AFL Update

This from
[Felix] Pie will be one of seven Cubs players in the Arizona Fall League. The others include second baseman [Eric] Patterson, outfielder [Matt] Murton, first baseman Brandon Sing, utility player Buck Coates and pitchers David Aardsma and Angel Guzman. One more pitcher will be named to the Mesa Solar Sox team, Cubs player development director Oneri Fleita said.
That seems to conflict with 2 of the AFL eligibility rules which are: ï Each Major League team provides 6 players. There are 6 teams in the AFL, each one a mix of 5 MLB teams players. ï All Triple-A and Double-A players are eligible, but they must have been on at least a Double-A roster no later than August 1st. ï One player below the Double-A level is allowed per MLB team. ï One foreign player is allowed, as long as they do not live in a country that has a winter ball league, including the Carribbean Confederations or Australian Winter League. ï No Players with more than one year of ML service (before August 31st) are allowed. The exception are any players picked in the Rule 5 draft. ï Players on disabled lists in the minors must have been activated 45 days before the end of their season to be eligible. Guzman is from Venezuela and Pie is from the Dominican Republic and Pie is expected to be activated Saturday, which is certainly not 45 days before the end of the AA season which finishes it's season at the end of the month. If they are referring to the end of the MLB season, it's still not 45 days by my calculations. Is wrong or is there explanation? And if Pie is going with Guzman, I have to find a way to get to Arizona for a couple of games. Any guesses on the other pitcher? I'm thinking Jermaine Van Buren or Ricky Nolasco. ---- Things to make you shiver... "One guy you've got to really be thankful for is Neifi Perez," Baker said of the backup shortstop who has started 89 games at the position. Garciaparra has started 24. "Hopefully, Neifi comes to the rescue again until Nomar gets better." "In that situation, you've got to take a chance, especially because Corey [Patterson's] not going real good right now," Baker said. "You've got to take a shot right there. He threw it on target."


According to an article in the Sun-times, they surmise that Nomar will not be re-signed in favor of Neifi - God Almighty help us now.

Is there a chance Sean Marshall is healthy enough to play in the AFL?

from Mike Kiley in the Sun-Times:

"Chances are, the Cubs will re-sign Perez for 2006 and not Garciaparra, whose health issues make him too big of a risk."

Is that funny? Do you just hate Cubs fans, Mr. Kiley?

Marshall has been on the DL for awhile, no idea what's going on with him to be honest.

Angel Guzman will be pitching in Daytona soon and apparently the Padres offered Nomar $27 mil last year(I assume 3 years), but wanted him to move to second.

Maybe he'll rethink his position this offseason.

Nomar at second and sign Furcal, and have Hairston as Nomar's backup sounds so much more appealing than having Neifi as his backup.

Hmm 2B? I think he'd be better suited at 3B for the Padres.

I'm not sure if that makes sense, the Padres thing. As far as I know, they hadn't given up on Sean Burroughs yet and Mark Loretta was the finest 2b in all the National League last season and of course Khalil Greene is pretty good too. I suppose they would have traded Loretta or maybe they were ready to get rid of Burroughs already and move Loretta to third.

Nomar as a 3B isn't a bad idea at all. He'd probably be way up there defensively, he's certainly got the arm. Although his offensive game wouldn't be nearly as valuable, he'd still be among the upper half I would think.

The biggest crime of 2005 was our GM telling its fans that addition by subtraction was the path to building a world champion.

Hey if Neifi is our SS next year it just means that Hendry is sticking with his plan of addition by subtraction. Atleast the Cubs are consistent in one area. They haven't been losers for 97 years by accident.

That being said, it would be organizational suicide to bring back Perez and make him the starter at SS. I wouldn't be shocked if I saw it, because it would be soooooo Cub like to do it. But I just think its complete BS, that some beat writer decided to write about today because he ran out of ideas.

No team in their right mind would offer Nomar a 3 year deal this offseason. The Nomar-merchandise factor makes him more marketable and valuable to Chicago than elsewhere, so I think he will be back with a similar incentive deal. While I like Furcal, I am not sure it would make sense to tie up $8 mil or so for 3-4 years in him when we have Cedeno in the wings. I would rather put the money into outfield (Damon), where we are weakest and only really have Pie, Murton and maybe Sing as prospects.

Just to point out, the article says nothing about making Neifi the starter. Of course, it might perhaps be implying as such and, with our own paranoid suspicions, we might think as much, but that's not what the article specifically says. I, upon reading it, took it more to mean that Neifi will be re-signed for his current role and Nomar would be let go in favor of a new starter. Of course, the thought of making Neifi the starter crossed my mind (and gave me shivers), but I'm pretty sure that, if that's the case, Kiley would have followed with something to the effect of "With Perez's stellar play this season in place of injured players, the Cubs may just grant him the starting job in 2006." The fact that Kiley didn't say that, and instead left the question open, seems to suggest this is little more than speculation on his part.

Neifi brought back for starting SS in 2006.

I'm having flashbacks of the Cubs resigning Gary Gaietti in 1999 and not signing Robin Ventura who wanted to stay in Chicago.


Nomar at second would be alright, with Hariston backing up. WHoever posted that earlier I agree.
Get Furcall for ss.

Now Cubs need two starters, entire outfield(Murton will not be given a chance), and a bullpen.
After that the Cubs are right THERE!!!!

"Nomar at second would be alright, with Hariston backing up. WHoever posted that earlier I agree."

I just can't see that happening. There is a $2.5 million option next year for Walker who, aside from the ill-timed DP and a dip in power, has performed at an above average level at 2B. To sign a injury-concern player like Nomar at an unproven position for at least $4-5 million instead of Walker just seems silly and illogical to me. Not the kind of thing Hendry would do.

For all we know they might want to re-up Neifi as a back-up. Heck 8 months ago there were fears that Neifi-Womack would be the DP combo. I am sure Nomar/Furcal and Walker/Hairston will be the combo.

I think it's just B.S. by Mr. Kiley, but signing Neifi again as a starter or backup isn't such a hot idea. He's fine as a defensive replacement, spot starter versus lefties but nothing more. I hate repeating the same thing over and over, but signing Nomar and Neifi again will just be more the same s*** we had to deal with this year. Nomar gets injured again (the likelihood of that happening are pretty high), Neifi starts again, Cubs more than likely suck again.

I would be fine with Nomar and Neifi again, as long as when Nomar gets injured, the PT goes to Cedeno, but we know you'll hear from Baker, "Dude, I can't just forget what Neifi did for us last year", so better not to risk that at all.

I too thought of Gaietti as well when reading that they probably will bring Neifi back and not Nomar.

Now....the article doesn't say bring Neifi back as a starter..but you know that is what was meant. If Not Nomar at starting SS...and if not Neifi then who? The article implies Neifi has earned a shot at starting SS...Dusty made a statement that he owes the success of the team to Neifi (that just about sums it all up doesn't it...)...

Neifi is cheap...much cheaper than Nomar..and while I agree with Mike C it would be organizational suicide to bring Neifi back as a starter...I can see them going this route because Perez is not one likely to get hurt and they'd rather pay him minimal to play 158 games rather than pay Nomar to be out 80% of the season. On that fact alone, I'd agree with the Cubs...BUT how about getting someone decent who can play 158 games too??

Samclyatt made a comment in prior thread that the Cubs need to get stronger up the middle. CF, SS, 2B need to be stronger...and LF and RF too....

Maddux is hitting a wall--not sure he has much left in his tank. So we have Prior and Z...and Wood probably will go back to the rotation and probably have similar results...overthrowing, inflammation--shoulder and/or elbow...missing assignment in Iowa or Peoria....back to the pen...back to the rotation...back to the DL...back to reassignment...

Starting pitching and bullpen are huge issues too.

Maybe we should get our January Cubs convention passes and boo like crazy when Dusty speaks...his picture is presented....etc...and maybe the same with Hendry.

Just to point out, the article says nothing about making Neifi the starter.

If Dusty's back in 2006, and Neifi's back in 2006, Neifi will be starting a majority of games even if someone else signed to be the "starter."

We've got our 2 "starting" middle infielders back right now, and Neifi is getting into the starting lineup most days.

It was the Dodgers, not the Padres that were pursuing Nomar for 3 years.

My impression of Hendry is changing. I've decided he only does half his job.

Think about it. His biggest strength is in getting good-to-great players for very little cost. That should be part one of his job.

Part two should be to use what you've saved in those very good deals to go out and make some more fair trades to accumulate even greater talent.

Take the Nomar trade. It barely cost Hendry anything from a prospect standpoint. So Hendry could very well have spun off the prospects Nomar might have cost to get, for instance, a stud outfielder over the offseason, or at the very least, when Nomar got hurt this year, Hendry could have gone out and gotten an impact bat to replace the lost production.

Some might say that spinning off the prospects the Nomar deal didn't cost would negate the advantage of the deal. I don't think so. The point isn't to accumulate awesome-GM points, it's to field a winning ballclub. Winning ballclubs would understand that they were lucky to get Nomar so cheap, and have no problem going out and spending prospects to replace his bat when his groin exploded because of that fact.

(The Nomar deal is just an example, and perhaps not even the best one. Repeat the same argument for any one of Hendry's great trades -- Lee, Barrett, Ramirez -- and you'll see how many times the Cubs have been able to hang onto to their best talent, talent that could net even more good players on the market).

A high-income franchise like the Cubs should not rely solely on bargain shopping, and yet, that's what the front office has done. By all means, screw lower payroll clubs right out of their talented players. But go out and make a fair deal to get the rest of the pieces to the puzzle once in a while.

That's where the Cubs went wrong this year. They could have had Baez and Huff for the right package (and I don't think it would have taken Zambrano).

I know Dusty has received Hendry's seal of approval (for a team 4 games under .500 and falling fast)....and MacFail has said Hendry has his support and it was MacFail's understanding that Hendry still supports Baker....

So I ask this question--What record do the Cubs have to drop to in order for the pink slips to start coming to either Hendry and/or Baker?

I understand MacFail has succeeded in making the Tribune a tons of cash off of the Cubs but has failed miserably putting a winner on the field. I truly truly wish Cub Fans were a bit more like regular fans and stopped going to games when the quality of play was worse than Iowa or Peoria. That would be the only way a winner would be demanded by the Trib...

But back to my question--what record would they have to get to before the pink slips were given?

If they lose out (I realize that isn't going to happen any more than they make the playoffs)...they'd be that enough? How about 70-92? OR is the immunity flag been earned by both Hendry and Baker?


They could have had any number of very good players had they put together the right package. They had the money and prospects, so why didn't they put that package together?

Damn, I saw the title and was hoping for some Arena Football news...

Post #17

"If Dusty's back in 2006, and Neifi's back in 2006, Neifi will be starting a majority of games even if someone else signed to be the "starter."'

Probably one of the dumbest things ever said about Dusty Baker. IF Nomar was healthy all year he would have started EVERY day as our starter. IF Nomar returns and is healthy, he will start everyday. The only way Neifi starts everyday is if the 'starter' is hurt OR if Neifi is signed as the starter.

Sadly, I think they'll only finish a couple of games under -- play right at .500 the rest of the way out -- and nobody will be fired.

That said, even if they went 66-96 or 68-94, I don't think heads would roll. Everyone is too forgiving. The internal attitude would be, "Well, they were just drained emotionally after falling out of the playoff race," or somesuch similar bullshit. Excuses are tolerated in this organization. You won't be fired if no one is holding you accountable for anything you've done.


I think it is all about the fans. Fan reaction to images of Sosa at the Cubs convention forced that trade because Sosa on this team was PR nightmare. If the fans at the games turn on Baker like chanting "Baker Sucks" throughout some games down the strech it probably happen. If they go 0-5, or 1-4 the rest of this week I could see something done, because that would be losing steak number 3 of 8 games or losing 7 of 8. I don't think Baker will be managing this team next year. My guess is he runs off to some other job maybe Arizona or Washington. Who knows maybe him and Sebean will decide they are better off with each other than without? If Kobe and Phil can reunite than anybody in sports could.

Soriano might be in the mix for 2b for the Cubs also.
Hendry has a hard on doesn't he?

for soriano, that is.

By the way, for all you Buck Showalter lovers out there. Take a look at your Texas Rangers as they mosey off into the sunset with a losing record. Must be the manager, right?

Anybody still interested in Damon if this is true?....

Have to agree with you on this one Rob. Bringing back Neifi to fill Macias' role next year makes sense. He can play 3 infield positions and he's a good defensively. But if Baker is managing, you know he'll find a way to make sure he's in the lineup and gets 300+ at bats. I really think Furcal is the way to go. He's not a fantastic leadoff man with only a 340-350 obp, but he's got speed and is solid defensively. Keep Walker at 2b. Sign Giles to play RF. I like the idea of Murton in LF, but since he's far from a proven commodity, there has to be a viable plan B. They can't go into the '06 season like they did the '05 season and hope some half assed platoon works out. This would leave a Hairston/Patterson combo in CF, with Pie hopefully getting a midseason promotion. Of course the pitching staff/bullpen still needs work...

The other route they can go is to sign Damon to play CF and put Giles in RF. They could live with the uncertainty from Murton in LF I think but this would also necessitate Cedeno at SS, which puts 2 unknowns in the lineup.

the word "rumor" and the symbol "?" and the fact its a plagerized (ooops, i mean borrowed) article from some 23 year old's blog in mississippi leads me to believe its 100% true.

5 day old news that was squashed by anyone attention folks.

Unfortunately I don't think the Cubs ship can be righted with just a few moves this off-season. I think we are back to the drawing board.

This club will be in a re-building era for the next two years. Any success the Cubs had going for them in 2003 is gone. Yet they approach it like they are just so close to that success. That is the real problem. They think they are only one move away from being dominant again. They are no where near that good. They need several huge upgrades at starting pitcher....reliable bullpen help and upgrades at LF, CF, RF, SS possibly 2B and a better bench.

They need to be able to draw a few of these holes from the farm system--but they are several years away from that being the case.

If Hendry thinks he can right the ship in one year...then he is the wrong man for the job. If he believes the Cubs need a 4-5 year plan to be dominant again then he is the right guy. And a 4-5 year plan does NOT consist of Dusty Baker. The man knew how to let Barry Bonds carry his teams. As Dusty said, "The majors is not a training ground for rookies"...same could be said for Dusty. We don't have the time, nor should we have the patience for Dusty to try to learn how to manage younger players and players not named perrenial MVP and 70+ HR a year guy named Bonds.

Re ##19 and 21 (Justin),

I am not sure your criticism of Hendry is justified. You give kudos to Hendry for making good trades (for Nomar and A-Ram) that do not cost us our "best talent" and then criticize him for then not trading our "best talent" for "fair trades."

Francis Beltran, Bobby Hill, Brendan Harris, Matt Bruback -- they were among the top prospects in the system at the time Hendry traded them in 2002 and 2003. Jose Hernandez (part of the Lofton/A-Ram trade) was no slouch either (Hendry traded Bellhorn, a personal stathead favorite of mine, for Hernandez earlier in 2003.) And if you give Hendry credit for setting up the March 2002 Clement trade (he was asst GM at the time), he traded away Dontrelle Willis.

Not all of these guys were the absolute best prospects, but certainly all were solid potential contributors at the time of the trade. I don't think it is fair to criticize him for not trading the other half of our top prospect list.

If there is a criticism of Hendry, it is his attraction to overpaid middle relievers (Alfonseca, Veres, Remlinger, Hawkins). Prior to May 28, 2005, another fair criticism of Hendry's trades was his failure to extract fair value from trading talent with more experience -- Juan Cruz for Andy Pratt, and Farnsworth for Novoa, most notably. (I exclude the Sosa trade, which had unique circumstances.) But he more than made up for those two poor deals by stealing Aardsma and Williams for Hawkins this year!

On the whole, I believe Hendry has done a fine job in his three years. The failure in my view really has been with our pitching coaching -- teams with less talent (Milwaukee, Cleveland) are getting far better production than we are, and it seems that while our pitchers develop well in the minors, when they hit the majors, they regress. I think the changes this season will be the dismissal of Rothschild and replacement with someone like Ray Miller from the Orioles (who are cleaning house), and the hiring/foisting of a bench coach to "help" Dusty (to assume the role Don Zimmer filled for Joe Torre). That way Dusty can focus on being a "player's manager", whatever that is.

I have been trying to contain myself after reading McPhail's (rhymes with "fails") pompous, self-satisfied, stuff-shirt proving, "all is well," interview on Sunday on the Tribune and Herald web pages. Being a Cub fan really is an affliction as winning has always been such a low priority for ownership, from the Wrigleys through the current group of suits running the Tribune Company. It looks like the Cubs have had their little run of winning for this decade. The Cubs management will indulge themselves on wishful thinking and their ego investment in being master judges of baseball talent. Patterson will be back in center and will lead off a painful number of games, Nefi will be at SS, and probably regress back to his Kansas City - Christian Guzman form. Would not be surprised if the Cubs bring in Womack to replace Walker since he would bring "speed to the team." I wanted to be optimistic about 2006, but McPhail drained it all out of me. Dusty is a convenient scapegoat, but the heart of Cubs' darkness sits in the Tribune Tower.

Re #33, cubfan,

I disagree that the Cubs need to rebuild. Look, this is about a poor as this current collection of talent can perform, and we were still in the Wild Card hunt at the beginning of August. Wipe out that 8 game losing streak to the Phillies, Mets and Reds and we are, shockingly enough, still in the race.

The Wild Card has changed the dynamics of how to build and run a team, especially a team like the Cubs that is not strapped for cash. If you have a solid core of a couple pitchers and strong offensive players (and we do, with Prior, Z, Lee and A-Ram), then you can be in contention every year. Playing .500 ball until July and then deciding how or whether to upgrade has worked (see the 2001 A's, 2003 Cubs, and 2004 Red Sox) and is probably the wave of the future.

The Wild Card keeps you in the playoff hunt, and once you are in the playoffs, all bets are off. Rebuilding no longer need be a multi-year process.

rebuild? not much.

step 1 - fix bullpen with 24 losses

step 2 - decide on SS/OF/bench

step 3 - decide wood's role and who's the 5th starter if wood isnt back in the rotation

step 3 - ????

step 4 - 162 wins and a world series victory

yeah...i cant count...guess my SABR membership is gonna be revoked.

Wipe out that 8 game losing streak to the Phillies, Mets and Reds and we are, shockingly enough, still in the race.

it is what it is...

The Cubs are a team who will lose 8 games in a row....more than once in a season. Those type of teams have to take a serious look at themselves and admit the failures of the organization. If they don't take an honest look at why they failed they will continue to do so.

But that is the Cubs to honestly appraise your organization, talent and performance from top to bottom.

Yes they need to rebuild...that is a very honest appraisal.

From Chad - post 23
"If Dusty's back in 2006, and Neifi's back in 2006, Neifi will be starting a majority of games even if someone else signed to be the "starter."'

Probably one of the dumbest things ever said about Dusty Baker.

Really, Chad? Since Nomar returned on August 5th, Neifi has started 9 out of 17 games either at short or 2b. Last I checked, 9 out of 17 is a majority, and if Dusty's doing it now, its hardly a reach to suggest he'll keep doing it next year.

8 days left for the cubs to try to shift anyone to a possible playoff competitor.

should be interesting, but i would be suprised (for various reasons, including some that arent the cubs fault) to see no one go.

lawton/burnitz are prime targets. given hendry's love of keeping what he trades for, though...i dunno if they'd even seriously consider lawton. who knows, though...

bleeding blue...

injuries happen...

nomar's back/groin is not in good shape...its barely in playing shape.

neifi isnt being played cuz dusty has some weird obsession with him.

A few thoughts...

Left Field - This has been the biggest problem with the offense this year (with the serious regression of Corey Patterson being #2 and too much Neifi #3). While this is Hendry's fault, he was operating with his hands tied until Sosa was finally traded. If Alou was resigned and Sosa wasn't traded Hendry would have had to let Dempster and Walker go and not sign Burnitz. While Alou has hit well he has also missed 30 games and we all know what Sosa has done this year. So we still would have seen a lot of Holly and Dubois AND how much worse would the bully be without Dempster??

Felix Pie - Anyone who is holding out for this guy to save the Cubs in 2006 needs pass the next time the pipe comes around. The guy isn't much different than Patterson. He's struck out 56 times in 59 games and only walked 16 and while he stole 13 bases he was caught 9 times. He has much learning to do and is missing some real important games right now. He MAY make an impact in 2007. Look instead at Brandon Sing! Yes, he has struck out 98 times in 115 games BUT he's also walked 79 times with 27 doubles to go with his 25 HRs and had similar numbers at Daytona last year.

If Neifi was just filling in for Nomar and his bad groin, it would be one thing, but he's also getting a semi-regular starts at 2b too. Unless Todd Walker has got some lingering problems that haven't been announced, he's getting playing time because Dusty loves to have Neifi on the field.

Which, oh by the way, Dusty's said himself on multiple occations.

Does anyone have a good list of potential free agents for this offseason? With the Sosa money off the books and no more Remi, Hawk and the like eating up millions there should be about 25M for raises and FAs.

I would much rather swallow two 90-loss seasons if it meant the Cubs were gearing up for a run of 95-win years rather than merely shoot to be in the 85-90 range year in and year out. But the Cubs are never at a teardown juncture, and as long as Prior, Zambrano, Ramirez, and Lee are here, they're going to think they're a few small steps away from "competing", which is true. Unfortunately, they'll always be a few big steps away from being a force. At this point in the latest five-year plan, we shouldn't be talking about merely competing.

I'm really dreading this offseason, as many ingredients are going to provide the potential for disaster:

* Coming off a disappointing season, the Cubs will be pressured to...
* Spend a lot of money (the media are already incessenantly chirping about the payroll saved by Sosa being off the books) on...
* One of the worst free-agent classes in years, with something old, borrowed, and blue, at every position leading to the possiblity of...
* An odious contract to somebody.

For all people talk about Hendry shying away from big contracts, I just don't see how he can avoid the pressure to make a Big Move© after failing to get to 80 wins. It doesn't take a Guzman or Pavano to soak up loads of money that could otherwise be useful in future years. The Cubs are going to have to spend money on somebody, there are very few compelling players to spend money on, the Cubs won't be the only bidders in the universe for Furcal and Giles, and this offseason will therefore be a painful demonstration of how all the money in the world won't help your team if there's nothing to buy with it.

Of course, like MacPhail says, the depth in our farm system can surely make up for this. What a crock.

= = = = =

On a side note, the primary purpose of the Cubs is to make money. Winning games is a plus, but it has less of an impact on revenue here than in almost any other organization in MLB. It's safe to say that hard-core Cub fans in the Chicago area didn't drive ticket sales the last two years. You can poll me, Manny, or your random scum broker--if you don't go to the game, there are probably ten people who'll be more than happy to do so for you. The extent to which it's become a tourist destination in recent years is huge: I haven't counted, but I'm sure at least 40% of my sales were way outside the Chicago metro area.

In short: we're stuck.


Alot of the Pen problems were solved by letting Hawkins and Remlinger go. The pen has recently outside of Williamson has been good. We need a dominant closer. Dempster has been good but not great. I think Wagner wants to stay on the eastern seaboard but if he's open to coming here go get him, and if not go get BJ Ryan, re-up Dempster for the 8th, and Ohman and Novoa can handle the 6th and 7th based on the matchups. Guzman will be the best long man in baseball next year. Aardsma, Leicester, Wellemeyer, and Wuertz can battle over the last 2 spots in the pen if they go with 12. Murton should have one spot in the OF. He needs to get one stud out of Damon, Dunn, Giles, Huff, and Matsui. and depending on that a one-year stop gap like Reggie Sanders or Sarge jr. should be signed. they were not

aside from 2-3 weeks of wood and 2 months of dempster and some early wuertz work this pen has been ass.

dempster is a closer with a 1.50whip. not a combined starter/closer whip...a closer whip.

this pen has failed miserably...even with the vets gone.

the only bright spots lately have been ohman/novoa getting a tad better, yet still unpredictable and undependable.

i would be pissed to see the dumpster come back for anything more than 1-2million, honestly and i would be puking to find out he's our closer. you dont put 2 men on base an inning and hope your closer can find a way to get outta it.

i should probally add that as far as 06 fine with having ohman/wuertz/novoa not advocating axing them for the hell of it. they're not trash. they havent done for consistantly this year, though.

DC Tom --

I agree overpriced relievers has been a problem.

As for the other criticisms I cited -- let me see if I can make an analogy.

Say I just got an apartment, and I need a sofa, a TV, a fridge and a stereo to give me the kind of place I'm comfortable living in (a playoff-caliber team).

I have some money (prospects) so I go out to get the sofa, and the sofa ends up costing next to nothing (A-Ram). Then I get the TV (Nomar), and it costs next to nothing, too (or a lot less than I expected, at least).

Now: Do I a) use the money I saved on the sofa and TV to get an even better fridge and stereo than I thought I could get (even if I have to pay regular price), thereby exceeding my goal and having a place I'm more than comfortable living in; or b) keep the extra money (which is there to help me reach my goal) and get a semi-crappy fridge and stereo which doesn't give me the kind of place I'm comfortable living in, or else no fridge and stereo at all?

Sure I'll have the leftover money, and I'll be able to brag about what a good deal I got on the sofa and the TV forever and ever. But people are still going to ask where the fridge and stereo are, or why they aren't up to snuff.

In other words, I haven't reached my goal. I don't have a place I'm comfortable living in because I didn't invest my unexpected gains into other areas.

Does this make sense? I think it does.


Don't change your argument. Lets just say that Nomar is resigned and relatively healthy next year along with Todd Walker, Neifi will get starts and SS, 2B and 3rd. he will start more than any other bench player, no question. HOWEVER, the vast majority of starts (barring injury) would go to Nomar and Walker. Your argument is baseless and uneducated.

You just blew my mind.

stereo? couch? fridge?

who cares...if none of it is what i like, i blame the landlord if my stereo isnt loud enough, the couch isnt comfortable enough or the fridge isnt cold enough even though its specs were clearly marked on the label when it was bought.


Justin, does that make Kerry Wood a really cool area rug?

Chad, I didn't change my argument, I responded to Crunch's reason of "why" he was playing.

As far as my argument being baseless, its far from. Its based on the fact that it's exactly what Dusty is doing now! If Neifi is starting in the majority of games now (with both Nomar and Todd Walker on the roster), what makes you think anything would be different next year?

Dusty thinks Neifi is a great player and leader on the field. He wants him out there, and will continue to give him regular playing time.

ESPN 1000 is saying Neifi and Hairston will be in the Line-up tonight and that Lawton, Holly, and Walker cleared waivers. With the players that are in the line-up I am guessing it will be this:


I really don't think Neifi Perez is the problem here. We can live with him if we didn't have some other major holes. Our outfield is horrible. That is the problem we really need to focus on next year in regards to the field.

Dude, you cannot count his starts at short since Nomar has been back. Nomar can't play everyday. He then hurt his back (probably cause of his groin injury). That's the deal.

Wood is the really sweet high-priced DVD player that for some reason only works half the time.

Jose Macias is the yard gnome your sister gave you for your birthday that you'd like to get rid of but can't because it'll hurt her feelings.

Cubs need a closer. Dempster has been fun to watch but he is not the real deal.

But my point is, of course, getting a unrealistic deal on one player doesn't mean you'll be able to get the same kind of deal on every player. And making a few superstar trades doesn't excuse you from making other, more fair trades, if it can help your club.

shaking head...

Chad, Like I said, even with Nomar's injury, the days Neifi's not starting at short in place of Nomar, he's often starting at 2b. Are you going to tell me that Todd Walker also has an injury where he needs to sit at least 1 or 2 games a week?

Neifi's playing because Dusty wants him out on the field, it's really shouldn't be that controversial. Dusty's bascially said it himself.

... and the Dusty part of this whole allegory comes in when you start trying to use your cheap fridge to cook things, and to play DVD's in your cheap stereo.

Ron Galt, Ref #46 post


I'll give credit where credit is due - one of the things that Hendry has done very well is limit the risk to 3 years when signing players/FA's (Rems, Hawk, Lee, Maddux, Barrett). Yes, the 05 FA class is weak and he will be pressured to spend $ to address the shortcomings, but he will not get teh franchise into another Sosa mess.

I wouldn't be surprised to see the Cubs payroll actually take a decline next season. For all the talk of them spending 100 million this year and 17 of it sitting in Baltimore...I surely don't look for the Cubs to actually field a 100 million dollar team. I'd look for them to be right at 90 million--and yes I look for them to make stupid free agent signings of guys similar to, but not necessarily actually, Lawton, Nomar etc...over-priced players, released or not re-signed by actual winning ball clubs...Yes the Cubs take other people's ticket to the World Series 5 years ago.....meaning they are getting people in the decline of their career...but they sell great Cubs jerseys with the high profile name on the back.

Justin, you've got quite the analagy going there but what do you do if:

1-Even after "saving" money on your other purchases, the Stereo and Fridge you really want are still out of your price range.

2-The Stereos and Refrigerators you want are out of stock and can't be had without paying exhorbitant "special order" fees - making the cost well above their "regular price".

3-The Stereo and Fridges that you can afford have a poor maitenence record - frequently breaking down.

4-Considering those possiblities, do you always go out and spend all of your money, or do you get something to get you by, and invest the rest, where the interest you earn might turn into something more valuable next year.

Jose Macias is the yard gnome your sister gave you for your birthday that you'd like to get rid of but can't because it'll hurt her feelings.

That's not fair. I love my garden gnomes - I think they're hilarious. Sure, my friends think I'm weird, but I'm a big enough person to deal.

Don't insult the gnomes.

To Ron's point about avoiding bad contracts in a down free agent year- I agree that I'd rather see an $80M payroll without bad contracts than a $100M one featuring Preston Wilson, Lawton, Soriano and an injured or practically immobile Nomar (ugh, just typing that sentence feels grimly prophetic). I'd like to have Damon but he's likely to be wildly overpriced (his ego bugs me, too). I seem to recall Giles wanting to stay out west, and I'd hate to see him get anything longer than two years. I just don't see us getting the outfield help we need from the FA market. I guess we have to hope that Murton's power develops quickly, and that Sing is able to gun down several baserunners from RF in Spring Training (and that we find a manager willing to play them).

If I were Hendry I would look to renegotiate contracts for Zambrano and Prior now. Rather than blow big money on the weak FA class, conserve payroll and up the 06 contracts for Z and Prior in exchange for locking them in for the next four years. Those are the big-money contracts I wouldn't mind committing to.

Kerry Wood is the coffee table that was great through the college years, but now sometimes falls apart when used as a coffee table. You keep thinking it would be one of the best pieces of art ever if you just take it apart and put it in a frame on the wall. The problem is, the table might not want to be a piece of art and move to someone else's house in two years if you don't keep it as a coffee table(although it always gets complemented as a great piece of art.)

I know, kind of weak, but applicable.

Matt Lawton, LF
Todd Walker, 2B
Derrek Lee, 1B
Aramis Ramirez, 3B
Jeromy Burnitz, RF
Michael Barrett, C
Neifi Perez, SS
Jerry Hairston Jr., CF

"Chad, I didn't change my argument, I responded to Crunch's reason of "why" he was playing."

i never said why he was playing all places...i said why nomar wasnt.

and the reason he was playing 2nd if you'd check is cuz of the lefty/righty can go ahead and save giving me the lefty splits for walker cuz i know that already, too.

I really don't care what the splits are. If Dusty was using Neifi as a true backup/utility guy, splits would be irrelevant.

My whole point is that Dusty clearly wants Neifi to be playing. Whether it takes injuries, creating a platoon, or whatever, Dusty's going to find a reason to write his name in the line-up.

That was not your point at all!

Here is what you wrote:

If Dusty's back in 2006, and Neifi's back in 2006, Neifi will be starting a majority of games even if someone else signed to be the "starter."

Give it up already. Barring injuries Neifi will not start 82 times next year.

furthermore, if we do get Nomar back next year and Todd Walker I have no problem with Neifi starting 15 - 20 games at SS, 3rd and 2nd.

My whole point is that Dusty clearly wants Neifi to be playing. Whether it takes injuries, creating a platoon, or whatever, Dusty's going to find a reason to write his name in the line-up.

I can't believe that people who have been watching the Cubs this season could attempt to dispute that point!

No wonder Primer Cub Fans won't come around here anymore...

(shaking my head even more)

Chad please read what I wrote.

Yes, My whole point is Dusty will find a way to write Neifi's name in the line-up, and Yes I think it that means it will happen at least 82 times next year if Dusty's still the manager. There is no contradiction there at all.

In fact, I'd be willing to place a small wager on it.

I don't have a problem with Neifi starting 15-20 games over the course of a season, but considering he's already started in 9 games in the 2 1/2 weeks since Nomar's been back - including a handful at second base - its safe to say Dusty won't limit him to just 15-20 games over a full season.

Considering Dusty's readily admitted he thinks Neifi should be a starter, I really don't know why there is any controversy to this at all.

It's a fact, Dusty has a fetish with Neifi Perez and would love to play him everyday.

What are "Primer Cub Fans"?

I predict the Cubs will look to make a few deals this off season, rather than relying on the free agent market. Last year I suggested Kerry Wood for Bobby Abreu. Man, I wish that would have happenend. I think Hendry will be more willing to take some risks.

Bleeding Blue --

Yeah, definitely some points to consider. But you can save and save and save for the future and if 97 years from now you've still never had the kind of place you want to live in, not even for a single year, what does it matter that you've stockpiled the dough?

That's about as far as I can carry this analogy out.

BTW, to morpheus: that stuff about Dusty cooking things in the fridge and playing DVDs in the stereo? Awesome, man, and totally true. That was hilarious.

It's a fact, "Stud," that if Nomar were healthy enough to play 150 games, Neifi would not play every day. Get over it. He'd play 2B against most lefties. Aw, what a shame.

Looks like Nomar is going on DL again. Maybe that is why Neifi was playing SS everyday....hmm????

If Dusty backers would read others peoples arguments, or even listen to what Dusty himself has to say this really wouldn't be so controversial.

For the seemingly-millionth time, Citing Dusty's use of Neifi in a Platoon with Todd Walker is MORE evidence that I'm right when I say Dusty wants to find a way to get him in a line-up. If Neifi was truely being used only as back-up utility guy, it wouldn't matter what hand the pitcher threw with.

I really don't see what's so hard to understand about this. Dusty Himself has repeatedly said how valuable he thinks Neifi is to the team and its not surprising he wants to get him into the lineup on a real regular basis.

Dusty, in either June or July's Vine Line, also explicitly equated the offensive production of Lee and Neifi. Not "Neifi's been good for us," not "I like Neifi," but "Neifi = Lee."

It's okay for Baker not be a stathead, but it isn't okay for him to be a bonehead. Regardless of how Baker uses Neifi, it's absolutely undeniable that he overrates Neifi's offensive skills.

Re # 50 (Justin),

I realize this thread is now dated a bit, but I want to respond to Justin's sofa/couch/tv/fridge example because I find it interesting. Hopefully Justin will see this.

If your point is that Hendry is too stingy in paying "fair value" for a TV (closer?) and fridge (OF?), then your dispute is essentially a disagreement with him about how he values "fair value".

But any economist will tell you that the fair value of a sofa has virtually no relationship at all with the fair value of a TV. (OK, there might be some complementarity between the two or economies of scope, but let's ignore them for awhile.) For the most part, the demand curve for a sofa will be totally independent of the demand curve for a TV. If an economic actor gets a "deal" on one, that does not generally incent him or her to "overspend" on the other, unrelated product.

When you go to a grocery store and are surprised to see that eggs are on sale, do you then buy more milk or offer the grocer more for the milk than you need? No. You will pay the market price and purchase the same amount that you expected to spend when you entered the store.

I realize that this devolution into neoclassical microeconomics is a bit artificial. But you have to introduce some type of complementarity or feedback relationship between the consumption of one good (A-Ram at 3B) and another good (Baez as closer) to argue that it is irrational for Hendry not to link the two. For example, if we could prove that Baez as a closer would make A-Ram a better third baseman, then perhaps a rational economic actor would tie the purchase of those two. Note that the complementarity needs to be between the two products in question -- it must be something about "better closers make better third basemen," not "better closers make better teams."

Ths gist of what I am saying is that an economically rational actor would never overspend for a player, even if he knows he underspent in acquiring other players. The living room analogy is interesting, but your real dispute with Hendry is that he values prospects more highly than you do.

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  • Check out John Arguello at Cubs Den for great analysis & photos from Cubs AZ Instructs


    Arizona Phil 4 hours 8 min ago view
  • soler + hammel for mike trout is pretty much a sure thing. *nods*

    crunch 9 hours 25 min ago view
  • Not an inspired outing by Rondon. Seemingly got ahead of every hitter but had no swing and miss pitch today, slider had no bite.

    Somebody give Soler some smelling salts - yeesh

    Eric S 9 hours 26 min ago view
  • that runner scores on a single...

    The E-Man 9 hours 38 min ago view
  • So where do you think Soler will be traded to this off season?

    jacos 9 hours 39 min ago view
  • And right on cue he throws to third with no chance to get runner on 2nd so the batter takes 2nd easily. How long has he been playing baseball??

    The E-Man 9 hours 39 min ago view
  • Man you cannot put Soler out there late in games for Playoffs. Yuch...

    The E-Man 9 hours 47 min ago view
  • Such is the life of a fatted calf...

    JoePepitone 10 hours 1 min ago view
  • fowler with a triple in the 4th...he's a HR away from a "natural" cycle

    crunch 10 hours 33 min ago view
  • ...and contreras takes one off the hand and he's in obvious pain. sigh.

    he's staying in the game, though he's wringing his hand out during breaks in the action. aside from that he seems to have no issue giving signs or tossing back to the pitcher.

    ...and he's batting in the cubs half of the following inning. sweet.

    crunch 10 hours 37 min ago view
  • his collapse started on august 21st this it's a slight improvement.

    but wow, what a collapse since then...only 2 out of 7 can be considered good/decent.

    crunch 10 hours 49 min ago view
  • I'm really going to enjoy watching Hammel watch the playoffs.

    Jackstraw 11 hours 8 min ago view
  • The always combustible Jason Hammel

    jacos 11 hours 28 min ago view
  • Hammel :(

    Charlie 11 hours 30 min ago view
  • That was fun.

    Charlie 14 hours 29 min ago view
  • "home field advantage through the playoffs?"

    Except for the away games.

    VirginiaPhil 14 hours 42 min ago view