Give Me Something

GAME 126 IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] ATLANTA BRAVES (71-54) @ CHICAGO CUBS (60-65) WRIGLEY FIELD, 7:05 pm CDT, TV: TmS, CSN
Jerome Williams, RHP
3-6, 5.13 ERA
46/28 K/BB, 11 HR in 72.0 IP
John Thomson, RHP
3-3, 4.53 ERA
39/16 K/BB, 4 HR in 59.2 IP
SS #Rafael Furcal LF *Matt Lawton
2B Marcus Giles 2B *Todd Walker
3B #Chipper F. Jones 1B Derrek Lee
CF Andruw Jones 3B Aramis Ramirez
1B *Adam LaRoche RF *Jeromy Burnitz
RF Jeff Francoeur C Michael Barrett
LF *Kelly Johnson SS #Neifi Perez
C #Johnny Estrada CF Jerry Hairston
P John Thomson P Jerome Williams
Keep hitting homers Lee and I hope the Cubs pitchers do their best to avoid Andruw Jones. Help a brother out, you know! I want something substantial to root for the rest of the season and the Triple Crown is still very much within reach. Go Cubs!!!
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Comments

hooray for no corey!!!

and why do i get the feeling that nomar could have played in one of these two games, but dusty keeps saying "we want to be sure" so he can keep neifi's bat in there

also, great thing that macias was used in a tie game in the 8th inning yesterday, when nomar and hairston are on the bench. i called that one. they Never got used.

why even pinch hit for zambrano in that case? just let him hit for himself and then put wood in in the 9th. at least zambrano has some power....

Nomar hasn't played in 4 of the 5 games since his latest injury. The one game he played he went 2 for 4. I think he is fine and Idoit wants to play Neifi. I mean in half the games Nomar has started at SS Neifi played 2b. I mean Nomar said he was fine for saturday's game.

Conspiracy theorists are everywhere....

Jesus was married; JFK was killed by the mafia and Nomar is being held out by Baker....

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/a...

"I can swing, and I feel all right," he said. "It's more [painful] moving around, that movement when I'm on the field, and that's when I feel it more.

"I definitely have some back spasms going on back there and some tightness," he said. "It's definitely pretty painful."

He may go on the DL in a day or two....

Parting shot from Baker:
"The frustrating part is you still have memories of how great a player this guy is," Baker said. "If he could stay healthy, I'm sure it's still there. He's not old. I'm sure it's doubly frustrating for him. His stroke was starting to come now. It's been a tough year for injuries."

Rob,

Thanks for the info. This just proves maybe your right on Furcal. I mean a DL stint two weeks after coming back from a 3 month injury. I don't want to see Neifi for 100+ games again next year and I am not impressed with what I see from Cedeno.

"it's hard to take Neifi [Perez] out of there, the way he's playing."

Dusty-ism.

Nomar is done. I've never been a proponent of resigning him. Too expensive. It would be a great time to get Cedeno some AB's at least until June or July and if they needed could make a trade.

I am, however, EXTREMELY worried that Neifi Perez at short may be a recurring nightmare in cubdom in 2006. Damn, Dusty, that must be some good lovin'!

Neifi is to Dusty as Mr. Burns is to Smithers.

Or is it the other way around, chifan?

What are the odds on a Williams no-no tonight?

Is it wrong to cheer against Neifi because each time he does well in this, a meaningless season, it increases the possibility that he'll be back for next year.

Gabe,

I think he has a good chance with the wind blowing in like it is. These are no-no conditions I thought either Z or Huddy was going to do it yesterday. Great Neifi got 2 rbi's now he will get to play everyday the rest of the season.

Williams is going to pitch a no hitter? Come one. First of all it is only the 4th inning. Second of all it is Jerome Williams.

The odds are not good.

Dave,

I know the odds arent good but i just have a gut feeling on it. I mean he sucks at hitting and he is 2 for 2. I mean Don Larsen sucked and he threw a Perfect game in the WS. Stranger things have happend.

Williams is 2 for 2 and is pitching great. I can't remember why we skipped him in the rotation. Oh, yeah, he sucked his previous four starts. Maybe he's a guy like KWood who just needs a month or so between starts to get ready.

Agreed chifan. The odds suck for ANY no hitter at ANY time, so why not tonight, he's damn near half way.

walker walks
lee doubles
ramirez walks
and boom goes the dynamite

amazing what happens when you CLOG those BASES

i fucking hate dusty and his lack of caring about patience. on nights when the cubs actually walk more than twice, i bet the record is pretty damn good. it's just not that hard. arrrrgh

hendry please sign giles. he will be unfazed by dusty.

i'm with gabe re: cheering against neifi.

and the only good part about the retarded "throw it back" tradition is situations like this when several balls come back from the street. that will always be funny for me.

Damn what a way to lose a no-no! At least he still has a 7-run lead.

I love on the "throw it back" tradition, when the tv camera actually follows the ball as it leaves the bleachers.... gets thrown back into the infield... and then tossed back into expensive seats above the dugout.

go to gameday and check out that ERA for Divine!!!!! 31.50 OUCH

There should be a new rule enacted in baseball that if the division winner is not over .500 then a second wild card team would be chosen from the other two divisions.

I mean, we suck, alright. But the Padres suck worse than us. The only reason they have a better record than us is because they play in the NL west

Garcia has a no-no through 6.

It's nice to see the Cubs perform well on my birthday...Where was this offensive horsepower last night (or during the final game with Colorado)...?? The Cubs seem to play in streaks...Lets hope they can play well when Prior pitches tomorrow...It would actually be great to win the Atlanta series...;-)

Garcia throws a Complete Game 1 hitter and losses for the Sox!

How often do you see that?

walker/holly have cleared waivers...amazing no one tried to block walker at the very least.

I think the Cubs should get rid of Lawton and Holly...keep Walker (for now)...Use Hairston and Murton to take over for Lawton...I figure the Cubs need to go at least 29 & 7 from here on out to get to 90 wins -- where they MIGHT have a chance to get the Wild Card spot...It's possible but not likely...The Cubs would have to start to sweep some teams (like the Marlins)...We would need all the pitchers (Maddux, Prior, Zambrano and Williams) to stay healthy and pitch well...The Bullpen would have to become more consistent...And our offense would need to start to play like they did tonight...We can't expect D. Lee and Ramirez to carry the team all the time...It's great to see someone like Burnitz really hit well -- we need Burnitz to have a strong finish this season...Are the Cubs totally out of it this year?....No...Yet, the next few games will demonstrate IF they are serious about making a run for the Wild Card...;-)

Trade all 3. Lawton would be a great fit for the White Sox if Podsednik's injury keeps lingering. Walker would be able to spark a bidding war bewteen Boston, Minnesota, Mets, and Oakland. Holly could be useful to an NL team who needs a good PH.

Still my favorite, Scott.

I personally don't have the stomach to follow this team. I officially wrote off the season last night. If I hitch my wagon to the Wild Card pipe dream again, I surely will not be able to take the disappointment.

I'll watch out of the corner of my eye, but unless the Cubbies reel of 10 straight, I'm considering this season over.

I might be a bad fan for doing so, but I hate thinking they have a chance and being let down. I just need a few months off from this team and I'll be just as excited come March, when I think (as I always do) this team will make the playoffs.

Poor me. Poor us.

walker cleared waivers? that's crazy. the twins didn't want him for example?!

i'm quite happy that he didn't, i want him back for a few more years.

btw, as bad/lost as patterson has been, at least he's not criminally insane

http://www.sportsline.com/mlb/story/8765777

ps....it's been a bad year for corey when this is the best compliment i can find??

As much as I dislike the offense on this club, the real problem is the starting pitching. It was the strength of the 03 team and they've lived and died with it since. Nothing screams starting pitching more than 3-8 game losing streaks. OK 2 8's and a 7-you get the point. Mike Mussina, Jason Schmidt, Jeff Weaver could be potential targets.

more likely than mussina-carl pavano.

Carmen,

Weaver in 173.1 IP has 36 walks. I have always liked his stuff. He won 20 games a few years with Detroit and is just won his 12th for the Dodgers this year and winning 32 games for those teams says something. His HR rate is up there but not Milton bad. Also he is as good with the bat as Z is and maybe a little better. In my book Prior, Z, and Williams are the only guys who should come back. Maddux should retire, because with how his stuff continues to detriote I'm concerned he could be the highest paid BP pitcher. Wood needs to be the closer he is just plain filthy as a reliever. Hendry should also get AJ Burnett.

Green Latern,

I'll take Bradley over C-pat anyday. Bradley on the field is everything we thought C-pat could be. Get Bradley a good shrink and some meds and he would be a top flight CF.

Yeah, I'll bet Andy McPhail has discovered the formula... for personal enrichment. He sounds pretty disconnected from reality, like some tribster flushed him out of hiding from his new multi-million-dollar house on the affluent North Shore (thanks to all you Cubbie fans) to do some damage control. Next time Andy, hire yourself a spin manager.

I was reading that about Bradley. A white player calls out Bradley for a lack of hustle so in order to defend his laziness he has to pull the race card. That is just disgusting and pathetic on Bradley's part.

That crap about everyone in the organization telling Bradley he was the team leader is comical. I am sure the Dodgers organization is going to tell him he is the team leader after he basically was kicked off the Cleveland Indians team because he ran his mouth too much.

"At no time am I going to let somebody question my hustle, my injury or question my motivation for playing," Bradley said.

What a complete asshole. I hope he pulls an "operation shutdown" and disappears forever, just like Derrek Bell.

I think Neifi is a perfectly good, better than average, back up utility infielder. The key is back-up..which means we need a starting shortstop who we can count on to stay healthy, or as soon as a significant injury occurs, a trade needs to be made (2006, I couldn't care less about this year)

Also, I still don't understand the obscene hatred of Macias (as long as he isn't starting 4 games in a row in centeR)

Bradley is a JERK...Jesus are we not past pullin the race card everytime something doesn't go a black persons way?
Go play fuckin basketball if baseball bothers you so much. Who has more success in baseball...Kent or Bradley? Come ON.....what a fuckin whiner

I agree that Bradley is way out of line pulling the race card...but from things I've read recently, Kent is an incredibly selfish egomaniac who puts his own stats ahead of the success of the team. We know Kent had his issues in SF as well...I wonder what is true and what isn't as to who the instigator is (aside from the bullshit race card)

Three letters for out should-be shortstop next year: D.U.I.

Please, PLEASE go out and get Rafael Furcal.

There are plenty of bars within walking distance of Wrigley... so hey, no need for cars! No car = no DUIs!

Jeff Weaver and Greg Maddux this year:

IP H HR BB SO ERA
173.1 177 27 36 116 4.41
170.2 185 24 29 104 4.56

Hard to tell which is which, no? So why is it a shame to pay Maddux ~9M for one year but smart to shell out more for a long-term deal for a guy with basically the same numbers? Oh, he's got "stuff." I see.

Not to mention that Weaver throws in a pitchers park, or the fact that Maddux brings intangible benefits not reflected in his stats...

It saddens me that some of us still speculate on personnel decisions, roster makeup, and offseason moves that might help this ballclub.

The probelm with the Cubs is purely psychological and is utterly Baker. This year is the fallout of the nuclear winter that was 2004. This year is hardly surprising. You have a manager who hates the city, the press,and the fans and couldn't manage a gallon of water down a drain . . .

In 2004 this clown runs the loosest ship on the planet, players are our of control, poor fundementals, runs Hawkins out there to lose 9 or 11 one run save situations, players are calling the TV booth during games, umpire arguments and blaming of everyone in the world except himself and his players . . . and as we all know a reasonable and established baseball man (Steve Stone) calls Baker and the Cubs on the simple fact that they have noone to blame but themselves.

The clincher being of course that Hendry backs Baker and Stone is run out of town as a scapegoat. And the great Sammy Sosa smokescreen.

A TV announcer, a handful of players (Sosa, Alou, Mercker) and injuries are used as excuse for a inept manager who most likely has an undiagnosed psychological condition.

Then the GM runs everyone out of town but the freak in the manager's chair. Doesn't do his job in the offseason because he is too consumed with the task of parading his scapegoats around (mainly getting rid of Sosa). Yes that is right a team is mismanaged all year, loses EVERY meaningful game the last week of the season with a Wild Card lead, and had lost COUNTLESS games all year due to out of control emotions and bad management, and the big story is the eveil Stoney and Sosa leaving early the last day of the season. (Sosa is obnoxious, but the Cubs flop was the real story).

So the GM is now a damage control superhero who gets nothing done in the offseason (needed outfiedler and closer - got neither). Additionally with a fulltime job of protecting his over-sensistive childish manager and paying someone to play Sosa he resorts to falling in love with his past and signs a bunch of injured guys (Williamson, Nomar, Fox etc.) at bargain basement prices and slaps himself on the back.

McPhail and Hendry knew damn well that the 2005 Cubs were ill-equipped to compete at championship level but were very content to spin the team as contenders (and hope they get lucky) because 3,000,000 fans were a likelihood for the 21st century Wrigely Field set. That attitude of spinning the Cubs as contenders is still in effect because to admit they are not is to lose a little of the turnstile action.

Basically the Cubs are the equivelant of the Undead. Zombies. They are a cumulatively soul-less, heartless, unintelligent, uncompetitive, easy-way-out, un-tenacious, non-pesky, bloated shells of players and they reflect the mindset of their manager. Last year they weren't total zombies becuase they were still alive and because they were arrogant. This year they haven't even got any arrogance left. Ugly as it was they were at least human.

There are a lot of bad managers in baseball, but few are as hostile and psychologically ill equipped as Dusty Baker. I'd take the worst of them to get rid of this guys bad karma and cancerous attitude.

Are you all really surprised at how this season has turned out?

It's good to be back.

Hendry didn't get an outfielder? What is Jeromy Burnitz? I understand he isn't a "top-tier" player, but has played reasonably well and exceeded expectations(mine at least) and other than this rather long slump he seems to have "slammed" out of last night, he has done pretty well. I don't see how this can ALL be pinned on Baker and Hendry. I am not an apologist or dating Dusty, Hendry, or Neifi, but I do know that Dusty cannot control other peoples abilities to fly out to deep left with a runner on third with less than two outs. I am not saying Dusty is perfect, but I think the blame can be spread around a little more than it sometimes is.

I understand he isn't a "top-tier" player, but has played reasonably well and exceeded expectations(mine at least)

Exactly how bad did you expect Burnitz to be? He's playing well below his career averages, so to say that he's exceeding expectations would be to say that the expectations were extremely (and unreasonably) low.

I'd say he's barely met expectations at best.

Actually Jon I am indeed saying that a manager CAN control (read influence) a player's ability to execute a long fly ball and all that. I am tired of that lame ass excuse. If a manager cannot influence the overall mindset, level of confidence, and accentuate the abilities of his players why not just throw an Anchovie out there in cubby blue and save $2,000,000-plus per year?

Seriously what are we paying the guy for if he doesn't have the ability to make the players better?

Player A .267BA 13HR 59 RBI
Player B .264BA 19HR 65RBI
Player C .223BA 14HR 45RBI

Wanna know who player A is??? It was the guy who was demanding 200M for 10 years...As I recall there wasn't much else that was available...Burnitz (player B) came out at a cheaper rate for approximately the same production(and has never had his hustle questioned). Player C is still being paid by the Trib. and is the former rightfielder for our cubbies. I also accept the fact it is a lot easier for me to be ok with Burnitz now that I have seen what he has done compared to the other options(hindsight 20/20)

Jimmer,
I understand what you are saying, and I would agree...to an extent. Is the manager supposed to get the best out of a team? Yes, absolutely...But I heard people blame Baker for Barrett not running that runner back to third a couple of weeks ago. Barrett acknowledged he screwed up and it was just a mental gaffe, but I saw people blaming Dusty for it. I just think you and I disagree on how much affect Dusty has on this club. I am ok with agreeing to disagree.

If you want a quality team, read playoffs, Burnitz should be your third best outfielder not far and away your best outfielder(hitting includeded) which he is with this team.
Bring back BeerNutz next year as long as there are two studs out there with him.

I'll agree to disagree. But I REALLY disagree!! lol. In fact my whole philosophy is that the Cub's current problem is psychological and not physical. And Baker is the main neurotic element . . . plus his antagonism towards the fans/press make the team unwatcheable to me and I really resent that.

Also Hendry really had the job of getting TWO outfielders in the offseason. He got one and it was Burnitz. We needed both corner outfielders and a closer . . .

well said Jacos. I kind of like Burnitz but he needs to be 3rd or 4th outfielder on a 100 million dollar team thatdraws 3,000,000 fans and is supposedly making a push to win its first WS in nearly one hundred frickin' years.

Jacos,
I agree...Burnitz is a good third outfielder and has done well in right. I have no complaints about the defense at all.

Jimmer,
It seems to me that Dusty isn't being antagonistic as much as honest. He doesn't use the ol' Bull Durham "just take it one game at a time" cliches as much as others, instead he tries to be honest, but then is second guessed for his honesty...I may be way off-track on that one, but that is my view of it...just out of curiousity(and not entrapment), which players do you think add to the psychologic failure of this team? Which players, for that reason alone, need to go, in your opinion?

Superimmer:
"It saddens me that some of us still speculate on personnel decisions, roster makeup, and offseason moves that might help this ballclub. The probelm with the Cubs is purely psychological and is utterly Baker."

:o....yawn

It's great to see Burnitz generate some RBIs because he'll never get the credit for all the runs he prevents by his outstanding defense. Basically, if it can't be counted in fantasy points, people conveniently forget about it.

Fantasy sports are fun and all that, but it's really created a perceptions problem where if a guy has bad numbers, then he's generally thought of as a horrible player.

It can go both ways, too, for example: Farnsworth. I don't care how good his numbers are, he's trouble in the clubhouse. Detroit, despite his great season so far, didn't even keep him around a year.

Another example is Dusty Baker. He came into a team that just recently decided to take their playoff run seriously. So when was hired, the team started doing a lot better. I don't think it was necessarily Dusty that made that change, but rather was management's willingness to open the checkbook and get a serious team put together.

Superjimmer, tell us how you really feel about Dusty. I think you are holding back here.

I agree with your comments about the end of 2004, a lot scapegoating and smokescreens.

The problem is talent this year. Again, I looked up the PECOTA projections for the Cubs position players who have gotten 90% of their at bats and except for Patterson and Garciparra, they are all at or above, in some cases well above the projection. So Dusty has gotten the most out his position players. There just not enough "most" to begin with. The pitchers are another story.

I save my irrational vents for McPhail. He has been here the longest and seems to think everything is hunky-dorey. If Dusty is let go, he will go on to win in LA which I thinkn is his dream job.

"Seriously what are we paying the guy for if he doesn't have the ability to make the players better?"

IMO, a manager's main job isn't to make players better, but rather to know his players strenghts and weakness and when ever possible put the player in situations that exploit their strenghts and minimize their weaknesses.

Another point on managers. If managers are able to improve players, how do you evaluate this talent? How do you distinguish from the benefits of the other coaches? Who is more important in player delevopment the coaches, the manager or the player?

SuperJimmer brings up what I have expressed about Baker and what Crunch talks about.

Sorry to drag your name up Crunch but your stance is pretty firm that Baker or a manager has very little influence on how his team performs. It is just not a big deal.

And I will be happy to go along with that. So if the manager is no big deal why are we paying him $4 million dollars? I think this organization deserves alot more for it's $4 million dollars than what Baker can do.

Baker came to Chicago with big expectations and a big contract. Has Chicago's investment in him been anything close to worth it? I don't think so. And in return all we get are headaches.

Ohh and to add. Baker's salary could be used on more important things like better coaches in the minors and maybe a top notch training staff. I mean real training staff that actually gets back players sooner than expected, not the old, "He will only miss a few days." And then 2 weeks or 2 months later the player is still out with the same injury.

"It saddens me that some of us still speculate on personnel decisions, roster makeup, and offseason moves that might help this ballclub."

"The probelm with the Cubs is purely psychological and is utterly Baker."

"McPhail and Hendry knew damn well that the 2005 Cubs were ill-equipped to compete at championship level... "

So, basically what you're saying is it's Baker's fault completely, but we don't have the right "equipment" to compete at championship level. Yet, it's sad to speculate on what might help us get to that level. Because it's Baker's fault... but he doesn't have the right personnel... but it's sad to discuss personnel problems... because it's Baker's fault... but it's not?

You're starting to sound like Joe Morgan, Jimmer.

"Sorry to drag your name up Crunch but your stance is pretty firm that Baker or a manager has very little influence on how his team performs. It is just not a big deal.

And I will be happy to go along with that. So if the manager is no big deal why are we paying him $4 million dollars? I think this organization deserves alot more for it's $4 million dollars than what Baker can do. "

----

yeah mike...if you drag up a few of my baker posts including one burried in that recent RSox rant thread...well...

i dont think there's such thing as a 4m manager...or a 8-10m reliever...

lineup jockeys and ego checkers just are not worth the price of what is essentially 5%+ of the average club's payroll.

its cool to drag my name up when it goes along with stuff ive said, btw...totally cool. i can defend or nod my head in agreement. in this case im pretty much agreeing.

i think anyone who sees ANY manager as a savior before looking at what is on the club and realizing what the tallent is vs. what you can expect and taking in account injuries/replacements is a bit short sighted.

in 03 just about everyone baker worked with outperformed their asses off. even in 04/05 there's a lotta players around outperforming (Coors-effect players aside) recent performances.

that said...baker didnt "make" them better...all he did was give them a role to perform in.

I can't stand Joe Morgan.

Well Mike C. stated one of my points more succinctly which is: why pay Baker big dollars if managers don't matter.

Second another point is that speculating about roster changes is frustrating because in my opinion Dusty gets the worst out of - or - in case of Hawkins, etc. - actually sabotages talent. He has to go before we can getserious again.

Also I agree with folks who vent at McPhail and Hendry. They are total buffoons for allowing the last two seasons to occur. But that includes coddling a manager who can't strategize or energize the team.

Finally RobR says "IMO, a manager's main job isn't to make players better, but rather to know his players strenghts and weakness and when ever possible put the player in situations that exploit their strenghts and minimize their weaknesses." I totally agree with this (we are saying the same thing) and Baker sucks at it. Also he has added a whole added layer of psychological over-sensitivity to the Cubs that not only sabotages the process you describe but perpetuates a losing atmosphere and lack of joy in the clubhouse. It also increases pressure on players and makes the relationship between the fans and the team antagonistic.

Shaboom.

"just out of curiousity(and not entrapment), which players do you think add to the psychologic failure of this team? Which players, for that reason alone, need to go, in your opinion?"

Well I don't really think many of the players attitudes are the problem. I think the clubhouse culture last year cultivated an environment where players like Alou, Wood, and Mercker felt almost inspired to be bigger headcases than they had at any other point in their careers.

What kind of manager/gm would allow players to be communicating with TV commentators during the game. And for those of you who feel that managers cannot control their players then why not totally nip itin the bud publicly and say "I am damn disappointed my players aren't focussed on the field during a playoff hunt." But no Dusty and Hendry join the fracas.

Alou had never had a year of attacking umpires and bitching atthe crowd like last year under Dusty. Dusty of course was blaming umps and press and TV all the time.

Anyway a good manager MANAGES the egos of the team. Not only did Dusty not manage them he BLAMED the biggest egos like a whiney victim and that consumed Hendry for the whole offseason.

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