How Lowe Can We Go?

GAME 133 IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] LOS ANGELES DODGERS (60-72) @ CHICAGO CUBS (63-69) WRIGLEY FIELD, 1:20 pm CDT, TV: WGN, Fox Sports West 2
Glendon Rusch, LHP
5-7, 4.35 ERA
89/45 K/BB, 10 HR in 111.2 IP
Derek Lowe, RHP
8-13, 4.11 ERA
115/41 K/BB, 26 HR in 175.0 IP
LF Jayson Werth LF Jerry Hairston Jr
SS *Oscar Robles SS #Neifi Perez
2B Jeff Kent 1B Derrek Lee
1B Olmedo Saenz RF *Jeromy Burnitz
C Jason Phillips 3B Nomar Garciaparra
3B Mike Edwards 2B *Todd Walker
RF #Jose Cruz Jr. C Michael Barrett
Jason Repko CF *Corey Patterson
P Derek Lowe P *Glendon Rusch
Does anyone remember when we swept the Dodgers in LA? Ah, good days...
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Does anyone remember when we swept the Dodgers in LA?

I remember...i was at one of those games. And then two of those San Diego games.

Yes...the good days...

Does anyone remember when we had a decent lineup? Seems like only yesterday...

Why is Neifi hitting second? And not Walker? Or Barrett? Or Nomar?

Then again...at least it gives a little separation between Neifi and Korey.

And Murton and Cedeno NEED to be playing every day. That is the only way we will see if tehy are players that we want on this team next year.

these lineups which exclude Cedeno and Murton border on negligent. it's decisions like these that speak to dusty's stubborn lack of competence.

what the F does he "owe" Neifi?

Ever wonder how Dusty did on the SATs:

Play veterans on Monday, team loses.

Play the kids on Tuesday, team wins.

What does Dusty do on Wednesday: Play the veterans, cause if you're not playing mediocre veterans, you're not playing to win.

Repost but it's the last post in yesterdays game thread (so nobody saw it damn you people!!!)

I like this quote from the cubs.com account of the game:

"For me, the most important thing is to help the team win ballgames and play good fundamental baseball," said Murton, who received a loud ovation from the fans in left field when he took the field.

But I thought the fans wanted to see Holly? That's what Dusty said.

on what planet does playing cedeno/murton automatically mean wins?

their replacements today are actually hotter than the both of them.

at least stick to the "we need to see the kids" arguement or similar.

do yourself a favor and dont look at neifi's recent #s.

*shrug*

Hairston on, Neifi starts game with a GIDP.

The fans boo.

Crunch, christ no one's saying that playing the kids automatically means you're going to win, it was having a little fun with a manager who says you can't play rookies and play to win at the same time.

well, that's going far to say dusty said you cant play rookies and play to win...

we're not even into sept. yet...i'd at least wait til we're well into it to say dusty is/isnt gonna play guys who have barely been here a week.

i'd like to see more murton...i could care less about neifi/cedeno right now, honestly, cuz i doubt cedeno is gonna be a starter next year reguardless.

WIDELY QUOTED TODAY:

Baker was asked before Tuesday's game if pitching Wood for an inning in Monday's game was wise, considering all the things that could have gone wrong.

"You can walk across the street and get hit by a car," Baker replied. "That was really kind of a reward for Woody for bravery and determination. You want him to go out on a positive note."

Reward for bravery? It was just a damn stupid thing to do.

Go out on a positive note?? Wood already had a perfect outing Aug 24, the last time he had pitched.

i can't believe that murton and cedeno are sitting. just can't believe it.

well, that's going far to say dusty said you cant play rookies and play to win...

The horses mouth:

"I believe in matching young guys up so they have success," Baker said ..."We've still got to win games, too. This isn't some great experiment."

"We've still got to win games, too."

Why?

Well, back to back to back winning seasons would be "success" in the minds of some.

Obviously cub fans have little interest in games where we are not viewing possible remedies for next year.

Thus a lineup without Murton or Cedeno is at this point in a horrible season not something we want to see. It makes a meaningless game--something below meaningless.

Fortunately now at a 5-0 defecit, we don't need to watch anymore today.

So what had the dustbuster done today?

1) He's giving Neifi some props for filling in for Nomar. Of course, we ask does this make the team better? The reason he was brought on board was as a backup infielder for Nomar/Walker and both of them are in the lineup and don't need a sub.

2) Showing that the notion of resting Nomar every so often was bogus. Nomar is now playing every day even if out of position. If he has to play Neifi (why?, but he does... like a nicotine addict itching for a smoke) why not use 3B, so Cedeno can play more than one game in a row.

3) Finally acknowleding Jerry Hairston as "one of his guys". Oh, oh. Now that Hairy is taking ab's from Murton do we need to hate Hairston too? Or is it CPat that is taking Murton's AB's.

4) Giving CPat some further ab's for redemption. He's had such a crummy season but on any given day he might hit a homer which might suck some GM's interest in.

5) By not playing Murton, dusty is protecting us fans from adding him to the list of bad LF choices we've been exposed to this year.

6) Showing that Dusty doesn't understand the value of having his team take pitches and running up the oppositions pitch count, because he doesn't value players capable of doing that...at least not enough to play them more than one game before sitting their butt's back on the bench.

"I believe in matching young guys up so they have success," Baker said ..."We've still got to win games, too. This isn't some great experiment."

yeah..that dont mean playing kids equals losses.

it means murton wont see everyday play vs. lefties, it means cedeno isnt gonna play just cuz he's there when neifi is hitting about .350 lately.

dont gotta take everything so literally negative.

it means murton wont see everyday play vs. righties...that is...

both guys barely been up a week...geez...

Why would how Neifi is hitting recently matter?

it means murton wont see everyday play vs. righties

But Crunch...that is foolish. The season is over. Give Murton every possible chance to hit righties. Give him chances to adjust to what righties are throwing him.

The guy should be playing every day. We need to see if he can play everyday. Sitting him against righties, or even just sometimes against righties, is not going to help the Cubs figure what to do with him.

"it means murton wont see everyday play vs. righties, it means cedeno isnt gonna play just cuz he's there when neifi is hitting about .350 lately."

At this point why wouldn't you play Murton against righties?

Funny things heard during the Cubs/Dodgers radio broadcast last night. I live in Los Angeles, so I was listening to Dodger's radio.

The first funny thing: something like thi: Announcer A: "Blanco has really struggled at the plate for most of his career, but the Cubs are really happy with his hitting."
Announcer B: "Blanco is hitting .230 on the season."

Second funny thing: "Murton has the power, the Cubs just need to figure out if the contact is going to come along with it".

one needs to watch, pitch by pitch, what K-orey did in the 3rd to understand why Murton is on the bench today.

"At this point why wouldn't you play Murton against righties?"

he might/probally will play more vs. righties.

i doubt corey/hairston will be playing a majority of CF/LF this sept.

Why wouldn't you play Murton every day? What is to be gained by not playing him?

crunch, any argument you have that suggests that i look at neifi's recent numbers to support that argument is outright insane.

that has nothing to do with anything.

not just bc winning games doesn't matter AT ALL right now

but bc neifi is an 8 year-or-so vet...the last 2 weeks doesn't tell me more about what he'll do the last month of this year than his crappy non-coors field career stats do.

cedeno and murton should start 5 or 6 games a week for the last month. nothing to lose, everything to gain.

The Cubs are going to brush up against 2002 standards of badness. After today, they're 30-43 since the high water mark, meaning they've played almost half the season at the 2002 overall place.

Not that management should complete the parallel or anything.

K-orey, what have we learned? Is this improvement?

Having worked a 3-1 count (miraculous!) and he gets to see 6 pitches (miraculous!)...he procedes to swing at ball 4 in the dirt.

Pitch 1 - Ball
Pitch 2 - Foul
Pitch 3 - Ball
Pitch 4 - Ball
Pitch 5 - Foul
Pitch 6 - Swinging Strike

Corey Patterson strikes out swinging.

"crunch, any argument you have that suggests that i look at neifi's recent numbers to support that argument is outright insane."

scarey or not, to say the cubs arent thinking about keeping neifi around to start is NOT out of the question...now where does that leave us?

cedeno or no cedeno, the chances of him being the 06 starter is remote to small as it is.

Bleeding Blue, get off the "back to back to back winning seasons is a success for some people" stuff. NO ONE is "satisfied." The point, at least mine, all along is that being competitive three seasons a row beats the alternative, i.e., most of the Cubs' history. Obviously there's not a single person on this board who is happy with the way this season turned out, but the fact remains the team has either been in the playoffs or in contention the past three seasons. Again, beats the alternative (which is what we're seeing at the moment.)

And waaahhh about the kids not playing today. God damn. There's what, 30 games left. What is the freaking tragedy if Neifi plays 15 and Cedeno plays 15 (or some combination thereof)? Same with Murton/Burnitz. They're still gaining experience/ABs that will hopefully help them and the organization for the future. An extra handful of games isn't going to make a damn bit of difference in their development at this point.

Allow me to clarify: I'd like to see Murton in the lineup more than not, and I'd say the same for Cedeno. However, I'm not going to blow a gasket over it EVERY...FREAKING...DAY like most people in here.

What is the freaking tragedy if Neifi plays 15 and Cedeno plays 15 (or some combination thereof)? Same with Murton/Burnitz.

A tragedy? No...Hurrican Katrina is a tragedy.

But it is foolish to play Neifi 15 games if it means Cedeno plays only 15 games. Same with Murton/Burnitz.

We don't need to see what Neifi and Burnitz can do. We know what they can do, and it simply is not very good. I am pretty convinced that even if you are trying to win, playing Cedeno and Murton over Neifi and Burnitz is at least even, but I would venture a guess that Cedeno and Murton help the team more. But at this point we do not care about winning, so it doesn't matter.

We should be doing everything we can to develop players. And that means they should be in the lineup every day.

The 15 and 15 thing was just for purposes of the discussion. It could be 25-5 Murton/Cedeno over anyone else, and people would still be crying that anyone else started the other five games.

According to St. Louis 1190AM (Sporting News Radio), they had an interview with Todd Walker talking about the possibilities of playing with the White Sox. The position he would be asked to play would apparently be 3b. Wonder who the Sox are speculating to give back.

Most references to "back to back winning seasons" in the fashion of BB's above relate to the "How can Baker be anything but a good manager, we've had back-to-back winning seasons!" defense commonly employed during the offseason.

The Cubs are the third- or fourth-worst team in the majors since 1991, and that time span shouldn't be used as a benchmark for anything, unless management rides the short bus to work and sub-mediocre=passing. After this year, I doubt the Cubs will be in the top quarter of MLB since 2001 inclusive. This year only beats the alternative because any randomly-selected batch of not-good baseball has a great chance of beating the alternative.

I'm baffled as to why Burnitz is still on the team.

JVB is in now, by the way.

OK, well, I wasn't looking at this site in the offseason, so if that's what the references relate to, that's fine. I'm just reacting to seeing it here over the last two or so months that I've been here.

I'm missing the 1991 reference and who benchmarked it against what. All I know is that the team has been more competitive the last three years than usual. And that's better than the alternative. I understand the frustration of not doing better than that, obviously. But the last three years have been more exciting for me, personally, than, say, 2002 or 2000 or 1999 or....take your pick of the sorry teams in the franchise's history. That's all I'm saying. In this crowd, I have no doubt that I'm pissing in the wind on this.

Even though I am just as peeved as the next guy about Dusty's inane lineup choices, why we continue to point them out has frankly gotten old and tiresome.

Dusty Baker ain't gonna change, no matter what anyone tells him. In fact, I will go one further and say that Neifi stands to profit this off season from our misforture and I would wager a bet that if Dusty is here thru all of 2006, Perez will net 300 plate appearances.

What might be helpful is what we can do to effect a change. If, as is the likelihood, we can do nothing but stay away from the games to lodge our protest, I submit that we look around and count ourselves lucky, lucky that we aren't in the path of destruction that is devastating some our neighbors to the south.

Cub fans, get a grip on the reality that Dusty is here to stay, and that his choices will never be sound, rational or pass a logic test because that's just Dusty, and he has gotten to where he is by what he has done so far. He sees no reason to change, regardless of what the sportwrtiters write, the questions that they ask and the losses that coontinue to mount. He is playing the same role he played in Frisco, with a little more media scrutiny.

Our bitching and moaning on the web will do nothing constructive to change that.

I ask you all to come up with creative sloutions that might have some small probability of effecting a change at Wrigley.

Until then, we are a bunch of hot air.

I want change.

The 1991 figure is W-L for all the teams in the league at that point; I did it a couple weeks ago and no longer have the exact numbers, but the Cubs over this time aren't anything one should want their team to be compared to.

I'm sure you're closer to the rest of the crowd here than you think. Since we're the greatest fans in the world (or at least that's what they insist on telling us), the success pole should be set a lot higher than than 81 wins a year. A good 2 months should satisfy Nats fans: we deserve better.

On the other hand, since they can probably come close to selling out next year regardless of what legitimate fans choose to do, we're kind of stuck. As long as the demand for Cubs tickets outstrips supply by leaps and bounds, there's nothing we can do to their bottom line, which is the only area where they can feel pain.

Bob, I've actually pointed out to you a few occations in the past few weeks where posters have said Dusty and the past two years were great because of "back to back winning seasons." I've also heard if from Cub fans away from this board as well. Just because you haven't said it, doesn't mean that Dusty's other defenders haven't.

Well JK, the obvious & only solution is what my uncle has done---don't go. Stay away from Wrigley. Don't watch or listen. Turn them into the next Blackhawks.

Now back to reality since we all know that will not happen. The point of this website is to discuss the Cubs. Two years ago, it was all cheers. Last year, it was mostly Cheers, and some disappoinment. This year, it is bitching. So what. That's what makes this country great.

I feel horrible about what has happened in the south, just like how I felt on 9/11/01. However, life is going on--just like it did 4 years ago. So should we give the Cubs a pass because there are things bigger than the game? Maybe you think Patterson was right in what he said, but the point is that we are still spending $100 to go to the game. We are investing hours to watch or listen to the team. We have the right to bitch, even if is the same thing over & over.

Maybe we wouldn't complain over and over if Dusty would just do the right thing and get these kids some experience so they aren't so raw next season.

"The only way rookies become veterans is by playing." -- Mike Ditka

Ron, I guess I'm still not getting why you bring up 1991. I'm sorry if I'm missing something that was talked about earlier, I don't check in here every day (mostly because the bitching and moaning gets to be too much to enjoy the experience.)

I'm just talking about the last three years under Baker/Hendry as being better than the usual crap. This year, of course, is its own brand of crap to a degree. With the exception of '98, most of 1991-2002 was pretty crappy.

Bleeding Blue, I have not seen one post that said Dusty is great (in any context) and that back to back to back season are great. If you have, then I guess I've just flat-out missed them. I've seen posts defending some things, but I've not seen anyone who says that things have been "great" the last three years. And, no, I'm not asking you to dig back and point them out. If you say they exist, fine. I just haven't seen them, and I'm one of the lone non-Dusty haters here.

I agree, Bob. There have not been any Dusty "lovers" here. However, I have backed him a few times. I have mentioned the "back-to-back" winning seasons. I also have said Hendry is partially to blame, and Rothschild needs to go before anybody else on this team. I have also given a pass to Dusty because I knew from Day 1 he was not a great game manager. He was outmanaged easily in 2000 versus the Muts and in 2002 again the Angels.

However, his stubborness to not play the kids and to play guys in 2-40 slumps is pissing people off.

Bob, there have been all kinds of posts using "back-to-back winning seasons" as support for Dusty on this site, all season long. The other one that comes up a lot is Dusty's winning percentage as a manager.

The point of my Cubs-since-the-'90s reference was just that it's an extremely low bar. Yeah, recent years have been mostly better--but then again, just about anything would be.

Since we're supposedly out of the Himes/Lynch &c years of expecting and receiving nothing, the time is rapidly approaching to compare current management to their peers and not the past--to compare McPhail/Hendry & Co. to Beane, Schuerholz, and Jocketty instead of Baird, Lamar, and whoever's been running Detroit. Finishing a few games over .500, which the Cubs aren't even going to do, shouldn't be considered an accomplishment, even though it's better than what we're used to.

Good points Brian - there's plenty of blame to go around. I'm a proud Dusty basher, but I'll agree that Fraudschild (I picked that up over on Desipio) needs to go ASAP, and Hendry needs to start making some changes or he'll have to go too.

J. Van Buren is a closer, a guy who pitches one inning (54.2 innings in 52 games this year).

So what does Dusty do? He stretches him out to two innings in his first major league appearance.

So much for easing rookies into the majors.

I guess I've overlooked those posts while wading through the "Murton isn't playing" cries and the "Dusty is an idiot, I know more about baseball than he does" diatribes. I pledge to pay more attention to the "Dusty is great" posts from here on out and will not mention them again.

Regarding Blanco:

Since 7/14/2005:

BA .362 OBA .426 SLG .574 OPS 1.000 AB/HR 23.50

I know it's a sample size (15 starts, 47 AB, 6BB), but still, what happened to riding the hot hand?

Hmm. Barrett over the same stretch, .330 .402 .583. I guess I'll take it.

At the beginning of the season there were a lot more posts defending Dusty...

So we can't be glad that the team has been better over the last 2-plus seasons than normal? Why not? Because the bar is low? Screw that. They almost made the World Series in 2003 and were in playoff contention in 2004 and into this season (it's open to debate how much in contention they really were this year, naturally). NOT SATISFIED but it's certainly been more enjoyable (if more frustrating to an extent). I'll just chalk this up to a huge difference of opinion and move on.

What really bothers me about Dustbag not playing Murton or Cedeno consistently is the fact that he thinks he's putting a great lineup on the field. Uh, hellloooooo, it hasn't worked all season!! Let's try someting different.

The highlight of today has to be the appearance of Misty and Kerri in the right column of TCR. God Bless America.

One hit. Really, it's kinda funny.

Bob--

Really, we all here are normally happy people; but it is upsetting to see a team that was 5 outs from the World Series 2 years ago going backwards at this rate. Again, Hendry is to blame also considering there is only a few players from that team still here. Regardless, I suppose you can look at all this and say "at least we aren't as bad as we used to be"--and that's fine. I am also happy that I have not had to endure watching the Bears in the past few Septembers. However, this year, I have will be watching them play, and it reminds me that the Cubs have gone backwards.

Lost in all that was that Derek Lowe threw a hidden no hitter after the Cubs' only hit (of the infield variety, of course) was immediately eliminated via GIDP. Actually, not immediately--Neifi did wait a pitch, after all.

I hope the boos were out in force.

Bob, I know you didn't ask me to look it up, but I did anyway. This is the kind of comment I'm talking about, posted less than 2 weeks ago:

Posted by: Chad at August 19, 2005 06:02 PM
I'll tell you why I trust Dusty 3 straight winning seasons here in Chicago. Yes we will finish over .500 I will guarantee that. The last time that happened, they hadn't cancelled the Apollo missions yet, thank you very much Mr. President Richard M. Nixon!

I hope he didn't have money on that.

Re: #56. I hope he did. People who are wrong need to pay the price.

(Just why dusty should be fired...)

And there have been so many of those comments that you have to keep bringing them up? Got it.

I love the Cubs abd have for years. I have suffered through many, many bleak times. Sure I've been use to the losing and lousy teams. What is so frustrating now is we were 5 outs from the WS, have 3 great young pitchers and are pissing it away. We should have been building on it. I don't go to this website when the Cubs win because I create my own jubulation. I do come to this website when the Cubs lose, because it is therapudic to commizmerate with other suffers. Number one improvement for next year is bye bye Dusty. After that many different directions could be taken, any of which xould be successful as long as Dusty is gone. I'm willing to give hendry another chance, but if he keeps Dusty he's trhrowing away another year and should follow him out.

Bob, at least you're changing your tune that "no one" is satisfied with back to back seasons.

Second, I could certainly find plenty more comments like this, this was just one I remembered from recently. Thankfully, as the ship continues to sink, fewer and fewer people are going out of their way to praise the captian.

My tune has never wavered, Blue Boy. I'll bet even the guy who posted that he believes in Dusty because of .500 or better seasons isn't 100 percent satisfied. Saying he likes the manager doesn't mean he finds not winning a World Series better than winning it.

My point overall, other than the whole "it's better than past history" (last few weeks aside) is that I have not seen as many of those comments in the last two months that apparently you have. Now, I'll drop it, because I'm apparently wrong about the number of comments, but I know you won't stop making your comments. So be it.

Believe me if we manager to finish over .500 all winter long we would be hearing how great Dusty Baker is because we have had 3 straight winning seasons blah blah blah. It was the only positive thing the Baker supporters could point to last season after another choke (3rd straight year) at the end of the season.

So really whether we finish above .500 or not it doesn't mean anything. We still suck either way. But I am kind of hoping we dont finish above .500 because then the Baker supporters have nothing to hang their hat on. Can't give us the BS line of 3 straight winning seasons = great manager. Besides finishing over .500 means nothing if you don't make the playoffs.

I want a team built to win a World Series, not a team built to barely be over .500. As a Cub fan you should be outraged over managements philosophy of how to make the playoffs. The grand plan of hoping the other teams in our division or league get worse while we stay steady. What in the hell kind of philosophy is that to build a winning team? Its a freakin joke and shows the Cubs haven't learned in the last 97 years what it really takes to build a winner.

A good GM if he was hedging his bets on the division to be weak would then try and tip the balance in his favor by going out and getting some of the best players in baseball to make it a reality. Not the Cubs. They would rather just try and be mediocre and make the playoffs. It almost worked in 2003. It is just stupid, typical Cubs management at work.

Bob, while I keep throwing that line in as a job at Dusty supporters, other people keep using the line to praise Dusty!

The post I cited from above came after you started complaining about my using the line. In fact, if you go look at the thread that Chad's post came from, I even responded to Chads post by pointing it out to you as being exactly what I was talking about.

Of course everyone here would rather see a world series, but the fact that some have celebrated back to back winning seasons certainly tells me that if they aren't satisfied with it, they at least consider that sucessful, which to me is a joke. As I've also pointed out many time, how many White Sox fans did you hear chearing in the streets before this year because they'd had 5 straight winning seasons? I've never heard it, because they don't think its something worth celebrating.

This is fairly simple, actually.

Dusty is neither the demon portrayed by his haters nor the saint portrayed by his lovers. Like Hendry, McPhail, Rothschild and other members of Cubs brass, he is an accountable executive who has failed to win ball games at a rate one expects from one of the hightest payrolls in the national league.

As an accountable manager, he should be appropriately punished for his portion of the team's failures this season.

Now that the season is essentially over, his failure to prepare for next season by giving his younger players nearly all the remaining playing time only damns his cause further.

MikeC, your post seems to condem the GM more than Dusty. Just wanted to point that out.

Blue, I already said I'm done, and I meant it. I don't have the time or inclination to continue. If I was wrong, so be it.

Some notes on today's game

* Send Rusch to the Pen, send down Wellemeyer, and recall Pinto.
* Wuertz and JVB looked great. I don't think we need to spend money on the pen in the winter. Dempster has done the job being 19/21 in save opps. Novoa has looked filthy for awhile and looks like he can handle the 8th. JVB, Ohman, and Wuertz could handle the 7th depending on matchups and who is hot at the moment.
* Levine says that SD wants Walker to. Hendry will only trade him for a good prosecpt. How about to wsox for Chris Young. This guy has an awesome combo of speed and power. he is hitting 273/371/544 with 25 HR, 74 RBI and is 27/32 in sb attempts. They were willing to trade him for Griffey so he is expenable maybe. Throw in a prosecpt if you have to get him. A Murton/Pie/Young OF would rival any great outfield in 10 years.

Your right Bob. While I have never thought Hendry or McPhail were great management I have never really thought of them as part of the problem. Crunch has helped me see that it is Hendry who gave Baker the crap players. So that is an upper management failure.

I still don't agree on other issues though. But I will always loath Baker. I have since and before the day he was hired. His time in Chicago has not changed that feeling one bit.

One hit? All we got is 1 lousy hit? Apparently, Derek Lowe has suddenly found his Cy Young magic that he lost.

Dusty a player manager? Plays Hawkins out of position, Hollandsworth out of position. Runs Sisco out of town. Uses Hairston out of position?
And puts these guys up to the boos of their failures. Sad. He has to go. As does Neifi, unless he agree to become a backup. Let's see what we need next year. Is Cedenon the answer? we dont't know yet. Is Neife? Heck no. Let's find out.

scooterÆ

Runs Sisco out of town.

I'm as hard on Dusty as the next guy, but blaming him for the loss of a guy who never played above A ball for the Cubs is a stretch.

You gotta look at Hendry for that one.

but...everything is dusty's fault...

even sisco.

and the 4-6 outta 12 .300 ob% hitters and bullpen and hurricane katrina and bartman and he's also the reason futurama was cancelled.

"I'm as hard on Dusty as the next guy, but blaming him for the loss of a guy who never played above A ball for the Cubs is a stretch.You gotta look at Hendry for that one"

bleeding blue,

Like I have said Sisco was a 300 lb fat a** and it took getting cut by the Cubs to movaite him. I don't blame Hendry for that.

btw...

adam dunn.

Chifan, My point was it was Hendry's decision not to protect him. Right or Wrong, it was his decision.

Personally, I think being let go by the Cubs is a big reason why he got his act together, but I still think it was foolish to let that level of prospect go for nothing,

Crunch, for all your complaining about the Cubs lack of OBP, they're actually MLB's median team.

Detroit, Milwaukee, The Angels, Mets, Twins, Astros, Nationals, and even the White Sox all have lower OBP as a team and have a better record than the Cubs.

Even your 4-6 people with 300 OBP number is a bit mystical, I count at least 7 regular players with OBP over 320 (Lee, Aram, Walker, Barrett, Hairston, Burnitz, and Nomar).
That doesn't even include Murton and Cedeno who are both well over the mark, but can't/couldn't get playing time because of the OBP machines of Neifi (304), Holly (301) and Patterson (262!)

im not complaining about team ob%...im complaining about carrying 1/4-1/2 of the team at ANY given time except recently with .300 or below ob%

that's a major reason for not being competitive.

when you have 4-6 of 12 hitters...well, you fill that lineup out.

and its not mystical...go look at april/may/june/july rosters.

damn tab...continued...

and its not mystical...go look at april/may/june/july rosters. im just being nice saying 4-6...that's just the bare minimum. this team has carried a lotta bad baggage no competitive team should carry.

dont be fooled by recent #s....youre looking at numbers that have been propped by recent hitting.

cedeno for instance is 1 game removed from a sub-.320 ob% clip and 2 games from a sub-.300 clip.

recent hitting by garciparra...who's backups neifi/e.wilson carry some of the problem of this season's batting woes through no fault of anyone but the fact they were the only guys there.

this team has carried a lot of bad bats sucking up 1500+ ab's. that's a season's worth of 3 starters and the season isnt over yet.

i crunched my own #s and sadly its closer to 1600ab's now...and just to make people happy i didnt even include cedeno.

neifi, hollandsworth, macias, dubois, blanco, patterson, e.wilson, gerut...heck, you can throw out gerut if you want to.

at any given point you will find 4-6 of those guys on this team. some of them were there cuz they were the only guys available to play their possition....some were there becuase they were expected not to fail but did (lawton, specificially).

no matter who's fault it is...these guys were taking up 1/4th-1/2 the lineup at any given point.

of course you got the "good neifi april" but you got the "suck garciappara april" to go with it.

its a lotta no fun.

walker missing 100-150ab's and garciappara missing most of the season along with corey's failure and the dead LF experiment really impacted any punch on this club's ob%.

this was not a team designed for injury, nor a team designed to use its bench.

"Detroit, Milwaukee, The Angels, Mets, Twins, Astros, Nationals, and even the White Sox all have lower OBP as a team and have a better record than the Cubs."

pitching...bullpen...bullpen...bullpen...bullpen...

bullpen.

adam dunn.

"Insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results." Proof: starting Nefi and Corey again and again with the claim that it is the line-up that gives the team the best chance of winning (and I think Dusty really believes it) or running Hawkins out as the closer for the first six weeks of the season when it is obvious that is a role he could not mentally handle.

I would start Murton and Cedeno, not because they are rookies, but because I have the suspicion that they might be better players then Nefi and Corey. It would be hard to be worst, and if they are it would be best for us to find out now when we are just playing out the string. But then I am not Dusty.

Dusty has never been shy about using young pitchers, either with the Cubs or San Francisco. Partially this is necessity since pitchers come and go with such frequency, but also I just don't think it bothers him as much when pitchers make a mistake. But position players are another story. His comfort level is high with veterans, post 30 guys and very low when a rookie is out in the field.

A part of me wants to see Nefi and Corey out there every day so even Hendry will realize how useless they are as everyday players. I don't think Dusty will ever accept that, as he will just think with the right Dusty dust Corey will once again produce like he did for 3 months in 2003 and Nefi will consistently hit like that grand slam to win a game back in St. Louis. That is the the true reality for Dusty, not their repetitive 0-4s game after game.

With Nefi and Corey as out machines in the line-up, the Cubs could continue to lose at .333 rate and perhaps get a shot to blow another high draft pick in next year's draft. The Cubs have had 11 1st round picks, many of them very low, since they are the Cubs a/k/a Flubs, and yet have only Prior and Wood and Patterson to show for all those choices.

Putting Dusty in perspective, there must be reason that all these big shot managers make the strange line-up choices they do (Torre giving 300+ ABs to the excreable Tony Womack (surprised he is not a Cub still since we tend to collect players like that for this team's bench) or Mike Sciosia starting Darrin Erstad at 1B and using him in the 1-2 despite his barely .300 OBP.) Apparently, as players or former players, they value something that the numbers don't show. I say this not to defend Dusty, whose irrationality I no longer find amusing, but to say that we should not expect much improvement from his replacement. Dave Johnson is rational when it comes to constructing a line-up and playing the best players, whether they are young or veterans. But he has twice loss control of teams, both with the Mets and Orioles, which is probably a reason he has not gotten a job in seven years.

crunch.

Levine was saying that they could trade him in the winter to Texas or Cleveland. Hill will be called up for Friday. Mitre and Soto will be called up next week.

Cubsfaningermany,

Your comments about managers brings up a point that was made by Bill James in one if his last abstracts, when he wrote an article about Whitey Herzog. It is posted below (it is very, very long):

A manager's job can be divided into three levels of responsibility. The most visible, and the one which draws the most comment from fans, is what might be called game-level decisions. These are the day-to-day operational questions, such as who should play left field against
this pitcher, whether we should bunt, how long the pitcher stays in the game, when to pull in the infield, when to pinch hit and who to pinch hit with, how to set up the lineup, etc.

The second level of responsibility, which we will call the team-level decisions, involve much larger questions which are fewer in number. Team-level decisions quandaries for the manager like who should be
the team's closer, whether a young pitcher is ready to start or should be kept in long relief or sent to the minors. Whether to choose a regular or use a platoon combination in left field, whether to use a four-man or
five-man rotation in April, whether to abandon a player in a slump or stick with him, etc.

The third level of responsibility is that of personnel management. Personnel management, in baseball as in everything else, does not revolve around decision making per se, but around characteristics such
as courage, honesty, fairness, consistency, maturity, judgment, personality, flexibility, etc.

In this article, I want to examine the interplay among these levels of responsibility, focus on a few specific issues, and try to distinguish what I perceive as the critical differences among major-league
managers. I have talked for several years about trying to learn to see managers as being not simply good or bad arranged along a one-dimensional spectrum, but as each making a unique contribution to his own team. This
article is a part of the attempt to learn to do that.

1. Game-level Decision Making

As best I can estimate, a manager makes about 70 game-level decisions in an average day, or about 11,000 a year. The number
obviously can never be determined with any accuracy, for in theory there
are many times that many options are presented to a manager, while in
practice the number of viable options for some managers in some games may be
less than ten.

The first decision for each manager each day presumably
is who will be the starting pitcher. This decision, because of its
importance, is worked out for several days at a time and is almost always
known at least a couple of days in advance. No other game-level decision
has the same importance, but there are eight (or nine) other starters to be
named. As a practical manner, every manager probably has at least 3 or 4
decisions predetermined for the entire season depending only upon
availability, but for most teams there are 3 or 4 decision to be made each
day. When should the catcher be given a day off? Do we want to use a
left-handed hitter in left field to gain the platoon advantage, or a
right-hander to take advantage of the wind? Many managers--and I don't
particularly endorse this--try to preplan as many as possible of their
player utilization patterns so as to minimize the decisions required on this
level. This includes managers like Don Zimmer, Leo Durocher, and Ralph Houk
who prefer to use a regular at each position whenever possible, but also the
rigid platoon managers, like Bobby Cox, who may use 2 players at a position
rather than one, but who still define the roles so firmly that a fan of the
team, knowing who was starting for the opposition, could write out the
lineup card. All of the managers that I named have had some success, but I
feel that the most successful mangers, like Earl Weaver, Whitey Herzog, and
Sparky Anderson, tend to deliberately keep at least 1 or 2 positions open to
allow them to make day-to-day realignments. Probably no other manager since
W.W.II kept open as many day-to-day options as Casey Stengel.

I think in general that I am suspicious of any manager
who tries to eliminate decisions. I always suspect that a manager who reacts
in an absolutely predictable way, regardless of the question, is not really
thinking about the problem, and may be feeling intimidated by his
responsibilities. Managers who use a regular at each position are only
using about half of the roster, and often wear out their front-line players,
only to find themselves with no bench. Rigid platooning is not as bad,
because it does rest half of the roster and tends to create in-game options
for the other half.

Once the decision of who to start is made--let's call it
4 decisions a day, on the average--there arises the question of how to
select a batting order. A 9-man batting order can be arranged in 362,880
different ways, but again, at least half of the players are normally fixed
in advance. You usually know who your leadoff man is, who your cleanup
hitter is; obviously you bat the pitcher 9th. A manager who prefers to use
a set lineup will, ordinarily, also prefer to lock in the batting order as
much as possible. It is a safe bet that Don Zimmer will choose a leadoff
hitter a number-2 hitter, cleanup hitter, etc. and will freeze those
positions, because that's what Zimmer does (or did).

Anyway, let's say that putting the players in the batting
order represents another 3 or 4 decisions a day. There are maybe 8 or 10
moments during a game in which it is debatable whether the pitcher should
come out or stay to face another batter. If you lift the pitcher you have
to face the decision of who to bring in. Before you can bring in the
reliever you have to make a decision to have him up and warming. These
decisions are critical in many ballgames.

In some games there are no viable pinch-hitting options; in
other games there might be 10 or 12 moments at which a pinch-hitting
decision has to be made. Non-obvious decisions about moving the infield in
or playing it half-way have to be made 2 or 3 times a game, as well as more
minor positioning decisions which are probably left to coaches. Decisions
about starting or holding the runner or calling for a hit and run are almost
continuous throughout the game, requiring response decisions about pitching
out, putting on a play, etc. A team averages about 13 baserunners a game,
many of whom never run or always run and some of whom will be on in
situations where nothing really can be done, but if there is an option the
decision has to be made and remade and remade throughout the sequence of
pitches, so you can count that at anywhere from 5 to 30 decisions a game.

Reasonable opportunities for a sacrifice bunt probably occur
less than once a game. Hitters who are 3-0 must be told to take or hit
away. There are opportunities for defensive substitutes and pinch-runners;
however, a manager in an average game only makes about 3 actual
substitutions other than pitchers, so it seems to me that one must conclude
either that the opportunities for these changes are not numerous, or that
most of such opportunities can be easily rejected.

Recognizing, then, that someone else could argue that it was
actually 500 decisions a game if he wanted to, I get a reasonable estimate
of about 70 decisions that a manager must make during an average game in
which he faces multiple viable options. That's more work-related decisions
that many of us face in a month. It is, of course, upon this mass of
evidence that the merits of various managers are most often debated.

I have always taken the position that I would not try to
evaluate managers on this basis. The lifeblood of my work is the attempt to
build toward absolute knowledge on specific issues. It has always been my
belief, and still is, that with the very rare exception of a case in which a
manager does something just really, really stupid, it is impossible to prove
objectively that any game-level decision was correct or incorrect. A lot or
people like to pretend that they have analyzed these situations and know how
to make them, but what they have really done is weighed out very carefully 3
or 4 factors influencing the decision, and ignored the other 15 or 20
factors about which they could not obtain any reliable evidence. I mean,
suppose that you analyze a pinch-hitting decision, and you run through a
simulation or whatever and conclude that the run probability is .308 if you
make the switch and .246 if you don't, but have you really considered

that the statistics representing the hitter in the simulation may not
reflect at all his ability to hit this pitcher, that he may be a left-hander
and the pitcher a right-hander, and if you have considered that then have
you considered

that this may be a high-ball pitcher and he may be a high-ball
hitter, and if you have considered that have you considered

that there may be a wind to right field which might make him 30
percent more likely to hit a home run than he normally would be, and if you
considered those things have you considered

that if he used now he will not be available later when there may
or may not be another game situation, and if you have considered all of
those things have you considered

that the pitcher that he would face later would also be a high-ball
pitcher or a low-ball pitcher, and a left-hander or a right-hander, and
would tend to pitch inside or outside.

I am not saying that it is not useful to measure and
evaluate as many of these factors as we can. By all means, let us measure;
let us know what the batter hits against right-handed and left-handed
pitchers and high-ball and low-ball pitchers. But we will never know
enough, and never be able to build simulations that are complex enough, to
tell us with anything remotely approaching reliability whether or not a
manager chose the right (or best) option. I don't know, you don't know, and
in truth Don Baylor doesn't know either. He chooses certain biases by which
to make his selection, and he throws his fate to the wind.

If we cannot, then, evaluate objectively a single one of those
11,000 decisions, how must we feel in confronting the entire unrecorded mass
of them? Humble, I say, very humble.

People will say that the manager really doesn't have any impact,
that he can decide anything he wants but if the players don't execute it
isn't going to matter. I can't understand that kind of thinking. There are
many systematic differences in the ways that managers resolve these
problems.

Some managers pinch-hit 4 times as often as other managers.

Some managers bunt 6 or 8 times as often as other managers.

Some managers start the runner much more often.

Some managers issue intentional walks much more often or approach
the question of when to bring in the reliever in a totally different way.
If one man is right 51 percent of the time and another is right 49
percent of the time, that's an advantage for the 51 percent manager of about
220 decisions a year (2 percent of 11,000 is 220). You mean to tell me
that that's not going to show up in the won-lost column? I don't care how
much of a knee-jerk manager somebody is; making that many decisions, he's
got to make a difference. Nobody could be so much by-the-book that he could
make (or refuse to make) 11,000 decisions without having an impact on the
results; for one thing, there are too many things that the book doesn't tell
you.

But as important as they might be, these decisions are beyond the
reach of sabermetrics to evaluate. As a fan I think that John McNamara is a
dolt. As an analyst, I try to steer clear of talking about game-level
decisions.

2. Team-Level Decision Making

Team-level decisions for a manager are few in number but large in
impact A manager probably makes about 10 major and 30 minor team-level
decisions in a season. The major team-level decisions facing the Cardinals
last year (1987) were whether to keep Terry Pendleton at third or try to
make a trade, whether to put Joe Magrane in the rotation or in long relief,
whether to stick with a catching combination of Lake and LaValliere or to
make a trade, etc. The major team-level decisions this year are what to do
about Lance Johnson, whether to put Jose Oquendo at second base instead of
Tom Herr, what to do to try to replace Jack Clark, whether to put Steve
Peters on the major-league roster or send him to Louisville, whether to make
Curt Ford the regular right fielder or to alternate Ford and Morris, etc.

Of course the front office has a great deal of input into team
level decisions; it wasn't Whitey Herzog who decided to sign Bob Horner. I
think there are at least seven systematic differences among managers in how
they make team level decisions. Those are in:

1) Willingness to take a chance on a young player.

2) Decisiveness.

3) Preference for using a regular or a platoon
combination.

4) Roster composition.

5) Tendency to prefer offense or defense in selecting a
regular.

6) Type of offensive player preferred, and

7) Judgment

There used to be a difference between managers who
preferred a four-man or a five-man rotation, but I don't think anybody uses
a four-man rotation anymore.

Perhaps the clearest example of a manager making a strange
team level decision in 1987 was Pat Corrales' decision to start the season
without a utility infielder on the roster. Corrales had stocked the roster
with outfielders and first basemen to use as pinch hitters, but had very few
options to use them, because he couldn't pinch hit for an infielder. That's
a roster-composition decision; Corrales didn't think through how was going
to use the players he had chosen in game situations.

Roster composition is (was) one of the strengths of
Whitey Herzog, and was also a peculiar strength of Earl Weaver. Weaver used
to say that the biggest decision he had to make all year was who was the
twenty-fifth man on the roster out of spring training. He would turn his
roster over and over in his head, looking at question after question. If I
have Gary Roenicke in left field to start the game and I have to pinch hit
for my shortstop early in the game, will I still have another option later
in the game? If it's a 7-4 game in the second inning and we've knocked out
their starter but we're still three runs behind and they switch to a
left-hander, can
I change to a right-handed lineup without ruining my
defense? Earl used to drive himself crazy trying to think through all of
those things; Corrales, obviously, never really gave it much thought.

It is these decisions, few in number but large in impact,
that I think we have a fair opportunity to evaluate. The final category,
judgment, might sound subjective by the title, but is in fact rather easy to
evaluate. What you're looking at is simple: when this manager made a
decision about a player, was he right? Did it work out?

3. Personnel Management and Instruction

To evaluate a manager's ability to deal with players,
obviously, is the role of a journalist or an insider; what I have as an
outsider is only the ability to make a judgment about the information, which
is relayed to me by those people.

In my opinion, to be successful over a period of time, a
manager must do 2 things. First, he must contribute to the team on all 3
levels (game level decisions, team level decisions and personnel
management/instruction). A manager who contributes on any level can be
successful for a short period of time, provided that that which he
contributes is that which the team needs-but a failure on any level will
ultimately undermine his career.

And second, he must integrate the 3 levels into a
consistent whole. The manager must make decisions on all 3 levels not
separately, but all at the same time.

On the first point, take Dick Williams. Williams is a
brilliant judge of ballplayers. He has a 20-year record (1967-1987) of
making judgments about young players, who can play and who can't, which is
just extraordinarily good. It is hard to find a time when he has made a
judgment that a young player was ready to move into a major-league job and
subsequent events have proven him wrong. That's why his teams have improved
so much when he has taken them over.

Williams is also a competent game manager-not a brilliant
manager when making game level decisions, but as good as the next guy. But
time and time again over the past 20 years, Williams has fallen down on the
third point. His inability to hold the respect of his players has led to
grumbling and dissatisfaction and dissension, and thus ultimately to the
failure of the team sufficient to bring about Williams' dismissal.

Or take Chuck Tanner. Tanner's strength, in the short
run, is in his ability to motivate young players and create a positive
clubhouse atmosphere. If you give Tanner a team which has a good deal of
talent and which has no incipient attitude problems, Tanner for a couple of
years is a heck of a manager.

The problem is that Tanner's record as a judge of
horseflesh is just awful. Time and time again throughout the last decade
(70s and 80s), Tanner has thrust a player into a job, like Omar Moreno in
1986, Jim Acker in 1987, Lee Mazzilli and Marvelle Wynne in 1983, Doug
Frobel in 1984, and Joe Orsulak in 1985, only to discover that the guy
didn't have anything like the abilities needed to hold the job. So when
personnel changes have to be made, Tanner is lost; he just keeps saying that
if everybody has a good year we'll win, and the team just keeps losing.
Tanner becomes indecisive,
sticking players in slots and pulling them out, until ultimately the losing
will destroy the atmosphere in the clubhouse. His inability to make
team-level decisions consistently gives him few decent options within the
game, which undermines his game-level management. The team loses, and the
attitude, despite Tanner, will turn sour.

Or take Jim Frey. Frey, like Tanner, is a positive
thinker. Unlike Tanner, his record as a judge of ballplayers is pretty
decent; he made Dan Quisenberry the bullpen closer in KC in 1980, for
example. The problem with Jim Frey is that he is the worst game manager you
can imagine. And ultimately, his players will lose confidence in him and
confidence in their ability to win, simply because they know that everything
that happens in a close game is going to come as a complete surprise to Jim
Frey. Then they start backbiting, and after about a year the party's over.

Whenever that happens, of course, you know what the local
columnist is going to write. He's going to write that the manager (Frey,
Williams, or Tanner) has become a scapegoat for problems, which were beyond
his control. "If he was such a good manager a year ago," they will always
ask, "why isn't he a good manager now? Has he gotten suddenly stupid in the
last year?"

My opinion is that most managers are hired for good
reasons, and are fired for good reasons. It's not that they get stupid
after a couple of years. It is that most managers contribute on one level,
or on two levels. By making that contribution, they change the needs of the
organization. Once the needs of the organization change, in most cases they
are no longer able to contribute.

Whitey Herzog has been successful over a long period
of time, I believe, because more than any other manager of our time, Whitey
makes decisions on all 3 levels at the same time. If another manager is
explaining why an outfielder was sent down, he'll usually say something like
"Well, his hitting slump had started to affect him in the field, and we just
felt like he'd be better off in Iowa where he could play every day and get
his confidence up." He's explaining the team-level decision, in other words,
strictly on the basis of team-level considerations. Herzog is more likely
to say something like "Well, with Charlie Zigafoos playing as well as he's
been playing, I didn't really have a role for him, and I didn't want him
just sitting around getting edgy." He's explaining why he made the
team-level decision, in other words, on the basis of its impact on
game-level decisions, and on the basis of how it affects the whole team. If
he explains why he made a game decision, he is very likely to explain it on
the basis of a prior team-level decision: "I did that because that's his
role on the team." I mean, I'm sure that Herzog doesn't think in this
particular way, doesn't analyze the decisions as being on 3 distinct levels,
but nonetheless he has the habit of tying together decisions so that they
operate on all 3 levels.

There are some very fundamental premises of Herzog's
managing which receive very little attention, but which are at least as
important as the aggressive baserunning.

1) Never have anybody on your roster that you won't use.
If you lose confidence in a player but keep him on the roster, you make the
roster smaller. That inhibits you within the game, and at the same time,
you're inviting personnel problems.
2) When a player loses his aggressiveness he loses his
value.
3) If a player doesn't want to do the job that you need
him to do, get rid of him.
4) Everybody has to play defense. If a player can't play
defense it's hard to find an offensive role for him either.

So everything is tied together. Herzog probably makes
pitching changes more often than any other manager in baseball with a good
team, particularly bringing in a left-hander to face a left-hander and then
the right-hander to face the right-hander. Why? Because

1) he truly is not afraid to use anybody on his pitching
staff, even if the guy on the mound is going great and the guy he wants to
bring in has been hammered in his last 3 outings;
2) he knows whoever he brings in is going to have a great
defense behind him;
3) if you have a great defense behind you and you're
aggressive on the mound and throw strikes you've got a good chance to be
successful;
4) and he doesn't have anybody on his team who isn't
aggressive and doesn't throw strikes;
5) so you might as well take the platoon advantage anytime
you can get it.

In explaining one trait, we hit aggressiveness, confidence
in the entire roster, and defense. Herzog likes players who are fast
because he likes his teams to play great defense (so that he can use any
pitcher on the staff, so that can make a pitching change whenever he wants
to get the left-hander against the left-hander), and most people who can
play defense are fast, so if you have them you might as well be aggressive
on the bases just like you are aggressive on the mound and just like you are
aggressive in the field and just like you are aggressive in attacking
personnel problems.

neifi, hollandsworth, macias, dubois, blanco, patterson, e.wilson, gerut...heck, you can throw out gerut if you want to.

But most of the time Dusty had a choice and went with these guys. When Walker went down, he picked Neifi over Hairston, When Nomar went down, he could have seen what Cedeno could do, but instead he's appointed Neifi and his 301 OBP the savior of the team, and even now has decided that OBP machine needs to at be in a platoon with Todd Walker.
Left Field has been a hole, but Dusty certainly hasn't been in a hurry to fill it with Murton, who will get on base. Even when Hairston went down in CF, he used it as an excuse to get Macias more PT - which probably led to the premature callup of Patterson.

As you've said, filling out the lineup card is Dusty's responsibilty, and he made the decision to give 1600 ABs to guys who couldn't get on base 30% of the time. Sometimes he didn't have options, but most of the time he did.

The same can be said about the Bullpen, where a huge problem is the trickle down of choice of LaChoke "proven failure as a closer" Hawkins as closer. A pen of Dempster/Hawkins/Novoa-Ohman-Wuertz would have been very serviceable. Dusty refused to make that choice, instead going with what failed last year.

Dusty had the tools this year, they weren't ideal, but they could have gotten the job done. Unfortuantly, time and time again, Dusty made the decision to use them in a very ineffective way, and that's a huge reason why the Cubs will finish in 5th place.

Oh..and as Cedeno's #1 fan ....hehehee...
Being a few days removed from a bad OBP means that the player has played so little that 1 good or bad game can swing the % fairly dramatically...
in either direction.

bleeding...

hairston did get most of walker's missed time.

your dream bullpen was intact for over 1/2 the season...

and you saw the results. i saw the results.

you can shuffle that deck of cards, but you still got Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 5 of clubs.

Hairston only got the bulk of playing time at 2nd AFTER Nomar went down, leaving Dusty no other choice but to play him (ok, to be fair he could have played Macias there too).

My "dream" bullpen never existed this year. By the time Dusty pulled LaChoke from the closer role, he simply couldn't handle the pressure of pitching for the Cubs at all. If we had Dempster as a closer, LaChoke as a setup man (like he's doing in SF), with Novoa, Ohman, and Wuertz taking the 7th based on who's hot, we'd have the foundation for a decent bullpen.

i still dont understand where all this dumpster goodness is coming from.

dumpster's pitches 1-15 are historically his WORST performance times.

if anything that should scare people, not make them want to hand him the closer role.

historically the dumpster is a guy who needs to warm his way into the lineup before he becomes effective.

an offhand comment by hendry and a lotta sportswriters dont make things absolute.

there were other sportswriters questioning having dumpster even try to close for the reason given above.

i see no reason to assume the dumpster is automatic, especially since his only saving grace so far is he's not giving up the long ball while putting people on base.

i also dont see how shuffling everyone's role would make things click since no one's been clicking aside from 1 and 1/2 months of dumpster and the "kids" the past month.

those kids that are clicking are clicking in roles they had earlier this season.

go figure.

"Runs Sisco out of town" Err sorry, temp brainfart. I meant Farnsworth,

scoots

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