Say What???

I just read this over at FoxSports.com, a little brief snippet on Derrek Lee's chances of winning the triple crown...
Anyhow, if Lee is able to maintain his lead in all three categories, he'll become the first hitter to pull off the feat since Boston's Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. More notable, however, is that Lee would become the first National League hitter ever to win the triple crown.
I suppose he means other then Paul Hines (1878), Hugh Duffy (1894), Heinie Zimmerman (1912), Rogers Hornsby (1922 & 1925), Chuck Klein (1933) and Joe Medwick (1937). Sheesh... It is Fox Sports though, so what should I expect? [Update] It looks like someone got the word to Mr. Perry as he's changed the wording. It now reads...
Anyhow, if Lee is able to maintain his lead in all three categories, he'll become the first hitter to pull off the feat since Boston's Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.
I didn't mean to pick on the fella - it's the first time I recall reading any of his stuff and the rest of the article was quite enjoyable with some good insights. Anyway, in other news... - Grant Johnson had his second outing in Peoria last night, his line for the game... 5 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 0 HR - OF Nic Jackson had some more shoulder surgery at some point this year and is likely out for the season. - West Tennessee is 2 games up on Carolina with 5 games left to play in the race to win the first half crown of the North Division of the Southern League. Peoria is 2 games out of a wild card spot with only 4 games left in the Midwest League. - Some of our draftees continue in the NCAA tournament this weekend. The final round of the playoffs is double elimination, so other then the first game, you'll have to keep track of the wins and losses to see who's playing when. I use this website myself. SS Jason Simokaitis (10th round - Nebraska) I was all set to catch a few innings of their first game versus Miami last Friday, but a lengthy rain delay put a stop to that. ESPN did play an old Nebraska/Texas game from earlier in the year and I saw him make a few plays at short and he does look quite smooth out there, just as the scouting report says. I didn't get to see any of his at-bats but he ended up going 4-for-7 with 3 runs scored, 2 RBI's and a homer in the two victories. First game: 6pm CST on Friday June 17th on ESPN2; versus Arizona State OF Tyler Graham (14th round - Oregon State) Just saw 2 of his at-bats where he singled in a run and then struck out. The stat line that ESPN showed was something in the vein of a 300 average with 0 homers and 23 RBI's. Either the Cubs think he'll fill out quite a bit or they plan on moving him to center. He plays left for the Beavers as 1st round pick (Red Sox) Jacoby Ellsbury mans center for the team (and wow did he look good!). Graham went 3-for-13 last weekend with 3 RBI's, a run and 2 stolen bases in 3 attempts. First game: 1pm CST Saturday June 18th on ESPN; versus Tulane P Trey Taylor (7th round - Baylor) Baylor also has 6th round pick INF Kyle Reynolds, but he didn't play at all last weekend and I heard a brief blip about an injury. I saw a few innings of Taylor and I got the impression that could one day be an effective LOOGY. Has a bit of a hitch in his motion and seemed to have an effective breaking ball. Went 6 innings versus Clemson last week giving up 5 hits, 3 earned runs, 2 walks and 6 K's, only one extra base hit. First game: 6pm CST Saturday June 18th on ESPN; versus Texas
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Comments

Not the sort of error you expect someone like Dayn Perry to make.

ahh, but he is right.
Lee would be the first National League Hitter to win the triple crown. Prior to 1939, all players were called Fielders....it was only 1939 where players were discussed as being "hitters"

So each of the names mentioned won the Triple crown as "National League Fielders" not "National League Hitters"

man, I expect more from you guys.

you're kidding me right, this is common knowledge, hitters were once known as fielders? Everybody raise your hands that knew that....

supposing that's the angle he was going for, you HAVE to mention something in your article about it, so either an editor made a huge mistake by cutting a crucial sentence out or he's massively overestimating his audience.

I just have to say I hope the Cubs just say no to getting Preston Wilson. He is just a horrific hitter away from Coors it is not even funny.

.244 BA on the road. I was watching The Tribune Live on Comcast and they were all gushing over how he would make our offense better. What are they smoking?

Imagine an OF that hits .250 has an OBP barely around .300 and strikeouts like a demon. Gee sounds like the current OF so how does adding Wilson, his SO's, poor hitting, and 12 million dollar salary help?

Naturally this would be a move the Cubs would consider over getting someone who is actually good. I remember the nightmares when the Cubs said they were interested in Jose Hernandez, Rey Ordonez, and Jeromy Burnitz. Funny thing was the Cubs actually went out signed and traded for these bums.

Maybe the Cubs feel they need more crap in the OF that cant hit and they feel they need to pay millions for it. Please Hendry do not be this dumb.

Bum like Burnitz? Uh, he's second on the team in RBI's, third in homers, third in runs scored. Hardly a bum.

I dont care what Burnitz does for a few months. He is a bum. He is poor hitting, low OBP, high strikeout bum. Just like Patterson and Wilson currently are.

If you want a crappy OF of Burnitz, Patterson and Burnitz fine. That is your dream. But we should only have 1 out of those 3 starting for our OF not ALL freaking 3! However if we have to make changes I hope Burnitz is the only one of the 3 bums we keep because he actually has been doing good recently. But it still doesnt change the fact his career as a hitter is pretty poor except for the power. A few months does not change him into a good or great player I want to build a team around.

I dont get caught up into recent good streaks in between years and years of futility. It takes alot more than that to move Burnitz out from the bum ranks. Same with Perez. Chan Ho Park is 7-1 now....he is still a bum as well. The question is can he or they keep it up? Burnitz traditionally tails off in the 2nd half.

Perez is slowly convincing me, but his status as a bum is still in place. He has done nothing like this in his entire career and it smells like career year. I dont have a problem with that, but I dont want the Cubs making him our starting SS for the next 3 years and giving him a fat contract based off of one year.

preston did pretty well against us at wrigley a few weks back.

1. Babba Booey is right. Wilson was the only Rockie who hit against us.

2. Burnitz is a run producer. Of course, you think the game is measured in batting average and OBP but of course the game is not scored that way. Driving in runs is what wins games and both Wilson (with the Marlins mind you) and Burnitz are run producers.

Did he list Yaz's team as "The Boston Nine"?

no mention of the 'boston nine'

Preston Wilson is 219/280/384 in road games this year. Pretty bad.

That said, if the rockies would like to expand the deal and make it more of a financial "wash," I'd go for this one:

Corey Patterson, Mike Remlinger, Joe Borowski, Todd Hollandsworth, Jerry Hairston Jr, and Enrique Wilson (about $8 mil in aggregate 2005 salaries still to be paid) to the Rockies for Preston Wilson, Brian Fuentes, Bradley Hawpe, and Desi Relaford (about $9 mil in aggregate 2005 salaries still to be paid).

Fuentes is a power lefty reliever and one of the best LOOGYs in baseball, Hawpe hits as well on the road as he does at Coors, absolutely murders right-handed pitching (just ask Mark Prior!), and would be a good platoon-mate for Jason Dubois), and Relaford is an above average switch-hitting back-up middle infielder with slightly above-average speed and a good OBP.

The Rockies aren't going anywhere, so Corey Patterson could get a fresh start in Denver and hit 3rd, which is what he's always wanted to do. Hairston would get a chance to play 2B everyday (Aaron Miles was terrible even before he got hurt) and hit lead-off, and the Rockies could polish up Holly, Rem, and JoBo, and (hopefully--for them) trade them to desperate contenders like the Dodgers, Arizona, Baltimore, Atlanta, or Philadelphia in exchange for younger players in stetch drive deals later in the season.

The Cubs could then recall Ben Grieve to replace Holly as the #1 lefty PH off the bench, and Jermaine Van Buren to replace JoBo in the pen.
Rem and JoBo are just plain dangerous, so getting rid of them would be addition by subtraction.

A bullpen of Dempster, Fuentes, Wuertz, Ohman, Wellemeyer, Bartosh (or Hill), and Jermaine Van Buren (or Mitre, once Prior & Woody are back) would be better than what the Cubs have got now. (I would still want to kreep Rusch in the rotation even after Prior & Wood are back, because Rusch gives up too many hits to be an effective reliever).

And this starting lineup isn't perfect, but it would be better than what Dusty is trotting out there right now:

Perez, SS
Walker, 2B
Lee, 1B
Ramirez, 3B
Burnitz, RF
P. Wilson, CF
Hawpe/Dubois, LF
Barrett, C

BENCH:
Blanco
Grieve
Hawpe or Dubois
Macias
Relaford

Isn't it fun to come up with off the wall and unrealistic trade scenerios? I guess there isn't much else to do on off days.

Manny, why so harsh on Phil. It may never happen but he did present a trade that made sense. Granted that Colorado probably wouldn't trade Hawpe AND Helton for CPat (the rest is just ballast) its not that out of this world.

i wanna see the cubs pry some of that cleveland pen loose, myself...seriously, they got a short relief goldmine sitting over there.

kinda useless figuring out whether any trade is "worth it" until a trade actually happens and we're left with knowing what was given up.

LATROY HAWKINS has been a disaster since joining the Giants May 28th.

In June he has made only four appearances (June 9 was his last), pitched only 3 innings but managed to give up 7 earned runs on 7 hits and 3 walks. He's struckout 2.

Hawkins' earned run average has ballooned from 3.15 to 5.48 in the same period.

Will the booing ever stop?

When was the last time the Cubs traded with Cleveland? I know that has ZERO effect on future transactions but I'm just curious. Could it be 1984?

I agree about Wilson not being a good fit for the Cubs. Just wondering, is there any way Mike Sweeney could play LF? He's obviously on the trading block and would seem to make a perfect fit.

I love the College World Series, and it's even better when the Huskers are in it, and even better than that when they look like a team that can win it all. Simokaitis is as good of a defensive SS as there could possibly be in college baseball. Also, if you get a chance, you should take a look at Alex Gordon (#2 overall draftpick of K.C.). He is so good, it's not even funny.

"They need to implode Wrigley" - Carl Everett, CWSox

Chad

Bartosh came from Cleveland for Bear Bay back in April right before the season started. Maybe we could trade him back.

Mannytrillo, that is 90% of fun of being a fan, making up trades and second guessing general managers. Arizona Phil put up a nice hypothetical and given us a couple of things to build a discussion around. Like taking into consideration (and our hoping our GM factors them as well) the factor of park effects. Colorado hitters tend to look much better than they are because of Coors, Colorado pitchers look worse. It is amazing how many baseball media people (Paul Sullivan, Mike Kiley, etc.) seem unable to make this logical connection (since they all write that "Coors is a hitters park.")

Any trade that snags some of the good arms out of the Colorado bullpen would be a good trade even if it meant taking on Preston Wilson's drag of a contract.

Another factor in trades is avoid basing decisions on personal observations of small sample sizes since in any given three game series what a player does or not does will not make him a superstar or a bum. A guy hitting well against Cubs, but poorly against the rest of the league, could mean two things: 1) the Cub pitchers did not execute the game plan against that hitter; or 2)some Cub pitchers may have really sucked in those games. Prior I think just pitched a bad game (one weakness he has, as demonstrated in the Bartman game, is that he will let external events to cause him to lose focus - if I recall that game he got a bad call and Nefi made an error and the next pitch was a grand slam)

A third thing is that when making a trade, don't fill one hole by making another. The Cubs, despite a relatively low OBP and our frustrations with Corey, are scoring runs (fifth in the league). It is the bullpen, and to a lesser extent inconsistent starting pitching, that has hurt, and hurt a lot during the first third of the season. Instead of creating another hole (by trading Mitre or Maddux) with the starters, I think Hendry should trade prospects, probably pitching propects, since the Cubs have a surplus of such prosects with more on the way. A few years from now they may haunt us, like Willis and Garland, but then again, they could turn out like Juan Cruz and others whose names we have forgotten. If Hendry wins a pennant, he can recall that flags fly forever.

Who we could trade with I will wait another day to discuss.

Manny T: This site is loaded with speculative trades that never happen, sometimes on off days, sometimes five minutes before game time. I mean, with all due respect to TCR and for which it stands, if you can't speculate here... well... where CAN you speculate?

The Chicago Tribune posted a story yesterday that cited a Cubs source as confirming that the Cubs (along with several other teams) are interested Rockies outfielder Preston Wilson. Apparently since Wilson threw away his knee brace last month, he has "caught fire" and is playing very well, both at bat and in the field, so several contending teams (including the Cubs, Braves, and Dodgers) who are looking for an outfield bat have latched onto Preston Wilson.

Rather than be totally dismissive of a Preston Wilson deal, I was merely explaining (in my own inimitable way) that although Preston Wilson (playing with or without a knee brace) would not be my idea of a solution in LF, he WOULD be a reasonable short-term pre-Felix Pie fall-back in CF if (and I say only IF) the Cubs could also expand the deal so that the Rockies would take back similar aggregate 2005 payroll (ergo Hollandsworth, Remlinger, Borowski,and Hairston), AND if the deal could also be expanded to include a "sub-deal" involving Corey Patterson for Bradley Hawpe and Brian Fuentes.

I believe the Rockies are probably one club who would jump at a chance to acquire Corey Patterson, just because they aren't going anywhere and could allow C-Pat to "do his own thang" (so to speak), free from meddlesome coaches and the super-critical boos of Cub fans with overly-high expectations. Patterson could hit third in the Rockies' lineup, and play with a clear mind.

Besides the Rockies, I would think the Pirates, Brewers, Nationals, and Devil Rays might also have a strong interest in Corey and would have players who might be of interest to Jim Hendry. For instance, would you trade Patterson and Sergio Mitre for Oliver Perez or Jason Bay? Or Patterson & Mitre for Carlos Lee (C-Lee plays LF, Holly/Dubois move to RF, Burnitz plays CF)? Or Patterson straight-up for Brad Wilkerson? Or Patterson straight-up for Aubrey Huff (Huff plays RF, Burnitz moves to CF)? Again, I am not saying these deals are going to happen or would happen. I am only saying what I would want back in a deal for Corey Patterson.

I just don't think Corey is ever going to realize his potential if he stays with the Cubs. The expectations were (and remain) too high, he does not take well to coaching, and he has big-time trouble with strike zone recognition and (I believe) he probably always will. His confidence now seems to be at an all-time low, he is booed at home in Wrigley Field with regularity, and he appears to have taken his hitting woes with him to the outfield. He will be a free-agent after 2007, and other than a chance to play on the same team with his brother, I can't think of a reason why Corey would want to remain with the Cubs past the 2007 season if he has the opportunity to play elsewhere, someplace where he does not have to carry the baggage he now seems to be hauling around with the Cubs.

One other thing about my earlier post. I labeled Brian Fuentes a "LOOGY," but he is much more than just that. Fuentes is actually a power lefty set-up man, probably the best in baseball now that B. J. Ryan is closing in Baltimore.

A Patterson for Hawpe & Fuentes sub-trade within a Preston Wilson deal would be fine with me, and it's the only way I would want to make a trade for Preston Wilson. I'm not so sure such a deal ("I have such a deal for you!") is necessarily all that "off the wall" and/or "unrealistic," which doesn't mean it would happen, either. I believe it IS plausible, though. But you are certainly entitled to your opinion.

Per one of my friends, "Fox Sports - Sure our parent company owns STATS Inc., but that doesn't
mean we have to do research." Idiots.

AZ Phil-
"I believe it IS plausible, though."

That is your opinion and I expressed mine. That is what this board is about, right? I don't understand the hub bub??

My major problem with the deal is that you are proposing the Cubs to trade away almost 25% of their active roster in one deal. I would be shocked if that has happened more than aa few times in the history of bsaeball. It would be a MAJOR shakeup and the Cubs are not going to do soemthing like that when they are in the hunt for the playoffs.

Sorry if you or others took it personally or something, but I was expressing my opinion of the trade like many others do when trade proposals get thrown out there like baseball players spitting sunflower seeds.

#17 of 21: By Mark (June 16, 2005 08:57 PM)
I love the College World Series, and it's even better when the Huskers are in it, and even better than that when they look like a team that can win it all. Simokaitis is as good of a defensive SS as there could possibly be in college baseball. Also, if you get a chance, you should take a look at Alex Gordon (#2 overall draftpick of K.C.). He is so good, it's not even funny.

----

Mark: I too am looking forward to the CWS, but from a somewhat different POV than your's!

Go Sun Devils!!!

Arizona Phil's all-time Arizona State University baseball team:

MANAGER: Bobby Winkles

STARTING LINEUP:
Barry Bonds, LF
Hubie Brooks, SS
Rick Monday, CF
Reggie Jackson, RF
Bob Horner, DH
Sal Bando, 3B
Alvin Davis, 1B
Paul LoDuca, C
Bump Wills, 2B

BENCH:
Gary Allenson, C
Alan Bannister, SS
Marty Barrett, 2B
Ken Landreaux, OF
Ken Phelps, 1B
Lenny Randle, IF-OF

STARTING ROTATION:
Floyd Bannister
Gary Gentry
Larry Gura
Craig Swan
Eddie Bane

BULLPEN:
Lerrin LaGrow
Jim Umbarger
Paul Moskau
Ed VandeBerg
Jim Otten
Jim Crawford

Now, how many of these guys have eligibility left? We need all the help we can get playing Alex Gordon and Nebraska this afternoon!

TRIVIA: The first ASU Sun Devil to play in the major leagues was RHP Sterling Slaughter, who pitched for the Cubs (2-4 5.71 1 CG) in 1964.

Rick Monday was the first player ever drafted in the Rule 4 Draft (then known as the "Amateur Draft," now known as the "First-Year Player Draft").

Reggie Jackson was also a member of the ASU football team, and set a kick-off return record that stood for several years.

Here is a poll in SI this week. It is based on a survey of 450 MLB players.

Best manager in baseball:
Bobby Cox - 37%
Joe Torre - 17%
Dusy Baker - 12%
Tony La Russa - 7%

Worst manager:
Frank Robinson - 12%
Buck Showalter - 12%
Lloyd McClendon - 9%
Larry Bowa - 8%

Tony La Russa also made the worst list at 4%.

Kind of surprising to see Robinson so high on the worst list, same with Showalter.

Arizona--"Corey Patterson, Mike Remlinger, Joe Borowski, Todd Hollandsworth, Jerry Hairston Jr, and Enrique Wilson (about $8 mil in aggregate 2005 salaries still to be paid) to the Rockies for Preston Wilson, Brian Fuentes, Bradley Hawpe, and Desi Relaford (about $9 mil in aggregate 2005 salaries still to be paid)."

You forgot to mention that we'd also get Jeff Francis and Ian Stewart!

I think you can break your proposed trade into three parts...

The players actually worth having
Brian Fuentes and Brad Hawpe for Corey Patterson and Jerry Hairston

The salary dumping
Preston Wilson for Todd Hollandsworth, Mike Remlinger and Joe Borowski

The swap of useless backup infielders
Desi Relaford for Enrique Wilson

And, to be honest with you, I wouldn't do any of those parts.

Hairston and Corey are cheap and productive enough players at positions where talent is thin on the ground. Hawpe meanwhile is just the left-handed version of Jason Dubois, and Fuentes is a lefty middle reliever, which makes the fact he's a pretty good one with a funky motion largely irrelevant.

I'd cut Hollandsworth, Remlinger and Borowski before I traded them for Preston Wilson. Actually, I don't see the need to cut Hollandsworth and Remlinger at all. Sure, they're a little costly, but they're still serviceable enough. Especially if Hendry takes a hammer to Dusty's head regarding reverse splits. Borowski, well, yes, he and Bartosh need to be cut.

And then there's Relaford for Wilson. They're both flat out awful. Relaford costs three times more.

Incidentally, using Col's Baseball Contracts (magnificent new site!) and then factoring in that this is the 75th day of 183 this year (though I don't know whether that's how contract are paid), I get $8.08m in 2005 remaining on the current Rockie contracts and $6.49m in 2005 remaining on the current Cub contracts.

John-
Thanks for the link to the contract page. Always good to have a few different reference sites when looking for info.

It's also kind of surprising to see Dusty so high on the best list (and not show up on the worst), although he is known as a player's manager, so maybe that's why.

Saw this on chicagosports.com this morning and then promptly threw up in my coffee:

"Switch-hitting Jose Macias, 3-for-10 in his career against Pavano, could get the call as Friday's DH or Baker may decide to make Aramis Ramirez the DH and stick Macias at third."

Go ahead Dusty, put him in to get three or four at bats so you have Holly or Dubois on the bench JUST IN CASE the game is still close.

Showalter is on the worse manager's list because he is a disiplinarian and doesn't let the players do whatever the hell they want.

Arizona--"One other thing about my earlier post. I labeled Brian Fuentes a "LOOGY," but he is much more than just that. Fuentes is actually a power lefty set-up man, probably the best in baseball now that B. J. Ryan is closing in Baltimore."

Er, I don't watch Rockies baseball, except to catch the occasional Todd Helton at-bat, but the scouting report on Fuentes reads sidearmer whose fastball tops out at 90mph. It's certainly not fair to dismiss him as a LOOGY, because his splits against right-handers are actually marginally better than those against lefties thanks to a hard slider, but I'd hardly call him a power reliever either.

The best lefty setup guy in baseball? Please. Mike Gonzalez, JC Romero, Damaso Marte, Arthur Rhodes and Jamie Walker? I'd personally take all ahead of Fuentes, whose numbers, while good and better when you factor in Coors, aren't great.

"It's also kind of surprising to see Dusty so high on the best list (and not show up on the worst), although he is known as a player's manager, so maybe that's why."

Not surprising since I think he is the third-best manager in baseball.

And I think it's insane to give up (on) any position player (or starter) that's actually worth owning for a middle reliever, period.

John H: You break down the deal like I did, but we disagree about five things:

1. Desi Relaford versus Enrique Wilson (I agree Enrique Wilson is awful, but I like Relaford as a SS-2B middle IF back-up);

2. Brian Fuentes (I believe Fuentes is better than just a "middle reliever"--I consider him to be one of the best lefty relievers in baseball, more of an 8th inning set-up guy and occasional closer);

3. Jerry Hairston, Jr (if Dusty would play Hairston in LF every day and hit him lead-off, I'd value him differently, but Dusty apparently won't do it);

4. Mike Remlinger & Joe Borowski (I believe Remlinger is very, very close to being washed-up, plus he can't throw two days in a row, and JoBo is just plain too dangerous to put in a game);

and

5. Corey Patterson (I believe Corey is messed up mentally and psychologically, and that he will only achieve his potential--whatever that may be--if he goes somewhere else, but he needs to be moved ASAP before things get any worse).

In summary, I see Bradley Hawpe as an excellent young left-handed hitter and the perfect platoon-mate (at this point in his career) for Jason Dubois, Brian Fuentes as a significant upgrade for the bullpen (over Remlinger & Borowski, who are arsonists, in my opinion), Desi Relaford as a superior middle-infield utilty player over Enrique Wilson, and (with the addition of Hawpe to platoon with Dubois) Ben Grieve as a perfectly reasonable primary left-handed PH.

As for how much Preston Wilson has left or whether his recent hot streak will continue, those would be the big questions. But he is playing for a free-agent contract, and he would be moving to a contender, both of which are positive factors.

SCott:
"Not surprising since I think he is the third-best manager in baseball."

Well, he is 2nd in active winning percentage for managers.

Arizona--"I agree Enrique Wilson is awful, but I like Relaford as a SS-2B middle IF back-up"

Well, I probably would do the swap of the middle infielders, but the upgrade is ridiculously marginal. Relaford is a career .248/.323/.354 hitter compared to Enrique Wilson, who comes in at .244/.287/.350, all but identical bar some walks. Relaford is better defensively (and plays more positions), and he's a better baserunner. They're the same age. Relaford's earning three times more, even if we're still only talking $1m all told this year. An extra two thirds of million for Relaford over Wilson? Meh. But it's not my money, go on then.

Arizona--"I believe Fuentes is better than just a "middle reliever"--I consider him to be one of the best lefty relievers in baseball"

Statistically, I'd go along with that if you changed "best" to "better". He's a good pitcher, no doubt about that. On the Cubs though he's a middle reliever, no? That, as far as I'm concerned, is the big problem. I'd say our disagreement is less about the ability of Fuentes, more about the importance of middle relievers and what it's appropriate you give up to acquire one. Not Corey Patterson as far as I'm concerned.

Arizona--"if Dusty would play Hairston in LF every day and hit him lead-off, I'd value him differently, but Dusty apparently won't do it"

That doesn't change the fact that Colorado would use him as their starting second baseman, and you should be able to force them to pay accordingly. The guy's cheap, he's a year and a half away from free agency, and he's a decent all-round player and lead-off man.

Arizona--"I believe Remlinger is very, very close to being washed-up, plus he can't throw two days in a row, and JoBo is just plain too dangerous to put in a game"

Nope, I actually agree with that entirely. But I still wouldn't mind having a washed-up Remlinger around to pitch mop-up innings. Better him than some young kid like Rich Hill, for whom failure could actually have long-term negative effects. There's no long-term with Remlinger. In the short term, there's also the possibility that he staves off being washed-up just long enough to still be worth owning, albeit not at close to $4m.

Arizona--"I believe Corey is messed up mentally and psychologically, and that he will only achieve his potential--whatever that may be--if he goes somewhere else, but he needs to be moved ASAP before things get any worse"

Be that as it may (or may not be, I do disagree here), that doesn't mean you offload Corey on the first person that's willing to take him.

Arizona--"In summary, I see Bradley Hawpe as an excellent young left-handed hitter and the perfect platoon-mate (at this point in his career) for Jason Dubois"

Excellent is way too strong a word. I'd choose useful. I like the guy. Had him on my fantasy team (though I traded him). He's got similar strikeout and walk issues to Dubois, and similar power benefits. I'd like a Dubois and Hawpe platoon. But it's not that much better than a Dubois and Hollandsworth platoon that I'd give up Corey and Hairston to see it happen (with Fuentes in the bullpen of course). That's my fundamental disagreement here (along with the value of middle relievers). Oh, and I really, truly, deeply despise Preston Wilson.

I know everyone hates Joe Moprgan, but this was an interesting comment from him in his chat today on ESPN:

"I vote every year on the veterans committee and I use ALL of my ten players. You can vote for any number of players you want. You don't have to use them all, I use every one because I believe there are a lot of players who should be in the Hall, but are not -- Starting with Maury Wills. I think he is the biggest oversight both from the writers and the veterans committee."

Morgan gets lambasted a lot of the time for him being so hard on letting players into the HOF, but if this is true, he is actually one of the most laxed.

He also made this comment when asked why the perception is he is so stringent...

"There is just one idiot sportswriter there in Chicago that has that perception. I don't think anybody else really has that perception."

Does anyone know who he is talking about? I assume it would be Mariotti, but not sure.

"one idiot sportswriter there in Chicago "-at least several fit that description. My bet Uncle Phil at Trib.

MT-
Where does Lloyd McClendon rank on that list?

What about Alex Sanchez? Can he be signed cheap? I think worth the risk, nice obp.

Jacos-
McClendon is 3rd on the worst list...

Supposedly, Pinella said Sanchez wants to play everyday and that is why they released him, so he can go somewhere to play everyday. He is only a bench player here in Chicago.

For me, the value of AZ Phil's trade hinges on how you value Hawpe. Flipping Patterson for Wilson at CF is a value/performance downgrade, Fuentes is a bullpen upgrade, and the infield swap benefits the Rockies, as Hairston plays 2B every day for them. Is Hawpe a Larry Walker in waiting? Or is he Matt Holliday? I don't have a view on that...I dropped Hawpe from my fantasy teams the day he nailed Prior.

And I do like the Fuentes aspect of the trade--pitchers leaving CO should tend to be undervalued, even by the Rockies. But I am generally with John Hill in believing that trading for (or signing as big-dollar free agents) middle relievers is not generally a good idea. Middle relievers become good through coaching and proper utilization -- no team goes to the amateur draft looking for "mop-up" guys and "set-up men". The best ones are usually converted starters with a nasty pitch or two that, unfortunately, only works one time through the batting order. The Cubs draft enough live arms that we should have no problem every year finding the 7 bullpen arms we need.

If middle relief success is based on coaching and utilization, then it is absolutely the worst thing to trade for. Cleveland and Milwaukee's bullpens work not because their guys are, to a man, "better" than our guys. Unless you trade for the pitching coach too, you virtually guarantee that you are "buying high".

.

Re the SI manager poll--

Frank Robinson is getting along with Jose Guillen. That makes him Manager of the Year.

Lloyd McClendon should avoid "worst" votes simply because he stole second base a couple years ago after a blown call.

Holly/Dubois over Sanchez?

Holly back to role of super ph and Dubois trade bait.

I think I would give him a chance over those two and Todd Helton learning left field.

Last Three years-

Holly -vs-Sanchez-obp same
holly vs-sanchesz-.ba .277(H) vs .297(S)
Stolen bases Sanchez has stolen over 30 twice!!!
Let's see Cubs need a corner outfielder with speed and gets on base. And he bats Left handed.

What's up? Lets get him in here!!!

In today's "Daily Dish" at BaseballAmerica.com--an AL scout's report on Eric Patterson, Sean Gallagher and Ryan Harvey.

In a nutshell:

(about Patterson) More of an occasional starter/utility guy for me as opposed to an everyday player for a first-division club.

(about Gallagher) Heís going to be a good one.

(about Harvey) The ball just flies of his bat in batting practice, but in game situations, I donít like his approach.

DC Tom--"Is Hawpe a Larry Walker in waiting? Or is he Matt Holliday?"

I think I can safely say he's not Larry Walker in waiting. This is already his age 26 season. That in a sense is handy, because it means that his club control his rights through at least his age 31 season, in other words what should be his prime. But there's normally good reason why a player doesn't make the majors until he's 25, and that's because he's simply not that great (see Dubois, Jason). Walker by comparison raked in Double-A aged just 20 (though he had strikeout issues that he didn't really contain until he was 24). I don't see any comparison between Hawpe and Walker at all, no more of a comparison than there is between Dubois and Sosa, put it that way. You're just not talking about the same level of ability.

I think though that Hawpe's minor league track record (even after taking into account him being quite a bit too old for his league) is more impressive than Matt Holliday's, who was as bleh as a minors as he is in the majors. Holliday just really doesn't look to me like that good a player.

I can't say the same for Hawpe. I think he has a similar upside to Dubois - a solid major league starter, though merely useful until he figures everything out, more useful if he's platooned. I can only see him putting up numbers that make you look twice if he stays at Coors. So he's not exactly worth tripping over yourself to acquire, in my opinion.

Best manager in baseball:
Bobby Cox - 37%
Joe Torre - 17%
Dusy Baker - 12%
Tony La Russa - 7%

And then the reason why you should never trust the public to know what's best:

"Switch-hitting Jose Macias, 3-for-10 in his career against Pavano, could get the call as Friday's DH or Baker may decide to make Aramis Ramirez the DH and stick Macias at third."

Seeing Macias play third, because Ramirez is DHing can be understood, but considering using Macias as a DH because he's a whopping 3 for 10 against Pavano is well, another good reason to get the roster leech far far away from Dusty's control.

Jacos, Alex Sanchez's defence is simply atrocious. He can indeed steal a base, but, unfortunately, he gets caught stealing so often that his baserunning is a net negative. And he has no patience or power at the plate whatsoever, despite earlier this year becoming the first major leaguer to fall foul of baseball's new policy on performance-enhancing drugs. There is just one thing Sanchez can do well - that's hit for the emptiest .290 batting average there ever was. And that's simply not worth that much. And that's why, in the space of just two years, the Brewers, the Tigers and the Devil Rays have all completely given up on him. I think that should tell you something.

Blue, I believe that it was a poll of players, as opposed to the general public. Pay attention!

Blue--"Considering using Macias as a DH because he's a whopping 3 for 10 against Pavano is well, another good reason to get the roster leech far far away from Dusty's control."

Either you're not thinking straight today, you've typed the opposite of what you think, or you should be ashamed of yourself. You call yourself a Dusty-basher? Jeez.

Blue--"Considering using Macias as a DH because he's a whopping 3 for 10 against Pavano is well, another good reason to get Dusty far far away from the roster leech's control."

There. Fixed. I should hope I don't have to endure any more such elementary slip-ups from you in the future.

I think Lloyd gets a bad rap as a manager. He gets the best out of his players and is one hell of a firey manager. It's the ownership's problem out there in Pitt. They have absolutely no direction, no vision and refuse to pay anyone to play there. The pitching staff is horrible, they trade away anyone w/ any prospect of becoming a quality pitcher and their minor leagues are in complete disarray. I would rank Lloyd in the top ten/fifteen. Dusty on the other hand, he might be possibly the worst manager in baseball. Half the time, I swear he's reading "Managing a Major League Baseball Team for Dummies." The other half the time, he's writing the book "How Not to Manage a Major League Baseball Team".

Nice John, very nice.

Jose Macias and Dusty Baker: Interchangable Parts?

Re #45 (John Hill)

I agree with you. In asking, "Larry Walker or Matt Holliday", I was trying to pose the outer boundaries of "Colorado Corner OFs". Walker is highly useful outside of Coors....Holliday is in AAA outside of Coors.

Personally, I would rather keep Corey and try and steal Bay from the Priates (I would give them Rich Hill, Holly and Mitre) and if that doesn't work, try and pick off Matt Lawton for a middling prospect like Richard Lewis.

If the Pirates going 281-365 from 2001-2004 was with Lloyd getting the best out of their players, I would hate to see what would have happened if they got the worst out of their players! :)

If the Pirates want to rattle off some consecutive winning seasons, the obvious solution is to bring in Dusty.

Re #45 (John Hill)

I agree with you. In asking, "Larry Walker or Matt Holliday", I was trying to pose the outer boundaries of "Colorado Corner OFs". Walker is highly useful outside of Coors....Holliday is in AAA outside of Coors.

Personally, I would rather keep Corey and try and steal Bay from the Priates (I would give them Rich Hill, Holly and Mitre) and if that doesn't work, try and pick off Matt Lawton for a middling prospect like Richard Lewis.

DC Tom,

I like the idea of getting Bay but there are 3 things that worry me:

1) His strikeouts. He has already struck out more this season than Korey Patterson, and although he has walked a helluva lot more as well, he still does the former almost twice as often as the latter. His BA, OBP and other numbers suggest he can assuredly hit, but his age (almost a year older than Korey) suggests that strikeouts might always be a problem for him.

2) His contract. I actually don't have the slightest clue where to look this up (sad I know), as I couldn't get Cot's Baseball Contracts page to load. But I think it likely that he is signed for an amount and a length that are pretty substantial. Am I right?

3) The sheer possibility of getting him. I'm sure the Pirates are still wincing after the July '03 trade with us, and to now trade away the NL ROTY for '04 seems like it wouldn't help their public image a lot. And the fact that all of the Pirates players we've acquired have been murderous when playing their former team can't make them too excited about trading within the division again.

Plus, with the way the Pirates have been playing, it seems increasingly more likely that we might be able to steal one of the Reds' or Brewers'*carlos lee* outfielders away before they decide to bow out of the Wild Card race.

But then again, we do have Jim Hendry and I wouldn't put anything past him.

Bleeding Blue-
As I wrote in my post, it was not the public who voted for best/worst managers. It was 450 MLB players.

Quagmire:
"Dusty on the other hand, he might be possibly the worst manager in baseball."

You are right, he only has the 2nd best winning percentage among active maangers. (sarcasm)

Just because you don't agree with his style does not mean it is bad.

Oh yeah, McClendon pitching to Lee earlier this year was enough to put him as worst manager in baseball.

This is the site I use for mlb contracts....

http://russells.freeshell.org/ddollars/

Andrew, Jason Bay actually earns next to league minimum ($355k). He'll earn a similar amount next year, and then 2007-09 will be his arbitration years. All of which means the Pirates have very little reason to move him.

I agree with you that his strikeouts are a problem. He's only sustaining a high batting average right now as a result of a lot of power and a high batting average on balls in play. There a few hitters (and only a few) that are consistently able to record high batting averages on balls in play. I think we need to wait a bit longer before we can be sure that Jason Bay is one of them though. It's possible he is, but it's also possible that a collapse may be heading his way unless he learns to strike out less.

Thanks Rob for the site, I'll bookmark it. And thanks John for the insight -- good stuff.

Just curious, but generally BABIP is tied to Line Drive %. If Bay has consistently been able to hit more line drives then the average hitter that would explain his high BABIP (along with his power). I think they have the numbers at hardball times(no real desire to look it up at the moment) but I would venture a guess as that being the reason that he's been able to sustain his above average BABIP throughout his career(majors and minors).

I think the Pirates would be insane to trade Bay right now, but I do not put anything past Littlefield. The Giles-for-Bay/Oliver Perez is about the best move he has made and he may try and do the same with Bay.

That said, any trade made now should be balanced against the possibility of signing Damon this winter -- something I had not considered possible until I saw the Todd Walker quotes this week. We will be able to afford him, with the Sosa contract off the books, and we could then slide Corey to LF until 2007, let Corey walk that year, slide Damon to LF and bring up Pie.

If that Damon scenario is possible, then trading for Preston Wilson is a huge mistake unless we give up very little and the Rockies pick up a bunch of the contract. Even then, I would be skeptical unless someone convinces me that Corey is mentally incapable of putting up Preston Wilson numbers in Chicago the next two years.

Mark Buehrle is claiming a veteran pitcher on the Cubs has been loading up with the spitball for years. Some pre-series hype or a legitimate accusation? All things point towards Maddux. If that's the case, I love Maddux even more.

DC Tom,

Good points but remember too that Burnitz is only signed for this year. As you say, getting Bay would be a difficult move, but I would love to see an outfield next year of Patterson, Damon, and Bay, assuming Korey picks it up like we think he can.

Btw, does anyone know if Pie pronounces his name "Pi" or "Pee-ay"? It's messing with my brain.

supposedly it's (P-AY) according to his Inside the ivy bio

pee-AY'

Danke

Barry-
Interesting....

Why didn't he say that before the series at Wrigley? oh yeah, he might have to come to the plate and get a spitball in the ear.

This is why steroids don't really bother me. Baseball has a history of cheaters throughout time. From Babe Ruth using a corked bat to Gaylord Perry using a spitter to Canseco using steroids, to Sosa using a corked bat to George brett using too much pine tar to Connely using pine tar on his glove. And many, many more in between.

If you want to say some are more serious than other, you may have apoint, but a CHEATER is a CHEATER and baseball is littered with them.

This whole Babe Ruth corked bat is new on me. Can I get a reset on that topic?

What is with you guys and your whinning about strike outs? It doesn't matter how a guy gets out, its what he does when he DOESN"T get out. Hello! Adam Dunn anyone? Did anyone care that Sammy struck out 150 times a year while having his best seasons? NO! If we could get Jason Bay (which we won't) that would be as good of a snag as ARam. Bay will have have a long career of hitting home runs and driving in guys. He's 6'2" 200 pounds and still only 26. He can probably bulk up (leagally) and become a real power threat. Unlike puny corey, who may hit 30 home runs, (And yes boys, size does matter) Bay will probably average over 30 homers during the best years of his career (next year, his third full, through the time when he turns 36ish)

Chad-
Someone on here told me abou tit...not sure who. but supposedly Bill James writes about it in one of his abstracts or something.

Here is a link about it:
http://www.mankato-freepress.com/sports/story...

Here goes my best John Hill impersonation:

"What is with you guys and your whinning about strike outs? It doesn't matter how a guy gets out, its what he does when he DOESN"T get out."

Actually, there's a helluva lot wrong with strikeouts, as they are extremely damaging to an offense's production and to the particular hitter's confidence and comfort at the plate. See Korey Patterson. And to say that a strikeout is no worse than any other kind of out is ludicrous, as has been discussed on here before. I'm not the biggest small ball fan in the world, but there is something to be said for moving hitters along and scoring runners by sacrifices. I think the Cubs have tried the whole "huge power but no plate discipline" ideology over the past 7 years or so, and looking at the results, we need to change direction...

"Hello! Adam Dunn anyone? Did anyone care that Sammy struck out 150 times a year while having his best seasons? NO! "

... which is why I don't want Adam Dunn. For the very reason that he might to turn into Sammy, or more likely, turn into Sammy-Lite, with all the power but even less plate discipline. Not to mention he has shown few upsides besides power, as he is not overly impressive in defense, speed, baserunning, etc.

"If we could get Jason Bay (which we won't) that would be as good of a snag as ARam."

I'm not necessarily disagreeing with that, and actually like the idea of getting him, but...

"Bay will have have a long career of hitting home runs and driving in guys."

...I have no idea how you can know that. Bay has shown potential, no doubt, but he has also shown some worrying signs that, as John mentioned, might give the Cubs pause.

"He's 6'2" 200 pounds and still only 26. He can probably bulk up (leagally) and become a real power threat. Unlike puny corey, who may hit 30 home runs, (And yes boys, size does matter) Bay will probably average over 30 homers during the best years of his career (next year, his third full, through the time when he turns 36ish)"

Again, these are speculations. And if Korey ever does hit 30 homers a year (which he might even do this year, considering his current pace), his additional qualities of speed and defense make me think he has at least as much potential (and probably more) than Bay. He's also younger, and while it seems like both still have to figure out the strike zone and how to dominate it, I don't think there's a huge disparity between the two, besides our own first-hand frustration with Korey and the relative novelty factor with Bay.

With that said, I would like to have Bay, though I do think it unlikely we'd get him. I just don't see him as a "sure thing" at all.

Andrew-
Nice try, but it wasn't nearly long enough and needed random obscure stats in it to be like John's
posts.

there's nothing wrong with strikeouts if they're accompanied with plate discipline and working the count (Dunn, Bellhorn, Sosa (1998-2002), Wilkerson, and others)....

On the other hand, you're doing a lot of damage if your're striking out and not working deep counts (Patterson, Sosa (pre-1998), Burnitz, Preston Wilson, currently Dubois and many others).

Sure the ideal players are Albert Pujols, Barry Bonds and Todd Helton power hitters, patient and low strikeout guys, but they are pretty rare.

Andrew, you are wrong. Its not a matter of opinion its a matter of fact. Strikeouts only matter when compared to power numbers. It is worth a high strike out guy as long as he can hit the long ball. Say what you want but I looked up the top ten all time strike out leaders (current and all time) and almost every one of them, (in their good years) I would love to be on this team. Here they are:

Active"
1. Sammy Sosa (35) 2110 R
2. Jim Thome* (33) 1703 L
3. Ray Lankford* (37) 1550 L
4. Jeff Bagwell (36) 1537 R
5. Craig Biggio (38) 1467 R
6. Reggie Sanders (36) 1438 R
7. Barry Bonds* (39) 1428 L
8. Ken Griffey* (34) 1323 L
9. Tim Salmon (35) 1316 R
10. Rafael Palmeiro* (39) 1305 L

All time:
1. Reggie Jackson+* 2597 L
2. Sammy Sosa (35) 2110 R
3. Andres Galarraga 2003 R
4. Jose Canseco 1942 R
5. Willie Stargell+* 1936 L
6. Mike Schmidt+ 1883 R
7. Fred McGriff* 1882 L
8. Tony Perez+ 1867 R
9. Dave Kingman 1816 R
10. Bobby Bonds 1757 R

Jason Bay:
So far, Jason Bay is better that Corey Patterson in ever statistical category there is. Corey may hit 30 homers MAY (I don't think he'll get there) Bay will. What makes me say that? He hit 26 in less than 500 ABs last season. That's why. Corey's speed? Worthless. Unless he's on base, which he is not particularly good at, his speed is wasted. Defense? He's not that good. He really isn't. Most people here agree with me that his speed makes up for the misreads he has on balls. He's no Jim Edmonds, who is way slower than him BTW.

I would take Bay straight up for Patterson ANYDAY. As would anyone else.

Also, you ignorantly wrote:
"huge power but no plate discipline" ideology over the past 7 years or so, and looking at the results, we need to change direction..."

Change direction? Hmmm lets see, winning seasons in 98, 01, 03, 04 and most likely 05. The greatest run in Cub baseball in 35 years and we should change? You have a problem with the results? We were 5 freaking outs from the world series for crying out loud! Since we took this power with out discipline (as you called it, cause I don't know what the hell you are talking about. Oh, probably that damn Sammy Sosa again with all his shitty strikeouts. Cause he sucked, right?) we have done GREAT! So good analysis there. You can have your Corey Patterson and I'll take the sluggers who strike out a lot.

of course you're looking at a cumulative stat when looking at the leaderboards and that means all those people played a lot of games and it's going to be a list of veterans. It stands to reason they played a lot of games cause they did something well and they accumulated all those strikeouts while accumulating other things like walks, hits and home runs.

It would be better to look at a rate stat such as K/PA, but unfortunately I have no idea where to find that.

anyway I'm not really delving into the whole Bay vs. Patterson argument, just letting it be known that a look into the active strikeout leaders is just going to come up with a bunch of guys who played baseball a long time and doesn't really tell us anything...

I mean, I think Michael Jordan or Kareem are the all-time leaders in missed shots in basketball.

Rob--"Just curious, but generally BABIP is tied to Line Drive %. If Bay has consistently been able to hit more line drives then the average hitter that would explain his high BABIP (along with his power). I would venture a guess as that being the reason that he's been able to sustain his above average BABIP throughout his career (majors and minors)."

It's definately a possible explanation. Line drives are tied positively and pretty strongly to BABIP, as to a lesser extent are speed (beating out cheap infield hits), not hitting flyballs (which are often cans of corn if they don't go out) and striking out (this is almost certainly a co-incidence of harder swinging).

Incidentally, Studes for Hardball Times suggested this week that hitting line drives is not a consistently repeatable skill, which I find pretty staggering. That would go a long way to explaining why batting averages on balls in play (and therefore batting averages) can fluctuate so much though, I suppose. Or it could also be a problem with the classifying which batted balls as line drives.

Chad--"Hello! Adam Dunn anyone?"

What's Adam Dunn's batting average?

Strikeouts suppress batting average. A suppressed batting average suppresses on-base and slugging percentages. If Dunn struck out less then, and therefore was able to hit for average, his on-base and slugging percentage would go through the roof, he'd be up there with Barry Bonds as a hitter (except a lot younger, cheaper, not injured and probably not on steroids). As it is, striking out as often as he does, he's just Adam Dunn. Dunn now or Bonds at his peak? Money no object, who are you putting in left field? Exactly. Those strikeouts hurt him.

Chad--"He's 6'2" 200 pounds and still only 26. He can probably bulk up (legally) and become a real power threat...Bay will probably average over 30 homers during the best years of his career"

I'm not disputing his power. I'm disputing his batting average. I'm not yet convinced he's a natural hitter for anything more than a .260 average given his peripherals. Given the rarity of players that can sustain what Bay's doing right now, hitting for a very high batting average on balls in play, I'm not going to give him the benefit of the doubt just yet.

Andrew--"Not to mention he has shown few upsides besides power, as he is not overly impressive in defense, speed, baserunning, etc."

I don't know if you were parodying me (!), but how about Dunn's tremendous patience? Dunn strikes out because he's almost too selective. He takes just about every ball, but he takes a lot of close pitches and strikes too. When he does swing he does so extremely hard, regardless of whether there are two strikes on him, and he's liable to miss, obviously. Sosa too swings just as hard regardless, but he's nowhere near selective enough, continually expanding his zone, swinging at stuff he shouldn't. As a result, Dunn draws more (unintentional) walks than Sosa could ever dream of doing. I'd love to have Adam Dunn on the Cubs. Sure, the guy can't hit for average, but look at his on-base and slugging percentages even in spite of that!

Chad, you bash Corey Patterson like no tomorrow. Is that because he can't hit for average, and he doesn't walk enough on top of that to get on-base at a good enough rate? If so, what do you think is responsible for that?

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