June 2005

Cubs Organizational Report Week 11

Team Records updated through 6/19/05; Individual Stats updated through 6/19/05
Organizational Records
TeamW-LGB/Pos.Last 10Ex W/LW/L (2003)W/L (2004)
Chicago Cubs34-339.5/2nd4-635-3237-3037-30
Iowa Cubs29-429.0/4th4-628-4332-3941-30
West Tenn Diamond Jaxx*44-250.0/1st5-543-2633-3637-32
Daytona Cubs34-316.0/3rd6-433-32N/AN/A
Peoria Chiefs35-354.0/4th6-436-34N/AN/A
Boise HawksJune 22ndN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
AZL CubsLate JuneN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
* West Tennessee clinched the first half North Division title of the Southern League

Cubs Week In Quotations 06-13 to 06-19

Base Running Follies "I wasn't aggressive running the bases because I knew it was hot and I was trying to stay strong. I saw Ortiz bobble the ball and thought I had a chance. When I tried to slide, I was too late. Last night at home, I could move my toe around and it was much better.' - Carlos Zambrano Paging Tom Skilling "Generally as a good hitter, you find your stroke at about 200 at-bats, plus this is the hitters' time of year. We have a lot of guys from warm-weather places, and they're more comfortable with this [weather].î -Dusty Baker Yogi Baker "Plus, they can hit, If you can hit, sooner or later, you'll hit.'' -Dusty Baker

New York, New York!

GAME 66 PREVIEW CHICAGO CUBS (34-31) at NEW YORK YANKEES (34-32) Yankee Stadium, 2:05pm CT, TV: FOX
SP Chien-Ming Wang SP *Glendon Rusch
SS #Neifi Perez SS Derek Jeter
CF *Corey Patterson LF *Tony Womack
1B Derrek Lee RF Gary Sheffield
RF *Jeromy Burnitz 3B Alex Rodriguez
3B Aramis Ramirez DH *Hideki Matsui
2B *Todd Walker

Boise Hawks Roster Revealed

Our low A team in Boise revealed their roster the other day. C - Jonathan Douillard C - Mark Reed (younger brother of Mariners CF Jeremy Reed) 1B - Chris Gaskin 3B - Brandon Taylor (17th round pick from 2005 draft) 3B - Elvin Puello INF - Jonathon Mota (youngest player on the team at age 18) SS - Jose Rios INF - Scott Hode (24th round pick from 2005 draft; shortstop at Arkansas) OF - Alfred Joseph OF - Carlos Quinones OF - Davy Gregg (27th round pick from 2005 draft) OF - Jeff Culpepper (draft and follow from last year) OF - Jesus Valdes

Honor and Tradition and All That Junk

So the Cubs head to Yankee Stadium for a weekend series, and I thought I'd take this opportunity to introduce you all to the team. See, since they're in New York, they don't get the media attention that they probably deserve. They toil in obscurity in a decrepit stadium (which is, thankfully, going to be replaced soon), and because they don't have the revenue to bring their payroll over $200M, they're struggling to stay over .500 and are six games behind the free-spending, large market Orioles. So, herewith, a quick sketch of the 25 guys who wear the pinstripes (which, by the way, are a slap in the face of tradition and ought to be replaced by something in a nice solid-color doubleknit):

Say What???

I just read this over at FoxSports.com, a little brief snippet on Derrek Lee's chances of winning the triple crown...
Anyhow, if Lee is able to maintain his lead in all three categories, he'll become the first hitter to pull off the feat since Boston's Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. More notable, however, is that Lee would become the first National League hitter ever to win the triple crown.
I suppose he means other then Paul Hines (1878), Hugh Duffy (1894), Heinie Zimmerman (1912), Rogers Hornsby (1922 & 1925), Chuck Klein (1933) and Joe Medwick (1937). Sheesh... It is Fox Sports though, so what should I expect? [Update] It looks like someone got the word to Mr. Perry as he's changed the wording. It now reads...
Anyhow, if Lee is able to maintain his lead in all three categories, he'll become the first hitter to pull off the feat since Boston's Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.
I didn't mean to pick on the fella - it's the first time I recall reading any of his stuff and the rest of the article was quite enjoyable with some good insights. Anyway, in other news...

Nothing Like Losses To Make Me Feel Like Complaining

GAME 63 PREVIEW FLORIDA MARLINS (32-29) at CHICAGO CUBS (33-29) Wrigley Field, 7:05pm CT, TV: FSFL, WGN
SP Sergio Mitre SP Josh Beckett
CF *Juan Pierre SS #Neifi Perez
2B #Luis Castillo CF *Corey Patterson
LF Miguel Cabrera 1B Derrek Lee
1B *Carlos Delgado RF *Jeromy Burnitz
3B Damion Easley 3B Aramis Ramirez
C Paul Lo Duca

Rumor time….

I came across this over at Bleed Cubbie Blue. (Don't forget to VOTE NEIFI!). To sum up, Todd Helton would be willing to move to left field if traded to a contender. The Rockies have reached the point of considering moving their franchise player, with first base prospect stud, Ryan Shealy tearing up AAA ball. As with any trade, this is wrought with obstacles such as... 1) He hasn't played left field since 1997, where he played 13 games 2) His contract runs until about 3001 for something like $800 million a year (actually 2011 with a club option for 2012 at about $16 million a year) 3) He'll turn 32 this year and is having a rather awful year, particularly a massive loss in power so far. 4) Career road splits: .296/.392/.519 Career Home Splits: .371/.464/.688 Now if the Cubs have the opportunity to make such a deal, do they pull the trigger?

The One That Got Away

GAME 62 PREVIEW FLORIDA MARLINS (31-29) at CHICAGO CUBS (33-28) Wrigley Field, 7:05pm CT, TV: FSFL, CSN
SP *John Koronka SP *Dontrelle Willis
CF *Juan Pierre SS #Neifi Perez
2B #Luis Castillo 2B Jerry Hairston
LF Miguel Cabrera 1B Derrek Lee
1B *Carlos Delgado 3B Aramis Ramirez
3B Mike Lowell LF Jason Dubois
C Paul Lo Duca

Cubs Organizational Report Week 9-10(2005)

Added a 'Ex W/L' column to Organizational Records which is the major league teams expected win/loss record determined by the differential of runs scored and runs allowed, often referred to as the team's pythagorean record. Team Records Updated through 6/12/05; Individual Stats Updated through 6/12/05
Organizational Records
TeamW-LGB/Pos.Last 10Ex W/LW/L (2003)W/L (2004)
Chicago Cubs33-286.5/2nd6-434-2734-2732-29
Iowa Cubs 26-387.5/4th3-7&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp
West Tenn Jaxx40-210.0/1st5-5&nbsp&nbsp &nbsp
Daytona Cubs33-294.5/3rd6-4&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp
Peoria Chiefs32-323.5/4th5-5&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp
Boise HawksSeason begins June 22nd N/A N/A &nbsp&nbsp&nbsp
AZL CubsSeason begins in JuneN/A N/A &nbsp&nbsp&nbsp

&nbsp

Cubs Week in Quotations 06-06 to 06-12

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels "Henry was good. He said he will slap me." - Carlos Zambrano, on Henry Blanco coming out to talk to him after walking the first 3 batters in Sundayís game versus the Padres Not Settling for Second Best "It's early, but we don't want the Wild Card. We want to win the division. We will win the division. That's our goal." - Carlos Zambrano laying the smackdown Not That There's Anything Wrong with that... "He's a beauty." Jeromy Burnitz, on Carlos Zambrano

I Know You Are, But What Am I?

GAME 61 PREVIEW BOSTON RED SOX (32-29) at CHICAGO CUBS (33-27) Wrigley Field, 7:05pm CT, TV: ESPN
"The Cubs are just simply not a good team. They beat a lackadaisal, average team twice in a row and will likely sweep, but that doesnít make them good. Their closer is highly unimpressive. I donít like their bullpen. Zambrano now is an injury concern, what with his blister before and turf toe.

Hey, Did You Know the Cubs Haven’t Won the World Series in a While?

GAME 60 PREVIEW BOSTON RED SOX (32-28) at CHICAGO CUBS (32-27) Wrigley Field, 2:15pm CT, TV: FOX Greetings from Hannover Germany, where beer and cigarettes are the order of the day! Well, just the beer for me, actually, though I feel like I've been smoking for the last week.

June 2005 Draft: The Results Are In

Nothing like reviewing something that isnít complete. Almost every media outlet grades each teamís respective drafts in the NBA and NFL with some randomly chosen letter grade, as if you could pass judgement on something before anyone's put on a helmet or laced up a sneaker. NFL.com writer Gregg Easterbrook, a lover of all religions, puts my distaste for rating drafts much more eloquently then I could. The reality is, and especially when it comes to the grand old pastime, that a draft can only truly be evaluated a good few years down the line. Hereís all 51 of our picks and some information, useful or not, about some of the soon to be baby Cubbies.

John Takes A Halladay

GAME 58 PREVIEW TORONTO BLUE JAYS (31-28) at CHICAGO CUBS (30-27) Wrigley Field, 1:15pm CT, TV: ESPN, WGN
SP Sergio Mitre SP Roy Halladay
RF Reed Johnson SS #Neifi Perez
LF *Frank Catalanotto CF *Corey Patterson
CF Vernon Wells 1B Derrek Lee
1B Eric Hinske 3B Aramis Ramirez
3B Aaron Hill 2B *Todd Walker
2B #Orlando Hudson

June 2005 Draft: Preview

Part 1: History of the Cubs draft Part 2: Trades & GMís Part 3: The Couldaí Been Cubs Weíve strolled through the tortured history of the Cubs draft, which perfectly leads us up to draft day 2005. A number of excellent articles exploring the history of the draft have come out in recent days and I recommend checking these out. Alan Schwarz The Magic of #5 Alan Schwarz Best, Worst Draft Picks Peter Gammons A Draft Unlike Any Other As for the Cubbies, theyíre slotted to pick 20th and scouting director, John Stockstill has only one philosophy when it comes to the draft,
We take the best available talent. To me, the only way to [draft] is to stack up the players, take the best ones, and that's it."
Here are some of the names being rumored to possibly be the Cubs first round pick.

Keep It Real

GAME 56 PREVIEW TORONTO BLUE JAYS (29-28) at CHICAGO CUBS (30-25) Wrigley Field, 7.05pm CT, TV: WGN, RSN
SP *John Koronka SP *Gustavo Chacin
LF Reed Johnson CF Jerry Hairston
RF Alex Rios SS #Neifi Perez
CF Vernon Wells 1B Derrek Lee
1B Shea Hillenbrand 3B Aramis Ramirez
3B Aaron Hill LF Jason Dubois
2B Frank Menechino

A Day Game!

GAME 55 PREVIEW CHICAGO CUBS (29-25) at SAN DIEGO PADRES (34-22) PETCO Park, 3.35pm CT, TV: CSN, Chan4
SP Woody Williams SP Carlos Zambrano
SS #Neifi Perez CF *Dave Roberts
2B Todd Walker 3B *Sean Burroughs
1B Derrek Lee RF *Brian Giles
RF *Jeromy Burnitz 1B Phil Nevin
3B Aramis Ramirez C Ramon Hernandez
LF *Todd Hollandsworth

Pre-Season Predictions, Revisited

Remember that TCR Round-table at the very start of the Season, where the staff all made predictions on the upcoming season? Well, neither do I. Which is why I figured that with one-third of the season complete, it's time to look at some choice selections of the questions and our answers. There isn't a lot of new commentary, below, just an edited synopsis of our answers, and a few flags for the truly ridiculous predictions (mine on Todd Hollandsworth, anyone?) and the truly inspired (Rob's on Derrek Lee.)

The Baseball Draft: The Coulda’ Been Cubs

Part 1 Part 2 Trivia Question: Name two current NFL players who were once drafted by the Cubs? I'll end this look back at the Cubs drafts through the years by looking at some of the players the Cubs had a chance at obtaining or gave up too early on. This is all for fun and there are no fingers being pointed here. Just a frivolous look at who could have been Cubbies if the things broke the right way. In Part I, I introduced the all-time greatest drafted Cubs, a list of players drafted by the Cubs and their contributions as Cubs. Here's that list again to spur your memory.

Sizzling

GAME 52 PREVIEW CHICAGO CUBS (27-24) at SAN DIEGO PADRES (33-20) PETCO Park, 9.05pm CT, TV: ESPN, Chan4
SP Tim Stauffer SP *Glendon Rusch
SS #Neifi Perez CF Dave Roberts
2B Todd Walker 3B Geoff Blum
1B Derrek Lee LF Ryan Klesko
RF *Jeromy Burnitz 1B Phil Nevin
3B Aramis Ramirez C Ramon Hernandez
CF *Corey Patterson RF Miguel Ojeda

The Baseball Draft: Trades, Plays and General Managers

Part 1 Trivia Question: Which drafted Cubs player, through a series of trades, eventually landed the Cubs, Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg? The Cubs have had 10 general managers since 1965 starting with John Holland and ending with our current leader of operations, Jim Hendry. As you'll see, their focus on the draft and ability to evaluate, develop and exchange those drafted players into major league parts will help us evaluate their mark on this Cubs franchise. This wouldn't be one of my pieces if we didn't have a list:

Neifi Needs You.

MLB gave their first update on the state of NL All-Star Balloting yesterday. For everyone that had any reservations about the Neifi Write-in campaign, I have a bit of information that should remove any lingering moral scruples... Nomar Garciaparra is the top NL vote-getter at SS. The totals: 1. Garciaparra, N. Cubs 235,899 2. Eckstein, D. Cardinals 212,209 3. Furcal, R. Braves 212,160

Game 51 Diary

CUBS 9 DODGERS 5
Recap | Box Score | Play-by-play | Game Chart
W: John Koronka (1-0) L: Derek Lowe (4-5)
The Cubs are playing in my neck of the woods, so I thought I'd try one of those running diaries that is all the rage. I'll try and update every half inning or inning as long as the twins cooperate. Pre-game You know it's your first major league start when the L.A. Times list the matchup as Derek Lowe versus Jeff Koronka. At least the picture was right, I think. I've actually never seen Koronka. Top of the 1st The great Vin Scully lets us know the Cubs haven't swept a series in Dodger stadium for 10 years. He also says Ramirez turned an ankle yesterday which explains his absence. Scully can't explain why Enrique is batting second.... Neifi doesn't waste any time, singling on the first pitch. Neifi doesn't waste any time getting thrown out at second either. Lee singles but Mr. Burns ends the inning. Bottom of the 1st Scully says Koronka is a "southpaw all the way"...what the hell does that mean? Someone told Koronka to stay away, away, away. Scully says Koronka has surprisingly had trouble versus lefties in his career and on cue, Drew singles. Replay shows it was a bad call though, third day in a row Lee makes a throw while on his butt.

Not Mark Prior

GAME 51 PREVIEW CHICAGO CUBS (26-24) at LOS ANGELES DODGERS (26-25) Dodger Stadium, 9.10pm CT, TV: ESPN2, FSN2
SP Derrek Lowe SP *John Koronka
SS #Neifi Perez SS #Cesar Izturis
3B #Enrique Wilson 3B Antonio Perez
1B Derrek Lee CF *JD Drew
RF *Jeromy Burnitz 2B Jeff Kent
2B *Todd Walker 1B Olmedo Saenz
CF *Corey Patterson

The Baseball Draft: A Look Back At The Cubs Drafts

Trivia Question: Which player drafted by the Cubs, went on to have the most illustrious Cubs career(that should be easy), who would you rank #2 and #3 though (considering their Cub career only)? Tell me if this sounds familiar. The games wealthiest clubs, particularly one in New York, were outspending the more financially constricted ballclubs to sign available players. Salaries (actually bonuses) escalated out of control and something needed to be done to restore competitive balance. Proposals were introduced, arguments were made and rules were changed. And in 1965, the amateur draft was introduced, now known as the First Year Player Draft. On June 7th of this year, the 41st baseball draft will be conducted and the Cubs first selection of the day will be at the 20th spot. This is a rather low pick historically for the Cubs, whose first pick from year to year on average is around the 10th or 11th pick. Considering draft slots are selected in reverse order of win/loss records, this is a dubious distinction indicating the organization's futility over the years. All those upper round picks though should have been the fruits of a better tomorrow, but as you'll see, the Cubs drafting has been nearly as disappointing as their play.

Happy Birthday, Z!

Carlos Zambrano turns 24 today. So here's a birthday wish to our favorite web-surfing, muttering, gesticulating, switch-hitting, complete game-throwing, goateed behemoth of a perpetual-Cy Young Award contender. We Love Ya, Z. For some birthday reminiscences, how about these.... Remember when we wondered who would be better, Zambrano or Cruz? Remember the first time we discovered Z was a switch-hitter?