Ripping Joey Gathright

I've been thinking of Joey Gathright as a Doug Dascenzo For The New Century, but Geoff Young, author of the Padres blog Ducksnorts and in this case writing for Baseball Digest Daily, paints an even uglier picture.

Enjoy Geoff's post for yourself. All I'll quote here is this:

...what Gathright did in 2008 has been accomplished a mere 15 times since 1901.


Gathright is Willie Mays Hayes. What's not to like?

Maybe Jimbo has some inside information. They are planning to scrap game 163 as the tiebreaker. Instead, there will be a car jumping contest at the venue of the team that won the coin toss. Awesome signing in this case!

...actually Herb Washington might be the prototype. The "Moonlight Graham" of baserunners.

1974 was his biggest year in the majors, 92 games.

No at bats. 29 stolen bases in 45 attempts (64%)

That Charley Finley, what a wacky guy!

How dare you insult my namesake with such blasphemies! Has Gathright ever pitched in relief?

Also, I woke up this morning to an interview with Gathright on WSCR, and they pretty much spent the entire 7 minutes or so talking about his car-jumping antics. Then, Gathright compared the Cubs to the Yankees, because they both have winning traditions.

It's always nice to start the day with a good laugh.

Sam Fuld can't be feeling too optimistic today either.

It's driving me crazy.

It wasn't Ced Landrum, we used to have some guy who I think was a Panamanian Olympic sprinter in the minor leagues - mid 90's. I can't remember his name to save my life though.

Anyway, Gathright reminds me of this guy - no baseball skills but runs really fast.

You are thinking of the one and only Fernando Ramsey.

for those lamenting the loss of farmhand Chris Walker, he signed a minor league deal with the Phillies.

Gathright in an off year (279 ABs): .254/.311/.272

Fukudome in July/Aug/Sept (217 ABs): .207/.300/.313

Gathright's career OBP: .328

Maury Wills' career OBP: .330

Maury Wills' MVP-year OBP: .347

Jimmy Rollins' MVP-year OBP: .344

Gathright - most Ks in a season - 75

Ryan Howard - Ks in MVP-year - 181

Gathright must be better right?

This says it all. Most similar players to Gathright according to Baseball Reference:

Boots Day
Chet Chadbourne
Otis Clymer
Billy Zitzmann

admit it wiscgrad, you just totally made those names up, right?

Sadly no, those are real people who played baseball, although they played so bad that statement might be borderline.

Boots Day was a 5'9 160lb outfielder for the Los Expos in the early 1970s. He was 15 for 30 in SBs, had 98 career RBI in nearly 1200 ABs, and actually slugged .185 in his last season before someone mercifully ended it.

I should add that the rest of Gathright's top 10 most similar are:

Curtis Goodwin
David Hulse
Adrian Brown
Lefty Davis
Tommy Thompson
Frank Gilhooley

Boots Day, former property of your Chicago Cubs.

Also a poorly received turnstile promotion last year.

I think Jason Marquis' role with the club has been greatly reduced. He should be worried...

You know the economy is really bad when an 82 year-old guy can't afford to retire...

Signing a player like Joey Gathright is NOT the kind of move a World Series contender makes. He was cut by the Royals and the Rays, fer cripes sakes. I am no Felix Pie fan, but having Gathright take a roster spot seems downright insulting. On the positive side of things, at just $800K I guess the Cubs can release him quickly without losing a lot of sleep over it. But still....this signing makes my skin crawl the same way it did when Hendry actually SOUGHT OUT Jose Macias and Neifi Perez. Why Jim, why??

Gathright plus Neal Cotts = $2MM of 2009 salary payroll, that seems awfully careless for a GM that supposedly needs to pinch his pennies.

neal cotts is a great gamble, imo.

the guy returned from AAA last year throwing a consistent 94+mph fastball. he's definitely worth another year.

In fairness to Hendry, the 2008 team didn't really have anyone we could hate. now he's corrected that mistake for 2009.

Ronny? Fukudome post April? Jason Marquis? Bob Howry? Wardo? Soriano batting first?

I thought of a few...Hendry did a fine job of that last year

this has been the most uproar over a 4th/5th OF'r who should be lucky to get 200-300 PA's if everyone stays healthy i've seen in a while.

late inning defensive replacement, a "3rd" CF'r/LF'r/RF'r, a pinch runner, and pinch hitting.

he's no matt murton evidently.

off-season boredom...

and never underestimate people's ability to bitch about anything the Cubs do....rememeber when Jae-kuk Ryu got traded?

What the fuck does that mean?! Ryu is the shit. I've got an autographed baseball from him. It's got bird blood on it. Ok it doesn't, but I really do have the ball. At least that's what the certificate of authenticity says...I can't really read the signature.

What the fuck does that mean?!

that we argued for 2-3 days here over why and how much we got for the infamous bird-killer.

Is he still with Tampa?

Yes, he's still being awesome in Tampa.

My point was that it was worth arguing, because he is so awesome.

Bear in mind, I've also got a Hee-seop Choi bobblehead.

bet that Hee-Seop Choi bobblehead is worth like $5000K on ebay Korea.....

$5000K. Is that like $5,000,000? If so, then that's probably a bit high of an estimate. Or was it in won? Then it's be worth about $4,000, which sounds about right.

ryu, in person, is a hell of a physical specimen.

he's a REALLY nice guy, great with kids at the park, etc...too bad he's not a very good pitcher.

speaking of nice guys, willie harris is one of the nicest and most positive-force ballplayers i've ever seen work a field pre-game. he likes being at the park even if he's gonna spend 2-3 hours sitting on the bench once the game begins.

That's cool to hear. You tend to get the impression that he is a headcase based on his hunting methods. I'll have to seek him out when I move to Korea - he'll probably be washed out by then - and get him to autograph some shit.

good to see Bobby Dickerson back to managing (AAA), had some success at AA for a few years before going the roving coach route. Surprised to see Jody Davis move to roving catching instructor, thought he was ahead of Ryno on the manager depth chart...guess he can go the Dickerson route for a year or two.

(Gathright is) "Juan Pierre without the batting average or power."

or $10 million salary in 2009!

He's a poor man's JP. Actually, they're not that far apart in raw skills (no arm, no bat, all legs) these days and Pierre hasn't hit .300 in four years.

The last three:
Pierre .290 .330 .362 .692
Gathright .261 .331 .299 .630

Look at that Obp...

juan pierre has more bat control and overall idea of how to put a ball in a specific part of the field...even if its only 50-200 ft. worth of results.

gathright just goes up there and hacks.

at least pierre hits doubles and triples.

it's an $800,000 throw away signing. I'm not worried about it at all. I do not believe this is meant to be a long term solution in any way, and just gives the Cubs a little flexability to move another back up or two around. If this is meant as an "answer" and he will be competing to be a starter...then I'll worry.

literal quotes thrown around by hendry and others point to him being a "late inning defensive replacement", "pinch runner", etc.

i think they view his use similar to dave roberts' role in BOS.

Consider worrying. Hendry used the word "start" a couple of times yesterday.

"Obviously his at-bats will be dictated by Lou and how he's swinging the bat. How many starts he gets will be up to him and he fits in with the rest of the club,'' Hendry said, adding he wasn't concerned by a shoulder injury that sent Gathright to the DL last year.

"He's just a world class speed guy who can do lot of things for us that we felt like was important. It's no secret Lou likes to have people like this in the organization and certainly if he's not starting, he's a tremendous piece on the bench every day.''

of course he'll start sometimes and it is ultimately up to lou. quotes by hendry, gary h., and other brass paint him as a bench guy, though.

I don't read that as an inclination that he will compete to be a starter. Those comments seem to be implying the potential that he could spot start a few games, but that will be up to Lou.

Maybe this is trying to increase their bargaining potential with Bradley or another starting center fielder, as Hendry can argue they are less desperate for one now.

Or maybe he just signed the dude and doesn't want to say, "Gathright sucks, don't worry, he'll be warming the bench".

I'm getting this feeling that Furcal is the ultimate sleezeball. He had a "gentleman's agreement", then signs with another club. Just like what happened to Hendry. Fuck that dude and his NLCS 2-error game.

Didn't someone else do this a couple of years ago?

When there's that much money on the line, you need more than a handshake to close the deal (see Jerry MacGwire).

Regardless, it's jetted me into first on the FA Frenzy... I think!

Carlos Boozer did it to the Cavs' benevolent, blind owner.

You aren't mistaking him for the governor of NY?

Gathright= Juan Pierre?

Pierre career: .300/.346/371
Gathright career: .263/.328/.304

He slugs that much less than Juan Pierre??? Wow..
$800K is not much these days in sports...but to flush it down the toilet?

Recent comments

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  • it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
    should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?

    sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan and Ted Abernathy imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.

  • HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).  

    Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.

  • I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.

  • One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players. 

  • CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis  at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely. 

  • has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.

  • As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?

  • AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?

  • Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.

  • AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.

  • I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.

    But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.

  • Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.

    Jason deGrom -- oh, my.

  • Cubs 3-4-5 hitters are 0-21 so far in the post-season.

    Let's change that in a big effin' way tomorrow, boys.

  • Considering how players reacted it seemed pretty accurate high and wide (to righties), but not so accurate low and in. I thought the strike zone by the ump was awful, but it was consistent and the Cubs never adjusted.

    Rizzo and Bryant need to have good at bats. They are really looking outclassed in these two games.

  • that game sounds fun as hell.

  • I was just wondering the same thing. I'd rather not see it at all. If it's inaccurate, it's a bad viewer experience. If it's accurate, it shows some shitty calling by the umpire.