Rusch Job

ASTROS 1 CUBS 4
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W: Glendon Rusch (3-1) L: Wandy Rodriguez (0-1) S: Ryan Dempster (3)
If there were any reservations as to whether or not Glendon Rusch's 2004 was just a case of sheer luck, he's not doing too bad a job of dispelling them so far this year. In his four starts in place of Kerry Wood, he's put up a 2.71 ERA, carrying on where he left off as a reliever. Today, albeit against the Astros' woeful offence, he was pretty masterful, painting the outside corner with his fastball at will in particular, and allowing just the single run through eight blisteringly fast and very economical innings. The solo home run he allowed to Brad Ausmus in the second inning, which was all that blighted the shutout, was the first he'd given up all year, a far cry from the four in just four innings I remember him allowing in a single Spring Training game! Keeping the ball in the park so well thus far this season has allowed him to get away with being uncharacteristically wild, but if he can tame that and keep everything else up, and the single walk today and his track record suggest that free passes really aren't a problem (which makes a refreshing change for the Cubs), I think we may have to start thinking about which of Rusch and Maddux is the better pitcher at this stage. That is, of course, pretty staggering, because I certainly don't remember Maddux being cut by the Rangers about 14 months ago! The Cubs didn't quite get to Wandy Rodriguez as you'd perhaps like, and they're still short of offence, which will probably be underlined by Roger Clemens in the second game of the series, but they did manage to plate four despite the wind blowing in. Hairston reached and advanced to third on a well executed hit-and-run with Neifi, and then Derrek Lee absolutely nailed yet another pitch (the quality of the contact he's making right now, still, is staggering), and Hairston tagged up and scored. Later Corey Patterson hit his ninth home run of the year (a solo shot, of course, as they all have been), and Burnitz later followed with a gopher ball of the two-run variety to give the Cubs a cushion of three. Ryan Dempster needed just four pitches to work a scoreless inning for the save, with the Astros displaying impatience that'd make Jose Macias blush. Speaking of Jose Macias, he's had just six plate appearances the entire month in games he hasn't been spot-starting for Ramirez. Enrique Wilson has picked up the bat just once. Certainly, it makes you question just why we have the two on the bench if we're (rightly) not going to use them, and Dusty should have figured it out long ago that Macias, for a lemon, doesn't have much of a tang, but this is a belated step in the right direction and I think Dusty, dude, deserves some kudos. That is, if I'm not speaking too soon.
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Go Go Glendon!

I think at this point it's safe to assume Rusch has secured the fifth starter's gig for the season -- he's not really "filling in" for Wood any more, but has taken Dempster's rotation spot.

it makes you question just why we have the two on the bench if weíre (rightly) not going to use them,

Well, to put it the way your troll-sycophants bleeding blue and manny trillo would, Anyone who's followed the Cubs for two months would know that Macias and Wilson are backup catchers.

(which means, of course, that they will actually be used as anything BUT backup catchers because anyone with two ounces of common sense knows that they aren't catchers at all...but that won't stop Dusty from assuming they are)

Actually, Macias and Wilson are on the club to help Dusty with his managing. You see, if Dusty has too many good serviceable ballplayers on his bench he tends to use them up too quickly and sometimes finds himself down two runs with two on and two out in the ninth and a .140 hitter coming to the plate with nobody left to pinch hit except Larry Rothschild. Now with the addition of Wilson, that tendency to overuse the bench has been somewhat attenuated. At the end of the game those two jamokas will still be there fresh and ready to ground out on the first pitch.

Todd Walker is 7-14 in his last three games at Iowa (after starting his rehab 0-19), so I would think he will be back in Chicago in another day or two. If Barrett continues to sit without being placed on the DL, I would imagine Dusty will prefer to cut back 11 to pitchers rather than axe a position player when Walker returns.

The most likely candidate to be sent down is (all things being equal) Will Ohman, if for no other reason than a likely desire on the part of the Cubs to limit Ohman's MLB service time this year so that he won't be eligible for arbitration after this season.

Or perhaps Mike Remlinger could be placed on the DL suffereing from "old age" and a "LOOGY deficiency."

Boats, can you not just leave the Barrett pinch-hitting discussion behind?

Any news on the trade rumors?
Could Tampa(huff) be involved?

The Trib had a nice article detailing the deficiencies of the Astros against lefty starters. That being the case, why bring up Meet-Tray to face Clemens tonight. I know nothing about the Cubs farm system, and even less about the inner-workings of 40-man roster, but isn't there some nice young lefty we could sic on the Astros. Wouldn't Andy Sisco look nice?

Rusch has performed to last years standards with the sole exception of his control. His current K/BB ratio is 29/20 I believe which is uncharacteristic since he has generally good control. I fully expect Glendon to keep pitching the way he has so far and look for him to stay in the rotation for the rest of the year.

AZ Phil:
"If Barrett continues to sit without being placed on the DL..."

Barrett started last night and seemed fine health wise. Shouldn't be an issue anymore barring another injury.

Irishguy:
"Wouldn't Andy Sisco look nice?"

He would look nice at Single A ball for the Cubs. As that is where he would of been and not even had a chance of a sniff of the bigs.

APhil: I believe Corey Patterson is on "borrowed time" with the Cubs and will be traded just as soon as Felix Pie is ready....

Phil, and John Hill . . . is there any part of you that thinks Felix might end up being just about the same kind of player Corey is? Not necessarily a bad thing, by the way.

Pie-Patterson parallels:

1. Speed in the field and on the bases.
2. Better than average defense.
3. Decent but not outstanding power.
4. Many more Ks than BBs. Questionable strike-zone judgment.
5. Incompatibility with leadoff spot.

I'm afraid fans who are so eager to replace Patterson with Pie are going to find the same weaknesses in Felix's game that frustrated them in Corey's.

Why the Cubs season has been a disaster to date...

"If you are content with yourself, you'll stop taking those little steps forward and begin taking big steps backward."
--Greg Maddux

MANNY T: My bad. I didn't say that very well. I should have said "if Barrett is limited to catching every other day" or "can't catch every day" rather than "if Barrett continues to sit." I only meant that if it is likely or reasonably possible that the Cubs will have some games in the next few days where Barrett CAN'T catch (at all), then it's likely Dusty will want an additional extra man on the bench who can catch in an emergency. (Or the Cubs could just release Macias and bring up Geovany Soto until Barrett is 100%, and then send Soto back to Iowa and bring up David Kelton when Barrett is for sure 100%).

A bench of Grieve and Hollandsworth from the left side and Kelton and Hairston (or Kelton and Dubois if Hairston is starting in LF) from the right side--plus Carlos Zambrano on days when he doesn't start--would be pretty good, with Blanco catching Prior and Wilson available as a pinch-runner and emergency middle-infielder.

"If Barrett continues to sit without being placed on the DL"

Did something new happen to Barrett? He's been fine since last Friday.

Dusty Baker speaks in a kind of code. His way of non-dis dissing players is to claim they are hurt and can't play---despite the fact that they are medically okay and they themselves say they're ready.

So if you are in Dusty's Dog House these days, you are "hurtin" and not available.

The latest example of this (disregarding Barrett) is Mike Remlinger. Remmy was used on the 13th and then again a week later. He asked Dusty for more work because he says he gets stiff when he doesn't pitch.

Then there's this just in 2 hours ago from USAToday

May 24 There's a chance that Mike Remlinger could be placed on the DL today to make room on the roster for Sergio Mitre to be recalled from Iowa, according to the Chicago Tribune. Remlinger has a tender shoulder.

"Remlinger has a tender shoulder."...now who told USA Today that?

IrishGuy: Wouldn't Andy Sisco look nice?

Can we finally end this tiresome hand-wringing over Andy Sisco?

There's no guarantee that, had he stayed a Cub, Sisco would be nearly as impressive as he was in the early going for KC.

The Sisco you see with KC is NOT the same Sisco who's spent the past few years with the Cubs. If the Cubs had kept him, it's quite likely he would NOT have: a) lost weight; b) gotten himself in much better pitching shape; c) totally revamped his approach toward his career; d) refined his mechanics and his stuff through working with KC coaches. He accomplished all those things AFTER he had been left off the 40-man roster by the Cubs. He wanted to stick it to the team for leaving him unprotected.

Had he remained Cubs property, he'd be toiling at West Tennessee right now, probably pitching decently but no better than Hill, Gallagher, Marshall or any of the other top-flight prospects in the system.

The Cubs like to cover up injuries. Speculation about Remlinger being injured has been going on for over a month now.

Thanks for the report, bluewater. Some kind of roster move has to be made by this evening if Mitre is to start!

Irishguy, the Cubs intend to use Mitre as fifth starter until Wood comes back. So the call-up is not simply for today's game. Mitre was already (possibly by design) on the correct starting schedule that would have made today his "turn" in Iowa regardless (he threw six shutout innings with 8 K's last Thursday.)

You do bring up an interesting point that Houston might have been an interesting team to give a lefty start -- such as Rual Valdez. Talk about a major league debut -- in Houston against the Rocket! But he is still adjusting (he pitched yesterday and gave up 6 runs, 9 hits in 5.1 innings).

Personally, I am glad Mitre is getting his shot this month. These next 3-4 starts are the biggest of his career, as if I were the Cubs I would be showcasing him for a trade. If I am the Cubs, I would refrain from pulling the trigger on the C-Pat-for-OF/RP trade we've been discussing here for the last day and see if I can turn Mitre and Hawkins into an even better deal.

SaxFax - Yeah keeping guys like Macias, Randolph and not protecting a top draft pick in Sisco who 1 year earlier was consider one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball.

I don't care if Sisco committed murder 1. You still dont give up on him that early.

Just remember the Cubs chose to keep Stephen Randolph over Andy Sisco. That is all that needs to be said about that.

SaxFax: I threw in the Sisco thing because it gets people pissed. But my larger question goes unanswered: Is there a decent lefty in the system who we could throw at the Astros? Is there a lefty starter at Iowa? I know none of the starters there, including Mitre, have excelled, but I gather that any particular lefty doesn't need to do much to beat the Astros at this point. But we stand to do little against Clemens and Mitre doesn't seem to be the best option. Again, I'm totally ignorant of the machinations of the minor leagues, and am happy to be corrected. Just wondering, that's all ...

BTW, you seem to know a lot about Sisco's makeup. Are you related to him? That's an awful lot of speculation on your part. Too bad the Cubs couldn't convince him to be a better pitcher.

Saxfax, that is very much my concern. Here's what I wrote a few days ago in the comments [with a few side notes added in square brackets]...

JH--
"You have to remember that Patterson five [or rather six] years ago was a better prospect than Pie is now. Corey was ranked the 16th best prospect in baseball by BA in 1999, before he'd even played a minor league game with the Cubs! The following year they ranked him the 3rd best prospect in the game; in 2001, he was number two [John Sickels and Baseball Prospectus largely agreed]. Corey then hit 243/278/379 in his 223 major league games. That's what generally happens to prospects when they're young and not ready, because talent alone won't get you through. And Pie's younger, less ready and less talented than Corey was at the same stage. How then is he going to make Corey expendable within a matter of months?

Pie is still a great talent though [I should emphasise that more], don't get me wrong. But he needs to be nurtured. I'd have him spend the entire year at Double-A myself, and all of next year at Triple-A too."

When I say that Pie now is less talented than Corey was then, that's absolutely no disgrace. Corey was projected to turn into simply one of the best players in the game. A 30/40-home run and .300 hitter who draws an acceptable number of walks by virtue of pitchers fearing him, steals plenty of bases and plays Gold Glove defence at centre field. Those don't grow on trees. Of course, the Cubs then completely rushed Corey before his game was ready (double promotion from Lansing to West Tenn was the start of that, then they put him in the Majors despite much poorer results than you'd like from him in the high minors), and he's only now, in his arbitration years, learning the lessons he should have been learning a long time ago when the pressure wasn't on.

Pie has a good shot in the long term at being better than Corey is now, maybe better than Corey ever will be, but not better than Corey should have been, since I still don't believe he has the same power. The key is to let him iron out the flaws in the game in the minor leagues. That's what the minors exist for, after all. There's no need to rush Pie, the Cubs don't need him in the majors yet. So let him learn to read pitchers a lot more effectively, to judge the strikezone better, to steal more efficiently, to make adjustments between at-bats, to learn emotionally about slumping and losing (unfortunately, every single team Pie's been on has won everything that year, so he's not had to do much of that!) and to just generally become a much more well-round ballplayer and individual. The kid's 20, and he's not Alex Rodriguez.

Can't ... type .... fast ... enough.

I think someone answered my question. Thanks.

AZ Phil-
That is cool about Barrett, just didn't know if you caught (no pun intended) they he started yesterday.

It is going to be interesting to see who they send down when Walker comes back. I like your idea about Kelton. How has he been doing in iowa? Haven't seen any stats lately? Thanks!!!

MikeC is right, the Cubs could have traded Sisco to KC or another team for a draft pick this June if they were intent on letting him go. Tall lefties that strike out players are hard to come by, they were nuts to think that one of the AAAA teams in MLB would not hold a roster spot open for him. Instead, all the Cubs got was $50,000, one day's work of Ken Jennings on Jeopardy.

But it is time for us to let go.

For some reason, perhaps because this software doesn't like blockquotes, I just noticed that often half my comments don't get posted. Missing from the Remlinger comments I made were a collection of quotes from Remlinger about how healthy he feels, how his arm is great, how his shoulder is fine. They were along the line of this one,

""I know I'm looking forward to getting the opportunity to pitch," said Remlinger, who has appeared in 16 games. "Up until Washington, I was looking forward to getting in a groove. As far as my arm feels, I'm fine."

Remlinger, who had shoulder problems last year, pitched May 13 against the Nationals, and then again May 20.

"He says he's fine but sometimes we see the 'Rem' of old and sometimes we don't," Baker said.

Remlinger recently talked to Baker, and planned to chat again.

"I feel like I feel better the more I throw," Remlinger said. "With the days off I've had, it seems like I tend to feel more stiff when I first go out and throw during batting practice than in a game." "

Dave Kelton is batting .303 with 4 HR and 31 RBI in 40 games at Iowa.

has anyone heard anything from bruce levine today or anything on the sportscenter updates?

Good quotes, bluewater.

What the heck is the "'Rem' of old" Dusty is referring to? The "Rem" of the 95 Mets (4.61 ERA), the "Rem" of the 1996 Reds (6.75 ERA) or the 1998 Reds (23 HRs during an attempted "conversion to starting"). In 2003, he was only moderately effective for the Cubs -- a lot of strikeouts but a lot of home runs also. The "Rem of Old" Dusty is referring to is Leo Mazzone Miracle portion of his career.

MikeC: Just remember the Cubs chose to keep Stephen Randolph over Andy Sisco.

And John Koronka. And Geovany Soto. And Ronny Cedeno . . . .

IrishGuy: BTW, you seem to know a lot about Sisco's makeup. Are you related to him? That's an awful lot of speculation on your part.

Hey, I wouldn't mind being in Andy's gene pool. Some added height, some intimidating girth and the ability to throw a sphere into a small box at 90+ mph could've been a great enhancement to my earnings potential.

And the stuff about Sisco's makeup is no secret and definitely not speculation. It all came out after the Cubs left him unprotected. In fact, Fleita himself has alluded to most of it whenever he's been interviewed on the subject.

Glendon Rusch is without a doubt the best bang for the buck this club has had now for two years.

He consistently steps up for Kerry Wood and does a great job...I would argue a better job than Wood himself would do. He's a really bright spot on a very cloudy team.

SAxfax-
Soto is the only other real C on the 40-man roster, besides Barrett and Blanco. So that is why he had to be protected.

As for the other ones, well your guess is as good as mine as to why he was not protected and the others were. I agree about some comments coming out of Cubs management suggested there were other personailty issues that thye felt were never going to get fixed. But why not just trade him instead of let him go?

That all being said, he would not of helped the Cubs big league team until 2007 most likely.

Keep mind DCTom, that baseball prohibits the trading of draft picks (unless you meant a Rule V draft pick can be traded). It is one of those ancient and strange rules that baseball still has. I wish they would change it. It is somehow easier to trade a future pick (see Bulls last year) when it is still a pick then give up a Dontrelle Willis or oh that's enough...

Speaking of pick ups, what do people feel about Danny Graves? I don't know if it makes sense to have another declining reliever...but I'd be curious to know

SAXFAX: I understand what you're saying, but I think there are as many differences as there are similarities between Pie and Patterson:

1. Both are fast. Patterson is a better base stealer (right now), but Pie has improved his base stealing % this year at AA. Except I don't necessarily want a base stealer hitting lead-off anyway. I want a lead-off hitter who can THREATEN to steal (causing the opposing pitcher to be distracted and to throw more fastballs to the 2-3-4 hitters), get to 2nd on a hit & run play where the #2 hitter swings & misses, go from 1st to 3rd on a single, score from 1st on a double, and score from 2nd on a single to the outfield.

2. Both Patterson and Pie are potential Gold Glove centerfielders.

3. Both C-Pat and Pie have plus-power, but Pie is a MUCH better hitter. Right now Felix Pie is 2nd in the Southern League in slugging %, has an OPS of 1.000, is tied for the league lead in HRs, is tied for 4th in doubles, 4th in triples, is on a pace to hit 35 HR with 75 RBI, plus 50 2Bs, and 10 3Bs, with 45 SB! He is a one-man offensive JUGGERNAUT.

4. In my opinion, Pie's problem with BB/K ratio has to do with "plate discipline" (a conscious desire to hit first-ball/fastball--which can be corrected--and inexperience), while C-Pat's is more of a "strike zone recognition" problem (he just can't tell the difference between a ball and a strike, so he swings at anything close)--and that can NOT be corrected. It's like Corey is overly-aggressive because he knows he's dyslexic, while Pie is overly-aggressive because he's anxious. Pie can change. C-Pat can't.

5. I don't know whether Pie's OBP at the major league level will be good enough for him to hit lead-off (plus if he hits 30+ HR, you might not want him to lead off anyway!), but I AM sure that C-Pat's definitely NOT a lead-off hitter. As I said, I believe Pie can learn to be more selective, while C-Pat CAN'T. Corey might even WANT to be more selective, but he knows he CAN'T be. Patterson is a 5-6-7 hitter (and probably always will be), while Pie will hit 3rd (if not lead-off).

With Eric Patterson (now at Peoria) a "true" lead-off hitter, and with Matt Murton (Pie's teammate at AA West Tenn) more of a "true" #2 hitter (a "pure" hitter with more BB than K, AND an excellent base-runner), I can envision a Cubs lineup like this one in 2007:

1. E. Patterson, 2B
2. Murton, RF
3. Pie, CF
4. Lee, 1B
5. Ramirez, 3B
6. Dubois, LF
7. Barrett, C
8. Cedeno, SS

I don't know about you, but I'd take my chances with that lineup come 2007! In fact, I wish we had a lineup like that RIGHT NOW!!!!

>Dave Kelton is batting .303 (with a .345 OBP)....

Which places him exactly 35th in hitting and 72nd in OBP in his league.

He's supposed to help us how?

Kelton was supposed to help us a few years ago.

APhil:
"I can envision a Cubs lineup like this one in 2007:

1. E. Patterson, 2B
2. Murton, RF
3. Pie, CF
4. Lee, 1B
5. Ramirez, 3B
6. Dubois, LF
7. Barrett, C
8. Cedeno, SS"

Excellent lineup, Phil! But, for that to happen, Dusty has to go bye-bye first.

Who do you suggest as the next manager of the Chicago Cubs? Who out there has the right chops to develop young talent and teach smart, heads-up baseball? Gimme some names!

I don't think the Cubs protected anybody on the 40-man roster "instead of" Andy Sisco. As I've said in other threads, Sisco could have been protected. Jim Hendry just didn't want to protect him.

I believe Hendry and the Cubs player devlopment people wanted to made an "example" of Sisco by showing other high draft picks that they can't expect to advance just because they were high draft picks. Hendry figured that even if the Cubs lost him in the Rule 5 Draft, that he wouldn't develop into the pitcher he already is in Kansas City. Hendry just plain blew it. Because instead of Sisco being a negative example for the other Cubs prospects, he is the Poster Boy of how to get to the big leagues faster than you will if you stay with the Cubs...

Here is the recipe:

1. Be insubordinate and impolite to the manager and pitching coach when you think they are full of sh*t.
2. Eat and drink like there is no tomorrow.
3. Punch Jae-kuk Ryu in the nose.
4. Read controversial books and be blunt and open with your opinions.
5. Get as many tattoos as you can, preferably ones that will frighten the Tribune Corporation.

Arizona--
"Both C-Pat and Pie have plus-power, but Pie is a MUCH better hitter."

Woah! If you mean to say that Pie projects as a much better hitter than the right now version of Corey, fair enough. If not though, and you think that Pie could out-hit Corey at the major league level now simply because of his minor league numbers, I completely and utterly disagree.

And, as far as I can tell, Arizona, you've listed just the one real difference between Pie and Corey that works in Pie's favour - that Corey just can't tell balls and strikes, whereas Pie can but is just being aggressive. Now that'd represent a pretty enormous difference, since Corey's plate discipline and general inability to read pitchers is the only thing really holding him back from becoming the player he should have become, but it's hardly "as many differences as similarities".

Speaking of managerial prospects, there's hope for those of us who run for the dramamine everytime Bob Brenly spins one of his endless stories about himself on WGN TV.

It's rumored that he's on Kansas City's shortlist of managers they'd love to have.

Of course if he went to KC he'd have to manage a pile of junk and he couldn't engage in his favorite sport, torturing us with his personal anecdotes.

Again, posters thoughts on Danny Graves? Is he done?

Speaking of managerial prospects, there's hope for those of us who run for the dramamine everytime Bob Brenly spins one of his endless stories about himself on WGN TV.

Like a SEE-ment truck!

Has it already been noted here that the New York papers are talking about the Mets being interested in LaTroy Hawkins with the ABSURD caveat that the Cubs pick up a big chunk of his contract?

Talk about damaged goods. What a mess the Cubs have made of LH's career as the world's premier setup man. It's almost as bad as what the Reds did to Danny Graves.

Danny Graves has lost 6-8 mph off his fastball, and that's a big part of the reason why he's getting completely rocked. On top of that, he has the exact kind of attitude problems that Hendry spent the entire winter trying to rid this team of. The only way I move for Graves is if he comes in a package with Adam Dunn.

AZ Phil-
You forgot:
Lose your temper and punch a wall and almost break your hand.

i also don't think what Sisco has done so far sonstitutes Hendry "blowing it". It has been 1/4 of 1 season. Let it play out over the rest of the year and next year.

SAXFAX: No question Dusty Baker is NOT the manager I would want for "my" 2007 Cubs. In fact, I don't want him to be the manager when Felix Pie gets to the big leagues, and that could be as early as this September!

Who would be a good candidate to manage the Cubs when they transition to home-grown youngsters after Dusty Baker leaves?

If it's from within the organization, I would say Bobby Dickerson (the manager at West Tenn) would be the best bet.

If you're looking at someone who has done it elsewhere, Davey Johnson might want to get back into managing, and I would consider him if he was interested in the job.

If you want to go for an avuncular Jack McKeon-type, I admire Dallas Green (who is a couple or three years younger than McKeon) and wouldn't be opposed to hiring him to manage the 2007 Cubs.

And finally we come to the guy ARIZONA PHIL would hire to manage "my" 2007 Cubs...

That would be...

Joe Girardi.

From ESPN.com

""I changed roles and probably ruined my career," Graves said. "I don't know. I don't have the answers. I felt like I've been given up on. It's a shock to me. If I can recall, I'm not the only closer that has struggled."

The first sentence was honesty and truth from Graves...the rest of it is a self-given pity party by Graves.

The truth is, and Graves admits it himself...he ruined his career going from closer to starter. His career has tanked, he knows it...his fastball (as John Hill stated) is 6-8 MPH slower than it was prior to going into the starting rotation. That kind of loss of velocity is indicative of a bum shoulder.

Graves knows his career is shot now....I'd say the Cubs are the only team dumb enough, and likely, to give this guy another shot.

Boats--
"What a mess the Cubs have made of LH's career as the world's premier setup man. It's almost as bad as what the Reds did to Danny Graves."

Or not. Here are LaTroy Hawkins' numbers since he first was made the closer by Dusty Baker (June 4th 2004)...

3.42 ERA, 68.1 IP, 71 H, 11 HR, 14 BB, 57 K

Oh that's just terrible, we're going to need to trade that. For comparison, his earlier numbers as a setup man (2002, 2003, 2004 through June 4th)...

1.91 ERA, 188.1 IP, 149 H, 12 HR, 36 BB, 162 K

The only real difference is that he's grooved a few more pitches. Otherwise his walk and strikeout rates are pretty much in the same place. Instead of screaming about his supposed ineptitude, just get off his back, stop booing him, pitch him as a setup man and watch him prosper.

Whatever we do in reguards to trades/acquisitions, I hope the Cubs DO NOT GET DANNY GRAVES. His velocity is gone. He is a rehab project at best for the moment. As my Cincinnati clients say, "Danny Graves Blows Saves." I could see Hendry chomping at the bit for this P.O.S. Let San Fran or Colorado have him. Let's stop gettings Reds castoffs (Dumpster, Jimmy Anderson, etc.).

i think the comparison between latroy and graves is an invidious one. i'd take latroy in a heartbeat. but i think you are right about what the cubs have done to latroy. he was one of the premier set-up men in the game, and the cubs set him up to fail. and he did. dusty hasn't a clue on how to run a bullpen.

To Bill Caudill:

Of course Danny Graves is worth grabbing as a reclamation project. He would cost the Cubs all of about $250,000. Last year he saved 41 games for the lowly Reds. His teammates love and respect him.

Here's the latest on Graves:

Graves, 31, maintains he hasn't fully recovered from 2003, when he agreed to try to help the team by becoming a starting pitcher for the first time in his career. He went 4-15 and wore down, losing velocity off his 94 mph fastball. He hasn't gotten it back ó he's been throwing 88 mph.

"I changed roles and probably ruined my career," Graves said. "I don't know. I don't have the answers."

Graves is in the final guaranteed year of a $17.25 million, three-year deal, making a base salary of $6.25 million. If he clears waivers, a club could sign him for a prorated share of the $316,000 minimum, with the Reds paying the remainder of his salary.

It's interesting that Graves mentions he's now going to get his shoulder checked to see if it's okay, and that the Reds hadn't done those kind of checks already before cutting their losses on him.

Re #31 (Bill), thanks for the correction. I should have said, "any young prospect".

Re #32 (AZ Phil), I am not so sure Murton will develop into a No. 2 hitter. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see his current .468 OBP up here! I just think that corner outfielder is still likely to be a weakness for us the next couple years (which is why I would not mind a trade.)

And thanks for reminding me of Eric Patterson, our 8th Round steal last year! In scoping out Patterson's stats in Peoria (.482 OBP and .549 SLG!), I saw that Sisk, the fellow the Cubs plucked out of an Indie League last week, has an OBP of .455 in his first fie games. Not a lot of power down in Peiroa, but a lot of guys with good on-base skills.

The only real difference for Hawkins in those numbers John is in 3 times more innings he had half the ERA he has in 3 times less innings....He's given up the same amoung of HR's in 68 innings as opposed to 188 innings...3.42 vs. 1.91 is a HUGE difference and the reason for his demise.

I like Girardi but I believe the Yanks are grooming him to replace Torre who is expected to retire in the not so distant future.

"And finally we come to the guy ARIZONA PHIL would hire to manage "my" 2007 Cubs...

That would be...

Joe Girardi."

Ahhhh, I was hoping somebody would bring up Joe. He was the subject of a column in the Tribune last weekend. He's been getting glowing reviews from Torre and some past players and coaches.

And, if you had to pick somebody from the never-managed-anywhere-before pile, I think you could do a lot worse than Joe (like, say, an Ozzie Guillen).

Cubfan--
"He's given up the same amoung of HR's in 68 innings as opposed to 188 innings...3.42 vs. 1.91 is a HUGE difference"

I'm not arguing that, and I'm not arguing that Dusty setting him up to fail a lot hasn't hurt either. But, come on, a reliever with a 3.42 ERA and a pretty dominant strikeout rate is still a very good reliever. We've got a lot worse in our bullpen. For that reason alone it's incredibly ironic that people see Hawkins as some sort of Alfonseca figure that's the cause of all our bullpen's problems.

And is there reason to believe that Hawkins can't go back to being the pitcher he used to be if used as he used to be? I think that's debatable too.

If Graves has admitted that he "hasn't fully recovered" from 2003, even $250k would not be wisely spent on him. He's 33, sending him to the minors as a project would take away innings from guys that are part of our long-term solution. The "former Red closer/reclamation" slot on our roster is already taken by Scott Williamson (who is younger and, I would argue, more talented).

Girardi would be an excellent manager choice. In 2007, Lou Pinella's contract will be up for the Devil Rays and he has said that he might make one last go managing for a contender.

Arizona Phil, that was a pretty good post. It's about time the Cubs minor league system got some love. I'm not quite as high on Felix Pie as you are though - don't get me wrong, I'm as big of a Pie fan as anyone out there. It's true that he's been on an incredible tear at AA, and this might be the season that he puts it all together. But keep in mind that his previous caeer high for HR is 6, I think. To predict him to stay on pace and hit 35 may be a little excessive. I'd be happy with a .300/.350/.550 season, with 40 doubles, 20 homers, 60 RBIs, and 40 SBs.

That being said, I don't expect Pie to be a .400 OBP kind of guy; that's just not his game. A .350-.360 OBP (with lots of 2Bs and and relatively high number of 3Bs due to his great speed) is probably what we can expect. As far as the future of the cubs lineup, I see it something like this:

1. Eric Patterson, 2B
2. Matt Murton, LF
3. Derek Lee, 1B
4. Aramis Ramirez, 3B
5. Corey Patterson, RF
6. Felix Pie, CF
7. Barrett, C
8. SS
9. Pitcher

1. Mark Prior, RHP
2. Carlos Zambrano, RHP
3. Rich Hill, LHP
4. Nolasco (LHP) / Pignatiello / Marmol -- Pick one
5. Grant Johnson, RHP

Closer: John Leicaster
RHP: Michael Wuertz
RHP: Todd Wellemeyer
LHP: Will Ohman
LHP: Pignatiello / Marmol
Swing; JK Ryu, RHP

Some notes:
1. The cubs should trade Dopriak or Kerry Wood for a young SS. Ronny Cedeno just isn't the answer; he won't hit in the majors enough to be more than a role player. Buck Coates is a possibility here, but he may be a defensive liability.

2. If Dopriak develops, and the Cubs keep him, they could consider trading D. Lee and K. Wood either seperatel or in a blockbuster after the end of the season. In addition to SS, catcher is another organizational need. This is probably unlikely though.

3. Scott Moore might make ARam expendable, although with the Cubs luck at 3B, maybe sticking with ARam is a good idea.

4. The bullpen will be both dynamic and hard-throwing. Those are all young guys that can bring it, most of them 95+. Give them two years together, and they'll be the best pen in the bigs.

5. The rotation should still be dominant. Prior and Z will cost a lot by then, which is why you need a relatively cheap pen, and a young but talented back of the rotation.

John Hill:

You continue to misconstrue almost everything I write. I am not a LaTroy hater. I like LaTroy Hawkins, just not in the ineffecive way Dusty has used him. I think the Cubs have obviously misused him and that has HURT HIS VALUE and thus his career as a setup man. In fact setup man is the only role he has ever excelled at.

He was hired to pitch the 8th inning and then sit down. How many times has he been used that way by DB?

The proof that the rest of the league views LT as damaged goods is this crazy idea that the Cubs need to pick up part of his contract (ala Sammy Sosa) in order to trade him to the Mets.

You'll have to forgive me, boats. It's just I have problems reading...

"talk about damaged goods. What a mess the Cubs have made of LH's career as the world's premier setup man. It's almost as bad as what the Reds did to Danny Graves."

...and not thinking you think that Hawkins is now rubbish. Apologies anyway, and it's good that you've not given up on Hawkins as some seem to have done.

This just in from David Brown who writes for the Northwest Herald. Brown apparently thinks he can read Dusty Baker's mind,

Dusty Baker on Monday seemed to froth at the mouth when he found out Graves was available.

"A closer, on waivers? Someone else's junk has got to be better than mine," it seemed like Baker was thinking.

John H: I would say the differeces between Patterson and Pie are that:

1. Patterson was overrated coming up through the minors (failure to note the fatal flaw he has with strike zone recognition), while Pie has been somewhat underrated (failure to see his OUTSTANDING power potential).

2. Both are fast and score runs, but Patterson is a far better base-stealer and probably always will be. But I like base-stealers to hit in the midd;e-bottom of the order, not in the lead-off spot. Pie just needs to be able to steal on a botched hit + run play with Murton, but otherwise his speed will work fine for going from 1st to 3rd on a single, for scoring from 2nd on a single to the outfield, and for scoring from 1st on a double.

3. Patterson would LIKE to be more patient at the plate but can't because he lacks the ability to recognize balls and strikes, while Pie lacks plate discipline because he's anxious. Although Pie continues to strike out a lot, I think the likelihood of him doubling his walks and cutting his strikeouts by 1/3 far exceeds the likelihood that Patterson will ever do that.

4. I project Pie to be a much better hitter (.300+) than Corey, with the potential to win a batting championship and possibly a triple crown some day (but only if he hits 3rd) because he gets infield hits and rakes line drives to all fields, whereas Patterson is a dead pull-hitter. I still think Patterson can be a 30/30 man, but only if he hits 5-6-7 in the order. Pie could hit lead-off, but I think his outstanding power will move him in the #3 spot by the time Eric Patterson makes it to Wrigley Field.

5. I think Pie's demeanor lends itself more to being a team leader, and handling adversity. Pie is funny & outgoing, while Patterson is quiet and somewhat withdrawn and a bit overly-sensitive.

I think Pie will be ready for the big leagues next season. Spending 2006 in AAA very well might be unecessary because he just might blast through AAA this season (July & August) before continuing his development in Winter Ball (either in the Arizona Fall League or in the Dominican Winter League) befor winning a job with the Cubs in Spring Training 2006.

The Cubs COULD keep both Pie and Patterson, I just don't think they will. Once Pie is ready, I would exchange Patterson for somebody like Brad Wilkerson.

AZ Phil,

I think you're a little off target in your criticisms of Patterson. If you look at him the last few weeks, he hasn't been flailing at the fastballs above his head and the curves/sliders in the dirt. However, he's still been striking out a lot - its just that recently, those K's have been backwards. While i think this is evidence for your contended problem with Patterson, that he just can't tell the difference between a ball and a strike, i disagree with your contention that it can't be corrected. The inability to tell the difference between strikes and balls is a phyiscal problem that has been corrected (see, for example, David Dellucci). Furthermore, since he has patience, that should lead to more walks if and when pitchers start to fear him. Batting him in the lower third of the lineup should make pitchers fear him more, since they'll be more willing to take their chances with Barrett/Pitcher's spot than they have been with Lee/Ramirez/Garciaparra-Neifi!. I have confidence that Patterson will turn into one of the best offensive players on this club in the next couple years... just not at the leadoff spot. That role will hopefully be filled by his brother.

I don't understand the whole 8th versus 9th inning. You'd think the ninth inning was the only inning requiring 4 outs.

I'm not down on LaTroy...I am (like you John) down on how he is used by Baker. Somehow I doubt that will ever change though. The first back to back blown save by any closer and Dusty will throw LaTroy back into the closer spot.

Wow, looks like missed quite a morning on TCR.

Well, to put it the way your troll-sycophants bleeding blue and manny trillo would, Anyone who's followed the Cubs for two months would know that Macias and Wilson are backup catchers.

(which means, of course, that they will actually be used as anything BUT backup catchers because anyone with two ounces of common sense knows that they aren't catchers at all...but that won't stop Dusty from assuming they are)

So now guy who'se been going on and on about how Baker "ran out of players" because Macias wasn't available to replace Blanco as catcher, is now saying anyone with any common sense knows that Macias isn't a backup catcher? and furthermore says I'm one of the people say that he is? WTF?

And am I again getting called a troll by a guy who hasn't even been a cubs fan as long as I've been posting on here?

An interesting little nugget of information....

ESPN Radio 1000's Bruce Levine and The Arlington Heights Daily Herald both report Chicago Cubs P David Crouthers retired from baseball at the end of spring training. He was to pitch at Double-A West Tennessee. Crouthers was included in the trade that sent OF Sammy Sosa to the Baltimore Orioles, and the Cubs are expected to receive additional compensation from the Orioles.

I dont expect it to be much, but could the LH bat Levine is speaking of be a guy like Newhan or gasp Surhoff??!?!

Just found it interesting.

I like LaTroy Hawkins, just not in the ineffecive way Dusty has used him... ...In fact setup man is the only role he has ever excelled at.

At least Boats now apparently realises how idiotic his "LaTroy" for starter idea was. There may be hope for him yet.

Interesting happenings here... we're all talking about Patterson and Hawkins and whether or not we need to deal them. However, one of the main problems with both of them is how they've been used by Dusty, due partially to a dearth of options at the roles they have been used in. Patterson should make a great 4-7 hitter, and Hawkins a great setup man, but neither has been consistently placed in that role this season, mostly due to a lack of a closer and leadoff hitter. I think this shows what the Cubs really need to do is acquire a solid closer and efficient leadoff hitter, which would not only fill holes but also make Patterson and Hawkins more effective. Now if we could only find a team looking to unload these two needs to us... Anyone know what the chances are of getting Carlos Guillen and Troy Percival off the Tigers, who should be out of contention by the end of July? (Before you point out Percival's DL stint, it should be over by the trade deadline).

Blue, less hostility please.

Gad, What a load of troll-gibberish.

Interesting thoughts on Graves. I'm particularly interestd that he may get his elbow checked out (arm, whatever). The cubs have this odd fascination with pitchers who have had surgery by the Reds team doctor (willamson and Dempster being the latest). It may be worth scouting and researching. The Daily Southtown seems to doubt whether the Cubs will even sign him with the other chicago media outlets a bit more open. Why do we like Reds' cast-offs so much. And is Graves 31 or 33? I can't make up my mind on this one. I'm not sure I want to give Dusty another arsonist.

Another trade option would be the Pirates. While they don't have anyone i'd want leading off for us, they have a potential stud closer in Mike Gonzalez, and could probably be convinced to part with Craig Wilson. Wilson could be a great option for a LH bat off the bench, could spell D.Lee at 1B (remember how he slumped from fatigue last August?), and could also be our emergency catcher, making Macias and Wilson more expendable.

Sorry John, I just take offence when some johnny-come-lately launches a personal attack and then completely mischaracterizes my position (ironically, saying that I lack common sense believe exactly what he'd be arguing for)

That and I really do enjoy pointing out the hypocrocy of people who don't even know what the word "troll" means.

Take your offence somewhere else, Blue. This is a Cubs site, and we don't do offence! ;)

In case you missed this:

Top Ten Prospect RHP Grant Johnson's hamstring injury is "100% healed" and he is slated to make his first start within 10 days.

Craig Wilson is actually right-handed, but he would fill the only phantom reason for macias still being on the roster.

Jedi,

The force is strong with you. Your corrections, i appreciate.

"Rusch Job" - dude, thats my fantasy league team's name... great minds think alike eh?

amazing what 1 guy's rumors can do to a msg. board when he dont come back and fullfill his promise.

hey...maybe we should ALL tune into ESPN RADIO AND THE DAN PATRICK SHOW....woooooooooooooooooooooo

=p

last i heard we were getting pujols for macias...peter gammon's baby's mama told me and she heard it while pounding shots with andy sisco.

SHAWN G: One of my concerns in my posts today is that I have given the impression that I think Corey Patterson is worthless and that's not true at all. I believe Corey can easily be a perennial 30/30 man (although he might hit .250 and strikeout 200 times to hit those 30+ HR), and those 30 HR can drive in a LOT of runs and the 30 SB can lead to a LOT of runs scored.

I just believe that once Felix Pie arrives, his talent & personality will shove Corey into even more of shell, and that will motivate Corey to want to leave the Cubs once he is eligible to be a free-agent after the 2007 season. So to get something for Patterson before that happens, I advocate trading him for a true "corner" outfielder who won't feel displaced or overshadowed by Felix Pie. Because Corey Patterson WILL be overshadowed by Felix Pie, just because they both have been advertised as "five-tool" centerfielders, and because (in my opinion) Pie will end up being all of the things that Corey Patterson was expected to be but isn't, and that will bother Corey a lot.

What will bother Corey more, Pie taking his job or Eric being the great hope as leadoff hitter and a superstar?

Off topic, but I just took an interesting stroll through the TCR archives from October 2003 (see way down the bar on the right hand side). It's like going through a surreal museum.

Phil,

Fair enough. Part of the question is who would make the better CF? Do you know? Does anyone else?

So, would you say that you would be in favor of a Patterson/Pie combo in the OF, but you just think it unlikely?

this cubs team has 2-3 players from the early 00's still left on the team...and they're under 30.

its kinda hard, if not impossible, to count on anyone being around even 2 years from now.

modern baseball is all about shifting your crew around...some more than others. money, lack of money, and the trades a GM has to make to fullfill what he cant make up with money.

fun times.

SHAWN G: If I thought Corey Patterson would be OK with moving to RF to make room for Felix Pie (although it could be vice-versa, we don't know), and if I thought Corey might be interested in staying with the Cubs past 2007 even if he has to move to RF and be overshadowed by Felix Pie, then sure, I wouldn't have a problem with Corey staying with the Cubs and hitting 6th and putting up 30/30 after 30/30 season (albeit with 200 Ks).

Perhaps having the chance to play with his brother Eric will be enough of a motivation to keep Corey in Chicago past 2007. I just don't know.

I could certainly live with this lineup in 2007. How about you?

1. E. Patterson, 2B
2. Murton, LF
3. Pie, CF or RF (TBD)
4. Lee, 1B
5. Ramirez, 3B
6. C. Patterson, CF or RF (TBD)
7. Barrett, C
8. Cedeno, SS

We've got to make sure Pie can hit at the big league level first. Corey was a better prospect than Pie is, and at the least I'd keep Patterson through his 28th birthday. He's the kind of player that you know as soon as you let him go, he's gonna break out.

Way off-topic but still baseball:

Some of you may remember (mostly) Red Sox pitcher Oil Can Boyd whose career ended in 1991 when he developed blood clots in his arm. Well, he's trying to make it back to the major leagues,

Oil Can Boyd makes minor league roster BROCKTON, Mass. - The "Can Opener" made it.

Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd earned a roster spot with the Brockton Rox and signed with the minor league team, extending his attempt at a big league comeback 14 years after he left the majors. He is scheduled to start for the Rox on May 30 - his first pro outing since 1997.

"He pitched seven scoreless innings in the exhibition season and deserved to make the team," Rox owner Van Schley said.

The 45-year-old Boyd pitched 10 years in the majors.

No doubt Dusty Baker is interested.

I'd be down with that, for sure - especially when one considers the depth our organization has on the mound. Here's a question for you: where does Dopairik fit into the equation? Is it possible he could end up playing LF instead of 1B?

Another question has been itching at me lately: is there any chance that Jared Weaver or Stephen Drew could fall to the Cubs in this year's draft, given their "signability issues"?

In anyone wants to know, the Cubs first 3 picks this year, according to mlb.com's draft page are at 20 (1st round), 82 (2nd round supplemental from Twins' acquisition of Henry Blanco, and 110 (3rd round, from Red Sox aquisition of Matt Clement).

Now Joe G. is to become our next manager? Joe was a gritty player and a smart guy but what kind of evidence does anyone have that he can manage a major market baseball team? That is just emotional, wishful thinking--the kind of thinking I have seen through the years by Cub fans. The grass is always greener on someone else's infield.

I sure hope Hendry is very very cautious if not inactive all together come trade deadline this year.

The Cubs are 5 games back of the wildcard race as it stands now....with SEVEN teams ahead of them. When the trade deadline gets here it isn't like we are starting off again on equal ground, equal footing and equal records with our opponents. With 1/4 of the season gone...The Cubs are now 5 games out of the wildcard with 7 teams to overcome... Plus you have the 3 division leaders and that means 10 teams have a better record than the Cubs. With 3/4 of the season left I don't see the Cubs competing at all for the wildcard.

They would have to put together a season like the Cardinals had last year and are having this year for the remainder of the season to even win 93 games. I believe the wildcard will take 94 wins minimum. I don't see this club putting together a .628 winning percentage for the remainder of the season.

I hope Hendry doesn't make a move for the sake of making moves and showing he knows how to make phone calls, negotiate and get deals done. We know he knows how to do that. I'm afraid this is what he loves to do though and for this season I think he'd be selling a good future for a 3rd place finish in the Central this year.

It pains me to have to explain every post
to these dolts but,

Notice to my trolls:

Post 87 was a joke. I do not really think
that Dusty Baker is interested in signing
Oil Can Boyd.

An off Cub topic comment...

I saw Rick Ankiel play for the Quad City Swing (Cards minor league A team) and his defense in the outfield is actually pretty good. He has a good arm...threw out a runner at 3B from Right/Center field.

His batting isn't so hot but the manager said he thinks he has potential.

blue...it'd help lower your "troll" count if your humor was a bit more funny.

its not like everything you've said has been 100% on mark or everyone can see your emotion in text.

the boyd thing was a bit self-explainitory, though hehe..

Re #89 (criticizing idea of Girardi as manager)

Girardi is currently the bench coach for the Yankees and is regarded by many as one of the brightest young managerial candidates currently in the bigs:

See this, excellend NYT story on him:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/20/sports/base...

He's from Peoria and went to Northwestern, so he would be coming home. So this is not wishful thinking at all, it is a very real possibility. And we're talking hypothetically about our dream 2007 Cub lineup, and Girardi is sure to be managing somewhere in 2007, so why not here?

Well if Girardi says no or finds a better gig...there's always Mark Grace or Ryne Sandberg or Greg Maddux I'm sure they'd all say yes if asked nicely.

you mean as soon as he gets a hitting coach who can actually help players hit.

..sorry, i couldn't resist

Does a team with a 400 million dollar payroll really need a hitting coach?

Shouldn't those players be telling the hitting coach how it is done?

Cubfan, Ankiel has had a good arm for quite some time now. Unfortunately, things didn't work out for him as a pitcher.

So I take it the whole Bruce Levine thing was a TCR hoax?

#95 of 96: By cubfan (May 24, 2005 01:09 PM)
Well if Girardi says no or finds a better gig...there's always Mark Grace or Ryne Sandberg or Greg Maddux I'm sure they'd all say yes if asked nicely.

--

If the Trib paid them enough money, they would.

TRUE BLUE EX-CUBS ONLY TRUTH & RECONCILIATION 2007 MANAGER & COACHING STAFF :
Joe Girardi, Manager
Don Zimmer, Bench Coach
Greg Maddux, Pitching Coach
Shawon Dunston, 1st base coach
Lloyd McClendon, 3rd base coach
Mark Grace, Hitting Coach
Scott Servais, Bullpen Coach

rickey williams, roach coach

Ryne Sandberg for manager of the Cubs? No thanks. He seems like a hell of a nice guy, but has the intelligence and charisma of a piece of toast.

Dateline--The Cub Reporter--May 30, 2008

Bleedingheart--We got to get rid of Girardi. He has no idea how to handle the bench and he's blindly committed to his veteran guys.
Bubfan--If the Cubs don't fire Girardi, looks like third place in the central division is a lock.
DC727--I was a Girardi supporter but now, after a full year on the job, I'm convinced he has go.

If Pie turns out good at the major league level, and CPat does perform at 30/30 or better, why not shift CPat to left and put Pie in center?

Might result in a few less opposing extra-base hits each year...

jose cardenal - team hair coach

I don't get the problem with letting Sisco go. Check out his stats. April ERA 1.06 May ERA 6.23 looks like he is coming back to earth. Why are people so quick to call it a bad move after only 20+ innings.

Uh Boilerfan it is a bad move because he had value and we did not attempt to trade him etc. Regardless of whether you think he will be good he had value. Oh yeah he is 6' 9" throws left handed and hits 96 mph and is what 22 years old?

yeah that kind of sums it up. He has value, huge upside and was given away. Think about it.

I have to agree with you completely superjimmer.

And as for Sisco's May splits Boilerfan, if you take a closer look at them you can pretty much guess what happened. (speculation follows)

It looks like his pitches were moving more than he could control them. In his first 4 2/3 innings he struck out 8! gave up only 3 hits! but also issued 8 walks.

Being a young pitcher he was probably told just to "concentrate on throwing strikes" and "let the strikeouts take care of themselves."

Since then he's pitched 4 innings and issued only 2 walks, struck out only 3, and allowed 4 earned runs on 6 hits. He's also given up his first 2 gopher balls.

david ortiz had value, too...wonder why he was cut rather than traded...

things just arent always face value...esp. when youre talking about a 22 year old alcoholic with a HUGE temper problem, an ego the size of texas, and interests in things that would make for interesting intellectual discussions with john rocker.

KC has him around...this is a team with 2 guys currently on the roster with no experience above A ball.

whether he had worth to other clubs is VERY debatable as of December 2004 when he was tipping in at 300lbs. to add to his other "baggage"

Baker on possibly being interested in Graves:

"I don't know what the problem is. He did everything they asked. He started when he was at the top of his game relieving and went back to relieving. We'll have to talk about it. I'm sure we will."

Those of you who have already thrown in the towel on this season should keep in mind that the Cardinals were 23-22 at one point last season and went on to win 105 games. The Cubs are a game and a half behind that pace right now.

Cubs optioned Ben Grieve in order to call up Sergio Mitre. I thought Grieve had to clear waivers since he is a veteran? Does this mean he can leave Iowa if he wants?

Grieve Optioned

Baker on possibly being interested in Graves:
"I don't know what the problem is. He did everything they asked. He started when he was at the top of his game relieving and went back to relieving. We'll have to talk about it. I'm sure we will."

I once worked at a place where the regional operational manager would demote and/or fire people when his boss or the board of directors got the least bit worried about something. He would constantly be changing people's positions and roles..he'd constantly be changing directions. His strategy was to never have things running the same for too long. His strategy kept the owners/directors from firing him because the reason for the failure was always the people below him. He used the demotions/firings as reasons why the team wasn't successful. At all times, the current makeup of the team was just recently changed....therefore we needed to give it more time before we can expect positive things.

This went on for YEARS...the team was never successful...never meeting their goals.

Dusty is doing the same thing. He's blaming injuries and poor performance from players HE JUST HAD TO HAVE in the first place as reasons why the team is failing. Funny thing is the Wood injury is not a big deal. His replacement (Rusch) has been doing a great job. As far as other injuries--Dusty's boys are the ones filling in...

Dusty will never be blamed for this demise and mess. He will have injuries to "fall back on"...and personnel changes that resulted for it. He will blame Hawkins for being a horrible closer (though we knew that when he pitched in Minn)....he will blame everyone and will say "I need an OF and I need a closer..." and Hendry and Co.. will blindly follow him where no other team would follow at all.

Cubs optioned Ben Grieve in order to call up Sergio Mitre. I thought Grieve had to clear waivers since he is a veteran? Does this mean he can leave Iowa if he wants?

"The outfielder, who signed a minor league contract with Iowa on April 5, hit .308 with 4 homers and 10 RBI in 11 contests for the Triple-A club."

Grieve can not leave Iowa if he wants...he signed a minor league contract with Iowa on April 5....he's simply being sent back to the place he signed to play with.

Grieve optioned??? WHo knew he had options left??? WOW, i did not see this coming.

Wow, looks like Remmy talked himself back into a job.

I don't think Ortiz is a good comparison at all. Ortiz was cut, after management decided they couldn't afford what he would make in arbitration AND after they couldn't get any takers in trade talks.

I don't know how hard Hendry tryed to trade Sisco, but money sure wasn't an issue.

This is just another example of how us fans are just in a world of speculation and really have no clue what is going on in the clubhouse nor in the executive offices on Addison.

Blue-
"I don't know how hard Hendry tryed to trade Sisco"

I think that is part of crunch's point. He might of done everything he could of to trade the guy, had no takers and thought nobody would take a flyer on him. Also, who knows if there was more crap that Sisco did beyond the absolute mess he portrayed as a Cub.

I have been a Cub fan since the 1950's. I have seen managers come and go--good managers, really bad managers, even manager by committee. I have seen only four of those managers lead the Cubs to be competitive--Leo, Jim Frey, Zimmer and Dusty Baker. Through the years, there has been a revolving door attitude by the fans toward the manager. Somebody comes in, then after a year or two, the fans become disinchanted and clammor for a new manager. The new guy comes in and the same thing happens all over again. If the team is competitive while you are manager, you might get an extra year or so, but soon, the fans are after your head. It ought to be pretty obvious by now, that this approach isn't working. While the Cubs have had a few good years along the way, there has been no consistent winning for a long, long time. Look around at the teams that have been winning consistently--maybe they haven't won the WS every year, but they have been in the hunt--teams like the Yankees, Cardinals, Braves. Look at the length of tenure of their managers--Torre, Cox and LaRussa--they all have been in their position for awhile. I believe the Cubs will never be a consitent winner if the fans are always looking to get rid of the manager and find that next "savior" out there--who so soon turns into the next loser. It's a dyfunctional system and I don't see it ending anytime soon.

i HEARD that.

i so heard that.

i dont agree with everything, but all in all...dusty, when compared to most managers out there, is not a bad manager, nor a horrible manager, nor a lower tier manager.

he's a manager...the guy with a lineup card who makes sure people understand their roles and are happy with them. the guy who makes subsititutions and gives post game interviews.

just cuz one guy is willing to "tell it like it is" to the media doesnt make them a good manager.

buck f'n showalter...for instance. great baseball knowlege...horrible player manager. unlesss you're white, christian, and studious he's not the easiest guy to play for. HE IS NOT A RACIST...he just dont resonate on the comfort level of a lotta modern baseball players.

some may think this dont mean anything as long as he can make 1-2 substitutions dusty never would, but if you've ever been in a job with a bad boss even though the product is getting produced on time (i come from the software industry previously) you know there are people that can do it and there are people who just become shells of their ability via their work environment.

to dismiss the injuries of the past 2 years baker has had to deal with is just shortsighted as hell.

these are legit injuries to impact players missing significant time, period. period. the difference between this year and last...there are useable backups in place in case it happens.

its just a manager...and if you fire dusty, he has to be replaced by someone else, and there's just not a lotta guys around who can manage a lineup of players with diverse attitudes as baker has dealt with and keep them happy + productive.

you know, these last two posts (crunch & JSturty) ring like a clarion. i think, in these fan forums especially, there is a gang mentality, so much piling on. let's watch these guys make a few moves, and who knows? this year isn't over by a long shot. and next year, money frees up...and...
aw shit, i just want the cubs to be good, and have fun watching, listening, and reading the box score every am.

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