TCR Monday Notes

I was suppose to post this Friday night, but life got in the way the rest of the weekend...

- Arizona Phil does what only he can amazing retrospective on how the 1969 Cubs were built and his memories of the season.

- Ryan Theriot is losing fans in the Cubs organization apparently by sticking to his $3.4M demands. Bruce Miles on the radio and Bruce Levine both saying that an arbitration hearing looks inevitable. It would be the first arbitration hearing in 17 years between the Cubs and a player (Mark Grace).

- Orlando Cabrera signs with the Reds on a 3 million deal for one year with a $1M buyout on a $3M mutual option in 2011.  They then acquired Aaron Miles from the A's for Wily Taveras and Adam Rosales. As long as they don't land Johny Damon...

(Interesting twist to this story, A's DFA Taveras immediately. Also, the A's are sending a PTBNL to the Reds as part of the deal).

- Reed Johnson was offered $800K by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

- Wezen Ball relates some interesting press quotes when Andre Dawson signed with the Cubs in 1987. There's been a bit of myth perpetuated that  Dawson was dead set to
play for the Cubs at any cost. But what really happened was that he was a victim of
collusion by the owners and the blank check story was a desperate plea to find a team for '87.  To his credit though, he was a man of his word and certainly didn't sulk over the low-ball contract offer.

"I didn't think they'd make an offer, because I thought they didn't want to be the first ones to sign a free agent," Dawson said yesterday. "But since they did, I'm man enough to stick by it.

I know I'll miss Montreal . . . but you gotta do what you gotta do. I don't want to say a move was overdue, but with the problems I had the last couple years . . . I had the same salary the last six years, and then they offer me a pay cut . . .

It got so that towards the end of the season some of my own teammates told me it would be best that I make a change."

- An interview with an author of a book on how the Cubs may have thrown the 1918 World Series.

- The Xavier Nady deal was made official Friday. The Cubs will be cautious with Nady in March and April though and he probably won't see much time in the field to start the season, much like Tyler Colvin did at the beginning of last season after his Tommy John surgery. I do wonder what that will do to the bench since it means Fukudome won't have a platoon partner. They could possibly put Baker out there, but that means either Fontenot plays against a lefty or Blanco. They could also carry an extra bat at least for the first two weeks as a 5th starter isn't due until April 18th.

Dr. Hecht has some good info on Nady's surgery and expected recovery in the comments.

- Jayson Stark says the Cubs prefer to sign a reliever such as Chan Ho Park or Kiki Calero, otherwise a trade with the Blue Jays for Jason Frasor or Scott Downs is a possibility.

- Jerry Crasnick tweets that Jermaine Dye essentially turned down the offer that Xavier Nady accepted.

- Today in Get off my Lawn with your Baseball Stats Articles.


Sunday, April 18, vs. Houston is when we'll need the fifth starter.


Reds-"As long as they don't land Johny Damon..."

They could land Pujlos, ain't going to matter.

They could land Pujlos, ain't going to matter.

I agree Pujlos is probably not a good player, Albert Pujols though would make them the favorite in the Central, especially if he wasn't on the Cardinals anymore.

medical staff was incompetent back in the day

According to JJ Putz, the Mets did not give him a proper psychical before they acquired him in a trade, then told him not to talk about his bone spur to the press.

throw in Beltran, Johan, Delgado, Reyes and so on...

The article on defensive metrics was pretty good. It would have been better if his shining examples of how to do it right weren't also organizations that value OBP and defense...

I do think that by stacking these defensive improvements next to eachother (CF-LF and 3B-SS) the sum is going to be less than the totals of the parts for the Sox.

speaking of defensive metrics, thought this was an interesting idea to a newish approach...

It certainly attempts to address some of the concerns. I would actually like to see fielding preference worked in there, somehow. Since the corner guys get and pitchers shot at the ball before the Middle infielders it seems like that should be incorporated into any model. I'll have to encourage them to look at it over there.

If this goes to arbitration, Theriot will lose $$ as well as fans. I like Theriot in that he plays hard and gives all he's got. I just don't see him as being worth $3.4 million. I hope both sides will come to an agreement for something under $3 mil. If not, I like the Cubs chances in this one.

If I'm Ryan Theriot, I agrue that I've put up numbers very similar to Phil Rizzuto at this age. And he's in the Hall of Fame.

Phil Rizzuto may not qualify as a contemporary

Theriot should counter that Rizzuto was underappreciated by his contemporaries as well. He never got more than 38% of the BBWAA vote. Didn't get in until 1994 when his brilliance became clearer, 38 years after he retired.

Don't let those bastards underpay me, I'm HoF material!

he's gonna be wasting a lot of time arguing anything about Phil Rizzuto...

These hearing are a high/low affair. Each side will have an hour to argue their side, and 30 minutes to rebut what the other side has to say. However there are a few rules guiding what kind of argument can be made. These include:

• The Players contribution to the team in terms of leadership as well as performance
• The Club’s record and its attendance
• Any of the players special accomplishments IE Golden Gloves, All Star appearance
• The salaries of comparable players in the players service class, and of players with less than five years of service, and the salaries of the players from one class in front of the player

The sides cannot reference other offers already made, salaries of players in a different sport, team finances, or statements from the press.

After the arguments are heard the panel gives the player a one year non-guaranteed contract at either the high figure or the low. If that player is cut within 16 days of the season opener he is entitled to just 30 days termination pay. If he is cut during spring training, but after 16 days before the season opener he is entitled to 45 days termination pay.

I was joking, but the arbitration criteria is interesting.

e.g., What are the salaries of comparable players?

~edit~ oops, I see we have one, Stephen Drew.

Any of the players special accomplishments IE Golden Gloves, All Star appearance

Golden gloves? The player has to know how to box?

When asking for money, it never hurts that the other party thinks you know how to throw a mean hook.

as AZ Phil pointed out, Stephen Drew just got $3.4M from the Dbacks, he'll need to argue that he's been as good or close to as good than that.

Theriot has more hits, runs scored, OBP, BA and stolen bases then Drew in similar number of PA's, but lower OPS, OPS+, home runs, rbi's, and xbh's.

Assuming they won't get into anything too advanced, they have the same fielding percentage. If Theriot can convince them of UZR, he'll get a boost there.

Theriot actually has a decent case. Drew has 5.7 career wins by WAR, Theriot 9.3 (or 6.5 WARP1 to 9.0 WARP1)

Interesting. Also, this:

"The Players contribution to the team in terms of leadership as well as performance"

I had no idea about that clause. How do you quantify leadership in specific dollars and cents? Does scrappiness count?

get some quotes from players or managers I would guess...

probably one of the reasons teams don't like going to arbitration because of the negative stuff that can come out of it.

Like a 2 minute video of Theriot's baserunning gaffs to the sound of The Sting's theme song?

More like "Yakety Sax", better known as the Benny Hill theme.

Oh man, I would pay money to watch Theriot baserunning gaffe's to the benny hill theme. That and caught stealing.


A's DFA Taveras right after making trade.

be pretty amusing if Reds then DFA Aaron Miles...

they also DFA'd Dana Eveland to make room for signing Gabe Gross.

"be pretty amusing if Reds then DFA Aaron Miles..."

Over Dusty's dead body.

I like Dana Eveland. His big league numbers are pretty awful, but he's still just a 26 year old lefty with some good stuff.

Had some injury issues throughout his AA and AAA years. I don't think this team has the space to let another youngster figure it out, but somebody just might get him for a steal.

I was thinking the same thing. I am sure someone will pick him up. Hopefully not us, though.

I was looking at Michael "In Lou's Doghouse and GONE for No Apparent Reason" Wuertz's Baseball Reference page. And lo and behold the pitcher most similar to him... Kiko Calero.

Oh the irony!

any interest as a 5th outfielder?

nothing more than defense and speed, but that's one more thing than Gathright had going for him.


your other options are Sam Fuld or Tyler Colvin...

since the 5th outfielder isn't the place to try and develop someone, I don't think Colvin is really a good option.

I would take Fuld over Taveras myself but was wondering what others thought.


Let Colvin hit in Iowa until we find significant playing time for him or can get value for him in a trade.

I'd probably prefer Taveras. I don't have any faith that Fuld can stay healthy and Taveras is a better defender and probably a better base stealer, and can get hits out of sac bunts if his legs are right.

Tevaras is a month younger than Fuld, too.


Costs being equal, Taveras just seems like a better fit for the team and the role.

But he'll probably be looking for at least a 4th OF job, though I guess there aren't many of those left now.

Taveras is probably looking for a starting job, but he's not gonna get that either.

He wouldn't exactly be stuck behind Ruth,Mantle and Williams with the Cubs.

agree about taking a flyer on taveras.

Have read 'The Original Curse' based on the premise that the 1918 WS was crooked. It's well-written & makes a good circumstantial case that the Cubs were screwed long before the billy goat was booted from WF. It would make a good read between now & the arrival of P's & C's at Phil's place...

Cubs sniffing around Kris Benson, according to the latest rumors from The Pope over at

They are probably just sniffing around his wife, and he happens to be in the same place... Yikes!!

Recent comments

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  • Remember, as I told my wife when our kids went off to college -- this is a good thing! Enjoy it!

  • Fully agree -- can't prove it. But, the numbers are what they are, and a lot of his OF games have come in Aug & Sept, when he has been killing the ball otherwise. And, knowing how baseball players love routine, it seems logical that it could at least be a a factor.

    Really, really, really hope I'm wrong on this.

  • Indeed! It has been absolute blast -- from getting swept by the Phillies to sweeping the Giants, I have always enjoyed being part of this group. Hope we have a lot more games to talk about this year.

  • Yes, cheers to me! I've noticed a fairly strong correlation between my tenure and Cubbie victories. 

    And thanks to Michael for our new diggs--and to y'all for sticking around! 

  • CHEERS to CT Steve for keeping this alive in 2015. Who would have thought that the season would have been so successful to this point? Thank you CT STEVE!

    I think I may be too nervous to watch the entire game. I will probably watch in bits and pieces - and constantly check MLB App. I will be like Blockhead: Nervous Nellie.

  • You can't prove the performance is because he played the OF. You just can't. Sorry.

    BTW, Bryant hit .168 in July playing 3B exclusively.

  • oh man, early on it seems like he made at least 1 stupid baserunning blunder per game and almost every single one turned into a positive for the cubs. it was magical.

  • Not surprised about Lester but bit surprised about Hendricks. Guessing that if something happens to Arietta right away they go to Lester but if they've burned relievers and are in extra innings they go to Hendricks.

  • My kids' 8:30pm (ET) bed time will be waived tonight (They are Rizzo & Castro fans). We'll get geared up in our Cubs apparel and will watch this as a family. I am stoked. Go Cubs!

  • Bryant: Base running adventures.

  • Remember Bryant's home-away splits, too.

    Wrigley: 21 HR, 59 RBI, .311/.408/.629
    Road: 5 HR, 40 RBI, .243/.333/.360

  • Good Lord this season has flown by so far. I need more Cubs gifs--the four on the article today are not enough. I need a 100 best moments of the season listicle of gifs.
    Rizzo: The slide, the catch.
    Russell: All the defense.
    Bryant: Pelting the video board.
    Soler: 125 MPH ground balls.
    Schwarber: DINGERS, surprising LF catches.
    Fowler: Walks, the many walks he should have had on 3-2 BS strike calls.
    Baez: That 3B play.
    Ross: Walk-up music? Bullpen appearance?
    Denorfia: Walk-off.
    Castro: Walk-offs.

  • No evidence other than 8 hits and 0 HR in 45 AB....

    I just think hitters like their routines -- think Boggs or Ted Williams -- and messing with that routine adds an element of change. I want my best hitters in their normal routines.

  • evidently i was busy burying context and meaning.

    i was excited about this playoff season kicking up in the drama of that environment, but it was stated insanely muddled.

  • Woke up early and couldn't get back to sleep in excitement/anticipation. Go Cubs Go!

  • The only issue with this dead horse is that there's no evidence that his performance during those games is solely due to playing the OF. I would tend to agree that I'd rather see him play 3B, though.