Back from the Dark Ages

I'm back to being connected to the Internet world, I'm not sure if that's good or bad. While I certainly do miss whatever brilliant, well-crafted snark is coming from the comments, it was kind of nice to be untethered from the digital world. 

As for the weekend, the Cubs pulled out 2 of 3 wins from the New York Mets - and with the Rockies getting swept  - sneak to 5.5 back in the Wild Card. Important thing to remember here is they managed to score one run versus Nelson Figueroa and couldn't sweep a team missing David Wright, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, Johan Santana, Oliver Perez, John Maine, or J.J Putz. Zambrano, who seems to be getting advice from Alfonso Soriano on how to play with injuries and hurt your team, got lit up for 11 hits and 3 earned runs and couldn't make it out of the 4th against the Buffalo Bisons lineup. Color me unimpressed...

The Astros show up tonight and Michael Barrett's favorite ace takes the mound - Roy Oswalt. The Cubs counter with Rich Harden, who along with Aaron Heilman, did not get traded by today's deadline. I didn't really think the Twins would give up anything to grab Harden, they're just not a team to cough up prospects, but why Aaron Heilman is still wasting space is unfathomable.

Theriot, Bradley, Lee, Ramirez, Fukudome, Fox, Baker, Hill go tonight.

Some minor league and roster move info after the jump...

- Minor league post-season All-Star rosters are being announced. The Cubs didn't place anyone in Triple A, 1b Blake Lalli (787 OPS, 5 HR, 51 RBI...shrug) made the Double A Southern League roster, and C Robinson Chirinos (only played a little over half a season in Hi-A) and SS Starlin Castro made the Hi-A Florida State League team.

- The playoff push continues for the minor league affiliates. Iowa is tied for second with Nashville and they both trail Memphis by a half game. Iowa is riding a 5-game win streak and Nashville and Memphis square off for the next 3 games. The season ends next Monday. Tennessee and W. Tennessee remain tied and play the last 5 games of the year against each other (7 left total). Peoria has already clinched a playoff spot in the Midwest League and can clinch the division with a win tonight.

- Muskat says Iowa will have to win without Micah Hoffpauir, Justin Berg, and Andres Blanco, all of whom will get called up tomorrow when rosters expand. David Patton will join the team on Wednesday. Expect another 3-4 more call-ups as well before the month is over.

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Comments

no ninja? cold.

well, i guess someone has to pitch that last week+ in AAA during Sept.

20 up and 20 down for Petite then a a grounder to Harriston the lesser...oopps.

Before game Lou announced that Hill will be starter for rest of the season.

soto's putting on his public face of not being upset, fwiw...which is cool, i guess.

2010 could be interesting if k.hill can't come back cheaply.

I have to think there's a lot of guys floating around who can do what Hill has done for a million or less.

So can Soto still be used as an example of how the Cubs farm system can produce an everyday player?

Well Manny...one excellent season, one terrible season.

I'll wait to judge Soto until I see ho he comes into spring training, and how 2010 goes first.

I hope you're wrong...lol.

If the Cub's actual baseball training hasn't failed Soto, then it was the training on what the organization expects of him in the off season and how to conduct himself outside of the baseball season that has failed him. I get the impression the Cubs have no kind of control over any of these guys.

Is it inappropriate to ask these guys to stick to a training regimen and avoid drugs and excessive drinking in the off season or do any risky activities like softball or exiting a jacuzzi? I'm only half kidding, though. And for the record my feeling is the Zambrano-softball thing was blown out of proportion. Last I heard he was playing softball with some kid and it probably wasn't very physical.

it's soto's responsibility to take care of soto.

does he want to make 400K+ a year and ride the plane...or 40K a year and ride the bus?

No, I know that. It makes sense to you and me, but it's easy to forget that some of these ballplayers are mere kids and in many cases not even American. I vaguely remember my world view when I was 22 years old and there's no way I would have acted responsibly. Let's just say I probably would have spent an inordinate amount of time in Soto's apartment with a bag of Doritos.

not even American

Could you expand upon this idea? I'm genuinely interested, not just trying to be snarky.

I don't really know what I meant by that to be honest. I've experienced life as a 22 year old American, but I've never experienced life as a Dominican 22 year old who was given gobs of money and put in the big city.

It's a 21st Century version of the farm kid in the big city.

Grabow has really been good. Too bad the rest of the team let him down since he signed up. Hope he winds up a type A guy, I wouldn't even mind having him back for another year (but not three years $12 million, Jim!).

Bobby Scales isn't getting called up? WTF? We don't have 7 2b on this team.

We need more lefthanded-ness and scrap.

We've already got plenty of lefthanded-ness and crap. You're mistaken.

I'm sure September will go much better...

That Cubs-Sox game will be huge for both teams. Huge.

So, to recap:

The weather in Chicago in August sucked.
The baseball in Chicago in August sucked.
Not one interesting/exciting prospect on the horizon (Vitters hit .230 at Daytona, so spare me).

What to watch in September-- can the Cubs finish over .500 for 3 straight years? Woo.

I hope Hendry was watching the bottom of the 9th -- that's what a closer looks like. Comes in, kicks ass - game over.

fwiw, Vitters turned 20, 4 days ago...he also hurt his hand in early August...

not a lot of 19 year olds in Hi-A, Starlin Castro is the only other Cub that young (he's in Double A now)

 

Also, the Cubs have at least 3 interesting SS prospects at the A-Ball level (Castro, DJ LeM, and Hak Ju Lee), but they are all far from the majors. The interesting pitching prospects are similarly distant. The Cubs are interesting at the A-Ball level and generally less so at AAA and, to some degree, AA. Which, hopefully, means that in a year or two, they'll be interesting at the AAA and AA levels, and then that we'll get a major leaguer or two out of the deal.

Castro, as Rob pointed out in the post above yours, is in AA.

True, and he's doing well there. But he played 96 games at Daytona this year and is on their post-season roster.

He also walked 11 FREAKING TIMES IN 445 AT BATS!!!!

So Dusty Baker approves of his aggressive approach.

Sell HIGH

Vitters has 27 walks in 758 career minor league at bats. He makes Tyler Colvin look like Frank Thomas.

Funny you should mention those 2 in regards to the Cubs apparent draft strategy.

Tyler Colvin 13th overall in 2006.......Travis Snider #14 overall.

Josh Vitters 3rd overall in 2007........Matt Weiters #5 overall

But at least we got compensation picks for Wood and 3 can't miss prospects from Cleveland in the DeRosa deal!!!

Oh Oh... Can I Play??

Mark Pawelek 20th overall in 2005......Colby Rasmus #28 overall.

**To be fair to Wilken he has only been Director since the 2006 draft.***

Colvin and Vitters were consesus picks for where the cubs drafted them?

I missed that.

I could have sworn that Weiters was the #1 overall prospect, and that Colvin was thought of as a 3rd round talent?

But they are aggressive.

Wake me up when Weiters has earned his signing bonus. Colvin was expected to go around 50, though some people had him moving up on their boards as the draft approached.

I realize he is very young but I was just lamenting that nobody is tearing it up in the minors, including our top prospect, who has another hand injury.

Several guys tearing it up at Peoria, which is why they lead the league in HRs and BA. LeMahieu and B. Jackson look like they're on a fast track.

You also have Flaherty, a tall skinny 2B/SS with 20 HRs and 79 RBI.

At Daytona, Guyer tearing it up.

Castro hitting .287 at AA. He's still not 19 and a half. Colvin tearing it up (.375/.421/.683/1.104) if you just want to talk about August. It will be interesting to watch how Castro and Colvin do in the 5-game battle for first place that begins in West Tenn on Thursday.

Recent Ask BA piece discussing Castro. Scroll down:

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/ask...

http://espn.go.com/chicago/columns/blog?post=44358...

Levine on Soriano...including questions (quess which one of the four is bogus):

1) have you considered using a lighter bat?

2) is your bat speed slowing up?

3) Do you need glasses or your eyes checked?

4) Have you been to any good wrestling matches lately?

Asked if anyone had brought up eyesight as a possible cause for his
season-long batting slump, he said manager Lou Piniella talked to him
about how players' eyesight change for as they age.

"I'll probably have them check in the winter and during spring training," Soriano said.

tough to make an appt at Lenscrafters during the season when you're too busy scoping for groupies...

http://deadspin.com/5053163/getting-to-know-alfons...

Someone needs to start an Aaron Miles watch. I don't think he's been in a game for 10 days. Maybe Lou took him out for some Italian food and he disappeared.

you had my hopes up, but he got an AB yesterday and played in the Nats series

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/gl.cgi?n...

Wow. Miles' last hit was that triple in Colorado on August 8th. He's 0 fer 19 since that ab.

When Miles gets in a game, the Cubs are 24-38.

Why do we need to locate Aaron Miles, again?

Neifi Perez as a Chicago Cub:

Year   G    AB   R    H   2B   3B   HR  RBI  SB  CS   AVG  OBP  SLG
--------------------------------------------------------------------
2004   23   62   12   23   5    0    2    6   1   0  .371 .400 .548
2005  154  572   59  157  33    1    9   54   8   4  .274 .298 .383
2006   87  236   27   60  13    1    2   24   0   1  .254 .266 .343

And Aaron Miles:

Year   G    AB   R    H   2B   3B   HR  RBI  SB  CS   AVG  OBP  SLG
--------------------------------------------------------------------
2009   62  148   16   26   7    1    0    5   3   0  .176 .218 .236
AAA    21   87    8   22   4    0    0    8   1   2  .253 .267 .299

The lesson?
Aaron Miles: ALMOST as good in AAA as Neifi Perez was on the Chicago Cubs.

Gawd, I'd almost forgotten that Ne!f! played in 154 games in 2005. Thanks for ripping open that old wound.

As bad as Miles has been, at least he's only had 150 ABs.

Geez... the vitriol Neifi receives and gets run out of town, yet Aaron Miles performs worse and largely gets a pass. It makes no sense to me what-so-ever.

Sometimes I wonder if Wittenmyer was right.

Miles sure doesn't get a pass on this board at least, and he's only had 148 at bats.

Aaron Miles sure sucks though...no doubt there.

Moreso is the issue that DeRosa was traded to "Save money". Yet they turned around and gave 50% of DeRosa's money to Miles.

Not to mention the 2.7 million we are on the hook for next year.

Ugh

I know...unbelievable....

While Miles does only have 148 AB's (159 PA's), he has (thankfully) missed almost two months (40%) of the season thus far due to injury.

our 05 SS ended up ripping his groin...garciappara.

cedeno showed up as the savior late season. he sure saved the cubs in 06...wait.

Tenn/W. Tenn both lose and stay tied in Double A.

Iowa loses, Nashville beats Memphis to take over first place by a half game, Iowa now down a game and in third place.

Peoria wins to clinch the division.

Rob maybe Marmol got some advice from Soriano or vice versa on how to be discreet when it comes to affairs.

the team that steps out on their wives together, wins together....

"the team that steps out on their wives together, dies together...."

/fixed.

("dives together" also works, if you insist on a true rhyme)

jim thome to the dodgers...supposedly they got john garland, too.

thome and cash for INF Justin Fuller, dunno what dodgers  gave for Garland....

WSox traded Contreras to Rockies for RHP Brandon Hynick and cash

ARZ broadcast calling it PTBN, fwiw....early breaking, though...could be someone.

So one chicago gm is realistic
and one
is hopeful sorry the cubs finish 83-81

If Jimbo had traded Harden away for a 26 yo who is still in A-ball, as Kwill did with Thome I would be calling for a riot right now.

83-81 is what, 83-78 regular season than 0-3 in the playoffs?

Somebody from Manny's club has been 'editing' the Wikipedia entry for Jim Hendry. Earlier today, it read,

"Jim Hendry (born July 27, 1955, Dunedin, Florida) is not worthy of having a wikipedia page, but they gave one to the bastard anyway. He is also the retarded Vice President/General Manager of the Chicago Cubs."

http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:xemuauhCxKkJ:e...

The page now reads a much more boring "Jim Hendry (born July 27, 1955, Dunedin, Florida) is the Vice President/General Manager of the Chicago Cubs."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Hendry

Evidently, someone put the "bastard" and "retarded" comments in on Saturday afternoon at 1:52 pm until they were 'undone' this evening at 10:51 pm (if I'm calculating the time correctly -- I presume the times are listed as Greenwich Mean Time, as the revision states it was done on Sept. 1, 2009 @ 03:51). Geez, and the Cubs were riding the wave of a one-game winning streak at the time, too.

HA HA

I wish I could take credit, but good to see people are slowly seeing the light.

Two game winning streak.

"Two game winning streak."

Actually, it was still a one game winning streak at the time the insulting comments were posted.

haha...

garland to LA confirmed...ARZ and LA are playing each other right now. 3-3 tie.

garland found out he was traded and sent to the clubhouse. when justin upton hit a homer to tie the game garland came back up from the clubhouse to high 5 everyone.

happ told him he should probably get back to the clubhouse and not do that after giving upton a high-5.

"Jim Thome?!?!" - mark grace, 100 times tonight on the ARZ broadcast.

Grace is so fantastic(ally bad). Someone should hire Grace, Sutcliffe, Joe Carter, and Dave Otto and put them all in the booth at the same time until some fans heads start to explode.

Thome had to stop at Sports Authority last night, before getting on plane, to buy a mitt.

I always have trouble picking on Jim Thome. He's always seemed like a great guy to me. Kind of slow, but really nice.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs...

Bradley was stalking the Cubs last september?
---
Remember, it was Bradley who desperately wanted to play for the Cubs last winter, basically ignoring other interested teams.

"As much as we courted him, I've never seen a player court us like he did," Cubs Chairman Crane Kenney said at the Cubs Convention. "He was scouting us in the third game of the World Series, sitting in Los Angeles trying to figure out where he would play in our lineup, and he left himself, basically, with no escape clause. He was negotiating with us and really didn't have a safety net.

"This is a guy who chose Chicago, and the pressure, and the limelight."

So why the hell are we paying so much for him? Way to negotiate, Hendry! Ass.

Milton Bradley: OK Jim, I want to come to Chicago. How about 1 year 5 million.

Hendry: No can do Milton. How about 4 years 50 mil

Milton: I don't want to be tied up that long. How bout 2/14

Hendry: Listen 3/30 full No trade clause, and a night with my wife.

Milton: Uhhhhhhh....... How bout just the 3/30?

Wittenmeyer says Scales, Samaramadingdong (after his next Iowa start) and Stevens will be called up too
---
The Cubs plan to recall outfielder Micah Hoffpauir and right-hander Justin Berg from Class AAA Iowa and reinstate infielder Andres Blanco from the disabled list when rosters expand today.

Right-hander David Patton is expected to rejoin the active roster from the DL on Wednesday, and four more I-Cubs are to be recalled as the Class AAA season winds down: infielder Bobby Scales and right-handed pitchers Jeff Samardzija, Jeff Stevens and Esmailin Caridad.

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/17460...

Soto officially makes the sophmore jinx list:

CUBS SOPHOMORE JINX?
1962 Ken Hubbs .260-5-49 .235-8-47 Killed (in) plane crash Feb. 1964

1989 Jerome Walton .293-5-46 .263-2-21 Steady decline in part-time role

1998 Kerry Wood 13-6, 3.40, 233 K DNP, elbow Injuries derailed career

2008 Geovany Soto .285-23-86 .212-9-31 --

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/17457...

In a season full of "defining moments that this isn't the year":

- 2008 ROY Geo Soto is officially named backup for a guy hitting .245 with 2HR who cut off all the fingers of his right hand in 2007.

So tired of hearing that Hubbs slumped in 1962. It's just normal binomial variation.

year | outs hits | AB
1962 | 489 172 | 661
1963 | 433 133 | 566
Total | 922 305 | 1,227

Pearson chi2(1) = 1.0391 Pr = 0.308

lol...normal

I wondered if anyone would catch that. Expected?

Huh?

Anyway, all of his struggles in '63 can be attributed to the hitting environment becoming less favorable in '63.

Basically, if we assume that Hubbs was "really" a .260 hitter, meaning that this is an accurate measure of his ability, then in 566 at-bats in 1963 we would expect 147 hits and 419 outs - not the 133/433 he actually had.

A Chi2 test can tell us if that difference is statistically significant or just a result of chance. You would use this type of test, for example, to analyze whether dice were fair. When we perform this test on Hubbs we find that the Chi2 is 1.801 (1 degree of freedom) and the p-value on a two-tailed test is .1796. All this means is that difference is not statistically significant. In layman's terms: Hubbs could have been that same .260 hitter in 1963 and still just come up with 14 less hits by chance. This is not all that surprising to anyone watching baseball, because you know that some seasons you have more fall in than others or hit the ball right at people a lot. Our conclusion might be that he was unlucky in 1963.

The problem of course is that he could also be the .235 hitter he was in 1963. If we perform the same test on his 1962 season based on the .235 average, we find that the difference is not statistically significant either! This would mean that he was just very lucky in 1962 and was really a .235 hitter.

The main problem with all of this is simple - endogeneity. We know mathematically the expected outcomes for dice, but we are basing our expected outcomes for player performance based on that same performance which is a no-no. It might work if we had a track record of a player, say an average season over a 10-year career, and we could then see if his sub-par 11th season was just unlucky or if he was slipping due to age. But the sad reality with Hubbs is that his career and life were cut too short to be able to say with any certainty how good of a player he really was and how is career would have panned out.

The chi-square takes the marginal (pooled) results as the expected, which I think is legitimate. For large samples, it's pretty close to exact comparisons of two binomials. If course, a player's performance could have extra-binomial variability, essentially "streakiness". But the chi-square does give a reasonable answer to the question "Could these results come from the same distribution?" and in Hubb's case, the answer is clearly yes.

"We know mathematically the expected outcomes for dice, but we are basing our expected outcomes for player performance based on that same performance which is a no-no."

That's what the "huh?" meant. You can't apply statistic evaluation in that method and call it meaningful. Statistics are great for things like die rolls and molecular movement. Trying to apply them to a single baseball player over two seasons is such a meaningless endeavor that it was better to keep the book closed.

At what point do the Cubs think about just shutting Soriano down for the year? We got another 5 years with this clown, and at least we need him healthy (to play or try to trade him). I say give the team through the weekend to cut into the WC lead. IMO, if we are still 6 games back with 4 teams in front of us, just pull the plug on his season.

Don't you think there should be some judgement call on whether or not continuing to play will endanger his 2010 season? Why not recommend shutting down all the starters?

At what point do the Cubs think about just shutting Soriano down for the year?

Only when there is value to shutting him down early, they should do it.

Don't you think there should be some judgement call on whether or not continuing to play will endanger his 2010 season?

Exactly, I would hope someone made a judgement call and took it seriously.

Do all the starters have bum knees and going to get MRI's done? Do we have 5 years and $90 million more invested in them?

If Soriano is hurt and we are playing meaningless games, why not shut him down, get his knee scoped, don't cause more damage to it and make sure he is 100% ready to go for 2010 season.

Soriano already said the he was going to get the knee scoped if the cortisone shot doesn't work.

I can care less what Soriano says. The Cubs are the ones paying him. While they can't make him have a medical procedure. They sure can shut him down.

Sorry, maybe it's just me, but I actually find what Soriano says more relevant than what you think about the subject.

Absolutely, what Soriano thinks is more relevant than what I think as a fan, even if he has no clue about the topic (remember he said it was going to be a few weeks until he got the MRI, but somehow it was moved up).

But I was coming at it from the Cubs POV. The Cubs shouldn't let Soriano effect their decision to shut him down.

Once again, you have no evidence whatsoever that shutting down Soriano is going to have him any more ready for 2010 than letting him play. The Cubs theoretically are still in the wildcard hunt, and they have a lot of fans that would rather watch Soriano hit than Jake Fox.

If Cubs listened to Soriano he would be batting leadoff and playing second base.

Soriano told the Nationals he had no interest in moving from 2nd to LF and they dealt for him anyways and then decided to move him to LF despite their promise not to. Geee how would you feel?

It was an asshole move by a what we know now an organization with some fucked up morals.

I think it took Brooks Robinson in calm reasoning way to explain the situation. And it all worked out. One thing Soriano is, is a reasonable person. If you make your case to him about how it might benefit the team he will tend to go along with it. After all he played SS for Yanks then played the OF then they told him to play 2nd base all without a peep.

Besides if we listened to the fans Derrek Lee would have been released by now and replaced by Micah Hoffpauir.

OMG. Are all the starters nursing knee injuries that are clearly affecting their performance?

The Rockies acquired Jose Contreras, salary $10 mil, from the White Sox yesterday.

QUESTION: If the Rockies claimed Contreras, why wouldn't they claim the younger, better, and cheaper Harden?

AZ Phil or someone, help me out with this, there must a good reason, right?

Maybe they didn't think the Cubs would deal with them?

In the hearts and minds of Cub fans, Rich Harden is a far better option than Jose Contreras.

Maybe because Contreras' pitching style is more conducive to the ball park?

In the hearts and minds of Cub fans, Rich Harden is a far better option than Jose Contreras.

Pretty sure that most, if not all, of those who follow baseball would think that Rich Harden is a far better option than Jose Contreras.

probably didn't want to give up any 1st round-type talent it would take to snag him.

still...i dunno why they want to pay contreras 1.6m bucks for a month of the crap that comes out of his arm.

Soriano already said the he was going to get the knee scoped if the cortisone shot doesn't work.
---
he should get his knee scoped even if the cortisone shot helps

(but after the season or at least after they are mathematically eliminated from the wild card

...after the season is OK as the rehab after a scope isn't that long that it makes a difference to get it 6 weeks from now)

"Two game winning streak."
----
I think we've only had one of these in quite some time.

The return of the dreaded towel drill...

"Wells worked to correct the issue during a side session between starts and during a drill Monday, in which he repeated his delivery over and over again with a towel in his hand instead of a ball."

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=2...

Somewhere Dr. Andrews is smiling and having his secretary set up the surgery for Wells now, since that towel drill worked so well for Wood, Prior, etc.

I would just like to know what pitching coaches like Dave Duncan and Leo Mazzone think of these towel drills? Do they make their pitchers do them? Or do they laugh at Rothschild in secret?

yes.

almost every coach does in many systems.

you need a load balance on the arm...and the towel lets you see a path in your throwing motion.

wonder what some of you would think about resistance training with a rubber band on a fence...also a semi-common one.

not everything in baseball requires a 10 thousand dollar machine.

Shut Wells, Z, and Soriano down.

Play for 2010

Soto is apparently using the Jerome Walton model on being a Cub ROY. Come back for your second full season nice and fattened up. Slide quickly to the bench and, in a few years, out of the game completely.

But Hendry has no plan for 2010.

"I haven't even thought about next year yet," said general manager Jim Hendry, who pointed out a seasonlong team slump has put every flaw under a microscope -- Aug 19

Firstly, let's hope he doesn't need to think about it as he gets canned. If he does come back, he likely won't have a too much to do as he is stuck with a huge amount of players and contracts with NTC, so what you see is pretty much what you get (unless Ricketts give him another $20MM or so to throw away).

wow...dusty-hate-ism...

take 1 comment, blow it out of proportion, and call it a fact.

yes, it is very safe to assume hendry has no plans or idea about 2010 from that quote. hell, it's "technically true" so it must be a fact. yeah, that makes perfect sense. bravo.

The question Hendry was answering related to Lou Piniella's oblique criticism of the way Hendry built the team--- a lack of athleticism in the outfield that hurts them defensively in big ball parks like San Diego where they have trouble running down balls hit to the gaps and a lack of speed on the basepaths that hurts their ability to score runs without hitting home runs. As Piniella pointed out, the Cubs are last in the league in stolen bases. Actually it's worse than that. They are last in major league baseball in stealing bases (45) and last in the majors in SB% at 62%.

Hendry was asked if he was going to address those concerns this year and into next season. Reread his answer. Does that sound like a guy with a plan for 2010?

Nope, Hendry isn't a planner, he's a reacter. So when he tells you he hasn't thought about next year yet, believe him.

I thought Lou's excuse for last season was lack of Left-handedness?

What about Cubdom makes everyone unaccountable for everything they do?

There's a difference between plan and execution, Doc. The plan was to add left-handed hitting. The execution mainly involved Fontenot (.227) and Bradley (.243, with 20 XBH's lefty and 27 overall).

One day the Cubs will have a few decent lefty hitters and then we'll see what happens.

"Hendry isn't a planner, he's a reacter. So when he tells you he hasn't thought about next year yet, believe him."

that's ignorant as hell.

i would explain why, but you already know. yes, you know.

The biggest problem with Hendry is that he doesn't have a crystal ball - how could he know that Soto would regress so badly, Fontenot would be a complete bust as a "starter", Ramirez would miss 2+ months with injury and Soriano, Zambrano and others would fall so short of their career norms? In my mind, given all of these factors and that our top 4 starters spent significant time on the DL, it is a minor miracle we are even in sniffing distance of the wildcard race on September 1st.

Yes, Hendry tries to overfix things sometimes and has tied the hands of the organization with some of the contracts he has given out. And of course in 20/20 retrospect he has made some dumb moves - every GM has. In my mind though, the Lee and Ramirez (and even the Harden) deals were rapes in our favor and I for one was very happy when we landed Soriano at the time, as he was by far the best free agent position player on the market that year. We have made the playoffs 2 years in a row, which I can't say has ever happened before in my 37-year lifetime, so I consider Hendry's tenure to have been a successful one. I'd love to win it all too and it is tough when we don't, but that don't make it a failure (in my opinion).

It's a bitch what expectations will do for you...

So getting rid of Pie to open a spot for Gathright was Hendry's idea? Have you got any bridges for sale? Here's a crazy idea way out of left field - Maybe Lou says stuff so that he doesn't come out like a dipshit? But you can watch Lou's in game and lineup management and realize that he is a disphit, no matter what he says.

Case in point "I didn't say I wanted to get a more lefthanded lineup" but he refuses to stack Fukudome and Bradley 1-2 at the top of the lineup. Why is that? Because he does want to try to balance the lefthanders in the lineup.

If this is the case about Lou, why is there not a mutiny amongst Cubs fans looking for his ouster?

Because Cubs fans are the dumbest in baseball.

Or maybe there is a racist tinge to the matter?

We could definitely use some fresh perspective from the managerial position. Lou looks like he has aged about 10 years in the past year. Once again, at the time he was hired by Hendry, Lou was the best manager available with the most credentials but he just seems old nowadays...

I disagree. Lou may have had the best credentials as a manager, but I have to think that Girardi would've been a better choice, maybe Brenly too--as in they are probably better managers than Lou. Of course, I have no idea what it's like to be in a dugout or clubhouse with these guys.

[And by "best credentials" I mostly mean longest history. In contrast, Girardi didn't have worse credentials, he had almost no credentials--no history as a manager.]

Guiness Book level of taking a quote out of context there.

btw...for the soto weight-watchers.

the guy showed up in great shape and gained most of his weight in april/may/june eatting off the meal money and clubhouse spread, fwiw.

when pitchers/catchers reported and before-hand in the WBC people were gushing about his off-season work habits.

now all of a sudden he's a lazy pot smoking guy who can't figure out how to handle his poor Dominican self with new-found money. okay, sure.

i dunno if his weight gain is even the proper route to seek blame, but if it is i dunno if winter is to blame.

Regardless, the top reasons for our digression this year are Soto, Fontenot, and the injury to A-Ram, period. But Soto is exhibit A.

We have no choice but to hope this season was the fluke and not last season, roll him out there, and hope for the best. Cubs.com did point out that his BABIP is nearly 100 points lower this year, which is probably good luck/bad luck. I would be happy if he hit .250/.320/.450 next year.

You forgot shitty bullpen and shitty Soriano.

I wonder about that.

Soto was listed at 225 on the WB Classic roster before the season began. He's at 225 most places now and 230 at Baseball Reference and Baseball Almanac.

Hope this isn't too technically right for you but he was 190-200 last year. Still is listed at that weight at The Baseball Cube.

Flashback to 2007 -- "Soto feels the difference in his new frame, which was previously listed at 6’1 and 230 pounds according to various media guides prior to the season."

http://74.125.155.132/search?q=cache:DfixGSLM-58J:...

So, he slims down to the 190's and has two great years. Then he porks back up to 230 + and he sucks. I'm guessing there's a causal relationship in there somewhere.

never trust a listed weight or height...ever.

what's david ortiz up to now? 230 lbs? hehe...

theriot's actually shrunk an inch to 5'11"...age is a bitch. i don't buy he's 5'11" either. fontenot lists at 5'8" btw.

First, Soto is Puerto Rican and not Dominican.

Second, his injuries should be part of the discussion. He suffered the shoulder injury the first week of April and missed time, and then he injured his oblique in early July, which put him on the DL. And in May, Brenly said he thought Soto was battling the same hand injury from last September. (Check out this Will Carroll "Under the Knife" column: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?arti...)

I hate the offseason.

lenandbob: Check that...Soriano must have talked his way into the lineup. He's in for Fox.

Improve outfield defense-Sam Fuld
Increase speed+stolen bases-Sam Fuld
Lefthanded-Sam Fuld
Improve Attitude/Intangibles-Sam Fuld

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