Damn You Cubs

The Cubs win two of three over the weekend,and are going the wrong way in terms of earning a better draft pick. There's some blame for this that can fall on Q-Ball, who says he'll mostly play the veterans and try to win as much as he can, but I expect the latter from any manager or team, and considering the way the Cubs played most of the year, the former is probably a better environment for the Cubs to lose some games.

I watched about two innings of last night's game and I finally got to see a Bryan LaHair at-bat. You hate to read too much into these things, but he did seem to have a nice, compact swing and obviously he has some power in that bat. The Cubs certainly shouldn't be passing up on Pujols or Fielders for him, but he might deserve a tryout in left field during spring training with Tyler Colvin. Oh you say, we have Alfonso Soriano there for the next year, which I say, Soriano should be nothing more than the short side of a platoon. I presume as well, and it could be a faulty presumption, that LaHair doesn't have the arm for right that anyone would be willing to put out there. At worst, he certainly deserves a look at a bench spot.

Otherwise, news is light around Cubsville. Daytona won the Florida State League Championship by sweeping the St. Lucie Mets. It was their first championship since 2008. Tennessee swept their first round series and await tonight's winner between Birmingham (White Sox affiliate) and Mobile (DBacks affiliate).  It's Tennesee's third straight trip to the finals, losing the last two to Jacksonville (Marlins affiliate).

Baseball Prospectus and ESPN Insider take a look at what the Cubs could do in 2012. Goldstein talks about what no one with the Cubs or many fans want to hear. Rebuilding with the farm system is great and all, if there's quality there to rebuild with.

The Cubs have a strange minor league system. It's more deep than star-studded, with plenty of potential big leaguers but few who can actually help turn around a moribund franchise. The most likely player to help in 2012 is center fielder Brett Jackson, the club's 2009 first-round pick who hit .274 with 20 home runs in 23 stolen bases in 115 games split between Double- and Triple-A. He'll fight for a job next spring and likely have one by midseason, and although he's an outstanding athlete with above-average power and speed, his alarming strikeout rate (138 in 431 at-bats this year) prevents scouts from seeing him as a true impact player in the big leagues. (Kevin Goldstein)

Cubs venture into Dustyville tonight with Rodrigo Lopez getting the start.

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Comments

Dear God, please...please let the Cubs hire a GM with the stones to blow this up, and realize that the Cubs are too short on talent to compete, and have gaping holes all over the lineup and starting rotation.
thank you,
your pal Dusty.

I agree. Maybe the Cubs don't 'rebuild', but how refreshing it would be to see a GM/President of Baseball Operations hired who would have the autonomy to make those type of decisions (if they felt that approach was warranted). Someone who would tell Ricketts that this isn't working and that isn't working and this needs fixing and here's how we need to get this thing on the right track. After 103 years of failure, Wow, is that too much to dream for?

Next year would seem to be a good time to clean house and rebuild the team and the stadium. I wonder if they can fast track the contruction project.

I totally agree.

In fact I would have started this year, but then we had that discussion last off season.

If it was a situation like under Tribbie rule where the budget stayed the same from year to year I'd understand the never punting mindset.

However its been reported that Ricketts has mortgaged this franchise to the hilt. He still needs to do a whole heck of alot of capital improvements to the property.

I'd be more than ok with pairing down the payroll and paying off some of the debt. Provided of course that Ricketts would be willing to dig deeeper in future years when we do have an actual core of actual real MLB players and prospects.

Where' s the money coming from?

From the salaries they will be coming off the books at the end of this season.

Is Castro off limits to you guys? In other words, are there any untouchables? If the answer is no, then what kind of return on a Castro would you like? 2 or 3 solid prospects?

I kind of feel like a complete blow up means a complete blow up, but another part of me says I haven't seen a kid like this in a very, very long time, and never, actually, wearing a Cubs uniform at his age.

Are you nuts?

I guess we know where you stand. No, VPhil, it was just a question. He seems to me to be a guy that is untouchable, but I'm still scarred from my predictions of Hee Seop Choi stardom. I realize there is quite a difference here -- this kid has been an impact player since his first day.

I don't consider myself an expert arm chair GM at all. So I was just looking for opinions.

It's hard to see anyone giving value for him, or the point in creating another hole in the roster.

I'd say that Castro is untouchable.

Since he's cost controlled, the return would have to be so high that it would make a deal impossible.

It would have to be a really big return. I doubt anyone else values him nearly as much as the Cubs do either.

He's a nice little player. However he's only cheap for 2012. Then he's an escalating arbitration cost. He doesn't hit for a ton of power, walk or play stellar defense.

He's Shawon Dunston without the Dawson, Sandberg, Grace components around him.

Good player, but not a good sign if he's the best player on your team.

Of course at age 21, Dunston was splitting time in AA and AAA:
AA: .329/.354/.423
AAA: .233/.249/.395
It took Dunston until age 33 to hit .300.

Castro has improved in some areas...power and steals especially,but it would surely help him if he'd can take more walks in the future.
He's 7th in the majors among shortstops in OPS...and he does have room for improvement at age 21 yeah?

I think he'll improve his walk rate from 3.7% (career) to about 6-7%. He will eventually have 20 HR seasons, and I think his defense will improve and stabilize. I think he could stick at lead off for the next couple years even when BJax comes up.

When he and BJax are in the same lineup, I would like to see Castro lead off and Jackson second.

I think all those things absolutely might happen. Unfortunately when they do. He will probably expect to be compensated accordingly for it.

He isn't nearly as useful right now in his pre-arbitration years.

Oh no, we can sign our home grown above average SS to a long term contract for his prime years. That's pretty fucking useful, even if he's not as cheap as he is now. Who were our SS's before him: Theriot, Izturis, Alex Gonzalez...need I go on? We can always buy out a couple arbitration years and get him on a long term deal for less than market. We haven't been able to do that like the Rays did with Longoria because we haven't developed anyone worth it. This is why you don't find Longoria or players like him on the open market.

I really like Castro. I think he and Soto are the biggest current organizational positives.

It's also a little bit of an indictment on how hapless this organization has been.

I don't give a shit about power and steals and his cute 300 batting average. I want him to play SS like Edgar Renteria or Alex Gonz.

Well we could go get cesar izturis redux, and bat him 8th...and move Castro to 2B?
Of course...if they are going to do that...why not just flip Barney and Castro?

Izturis isn't that great defensively. He's okay, but not nearly good enough to justify a 210 batting average.

Well no..but I was just picking a former Cub SS out of a hat..

I am sure the Mariners would love to trade us Jack Wilson.

How does this theory of team building align with Ryan Theriot being the SS for the best Cubs team in 25 years?

Lmao...nice.
Of course, Theriot's OPS has gone in the toilet since then?
.745-> career year at age 28
.712
.633
.653

Theriot was not a good shortstop.

Yet his team won 97 games and the team was second in runs allowed. How is this possible?

Just for reference, Renteria's team finished in dead last and finished 9th in runs allowed in the AL.

Let me just change this a bit:

Theriot was not a good shortstop.

I don't know, the Mariners might be OK with trading him since he's with the Braves now.

Submitted by Dusty Baylor on Tue, 09/13/2011 - 10:30am.
Of course at age 21, Dunston was splitting time in AA and AAA:
AA: .329/.354/.423
AAA: .233/.249/.395
It took Dunston until age 33 to hit .300.

Castro has improved in some areas...power and steals especially,but it would surely help him if he'd can take more walks in the future.
He's 7th in the majors among shortstops in OPS...and he does have room for improvement at age 21 yeah?

============================================

DUSTY B: I don't see much Shawon Dunston, Sr in Starlin Castro. Castro is a much better hitter and actually would be pretty good defensively if he played 2B instead of SS.

FWIW, it's Junior Lake who has almost the exact same skill-set as Dunston (plus-arm but erratic accuracy, plus-range, plus-speed, HR power, no patience at the plate, easily fooled-high K).

With Hak-Ju Lee having been traded and with 2011 #1 draft pick Javier Baez likely to eventually be moved to 3B or corner OF, no question Junior Lake is the Cubs #1 SS prospect right now. But he is still VERY raw.

But is there a Lake-O-Meter?

He's Shawon Dunston without the Dawson, Sandberg, Grace components around him.

nope.

+1

An exciting and athletic player who was suspect fundamentally. I'd say they are similar in many aspects. Castro has a little more contact and Dunston had a little more power.

Castro has a little more contact.
At age 20, and 21...he has a lot more contact than Dunston ever did, at a higher level than Dunston was at at the same age.

I get that you would, you're just wrong.

I don't understand the idea of untouchables. For the right price I would trade anyone. That said, I can't imagine that another team would offer enough so that I would trade Castro.

As for blowing things up, I am not sure that is the best analogy for the 2011 Cubs. With the number of contracts either coming off the books or likely to come off the books this off season, no blowing up will be required. The team will fall apart of its own accord. I just don’t see any reason to spend money to try and keep it together.

I would rather they focus their resources I things that will pay dividends in the long term since the short term in not realistically salvageable.

Castro should not be untouchable in that the GM shouldn't refuse to listen to any offers, however, it's unlikely many other GMs wasting their time making any offers. Since: 1. The Cubs have no stars or potential stars blocking o pushing Castro at SS or 2B, 2. Castro is already a .300 hitter and no one really knows his potential for patience, power, or improved fielding, 3. The Cubs' fanbase is starved for a true homegrown star (Geo doesn't play enough games a year or produce consistently enough to qualify, though he's certainly valuable) 4. The Cubs have plenty of cash to retain Starlin once his arbitration years and even free agency kick in, 5. The Cubs lineup is starved for All-Star quality hitters (the only one we have might be gone during this offseason--ARam),

there is no way the Cubs will trade him for anything but a sizeable overpayment that includes major-league ready players and at least one with All-Star potential.

vs. D. Willis

Castro 6, Johnson 9, Ramy 5, Baker 3, Soriano 7, Byrd 8, Soto 2, Barney 4, Lopez 1

and Baker bats 4th.....really?
Sinice June1 hitting .184, with 1 HR and 7 RBI's.

Seriously? Ugh......

LaHair was caught in the john with his pants down.

Q-Ball cited sample size when he benched LaHair and his seven game hitting streak.

Then he turned around and justified Baker hitting clean up because he's hit over .400 at Great America Park.

What he left out was that Baker had only played 9 games in Cincinnati.

But it all worked out anyway. Baker had a good night and now has a line of .435 .500 .957 1.457 at Great America in ten games.

Proving once and for all, without a doubt, that ReQuade is smarter than all of us.

I guess it's his job to win games, but the organizations goals right now should be.
1. Lose games, especially if we're going to sign a type A FA this off-season
2. Figure out which of the "kids" can help next year
3. Win road games to sell tickets.

Quade thinks his job is more likely preserved if they can win 76 games. If he wasn't so damned smart he'd realize the incoming GM is going to be looking at how he'd did #1 and #2 above. He's just cementing himself as a "me first" guy now... essentially hammering in his own nails.

there's no one in the entire organization that would want to lose...at least i hope so.

that's for fans..."fans"...whatever you want to call them.

As a fan, why do you want the Cubs to win out?

It can sort of be argued that you should play Pena to keep him a type B guy, but Baker... yech.

as a fan i like the cubs to win. i don't want to watch 3+ hours of nothing. i don't care if they're 100-62 or 62-100.

that's just how i roll. i watch a ton of baseball and i love this game. i know playoffs aren't in the picture, but i didn't quit watching in mid-late june when the team practically checked itself out of contender status.

i couldn't care less about whether the cubs get pick #6 or #10 next year. i might care more if it was the difference between picks #1-3. either way, i don't want to watch 2 weeks or 2 months of non-competitive baseball...2 days of it pisses me off enough.

I also want my team to want to win and hate losing. When they don't, I console myself with the thought that there may be a better draft pick from it, but I don't ever want my manager or players thinking about that. AND I can't help but feel excited when they do win. Even though I'd love to get a high draft pick. I just think there is something valuable about a team that has a competitive fire that hates to lose.

That's just me. I don't demand that everybody do the same.

"but I don't ever want my manager or players thinking about that."

yeah, i don't care what other fans think, but i see their point on the matter for losing = better chance at a better pick and the playoff chances are gone anyway, etc.

it's a valid point...it's not for me, though.

i just don't want the players, manager/coaches, or front office thinking about it.

vs.

Phillips 2B, Sappelt CF, Votto 1B, Bruce RF, Alonso LF, Mesoraco C, Francisco 3B, Janish SS, Willis P

maybe they can play in Thillens Stadium for a year.

http://www.thillens.com/static.asp?path=2889

played in 1, maybe it was 2, All-Star type games there growing up...

it was like being called up to the big leagues.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/Albert-Puj...

Rosenthal talks about life after the last CBA was agreed upon and how their was a spending spree that offseason, led by Hendry and the Cubs.

I'd agree and have argued many times here that Wilken has done his job, and that the Cubs have "graduated" and will graduate a decent share of players to the majors. But not the real "star-caliber" players that we all would like to see.

I don't know how many organizations are able to do it. But the winning clubs manage to get their share of them, for sure.

I just don't think that any GM will have the free reign to "clean house" as some say here. its not Kansas City, or Pitt. Its the 3rd largest market in the U.S., with a very impatient fan-base.

"It's more deep than star-studded, with plenty of potential big leaguers but few who can actually help turn around a moribund franchise."

I've been hearing this a lot lately, especially around here.

The Cardinals compete every year and are considered to have a solid organization.

Name a better-than-average everyday major-league player that the Cardinals drafted in the last ten years. (Pujols was '99, Molina 2000.) There's nobody on the current roster, but have they traded away any good ones? Ankiel? Ludwick? Brett Wallace? Before you say Rasmus, take another look at his numbers.

This is the team that had a hole in their middle infield that they needed Theriot to fill.

Seriously, we're in better shape for the future than they are.

not to defend their crap luck drafting, and i should give notice to the semi-new regime there...

but damn, with a thin as hell pitching market coming up they just re-up'd c.carpenter to a 2/21m deal.

he's old, but he could have gotten more elsewhere. there's a lot to be said for players that actually like where they're at.

what the Cardinals do smartly is correctly label elite players and then surround them with just enough fluff, generally veteran scrap heap players. And smartly trade away their minor league players that they know aren't elite. I believe they thought Rasmus was an elite player for awhile and that's why they held on to him. And he may still prove to be.

Pujols, Edmonds, Rolen, Carpenter, Wainwright, etc...

The Cubs upcoming problem (next 2-3 years) is they have only one possible elite player in Castro and that's certainly no slam dunk.

agreed.

also, rasmus has baggage with him...lot of attitude and demands playing time.

I think Cashner is a potentially elite player. Or are we only talking about position players?

not to jump in for rob...just to add...but, yeah he's as close as anyone...especially once he gets back into the rotation.

a bit depends on what people think of b.jackson, too.

i think he's close and good, but i don't expect much more than what we saw out of m.byrd last year...not to say that's junk. it's top shelf "filler" and a great deal for 3-5 years.

Most professional analysts have been looking at B. Jax and saying that if he works out in the majors he'll be a "solid" center fielder. He Ks too much to ever hit for a very high average, and he's not really a 30 SB or 30 HR threat, nor is he an elite defender. Personally, I would say looking at the minors, Szczur has the higher ceiling--potentially elite defense and speed, which, if you combine with above average contact and respectable patience (and even respectable power), that could add up to an elite leadoff hitter in his prime. Hak-Ju Lee probably had the highest ceiling while he was here, for exactly the same reasons. But having guys who look like they have good upside after some time in A-ball is completely different from having guys who still look like they have good upside after significant exposure to AA and AAA.

Kinda reminds me of Todd Dunwoody a little bit.

Jackson or Szczur?

Dunwoody in minors: .265/.320/.447
Jackson in minors: .292/.393/.491

Szczur, Although Dunwoody was a level higher up at the same age.

Lol. That would be the pessimistic comparison, I think. I know there was a Rob Deer comparison made a few months ago--maybe by Mr. Rob G--which seems like a good optimistic comp. B. Jax could certainly turn out to be a lot like Rob Deer, with a tradeoff of some power for some speed.

I personally would rather a guy have a 10 plus walk rate and a 20 K rate over a guy in the 5/10 range.

We've seen time and again what happens with prospects who can't differentiate a strike and a ball. A batting average won't carry if a hitter cannot figure out what pitch to swing at.

I doubt I made a Deer comp, he had more power.

very few have survived the majors with Jackson's K rate in the minors.

Deer had a 27% K rate in the minors but was easily hitting 30+ HR.

Maybe it was someone else, or maybe I'm misremembering. Rob Deer did hit more homeruns in the minors, but he also carried a .249/.355 average and OBP to Jackson's .293/.393. If Jackson can manage 20 HRs a year, could see him matching the value of Deer's major league rate stats, if going about it in a very slightly different way: .220/.324/.442. I think Jackson is capable of a slightly higher average and more value on the basepaths, but a .766 OPS with a middling average seems like a reasonable over/under for him on his career to me.

Of course the only caveat on the BJax/Deer is that Jackson's batting average in the minors is 45 points or so higher than Deer's
Deer: .249/.343/.495
BJax: .292/.393/.491

God...Rob Deer....he could hit it a long way.

the only caveat to that is maybe you should look at their BABIP?

.376 for Jackson
.290 for Deer (not including those age 34/35 seasons and only including those that had incomplete totals)

Jackson's career babip is .376?
Over 1300 At bats....at what point is it no longer a hot streak?

I duno..I just would like to see him get a shot...a full season as the Cubs CF, before I start comparing him to Rob Deer...Miguel Dilone...Carlos Lezcano....or anyone else...

yes, facetiously mentioning Dilone and Lezcano....

yes, facetiously mentioning Dilone and Lezcano....
---
Scot Thompson, circa 1978-9

1974 : 1st Round (7th)

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/players/playe...

Eek...Scot Thompson....no power...no OBP...not a good fielder....god....blah!!

Other than that though...

major leaguers that have maintained a .376 career BABIP...

Ty Cobb

some that maintained above .350?
Derek Jeter
Rogers Hornsby
Rod Carew
Ichiro
Joe Jackson
Billy Hamilton
there's a few other

still feeling good about .376 when you factor in major league defenses and pitchers over minor league ones?

Nope. But I'm not ready to say, without seeing Jackson for an extended period at the MLB level, that he's going to be a .250/.330/.400 hitter yet.

I'm trying to figure out who Jackson most resembles, Cobb, Ichiro, Hornsby or Marlon Byrd.

How about Jim Edmonds? On the day Jackson was drafted, Wilken likened him to Edmonds.

At 22, in a season split between AA and AAA, Edmonds struck out 138 times, Jackson's exact number, in almost the same number of PAs and ABs as Jackson's.

Edmonds had a major-league career in which his BABIP was above .340 in six seasons. In 2002, it was .375. His biggest strikeout totals were 167 (2000) and 150 (2004).

that certainly would be awesome

similar K and BB rates and much less power by Edmonds in the minors.

We can only hope.

Edmonds was an opposite field line drive hitter when he came up.

Isn't Jackson an all-fields line drive hitter?

yes, he swings...people are over-valueing his walks.

he's got a nice swing, but his swing and selection is why he K's so much more than why he walks 20-30 more times that other wild-swinging hitters.

he's still young, but his approach seems pretty static.

Dunwoody's had a 6% walk rate and 20% K rate in the minors fwiw...power numbers are similar.

wouldn't terribly surprise me if Jackson flamed out, but Jackson seems more highly regarded on the prospect lists and has better numbers.

"He Ks too much to ever hit for a very high average, and he's not really a 30 SB or 30 HR threat, nor is he an elite defender."

How many home runs would he have to hit at 22 in the high minors to be a 30 home-run threat? Edmunds hit 14 in the same number of at-bats at the same age.

Before or after the Steroid crackdown?

"i don't expect much more [from Jackson] than what we saw out of m.byrd last year" -- crunch

So Jackson is a Byrd clone, just like Barney is a Theriot clone.

If this were a debate, I would take the side that Jackson--with his OBP, his home runs and his stolen bases--is the un-Byrd.

Do you want the link again to that Sesame Street same-different video?

"So Jackson is a Byrd clone, just like Barney is a Theriot clone."

actually, barney i called "theriot-lite"

but basically...yes.

throw some more Ks onto jackson and i'd say the 2 are nearly similar.

minor league ob% what who cares huh? that stuff is for that pointless rob deer conversation above.

talk to me about it in a couple years...otherwise go to that rob deer conversation.

i'm being crystal clear here. also, i don't understand what's different about theriot/barney besides barney is a slightly worse hitter with slightly better D. i stand by what i said about barney and what do you know...it is what he is.

i also got bitched out years ago for calling theriot what he is...and he was what he is. =p

how is a walk in the minors not tempered out by the amount of Ks he has? that is no indication of patience. that's step 1 of handicapping walks in the minors from a non-middle-order slugger. some day someone will probably create an equation for this long-standing point of handicapping and pretend they're innovating something.

I suppose, don't really see him as the ace of a staff type stuff, maybe as a closer. Kind of feel the same about McNutt, except for the closer part.

But you can certainly do well with 4-5 real good, but not great pitchers. But that's not easy to compile. By 2013 is a Cashner, Garza, McNutt rotation good enough? Hell if I know. I actually like CJ Wilson, think he'd do well in the NL and I don't worry about pitchers ages nearly as much as hitters. Whitenack might be back by 2013 as well (he'll be back by 2012, but major league ready by 2013 and ready to truly contribute).

But elite player is hardly a by the numbers definition, your results may vary.

I think it's safe to assume now that Soto won't ever get there, although the Cubs may squeeze a year or two out of him at nearly elite levels. He's at the right age. Marmol was there until whatever the fuck happened to him in the second half.

Obviously the recent draft has some promise, but won't see any of the true impact players for 4-5 years.

I have some faith in Garza being an elite pitcher with a good defense and him not committing 7 errors of his own, but I'm probably in the minority there. I think you need at least 3 position players that scare the hell out of the other team, and I don't see that with the Cubs now or in the near future. That means the FA market or trades, neither which bother me so much, but I know others think it's one of the seven deadly sins (big contracts or trading away decent but not great prospects).

You can't evaluate pitcher possibilities by going to 2013. I've learned at least that much.

Too much of a crap shoot. For every Roy Hallady there's a Burt Hooton, and for every Burt Hooton there's a guy with a towel drill.

Contemplating pitchers' futures is the biggest waste of time you can engage in.

I agree with all of that Rob. That was really what made the 2004 and 2008 Cubs editions the funnest for me as a fan. Could stack those lineups 5 guys deep right through the middle and you could almost always bank on somebody coming through for you.

I'm considered Pollyana around here, but I always look at the numbers and ignore the hype and the "professional analysts" (i.e., internet scouts).

So I jumped off the Jay Jackson bandwagon when he had trouble getting people out in double-A, and it's the same with Trey McNutt, toward whom my attitude is "show me." McNutt had trouble late last season when he was promoted to AA, and this year was just a continuation of those troubles. Sickels (or someone similar) says McNutt deserves a mulligan because of injuries (blisters or hangnails or something), but he's really just giving himself a mulligan.

I would like to see McNutt pitch more than just under 5 innings a start for a full season before I get excited.
Jay Jackson was up and down at AAA...but his last 8-10 starts were pretty damn good.

Pujols, Edmonds, Rolen, Carpenter, Wainwright, etc...

---------

Drafted, trade, trade, rehabbing free agent, trade.

Best part is all of those moves were all made by the previous GM, who was fired after 2007.

Our next GM needs to make some smart and/or lucky additions, not just depend on our farm system filling all the holes (which it can't do anyway).

add Holliday, Jamie Garcia (questionable) and so forth...

my point being, which it seems you may have missed and VA Phil certainly did, was that I think you need to acquire a handful of truly elite players in whichever way you can. And not to be afraid to deal from a deep, but not star-studded farm system to do it. And not be afraid of free agency even if you've been burned before.

It's nothing earth-shattering, it's about identifying talent and projecting it appropriately. Cubs just badly misfired on Z and Soriano particularly to varying degrees. Some of the smaller misfires (Fukudome, Bradley) added up as well.

I'd also add that you need to be a little cut throat in the roster decisions you make. The McFail/Hendry years were really littered with feel good personnel decisions and contract awards based on lifetime achievement and marketing. As opposed to on field gain.

Hopefully a new, more numeric approach will help to avoid this in the future. Though if Ricketts gets really "Hands on" then we can assuredly see that in the future.

Josh Byrnes was particularly hampered in Arizona by ownership giving 25% of the payroll to the ghost of Eric Byrnes.

We might have won a pennant in 2004 if McFail does the logical move of signing a prime Miggy Tejada to play SS. Instead he tried to peddle the Maddux marketing ploy and missed out on the best Cubbie window of my lifetime.

We might have won a pennant in 2004 if McFail does the logical move of signing a prime Miggy Tejada to play SS. Instead he tried to peddle the Maddux marketing ploy and missed out on the best Cubbie window of my lifetime.

for fuck's sake

I don't consider that analysis such an indictment like some do. I think if you can fill out 4-5 positions and 2-3 rotation spots with good-solid players a team like the Cubs should have enough money to fill in the gaps . If you look at next year's lineup, we'll only be a couple players away from that. The only reason this plan hasn't worked is that we haven't signed the right FAs. Soriano, Bradley, Fukudome just haven't panned out. If they had signed Beltran in 2005 they would have been better off.

I agree for the most part, but a lot of folks around here and I get the sense Ricketts seems to also believe that they should forego big money deals or big trades for elite players and just focus on the farm system right now.

Which I believe will get them nowhere for the next 4-5 years.

I think you need to effectively mix both methods. You can't plan on putting a 120M cap on spending and easily fill out a contender with free agent parts.

You shouldn't attempt to be completely home grown when you can payroll 120-150 Million in players.

The goal should be to stockpile enough young assets so that you can find a 5-6 year window with some cost controlled legitimate parts. Then you can supplement the failed prospects with trades and free agents.

Kinda the McFail era plan from the early 2000's.

This is why who Ricketts hires to replace Hendry will be the most important decision he'll make since taking over the Cubs. If he thinks his farm system is going to fill 6 position spots, 3-4 starting pitchers, and half his bullpen AND contend for a pennant, he's really smoking the bison meat.

I'm not hung up on any certain GM candidate because I believe there's 5 or 6 who could do what needs to be done. It starts with a brutally, honest analysis of your own team, minor league players, and player development staff. I really hope Ricketts finds that person, hires him, and then leaves him alone (for the most part) to do what needs to be done.

This is why it must be someone outside of the organization.

holy f'n juan francisco.

over the f'n moondeck in RF (out of the park RF)...holy wtf.

502 ft.

damn.

watching this game has become a near-pointless chore and example of crap pitching...middle 4, 8-3.

saw two early reviews of Moneyball, one a baseball type, the other not and both were very positive.

Old A's Scout - "What's a movie review?"

Paul D Character - "I know what a movie review is, but I'd like the Beane character help me realize what a movie review actually is."

Beane - "Good movie reviews?!?!?" **throws chair** "Be back later, I'm late for an appointment to exchange witty banter with my daughter."

Sportscasters - "How in the heck did this movie go against contention and get a great movie review? It's just not done that way! What's going on?!? Am I an old scout?"

Another parachat thing: My guess is you are just loving Brad Pitt.

other than 12 Monkeys, I can't recall anything I liked him in very much. Not terrible in Ocean's Eleven I guess.

Ah. 12 Monkeys. BRB. Gotta go buy a DVD.

Seven
Fight club

True Romance
Babel
Snatch
Inglorious Basterds

the stoner dude is about the easiest part to play
never saw Babel and can't recall much of Snatch.
didn't care for him at all in Inglorius Bastards, although a very fun movie.

He's pretty brilliant in Snatch. Like most guys, I would like to label him a crap actor who gets by on looks. Sadly, he's not.

I show my students several scenes from Snatch. He's fucking brilliant in it, in a whacky way. That movie had an influence on editors for a while you'd have to agree.

Benjy Button ok.

I've not seen Tree of Life yet, but "the word out there" is pretty good.

Seven is a great movie, Brad Pitt is horrible in it, truly horrible.

I'll give you Fight Club, marginally, better movie though than his performance.

http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/696...

Ramirez wants a 2 to 3-year deal, open to resigning with Cubs.

2/18 would be great :)

189 hits I believe at this point

15 to play after tonight

amazing talent...should be really interesting if he develops 20+HR power consistently.

he's gonna cost so much f'n money in a few years...heh.

I'd be happy with 15 HRs (hell I'd be OK with the 9 or 10) if he learns to take a walk more of the time. At least 50 a year would be good.

he just hit his 9th...

but I think he'll be a 15-20 guy relatively soon.

The pic on Espn right now is very good. I love men who yell.

Why the fuck is he at first? Did LaHair piss on Quade's dumb ass bald head?

lefty on the mound...I love 140 games in, that people are surprised by this.

it appears according to a Shawon Dunston Jr. tweet, that players report for Instructs in Arizona on Thursday.

That doesn't explain at all why Baker is at first and LaHair isn't in the lineup, but thanks for the trivia.

Submitted by Rob G. on Mon, 09/12/2011 - 7:11pm.
it appears according to a Shawon Dunston Jr. tweet, that players report for Instructs in Arizona on Thursday.

===============================

ROB G: Players report to Fitch Park Thursday, first league game is Friday 9/23.

With tonight's solo homer, Aramis Ramirez joins Billy Williams as the only #Cubs players to hit at least 30 doubles and 25 HRs in 6 seasons.

This sounds mean but I'm watching the espn game from last night and am sorry they missed Bobby Valentine in the strike.

Aramis is slow and lazy. You know the drill on that, Rob.

Dontrelle Willis is now 0-6 with a 5.04 ERA.

with a 1.58 WHIP

Another 3 hit night for the kid.

Castro or Lahair? Castro, I assume. He may actually do 200.

If Samininja is in the rotation next season I'll shoot myself. I'd rather see him tied up and given a f-ing haircut. Same with Russell. They look like hippie girls from the 60's and should have Grace Slick belting out "Someone To Love" everytime they enter a game.

We need a Steinbrenner-esque "No long hair" policy.

The way things are going, we'll have a Garza Dempster Wells Cashner Russel/Samninja rotation. Maybe they'll all grown long hair and hideous beards.

http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/09/13/...

Manny being Manny stops being funny.

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

sortable normalized minor league stats are a comin'

LaHair fifth in batting runs... that report isn't too complimentery about his defense (however they calculate that).

Castro SS, Barney 2B, Ramirez 3B, Pena 1B, LaHair RF, Soriano LF, Byrd CF, Soto C, Dempster P

vs.

Phillips 2B, Renteria SS, Votto 1B, Bruce RF, Alonso LF, Stubbs CF, Francisco 3B, Mesoraco C, Leake P

we're getting LaHair at the expense of Colvin...

on the other hand we're getting Pena at the expense of Colvin

ha.

I'm fine with all of that

This is why Quade should have been fired the same day Ricketts showed Hendry the door. It's decisions like this to NOT fire Quade NOW that make me more than suspect about Ricketts' chances of hiring a replacement who can finally make THE difference.

One of his coaches should have gotten the interim job and told he was to play Colvin, LaHair, LeMahieu every day unless physically unable to play. Hill should have been shit-canned for Clevenger or Castillo, and DeWitt/Baker/Johnson shifted to PH duties. If that coach had a problem following directions, then he would be the next guy out the door and move on to the next coach.

If Ricketts doesn't know that Koyie Hill, DeWitt, Baker, Johnson, Pena, and Soriano aren't part of the solution, then he has no business owning a MLB team much less hiring a new GM.

crunch wants to watch us play .500 though.

I wouldn't have a problem with Johnson, DeWitt or Baker on next years' team peforming the same function they do on this one. We could win with Soriano.

Hard to see us going anywhere with Pena blocking a super star type.

i think i want to watch baseball, not a draft sheet from next season.

enjoy your baseball...the big game is coming, the GM hunt. too bad they have to play 162 between the real stuff that matters.

95% of Cubs fans want them to win the World Series. It's cool that you're not worried about that. To each his own.

95% of TCR thinks you're pompous, cannot stand to be challenged, and will argue against facts with your own point of view in order to round-about make your points somehow valid.

also, you kicked muh dog and it up n' died...but only 95% of him.

also, i wish i could remember some of the insults you've called people lately off the top of my head so i could throw one at you right here.

Try "fucktard."

I just found this:

http://therealnealisadouchebag.blogspot.com/

I assume that the is from The Real Chad?

i actually recall Chad doing that.

"we're getting LaHair at the expense of Colvin..."

Colvin actually hits Leake pretty well. Last year he hit 3 home runs off him including 2 on 7/4.

You have to be a veteran to get the nod from small sample sizes (* See Posts #6 and #12).

For whatever it's worth----see that the 2005 draft under Stockstill was rated #30-worst in baseball. The 2006 draft under Wilken was rated 25th but he lost several early picks because the Cubs had signed free agents---can't remember who they were or if they worked out.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospect...

I linked the 2005 draft earlier, there's the 2006 review.

25. Cubs
$11.5 million investment in Tyler Colvin (1), Jeff Samardzija (5) has yet to pay off.

Cubs signed Howry (Type A), Eyre(Type A) and Jones (Type B) with their first round pick being protected.

http://wiklifield.thecubreporter.com/Free_age...

other 2006 draftees:
Clevenger, Renshaw (part of Trachsel trade), Matt Camp (suspended), Blake Parker, Chris Huseby ($1M+ bonus...failed), Marcus Hatley

Axcording to Len last night, "Lahair had the best night at the plate of any Cub all year..."

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