I've Just Experienced a Sudden Increase in Affection for Aaron Miles

From Tracy Ringolsby... 

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa began lobbying last fall for the release of second baseman Adam Kennedy, wanting to keep Aaron Miles instead. Now he winds up with neither, the front office letting Miles go back in December, and then this week giving in on Kennedy and his $4 million salary when it became apparent there was no trade market for Kennedy.

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How is Tony LaRussa like David Paterson?
Both gave up on Kennedy even though they could no longer see Miles.

Seriously though, this is way 3/44.

Huh? So you like him more because La Russa wanted to keep him, even though he still sucks?

But yea... as John Beasley said... WAY 3/44.

Yes.

I think that's a legitimate reason to be optimistic. Maybe Miles will suck less.

A player's manager is really the only one that can place a value on his intangibles.

According to his stats, Miles has succeeded in the #2 slot with (doing this from sketchy memory, for you extra-literal posters) with around a .313 BA and .355 OBP - and tough with two strikes.

The largest amount of his PA's (over 900) which are pretty sucky, come from lead-off, where he just doesn't get the job done.

I'm hoping Lou realizes that even Sori is a better choice than Miles, The Who notwithstanding.

Trying to be positive...maybe we are planning on keeping Miles hidden until the playoffs. Playoff stats are better than anything we've seen the past two years - (BA).364 (OBP).417 (SLG).545

why does every KMOKEFE post have an SNL "debbie downer" tone ringing in the background?

not sure, kmokefe is a real douche though

hope he forgives me down the road

___________________________________________

that was fun

In reality, my previous post was a reply refering to Miles sucking. Hence sucking less would an improvement, and the "debbie downer" becomes the optimist.

maybe a stretch

Also, if the bulls do not obtain Amare, they may lose my loyalty.

they lost my loyalty when they broke the team up in '98.

John Paxson makes Ed Lynch look like a good GM...

Amen to that! Time-honored sports tradition - you honor the streak. That team should have been kept together until they lost in the playoffs....period. The key parts (Jordan and Pippen) would have stayed for 1-year contracts.

I will forever hate Krause for his arrogance and petulance, and Reinsdorff is guilty by association and complicity in the disaster that has become what passes for the NBA on West Madison Street.

No wonder I could care less if the Sox ever win a ballgame.

You can join me on the Memphis bandwagon. We've got PLENTY of room and some pretty decent youngsters.

I took my Daughter to the Grizzlies/Clipper game last Friday. The arena was beyond flat atmosphere wise. Less than half-capacity. Grizzlies down 20 at the half. Zach F"n Randolph had 20 points at the half.

The funny thing is. Memphis University plays in the same building. The forum is sold out every game. Ton's of atmosphere. Loud and rowdy.

Sad state of affairs when the local College outdraws the professional team in town.

to be fair, you went to a Clippers game which is like going to a WNBA game...

The sad part is that they tooled the Grizz.

"The funny thing is. Memphis University plays in the same building. The forum is sold out every game. Ton's of atmosphere. Loud and rowdy."

Point in case people care more about college basketball than the NBA. Personally i love basketball but I can't watch any NBA game ever (except the playoffs). It's boring, one-on-one nonsense and just can't stand it.

Also I bet the price of tickets to the Memphis game are about half of the tickets for the Grizz. Also Memphis could play with the Grizz. They have some good young players but they aren't any good.

The Memphis Tigers could most definitely NOT play with the Memphis Grizz. It would be ugly. Those young players on the Grizz that "aren't any good" looked pretty good in college.

It just bugs when anyone says that some college team could play with, hang with, or even beat a pro team. They couldn't.

I'm really not seeing the argument that a guy is a completely different hitter in the #1 spot than in the #2 spot. Maybe slightly different levels of success, but not that vast. I'm gonna have to go with correlation does not equal causation.

I can't cite specific stats right now, but I do know that Soriano's spread between the leadoff spot and his performance in other lineup slots is pretty wide. I believe his best BA/OBA numbers are as a lead off guy, and when the Cubs got him Lou cited those numbers as the motivation for leading him off. (At least publicly.)

Yeah. I'm not a big believer in that, but I buy it a little more.

Part of my trouble in this case is that we're talking about the #1 and #2 spots in the order, which unless you bunt or hit and run A LOT have basically the same approach. And typically the #2 hitter is gonna come up with no one on base in front of me in the top of the 1st about 35% of the time. It's basically the same spot, except you've got a more feared hitter batting behind you.

I'm gonna say again, probably a case of correlation does not equal causation. When and where did Aaron Miles bat second as opposed to leadoff (or 8th or 9th, as was often the case with the Cards)? Maybe he got a lot of ABs in the two hole when he was hot--got switched there from the 8th spot. Maybe he hit second a lot against left-handed pitchers while he was in a platoon with somebody. Maybe it's just not a huge sample and the fact that his performance coincided with a particular spot in the lineup doesn't have much to do with anything (I suspect this is a big part of Soriano's numbers).

Miles hit more often #2 (151 ABs) than anywhere else in the lineup in 2008. He posted .358 avg/.390 oba/.834 ops numbers there.
He hit 7th (.351/.398/.866) and 9th (.255/.311/.602) next most often. As a leadoff hitter he did OK (.286/.348/.729) but only made 23 appearances in that spot. Not sure how many games he started as a #1 hitter.

About 43% (163/375) of Miles's total career plate appearances in 2-spot came in 2008--his best year to date.

This doesn't prove much, but here's the two most obvious takes on it that I can see:

1. My take: That a Miles's career numbers in the two spot are inflated by his good year last year, which I think he'll have trouble repeating. Also, it could be that his numbers in the #1 spot have been deflated by his poor years in Colorado--maybe he's improved since then and he really is the .350 OBP guy he was last year.

2. Another take: Maybe part of Miles's good performance in 2008 is due to his increase in plate appearance in the 2-hole, where he can hit behind the runner, has Pujols batting behind him, lay down a bunt once in a while, and possibly feels most comfortable.

Also, since we brought up Soriano's numbers, I ran through some of his season splits on Baseball Reference. I noticed that in during some years he actually hit better in the #5 or #3 spot than he did in the leadoff spot that year. Maybe Lou should take a look at that. His OBPs in those spots are a somewhat below his career norm, but his slugging percentage is pretty good. Oh, and he's experienced lower BABIP in those spots than the leadoff spot. Which could mean a number of things.

You're right on both points, and it's true, the figures are going to be affected by so much from year to year. Soriano could have hit better 1st or 3rd or 5th in the seasons you cite because he was in a better lineup, or a lineup more suited to his hitting philosophy (such as it is).

As for Miles, he won't be batting 2nd in a lineup featuring Pujols this season. And I wonder what affect having a position player batting 9th had on his approach. Probably very little with Pujols behind him, but it might be interesting to ponder.

Thank you for pointing that out. Miles probably saw 10 breaking balls in his 151 PA's batting 2nd in 2008.

The Who would agree with him. They can see (for) Miles...

Some nice drawings of the soon-to-be coldest ballpark in baseball.

http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ym...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but is this the same LaRussa that ran out:

Brent Gates
Walt Weiss
Mike Bordick
Frank Menechino
FP Santangelo
Eckstein

As his starting middle infielders a lion's share of his managing career?

So he likes scrappy white guys. What are you going to do?

I think he may be referring to the manager who has won, what - three or four rings and has the highest winning percentage over the longest career of anone currently in the biz.

He's proven he's the best in the business an an innovator, all hate aside.

He's won 2.

And one could argue that Dave Duncan and PED's have as much to do with it than LaRussa.

Even though I do really like LaRussa as a manager. He does seem to really love to small-ball it up. Other than Miguel Tejada and Edgar Renteria. I can't think of any dynamic middle infielder that LaRussa has managed.

For the record, when Miles initially signed with the Cubs, LaRussa called him the "best teammate" he's ever had. Referring to those fabled intangibles, I would imagine.

I'll have to file this under "who cares?"

Sorry, Cubnut, but I just fail to see why this matters. Maybe it's like when you're talking to that slightly unattractive girl you don't have any real interest in, then she gets a boyfriend or starts talking to some other guy, and all of a sudden you want her.

So... I guess in this case Miles is the slightly unattractive girl and Tony LaRussa is the boyfriend. And the Cubs are the emotionally damaged guy stuck in the middle.

Eh...

Nevermind. Hey btw, Aaron, you mad at me for calling you a douche a while back? I hope you didn't take that too seriously.

It's an internet message board.

Ive gotten over it

You're obviously entitled to your 'who cares.' My point in posting this was simply to celebrate my hatred of Tony LaRussa--shared by many Cub fans, I believe--and the fact that the guy he preferred wound up with the Cubs and the guy he was stuck with wasn't even useful as trade bait.

That's all.

Matt Leach at MLB.com thinks the Reds may be up to something good even though he's bemused by the mysterious influence that has wrapped a bunch of low OBP hitters around a core of Bruce and Votto.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090212&c...

Tough crowd today...

check out Ichiro meeting Michael Jordan in 1995
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTNcAemuc2A&feature...

(hat tip to Big League Stew)

and

Elton John/Billy Joel are this year's Wrigley music act...we know Chad will be there.

Hmm... nice to meet you, WebAdmin.

And I would love to see Elton John and Billy Joel... anyone want to buy me tickets? Hell... chad - I will even be your date!

whoops, that was me, forgot to log out, was importing some of our archives last night..

Nothing beats a good rendition of "Piano Man" when you're three sheets to the wind with your buddies, but otherwise I'll pass...

Police lat year would have been cool though if I still lived in Chicago.

speaking of our archives, nothing beats going through the 2006 season...

http://www.thecubreporter.com/archive/all/2006/5.

My enthusiasm for both alcohol and places that serve it have turned me off completely to Piano Man. I hate when 8 drunk people sing it.

I'll probably hate it more when you multiply that number by five thousand.

http://www.theonion.com/content/news_briefs/turns_...

"Turns Out Craig Counsell Was Actually Best Baseball Player Of Steroid Era"

Scott Moore cleared waivers and will go to Orioles AAA/Norfolk

hmmmm. Ray Durham is still waiting for a phone call too.

If Durham can be had on the cheap, he makes sense to me to take the spot on the active roster that might go to Hoffpauir or Gathright otherwise--he can do more than either of those guys in a bench role, even if he can't pinch run like Gathright and doesn't have the power of Hoffpauir at this point.

I wonder if Durham has played any outfield or would be able to fill in at an outfield corner adequately.

I wonder if Durham has played any outfield

He has played a total of 1 inning in the outfield over his major league career.

Good enough for me.

From Rob Neyer's latest blog about Griffey and the Mariners:

"Actually, what's more frightening is the notion of an "incentive-laden contract," because that suggests the M's are hoping Junior will play a lot and that Junior's expecting to play a lot. What if he's too healthy to hit the Pavano* but not healthy enough to play well? Might he balk about being benched, and thus failing to reach those "incentives" that weigh so heavily in his compensation?"

---

" * A wonderful little nugget from the Torre/Verducci book: During Carl Pavano's time with the Yankees, eventually the players began referring to the disabled list as the "Pavano." "

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=...

We should come up with our own set of Cub names which describe some action or issue, like..

He Tuffy'd in the Majors, which means he blew his wad the 1st game of his career and then dropped off into obscurity or...

We got Brock'd on that trade, meaning we got fleeced like dumb shits or...

They Zimmer'd (or Ventura'd, if you are a Sux fan) his ass all over the place, meaning he got slapped around like a little bitch (reference to Pedro Martinez tossing his ass on the ground/Nolan Ryan going to town on Robin's cranium)

...or "He really Glenallen'd that one", meaning he really sent it for a ride.

"Prior drills" meaning anything involving a towel to condition the arm. No baseball of any kind can be involved, or anywhere near this activity.

He got "Dawson'd" - meaning the dumb-ass pitcher was jogging to first on a sure single to right, only to get thrown out at first by the Hawk

Jacque - verb - A) To roll over on a baseball to the pull field, generally resulting in a 4-3 putout. (syn: Derrek Lee circa 2008..I kid I kid) B) To swing over the top of a buried slider by a margin of greater than 6 inches. C) To intend to throw a ball to home plate, and have it bounce before it reaches the lip of the outfield grass. D) To use a bat that is at least questionably feminine in color.

Follow-up:

Neifi - To attempt to perfect the art of bunting with two outs in the 9th inning when trailing by a run.

Lilly'd - firing your glove at the ground harder than you just threw a pitch that went 450 feet!!

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/spring2009/columns/s...

toward the middle of the article is ranking of the 3 least improved teams in the national league

all are in the central:

1. Pirates
2. Cardinals
3. Brewers

other than that kind of a shitty piece

I understand the Brewers. But how did the Cards or Pirates not improve?

To me the Cubs regressed as much as anyone in the division besides Milwaukee.

And the Brewers get Capuano and Gallardo back to replace Sheets and a 1/2 season of CC. Central should be tighter than it was last year.

Bwwaahaa....Dr Aaron..ah that was funny...Capuano and Gallardo to replace Sheets and CC...oh, you were serious?

I didn't mean to imply that Capuano and Gallardo = Sheets and CC.

But in reality Milwaukee got 48 total starts out of Sheets and CC.

IF Gallardo and Capuano rebound to 2007 and 2006 form. Then the dropoff shouldn't be that great.

I'm not saying Milwaukee will be a 100 win team. But I saw someone on here saying they wouldn't be .500 this year. I disagree with that assessment.

Capuano had his 2nd TJ surgery last year and might be back by May. I can't think of too many pitchers that return from TJ surgery pitching at the top of their game...seems to take about 3 months to get their control back. And Capuano was merely slightly good before that...

he did get married in November in Hawaii though...

http://blog.masslive.com/criesandwhispers/2009/02/...

Here's the Brewers situation right now and depth chart...tell me if that was the Cubs how much people would be bitching.
http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brewers/39236757.html

That's funny - I think the Cubs are better than last year, if you look at the bigger picture (getting Miles at half price after DeRosa's career year, dumping Marquis for Heilman/Marshall at a fraction of the cost, adding a good LH bat in Bradley, not overpaying for Wood, getting something out of Hill, Pie and Cedeno, who were out of options and not going to make the team, etc.)

We are still heads above everyone else in the division, both on offense and with pitching. Would you rather have Looper as your #2 starter or Dempster/Zambrano?

Capuano sucks until proven otherwise!

These "improvements" are strange... the only thing that you mentioned that would make the team better is the Bradley addition.

There is no way that you can say Miles is an improvement over DeRoesa, or that Gregg is an improvement over Wood. You MIGHT be able to say that Heilman/Marshall is better than Marquis, but I am not convinced about that. And you can't really say that getting minor league players for Hill, Pie, and Cedeno make the team better.

Now... were they the right decisions? Maybe... but the things you pointed out sure don't make the Cubs a better team than last year.

Well, to your specific point, Woody has had one season in the last 5 where he has not been on the DL for less than four weeks. Indeed, we will be wondering the same with "Gameboard".

And, I strongly feel that getting rid of Cedeno CERTAINLY makes the team better.

I agree completely with big_lowitzki, the moves might end up being good, but they look horrible from the outside. The only move that looks good in theory is bringing in a switch hitting Bradley, but factor in his lack of health and if he spends his typical 60+ games on the D.L. the team is in trouble. And when Abreu, a superior player, was had for $5 mil guaranteed instead of $20-30 (based on health) for Bradley, it makes the Bradley deal look horrible and we haven't even had everyone report to camp yet.

I'll also say that people shouldn't try and justify Miles as a good addition because his salary is half that of Derosa's. Derosa had grossly outperformed that contract and was underpaid. Weak hitting middle infielders who can't run, can't steal, have no power, and are mediocre defenders like Miles can be had all day long at less than Hendry paid. Miles isn't a bargain, especially when he's replacing Derosa's bat.

Woh. Don't say you agree with me on something I didn't say.

I don't think that the moves look horrible at all. I just said that the specific comparisons that the previous commenter pointed out did not make the team better than last year's team.

And no, Abreu is not a superior player to Bradley.

Miles isn't replacing DeRosa's bat - Fontenot is at 2B and Bradley is in RF, and they are both upgrades (IMO). DeRosa had a career year last season at age 33, and his highest HR total before last season was 13, so we really aren't losing that much offense anyways. His versatility was nice, but not for $5.5 million. I wish him success this season, but I'd be surprised if he duplicates his numbers from last year. At the time he was traded, maybe Hendry also thought Peavy was in the near future and he needed to dump DeRo's salary.

I'll argue that if you put the projected starters at their positions for this year and look at last season's starters, we are better in all cases.

RF - Bradley is better than Fuku
CF - Fuku/Johnson are better than a 40-year old Edmonds
2B - Fontenot will be better than DeRosa if he plays extensively

Not that I like what the cubs have done in the off season, but they have addressed their biggest need with a big name signing. Cards haven't really added anybody, and the Pirates never add anybody.

Agreed and I'm sure Hendry went into the offseason with 2 plans in mind - one if it appeared the Central Division rivals were going to make improvements and another if they didn't. Barring injuries, we should be the class of the division. Signing Bradley (or Ibanez) was priority #1 and then so was dumping salary, since we have a lot of backloaded contracts.

I do think, given his ABs, Fontenot will be an upgrade over DeRosa offensively, Bradley is much better than Fukudome in RF offensively, and we are probably better off in center with Johnson/Fukudome than a 40-year old Edmonds.

If Hendry had a crystal ball last season, Pie and Hill would have been traded for Roberts in a flash, but he couldn't know those guys weren't going to pan out. At least he got something for them before we lost them for nothing on waivers...

So Dr., when can we see you doing stand-up?

I think he lost 12 straight starts before the Beew sent him away...

Bill Hall out 4-6 weeks (not Ricky) tore a calf muscle while working out

or is it my Internet connection?

http://www.thecubreporter.com/2007/02/13/cubs-deal...
Silent Towel at some of his best...

my god...a ryu vs. nolasco arguement in there, too.

i also got to assert my then-current marmol-hate (remember when the guy couldn't find the zone to save his life?)

hard to believe we had that crew to talk about just 2 years ago this time. JH has been a "talent" shuffling fool the past many years.

I liked the bit about Soto not deserving a spot on the 40-man roster. A few months later he was our best young player.

ST hating on the Rays new owner and GM was great stuff as was me being told I don't know what I'm talking about when it came to the greatness of Ryu by cwtp/navigator...

Also stumbled on a real gem of a thread back in '05 where the latter of the two slammed Hendry for trading "future hall of famer Dontrelle Willis." Hilarity ensued. Nailed that one.

I could do this all day, really. I've been reading the manny/MikeC reality show. Pretty sure that should be on VH1 between Tool Academy and Rock of Love Bus.

Everybody making fun of John Hill because he had no idea what he was talking about. Those were the days. Those were also the days that our lineup featured an outfield of Hollandsworth-Pierre-Burnitz. Also, we had no shoes, it was snowing, and it was uphill both ways to get to school.

I wish Newport/Racine would close an italics tag.

Sorry about that. I enjoyed ST mention of a pair of used hush puppies, didn't remember that one.

Carlos Zambrano is contemplating laser surgery on his right eye and has decided against pitching for Venezuela in the WBC.
If Zambrano has surgery, he'd miss about two weeks of action, though he could still keep his arm in shape by throwing in the pen.

- Why didn't he do this some other time during the off-season?

i really really really don't wanna hear this.

i'm concerned about where his current FB velocity or health is based on this. yeah, it's a jumped-to conclusion, but his excuse and the timing make no f'n sense given how "about" the WBC he has been.

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