Honor and Tradition and All That Junk

So the Cubs head to Yankee Stadium for a weekend series, and I thought I'd take this opportunity to introduce you all to the team. See, since they're in New York, they don't get the media attention that they probably deserve. They toil in obscurity in a decrepit stadium (which is, thankfully, going to be replaced soon), and because they don't have the revenue to bring their payroll over $200M, they're struggling to stay over .500 and are six games behind the free-spending, large market Orioles. So, herewith, a quick sketch of the 25 guys who wear the pinstripes (which, by the way, are a slap in the face of tradition and ought to be replaced by something in a nice solid-color doubleknit): STARTING PITCHERS Randy Johnson: Don't know much about this guy other than he's tall, left-handed, and the Cubs won't have to face him. Mike Mussina: 14-year veteran who some people tout as a prospective Hall of Famer even though he's never won 20 games in a season. I mean, come on. Carl Pavano: Was once traded for Pedro Martinez. Shunned the bright lights of Miami to cast his lot with this plucky band of overachievers. Kevin Brown: One of the nicest guys you'd ever hope to meet. Chien-Ming Wang: Wow, really? RELIEF PITCHERS Paul Quantrill: Led the league in appearances the last four seasons but has only 25 wins and 5 saves to show for it. Obviously an underachiever. Tanyon Sturtze: Very angry at Aramis Ramirez for usurping the title of "best player named after a Musketeer." Mike Stanton: Has freakishly short arms. Buddy Groom: Used to have the best porn-star mustache this side of Jeff Kent, but had to shave it off when he joined the Yankees because owner George Steinbrenner is afraid of facial hair. Tom Gordon: Once wrote a book about Stephen King or something. Mariano Rivera: Actually, I don't have anything clever or witty to say about this guy -- when you've had an ERA under two five times in your career, you're exempt from my attempts at humor. STARTING NINE Jorge Posada: He's good, but he's no Matt Nokes. Tino Martinez: Usually by the time you end up in Tampa Bay, there's no chance of getting out, but somehow Tino managed it. Robinson Cano: Teammates still unsure how to pronounce his last name. Alex Rodriguez: Can hit a little. Derek Jeter: The last person who criticized Jeter's game ended up at Guantanamo. Tony Womack: Starting left fielder. Seriously. Hideki Matsui: He's good, but he's no Tsuyoshi Shinjo. Gary Sheffield: Again, nothing funny to say here. I'm afraid of him. Ruben Sierra: Was very good when the first George Bush was president. BENCH John Flaherty: Has the easiest job in baseball. Russ Johnson: Hasn't shown up at the park since May 19th, and no one has noticed. Bubba Crosby: Too old to still go by the name "Bubba." Bernie Williams: Might want to consider brushing up on his classical guitar skills. Jason Giambi: Is apparently involved in some sort of scandal, but it's been difficult to find anyone in the media interested in covering it. I hope this helps. It was difficult to find any sort of information about this team online, so I can't vouch for the accuracy of everything, but I think this should give us a little more insight into the Cubs' next opponent.
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Comments

Do you have any historical insights for this "other team from New York"?

"Tony Womack: Starting left fielder. Seriously."

I hear we're going to trade for a Left Fielder. Maybe we could bundle Hollandsworth, Dubois and Macias together for Womack.

Don't forget Mitre and Wood, CubsWin. I mean, Tony Womack! - did you see what he did with the Cardinals last year!

I still get palpitations every time I think back to those "the Cubs are hours away from signing Womack" rumors from last winter.

You're right Andrew. Mitre is good trade bait. We'll dangle him in front of Steinbrenner and hook him good. Then we'll force him to take Wood too. Wood will be the deal-breaker. Take Wood or we walk.

Laugh if you want, this could be a tougher series on the Cubs than the Marlins were. Not to worry... an easier schedule is coming.

Laugh if you want, this could be a tougher series on the Cubs than the Marlins were. Not to worry... an easier schedule is coming.

I would not take the Yankees lightly either, but if Cubs sweep I see Torre gone on Monday.

Just a quick note. John and Rob do a nice job but without Christian, it just isn't the Cub Reporter.

I'm happy to see you more active Ruz, keep this site #1~!

West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx clinched their first half Division Title last night. And recently acquired from the SF Giants, David Aardsma struck out 7 in five shutout innings for the Jaxx.

That's great to see Cubs management making trades to improve the minor league system. A lot of teams really neglect the farm system.

I heard from somewhere that the Cubs have prospects of bringing Aardsma up some day as a closer. Does anyone know if that's the plan?

That was hilarious. Too bad you didn't do a similiar satire of Boston.

The Cubs are 8-6 in June but the offense has certainly picked up.....

June Numbers
Derrek Lee .456/.508/.737 1.245 OPS
Aramis .292/.426/.725 1.151 OPS
Hollandsworth .417/.436/.649 1.075 OPS
Burnitz .358/.424/.604 1.028 OPS
Barrett .326/.348/.628 .976 OPS
Walker .333/.362/.533 .895 OPS
NEIFI! .295/.302/.426 .728 OPS

And then there's Korey....
.176/.222/.235 .458 OPS

Dubois also in 25 at-bats is hitting only .240/.296/.320 .616 OPS

My lineup for this weekend's games
Hairston 2B
Walker DH
Lee 1B
Burnitz RF
Ramirez 3B
Hollandsworth LF
Barrett C
NEIFI! SS
Korey CF

Korey and NEIFI could switch between 8th and 9th if you wish. You can also give Dubois a game at DH and do something like this

Walker 2B
NEIFI! SS
Lee 1B
Burnitz RF
Ramirez 3B
Hollandsworth LF
Barrett C
Dubois DH
Korey CF

The plan is to move Aardsma to the bullpen and hope that he takes over the closer role one day. He was originally being used as a starter just to give him regular work and time to work on his pitches. He threw at least one game last week out of the bullpen and I thought the move was permanent, but yesterday West Tenn. played a DH and that might be why he got the start.

Brilliant, ruz!

I would use the DH as an opportunity to give Lee a bit of a breather, with Hairston in LF and Holly at 1B. I've absolutely no numbers to back this up, but Walker strikes me as a type of player who will hit better when he is "playing" both sides.

Interesting fact I just read in Neyer's latest ESPN article...the Cubs are leading the NL in OPS at a .792 clip. Now some of that can be attributed to D-Lee's sky-high numbers, but its still pretty impressive in its own right. Now only if we could get men on base at a higher rate, our slugging % dictates that we would be scoring more runs as well.

Rob-
I like your first lineup with Walker as DH. But I think neifi would bat 9th as I don't think baker would put CPat in the 9 hole. He has already dropped him in the lineup as it is.

All right, anyone think a package for Austin Kearns might be a great idea right now? Yes, he's been injury prone, but he appears to be relatively healthy now and is only just 25. Playing in the terrible environment that is Cincinatti the past few years is certainly part of the problem. He also has the potential to be a 300/400/550 bat. The Reds are in fire sale mode (again) and Kearns was recently demoted. I'm thinking a package of Mitre/Wellemeyer/Dubois might do the trick, but I could be underestimating the Reds' desperation at this time, or overestimating Mitre's current value. A 2007 outfield of Kearns/Pie/Murton looks mighty tasty and awfully cheap.

"Too bad you didn't do a similiar satire of Boston."

That's because I was too busy giving you a hard time, Evan.

Heard this on ESPN radio yesterday. In wake of the Yanks announcing that they are going to build their own stadium, it turns out it will be at the expense of the small market teams. MLB will allow the Yanks to subtract some of the money they spend on the new ballpark from their gross expenses. That will mean less money paid in salary tax. So the Yanks will start subsidizing themselves instead of the small market teams.

Ouch for competitive balance, not that there is much of it.

Cheap outfield?
Why do the Cubs need to be cheap?
The Cubs play in Chicago not Tampa. They can afford a $ 110 to 125 million pay roll especially after bleacher expansion and rotating bill boards.

I'm not suggesting to spend money just to spend money (See Mets), but they should not be let off the hook for a payroll below $ 90 million.

Yeah, Ranch, I heard the same thing, and that is very discouraging. I also heard speculation that that is why Piniella is trying to leave the D-Rays. Couple the fact that none of the Yankees money will enter the D-Rays' pockets over the next several years with the fact that the Tampa Bay management just refuses to spend money, and I'd be leaving too.

:: Cheap outfield?
Why do the Cubs need to be cheap? ::

The Cubs don't need to be cheap. I think he's just saying we can get some great young talent from our very own farm system in the outfield and management could spend the otherwise spent money on holding on to Lee for dear life and signing an honest-to-goodness leadoff guy. In other words, money better spent because of a healthy farm system.

Today's lineup:

Perez, SS
Patterson, CF
Lee, 1B
Burnitz, RF
Ramirez, 3B
Walker, DH
Hollandsworth, LF
Blanco, C
Wilson, 2B

Um...

******FLASH!!********

SF Giants have reportedly given up on their season.
(no doubt the disastrous trade for LaTroy Hawkins was the final straw)

JT Snow is supposed to sit so Lance Niekro can get some quality time.

((Maybe we can get Moises Alou back.))

OK. I'm generally supportive of the Cubs & management, but what is the deal with this guy Enrique Wilson? Why did the Cubs pick him up and why is he always cropping up in games?

I'm also a big believer that stats don't tell the whole pitcure when evaluating how valuable someone is to a team. That having been said, Wilson is underqualified to be bat boy. My grandma could hit better than him.

The SF Giants have also disables LaTroy Hawkins with and elbow problem.

Actually, the Giants have put Hawkins on the 15-day DL with "right ulnar neuritis."

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2...

Exactly, Ryno. If the Cubs can lock up three outfield spots with excellent, young talent, that just leaves a helluva lot more money to commit to in house superstars, free agent talent, and draft picks. In a new environment, I think Kearns could easily hit at a 280/360/480 clip immediately, and only get better from there. With his demotion to Triple A, and the Reds' obvious commitment to Freel, I can't think of a better time to nab a player with such potential on the cheap.

As to Enrique Wilson, I think even Dusty's sycophants admit that he has a fetish for "versatile" but otherwise awful players on his bench. In the past five years alone, Baker has employed Shawon Dunston, Tom Goodwin, Troy O'Leary, Lenny Harris, Tony Womack, Doug Glanville, Jose Macias, Rey Ordonez, and now Enrique Wilson. As Neifi comes down to earth, he finds a place as well. When players like Fontenot and even Trenidad Hubbard waste away in Triple A to make room for Macias and Wilson, the GM needs a very strenuous spanking.

Well if we hope to keep Wood, Z and Prior together (and I'm souring on Wood) then you'll have to find cheap talent somewhere else cause Prior and Z are going to get very expensive in the next few years.

As for today's lineup, I think Carl Pavano is a crappy pitcher and all, but no need to insult the guy. I know Blanco and Z have sort of meshed lately, but Enrique Wilson instead of Hairston? Why, cause he used to play in New York? Of course now he'll go 2 for 4.

What a joke! The four hitters hitting in front of Lee (including the #8 and #9 hitters, have OBPs of .179, .188, .322, and .292. The fact that Blanco and Wilson are on this roster is a disgrace, and Perez remains immune to drawing a walk. Patterson needs a sharp kick in the ass. Baker and Hendry deserve to be fired for having those four players hit back to back to back to back in the same line-up, especially in front of your best hitter. Sickening.

Please keep talking bad about this lineup...PLEASE!!

When TCR in general hates a lineup, the Cubs tend to score at least 7 runs.

Bad lineup...bad.

Seriuosly though, I would rather have Hariston in the lineup too.

Why would anyone in his right mind bat Walker as DH to get Wilson into the game?

"The fact that Blanco and Wilson are on this roster is a disgrace,"

But the disgrace ain't cheap either. Blanco is getting $1.2 million this year.

In Ron's interview with Todd Walker, he just made the comment about how being switched around--he's the DH tonight--requires more concentration.

I hope Dusty was listening.

Wilson is probably starting because Dusty wants to play a NL game, even though it's an AL park. Since the pitcher can't hit, we might as well use someone who hits like a pitcher.

In the case of Z, I'd rather have him in there than Wilson.

Dusty is playing Wilson because, as a former Yank, he's familiar with Yankee Stadium. Well, he sucked back then, which is why they let him go, you jackass.

Prior threw off the mound at Yankee stadium today in a simulated game. He threw 4 innings and said afterwards his arm felt great, no pain in his elbow. Maybe one more sim game and then he will go down to Iowa with Wood.

So if all goes as planned, Wood and Prior would be back by July 1 or so....NICE!!!!!!

Prior threw off the mound at Yankee stadium today in a simulated game. He threw 4 innings and said afterwards his arm felt great, no pain in his elbow.

Anyone else doing a little dance right now?

Such good news makes me so optimistic that I could even believe that Wilson will go 4 for 4 with a walk.

Err....maybe I'm not that elated.

Ryno:
"but what is the deal with this guy Enrique Wilson? Why did the Cubs pick him up and why is he always cropping up in games?"

Wilson only has 15 AB's all year, not exactly cropping up much.

Personally, my lineup today would have been...

2B Jerry Hairston
DH *Todd Walker
1B Derrek Lee
RF *Jeromy Burnitz
3B Aramis Ramirez
LF *Todd Hollandsworth
CF *Corey Patterson
SS #Neifi Perez
C Henry Blanco

CBS Sports YESTERDAY

" The latest with the Cubs' aces: Kerry Wood (shoulder) is expected to make two more rehabilitation starts at Triple-A Iowa and may return to the rotation by the end of the month. Mark Prior (elbow) likely will not be back before late July."

That's quite a spread between the first and "late" July.

Prior himself says he's looking to get back after the All Star break.

Hope you're right though Manny. Prior is much more important to the future of the Cubs than Wood is. Would like to have him back on the first.

CubsPennnat....i am right.

I saw his press conference and footage of him throwing. just relaying what he said.

Whew!!!!! I thought that was a homer for sure by Sheffield.....

Missed by an eye lash...

Heh... on Gameday, when it says "Jason Giambi" it looks like "Bambi" ... sorry guys, I just can't pass up an opportunity to make fun of the Yankees.

Weird-- Korey hits a triple and DLee strikes out in a (semi) clutch situation. The world is all upside down.

I'm not sure if it was the time of day or what but Lee took a pathetic swing on strike 3, looked horribly fooled.

You know, they say to never slide into first base. I am a huge advocate of that philsophy. When a guys slides into first I think that he should be benched for the next three games and fined.

That said, Enrique Wilson just made the first slide into first base that was EVER acceptable. At least the first one I ever saw.

I agree, Hawkeye... but let's bench him for the next 3 games anyway.

DC... I think that you left off the "0." Or maybe that is just my intense distate for Enrique Wilson...
... and Jose Macias...
... and Manny Trillo...

some guys should just let it go.

The Wilson thing makes no sense. Hairston could be playing second, the obvious thing. Dubois could be DHing and since Blanco is catching, Barrett, one of the hottest hitters could be DHing. This is freaking stupid.

by the way, they just showed a shot of hairston in the dugout. he looked less than enthused. i guess being replaced by a guy that's hitting a buck and a quarter will cause that reaction.

I just looked in. That's the stupidest lineup I can remember. I don't know much about the AL, but this seems like a simple rule:

When you add a DH, and don't make the extra hitter better than your pitcher would have been, you did a bad job.

if there are any cubs fans that live in NYC? would it be possible to tell me what subway lines can get me from Penn Station to Yankee Stadium on Sunday? thanks

Speaking of not knowing anything about AL ball, does the rule say that the pitcher can't hit? Or does it say that you can have a DH bat for one of your players?

I'd DH for Blanco before I'd DH for most of our pitchers.

THIS LINEUP SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Whenever TCR bitches about the lineup they score 7 runs...keep bitchin'..

In Dusty WE Trusty!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sweet, 2 ribbies for Blanco. The reverse jinx works!

not to damper the prior simulated game, but in that session jose f'n macias did hit a hr of prior...

it's also ironic if dusty has enrique in for his "comfortableness" at yankee stadium...cubs have one error so far this game. guess from who!?

NOAMRGROIN-
It was a tough play and he also has turned a few nice DP's.

Bad LINEUP!!

In Dusty We Trusty!!!

tough chance? LOL! Wilson looked like a Matadore* waving his cape at the ball as it slipped into right field.

*But then he is one of the Cub Matadores.

Bad LINEUP!!

Home Run off reliever Ohman scores 2, Z gives up 6 gets a no-decision

Yankees 7 Cubs 6 Posada follows with a single. still only 1 out in the bottom of the seventh.

In Dusty We Trusty!!!

I am glad Mr. Hendry went out this offseason and fixed the biggest problem we had...the bullpen.

The only reason they were pitching well for those 3-4 weeks was because the starters were going so deep into games. As soon as they have to pitch 3-4 innings it gets UGLY!!!

MannyTrillo says 90% of TCR readers said the Cubs were done 3-4 weeks ago. I challenged him to prove it or admit he is a liar.

This statement naturally assumes that Manny was the only one who held out hope while the rest of us were doing our best chicken little impression.

We know one thing he will not prove it and his best come back is "Oh that is real classy." If your going to lie about other members of this site you better damn well back it up. I am sick of this piece of crap making up his own reality and then changing the facts so it makes him look like a smart little fella.

Either prove your point Manny or leave the site. This site certainly has no use for pathological liars.

NJCubsFan - Take the D train uptown to 161st Street. You can pick it up a block away from Penn Station. Just exit Penn Station at the MSG entrance, and walk a block to 6th Ave.

Another classy post by Mr. MikeC!!!

Only one for today...you are getting better. Congrats!!!

Oh yeah, so if I said 90%, but I was the only one on the 10%, then that would mean there are only 10 people on TCR?? Ruz, maybe you should do more advertising. ;)

Will someone please explain Dusty's reasoning to me?

Matsui coming up in a clutch situation, as a clutch hitter, as someone who has already hit a homer against a lefty in the game. He typically hits better against lefties. AND Remlinger typically can't get lefties out.

Where is the logic?

Gee, Dusty, if you're going to give the game away (e.g.- Start Wilson @ 2B, put Wuertz in to pitch to lefties, put Remlinger in to pitch to Matsui), then the Yankees will take it. I'd have much rather seen the regular lineup, Dubois DH, hitting 6th.

Wuertz is the set up guy he is suppose to face all hitters. What about Ohman pitching to matsui? Nobodu is mentioing that. What happened there?

What you guys are missing is that the bullpen is unreliable and basically a big piece of shit. Thanks Mr. Hendry!!!

Wuertz would be better as a righty only pitcher. Check out his splits.

From mlb.com:

"'He was sharp, he's got good stuff,' said Macias, WHO DID HIT A HOME RUN OFF PRIOR." (caps mine, because I don't know how to make stuff bold or italicized)

I saw one positive tonight. The fact that Womack is their left fielder and not ours. Holy crap is that guy awful. Speier waved a few runs home on his weak arm that even an average arm could have thrown out by a mile. Wow. You'd think with 200 million they could get a better left fielder than that!

&ltb&gtEnbolden!&lt/b&gt
&lti&gtItalicize!&lt/i&gt

I almost thought it was a better that Remlinger faced Matsui. Matsui had better splits against lefties, but Remlinger had better splits against right handers. Seeing that they were both reverse to normal, I figured they cancelled each other out, and Remlinger actually had a good shot of getting him out.

(heavy sarcasm)

Those making light of Womack's talent....ummm..he just happens to find ways to be on playoff and world series teams...seems to me everyone could use him.

cubfan -- being overrated isn't a useful skill. if it were, we've already got it cornered in the cubs dugout anyway.

cubfan -- being overrated isn't a useful skill. if it were, we've already got it cornered in the cubs dugout anyway.

Wil Purdue has 4 champsionship rings, was he a major contributor or just oppurtunistic?

Also hate to say it, but I would trade Prior or Wood straight up for Mark Buerhle right now.

Even after those idiot comments Buerhle made about a Cubs pitcher throwing spitballs? I know, he's a good pitcher, but you still gotta hate them White Sox for talkin smack about our boys. Plus, he's creating a very awkward round of PR for himself and Guillen. Cuz we never have enough of those.

man..these $230 million teams are tough.

i just cant understand how anyone can be a fan of such an embarrasment of a payroll just to stay competitive.

all that crap aside...can we please get a solid bullpen arm. dumpster is our closer, 2 rookies with less than 100ip are our setup men...remlinger/borowski is the "veteran help"...ugg...

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