Cubs Decade in Review: 2000 Season

The New Year is fast approaching which means it's time for everyone's year in review articles. This year we get the added bonus of the end of decade. Due to the baseball schedule and offseason, I'll be looking at each individual season from the end of the previous season to the end of that season. Let's travel through the looking glass together and remember simpler times.

Don Baylor #25

The Cubs finished off 1999 at 67-95 and dead last in the NL Central. Failure at that level demanded change and the Cubs fired Jim Riggelman and hired Don Baylor in November of '99 to start off the offseason and lead the Cubs into 2000. Jeff Blauser, Mickey Morandini, Benito Santiago, Steve Trachsel, Lance Johnson and Gary Gaetti were all on their way out and in mid -December, GM E. Lynch pulled a trade for Ismael "Blister" Valdez and Eric Young from the Dodgers for Terry Adams, Brian Stephenson and Chad Ricketts.

Free agent signings included Ricky Guiterrez, Todd Van Poppel, and Joe Girardi. The immortal Augie Ojeda was acquired from the Baltimore Orioles. Manny Alexander was sent to the Red Sox for center fielder Damon Buford. Y2K hit and all the computers kept working.  The first move of the decade was signing reliever Brian Williams...he had a 9.62 ERA in 2000 and was released by the end of May. Willie Greene was signed..he played 109 games in 2000. The Cubs traded for Sarge Jr. from the Padres for Rodney Myers.

The Cubs season began in Tokyo versus the Mets and Jon Lieber defeated Mike Hampton with Rick Aguilera getting the save. Opening Day Lineup:

E. Young - 2B, D. Buford - CF, M. Grace - 1B, S. Sosa - RF, H. Rodriguez - LF, S. Andrews - 3B, J. Nieves - SS, J. Girardi - C, J. Lieber - P

Kyle Farnsworth started the 2nd game in Tokyo...the Cubs lost 5-1.

Kevin Tapani, Andrew Lorraine and Scott Downs rounded out the 5-man rotation for April. 7 years later Scott Downs would become a good reliever for the Toronto Blue Jays. Ruben Quevedo made his debut in relief in April, he would get his first start at the end of May. Julio Zuleta made his debut in April. The team finished March and April at 10-17. On May 2nd, Kerry Wood made his 2000 debut after missing all of 1999 after Tommy John surgery.  The game was against the Houston Astros and he pitched 6 innings and struck out four and the Cubs won 11-1. They finished May 10-16 and Wood finished the season on 8-7 with a 4.80 ERA and 137 IP. His 8.7 K/9 rate was the lowest of his career (not including the 19.2 IP he threw in 2006).

On May 11, Glenallen Hill hit a home run off Steve Woodard that hit the rooftop of a building across the street. A legend was born...

After a disappointing 1999 and terrible start to 2000, GM E. Lynch offered to resign in mid-May, president Andy MacPhail convinced him to stay. In the June draft, the Cubs selected Luis Montanez with the third pick...Chase Utley went at #15 to the Phillies. The Cubs also drafted Bobby Hill, Todd Wellemeyer, Ryan Jorgenson, Dontrelle Willis, Jon Leicester, Jason Dubois, Buck Coats, Carmen Pignatiello and Jason Szuminski in that draft. The Cubs reacquired Brant Brown for Dave Martinez on June 9th in a deal with the Texas Rangers. The Cubs went 12-13 in June.

On July 19, Lynch quit anyway and MacPhail took over as GM. He traded Glenallen Hill to the New York Yankees two days later for Ben Ford and Oswaldo Mairena. On July 25th, he traded Ismael Valdez back to the Dodgers for Jamie Arnold, Jorge Piedra and cash. Valdez made 12 starts for the Cubs and had a 5.37 ERA. At the trade deadline, Henry Rodriguez was traded to the Florida Marlins for David Noyce and eventual pinch-hitter extraordinaire Ross Gload. Scott Downs was sent to Montreal for Rondell White. The Cubs had their best month of the year, going 17-9 in July.

They finished the last two months at 17-42 and finished the second straight season in last place in the NL Central - 65-97.  They were 11-29 in games decided by 5 runs or more. Will Ohman made his Cubs debut in September. Sammy Sosa only hit 50 home runs. It was Mark Grace's last season as a Cub.

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Comments

Wow.

I remember a game where Valdez hit a double and when he got to second he started to grab his calf and looked to the bench to try to get out of the game and the bench just ignored him.

"Monster" Hill-another marvel of modern science.

Ed Lynch- still with the Cubs in some capacity?

Lynch quit this offseason, he was a scout all these years with the Cubs since quitting as GM.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

from reader tem99 in the previous thread

Capps has received interest from more than half the 30 major-league clubs, and the Cubs and Diamondbacks have reportedly made aggressive offers.

My fondest Don Baylor memory is during a rainy WGN broadcast when the camera man convienently turned to Don Baylor right at the point in which his finger was up his nose so far, all you could see was a knuckle. The WGN camera crew is well known for their timing.

Wood homered in that first game back, too.

Holy Sh!t.

I forgot I was at that game.

http://twitter.com/jorgearangure/status/67407...

Kelvim Escobar throwing his slider,change and FB in simulated game.Consistently between 92-94 mph.

wouldn't mind him at all...

He's going to want at least Fontenot money.

Not sure we will have the room after Capps,Grabow and Byrd are signed up.

well I was assuming it's either Capps or Escobar or some other bullpen arm...they seem to want a vet right arm that could close as well.

at least...hell, he's a 7+m pitcher, easy.

http://twitter.com/EfrainZavarce

speaking of, Cubs one of 8 teams at his throwing session:

Cachorros=Cubs apparently...

I fondly remember the ole Baylor offensive strategy.

1. Lead off with a hit
2. Sacrifice the runner to 2nd
3. Sacrifice the runner to 3rd
4. Pray for a hit or wild pitch

Not a lot of heavy scoring during the Baker era. The fact he was hired AFTER he employed this same strategy in Colorado, tells us all we ever need to know about how well the Cubs front office has been run over the years.

a front-loaded deal for Lackey

http://twitter.com/Ken_Rosenthal/status/67413...

imagine paying more upfront when you know you'll keep the player and making the back-end more attractive when you may consider trading them...crazy idea.

Yeah, that's nice. The Bulls have/had done this with Hinrich and Nocioni. I would want to do this if I was a player because that money is worth more now than it is later. By year 4 or 5 you are totally fucking loaded anyhow, so who gives a fuck how much you make?

http://www.2theadvocate.com/sports/lsu/featur...

Cubs sign another LSU alum, 3B Derek Helenihi

Can't wait for the AZ Phil take on that one. He must be a knuckleball catcher or a prospective bat boy or something.

http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2009/12/...

did well in Korea last year, credits mountain hike

for all the hand wringing over hendry not doing anything, it's not like there was much to do.

trade milton, find replacement, sign a reliever, maybe sign a starter, explore 2nd base situation (which seems to be already settled anyway with baker/fontenot unless one becomes trade bait).

it's not a big shopping list...the team's biggest missed chance so far is not being able to sign cameron in time to pay him 8m a year for a couple years...meh...no biggie, imo.

absolutely, when you win 83 games, you should just chill and see how it goes the next year...minor adjustments is all that is needed.

it's when you win 98 games that you need to blow everything up....

i still say you march that exact same team out and you can find 90+ wins.

not batting one of the team's best power hitters with low ob% first might help...so would him playing a full season.

dlee/aram/soriano isn't a walk in the park.

team has 3 playoff quality starters, too.

not batting one of the team's best power hitters with low ob% first might help...so would him playing a full season.

same player batting first and they went to the playoffs in 2007 and 2008 with a great offense, if they're better next year, Soriano's spot in the batting order won't be the reason.

They lost a talented pitcher in Harden and haven't replaced him and are about to give away Bradley, so they won't be marching out the same team.

given that i say you can march the same team out there and "somehow" win more games doesn't mean i'm approaching this from a historical statistical perspective.

soriano was wasted in the 1 slot and moving him out of that slot i can see nothing but good happening for his skill set.

it was people who looked at historical data that say he's a leadoff hitter and somehow turns to total crap when he moves elsewhere...as if anything changes at all with his plate approach or how he's pitched to.

Hendry made the team significantly weaker last off season. Without making some big changes this offseason expect the same kind of season in '10.

Kicking Miles out the door was a good first step in reversing the '08-09 offseason shitfest, but, and I'm sorry to say this, but the bullpen needs a serious overhaul before the team will do much.

Relievers lost at least 8 winnable games in the first half of the season, maybe more. I would even go as far as to say a good bullpen would have put the Cubs in the playoffs this year. With even a small lead at the all-star break and Ramirez back off the DL, I'm not certain the Cards would have been such aggresive buyers at the trade deadline.

that's the thing..i don't see a reason to believe big changes have to be made to a team that's already got it's big pieces figured out.

ultimately we're bitching about the support role taken up by milton...who's contribution is on the same level as fuku (and hopefully soto).

the team has 3 legit power hitters up the middle...that's a luxury a lot of teams don't have. cubs paid heavy for it, but they got it.

they're looking an above average support player (milton or replacement) and making the pen stronger. big whoop.

I know not all players are the same, but can someone (paging the doctors and stat guys) show me how a pitcher did the season after the same surgery Lilly had?

Thanks and I apologize for my laziness.

Well the end of the decade actually comes Dec. 31, 2010, but who wants to be picky? When it does come, there will be some big changes in store for this club. The window is closing fast, sorta like they talked about for the Bears after their 2006 Super Bowl appearance. I would not want the job of GM - I'd rather be the President so I can tell GM (General Motors) what to do...

Well the end of the decade actually comes Dec. 31, 2010, but who wants to be picky?

how does that work out? not that I'm doubting you, but can't figure out the logic on that one...

If you start counting with 1, the first millennium is 1-1000, the second is 1001-2000, and the first decade of the third millennium is 2001-2010. If you start counting with zero, the decade is 2000-2009, but there wasn't a year 0. I like your review. Maybe someone else can do one at the end of next year.

got you

the rest of the world believe this is the end of the decade, I'm sticking with the rest of the world on this one.

I was kind of like when the entire western world was celebratiing the new millenium one year early. Good times.

It's like when the odometer flips to 100,000.0 even though you bought the car at 000,002.8.

There are two issues of note here:
First, sometimes people have a hard time counting because they do basic subtraction and forget to count the first or last item in the sequence. The end of the first year will start as year zero and finish at the beginning of year 1. So we are 1 year into the decade on January, 1, xx01, We are 10 years into the decade on January 1, xx10. you can't substract 1 from 1000 because that equals 999. Mind blowing stuff. When the new decade/millennium starts depends on when you start counting.

Second, the who millennium debate traces back to the initial western calendar. The king/president of England/Europe (it was actually a roman) instructed a monk named Doinysius Exiguus to make a calendar and assign a number year to it based on when the Anno Domini started. He did so and numbered year 1 to be the first complete year following the birth of Jesus. In doing so, year zero would be considered to be the complete year in which Jesus was born, but is often referred to as 1BC. So 1 BC and 1AD start and finish exactly one year apart, meaning there is no actual year zero. Or to be more precise, we started counting at the beginning of year number 1, not year number zero.

Because of this second point, the end of the first year AD, should have been January 1, 0002. This is convenient because it allows us to count simply (see point 1), but we're losing a year when we do so. If you count up to year 10, you'll have ten fingers up, but in actuality you're counting to the beginning of the tenth year. The end of the tenth year is January 1, 0011.

So while convention logic is to say that the new millenium began on January 1, 2000, anyone who cares to view it precisely realizes that January 1, 2000 is the beginning of the 1000th year AD. All the people who celebrated on this night were in fact a year early. The true millennium started on January 1, 2001.

I got drunk both years celebrating, but I find it an interesting story to share.

Calendars are social, not mathematical, constructs. A "decade" is whatever we want it to be, and society generally chooses to delineate decades by the starting digit, e.g. "the 80s" or "the oughts."

I agree that a decade is a ten year period

Everyone knows the 80's began in about '82 and ended about '92. Give or take.

That just shows that the majority of the world has trouble with numbers. The decades "start with year 1" is pretty widely acknowledged convention among people who scored 600+ on their math SAT.

I'm not being facetious when I say this: You're a smart motherfucker.

I'd never intentionally choose to associate with you or someone like you in my real life, but if you're looking for a pat on the back for being smart, consider this your pat.

Yay TRN.

Oh, I didn't score that high, I scored exactly average just like the rest of you.

So to my knowledge, there is no right or wrong in this. But I'll try to make my case for the decade ending and starting at zero.

Of course when we count things, we start with 1. But not when considering aspects of time. When you are born, you are zero. Once you've been around for a year, you are 1. Start a stopwatch? 1 will show up after a second, minute, or hour has passed.

Maybe think of a car around a race track. If counting laps, you would not say 1 until the lap is complete.

So my best logic goes against what sir Neal states. Perhaps I'm the rebel of the given domain, though.

The point is that years are not an abstract. Years were started with 1 AD, consequently the first decade was not finished until 10 AD.

A decade as vorare pointed out is just 10 years. From June 17th 1994 to June 16th 2004 is a decade. If you start counting decades from year 1, then 2010 not the start of a new deacade. Taking that example forward, Rob's type of lists could start from whenever you think the Cubs started.

And as we discussed at work yesterday, the Myans didn't think the world was going to end in 2012, they just need to make a new calender.

You keep saying years started with 1 AD like it's a fact. Traditional calendars are mixed on this, the popular Gregorian supports your claim, but Buddhist and Hindu calendars implement a year zero.

It just depends on your view of a year. If you consider it a discrete variable, then you start with 1. If it's viewed as a continuous variable, where counts refer to intervals, than you would start with 0.

The Gregorian calendar is definitely the most widely used, and according to it the decade does not end until 2011 begins. But it's just established by a choice made a long time ago. It's not factual.

So is the changing of the decade "imminent"?

According to Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago, it could happen by the end of the week.

lol awesome.

Hey Rob, were you using the Budhist or Hindu calender? Those both start reckoning time with the death of Jesus, right?

That calendar is what the names/numbers of our years mean. So in the regard that the world recognizes 2009 as 2009, it is a fact.
It is also a fact that the first year was called year 1 at it's beginning and throughout that year. They could have called it year zero and it would agree with the baby example above. Had they been living in the moment and concluded that they were living through their first year AD that would be more understandable than to label the first year to start as 1 and finish as 2. It really is nothing more than an academic point. Doesn't really matter

In the regard that year zero doesn't mean anything in the grand cosmos then 2009 doesn't mean shit.

My Myan buddy told me we won't have to worry about any of this in a couple of years.

I took the ACT...

when they run the decade leaders, they start with year 0, for example Mark Grace had the most hits in the '90's from 1990-1999, so I'm sticking with that..

although I certainly understand the logic behind starting with 1, there's no reason to start the revolution with a harmless decade in review post that just about everyone is doing now.

Thank you. But I'd rather have speed first-to-third which will never happen...

Craig clears it up below. We really missed an opportunity to celebrate the millenium when it REALLY happened!

http://twitter.com/TBrownYahoo/status/6750308864

2/12M with incentives that could take it to $16M

Not bad for a 30th round draft pick.

Wonder if AZ Phil knows if he was really considered a 30th round talent.

The only guy I know of who was drafted low because he deserved to be and made good was Mike Piazza, but surely some of the draftniks can come up with some other examples.

Mark Grace was a 24th round pick in 1985. Sandberg was a 20th round pick in 1978. Don't know if that's low enough to fit your criteria of a "low" draft pick, but there it is, fwiw....

Sandberg was a drafted that low because everyone was sure he was going to play college football, following his setting the state record for passing yards. No one bothered actually asking him.

Grace is a good one. It seems like there was another guy recently I'm forgetting.

Roy Oswalt, John Smoltz, Jeff Kent, Mark Buehrle, Travis Hafner, Mike Lowell, Jason Bay ... all 20th round or later.

But again, you don't know "the story" on all of those.

Pujols is the guy I was thinking of. Oswalt was too short, but I think he had some signing concerns that dropped him from the 3rd round if my Houston scouting scuttlebut memory is accurate.

They add Garrett Atkins too. Exciting off-season for O's fans... sort of.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/orioles/ba...

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2009/1...

approved money for batting cages, but won't build them unless Cubs say they're staying in Arizona

Bold move. They'll only build something if it means it'll get used. Clearly Mesa didn't finance the half-built apartment building behind my house that's been there for 3 years.

Boy, whatever happened to, "build it and they will come"?

fwiw, they actually just want an assurance from Cubs that they will deal with them in "good faith" and haven't already made up their mind about Florida.

The body language eminating from the Ricketts mob is not good for Mesa at the moment. It says a lot that they happily flew an entire posse down to Naples recently while a nervous Mesa group is flying themselves up to Chicago because they can't get the Cubs to tell them which sites, if any, they're interested in.

Didn't the Ricketts tour Arizona sites during the organizational meetings in November?

Yep, after Tom Ricketts made his first trip to Naples. As far as I know, that's the only time the Ricketts family has ever been to Arizona.

They've made two trips to Naples to discuss moving there.

"only time the Ricketts family has ever been to Arizona. "

A billionaire Cub fan never made it to Spring Training?

It's old man Joe's money.

According to Levine, November was the first time Tom Ricketts ever set foot in Arizona.

http://espn.go.com/chicago/columns/blog/_/pos...

quickly looking through Google Maps, Fort Myers would be the closest to the Cubs and that's an hour drive (Twins and Red Sox). Everything else ranges from 2-4 hour drive...

In Arizona, the longest drive is 2 hours to Tucson which most of the vets skip.

The Tucson park is very nice though... not much not life there if you go when the university is on spring break.

not following the Grapefruit League, I'm not sure how they handle it...

do they bunch their games up in one area and rent a hotel a few days? Do they fly to games? Do they play a week worth of home games?

Man, Ricketts is not endearing himself to the fans at all so far. It might seem relatively minor to some, but I think moving from AZ to Naples will really upset A LOT of fans. What does Naples have to offer besides humidity and thousands of 90 year olds on the brink of death?

The Cubs have planted roots in Mesa, and developed a loyal following down there. I know we've heard AZ Phil's take on the likelihood of moving and why, but I'd love to hear his take on how he would personally feel about it if they did move. I know we'd lose an amazing amount of valuable information.

Anyway, between not signing anything resembling a valuable player for 2010 and potentially pissing a lot of people off with moving Spring Training, Ricketts kind of seems like a huge douche.

I don't know, isn't Florida a favorite vacation spot for the Midwest? also, considerably closer...

I think some of the Ricketts have a second home down there, and - although I have no idea if this does anything for them - no state tax in Florida.

I don't know, isn't Florida a favorite vacation spot for the Midwest? also, considerably closer...

Not as much as Phoenix, I think. I've heard Phoenix referred to as Chicago's far, far southwest suburb.

I'd understand the move more if they weren't talking about Naples. Two hours from the other Grapefruit league teams, and four hours from Disney World? Seems to undercut any potential baseball or monetary reasons for the move.

I think the Southwest is popular place to move when you retire (dry heat is an amazing thing), but as for vacationing for a week, you usually want a beach, theme park, national monuments, or watch the Cubs.

I've gone to spring training for the last 3 years in AZ and what I love about it is the proximity of all the teams. I don't have to go to Ho Ho to see a game, and in fact the best seats I've gotten for Cubs games have been at other parks.

So as far as spring training "trips" are concerned I probably won't bother if they move to Naples

I may because I have a retired elder to visit down there, but other than that, I vastly prefer Phoenix. You can see two games in a day quite easily down there.

When I was at ASU in early 90's it was known as Illizona.

East coast people go to FL, Mid West to AZ.

long story short...

moving to naples would piss off a lot of other teams. it's probably not going to happen. players/teams already hate the ft. myers drive.

http://bases.nbcsports.com/2009/12/hawkins-sc...

he sure didn't enjoy his Wrigley experience though...

"I'm a firm believer that talking to a guy in person, you get to know him a little bit better," Hawkins said.

Unless you're Jim Hendry.

When he took the mound as a Cubbie, you could literally feel the game slip away. You just knew as soon as he started warming up the other team would have a shot at coming back. Sure he didn't deserve all the crap, but he was not good as a Cub.

"but he was not good as a Cub."

And not so good after also.

He was actually pretty darn good up to the fateful Mets game in 2004 -- then, it all came crashing down for the team and for LaTroy.

As I recall, Dusty was trying to give hi the day off, becaude he had been pitching (and saving) a lot -- but, Dempster walked the first 2 guys to start the 9th, in came a tired LaTroy, and two outs later......

I looked in up when we were having our Cubs fans cannot be racist debate, and his ERA with the Cubs was pretty darned good, like 3.48 or something. The problem was that he just refused to hold a 1-run lead in the 9th. 2 run lead, fine. 1 run lead in the 8th? Fine. 1 run lead in the 9th? We lose.

If you have the info handy TRN, how many saves did he blow as a Cub?

Just went back and looked up the box score for that awful day --- Mets starting pitcher was one Aaron Heilman -- Sosa had 4 K's and 8 LOB.

~sob~

He had 13 blown saves, 29 saves and 4 holds as a Cub.

In 2005 he's blown saves were:

1 run
1 run
1 run - at which point he was 4/7 and lost his closer role.
1 run 6th inning - actually a blown hold.

His big problem was probably that the 2005 Cubs weren't any good.

In 2004 he blew 9 saves. These are how many runs he had to play with by game.

1 run
1 run
1 run
1 run
1 run
1 run
1 run
3 (but came in with the tying run at the plate after Dempster started inning)
1 run

That's really pretty amazing. For a year and a month he blew 13 saves - but he had no margin of error in EVERY save he blew. That has to be some sort of record. Dusty also probably overworked him late in '04.

Thanks for the info.

NP, I am glad I looked it up.

AA Smokies name the new manager

http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2009/dec/17/danc...

Best Cubs player of the decade is my favorite player of all time Mark Grudzielanek. The man could do it all.

yeah, he's on everyone's top-3.

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