Merde: Dawson Goes in as an Expo and Other Cub Notes



The Hall of Fame made the right move, albeit the unpopular one, by announcing that Andre Dawson will be inducted as a Montreal Expo. Real Neal did the legwork for me using BP's WARP3 numbers:

Montreal: 43.7 Wins

Chicago: 18.1 Wins

Others: -2.2 Wins

Dawson may have been a more popular player in baseball thanks to his Cubs days, but he was clearly a better player as an Expo. Even if you divide his wins per season, it's 3.97 as an Expo and 3.01 as a Cub, so there's just no reasonable argument for Dawson as a Cub other than a popularity contest. Dawson did prefer the Cubs for what it's worth and says he may don a Cubs hat during his speech to acknowledge the Cubs fans.

- The Cubs agreed to a contract with left-hander Sean "What the Fuck Do I Have to Do to be Guaranteed a Roster Spot?" Marshall. I fear that nickname might not catch on. According to some tweets it's for $950K.

- It's almost official that Cubs will pick Mesa today to enter exclusive negotiations that could take up to a year. The preferred location may be revealed as well. Good news for me as it's a short 6-hour drive and for TCR, as I don't think Arizona Phil was planning a Florida move. I'm hoping to make my first spring training trip this March.

- Current 25-man roster:

Starters: Soto, Lee, Baker, Theriot, Ramirez, Soriano, Byrd, Fukudome

Bench: Hill, Nady, (3 of) Blanco, Fontenot, Fuld, Hoffpauir, Tracy, Castro or Colvin

Right now Blanco, Fontenot and Fuld seem like the favorites, but a hot or cold spring or injury could certainly change things.

Rotation: Zambrano, Dempster, Wells, Gorzelanny, Marshall (probably skipped until 5th starter needed)

Lilly will start the season on the disabled list.

Bullpen: Marmol, Grabow, Guzman, Silva, Likely RH addition, (2 of) Berg, Samardzija, Parisi, Stevens, Gray, Caridad, Gaub, Atkins, Dolis, Patton, Parker

and it'll just be 1 of those last 10 when Lilly is back from the disabled list and Marshall or Gorzelanny moves to the pen.


I guess going in as a Cub would have been nice, but hard to justify on purely baseball terms. Either way, it's not that big of a deal.

This question has been gnawing at me for several hours:

What the heck is an "Expo"??

Is it some evolved creature from the black lagoon, is it french for We Don't Know Ourselves, or could it be just a BIG cardboard baseball with a huge handlebar mustache? Oh, wait, that's a Metropolitan...

"The name Expos comes from Montreal's hosting of Exposition 1967, which occurred during Canada's centennial year."

Yeah, I knew that. They should have added that the name also eventually contributed to the demise of baseball in Montreal. If they had a more fitting name, like the Montreal Beavers, Montreal Nordiques or Eupees, that would've been better, and the Nats would have been an expansion team. Just sayin'...

"Montreal Beavers"
Montreal known for its gentleman's clubs.

i remember watching a game in the early 00s where the announcers were commenting that the home attendance for a game they were covering had (literally) less attendance than a curling competition going on in MON the same night.

The actual criteria are: "based on where that player makes his most indelible mark." So a players popularity, where he wins awards or achieves historical marks, etc. all definitely play a big part in the decision (whereas I doubt WARP3 is even considered), probably why it took so long for them to decide.

so there's just no reasonable argument for Dawson as a Cub other than a popularity contest.

No reasonable argument?

How about Dawson wanting to be remembered as a Cub not an Expo? How about the fact that Dawson made his indelible mark in Chicago not Montreal? How about he had a higher BA, OBA, SLG and OPS+ as a Cub? How about he averaged 33 HR and 110 RBI/ 162 games as a Cub? -- much higher numbers than when he was an Expo. How about he went to 5 consecutive All Star games as a Cub (and only 3 total as an Expo)? How about he won his only MVP as a Cub and did it for a last place team? How about until 2001 the Hall allowed players to choose the cap they went in on and then arbitrarily changed the rule?

How about Reggie Jackson went in as a ...Yankee??

I think those are a few reasonable arguments, not that they change anything.

everyone is remembered as everything but an expo.

the expos crapped out an allstar team's worth of talent in the mid-80s until late-90s. no one remembers or associates many of them with the expos, though...HOF consideration or not, a lot of these players people forget they even broke in with MON.

the rule wasn't changed arbitrarily...Wade Boggs tried to sell his induction to Tampa.

As did Dawson to Florida, no?

I don't remember that.

I know it was a big deal with Boggs.

I wouldn't blame Dawson, the poor guy got screwed in 1987 with the collusion.

Did he collect any damages from that?

I'm not trying to smear the Hawk's rep. I just remember reading that he had some deal with Florida, maybe for his post-playing career, that included incentives if he wore a Florida cap in the hall. Could be mistaken, though.

Yes, the guys who suffered as part of the collusion agreement got the lions share of the money. Free agents from 85 to 87 if memory serves.

How about those HR and RBI stats coming when he batted cleanup in an time when offense was more inflated than in his time as an Expo, while he played RF defense that made the Cubs managers yearn for the DH rule?

The ASG's and the MVP were functions of the Cubs popularity, not of him being the best, or even one of the best 8 players in the league.

Of course Neal...he was batting cleanup for the

"Sean "What the Fuck Do I Have to Do to be Guaranteed a Roster Spot?" Marshall"

I think you need to shorten that a bit.

How about just Sean "What the Fuck" Marshall. It has a few more uses that way.

I'm pretty sure Sean Marshall is guaranteed a roster space by this point, at least as much as any arbitration-eligible player can be.

believe it says Cubs are 7th if tweets are to be believed

7. Chicago Cubs
They've hit on several top draft picks under scouting director Tim Wilken as well as a couple of later-round finds, but the system is led by 19-year-old Dominican shortstop Starlin Castro, who is already in Double-A.


With "Teflon TIm"?!!!

NAVIGATION shudders...

Keith Law can be all over the place with his rankings. Here's where he ranked the Cubs 1 year ago:

27. Chicago Cubs: Josh Vitters and a few hard-throwing relievers, and that's about it. The Cubs had some really atrocious drafts in the mid-2000s -- it's a fair bet that the 2005 draft class will fail to produce a big leauger(sic) other than Donald Veal, who was lost in the Rule 5 draft last month and has done absolutely nothing to earn a big league shot this April.

That's right, he ranked the Cubs 27th! And, apparently, Starlin Castro and Andrew Cashner weren't even on his radar. He had only Vitters at #14 and Jay Jackson at #98 on his 2009 top 100 list.

And, fwiw, here's what Keith Law organizational rankings are supposed to mean, ".. a system with high-impact prospects who are relatively close to the majors ranks high, even if the system lacks depth in second- and third-tier prospects. "

i asked him on twitter why the big leap, see if he responds....

up to $25 a day from $20, something like $10-15 goes to clubhouse dues.

I guess I'm ignorant. Is this to buy nudie mags and liquor?

More or less. The more often you go to Taco Bell instead of Arby's, the more booze your organization pays for!

79 cent menu here we come!

there goes the neighborhood...


Just play the aragon like all the other washed up hipsters.

on 1-yr deal...

Damon, Reed Johnson, Baldelli and Dye still out there.

someone is going to get a Bobby Abreu-like steal in Damon at some point.


Shhhh, I don't want to see that.

Holliday, Rasmus, Ludwick?

doubt he's signing anywhere to compete for a job...also not sure how low he's willing to go.

A's seem the last option at this point...
R. Davis, Crisp, Sweeney, E-Pat, J. Fox aren't really going to keep Damon from a job...

Padres could probably find a spot for him, Wsox would be smart to forget they made that Pierre trade, Reds could use him

"Wsox would be smart to forget they made that Pierre trade"
Supposedly could not afford the 1.5 that Thome got from Twins.

cross Braves off your lists, their people think he'll be on the A's for $4-5M

It will be interesting to see if he takes the same attitude towards the Yankees that Torre did, and signs elsewhere for less.

Another mentioning of Dolis for the bullpen. At this point I think it's more likely that one of the top pitching prospects get added to the 40 than the Cubs start the season with a guy who has struggled at high A.

Though I don't care if the Cubs save money, Parker, Gaub, Stevens and Cardidad aren't going to learn much in AAA. It makes more sense to me to let them start in Chicago. If we can't find a RH setup man by May, make a trade then.

been raved about lately before the Rule 5 and he was recovering from TJ surgery last year...

longshot indeed but the Cubs have promoted aggressively in the pen with whomever is hot. Certainly could be one of those guys....

I thought they raved about his fastball but he's a one pitch pitcher?

I thought he was supposed to have a nasty slider, too.

yeah, his fastball was in the upper 90's and he's another one of the Cubs that everyone thinks is a reliever but the Cubs let him start to make him use his secondary stuff. Phil and BA had feeling he'd be the top pick in the Rule 5 if unprotected so he can't be that far from the majors.

in an earlier thread AZ Phil does think Dolis is more of a project fwiw.

Sort of like Donnie Veal in 2009? Being ready for the majors doesn't necessarily correlate with being a top pic.

or sort of like Samardzija in 2008 who no one thought would see the majors that year or Petrick and Hart in 2007...and so on and so on

examples on both sides, he's in the mix...that's all, even with low odds.

Could throw Cashner, Jackson, Russell, Mathes and Diamond in the mix as well.

How many of you believe Smindjiia will become a Major League Starter? Or, a MLB starter on the Cubs after his initial contract is over.

Personally, I think he will be bust.

But, I hope to be proven wrong.

he wont be one if he spends 1/2 season in the majors pitching 2-4 innings a week.

I think he's going to wind up being a long reliever who bounces around some, has a good season or two due to small sample sizes, makes a flirtation with playing in the NFL then retires.

None of those guys broke with the team in April, Rob.

Michael Wuertz 2004, Sean Marshall 2006, Carmen Pignatiello in 2008

Rob are you on crack today?

Wuertz 2003? 124 innings in Iowa
Marshall 2005? 25 innings in AA, and made the team because of injury, if memory serves.
Pignatiello in 2007 had been pitching in Iowa for two or three years.

If you were a Mets fan, I guess you could say "Dwight Gooden 1984". Does that help?

he's in camp and in the mix, albeit unlikely to make the team

none of those other guys I listed or the NRIs are going to get picked over Dolis if Dolis outperforms them, unlikely as that may be...

I respectfully disagree. He'd have to go nuts to make the team over guys who have done well in ST and or AAA previously. It's like saying Vitters is in the mix for an infield spot.

TRN, my comment a couple of days ago was just a long shot. I understand that there are more likely canidates to get the call up. He is a feast or famine type of pitcher who may benefit from the spotlight. I think it is unlikely that he will get added to the mix at some point in the season, but all it takes is an injury to one of the top arms and a sense of maturity from Dolis this upcoming season to equate to a cup of coffee. Also in reference to my post, I think that the Cubs will end up making a trade and somehow invovling Colvin. His stock is not exactly through the roof, but he did enough I think at the end of the season to keep him on the radar of teams as a potential target. He has had injury issues, but also was involved with Team USA and has has college experience. I think it would be a mistake to move some of the younger arms for bullpen just simply because of the uncertainty revolving around the starting staff next year.

I'm not bagging on the guy, all I am saying is that it's extremely unlikely that he breaks with the team. If he goes to AA and pitches well, then sure he may get a callup and his spot on the 40 will make it easier for him. But at this point he's probably got 10 guys ahead of him for the bullpen spot.

if Cubs are comfortable with a 4-man rotation for the first 2-3 weeks, they could carry an extra bench bat.

not sure if Cubs are interested in him

I'm interested in the Cubs too, but I don't think either Joe or I should waste our time sitting by the phone.

when you learn that a certain player didn't play for Dusty but always thought he did.

Today's guest is Miguel Cairo who just signed with the Reds.

Seemed like a perfect Dusty Baker All-Star...

Middle infielder-check
Slap hitter-check

Fits the profile

Cashman responds to Boras: "On Dec 17, we were told not to make an offer for a penny less than $13 million a year for two years."

More Cashman: "Boras told me I wouldn't find a No. 2 hitter for less than $13 million. I found one for half that (Nick Johnson)."

I was going to make a Dusty joke there about Nick Johnson batting 2nd, but I assume Granderson and Jeter would bat 1-2 in the Yanks lineup, unless they plan Jeter, Johnson going 1-2 and Granderson batting 9th.

long swing

shhh, he's the next Derek Jeter

scouting report on their sidebar says he has plus speed which conflicts with BP's take.

Submitted by Rob G. on Wed, 01/27/2010 - 8:33pm.
shhh, he's the next Derek Jeter

scouting report on their sidebar says he has plus speed which conflicts with BP's take


ROB G: Starlin Castro has average speed for a middle-infielder (above-average for a position-player), but he has plus-range because he has very good lateral movement and first-step quickness.

Hak-Ju Lee has plus-speed, though. He is VERY fast. And because he bats left-handed and his hands and body are usually moving forward when he swings (sort of like Ichiro), Lee is able to beat-out a lot of infield hits and bust singles into doubles.

I think HJ Lee is a true lead-off hitter, while Castro is more of a #2 hitter. Castro reminds me of a young Edgar Renteria, and I wouldn't be surprised if he develops into a 10-12 HR guy as he fills out. Lee is more of a slap hitter, but he could start to drive the ball more as he matures physically (he just turned 19 in November).

Do you think that because the Cubs got to Lee at such a young age they'll be able to get some more power out of him, compared to the Ichiro types or are they going to be content to have him follow that philosophy of hitting? He does seem to take more walks from the little we've seen.

Submitted by The Real Neal on Wed, 01/27/2010 - 10:49pm.
Do you think that because the Cubs got to Lee at such a young age they'll be able to get some more power out of him, compared to the Ichiro types or are they going to be content to have him follow that philosophy of hitting? He does seem to take more walks from the little we've seen.


NEAL: So far they have allowed HJ Lee to hit the way he learned to hit in Korea. As long as he is sucessful doing it that way, they'll probably leave him alone. He is kind of tall & lean and he grew an inch and bulked up a little bit last off-season (he was down-right scrawny when he reported to Fitch Park for Instructs as a 17-year old in Fall 2008), but he looks like if he adds some more muscle over the next couple of years he could develop some Ichiro-like incidental power. He could be a big-time base-stealer, too. Lee actually might have a higher ceiling than Castro, but Castro is more consistent both offensively and defensively, and I have never seen a more "coachable" player than Castro. The Cubs Player Development guys LOVE Castro.

Thanks. I wonder how many major league scouts and coaches wonder "what could have been" with Ichiro, if he wasn't so focused on being a singles hitter. A high on base guy with blazing speed certainly has a ton of value playing an up the middle position, so I guess I'll be content with that from Lee.

Ichiro supposedly can hit 25-30 hrs, but does not swing for the fences.

Cobb was like that too.

I'm not a fan of the big leg kick, but it's a pretty nice swing. He may be loading up just a little bit, but it's kind of hard to tell from one pitch.

Joe Nelson, Chan Ho Park and Noah Lowry mentioned

Jon Morosi tweeted that Cubs still talking to Park and Kiko Calero.

is it april yet?

at least i get my first cubs ST game this year...even if it's only 1 game...and even if it's at hi-corb. field in Tucson at the COL ST complex.

heck, i'm already stoked about the Carb. WS being shown on MLB Network (Feb 2-6).

So you're in Arizona now? Neat.

in march for a week...if that goes well i should be there by DEC, though.

either way, it'll be a nice place to spend a week in mid-march.

Castro 12, Vitters 30, Jackson 50, Cashner 79

Brett Jackson just missed Top 100...

Don't know about you, but this commentary from Keith Law strikes me as hypberbolic but I hope he's right. Maybe he's making up for leaving Castro entirely off his list last year:

Castro is one of the most exciting position player prospects in the minors as a quick-twitch player with an electric bat and a hose for an arm at shortstop. As a hitter, Castro has lightning in his wrists and the ball absolutely flies off his bat. He has excellent hand-eye coordination and adjusts well when pitchers try to come in on him, keeping his hands inside the ball and squaring up pitches many hitters would foul off. His swing can get long when pitchers work him away, but he still makes a lot more contact than most hitters do, courtesy of his bat speed and hand-eye. He recognizes breaking balls well for his age and projects to hit for power even to the opposite field. As a shortstop, he's quick on his feet with good range in both ways, especially to the hole, but it is his arm that really stands out, grading at 65 or 70 on the 20-80 scale. The Cubs have pushed him up the ladder aggressively because he can make contact and needed reps against better pitching, but it has obscured his power potential because he's been so young for his leagues. He's going to be an impact bat in the middle of the diamond and could arrive as early as late 2010.

The Cube has Castro listed at 6'0 150 lbs which is scary skinny.

Submitted by navigator on Thu, 01/28/2010 - 3:29pm.

The Cube has Castro listed at 6'0 150 lbs which is scary skinny.


NAVIGATOR: Castro now weighs 190 pounds, although he did weigh 150 pounds when the Cubs signed him as a 16-year old in 2006.


ex-Cub John Koronka

I saw him pitch against Jays at Wrigley back in 2005.


So, to recap: Just about everyone in the entire Laird family showed up to a Suns-Celtics game drunk and then made their way to an in-arena bar for some more drinking, Grandpa tried to get fresh with an NBA player's wife, Brandon got angry and turned the harassment level up a few notches, and Gerald sucker-punched a security officer once things got out of hand. Awesome.

If you had to live in Detroit half the year you'd be drunk alot too.

From the comments:

I am shocked that Laird was able to connect with anything he took at swing at!

Damon, Sheffield and O. Cabrera being talked about with Reds

Smoltz leaning towards Cardinals although could wait till mid-season to pick a team.

3-6 teams still vying for Orlando Hudson

The Rays just signed Matt Fucking Bush.



*tosses a few 16-18 year olds around*


with Brewers on minor league deal...

"It’s not just Johnny Damon, though he is a good example of this effect. Over the last few years, we’ve seen numerous productive-yet-old players pushed into retirement against their will, ranging from the likes of Kenny Lofton, Ray Durham, Frank Thomas, and Jim Edmonds."



Frank Thomas had a poor season his final year, the rest had above average seasons though.

I'd guess it had more to do with each players excessive demands, and less to do with any sort of collusion against them.

yeah, I don't know the stories on any of them to be honest and their demands versus offers, but there wasn't really a suggestion of collusion. It's more of exploring the next market inefficiency as they say. OBP, then defense and could the next one be age 35+ players?

Are the A's or Reds or whatever team gonna score some good players just by waiting?

i just think they picked a bad crop of players to make their point.

i'd also like to know how these sometimes-arbitrary dropoffs keep changing in respect to the roid era vs. the washing-out of the roid era.

35 is the new 32 is the new 28 all within the 10-20 years.

Good topic idea crunch!

I'd think that players will age much faster in the post steroid era.

Guys didn't usually play into their 40's before the steroid era. Most of the higher profile offenders played past 40 (Bonds,Clemens,Sosa,Palmeiro)

the cruddy thing about handicapping it is there's a lot of guys out there who used roids/hgh and got caught who didn't get all freaky huge or put up insane numbers afterward...but where would these guys be without their drugs and how much earlier would they have checked out?

...and how many are/were out there that no one caught or has a clue about?

everyone and their mom has sosa implicated without real proof, but where does that leave guys who got "roid-like" bumps in their longevity and production without getting massive (like biggio)?

Biggio never really struck me as a roider. I always attributed his bump from

1. Getting out from behind the plate
2. Moving from the Astrodome to the Juice Box

Bagwell was the guy I suspected on that team. He went from being a Right handed Mark Grace to being a perennial 40+ homer guy, right in the middle of the Era.

yeah, im just musing...not accusing. thing is, we may never know.

it's easy to pick out the "sosas" but finding the "randy valverdes" and "chuck knoblauchs" out there aren't as easy...but they're there.

We discussed this a couple of weeks ago. Biggio didn't become a much better hitter until two years after moving to 2nd and it was well before the now aptly named "Juic Box" opened.

Good read Rob,

My point about the inflated demands is more about the fallout from the Damon/Boras-Brian Cashman spat that is going on.

When you tie your future to a known scumbag like Scott Boras. You can't really appeal for sympathy when you can't find a job.

The Phillies are going nuts with pitching. They have six legit starters in Roy Halliday, Cole Hamel, JA Happ, Joe Blanton, Jamie Moyer (sort of legit), and Antonio Bastardo (what an unfortunate name). They also have Kyle Kendrick who can start and they just signed Jose Contreras who they plan on stretching out so he's ready to start.

That's eight starters, but according to Todd Zelecki at, the Phils are looking for even more starting pitching depth. Must be nice to have your team set up so well that your main focus is on an 9th starter.

I count 7 and Moyer's having all kinds of health problems this winter after groin surgery.

but yeah, it would be catastrophic injuries and failure for them to not make the playoffs.

Rob -- I had seven when I first posted the comment and then somehow I suffered some sort of math aneurysm. I'm not sure what happened, but I counted eight pitchers and quickly updated the comment. Thankfully, the moment is passed and I'm back to being able to count (for the moment).

Ranking Top 10 Remaining Free Agents

on felipe lopez:

"He's a strong defender -- the fifth-best among second baseman last season, as measured by Ultimate Zone Rating"

...swing and a miss UZR. can we stop using this stat yet?

What's Lopez asking for? Is his defense bad? Surely, he's a better option that Fontenot.

lazy/average. he has footwork issues which makes plays last longer than they should.


here's an article using UZR to show how horrible lopez is from a season ago...

instead of stopping there check out the full list of best/worst and shake your head at UZR.

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  • j.buchanan with a nice start...5ip 2h 1bb 3k, 0r/er

    zobrist with 2HR and a double through 8

    heyward 0-4 :(

    crunch 2 hours 40 min ago view
  • Mark Gonzales @MDGonzales

    Soler likely to return Sunday, Maddon says

    crunch 5 hours 17 min ago view
  • Right now, I'd like to see the Mets first, Giants 2nd.

    I believe that since most of the team from last years' NLCS is on the squad this year, they will really amp their game up even more to kick their ass in payback for 2015.

    The Giants just do not have the depth in years past, and I think all things equal - and at Wrigley - they could handle them.

    I do not want to see the Cards, period. Or their fans, media, or Joe Buck.

    The E-Man 5 hours 37 min ago view
  • I don't want to play Braves in the first round. Any friggin team in the league can win 3 of 5..I hate the first round. Furthermore, I wanted to play the Marlins in 2003 and the Mets over Dodgers last year.

    With that said in reverse order:
    3. Cardinals: It will be devastating to lose in the first round, but even worse to their main rival. It is increased incentive for the Cardinals, especially after last year. Cards would have nothing to lose, Cubs have everything to lose.

    2. Giants: Rotation in the playoffs scare me a bit, but what a lousy team.

    blockhead25 6 hours 20 min ago view
  • 1. Mets--because of the losses in the rotation
    2. Giants--because they're not the team they were BUT they maybe have bullshit even-year magic?
    3. Cardinals--because rivalry and not making the playoffs hurts them more than losing in the NLDS plus getting eliminated by them in the playoffs would make for horrible sports commentary next throughout next season.

    Charlie 8 hours 3 min ago view
  • Who's asking?

    jacos 8 hours 5 min ago view
  • #TeamEntropy

    CLE/DET rained out last night already, possible rain-outs in New York (vs. Baltimore), Boston(vs. Toronto) and Philly(vs. Mets) this weekend too.

    Not only games involving playoff spots that would need to be played, but any that involve home field advantage.

    Rob G. 8 hours 14 min ago view
  • I got the first one! Second one I'm not even sure what even/odd betting is.

    johann 9 hours 1 min ago view
  • any opponent preference for NLDS?

    Mets are down to 1 great pitcher instead of 4. Syndegaard may pitch Sunday which means if Mets win the WC game, he'd be set up for Game 1. There's a chance they clinch a spot by Sunday so he'd pitch the WC and then we'd probably get Colon for Game 1. They've certainly had the hottest bats over the last week and month out of the WC options.

    Rob G. 9 hours 22 min ago view
  • Rob Richardson 14 hours 26 min ago view
  • Can't teach height and thinness

    jacos 16 hours 21 min ago view
  • Hopefully Pirates don't call up A. Lincoln.

    jacos 1 day 1 hour ago view
  • j.buchanan going friday...should something like it.

    crunch 1 day 1 hour ago view
  • Wow. I didn't know they could do that.

    Nice for Willson, not so much for Addy.

    billybucks 1 day 2 hours ago view
  • Game is officially called...also officially a tie.

    Stats count, no make-up date of course.


    Rob G. 1 day 2 hours ago view
  • Yeah -- seeing the weather -- I hope KB and Rizz are inside, wrapped in blankets and drinking hot chocolate.

    billybucks 1 day 3 hours ago view