Jim Hendry Fired

This is one of those times I wish I could adjust the headline size so it could fill the whole front page.

Anyway, ninja Hendry finally bit the bullet as Ricketts wasn't kidding when he said a major announcement was coming. Hendry says he was informed as of July 22nd that he wouldn't be retained for next year.

"He never missed a beat; it's a credit to his character that we were able to operate the way we did and get the job done," Ricketts said. "We had the trade deadline coming up and I didn't think it made any sense to change horses in mid-stream."

Followed by this little quip...

Hendry, 56, said Cubs Chairman notified him July 22 that he wouldn't be retained. He indicated that was one factor in deciding not to trade away veteran players at the deadline, figuring he should leave those decisions to his successor.

That, along with just naming Randy Bush as the interim sort of defeats the whole purpose of keeping him an extra month, but who am I to question the reasonings of billionaires.

Hendry conveniently leaves with a 749-748 record as a GM, I guess the gift of a winning record is better than a gold watch. Ricketts says the search for the new GM starts today (shouldn't it have started on July 22nd?) and it will be a private process and be a search outside of the organization. And that the new GM will report directly to Ricketts, rather than using Crane Kenney as a buffer.

It's step one of the process and for that I am glad. Unfortunately, it's really step two of the process where the real excitement or possible dissappointment lives.

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Comments

July 20 Q-Ball throws Castro and Barney under the bus
http://www.csnchicago.com/07/20/11/Clueless-C...
July 21 off day
July 22 Ricketts throws Hendry under the bus

That article makes me want to stuff Quade in a gunny sack and throw him off a bridge into a river.

August 19 Jerome Bettis searches for ways to collect royalty payments from TCR and Cubs org.

Took me a minute, nice.

"July 21 off day"

Hendry was canned that day but owners could not reach him because he was on a plane.

He thougth with the last time an owner's decision was made while he was on a plane he was getting an 8 year probation period.

how sad do you think Bruce Levine is today?

I think Levine was crying more than Hendry at the press conference.

Bruce give him one lasty handy?

Well this was about 2 years too late. I'll take it nevertheless. Pat Gillick or Billy Beane. Go get 'em Ricketts!

Those two names are very different and I choose neither... I don't want to have to choose between old school and new school. How about a guy that employs both old school and new school methods?

Whip him up Dumdledorf.

;-)

it won't be either of those two...

Alice Cooper?

according to Mooney of CSN, Ricketts grades Fleita and Wilkens as A+ and will strongly recommend they stay on.

http://twitter.com/CSNMooney/status/104594265...

When a ML system is as productive as the Cubs. You obviously don't want to make any changes!

I am SO happy the Cubs finally got rid of Hendry and can now hopefully move on and pick a GM who knows how to build a winning organization.

Hopefully this new GM will fill the minor league system with coaches who can take our draft picks and signees and actually mold them into stars at the MLB level, something Hendry's regime clearly failed to do as consistently as other teams have done.

HA HA HA Good one Dr. Aaron!

"That . . . sort of defeats the whole purpose of keeping him an extra month"

You would have had Randy Bush, representing an organization without a GM, talking to Baez, Vogelbach et al. about why they should join the Cubs. That would be a tougher sell, wouldn't it?

I suppose, I also suppose that HS kids really only cared about how much money they got and what their agents tell them. Other than the initial phone call saying congrats you've been drafted and congrats on signing, I'm sure most of the talk is between the agent and whomever is negotiating the deal for the Cubs (wilken, bush, hendry, area scout, etc).

"okay kids here are your contracts and your hats, don't pay attention to Uncle Jimmy crying over his plate of liguini, and here are your plane tickets..."

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers...

Selig not happy with draft bonuses

a completely random list of GM candidates compiled by ESPN Chicago

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i...

if Josh Byrnes gets hired, we'll be searching clock towers for Arizona Phil

Bobby Cox listed but Andrew Friedman not listed? Weird.

I said it was random. Word was Friedman really wants the Astros job assuming Ed Wade gets canned.

on the player side...

not sure if Kerry Wood will come back again on the cheap
could see Dempster opting out with the sparse FA market out there
does Koyie Hill get cut today or do we really have to wait a month?

no biggies, other than replacements for Dempster and Wood will cost more than those two will.

I'm sure that Chris Robinson and Steve Clevenger would be happy to see Koyie Hill go ASAP.

"not sure if Kerry Wood will come back again on the cheap"

Probably will, IMO.
He'll be in the booth in 2-3 years.

Cubs (and Cubs fans) love recycling old heroes. Can it really be that far off that we have Maddux as GM, Sandberg as manager, and K. Wood as pitching coach, with the whole organization touting Shawon Dunston, Jr., as the next big thing?

Please show me the recycled old heroes? Santo was the radio color guy.....managers? GM's? They sure passed former players Girardi and Sandberg quickly for manager positions...

I was being facetious about those guys working in management. There is definitely more of a "once a cub, always a Cub" mentality than in most organizations though.

Uh..please see Red Sox...Reds...Yankees....Giants...Mets....for other examples.

Yeah, I agree about Maddux, I'm wondering what his next 'role' will be.

That would be cool. He doesn't have that TV personality, though. Dempster, maybe, but not Wood.

As I mentioned last thread, Levine opined Rick Hahn should get an interview.

Any thoughts here?

Personally, I have been advocating to bring in John Schuerholdz as Head of Baseball Opps, but why would he want to run the Cubs?

I mentioned this last thread too.

John Schuerholz moved up in Atl, not out, and everything at the time implied that it was what he wanted.

I don't think he's going anywhere.

in other news, Castro gets hit #300 of his career

ESPN has him projected at 209 hits for the year

Logan White seems like a guy who fit what Ricketts is looking for. He's had a really good track record for player development. Maybe a John Schuerholtz as President and Logan White as GM combo could work out?

They could always promote Zambrano to GM.

At least Zambrano would've retired after the Juan Pierre trade.

AHAHAHAHAAA

Bob Nightengale (USA Today) has reported last weekend that Jim Hendry will actually be retained. Time for new sources?

Fire Bob Nightengale!

The Wrongway Phil of USA Today!

fangraphs much better list of GM Candidates, Rick Hahn sounds a little better now

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/cand...

As for what qualities he will seek in the new GM, Ricketts listed player-development skills and a strong baseball analytical background. Hendry was not a proponent of sabermetrics.

Understatement or Understatement of the year?

Hahn receives kiss of death.

Phil Bourbon Rogers

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/breaking...

Ricketts said on Friday that he wants the next GM to be someone who believes in finding and developing young players, knows his way around a computer and comes from a winning climate.

what a belittling way to phrase that...

Cold!

Does developing mean that when a player is called up to the big team (i.e. Castillo, Colvin, LeMahieu), their name is actually written on the lineup card almost every day? Or do they get to sit and watch the Koyie Hill's, Jeff Baker's, and Blake DeWitt's play?

Hopefully part of it means not promoting LeMahieu to the bigs at all, because he was having a lucky 45 games, and not showing future batting champ skills like Hendry and Co probably thought.

Agreed.....my point was their propensity to recall 'prospects' to replace injured starters, and then Quade/Pinella not to play them.

quade only started leM like 6-7 times over the month they had him...he's filler...don't think anyone thinks otherwise. his bat is probably not going to be anything but a low-power contact hitter, but his D is good enough to play MLB already.

welcome to bench world...aka, where d.barney should be and where he's on the way to when he doesn't go at least 2-for every couple of games.

-edit- he started 8 times

You watch your mouth, Darwin Barney is the cheaper replacement for Theriot this team THOUGHT they were getting with Blake DeWitt... He's obviously the piece we've needed to get over the hump!!

"he was having a lucky 45 games"

I would say you've been lucky that he slumped when he got to Iowa (at 22). Gives you something to thump your chest about.

3 for 4 last night, up to .273, the air must have been heavy, pushing those pop flies down before the fielders could catch them.

Aren't you amazed that I could tell that not only would LeMahieu's batting average drop precipitously, but that his XB power would dry up as well? And I hadn't seen him swing a bat since ST of last year. I must be a genius.

BABIP. It's always right. It's not me, it's just fact. Learn it, understand it.

I wasn't "right" about Campana or LeMahieu or Jackson. It's just that 1+1 is always 2.

"BABIP. It's always right. It's not me, it's just fact. Learn it, understand it."

You must be the only one who understands it. Put any two sabremetricians in a room and they won't agree on what BABIP tells them.

Put 1000 of them in a convention hall and try to find a single one of them thinks having a .423 BABIP or a .399 illustrates a hitter's true skill level.

What would they say Ted Williams' 1941 BABIP of .378 said about his skill level as a hitter? Not being snarky or a wise-ass -- I'm just not deeply versed on the theories discussed regarding the significance of BABIP, other than the basics that have been discussed here.

They would say that he was lucky that year. It's not unheard of to go that high for a season, but Ted's career BABIP was .328 (probably would have been higher if not for the shift), so again, having one season where it was .378 doesn't mean that he's going to do it, or come close to that every year.

What we're talking about here, is looking at a third of a season of minor league numbers, inflated by an unsustainable BABIP, and then deciding who you're going to promote to the majors based mostly on batting average. Theo Epstein would have looked at Slappy Campana and LeMahieu's stats in the minors and immediately knew that they were having a run of good luck. Hendry was unable to do that, because he doesn't "know his way around a computer."

This is a good discussion. LeMahieu obviously could not sustain his babip of .378

He is, however, a .323 hitter in 1000 atbats in the minors. He needs to develop some power...and it'd be nice if he walked more, but what sample size is needed to say that this guy could hit .300?
Coming up and sitting 2/3 of the time didn't help him any, that's for sure...

As I understand it, if you just want to statistically forecast what LeMahieu is going to do in the majors you would look at his line drive and groundball rates in the minors and smooth them a bit for what guys typically do in the majors, then stick them into a spreadsheet that predicts batting average.

I think he's probably going to be a pretty good average hitter, whether that's .280 or .300, it's hard to say, because it depends on "scouting" stuff. But unless he learns to walk, or develops some HR power, he's not going to be anything more than a second division starter.

He looks like a Freddy Sanchez in the making to me. No reason to start his service clock to soon, because unless he develops 15+ HR pop or walks a lot more, his main value will come in being cheap and average-slightly above average.

Sanchez is a pretty apt comparison. For his career he's a 98 OPS+ guy, though.

Agreed Neal, like I said.."He needs to develop some power...and it'd be nice if he walked more,"

I suppose I'd just have liked to have seen him play regularly until A-Ram was back. But Blake DeWitt is a beast, so I can see why he'd play.

Yeah, but we were still competing for a pennant then... at least in Quade's mind. Blake DeWitt is a pretty good comparison for what his bat looks like LeMahieu's bat is going to be for me. I don't see any reason for him to likely start taking walks, so let's hope the power starts to come into play.

"But unless he learns to walk, or develops some HR power, he's not going to be anything more than a second division starter."

LeMahieu is a big kid. The Cubs have always said that they thought he would develop power. If they thought otherwise, they wouldn't like him as much. So your line about LeMahieu is the conventional line.

Also not original is your theory that LeMahieu was really not the .358 hitter he appeared to be at Tennessee. I could have told you the same thing. In fact, I did, but the way I phrased it was that he had been hot and would cool off, and you said his BABIP was unsustainable.

I say hot/cold, you say lucky/unlucky. I don't accept your characterization, but I realize that you're trying to be scientific, so fine. What I really object to is crocodilian Cub fans, which you are in respect to LeMahieu, Campana, Coleman. Real fans should give prospects the benefit of the doubt. They are all going to have to earn their starts one way or another, they don't need you calling them lucky when they do well.

I called Josh Vitters unlucky when he was being unlucky, whereas you again, didn't get it, so by your own logic, you are a "crocodilian Cub fan", correct?

The guys I have the most trouble with, Vitters and Colvin, I'm trying to like (and make excuses for), and I'm succeeding better than you are with Barney, Campana and LeMahieu.

I know they're slap hitters, but still, they have redeeming qualities. Campana can do a lot with a slap hit and he has a pretty good plan for getting from first to home. As has been noted recently, Barney seems to get a lot of his singles with RISP. People look at LeMahieu's frame and his age and they say, "The doubles will come."

Young and fresh goes a long way with me. The way you get on these guys' cases, you remind me of Bobby Valentine!

They're low OBP singles hitting shits... they're essentially the problem with the Cubs for the last 100 years, so excuse me if I am not really excited about making them a third of our lineup on a regular basis. The name of the game isn't leading the league in singles.

The guys you get excited about have really high BABIP's, and the guys you have trouble with have low ones. If you could just internalize the concept, you'd probably quit getting excited about the wrong guys and be happier about the guys who are actually likely to making meaningful contributions to a winning team.

Colvin lost a fly ball in the twilight the other night but, no worries, Barney saw what was going on and made a Mays-like catch.

He's the problem with the Cubs for the last hundred years?

As AZ Phil once said, Barney is not chopped liver. Internalize it!

Yup... and since we are looking at random, isolated plays, Barney also made a completely idiotic decision tonight leading to Brewers runs.

Ben Cherington is the Red Sox Senior VP and Assistant GM. In view of the respect that the Rickett's have for the Red Sox operation, it would seem that Cherington would at least get a shot.

I would think that anything Red Sox would bring credibility to Tom and crew.

If the guy is interested, I would bet on the look-see.

"If the guy is interested, I would bet on the look-see."

Why wouldn't he be? Any canidate who saw what the Cubs just spent on the draft is going to be interested.

people been trying to get b.cher for years. he's been a darling of the under-the-radar scene, but supposedly very comfortable in BOS. he's been with them a long time and kinda proud of what he does there even if he knows he'll never get the top job with wonderboy theo around.

i dunno if he wants to advance or not...no idea about his desire there...i just know he's comfortable in BOS.

i'm looking forward to 200 well thought out posts about what 60-80 year old is going to save the cubs this time.

i bet lou pinella is just what the team needs...oops, wrong elderly man in a suit saving a ballclub.

wake me up when we find out who's playing 3rd, 1st, RF, and pitching in the 3+4 slots in the rotation.

on the GM note...i hope they hire Terry McCheckboardcoat because he's the best thing to happen to a pencil since an empty peanut butter jar.

also...

"And that the new GM will report directly to Ricketts"

that should alarm people...unless they're stienbrenner-run-team fans. that one don't sit well with me. baseball men are baseball men...shipbuilders are shipbuilders...

WSCR afternoon guys are mad that Crane Kinney is still there.

He meddles more with baseball operations than it is lead on. Do you know he has a uniform?

~shudders~

WSCR afternoon guys need to get a dose of reality if they give a flying fuuuuuuu about crane kinney. they should be more upset about randy wells right now.

he can bring as many priests as he wants in while the players aren't in the dugout...meh. once he stopped talking to the press in 09 people almost forgot he existed.

to you...

really...crank kenny? you even have a shred of concern about him?

the guy who's biggest meddling with baseball operations is bringing the bobble head doll promotion to a fever pitch in MLB?

since he seems to have had a hand in giving Soriano 2 extra years, yup.

I picture him as the guy that was penciling out trade ideas to Hendry and passing them over in the lunch line. It seems he's been ignored once Ricketts takes over and I'm sure he's very good at weaseling money out of governments and people.

Ricketts seems respective of letting baseball people do baseball things, so it's fine with me if all he has to do is say okay 99 out of 100 times to whatever the GM asks of him.

John McDonough was the president at that time.

and Kenney was his "direct report" as he was for MacPhail.

I thought it was kind of known that Kenney liked to meddle in baseball affairs...guess not.

kenny green-lights money expendatures.

he also plays with the city tax base and tries to talk breaks/incentives.

i doubt kenny was walking down the hall screaming "hey, can we give soriano more years?"

someone most likely just asked him if he can make the money happen. c.kenny is a money guy and regular joe...his biggest asset is making money happen and trying not to bleed money out while projecting it both now and in years following.

outlets like despito.com have demi-god'd what the guy does, totally overblowing his role.

Kenney was given full responsibility for the Cubs by the old Trib board of directors. He had the same role that Tom Ricketts has today. $$$ man.

That's the point, it's well known around the league that Kenney is involved with baseball stuff.

I believe that's why Gillick was scared off.

throw in 10 obscene words, call him a pussy, and you got a despio.com article...they think the guy practically runs the team by himself.

last thing i recall him pushing is the renovation to dig under wrigley in order to keep the place from being discussed as a craphole that needs to be moved out of.

Crunch, just saying he's involved with baseball decisions, he might have been the suit to give Sori the extra years and money that Hendry alluded too.

There's enough smoke around the guy.

i doubt he did anything but sign off on the money, myself.

unlike some blog outlets would have some to believe...he's a money guy. that's his focus.

i think it's more likely someone asked if he could make it work and he made it work cuz making money work is what he does.

now...whether the cubs should have a guy in his position who's main job is obtaining and managing money...that's another issue. the guy isn't a baseball guy...he's just good at managing sports event related loot. the city of chicago and business leaders borrowed him a while to help with the chicago olympics bid...that's his thing...money, promotion, and government hurdle jumping.

believe what you wish, as will I

there's not enough evidence to convince either way

but I'm certainly glad Kenney's not the intermediary anymore

Having been a "money guy" myself (nothing near the millions mind you), it would be foolish to say that money people just say yes and no to money decisions.

It is the job of money people to scrutinize the details and if needed make suggestions and recommendations to the operations people. They may not always be followed but they are most certainly listened to simply because they have the power to say NO to your expenditures.

Very true. The 'money guy' at the end of the day a) has the ear of the boss, because it's his money and b) has absolutely as much or as little input over EVERYBODY else as the boss allows him.

It's an entirely believable scenario that some balance sheet or formula said that based on his year with the Nats, Soriano was going to put X number of asses in the seats over Y number of years, and that made it smart to invest for those Y years.

Did it happen? I have no idea. But it's definitely possible.

I think it's pretty clear the suit who gave Soriano that deal was John McDonough, who did the same thing as soon as he got to the Blackhawks. According to reports when Dale Tallon was fired, McDonough had a direct hand in signing Cristobal Huet, a horrible goalie the Hawks overpaid, which ended up having some impact on Tallon being fired, and then the next year they signed Marian Hossa to a huge 12 year deal.

It has been reported that Kenney. is also under contract and his is up soon?

When Ricketts bought the Cubs, there were writers who stated that Kenney was part of the Trib deal.

NONE of us know the real deal except for Real Neal (liked the rhyme), so we will have to see after this year.

I am truly shocked, however, that Tom ate the money this year on Jimbo. This was a jaw-dropper to me.

I've heard the same crap about Kenney and that Ricketts will have a hard time getting someone of Friedman or Gillick's resume on the payroll UNTIL he defines Kenney's role on the team.

No one coming into a GM type role wants to sit around a conference table with Kenney giving his two cents on what they should do.

How tough would it be for Ricketts to assure any candidate that that won't happen and give the new person the title of President/Baseball Operations while Kenney gets a new title President/Business Administration.

I've heard the same crap about Kenney and that Ricketts will have a hard time getting someone of Friedman or Gillick's resume on the payroll UNTIL he defines Kenney's role on the team.

I think Ricketts did that today.

Number "0"

who does Epstein report to?

all depends on how involved Ricketts will be, if it's just a matter of saying yes to most everything and occasionally no, you're spending too much, then it's better than reporting to Crane Kenney.

it does depend on the ricketts...i wasn't happy with zell demanding the same thing and it turns out he was very hands-off.

zell wasn't an attention whore at the park every other day passing out water, blankets, and other cubs disaster relief in between signing autographs, though.

Zell started selling the Cubs the day he bought them.

he also didn't meddle with operations and raised payroll without playing baseball man.

i just really don't wanna see the cubs steinbrenner-ized.

there is nothing i like at all about the steinbrenners and mark cubans of the world...well, cuban the person is okay, unlike steinbrenner who doesn't deserve the bacteria that's breaking down his body in the grave.

Random reality-check. That's a little fucking harsh, George Steinbrenner personally gave a shit-ton to his favorite charities out of his own pocket, tax write-off or not, and you can't argue whether he cared about the team or the wins and losses vs. $$ and cents.

Like him or hate him, he (almost literally) lived and died by that team, and the Chicago fucking Cubs would be lucky to have such an owner.

I'm as big a fan of statues and honoring the past as the next fan, but unless Ronnie's statue is actually manning the hot corner for the next several years, it's not really where Ricketts' fucking focus should be.

He puts up statues because the fans will flock to see them and spend money, Period.

Firing Hendry is the second decision (first was spending on the draft) in what will hopefully be a long line of decisions indicating that Tom Ricketts realizes this is a baseball club and not just one of daddy's fucking business ventures.

The punchline is that the fans will pay to see the team FUCKING WIN, something Steinbrenner got and Mark Cuban TOTALLY gets, and very few owners actually do.

george steinbrenner paid a gambling buddy, i mean "private investigator," to trash dave winfield...i don't care if he paid him off to let it pass later, either.

ken griffey jr. has some pretty strong opinions about it, too.

one of steiny's favorite charities...richard nixon...got steiny in trouble for illegally giving money to that charity. at least ronald reagan was around to pardon him.

i personally found him to be a horrible person for baseball.

baseball men are baseball men...shipbuilders are shipbuilders...

Sure... but at some point the baseball man has to report to a shipbuilder. Unless you are a team like the Rangers and owned by a baseball guy, there always comes a point where the baseball guy reports to the business guy.

Ricketts seems to basically be saying that the "buck stops here."

what he said...that's what I was trying to say

what i replied in 62...what i was trying to reply

hell, nolan ryan is an issue in himself...especially to the pitchers.

steinbrenner was a nightmare...i fear mini-steins when i see signs of them.

zell turned out to be a false alarm...mark cuban never got a chance to, and it looks like he might not for a long time (if ever)...

i got nothing that says ricketts will steiny-up the team, but i do know tom loves to be seen, heard, and associated with the cubs more than any owner around that i know of.

nolan ryan is an issue in himself...especially to the pitchers.

So baseball guys should report to baseball guys, except when you don't like the baseball guys?

I really don't get the criticism of Ricketts here. This has NOTHING to do with baseball guys and shipbuilders. This has to do with individual personalities.

i do know tom loves to be seen, heard, and associated with the cubs more than any owner around that i know of.

You've never heard of Mark Cuban? But seriously, Ricketts may like to be seen, but there is ZERO evidence that he has any desire to get in the way of baseball decisions. Being a public face of the organization is not at all the same thing has trying to run the baseball side of things.

yeah, ive mentioned mark cuban a few times in the past 20 minutes of this thread.

i've covered most of your concerns. sorry it's all broken up over many posts.

but i do know tom loves to be seen, heard, and associated with the cubs more than any owner around that i know of.

seems common for many of the family owned teams

Arte Moreno is all over Angels stadium, McCourts were everywhere before the divorce, Angelos and McLane's meddling has been well documented and on and on...

and Gene Autry before him

Awaiting for Ricketts to apologize over PA for team play like Ray Kroc did.

"eat your damn burgers!"

Watch it with the old people discrimination, pal.

LOL

Granted, I wasn't a huge fan of 'The Boss', rest his soul, but certainly the Yankees have done okay over the years?

Now, if you said Angelos-run-team fans, that would have made more sense...

I say we trade Koyie Hill to White Sox
for a bottle of Ozzies hair gel.

darwin barney HR.

lol.

go theriot-lite.

As I have said before - you got it wrong:

Theriot is BARNEY lite.

Theriot career ISO: .071 SLG: .354
Barney career ISO: .067 SLG: .351

Neither one has any kind of punch. And I don't think either one ever will (Barney has some arm-bar issues). They are both Mark Grudzielanek Lite.

HAHA!

Except that Theriot is 30 and Barney is not only a better ss than he or Castro (see AZ Phil's myriad comments on the topic) but just 23.

Gotta give the edge to range, arm, and youth here, Charlie.

Theriot has maxed out while Barney is finishing his first MLB season.

to be fair...when i call him "theriot-lite" i'm just talking about his bat...just playing around, anyway.

that said, considering the whole player and defense...i'd take barney 10 times out of 10.

i just see barney as a theriot-clone hitter with a touch less power. it's miniscule enough to not even bother seriously defending, though. they've very similar results-wise.

Oh - yeah with the bat.

Totally on.

The really scary thing is that this is a post-camp Colvin Barney. That ISO is more than I was expecting.

I actually agree with you on that, although I think if you are putting much stock in Barney, you are over-estimating his ability to grow. (He's 25, by the way, and will turn 26 in November.)

I mostly just see the difference between the two, particularly in terms of their hitting which I took as the referent of crunch's post, to be negligible. I see them both (at least while they are playing 2B) as Mark Grudzielanek with less pop. At SS Barney has much more value than Theriot (and there is no comparison with Grudzie), but that's not likely to happen with the Cubs.

Grudz was a pretty good player back in Montreal. Lots of hits, ala Castro, and stole a ton of bases. Then we get the full-on-decline version.

Barney is 25 and will turn 26 in November.

Theriot makes $3.3M, Barney $417,000. At least Hendry was smart enough to dump Theriot before paying him $3M+, scrap isn't worth that much.

David Eckstein's agent strenuously disagrees.

"Theriot is BARNEY lite."

If you're taking exception to the linking of Barney to Theriot, I agree with you.

Someone with an arm and a glove is not Theriot, light or otherwise.

fwiw, (post 84)

"to be fair...when i call him "theriot-lite" i'm just talking about his bat...just playing around, anyway.

that said, considering the whole player and defense...i'd take barney 10 times out of 10."

i just started calling him that based solely on his bat + projection. just a bit of fun.

Neyer grades Hendry's moves:
http://mlb.sbnation.com/2011/8/19/2372716/jim...

Hamilton trade grade seems a bit unfair.

not a very complete list of big moves...I should link to the AZ Phil comment on Hamilton if I can find it.

Why do people keep evaluating the Byrd contract as a moderate success? The guy is all empty batting average and mediocre defense supported by tons of dives.

it wouldn't matter so much if he didn't play quality CF, too.

the cheap price, stable bat, quality CF play, and he's a great clubhouse guy...

He cost $15 million over three years and looks like a mediocre defender to me. I guess that is probably the way my evaluation of him differs from most others, though. But still, how much is a stable bat worth if all it provides is empty batting average?

wRC+ of 106 and 109 so far and at the worst passable CF defense, at best, he was nearly GG worthy last year if you want to believe UZR.

Good deal for $4-5M...

I tend not to believe the defensive metrics when my eyes tell me otherwise, though I don't know enough about either the metrics or defense to make much of an argument. So back to my lair it is.

Centerfielders can and do "game" UZR by simply calling balls that are easier for their corner outfielders to catch. Mike Cameron in Milwaukee (and Marlon Byrd now) are pretty good examples of this.

Not that I care either way, but is Marlon Byrd really thinking about his UZR when he's in the fucking field??

They think about their stats while hitting, so they probably think about their range factor while getting in the habit of calling their corner outfielders off.

I could certainly be wrong, but I really don't see it that way. I think some players might, but I think your 'average' MLer doesn't.

At least I hope not, otherwise you've just shaken the foundation of something I greatly enjoy.

Side note, I always thought of pitchers thinking about stats more than position players. Meh.

Nobody is thinking about their stats while going after a ball. To argue otherwise is idiotic.

Yeah, you're probably right. All the hundreds of reports over the years of players who were just interested in padding their stats rather than helping the team have all been false.

Do you really think it's that hard for a center fielder to tell himself "I am going to try to catch everything I can, regardless of whether it's easier for the other guy or he is in a better position to throw than I will be"?

Holy Shit, a guy trying to catch everything he can?!?!

No WONDER we're bitching about him playing for the Cubs....

Stories about people trying to pad their stats are on offense. You're not seeing any player decide, while the ball is on the way towards them, "oh, hell, i better not try to catch that because it will affect my UZR."

You've obviously never played baseball if you think otherwise.

So this is your theory now, that a guy can decide to pad his stats in the tenth of a second that he has to choose to swing at a pitch, but in the five to nine seconds a ball is in the air he can't make a decision?

You realize, that's a really poor conclusion to make. I asked my buddy about this just last night. He played center in HS, and got scouted a little. He said "I totally could do that".

Automatic F for anyone who calls a Rule V draft pick trade a "big move".

True. Hamilton would've never been on the Cubs radar if Cincy hadn't asked them to draft him on their behalf.

Dont believe that, they knew wrigleville and day games would be a disaster

There was only one team in MLB who had Jerry Narron managing, and that's the team that got Hamilton. That's the whole story. He would have crashed and burned probably anywhere else.

biggest crowd at Wrigley in over thirty years

what a strange season this has been

30,000 are Cardinals fans

they're here to see larry king sing the 7th...

...this is a tradition i could live with ending. oh boy, a 1/2 inning of larry king and the cubs are losing. neat.

thankfully larry left early...

of course he spent 3-4 minutes talking about nothing but the brooklyn dodgers. thanks cubs brass...thanks 7th inning stretch whore-out.

He was Sandy Koufax's first bj.

I hate to correct you, but that was not Larry King. That was the cryptkeeper.

Isn't there an official capacity at Wrigley? If they've sold every seat and standing room, shouldn't there be some practical limit on number of people in the stadium?

I know they've added literally thousands of seats in the past 30 years, so how is it possible they had a bigger crowd 30 years ago?

The Tribune had lots of seats that they would use for whatever purpose that wouldn't go into the paid attendence total. They don't get to give away those seats anymore.

http://mikesciosciastragicillness.com/2011/08...

Dodgers fans would be thrilled if Ned Colletti was hired by the Cubs

Let's stop such links. It's supposed to be a happy day.

back to back triples for the cubs...d.barney + b.dewitt.

lulz.

back to back "triples"

I love it when defensive replacements fuck up

ninja in for his 120th appearance on the season (59th, really...surprised he ended up as the cubs iron-man-reliever...rarely comes in to only face 1 batter). he could get 85+ip this year.

...and can quade quit batting j.baker 4th? it wasn't funny the other 7-8 times, either.

I mean, as if you really needed a reason to drop kick Quade: Baker batting clean-up, DeWitt playing OF, Hill playing at all let alone taking up a roster spot, Castillo/Colvin/LeMahieu watching from the bench. Let me count the ways.

Baker has a .875 OPS vs. lefties on the season, although been dropping rather rapidly of late

That's because he's not hitting third anymore.

Soto throws out another, puts him over 30%, top half of major league rankings among those who qualified (16 total)

just ahead of Yadier actually, although only half as many runners have run on Yadier.

and he gets the game tied.

good for soto and his arm, too...he's been working on it.

Good for him! Roll a nice spleef for me tonight, Geo.

Just stay away from the Twinkees when u get the munchies.

Soto scored from 2nd on a single? someone fall down?

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index...

solid line shot to left center by Colvin

More jubilant celebration, The Cubs after Colvin's hit or The Cub Faithful after Hendry's shit canning?

Colvin in sniffing distance of .150 now. Can't wait.

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i...

The pluses for Quade staying oh the job are based on the fact his whole career has been based on player development. As the Cubs continue to go younger, Quade's teaching technique might be considered a plus while he's being considered by the next general manager.

Shortstop Starlin Castro and second baseman Darwin Barney have continued to improve during Quade's time as manager.

Todd Hollandsworth disagrees...

I think it would be fun to give Quade a team full of vets one year and a team full of rookies the next and then compare the amount of blame that he doles out and accepts in press conferences. Of course, he'd have to commit Hari Kari in the all vet year, so maybe they ought to do that one second.

his "teaching techniques" ain't worth a damn to the kiddies riding the pine

Seriously, does Levine have any credibility as a reporter left?

"does Levine have any credibility as a reporter left?"

I don't think Levine loses credibility because the GM talks to him.

If I were GM, I would only talk to a reporter if I thought there was a chance he might have a useful idea or insight once in a while.

In Chicago, that's Levine.

I expect Levine will develop a better relationship with the next GM than the beat reporters will.

With such a close relationship you'd think Levine would know his name wasn't Henry.

Levine doesn't seem to care if he gets names right, scores right or facts right. He doesn't even bother to fix the blunders on his blog when readers point them out. Other than that, he's a great reporter.

They can spin Quade's qualities all they want, but the moment the Cubs hire an outside GM, the first thing the new GM will do is fire Quade. If Randy Bush wants to get any credit around the league for his time as the interim GM he should fire Quade first thing tomorrow morning. Give Hendry his day, but then get rid of Quade right this second.

I don't know that I agree with the move, but I do agree that's how it will go down.

Quade's days became finite the second Hendry got canned.

I see no reason to fire him this year. The season is sunk, it would be a waste of money. Fire him immediately after game 162.

Agreed, I meant the part about the new GM. MAAYYYYYBE Ricketts convinces the new guy that Quade is good for the 'rebuilding', but much more likely canning Q is the VERY first move the new guy makes.

from Wrongway...

MLB is stongly leaning toward the 1-game playoff when it adds two wild card teams. This year's ALE race is selling Selig on idea

allegedly behind that paywall link is this from a Wittenmyer article

http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?...

"Nobody inside or outside the organization expected to get the eight-year, $136 million value on it — and it has had little effect on other signings along the way.

It also has been well documented that what drove the price so high had nothing to do with the baseball operations side of the team, nor Jim Hendry. It came directly from the top of an organization that was about to put the club up for sale and needed a quick-fix big splash in the free-agent market to make the product more attractive. Former Cubs president John McDonough admitted in 2007 he closed the deal himself, adding years and value to it."

Greenberg says something similar here

http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/columns...

Sometimes people tend to read to much into things. That quote, taken out of context of a negotiation makes it sound like the deal was done for 6 years at $100 million and then McDonough (McDough?) came in and just threw two years and $40 million on top. More likely he just gave them what they were asking for in length, and trimmed the deal down from $160 to whatever he wound up with to finish the damned thing, rather than having them lose out to the Angels ala Betran and the Mets (or Hampton and the Mets) trying to be coy.

if I were to speculate, there were talks, anyone in baseball(including Hendry) was thinking 6/100(in that range) was about the most they'd offer up (and no way we're going past 6 years). Soriano and his agent were asking 8/160 or whatever and then McDonough with Kenney's approval said, let's just submit an 8/144 offer or whatever it is and wrap this up.

Yeah, that's pretty much what I was saying, but that doesn't mean that Hendry wouldn't have been talked into a 7th year, or that the Cubs would have lost him and likely not win in '07 or '08.

longer quote from Ricketts

Our focus will be on what we focused on the last couple years here, and that’s player development. We believe very strongly that the way to build consistent success in an organization is through identifying talented players, bringing them into the system and developing them into productive players at the major league level. … [The next GM will] have to share a commitment to player development. … We’ll look for guys that maybe have a stronger analytical background than we have here. … But I think we all have to keep that in perspective. The sabermetric stuff is important, but it’s just a piece. We’re not running the baseball organization by a computer model.

EXTREMELY PLEASED TO HEAR THIS!

picked up BA from the newstand and had their best tools edition

Cubs I came across

Midwest League
Best OF Arm - Anthony Giansanti
Best Defensive OF - Matt Szczur
Best Defensive C - Micah Gibbs

FSL
Best Defensive 3b - Matt Cerda
Best Infield Arm - Junior Lake

Hak-Ju Lee was Best batting prospect, fastest runner, best defensive SS and most exciting player

Southern League
No Cubs showed up, it was the Paul Goldschmidt and Matt Moore show

Iowa
No Cubs showed up, Jose Ceda was named best reliever

also a bit on Archer saying he's still showing good stuff but with mediocre results...not missing as many bats as he should be and still well away from the majors with his control.

they also did it for the majors and the only Cub to show-up in the top 3 of any of their categories was Carlos Marmol at #1 for best slider.

Wieters must have made a list for top defensive catchers...yes? He leads MLB with a .406 CS% to go along with only 2 errors and 1 passed ball.

Wieters, Mauer, Avila are top 3 in the AL

as rated by the managers, not sure if that's who they asked for the minor league rankings.

counterpoint - the NL is Yadier, Carlos Ruiz (?), McCann (come on now)

hj lee is suffering in AA...but hell, he's still a kid who's age says he should be in A-/A+

http://msn.foxsports.com/video/MLB?vid=0bb9c4...

If that link works, calls it maybe the best GM job in the game, and names the names you want to hear.

throws Ramirez's deal as one of the bad ones, but not Fukudome...meh.

Robothal does videos from his house now?

Seriously? Cuz that's professional.

Elite.

Cubs are back on track to draw 3,000,000 at home again.

Of course all that can change pretty fast in September.

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