Three Blind Mice

GAME 110 IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] CHICAGO CUBS (54-55) @ NEW YORK METS (55-54) SHEA STADIUM, 12:20 pm CDT, TV: FOX
Jae Seo, RHP
2-1, 2.00 ERA
14/3 K/BB, 3 HR in 18.0 IP
Greg Maddux, RHP
8-8, 4.67 ERA
86/24 K/BB, 20 HR in 140.2 IP
LF *Matt Lawton SS #Jose Reyes
2B *Todd Walker 2B Miguel Cairo
1B Derrek Lee CF #Carlos Beltran
3B Aramis Ramirez LF *Cliff Floyd
RF *Jeromy Burnitz 3B David Wright
SS #Neifi Perez RF Mike Cameron
CF #Jose Macias 1B *Marlon Anderson
C Henry Blanco C Ramon Castro
P Greg Maddux P *Tom Glavine
Perez, Macias and Blanco that is. When you include the pitcher in things, it really is almost laughable that there are so many days when we're fielding just five proper hitters. Still, that'd probably have been enough had the Mets sent out Kaz Ishii as scheduled. He's not a proper pitcher - he could probably walk the three blind mice to load the bases and give up a Greg Maddux grand slam. Sadly, the Mets came to their senses and so they sent him to the minors, and now the Cubs will have to face Jae Seo today...
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Comments

Painful as the Macias starts at CF are, I'm still glad that Hendry kept Kpat down on the farm. Let's see some genuine progress results in Iowa before recalling him. That's the best spin i can give it.

Cubs haven't scored a run in the first inning since July 18th - maybe today will end that streak as well.

Suntimes says there looking at Grissom. Corey is so much better than him or Macias just recall him Hendry!

I didn't see it until today, but I had to laugh and SBUC OG.

Thant's my dad's license plate and email.

Sorry, that's laugh _at_ SBUC OG.

What does that stand for? I missed wherever it popped up originally.

Go cubs...backwards

Wow. I'm slower than Aramis today.

Other CF options: Burnitz, Murton, Cedeno?

Did Maddux really steal a base? (I just tuned in to the gamechannel to see the play by play.)

Oh jeez...It seems that Greg Maddux now has to show how to be aggresive and steal bases to our disgusting..sleeping offense. The more and more I watch jeromy Burnitz..I am starting to flat out hate him. He doesn't have any intent..has no adjustment whatsoever one big swing for any kind of pitch. Some times make me wonder how the heck he survived all these years in major leagues. Todd Walker is just a showoff looser who simply doesnt deserve that #2 spot. Take out your goggle you punk and start to get on base. I think I am just spittin out venom over here in utter frustration. I have a strong feeling that the team gave up and Dusty is going to get fired for sure.

-C

Yep, Maddux caught the Mets napping and took off for second. Seo stepped off the mound and tried to gun him at second, but the throw pulled the Met off the base. Did some quick checking, and that's only the Cubs 4th stolen base since July 1st. The Mets stole five yesterday and have already stole two today.

Well, at least one of us is paying attention. Now if he can just regain his pitching form. I won't even hope for Cy Young Maddux - I'll settle for second half of last year Maddux.

What about Adam Greenberg in center? He supposedly has the speed to play there, and he'd be better than Macias or Grissom. We also wouldn't make the mistake of rushing Patterson to the majors for a second time or Pie to the majors for a first time.

Man, the Cubs just look flat today. No life at all. I'm beginning to wonder if the putrid execution and lack of fundamentals over the past few days might have to do with the team being worn down mentally and emotionally.

Burnitz needs a day off. It would also give Murton a chance to get some playing time.

Greenberg would not bother me, but if he won't play Murton who is a guy that projects to be a solid every day player at the very least of his potential he will not play Greenberg who projects as a 4th outfielder. Which leads to only one logical conclussion fire Baker!!!!

Comparing Neifi, Macias, and Blanco to three blind mice is insulting. Blind mice everywhere should be outraged.

This Cubs team has been very frustrating in the last several days...I've been busy with a project and haven't watched the last few games as closely as today's game. Maddux is doing his job BUT our offense is not firing on all 8 cylinders...So far we see Lee, Ramirez and Lawton unable to hit when they really needed to (and bring crucial runs home)...The Cubs need to play good fundamental baseball and start to jumpstart this offense...I hope they turn things around soon.

By the way-why is Nomar out of the lineup? Did Dusty think he needed a rest?

Murton should be playing much more -- there is no excuse for it...When the Cubs are having as much trouble hitting as they are then new line-ups have to be tried.

"I'm still glad that Hendry kept Kpat down on the farm. Let's see some genuine progress results in Iowa before recalling him."

Looks like they're trying to turn Korey into a Neifi/Macias type contact hitter. It's working.
He's started the last six games for Iowa and gone 8 for 23 (.348). K's are down but so is power. The three home runs he has were hit when he first got sent down.

scott...firing on all 8 cylinders !!! they aren't getting a damn spark going on man..leave alone the cylinder part. Look teams get in a rut like this but you can see that look of fighting..look of desperation to win a ball game..on their faces but this team looks like they dont gave a damn. I think they are going to get a max of 65 wins this season. The way they are playing agains mets, do they have a chance against astros and cardinals ???? you must be kidding me...

scott...firing on all 8 cylinders !!! they aren't getting a damn spark going on man..leave alone the cylinder part. Look teams get in a rut like this but you can see that look of fighting..look of desperation to win a ball game..on their faces but this team looks like they dont gave a damn. I think they are going to get a max of 65 wins this season. The way they are playing agains mets, do they have a chance against astros and cardinals ???? you must be kidding me...

sorry for the duplicate post above and my typos.boy this season is really getting on my nerves

I think they are going to get a max of 65 wins this season.

Hehe. This is funny.

So the Cubs are going to only win 11 games out of their last 53 games? Interesting prediction...

No Nomar today cause Dusty planned it that way..."his guy" threshold would be violated if Neifi/Macias/Holly don't get enough at bats. Nomar shouldn't be playing a day game after a night game was the official reason.

I didn't enjoy watching last years team down the stretch with all the off the field distractions and whining.

I'm at the point where watching this team is just as bad, maybe worse as this team is not competent at the major league level.

Bad lineups, stupid decisions from the coaches on the bench and players on the field, no patience at the plate, no baserunning (Maddux excluded), no youth (Murton, Greenberg, Cedeno may be good some day but we'll never find that out this year), no defense in the OF, poor clutch/RBI situational hitting (I heard it was at .220 with men on base), crappy pitching in the 8th inning (Williamson excluded), no offense for Zambrano's best work.

And now they've gone completely boring on us.

WHAT'S NOT TO DISLIKE.

IMO, Hendry should put Dusty and ALL Cubs players on a "pay for performance" contract...This is how it's done in many top companies. Give the players about 25% of their projected compensation as a guarantee and the rest would come only IF certain agreed upon milestones were achieved. Lets let the players share in the risk and the reward of winning. This team needs to get hungry and start playing good fundamental baseball. Many of the players (and the Manager) could and should accept blame for the performance. We don't need a bigger payroll we need a GM who would consider shaking things up and "paying for performance"...;-)

3 blind mice?

August batting stats:

Perez - .357, OPS .971
Macias - .364, OPS .697
Blanco - .400, OPS .900

Walker - .222, OPS .578
Lee - .235, OPS .879
Ramirez - .333, OPS .924
Burnitz - .105, OPS .255

I'll grant you that no one has over 20 AB's yet in August, but I hardly think you can blame the August woes at the feet of our bottom half of the order.

D's A, you are a brave man coming here and defending Macias and Perez in any way, shape or form. I commend you.

I'm going to lay this theory out there as to why the Cubs haven't done what some of us have expected the last couple of years -- let me know what you think.

In the past I've been a huge supporter of Jim Hendry primarily because of his ability to get great players for next to nothing (Lee for Choi, Ramirez for Hill, Barrett for Miller, Nomar and Murton for Harris, Beltran and Gonzalez, etc.) But the more I've thought about it, the more I've realized that its possible the reason the Cubs have been able to get these players on the cheap is that they're in some way fundamentally flawed -- thus, making the Cubs fundamentally flawed.

For instance, Barrett has turned into a great hitter for a catcher, but he sorely lacks defensive ability. Ramirez is a fantastic hitter, but he can't run a lick, which prevents him from scoring from second on singles -- something almost any major leaguer ought to be able to do. Nomar is an amazing talent, but he's an injury risk, as we've all seen. And even Lee, who has been amazing this year, has the history of not hitting in the early months (and if he had hit early last year, the Cubs might have won a few more games in April and May and made the playoffs later on.) And now you've got Lawton, who can hit and get on base, but can't throw a lick.

If you pick up players with fundamental flaws, you shouldn't be surprised when your team makes fundamental mistakes -- that's basically the theory. I'm still kind of brainstorming this as an idea for a column, and I'd like to know what you guys think.

I see no justification for batting Hollandsworth right here...Murton has a MUCH better average.

From Peter Gammons espn.com article

"Jim Hendry wants to get Pie in center and Cedeno at shortstop by next year."

Could we be looking at a 2006 Cubs line-up of

1. Walker, 2b
2. Murton, LF
3. Lee, 1b
*4. Dunn, RF
5. Aram, 3b
6. Barrett, C
7. Pie, CF
8. Cedeno,SS

* get Dunn for Hill, Mitre, Wellemeyer, Fontenot

Well thank you Bob. I just believe giving credit where credit is due; and fault where it belongs too. It's our "powerhouse" that has been slumping recently.

And as I write this, Blanco just cranked out a double.

I get back from golfing, check the box score and see that the only Cubs with hits are macias, blanco (2) and maddux. Just when you think you've seen every way they can suck, they think of new, annoying angles on it.

When D. Lee has a bad day when it comes to hitting that can be real trouble for the Cubs. The Cubs have had their chances to even up this game. It's now going to come down to the 9th inning. The Cubs offense just can't seem to come up with big hits AT THE RIGHT TIME. It's tough to understand.

Big lowitzki,
Whats so funny about my comment that the cubs will end up with only 65 wins. Have you seen the cubs defense and offense in today's game or yesterday's game or the game before that..or.......????

They couldn't score a run against a no name met pitcher today. What chance do you think will they have against astros and cardinals. ??

I really wanted mets to throw some underhand pitches at our batters and humiliate the sh** out of them..kinda like.."Show me you can hit this ....5 Mph fast ball..." probably..that would wake them or shake them up though I would doubt it. I would have been much happier if they would have done that against burnitz and if would have been called out on 3 swinging strikes.

Boy this ball club is full of enunches..with no shame or game.

-C

tip your cap to the great Met pitching shutting down the powerful cub offense

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA......

Painful stuff. I think I'm losing it.

Cub lineup 1-6 hitters are 0-21

Enough said. The 3 blind mice were responsible for all of the pathetic offense we saw today

Terrible game, lousy team.

Well, we got the pitching performance we have been looking for.

Boy is this team Dead.

... and God said to me "The Holy Neifi shall not be pinch hit for".

Adam..no doubt..this team is so dead that I see mummies on the green.

Big lowitzki,
Whats so funny about my comment that the cubs will end up with only 65 wins. Have you seen the cubs defense and offense in today's game or yesterday's game or the game before that..or.......????

I would wager significant money that the Cubs will win more than 65 games this season.

Do you really think that the Cubs will only win 20% of the last 53 games? Do you realize that you think that the Cubs will only win at a .207 win percentage from here on out? Over an entire season that would figure to be 33 or 34 wins.

Do you realize what are you saying? The worst winning percentage in MLB for a season since WWII is .250. And you think the Cubs are worse that that? That is what is so funny.

can we please throw in the towel..put the players that need to be gone..on waivers and let the rookies play?? Atleast then we would have a decent excuse for playing like this and loosing ballgames..
It would be kool if the cardinals, astros and even the reds decline to play against the cubs complaining that they would loose their game skills by playing against this team. If thats not possible then atleast play their AA team against the cubs for the rest of the season. Wow I can almost hear dusty saying " We got to put this loss behind and come back..jerk off and come back tommorow.."
-C

dave..
"And you think the Cubs are worse that that? "
Wow you really believe they are playing better than that ???? dont tell me your last name really is "Baker"

-C

I'm really having trouble thinking about how this team will compete next year either.
We simply can't trust Wood to be healthy enough for our rotation, Maddux is clearly winding down, leaving only Zambrano and Prior as the bullpen anchors, and even Prior has to be considered a questionmark health wise.

Then you have Lee and Ramirez who you can really count on for being playoff caliber players...but then you have questionmarks at Left, Right, Center, SS, and possibly second...our catching situation is not necessarily playoff quality too.

I worry that we may need to be too dependedent on a load of young guys next year, unless we plan on making 3-4 major trades or signings.

It's a shame that Maddox's two best outings since the all star game, today and against Zach Duke of the Pirates, Cubs managed to put up zilch runs of support. Very much in keeping with this years team.

2006 will probably be much like any other non-anamoly year...if not then we celebrate out of surprise.

Wow you really believe they are playing better than that ???? dont tell me your last name really is "Baker"

Yes...I do think that they are playing much better baseball than a .207 wining percentage.

The Cubs have played 22 games since the all-star break. They are 11 - 11. That would be .500 ball.

Don't get me wrong - this team is not playing well. But they are not playing .207 baseball, and they will win more than 65 games.

Do you want to put a wager on it?

So Dusty gets a vote of confidence by Hendry and goes out and manages another brilliant game....I tell you this guy is something.

What did Dusty do wrong today?
actually, forget that, I don't even want to hear.

but then you have questionmarks at Left, Right, Center, SS, and possibly second...our catching situation is not necessarily playoff quality too.

What are "playoff caliber players"? Please define this for me. Walker? Definitely playoff caliber. Nomar? Playoff caliber. Barrett? Even with his defense - playoff caliber. That means the entire infield is "playoff caliber". Granted...we don't know if they will resign Nomar and pick up Walker's option, but they should do both. Walker is an above average 2b at only 2.5 million dollars. And Nomar is again worth the risk.

The Outfield I agree with you. All three are question marks. Pie is not ready for the big leagues. I hope I am wrong, and will gladly admit it is he comes through next year. Murton looks ready - he just needs ot be given a legit chance.

I don't think that this team is as bad as you think it is for next year. When you add Jerome Williams, who has pitched quite well for us, and Rich Hill, you have a decent little roation.

ha ha..
Dave "Big" Lowitzki..chill man..I dont have a crystal ball or a time machine to predict the number of wins with pin point accuracy. You seem to be like a guy who will bark all over me if the cubs end up winning 66 instead of 65.. Good lord..slow down man. I was expressing my utter frustrations like the rest of the cub nation at this spineless team. Now you dont need to dig up stats and prove that E=Mc2 (by the way thats E = m*c*c) to me. Ryan Dempster was saying yesterday that its been a long time since he played in little leagues and its good to be back. Give me three good reasons why the cardinals and astros will not sweep the cubs?? Now dont post any war time stories in your defense. Even if you do remember that somone wiser than you and me once said " History repeats itself"

-C

post 52--

Players may be playoff caliber but they need a manager to unite them...run decent strategy...and an organization that stresses fundamentals in the farm system....develop your own talent etc....Cubs lack that

I dont have a crystal ball or a time machine to predict the number of wins with pin point accuracy.

You seemed pretty confident when you said this: I think they are going to get a max of 65 wins this season. And then you said: Wow you really believe they are playing better than that ????

Three good reasons why the Cubs will not get sweeped by the Astros and the Cardinals? I only need two: Mark Prior and Carlos Zambrano.

somone wiser than you and me once said " History repeats itself"

Right...and just two weeks ago the Cubs took two out of three against the Cards.

And if history repeats itself, I should be safe in saying the Cubs will win more than 65 games.

dave..
fans who are so upset against this team right now should read your comments..and they would feel so much better. You know what..Mark Prior and Big Z can hold the other offense to a run and give us a 8-9 inning outing. But who the heck in the cubs offense is going to score that one run to tie the game or score two runs to win the game. (By the way in all fairness to your confidence in our pitching staff..that one run might be an un earned run..probably an error on Ramirez)
-C

Dave..as an addition..cant you see that with this offense it wouldn't matter if Cy young himself pitches for the cubs???

Well, being that the cubs have scored 100 runs in their last 23 games since the all-star break, the odds are pretty good that if Prior or Z hold any team to 1 or 2 runs, the Cubs will win.

You cannot freak out about the Cubs offense over the last few games and say that they cannot score one run.

Again...I am extremely dissappointed on the way that the Cubs are playing. But they are not a .207 team.

it's not funny but it seems all too frequent that the Chicago National League ballclub has the sh*t hit the fan in NYC.

goes back to the Black cat and the 69 Cubs but I'm game to hear other recollections of note such as:

...Ronnie Santo hairpiece catching on fire.

...Hawkins most painful blown game last year, giving up a 3 run homer to a Rookie with 2 outs in the 9th, leading to an extra inning loss and losing a 3-0 win.

...Kerry Wood's wildness in the 1st inning in the game following that and bad/old lefty Al Leiter making that ugly inning hold up.

...this years ugly 1st trip to the Yankees and NYC, especially when we had to see Enrique Wilson as DH.

...and this season's final death knell from competition in the 1st week in August against what looked like a team struggling with the same issues as the cubs. The cubs just don't get it when it comes to fundamentals. Holding baserunners, pitching out, advancing runners, scoring men from 3rd base. It's a long sad list.

"I don't think that this team is as bad as you think it is for next year. When you add Jerome Williams, who has pitched quite well for us, and Rich Hill, you have a decent little roation."

umm, it's not exactly working for us right now.

Also I'm not sure about Nomar, someone else may pay him a lot just to fill seats.

But, I don't think the team will be "bad" just not playoff quality without some major changes unless we strike gold with a youth movement.

Lets ask everyone else...how many people that the Cubs will win more than 65 games this season?

80 wins low, 83 wins high

maybe MAYBE 77 wins low...but I'd be surprised....if it was less than 80

This team is dead! They have no drive, motivation, will, etc. (which is really hard to understand when YOUR in a playoff HUNT). The only person I can blame that on is the manager! If you dedect a player is not giving his all or is in a slump he needs to be BENCHED (Burnitz, Walker). However, I am not sure if I want him fired as his track record in SF and with us the past two years is that he is a winner. The Cubs had not had back to back winning seasons since 71-72. So what the FUCK do we do? Go get another Baylor!?!?!

FUCK this is frustrating WATCHING THIS TEAM!!!

Here is the lineup I would run out there for awhile (atleast to wake some people up, if there is a way to bench Burnitz for a few I would do that as well (can Cedeno play OF?))!

Lawton RF
Murton LF (this guy is the most patient hitter they got, so Dusty response to not playing him "We're in a playoff race")
Lee 1b
Ramierez 3b
Burnitz CF
Barrett C
Garciaparra SS
Cedeno 2B (he's fast, excellent glove and at least he has the drive to TRY, this guy was hitting .370 Iowa, SHIT give him a chance or send him down to get more polished! Same goes for Murton)

I just don't understand Perez getting so many ABs. He must have pics of Baker. I am just simply FRUSTRATED and once again the CUBS have managed to BREAK MY HEART!

This lurker says 80 wins tops.

I see Atlanta won 8-1 today, so we didn't lose ground against the Cards!!

"In case you couldn't tell, I was being *sarcastic*." -- Homer S.

I say 80-85. But I would be surprised if they finish under .500.

and once again the CUBS have managed to BREAK MY HEART!

at least we've got some time to do other stuff in August and September this year, instead of stringing us on until almost Oct.

take your spouse out to dinner, go to the beach, read a book, look at this as an opportunity to get a life.

Good Idea! At least they are giving us 2 months of our lifes back!

Oh there's always NASCAR.....great sport, have lots of favorite teams....and a few teams I don't like...

dave..
I wish the players respond with some offense in the remaining games the way you are responding to my prediction of 65 games. Well then...they are millionaires and and will definetely earn a ton next season. All we fans live by is hope.

-C

If the cubs move to full sell off mode by September and start playing all rookies, the Cubs could en up with 75-77 wins. If the Cubs stay competitive and run out a team to win now, then they should be able to get 83-85 wins.
85 is really pushing it as it means they will need to go 31-21 the rest of the way. If the masgic number is 90 wins to make the playoffs, we need to go 36-16. hahaha, no.

What did Dusty do wrong today?

The same thing we'll see a lot from here on out, end the game with Barrett, Murton, and Garciaparra on the bench. They lost because the top two thirds were only on base twice.

But, you asked.

The Cubs will go... hmmm... while I'd love80-82, I'll settle for 83-79.

This is a .500 ballclub, plus or minus 2 or 3. That's been obvious since at least the end of May. Where within that range will it fall? Beats me.

I just wish they'd spend the rest of this year evaluating the kids. We've got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

next stop Sept 1 when they bring up CPat/Richard Lewis/Jermaine VanBuren, maybe Bobbie Brownle

(don't expect too many of the Diamond Jaxx prospects since they will be in the playoffs. The ones we really want to see are there like David Aardsma/Ricky Nolasco/Renyel Pinto/Felix Pie/Adam Greenberg

of course we could see Matt Murton and Ronnie Cedeno then too.

but the way Dusty thinks about this...when the team is out of contention, he wants to play Holly and Macias and Neifi to reward them for dutiful service.

"Oh there's always NASCAR.....great sport, have lots of favorite teams....and a few teams I don't like."

If the Cubs ever get me so down that I'm watching NASCAR, you all have my permission to sneak up behind me and shoot me.

"it's not funny but it seems all too frequent that the Chicago National League ballclub has the sh*t hit the fan in NYC."

Cubster, you forgot one of the biggest of all. 1969, May or June. A weekday game, Jenkins is cruising with a lead until the ninth when centerfielder Don Young fails to hold on to two fly balls and the Cubs end up losing. Then Cub captain Ron Santo, (currently loveable, back then? Not so much) in a classless act, verbally abuses the rookie in the clubhouse.

Does anybody have an update on the status of Marshall and Pie.

Meanwhile, the Astros are suddenly playing like they did in the first half of the year, they are about to get shut out for the 2nd straight game, bringing them a 3 game losing streak. Nice to see Oswalt and Pettitie take rare loses.

The more I think about it Pie should be the starting CF next year. Look what Jeremy Reed is doing w/SEA.

.256/321/345 2 HR, 34 RBI

Pie is capable of matching the avg. Pie probably would not Reed's OBP, but would excced the SLG. Pie if he plays 140 gms. he could hit 10 HR and drive in 55-60 runs. His defense would be simlar to Reed.

There should be a meet between not and Reed on post 79.

Honestly, why should we want to see Pie next year? The risks, from messing with his development to, if he pans out, an unnecessary start of his arb clock simply don't outweigh whatever it is we'll gain. They should find a stopgap and live with it.

Borowski delivers for D-Rays

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sport...

{...Joe Borowski, whom the Cubs released in June, has been lights-out as a setup man for the Devil Rays. He joined the team July 14 and didn't allow a run in his first 10 games, giving up only three hits and two walks in 91/3 innings.

Borowski said he believes he could have contributed all season if not for the fractured wrist he suffered in spring training. He had a 6.55 ERA in 11 games for the Cubs but said he felt he was close to being back to form when he received his walking papers.

"It was almost like I was going through spring training again in Chicago," he said. "It's unfortunate. I was right there. When this [chance] came along, I had no doubts I could still pitch, so it happened to work out well."...}

Looking over the schedules of some potential wild card teams I have the following of 4 teams

Nationals 79-83
Houston 88-74
Milwaukee 82-80
Chicago 81-81

I have looked at Florida, Philadelphia, Arizona, SD or New York yet....though that is useless since I already have 2 teams beating out the Cubs..and the Cubs in 4th place this year (and I was more generous giving W's to Cubs than they probably will get).

Just two comments real quick...

Are there any bites on centerfielders out there that we might be able to clear waivers or maybe that has been out of baseball (what about Rickey Henderson, can he play center.....I didn't follow him to see how he did in indie league baseball this year)

Also, what do we think about Davey Johnson as manager???

Could probably get Jose Cardenal to play Centerfield...or maybe Rick Monday....or Ricky Henderson

We in this chair would like that very much.

ugg..cubs..turn down the suck..

and maddux..learn to check a runner..youre not getting any younger, your fastball isnt getting any faster, your move is getting any better, and runners are turning singles to doubles on your watch like its just that easy...cuz it is...

1 more year to go...

Macias is really the least of our problems. He had one of the only hits in todays game. He has a hitting streak going on right now. You know what.... Macias at least hustles.

Our problems are coming from todd walker, derek lee, burnitz, and whoever is playing shortstop. Those are the guys not producing right now.

Someone please find a link to an article about McKeon's amazing Marlin turnaround and forward it to Jim Hendry. Fast. The only hope for this year is to cut the head off the snake. SURELY Baker is gone AFTER this year -- but if he goes now it might inspire a bunch of players that are clearly not getting after it for him (likely because they are as sick of his act as we are and want him gone too). Light a fire under their asses and take it to the Astros in our (many) remaining games against them and we still have a shot.

It would look like a feather in your cap, Jim. Maybe axing Baker would really have nothing to do with it -- maybe it would be a coincidence because Woody/Williamson give us a real pen and Nomar might just give us a real SS -- but Jim, you'd get the credit and look like a genius.

Plus, if you get someone that actually works in concert with you, our talented young players might actually get an opportunity to develop into very affordable stars. Look at how the Braves do it! When someone gets hurt they don't rent Enrique Wilson or Rey Ordonez -- they promote from their system and keep on winning. That way guys in the minors know they have something to work for and are motivated! It would suck to be a prospect in the cubs system praying for a trade or to reach the rule 5 draft.

ds

Also, if you are unfamiliar with the term "get after it," as a female reporter interviewing Bobby Knight was once in a postgame press conference, I will tell you how the General answered her question.

"I'll put it like this, getting after it is finishing first, third, and fifth in a jacking off contest!"

ds

Henderson's numbers this year are

264/468/376 w/ 2 HR and 23 RBI

But I would not sign him. The answer to CF is Pie. When he comes back next week let him play 2 weeks at the minors, then bring him up. We can see what we have with him and can gauge what we need to do at CF in the winter.

"I'll put it like this, getting after it is finishing first, third, and fifth in a jacking off contest!"

Bobby Knight. What classy wit. A real Mark Twain for the 21st century.

Felix Pie is the answer to the question: Which AA outfielder in the Cub organization strikes out once every five at bats and has nearly four times as many Ks as walks? Cub fans are so in love with what they haven't seen. Not that I blame us. What we've seen lately is horrid. Pie's a great prospect but the guy is not close to ready. Maybe give him a look in September although I don't know why. He should spend at least another half year in the minors. You bring him up now and I'm afraid you're looking at KPat II.

What's also interesting at WTenn is the fact that Luis Montanez is now hitting great at AA. The story I read said it was his idea to move to the outfield and take the pressure or him defensively. Too bad someone in the organization didn't think of that oh say, two years ago? Sing also having a great year.

Pie is better than any of the options we have at CF other than Burnitz. That is the problem number 1 with Baker when a position is not manned by an above average player he makes the worst choice in a bad sitution. They should have at least gotten CP back up here. Also Burny and Dlee need a day off tomrrow since they have not had one in forever and is probably why their in a funk with the bat.The line-up should be

Lawton, RF
Walk 1b
Barrett, C
Aram, 3b
nomar,SS
Murton, Lf
Holly,CF
neifi,2b

Pie is better than any of the options we have at CF other than Burnitz.

No he is not. It would not surprise me at all if Macias would out-perform Pie right now. Pie is not ready. We do not need another Korey in CF, a guy who has little strike zone recognition and strikes out WAY too much.

I would much rather have Korey called up - there is a much better chance that he could help the team right now.

And I would be VERY surprised if Lee and Burnitz got a day off on the same day.

Pie is better than any of the options we have at CF other than Burnitz.

No he is not. It would not surprise me at all if Macias would out-perform Pie right now. Pie is not ready. We do not need another Korey in CF, a guy who has little strike zone recognition and strikes out WAY too much.

I would much rather have Korey called up - there is a much better chance that he could help the team right now.

And I would be VERY surprised if Lee and Burnitz got a day off on the same day.

That is weird...I didn't submit that comment twice. Oh well.

Well at least one of them needs the day off. The season is over let the kids play! Pie might be ready he might be. Let him play in at least Semptember and see if you need a multiple year option like Damon, a one-year stop gap like Winn, or see if he is ready.

I can never tell when people are being serious about Jose Macias and his three game "hitting" streak making contributions.

Maybe it's that time he walked a week ago, or the two he notched in April to go with that one. Maybe it's the six extra bases he's taken all year (that's a 25-AB streak without an extra base hit, for anyone keeping track). Maybe it's those two bases he stole hustling back in May. Maybe it's the intangibles, like barely making it from first to third on a single where he had a running start.

I agree with Dave, I'd still rather have him than Pie, because there's just no point in rushing at all, as Pie shouldn't be in the starting plans for next year anyway. Play the kids when it's appropriate, not for the sake of playing kids.

Speaking of playing the kids when it's appropriate, let's rank key offensive Cubs by OPS since the start of the San Francisco series. Sample caveats apply, obviously:

Murton 467/556/667, 1223
Barrett 294/333/647, 980
Macias 348/375/348, 723
Neifi 270/308/405, 713
Lee 234/321/340, 661
Walker 267/340/311, 651
Aramis 250/269/350, 619
Lawton 238/273/286, 559
Burnitz 146/211/188, 399
Hollandsworth 077/077/154, 231

This is just ridiculous. The whole offense is completely in the tank, (except for Murton, who remains on the DL with ass splinters) so at least there's nowhere to go but up. Except for Macias, who's actually playing way above his head right now.

Corey Patterson continues his hitting tear with Iowa. 3/4 today. 11 for his last 27. Batting average up to .271

David Sanders--"Look at how the Braves do it! When someone gets hurt they don't rent Enrique Wilson or Rey Ordonez -- they promote from their system and keep on winning."

You mean the same Braves that, when addressing their corner outfield this year, first gave the jobs to Brian Jordan (.244/.292/.335 in 63 games) and Raul Mondesi (.211/.271/.359 in 41 games)? Certainly, the Braves deserve some credit for eventually realising the error of their ways and cutting their losses on those two, but any argument that it's their rookie replacements that have been doing it for them as far as the winning is concerned is also fundamentally flawed. Ryan Langerhans (.244/.325/.398 in 84 games) and Kelly Johnson (.227/.321/.377 in 57 games) have scarcely been better than the awful veterans they replaced, and I will stake my entire reputation on Jeff Francoeur (.406/.414/.812 in 20 games) also hitting less than .250 (with an OBP below .300) by the time the season's out.

But Kelly Johnson/Jeff Francour and/or Ryan Langerhauns ALL are in the plans of the Braves for the future, not Mondesi and Jordan. If they were going to have sub-par performances from the OF corner, they MIGHT as well go with youngster. Considering the age and experience, I think the Braves OF rookie trio is performing admirably.

An interesting perspective from The San Francisco Chronicle...

Baker should leave Chicago for his own sake

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chro...

{...In a world gone wrong, Dusty Baker's concern isn't just the St. Louis Cardinals or the National League wild card. It's enduring a tide of sentiment to run him out of town.

Chicago isn't the Bay Area, where Baker gets credit for years of contention, Felipe Alou is only mildly scolded for wearing out his bullpen, and Ken Macha survived an outright freefall that painted his team in distasteful colors. Nor is it the Bronx, where years of success allowed Joe Torre to sail through troubled waters. It's more like Boston, pre-2004, with its combination of curse logic and fans who treat the game as a life-and-death matter.

If anything captured the mood Baker now faces, it was Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS against the Yankees. Boston manager Grady Little stuck with his best pitcher, Pedro Martinez, through an inning that turned horribly sour. Since then, people all over baseball -- scouts, opposing managers, even such Red Sox mainstays as Jason Varitek -- have defended Little's judgment. But in Boston, somebody had to go down -- not gently, but in the manner of a public stoning. Somebody had to be ridiculed, humiliated and thrown into the street, and Little will forever (and wrongly) be remembered as the Blithering Idiot of '04.

Baker has become Chicago's village idiot. Never mind that he came within a Steve Bartman brain cramp of getting the Cubs to their first World Series since 1945. Forget the Sammy Sosa meltdown that brought down the franchise last year, or the cruel assortment of injuries that decimated this year's club. The Cubs aren't in first place. They aren't giving Chicagoans what they feel they deserve.

Without question, Baker must be partly accountable. He joined several of his players in a backlash against media criticism last year, when the team should have tactfully rallied against it. Some of his strategical moves have backfired. Just recently, he publicly decried the Wrigley Field booing of the Giants' LaTroy Hawkins and other visiting players, saying it might hurt the team's chances to sign free agents down the line.

Whatever you may feel about Dusty, the man is real, and one of the best managers in the game...}

Triple Crown numbers starting to elude Lee

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sport...

{...At the end of Saturday's game, Derrek Lee had fallen out of the lead in all three Triple Crown categories. He had led in batting average since April and began the day tied for the lead in home runs. Lee said what he has been saying since the subject came up in June: He doesn't think about the Triple Crown.

"The only thing I do is answer the questions about it," Lee said. "When I'm playing the game, I just try to win. All the other stuff just takes care of itself."...}

New beginning or end of the road?
__________________________________________

If Cubs don't kick it into gear, manager Dusty Baker may not be back

By Phil Rogers
Columnist
The Chicago Tribune
August 5, 2005

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/cs-05080...

{...The Cubs aren't likely to fire Baker, not with a year left on the manager's contractóand not when Wood, Prior and Garciaparra have been sidelined for a combined 328 days over the last two seasons. Baker has many good reasons why his team isn't winning. But with the Cubs floundering under him, his 2006 status will be a hot-button issue until Hendry and his Tribune Co. bosses either extend him (which is unlikely) or let him take a deal elsewhere.

No matter how strongly Baker denied the Los Angeles Times' story that said he is eyeing a shot at the Dodgers' job, currently Jim Tracy's, you can't help but wonder. The same kind of whispers began in 2002 when he was angry with San Francisco Giants owner Peter Magowan...

...While injuries and an unreliable bullpen have sunk the Cubs the last two years, you could see management deciding that maybe somebody else could get this team over the top. It's a decent time to consider replacing a strong manager, as there are at least three good candidates within the organization or nearby. In no particular order they are:

Grady Little, who got the Boston Red Sox to Game 7 of the 2003 American League Championship Series and currently is a roving catching instructor in the Cubs' organization.

Bob Brenly, who won a World Series with Arizona in 2001 and is spending this season doing great work as a color man on Cubs telecasts.

Joe Girardi, the Northwestern graduate and seven-year Cub who is serving as a bench coach/understudy to Yankees manager Joe Torre.

In Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, Carlos Zambrano, Greg Maddux, Ryan Dempster and possibly Garciaparra (whose immediate future will be decided by his play down the stretch), there are playoff cornerstones in place. The key for 2006 lies in getting contributions from enough guys like Matt Murton, Rich Hill, Ricky Nolasco, Roberto Novoa, Ronny Cedeno and Corey Patterson or Felix Pie.

It's fair to say these aren't the kind of guys who have thrived under Baker...}

CJ, I'm not arguing that the Braves deciding to go with the kids was the wrong decision. I'm just pointing out three things. Firstly, that their initial instinct was to rent the outfield versions of Rey Ordonez and Enrique Wilson. Secondly, that it took them quite a while before they realised that their initial instincts were wrong - Ryan Langerhans was only given regular starts as of May 1st, Kelly Johnson was called up on May 29th, two days before Mondesi was designated for assignment, and it was only Brian Jordan going on the disabled list on July 4th that led them to promote Jeff Francoeur. Thirdly, the rookies' quantifiable production doesn't suggest that they are that big a reason for the Braves' success so far this year. Of course, there are intangibles to consider, energy, enthusiasm and what not, and all of that is important, but at the end of the day, that only gets you so far. You have to hit the curveball too.

You want another example with the Braves? May I suggest their handling of the third base position after Chipper Jones went on the disabled list on June 7th. Jones would be eventually activated on July 18th, nearly six weeks later. In that time, the Braves handed just 48 plate appearances to their stud third base prospect Andy Marte but 110 plate appearances to Wilson Betemit, who, while once a top prospect and still reasonably young, has spent so many years not hitting at Triple-A that he's a lot closer to Rey Ordonez than anyone you'd actually like to have on your roster. Furthermore, Betemit is a shortstop!

If this stereotype of the Braves always giving the kids a shot regardless is true, what on earth compelled these moves? Why did they play a lousy yet more experienced shortstop out of position at third base over the stud prospect that they have at the position? Why did it take Brian Jordan going on the disabled list before they called up their best outfield prospect? The truth is that the Braves don't make decisions based just on the age of the player.

When it comes to a young players, there is a lot to consider. Firstly, and most obviously, playing time. If you want to improve, you practice, and what is running out there every single day if not practice? Secondly, tied in with that, injury, especially with regard to pitchers. There's no use overdoing things, and taking unnecessary risks. Thirdly, the timing of moves from level to level. Nothing can destroy a prospect like being overmatched too soon, and while the consequences of being held back unnecessarily probably aren't quite as severe, that too is not to be recommended. Fourthly, with regards to moves involving the 25 and 40 man rosters, starting option clocks and haemoraghing away service time. With every player, you get three option years, you get six years of service time. You have to use them wisely. Finally, the short term needs of the ballclub.

At the end of the day, you've got to consider all five of those points, and you've got to balance them against each other before you come to a decision. In the Braves' case, they very wisely tried to avoid promoting the extremely raw Jeff Francoeur, but ultimately the injury to Jordan and the even greater short term need on the big league ballclub that that created ended up forcing their hand. As for choosing Betemit over Marte, I'm not quite as able to explain that one, but the Braves seem to know their players better than anyone in the game, myself included, and after a while you simply have to trust their judgement. The Cubs haven't earned themselves anywhere near the same level of credibility.

Chicago doesn't like Dusty because he's black? WTF?????? Who was the most popular player in Cubs history? Ernie Banks... Who was the fans favorite until he quit on the Cubs and bitched all year 2004? Sammy Sosa.... Who did Cubs fans worship in the 80's? Andre Dawson... Any similarities between these guys? Yes. Cubs fans don't want Dusty out because he's black they want him out because he SUCKS. To suck or not to suck. To win or not to win. This is what Cubs fans judge on. Jeeze..........

I don't like Dusty Baker because he's making 4 million dollars a year with a 100 million dollar payroll and we are struggling to catch the Milwaukee Brewers for 3rd place. I've watched EVERT Cub game that was not on WCIU...I've seen every single lineup, every single situation the Cubs have presented or were presented with and I (this cubfan) have come to the conclusion Baker is an awful field manager (the job he is paid to do by the way) and they would be better with someone who wants to prove they are good rather than someone who thinks they are good.

So what--Baker lead the Giants to the World Series--So What he lead the Cubs to a 3-1 NLCS lead...So What--he had teams with a shit load of talent...He had Barry Bonds, arguably the best player in the game....he had pitching staffs the rest of the majors would kill for...he had Sammy Sosa, at the time a perennial threat to hit 60-70 HRs...he had golden teams to manage.

So how would Dusty Baker do with Tampa Bay? With Kansas City? With Pittsburgh? I tell you what...fire Dusty and at least as an interim manager hire Lloyd McClendon...maybe swap managers and pay Pittsburgh all of Dusty's salary....I bet Lloyd gets them playing competitive ball. Oh I forgot doing this would signal I was a racist and couldn't stand a black man having that kind of authority in a job.......

From the Sunday papers there is alot of momentum for Grady Little and Joe Giradi to replace Baker.

From Jon Heyman in the NY Daily News:

ìI believe the scenario of Dusty Baker winding up with the Dodgers, and maybe Grady Little or Joe Girardi replacing Baker in Chicago. Little deserves a second chance, and Girardi's going to be good.î

He is right Theo wanted Little gone and used that decision as an excuse. If he went to the pen and lost he still would have been fired. I don't think the Yanks are going to let Giradi leave. They are grooming him to be Torre's replacement. If someone did offer him a managing job the Yankees would throw alot of cash at him and name him manager when Torre's deal expires in two years, because I doubt Torre wants to manage after that.

Marriotti continues on the theme:

ìHendry has issued his first official vote of confidence to his hand-picked manager, Dusty Baker, which means the Grady Little press conference -- or Joe Girardi press conference, if I get my way -- should happen by Nov. 1.î

Marriotti throws out an interesting rumor:

ìThe buzz in New York suggests the Yankees, who need a cornerstone first baseman, may throw $100 million at Lee after the 2006 season if the Cubs don't sign him to an extension this offseason.î

For all we know Lee could go back to 2004 form which is good but not 100 million dollars good. If they want him that bad Hendry should call up Cashman and see if he'd bite on Lee, CP, Wood, Ryu For A-rod. Cashman probably would laughly reject but its worth a shot.

I just read the Marrioti column.

I know most on here feels he is a hack--but the 2005 Cubs deserve nothing more than hacking.

I had to laugh reading his article because it could have been me saying those things. Excellent piece--give it a read even if you think he is a hack...takes about 3 minutes to read...and provides a real list of everything that's wrong with the Cubs.

"So how would Dusty Baker do with Tampa Bay? With Kansas City? With Pittsburgh? I tell you what...fire Dusty and at least as an interim manager hire Lloyd McClendon...maybe swap managers and pay Pittsburgh all of Dusty's salary....I bet Lloyd gets them playing competitive ball. Oh I forgot doing this would signal I was a racist and couldn't stand a black man having that kind of authority in a job......"

Cubfan,

Yeah, my choice personally would be Terry Pendleton. So am I still racist in the eyes of Scoop Jackson or Bruce Jenkins? If all these rumors are false Baker needs to denouce Jenkins because he is most likely the source of all these Dodgers and Nationals rumors.

Mariotti is an idiot. 20-20 hindsight, everything both ways, constant gross exaggeration, malicious misinterpretation and sheer ignorance, mischecked facts, all wrapped by with his stupid contemptuous bitching tone. Hack.

Hey Hill,

I was speaking about one or two players this year specifically, but the previous poster was correct in noting that the Brave rookies who are now struggling are part of the future. These kids are learning on the job while the franchise keeps winning. For God's sake, don't question how the Braves do things -- what will this be, 14 years in a row???

Look at their 25-man roster. 17 of the players are homegrown. Look at the Cubs 25-man -- 9 of the players are homegrown. Two of those, Murton and Cedeno, could be key cogs to our future, but instead of allowing them the opportunity to play every day and showcase their skills, learn, grow, make strides, or totally suck, whatever -- they sit on the bench and rot.

What I am saying is give the kids a chance to play, especially when the vets are not getting it done. But don't call them up NOT to play them.

And fire Dusty NOW! That's what I am saying most of all. And if that makes me a racist I guess I am a racist. I don't know how to explain my autographed Ernie Banks 8*10 or my Andre Dawson T-shirt from 1987. Or my black mother in law.

ds

Er, that first line should be... I was NOT speaking about ...

Anyhow -- you can't expect every rookie to be Albert F'n Pujols. Look at 90% of position players and there is a learning curve -- the Braves show you can contend while simultaneously showing patience in your young players.

ds

I wasn't questioning the way that the Braves do things at all, besides implying that originally giving the corner outfield jobs to Jordan and Mondesi was unwise. Rather I was questioning your interpretation of the way that they do things, which seemed to be that their initial instinct is to play kids almost for the sake of playing kids and that that pays off for them. Nothing could be further for the truth. I think I've made it perfectly clear in my two previous posts why I don't believe that to be the case at all.

At the end of the day though, I wholeheartedly agree with you that Murton should be playing left field (with Burnitz in centre and Lawton in right) pretty much everyday (although I'd have Todd Hollandsworth spell him against the toughest right-handers), and that Cedeno should have played as much as possible for the Cubs from his first callup onwards, particularly once it became clear that Neifi's hot spell was over. And, right now, I argee that Cedeno should be in Triple-A, again playing everyday if possible.

What I really strongly disagree with is the suggestion made by others, ChiFan in particular as I recall, that the Cubs should be promoting all the kids simply because they're kids and we probably won't win this year. Call up Pie! Call up Pinto! Call up Nolasco! Call up Richard Lewis and Bobby Brownlie! That's just ridiculous. Lewis and Brownlie will probably never be good enough to be major leaguers, and the others are nowhere near ready, and that's not even debatable. To compromise future performance when performance here and now is an irrelevance would be the stupidest thing you could possibly do. And in that I include making Jose Macias your starting centre fielder.

I don't see one ounce of mischecked facts, sheer ignorance etc. in Mariotti's piece today. Had me laughing in agreement with every word he said.

If all these rumors are false Baker needs to denouce Jenkins because he is most likely the source of all these Dodgers and Nationals rumors.

He can't denounce Jenkins because the rumors most likely are true. Classic Johnny B. Baker. I don't feel appreciated....I'm gonna create rumors. Rumors had Baker in Chicago in August of 2002....rumors were denied, Baker said he had a job to do in San Fransisco, Sabean said Baker was his man right now and they have a championship to win...but wouldn't comment about the following season....Classic Johnny B. Baker--history indeed has a way of repeating itself.

NCFAN RE: #107 - Nice revisionist history about 2004 and Sammy Sosa. You couldn't be more wrong.

Sosa NEVER quit on the team on the field. He always gave everything he had. He did not bitch all year either. You might be confusing him with Alou and the rest of the team who whined and complained all season that it was always someone elses fault for why they couldn't get the job done on the field. The one voice you NEVER heard making excuses for why they weren't winning was Sammy Sosa.

The common perception for why the Cubs lost in 2004 was because Sosa was this team cancer and had to go. Fine you can believe that if you want, but I also said when Sosa was traded you better damn well start winning games now because your excuse for losing just got traded out of town.

Sosa was never the clubhouse problem because the clubhouse problem was never solved. Dusty Baker is the problem with the team, it was never Sammy Sosa. You have to get rid of the source to fix the team. But dont ever blame what happened in 2004 on Sammy Sosa.

I think Sosa was a problem in the clubhouse. Certain statements made by Todd Walker and others lead many to believe he was a problem.

But he wasn't the most beloved player in 2004. Many thought his time had come and gone...the corked bat set him back a ton with many fans (me included) and the rumors of steroids all set him back a notch or two...and his lackluster performace even more so....

But NCFan is right...Cub fans are not racist...we simply want good teams, good players, good personalities...and we root for them regardless of race.

Oh and I meant to add....Sosa was not one of the players making excuses. You can say he played lousy, was declining, was a cheat etc....but he never was one to be bad mouthing anyone, or anything in the media.

The only thing that can be taking negatively by the fans was his saying he didn't like the booing....well Dah! Who would right?

Dusty Baker was the one who let the Sosa situation get out of hand. He wasn't man enough to move Sosa to 6th or 7th in the Batting order and let the squabble with Sosa get into the papers. Baker is weak and not much of a leader.

Cubfan,

That was the point I was trying to make. Baker can go on and on about how false these rumors are, but until he does something to prove there false, like denoucing Jenkins, then I think there are kearnels of truth in them. Because if those Dodger rumors were false you think he would go to whoever leaked it and tell them to shut up, instead of leaking rumors about wanting to go to Washington. My guess is in the next week there will be a story about him wanting to go to Baltimore or Florida. Like Mariotti said a couple weeks ago if he wants to leave he should just quit.

John Hill

I wasn't saying play all the kids, just the ones you think can help for 2006. Which for me would be Cedeno, Hill, Murton, Pie, and Pinto at most. Unless they can pull off a 15 out of 20 streak within the next 35 games there done. Come Semptember if there out of the race those seven need play regularly to see if they can help in 2006 or how much time they need in the minors to determine what kind of free agents or trades we need to make to fill the positions.

"Cedeno, Hill, Murton, Pie, and Pinto"

the only problem is...only 1 of those players is 05 ready as envisioned...and that's murton and he's not developed yet. too many people are getting way too stoked about 5-6 infield hits.

be stoked abuot his K/bb ratio...his eye...but he's just not got the pop yet. with his eye and stroke it'll come...but its not gonna come just cuz some fans want to.

and about the rest of that list...its laughable.

cedeno IS neifi...dont tell me he isnt right now cuz well...he is...

hill's a 2-pitch "starter"...pie/nol arent close to ready...not remotely close.

murton AND pie AND cedeno (hopefully) have a lot to prove this winter.

pie/pin rather...still...neither nol/pin are ready...

hell, at least say 'van burren' or at least something that says you've seen more from these players than #s...

btw...im a huge murton fan...a decent cedeno fan...and a greenberg fan.

but im not fooling myself into thinking we got some 05-ready studs wasting on the bench...sadly, we just dont have that.

Cubfan--"I don't see one ounce of mischecked facts, sheer ignorance etc. in Mariotti's piece today."

How about the fact that the Cubs are paying $16.15m for Sosa to play in Baltimore this year, as opposed to the $13m he for some reason suggests? How about the fact that Corey Patterson is now hitting .271 in Iowa, as opposed to the "sub .240" that Mariotti takes a perverse sense of delight in celebrating? There's your mischecked facts.

As for ignorance, the entire piece, as usual, oozes it. The fuss he makes over the fact that Garciaparra went hitless on his return. The way he completely dismiss Seo as "inimitable", other pitchers as "no name", as though the Cubs ought to have a God-given right to light every pitcher they face not called Clemens up. The way in which he'd love to lead you to think Kerry Wood's contract is the only bad contract in baseball (for crying out loud, it's not even the only bad contract in our rotation, but is bitching about Greg Maddux not populist enough for him or something?). His assertion that Hendry "ignored a hot shortstop market in free agency last winter", bitches about Garciaparra, and then neglects to mention that every single other shortstop last winter was an even bigger and more expensive bust than Nomar. His belief in Nomar being a curse and using "evil Ouija board" in the same sentence. His belief that Lee is for real and the Cubs ought to outbid a hypothetical $100m Yankee contract. His insinuation that the Cubs can't possibly be allowed to field three rookies in their lineup because they'd be rookies, three of them, oh, and rookies suck because Choi once did. And so on and so on and so on.

The guy is a know-nothing bitch that loves to pander to the populism of the discontented.

and to the pusillanimous incontinent.

Wow! John Hill, letting loose with both barrels! Yikes! :-)

Cedeno is not Neifi, I don't care how many times you say it. He's similar defensively in that he's very good, perhaps not quite as good as Neifi, but still very good, yet whereas that is the end of the discussion with Neifi, unless you count the fact that he protects the plate with his pathetic swing pretty well, Cedeno has other strengths. Cedeno may not be quite as good at putting the ball in play, but he has a better recognition of balls and strikes, he has a stronger and more aesthetic swing that yields more pop, and he runs a lot better, to the extent that he can actually steal bases too. Certainly, I can see why you think that at least initially his production won't exceed Neifi's by much if at all, but the guy is ready for the majors now and when Garciaparra was out there was no real reason to be holding him back when the alternative was no better than Neifi. And, even if there were a reason to have held him back, there's no reason to have preferred having him on the major league bench to having him starting at Iowa and working there on adding the extra patience and power to his game that he does need if he's to become just a little bit less marginal long term. All the same, a home grown marginal player is still worth owning and playing as long as all he's earning is $300k.

Pusillanimous is such a great word.

i just dont see cedeno NOW as anything but a neifi...as far as the future, i wouldnt even say 06 cedeno would be as "bad" as neifi...

i just see neifi-like results outta this 22 year old right now from the way he approaches the plate to how he swings the bat.

i dont see thier careers being similar, but i dont see an 05 cedeno being much help to this club or doing anything neifi isnt.

gimmie a 24 year old cedeno and let's see where that's at....

"pie/pin rather...still...neither nol/pin are ready...hell, at least say 'van burren' or at least something that says you've seen more from these players than #s..."

Crunch,

The only way to judge a player is by his numbers. It is time to cut bait and see what you have on the farm. It is time to think for 2006. I know Cedeno has a gold glove ability, but I want to see if he can hit atleast .270 in the bigs. I think Murton could be the starting LF next year based on his AA numbers and what we have seen in the bigs, but you cannot make that decision based on 35 atbats. Let's give him the next 2 months to prove he is for real. I want to see if Pie can handle the bigs next year or if we need a stop gap CF for next year (Lofton) or a 2 or 3 year solution (Damon). With Hill and Pinto we might need a 5th starter depending on what happens to Wood and his shoulder. Plus in Semptember when were 10 games out of it a 6 man rotation might not be a bad idea to reduce the wear and tear on Z and Prior.

Crunch,

RE: Cedeno's contributions - Its a moot point anyway... Dusty refused to play him, so no one will ever know if Cedeno could have made significant contributions to the '05 Cubs.

However... if Cedeno gets to play for the rest of this season and exceeds expectations... or starts off hot next year... everybody will be left pondering the "WHAT IF'S?"

And... it'll be another indictment of Cubs management for BRINGING CEDENO UP TO THE MAJORS AND LETTING HIM ROT ON THE BENCH for the better part of the season when he could have contributed to the pennant run THIS YEAR.

Who is ULTIMATELY going to be held responsible for THAT?

"The only way to judge a player is by his numbers."

beyond not true...if that was the truth scouts would be useles...

"Who is ULTIMATELY going to be held responsible for THAT?"

hendry.

If Cedeno is Neifi with upside, well, isn't that good enough?

good enough dont win...its just a lotta moot...

if you replace a low k/low walk contact hitter with decent D with another you got practically what you had.

the upside on a player and what they can deliver now are two different things unfortunately.

How about the fact that the Cubs are paying $16.15m for Sosa to play in Baltimore this year, as opposed to the $13m he for some reason suggests?

You make his argument even stronger JH.....still a lot of money for a problem they created--I think was his point.

How about the fact that Corey Patterson is now hitting .271 in Iowa, as opposed to the "sub .240" that Mariotti takes a perverse sense of delight in celebrating?

How about you check into the fact that Patterson has 399 at bats between the Cubs and AAA and has 96 hits...for a batting average of .240....and .271 in Iowa sure isn't something to be bragging about now is it?

No doubt about it Kerry Wood's contract is a terrible contract...he is the most expensive non-closing relief man in the history of the game.

Hendry did risk a lot with Nomar...guy was hurt when he traded for him...never really did completely recover...got him for a year (thank goodness no more) and history would say Nomar would go on the DL for some time this year...Nomar is likely well past his prime--I agree with him there also. Picking up Eckstein, Cabrera or Renteria would certainly be less risky and probably more beneficial than the usually hurt Nomar.

Cub fans in general aren't likely to want to see 3 rookies in the lineup. They've been groomed to assume rookies don't win championships (and in general this is usually the case) and rookies jersey's don't sell all that well.

JH, you haven't been a Cub fan for very long...probably have no idea that Cub teams have a long history of making sucky no-name pitchers look like Cy Young.....You don't like Mariotti's tone, his style which is your perogative....after all "Ouija board" references have no place in the know-it-all-mentality of the perfect world of sabermetrics.

I think he nailed this club dead on 100% accurately with a tone that really hurts. Like I said you may not like his "hack job" articles but this one he nailed.

The guy is a know-nothing bitch that loves to pander to the populism of the discontented.

And you are a baseball expert because why??? refresh my memory again....

hell, ya know what's great...that the cubs actually have 2 possition players WORTH talking abuot in murton/cedeno...for once.

This team is two games under .500, who the hell cares if Cedeno isn't an upgrade right now?

billt...no one, really..

but up until now...and realy still now...the cubs are/were in it.

Crunch,

Scouts judge POTENTIAL TALENT... because a player NORMALLY hasn't accrued any numbers yet. The player is a PROSPECT.

Once that player makes the minors, an organization is able to PROJECT a player's likely output at the next highest level.

The only thing a scout... a manager... or a GM can do is OBJECTIVELY ASSESS what a player is likely to do BASED ON THEIR PERFORMANCE IN THE MINORS.

Based on what Cedeno did in the minors, the Cubs are PROJECTING that he'll put up average numbers at the plate and provide better-than-average defense. Unless they're consulting a Ouija board, or depending solely on a gut instinct, they're using the players NUMBER/PRODUCTION.

Scouts play a role, but they're not the only ones in an organization who have a say as to how/where a player plays, or how quickly they're promoted. A scout will look at raw talent... BEFORE they have numbers to refer to.

Numbers aren't the ONLY way to judge a players numbers... but they're a SIGNIFICANT part of talent evaluation. To say otherwise is really splitting hairs, Bill Clinton-style.

If numbers didn't matter, the scouts you referred to wouldn't be sitting behind home plate armed with radar guns and stop watches!

From what I've read and heard, numbers are 60-70 percent of any player's evaluation... the other 40-30 percent seem to be based on subjective opinions/gut feelings, or comparisons with player who have gone before (i.e. "this guy is the NEXT Mickey Mantle, etc.").

Numbers aren't everything, in some organizations they're the ONLY thing!

Crunch,

So... Jim Hendry is going to be held responsible for BRINGING Cedeno up to the majors... AND NOT PLAYING HIM?!?!?!?

WTF?

Well, any credibility you had just flew out the window with THAT comment.

yeah, tell that to jason dubois.

how you get your #s are a lot more important than #s...in the minor the most important #s are your age and you K/BB ratio as far judging how far you can project.

your power/speed/contact are pretty much secondary unless youre a god in the other 3 hitting categories.

we dont have any god in our minor system ready to play.

splitting hairs over not even prepared prospects is a whole lotta nothing.

hell, personaly i wouldnt mind seeing cedeno play more, but i dont think we're gonna see much of an improvement over neifi and therefore it wouldnt make a lotta difference.

hopefully, we'll see murton/cedeno putting in some winter ball time to straighten up their lacking tools a bit.

4th...

if hendry has a problem with how cedeno is being used you think he wouldnt take him away from big bad nasty mr. dusty?

heh..seriously..

its no big deal...youre talking abuot cedeno here, not some uber-pimp...he's a 22 year old learning to get his skills together.

this is starting to stink of dubois...a LOT more goes on in baseball than playign the actual game...the game is the fruits of your labor.

"and I will stake my entire reputation on Jeff Francoeur (.406/.414/.812 in 20 games) also hitting less than .250 (with an OBP below .300) by the time the season's out"

J. Francoeur RF 4AB 1R 2H 2RBI

Keep it up please...

Crunch,

Well, as Ray Charles would sing: "Well I guess if you say SO..."

I still wanna see the reaction of Cubs fans everywhere if Cedeno turns out to be more than just a serviceable shortstop.

Hell, he could be another Dave Concepcion... David Eckstein... or he could be an up-and-coming great-field-no-hit SS like Ozzie Smith... hell, we'll never know.... unless he plays.

All this wrangling over whether he's the goods, or isn't is useless... we're guessing and speculating endlessly.... when Cubs management could make it so easy for us... by simply playing the dude for a month or two.

Who's to say Cedeno could be the spark we're missing? Why couldn't Cedeno be the one to get on base, steal a couple of bases, and score a run to turn our season around?

Don't say it can't be done because we all watched Dave Roberts do it for the Red Sox last year...

It worked for THEM... WHY NOT US?

What's the big deal that Murton is not hitting for power. Everyone cares too much about the HR. The Reds lead the NL in HR's and they suck. Other than Berkman and Chavez who is big HR hitter on the Astros and A's? those are the two best teams in baseball since June. The home run is the most overrated stat in Baseball. If murton can hit .350 and have an OBP of like .420 in his career with the Cubs I could care less if he dosen't hit a HR.

Cubfan: ....after all "Ouija board" references have no place in the know-it-all-mentality of the perfect world of sabermetrics....And you are a baseball expert because why??? refresh my memory again....

Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

CHIFAN,

Amen to that! As the Saturday Mets game proved, we're helpless if our power guys slump, which they're going to do from time to time.

If they stop hitting, we have NO OFFENSE WHATSOEVER.

You'd think Hendry would have noticed that by now, but NO, its more of the same crap we've had for the last 40 years. Sign-up thumper after thumper after thumper, and ride them to the playoffs.

Baker isn't the only one responsible for this mess... I fault Hendry for not loading the lineup with high OBP guys to complement the fine sluggers (DLEE, ARAM) he's already gotten.

I'd like to see some guys with high OBP's sprinkled throughout the lineup. Especially when we play HALF our games in Wrigley Field. That grass is so high, we could enjoy one hell of a home field advantage on those days the winds not blowing out.

But Nooooooooooooo.... the philosophy is swing-at-everything-remotely-close-to-the-plate.

We couldn't manufacture a run if our lives - or season - depended on it.

ARam, DLEE and Burnitz should be able to supply all the power we need... the lineup doesn't have to have 30-40 home run guys 1-thru-8.

Give me THREE sluggers.... and FIVE high OBP guys... and the Cubs would do far better than they have this year... or actually, ever before.

For that to happen, there has to be a shift in the organization... right now, it seems like you're mixing pears and oranges and are surprised that you're not getting applesauce.

And THAT"S Hendry's fault.

Cubfan--"You make his argument even stronger JH...still a lot of money for a problem they created--I think was his point."

Like hell that was his point. Here's what he wrote...

Mariotti--"The buzz in New York suggests the Yankees, who need a cornerstone first baseman, may throw $100 million at Lee after the 2006 season if the Cubs don't sign him to an extension this offseason. Recalling how the Tribsters hard-lined Sammy Sosa when he was king of the world and talked him down to $72 million -- and knowing their pain after spending $13 million to buy out his final season -- are they really interested in a Lee bidding war?"

His point is that the Cubs are cheap. Except of course when they aren't cheap and hand out contracts. Contracts to players like Kerry Wood, Nomar Garciaparra and Sammy Sosa, which, with the enormous benefit of his 20/20 hindsight, he'll bitch about until he's blue in the face. Then he goes on about how the Cubs simply have to outbid the Yankees when it comes to Lee. And in 2008, or whenever, when Lee's for some mysterious reason not hitting .350 anymore, I'll absolutely lay money on him bitching about that too, about how the Cubs are laden with an expensive and unproductive contract. He wants everything all ways all the time.

Furthmore, my point is that his facts are wrong. It's $16.15m, not $13m. What difference that makes is irrelevant, whether it reflects badly on the Cubs or not, his facts are wrong, and that's all I said. The same is also true when it comes to Corey's batting average. Of course hitting .271 in Iowa is nothing to brag about. I didn't say it was, I didn't even try and imply that it was. My only point was that Mariotti got his facts wrong. Oh, and that he's a bitch.

Cubfan--"No doubt about it Kerry Wood's contract is a terrible contract...he is the most expensive non-closing relief man in the history of the game."

I wouldn't go as far as using the word "terrible", but the Kerry Wood contract has certainly turned into an odious one. Just how odious depends just on what happens with Kerry Wood regarding this upcoming surgery, whether this conversion to a reliever is more than a temporary measure, how many innings he's able to pitch before the end of 2006, and the quality and leverage of those innings.

But having a go at the Cubs brass for giving Wood the contract is absolutely ridiculous. At the time that the contract was signed (offseason 2003-04), and that's all that bears considering, Kerry Wood was over three and a half years removed from the end of his recovery from Tommy John surgery. For 2001-03, he'd missed just five or six starts, and had thrown 599 regular season innings, 599 supremely effective innings too, 599 innings of 3.41 ERA, with 700 strikeouts. He had also come up enormously for the Cubs in the NLDS against the Braves, if not quite the NLCS too. Wood, for all his experience, was still just 26 years old, about to turn 27, and there was absolutely no reason at all to expect that what has happened since was to come about. Indeed, Ruz remarked that the contract, $32.5m over 3 years with a team option for another year, looked "good" to him. Also worth considering is that had Wood not signed the deal, he'd have have become a free agent after 2004. The situation then was similar to Derrek Lee's at the time, and Aramis Ramirez's last winter. And I don't hear anyone bitching about those deals.

The fact of the matter is that the Cubs did the right thing, they gave Kerry Wood his contract, and they got unlucky. When you pledge large sums of money over a long period of time, it's a risk you always take. But it's one you have to take. Sometimes you're lucky, and the reward is bountiful, as with Lee and Ramirez. Other times you're not, and you end up in a pretty miserable situation, such as the one that the Cubs are in now with Wood. All you can do is try and minimise the risk. And relative to some of the risks that other teams have taken on over the years - Chan Ho Park, Mike Hampton, Darren Dreifort - where you're talking five years plus guaranteed, the Cubs did a reasonably good job of that with Wood.

As for Nomar, you just can't legislate for a guy tearing his groin after two weeks of the season. Nomar's injury history is nowhere near as bad as some like to suggest, and his decline nowhere near as steep either. Of course, he's not the Nomah of old, but we all knew that. And I don't recall that much disgruntlement at the trade for Nomar, nor the resigning. Fuck that, I didn't hear any disgruntlement. Hindsight is 20/20.

Cubfan--"Picking up Eckstein, Cabrera or Renteria would certainly be less risky and probably more beneficial than the usually hurt Nomar."

If you offered Nomar to the Angels for Cabrera right now, they'd accept that straight up, I absolutely guarantee that. And I also guarantee that, if there wasn't the history between the Red Sox and Nomar, a swap of Renteria and Nomar would be readily received. Those two contracts are colossally bad contracts, and they were bad contracts the day that they were signed, and I made that entirely clear back then. As for Eckstein, he's proven to be the best pickup of the lot, but I don't remember everyone here begging for us to pick him up over the off-season. So quit your blabbering...

Cubfan--"Cub fans in general aren't likely to want to see 3 rookies in the lineup. They've been groomed to assume rookies don't win championships (and in general this is usually the case) and rookies jersey's don't sell all that well."

Who gives a flying about what Cub fans have been groomed to assume or whether rookies sell jeans? I've always had this impression that what Cub fans want more than anything is a World Series. If the best way to achieve that is to play three rookies, and I'm not saying it is (in fact I've argued quite to the contrary when it comes to Pie in 2006), then you go ahead and you do that regardless of what some bitch in the Sun Times thinks about whether or not it's the done Chicago thing.

Cubfan--"You haven't been a Cub fan for very long...probably have no idea that Cub teams have a long history of making sucky no-name pitchers look like Cy Young..."

I've been a Cub fan long enough to know about that. Mariotti's tone though is that the Cubs have a God-given right to score six runs every day. It doesn't work like that, I've been a baseball fan long enough to know that, that there are times when you simply have to tip your cap to the opposing pitcher and say fair play. The Cubs do have a habit of beating themselves, but there are just as many times when they are beaten fair and square by the opposition too.

Cubfan--"After all, "Ouija board" references have no place in the know-it-all-mentality of the perfect world of sabermetrics."

I know he was trying to be funny. Unfortunately, he wasn't, he just ended up looking like the bitch that he really is. He just goes around stabbing people in the back for the fun of it, or because it will sell papers, or both. The guy is a hack, it is that simple. This has got nothing to do with sabermetrics, which doesn't know it all and which isn't perfect, but everything to do with a sense of perspective. Nomar is no more of an Ouija board than Mariotti is. After all, the Cubs haven't won a World Series while he's been around either. Get rid of Mariotti, all our curses reversÈd!

Sorry, but I have to disagree with you, 4th, that numbers and production are the only thing that matters. I agree with Crunch that how you put up numbers (in the minor leagues, although it applies in the major leagues too to a lesser extent) is just as important as the numbers themselves, and by that you're talking about tools and stuff and so on, what you can see using your eyes. Felix Pie has been a top prospect for a long time, in spite of reasonably unimpressive numbers prior to this year. Why? Because he's always had the tools, and they can project into numbers. That and his age relative to his league, which is always very important too.

#151 may be the greatest post ever. Mariotti should only be referred to as "Bitch" from here on out.

John,

Re-read my post" About halfway down I said: "Numbers aren't the ONLY way to judge a players numbers... but they're a SIGNIFICANT part of talent evaluation. To say otherwise is really splitting hairs, Bill Clinton-style." NOWHERE did I say numbers were the ONLY thing.

However, I DID say THIS in closing: "Numbers aren't everything, in SOME ORGANIZATIONS they're the ONLY thing!" By personal experience, I feel safe in saying that some organizations lean more towards raw numbers (can he hit the mid-90's on a radar gun? Can he throw out a runner at 3rd from deep right field?), and no two teams evaluate exactly the same.

When I tried out for the St. Louis Cardinals in the mid-80's, no one would look at me as a pitcher because my fastball didn't impress on the radar gun. But I had a knuckler to die for.

I could have had the tools, but we'll never know because the Cards organization based their opinion more off of raw numbers on a gun, without really considering my moxie, guile, or cunning, which is really all I had at the time. Just another reason to hate them!

Who is to say I DIDN'T have the tools? Some scout with a radar gun? What about my other attributes? Didn't they count for anything?

Essentially, you've just made my point... Felix Pie falls outside of the certainty that you'd get just basing his future solely on production at the minor-league level.

Obviously, the Cubs have seen some intangibles with him... which DIDN'T happen for me... and they're basing what he'll do in the MAJORS on what they BELIEVE he's capable of, because right now, the NUMBERS don't support it.

I hope this clarifies it some...

I'm in awe everytime I watch Roger Clemens pitch the last 2 years. It's just amazing that day after day after day after day he has one outstanding outing after the next.

Meanwhile, Houston's offense is cold for the 4th straight game, Washington got swept. If Houston loses, it is going to be a big ole mess in the WC race with possibly 7 teams within 4 games.

Man, John you just let cubfan and Mariotti just have it. Wood's contrct isn't that bad it was a 3/30 with an option for a 4th. I am sure TEX would trade Soriano for Wood straight up or if Vazquez demands a trade to a east coast team I am sure they would do Wood for Vazquez to. If Macphail did give in to Sosa's demands this franchise would be 5x worse than it is today. It is the one and only thing that he did right.

My apologies, 4th. It was ChiFan that said "the only way to judge a player is by his numbers". I wrongly attributed it to you. Stupid me.

I don't think though that any organisation in baseball uses just numbers. Not even the A's, or any of the other sabermetrically inclined teams. There's always a considerable degree of scouting involved. It's just that the balance between the numbers and the scouting varies, though I'd suspect that the variation is less than a lot of people think. Of course, I can't prove that, but it's just my suspicion...

Don't mess with our boy John Hill. Just don't. Of course Mariotti is a bitch. He's the spawn of lincicome, only he can't write. Strong stuff, John. Bravo.

"hell, we'll never know.... unless he plays."

he has played...over 1000ab's. there's a lot known about him.

you'll notice i dont have a lot to say abuot rich hill besides he's a 2-pitch "starter"

part of that is cuz until this spring, i didnt know he existed, and until about mid-season this year most of the world didnt know he existed.

now...about cedeno...a lot is known about him.

what's not known is how he'll play later.

he's thought to project damn well with added pop.

he's just not there now...no matter how much we want him to be great, he's not there. he's still just a tools guy with a career hot streak of *3 MONTHS*...not a season, not 2 years...

cedeno has played over his head in this system through every stop for a reason and put up HORRIBLE numbers doing it, but its PAYING OFF...why screw iwth it now...and why assume he's polished when he's obviously not the player he probally will be.

i like cedeno, but im not about to pretend he's the man right now...he just isnt...but his worth is so high cuz no one's stupid enough to think he's just another neifi.

what he is right now vs. what he can/should/will be are two entirely different issues.

Giants fucking blew it.
4 runs for the Astros after 2 out 2 strikes, and no one on in the 8th.

OHMYGAWD! Can you imagine what would have happened if the Cubs HADN'T re-signed Sosa and Wood? On the heels of what happened with NOT re-signing Greg Maddux?

CHIFAN's right, Wrigley Field would have tumbleweeds rolling through it... DURING games!

At least Hendry had the good sense not to sign Wood to a LONG-TERM contract, its not like his hands are tied until 2012, or something.

Also, remember that Hendry declined to throw big money after Jim Thome, and look what's happened to the Phillies on THAT one.

The Cubs need to control their own destiny, not wait around hoping for their competition to falter. That's what happened in 2003, the Cards and Astros faltered most of the season and especially down the stretch.

Both of those teams are too good to do that this year, and if Hendry was hoping they would, he's incompetent and should be fired post-haste! I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, though...

Man, don't invite John Hill and Jay Mariotti to the same party!

Hey, don't sugarcoat it John, tell us how you REALLY feel about Jay!

In my 46 years on the planet, I can't remember another sports reporter/columnist so throughly despised by EVERYONE. I mean, maybe Howard Cosell... but at least Cosell got the grudging respect of his peers and some of the fans... hell, Mariotti isn't seemingly respected by ANYONE.

If foul play were to ever befall Jay, I swear it'd turn into a "Who Shot J.R.?" type of investigation... because damn near EVERYBODY would be a suspect!

Bill Wirtz, Hawk Harrelson, Jerry Reinsdorf, Woody Paige, et al. The list goes on... and on... and on...

Jay must had an extra long session with his eyebrow waxer, if you have seen him on ESPN is he looking more and more like Gloria Swanson in "Sunset Blvd", which has caused what is left of his brain to be ripped out.

Ah, the good 'ol Giants, as undependable as ever, I see.

SBC Park is a great place to watch a game... think Wrigley Field with more amenities.

Sunset Blvd... oh, that's good... that's good... :-)

WSCR's Mike North used to call Mariotti "Eddie Munster" which ALWAYS got a chuckle out of me...

and I think one of the SCORE guys started the "human windsock" appellation..

SBC Park is a great place to watch a game... think Wrigley Field with more amenities.

You mean they don't let you stare directly at another man across the island while you're using the urinal?

sammy sosa vs. phil rogers...

not in my lifetime can i remember a top sports star and a top sportswriter turning the aspects they control against each other for so long.

that story would make a hell of a book in itself...from roger's hatred of sosa in his writing to sosa's retalliations making it harder for rogers to "do his job" with the cubs.

i still have a hard time accepting rogers as not biased on issues even though sosa was acting like a jerk himself.

4thandinches,

It was Dan Mcneil of ESPN 1000 who started calling him the human windsock and he still calls him Eddie Munster.

Crunch,

Sosa was involved in the biggest fued bewteen a journalist and athelete but it was with Skip Bayless. Sosa had him ran out of town. Rogers at least got to stay on at the trib. Bayless went way more personal with Rogers did writting stuff about how he beat his wife and was a tool. Then he went to San Jose and fell in love with the two biggest tools in sports Bonds and Owens.

Not living in Chicago and never paying attention to asshole sportswriters in general, this is news to me. So Sosa made life hell for Phil Rogers AND ran Skippy Bayless out of town??? Really? I take back ever negative word I ever said about you Sammy. You are my hero once again.

Chifan,

Yeah, "Dangerous Dan" McNeil... I almost forgot, he really hated Mariotti..

How the hell does Jay remained EMPLOYED? Anybody?

Bleeding Blue,

"Let you stare at another man... across a urinal... in SAN FRANCISCO?

Man, don't set me up like that, at least make me work for 'em..:-)

I just got on here and man you guys are really taking off the gloves today! I think the recent suckiness of the club has really put some of us on TCR on edge.

Jose Conseco is on 60 Minutes tonight - the steroids story is heating up once again.

Chifan,

Naw, Skip now calls Terrell Owens "Terrible Owens" so I guess that means the honeymoon is over...

Bayless hasn't had a lot of good things to say about Bonds since BALCO broke, so that love affair might be in tatters too.

Giants fucking blew it.

If you think that's blowing it, take a look at what the Braves did today.

Gah. Sorry for the double post.

Lineups are in:
Lawton - LF
Perez - 2B
Lee - 1B
ARam - 3B
Nomar - SS
Holly - RF
Barrett - C
Macias - CF
Z - P

"How the hell does Jay remained EMPLOYED? Anybody?"

Because we sit here talking about him and asking people if they read his article and so forth?

What the hell? No Burnitz, but no Murton? And Holly ahead of Barrett?

The best result that could come from this season is the end of Dusty.

Sweet Perez back in the 2 hole! that will surely turn things around. I swear if we got Nomar back and somehow picked up Jeff Kent on the same day we'd see Neifi in right. Kill me now.

Holly should ONLY be a backup...look at his averages...Murton should be starting in RF -- it's a no brainer...Dusty continues to make crazy decisions.

do you guys think we should call the police and get Murton's face on some milk boxes? This is starting to get scary.

Lawton has been playing right all year. If burnitz needs a day, why can't lawton be in right and Murton be in left. Obviousldy dusty has no problem with running a third baseman out to CF everyday, so why can't murton be in right? There are lots of options here. the only thing that i can conclude is that dusty is daring hendry to fire him so he can pick up a couple of million from the cubs so he can run to DC or LA and f**k them over like he has us.

Lawton has been playing right all year. If burnitz needs a day, why can't lawton be in right and Murton be in left. Obviousldy dusty has no problem with running a third baseman out to CF everyday, so why can't murton be in right? There are lots of options here. the only thing that i can conclude is that dusty is daring hendry to fire him so he can pick up a couple of million from the cubs so he can run to DC or LA and f**k them over like he has us.

Hehe, a David Eckstein grand slam!

sorry about the double post

i'd put lawton in right over murton if it came to it...murton's got decent accuracy, but no velocity on the arm...sadly, lawton's not much better, just seen more time out there.

its burn's 1st day off not on an offday since the break...still, i'd have given him that day off yesterday...hope he's not injured and its just lineup weirdness.

and no one's more pissed about garciappara batting so high in the lineup?

and before anyone jumps on me for...yes, i'd play holly over murton today...but definately not in RF...

then again if i ran this crap, i'd be asking hendry why i dont have patterson yet, too...

I don't see where Mariotti is saying the Cubs have a God given right to anything....I think he expects a 100 million dollar payroll with a 4 mill manager to score runs...

You don't think the Ouija board comment was funny--I thought it was very good....

I read it as the Cubs are more impressed with tradition even though part of that tradition is losing. The 7th inning stretch thing has to go in my opinion...talk about getting old, stale and embarrasing..and I think he was getting to the point they care more about Wrigley being an experience rather than putting a winner on the field.

I thought it was a good read....I didn't disagree with a word he wrote and I bet as frustrated as most Cub fans are...most would agree also.

do you guys think we should call the police and get Murton's face on some milk boxes?

How about getting Dusty's face up on a picture in some post offices?

A line up with Neifi, Macias, and Hollandsworth should be a federal offense.

Well... apparently, Hendry is giving Dusty every opportunity to salvage this season, which means that Dusty has to do as he sees fit, play who he feels is the best opportunity to win NOW.

That way, its harder for Baker to later claim "I never had a chance because the GM forced me to play so-and-so."

Of course, Dusty could still publicly lament the lack of talent, but that might be harder to do if someone comes behind him and gets us to the playoff with much the same cast of characters.

Oh, November is going to be REALLY interesting.

IMO, Lawton has NOT been hitting very well as a Cub...He seems to ground out a lot...I hope this isn't a trend...Maybe he can turn things around soon. I was hoping Hendry would get someone like Juan Pierre as our lead-off hitter.

Gabe,

Post 183 was great.

4thandinches,

I think Bayless likes to love an athelete then turn on him. All through 98 it was how great Sosa was and then in 99 it was how much of an a** he was. TO was the same thing he was the greatest until that sharpie incident which 75% of the media it seemed loved. With Bonds I think Bayless was the only person he didn't think he was on the juice.

ChiFan, I thought 184 was better than 183, actually... :p

"the GM forced me to play so-and-so."

if this team thought for a second the GM was running this team dusty would have NO respect...

just ask dave miley.

it just dont work like that...the GM/manager talk a lot, but it comes down to the GM giving the manager the tools he wants...and no, not every up/down involves direct communication or a heart-to-heart with the GM/manager...

Crunch,

Oh, i dunno... Billy Beane seems to pretty much prefer managers he can control, like he does Ken Macha... and there's no doubt Macha does exactly what Beane dictates... doesn't seem to be a problem in the Oakland A's clubhouse... ditto for Brian Sabean with the Giants... and J.P. Riccardi seems to pretty much call the shots in Toronto...

Besides, you're assuming that the team HAS any respect for Dusty... how do we know they have ANY respect for him? They sure as hell aren't playing like it... they're playing like a dispirited team who could care less about their manager's status.

yeah...

and larry himes w/ jim lefebre...himes handpicked solution along with syd f'n thrift...

that worked wonders for the club.

pretty much poisoned the water..

btw..hendry was brought in to solve that problem..seeing as hendry already came with the success tag and a victory in minnisota, i doubt he's been corrupted to the darkside...

that's mcphail...not hendry...i meant to say in that last paragraph =p

Crunch,

Also, re-read what I posted: "That way, its harder for Baker to later claim "I never had a chance because the GM forced me to play so-and-so."

Hendry seems to want everyone to realize that Baker is acting independent of higher management and ALL of the on-field decisions are his. The point I was making is this: Hendry appears to be bending over backwards to give Dusty total autonomy, and that will make it considerably easier to fire Baker down the road, if need be.

Dusty might STILL say "Well, I did the best I could with what I was given" but that'll be the ONLY charge he can level at Hendry and Cubs management. They've paid him well, given him some good players, and every conceivable break you can think of.

Shrewd "CYA" move by Hendry. Advantage: Hendry.

"Hendry seems to want everyone to realize that Baker is acting independent of higher management and ALL of the on-field decisions are his."

if youve seen the amount of people here who think there is some real hendry vs. baker pissing contest you wouldnt be suprised by what i said.

there's more than 1 person here who's convinced there's some big drama going on and all of this is baker throwing some huge fit and there's all this rift and hendry's sick of it and etc etc.

every roster move and every lineup move means something really weird to these people and this pretend conflict.

Crunch 'ol buddy,

Billy Beane is working WONDERS with the A's and has for a number of years with a couple of managers (Art Howe and Macha) who deferred to Beane in on-field decisions (i.e. who plays where, how long they play, who sits, etc).

There's not a SINGLE damned player in that A's clubhouse who actually thinks Macha's running that team... or Art Howe before him.

How successful have the A's been in, oh lets see, the last five years, or so? And they're doing it with a smaller payroll.

For every Larry Himes/Jim Lefebvre disaster you name, I can throw a positive example of that paradigm out there to counter, if you wanna get down to that.

Sometimes it works, other times it doesn't.. and when it doesn't, its UGLY, no doubt.

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