Cubs Acquire Matt Lawton

The Cubs acquired OF Matt Lawton from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for OF Jody Gerut. I also stumbled across this tidbit which hasn't been widely reported.
The Pirates also sent the Cubs cash in the deal.
Goodness, what else did Hendry get in the deal, a free car wash, Littlefield's first 2 children, a tropical cruise, use of the company jet, free cellular minutes? Lawton's stats: 2005: .273/.380/.433 16/25 SB opportunities Career: .269/.370/.422 163/229 SB opportunities He hasn't played centerfield since 2000 for the Twins and not regularly since 1998, so I assume he'll either take over full-time left field duties or platoon with Matt Murton. Either way, the days of Todd Hollandsworth starting should be over. Dusty's ideas for a lineup are quite different then mine, but Lawton should immediately be put in the leadoff role. I'd try something like this. LF Lawton 2b Walker 1B Lee 3B Ramirez RF Burnitz C Barrett CF Hairston SS Perez P Pitcher Spot and when Garciaparra returns... LF Lawton SS Garciaparra 1b Lee 3b Ramirez RF Burnitz 2b Walker C Barrett CF Hairston P Pitcher Spot and if Lawton cares to play center or Burnitz in center, I mean, either can't be much worse then Hairston out there... CF/RF Lawton SS Garciaparra 1b Lee 3b Ramirez RF/CF Burnitz 2b Walker C Barrett LF Murton P Pitcher spot If you believe in the whole Righty-Lefty matchup thing you can even try this... CF/RF Lawton SS Garciaparra 1B Lee RF/CF Burnitz 3b Ramirez 2b Walker C Barrett LF Murton P Pitcher spot Overall I like the deal and it certainly addresses one of our biggest offensive issues. Of course, our starting pitching is mediocre, the bullpen still sucks, and we just lost 3 out of 4 to a sub .500 team at home, but whatever. It's a nice move, although I feel bad for Jody Gerut, who Cubs management told was going to be around for awhile. Kind of a bush league move to make towards a kid from Chicago. But I guess you can't pass up a good opportunity. Lawton is making 7.5 million this year and is a free agent after the season. He may lead to Burnitz's option not getting picked up this off-season and moving into the right field spot for next year as well. Time will tell. [ruz]: Well done again, Mr. Hendry, and why does Dave Littlefield keep taking your calls? Lawton provides an immediate upgrade in the outfield -- he's hitting 276/382/438 and has stolen 16 of 25 attempted bases -- and will look good at the top of the batting order. He's also a plus defender and a guy the Cubs might want to consider bringing back next year.
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Comments

Excellent move. That OBP will be excellent at the top of the order. This won't help the pitching staff any, though, as he is, to say the least, a below-average defender.

Finally an on-base machine at the top of the order. I've been advocating this for weeks.

"#26 of 159: By The Natural (July 22, 2005 07:53 AM)

Not sure if this was mentioned previously, but why haven't the Cubs been persuing Matt Lawton to bat leadoff? The guy has a career .370 OBP and would probably put up similar numbers to Damon for less cost, and is obtainable this year."

Not sure if takes Damon off the wish-list for 2006.

I'm assuming this is a one-and-done thing with Lawton, right? He plays a couple of months, hopefully gives us a spark, then he's gone. If so, then I think it's the right deal for this team. Gave up next to nothing, and now, with a solid leadoff guy plus the return of Nomar, you should have a lineup that can score regularly. If not, well, the problem's not with talent, it's with something else (attitude? lack of fire? lack of heart?).

Still should have wrestled away a reliever, but the team we see from here on out should at least be improved.

This shouldn't change the interest in Damon at all. There's a reason Damon will cost more than Lawton -- he's a better all around player who's proven he can be the sparkplug at the top of a championship lineup. Plus he's a marketing dream. It's not as if the Cubs have trouble selling themselves now, but Damon's popularity means the Cubs get more than just the on-field returns for signing him.

Good deal here Jim. BP has Lawton and Burnitz pegged at the same fielding rating in right this field, and both of them bad centerfielders, so likely Lawton goes to left and Hairston stays in center- with the Cubs hoping that CP gets hot and gets back for a September run. This would give us probably the best outfield defense in baseball and a nice bench (Neifi, Hollandsworth, Hairston).

Still would have liked to see some pitching traded for a long-term solution- but guess it wasn't happening.

Lawton is a defensive liability. He had shoulder surgery a couple years back in the offseason, maybe after 2003? His arm isn't great, and his knee that had him under the knife makes his turning and all-out speed less than solid.

Offensively, he's not bad, but this team is too flawed in the bullpen and the starting staff.

Hendry is hoping Williamson, Nomar, and Wood can come back and pull magic out of a hat, otherwise, he's resigned this season already as a "Wait 'till Next Year"....man I've said that SOOOO many times...

That said, I like these guys. The Cubs have a good nucleus, but like many years in the past, we have one side of the equation: hitting, not pitching, or vice versa. This season, I'm not sure we fully developed either, but at least we had some offense to speak of...

Lawton in CF leading off, Hairston to the bench where he belongs, Murton in LF, Burny in RF. Like said above, this keeps the Damon option open next year.

Not sure I agree Jordan with everything you said, but I don't strongly disagree either. Nonetheless, I'm willing to say Lawton is a better player to have than Gerut and definitely better than Dubois. It's a good trade, but it better be just a rental. Lawton should not be in the future for this team. The Cubs' offseason should be spent STRONGLY pursuing 1) Dunn 2) Damon 3) bullpen help, in that order.

Rob I'm surprised to see Murton on the bench in so many of your lineups. If this trade means Murton has lost his regular playing time I think I''m going to become a Tigers fan.

I just don't think Hairston will be in CF. Baker does not like him and now that we have a leadoff hitter he can bench him. Like I said in the previous post it would not surprise me if C-pat gets called up and Murton goes to Iowa. Murton needs everyday PT and if he is not going to get it here then he should do it at Iowa. Has Murton played CF in the minors or college?

This ain't going to be enough to make us a more than mediocre team, but it certainky looks like a very good trade on paper.

On a completely unrealted note, I've come to the conclusion that the Cubs conditioning program sucks. We seem to fall apart at the end of long stretches without a day off. It happened at the end of last year when we played 25 games in 24 days or whatever, and here it just looked like the Cubs were exhausted in all facets of the game.

The crap thing is, after a single day off, we play 16 more games before our next break.

Can Lawton pitch?
As of right now I only see two starters in this rotation that give us a better than 50/50 chance to win a game.

I didn't really look at Lawton's splits, but he's not very good versus lefties. My guess is he's Murton's new platoon-mate, although he probably should be Hairston's new platoon-mate. As I said we'll have to wait and see. I like Murton and with the way the season is shaping up, might as well afford him regular playing time. But he's been ungodly lucky so far with the Cubs and he's due to struggle at some point. If the Cubs are trying to win it this year, then a platoon with Lawton is suitable with me.

Of course I really think the Cubs should be thinking much more about next year then this, but I don't see Baker or Hendry conceding anything this year for the sake of next season.

Not a bad move....doesn't put the Cubs over the top and certainly doesn't put them over the Cards and Astros...a large percent of remaining games.

what a useless move...granted gerut isnt everything, but where does that put us next year if adam greenberg isnt ready?

lawton is gonna be 34 years old and coming off a 7m a year season.

and none of this will help the pen...

Rob, I'm with ya. It's a fine move for marginally improving our play for the rest of the season, but I think it's time to focus on next year. The bullpen will continue to be a problem, Dusty will continue to manage poorly, and the Cubs will not make the playoffs.

Here are 10 predictions for the rest of the season:

1) Dusty will keep playing Rem.
2) Dusty will keep playing Mitre.
3) Dusty will keep playing Rusch out of the pen.
4) Dusty will keep starting Hollandsworth regularly in LF.
5) Dusty has been perfectly clear that Neifi will continue to get regular playing time at short.
6) Dusty will continue to use Macias as an offensive sub.
7) Dusty will keep mangling the double switch and we'll continue to have pitchers in the middle of our lineup for multiple innings a game.
8) When Murton starts, he will continue to be wasted in the 8th spot.
9) When Barrett starts, he will continue to be wasted in the 7th or 8th spot.
10) Rich Hill, Greg Maddux, and Jerome Williams do not give us "the most feared rotation in baseball."

Wait 'till next year and pray Dusty is managing the Dodgers.

i guess worrying about who's gonna be a 4th OF'r in 06 is a bit premature, but im not a huge fan of this move. either way it looks like it shouldnt hurt too much depending on who's being counted on next year for the 4th OF...maybe corey...in that case...no big deal. *shrug*

Dunn & Damon for next year? Is that kool-aid delicious? Damon & Boras will be demanding a 4 year MINIMUM deal and maybe 5, probably with a no-trade clause and at least 12MM per year. Probably more. No way that happens, especially with Pie around the corner.

BP.com sure likes the deal...

"The kudos for the day go to Jim Hendry and John Schuerholz. Hendry got the best OBP guy on the market by trading Jody Gerut to the Pirates for Lawton. Lawton's lefty .380 OBP is exactly what the Cubs' offense, loaded with power and outs, needed. How the Cubs align their outfield, which currently lacks a true center fielder, will be interesting, but keep in mind that they have a strikeout/groundball staff, and Wrigley is one of the smaller outfields in the game. If any team can give away some outfield defense, it's the Cubs."

wtf is more run supposed to do for us when we already score a ton, hit a ton, and smack out a ton.

be nice to have a sub-4.50era bullpen, though.

yeah, i know NO ONE was dealing relief worth a damn, but wow...could have really used an arm.

and yeah, im bitching for no reason...its not like anyone stole any relief pitching. there was only 1 reliever traded remotely worth a damn...i just really hoped that hole could have been plugged. there's a lot riding on hill/wood/williamson now.

Lawton usually has a very low batting average and on base percentage in the second half of the season.

I think its usually about 50 points less or more.

Plus, he is a defensive liability most of the time.

Wouldnt get excited about this one....

If Baker manages elsewhere it will be somewhere in the beltway. Angelos is likely to fire Mazzilli at the end of the year. He will want to make some kinda of splash. It is a perfect fit for him a middle market team with alot of vets. The only reason Robinson is managing the Nats is because he is friends with Selig, and is doing it as a personal favor. They will have an ownership group in place by Xmas and he will step down. If Bowden stays as GM which I think he will again want to make a splash. He will be viewed as a great hire because they don't know anything about baseball in DC and will be happy to have such a winning manager at the helm.

lawton career splits:

PRE ASG:
.279/.376/.445

POST ASG:
.254/.363/.387

vs. lefty:
.250/.343/.372

vs. righty
.276/.380/.440

he's fairly consistent month from month as well with april and june being his best.

at wrigley in 12 games and 37 at-bats:
.324/.432/.405

my top 10 list to replace Baker:

1. Terry Pendleton
2. Jim Leyland
3. Bob Brenley
4. Orel Hershier
5. Ryne Sandberg
6. Joe Giradi
7. Bobby Dickerson
8. Grady Little
9. Chris Spier
10. Lee Mazzilli

Just a quick thought on deadline stuff: Does anybody else find it funny that Tampa Bay held up the Manny Ramirez deal with ridiculous demands? They somehow think Huff is worth like four superstar prospects and decide they won't deal unless that's what they get. So guess what? Now they're stuck with Huff, who they'll never be able to sign, and will get nothing for losing him.

And they had the stones to ask for Carlos from the Cubs in the offseason. Hmmm. I guess in their opinion nothing for Huff is better than, say, Mitre, Wellemeyer and Dubois for Huff.

Unbelievable.

I'am surprised Tampa did not make a move I thought they would deal Baez and Huff in seperate deals for Pettit and Mccarthy.

Grady Little?

Huff is signed through 2006 and the Drays aren't in any sort of financial constraints that they MUST deal him. They can easily get another deal this off-season or next years trade deadline.

"Grady Little?"

He is 8th on the list. Ryno wanted the job last time and I imagine would take it if it was offered to him now. However Little would be on Hendry's top 5 most likely.

I would absolutely LOVE for Jim Leyland to manage this team. We need someone with passion and heart.

Chifan,

If Brenly gets the job, can he still do color from the bench? I certainly can't wait to get more of his dimwitted self-depricating humor and having him wearing a jersey, too.

I think Lawton was a good move considering. We gave up a kid, who may have potential, but wasn't good enough (in our mananger's eyes)to play ahead of Murton/Holly or even get PH AB's ahead of Macias. In return, we get a guy who's OBP is fantastic. Pitching aside, the main problem with this team is that D-Lee should have about 5,000 RBIs right now if it wasn't for Neifi/Hairston/Walker NEVER getting on base. This kid has some pop, especially playing at Wrigley.

That being said, I'm going to go home and pray that Nomar hits .450 the rest of the year and Williamson has suddenly become Dennis Eckersley. Otherwise, I've begun the wait for next year.

I edited the post to reflect this but in case you don't re-read it,

The Pirates also sent the Cubs cash in the deal.

I think Hendry could talk you into carving your own eyes out. Unbelievable.....

I think they could have had Lawton before this season for Farnsworth and Welly, two guys that would have shored up the Indians bullpen, before it got good this season.

I was listening to the Score and David Schuester, on my way back from Milwaukee today and he's pretty adamant about Patterson being brought up. Do we really need both Hairston and Lawton in the lineup?

Anybody else see that the Cubs haven't exactly been "scoring a ton" lately? And at the risk of blasphemy, Derrek Lee has been choking a lot lately as well at the plate? While the bullpen has been bad in the past, hasn't been great lately, and definitely could use help, it is the offense right now that is losing ballgames. When your pitchers allow 3 to 4 runs a game (no, i know, but not 13), you should have a very good chance of winning it with the Cubs lineup. Again, bullpen help is needed but that's the kind of deal you make once a team decides they are out of it (Dodgers/Padres, Phillies, etc.) that comes over the waivers.

Did he give any reason as to why Patterson should be brought up?

cant imagine patterson not being called up in sept...if he's still with the club

I was just reading Maddog's post and he seems absolutely furious at trading gerut for lawton. His argument is we traded a much cheaper better glove OF for an expensive player who is inferior defensively.
Any thoughts??

Speculation about the new line-up (singular) is pointless. Dusty needs to "manage." To him that means match-ups, platoons, and giving starters unnecessary days off.

It almost assuredly means Nomar will play second fiddle to Ne!f! for at least two weeks, Murton will only start against lefties (esp. now that we have Lawton), and that Macias will appear just enough times to piss everyone off (which isn't much).

And if the semblance of sanity begins to appear, just wait till we expand the roster; that's when Dusty really starts working his magic.

The trade I really wanted to see was with the Dodgers. Dusty for anything...

That said, I think the every day OF should be Murton, Burnitz in C, and Lawton. Give us some stability and improve the bench, by keeping Holly and Hairston where they belong.

And why do we care about babying Nomar. Play the hell out of his groin; after this year, we don't owe him anything. The man is playing for a contract; give him a bat and let him go.

Don't get me started on the bullpen...

I imagine they would recall him for his glove. If Hairstion's not the leadoff hitter there is no use for him in center. Let him hit 7th where he has done the best, and just let him play the gold glove caliber of defense that he can play. Any time that Steve Finley would like to return that gold glove he stole from C-pat last year would be fine by me.

The Cubs haven't been scoring much lately and when the Cubs don't score much...the toll is taken most by the bullpen.

Yes Derreck Lee is cooling off a bit and my prediction is he won't be leading in batting Average, HR's or RBI's by the end of the season and the MVP will go to Pujols or someone other than Lee.

As teams who are playing disappointing baseball continue to struggle...so do the stars of that team. I don't think Lee will continue on his pre All-Star game pace and may slide a bit to let others overtake him in Average, HR and RBI at season end.

Since Lawton is about 134 years old, his career figures are misleading.

The last three years>>

before All Star Break: .268 .359 .446
after All Star Break: .233 .337 .342

In other words, he's just a terrible hitter during the stretch run.

Add in his bizarro defense and we will be tearing our hair out when this guy plays.*

But make no mistake about it, this was an "STFU DUSTY" move by Hendry who is calling Baker's "I need a real leadoff man" bluff. Okay Dustbag, you got what you asked form, now produce.

*May fickle fate happily make me eat these words.

I am tired of people complaning about how Hendry promised Gerut he was a long term option for us. Hendry's job is to improve the club. If this trade did not happen everyone would be screaming once it was clear the reason it did not happen is because Hendry wanted to keep his word to Gerut. Lawton knows how the game should be played he is a fundamentally sound player. Remember the last time we got PIT's leadoff hitter? Who knows we need to go 5-1 on this trip, and maybe playing at CBP is enough to get the bats going.

Houston's remaining schedule is incredibly soft

They play 30 at home and 27 away.

At home they play

Washington 3
Pitt 3
Cubs 7
Milwaukee 7
Cincinatti 3
St. Louis 3
Florida 4

On the road they play

Arizona 3
SF 3
SD 3
LAD 3
Philadelphia 3
Milwaukee 3
Pittsburgh 4
Cubs 3
St. Louis 2

Contrast the Cubs 28 Home 29 Road

At home

CIN 6
STL 8
ATL 3
FLA 3
LAD 3
HOU 3
PITT 2

On Road

PHI 3
NYM 3
HOU 7
COL 3
PIT 3
STL 3
SF 4
MIL 3

Looking at the schedule we are going to have to beat some very good teams and pull off probably a 40-17 record to come close to the Wildcard....I don't see it happening against that schedule.

The reasons Patterson should be brought up were stated: Terrific defense (leads NL in Zone Rating) and he won't have to bat lead off, either 7th or 8th.

Houston plays 28 games against teams with a current record over .500 and 31 against sub .500 teams

Cubs play 33 games against teams with a current winning record and 24 games against sub .500 teams.

What does Houston's schedule have to do with Matt Lawton?

Say MannyTrillo where is Aubrey Huff at this moment? Same place he was during the Winter, same place he was during Spring Training. Playing for Tampa Bay.

3 strikes your out Manny. Thanks for playing the common sense game, you lose.

FU HENDRY! DUSTY BAKER IS STILL LOOKING FOR A LEADOFF MAN

"Manager Dusty Baker said he didn't know until talking with Lawton if he would bat leadoff, but was glad to have his bat.

"Matt's a good ball player and we're doing whatever we can to shore ourselves up. Hopefully he can come over here and rejuvenate our offense," Baker said."

Lawton has to pass Dusty's "cool-test" before deciding if he likes him enough to use him in a role he's comfortable in.

Nomar went 1 for 2 today with a walk and left after 5 innings. (as planned). He attempted to steal second base 3 times, twice Casey McGehee fouled off the pitch and the 3rd, was a hit and run single.

Kerry pitched an inning of relief in Peoria today giving up a hit and striking out 2. Supposedly he touched 96 on the gun.

Korey went 1 for 5 with a swinging K, Scott McClain hit 2 homers in the game to retake the minor league organizational lead with 24. (Brandon Sing of AA is second with 23).

Adam in post 11:

I don't think the reason we fade at the end of a long stretch of games is because of our conditioning staff. It's Dusty's complete inability to figure out lineups and how to rest star players. The only games off Derek Lee has had this year was when he got hurt, and he likely will not get another day off this season, just like last year when he faded miserably down the stretch. The same goes for Burnitz. A 37 yr old OF needs days off, especially in the heat of summer day games. Lee and Burnitz in particular look tired at the plate. Resting Lee once a month and Burnitz once a week would be good for the players and the team, as both guys would be more fresh for the second half and the bench players would get more ab's and be sharper.

Baker has done a better job of not wearing Barrett down this year, thanks to using Blanco more than Bako last year. That's about the only compliment I can give Baker this season. His ridiculous lineups, use of the bullpen, and horrible in game decisions have easily cost us 5 wins, probably closer to 10. But just 5 more wins would put us in the wild card lead.

Rob, I don't agree with your suggestion that Garciaparra should bat second. His two costly DPs the other day notwithstanding, Walker is a far better choice for a #2 hitter. He hits lefthanded and will take pitches, aside from being a good line-drive hitter with occasional power. Garciaparra? He's a right-handed bat who is one of the most notorious first-pitch hitters in baseball. You'll never coax any sort of running game out of Lawton with Garciaparra batting behind him. What's worse, Garciaparra will probably not be moving out of the box with a lot of explosion after making contact in the wake of his groin injury.

Bat him sixth, where he can still see good pitches and can drive the ball and pick up RBIs. Yeah, he'll still be a DP waiting to happen, especially with Ramirez and his bad wheels batting ahead of him, but it'll be a less glaring problem than it would be if he batted after Lawton and in front of Lee.

Besides, there's no guarantee at this point that Garciaparra is going to be back to form, anyway. This whole matter will be moot if he doesn't hit well, because he's certainly going to be a negative replacement for Perez in the field for an already so-so Cubs defense. If Garciaparra can't make up for it with his bat, we may see more of Neifi than we think we will after Nomar returns.

Jody Gerut was still on the field at 3:10 CST (4:10 EST), so the Gerut-Lawton trade was actually a waiver deal. Major League Waivers secured after May 2nd did not expire until 5 PM EST (one hour AFTER the non-waiver trade deadline), so obviously both Gerut & Lawton had cleared Major League Waivers during the May 2nd waiver period.

Starting tomorrow and continuing through August, most every player in baseball will be placed on waivers (good through November 10th) so that they can be used in an August "waiver deal." It takes three days for a player to pass through Major League Waivers, so there can't be any trades until next Thursday (at the earliest).

Some teams will hold back placing a player on waivers until later in August to maximize the pressure on other teams to make a claim or not make a claim, or to buy time to help determine whether the team placing the player or players on waivers is in contention or not. The latter would seem to fit the Cubs. Jim Hendry might decide to hold off placing players like Burnitz, Garciaparra, Walker, Dempster, Lawton, and Perez on waivers until later in the month when it shoould be more clear whether the Cubs are still in contention or not, and when the remaining contenders go into a feeding frenzy trying to solidify their rosters for the final September push and (possibly) the post-saeason (to be eligible, a player has to be on the 25 man roster or the DL or somewhere in the organization as of August 31st), and/or to possibly block a competitor from getting a player the claiming knows the other team covets (like if a key player or pitcher on the Csrdinals or White Sox were to be injured in August, and it is known that the Cards or White Sox are desperate for a replacement).

If a player placed on waivers in claimed by another club, the team placing the player on waivers can pull the player back (revoke the waivers), or can allow the claiming team to have the player for the waiver price, or work out a trade where the claiming team gets the player in exchange for another player or players who have cleared waivers.

Contending teams chasing other teams ahead of them will sometimes put in a claim on a player they believe a team above them in the standings wants to acquire. Of course, this is problematic, because it's possible the team placing the player on waivers might just let the claim stand, and then the claiming team is stuck with a player (possibly with a multi-year mega-bucks contract) they really don't want or need, just to prevent another contender ahead of them in the standings from getting him. So most players (even good ones) pass through August waivers without being claimed. The exception would be younger guys like Adam Dunn, Felipe Lopez, Jason Bay, Mark Prior, Carlos Zambrano, et al, or valuable older players in the last year of a contract before free-agency; that is, players who have value and who (if claimed) wouldn't be a significant long-term financial burden on the claiming team even if the waiver claim was allowed to stand. So a few players will get claimed in August, but most of those will be pulled back off waivers by the original team if the claiming team cannot make a satisfactory offer. Players who clear waivers this week (or later in the month) can be traded at any time up through October 2nd, after which (starting on October 3rd) there is no restriction on trades again until July 31, 2006.

good points greg, you're probably right. But Dusty will want to set up the R/L/R/L thing as much as possible and probably get Neifi some of Todd's at-bats, watch for Neifi to bat 2nd more times then anyone wants.

All,
This team lacks emotion..bottom line..period.
If we cant at least split with D'backs and their mediocre pitching..I cant imagine us beating clemens, oswalt, carpenter, pedro etc etc.
Inspite of all our troubles -> injuries, bull pen or lack of it, lead off we are underperforming. In all honesty the only offense we have is DLee and Aram. Now DLee is kinda having a dry spell and thats understandable. Time for someone else to step up and deliver. But we have none. Dusty baker has to go. In the beginning when everyone was pointing fingers at Dusty for everylittle thing I wasn't so sure. But now I am quite convinced that he is part of the problem if not a bigger part of it. Of all the coaches we have, I like Chris spiers the 3B coach. This guy seems intelligent, emotional and seems to have a lot of drive. The rest just look pathetic..(you too rothschild).

I think our pitching is between average and good. Our pen is between bad and average. Its our offense that really sucks. You cant blame the pen always for loosing those one run ball games. You couldn't hit thats the reason why we have to go to the ninth inning with a one run lead u morons (bpen to the offense)

Burnitz defensively performed above expectation but his offense is abysmal. He is a pull hitter and seems to be takin batting practice trying to hit every ball out of the park with his huge one hand swing irrespective of the game situation. There were a number of times when we had RISP and he was simply hitting air with his swing (occassinally bangin on the catchers helmet too)

Jim Hendry is amazing. He has a great biz mind and I would like him to deliver a biz lecture at harvard. I think its time for him to put some pressure on dusty. For this payroll if this team cant even get to the playoffs ..thats ridiculous. Gene Clines gotta go.

I am not a fan of Macias but that guy doesnt deserve all the blame u guys are pounding on him. He seems to be fairly getting on base most of the time. Now you cant expect him to hit a HR everytime or do you? Who else do u think we have on bench thats capable of doing something.

I am going to worship Hendry the day he fires Dusty.

Peace

Seriously folks, if Dusty Baker isn't sure he's going to use Matt Lawton for a leadoff man this trade was insane.

Assume Lawton plays but does not lead off. What does the batting order look like? What does the outfield look like?

((( crickets )))

Man, Hendry must have been iriate when he heard Baker saying that Lawton might not bat leadoff. Looks like Hendry will have to call Baker into his office before the flight to philly.

Cubby nice post 56

I too gave Baker the benefit of the doubt....but I could only do that for so long. With Baker as manager this team is unlikable. I forsee Perez starting as much as he is now when Nomar is back....he will play 4 games a week at 2nd and 2 games a week at SS or something like that. Walker is as good as gone.

Dusty set Hawkins up to fail miserably by trying him once again in the bullpen....He couldn't get the guts to stick with Dempster as the closer from game 1....He gives the starters just enough rope to hang themselves...then he brings in the pen to finish the starter off....if that is a players manager I'm not sure I'd want to be part of it.

As long as Johnny B is manager, this club will be a 3rd place or worse team in the division.

Hi,

Can we please stop the Johnny Damon talk? Why would you want to give a 4 or 5 year contract to a weak-armed 32 year old centerfielder?

For a good point of comparison see Thome, Jim. 2 decent years- then 2 to 3 years of 'Oh no, what are we gonna do with this guy!'

And don't say 'Well I would give Damon a 2 year contract with an option for a third' because, guess what? He's not going to sign for that- not with Steinbrenner around. He's currently looking for a 6 year deal.

I think Hendry will give 2 and 3 year deals...and MAYBE mutual option years...but nothing longer than that...and that is a good thing.

Dusty set Hawkins up to fail miserably by trying him once again in the bullpen

bullpen should read "closer" in the prior post.

Lawton will play CF and bat 7th, behind Holly. No 7th place hitter needed anymore so Neifi goes back to leading off.

Merigold just described the worst-case scenario--i.e., Dusty's plan.

Against Cub pitching...

I would like to see the following lineup on a daily basis for a while, but I doubt that it will happen:

Lawton, CF (or RF)
Murton, LF
Walker, 2B
Lee, 1B
Ramirez, 3B
Burnitz, RF (or CF)
Garciaparra, SS
Barrett/Blanco, C

Also, the Cubs need to recall Ben Grieve from Iowa. Although he has nothing to offer defensively, he is a quality left-handed bat & pinch-hitter, something the Cubs lack right now. Whether Grieve replaces Holly, Macias, or the 12th pitcher on the roster, I don't care. But a quality lefty bat off the bench is a valuable commodity, and if nothing else, Grieve fits that profile to a "T."

Thanks cubfan.
Merigold..I hope you are kidding dude. Neifi hitting lead off..that thought is just disgusting.
The only moment I will have of Neifi offensively is that grandslam against St.Louis. But this guy is pathetic offensively. He doesnt seem to even care... why would he..I wouln't If I have the ropes on some stupid manager.
What we need here is a different manager..with emotion and common sense. The whole team every day looks clueless. I think DLee made that stupid move of stealing 3rd out of frustration and sheer propensity to do something while he is on a batting slump by his standards. After today's game I more or less gave up hopes for this season. Its not a overstatement to say that we have been humiliated at wrigley today by Brandon Webb. It cant sink any lower than this.

Todd Walker can take some pitches and take walks but his offense these days is A ball. He hits into double plays way too often and always seems to be way too defensive on his swing.

peace

Great comments by Cubby78. Agree with almost all of it.

Dusty does not know if Lawton will bat leadoff yet until Lawton calls his hotel room and tells him where he will be batting in the order.

Sonny,

That's why Dusty is a "player's manager."

I think the alternative is "effective manager."

I wonder if Vince Lombardi was a players manager? lol

Cubby78, Walker's numbers in July were .282/.328/.462. Those are down a bit from where he was coming into the month, but they're hardly "A ball" numbers.

Walker has grounded into six double plays this season, which is about on par for a batter with his number of ABs.

Don't let one bad game this weekend in which he hit into a couple of twin-killings distort your view of him. On balance, Walker has been a decided asset at the plate for the Cubs this season.

Hendry has done a pretty decent job fielding this team this year--given he's eating a huge portion of Slumpin' Sammy Sosa's contract.

But honest to God, Baker knows how to screw it up so badly.

Come on guy, Dusty can't afford to "experiment" with Matt Lawton in the leadoff spot.

The Cubs are on pace to have a 82-80 record, back to back to back winning season. That's how we measure sucess in the Dusty-era of Cubs baseball, isn't it?

Watching the ESPN game Balt V. CHW...and man eating that large Sosa contract was a small price to pay...he is surely pathetic anymore...

looks like he has a fly swatter in his hands swatting at flies when he's at bat...awful!

Well if the Wildcard can be won with 93 wins (most likely someone will get hot and get 93 wins without winning their division)...that means the Cubs need to go 40-17 from here on out...

There is NO WAY this is a .701 winning percentage team for any significant portion of the season....

Season over........wait till next year is what Hendry is doing.

I am not a fan of Macias but that guy doesnt deserve all the blame u guys are pounding on him. He seems to be fairly getting on base most of the time. Now you cant expect him to hit a HR everytime or do you? Who else do u think we have on bench thats capable of doing something.

How come this comment hasn't been jumped all over yet?

Jose Macias has a .299 OPB this year, and a .301 OBP in his career. That's horrible (and that's why Patterson went back down). He "plays" a bunch of positions, but he's below average defensively at all of them. And he has 0hr and only 6 XBH all season. So basically, if we're really lucky, he'll get a single. The Cubs have quite a few guys in their system that could put up at least that line in the majors *right now* (Grieve, Fontenot, Murray, and I bet Kelton would be close). To top that off, the Cubs are paying him almost $1mil. He's the very definition of a wasted roster spot.

But Dusty loves him, so he's free to suck with no fear of losing his job.

there is no such thing as 4 games back with 2 months and almost 60 games to play being over...and its not a miracle if the "overcome" it.

the WC is a different kinda beast than the division as far as predictable movement, but 4 games back and 57 to play isnt a death sentence with wood/williamson/garciappara coming on board later in the week (hopefully) along with the addition of lawton.

a lot is riding on wood/williamson as far as improving the bullpen right now...esp. since mitre+?? will probally be outta it soon. a lot is also riding on 5-6 other teams not going on a winning tear the cubs cant match. its not all cozy, but its just not close to over with 1/3rd of a season to play.

Gregory,
Most of the time stats doesnt mean a dime and they aren't worth a nickel.

If you are playing in a MLB team then you are supposed to make a decent effort towards getting those RISP home. Todd Walker got numerous chances to do that all season long and he failed consistenly. I am not singling out walker over here but this has been the cubs problem all season long. Most of us played even A ball before but I bet there are thousands over there who can take pitches. But the real stand up when they can get that timely hit to get the runners home and give your team a fighting chance (Take a peep at what the south siders are doing).

All season long the cubs have been winning because of home runs and not coz of good offense. If I have two players A and B where A's stats are rock solid while B's are average but if B has enough common sense to just hit that ball to the opposite side or can hit a sac fly or drive the ball in the gap when he is the tying run on base and his team is down I would pick B over A every chance I get.

I think I made my point.

peace

who the hell cares about macias...get the club a CF/3rd backup and there's no more issues...besides, its hendry that traded for him and hendry that signed him.

macias and his 22ab's a month...big deal. barely gets a couple start a month...yeah, we all hate him, but there's a lotta guys like him on other teams being used a lot more than him. we all wish he wasnt there i think...

correction to my comment above -> "Most of us haven't even played A ball before..."

With the roster as it is our best option would be Lawton. Burny the way he is going on d is a gold glove canidate. so why mess with him. Murton has been a LF since his days at GT. there is no way you would want him to change postions during a rookie season. Lawton can not be a downgrade over Hairston.

*Cubby78 just made an excellent point on why Adam Dunn shouldn't be as attractive as so many teams are making him. He is a god-awful clutch hitter with RISP and runners in any position.*

On another note, I would be very leary about getting too excited about Wood, Williamson, and Nomar coming back. What is the likelyhood that

A) They can stay healthy the rest of the year
and/or
B) They can produce in any meaningful way?

We've never seen Wood in relief, and with the continuing word that he almost certainly needs surgery this off season, I see the prospects of his shoulder holding up to the rigors of the bullpen to be very slim.

Williamson is returning from major surgery, and likely will only be able to be used like Dempster did last season, which is sparingly. Even if he is effective that limits how often he can be used. A guy who can only pitch 2-3 times per week isn't going to cure our bullpen woes.

Finally, the Cubs have never seen the Nomar that even resembles the Nomar that played in Boston. Due to injuries and poor performance, Nomar hasn't done much in a Cub uniform. Hopefully being a free agent will motivate him the next two months - but he was in the same situation last season and struggled (I know he was hurt, but his last 3-4 seasons doesn't offer a lot of hope that he can stay healthy for an extended period of time). I feel like we are one week from those guys returning and two-three weeks from one of them going on the DL.

Post 82 is refering to you should play CF.

Amen..firedusty! totally agree with you.
This Nomar, wood, williamson return is not more than a mere PR stunt.
On a side note...When someone over brings up stats for the defense of a pathetic player.I think thats exactly how dusty baker consoles his conscience...Neifi's offense as a lead off hitter is definetely better than a A ball player..so what the heck put him at the top.
peace

1. Dusty needs to go. I agree with almost everyone on this.
2. I have to agree with CUBFAN this is not a .700 team. get geared up for next year.
3. Play the hell out of the players with potential to help us next year.
4. Sign Nomar to a similar contract as last year.
5. Sign a star outfielder in the offseason.
6. Sign a good 250 innings starter that can be depended on. (maddux and wood can't be depended on)
7. Sign 2 solid relief pitchers
8. Beg Jim Leyland to come coach for 3 seasons.
9. Buy 2006 world series tickets BECAUSE WE ARE GOING BABY!!!!!!!!

I have yet to hear a good rebuttal for the point that, and here it is in bold again:

Adam Dunn has a 400 OBP with RISP. He does not make an out 60% of the time.

Please explain exactly how that is a bad thing were he to bat in front of Aramis or any other quality hitter we could put behind him, who, given your logic, would have at least an extra man on base a very high percentage of the time. It isn't possible to claim that stat doesn't mean anything: it means that innings continue quite frequently after Dunn bats with RISP. I'm looking forward to it.

Take a peep at what the south siders are doing.

You mean winning games with pitching and defense? It's certainly not their offense, which, correct me if I'm wrong, is on pace to score fewer runs than they did last season.

It's when people start to buy Ozzie's press releases and "philosophy" of "making things happen" that this team, without (and with no need for a) a speedster will get into trouble, cf Lee on Saturday.

They're also 23-11 in one-run games, the result of luck plus a pen. That'll help.

Finally, on the issue of Todd Walker not helping the team lately: People are going to have bad weeks (although Walker, again correct me if wrong, hasn't had those). They're also going to have high-profile bad PAs, and part of the game is simply accepting that for players whose other efforts balance their bad PAs out. Todd vs. the MLB 2B average is +015/+008/+057. He's a bargain, and he's definitely not part of the problem with the team. End of story.

Finally, on Macias. I do not have any problems with Macias, and I doubt that anyone on this board does either. We all know what he's going to do. I have problems with Hendry, for keeping him around even though he does absolutely nothing that plenty of AAAers wouldn't do better for less money, and Baker, for creating situations like Saturday's where Jose Macias is up at any point in an inning where it's score or go home.

The best we can hope for is that everyone stays healthy for the rest of the season, so Dusty doesn't have any excuses for why we're still a .500 team.

After Hendry cans him, we could have rotating managers--like we do with the Stretch.

It couldn't be any worse.

GO AFTER DUNN IN THE OFFSEASON
1. Lawton
2. Nomar
3. Dunn
4. Aram
5. Dlee
6. Walker
7. Barrett
8. Redhead

Pitching
1. Prior
2. Zambrano
3. Free agent
4. Wood/Hill
5. Maddux

after eating 3.5m for a year of baylor the cubs didnt cash in i doubt hendry is gonna dump 4m of dusty to hire a replacement.

it would be a horrible waste of money to just replace a lineup jockey since we dont have a managerial pimp around in our system...not in the booth, and not a GM's assistant...

besides, it just makes hendry look like an idiot to keep doing something like that

Ron G,
To start with Adam Dunn..
I dont have a problem with him batting infront of ARam or as a matter of fact infront of everyone in this team as long as "He gets on base, and delivers some clutch hits". Now the second part "Clutch hits" is what the cubs are lacking all season. I am not against stats, but most of the time people misunderstand them to the extent that stats doesnt help to explain why a particular player is playin in a particular offense (eg: home run generators aka...cubs) at a particular position. We can have a 30-35 HR hitters up and down the line up but still can finish just above 500 (2004 Cubs..ARam..Lee...Sosa..Alou). The whole deal is how the team performs together as one unit - aka whitesox.

Again I never singled out Walker. But Walker failed abysmally just like the rest of the cubs when we needed a base hit.

This team lacks emotion and the surge...bring in Dunn..or put babe ruth and hank aaron at 3 and 4 its not going to make the slightest difference.

We have done enough patch work for the past 3-4 years or during the Dusty Era. Its high time to build a real team !!

peace

"Well sure we have had Nomar, Williamson and Wood back for a few weeks now. You have to remember that the past few weeks have been like spring training for these guys. You can't expect them to come back from an injury sharp as players who have been playing all year injury free. They virtually had no spring training and it's going to take them a while before they are in the zone."-- Dusty Baker sometime around September 1st when the Cubs are 9 games out of the wild card chase.

Yes Nomar, Wood and Williamson's return is a huge PR stunt--when they still don't succeed Dusty will find this excuse to "cover" his butt.

MIKEC-
"Say MannyTrillo where is Aubrey Huff at this moment?"

And that is why TB is teh WORST franchis in all the MLB...

Mike, you and you confrontational classless style make this site, so great and fun...THANKS!!!

IN DUSTY WE TRUSTY!!

Firedusty:
"His ridiculous lineups, use of the bullpen, and horrible in game decisions have easily cost us 5 wins, probably closer to 10. But just 5 more wins would put us in the wild card lead."

I think it was close to 15-20. Why didn't he move hairston up to leadoff earlier?

If you are playing in a MLB team then you are supposed to make a decent effort towards getting those RISP home. Todd Walker got numerous chances to do that all season long and he failed consistenly.

I know its fun to make statements like that after staying stats don't mean anything, but for the record:

Todd Walkers' 2005 stats:
Batting with RISP: 313/346/500 2HR, 17 RBI
Batting with RISP and 2 Outs: 364/417/682 (1.1 OPS!), 2HR, 10 RBI

If everyone on the cubs was "failing consistantly" like Todd Walker, the Cubs would be scoring a lot more runs.

Cubby78 - Take a look at thes stats

Todd Walker - Bases empty: .275/.324/.442
Todd Walker - with RISP: .313/.346/.500
Todd Walker - RISH & 2 outs: .364/.417/.682

Want to change your mind about Walker? Or at least stop saying things that simply not true.

I can't WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR when we TRUSTY DUSTY to be managing another ballclub.......

Sorry had to say it.

Oh I think if fans start booing Dusty Baker anytime he is mentioned...visits the mound etc...holding up "Fire Dusty Baker NOW" signs at Wrigely...Baker just may be let go so he can find his ideal job. Remember saving face and keeping fans happy has always been the Cubs number one priority. They were not happy with Sosa..The Cubs moved Sosa even eating 80% of his salary. The fans wanted Baker as manager (may not seem like it now but he was widely accepted as a good thing at the time)..they got Baker....

So when fans really speak up--The Tribune company listens.

AZ Phil (post #54)-
It could of been held up just becuase the Cubs were waiting back from Selig as to the approval of the trade.

Oops...looks like Bleeding and I had the same idea! :)

Cubfan:
"As long as Johnny B is manager, this club will be a 3rd place or worse team in the division."

Yeah they were never in 3rd place or worst in their division before Dusty. I see your point. :)

I don't think Selig has to approve any trade unless a significant change in contract has to pass his office approval. Like a team eating most of his salary...restructuring a contract etc...

Gerut and Lawton would not need Selig to approve.

"Oh I think if fans start booing Dusty Baker anytime he is mentioned..."

yeah...that'll do it unless hendry goes all hardass telling the media/fans to suck it up.

honestly, i think i'd be a hell of a way to piss 5-8 million off the payroll for dusty + his replacement. dusty isnt bad enough to punish this team's ability to upgrade that badly.

I don't think Selig has to approve any trade unless a significant change in contract

Money was involved (coming from Pittsburgh). I believe that Selig has to approve any trade that included cash.

there was a report somewhere that they had to pull Selig aside from the HOF ceremonies to get his approval. The only reason I can think that they needed his approval was either it occurred after the deadline like az phil said OR a certain amount of money exchanged hands. I don't remember the limit, but I know Selig has to approve deals where a certain % of money is handed over between clubs and supposedly the pirates sent the cubs cash in the deal. yes, that's right, the pirates sent US, cash in the deal.

Are you calling Walker a "pathetic player", Cubby78? Or are you referring to Perez?

Stats mean plenty. They aren't infallible predictors of success, but they are usually the best tool we have to predict outcomes in any given situation. More importantly, they most definitely refute arguments about Todd Walker being an "A ball" hitter or a chronic hit-into-double-play batter. Stats are, after all, nothing more than a record of what the player has already done.

Thus, your argument comparing players A and B is self-defeating. If B is a better hitter with RISP than A, then that will be reflected in the RISP stats of the two players. It's simply a different category of statistics than the ones you're probably used to perusing. But, believe me, people look at RISP numbers and cite them.

I generally agree with your statement that the Cubs are a team that's plagued by a lack of RISP production, and that they're too dependent upon the long ball to score their runs. But you're in error if you think that Dusty Baker "consoles his conscience" with statistics. If Baker were a more stat-conscious manager, he never would've engaged upon that disastrous experiment of batting Patterson and Perez 1-2 in the order, since that flew in the face of OBP stats.

I think Baker's pay is considered into the same account as Hendry's and many other top executives for the Cubs/Tribune company. For all the big shots it really is pocket change. Hell they spend that much alone for the Cubs Convention, Cruises, promotions etc easily....getting someone with a positive attitude...who has FUN and inspires and motivates would be very refreshing and worth eating Dusty's contract.

lawton vs. gerut is about a 2.3m difference...i hope chc got some cash hehe...pitt's about to get a hell of a cheap 06 gamble there.

no offense cubfan but post #103 is ridiculous.

"Yeah they were never in 3rd place or worst in their division before Dusty. I see your point."

So we should tolerate Dusty's incompetence because of previous cub manager incompetence? Great logic.

while its true the signing of baker didnt influence a loss on the club's payroll (suposedly) i cannot imagine hendry explaining to his bosses why he's pissed away 7.5m on 2 managers over 4 years that didnt manage 2 of the years on those contracts.

Rob G...

#103 may be ridiculous but probably closer to the truth...Hendry probably told him not to play him...so Baker played him.

i wanna know where this hendry vs. baker static suspicion is coming from..heheh

seriously, baker/hendry have a great working relationship from everything ive heard.

Blue:
"Todd Walkers' 2005 stats:
Batting with RISP: 313/346/500 2HR, 17 RBI
Batting with RISP and 2 Outs: 364/417/682 (1.1 OPS!), 2HR, 10 RBI"

And that is why Walker should be batting 6th when Nomar comes back and why he was batting there before.

while its true the signing of baker didnt influence a loss on the club's payroll (suposedly) i cannot imagine hendry explaining to his bosses why he's pissed away 7.5m on 2 managers over 4 years that didnt manage 2 of the years on those contracts.

First of all Hendry's bosses aren't idiots. They know all about the seasons under Baker. They are all too familiar with the whining team of 2004...the relationship Baker allowed his team to have with the media etc...They are all to familiar with Baker not being able to control Sosa...that inability of Baker cost the company a ton....they are all too familiar with Baker taking a 100 million dollar payroll and competing with Milwaukee Brewers for 3rd place...they aren't idiots...they know exactly what they have gotten.

They sought a man who wanted to build each year...go forward on a 4 year plan to win a championship.

The first year was less Baker's team than any of the 4...they go to the NLCS..

The second year was more Baker's team...they miss out of the playoffs and have many PR problems with the media/press and that season cost them a ton by Baker's inability to control Sosa

The third year saw another increase in payroll and a Baker team that is going backward....a team competing with Milwaukee for 3rd place. Not the type of movement the bosses had in mind.

It's time for Hendry to go to his bosses and say, "I'm going for a manager who will cost minimal salary...someone fresh, with a fresh approach...someone who wants to prove they can do it...someone who will produce and not cost us a ton of money...someone who is willing to earn a bigger contract down the road after they have produced several play off seasons for us"...

I think the Tribune Company would be jumping for joy.

chicago did get some cash and i have gerut getting only 356,000 this year, so basically a $7 million dollar difference. The deal occurred more then half-way through the season, so you'd have to pro-rate the Lawton's deal. I'm guessing it's still about a #3-4 million difference in contracts. I wonder how much Hendry got out of the Pirates?

And you're kidding me, right cubfan? You really think Hendry told Baker that he may trade Gerut today and that he probably shouldn't use him. And then Baker deliberatly pencilied in Gerut, just to piss of Hendry, maybe so he could get fired and then hired in LA I suppose. In Dusty's word, "Is that logical?"

Cubfan #102:
"I don't think Selig has to approve any trade unless a significant change in contract has to pass his office approval. Like a team eating most of his salary...restructuring a contract etc..."

The rule was changed recently I think to Selig having to approve any trade that $$ is invlolved like this one.

Baker is his own man dude.

The longer the thread goes, the more comedic it becomes. Some of the "theories" out there are very weird and baseless, but god bless the internet, right? You can just post anything no matter how unsubstantiated it is or crazy it is. And the scarier thing is, some will beleive and agree with it.

God Cubfan, I am glad the cubs are losing (sarcasm), so you can be around (since you are scarce when they are winning) and filling us in on what the Tribune Co., Baker and Hendry really are thinking.

from a story about the Shawn Green and Randy Johnson off-season trades...

"First, Selig must approve both trades. Major League Baseball discourages clubs from including more than $1 million cash in any one trade. Any trade in which that figure is exceeded is subject to the commissioner's approval."

http://v6.sbsun.com/Stories/0,1413,208~29043~...

Since there hasn't been a new CBA that I know of since, I would think that is how it works right now.

and I can't believe there are not more people creating a small shrine in reverance of Hendry for this deal. Let's recap...

He essentially traded Jason Dubois and his sub .300 OBP and filled our most glaring offensive need (lack of OBP and a true leadoff hitter) AND got one of the lowest payroll teams to help pay part of the contract.

That's just scary......

Per the amount the Bucs are giving the Cubs, according to the Cubs site, it will be slightly more than $1 million.

Cubby78, thanks for the clarifications. However, I must point out (and stress) that the White Sox are succeeding in spite of their offensive players and strategy and cohesiveness. They're sixth in the middle of the AL pack offensively despite their park.

I said earlier that they were behind their 2004 run-scoring pace, and that's true, only they're not just behind: they're behind by 8%. "Small ball" has, if anything, hurt. Their run prevention, conversely, is on pace to be 22% below last year's: therein lies the success. Overall MLB scoring has declined by 4%, so the changes can't be attributed to that.

Let's look at the Cubs. We're on pace for a 6.3% decline in runs scored, so the offense is a little worse. We're also on pace for a 9% increase in runs allowed. Therein lies the problem.

This doesn't necessarily mean Hendry was wrong to trade for offense instead of pitching: it's all relative to who acqusitions replace, how much action they see, and what we give up, and Lawton probably beat any pitcher on the market for having the best comination of those factors.

===

Rob, I'm in total agreement on that. OBP was the biggest flaw in the offense, LF was the easiest position to do it, and in the interim we gave some opportunities to the real prospect. Well done, A+ for Hendry.

Of course, if he wants to fix those OBP issues in left field for the long term this offseason, I'll also be fine with that :)

1) Jim Leyland as a bench coach or as a manager? I hope you don't mean manager. He's the worst. If you think Dusty works his pitchers hardÖask Alex Fernandez for his opinion of how hard Leyland works his pitchersÖor Doug DrabekÖor John Smiley.
Leyland still lives off his confrontation with Barry Bonds in spring training about 13 years ago or so. He knew cameras were filming, so he reamed him out to earn brownie points with the media.
I'm not sure I would miss Dusty, but Larry Dierker would be my man. I cannot believe he hasn't gotten another shot to manage.

2) Walker is fine. My only problem is that he swings a little too much at the first pitch for my tastes.

3) Macias is terrible, a .301 career OBP and he's not great defensively. There are a zillion guys in the minors who can do what Macias does.

4) Were you complaining about a lack of emotion when we tore into Dontrelle Willis a couple weeks ago?

5) Home runs ARE good offense. You win with home runs. Part of the reason why the Cubs lost the Arizona series was an inability to hit home runs.
The reason why the Astros have gotten back in the race is because they have started to hit home runs. Biggio, Berkman and Ensberg have gone on a home run barrage. Lane hit a big home run the other night.
Sure, it helps to be balanced, but the best team I've seen this year at moving runners over is the Nationals, and they're not winning squat this year.

6) When Wood came off the disabled list about a month ago, it came down to Borowski or Mitre. Just about everybody said to get rid of Borowski even though Borowski had a history of success and Mitre had no history of success in the major leagues and no experience as a reliever.
Borowski has better control, an actual second pitch and a history of keeping the ball in the ballpark.
Borowski has pitched great in TB while Mitre has continued to show he doesn't belong in the major leagues. Mitre is the poor man's Frank Castillo without the hottie wife.
Mitre belongs in a special club with Doug Dascenzo ñ a Cub beloved by fans for no good reason.

If anybody saw Sandberg's speech (I only saw highlights for now), Selig walks from the back and takes a seat at some point. Looked pretty tacky actually.

Borowski has pitched great in TB while Mitre has continued to show he doesn't belong in the major leagues.

Wow..ever hear of anything called "sample size". Borowski was down right terrible for the Cubs. I loved the guy, but he was not getting the job done. It would have been foolish to keep him in the bullpen. Mitre, on the hand, has pitched well in a starting role. The problem is that the Cubs refuse to use him where his strengths are. He is not a good relief pitcher, and should be back in AAA pitching every fifth day.

I think Hendry does these deals over a shot of jack and an Irish car bomb. I mean... WTF? Gerut for Lawton and cash? Thank you Pittsburgh.

We still need bullpen help. But maybe Kortisone Kerry and Williamson can add something.

I want Dusty to be fired tomorrow!

Nothing to do with the Cubs, I just want cubreporter users to have something else to talk about.

adam...

ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN ADAM DUNN

This is an utterly ridiculous deal. How does Hendry pull this stuff off? When I heard "Gerut for Lawton" announced on the radio, I was nervous to learn which minor leaguer(s) we would be giving up. And it turns out that not only did we not give up anything other than Gerut (i.e. Dubois), we are getting cash?

I suppose it's defensible on some level for Pittsburgh because Gerut represents a flyer on a locked-up talent and Lawton is soon to be a free agent. But really, this is just another utter fleecing by Hendry.

Littlefield is going to wake up tomorrow, still in his suit, puke all over him, read the paper and go "Shit, I did what?...I knew something was up when 10 hookers showed up at my door all carrying bottles of Jack, carrying a note from Jim Hendry that said, 'hey, take the night off, you deserve it'! But if you could just sign this receipt first.."

gerut at best is a 1m or less (most likely less) player who has linedrive pop, decent speed, and can play all 3 OF slots with a + arm.

for a team like pitt that's a great thing to have control of...and worst case scenerio they got rid of a guy they cant resign for a cheap 4th OF'r who wont hurt the team in the field. hell, i was looking forward to it for the cubs in 06...

1) Mitre wasn't a good STARTING pitcher. So what if he threw a shutoutÖJeff Pico threw a shutout. That's also small sample size. If a guy can only get one pitch over the plate, it doesn't matter how good that one pitch is, he's going to get hammered. And other than a sinker, what does Mitre do to contribute?

2) I must admit that the bullpen situation flummoxes me. Clearly, you do not build a good bullpen by handing out multi-year free agent contracts. The way to go with a bullpen is young and cheap.
I have been a pretty consistent Rothschild defender over the years, but I guess my problem is his inability to get serviceable work from guys like Wuertz, Novoa and some of the other guys who have been on the Des Moines Shuttle (Wellemeyer, Leicester, Bartosh) this year.
Clearly, he's done wonders with Dempster, who I thought would be a terrible closer, but he hasn't made inroads with some of the middle relievers (except for maybe Ohman).
I think Hendry's bullpen construction was pretty good in theory, but in practice, it's just been miserable.

Rob G.:
"and I can't believe there are not more people creating a small shrine in reverance of Hendry for this deal. "

I am with ya, where do i light my candle? I mean this is not a season altering trade like the past 2 years, but a very good one nonetheless.

Also, even Hendry said in his press conference that Lawton could hit "one or two" in the lineup, so for those of you trying to hype up some sort of Hendry/Dusty dustup over Lawton maybe not hitting leadoff, well Hendry sure sounded at ease about Lawton hitting second in the order.

Personally, I'd hit Lawton leadoff, but it's no catastrophe if he hits secondÖ

and I don't think that the pirates got all that hosed or anything, other then having to pay part of the contract. Gerut could essentially BECOME a very similar player to Matt Lawton. His patience has been growing as he gets older, his defense is probably already better. And for the Pirates, they get a player for 3 years instead of one and for a lot less money. Plus he's a lefty, like Lawton, which is beneficial to PNC park.

so who's gone from the pen with williamson/wood...mitre's almost a given...hill looks like he's gonna stick around a while...

assuming ohman/remlinger will probally stick around it looks like novoa or wuertz might be the odd men out.

then there's the whole matter of who hits the minors for garciappara...it'll probally be cedeno, but it could be murton to work on his power stroke...*shrug*

hell, it could be macias getting cut...but well...dream on...hehe

it's okay if he hits second and hairston still bats leadoff (assuming that lawton is the new LF). It's not okay if he bats second and the new leadoff guy is Neifi!!!

http://www.sportingnews.com/baseball/

crazy ken rosenthal rumor...

"The Braves made a run at Rangers 2B Alfonso Soriano, offering 2B Marcus Giles, RHP Jorge Sosa and a pitching prospect for Soriano and OF Kevin Mench. "

Giles is ten times the player Soriano is and younger. No way they were willing to make that deal....

"The Dodgers and Indians tried to acquire Royals 1B/OF Matt Stairs. Rather than accept a marginal prospect, Royals G.M. Allard Baird preferred to keep Stairs as protection for DH Mike Sweeney."

and this is why the royals suck....

"OF Randy Winn...the Yankees reportedly refused to send them lefthanded pitching prospect Sean Henn and righthanded reliever Scott Proctor."

but the Giants should have 5 OF's come September...

"The Yankees, Orioles and Padres were among the teams that made unsuccessful attempts to acquire Indians RHP Kevin Millwood. The Indians wanted a young pitcher who could help them in the following season and prevent the need for them to sign a free agent. The Yankees didn't have that pitcher--the Indians apparently weren't sold on Henn as a starter--and the Orioles wouldn't part with RHP Hayden Penn or RHP Chris Ray."

If we really wanted to make a run this year, we could have used a starting pitcher, not sure if Millwood would be the guy, but I think we could have offered a reasonable pitcher.

When I first heard about the trade I thought a guy like Ryu or Marmol would be involved but when I heard it was a straight up deal I could not believe it. Cubfan your theory on Baker is way out of leftfield but with Baker that is right down the plate for him. I mean think about this he does not know if he is going to be using Lawton as his leadoff hitter. This whole season he seems to be defying Hendry. First it was not playing Dubois everyday. Then it was starting Dempster instead of using him as the closer. Using Neifi and Macias as his top pinch hitters when they are the worst hitters on the team, complaining that he did not have a leadoff hitter, and do not forget the icing on the cake 2 media reports of him wanting out. He is clearly wanting to get fired. Hendry should just do it, and hire Terry Pendleton because he is the next great young manager in MLB.

I agree that this trade is not terrible for the Pirates...but I really don't think it could be better for the Cubs considering what was out there, and what we could have given up. Gerut may have been in our plans past next year, but it would have been an expirement, and he would have had to compete for a starting job...so we could afford to cut him out of the equation right now...Lawton is a little more predictable in what he can do, he can fit into our lineup immediately, and he could be around next year but doesn't need to be.

Well, I said we needed a 5-2 homestand...and was thinking to myself a 4-2 roadtrip on top of that would put us right near the top.

Therefore....a 6-0 roadtrip should do the trick.
Hell, if the Astros can pummell these teams, so can we.

chifan3887...where exactly was hendry telling dusty how to run his club? all hendry does is give him the players to use and of course they consult on things...

By Cubfan:
"As long as Johnny B is manager, this club will be a 3rd place or worse team in the division."

Memory loss? Things getting a little cloudy?

Perhaps this overall pessimistic TCR overtone has jaded your train of thought?

2003 Chicago Cubs, managed by none other than Dusty Baker himself:

88-74, First Place in the National League Central.

However, I'm not a terribly ardent support of the Dustinator any longer myself. It's just amusing how quickly we forget when things aren't going our way.

As for Mr. Cubby78 and your comments about this team having no ENERGY. Admittedly, they have been certainly lackluster at times... BUT HAVE YOU BEEN WATCHING ANY CUBS BALL SINCE THE ALL-STAR BREAK???

Did you watch any of the St.Louis games? Any of the Giants games? ANY of the MANY close and COME FROM BEHIND victories they've had in the past 2-3 weeks???

Just wondering...

Teams go through phases. Hot... then cold... then hot again. All that matters is you have longer HOT periods than COLD periods. This team does have energy... just not 100% of the time... which isn't to many of TCR readers' liking.

Yeah, Borowski is doing really terrible. 7 Holds in a row in the last ten games. O.00 ERA

In fact Joe Bo had a 2.84 ERA for the Cubs this year pitching one inning at a time until Dustbag the Destroyer decided to take his freshly rehabbed former closer and stretch him out to more than 1 inning. He had only 3 bad outings before he was cut, these...in meaningless games.

In June he gave up 2 runs in 1.1 in an 8-1 loss to Boston, 2 runs the very NEXT DAY in 1.2 in a 9-1 loss to Florida, and 1 run in 1.2 in an 8-1 loss to the Yankees three days later.

The Cubs really set him up to fail and then failed him.

I like the Lawton pickup, but I wish we would have tried for "Everyday" Eddie Guardado to shore up the bullpen. That would have addressed our real need.

What "The Indians Correspondents Report" was writing about Matt Lawton back in June, 2003...

"There is one more thing I would like to get off my chest, and that is the fact that Matt Lawton sucks! There is no way around it. What was Shapiro doing giving him an extension on his contract, when he hasnít proven anything? The other day Shapiro said, ìI think Matt will hit 25 homeruns, and drive in eighty runsî. This is pretty much a plug to try and get Lawton off his chest. Personally, I wouldnít mind if they just cut Lawton. If I am Eric Wedge, than I tell Matt every time he swings at the first pitch of a count he is benched for the rest of the game. It is flat out ridiculous. In Fridayís game Matt swung at three first pitches, and they ALL resulted in pop-outs or lazy fly-outs. He is just swinging for the fences. There is no place for a guy like Lawton on this team, plain and simple."

Borowski had nothing and everyone watching could see he had nothing....his velocity was still way down below 2003, he had little movement on his pitches...he had nothing.

The guy gave up 5 Home Runs in 11 IP for the Cubs. That's absolutely horrible for a reliever. In 68 IP in 2003 he gave up a total of 5 homeruns. He was definitavely a detriment to the team.

To blame his performance on Dusty is absolutely outrageous and shows how completely out of touch with reality we have become here. The guy had nothing when he was with the Cubs and earned his release.

On the otherhand, it is wonderful that JoBo is doing so well for TB, all the power to him as he is a wonderful and hardworking ballplayer.

One key thing to note, which you convienantly ignored.

in 11 games with the Cubs Borowski pitched more than 1 inning 3 times.
So far in 9 games with TB, Borowski pitched more than 1 inning twice.
That was not Jobo's problem. The problem was his stuff...and I'm happy to see that it appears he has gotten it back. He was not usefull for the Cubs anymore...so all parties have benefited.

Crunch,

Hendry hasn't told Baker what to do, but he did let his opinions be known on some matters.

Dubois: Hendry spent all winter bascally saying Dubois earned his shot. Baker waited for a Holly slump to give it to him.

Dempster: Hendry again in the winter talked about how he had the make-up of a closer. Baker put him in the rotation because he needed Rusch as a loogy, even though there was no need for it because of the Bartosh trade, and the fact that Rusch was illsuited for the role.

leadoff guy: Baker went out of his way during a press confernce to say he had no leadoff guy when he did in Hairston. Who for some reason he does not like.

It all adds up every time Hendry says something about what he would like to see done, the exact oppisite happens.

The problem with this year's team has been primarily mediocre starting pitching and a bullpen that started out the worst in the majors and has now improved to just being bad. Surprisingly, I am less critical of Hendry about the bullpen, seeing that relief pitchers are such a crap shoot, and this is also the area where I am most critical of Dusty and Rothschild. There indecision about the "plan" (Dempster as closer and Hawkins as set up man) and then putting Hawkins in the role he had failed twice at already, closer, made the situation much worse then it had to be.

But folks, its are "stellar" rotation that is the key problem why we are behind both the Cardinals and Houston. Looking back, it was a key mistake not to resign Clement. Given their track records, esepecially Woody's, it was predictable that Wood and Prior would spend time on the DL. Also, Maddux's decline was also predictable. Greg should not have been asked to be anything but a No. 5 starter.

The offense has been mediocre as well, but that also was predictable given the low OBP of this team. When your offense is built around .BA, it will be streaky since sometimes the hits come and sometimes they don't. The last ten days they haven't but next ten days they could hit a hot spell like the Florida series and the two series that followed the all star break. My ideal outfield would be Murton LF, Burnitz in CF, and Lawton in RF, at least againt righthanders to increase the team's OBP. Don't expect to see it though.

Patterson is hitting .226 in Iowa with .296 OBP. If they bring him up I hope they hit him ninth if Prior or Zambraon is pitching. Patterson, the Oddibe McDowell of the 21st Century. A great athelete who refused to adjust when pitchers found the holes in his swing.

"In June he gave up 2 runs in 1.1 in an 8-1 loss to Boston, 2 runs the very NEXT DAY in 1.2 in a 9-1 loss to Florida, and 1 run in 1.2 in an 8-1 loss to the Yankees three days later."

Wrong. the Florida game according to all actual boxscores I could find, showed that Borowski gave up 2 runs on 3 hits in .2 of an inning. Not 1.2. Don't base your whole argument on a typo on ESPN's gamelog....it makes you look foolish.
http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/w...
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/boxscore?gameId...

The Devil Rays also have used him 3 straight days once, and back to back games 2 other times.

The Cubs only used him back to back games once.

Finally, you said JoBo only had 3 poor outings for the Cubs before they released him. You have a very weird definition of a poor outing. He gave up at least 1ER in 6 of 11 outings, and 1HR in 5 of those outings.

It's one thing to manipulate stats as most people do here to blame Dusty for something. It's another thing to completely make them up.
There is zero evidence of anything usage wise, that the Cubs did to hurt Jobo versus how the Rays have used him.

I agree with everyone that Dusty Baker is an idiot. Watching him chew on that toothpick, daydreaming about nothing, while being outmanaged daily by the opposing team's batboy is infuriating. He is clearly Hendry's worst signing, especially when you consider that Felipe Alou was available at the same time.

That said, after publicly criticizing Baker I am now fearful of retribution a-la Steve Stone (who also would make a much better manager than Dusty). However, the Tribune Co. cannot fire all of the Cubs fans, only those on the payroll (although I have been finding my Sunday paper in the bushes instead of the front porch lately, hmmm...)

To Ron Galt regarding post #87: I am certain that a .400 OBP with RISP does mean that Dunn is making an out exactly 60% of the time. Not a bad thing however. If he can build upon his previous seasons, especially improve his avg (I would gladly take not getting a hit 70% of the time), he would be a good pickup for 2006.

Again, Lawton is an ideal pickup for this year and even next if Damon is not obtainable. A two-time All-star with great OBP and wheels at the top of the order. Plus he's two years younger than Lofton was when we got him in 2003. Lawton can play CF and has significantly more games played there and elsewhere in the OF than Hairston. Ideally, Murton can become the full-time LF and you could dump Macias and/or Holly as Hairston can become a super-utility guy.

regarding the timing of the trade...

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05213/547005.stm

"General managers Dave Littlefield and Jim Hendry did not finish ironing out particulars until less than 15 minutes before the 4 p.m. deadline. Meanwhile, Gerut stayed in position at Wrigley Field through the top of the seventh inning, until about 4:05 p.m. In the bottom half, once Cubs manager Dusty Baker was informed of the trade, Gerut was removed for a pinch-hitter."

"The Pirates sent Lawton and agreed to pay half his remaining 2005 salary -- at a cost of $1.12 million -- to acquire Gerut, a 27-year-old right fielder who was The Sporting News' American League Rookie of the Year in 2003 as a member of the Cleveland Indians."

The worst mistake was signing Greg Maddux. God bless the guy, I am glad he is on the roster but Maddux's money could of been spent on pieces we needed. Starting rotation was the last place we needed to throw $15-20 million at for 2 years.

And I really can't believe people are already starting the hand wringing over Joe Borowski. "Look he has 7 holds, boy the Cubs sure were stupid for DFAing him." Joe Borowski sucked in a Cubs uniform, so did Alfonseca, so did Hawkins (as closer, not setup). I am glad he is doing well in Tampa, give him a hand. But he wasn't getting the job done in this uniform and thats all that counts.

The Gerut for Lawton deal is a good deal. We have had the LF platoon disaster for far too long, now we have a full time LFer. Whether we have enough time to win the wildcard that remains to be seen, But Lawton will give us a better chance over the Holly, Gerut, Murton 3 headed monster. I want Murton to play more but atleast we have an everyday player now in Lawton.

As for our manager situation. I don't know how many managers have survived not being fired when they have been blown out by their #1 rival in the division by more than 10+ games the last 2 years. Would that fly in Boston or New York? I know we aren't Boston or NY, so screw them. But the fact still remains we got lucky in 2003 because everyone else was mediocre. While the Astro's and Redbirds got better the Cubs remained mediocre. We have not improved 1 bit in the last 3 years. Isnt the natural progression to get better year to year? Whats the Cubs problems? Oh right we have been injured. Meanwhile the Cardinals have lost half their starting lineup. Walker, Sanders, Molina, Rolen. Yet they still win.

2003 the Cubs were a young exciting up and coming team. In 3 short years Dusty and Hendry have turned them into a much older, boring, crappy team. How is that possible when you bring up Prior, Z, and trade for Ramirez and Lee? How can you still not improve? Something is seriously wrong with that picture.

Andy (post #145)-
GREAT POST!!!

Rob G.-
Thanks for clearing up the details of the trade and putting to rest all the wacko conspiracy theories. Even though they made me laugh because of how outragous they were, it is sad that people make things up on here to go after a player/manager. SAD!!!

especially when he does so much on his own :)

MikeC, the Red Sox haven't finished in front of the yanks in 10 years.

"Meanwhile the Cardinals have lost half their starting lineup. Walker, Sanders, Molina, Rolen. Yet they still win."

Pitching, pitching, pitching and throw in Edmonds and Pujols, and you have a better club.
When Houston had pitching injuries, they struggled big time, now that they are healthy, and with the benefit of Berkman, they are flying high.

The Cubs should be playing better, no doubt...but it's silly to pretend that injuries don't have an effect on this team.

It's easy to blame Dusty for all our ill wills. But then again, you have to look at the players on the field. Rookie in Left, projected backup in Center, back up/rookie at short, and a pitching rotation of Zambrano, Prior, Williams, Maddux, and Hill. I definately think this team is capable of more...but I don't think this is a playoff team as it stands now....so maybe instead of 1 game over, we should be 7 games over...that's only a difference of 3 wins that I think we can legitiamtely blame on Dusty versus another manager....as most other events will balance out

As for improving over last year..,I don't know, I personally don't feel this team has the same quality talent that it had last year even if we agree it was the right thing at the time to get rid of Sosa, Alou and Clement. Those numbers are hard to replace...we got lucky so far with Burnitz...but the replacements for Alou and Clement haven't come close, not to mention having Neifi vs. Nomar.

"As for Mr. Cubby78 and your comments about this team having no ENERGY. Admittedly, they have been certainly lackluster at times... BUT HAVE YOU BEEN WATCHING ANY CUBS BALL SINCE THE ALL-STAR BREAK???

Did you watch any of the St.Louis games? Any of the Giants games? ANY of the MANY close and COME FROM BEHIND victories they've had in the past 2-3 weeks???"

Let's see, in one St. Louis game we scored 1 run in 11 innings....in another we had 2 runs before the 8th inning, in the three Giants games, we had a total of 9 runs in 28 innings.

Just because we happen to win close games at home, doesn't mean the team is going all out. We never should have been in a position to possibly lose 7 of 7 games on a homestand, with the 3 wins coming in the last at bat of low scoring games.

It seems pretty clear to me this team doesn't have much energy...their bats have gone cold, aside from some very clutch late inning comebacks that kept us from being completely dead. don't think the manager can be blamed for it...but that homestand showed me from the first SF game to the last, that the team has not had much "energy"

Close games doesn't mean the Cubs have "energy" especially when we are talking about 3-2 and 2-1 games.

By Cubfan:
"As long as Johnny B is manager, this club will be a 3rd place or worse team in the division."

Memory loss? Things getting a little cloudy?

Perhaps this overall pessimistic TCR overtone has jaded your train of thought?

2003 Chicago Cubs, managed by none other than Dusty Baker himself:

88-74, First Place in the National League Central.

However, I'm not a terribly ardent support of the Dustinator any longer myself. It's just amusing how quickly we forget when things aren't going our way.

As for Mr. Cubby78 and your comments about this team having no ENERGY. Admittedly, they have been certainly lackluster at times... BUT HAVE YOU BEEN WATCHING ANY CUBS BALL SINCE THE ALL-STAR BREAK???

Did you watch any of the St.Louis games? Any of the Giants games? ANY of the MANY close and COME FROM BEHIND victories they've had in the past 2-3 weeks???

Just wondering...

Teams go through phases. Hot... then cold... then hot again. All that matters is you have longer HOT periods than COLD periods. This team does have energy... just not 100% of the time... which isn't to many of TCR readers' liking.

Sorry for the double post. Happened when I refreshed the browser.

The close outcomes of the past few weeks are the direct product of an energized team. Of course, please note, that is my opinion.

I know what you mean, though, the team isn't putting up large offensive numbers in droves, thus they aren't energized.

However, I personally don't think anything shows energy better than close, come from behind wins. The Cubs could have easily rolled over in St.Louis after their arguable ace tossed a gem...only to lose it in 11 or so innings. Instead, they continued to fight back and claimed 2 out of 3 very close games.

I know they weren't blowout victories, but a win is a win, and a GREAT win if obtained in such a place like St. Louis.

With that being said... when the Cubs need the energy the most, they somehow have it. It's when we play these mediocre teams like Arizona in which we fall into a laxidasical stupor altogether.

They clearly did not carry the energy from the St.Louis and San Francisco series into this weekend, and therein lies the problem. Hot... then cold.... cold... cold... then hot again.

Bottom line? We need to stay hot. It can only be hoped that somehow, some way, this "PR stunt" of bringing back players gives us a continual morale boost.

On a side note, this "PR Stunt" is in actuality three players coming off the disabled list at the same time. To think it is some calibrated and rehearsed chirade in order to appease someone or something is absolutely laughable. If you are refering to Dusty and his comments, you sure are slow in coming to the realization that half a manager's job is to provide a PR stunt.

Rereading what I wrote, I want to reiterate something. I _do_ somewhat agree with you Adam. This team, at times, even during the course of one game, doesn't show ANY energy. But, as I said in both my above posts, this energy comes and goes... even during the course of one baseball game. In that respect, the Cubs have showed energy when they need it the most: crucial, tight spots where they could have very easily given up.

Consistency is the key. Duh. An obvious statement, but sometimes the obvious needs to be said.

And, of course, in reference to the manager, when I say "PR stunt" I mean "appeasing the media and fanbase."

Apparently Dusty is bad at it.

It all adds up every time Hendry says something about what he would like to see done, the exact oppisite happens.

Right...as in Hendry tells Baker to sit Gerut on Sunday and Baker goes out and puts him in the starting lineup...something he rarely does. Most GM's working on a deal don't want the players involved playing for fear of injury....wouldn't put it past Johnny B.

If Dusty was so good and so easy to work with the GM I'm sure Brian Sabean would have been all over signing the manager who just took them to the World Series....

Dusty Baker = players manager
Manager= General Manager's manager = productive manager.

"Right...as in Hendry tells Baker to sit Gerut on Sunday and Baker goes out and puts him in the starting lineup...something he rarely does.

quite simply Cubfan...you have lost your mind.

i realize that they needed to get somebody out of gerut, as he is not the guy that they needed...so a trade was in the works to deal him after they acquired him...but why for lawton...true, lawton's obp is off the wall amazing, but a true lefty reliever like, i know you all wont like this because he is a chisox guy, but damaso marte...he has the power and a nasty breaking pitch that rivals or even shows up farnsworths best stuff, that was the direction to go, not lawton...peace

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