"They Made God Angry"

thanks to jacos for the tip....

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I don't watch that show nearly enough.

I laughed out loud when it they said it.

We are no better than Tiger petters, and Frozen lake jumpers.

Terry Boers-WSCR saying his "sources" tell him Cubs will try to deal Harden.

Harden to Cleveland for Matt LaPortia?

I saw this every time the Score attempts to break a story, but I need to say it again.

The Score almost NEVER breaks a story. The Score is almost NEVER right on this kind of stuff.

I agree Big, but I respect Boers he seems to know some people with Cubs.

If George Offman reported it as fact then be wary.

:-)

Maybe this is a stupid question, maybe not...

Does it make sense to have Harden as a 5th starter? This would, by design, give him several skipped-turns through the rotation, giving him time off here and there.

Is this preferable to him getting injured or beat-up?

It seems like we'd have options to try something like this (making Marquis or Marshall the # 4), though I guess a lot of this rotation flexibility will depend on whether Dempster comes back.

ROMERO

Cubs better trade him.

Otherwise I can already see extended spring training, towel and then Dl for 2009.

I propose a 6-man rotation where Harden pitches every other month with Marshall taking the other month :)

April/June/August for Harden

May/July/September for Marshall

the good news is that unless Jocketty pulls off some amazing shit in Cincy, the rest of the Central should be worse than this year. If the Cubs improve at all, which sounds like they plan to, should make it another easy division crown.

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/deluca/1204233,CST-...

The Cubs will continue their pursuit of a speedy leadoff hitter, keeping the Baltimore Orioles' Brian Roberts at the top of their wish list. They also are expected to be players in the free-agent derby for ace left-hander CC Sabathia.

I think it's easy to say the cubs will be players in the acquisition of any big free agent from here on out.

Sadly, except for Mark Texieria.

The Cubs should have drafted Texieria when they had the chance instead of taking Prior. Texieria was by far the #1 prospect going into that season in 2001, but he broke his leg or ankle sliding into a base (IIRC) and had to miss the second half of the season. Despite the fact that that type of injury is not likely to keep a player like him from doing the things he does well (crush any and all pitches thrown his way), a few teams shied away from his perceived "injury risk." That included the Cubs, who went with a much safer selection, a guy who had perfect mechanics and would never be at risk to get injured.

I could not disagree more.

(Every one of my next statements should be prefaced with at the time)

Mark Prior was the consensus #1. We were lucky that Minnesota didn't want to pay him the money or we would have had Joe Mauer.

Prior was a once in a lifetime pitcher who was considered possibly the greatest college pitcher of all time.

Prior wasn't the 'safe' pick. Prior was 'the pick'.

/prefaced statements

Your statements are true. However, prior to Tex's injury he was 'the pick.' Prior then had his monster season, and the comp's to Tom Seaver and Jim Palmer began. And yes, we were "lucky" Minnesota didn't want to pay him, and instead went with the hometown discount, local HS catcher. (Who, BTW, turned out to be pretty good, but again, we're talking about "at the time").

However, I remember going into that draft, the top 3 players were believed to be Mauer, Prior, and Texeiria. Somehow, Tex fell to number 5, behind Dewon Brazelton (not too good), and Gavin Floyd (pretty good, but not as good as Tex). All in all, that's a heck of a top 5 in the draft, but I digress.

Anyway, thinking about Mauer, Prior, and Texeiria, I expected that likely one would be a star player, one would be a decent major leaguer, and one would be a bust. That's about what you can expect from 1st round draft picks, roughly. BTW, I don't have any statistics to back that up, so feel free to tell me if that's not correct. It just seems like that's what you wind up with. But for the sake of argument, bear with me here. In 2001, who would be most likely to be which player? I gussed Tex - star, Prior - decent, Mauer - bust. As it turns out, if it wasn't for Prior's injury, they would have all been superstars.

But isn't that a common theme in the past 5 years? "If it wasn't for Prior's injury..." That's the problem with drafting pitchers - too high of injury risk, and a disproportionate number of early round busts. Don't get me wrong, I was psyched when we drafted Prior, and it was great to watch his highlights and listen to pundits talk about his flawless mechanics, lack of injury risk, etc., etc. I just would have preferred Tex, and I did say that then. Of course, I have no way to prove that to you, so you'll have to take my word for it.

The way i see it,

barring injury, Prior was going to be, by far, the best player of the three.

Prior was good enough to be the best pitcher in all of baseball. Mauer and Tex area great players but probably won't be considered the best of their era. Prior would have been.

Yeah, I suppose that's possible. But that's speculation, in that even if Prior had never been injured, would he have been better than Santana? Sabathia? Halladay? Webb? Heck, even Zambrano? It's hard to say that a guy would have been the best of his era. Even with great talent, a lot of things have to break right for that to happen. I'm not saying he wouldn't have, just that it would have been difficult.

Could Prior have won some Cy Youngs? Sure. Could Teixeira win some MVP's? Yes. So then at that level we ask about risk - is it riskier to have a top pitching prospect or a top hitting prospect? Pitchers have a higher bust rate and a higher injury rate, so I'd argue it's better to have a top hitting prospect. And as it turned out, even with his flawless injury history, Prior still got injured. Meanwhile, the guy with the injury in his last amateur year has been a relative ironman (151 games/year). To each their own, and I respect your opinion if you disagree, but that's how I look at it.

in his second year he was already one of the best pitchers in the game. give him a couple of years of seasoning and he would definitely be better than those guys.

poor Joe Mauer, playing in the wrong city....

There's not a catcher in a baseball that holds a candle to him.

Geo Soto and his 122 career ops+ clears his throat. That being said, Mauer still is not close to the best player in baseball. And never will be.

I didn't remember that Mike Fontenot was a first rounder that year.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/draft/?year_ID=2...

1st round, pick #19, Baltimore Orioles. Maybe a first round draft pick from 2001 still can help the Cubs win a World Series...

I really do not get why the interest in both players, unless we want to move Roberts back to SS. Sabathia's long term health given he is an overweight power pitcher (Back injury waiting to happen)and is bad playoff record in which he has a double digit ERA is the last thing you would want to add a team with playoff issues. Also for the price of Sabathia ($130 Million contract) you can sign Dempster and Lowe and trade Lilly or Harden for an OF Bat. Also on this rumor of trading Dlee to a California team for a pitcher, which California is going to trade a good pitcher for him? The bay area teams are rebuilding as are the Pads so they wont want a 30+ guy. The Dodgers are set at 1B with Loney. Even if they lose Manny and decide to put Loney in LF they do not have a that strong of a pitching surplus to deal away a guy we would want. That only leaves the Angels and is drop-off from Lee to Morales that drastic that they would want to give up Santana or Saunders in a deal.

I don't think I would be too eager to drop $20+M a year on CC considering his career 5 Post-season starts line of 1-3 7.92 ERA. He's great in the regular season but the Cubs don't need help getting there, we need players to put us over the top.

I'd rather make a run at Teixeira for that type of money, and unless the Orioles or Angels wildly overpay for him, I'm not sure his market is going to be that unattainable. The early reports suggest that the Yankees will go hard after 2 SP with CC and one of either Lowe or Burnett or both if CC stays in the NL. So with the Mets picking up Delgado's option and the Red Sox have Youk, unless the Yankees miss out on 2 of those 3 SPs the Cubs could have just as good of a chance at Tex as the O's and Angels if they were to go in that direction. This lineup needs balance and a monster switch-hitting run producer would certainly add that. If the Angels lose Tex then they could have interest in D.Lee and since Lee is from CA that could be a good match as I can't imagine the Angels would be content with Kendry Morales. Marquis can be moved for salary relief if necessary as well. If Lohse is worth $9m in this market then Marquis should be easily movable on a walk year contract. There could still be room to add a middle infielder if those two can be traded. Of course a lot of this will be dependent on what Dempster is going to require. The "experts" think Lowe will get at least $15m a year so I'm sure that's what Dempster's agent will shoot for.

Cubs better hang on to him. With the release of Prior and Wood's moving to the pen, the Cubs finished out of the money in the simulated game league for the first time in four years.

1 year/$2 M with a incentive-based option? anyone?

where you all going?

Oh that Rob G, and his soft spot for crippled players.

You are the king of the Tiger Petters, Rob.

Hendry said in his teleconference today that he would be happy with "Harden making 25 starts next year"

Same as this year I believe.

His tops is 31 back in 2004, when Wood and Prior were in Cubs rotation.

Please count me in on the "Get Lee to waive his NTC and send his sorry ass to California" Train. That would make things MUCH easier this offseason, assuming the Cubs are willing to spend some cash.

1. Sign Teixeira and Furcal.
2. DeRosa full-time RF, Fukkake/Johnson CF platoon, bye-bye Edmonds.
3. Let the LSU twins platoon at 2B.

If Lee plus extras (e.g., Marshall) could be spun into a solid setup man for the bullpen and a bad contract like Lee's, those would collectively be some very strong changes.

Question: wasn't Lee one of Dusty's best pals? What if you could convince Lee to go play for Dusty, and take back Cordero's costly contract in exchange?

Wait... you want to trade Derrek Lee for a setup man?

Wow.

I'm glad someone besides me would like to see Fontenot out there, but he's not Theriot's twin. He's not scrappy. Maybe he'd steal second more if he didn't hit so many doubles. Fontenot's .514 SLG makes him more a twin of DeRosa (.481) than Theriot (.359).

I'm still completely dumbfounded by the hate for DLee.
Lee for a set up bullpen reliever? I'm lost. Completely lost.

You are not alone.

Why, what's so great about a gold-glove-winning .300 hitter with some pop, who is also a key clubhouse presence? Dump him for a setup guy, then the puzzle will be complete!

It needs to be for a Loogy. Or Michael Barrett

.291 .361 .462 with 20 homers. that's not that great.

it's good. it's just not the #3 hitter on the best team in the national league.

now compare that to:

.308 .410 .552 with 33 home runs and a gold caliber glove

So why not just push DLee up to the 2-hole and slide Soriano down to 3 or 4? Get Roberts or Furcal to hit leadoff. Why get rid of Lee?

The only valid reason I see for that would be if they're going to make a serious (as in Soriano-like) run at Texeira.

Because that would make too much sense, and what's the point of arguing something unless you can be irrational and boisterous?

I have said that the only way we should move lee is if we can upgrade. not to move lee just to move him.

There's a third possibility. You might trade him to make the TEAM better, say by adding a strong young arm. You wouldn't necessarily be upgrading first base. Nor would you be moving Lee just to move him.

You stated what i have already stated:

"I have said that the only way we should move lee is if we can upgrade."

I didn't say at first base only.

It is just very easy to see how we can upgrade with Teixeria as a FA.

as a person who wants to let dlee go, i have no hate for him.

I see him as a declining slugger who's wrist has held his power numbers down. he's a fine bat in any lineup, but he cannot be the #3 hitter on this team.

I don't think we have much of a chance, but if we could some how turn derrek lee into mark texieria, i'm all for that.

I am not in favor of replacing him with Hoffpower. We have to upgrade or stick with him.

If his wrists are/were a problem, why were they not a problem in April and May?

Talk about your all time weak arguments here.

maybe he saw more fastballs those months
maybe he saw more hanging sliders
maybe pitchers didn't know where to pitch him yet
maybe advanced scouting showed that he could no longer hit outside pitches

there could be a million reasons why. talk about sample size.

You think it was a coincidence that he followed up his whopping 22 home run season with 20 homers. in more at bats? coming off a season where he broke his wrist. then the next season hitting, what, 9 first half homers?

all that following a season where he hit 46 homers. you think that is just a standard decline in skills?

i don't think so.

I watched him roll over on so many pitches this season just to bounce into double play after double play. he's too good of a hitter to do that.

That wrist is not the same. not even close.

What happens if you throw out the 2005 (outlier) and 2006 (injury) seasons. Doesn't that support the slow decline in power school of thought that the rest of us see?

still too much of a drop off too fast

I don't think it was Lee's wrist injury, I've heard it has more to do with neck and back pain that he suffered in that home plate collision in May of '07. It can't be just the wrist because every aspect of his game has decreased since that April. Defense has been more spotty, and even his baserunning has seemingly gotten worse, and I'm not just talking about his fabulous ability to get thrown out attempting to steal 3B.

His defense was spotty?

Strongly disagree. That is one part of his game that I think he still excels at.

Lee was a league average first basemen with the bat last year and getting older. If you want to lose $26 M or whatever he's owed off the books, you can't ask for much back.

I highly doubt it'll happen, but I'm all for upgrading the team and a 29 year old switch-hitting Teixeira with a glove that is just about as good is an upgrade. It might cost the Cubs more dollars and it would be a huge public relations gamble, but it would undoubtedly help the team in the long run.

If I were Hendry I'd give Lee a call in a week or three and ask him how he planned to regain the form that made him an MVP candidate in 2005. If he says something like 'well I am going to watch a lot of video and try really hard next year' I would talk to him about a trade to the leftist coast. If he says 'well I am getting a bit older and I realize that I need to work my butt off during the off-season to be ready to hit with power for more than a month' then I say 'Great, get to it.'

If you do trade him, Shields wouldn't be a bad return. I think the Giants may be a possibility as well. With their 'big four' and the talent level in that division, there could be a match for him there. I forget, do the D-Backs have a first basemen? Tracy may not be a bad fit for the Cubs.

Of course, if you trade him and wind up with a platoon of Hoffpaiur and Henry Blanco as your 2009 first basemen, you better bring in a helluva right fielder or center fielder.

DBacks have Conor Jackson and seem intent to build with youth for the most part. The Giants love old, so I would gladly take Brian Wilson for Derrek Lee and his contract, if and only if we sign Teixeira.

I'm not so sure we even need to have Teixeira in the fold. You can always trot out a Hoffpauer/DeRosa platoon at 1B and sign Furcal or trade for Roberts.

DeRosa .285/.376/.481
D.Lee .291/.361/.462

that's at worst a wash, and the offensive production should improve with Hoffpauer facing the tough righties. Sure it's likely a downgrade defensively but Lee wasn't exactly JT Snow out there this year with those 9 errors this season..10 if you count the NLDS boot.

Lee had a fantastic season with the glove, 17 Runs Saved Above Average.

Lee's got 4 inches on DeRosa as well and what seems like a pterodactyl like wingspan, which is a big deal for a first basemen.

And I wouldn't count on DeRosa having 2 career years in a row.

DeRosa only had a career year in HRs which accounted for his spike in SL% as he had 28 2B in 07 and 30 in 08. Otherwise his BA and OBP were nearly the same as 2007.

2007 .293/.371
2008 .285/.376

even if he wound up in the middle with 15 HRs, the difference wouldn't be that great if it enabled more balance in the lineup with an upgrade at another position. Obviously signing Tex would be paramount, but still if money needs to be freed up for another signing 1B would be the easiest position to fill from within. If Lee were to get moved for Abreu/Ibanez then no I wouldn't trade Lee, but if it were for Tex or Furcal, then I'd trade Lee move Theriot to 2B, DeRo to RF and Fukudome/Johnson in CF.

so you've upgraded the 2008 offense by going Furcal >>> Lee? Plus there's a likely drop in CF since Fukudome/Johnson isn't likely to match Edmonds/Johnson from last year. Not that I think Edmonds will do what he did in 2008 or should stick around...

Plus is DeRosa playing 1b or RF in this non-Teixeira scenario?

 

nevermind, I should read closer, you said Hoff/DeRosa platoon earlier...

still don't think trading Lee to get Furcal improves the team at all. The Cubs should be able to add Furcal if they want without having to move Lee anyway.

Like I said Teixeira should be the #1 target and I'm not even so sure Hendry could pull Furcal if Dempster is going to require $14-15m a year plus resigning K.Wood. I'm just saying if salary needs to be moved Marquis then Lee would be the guys I'd look to deal because Soriano is nearly impossible to move.

Not knowing what that stat meant, I found this interesting article in Baseball Analysts, which mentions Lee at a lower number and also a certain Cub second baseman:

The Cardinals come out on top, at about 45 runs above average. The Cards are led by a great infield trio of Adam Kennedy ( 14.9), Albert Pujols ( 11.5), and Cezar Izturis ( 10.2). The Braves are also anchored by three great infielders in Yunel Escobar ( 17.4), Chipper Jones ( 16.5), and Mark Teixeira ( 10.6). The Cubs are led by rookie right fielder Kosuke Fukudome ( 15.5). Other standouts include Derrek Lee ( 7.2) and Mike Fontenot ( 6.8).

The author also lets you download a spreadsheet of numbers for all ML position players. Theriot is near the bottom of the list, 821 out of 880.

Theriot has zero range, but in his defense I would say that, except when Manny Ramirez is up, he positions himself very well.

all kinds of problems here...

The number I used was from his Baseball Prospectus page, the author you linked to is using The Hardball Times numbers. While the methology behind them are similar, it's not comparing apples to apples. Also, the "lower" number for Lee is because the article was written half way through the season.

I'd like to add that I don't put a ton of stock into one year's worth of defensive stats. I think a player can have a career year with the glove just like the bat, it doesn't necessarily mean they're a good defender. A couple more baseballs get hit right at a guy one year than the year before and he suddenly looks like a gold glove.

Nonetheless, it's a good guide...

BP's Runs Above Average for 2008 followed by Runs Above Average in 2007

Lee: 17/10

DeRosa:  6/3 (played 90+ games each season though)

Theriot:   3/ - 1

Ramirez: -1 / 29 (negative numbers the rest of his career, looks like 2007 was the outlier)

Soriano: 12/ 25

Edmonds: -2 (as a Cub), 2 as a Padre/ 7 last year w/ Cardinals

Fukudome: 6

Soto: 7

and they all sucked ass during the playoffs :(

 

Can we sign Neifi to play 2nd base in this scenario?

Wanting Tex over Lee I can certainly understand.
Hoff over Lee, or just basically dumping Lee for some other position player is what I don't get.

I just look at our team and think if we are going to upgrade, there are about 5-6 other positions to start with before Lee.

I still look at the team and think that I'd take my chances with that lineup in the playoffs again. I don't think 97 wins was a fluke. I think the Dodgers series was the fluke...so why make wholesale changes. I think aside from Tex, pretty much any move regarding Lee would be a HUGE gamble.

This whole "CC can't pitch in the postseason" thing is idiotic. He was pitching on no rest this post season.. Anyone with half a brain could see his bad start coming.

Pitch him intelligently and I bet he does better. Bad post seasons tend to even out over time for most players.

ok that was one start, what about his previous 4 post-season starts?

21.1 IP, 17 ER, 27 H, 18 BBs..looks to be about a 8.13 ERA taking his 2008 start out of the equation.

greg maddux in his first 20 post season ips

20 IP 18 ER 24 H 11 BB 9.99 era

and this is relevant because Maddux went on to become a big-time post-season dominating money pitcher? Because I thought that was Smoltz.

the point is that you can't look at post season stats to determine the worth of a player.

If we know that CC would give us 220 innings for the next few years, i would take him in a heartbeat.

his injury potential is what is scary. i could give a crap about his post season stats.

that's fine if you don't care about post-season failures, obviously the Cubs don't or they wouldn't have signed Soriano. I just can't imagine that anyone thinks the Cubs are going to take on another SP with a $20m+ price tag unless they plan on raising payroll to Red Sox levels which I just don't see. I can see $140-145m but not $160m. If the argument is Dempster for $14-15m or CC at $20m then of course you'd rather have CC although he'll likely get $22-25m per year because the Yankees are going to drive up his price. Hell I'd take D.Lowe at 36 yrs old over Dempster.

I wouldn't give him any extra money for his post-season performance but it wouldn't keep me away from CC. Him being fat and throwing an insane amount of innings and pitches the last few years would.

Amen.

Well, and I don't disagree with that actually, I just disagree when people try to say certain players can't perform in the post season.

Soriano can't perform in the postseason, unless the other team's manager is Lou Pinella. =)

Texiara over Lee-yes

Wil Ohman over Lee-no

"Obviously Rich has had a long history of some (injury) difficulty, but after the (MRI) arthogram was diagnosed by (team physician Stephen Gryzlo) and the other experts at Northwestern, it was clear the best avenue was not (having) any surgical procedures," Hendry said. "Rich has had, at times obviously, rotator tendinitis, and there's been a longstanding (problems) that every pitcher has in his shoulder. It's no secret that his physical problems in Oakland were tough at times, and we certainly knew that going into his acquisition.

"He made 11 strong starts in Oakland and got up to 25 starts this year, and we are convinced he'll be able to do that at least next year. Obviously in shoulders you have some difficulties in cases like this. There has been some history of subtle instability in his right shoulder. Rich will go about his business in the off-season really preparing to make it stronger and rehab it all winter, and we feel confident he'll be able to go Opening Day."

http://blogs.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/spor...

so harden will be the opening day starter now? well, Z hasn't done well there anyway...

http://deadspin.com/5060739/mocking-the-cubs-ameri...

comment from a Deadspin reader..
I decided after 37 years of being a Cubs fan that rooting for them is like screwing for 2 hours and never getting to come. What is the fucking point? Sure it can be fun, but really we all want results.

Solid info. About time the media gets this info (instead of inaccurate/speculative stuff) and that's a good thing.

Again, an MRI/Arthrogram is the best diagnostic test available short of using an arthroscope. The subtle instability is something that is diagnosed based on physical exam and is something that specific exercises over time can help.

it's just odd that Rich Harden is so fragile but this leopard isn't likely to change his spots.

...on other news, the Trib's Paul Sullivan is expected to be getting a procedure too. Word is he's getting a head "cleanup". The procedure involves inserting a pipecleaner in his left ear, pushing it through until it can be grabbed in the right ear then a brisk cleansing action back and forth is used until all the brain rot is purged. Sources estimate he'll be ready to write again by May.

...on other news, the Trib's Paul Sullivan is expected to be getting a procedure too. Word is he's getting a head "cleanup".

Love to read the surgical and pathologist's reports on that one....

Not feeling the Tex love.
This is all subjective, but I felt like we tied him up every time we played him. He was a non-factor. If cubs pitching can do that, I would think we is susceptible to it from other staff's and in the post season.

of course, I am way too lazy to pull any stats to support this.

You are right. Kind of.

Against the Cubs, he has a line of .000/.214/.000 OPS: .214.

But it is in a worthless sample size of 14 at-bats.

Despite some bad moves/non-moves by Lou, I'm convinced that our boys lost another NLDS because this team is too right-handed and has no lead-off hitter. I'm not saying it would be easy or even possible, but Hendry should make every effort to move Soriano to an AL team (even if the Cubs pay some of his salary). Failing that, I agree with Rob G. that moving Lee and signing Texiera would be the next best move and the most possible scenario. I also would make every effort pry Roberts from the O's (a package involving 4-5 of Veal, R. Hill, Ceda, Colvin, Cedeno, Marshall, DeRosa, or even Pie should do it). I would re-sign Dempster and Wood before spending $120M on Sabathia. Finally, I would sign Affeldt to assume the Howry/Eyre role and offer Abreu a 2-3 deal worth ($10M/yr with $5M buyout in year 3).

This would project this lineup: Roberts, Theriot, Abreu, Ramirez, Texiera, Soto, Fukudome, Johnson/Pie.

Blanco or K. Hill would be the backup catcher, Hoffpauir replaces Ward, DeRosa plays LF/CF/SS/3B/2B 4-5 times a week, CF becomes Fukudome/Johnson or Johnson/Pie depending on who the O's ask for.

Marmol, Affeldt, Samadzija, and Gaudin/Cotts/Guzman become the bridge to Wood.

Should be more than enough pitching to make the playoffs, and a well-balance LH/RH lineup to compete better in the NLDS/NLCS with plus speed at 4-5 spots in the lineup.

Anway, that's what I would do.

Handedness single-handedly handed the series over to the Dodgers, whose balanced lineup Torre handled handily.

Maybe Big Tex and B-Rob can lend a (left) hand.

This would project this lineup: Roberts, Theriot, Abreu, Ramirez, Texiera, Soto, Fukudome, Johnson/Pie.

Roberts, Abreu and Teixeira all on the Cubs next year? Delusional.

Or make me envious.

I am getting sick and tired of all this "move Soriano" bullshit.

Can you get any dumber than that?

Yes, we can get dumber than that. We can suggest trading Lee, and A-Ram, and blowing up the team. In fact, I think we got dumber than that several times in the past few days.

Not saying it isn't pretty dumb.

If we are throwing out crazy ideas why not move Soriano to first and get LH hitter to play left?

That's if Cubs can trade Lee.

I think Soriano's best defensive asset, is arm, would be very valuable at first. And we'd never notice over there that he has trouble catching the ball. I wonder how that little jump he does would work?

From Couch's column in today's Sun Times, basically making the point that things used to be so much worse. I remember this outfield vividly:

In 1980, a Cubs fan reminded me, they brought in Cliff Johnson, who was too old to move and had to play first base. That pushed Bill Buckner, who couldn't move, into left field. Scot Thompson was in center and Larry Biittner in right. Three immovable first basemen in the outfield.

Be disappointed that these guys choked. It was awful. If this is a tantrum, then OK. But leave now? It's just getting good.

Very good article by Couch.

Also liked the comparison of today's Cubs to the pre-WS Red Sox. They are good, and expect to stay good.

I always thought the comparison of the Cubs and Red Sox in the 80's and 90's was bogus -- the Red Sox were almost always good; the Cubs rarely were.

Ah, I remember that outfield well - and the infamous play where Biitner lost a pop fly in his hat (I'm not kidding). While the fans were screaming for Biitner to look in the damn hat, he continued whirling wildly around, while the runner moved all the way to 3rd base. Good times.

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