Free Fallin'

Tail spin

Thanks to our pal Tim at Cubby Blue for the animation...

I ask, can anything save the Cubs season at this point?



I ask, can anything save the Cubs season at this point?

YES. Save the cheerleader, save the Cubs.

1. Fire Hendry; give the new GM the option to keep Pinella or not.
2. DFA Miles and Baker (and Reed Johnson) to give younger guys a chance to play; hang on to Gregg/Harden for possible draft pick compensation
3. If Sori won't pass thru waivers, then dump him on the claimer
4. Wells shouldn't pitch more than another 20 innings this season; shut him down after that.
5. Let Samninja start every fifth day for the rest of the year; if he doesn't show you anything by getting MLB hitters out with a subpar repertoire, DFA in October and stop blocking potentially real prospects with a waste of a roster spot.
6. Can Marmol close? If the Cubs can get another 3-4 save opportunities this year, time to find out.
7. Let Theriot get comfortable at 2B again and start figuring out a real solution at SS. 2B has been an offensive void all year for the Cubs - I'd rather have Theriot playing there and a premiere defender at SS if they can't solve how to get hits from that spot in the lineup.

Those would be some of my first steps to save the season, by which I mean 2010. I would give the team six more games from today to pick up at least two games in the division or wild card; if it doesn't happen, move on and do the dirty work.

Just in case you didn't know. Samardzija's last start before the game against Philly on August 12th was June 26th. Last night he pitched 4 innings gave up zero runs one hit 2 walks and three strike outs. He was limited to 60 pitches since his return to triple A. I think he pitched 58 pitches not sure. The thing with Samardzija is the Cubs need to decide what they really what him to do. If they want him to be a starter then leave him alone until he is fully ready. If they want him in the pen then keep him there. He can bring the heat and help the team like he did last year. C'mon they need to make up their minds.

Having trouble with this one, please run it by me again.

DFA the guy with the .942 OPS (139 OPS+) to clear the spot for Theriot of the 95 OPS+? Then bring in who to play shortstop?

Also Wells isn't some 21 year old kid straight up from AA. He's a year younger than Harden and two younger than Zambrano. Let him pitch as much as he is comfortable with.

1. I agree that Hendry has to go, but won't that have to wait till ownership is in place?
2. Johnson, too? I'd like to see him around next year.
3. We are stuck with him. Get used to it.
4. Agreed.
5. Are we close to giving up on the Shark already? He was sort of rushed to the majors, so he's owed a bit more time. I don't think we know what we have yet, certainly not enough to do something that extreme.
6. Agreed.
7. Agreed.

We should also shut down ARam and see what Fox can do.

Remember when we won 97 games last year?

1. Hendry should not go. He should be forced to sell beer in the stands during weekend games and work with the grounds crew during the week. All of his earnings should then be donated toward a fund to help pay Soriano's contract.
2. Johnson should stay. He is an excellent off the bench defensive option for when Soriano and Bradley get hurt. We all know they will get hurt. We need back up options.
3. This one makes me sick. I don't want to talk about it. My therapist recommends I avoid this topic.
4. Randy Wells is the bright spot of this year. Let's hope he doesn't go all "Rich Hill" on us next year.
5. Too early to tell on Samardzija. He has shown some positive signs. They need some depth for the bullpen so they can give him a full year starting in AAA. He needs to learn how to pitch.
6. Shutting down Aram is a good idea if we are out 6 or 7 games in September.
7. I like the Theriot to 2nd/new SS idea.
8. Remember when Soto was good?

1)Hendry should not go. He hould be forced to watch with the rest of us.
2)Johnson is good off the bench...Baker is the Cubs hottest hitter..Miles don't let the door hit you on the ass.
3)Not going there
4)Agreed..let Wells have a few more starts then shut him down.
5)Samardzija has shown positive signs...I am positive he needs more time in 3-6 seasons.
6)Play Fox at 3B
7)I'd like to see who is playing SS first..
8)Soto...he had a good season in 2008..

6. Only do this if there is some clear value to it. Just shutting him down because he was hurt earlier in the year isn't a good enough reason. If he is hurting and pain is lingering, fine, but you can't just shut down your best players because the playoffs are out of reach. Adam Dunn would have been sitting since June.

7. I do too!

8. Vaguely

If Aramis is going to need corrective surgury, now is the time to do it.

Last thing we need is to do is wait til the offseason and watch him miss April 2010. Ala Kerry Wood in 2005

Yes, if he needs surgery now is the time.

Unrelated to silly ideas such as DFAing Samardzija, but amid all the bad news from the Cubs in the past couple of weeks, Kosuku Fukudome has continued to hit well.

Which has, strangely, caused navigator to forget to update us on his downward spiral.

For the record, I'm pretty sure I suggested putting Samardzija into the rotation, which is about the exact opposite of DFAing him. He can still get 6-8 starts this year to show what he can do.

How 'bout Bradley for closer?

Who are likely September callups?

The only thing that keeps me going these days about baseball is watching what the kids are doing in the minor leagues.

Lets see what they can do in the final month and sit most of the the "irregulars".


"I would give the team six more games from today to pick up at least two games in the division or wild card; if it doesn't happen, move on and do the dirty work."

If we didn't have a GM desperately trying to hold onto his job in the face of new ownership, I'd agree with this strategy - but it ain't gonna happen. Shades of Larry Himes and Ed Lynch.

Exhibit A of this happening "Omar Minaya version"

June 27, 2002: Bartolo Colon Traded by the Cleveland Indians with Tim Drew to the Montreal Expos for Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips, Grady Sizemore and Lee Stevens.


When do you call it a season and start auditions for next year? I would say lets see what happens with the Dodgers series. If it's as bad as it should be then call it a year.

I'll keep watching the games, though, because before you know it, it will be winter and we'll all be missing baseball dearly.

What scares me the most about this, is the thought that we might trade Vitter,Castro and Jay Jackson for a Heath Bell or Chad Qualls.

Not improving the team so they can reach the playoffs because you want to hold on to some guys that may or may not be good five years from now is equally scary, imo.

I'm not trying to start shit, I respect you and what you're saying and it's valid... I just think sometimes people put too much stock in prospects.

I totally agree that people put too much stock in prospects. Jim Hendry seems to do just that much of the time.

I'm saying it more of a "Know when to hold em, Know when to fold em" type of logic. Example

Not getting Brian Roberts because you don't want to part with Felix Pie = Not playing your hand very well

Getting Rich Harden last year with prospects = much better use of your system

Closers are WAY overrated to get anyway. Heath Bell was a scrap-heap pickup 2 years ago.

Bell was a dominate bullpen arm in 2007 and hasn't looked back since.

What really hurt this team was last year we had a kick ass bullpen.

The most mind boggling move was not letting Kerry Wood walk or trading DeRosa, it was giving away Michael Wuertz for peanuts when he was this teams most reliable bullpen arm since 2005. He may have worked through some troubles last year but it certainly didn't warrant the franchise to just give him away.

Oak stats - 57ip, 16 BB, 73 SO, 3.16 ERA.

That move alone Hendry deserves to be fired on, but its also the least talked about or known of his mis-adventures this past off-season.

I railed against this offseason's moves as they were happening. We got worse with literally EVERY move that was made.

Marquis - Sold Low
Pie - Sold low
Cedeno - Sold low
Hill - Sold low
Wuertz - Sold low
Wood - No Arbitration compensation
Dempster - Payed full retail
Bradley - Outbid ourselves above and beyond full retail
Gregg - Not a terrible move at the time, especially with Wood compensation picks

DeRosa - Made no sense at the time for a contender

Miles - Ugh, Why give this guy 1/2 the money you saved on Dero?

The key to turning around this season may be getting rid of Bradley. The Cubs are 13-6 (and score 5.6 RPG) when he doesn't play. 47-51 (and score only 4.2 RPG) when he does.

yeah, that's've nailed it. Analysis worthy of Bill James...

Those are interesting numbers, Nav, and not surprising to anyone who has been struck by how unproductive Bradley has seemed--productive in the sense of producing runs.

Rob is angry because hitting stats are supposed to pure, uncontaminated by factors like scoring runs and winning games. Note that BA, OBP, and SLG tell you nothing about whether a run ever crossed the plate. That's by design.

Actually, those numbers are not interesting at all, because they are meaningless.

Baseball is not an individual sport.

The team's record with Bradley in or out of the lineup is about as helpful as the team's record with Koyie Hill in or out of the lineup, or Jason Marquis, or Sam Fuld, or any other player. As in, not helpful at all.

Baseball is a team game, and takes a full team to win games.


We would be better off measuring the velocity gains that Koyie Hill adds, and the "sparkplug effect" that Sam Fuld provides.

I get it, Big, my numbers are meaningless and yours are full of meaning.

Why do pitchers get wins and losses? I thought it was a team game!

In hockey, with free substitution, they grade players by goals scored, for and against, in those minutes that they are on the ice. Are those grades meaningless?

I get it, Big, my numbers are meaningless and yours are full of meaning.

If you say so.

Why do pitchers get wins and losses?

Because that is how they have done it traditionally. And pitcher wins/losses are also flawed stats, and don't tell us a lot about the quality of a pitcher's performance.

In hockey, with free substitution, they grade players by goals scored, for and against, in those minutes that they are on the ice. Are those grades meaningless?

We are not talking about hockey, so I am not sure what your point is. Nor do I care to argue about hockey stats, as I don't follow the sport enough to know what I am talking about with it.

I talk about Wuertz frequently, as a reminder that Dr. Frankenstein is still the pitching coach of the Cubs. Larry Rothschild created the Michael Wuertz who had to be shipped to Iowa for most of July and all of August last year.

It's not surprising that Wuertz is pitching well this year. Oakland is far away.

Pitchers who have been around Rothschild a while frequently return to the minors, I guess to get a second opinion concerning whatever mechanical problem has been stumping Rothschild. It happened to Cotts this year. It happened to Hill last year. Yesterday, Real Neal suggested that Marmol belongs at Daytona. And Zambrano often looks like he could use some remedial training, doesn't he?

Get a competent pitching coach. The Cubs biggest problems right now are Soriano's contract and Rothschild's effect on younger arms. Maybe the new owner has a plan for what to do about Soriano, maybe not, but the Rothschild problem is easy to fix.

...and the ring-bearing Stevie Eyre.

you have many interesting ideas about baseball.

Good point about prospects, but I would much rather have ARAM sit down and see what Fox can do out there - granted, it may look pretty ugly at times, but the guy can still rake. I also hope that they sit down Wells by Sept. 1st, if not sooner. He looks to be fairly tired out there, someone take the hint and please shut him down.

Whats the deal with people wanting Aram to sit so Fox can play?

Because we want ARam to be fully healthy for 2010, and we want to see what Fox can do given the opportunity to play everyday rather than 1-2 games/week.

I'd also let Fuld play everyday somewhere in the outfield (just alternate sitting Soriano and Bradley, with KFuk moving to RF on the days Bradley sits).

Tryouts for the 2010 squad began Monday night with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th.

Nevermind the fact that unless your going in for surgery or a young prospect, shutting you down for the last month of the season is almost unheard of. Teams pay alot of money for their players and they are not going to just shut down an All-Star talent so they can let a career minor league have some playing time. Thats not how you treat your baseball players.

2nd of all, say we did shut down Ramirez and played Jake Fox at 3rd and then what? He isn't going to play 3rd, or 1b next year so it really doesn't help us at all.

Managing a team in a fantasy world you can do all that crap. Managing people in real life is an entirely different manner.

And now were back to THEEEEE great Sam Fuld getting more playing time. He is a sub .300 minor league hitter with no power and little speed. He is the Ryan Theriot of OFers. If he played 2nd base he might have some value, as an OFer he is your 25th man at best. We accomplish nothing by giving him more playing time. We certainly don't improve the team and we get worse in the process.

not that i think these are comparable players, by any means, BUT... Milton Bradley, Alfonso Soriano, Reed Johnson - all sub .300 minor league hitters... Felix Pie leads that crew with a .299 BA and 600-1000 at bats more than the others. Just saying... if the Cubs keep spiraling downward, and A-RAM's shoulder becomes an issue...then could they sit him for Fox and let him heal for 2010?

Cards gonna give Smoltz chance to start...

this has to be the dumbest thread in recent memory.

well now that you've joined, I have to agree....

yeah, a lot ideas here....


I suggest they trade all of their veteran shitty players for younger guys with upside. Moreover, they should try to make their younger guys perform better.

Not to worry -- the Cubs have a lot of games left against teams with losing rec....

Aw, forget it.

Call me crazy (or worse), but.....

The BillyBucks calculator has the Cubs finishing with 88 wins.

No crazy assumptions, other than the Cubs play near their potential, which, come to think of it, is crazy.

Yes, it has been a slow work day.

Recent comments

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  • it's day old news, and it's got nothing to do with the cubs, but ichiro signed a $2m deal with MIA (with a $2m option for 2017).

    neat. 41 years old and damn close to 3000 hits.

    also, rain delays suck.

  • take that giants

  • I think that if a team objects to the 1-game wildcard playin game so much, they could just win the pennant and avoid themselves the trouble.

  • Per Jesse Sanchez at, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus. 

  • BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).

  • TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.

    TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.

  • Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.

  • Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.

    Think Baby Maddux.

    Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.

    Kyle is on the far left.

  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.