Sweet Lou is NL's Manager of the Year

Lou Piniella won he NL Manager of the Year award today. Always a curious award that seems to honor lowered expectations than actual managing skill. Nonetheless, Piniella takes the honor and will likely just dump it into the spare closet as I'm sure he couldn't care less after the playoff debacle.

He would have probably gotten my first place vote as I thought the Cubs were about an 88-win team to start the year, so the Cubs certainly exceeded my expactations. Tony LaRussa was the only other manager that probably deserved some first place votes, but he finished 5th in the voting.

Past Cubs managers to have received votes in the Manager of the Year award since it began in 1983, once again thanks to reader WISCGRAD

Name Year Place
Lou Piniella
Lou Piniella 2007 4th
Dusty Baker 2003 2nd
Don Baylor 2001 6th
Jim Riggleman 1998 3rd
Jim Riggleman 1995 5th
Don Zimmer
Jim Frey


And I wrote this whole article without making a Dusty Baker joke. I have evolved

Lou and the Cubs have also retained their entire coaching staff from last year.

It's the last day to enter TCR's Free Agent Frenzy Contest for a chance to win  Cait Murphy's Crazy '08. Here are my picks:

Abreu - Cleveland 2

Bradley - Cubs 1

Burnett - Atlanta 7

Burrell - Atlanta 4

Dempster - Cubs 15

Dunn - Toronto 3

Furcal - Cubs 8

Lowe - Yankees 9

Perez - Atlanta 6

Manny - Dodgers 12

K-rod - Mets 10

CC - Angels 13

Sheets - Houston 5

Teixeira - Yanks 14

Wood - Cubs 11

I don't think the Cubs will sign all of those players or the Braves will either. It's just that it's so wide open right now that I really don't have a solid guess on any one of them.  So instead, I'm just trying to put the ball in play rather than swing for the fences and betting that the Cubs will sign SOME of those players.


Lou got $ 100 k bonus for the award.

And he donated it to Cubs Care.


Well done, Lou.

I am sure that crunch will be elated.

some people have real issues with "drawing sides" and drawing me into it.

again...this isn't a competition and i don't draw favorites...nor do i hate lou...nor am i a dusty booster.


yeah, that...again.

we haven't had to hear about how lou is making people suck 1000 posts a week or other half assed conspiracy theories that hold more straw grasping and emotion than facts. we have a team good enough there's not arguement over which flavor of "shouldn't be there anyway" should play over each other and why it's the elderly man's fault they're not doing well or there's not other options.

we hear about people who actually play the game. it's nice. fukudome had a bad season and it was actually HIS fault, not the elderly man in the dugout. neat concept.

some people have real issues with "drawing sides" and drawing me into it.

crunch... it was a joke, due to your constant reminding that managers are, essentially, worthless.

yeah, im just clearing it up cuz i still seem to get called out every few months for being "pro-dusty" and "anti-lou" rather than being "pro-stfu-about-managers-and-conspiracies-because-youre-frustrated".

worthless is a bit harsh...i just think they're overvalued by some as far as what they can make a guy do on the field. there's so many coaches watching "problem guy A" be a problem and for the most part it's them rather than the manager "fixing" them.

granted, winning has helped a lot, but we've had a lot more discussions about what's right/wrong with players and their real game rather than looping it back into some elderly man. it's been nice.

every manager has an "idiot list" and in a full season you can pull out a laundry list against them. it's just the way it is. it's just a lot nicer to me to hear people talking about real issues with players rather than it turning into an emotional conspiracy theory.

I don't think people think you're pro-Dustbag. People think you don't think Lou's special and that you think managers are poopy. People also think you take yourself too seriously and that they little ASCII art guy is your illegitimate son. People are mostly right.

yeah, that stuff, too.

btw, i dont take myself too seriously. i just "talk" a lot and don't mind running my "mouth." i come off strong and forward because i am strong and forward in real life, but i can take it coming back my way without being butthurt about it.

"...without being butthurt about it."

Butthurt?? Is that what Matt Stairs got from all those guys pounding his ass after the NLCS playoffs?

Jokes are always better, if they're funny.


So the Braves and Chicago Cubs have maneuvered themselves into favorites. The St. Louis Cardinals and Houston Astros appeared to fall out. Peavy gave his list of clubs he’d play for another good, hard look, and the New York Yankees continued to push hard, despite failing to make Peavy’s roster. Others have inserted themselves as well, including the Boston Red Sox and pitching-thin New York Mets. The Texas Rangers also tried, but were told Peavy would not consider pitching in Arlington under any circumstances.

One American League executive looked over the exceptions to Peavy’s veto powers, noted the absence of AL teams, and surmised, “Looks like he doesn’t want to pitch against those hairy guys,” meaning the superior lineups of the other league. He wouldn’t be the first to conclude Peavy either loved hitting or loved his National League ERA.

Either way, after weeks of work, by Wednesday afternoon the Padres had plenty of options, according to one front-office staffer, but nothing he’d consider close. Obviously, an adjustment here or there – particularly by the Braves or Cubs – would end the negotiating and return the process to Peavy, who would accept or reject a trade, presumably with the final year of his contract ($22 million in 2013) guaranteed. Peavy’s agent, Barry Axelrod, said the Padres have yet to ask them to approve a trade.

From Keith Law's blog, "The Dish," at http://tinyurl.com/66gp4q

"Edinson Volquez appears on three NL Rookie of the Year ballots, even though he’s not a rookie. It wasn’t even something esoteric like the days-on-the-roster rule; he threw 80 innings for Texas prior to 2008, and the cutoff is 50...

"The three voters who included Volquez were Jeremy Cothran of the Newark Star-Ledger, John Klima of the Los Angeles Daily News, and Jay Paris of the North County Times in San Diego."

calling out a colleague and naming names. sweet.

it's not earth shaking stuff, but maybe future voters will try to avoid being called out for their stupidity...i mean, oversight.

I'd like to know who voted for Votto.

Trammel, Rothschild, Sinatro, Quade, DeJesus, Perry and Strode


We haven't talked much about it... OK we haven't talked any about it, but Perry is probably NL Coach of the Year.

2006 Cubs last in OBP (.319) last by a wide margin in ISO OBP (.051)
2007 Cubs 9th in OBP (.333) tied for last in ISO OBP (.062)
2008 Cubs 1st in OBP (.354) tied for second in ISO OBP (.076)

I'm not a big Lou fan, but you have to give him and Hendry some credit for bringing in Perry and letting him do his thing.

not to take away from the fine work I'm sure Perry is doing, but that conclusion seems misguided. It's probably more of a function of the players they've acquired and given playing time to...or as Lou said, if you want OBP players, you acquire them in the offseason (paraphrasing obviously)

some of the regulars, BB/PA since 2006-2008

Soto - N/A, .083, .111

Lee -.123, .109, .102

DeRosa - .077, .102, .117

Theriot - .111, .083, .111

Ramirez - .076, .077, .115

Soriano - .092, .050, .080

Edmonds -.130, .100, .151 (as a Cub), .098 (as a Padre)

Johnson -.064, 063, .051

Fukudome - N/A, N/A,  .138 (compare to Jones at .061 and .069 the previous 2 years)

Ward - .114, .165, .134

Ramirez has certainly shown improvement and Soriano and DeRosa, to a certain degree, Lee has trailed off though (probably due to age and a loss in power). But seems more like the new players than the coaching.

Yeah, I thought about that. There's been a lot of talk about Fukudome inspiring it. You have to take out the IBB's if you really want to get down to it. The difference in this year's team and last year's team comes down to Fukudome in right, the center fielders, and Soto at catcher. Even if you don't want to give Perry the credit for making DeRosa and Ramirez get noticeably better - what are the odds that the previous regime would have made guys like Soriano, Soto and DeRosa worse?

Which reminds me I owe you an analysis of the 2007 post-Dusty Cubs and the 2008 Dustified Reds, non-inentional walk patterns.

I look forward to it...

here's the Cubs who were on the 2006 and 2007 Cubs, you should definitely factor out IBB's and factor in age patterns and all that wonderful stuff, but here's the quick and dirty.

blue it went up under Lou, red it went down under Lou

Ramirez: .076, .077

Jones: .061, .069

Lee: .123, .109 (lee of course only had 204 PA's in 2006)

Theriot: .111, .083

Barrett: .079, .074

Murton: .089, .100

Cedeno: .031, .038

Pagan: .081, .063

seems like I'm missing someone, but looks like a wash to me....

Gotta call sample size on Theriot too.

Actually have to call sample size on all that. None of it is statistically significant.

The thing with the John Hill study he did a few years ago, it gives big enough sample sizes when you look at it team-wide, but it's not really the proper way to do it. The other problem is that he didn't do line of best fits for the age expectations, he used averages, which is incorrect.

Say you have two players both age 30.

One player's walks have been this over the last five years:

The second player's walks have been like this


If you are just eyeballing that, you would guess player one will walk 70 times and player 2 will walk 50 times in the coming year. When Hill did it, he said both players would walk 4.6% (made this up) more times, because a 30 year old on average walks 4.6% more often than he did in his 29 season. To do it correcly you would use the best fits, 70 and 50 in this rudimentary example and then look at what they actually did and base your assessment on that. You may think that it's not a big deal and it would even itself out, but when you're talking about players like Sosa and Bonds, that type of thing can have a huge impact.

Not sure if I can work up the post-Dusty angst to do it all again. Maybe if you start talking about how teams walk more under Dusty for a few weeks that will do it.

I don't have much use for Perry's "thing," if it's to advise hitters not to swing. Perry had a bad effect on the three guys who needed a hitting coach, Fukudome, Pie and Cedeno.

Fukudome got so much praise for drawing walks and raising pitch counts that he began to just stand there like a statue. The umps responded by doing what they always do with guys who they think are not "being hitters"--they widened his strike zone. Once they took those close pitches away from him, he was useless with a bat in his hand.

If that's not Perry's fault, whose is it? If Fukudome needed help or advice, what was he supposed to do, ask his translator? Call home?

The experienced guys on the team, the ones who put up the numbers that made Perry look good--I doubt they rely on a hitting coach much.

With a team of veterans, I'm not sure what any of these major league coaches do, other than dial the bullpen and pick up after batting practice. It's nice work if you can get it.

Fukudome's walk rate by month, subtracting out IBB"s

April - .137, May - .129, June - .142, July - .091, August - .121, Sept - .096

that's not that big a drop-off in the 2nd half and could just as easily be explained by pitchers challenging Fukudome more since they knew he couldn't hit it more than 110 feet than a widening strike zone.

And maybe Fukudome just didn't listen to Perry, or maybe he tried some stuff and didn't help.

I'm counting on him to be the "professional ball player" that he was billed as, to be working like a m'fer this off season to adapt his game to MLB.

Lou hasn't heard about Peavy from Hendry and Brian Roberts trade isn't dead

break out Cubnut's diagram on Roberts trade history!!!

per Gordon Wittenmeyer...
'I think it's only talk (regarding Peavy),'' said Piniella... ''I really haven't talked to [GM] Jim Hendry much at all about our situation. We had a nice conversation at organizational meetings a couple of weeks ago. At that time, we hadn't talked about Peavy. I really learned about Peavy just watching ESPN. I haven't had any substantive talks with Jim about it.''

That means only one thing: The Cubs aren't serious about Peavy. Piniella hasn't been out of the loop on any significant player move since he was hired, much less one that would approach this magnitude.
Another baseball source said Wednesday that the Cubs' yearlong efforts to land Baltimore leadoff hitter Brian Roberts aren't dead, suggesting the Orioles might be more willing to move him with only one year left on his contract, pending the outcome of extension talks.

Will come out of hiding to say "congrats" to Lou.

You suck, Trans!

No doubt.  Though it would seem that you haven't needed me around to get people's dander up, lately. 

and by "you" I don't mean "you;" I mean "other people."

He's only writer not to have Lincecum in top 3 for Cy Young


Chicago's baseball writers have to be the worst in the nation.

20 wins!?!?! Did you vote for Russ Ortiz also in 2003 you moron!?!?!

so when is the exec of year named
i cant wait for the comments if
hendry is named winner


Rosenthal doesn't know what they gave up.

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  • FYI: Here's a good link explaining the differences in pitching WAR between Fangraphs and Basebell Reference.


    Rob G. 3 min 14 sec ago view
  • ERA is just FIP with defense and luck. That being said if Hendricks gets his ERA under 2.00, he may have a legit shot.

    That all being said I was looking at Fangraphs WAR and I should have been looking at Basebell Reference WAR because more voters use that. My bad and happy to admit my mistake unlike some people around here that shall not be named (just kidding CRUNCH, CRUNCH, CRUNCH!)

    Rob G. 6 min 26 sec ago view
  • Yes. That is something up with which we will not put.

    fullykräusened 1 hour 16 min ago view
  • Right, then. Moving forward lets focus on simple declarative sentences, subject-verb agreement, and watch out for punctuation. Avoid prepositions at the end of sentences.

    Jackstraw 1 hour 53 min ago view
  • I love sabremetrics and think FIP and WAR can definitely predict future success. For the Cy though which is an award for current success I do think ERA and WHIP have a place. Also while Hendricks doesn't have the strikeouts he does have the highest soft hit contact and second lowest hard hit contact which does a lot to take fielding skill out of it.

    To me if the ERA is close FIP and WAR should be used but right now its not. That said I agree with you Hendricks won't get it.

    johann 2 hours 4 min ago view
  • Can't get soft just because we have a big lead!

    billybucks 3 hours 9 min ago view
  • kershaw will be lucky to put in 160+ip. even though it projects to be an awesome 160+ip it's going to be extremely difficult for him to do much with that. he's still got minor league rehab game(s) to go through and he's only stretched out to 2ip with his last simulated rehab...it may take another couple weeks before he returns.

    the numbers are awesome, but he's lost the equivalent of a good chunk of a top-tier pen arm's season in innings of work compared to the rest of the lot.

    crunch 3 hours 20 min ago view
  • Kershaw, Fernandez and Syndergaard are your current leaders and all will be pitching meaningful games down the stretch that could make or break them. Hendricks will not be and his saber-numbers aren't anywhere close to those 3 and he'd split votes with Arrieta and Lester whom all are basically neck-and-neck for  WAR and FIP. If Kershaw pitches like just okay Kershaw in September he deserves to win in a landslide. Voters are pretty much saber-inclined now so it would take a crazy shutout streak or something for Hendricks to jump in the picture.

    Rob G. 11 hours 48 min ago view
  • AZ PHIL: With starters the likes of Edwin Jackson, even Chris Rusin or Michael Bowden could look good on their staff. At best, he is a #5-6. But as always, LH are at a premium.

    The E-Man 13 hours 18 min ago view
  • Sure we would all want consistency. He is not even 24, has played 5 (!) positions this year. Can you imagine what is in his head? He was only a part-time player at 2 spots last year. And THEN think about hitting?? Cut him some slack...You sure are picky lately. First wishing #6 NL RBI guy Russell have a better average, and now an "unncessarily fancy pick". Geez tough crowd!

    The E-Man 13 hours 22 min ago view
  • it's going to be hard to take down scherzer.

    kershaw is supposedly coming back soon, though he'll probably need a good amount of deep innings to match up with scherzer...probably too late at this point. tanner roark, bumgarner, and hendricks are probably going to steal some votes along with kershaw.

    crunch 13 hours 51 min ago view
  • I absolutely love Javy's game, and I love the way Maddon changed the perception of him as a ballplayer, but I really wish he would just make the routine plays routinely. On the ground ball in the 9th, he made an unnecessarily fancy pick. He made the play, but tried the same thing last night and made an error.

    billybucks 14 hours 13 min ago view
  • How many wins does Kyle need for serious Cy Young consideration? Would 17 be enough if he leads the league in ERA? My goodness, what a season -- makes a Dartmouth alum proud.

    billybucks 14 hours 15 min ago view
  • jacos 14 hours 18 min ago view
  • hendricks WHIP drops to 0.98 over 159 innings after throwing 7ip 3h 1bb 4k, 0r/er

    ERA down to 2.09 on the season.

    crazy good.

    crunch 14 hours 40 min ago view
  • I am pretty well fed up with the majority of home plate umps. Just terrible inconsistencies.

    The E-Man 14 hours 43 min ago view