Today in Cubs History: 12-14

12-14-2000 - Signed Tom Gordon as a free agent. 12-14-1998 - Traded Brant Brown to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Received Jon Lieber. 12-14-1990 - Traded Greg Smith to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Received Jose Vizcaino. 12-14-1987 - Signed Vance Law as a free agent. 12-14-1948 - Traded Hank Borowy and Eddie Waitkus to the Philadelphia Phillies. Received Monk Dubiel and Dutch Leonard. Brant Brown gave a key contribution to the 1998 Cubs, it's a shame he'll be remembered for one play occuring on the 90th anniversary of Merkle's Boner, and for being on the wrong end of a very good Cubs trade. Eddie Waitkus is the real person whose life served as the premise for the classic movie "The Natural". A solid first-baseman for the post-War Cubs, Waitkus was traded to Philadelphia after the 1948 season. A young, mentally-ill woman who had been his fan while he played for Chicago became so distraught at his departure that after a game in 1949, she waited for Waitkus in his hotel room, and when he arrived she shot him in the chest with a 22 caliber rifle. Waitkus survived to play several more years, but he was never quite the same as a person or a player. For more on Waitkus, go here or here
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Comments

...fly ball to left field...brant brown is under it...Brant Brown.. drops the ball!

OH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

for some fun santo clips check out
http://www.kenn.com/play/sounds.html

I was listening to that game on the radio in my car and when that happened, I said to myself, "This is it. I am hearing Ron Santo die--live on the radio." I will never forget that.

The Cubs got Cey by sending another one of their amazing first round draft picks, Vance Lovelace, to the Dodgers. Lovelace went on to have a 4 2/3 inning major league career pitching for the Angels. The 4 2/3 innings were spread over three seasons.

Cey came to the Cubs and became famous for diving (or more precisely, falling like a tree that had just been cut) for any grounder more than a foot to either side of him. Often the ball actually went under him as he fell, as if he hoped to smother it with his belly. I don't know what he would have done if he had ever caught one of these balls.

Sorry, I was living in my own world there. The reason I thought of Cey is because Vance Law is mentioned today and he played a pretty good third in '88... you get the picture and I need to sleep more.

Well looks like the White Sox grabbed some starting pitching, Milton Bradley was traded and all I hear about is how the Cubs want to go after J. Jones. Why couldn't the Cubs treade for Vasquez?

Because the Cubs suck, George? Face it--this team is careening out of control. Hendry blew it, things are bleak, our prospects stink, and the manager is a buffoon. Other than that, everything is peachy!

I wish we were the White Sox, now that's a team moving in the right direction. Kenny Williams kicks ass.

Yeah, I can't believe we missed out on Vasquez. How great would it have been to have three starting pitchers give up 30+ home runs?

For all of those praising KW I posted this on the other thread:

Before anyone praises this Vazquez trade remember that Chris Young is their best OF prospect. Would you really want to trade Felix Pie for Vazquez? My guess is this makes Contreas or Garland avalible. Maybe we could get Garland back. Also that Thome trade was stupid for them. Lets trade the anchor of our defense and 2nd and 4th best pitching prospect for a guy who might be done and best of all the team wanted to get out of his contract because they had a young stud and the guy had a no-trade clause and out of the 3 teams he would have wanted to go to yours is the only that wanted him. I'll take Hendry over Williams anyday.

Bruce Levine was just on the radio in Chicago. He said this:
If Orioles are going to trade Tejada they have to do it the next week so they can decide their marketing

White Sox and Cubs are going head to head for Tejada

If Manny gets traded to Mets the Cubs will try to get Floyd but that may drag out to long.

Hendry has a deal for a lefthanded hitter on the table with a team but he does not know who. Three guys he said it may be is Erstad, Kotsay, or possibly Abreu.

If this trade that is on the table does not work out he thinks they will sign Jones to a two year deal.

I agree and disagree with you Chifan.

The Thome trade was a great trade for them. First, the only place I would trust him is in a DH role. Secondly, it gets the Big Skirt out of the picture before he throws a playing time pissy fit and fucks up what they've built down there. Finally, and perhaps more importantly, the Indians wanted Thome back, and you put a veteran leader on THAT team, you're going to have some serious problems in your own division.

I don't understand the trade for Vaz though. It wasn't a pressing need for them to get a starter, certainly not enough for them to give up a top spect in one of their weaker areas (OF). Secondly, Vaz's last trip through the AL did not go too well at all. He's a guy more accustomed to the National League, and the Sox could well not get the value they payed for him. The only way this makes sense if they turn around and trade Garland, who isn't gonna pitch the way he did last season.

"that Chris Young is their best OF prospect."

No - Brian Anderson is their best OF prospect.

Kenny Williams is playing to win now. He's not holding his Pie (Anderson), or his prospects (Gonzalez, Haigwood, Young, etc.) if he can get players who can contribute TODAY to a contending team.

KW: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
JH: I love my bush... I love my bush...

I'm guessing Williams is sure Garland won't be resigned as he turned down a deal already, so this is in preparation of another move to trade Jon Garland to some west coast team (Anaheim?) for other pieces.

Either way - this is the "activity" vs "accomplishment" discussion.

Well...I just read something that shut me up...and sent chills down my spine...

Kenny Williams is going to attempt send McCarthy, Juan Uribe and a minor leaguer to Baltimore for Tejada.

Speechless.

I can't believe it...I'm...jealous...of the fucking White Sox.

"The only way this makes sense if they turn around and trade Garland, who isn't gonna pitch the way he did last season."

I imagine that this is in the works.

The SUX do not have enough for Tejada. Contreas is way old and Bal would have no intrest in him for Tejada. Garland has 1 year left on his deal and the O's will want to re-up him and he will want a Burnett deal and Angelos wont give it to him. Mccarthy and one of Owens or Sweeney and Uribe is not going to get it done. We have a better chance granted it is like 10% to 3%. If I had to rate where Tejada is going to play I would rate it like this:

BAL 80%
CHC 10%
BOS 5%
CWS 3%
HOU 2%

Erstad? Ugh. (Ditto Kotsay, if he's playing a corner position, which of course he would for the Cubs.)

I'm actually starting to like the idea of Jason Michaels and some random righty-masher (Jones).

Yanks sent 8mm to Arizona which will get passed from AZ to CHW. Net - Vazquez costs the sox 8mm per for 2 years and (contractually) is arbitration eligible for the Sox in year 3.

There will be another move. That will determine if this was a good deal or not. In isolation, you can't really evaluate this move. This looks to be an enabler.

IMHO, the Palehose trade for Vazquez only makes sense to me if it clears salray dollars and results in Vazquez being shipped to an East Coast team. Kenny Williams is not stupid -- he sees those escalating HR numbers.

Vazquez could be headed to the Orioles. There was a report here today that in response to the Ramon Hernandez signing, Javy Lopez has asked the Orioles either for a contract extension or a trade. Flipping Vazquez for Javy Lopez would be an incredible move for the Palehose -- two pairs of lefty-righty hitters (Konerko/Thome and Pierzinski/Lopez) for three positions (DH, 1B and C) which enables adequate rest for all.

I wish the Cubs could build such flexibility into their lineup!

LOL, the Sox don't have enough for Tejada?

The Sox have 7 pretty good starters now. Buerhle, Hernandez, Garcia, Garland, Contreras, Vazquez and who can forget the talented McCarthy.

The Orioles need more starting pitching. The Sox could cash in Garland and some prospects for Tejada. Or Garland and Vazquez. The Sox have more than enough to get Tejada if they truely want to.

They have a much better collection of pitching talent to trade than we do. If a team is looking to deal a good bat they are going to look at the Cubs Rusch, and Jerome Williams and laugh. They will go straight to the Sox to see if they can get Garland, Vazquez, Contreras, or hell even McCarthy.

Pretty sweet trade for the Whitesox.

If the Sox swing a deal to get Tejada and give up some combination of Uribe, a pitcher, and a prospect, that would almost surely be a great deal for them. (Unless it was McCarthy and a top prospect)

I never though I would see the day that I was actually jealous of those bastards.

The freaking series didn't even do it...felt like a fluke...the way things are going...damn...they're working on a dynasty down there.

MikeC, the Sox traded Hernandez to get Vazquez - so they would have 6 starters, not 7

Ohh yeah, had a brain fart on that one.

The Tribune article on the Vazquez trade quotes Kenny Williams as stating that he wants Contreras and Garland to "get serious" about discussing contract extensions. Both pitchers are entering their walk years (both expected to earn about $8 million in 2006).

I bet Williams has McCarthy already in the 2006 rotation and he is seeking to trade one of the other pitchers not named Buerhle to a team for another bat.

Having Vazquez increases his negotiating leverage with Contreras and Garland over extensions. A dream scenario for Williams would be to use that leverage to negotiate extensions with Contreras and Garland, then flip Vazquez out of town to the Orioles (Javy Lopez...to get Tejada they would need to move two starters, which I don't think they woudl do) or Mets (Cliff Floyd).

Mike C,

Buerhle and Garcia are not going anywhere, BAL was on Vazquez's no-trade list when ARI tried to deal him. I believe the Sux could trade him there but if they did they could never trade for a multi-year contract or no-trade clause guy because everyone will put them on their no trade list to avoid getting traded to a 3rd team they really do not want to go to. Contreas is too old to get a guy like Tejada and Garland has got 1 year left and Bal will want to re-up him but they wont be able to he will want a Burnett deal and they will not give it to him. McCarthy is also not getting traded he is the only decent prospect they have who has pitched above A ball. If they trade him they have a unproven guy in Ray Liotta as their 6th starter.

"If they trade him they have a unproven guy in Ray Liotta as their 6th starter."

What, Henry Hill on the mound?

DC Tom,

I had to laugh at that Trib quote like Contreas or Garland care if there pitching for the Sox. Maybe Conteras because he likes pitching for Guillen. After all the years Sux bitched about Garland I know he has no qualms about leaving to a number of teams that will be willing to give him Burnett money.

X,

It is a really a coin flip bewteen Anderson and Young. Even if Young is no.2 would you want to have traded Murton for Vazquez. My main point was I did not want Vazquez for that price.

Borowski 4 life,

Thome is a good pick up for them but they could have gotten him for WAY less than they did and that is why it was a bad trade for them.

"MikeC, the Sox traded Hernandez to get Vazquez - so they would have 6 starters, not 7"

The sad truth is that at this point in time, our 4th is Rusch and our 5th starter is TBA, assuming Wood won't be ready on opening day, while the Sox have 6 starters who all would be our #4 at the worst, and most of them our #3 or better.

Haven't we been told for years that Hendry was going to build this team around strong pitching?

Is Jerome Williams the bat boy now?

ChiFan - I guess you place much more value in prospects than I do. I'd trade Pie if I felt it was getting me a starter. I'd have traded Guzman and Brownlie when they were highly valued a few years ago, to get a SS or a closer when we had needs. And, in all fairness, I'd have traded both Dontrelle Willis and Carlos Zambrano at the time, and taken that risk, provided it would get me a player to help me win now. We have a 100mm+ payroll and need to start acting like it.

I wouldn't trade Z now. I would never have traded Prior. But prospects are a different story. I'd trade Murton for a guy who is a legit #2/#3 starter, who has had 32+ starts EVERY year for his 8 year career.

Just for fun...

In his 8 years in MLB baseball, Vazquez has pitched 172 innings or more in 7 of them. Meanwhile, in his 8 years in the bigs, Kerry Wood has over 175 innings only twice. After the Yanks pick up 8mm over two years, Vazquez costs the Sox 8mm per. Wood costs us more.

Yes, I'd have traded Murton (or Pie for that matter) in a deal to get us a guy who we know can start for us. Right now, our rotation is Prior, Zambrano, Maddux, Rusch and ? I'm concerned that, even with Pierre and a supposedly improved bullpen, that our SP is looking like it in a state of disarray. I'd gladly give up a prospect, even a top one, to have that fixed. With the depth of our farm system, and a 100mm budget, we shouldn't be looking at such gaping holes.

#9

"Before anyone praises this Vazquez trade remember that Chris Young is their best OF prospect"

Actually Jerry Owens and Ryan Sweeney are rated higher on most boards than Young which is why he was expendible...plus you throw in Brian Anderson who will likely be starting this year so parting with Young isn't a major blow. Besides, there are some, like Bruce Levine, who think this whole deal is to try to pry Tejada from the O's. Levine has said possibly Vasquez or Garland, Juan Uribe and another player for Tejada.

Someone please go look at Vazquez's numbers. He's not a good pitcher. He had one year of effectiveness and he's cashed that in over many years of Shawn Estes's-like stats.

Here, I'll help you:

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/stats?p...

Go there, bask in the suckiness....revel in it. Thank all that is holy that he is on the south-side and not gracing Wrigley with his mediocreness...

Last two years, ERA of 4.91 and 4.42....Career ERA of 4.28...

On a side note, don't you wish we kept Nomar? 1 yr 4 million is what he's considering taking fromt he Yankees to play 1B. Which one of those mediocre relievers we signed is making $4 mil/yr?

"Go there, bask in the suckiness....revel in it. Thank all that is holy that he is on the south-side and not gracing Wrigley with his mediocreness..."

He'd be our #3 starter. He gets 32+ starts and 200+ innings every year. If that is "suckiness" we should get more suckiness. If that is "suckiness" what is Wood? What is Rusch? What is the littany of unproven prospects we are supposedly considering bringing up? We need that kind of suckiness.

yeah, ESPN is reporting that Joe Torre himself has personally called both Nomar and J.Damon about his interest in both players. How bent will BoSox fans be if the "evil empire" snags two of their most beloved players of the last decade.

X,

I think Rusch and Jerome Williams are more-than-adequate No. 4 and 5 starters for this team in 2006.

I do agree with your general viewpoint -- prospects at the height of their value should be traded for established and predictable players. I would not call Javier Vazquez an "established and predictable" pitcher, though!

To be be fair to Hendry, he has used this strategy. He arranged the Dontrelle Willis for Clement and Alfonseca trade, and he traded Frank Beltran and Brandon Harris for Nomar. (Harris could probably be reacquired for a non-roster prospect now from the Nats, BTW.) He traded Bruback and Bobby Hill for Kenny Lofton and Aramis Ramirez.

Hendry never really got the chance to move Angel Guzman -- his highest value year was 2003, the year he tore his labrum.

There is a risk to this strategy. But that risk is NOT that you've "traded the next Dontrelle Willis", but that you've traded for a mediocre regular player. Exhibit A: the acquisition of one season of Juan Pierre. Exhibit B: Jon Garland for Matt Karchner.

#33. I think you're right X, there's a lot to be said for a rotation of horses, not necessarily a rotation of guys who try to strike out every single batter(besides Maddux) then blow out their elbows. Although Contreras was close to dominant in the second half of '05 Buehrle, Garland, F.Garcia and El Duque aren't dominant starters, besides El Duque they're all horses who make all their starts.

X:

"He'd be our #3 starter. He gets 32+ starts and 200+ innings every year. If that is "suckiness" we should get more suckiness. If that is "suckiness" what is Wood? What is Rusch? What is the littany of unproven prospects we are supposedly considering bringing up? We need that kind of suckiness."

Do you REMEMBER Shawn Estes? Ya, I'd love Vazquez to roll in and go 10-16 for us. Sure....with that shiny 4.40 ERA he'd put up. Plus, he's given up more than 30 HRs his last two years, or more than one per start. How's that gonna look at Wrigley? I hope your arm doesn't get tired throwing back all those opposing HRs that'll fly into the bleachers...

Well Jordan, I hope you enjoy Rusch and ? as your 4th and 5th starters. Neither them, nor Maddux, are better than Vazquez.

To be be fair to Hendry, he has used this strategy. He arranged the Dontrelle Willis for Clement and Alfonseca trade

I get sick of hearing this revisionist history crap. For the billionth time it was not the Willis for Clement and Alfonseca it was the Julian Tavarez and some no name prospect Willis for a Florida Marlins salary dump in Alfonseca and Clement.

Not a single poster nor a single blog cared that some scrub AA pitcher was dealt in this deal and if you say otherwise your a damn liar.

We got rid of the psycho Tavarez and turned him into a closer and a pretty decent lively arm in Clement. We spun crap into gold and Cubs fans all across the country were giddy with glee. That deal is one of the major reasons why Cubs fans think they can nab any half way decent player for our worst player.

X wrote:

Well Jordan, I hope you enjoy Rusch and ? as your 4th and 5th starters. Neither them, nor Maddux, are better than Vazquez.

X, want to join my fantasy league?

Seriously, in the right ballpark, Vazquez could be a steal for a team. High K and low walk rates. His HR rate is his problem. Put him in a big, sea-level stadium and he would be next year's John Patterson or even better.

But US Cellular is not that stadium. Neither is Wrigley. Vazquez in the Cell is Ramon Ortiz in Cincinnati.

More of the Vasquez trade

Young was ranked #7 among White Sox prospects by Baseball America for 2005 season. (If you're curious, Gio Gonzalez and Daniel Haigwood, who were used in the Thome deal, ranked #8 and #19, respectively).

So the Sux haven't given up higher than a #7 rated prospect in either of their trades. I would say that's a pretty good off season for KW. If he is able to land Tejada I will be pissed.

"X, want to join my fantasy league?"

Are we playing fantasy baseball now, or talking about the Major League Baseball? There is a significant difference.

I didn't say I'd draft Vazquez anytime on a fantasy league. I said that the Vazquez move was good for the Sox, and that it enables them to make another move, while having a 4th starter in Vazquez who will throw 200 IP with a 4.5ish ERA and do it for 8mm. You want a cheaper pitcher who will get you 140 IP? Sure - you can get him. But the Sox rotation, assuming they trade either Garland or Contreras, will be Buehrle, G/C, Garcia, Vazquez, McCarthy. That's 5 guys who are better than our 4th for sure, most better than our 3rd. And you can debate some of them with our #1 and #2. Oh, and you don't yet know what they will be getting because of this deal.

KW has my head spinning. After doing everything he could to screw up the Sox for years, he suddenly has been on fire for a full 18 months now. Fuck the prospect, the Sox got rid of Vizcaino and upgraded from Vasquez to Garland. You now have five starters with little room for error and a sixth guy who has gotten it done on a limited basis. My advice: Trade Contreras while his value is enormous. Trade with the Tigers and I bet they get Mike Maroth, Carlos Pena and Nook Logan. I think they'll sit on all six and send McCarthy to Charlotte until they need him.

Marlins note: The fish on the 40-man roster with the most MLB ABs is Miguel Cabrera (1530). Second: Dontrelle Willis (224). No hitter on the roster besides Cabrera has more ABs than Alfredo Amezaga (217). The 13 position players have a grand total of 2340 MLB ABs. Over 65% are Miguel Cabrera. Now if they can just convince the rest of the teams to let Cabrera to take 65% of the at-bats...

Sorry, got ahead of myself, obviously I meant Hernandez to Vasquez.

X,

Ya, I'm not enjoying Rusch and Maddux, and I don't want Vazquez to be added to the squad, making it Z, Prior, and the three horsemen of the apocalypse on a rotating basis....

We already have 2 or 3 #4/5 starters, we don't need another...

We really should have considered paying Clement to stay in Chicago...not that it was the best move, but it would have been better money spent than Maddux and Rusch.

They keep putting more birds in the hand...We just keep on staring at the bush. (oh the double entendre here...)

"We already have 2 or 3 #4/5 starters, we don't need another..."

AT BEST...

Rusch is a #6 in my eyes. Maddux is a back end. Problem is who is our #3 and #4. Looks like a crapshoot to me.

In #39, MikeC wrote:

Not a single poster nor a single blog cared that some scrub AA pitcher was dealt in this deal...

Agreed. But I only used it as one example to rebut the criticism that Hendry hoards prospects. The record shows that he has not. He sometimes makes mistakes (Mitre, Juan Cruz, Leicester and van Buren all should have been traded sooner for better value.)

Buster Olney of ESPN is reporting that HOU is also interested in Nomar to play 1B in addition to the Yanks. With Mueller likely to sign with the Dodgers it looks like Nomar's only option to stay in the infield will be at 1B. He stated the chances of Tejada being traded is "1%".

Of Brian Anderson, Chris Young, Ryan Sweeney and Jerry Owens, the four centre field prospects in the White Sox system, the Diamondbacks got for themselves the best of them.

"But US Cellular is not that stadium. Neither is Wrigley. Vazquez in the Cell is Ramon Ortiz in Cincinnati."

NO WAY

Ortiz only had two seasons with over 172 IP in his 6 years at Anaheim. In the past 6 years Vazquez has been over 198 IP every single year.

Vazquez is a horse. He is built to go 200 innings, and he delivers that. Ortiz is tiny, slender, and never was a workhorse. There is a significant difference.

X,

If you look at my posts on this, I have not said that the Vazquez trade was a bad one for the Sox -- it is good if it facilitates a subsequent trade that nets another bat. But KW should be worried about Vazquez throwing in the Cell -- he would do much better in a ballpark that holds flyballs in, like Shea or RFK.

As for whether there is a "cheaper pitcher who will get you 140 IP", how about Contreras and Garland? Both will make $8 million this year -- they are cheaper than Vazquez (owed $24MM next two years, I don't know how much the D-Backs will pay the Sox) and they don't give up as many homers.

X, I agree with you that top-to-bottom, the White Sox have a better rotation than the Cubs. But that does not mean that the rotation is the key weakness for the Cubs. And you keep forgetting about Jerome Williams and that fact that Rusch has been an effective starter, even in his Milwaukee days, so long as he has not been bopped around from bullpen to the rotation. The Cub offense needs much more help than the starting rotation right now.

Vazquez went 16-11 with the damn Expos!!! He would easily be our #3.

I would say Jim Hendry does NOT hang onto prospects, preferring instead to develop players, package them in twos or threes, and then trade the "package" for established position players.

I am not at all sure that Hendry would not (for better or worse) trade Murton, Pie, Cedeno, Hill, or anybody else in the Cubs farm system if he thought he could actually get a Miguel Tejada or a Bobby Abreu back in the deal.

The team payroll and the budget Hendry gets from the Tribune would seem to be more of a constaint to signing FAs and making trades than an unwillingness to deal prospects. Otherwise, he never would have traded Choi for D-Lee, or Bobby Hill (and others) for Ramirez, or Harris, Beltran, and Justin Jones for Garciaparra, or Jason Dubois for Jody Gerut and then Gerut for Matt Lawton, or Nolasco, Pinto, and Mitre for Juan Pierre, et al.

"Of Brian Anderson, Chris Young, Ryan Sweeney and Jerry Owens, the four centre field prospects in the White Sox system, the Diamondbacks got for themselves the best of them."

Young hit .277 at AA last season. He's very good defensively, he gets comparisons to Mike Cameron and has some pop but he's not better all around than Brian Anderson or Jerry Owens...and Ryan Sweeney isn't a CF, he plays the corners.

Good points tom...My responses

"How about Contreras and Garland?"

Both are FAs after 2006. Williams will probably tell these guys that the first to sign can stay, the other one goes. And you can't assume they will get anyone equally as cheap as Vazquez who is signed for 2 more years, then (by contract) arbitration elig. the following year. In a vacum, sure you are right. Vazquez is the third best of that group behind Contreras and Garland. D-Backs will pass AT LEAST the 8mm that the Yanks gave them for the next two years to the Sox, so that brings him from 12mm per down to 8mm per.

I agree also he'd be better in another ballpark - but that's true of any pitcher.

I disagree that the rotation is not a weakness. The back of the rotation IS a weakness right now. Jerome Williams is a total ? - right? He has had mediocre nubmers in limited innings per year at best in a terribly pitcher friendly park. As far as Rusch and his Milwaukee days go, he was terrible. He came off a 1-12 year with a 6.42 ERA. 4.7, 4.6, etc. in the NL. That's not a safe bet for an MLB starter. It really isn't. He had some limited succecss with us that I hope he can replicate, but he makes more risk to the back of our rotation when he is not our 6th, but our 4th.

It might very well be the most familiar radio broadcast in the long, sordid history of Chicago sports. The Milwaukee Brewers were hosting the Cubs on Sept. 23, 1998. Chicago was locked in a tight wild-card race with the Mets and Giants. The Cubs held a 7-0 lead over Milwaukee entering the seventh inning -- just the sort of scenario a fatalistic Chicago fan greets with dread.

Ron Santo played for 15 years (1960-74) in the majors, the first 14 of them for the Cubs.Cubs starter Steve Trachsel was removed from the game. The bullpen quickly allowed a sequence of singles, walks and hit batters. In the bottom of the ninth, the score was 7-5. The bases were full, and a haggard Rod Beck stood on the mound.
Ron Santo and Pat Hughes called the game on WGN Radio.

HUGHES: "Two down, the Brewers have the bases loaded, and a 2-2 count on the hitter. Here's the pitch. Swung on. Fly ball to left field. Brant Brown going back. Brant Brown ... drops the ball!"

SANTO: "Oh, nooooooooo!"

HUGHES: "He dropped the ball!"

SANTO: "Nooooooooo!"

HUGHES: "Three runs will score, and the Brewers have beaten the Cubs."

Hughes spoke flatly. Santo wailed. Listening to their broadcast, you could feel the sincere disappointment, a savage hatred for Brant Brown, and -- perhaps more than anything -- a profound desire to console Santo. The noise he emitted was the sound of pure grief.

There goes my platoon RF combo that would strengthen the bench...

Ken Rosenthal reporting that

Reggie Sanders and Ken Lofton are both offered deals with Dodgers

Lofton is deciding between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks, with the Orioles running third, according to a source close to the negotiations. The Diamondbacks are on the verge of acquiring center-field prospect Chris Young in the Javier Vazquez trade, but Young is not yet ready to play in the majors.

Sanders, 38, is drawing interest from the Blue Jays, Orioles, Royals and an unidentified team in addition to the Dodgers. He likely would play left if he signed with the Dodgers, with Lofton taking over center and J.D. Drew remaining in right. Lofton frequently hit second behind Jimmy Rollins with the Phillies last season, and likely would assume the same position with the Dodgers, hitting behind Rafael Furcal.

X:

Pitching 200+ innings would be a lot more impressive if Vasquez didn't give up 1+ hits per inning and 1+ home runs per start.

I'm sending a case of Geritol to the LA National league franchise.

"I am not at all sure that Hendry would not (for better or worse) trade Murton, Pie, Cedeno, Hill, or anybody else in the Cubs farm system if he thought he could actually get a Miguel Tejada or a Bobby Abreu back in the deal. "

That's my point Phil. If he isn't really getting the better end of the deal from someone (getting an ALL-STAR for prospects) he usually doesn't trade high-value prospects.

Sound clip of Ron Santo/Pat Hughes Brant Brown incident...

http://www.northtonorth.com/pages/soundclips/...

Bogey,

Anderson had the same #'s young did at Birgimham in 2004. Young has more arm strength, Power, and speed and a better glove. The only tool Anderson has better than Young is hitting for average. Also Jerry Owens is going to be Tom Goodwin.

X,

How can you say that Vazquez is a good pickup for the Sox and say how bad Maddux is. There Statistically the same pitcher. There both solid 4's and that is it.

I miss Lieber.

"Pitching 200+ innings would be a lot more impressive if Vasquez didn't give up 1+ hits per inning and 1+ home runs per start. "

No doubt...but 7 innings and 4-5 runs per start every time out is pretty good for a guy who slates to be a 4th/5th starter. Can we count on that from our 4th/5th starter? (who is that anyhow?)

Give me 5 starters who get the game past

Cont...

Give me 5 starters who get the game into the 7th, and can keep my bullpen short, and I'll take that.

Are there better SPs than Vazquez? Sure there are - no doubt. Are there better 4th/5th starters? Not too many. I'd take him in our rotation right away if the cost was one marginal OF prospect who was hitting under .280 in the minors, a mediocre RP (Vizcaino) and Orlando Hernandez.

"Ortiz only had two seasons with over 172 IP in his 6 years at Anaheim. In the past 6 years Vazquez has been over 198 IP every single year. Vazquez is a horse. He is built to go 200 innings, and he delivers that. Ortiz is tiny, slender, and never was a workhorse. There is a significant difference."

This is such a selective use of statistics, I am not sure where to begin on this.

First, who wants an innings-eater if those innings suck? Both Vazquez and Ramon Ortiz give up a home run every 6 innings or so.

Second, even if you care about which pitcher can "eat innings", the innings-pitched difference between Ortiz and Vazquez can largely be explained by Anaheim's decision in 2004 to put Ortiz in the pen for half the year. It's not like Ortiz has been injured a lot -- except for the 2004 bullpen experiment, Ortiz has 30 or more starts in his other complete seasons in the majors with 10 complete games.

Third, since when does physical build matter? X, by your measure of starting pitcher quality (IP and physical stature), I take it you would rather have Javier Vazquez (6'2", 217 lbs, 215.1 IP per season last three years) than Jake Peavy (6', 182 lbs, and average of 188.1 IP per season for last three years)?

I am not saying that Vazquez is beyond-hope. He could be Jason Schmidt or John Patterson in the right location. But that is a big ballpark like SBC Park, RFK or Shea to succeed -- not The Cell, BOB, or Wrigley, etc.

X, going 7 and allowing 4-5 runs would yield no wins for the Cubs....that would be horrible...

X:

A pitcher that goes 7 innings and gives up 4-5 innings is a pretty solid description of Jerome Williams. In his 14 starts with the Cubs last season, he went 7+ innings and gave up 4 or fewer runs 7 times. He went 6+ innings and gave up 4 or fewer runs in 12 of 14 games.

The difference is that Williams makes around $375K and doesn't cost us any other players. Vasquez makes $8 million (assuming the D'Backs are eating a chunk of the salary) and it would probably have taken Williams, a bullpen arm, and a Cedeno/Pie type prospect to land him. He just isn't worth that.

X,

You are right, I stand corrected on Rusch in Milwaukee. He did such his years there. I was thinking of Rusch in the Mets, where he had good K/BB rates and other despite a penchant for giving up home runs. Presumably, it was the potential shown in the Met years that Hendry saw when he brought him to the Cubs for 2004.

"Third, since when does physical build matter?"

It often does. Bigger guys are often much more prepared to handle 200+ IP than small guys. Of course that's not a rule of thumb. In Vazquez's case, his 8 year career proves that out.

"X, going 7 and allowing 4-5 runs would yield no wins for the Cubs"

That's a different problem now, isn't it? Going 5 innings and giving up 6 runs would have less of a chance, even if in conjunction with adding one more non-Abreu/Tejada type player.

"A pitcher that goes 7 innings and gives up 4-5 innings is a pretty solid description of Jerome Williams."

How many times has Williams gone 200 IP? 175? ok - 150? Still 0? Ok, 32 starts? 28 starts? 24 starts? Still 0? You can't project Jerome Williams out to do something he has yet to do, and then bank a season on that. I'm sorry - I don't buy that. I ran a 2 yard dash in .001 seconds. What's my 40?

"He just isn't worth that."

Not if we get 7 innings and 4-5 runs per start for 32 starts from Williams. But what are the odds? And are we significantly cash constrained? Don't we have money?

The Sox gave up a guy who is not a top 10 in their system, a bad RP, and Duque. I can't believe guys don't think Williams made a good deal just because Vazquez isn't a front of the rotation guy.

5 years ago, a middle of the rotation starter who had 200 IP could be had cheaply. Today's market isn't as such. The Cubs don't have to continue to be cheap. We have a 100mm budget and should be able to afford to build a team that can contend with the Cards (who have almost no players signed as cheaply as Prior/Z and a smaller budget than we do). I just don't get why we struggle so much to compete to acquire players who fit into our team.

"You are right, I stand corrected on Rusch in Milwaukee. He did such his years there."

No worries - I remember Sports Center covering that last season he had in Mil. He was TERRIBLE. Hendry did a great job identifying him as a guy who could deliver value "cheaply". I'm just not sure he's worthy of being a 4th/5th starter on a team with championship aspirations. If you told me he was the Pirates 4th/5th, it would make sense. I'd even believe Colorado signed him. But a team with a 100mm+ payroll should no be so regularly scrapheaping...

"But a team with a 100mm+ payroll should no[t] be so regularly scrapheaping..."

I agree totally. The Hendry reclamation projects (Rusch, Dempster, Williamson, Alan Benes, Jeff Fassero, etc.) are nice projects to continue, but not necessarily as a core competency.

What I don't understand is how a team with a $100 million payroll has no power-hitting corner outfielders. Those are players you don't need to develop or look for on the scrapheap -- you sign 'em for a couple years and if he starts to suck, you eat the money on the contract and trade him to another team and go find the next one. Big-budget teams can do that.

"What I don't understand is how a team with a $100 million payroll has no power-hitting corner outfielders. Those are players you don't need to develop or look for on the scrapheap -- you sign 'em for a couple years and if he starts to suck, you eat the money on the contract and trade him to another team and go find the next one. Big-budget teams can do that."

I agree 100%. I'd add that a 100mm+ team with what was described as one of the top farm systems in baseball for a few years, up until just recently, can still have so many holes. (2 experienced Corner OFs, a SS, starters and relievers). And it's not like we are tied to bad contracts. We have a few really good ones.

I'm honestly confused.

Anyone looking for what a big build does for a pitcher need look farther than our own Z.

"What I don't understand is how a team with a $100 million payroll has no power-hitting corner outfielders."

FWIW, Murton slugged .521 last year. Just because he's patient and has decent speed doesn't mean he's not a power hitter. But of course, it's still perfectly valid to wonder why a 100mm+ team has no power-hitting corner OF with more than 140 career AB.

"FWIW, Murton slugged .521 last year. "

Agreed. I'm not sure if he projects out to be a 28 HR guy over a full season. If he ends up going .300/.400/.500, that's great. I'll be thrilled. My projections are more modest than that for a rookie OF.

Face it, our team is in trouble until we get Wood off the payroll. We have 2 #1 starters, 2 #5s and a guy who should not even be starting in MLB(Rusch 57-86!!!). Its getting to be too late to fill all of the holes in the lineup. We cannot go into the season with Murton/Barrett/Cedeno/J jones batting 5-8(not in that order). We will have to battle to finish in 3rd place if that is the case. Fire Hendry signs should be in the stands this season, because this COULD be the worst $100mil team, EVER!

Just to update the Vasquez discussion -- the D'Backs are only sending $5 million in the trade, so the Sox will be paying him around $9.5 million per year.

I would say Jim Hendry does NOT hang onto prospects, preferring instead to develop players, package them in twos or threes, and then trade the "package" for established position players.

Well ummm that would be nice if we actually developed any players and traded them for what we needed. The fact is the only players we have developed since 1998 are Wood, Prior, and Zambrano.

But ofcourse it also depends on what your version of developed means. If it is just getting to the majors but being lousy then that is development of a player. I tend to think of development of players as bringing them up through the system and then actually turning them into productive major leaguers.

Hendry dropped the ball on Juan Cruz, Choi, and Hill. All were can't miss prospects and held onto after their value dropped. Don't tell me Choi and Hill pulled Lee and Ramirez because of their talent it was more to do with money than anything.

Lets not forget when Hill's and Cruz's value was at its peak the could of easily been shipped out for Scott Rolen. The Cardinals offered lesser talent and got Rolen.

Hendry has a habit of holding onto too many prospects and letting them rot in the minors. The Juan Pierre deal is the first time as GM that he took guys like Nolasco (which I am sad to see go), and Pinto when their value was at their peak and traded them. It is the first time he didn't sell low on one of his prized prospects in his entire stint as GM. You know this man is desperate to save his job when he is doing things he has never done in the past.

BTW, anyone read Deadspin.com? The athlete run in's are great. Check out the Sosa, Caminiti, and Joe Morgan one's.

I also found out about the "On the DL." Pictures and stories of your famous ballplayers out for a night on the town.

I didn't this, but apparently Keith Foulke is one party animal in Boston. That might explain why he had a terrible season last year.

Re #76 Kovac, regarding Murton:

I like Murton too. I saw him in a few games in the Arizona Fall League this year and I don't think I saw him make an out, he was consistently driving the ball to the gaps. I see him with an upside as a John Olerud-type player -- 20+ HRs in a good year, some very high OBP years and fair slugging.

I think he is an everyday player and probably will be the everyday LF for us. But in general, we should be able to do better in corner OF positions. Murton is precisely the type of player that we might able to market to another team along with a pitching prospect to attract top-tier talent like an Abreu, and I would not be upset if they did so.

I am more dismayed about RF, where a Brian Giles, Shawn Green, Aubrey Huff, or Reggie Sanders would be a nice fit, all of whom this team simply seems to have no interest in pursuing.

I see on ESPN that Jacque Jones will decline the Twins's arbitration offer because he has two "multi-year" offers -- one from KC for 3 years/$15MM. I will absolutely sh*t a pickle if the Cubs match or beat that offer.

okay so now that Pierre is a Cub - in all serious what do you think his odds of staying healthy are? Over/Under anyone for number games played by Pierre who hasn't missed a game in three seasons? Let's see if we really are cursed.

from Rotoworld.com

Juan Uribe went 2-for-4 with a homer yesterday in his first game for Escogido of the DWL.
He was the DH yesterday. With Neifi Perez on the team, Uribe might not see a lot of time at shortstop.

Eeek...is Dustbuster managing in the DWL too?

"The Los Angeles Dodgers have reportedly filled the left side of their infield, signing free agent third baseman Bill Mueller."

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2...

To all of ye of little faith who INSISTED Juan Pierre would be a "1 year rental:"

Pierre is signed only through the end of this season, but both he and Hendry said want to negotiate a longer deal.

"I hope to be here for a long time," Pierre said

from

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2...

Also says Pierre will wear the #9 jersey. Dont remember, but I dont think that was his # in FLA. Anyone know why he picked #9?

9 was his number in Florida.

DA KRONE: Pierre did wear #9 with the Marlins.

"Pierre is signed only through the end of this season, but both he and Hendry said want to negotiate a longer deal.

"I hope to be here for a long time," Pierre said"

Well - that clinches it. Cuz no player would ever say that to endear himself to the fans in a new city and no GM would ever say he really wants to resign a guy who he just gave up some of his most well regarded prospects to get when reality may be that he isn't willing to pay the price that player might command.

Pierre has good reason to demand similar money to whatever Damon gets. That will determine how interested Hendry REALLY is in signing him. Damon won't likely get what Boras said he wanted, but he will still get a decent length deal for a guy his age, and will still get a big chunk of change for a guy with a declining skill set.

I hope Hendry does want to resign Pierre. I hope Pierre does want to stay. Let's see how it plays out. But there is no way that I will take either of their words as gospel. It's far too likely that this was playerspeak and GMspeak.

The Cubs wouldn't have to match much less beat the offer from KC for Jones.

Anyone who would go to KC to play deserves the misery and obscurity that comes with it.

It's players like those that end up "requesting a trade" halfway into the contract.

Isn't that right, Mr. Tejada?

"The Cubs wouldn't have to match much less beat the offer from KC for Jones."

Mr. Hendry, we know you think that way. Tell me how that's worked out for you? Being low bidder for a FA and betting on the Cubs Mystique to bridge that gap... What FAs has that gotten you?

Yes, it got you Todd Walker. And now it looks like you are trying to upgrade from him. Did it get you Vlad? NOPE Did it get you Beltran? NOPE Did it get you a top tier closer? NOPE What have you gotten by "not match much less beat the offer" from other teams for a player?

Jim, your plan of not matching or beating other team's offers has gotten you 0 top tier FAs during your tenure here. It's gotten you Alou coming off a major injury. It got you lots of reclamation projects. It got you some high pricecd marginal performing middle relievers since you wouldn't pay the price for top tier closers. When Z and Prior are FAs, which one is going to take less money to stay here rather than be in LA, ANA, BOS, NY, etc.? When Lee and Aramis can opt out, do you not have to "match much less beat the offer" that they are getting?

Mr. Hendry, as a stockholder of TRB, I appreciate your desire to save me money. Lord knows this stock has been a dog for a while. But as a fan of the Cubs, I emplore you to wake up and smell the roses. You can't get away with "not match much less beat the offer" for long. Eventually teams will force you to do it. (Sosa and Wood have done it so far, and both of those deals became regretable quickly.

Two quick points from Jim Callis' (from Baseball America) chat on ESPN Insider.

1) Chris Young was the best OF prospect that the White Sox had and will probably make his big splash this year or next. With this is mind, it would have taken Pie to get Vasquez from the Diamondbacks.

2) If the Cubs had to offer Pie in a trade for Tejada, they should do it in a heartbeat. He questioned Pie's 'hittability" and plate discipline as the obstacles that may prevent his from becoming a star.

With this is mind, I couldn't care less about the Vaquez trade, but definitely think we should get a package together that included Pie and go after Tejada. Also, whatever happened to the 3-way trade being thrown around TCR involving the A's (Zito), Phillies (Abreu), and Cubs (prospects).

Hendry has a habit of holding onto too many prospects and letting them rot in the minors.

That's because part of the Cubs philosophy is to hype the prospects--REALLY hype them up good. The problem is the farm system, scouts and Hendry/McFail all seem to start believing their flawed assessment (hype) of their prospects and refuse to deal certain players who never will amount to the potential the Cubs have well-established for them. The other problem is the other MLB teams have scouts who are scouting talent and not the hype the Cubs put out there. They don't want our hyped up prospects nearly as much we do...and we never seem to be able to ship them out.

Why is it that when the Cubs are dealing for a marquis type player they want Prior or Zambrano in return? Yet other MLB teams can offer a moderately talented player and a select prospect and they get the deal done for a marquis type player. The reason is two-fold...

1. The Cubs have hyped up their prospects to TCR readers....and MLB teams know good and well that the prospects aren't going to amount to what the Cubs believe (funny how these hyped prospects don't even make it up to the .500 Chicago Cubs either)

and

2. Other teams know the Cubs are desperate to make a deal--whereas many other teams are supplementing with a nice trade...not trying to fill huge desperate holes with one trade.

X,
I'd agree that Hendry's FA tactics and trades this year appear perplexing, unconventional, stupid, etc...
But I think that you have to give him credit for avoiding bombs like Percival and Kolb (as well as Beltran, who was not a bomb, but probably not worth the money).
I remember the posts at that time. We all thought he was an idiot for letting Percival get away (myself included).
I'm upset about his recent trades/signings/and non-trade/signings, but I was mad last year too.
Wouldnt you be alot more angry at this point if we were paying Kolb and Percival?

the "hype" you hear comes from well more than the cubs.

there's an entire industry separate from the cubs along with other scouts that would give the same report on many of the cubs failed prospects and the ones with the club now.

and a lotta these trades going on arent scrub prospects for stars. with the exception of the m.cameron trade (depending on how you feel about nady) almost all the prospects for stars trades have involved giving up the cubs equivalant of a pie/cedeno/r.hill type. hell, in 1 short month the mets have dismantled 2/3rd of their prospect stregnth...luckily, they still have l.milledge.

nolasco, a middle of the pack top pitching prospect and s.mitre, a starter out of options...those are the only 2 cubs prospects casualties so far.

I agree Champ. By not taking any silly risks, Hendry avoids, for the most part, silly contracts.

The problem is that, as in life, one who takes few risks often find proportionately few rewards.

I admitted it yesterday. I'd have traded Guzman and Brownlie a few years ago. But I'd also have traded Zambrano. I put less value on midtier and even upper tier prospects than I do on MLB players who can help you TODAY. I wouldn't have traded Prior. But he's the rare exception.

Right now, I am tired of the low risk strategy that, coupled with a 100mm payroll, is almost sure to end between 75 and 85 wins nearly every year. I would rather see the team go down in flames and know that management made a full effort than to see them continue to fizzle around. That's just me. There are some who would much rather keep holding their breath that two or three of the prospects come up atthe same time, and that we can build a dynasty that can win a few times over the course of 5 years.

Me personally - I just want to win ONCE. I'm really not greedy.

BTW - Chris Young looks (from his stats and his scouting report) like the second coming of Mike Cameron.

I said this yesterday and only Chad responded:

Angel Guzman for Mark Kotsay.

Kotsay is a solid, Bill Mueller type player. He plays hard. Strong defense, lefthanded stick. Good on base, good character. Light on the slugging, especially for a corner. I'd take him for two reasons: He's a solid all around "fundamentals" player and he could be easily spun into another trade-aka good market value.

Carmen - a few thoughts...

a) Beane is loaded with pitching right now. He has nowhere to put Guzman except the minors.

b) He is short on offense - and can't move Kotsay

c) Kotsay just signed a 2 or 3 year deal last year, under market, because he wanted to stay in Oakland.

I don't see Beane trading him.

I don't know if this is just posturing for trade purposes, but in Paul Sullivan's most recent article (link below) Hendry said he may start off the year with patterson in rf. That would prettymuch guarantee the cubs the worst lineup in baseball. ugh. Is Hendry trying to lose his job?

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sport...

I dont know about you guys, but I think this off-season has been a bust. It seems like all of Hendry's options for RF are running out. With the exeption of the Pierre deal, I have been completely unimpressed by anything this off-season. Hendry said earlier this month that by january the Cubs would be a much better team than it is now. I'm sorry, but OBVIOUSLY just having a RF would make any team that had the same holes as we do "better".

I fear that our starting RF next year will be Jaque Jones or someone of equal value (if you can call it value). It is relatively sad when the only thing better we can get (without giving up the entire farm system/Prior/Z) for RF is Huff.

But I dont understand how we can compete unless Hendry pulls a "Dodger steal" with Millwood or an equivalent.

I will be very surprised if any big impact players will be aquired/signed this off-season.

I think describing this offseason as a bust is putting it mildly. I would go with miserable failure. Or maybe trajeshamockery

There is still 3 months left to this offseason...you never know what is going to happen. Us here on the board shure as hell don't know what's going to happen. Although, we like to think we do.

Just don't throw in the towel yet.

Good to see TCR is finally seeing the things I have seen about Hendry for the past year or so. Like I have said the 2006 Cubs team won't be much different than the 2006 Cubs team. So far only 2 relief pitchers and a CF have been changed. And now maybe Patterson in RF!! HA HA HA

Bye bye Hendry and in turn Dusty!!

I'm with X I don't really care about the future. I want to salute my cubs flag once as a World Series champion. Give up the future and get whatever it takes to win this year. No one is going to remember the names of those prospects who never pan out or turn out like K-PAT, everyone will remember the names of the championship team. With more money we can afford to get free agents in the future.

Manny, you really should read this board more carefully. Plenty of people have been critical of Hendry's moves for a long time. You are by no means the first person to ever be critical of his moves on TCR.

The difference is that most also see the positive additions he's made and don't use him as a scapegoat for Dusty's mistakes and the team's underperformance for 2 consecutive years.

WOW Blededing Blue spinning another poor offseason by Hendry into blaming Baker...SHOCKER!!!

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sport...

I don't know if you've seen this but CP will be offered arbitration and pecniled in as our starting RF.

Blue:
"You are by no means the first person to ever be critical of his moves on TCR."

I never said I was the first (your inaccurate words, not mine), but I was clearly part of the early charge when I started calling him out last offseason when Hendry laid an egg.

Manny:

Weren't you one of the people last offseason predicting that the Cubs would win 90+ games?

Chad:
"I don't know if you've seen this but CP will be offered arbitration and pecniled in as our starting RF."

Thanks for the link. Sadly, Patterson shouldn't even be offered arbitration (should be traded), let alone a starter, let a alone our starting RF.

Vorare:
"Weren't you one of the people last offseason predicting that the Cubs would win 90+ games?"

Yes, I was one of the brainwashed some that bought into the addition by subtraction crap Hendry was spewing.

Vorare-
Also, I am the ultimate optimist too. I say the Cubs will win like 90+ games every year. :)

The koolaide tastes good!!!

i see howry/eyre as a big addition to the NEEDS of the club...no, theyre not didnt lead off Sportscenter as the news of the day when they signed, but the cubs shouldnt suffer for having them.

with pierre that should at least make people happy 1- the trade went off without touching the top 3-4 pitching prospects the team has and 2- patterson wont be starting in CF. about the news report about patterson in RF...yeah, maybe if the season started today.

zambrano/prior/maddux/wood/j.williams/rusch

dumpster/howry/eyre/wuertz/novoa/ohman/williamson

pierre
t.walker
d.lee
a.ramirez
??RF??
m.murton
r.cedeno
m.barret

mix/match that lineup as you see fit. assuming the RF'r will probally 1- be able to field/throw and 2- will be a 25+HR type...that's not that bad.

the bullpen, especially im not worried about as much as i have been in years past. and all that up there could change by opening day anyway.

Hendry's done a poor job this offseason. What more do you want me to say? If he's gone after this year, particularly if he defends an underperforming team again, I won't be shedding any tears.

But "another" poor offseason? Hendry had great offseason in 2004, putting together a team that should have sleepwalked into the playoffs, and after an average offseason in 2005 still had a team that still had enough talent to compete for the playoffs (the same team that you said preseason should win nearly 90 games)

For someone who says hardly a word about the underperformance of those teams, and who at every turn defends Dusty, who is responsible for the performance of those teams, to call for the Firing of Hendry if he can't work magic in a very talent-poor offseason; yeah, that's scapegoating.

Manny, just reporting the facts. just the facts. My views on Corey Patterson are well documented here at this board. But let me offer this....

Maybe CP can do a decent job batting 7th and playing right field. My real problem with him was A. his idea that he was the next barry bonds and b. how the cubs had set the whole franchise up around him to be the star.

If he's not expected to be the heart and soul of this team, then maybe he can be adequate. I feel he can up better numbers that Juan Fucking Encarnacion.

"Hendry also called Baltimore on Tuesday regarding shortstop Miguel Tejada, but the Orioles are inclined to keep Tejada."

Same article.

Blue:
"to call for the Firing of Hendry if he can't work magic in a very talent-poor offseason; yeah, that's scapegoating."

That is your opinion and you are entitled to it, but I just can't agree with that. He has had 3+ years now to get a team ready to compete for a WS and it truly hasn't happened. With a $100M payroll and no more Sosa excuse, I think the talent should be better.

And right now, my vote is Preston Wilson for right field. I think he'd be fine.

Sadly, Patterson shouldn't even be offered arbitration (should be traded), let alone a starter, let a alone our starting RF.

And who is Hendry going to magically trade Patterson too? If the Cubs shouldn't offer him arbitration, then what team in their right mind is going to give up players for the right to pay him $3 mil next season?

And there's no way Patterson is penciled in as the starting right fielder when the offseason is done. (Dusty might play him instead of Murton like he did last year, but that won't be Hendry's fault)

He has had 3+ years now to get a team ready to compete for a WS and it truly hasn't happened. With a $100M payroll and no more Sosa excuse, I think the talent should be better.

He had "ready to compete for a WS teams" in 2003 and 2004. Its a shame those talents were wasted.

And I'll even remind you that in August 2004, when you were ignoring my complaints about Dusty and you were certain that team would make the playoffs, I warned you that we wouldn't see a team that talented again for several years. Maybe I knew what I was talking about.

Manny:

I just find it odd that heading into last season you'd call the team Hendry put together a 90+ game winner, and then three months before this season even starts (and despite several important improvements) you're ready to proclaim it a miserable failure thanks to Jim Hendry. Something doesn't compute.

Crunch,

Thank you for bringing common sense to this board. Hendry has fixed this teams two biggest problems and all he gets is flak for not wasting the farm on overrated guys like Renteria or Vazquez or not overspending for Furcal. and as for Cpat being "penciled" in for the RF job rightnow he is our best option on the roster. Would you like to see Hairston or Mabry out there?

Vorare-
Read the posts recently, many people are thinking the same thing. Jump on board...

Right now, even in DustyWorld, CP is our best option in RF. We'll see how this pans out. Bring on Preston Wilson.

Blue:
"He had "ready to compete for a WS teams" in 2003 and 2004. Its a shame those talents were wasted."

The team in 2003 was ready to compete for a WS? And it is a shame the 2004 team suffered the worst rash of injuries any Cubs team has had in ages.

You are not a fan of baker, I am not a fan of Hendry. If things don't improve drastically in the next couple months, I think we will both get our wish of getting them out of town.

Blue:
"And who is Hendry going to magically trade Patterson too?"

If we can't get a bag of batting practice balls and two broked bats for him, then just non tender him. He was one of teh worse players in all of baseball last year and has shown no signs of wanting to correct his problems.

"Dusty might play him (Patterson) instead of Murton like he did last year,"

So Murton should of played CF?? Interesting...

Chad,

I agree with you on Wilson and those who kneel down to the SABR gods are going to BBQ us for it. Wilson is a solid 30 HR 100 RBI guy his carrer OBP is like 60 some points above his BA so he has atleast solid discipline so I dont know why all the sabr types hate him. He would also be a solid defender. He wouldnt me my first choice I would love Kearns or Gibbons coming over in a Tejada deal but Wilson would be a solid choice.

I loved this part of the article...

Wilson's agent has informed the Cubs they're his top choice and that he would love to play for Dusty Baker.

The running theme of only crap players wanting to play for Baker keeps ringing true.

The only bright spot of that article is the hope that Pierre can teach Patterson how to be a better hitter. Well atleast on the bunting aspect of the game. But I have doubts that will even work. We had Vince Coleman come in and work with this team many times and you would think he could make an improvement on Patterson and his approach to the game.

wow, some really great posting on this thread.

i gotta admit (though reluctantly) that post #72 hits it right on the head.

pardon the following rant:

i mean, my god man, glendon rusch is our #4/5 starter? its like some kind of slap in the face i tell you! the sox have this stockpile of SPs, pitching complete games all thru the playoffs while leaving a great arm off the damn roster all together? cripes! i mean greg maddux is like the fucking guru or whatever but hey, he gives up way too much ass (homeruns) and after all them years of 15 wins he barely gets 13, and what, hes supposed to come BACK and win 15 or more in 06? not to mention his paycheck!
carlos zambrano? check.
mark prior? check.
kerry wood? $11M timebomb not getting any younger.
greg maddux? old, homer-prone $$ sponge.
glendon rusch? BULLPEN
jerome williams? big fat maybe.
holy shit i think im about to be sick.
ive tried to be calm, walking around saying "eyre and howry make sense! hey our pen is solid, baby!" but for petes sake our starting pitching is a fucking circus right now!!
06 is NOT going to be our year. who can we beat?

post #106 as well i must agree with.
FUCK prospects. fuck em all. get us the god damned WS that we all want. now. fucking right fucking now. do that, and THEN go ahead and build us a goddamn crop of legacy players. stop-gaps until pie can tie his own shoes, yadda yadda yadda..well fuck the stopgap AND pie goddammit!!

jesus these moves the mets and dodgers have been making....

aaaahhh. there, i feel better now..NOT.

So that is what a Cubs fan with Turrets Syndrome is like.

me again.

'scuse me, forgot to comment about offering K-pat arbitration so he can continue his excellence for us in RF as we bring you another year of exciting cubs baseball...

my comment:

CUBBY: "Oh, nooooooooo!"

HUGHES: "He's starting Patterson in RF!"

SANTO: "Nooooooooo!"

HUGHES: "Three strikeouts will ensue, and the Cubs have beaten the Cubs."

The cynicism around here is just out of control. Can we save some of it for late February when we actually know what the 2006 Cubs will look like?

Well MikeC,

Bad example. Preston Wilson is by no means a crappy player. In facts he's pretty good.

Vorare,

I am not cynical.

yet

So Murton should of played CF?? Interesting...

Yeah, so typical Manny, Dusty does something even you don't agree with, but you simply refuse to accept the fact that it happened.

Just like with the infield trio of Cedeno, Walker, and Neifi; Murton was competing for playing time with Hairston and Korey (after Holly was traded of course). It wasn't until after Dusty gave Korey one last shot to lead-off and he failed miserably yet again did Dusty start playing Murton everyday.

Perhaps you forgot that couple week stretch where Murton and Korey were on the roster together? Murton played once or twice a week, while Korey was starting most everyday. Or maybe that was Hendry's fault too?

Seriously, your complaints against Hendry might be more believable if it wasn't so obvious that you're trying to use him as a scapegoat for Dusty, who you so blindly follow that you not only defend nearly all of his decisions, but you refuse to even believe it when he made moves that you don't agree with.

Blue:
"Seriously, your complaints against Hendry might be more believable"

I can care less if you "believe" my complaints or not about Hendry. They were not directed at you, I was just agreeing with the many posters who are now complaining about Hendry.

But in turn I have a hard time believing your complaints about Baker as you blindly use him almost always as the scapegoat for the Cubs problems.

See, it works both ways. :)

But he is the scapegoat....

MIKEC (and Bleeding Blue):
"But he is the scapegoat...."

Yes he has been used as the scapegoat. And what does scapegoat mean???

From dictionary.com:
scapegoat (noun)-
1) someone punished for the errors of others
2) one that is made to bear the blame of others.

Yeah sounds about right, maybe Baker is the scapegoat.

I am not saying that Baker is not partly to blame. As I have said many times, he is the manager and has to bare some responsibility for the Cubs not making the playoffs. But to keep pinning a majority of blame on him seems harsh to me. But hey, to each their own.

Hopefully Hendry can pull soemthing out of his ass soon or he AND Baker will be gone soon.

Can he be both the scapegoat and cause of the problems?

He is at the mercy of Hendry's screw ups but doesn't improve the situation with his bad choices in lineup construction, who should play, or basic strategy.

In fact I think Hendry uses Baker as a scapegoat and Baker uses Hendry as a scapegoat. It is nothing more than one big game of pass the buck.

I know this is just a comment thread, and I'm not the best speller myself, but jeez...Should of?
What kind of phrase is that?
as in: Murton should of played CF?
It's Should HAVE!
I'm sorry, I don't know why that irks me so much, but something about seeing "should of" in writing creeps me out.

Anyway,
Corey offered arbitration.
This is how I'm looking at it at this point.
Since they cant get more than a few low level prospects for him right now, they might as well sign him relatively cheap, and maybe use him as a bench player. He also provides some insurance (albeit very bad insurance) as a guy who could start in right field if Hendry fails to trade for someone. I mean, he's better than John Mabry.
This may be hendry saying, OK well we aren't going to find our right fielder on the free agent market because the best that's left is Jacque Jones, Jeromy and Preston Wilson.
All free swinging guys with 20-30 HR power and .255 avg and 150-200 Ks.
If you want that, Corey Patterson can do that, assuming he has an average year, and maybe for half the price.
Then Hendry will try to trade for a better RFer and move Corey to a bench role.
There's also the possibility that Murton can't quite cut it next year, and Corey has a bit of a comeback. In which case Murton could become the 4th outfielder.
I'm just brainstorming here.

Yo Dan,

You SHOULD HAVE edited that part of your post. Keep your grammar lessons to yourself. Not to mention that your post is riddled with typos and grammar mistakes as well. Hypocrite.

scapegoat (noun)-
1) someone punished for the errors of others
2) one that is made to bear the blame of others.

Lets see, In 2004 Manny said he thought the Cubs were going to make the playoffs, in 2005 he thought the Cubs had a 90 win team. In neither case did the team live up to that potential.

During this time, many Cub fans grow weary of Dusty Baker, the man responsible for making sure the team plays to the best of its ability.

Now in the 2006 offseason, Manny - the man who defends nearly every decision Dusty makes (even when it contradicts with his own beliefs) and almost never criticizes Dusty, except for the occational, vague "he's the manager so he deserves part of the blame" - now says that Hendry has never put together a team that was ready to compete for a World Series and should be fired if he doesn't get the Cubs to the playoffs.

If that isn't the provided dictionary defintion of scapegoating, I don't know what is.

I suppose you are going to tell me that RFer isn't a word?

First of all, 114 or so, shit, we HAVE to believe that we'll win 90 games this year. If we don't, what the hell is the point of watching? This is the CUBS we're talking about, if we didn't have this dumbassed blind faith, would any of us still care about baseball?

Secondly, no, Corey's not really penciled in to play right field. But Hendry can't very well go around saying: "well, we don't really have a right fielder right now, if we don't get one by the end of the offseason, we're kind of fucked." Might hurt his leverage a bit in negotiations with free agents and other gm's.

Third, I love reading about how Hendry flubbed on the closer market (this is way up there and I don't feel like digging it up.) I think one of Moneyball's most valid points is on the true value of a closer. And correctly me if I'm wrong, but didn't Dempster have a WAY better season on all the guys we missed out on in free agency and trade.

Don't get me wrong, I'm no Hendry apologist, I'd say I've gone from being a huge fan, to being a bit of a fence sitter. But you can't fault the guy for blowing the bank on some of the crap that's out there. 13 million for Furcal? Give me a fucking break. I do wish that he would turn over top prospects a little faster though.

Let me again make something clear, I do not think Hendry has done a good job this offseason. It was a weak market to start with, and he's only dug himself into a hole at this point. That along with his inability to admit mistakes and make changes to address the continued underperformance put him on very thin ice with me.

But to say Hendry hasn't put together good teams in the past, and blame him for the on field implosions of the past two years is simply out of line in my book.

And for what its worth, the implosion of Korey Patterson, the injury to Nomar, the pre-Murton left field struggles and the inability of the Starting Pitching to go more than 5 innings at a time would have made it even more difficult for even a great manager to put the Cubs in the playoffs last year. But a manager who gave Neifi nearly 600 ABs, including many at the expense of Cedeno and Walker, and then had him bat 1 or 2 in the order, a manager who misused nearly every option he was given in the bullpen - including the LaChoke failure pt.2, and a manager who again proved a total inability to understand basic baseball strategy put the playoffs totally out of reach.

And even having said all that 2006 still doesn't look that bad because any team with Zambrano, Prior, Lee, ARam, and the possiblity of a health Kerry Wood has enough talent to compete for a playoff spot. A couple good performances from Murton and Cedeno and you've still got yourself a formitable ballclub.

"Might hurt his leverage a bit in negotiations with free agents and other gm's."

He has no leverage. Other GMs and agents know that we have no options in RF. This isn't going to surprise anyone. At some point in time he will have to find a RF. Either he will be forced to trade for one, and pay a good price, or he will be stuck overpaying for a guy like Jones. Worst case he brings CP back - but I really don't think that is possible.

Personally, I think Sosa should bear the brunt of all our blame...from now until the end of time. I blame him not because he is a glory hog, not because he's an asshole, not because he was a clubhouse cancer, not because he refused to changed his stance, but I blame him for doing that stupid Pepsi commercial where the Whitesox fan tricks him into eating something spicy. That commercial really sucked, and is the reason that Dusty Baker can't manage a team and that Jim Hendry cannot compile a decent team. If it wasn't for that commercial, where I was forced to hear his stupid laugh at the end (that, 'heh heh heh'), we wouldn't have signed Howry and Eyre to stupid contracts, Corey Patterson wouldn't suck so much, and we'd have a power-hitting right fielder. Damn you Sammy.

"But in turn I have a hard time believing your complaints about Baker as you blindly use him almost always as the scapegoat for the Cubs problems.

See, it works both ways. :)"

No, it doesn't work both ways :) hee-hee
You're being called out again for your blind defense of Dusty. Everyone here sees that Dusty is an overrated fraud except for you. Everyone here also isn't afraid to admit when Hendry makes a bad move.
Hendry himself was man enough to admit that he did a poor job last winter. Yet, your boyfriend, the spineless peice of shit Baker won't take responsibility for anything and constantly points a finger, deflects blame or makes an excuse for EVERY damn thing. Is that the quality you like most about him?

Did anyone hear Dusty on the radio the other day saying that he doesn't need to teach his players the fundamentals? What kind of shit is that, sure they are major leaguers, but when they get lazy somebody has to regulate....THE MANAGER. He always points fingers, won't sack up for anything. Lazy leader(dusty), leads to lazy, unprepared players. We should send Dusty and CP to Japan with Sammy for a new sound system for the friendly confines.

For what it's worth, "should of" is a pet peeve of mine, too. And in my mind, there's a qualitative difference between using "should of" and a typo or spelling error.

I'm with vorare. We've got another three and a half months before the real games start, there's no need to tie ourselves (or those we disagree with) in knots.

Yet.

I think I paraphrase Andy McPhail, who said (when he fired Jim Riggleman):

"I've always said that if the team starts out good and then falls apart, it's the manager's fault. If it starts out bad, then it's the GM's fault."

See 2004, where the Cubs, with pretty much the same talent level as at the beginning of the season, really sucked over the last two weeks. Score 1 for Dusty.

Of course, the one thing I don't like about blaming Dusty for things like Murton's playing time, Dempster closing, etc., is that when it comes down to it, Hendry's the boss. Billy Beane said at one point in Moneyball that the managers are really just middle managers, and in what other industry are middle managers allowed to make important decisions?

If Hendry honestly has problems with Dusty's in-game decisions, lineup cards, etc., he needs to handle it. If he wants Dempster to close, he has a simple conversation with Dusty (who is, after all, an employee of his) that goes: "Let Dempster close, or you're fired."

Maybe I have an imperfect understanding of how baseball front offices work, but that just seems to make sense to me.

i just dont see much of a problem with the in the pen, the rotation, and the lineup (assuming the RF added is a decent D 25+ HR guy..which is what the club is most likely seeking).

in aram/dlee you got 2 40-hr guys...you got a slew of 15-25 homer guys in there...you got pierre leading off and cedeno's gonna be cedeno.

the pen is actually covered for once. the starting pitching has backups already in place...the pen is shaping up to be at least servicable.

but its still early and what it takes to get the RF'r for the club could effect not only who's playing RF, but SS/2nd or 5th starter for the club. ...and if patterson goes the team will probally need another bench OF'r, let's hope hendry can avoid the temptation of signing macias to a minor league contract.

marshall--the way I understand it, a lot depends on the individual club. Just like some mgrs are fronts for the GM, some GMs are just puppets for the owner(s). All depends. I think if Hendry knew a hell of a lot about the way baseball is played, Baker would've been fired by now. But then again, it's a helluva lot easier to fire riggleman, even baylor, than it will be dusty baker. He's a national figure in the game, which makes it a PR issue, which makes it more difficult for JH to just decide to fire him.

But I've gotta be honest, the team would be almost as well served with one of the bat boys batting #2 as Neifi-flipping-perez...

End of the day...

1) Hendry is under pressure from all sides, rightfully so, to find a RF'er, and while most people have at least heard of JJones, JEncarnacion or PWilson, none of the three is likely to save face, or his job.

2) I lost all faith, trust or respect for Dusty Baker as a manager or even a human being in the '03 NLCS. I maintain with every fiber of my being he threw game 5, left (I believe it was) Prior in while he was getting shelled, because he wanted to win it in Chicago. Complete bullshit, plain and simple; a 12-year-old little leaguer would've gone to the pen sooner, but apparently a multi-million dollar manager couldn't figure it out. Ask me, forget Steve Bartman, forget Gonz, (and I'm sorry, pardon my language, edit me please if you like) Dusty Baker's shitty, piss-poor fucking excuses for managerial skills cost the Chicago Cubs the NL pennant, and he hasn't done a helluva lot else other than tank this poor team and the fans since. In that light, neifi perez as de facto starter just isn't that fucking surprising to me.

3) And neither will be our opening day RF'er, who, as it stands THIS SECOND, will be Corey Patterson. Yeah, I know, the season hasn't started yet, but how many people had Rafael Furcal penciled in for opening day? The point is, either every team with a decent RFer even remotely close to being on the block has such outrageous demands that Hendry can't fathom meeting them, or, as seems to be the pattern, Hendry's going to fuck around until it's too late.

Why do you think the term 'rebuilding year' exists when talking about baseball? The mgmt needs to make a decision early whether, for the following year, they're going to attempt to win it all, or invest in the future; a 100m+ payroll isn't a question, it's a fucking answer.

Somebody needs to explain to old Jimbo he's supposed to be putting together a WINNING TEAM, not waiting around for players to fall in his fucking lap. And to do that, you can't try to hang on to every single kid in the system who MIGHT play major league baseball someday. Yes, Ricky Nolasco or (insert name here) might be the next Dontrelle Willis, or Lou Brock, for that matter. But if you knew that, he'd be on your fucking staff already. With that much money invested, and hopes and expectations what they were after '03, the whole fucking farm system should have been raped by now, and the Chicago Cubs should have a World Series victory (or two)

It's not rocket science:

Exhibit A--Did the Florida Marlins suddenly decide to trade Juan Pierre last week? No. That rumor floated around for a week or more before the winter meetings even started. So, instead of starting the 'fire sale' in florida, Hendry helped close it; I'm willing to bet good, hard-earned money that had he moved immediately, he could have gotten Pierre for 1 less prospect, which sets him up better for other trades. Even after LA signed Furcal, Hendry was probably quabbling over the third prospect, which he gave up anyway.

Exhibit B: Well, "We have talked to a couple clubs about outfielders and made some inquiries to free agents. It's hard to put a time frame [on making a deal] when somebody else is really in control of it." That's right sports fans, Jim Hendry just told you his whole approach to baseball management--SOMEBODY ELSE IS REALLY IN CONTROL.

Let me translate: "I'm going to sit here on my fat, overpaid ass, and let somebody else figure out who's going to play RF for MY fucking baseball team, AGAIN, which is to say, do jack and shit, and when the movers and shakers and people who have balls and omar-fucking-minaya's of the league are through, I'm going to pay the Tribune's and fans' money through the nose for somebody who may or may not earn it."

----

Sorry guys, that one's been building for a while. I think I'm good now.

Chad:
"You SHOULD HAVE edited that part of your post. Keep your grammar lessons to yourself. Not to mention that your post is riddled with typos and grammar mistakes as well. Hypocrite."

AMEN. Thanks!!! Gotta love the grammer police.

Big John Stud:
"Hendry himself was man enough to admit that he did a poor job last winter."

If Baker is SOOOOOO horrible of a manager, why is Hendry not completely blasted every 2 seconds for his support of him. Why has Hendry not admitted that as a mistake? No, instead everyone just complains about Baker and in contrast Hendry gets a free ride. Interesting.....

Transmission
"I'm with vorare. We've got another three and a half months before the real games start, there's no need to tie ourselves (or those we disagree with) in knots."

But isn't that what TCR is all about, BLAST anyone who has a differing view of yours?

"Hendry gets a free ride"? Manny, what on earth are you on about?

Crunch, right now, as I see it, the most likely scenario for next year involves Cedeno and Neifi up the middle, Murton in left, Pierre in centre, someone in the J.Jones/P.Wilson/Encarnacion mould in right, and not much on the bench that can step into an everyday job. Do you not find that a somewhat scary proposition?

John HIll:
""Hendry gets a free ride"? Manny, what on earth are you on about?"

Can you please not take my comment out of context.

I said: "instead everyone just complains about Baker and in contrast Hendry gets a free ride."

Meaning compared to baker, hendry gets a free ride. Even in another offseason that Hendry is laying an egg, there are more posts bashing Baker than hendry, but yet hendry hired Baker and has stuck by him. The hatrid toward Dusty should be directed at hendry dso he fires baker or gets fired himself and the new GM fires him.

jh, i dont think neifi is due for the lineup for various reasons. dusty seems commited to play cedeno and if t.walker left j.hairston i feel would probally start over neifi.

either version of that mix seems fine to me, honestly. i can understand why some would believe neifi's gonna start no matter what, but i dont buy it.

Read the posts recently, many people are thinking the same thing (refering to complaints about Hendry). Jump on board...

I said: "instead everyone just complains about Baker and in contrast Hendry gets a free ride."

So everyone is jumping on Board the Bash Hendry Bandwagon, because its a free ride?

Bleeding Blue:
"So everyone is jumping on Board the Bash Hendry Bandwagon, because its a free ride?"

Where did I say the word "EVERYONE"?????

I said "RECENTLY, MANY PEOPLE ARE..."

Man, you are amazing. Just make stuff up...NICE!!!

Where did I say the word "EVERYONE"?????

your quote:

"instead everyone just complains about Baker and in contrast Hendry gets a free ride."

Sorry you think I used the wrong word in your perfect contradiction.

But if it makes you happy, I'll rephrase:

So MANY people are jumping on the Blame Hendry Bandwagon because EVERYONE gives him a free ride?

Blue:
"So MANY people are jumping on the Blame Hendry Bandwagon because EVERYONE gives him a free ride?",i/>

No Bleeding Blue. I know your hatrid for Dusty Baker blinds almost every statement about him to a negative light, but if you could take you anti Dsty glasses off for a second this is what I mean (I will explain it to you as a 3rd grader):

I (mannytrillo) think Dusty Baker (the manager of the Chicago Cubs) gets a high majority (well more than 50%) of the complaints about the Cubs, while the Jim hendry (the overrated GM of the Chicago Cubs) gets considerablly less even though he is Bakers boss and hired him and still supports him. After laying an egg last offseason and so far this one, I am glad MORE people are starting to see the light about Hendry.

Even you have, which is a good step in the right direction. CONGRATS!!!

Manny, I was simply pointing out your contradiction that "Many People are (complaining about Hendry), jump on board" while saying in the same thread "Everyone... gives Hendry a free ride."

It had nothing to do with Dusty.

As far as your other comments go

Dusty gets a high majority of the complaint about the Cubs because he is responsible for getting the most out of his team. For the past two seasons the Cubs have severely underperformed their talent level. Sorry, but that is Dusty's fault.

Meanwhile, People complain about Hendry for personel decisions, including his failure to address the managing and coaching staff. And if you'll note, Henry is frequently lambasted for his inaction where the coaching/managing staff is concerned.

The difference that you see as a "free ride" is that in the previous 3 offseasons, other than addressing coaching issues, Hendry's has done a very good job creating teams that you yourself said should have been playoff caliber/90 win teams.

For some reason, you and pretty much only you, want to blame Hendry for the team's inability to perform up to its talent level - including revising history to say he hasn't put together playoff caliber teams. The only reason I can think of that you would do that is your blind allegance to Dusty, and inability to admit when he makes mistakes.

Bleeding Blue:
"Dusty gets a high majority of the complaint about the Cubs because he is responsible for getting the most out of his team."

But isn't Hendry responsible for getting the best talent possible for a $100 million payroll. Except for 2004 I think he has not done so (of course you will disagree). And in 2004 the team was devastated by injuries which hindered them too much to overcome.

Henry is frequently lambasted for his inaction where the coaching/managing staff is concerned."

No where near enough. As the GM and the BOSS of the team he should be lambasted MORE for teh team not winning. Again, he hired Baker and has stuck by him. Why not redirect your hatrid of Baker towards teh man 100% responsible for his supposed poor managing.

"Hendry's has done a very good job creating teams that you yourself said should have been playoff caliber/90 win teams."

Yes I did say they were 90 win teams, but I also say that in 99% of all seasons as I am the eternal optimist (this year may be the 1%). But clearly last years team was not a 90 win team no matter who was managing. And 2004 team was a 90+ win team but again injuries killed them and it was amazing they were even in the hunt down the stretch.

" your blind allegance to Dusty, and inability to admit when he makes mistakes."

I have admitted many times Dusty made moves or did things I did not agree with. I think he should of benched Patterson WAY earlier. I think he should of lowered Sosa in the lineup earlier. Among other things. You say I have a blind allegence, I have a blind allegence as much as you have a blind hatrid for Baker.

You will never agree with me and I will never agree with you. You have a hatird built up for Baker and will continue to blame him for practically everything that goes wrong with the Cubs even though Hendry is the man who you should blame as he hired him and supports him.

The best thing that can happen for the Cubs long term is Hendry continue to lay another egg this offseason. McPhail finally realize reupping Hendry and Baker is not the answer and move on. Theo Epstein would be availible next year.

Oh well...GO CUBS!!!

Why not redirect your hatrid of Baker towards teh man 100% responsible for his supposed poor managing.

Two reason, one, I don't know the inner working of the Cubs/Trib. Its entirely possible that Hendry's bosses have said that they won't eat Dusty's 4 million/year contract, and Hendry is showing support to Dusty because he's a professional. Considering what McFail, Hendry's boss, has said about Dusty, its a theory that seems very possible.

Two, even if Hendry actually does support Dusty, thats one aspect of his job. Hendry is one of the better GMs in baseball at recognizing and aquiring talent - although he hasn't done a very good job of that so far this offseason.

But isn't Hendry responsible for getting the best talent possible for a $100 million payroll.

Yes, and I've yet to hear you say what Hendry should have done differently in 2005. In fact, the only things I really remember you complaining about last offseason was his inabilty to sign a "top" closer like Percival. Meanwhile, you ignored that hendry said he wanted Dempster to get a shot at closer, where he excelled, and defended dusty for using LaChoke where he clearly failed time and time again.

And in 2004 the team was devastated by injuries which hindered them too much to overcome.

the 2004 team did worse when the team was healthy than it did when it was injured. If you'd been listening to my and others complaints about the mismanagment during that season, instead of complaining about our "negativity," maybe you would have noticed.

The difference between you and me is that I blame both Hendry and Dusty for the jobs that they are responsible for. You complain and cry "hatred" when people point out Dusty's mistakes, and try to blame anyone else - with Hendry being the easiest target - for the inability of playoff caliber talent to perform up to their potential.

And for someone who is as anti-moneyball as you, I'd think you'd hate having Theo as GM.

Blue-
Thanks for your thoughts...I don't agree with hardly any of them, and you don't agree with hardly any of mine, so we are even I guess. You say the same things, I respond, then you say the same things in return, and I respond with my same anwsers. It is like a merry-go-round. Kinda funny!!

I am sure this will not be the last time we have this conversation, as anytime I bring up something about Hendry, you will jump to his defense and blame Baker. I guess things will never change, so I guess it is a waste of time, but fun at teh same time.

Oh well, Go Cubs!!

I am sure this will not be the last time we have this conversation, as anytime I bring up something about Hendry, you will jump to his defense and blame Baker. I guess things will never change

and the point is completly missed yet again....

It always will be. Manny gets his foot in his mouth and dances around the issue. He's right, that won't change.

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