Dusty’s Random Lineup Generating Machine…

...today spat out, well, this... GAME 112 IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] CINCINNATI REDS (49-62) @ CHICAGO CUBS (54-57) WRIGLEY FIELD, 7:05 pm CDT, TV: WGN, Fox Sports Ohio, ESPN
Jerome Williams, RHP
3-4, 4.60 ERA
37/21 K/BB, 8 HR in 44.0 IP
Brandon Claussen, RHP
6-8, 4.85 ERA
70/29 K/BB, 20 HR in 98.1 IP
SS #Felipe Lopez RF *Matt Lawton
2B Ryan Freel 2B *Todd Walker
CF *Ken Griffey Jr. 1B Derrek Lee
LF *Adam Dunn 3B Aramis Ramirez
1B *Sean Casey SS Nomar Garciaparra
3B Rich Aurilia C Michael Barrett
RF Austin Kearns CF *Jeromy Burnitz
C #Javier Valentin LF Matt Murton
P Brandon Claussen P Jerome Williams
A quite serious malfunction has occured. Technicians will be working through the night to try to rectify the problem such that normal service can be resumed tomorrow. Apologies for the obvious inconvenience. Rob G: I suppose we all know the season is over by this point. Sure, we'll all be keeping an eye on the games, looking for just the slightest sign of hope. If the team manages to string a few victories together, we'll once again glance at the standings, then start figuring out what-if scenarios in our head. But the reality is that the ship is dead in the water and I just hope that Hendry isn't passing on any waiver wire deals that may make the team better for next year. We rocked Claussen something silly last time out in Cincy and maybe he's the cure for what ails this offense. All I want for the rest of this season is some FREAKIN effort, cause those games in New York were some of the most pathetic baseball I've ever seen. And I wouldn't mind Derrek catching fire one last time and making a run at the triple crown. Trans: The season is over. "Spat out" is a good way to describe how this lineup was concocted. I was thinking it came out from a different direction, however... Ruz: Over? Did somebody day over? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Oh, wait, I guess we just did decide. Yeah, I think it's time to shut Kerry down and figure out what the team needs to figure out for next year. Like: is Murton an everyday player? Who's going to play centerfield next year (yes, I think that means recal Corey)? Does Sergio deserve a spot in the rotation? Wait 'til next year, take 97...
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Comments

Didn't our season die against the Mets and Reds last year, too.

Christmas came early this year.

Excuse me, I need to go vomit.

let's go bears@!!!

i'm watching abc over wgn in early august, didn't think that would happen.

Hey, good for Dusty - this is the best lineup he's trotted out in a while; certainly it's what lots of folks on here have been clamoring for. If the manager's job is to give his team the best chance to win, I for one think this is ideal. NOW HERE'S HOPING THEY. HIT.

That said, yes: the season is over; Nomar got back just in time. :P Go Packers!

random thoughts...Why am I watching them lose 4-0 after 3 innings. I just watched Lawton, Walker and DLee go 1-2-3 in the quietest of innings ever. The vaunted Phils, Mets and Cincy pitching staffs are just one cy young after another...I want to see the DiamondJaxx play not this pile of crud that we've watched for the last few weeks.

Macias not in CF...doesn't matter. Where's Holly? Not in left or right, cmon dusty figures he must have a tired bat too. Lawton...say goodbye to Chicago in 6 wks, no hits and no walks. Nomar, do you think we'll ever see an extra base hit from him this year? Burnitz, he of tired bat, hitting into double plays when the guy following him will get on base at a .400 clip--a single by Murton. If Murton were hitting 2nd at least he'd get an extra at bat per game.

Don't bring CPat back now, although we need his defense this club is poison and he's already taken a bite out of the witches poison apple.

Burnitz is 5 for his last 45...wow...does he need to go back down to Iowa to practice his hitting...?

A John 3:16 imposter...really funny.

Hey Korey homered 2 times in his first 2 ABs in AAA...

Not only a John 3:16 imposter, it's a Rollen Stewart imposter. For those who don't know, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rollen_Stewart

Corey Patterson should be playing for the Cubs tonight...Lawton is not impressive at all (his hitting just hasn't really been there)...I wish Hendry could have picked up a lead-off player like Juan Pierre.

Lawton is battin .107 as a Cub at this moment.
(3/28)

I love Matt Murton. Now a walk, fouling off pitches to earn it...the rest of this team is dead meat.

random dreams of the insane:

Johnny Damon in CF, CPat in RF next year, Murton in LF

Giving Felix Pie one more year to learn the strike zone.

goodbye to Burnitz, Holly, Macias, Lawton...don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out of Chicago. I don't hate Burnitz, but he's just a mercenary type. Next year Jerome will probably be in Pittsburgh...where he should have been this year.

The bench needs to be completely revamped again...and I don't mean having Matt Murton on the bench, that won't count.

Sorry Bluewater Pennant, wrong again.

Lawton has 5 hits as a Cub, giving him a .179 batting average over the past week.

I would pull Williams soon...He is not pitching well and if we give up any more runs there will be NO chance to come back -- especially with our offense.

look at the bright side...

sorry, this is a night game. No bright side.

No pitching, no hitting, were in trouble with Cy Claussen tonight.

add Brandon Claussen to the list of pitchers who had never beaten a Cub team previously-until tonight

one more run and we get to call in the slaughter rule

don't they get to send the fans home when it gets to 9-0?

Just doing an anal moron check.

Now now...didn't the Cardinals come back from 9 down or so in the 9th inning against this team?

This is great Baker will be gone by the weekend, and we will get a top 10 draft pick are there any studs right now we could get?

I would rather have Griffey over Lawton anyday of the week -- Griffey is a power hitter and he's getting hot again...Hendry made a trade BUT he needed to bring in someone who had a big bat and Lawton is just not getting the job done at all (maybe Lawton should go down to Iowa and work on his hitting).

Could one of you wonderful writers calculate the Cubs OBP over the last few weeks or so? It seems like we are getting on base plenty -- we just ain't scoring.

Typical Troll

Can't get his facts right, and then starts name calling before running off into a corner to pout.

Really, do we have to keep putting up with this crap?

John Hill was right about the Lawton Trade. After this we will be 4 games out of 5th place. By the time were done with the Cards and stros we will be.

"Two grand slam homeruns!"
And we'd still be losing.
Go sit on some dynamite.

Hendry should put Baker out of his misery. Why keep him dangling on any longer. It really is no fair to him--to put lineups out there who continually fail to hit---getting shutout by the Reds....double digit deficit....it's embarassing and I'm actually starting to feel sorry for Baker. He has no idea what to do or how to stop it--to be humane, Hendry should let Baker go after tonights game.

Why is Wood out there in a 9-0 game. I guess he wants to pitch before his surgery this weekend.

Why is Wood out there in a 9-0 game.

So he can actually get some work in. If he is going to sit on the roster, he may as well pitch.

Kid K gettin er done. Maybe somebody would be dumb enough to take him off our hands.

Something has happened to our "big hitters"...Lee and Ramirez have lost their traction and their ability consistently bat runs in...Lets hope they can turn things around SOON...When Lee and Ramirez don't hit well the Cubs rarely ever win games.

Go Cubs. We Rock!

Go Cubs. We Rock!

Awesome. Couple more of these this week, and Dusty's toast. I know you can do it, boys.

I'm officially rooting for the Brewers to win the wild card at this point.

Saw Cubs in person in Philly, game two. All down hill since. Must have been my fault. Sorry everyone.

[When Lee and Ramirez don't hit well the Cubs rarely ever win games.]

You mean it takes more than two major league hitters to power a major league offense? Who knew?

--head explodes--

Nomar gets a hit...Barrett gets a hit...better late than never...Lets see IF the Cubs can actually get a few runs here...;-)

2 on, maybe we can score a run. Go Cubs

One down, nine to go. Go Cubs!

Great Neifi. Reds can kiss this lead goodbye

Lawton is horrible. i'd rather see Macias. oops- Spoke to soon

Lawton FINALLY wakes up and gets an RBI single late in the bottom of the 9th...at least we're getting a few runs...it's a confidence builder (though we should have started off this way).

We sure can pour it on when it doesn't matter

I can hear the post game now. Dusty will glow about how hard the boys played at the end of the game and that this could be when they turn it around instead of the fact that they got hammered for 8 innings and didn't hit.

If Prior can have a really good day tomorrow and we get the type of offense we are seeing in the 9th inning then we might have a good chance of winning...At least tonight was not a total blow-out...the Cubs are starting to regain some precious momentum.

Too little too late, pretty much sums up the Cubs season.

One good inning does not negate a total blowout, Don't kid yourself- We got blown out. Go
T. Walker!

Momentum, please! this had to be one of the worst cubs games I've seen all season. I mean, some of those games when they blew the lead with errors or Latrash sucked but at least we had nine warm bodies playing. It was like dead men walking out there.

If dusty isn't fired after we get swept by the reds then I don't know what the hell to think

The ninth inning is a perfect case for "Let Dusty Go" campaign. The team is not as bad as it was portrayed. Its definetely not a .500 team. With a little effort we could have achieved a lot more before. Though we didnt get many runs tonight I think this team was 500 times better than all those teams with Neifi..Macias..Holly in the starting line up. I think firing the coach at this moment will probably ignite something. If not then we cant get any worse than this.
-c

These look like the Cubs I grew up watching, but at least we didn't expect much then

The ninth inning is a perfect case for "Let Dusty Go" campaign. The team is not as bad as it was portrayed. Its definetely not a .500 team. With a little effort we could have achieved a lot more before. Though we didnt get many runs tonight I think this team was 500 times better than all those teams with Neifi..Macias..Holly in the starting line up. I think firing the coach at this moment will probably ignite something. If not then we cant get any worse than this.
-c

Go Scrubs. We Suck!

Andrew, you asked in #20 if someone could look into the Cubs' OBP. They're definitely not getting on base, or doing much of anything at all. Murton and Barrett are hitting well. The others are simply terrible.

It's a pretty disgusting picture.

Ranked by OPS, lines since the start of the SF series, with plate appearances following in parens (this doesn't account for HBPs or sacs):

Murton 421/521/579, 1100 (23)
Barrett 308/372/641, 1013 (43)
Macias 346/370/385, 755 (27)
Walker 300/364/360, 724 (55)
Neifi 262/295/381, 676 (44)
Lee 218/306/309, 615 (62)
Aramis 213/260/298, 558 (50)
Lawton 200/226/233, 459 (31)
Burnitz 154/214/192, 406 (56)
Hollandsworth 118/118/176, 294 (17)

This is a "blame the players" situation. You just can't win games with your entire lineup hitting like this.

the players have sucked recently but dusty's image as a player's manager isn't the kind of guy we need right now. I'm amazed everytime murton gets to bat because it's a hit, or a walk, or at least he takes pitches, and yet dusty trots macias out there for 4 or 5 games in a row. somebody needs to get in their grill and tell them that this isn't acceptable!

A little OT, but I spent last weekend in Des Moines with the kids, watching the I-Cubs. If you haven't been there, it's a nice town and Principal Park is a good place to watch a ball game. Well worth the trip. With regards to the team:

- David Kelton: stick a fork in him.

- Cory: Same old Cory. If he's cut down on his swing, I didn't see it.

- Van Buren: Blew his only save opportunity.

I didn't see one player who clearly would help the parent club. Get used to what you're seeing, because to judge from the AAA team, it isn't going to get any better any time soon.

Brownline,

The real talent on the farm is in AA West Tenn and low A Peoria. Daytona has Dopriak and Johnson and rookie ball in Mesa has Pawelek.

Delving a little further into this, the line for the players above is 247/304/348... or, a team full of Cesar Izturis. The Cubs' line on the year is 271/326/445. Isolated BB is right where it is on the year. Isolated SLG is off by about 70 points.

It should be noted that all these "team" stats are only for the group of hitters listed above, though nobody else has the PAs to make a difference. Also, I haven't included pitchers. If pitchers get 8% or so of the PAs and chunk most of them, then the true team line is substantially lower than Cesar Izturis.

On the bright side, this can't possibly last too much longer. To have so many good hitters simultaneously go this cold for this long is a fluke.

"Delving a little further into this, the line for the players above is 247/304/348... or, a team full of Cesar Izturis"

Ron,

at least we would have the best D in MLB.

Lee 218/306/309, 615 (62)
Aramis 213/260/298, 558 (50)
Burnitz 154/214/192, 406 (56)

We keep pointing the finger at Macias and Neifi...but right there is the reason why we have fallen apart at the seams. Those 3 carried the team on their shoulders keeping us competitive...now, over the last 2 weeks they have been shut down, and the team has nowhere else to turn to.

If those three even hit .275 instead of .200, we would be in a very different place right now.

"The ninth inning is a perfect case for "Let Dusty Go" campaign. The team is not as bad as it was portrayed. Its definetely not a .500 team. With a little effort we could have achieved a lot more before. Though we didnt get many runs tonight I think this team was 500 times better than all those teams with Neifi..Macias..Holly in the starting line up. I think firing the coach at this moment will probably ignite something. If not then we cant get any worse than this."

If anything, this game should help show people that the problems with this team go far beyond Dusty...when the heart of the order doesn't hit and the starting pitching can;t pitch...Murton or Holly, Cedeno or Neifi, Macias or Patterson, won't make a bit of difference.

This team is indeed dead...but no manager is going to turn around this team in 50 games...Baker will manage through the season...and then we will sit here talking about the game the Cubs and Baker play with each other in the off season.

C-pat went 3 for 3, had 2 HR and drove in 4. He also left the game early. I think he is going to get the call-up. With Cedeno or Hill going down.

Glad to see the "good lineup" worked today...Good job Dusty!!

cubs are 6.5 out of second place in the division but only 7 games from being last. I swear that two months ago watching the cubs and brewers I asked my buddy, what would it be like to be a brewer fan and just know that every team in the league expects to kick the %^$* out of you? well, now I know and it sucks. I seriously think that we might be looking at a fifth place finish in the division as we have to play the cards and stros so much the last seven weeks.

is it just me or is it becoming entertaining to see if the cubs managed to lose another game? I swear to god I signed on to cubs.com just to see if they lost. Not won! I've got plenty of colorful words but I'll leave them to your imagination.

"Glad to see the "good lineup" worked today...Good job Dusty!!"

Manny loves his Dusty-ball.

Lazy, sloppy, and full of excuses... Dusty-ball.

I'm posting just to go on record as say that I have no comments regarding the Cubs under Dusty Baker. Their record speaks for itself.

Don't forget Big John, We should be blaming Hendry as much as we're blaming Dusty. Afterall, it the GM's fault that a team with enough talent to win 90 games can't manage to stay above the .500 mark, much less in a playoff race.

In Excuses We Trust!!!

Have any of KPat's homers at Iowa come with a man on or has he continued his solo homer streak? I hope his streak is alive. Something weird is better than complete failure.

I agree tbone. If he's going to be worthless, at least let it be something where we can look back and say, man, can you believe that actually happened? I for one would like to see a new cubs streak, consecutive days dusty pulls his head out of his ass.

Since the season is over, a little diversion.

Hey, John Hill, do you follow Premiership Football or any English football if your club currently isn't in the top flight? I myself am an Aston Villa fan and really think they have a shot at the Champions League.

If any club, who do you follow? It's tough for those of us in the states because there is no MLB.tv for the Premiership, but I'm very excited about the upcoming season.

Oh, and Go Cubs, you stupid, heartbreaking Cubs.

Levine is reporting the following:

1. CP will be caaled-up and in the line-up tomrrow.
2. Remlinger has been traded to the Red sox for a "quality minor league arm". I know its a pipe dream but I hope that guy is Papelbon.

" We should be blaming Hendry as much as we're blaming Dusty. Afterall, it the GM's fault that a team with enough talent to win 90 games can't manage to stay above the .500 mark, much less in a playoff race."

Got the sarcasm. Didn't realize a GM who put together a team with no leadoff hitter, no closer, no bullpen, an oft-injured shortstop, a strikeout machine in right, a strikeout machine in center and an opening day pitcher as fragile as, well, Kerry Wood, had put together a 90 win team. Dusty sucks. Hendry has a year out from under Sosa's dough to prove he can do the job. After that, everyone must go.

"Remlinger has been traded to the Red sox for a "quality minor league arm".

Any chance the arm's attached to a body?

1. From mid-May to mid-July Lee, Ramirez, Burnitz, and Walker hit at or above their peak level of performance. A regression was predictable.

2. The Cubs did not take advantage of that offensive surge because their pitching was crappy. The biggest misjudgement Hendry, Baker, and Gary Hughes made last off-season was not resigning Matt Clement. That led to the next misjudgement, changing the preseason plan to have Dempster close and Hawkins set up to having Dempster start and Hawkins close when Prior open the season hurt.

3. The weak bench assembled by Hendry and Baker meant that Cubs could not rest Ramirez and Lee, especially when they had physical problems. I think Lee, Ramirez, and Burnitz are all burned out (a mental fatigue which shows in a lost of focus during their at bats).

4. It is not going to be fun to be lorded over by both White Sox fans and Cardinal Fans this off-season. I don't see a lot of great free agent pick-ups. I don't see Wood or Patterson bringing much in trade.

5. Baker has the rest of the season to show Hendry he can bring along young players. If he can't, or feels he can't win now doing it that way (somehow Bobby Cox has managed to do it for 14 seasons), then he should be let free to seek other employment. I think we have little choice but to keep starting Williams and Hill to see if either can be useful next season. I don't think you get much trading veterans like Maddux and Burnitz in waiver deals since they are essentially contract dumps. Given how overvalued mediocre starting pitching is, I don't think we will do any better then keeping Maddux for another season. It kind of boggles the mind what guys like Millwood and Trachsel will get this off-season from teams like the Cubs, Yankees, and Red Sox who will be looking for starting pitching.

"I'm posting just to go on record as say that I have no comments regarding the Cubs under Dusty Baker. Their record speaks for itself."

231-205

I'm not saying Hendry was perfect, but there's more than enough talent on this team to win 90 games.

Hendry got Hairston as a lead-off option, that Dusty refused to use for months, and when that didn't pan out, he went and got Lawton, who in a very quiet year was probably the biggest deadline deal in baseball.
Hendry got Dempster who should have been the closer all along, and who's done quite well in the role. Sorry he didn't go out and get Percival, oh wait....
Hendry tryed something different with the bullpen. Instead of spending millions on big names like Hawkins and Remlinger, which failed miserably in 2003-2004, he tryed to go with youngsters. The results have been very inconsistant, but take away the Hawkins nightmares at the start of the season, the pen's numbers aren't as bad as people like to think.

Sure there were holes in the Cubs line-up, and it wasn't nearly as talented as the 2004 team. But somewhere along the line Cub fans started thinking you need a perfect team without any holes to get the job done. That's simply not the case, and all you have to do to see the evidence is look at teams like Milwaukee, Washington, and Philly to see that you can do a whole lot with a small amount of talent. Even go back and look at the 98 Cubs roster: The team had holes everywhere, christ Terry Mullholland was the only guy who resembled a decent pitcher on the whole team! This team had the talent, it didn't have the heart, and for the second straight year, that's just a damn shame.

why do people assume the dumpster should have been the closer all along?

was it his horrible pitch 1-15/1-30 career numbers? (around 7.00 ERA and 1.70 whip, btw...roughly for both breakdowns on either side of the 15...scarey...)

of all the pitchers around who may have flourished there the dumpster isnt exactly a guy you point to and go "yeah, wow...he's 1st in line for sure."

thinking about putting someone there and putting someone there are two entirely different things...especially when you start the season without mark prior and having to move wood back a few starts to ungimp him a bit.

wow...checking on the dempster #s to see how much theyve changed since he started closing and flourishing (not much, btw) i ran across this gem on the dumpster...

on a 3-0 count: *0* hits *2* recorded outs...137bb

wow.

no hits...wow...haha

i cant believe only 2 people have tried to hack at a 3-0 on dempster...both for outs...

the #s are usually low on 3-0's...but damn, that's really sitting on a guy.

aqc--"Hey, John Hill, do you follow Premiership Football or any English football if your club currently isn't in the top flight? I myself am an Aston Villa fan and really think they have a shot at the Champions League.

If any club, who do you follow? It's tough for those of us in the states because there is no MLB.tv for the Premiership, but I'm very excited about the upcoming season."

I don't even have MLB.tv for baseball at the minute. It refuses to work. Stupid thing. It's kind of useful in that I don't have to suffer watching the Cubs, I guess. Then again, I wanted to watch Felix Hernandez's debut, and I want to be able to look out for Rich Hill's changeup. If he continues to be unable or unwilling to throw one, that can go down as one of the biggest disappointments of the season. That and no MLB.tv lately, and I don't know if it's going to start working anytime soon...

Premiership football! Woo! I'm a Newcastle fan, so I have obviously acquired a habit for supporting the underachieving frustrating teams. Anyway, I think we've had a good summer in the transfer market and I'll be reasonably optimistic about this season if we can sign a top class striker. We're pretty strong defensively and we've got a solid yet creative midfield, so if we can just finish off our chances with any regularity I think we could be pushing for the Champions League too. That and I pray to God we can get rid of Lee Bowyer. I hate him, more than anyone here hates Macias. Bowyer's game has fallen off to the extent that he's probably now no better at football than Jose Macias is at baseball, only Macias doesn't go getting himself thrown out of games and suspended for ages for deliberately stamping on people's heads, or rampage drunkenly around the streets of Chicago late on Friday nights beating up ethnic minorities. At least not as far as I'm aware...

"I want to be able to look out for Rich Hill's changeup. If he continues to be unable or unwilling to throw one, that can go down as one of the biggest disappointments of the season."

If he isn't throwing one soon, Rothschild needs his job re-evaluated. If Hill was in Atlanta, he'd already be showing a change-up.

John Hill:
...Macias doesn't go getting himself thrown out of games and suspended for ages for deliberately stamping on people's heads, or rampage drunkenly around the streets of Chicago late on Friday nights beating up ethnic minorities. At least not as far as I'm aware...

I wish he would. At least then someone on the team would be showing some emotion and it sounds entertaining. I have been decidedly unentertained by the Cubs lately.

Corey Patterson in AA:

.297 .366 .504

Supposed to be called up today- which I guess means good bye Murton - thought it wouldn't bother me if one of the flotilla of middle relievers was demoted or Hollandsworth was DFA.

Coming back to save the Cubs!

Or at least to solidify his spot for next year.

If Maddux only needs 37.2 innings for his options to vest, why not just pull him after 30 or 35 or even 37.1? Why not save 9 million dollars(which would have been enough for Clement last year) and get a starter capable of going 7,8, or heaven forbid an occassional nine inning stint? I'm sure Maddux is the smartest baseball guy ever, but I'm not sure he is worth $9 Million. Heck, add that nine million to whatever we throw at Damon, Dunn, whomever else we might dream of acquiring.

Maybe carrying 12 pitchers has something to do with an offense that is so pathetic. Bring Patterson up and send down Wuertz.

> why not just pull him after 30 or 35 or even 37.1

Because you'd have a big-ass grievance from the Player's Association on your hands. Not to mention a ton of bad karma that the team doesn't need.

A question that's way way way way way of topic.

What ever happened to George Kyroudis and Scott Lange???

I was looking at the side column of TCR and remembered that at one point there were a couple more writers introduced after Alex/Derek defection. I don't remember George ever writting a single column and I can't think of more than 1 or 2 from Scott, so what happened to them?

Those of you lamenting the non-signing of Matt Clement should look beyond his gaudy record and see his 4.67 ERA and 1.35 WHIP--which, if history is any trend, aren't moving downward at this time of the year. Granted, he's in the AL, so these numbers are up a bit from what he'd likely have put up as a Cub. But those numbers look mighty similar to Greg Maddux (4.57, 1.27), whom everyone here seems to think isn't worth the 9 million we'll owe him next year.

Cold Pizza is reporting the Cubs have traded Mike Remlinger for ... something/someone ... to the Boston Red Sox.

It's extremely late for me as I have been up all night, so I didn't catch all the details. I'm sure more infomation will follow.

Just a heads up!

why do people assume the dumpster should have been the closer all along?

Because it was pretty clearly Hendry's plan to have him be the closer. When the pre-season previews came out, Dempster was penciled in as the closer in nearly all of them. These aren't just columnists spouting off, these come from writers who had to get that information from somewhere. It was simply printed in too many places for it to just be a coinsidence.

And don't give me any of this Prior/Wood tied Dusty's hands, remember Wood didn't miss his first start and Prior was inserted in the rotation the first time a 5th starter was needed. Dusty picked Dempster to be a starter over Glendon Rusch and others, without considering him for the closers job. That move came entirely because Dusty wanted 3 lefties in the pen and he completely failed to realise that Hawkins didn't suddenly grow a set of testicles after choking as closer in 2004.

Jonatwork, if the Cubs pulled a stunt like that with Maddux, how could they ever sign another free agent?

"wow...checking on the dempster #s to see how much theyve changed since he started closing and flourishing (not much, btw) i ran across this gem on the dumpster...

on a 3-0 count: *0* hits *2* recorded outs...137bb"

um, is that all time numbers on dempster, crunch?? i'm pretty sure he doesn't have 137 BBs this year, much less on 3-0 counts. in fact, he has 42.

i'm guessing these are career dempster numbers, which makes it even crazier.....he's never given up a hit on 3-0?!?

Blue, Scott returned to writing at the Northside Lounge. George has a lot on his plate, he works too hard!

Good point, ranch...I guess I was thinking of the short term good over the longterm good, which may not have been worth it, I just hadn't heard any talk of benching him, and I was wondering about it. But, after the comments about the grievance from the Player's Association and that looking bad for anyone thinking about taking a paycut for an incentive-laden contract(Nomar-type situation). These are good points you bring up and I thank you for that.

I'm a big Hendry fan but I think recalling Corey is very foolish. Because we need his CF glove? Willie Mays in his prime couldn't get this team into the playoffs at this point. Hard to believe Kpat has fixed his head/swing over the course of a few weeks. When the wrigley "faithful" are booing him mercilessly in two weeks after every K, will Hendry send him down again? I doubt it. Probably make his mental problems worse, and we're going to end up trading him for cents on the dollar.

"Don't take it personally kid, they're just pissed that we're sucking wind. go out there and play and when you do something good they'll cheer for you, don't worry."

It might, in the hands of a non-moron coach, be a character building experience.

I was at the Cubs covention and personally heard dusty and Dempster, in two different forums, say he was going to tried as the closer. To me this was classic Dusty, putting 3 players in the wrong spot - Dempster is nothing other than an average to below average starter, but had the makings (and time has proven this right) of being a good closer, Hawkins was an outstanding set-up man, but a lousy closer, and Rusch has been an very ggod starter, but mediocre to bad releif man. Now Hawkins is gone and Dusty shot his confidence and Rusch is struggling in the bullpen as Dusty refuses to start him. Rusch is heading for blown confidence and starting for another team next year.

WSCR reports that Ronny Cedeno was sent down, Corey was recalled and will bat 7th today.

At least Ronny will get his jersey number back in Iowa. (Korey was wearing number 11, which Ronny already bought from John Kornoka once this year)

1. A follow-up to my earlier comments in post 71 about the Cubs not taking full advantage of the hot period put together by Lee and Ramirez earlier this season. Dusty's insistence on leading off with the out machines Corey and Nefi at the top of the line-up for three weeks in June and early July made sure that the offense would underperform.

2. Reading and occasionally listening from afar, as well as catching ESPN's Sunday night baseball on Channel 5 out of England, it seems that three incidents helped triggered the Cubs' current funk: 1) Wood going down in Cincinnati after the Cubs started out hot after the all-star break; 2) Hawkins gets booed by the fans at Wrigley and the Cubs' (Lee, Barrett, and Dusty) bark at the fans in the media about it, showing that this team can get distracted from the point of winning and then making excuses for losing out of the distractions they themselves create; and finally, 3) Barrett's melt down in Philadelphia last week, since which the Cubs have looked as flat as an armadillo on a Texas interstate.

3. Of all the Cubs' management folks, Dusty, Hendry, Gary Hughes, etc., the one I am most down on is Rothschild. He started out at as Don Baylor's pitching coach and Hendry kept him on for Dusty, I assumed by mutual agreement. The Cubs had all this supposedly great pitching talent the last 4 years and 1) they have not been able to stay healthy; and 2) the younger pitchers have not developed or improved under Maestro Rotschild. I hope this Rotschild's last year of mal-practice and that the Cubs filch Mike Maddux from the Brewers, if possible.

4. Believe it or not, but Cincinnati, and perhaps even Pittsburgh have a better outfield then the Cubs (Cincinnati's is probably better then Houston's and St. Louis's). Lawton is playing to his second half-form (which is pretty bad), Beltran scored from first base on a single to our CF (Macias) on Sunday night, and Burnitz and Hollingsworth look to be about a combined 10 for their last 100. I could go baseballprospectus.com and add up their collective VORP but it would be too depressing. But Dusty, Crunch, and Mannytrillo are happy about them all because the keep that rookie Murton on the bench where he can't do any harm hitting .400 with .500 OBP. Don't want to show up the veterans.

5. Well, we have to find out if Corey is finally able lay off of the shoulder high and higher fastballs. That .366 OBP is encouraging. Maybe his brother Eric convinced him that he does not have to hit a homerun at every at bat to be ball player. Since I am no longer worried about winning this year, I would like to see if Corey could be a good ballplayer next year, which he was not this year.

6. If Maddux does not come back we will need a 4th starter, as well as a fifth starter, next season. With Prior's and Wood's health history, this team needs at least one, if not two guys, in the bullpen that can come in and start and keep the Cubs in the game. Neither Hill or Williams have demonstrated they can do this on a consistent basis. Frankly, I much rather go after position players in the free agent market then pitchers who seem vastly overvalued - look at what this year's crop from Jaret Wright to Carl Pavano to Erick Milton etc. have done. Ditto for free agent relief pitchers (talk about a crap shoot with the odds in favor of the house).

7. Hendry and Hughes and the "old style, real, baseball men" in the media like to sniff at Billy Beane and his methods. They particularly like to turn their noise up at the "Moneyball" draft of 2002. But two of those 2002 draftees, Swisher and Blanton, both drafted after the Cubs drafted, are helping Oakland tear up the American League. Who did the Cubs draft no 1 in 2002? In 2004, I don't know if the Cubs picked after Oakland, but again Beane did the unconventional thing and picked a college closer in the first round, Houston Street, who is of course locking games down for Oakland this year. Beane has a plan and sticks with it, even when things get down like they did for Oakland in April and May. Dusty, Hendry and Hughes, now seem, in their desperation to win now, to let their judgements get affected by short term hot spells by players like Nefi or Hollingsworth. It prevents them from finding a long term solutions for positions like left field and shortstop. They always seem surprise when these player return to form of their previous level of performance.

Re: #97.7

I agree with your general point, but your facts are incorrect. Cubs first pick was 21st, Bobby Brownlie. Swisher was drafted 16th by the As. Blanton 24th.

It's also hard to quibble with 1-2 draft picks the A's made -- part of the Moneyball philosophy is to abuse the free agent mechanism, grabbing rental players and 1-2 year vet contracts, pump up their value, and let them go as free agents and take compensatory picks. They had 7 picks by the end of the 1st-2nd sandwich round.

(In Hendry's defense, they had 4 picks including the sandwich round, but three of those were after the 30th pick).

As a GM, that kind of flexibility lets you take a flier on short and long term projects.

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