's Believe It Or Not — November 28, 2007 @ 11:24 am

So what does Silent Towel think about the Wood signing?

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

WRIG: We placed Silent Towel on Release Waivers at the end of the season, and I believe he is now posting comments on a blog in Korea (that would be NORTH Korea).

Theriot was just a rookie and the last month or so he really fell off, but was around .290 most of the year. Most rookies improve after their first year and some regress and some are about the same. I would take a chance that Theriot improves. He seems like a fighter that was probably told his whole live that he could never make it to the majors and he did. My guess is that he will work hard to build on that. Matsui is what he is and is most likely not going to get better. To me the choice is clear. Go with the cheaper guy who has a better chance to improve.

Also, lost in all the left handed hitting OF talk is that almost all of the potential candidates (I'm not sure about Fukedome) do not play CF. To me it looks like the Cubs are saying that it is Pie's to lose. I can live with that if he bats 7th or 8th and they get a stud RF.

I think Matsui will bring a much deeper lineup to the Cubs with balancing the lineup a necessary key as well as providing Lou w/ great double switch options. Matsui, Theriot, and DeRo can play just about anywhere so they will be able to work over the lineup in the 7th inning w/out making Dusty-esque double switches.

but was around .290 most of the year

He was?

April: .299/.347/.328
May: .256/.330/.367
June: .224/.272/.276
July: .348/.437/.483
August: .276/.315/.353
September: .202/.257/.263

He only had two months with a batting average over .276.

The Cubs may not have announced ticket prices, but this hasn't stopped people from selling 2008 season tickets on MLB-approved StubHub and E-Bay.

When I've sold my tickets on StubHub I actually had to prove I had the tickets, so how is this possible?

But the thing is, where is Theriot going to improve?

It's not like he's going to magically discover more power in that miniscule frame of his. He's never going to get on base more often if he doesn't start seeing more pitches.

Is he just going to hit better? Get luckier on ground balls?

TJ - Fukudome is said (by Henedry) to be able to play any OF position. I do think the Cubs picture him playing primarily RF, though, since they have repeatedly stated they are looking for a LH-hitting RFer.

TJ:
"Theriot was just a rookie and the last month or so he really fell off, but was around .290 most of the year."

Really? His batting average was not higher than .290 once after May 20th and most of the time it was in the .260's and .270's.

Pie, Fuld or Pagan, one of them is going to hit well enough to play center and bat 8th.

Theriot was just a rookie and the last month or so he really fell off, but was around .290 most of the year.

And you are absolutely right, TJ.

Specifically, as of August 21 Theriot was hitting
.290 .351 .378 on the season.

Then he put together a nine-game hitting streak but saw his batting average drop 9 points.

So it goes for contact hitters. Luck plays a role.

I sold my Rockies NLCS tickets on StubHub (thanks Cubs) and you don't have to have the tickets to put them on sale. They arrived in the mail the day my auction closed and I sent them off.

Pie, Fuld or Pagan, one of them is going to hit well enough to play center and bat 8th.

Optimism is in full bloom, and it's not even Spring yet!

I sold my Rockies NLCS tickets on StubHub (thanks Cubs) and you don’t have to have the tickets to put them on sale. They arrived in the mail the day my auction closed and I sent them off.

Thanks for clearing that up. I've always used last minutes services and wasn't allowed to post my tickets until the StubHub office received them.

well Theriot wasn't around 290 all year, that's just not true. You can check out his game log on ESPN.com.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/gamelog...

He got up to a .322 BA on May 8th and by the end of May was down to .274. It got down to .255 by June 29th and then slowly crept up to . 290 on Aug 18th before another downward trend to his final .266 BA.

If you want to say he was around a .270 hitter most of the year, then you got something.

The 2007 Cubs got off to a poor start (23-31 over the first 1/3 of the season), but that was while Piniella was still trying to figure the team out.

The Cubs then went 62-46 over the last 108 games (the final 2/3 of the season), which prorates out to a 93 win team over a full season, eight games better than the second-best N. L. Central club over that same period (STL) .

N. L. RECORDS FINAL 2/3 OF 2007 REGULAR SEASON (108 games):

COL - 65-43
PHI - 63-45
CUBS - 62-46
AZ - 59-49

SD 57-51
STL 54-54
ATL 53-55
MIL 53-55
NYM 53-55

CIN 51-57
HOU 51-57
LAD 51-57
WAS 51-57

FLA 45-63
PIT 45-63
SF 45-63

So my concern is that Hendry will take what was in its essence a 90+ win team and muck it up.

yeah I think StubHub changed the way they do things. I used it once a long time ago and they would "hold' the tickets and then do the shipping when the transaction was complete.. Now there's an option when you put up tickets for sale on whether you have the tickets in hand or not and you handle the shipping by printing a FedEx label from their site.

It's an okay site, huge commissions (15%), but safer than using Ebay (who I think owns them now as is).

I have a sneaking suspicion that Ryan Church will be the lefty hitting RF, simply because the more desirable options will either sign elsewhere (Fukodome) or will remain unavailable (Crawford).

So, keeping in mind that the Nats already have an awful OF and that they are generally impossible to deal with, what is a reasonable price to pay for Church? They may try to acquire Elijah Dukes next week, which may or may not help make Church available.

They could certainly use a SP (Tim Redding as your #3?), so Marquis, Marshall or Dempster are options. They might like Murton to shore up that OF, or Cedeno for their middle IF.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/7498162

Rosenthal's latest...no real Cubs news.

Nathan might be on the block though if Johan gets moved and Twins go into fire sale mode. He'd make a lot of sense for the Brewers.

Attention everybody hear ye this:

From MLBTR:

Unfounded Rumor: Kaz Matsui
UPDATE, 11-28-07 at 10:45am: Buster Olney says talks for Matsui are indeed picking up, and the Cubs are in the thick of things. He notes that if a team is dead set on acquiring a left-handed hitting middle infielder, its options are limited. It's possible the Astros are still talking to Matsui.

FROM 11-28-07 at 8:30am:

Since last night, about a dozen people have emailed me about a supposed Denver radio station report. This report purportedly claimed Kaz Matsui had signed with the Cubs for three years and $14MM.

However, none of the emailers had actually heard the report with their own two ears. Details are slim - no one knows who actually said it on air. While the rumor sounds reasonable, it may be made up or a contortion of the truth. It may also be accurate - we don't know yet.

One sign that the hot stove season has officially kicked in is the spreading of unverifiable radio rumors. These are slippery because they're very difficult to confirm but have an air of authority to them. That makes radio rumors easy to fabricate and spread around the 'Net. I've also seen many cases where radio personalities were clearly speculating, but a few games of telephone later and they were talking about actual offers.

All that said, radio reports have value when verified. For instance Bruce Levine of ESPN Radio 1000 out of Chicago scooped everyone on the Kerry Wood and Scott Linebrink signings.

you can just give us the link to mlbtraderumors if you want, really no need to post the whole articles. I think most people around here frown upon that site anyway.

I think their harmless enough, do a good job of rounding up the latest rumors but when they start passing off their own from their own sources it gets a little sketchy.

Interesting article from Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/hotstove07/colu...

Some very interesting take on Prior, including this one: "If the Cubs decide to cut Prior loose, the line will stretch around the block. When asked how many clubs would have an interest in Prior if he's suddenly free in December, one NL executive replied, "Twenty-nine."

Also, mentions Cubs are looking to dump Marquis.

Cub fans have grown weary but this is what other teams see, not years of futility and mysterious ailments but,

a 27 year old surgically repaired arm
and a career 42-29 3.51 7.97 h/9 10.37 k/9

okay slow news day...

but this is f***** up

http://deadspin.com/sports/yahhhhhhh/canadian...

Was the an ad for Fox's new reality series "Freddy Krueger's Kitchen Nightmares"?

I know Bill Simmons..blah blah blah but a good point in his chat today.

I am a big proponent of trading pitching prospects for sure thing starters. If you go thru the recent history of elite pitching prospects, the odds of them actually making it and becoming great pitchers for an extended period of time are pretty slim. Remember in '97, when the Red Sox gave Montreal the choice of 2 from Brian Rose, Carl Pavano and Tony Armas Jr. for Pedro? Those were the crown jewels of their farm system.

and as Bill James stated recently:
but remember, arm injuries don't strike down some great young pitchers, they strike down most great young pitchers.

Or as BP says "there is no such thing as a pitching prospect"

Is Kaz the newest Neifi? A star at Coors, worthless elsewhere, left-hand hitting middle infielder? Whose presence is going to help bring in other, better talent? King Hendry the 8th must have a thing for this type of player.

If this is factually incorrect, please allay my concerns.

By the way, there needn't be any worries about other clubs' interest in Prior. Silent Towel assured us that Prior was a gutless malingerer (my language, not his).

If this is factually incorrect, please allay my concerns.

Well... I don't think you can call either of them "stars," even at Coors.

Dude, Rob, that was fucked.

Dude, that's not even a parody piece. That's a real damn PSA they're showing in Canada. This was probably my favorite comment from their readers:

I need to go home and mop my floor for the next 10 to 11 hours...later.

If 29 clubs have genuine interest, he has trade value. Maybe not MLB-ready, but value nonetheless.

of course I've watched it like 5 times already...I'm a sick bastard.

*dave says:

November 27th, 2007 at 3:01 pm

Y’all don’t think that the money the Cubs are wasting on Wood, Prior and Dempster could, I don’t know, be used to go sign some guys who produce?

Hahaha. Dempster hasn’t produced?

Do you even watch Cubs games?
*

Yeah, that Ryan Dempster, he's just "lights out" isn't he? Never cause for concern when good ol' Dempster comes trotting in from the 'pen.

He's produced, sure...in the last two years his ERA is over 4.7 and his win-loss is 3-16. He has saved on average 26 games.

Marmol could've equalled that, at least last year, at a fraction of Dempster's price [an average of 4.666 million].

Dempsters 4.6, Wood's 4 and Prior's 3.6 add up to 11 million bucks, roughly, which could be spent on an outfielder that can actually hit & throw, don't you think?

Yeah, Rob. That is one of the most pointless things I have seen in a long time. Why in the hell air that? To tell people that at every moment of every day, they could die in some God awful accident, so watch out!! What kind of trauma are they looking to impose on their viewers?

Yeah, that Ryan Dempster, he’s just “lights out” isn’t he?

Nice straw man - you do so well at arguing against them.

When the hell did I say anything about Dempster being lights out?

Sorry if 3/44, but Kendall has an 09 vesting option if he starts 110 games, and the $ increases if he starts 120 or 130.

\m/

And more on Dempster...

Dempster was/is a league average closer, if not above average. And he was/is paid as such.

There is no question that Wood and Prior have wasted a lot of Cubs money.

Dempster, on the other hand? Not so much.

Marmol could’ve equalled that, at least last year, at a fraction of Dempster’s price [an average of 4.666 million].

Oh... and let me guess - you are going to say that you predicted Marmol's success before the 2007 season began, right?

Seriously. How did that make it on tv? I was close to shaking after watching it the first time.

I put it on my facebook...then instantly changed my mind and took it off.

My wife is Canadian; guess I have to give her shit now.

I'm eating out tonight.

Maybe if she wasn't wasn't making a PSA while working, it wouldn't have happened.

Careful, Joe. What if the moment after you give your wife shit, she is in a terrible accident, and that was the last thing you ever say to her? I think that's the point of the ad: Don't ever do or say anything.

...or eat food.

You're right, I'll give her a kiss instead, then we'll go on a fast.

dave:
Dempster was/is a league average closer, if not above average. And he was/is paid as such."

If he possibly an above average closer, why is he getting moved out of that role to go into a position he has worse career numbers? It makes no sense when we have all this supposed depth of pitching to be the 5th starter. This all makes no sense unless they trade Dempster.

the PSA campaign has at least 2 more if you look at the related videos at the end. None as good as that one, but disturbing in their own right.

It makes no sense when we have all this supposed depth of pitching to be the 5th starter.

I agree - I wouldn't be moving Dempster out of the closer role if it was up to me.

Unless, as you said, he or Marquis will be traded.

Twins getting Delmon Young....

http://www.startribune.com/blogs/neal/?p=276

so much for Carl Crawford on the block...

nice trade for both teams.

Kazimir, Garza, Shields with David Price in the hopper isn't too bad.

While i thought #157 and #158 were hilarious, I am upset over the lack of love i received for my post #140.

You guys suck.

And I can't understand why they would trade Delmon Young. It really makes no sense. I would understand if this was his last year under contract but he has, what, 5 more?

Garza has 5 more too I think. It's trading surplus (OF'ers) for need (pitching and lots of it).

But you trade your best and youngest prospect?

Twins planning to keep anyone? Or totally blowing it up? No Hunter, Garza, Rincon, Silva, probably no Santana, maybe no Nathan ... who's going to throw the ball?

dave:
"Unless, as you said, he (Dempster) or Marquis will be traded."

Or both... (fingers crossed)

Liriano, Slowey, Bonser to start

probably get a pitcher back if they move Johan, maybe two. I think they have a few other arms in that system. If they move Nathan, could be another arm or two. But yeah, looks like 2008 will be a rebuild year.

But you trade your best and youngest prospect?
Well sure, they should trade their worst players and get crap instead. Twins I'm sure wanted someone with lots of years of club control and Garza's quite high on the young pitching scale.

well, for me, if we assume that both Young and Garza will be great players, you are already getting the shorter end of the stick as Young can play 162 games while Garza will only play in 35.

AND, you may not have gotten as good as a prospect for Crawford, he was the guy to move.

Lastly, what the fuck do they care anyway. They will never be competitive until they have a change of corporate philosophy and/or are sold.

well Rays also are supposedly getting Rincon and the defensive SS they wanted in Bartlett to hold the spot until Brignac is ready. Twins are getting Brendan Harris and someone named Jason Pridie. Sounds like the Twins had to give up a little more to get the everyday player in the deal.

Win win to me...

Why move Crawford? He's got three years left on a deal for cheap.

Why move Crawford? Well, less years on the contract and I think that Young has the potential to be a star in this league. A special player. While Crawford will not reach that level. Not that I don't think he's good, I just don't see him as a 'star'.

After rampant Beatlemania last week, mike vail gives us the first Rolling Stones reference of the thread at #44 --

say what the hell…Hang Fire!

Holy cats. Here's another TV spot in the same campaign.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Haa4QImf40&fe...

Is there some kind of accident pandemic spreading across Canada that they're trying to contain?

And why am I suddenly verrrry nervous about hot stove season?

And why am I suddenly verrrry nervous about hot stove season?

Because you may fall into the hot stove, and it most definitely wouldn't be an accident.

*dave says:

November 28th, 2007 at 2:21 pm

And more on Dempster…

Dempster was/is a league average closer, if not above average. And he was/is paid as such.*

Wow, since when did the average performance drop to such low "heights"?

Your save leaders in the NL last year were Valverde [2M], Cordero [5M], Hoffman [7M], Saito [1M], Cordero [4M]--notice anything?

Even David Freakin' Weathers pitched better than Dempster last year.

So if you're ponying up the kind of money to a guy [5+M], you'd expect him to perform BETTER than his collegues, no? Especially guys making bupkus in comparison.

It's amazing to me that people will complain about a guy's "performance" all year long and then forget about all the ulcers a month after the playoffs end.

It’s amazing to me that people will complain about a guy’s “performance” all year long and then forget about all the ulcers a month after the playoffs end.

Please show me where I complained about Dempster's performance.

Since it occurred "all year long," it shouldn't be too hard to be one or two examples, right?

And are you really trying to compare closers by the numbers of saves that they had?

"And I can’t understand why they would trade Delmon Young."

aside from TB having 3478972349 OF'rs....delmon's a thug and its not overplayed or overblown and it goes WAY beyond impregnating a relative, his 1000 kids by 1000 women, and throwing a bat at a minor league ump.

milton bradley's been shuffled around to many team, each time being dealt at below his expected market value for what his bat/glove/legs bring to the game.

The Reds DFA'd the legendary Buck Coats.

"delmon’s a thug and its not overplayed or overblown and it goes WAY beyond impregnating a relative"

I'm pretty sure that was Elijah Dukes. I could be wrong.

yes, it is...and i need more coffee.

ive been brainfarting on TCR lately...2nd day in a row i've thrown out illogical crap. to some people its probably the 200th day in row. ha.

Delmon Young threw the bat at the ump in the minor leagues.

Dempster was solid for most of the year I thought, downright awful in September.

I'm good with Wood, Howry and Marmol in the 7th, 8th and 9th no matter which one goes where. Eyre was rather good the 2nd half of last year too.

Re: Eyre

If he is not able to be a loogy, he's pretty useless now.

delmon threw the bat at the ump, but he's a pretty level-headed guy compared to dukes, who i was mixing up lives with.

young did something stupid/thuggish with the bat thing, but dukes eats/sleeps/lives thug. he has no impulse control even when he's chill. its freaky and not on the same level of the guy i was confusing him with, d.young.

along with above stuff..dukes love the strip clubs, has been arrested like 1/2 dozen times SINCE being drafted, and has had clubhouse fights with coaches/teammates.

no, he's not evil. he's not hated. he just has poor impulse control and it manifests itself in some negative ways in society. he's got friends, he's got backers, he's got teammates who likes him.

also worth mentioning for dukes...his parents were a mess...not like that excuses him.

ankeil's dad may be a piece of work, but his dad didnt kill someone for selling his wife fake crack.

If he is not able to be a loogy, he’s pretty useless now.

Well... he sure wasn't useless in the second half of this past season.

attrition rate on relievers is pretty high, I'm sure Eyre will find a use.

Can someone explain to nicht about how arbitration works?

His poster boy for cheap closer, Velarde wants $40 or $50 million dollars.

Rays are getting serious, working towards a Troy Percival deal.

wonder if what the twins are doing now had to do with terry ryan leaving as GM.

interesting guy...he was a true bum early, turning into a "start pencil pusher" later in his tenure.

he screwed up badly the "travis lee incident" that made boras a household name. he traded away 1/2 the team in 95 for a crew of kids that mostly sell used cars in florida now. there's the david ortiz thing...which was mostly money driven, supposedly.

his successes are a lot easier to pick out.

"star pencil pusher"...that should read.

"attrition rate on relievers is pretty high, I’m sure Eyre will find a use."

But for that kind of money, isn't he replaceable?

well he's under contract, Hendry would just spend it on a multi-year deal for someone to replace him. Don't think he'd get us much.

Bullpen right now is:
Wood
Howry
Marmol
Eyre
Wuertz

and 2 of
Ohman, Hart, Cotts, Petrick, Mateo, Pignatiello

and that's just guys off the 40-man right now..not to mention any casualties from guys competing for the rotation.

By the way Rob, since you posted that video...

A couple of weeks back you told me about a program for pulling videos off the web. Can't forget which one. Anyway, I just found out that Real Player can now do that for you. Much easier.

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