Getting Well?

GAME 116 IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (73-42) @ CHICAGO CUBS (55-60) WRIGLEY FIELD, 1:20 pm CDT, TV: WGN
Carlos Zambrano, RHP
8-5, 3.30 ERA
134/65 K/BB, 12 HR in 150 IP
Jason Marquis, RHP
9-10, 4.24 ERA
68/55 K/BB, 19 HR in 142.1 IP
SS Little Davey Eckstein LF *Matt Lawton
3b #Abraham Nunez 2B *Todd Walker
1B Albert Pujols 1B Derrek Lee
CF *Jim Edmonds 3B Aramis Ramirez
LF *John Rodriguez RF *Jeromy Burnitz
2B Mark Grudzielanek C Michael Barrett
RF So Taguchi SS #Neifi Perez
C Mike Mahoney CF *Corey Patterson
P *Jason Marquis P #Carlos Zambrano
I hope the Cubs don't face too many more lefties. I can't handle Jose Macias at the top of the order like he was yesterday, and I don't care that got two hits yesterday or that he's hitting nearly .300. MLB.com resident Pollyanna, Carrie Muskat, writes of how the Cubs are now "unburdened," like the fact that the Cubs managed to string hits together a few times will suddenly turn the season around and put them on the road to a stirring last-minute grab of the wildcard prize. It must be tough to be continually upbeat about your team like that, and never question them. At least the Cubs managed to end the losing streak before the double shot of national TV this weekend, so we'll be spared Tim McCarver and Joe Morgan droning on about the problems of the team, like they have any freaking clue what's wrong with them. I'm sure Morgan will have lots to say (or, more precisely, he'll have one thing to say and he'll say it over and over again) about Corey Patterson coming back; Patterson strikes me as just the type of player that a guy like Morgan, forgetting everything about what got him into the Hall of Fame, loves. On another note, keep a good thought for Mike Cameron; he's in the hospital after the most horrific collision I've seen in a game and even though he's a Met I wish him a speedy recovery.
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Comments

"MLB.com resident Pollyanna, Carrie Muskat"

That's some funny stuff right there

Crazy baseball the past week:

-- Barrett misplays the rundown
-- Hidden-ball trick in Florida
-- An even worse ending in the Angels-As game last night
-- Easily the worst collision in baseball in the past 10 years (if not ever) (plays at the plate don't count because both guys know its coming)

Ok. Macias had a good game...even a broken clock is right 2 times a day....
Lets bury him on the bench, where he belongs...a PH here, a PR there...and that's it!!!
Geez....Jason Voorhees wasn't this hard to kill...and he even took Manhattan!!!

I'll second that comment on Cameron ... that was just plain horrifying to watch. Worst I've ever seen.

I wonder how concerned the Mets are about Beltran, too. It looks as if he really jammed his shoulder in that collision.

Lost in the losing streak was Michael Barrett catching fire to put the final touches on an impressive turnaround. On July 7, he was 255/298/442. In the span since, he's raised his OBP by 50 points and SLG by 40 to a line of 280/348/482 before today's double.

Ron, I think the key to Barrett has been the walks...he has taken a ton of them, especially when he has been batting in the 5th or 6th spot.
Changes his hole game around

I'm not sure it's so much a case of Barrett catching fire as it is Dusty moving him up in the order where he has always hit better. (e.g. He's batting 6th today 1-1 double)

This year MB has combined to hit .372 from the 4,5,6 spot versus .233 from the 7,8 .

while that is a large gap for Barrett...I would expect all players have a noteable gap in batting 5-6 to 7-8 due to general pitch selection...as an 8th hitter is not going to see as many good pitches as a 5th or 6th hitter.

DP's suck

though walker seems like a great dude and all, is 2b a spot people see as requiring an upgrade?

"DP's suck"

As do trainer visits to the mound.

"though walker seems like a great dude and all, is 2b a spot people see as requiring an upgrade?"

No. I don't think he's look comfortable at the plate all year, and I think he knows he is clearly capable of more with the bat. Good 2B basemen will be one of the rarest commodities in the offseason, and I just don't trust Ray Durham's attitude or injury tendencies. Plus, Walker seems to be a level-headed leader type, someone to straighten out the clubhouse when needed. I think he's a clear upgrade from guys like Grudz, and I say keep him.

I finally saw the Mets collision....I feel like puking. That was horrific...lucky his neck didn't snap.

How deep was Burnitz ball?

In the absence of any data that lists Barrett's spot in the order and month of the season in a matrix, I have a hard time establishing causality out of the batting-order numbers alone.

At the money he's making, Walker's a keeper.

Why is Lee going on contact with less than 2 outs?

Are they taking Zambrano down?

Oh, I thought Neifi was eighth. I guess the answer is "no".

Andrew, in the scheme of things, not a big difference...it's the difference of 2nd and 3rd 2 out or 1st and 3rd 2 out...at least if he goes, he has a chance of making something happen.

Meanwhile, we are wasting far far too many opportunities today.

Wow...Z out of the game

Lee had to go on contact. the ball was hit literally at the Nunez who was basically standing on the third base. Lee had no where to go.

Bad pitch by Marquis to Patterson there. can't blame corey for that, it was right in his wheelhouse. Luckily for the Cards it held up long enough for the out.

wow, Dan Hampton is absolutely huge!

How did Ramirez advance to second on a fly out to left? Did they install a new set of wheels?

hey can any of you who are watching the game tell if corey looks any different at the plate?

cubs60660

The throw from left went to third to try and get Lee and ramirez advanced.

Lee absolutely smoked that ball!

The Lee we know and love has been found.

Wood finally in a pressure packed situation...let's see what he's got.

somebody explain to me how the cards bring us OUT of a slump???? I think that this goes to show that this team is good enough to compete but the game management and players have been disappointing.

ehh...it's two games...we need about 12 more wins to be out of our slump as far as I'm concerned.

"somebody explain to me how the cards bring us OUT of a slump???? I think that this goes to show that this team is good enough to compete but the game management and players have been disappointing."

For years the Cubs have played to the level of talent as their opposition. This should come as no surprise.

"In the absence of any data that lists Barrett's spot in the order and month of the season in a matrix, I have a hard time establishing causality out of the batting-order numbers alone."

You are making this way too complicated.

bullshit that was strike three. let's hope that kerry doesn't lose his cool

come on wood, 1 more out...please

nice.

It got interesting, but Woody gets the job done!

These last 2 games have really been exactly what we HOPED the team was capable of.

Yesterday:
Maddux complete game, efficient, 4ER
Lee and Aram 5-8, 6 RBI
bunch of 2 out RBI
great defense
Everyone contributing

Today
Zambrano shut out through 6IP
relief 2 shut IP
6 of the top 7 in the order have reached base at least Twice
3 of 4 RBI with 2 out.

I love this! the season may be down the tubes but one of my best friends at the hospital is a HUGE cardinals fan and we bet several rounds of golf each year on the season series. So far so good!

I hate Julian Tavarez. One of the dirtiest players in the game.

What happened with Nomar's HBP, and why does Gameday show a coaching visit to the mound for Dempster after 3 pitches? Someone watching please explain!

Gameday has shown about 3 visits to the mound for Dempster...either a mistake, or injury I suppose.

Shut out would have been nice...but Dempster doesn't do anything "nice". Just as long as Pujols doesn't come to bat representing the go ahead run, I'll be happy.

come on Dempster!!!!

CUBS WIN!!!!!! IN DUSTY WE TRUSTY!!!!!!!!

What was this defensive interference that sent Schumaker to 2nd?

there we go.

Wood looked great in the eighth. Looks like he has "closer" stuff whereas Dempster seems to squeak by each game. any chance their roles get reversed by season's end?

"Defensive Indifference" I think it said...meaning he doesn't get credit for the steal because the defense wasn't holding him on.

Ah! Thanks, I must have misread.

Gabe, if the Cubs make a run maybe...but I'd say there is a 90% chance that Woood goes under the knife by the end of the month...Actually, if we lose the Houston series next week, I would expect Wood to be put on the disabled list then.

Wood's much more valuable as a starter. Especially at his salary.

It's nice to win, but it is over. For all the moons and planets to align for Cubs to make it to playoffs, would be know doubt be one of the signs of the Apocolyps.
Get Wood under the knife. Pitching him during this is like letting him pinch run with scissors in his hands and Tim Raines vial in his back pocket.

If Wood is not ready at ST next year, Hendry should be fired.

I know the salary makes a huge impact but the cubs are going to have a lot of cash to spend and I wouldn't mind seeing this pitching staff next year.

ROTATION: Prior, Maddux, Big Z, Rusch, Barry Zito

CLOSER: K Wood
8th: S Williamson
7th: Saenz? from SD/ Ohman/ Novoa
Wellemeyer, Rich Hill

Notable departures: Wuertz, Mitre, Dempster, Jerome williams

getting rusch cheap (he's a serviceable starter) and putting Hill into a two pitch pitcher spot (the pen) makes sense. that would save us a ton of money to spend on Saenz or a another middle relief guy, Zito, Adam Dunn, and Johnny Damon. team looks like this:

Damon CF
Murton RF
Lee 1B
Dunn LF
Ramirez 3B
Barrett C
Walker 2B
Cedeno SS

I don't know...I think they are smart enough to shut him down soon. We are heading to Houston next week, in close to the same position Houston came to wrigley last year in Mid august...Houston was 6 games behind us...7 after the first game...and then won the next 3 and that was the beginning of the end.

I'm fine with pretending we have a chance through the Houston series that ends Wednesday. If the Cubs can crawl back to within 4-5 games, then we might as well go for it...if we fall further than 7 back after that series, shut him down and start releasing players.

I'm not kidding myself, I see no reasonable chance that we'll win 4 of the next 5...but if we do, the season is still alive...at least for another week or so.

I just thought that KWood looked better/more relaxed, throwing harder than I had seen him in a long time. I was a HUGE skeptic of putting wood in the pen but he looks good.

This not realistic. Wood is not providing a role to help win. He comes in for mop up pitching. Cubs are chasing butterflies this year with 2006 stampeding at them like a herd of elephants.

"This not realistic. Wood is not providing a role to help win. He comes in for mop up pitching. Cubs are chasing butterflies this year with 2006 stampeding at them like a herd of elephants."

Another week or two isn't going to matter...at least they can see if he has the mentality to handle the role, in case the surgery doesn't make him dependable. I don't see it as a big deal at all to let him pitch one more week.

"Shut out would have been nice...but Dempster doesn't do anything "nice"."

Dempster had to get four outs that inning. Burnitz slipped and let an easy pop fly drop in front of him that would have ended the inning with no runs scoring.

"Wood's much more valuable as a starter. Especially at his salary."

Ranch,

Wood is an average starter who has his moments. He is not worth his salary as a starter. However as a closer where in his relief appernces he has not given up a run and has a k/9 rate of 13.5 he could be more worth his salary. They need to talk him into picking up the option in his contract.

Gabe,

Who are you going to trade to get Dunn and Zito?

Adam-We will agree to disagree.
In the mean time if I get killed do not let Tony LaRussa head up the investigation.
This gem from Costas on hbo with the great one-

On Jose Canseco, La Russa said, ìWe didnít think he was doing anything strange until sometime in the early í90s when he was getting bigger than ever and working less.íí

Very perceptive, Tony, very perceptive.

Once again, Wood is not an average starter. He has not become the HOF'er we all saw in 98, but if he was cut today, in 15 minutes every team in baseball would be calling him. Go look at his 2003 and early 2004 stats, start by start. Dominant.

"They need to talk him into picking up the option in his contract"

It should read: They need to talk him into being the closer, because they are not going to pick up the option in his contract as a starter for 07 and if he has an 06 that is like 04 or 05 nobody is going to offer him eight digits on a contract.

Somebody on the Cards needs to be hit tommrrow or Sunday in retalition for Nomar, but they should only do it after the game is decided already.

IF Wood could be depended on to pitch 200 Innings, and stays in good health, he is a top tier starter (Although he has so far failed to show that he is consistant enough to be a CY young contender). BUT, if Wood is only good for 10-15 starts before his arm falls enough...he'll be much more valuable if he can be an effective closer picking up 30 saves or so.

It comes down to the fact that we have to pay him next year...so we might as well use him where he will help us the most...if we can't trust him to stay healthy in the rotation, we need to acquire another top line starter and try to get the most out of him in the pen next year.

Adam,
I'm a little late to the party, but I think Lee was right to run on contact. Unfortunately, it was right at Nunez and he wasn't going to throw without an error. I think his only mistake was not getting into a rundown -- which probably would have given Barrett time to reach second.

There was a similar play yesterday with Garciaparra on third. I didn't mind that he didn't induce a rundown, because the stopping and starting would have been risky post-surgery.

One more thing: I loved yesterday's game, but in the first inning, Ramirez stood at the plate until his blooper bounced fair. The fact that he didn't reach second had nothing to do with his quad injury. I've seen too many Cubs players gaze when they should be running. But I can't really complain about the last couple days.

Some interesting changes could be in store for the draft. One being the end of the Arizona summer league. This article at Baseball America is more in depth look at it. http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/news/050...

Iím sure Morgan will have lots to say (or, more precisely, heíll have one thing to say and heíll say it over and over again)
I could not agree more!

Could somebody please explain to me why this guy wins Emmys and is so well-respected. Move of his "insights" (even when correct) are after-the-fact second-guesses. A good analyst, like Steve Stone, engages in "first-guessing" most of the time.

I just can't stand the guy. He dresses well, but even that comes across as hubris somehow.

P.S. In #62, "he wasn't going to throw without an error." should read "Lee wasn't going to SCORE without an error.

"Could somebody please explain to me why this guy wins Emmys and is so well-respected."

Winning Emmys, kinda like winning Grammys or Oscars, is often more of a popularity contest and isn't the best marker of excellence. Sunday Night Baseball though is a tradition, an icon, the closest thing baseball has to Monday Night Football. So Morgan is associated with that tradition -- he becomes as hallowed as the tradition itself. Add that to the fact that he was one of the game's greatest second basemen. Most people who know diddly squat about baseball though know that Joe Morgan is a blow-hard imbecile. His reputation is actually headed down sharply lately, especially after the Sandberg HOF affair.

But why talk about Morgan when you can talk about Tim McCarver? You think Morgan says obvious, slap-your-forehead statements, listen to FOX tomorrow. I swear Joe Buck is right now making threats to the FOX organization to bring in Al Leiter this postseason (unless the Yanks make it) to replace McCarver for color commentary or he will quit on the spot. McCarver and Buck, two Cardinal homers that just drool over that Redbird team....

Are we the Fox game of the week tomorrow? Even on the west coast?

Andrew,

I can't really disagree with anything you said. I can't stand McCarver either, though somehow I don't find him quite as arrogant. Maybe more condescending, but I sense that Morgan is basically a mean person while McCarver is just kind of a clown . . . still, six of one, half a dozen of the other.

You're right about popularity vs. excellence, but at least most Oscar winners tend to be deserving (even if other actors are sometimes more deserving).

I think what really upsets me is that Tony Kornheiser, who I have a lot of respect for, seems to think Morgan knows his shit. By the way, do you think Jon Miller realizes what an idiot his partner is? I really can't tell.

"Are we the Fox game of the week tomorrow? Even on the west coast?"

The Angels, D-backs, Dodgers and Mariners are in fox games tomrrow so the answer is no. Is the reason you did not want Hines as the GM of the all AH team because of the Sosa trade?

Chifan-

For Dunn- Jerome Williams, David Aardsma, Sergio Mitre, Scott McClain, Michael Wuertz

For Zito- Felix Pie, Renyel Pinto, Eric and Corey Patterson, and pretty much anything else the A's would want.

Listen for that line up in 06, we'd have a serious, serious chance to win the World Series. It's a deadly lineup if Murton can continue to just get on and move guys over and if Cedeno plays as good as Neifi has this year.

I agree with Manny. When the Cubs win, it's all because of Dusty. When they lose, it's because the players are crappy and Hendry is a boob.

Matt Murton in right field is a horrible prospect. left field is bad enough.

Wood is an average starter who has his moments. He is not worth his salary as a starter. However as a closer where in his relief appernces he has not given up a run and has a k/9 rate of 13.5 he could be more worth his salary.

As a closer he's not going to be worth anything near $11,000,000. If healthy, he's worth it as a starter. However, he isn't healthy, but the salary's going to be there regardless. If his surgery is a success and is 100% by April, he had better be in the rotation. Look what arthro did for Matt Morris. Morris had a frayed labrum, the same thing as Kerry. However, Robb Nen, Mike Sirotka and Ryan Anderson were diagnosed with a frayed labrum too.

Jon Miller is getting stupider and more annoying the longer he works with Morgan. I used to like him a lot, but even if they gagged Morgan now, I still would rather not hear Jon Miller.

Baby Maddux,

I'm glad to hear you say that. I don't think much of Jon Miller either, and I keep wondering if it's he who's changed or just me.

But sometimes I wonder if it's possible he's just making the best of a bad situation, if he also thinks Morgan is a moron but can't really be open about it (without losing his job). He'll take jabs at Morgan, though he'll do it in a kidding way. Wouldn't it be great if some time he got drunk or something and let loose with what a nightmare it's been working with him all these years. God, would I love that.

This all gets me thinking about Baseball Tonight. I used to love that show when Gammons, Stark, and Kurkjian were the usual experts. Now it's Brantley, Kruk, Phillips, etc. And it's the same with the broadcasts, where some brainless ex-player is doing color. I seem to remember when announcers were more knowledgeable (and less annoying), but then I wonder if I just didn't know better back then.

But I don't think it's just me. I loved Jack Brickhouse, and I still can't believe the Cubs got rid of Stoney.

"Are we the Fox game of the week tomorrow? Even on the west coast?"

The Angels, D-backs, Dodgers and Mariners are in fox games tomrrow so the answer is no.

Actually the answer is YES the Cubs/Cards game is the Fox game of the week....game time 12:20 CDT

Not sure about the west coast...but in Midwest for sure....

METS @ DODGERS ON FOX IN LA
ANGELS @ MARINERS ON CH. 13 IN LA tomorrow
Both at 1:00pm

I feel your pain.....

The usual BBTN crew is Trey Wingo (I believe), John Kruk, Peter Gammons, and Harold Reynolds. The rest are spot analysts. Considering the busy schedule of Gammons, Reynolds, and (not to such of an extent) Kruk, sometimes you'll find a sub in there, but rarely. They usually will just have whoever is available on the show, unless all three aren't.

Gammons is great, and so is Reynolds. I don't always agree with Kruk, but he provides a great counter-argument to Reynolds' analysis alot of the time.

Well, for those of you in Chicago and were thinking "Screw teh Cubs, at elast we have teh Bears.". Well, scratch that. Chciago has a NEW most injury prone player in sports....REX GROSSMAN. He broke his ankle in tonights preseaon game. And Angelo is the worst GM ever as not learning from his mistake last year of not having a real backup. Look for the Bears to repeat last year with 5-6 wins.

SCREW CHICAGO SPORTS!!!!!

IENPW,

Look at Wood's stats he is an .500 pitcher. .500 pitcher's are not worth $11 mil. Closers who can save 90% percent of their games are not worth $11 million dollars. 90% closers are worth more than .500 pitchers that's why I said " he could be more worth his salary." I know the pen has let him down in the past but he does not have the mechanical structure to be a 200 inning starter. If he has not changed his mechanics by now he won't ever do it. His future is in closing games he needs to realize it.

Cubfan,

For those who live in the west coast like Rob said their options will be Angels or Dodgers. For those of you affected I'm sorry but knowing the match-up is Carpenter V. Williams you actully might be lucky ones because you will not be able to see the carnage.

Gabe,

If Hendry is thinking like you than it would World Seies or bust next year because Dunn and Zito are FA's after 2006 and to get them the farm would be mortaged.

fellow bears fans,

Which was worse the feeling after Grossman broke his ankle tonight or after the last road trip for the Cubs? My take is tonight because we had a chance to get to the playoffs and with the Cubs you knew for about a week before that the playoffs were unlikely. Now were looking at 3-13 season with Hutchinson unless they go with Orton and maybe were 5-11. Well atleast if they tank we could get Leinert or Vince Young in the draft next year.

Kerry Wood makes $12 million next year. He's due $11 million from what will be the final year of his contract as well as $1 million in signing bonus that is paid to him annually for the last 3 years. Not that the $1 million makes that much of a difference, but 12 sounds even worse than 11.

Are the A's necessarily interested in trading Zito? Their payroll isn't huge, but that doesn't mean they can't afford a couple decently-sized contracts, although Zito probably would command a lot. Beane's very high on Zito's medical history--or, more accurately, his lack of one. Speaking of them, Dan Haren is destroying the Twins tonight. Along with Dontrelle, we'll have two pitchers who combine for:

17 IP, 9 H, 3 BB, 10 K, 1 HR, 2 R...

and zero wins, and two losses (assuming the A's don't score in the ninth).

On Grossman: that's bad news. But he got his ankle broken on a tackle, right? I don't remember what he did last year, but aren't these Walker-type injuries? It's not like he's Aramis and is consistently gimpy, although it sucks that he'll miss nearly two years of action now.

"On Grossman: that's bad news. But he got his ankle broken on a tackle, right?"

Ron,

Yes, that is what happened. The pocket collasped and he got sacked and landed on his ankle badly. He is out 3-4 months. They need to find a QB if they want to contend this year. The only thing I can think of is SD giving us Brees or Rivers for like 2 1st rounders, a second rounder, and 5 day 2 picks. The most logical and practal thing is to see what Washington is going to with Ramsey because he is not going to command the 1st rounders in a trade.

Look at Wood's stats he is an .500 pitcher.

He's actually 70-53, and if you want to know why that ratio isn't closer to 2:1, look at Wood's game log.

At points, I think the majority of the Cubs' fan base simply doesn't deserve a World Series. People who cite Wood's W-L record as evidence for him being no better than an average pitcher are a great example of this.

There are many games where Wood has pitched well enough to win (given up no more than four runs, and no more than two above the amount the Cubs scored). Here are the number of runs the Cubs scored in those losses the past two years:

2003: 0, 0, 2, 2, 0 (Wood lost 4)
2004: 2, 3, 0, 2, 2 (Wood lost 3)

If anybody's wondering why Wood's never won 15 games in a year, the fact that he didn't win any of 5 games where his team scored a total of 4 runs is the explanation. Yes, he's had health issues, apparently largely self-inflicted, no, he hasn't been worth his money this year, but the relentless shortchanging of all he did for the team in 2003 and 2004 is just garbage. The notion that he's a ".500 pitcher" is an accounting fiction: in 2003, had he won three of these starts and gotten NDs in two, he'd be 17-10.

Coming into this season Wood actually had a career winning % of .573 including 2000 & 2002 when the Cubs were pathetic even by Cubs standards. He's also pitched 200 or more innings twice.

Thanks for the extra info Chifan. I don't really follow football beyond the Bears, and I usually can't even remember their starters until the fourth or fifth game of the year. Is their backup still... Hutchinson? I don't even remember last season. Too much space devoted to the other ursine team that doesn't win much.

not to make this a Bears board and all, but WHAT THE HELL WAS GROSSMAN DOING IN THERE?

2nd quarter of OUR 2nd pre-season game, with 3 more to go, he shouldn't have played more than a quarter. I know they're learning a new offense and all, but still.

And just cause Orr did okay against the 3rd string defense, I wouldn't get too excited. Hutchinson is definitely the better option. But it's a 5 win season either way right now, and the defense might score all of our points. What a shame....

Chicago's insurance must be through the roof. Grossman, Prior, and Wood should all be doing AFLAC commerials.

GO BLACKHAWKS!!!

Ron,

Your welcome about the Bear's info. I honestly never thought Wood was 17 games over .500 I guess it so easy to forget how good he was in '02 with how bad that team was. I still think he is a health risk to be counted on as an ace type. I would like to see Hendry get Vazquez he is very reliable although he is overpayed to.

When did Grossman become Joe Montana?
He's made of glass, he's the NFL verison of Kerry Wood.

No more Bear talk, get Wood under the knife before I hear Pat Hughes talk about Kerry's prolonged spring training in May next year.

I was a little harsh above, for which I apologize to Chifan and anybody else that may have got sparked off... the Wood W-L thing is probably my biggest pet peeve.

The Hawks! What's their prognosis for this year? It seemed as though the NHL was in reset mode given the number of FAs re-signing. I know the Hawks got Khabiboulin or however he's spelled... is he really that big an upgrade from... that other guy with the hard name? Thibault?

"And just cause Orr did okay against the 3rd string defense, I wouldn't get too excited. Hutchinson is definitely the better option"

Rob,

I think Orton should get a look vs. a 1st string D to see if he can play or not aganist good players. He seems to have a stronger and more accrute arm than hutch. The real answer is on anther team and I discussed that on post 83. Hopefully we will get the 1st pick in the draft so we can get Leinert for next year if we can not get to the playoffs. I agree what was Grossman doing out there.

ahem....

FREEEEEE JEFF GEORGE!!!!!

"The Hawks! What's their prognosis for this year? It seemed as though the NHL was in reset mode given the number of FAs re-signing. I know the Hawks got Khabiboulin or however he's spelled... is he really that big an upgrade from... that other guy with the hard name? Thibault?"

Khabibulin is the 2nd best goalie in the NHL. A hockey team is usally as as good as their goalie so if their skaters can get about 2.5 goals per game they should be a Stanley Cup contender.

NHL? Hockey? Isn't that the sport that no one cared about so they killed themselves? Or something like that. At first I thought you were talking about soccer but I remember people actually caring a little about hockey.

"not to make this a Bears board and all, but WHAT THE HELL WAS GROSSMAN DOING IN THERE?"

FIRE LOVIE...:)

Vote: VINNY OR JEFFY?

Chifan-

I have no idea if you'll read this or not (i'm just getting off my shift at the hospital now) but I really think that Hendry should be thinking world series or bust next year. It'll be the final year of his contract with the cubs and let's be realistic, losing Pie and E Patterson would probably amount to the two biggest losses from the farm system. Guzman, IMO, has the stuff to be great trade bait but his health history is almost too scary if you're a cub fan.

Also, by letting Murton play the OF and Cedeno play short, the cubs get some player development and probably free up some cash for the trading deadline to bring in a bat (or whatever the team needs)

And yes, the A's are VERY interested in trading Zito. Look at their history, Giambi gone, Tejada gone, let Hudson and Mulder go. Beane has no qualms in giving up his big names to get talent. It was a minor miracle that they actually re-signed Chavez last year. From their perspective, if you can win for 40 MM, why spend 50MM and keep Zito?

Plus I think the cubs by being unbound from Sosa, Garciapparra, Burnitz, Rem, Borowski, LaTroy, Patterson, Dempster etc. gives them (by my count) around 40 MM to spend. They could easily sign Zito, a front line reliever, Dunn, throw some cash at DLee, Prior, and Z. And if Hendry wanted could probably try and sign Morris or Burnett (but I think Rusch would be serviceable)

So Chifan for me the money works out like this assuming we have about 40 MM to spend--

1. Get Johnny Damon 10MM
2. Get Barry Zito 12MM
3. Get Adam Dunn 9MM
4. Get good reliever 2-3MM
5. Up Prior, Z, and Lee contracts to even out or increase the payroll by a few million (maybe 5 or so)

i too don't put a ton of faith in W-L records but I also think that if Wood wasn't hitting the 100 pitch mark in the fifth or sixth inning many starts he wouldn't be depending on the bullpen so much. You're definitely gonna lose some games when you're asking a bullpen (especially, historically, a Cub bullpen) to finish three or four innings for you.

Not sure what reality the Tribune will be willing enter in salaries for 2006 but I believe we might see a reduction in salary for 2006.

I say this because the Trib is paying a sizeable amount of Sosa's salary this year....so the team on the field is closer to 85 million rather than 100 million. I wouldn't look for the Trib to pay much more than 92 next season. The way they look at it--they increase the quality of the player on the field (theoretically of course) by 7 million....and have an actual savings over the previous year of 8 million....Stockholders will loves this and that's what they care about.

It's reported in various sources the Cubs have about 35 million freed up in salary next year over this year....look for the Cubs to actually spend less than this year...but actually field a team taking home 7 million or so more than this year.

Thanks for the money breakdown it makes sense now. Although for the 12 Mil I would rather have Vazquez because the D-backs have a player very simlar to Pie in Carlos Quentin and I think you could get him him for Pinto and E. Patt. Also Vazquez is very realible and would be under contract so you wouldn't run the risk of losing him. I like your thinking however out of all those prospects a max of 3 would probably be better than serviceable that is just how these prospects are.

I think Hendry has to be very careful who he goes after. He can't sign guys just to do something (ie. Burnitz). He needs a plan of how he will fill the holes and make this team a serious contender again. Damon has to be a #1 priority if you want a leadoff hitter.

Despite everything that has happened, I still love hockey. The same reason I still loved baseball after the strike in 1994. Living in Chicago--and attending games in the Barn--it's hard not to still root for the Hawks or hockey in general.

Grossman was in there because he was going to play about 20 plays anyway. This is not Lovie Smith's fault.

Karl Ravech is on BBTN more often than Wingo. And Ravech is so annoying..."Kung Pow"....ugh

Give up the pipe dream about signing Johnny Damon, people. He's not going to be a Cub. He's going to go where he can get both the big money *and* a long-term contract. Hendry isn't going to give him the latter -- and wisely so, in my opinion.

Next season Damon will either be a Red Sock or a Yankee.

4. Get good reliever 2-3MM-Isn't that what Remlinger cost? Yikes. I would sink alot of money into pitching(starting and relief) before I would throw dime one at Damon. Pitching has killed this team more than centerfield.

My favorite Ravitch moment...May 1st baseball tonite and Ravech asked Reynolds who was the player of the month for April. And Reynolds without pause said Lee, and Revech shot back "More so than Brad Wilkinson?"

Well considering Lee lead at every offensive catagory at the time it would be hard for Wilkinson to be better than Lee!!!!!!! IDIOT!!!

That's a good point Jacos but there aren't that many good pitchers/relievers out there. I laughed when you brought Remmy up because that is what he cost and Latroy too but they WERE PREMIERE guys when we signed them as was Mercker. They were good ideas that went to shit as soon as they put on a Cubs uni. Hmm, who would've thought?

If I were the GM I would be hesitant to sign Wagner for the 9MM he's asking. I think with Wood in the bullpen, Williamson and Novoa are good too. Already a huge improvement from early 2005. Let Ohman and Hill fill some spots and then go and get one more front line guy and that's a pretty solid pen, IMO.

And, it's true, we could find a cheaper alternative to the corner outfield position (like a Juan Encarnacion, Austin Kearns) in order to spend more to get (and sign long term) Vazquez and Zito (then letting Rusch go) and let the Reds keep Dunn. However, I disagree with the assumption that CF hasn't been a problem. Imagine a .300+ hitter who hits for power and gets on base in our leadoff spot. I'm telling you it would be a very dangerous lineup.

That's a good point Jacos but there aren't that many good pitchers/relievers out there. I laughed when you brought Remmy up because that is what he cost and Latroy too but they WERE PREMIERE guys when we signed them as was Mercker. They were good ideas that went to shit as soon as they put on a Cubs uni. Hmm, who would've thought?

If I were the GM I would be hesitant to sign Wagner for the 9MM he's asking. I think with Wood in the bullpen, Williamson and Novoa are good too. Already a huge improvement from early 2005. Let Ohman and Hill fill some spots and then go and get one more front line guy and that's a pretty solid pen, IMO.

And, it's true, we could find a cheaper alternative to the corner outfield position (like a Juan Encarnacion, Austin Kearns) in order to spend more to get (and sign long term) Vazquez and Zito (then letting Rusch go) and let the Reds keep Dunn. However, I disagree with the assumption that CF hasn't been a problem. Imagine a .300+ hitter who hits for power and gets on base in our leadoff spot. I'm telling you it would be a very dangerous lineup.

sorry about the double post

Right. I knew I was wrong. Wingo does NFLTN.

What has limited this club from being a serious threat the past two years is offensive consistency. Yea, pitching doesn't look so good when you don't score but 0-2 runs a game...

If you can't outscore your opponent--you lose and sadly this has been the Cubs biggest problem since the Baylor era and beyond.

Grossman was in there because he was going to play about 20 plays anyway. This is not Lovie Smith's fault.

Well that sucks, cause if you go by the sporsline.com play-by-play it happened on play #21. That's what you get for pushing it.

For those who saw the play, obviously Grossman is made of paper-mache, the play didn't look like anything too bad to me. At the time you didn't think anything more then a twisted ankle.

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