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 2B *Todd Walker
RF Juan Encarnacion LF *Todd Hollandsworth
SS Alex Gonzalez C Michael Barrett
Pitcher's spot Pitcher's spot
Could Dusty perhaps do us a favour and get Corey out of the two spot? Honestly, there's just absolutely no good reason for it. Making outs, especially on the basepaths, with Derrek Lee coming up behind you really isn't the greatest way to help Lee's chances of getting enough RBI to win that triple crown. Todd Walker is the perfect two-hole hitter, and I personally couldn't care a less that Todd's in no hurry to break the 100m world record anytime soon. What else could be done to shake things up a bit? Well, I'm past wondering whether or not Cliff Bartosh deserves a spot on the roster (the conclusion I've come to is no), but I am now starting to wonder if Joe Borowski shouldn't be joining Bartosh on his way somewhere else, preferably quite far away. Borowski's fastball, as far as I've seen, is topping out at an extremly hittable 87-89mph, and his slider is equally unimpressive. And he's duly getting smacked as if it's 2004 all over again. Borowski's given up 3 home runs in his 8.1 innings, and unless his stuff magically improves, I'm not sure his results will either. As for Bartosh, I'm even less happy about that trade now than I was the day it when down (and I was pretty unhappy back then, let me assure you, because Bartosh was a day or two from going through waivers). Bartosh doesn't have the same problem with stuff as Borowski, but his results have been underwhelming to say the least, and I'm bitterly disappointed since I actually thought he'd be okay. Instead he's given up 5 home runs and walked 11 in 18.2 largely irrelevant innings. And largely irrelevant right now sums Bartosh up pretty nicely. Meanwhile, Bear Bay, who we squanderously gave up to acquire Bartosh, has taken promotion to High-A comfortably in his stride - on Sunday he threw seven innings of one-run ball while striking out 10, and his line on the year now is 66.2 IP, 62 H, 9 HR, 14 BB, 73 K and a 3.11 ERA. And in Iowa meanwhile Ben Grieve, Mike Fontenot and Jerome Williams, all ready right now to improve upon what we have at the major league level, at least in my view, are being left to fester. Great, just great. Oh. Go Cubs!


Looks like Gagne is most likely done for awhile...LA will be putting him on the DL soon. Should of traded him when they had the chance.

Which cosmic force did Mitre anger? Halladay, Beckett, Eaton, Jeff Francis, Roger Clemens Sheesh.....

Nice 1st inning by Mitre....

In defense of Dusty (which I hate to do), his thinking about Corey in the #2 spot has to do with the likelihood that he'll see more fastballs in front of Lee. For Dusty, it's not about contact; it's someone who needs help. And I don't mind having someone like Walker down in the order who can make some contact.

KKKorey...NICE!!! Trying to catch Bellhorn for most K's in MLB. Nah, don't change your hitting approach, it is OK we will just keeping thinking you will miraclously turn into a real MLB hitter.

"must win" is certainly an overstatement....but causing us a losing road trip, with a chance to drop to 3-6 tomorrow would be woeful. Let's right the ship right here.

Very nice summary John, and I agree with every last thing you said. As I mentioned in the last thread, Neifi, although he has been a pleasant surprise, is waxing and waning back to his mean and having his .324 OBP and seven walks, and Patterson's .294 OBP, hitting ahead of Lee is pure inanity. They also end up getting .5-.7 more at bats a game than they would lower in order. Meanwhile, our number eight hitter is slugging at a near .500 clip, and one of our best on base threats, Walker, lingers in the six or seven hole. Justifying this with talk of "Patterson seeing more fastballs" is silly. You don't sacrifice the run scoring ability of your team in order to provide help to a clueless hitter. And why would any pitcher in his right mind serve up fastballs to the swingtastic Patterson anyways? These things, along with the continued use of the 12 man staff, and the lack of Grieve and Fontenot on the bench, reinforce my desire, as I've mentioned before, for John McGraw's embalmed corpse to take up residence in our dugout in place of Dusty. We'll even put a toothpick in ol' Mac's mouth to make it a little easier on the Baker apologists.

12/2 GB/FB ratio is what I have for Mitre so far through eight. When Wood and Prior come back, can we at least start Mitre on days when the wind is blowing out?

>"must win" is certainly an overstatement....but causing us a losing road trip, with a chance to drop to 3-6 tomorrow would be woeful. ???? Road Trip? Did I miss something?

Question for the baseball purists on this board: Has Sergio added another pitch? I don't know if he has but ALL of his pitches seem to have more movement on them. The slider (or whatever its called) that breaks in on the righties' hands has been awesome the last 2 games. Please enlighten.

TCR, you are reading my mind, if not my!! Definitely time to jettison the Bartosh/Borowski dynamic duo!!! Bear Bay.....the knock on him was that he too much success? Stuff is great, but give me some results too, huh?

Correction: FWIW, gameday has Mitre at 16-5 ground outs to fly outs. But that counts two double plays as four ground outs and 3 line outs (as they describe them) as fly outs. So by my definitions, thats 14-2 through eight. Now let's see if he can close it.... Make that 15-2 now!

9 innings, no runs, no walks, 99 pitches.

Hi my name is Sergio Mitre and I am DONE with the minor leagues!

Joe Morgan just told me that Maddux taught Mitre how to doctor the ball. GO CUBS!

That performance was BOSS. My favorite part of Sergio's ace impression is this: No walks! Tonight, he threw 26 balls the entire night! I got 99 pitches but a walk ain't one. Hit me! Can anyone tell me, was there as much movement on his sinking fastball this time as last time? The GO-AO seems to bear this out, but first hand accounts?

Any Mitre ditractors, still not believers??? Cubs Win!! In Dusty We Trusty!!!!

That game rocked. Shame that we get our biggest offensive explosion on a night when our pitcher throws a complete game shutout, but man oh man was that fun! ESPN's headline: "Cubs Batter Fish" *snork*

Sergio! Superdave, I don't believe he has developed another pitch -- he has a simply that he's been throwing his sinker for strikes and there is clearly a lot of movement on it. I saw a couple curve balls, but if the sinker is his bread-and-butter and if he can keep it in the strikezone, the batters have to swing at it and pound it into the ground. If a sinkerball pitcher "clicks", he can be downright unhittable for long stretches -- like Brandon Webb circa 2003. But if he starts to miss the zone, hitters will lay off, take walks, and then he'll have to throw more four-seamers simply to avoid more walks -- like Brandon Webb circa 2004. Sergio is clearly "clicking" now -- it'd be quite a plus to our rotation if he can keep it up. At a minimum, with the last two starts, he has increased his trade value considerably.

Another magnifico performance by Sergio Mitre. I guess I was wrong when I labeled him a "4-A" pitcher last month. When Greegb Maddux signed with the Cubs, therec was hope that he would have a positive influence on Woody, Prior, and Z. Looks like it was Mitre who took the time to learn from the master. 99 pitch complete game shutout... (get this) WITH THE WIND BLOWING OUT! Batting Corey Patterson 2nd is insane. He has NONE of the attributes of a #2 hitter. If Dusty won't hit C-Pat 7th (where he belongs), it would be better to hit him in the lead-off spot than to hit him 2nd in the order. The #2 hitter--more than any other hitter in the lineup-- needs to have the ability to get his bat on the ball and execute the back-end of a hit & run (if necessary), be able to go deep into the count and hit comfortably with two strikes, and be able to advance a runner (preferably without giving up an out, but whatever it takes). C-Pat is NONE of those things. Todd Walker is ALL of those things.

Optimum Cubs lineup: 1. Hairston, LF 2. Walker, 2B 3. Lee, 1B 4. Ramirez/Burnitz 5. Burnitz/Ramirez 6. Barrett, C 7. Patterson, CF 8. Perez, SS When Blanco plays, he hits 8th, and Perez moves up to 6th. C-Pat should ALWAYS hit 7th. Top of the order gets on base (but Hairston needs to stop trying to steal bases), middle of the order drives 'em in, and the bottom of the order contributes what it can. Free Corey! Send him back to to the #7 spot!

Agree with the lineup, although I think we HAVE to make a deal for a LF if this team is to truly contend. It sure would be nice to see Hairston get more opportunities to play in left. Lord knows we could use some production from that position. My only concern is how the hell will we be able to carry-on without Dubois's defense?????

Jim Hendry... whatever you do.... don't trade Sergio Mitre! He's just rounding into shape and it'd be a damn shame to see him blossom for some other team after all the patience shown by the Cubs organization. Mitre was great... I'll bet he's getting lessons from Maddux, because all of a sudden, he's actually pitching smarter. Unlike many of the people on this board, I understand that you don't have to throw 100 miles an hour (see Kyle Farsnworth) and strike out 20 batters a game (See Kerry Wood) to be considered a great pitcher. Maddux's fastball never topped 88-90 mph, yet he's going to the Hall of Fame. Mitre's getting good instruction from somewhere... but... according to most of the posters on this board, we should IMMEDIATELY trade Mitre, Dubois and CPat for soon-to-be-over-the-hill slugger Gary Sheffield. Just like a Cubs fan! Mind you, the same people lobbying for this trade are pretty much the same ones that'll come on here and rip Hendry if Mitre goes on to be a star in this league a-la Dontrelle Willis or Andy Sisco. Can you imagine what'd happen if Mitre went on to win 17-20 games FOR ANOTHER TEAM? A no-win situation for sure... I just hope Hendry's not reading this board and listening to some of these outlandish trade scenarios. Right now, it looks like Hendry was right on replacing Sosa with Burnitz (to the chagrin of the Burnitz haters here, there's no comparison between Sam-Me and Burnitz, offensively OR defensively), keeping Rusch, sticking with Barrett, retaining Neifi Perez... and I'm not going to remind everyone about Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez. You can argue that he was wrong on Alou (who spent some time on the DL early this year) and Chad Fox, but I have faith in Hendry. Certainly a lot more faith than all the nattering nabobs of negativity posting here. Hendry can't do anything about injuries, they're a part of the game. But to hear some of the people here, he hasn't done anything right! He's made more good moves than bad. I trust that he'll do the right thing and keep Sergio.

It would be nice to see Dusty try that line-up out for awhile, AZ Phil. But if Hairston is the best we can do at LF, then we've got to fill that hole. His .368 OBP is better than Neifi (after Lee), but you have to knock that down ten points for the fact that he is caught stealing once out of every ten times he gets on base! I'd bat Hairston lead-off and give him at bats to showcase him for a trade. I don't see him with the team long-term, but I think he has some trade value as a perceived "versatile" player.

4THANDINCHES, The issue with Mitre is that he is out of options after this year and we have other starting pitchers in the queue (Rich Hill, Williams, etc.). And his trade value may never be higher than it is in the next month. Also, there is significantly more risk with young pitchers like Mitre than with the type of corner OF Hendry should be trying to trade him for (one with a couple year's experience). So I would give Hendry free reign to move him now to solve our corner outfielder problem. As you point out, Hendry has made some incredible mid-season trades the last few years. I'll trust him on this to get full value from Mitre if that is the direction they go. If the Cub system keeps producing young pitchers, we can trade one every year for offensive players mid-season (Frank Beltran begat Nomar...Matt Brubak, who I really liked at the time, begat Aramis Ramirez)...

Just a reminder to people that want to do stuff like trade Dubois and CPat to get Gary Sheffield - or people who don't want to trade either. You have to give up value to get value. To get better overall we will have to deal from strength. That is probably pitching - and pitching is always overvalued at this time of year. Think of some of the bidding wars for people like Tim Belcher and Denny Nagle. I'm not advocating anything - but any trade is going to mean giving something up we like, otherwise nobody would take it. Unless it's Chuck Lamarr. Chicago fans tend to overvalue our own (We can't give up on Scott Downs! What about Manny Aybar!) and apparently think other GMs are stupid (I bet the Yankees would trade A-Rod and pay his salary for Dubois. They need a left fielder!) It's way better here than on sports radio.

DC Tom, Yeah, i hear you... but if we trade Mitre and get little or nothing for him, Hendry will be crucified in Cubdom. You know it and I know it. We'll have to live with endless comparisons to Broglio-for-Brock. After all, I'm still reading posts here criticizing Hendry for letting Clement go this off-season... and for letting Jon Garland escape. You could easily justify both of those moves... but Hendry's still catching hell for both. Yeah, if Hendry could get equal value... maybe... but Prior and Wood have proven that they can't stay healthy for a whole season, and Maddux, while great, is showing signs of Father Time catching up to him. And we just saw what happened to Zambrano (sprained toe) running the bases... so I don't think trading a young pitcher who has just hit his stride is the right move. It ain't easy pitching at the major-league level, and you can't just assume that all of the talent we have in Triple-A will become major-league quality. Jerome Williams has proven that he can pitch up here... but when the league adjusted he got clobbered. There's no guarantee he'll regain that form. Stabilizing his personal life and losing weight might help him, though. There ARE no sure things in life, especially when you're talking about big-league pitching, so I'd be careful about trading a pitcher who finally shows signs of maturing. It might come back to haunt us, as Dontrelle Willis' performance proved yesterday night. Bet Cubdom would like to have THAT one back, eh?

Inches, Prior missed, what two starts this year before the arm break? And in 2003 out due to a collison with Giles. I would hardly call prior injury prone.

I know this was ages ago, but Mr. Whipple #16: I got 99 pitches but a walk ain't one. Hit me! HAAAA! Yes, I definitely laughed out loud while reading that. MITRE!!! (My favorite part of this performance = the fact that he basically predicted his upcoming success. "It's about time")

Small note for # 23. Maddux regularly topped 90 up to 94 in his peak years (92-96) and he was still smarter than anyone else so he totally dominated the NL for those years. Now with his pitches 5-10 miles slower he is relying even more on his brain. I do suspect he had an influence on Mitre who seems to have turned into a confident ground ball, location, location pitcher in record time. Lastly you do need to trade value to get value but now is NOT the time to trade Mitre or in fact for ANY major trade. Cubs should hold out till AFTER the All Star break when it will clearer what their biggest needs are (lead off man, power hitter, closer ?) and the number of available players increases dramatically. If we can't stay in the race with what we have . a trade with what is available now won't fix the problems. In Hendry we trusty (sorry no rhyme but he is the MAN) Jessica

Yeah, about that. I've just received a C&D from Roc-A-Fella Records. Apparently Jay-Z thinks I have bad taste.

Anyone have Serg's game score for tonight's game or where to find it?

Only at the TCR Madhouse: Sergio Mitre pitches a complete game shutout masterpiece and the resident geniuses hatch a supersecret plan to use him for tradebait.

Thanks Jessica for correcting 4thandinches about Maddux. I think if Mitre isn't in the long term plan- there's going to be no better time to trade him, though I'm not crazy about it. It all depends on who you get. People who are saying it would be crazy to trade him, are the same people who were convinced Jeff Pico was headed to the HoF after his first start. The Cubs should know better than anyone else, what Mitre's prospects are.

Chad, If I'm not mistaken, didn't Prior miss SIGNIFICANT time LAST YEAR too (2004)? I seem to recall an Achilles problem that plagued him in spring training... and that led to an elbow problem trying to compensate for the Achilles... he began the season on the DL, missed a good chunk of time with those injuries, and caused much angst throughout Cubdom. Then, Prior started THIS year on the DL... and that was BEFORE the unfortunate ball-off-his-pitching- elbow incident. It seems there's always something with him... and that other China doll, Kerry Wood, too. Prior? Injury-prone? Naw, just my imagination.... NOT! It doesn't matter HOW he's injured, Chad... what matters is how much time he's missed... he can't help the team if he's NOT PITCHING. And, lets face it, he hasn't put up a lot of innings since his breakthrough year of 2003. Call it what you will... when he puts together a couple of seasons WITHOUT going on the DL, I'll change my definition... until then, I'd say he's INJURY-PRONE. All the more reason you don't trade Mitre... because you can NEVER have too much good pitching! People assume that all of our pitchers are gonna stay healthy for the whole year when that hasn't happened yet. And they assume that all of our minor-league talent is gonna pan out. Both are fatal assumptions and Hendry should be fired immediately if he buys into either of them! I'm sure if Hendry knew the staff would be ravaged by injuries AGAIN, there's no way in hell he would have let Matt Clement go in free-agency. Lets hope he doesn't let another valuable arm go for little of nothing in return... cutting off his nose to spite his face. We can't afford it.

I love cleverness and mr. whipple that was clever. Kudos.

Umm.. Kerry Wood is definitely injury prone due to his mechanics. Prior has very nearly earned an injury prone title of his own, although a number of his injuries have been freak accidents. He's never really been the same after the Achilles thing, though. Mitre is still for all intents and purposes a rookie. He's had a couple of dominating starts. He's had some rough outings, too. I'm cautiously optimistic about him as a future 3 or 4 starter and a current 5 starter, but he still has a lot to prove. Thankfully, Z, Maddux and Rusch will generally make most of their starts. I'd be inclined to not trade any of our starters at this point unless we're getting tremendous value in return (including a serviceable starter to take his place). Except maybe Wood -- if I could get a good LF slugger, a good CF/leadoff man or an ace reliever for a KW package, I'd sign so fast the paper would burn. Fairly unlikely to happen, though.

4th, you're a joke. General thinking says that people who get pulled hammys, strained ligments, torn acls are injury prone. See JD Drew. Prior had two FREAK incidents. You can't equate the two. There is a huge difference. Let's just say Prior did not get hit in the arm by a 115 mph batted ball. He'd still be pitching and well on his way to starting 32 games this year. Stop splitting hairs. I guess Schilling is injury prone too. He did miss that year due to a broken hand. Boy is he fragile.

The Real Neal, Jessica, By Maddux's own admission, he NEVER topped "92-96" mph, peak years or not. That makes his success all the more amazing. He'd occasionally get into the low-90's, but he didn't get into the mid-90's in the minors. I've read enough quotes from Maddux on his speed (or lack of it) over the years to feel fairly safe in making my original statement. He lived on his wits... and pinpoint location. He NEVER relied on speed or an overpowering fastball.... MOVEMENT on his fastball (apparently his grip allows the ball to move in different directions, confounding hitters) and that LOCATION are the reasons he's going to the Hall of Fame. Apology accepted....

I unofficially have Mitre's game score as 85. A bit lower than I would have guessed, but that's because of 5 hits and only 3 K's. Still a strong showing.

Err.. 80, not 85. Sorry. Too late to be typing. :-)

Chad, Well, I expected a moronic response from you... and I got one! Way to go, butthead! The only thing you've proven is that you can't fact, the only thing you can add is insult to injury!! If there's a joke on this board, you're it! And cool it with the personal attacks, you jackass! That's why the board was briefly shut down... because of idiots like you... so don't get me started! If you can't agree to disagree, get off the board! And leave the conversations to us adults... Obviously... that wouldn't be you...

Jessica got it right. The Cubs should not be making any moves pre all-star break. If Holly continues his turnaround, we may not need to borrow any LF's. I don't want Sheffield. However....I am done with patterson. If the Cubs couldn't help him figure it out by now, it is time for a fresh start somewhere else. Bring on Pie in 2 years and we can start over with seeing if we have brought up a great CF within the organization.

BTW, there are two Cubs in the top 10 in NL average game score.. Z at #5 with 59.9 and Rusch at #10 with 57.0. Pedro leads the league with a AGS of 69.0.

I agree with Jessica... and No-hit... some may say Prior is CLOSE to earning the title of "injury-prone." Even if you eliminate the two freak accidents (the Giles collision in 2003 and the batted ball off his elbow this year), he still seems awfully fragile. And there's so much hope invested in him that whenever he gets so much as a hangnail, all of Cubdom panics! A REASONABLE person (not you, Chad!) would, at the very least, be alarmed at Prior's propensity to attract injuries, freak or not. I never mentioned Schilling, because I could care less about that blowhard. And I stand by my original post.

Moronic? Butthead? Jackass? Idiot? And I'm the one insulting you with personal attacks? Can I get a ruling here? OK. Must be that new math you're talking about. Well you must be much smarter than me cause I have not the foggiest idea of what you are talking about. Any way once again, I think everyone here would agree with ME that a guy who loses time cause a comebacker broke his arm would NOT qualify him as injury prone. Anyway, there seems to be a rather large burr under your saddle tonight so, to quote a good friend, "I'm done wit dju." ANYWHO...... Boy that CP sucks and is getting suckier.

CBSSPORSTLINE.COM "Beckett, the 2003 World Series MVP, has been on the disabled list seven times, five because of blisters on the middle finger of his pitching hand. He has tried numerous remedies for the recurring problem." Now that is injury prone.

SPORTSLINE.COM "Every Cub starter had a hit and scored a run except Corey Patterson." HAHAHAHAhAHAAHAHAHHAAHAHA

Not only that, but we had Hairston pinch hit for CPat, and Hairston got a hit. D'oh!

Chad, You reap what you sow, brother... you reap what you so... like I said, don't get me started. You don't agree that Prior is injury-prone, fine... but don't belittle the opinions of others, because there's a large number of sportswriters - locally and nationwide - and regular fans who WOULD say Prior's injury prone. I'm one of those people. Respect our opnions... and we'll likely respect yours. Prefacing your comments with "so-and-so, you're a joke" is a good way to start the obscenities flying... and believe me, I can hold my own in that department. If you don't understand or comprehend someone's opinion or argument, just say so and we'll enlighten you. But you're right about ONE thing... when I come across people who apparently can't - or won't - read and comprhend the thoughts and rationale of others... and commence with name calling... yeah, i get a burr under my saddle every time. Remember that, bub... and we'll get along just fine. As to Prior's injury history, re-read my post. The comebacker is just ONE of the reasons Prior has spent time on the DL... I noticed you didn't address the other incidents I mentioned. Step back... take a deep breath... then focus on my post, grasshopper. And you will be enlightened.

Dude, I'm done with you. When I said I have no idea what youre talking about I was refering to #43. Any way, one season (2004) does not injury prone make. And that's all you got.

Oh, and what would a 'The Hawk' post be without addressing our dear friend Manny Trillo. How fondly I recall our bet. I said last year, "If the Cubs make the playoffs, I never post here again... if they don't, you disappear." Manny agreed to it, lost, and kept posting. Love a person who keeps his word. He felt I was a bad person because I knew for sure, last May, the Cubs weren't a playoff team. Ah... this brings us up to speed. How pleasant to remember my positive prediction this spring for the Phillies sans Bowa. Manny, as smug as ever, dismissed their chances due to pitching problems. Poor Manny Trillo, wrong about leadoff, wrong about LaTroy as closer, wrong about 2004 Cubs making playoffs... and shortly wrong to be discounting the horses. Sorry, buddy, some of us simply understand the game better than others. Look on the bright side. You've got a gift. Next time you've got an insight into the future performance of a team or a player, you can predict with certainty that the opposite will unfold.

4THANDINCHES, 'Maddux regularly topped 90 up to 94 in his peak years (92-96)' Means 'In the years from 1992 to 1996 Maddux regularly pitched over 90. At times it got up to 94'. Personally I don't remember a Maddux pitch at 94- but I saw plenty at 93 and 92 from 1998 to 1994 or so, which would wouldn't put 94 mph outside the realm of possibility. So when you say 'Maddux's fastball never topped 88-90 mph'- Either you were using your own radar gun, and disregarding the ones on the Cubs and Braves telecats, or you're stretching the truth to make some odd point. The reason that Maddux was so good for so long is that he had great pitches, great command of those pitches and the ability to throw pitches that the hitter wasn't expecting. Greg Maddux is no longer a great pitcher... Why? Did the hitters suddenly get smarter? No. Has his command of pitches erroded? No. Has his fastball lost 5 MPH? Instead of making up quotes for Maddux, why don't you look up the one after he signed where he said (something to the effect of) 'I'm not coming here to be the pitching coach, I'm coming here to win games.' Sergio has been around Maddux for 2 spring trainings. What do you think, that Greg just took up Spanish, learned it and told Mitre to throw groundballs? And Mitre said 'Si, Senor. No sabo'?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the snarkiness and downright rudeness what causes the generous hosts of TCR to take down the comments from time to time? If you think someone's comments are stupid, just ignore them for crying out loud. There's really no need for the anger.

BTW, ESPN (at least) posts game scores for starting pitchers in the box score of each game.

I think we have established that Maddux regularly threw in the low 90s in the early mid-90s ( not to be too confusing) and he did in fact get up to 94 on occasion. Being just a tad Maddux obsessed ( let's just say he was STILL may favorite player all 11 years in Atlanta) I have a nice collection of background articles on him ( Many of them thanks to Marty Winn of the Braves NG who may be the biggest Madog fan of all) and a few things of note from them. In one of several articles on Maddux, SI's Tom Verducci makes note of the both the speed and movement on Maddux' s ball in it's prime and says that he never really got credit for how nasty his stuff was in part because people did not appreciate how fast he did throw. Maddux has on more than one occasion referred somewhat wistfully to the decline in the speed of his fastball noting that he in fact made "more mistakes" years ago but got away with them because he threw much faster. Largely due to to declining speed of his fastball Maddux will never been the utterly dominating pitcher he was in the 90s but he is still smarter and for me more fun to watch than anyone else. As always worth every penny of the 8 million. Jim Hendry for President Jessica

Neal: why would Maddux need to learn Spanish to talk to a guy that was born and raised in Southern California?

Hawk: "How fondly I recall our bet. I said last year, "If the Cubs make the playoffs, I never post here again... if they don't, you disappear." Manny agreed to it, lost, and kept posting. Love a person who keeps his word. " PLEASE, find the post I said that...PLEASE!!!! You can't, you won't, so leave...bye!! TCR, you guys are doing a GREAT job making this a friendly board. Keep letting Hawk on here and 4thandinches like guys...ugh!!! So much for the changes......

Let's see if we can raise this thread from the slough that it is becoming. I have no problem with the Cubs trading pitching prospects for help -- if it is the right trade. For instance, that idiot Mariotti said yesterday the Cubs should trade for starting pitching. Hello -- they have plenty of young pitchers ready to start. That is an example of a bad trade. The Cubs' only really glaring holes are LF and the bench. I'd trade Mitre or another good prospect for a long-term solution at RF but not for an aging player like Sheffield (he'd be fine this year, but what then?). However, the list of potential replacements in LF is looking pretty thin. Trading Mitre shouldn't be necessary to shore up the bench.

I also don't believe Mitre should be traded. Rusch's value is pretty high, maybe him and a decent prospect or one of our bullpen arms for Wilkerson or the like, if he's available. *still waiting on Huff*

scrath that, we'd have to give up a quality prospect

I hate to say it, because I like Mitre, but I agree with Scott and Tom. Coming off two dazling performances Mitre's stock might not ever be higher. Just show perspective traders tapes from last night's game, and they'll be offering their entire team. The fact is, the Cubs are seven starters deep when Prior and Wood come back and eight if Hill becomes ready. To continue the speculation about Todd Helton, a pure sinkerball pitcher like Mitre would seem to fit in perfectly at Coors. Again, there is all kinds of caveats about Helton due to his contract, but I think a trade to Colorado might get us more back in return cuz I think Mitre would be a perfect fit there, due to his age and pitching strengths.

cubsnerd said :: 12/2 GB/FB ratio is what I have for Mitre so far through eight. When Wood and Prior come back, can we at least start Mitre on days when the wind is blowing out? :: Dusty said if he keeps pitching like that then they'll "find a spot for him" when Woody & Prior return. I think what he means is putting Rusch back in the bullpen (which is a pretty good idea). That's just me speculating, of course. I don't expect Mitre to be quite as sharp on the road where ground balls have more speed and get poked into the outfield more, but he seems to have real good control right now, so maybe he can adjust. Go Cubs!

Speaking of Huff, any news on why his numbers are so down this season?

I've been following close, he's on a fantasy team, but have yet to hear anything. I'm utterly perplexed at his struggles this year. He was one of the, if not, most consistent players last year

From the Sun-Times: "The Cubs are expected to announce in the next couple of days that left-hander Rich Hill will be recalled from Class AAA Iowa. They are looking for pitching help after allowing 17 runs in consecutive losses Sunday and Monday.... ...Left-hander John Koronka likely will return to Iowa to make room for Hill, who could be used in relief or as a starter. Koronka is 1-2 in three starts for the Cubs, losing his last two games. Koronka was on schedule to start Sunday in New York against the Yankees, but Hill might not fill that role. Sergio Mitre, who blanked the Florida Marlins 14-0 on Tuesday, might make that start on his regular rest." I like the idea of Koronka not getting any more starts, but I think I would rather see Jerome Williams if this is just going to be one or two starts and then back to Iowa. I would like to see Hill spend some more time seasoning at AAA.

TCR, you guys are doing a GREAT job making this a friendly board. Keep letting Hawk on here and 4thandinches like guys...ugh!!! So much for the changes...... Manny, Do you think the rest of us see a post from Hawk and are swayed by his general good logic and positive attitude? I do appreciate that by and large you let it go and stood above it rather than engaging him. So not to worry--whether we generally agree with you or not, the rest of us see The Hawk as an angry troll who if he once had something to say is now so completely consumed with rage that the message has been lost completely. Don't let it bother you. I for one hope his posts are deleted by noon. The sad part is that back in late 2003, or early 2004, there was a period before he got so angry where The Hawk was actually somewhat interesting to read. But that's before he went over to the dark the side. 4thandinches, you ought tone it down or you'll end up just like him--impotent from all the anger and generally regarded as without anything valuable to contribute.

I had Huff on my fantasy team last year and he started out very slowly(really killed me early) then was on fire during the summer. Maybe he's just a slow starter. Imagine what kind of season a slow starter could have if he figured out how to hit in April and May

Everybody, this is The Cubs Reporter, not The Baby Reporter, for lack of better words. I don't want to see TCR shut down again. Back on subject...

Yea, Jedi, I was thinking the same thing about Lee when typing that pertaining to Huff. This season for Lee has been a very fulfilling experience as we all knew he had this potential. Just a shame our team hasn't came on yet against the easiest part of their schedule.

JJ: "I like the idea of Koronka not getting any more starts, but I think I would rather see Jerome Williams if this is just going to be one or two starts and then back to Iowa. I would like to see Hill spend some more time seasoning at AAA." I agree 100%. Why start his clock for 1-2 starts? Also, he is not on the 40-man roster, so Koronka would have to be outrighted to Iowa. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me...

JJ, thanks for the Sun-Times post. I was wondering if the Cubs were going to skip Koronka and start Mitre on Sunday, taking advantage of the Thursday off-day. The Cubs have a number of off days the next few weeks, so going with a 4-man, 5-day man rotation might make sense for the time being. And bringing Hill up might make more sense than Williams -- we could put Hill in a long-relief, mop-up role and see what he can do. He would presumably move down when Wood comes back. Williams would benefit most staying in Iowa and sticking to a regimented 5-day schedule (as well as a regimented diet and work-out plan!) But wouldn't calling Hill up require us to DFA a player on our current 40-man roster? If so, would that be Koronka? I assume he'd pass through waivers.

Don't forget that Dave Crouthers is still on the 40-man roster. He could be dropped to make room for Hill, especially if the replacement player coming from the Orioles is one who doesn't need to be rostered.

ElJefe- I would hope the player we do end up getting from BALT is a man on their 40 man roster, so we would have to roster him. If not, it makes the Sosa trade even worse than before.

Since he has apparently "retired" (or even if he hasn't OFFICIALLY retired, but has just left his assigned team), David Crouthers can be placed on the Restricted List, which would take him off the 40-man roster. Dewon Brazleton was placed on the Tampa Bay Devils Rays' Restricted List for that reason (leaving the team for non-medical "personal reasons"). Crouthers could be placed back on the 40-man roster at any time during the season or at the conclusion of the season if the Cubs end up returning him to Baltimore in exchange for a different pitcher at that time.

"Just a shame our team hasn't came on yet against the easiest part of their schedule." Just a quibble, I think our team has come on just fine considering all the injuries. We're about where we were in 2003, when we had a hot start and then cooled off.

Because the Cubs will have a lot of problems protecting all of the prospects who need to be protected after this season, I doubt that the replacement for David Crouthers (if there is one) will be someone from the Orioles 40-man roster. The Cubs just don't have the space. It's far more likely to be a Bear Bay-like decent (but not great) pitching prospect from "Hi-A," a pitcher who would be unlikely to be selected by another team in the Rule 5 Draft if he's left off the 40-man roster this coming off-season, but who still has some promise, probably somebody like James Johnson, Chris Britton, or Brian Finch.

The best reason not to call-up Rich Hill isn't because there isn't a way to clear a spot on the 40-man roster, but rather Jim Hendry may not want to start Hill's "option clock" ticking, since he is likely to be returned to AAA as soon as Kerry Wood has completed his rehab. Of course, the other side of the coin is that Rich Hill is 25 years old, so even if the Cubs don't start his "option clock" a-tickin', his "biological clock" surely is! (and don't call me Shirley).

I just ran across this today, and it was pretty neat. ESPN puts together a StatPack filled with lots of goodies about that day's game - I hadn't seen it before, and it was pretty neat, I thought.

Thanks Baby Maddux, now I can be an ubergeek at the game today.

"I think our team has come on just fine considering all the injuries. We're about where we were in 2003, when we had a hot start and then cooled off. Posted by: Scott de B." There's absolutely NO EVIDENCE that Dusty Baker will do better with or without injuries. His winning percentage as Cub manager is consistently around .550 .

There's absolutely NO EVIDENCE that Derrek Lee will do better in 2005. His batting average over the past 5 years is consistantly around .275. Yeah, that sounds right...

I'm a huge fan of Wood, but I'm not sure his injury hasn't been a blessing to the team. Of course, no ill will towards Kerry and his future

manny, I know you are busy shooting paper tigers, catching red herrings and setting fire to strawmen but what's your point, that statistics are meaningless (which is ABSURD, this site is a celebration of the relevance of obscure stats) or that Derrek Lee is having a great year (which NOBODY denies)?

After putting more thought into it, Wood's problems can be directly attributed to Hendry as well. Hell, he couldn't even forsee that Wood would have these chronic arm troubles 10 years ago when he drafted him. When's he gonna learn... The above argument wouldn't surprise me from this board

"There's absolutely NO EVIDENCE that Dusty Baker will do better with or without injuries. His winning percentage as Cub manager is consistently around .550" As opposed to the previous 47 Cubs managers who had winning percentages consistantly around .400. I cringe when I agree with Manny, as he takes support as a rubber stamp for his over the top comments and begins to portray his arguments as fact....but I agree with him here. Talking about "evidence" that a manager won't do better than .550 based on 2.3 seasons is alughable...what the hell does that mean...that no matter what the talent is, Baker will make sure to screw up enough to ensure the Cubs don't win 90 games, but do well enough to ensure the Cubs don't win less than 88? I didn't realize that having 2 seasons with the same record meant that a manager could not possibly lead the team to a better season in another season. His point about Lee was dead on...there was no "evidence" that Lee would hit as well as he was doing this just happened...just as Baker having a .600 winning percentage this year, or a .400 winning percentage could just happen too.

Just for fun and to feed my Maddux obsession check out the following small article from the other week on Maddux .Nothing new but fun Jessica Madog Forever

Adam: "and begins to portray his arguments as fact...." I do so no more than the average poster here. And if a poster can't decipher an opinion from a fact, then they are not really attuned to what a fact is and what an opinion is. I think it is very clear the difference. When you read John Hill's 3,000 words essay/posts, he writes as if things are facts, but I understand it is his opinion.

I did not say Dusty Baker would not manage a Cub team to a record better than 88 or 89 wins, I said there is no evidence that he will with this club healthy or not. There's only hope. Based on his record so far, the Cubs are looking at topping out somewhere around 90 wins. It's laughable that this is controversial. Just a few weeks ago the consensus here at TCR was that the Cubbies would win less than 80 games. Now, please return to your insane "plans" to trade Mitre away.

Leave Hawk's posts alone. I just went back and looked over some old threads from 2004 from May and on and my god MannyTrillo can you please shut up for 2 seconds in a thread? You freakin dominate a thread with all your posts. It is like a pathetic attempt to outscream everyone else to make sure you get heard. You have toned it down this season, but I understand why I visited this site less towards the end of the 2004 season. The Hawk was a great poster for much of 2004 but by Sept your antics Manny were just too much to put up with. I dare anyone to go back and look at the great many of Hawk's posts that are well thought out and have a cordial discussion with other members of this site then. Then compare those to Manny's post and it looks like Manny is argueing with his split personality. Not to mention this crap about if you critique the Cubs then you are not a "true" Cubs fan started around Manny's time on this site. I mean really if you want to trace the overall downfall of civility of the comments section you can trace it right back to Mannytrillo. And this is why I have been vocal and against Manny since that 2004 season. I saw so many posters just simply getting fed up and leaving. I was not about to let the screaming child take over this site. I have learned to put up with him lately, but I will not have revisionist history about who needs to be deleted and who needs to be banned or whatever. Compare Hawk's average post in 2004 to Manny's average post and you decide who you want to have a thought out discussion with. Many of us have already learned to just simply gloss over what Manny writes and never take to seriously because it changes from week to week and sometimes game to game. I know one thing I wont let Manny decide who gets banned. He would be the only person left on this site and the comments sections would still have 100 posts in them.

Thanks MIKEC for another out and out personal attack on me...THANKS!!! TCR, hope you guys take notice and finally do something to posters like HAWK and MIKEC instead of only threatening!!!

Hi Hawk, Personal attacts aside, you say three injuries not including the Giles and the combacker. I count 1. 2004 he missed significant time due to pain in his elbow/forearem/shoulder/foot/head who knows, the story changed every day. That's about it. Before you go nuts, this season (at the beginning) does not count as he only missed two starts. As of this morning he has nine starts to Maddux and Z's 13. He has missed at least two starts due to the comebacker. So, I would hardly say he has missed much time this year to to any non-freak injuries. Of course you guys want to split hairs. So I guess we can say Roberto Clemente was injury prone casue he missed all those games. Thurmon Munson too.

stick to your opinions on baseball, not your opinions of others, PLEASE!!! We will start deleting any comments from here on that are deemed personal attacks. We certainly have no interest in playing the role of policemen and you all can do a much better job of policing yourselves. You're all adults (and even if you're children) you know what is appropriate and not. Resist the urge to get the last word in, and take the higher ground....ALWAYS take the higher ground. We all know you're better then stooping to playground antics of namecalling and tattle taling.

Rob G.- So the Hawk post about Chad gets deleted, but the MIKEC and HAWK posts about me don't...HMMM???

I only deleted the hawk post cause it had a mention of his website, which gets no play over here.

Rob G.-!!!

Wow, I missed all the fun and didn't even realize it. Here is the funny thing about predictions. A comment was made that some people know the game and some don't in reference to prediciting the Cubs would or would not make the playoffs last year. But if one predicted in May that the Cubs would not make the playoffs, did they also predict that the Cubs would be 1.5 games up in the WC with a game to go? Did this person predict that the Cubs would do so well in July and August that they would even have a chance to make the playoffs? I'm sorry, but any prediction last may about the Cubs making the playoffs was nothing more than an educated guess. Because in May we didn't know the Cubs would have to play 25 games in the final 23 days of the season. We didn't know that the Cubs would blow 3 games in the final 8 days after being 1 strike away from winning. Sure, one can argue that they saw the signs that the team was just not playoff worry, but then one surely didn't see the signs that they would be in a playoff position with a week to go. I guess my point is, why can't people feel personally comfortable with their own predictions regarding sports...instead of feeling the need to prove someone else wrong in the process, and rub it in their face. This goes for all of us including myself...a sports predicition is a sports predicition and nothing else...sure some pay more attention to certain things than others, and some may be right more often than not (I'm never right) but it's just a game. Very few predicted that the Washington Nationals would be the 2nd best team in the NL in mid June...does that mean that those who didn't don't know anything about the game? I got bitched on for posts like this last year, and will certainly get bitched on for this post as well...but a year's still a mentality that I just don't understand. "I was right...and not only was I right, but you were wrong....not only were you wrong but you are an idiot and don't understand the game, not only are you a complete idiot, but I am so much smarter than you that I predict everything...see, it's because not only am I sometimes right, I'm always right. But most importantly, you were wrong"

Mike C, I said play nice.........if you have a personal beef with manny, take it up with him personally and do it somewhere far and away from here. Same goes for you Manny and everyone else on this board, stick to opinions on baseball, not each other.

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  • Arizona Phil 12 hours 10 min ago (view)

    AAA leagues really need to play through the month of September, because with September rosters being limited to 28 instead of 40, players will need to be moved back & forth between MLB and AAA throughout the month of September instead of just through the month of August. 


  • Mike Wellman 1 day 19 hours ago (view)

    I get you, SW. Here in Des Moines, Cardinal fans flocked to I-Cub games when Memphis Redbirds were in town. That won't happen in '21 and even if it does in '22 & beyond it won't be as frequent as when they were in the same division. Not that I'll miss seeing Cardinal gear @ our ballpark...


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    Ervin claimed by Braves. So we lose a potential future (and also current) asset in exchange for one year of a very mediocre Jake Marisnick.

    This team has no direction at the moment.


  • Sonicwind75 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    As a midwest kid now living in Texas, new scheduling is a bummer.  Only get a chance to drive and see Cubs once every 3 years with interleague.  Really looked forward to those games in Round Rock and the one season in San Antonio.  I understand it makes more sense in the big picture, just selfishly disappointed.


  • Cubster 2 days 22 hours ago (view)

    Barry Foote bobble day! Cool!


  • Mornington Crescent 3 days 30 min ago (view)

    They also gave away Larry Craig bobblefoot dolls as a promotion.


  • crunch 3 days 16 hours ago (view)

    alcantara passes through waivers and is assigned to AAA.

    marisnick contract final, phllip ervin (OF) DFA'd


  • Hagsag 3 days 18 hours ago (view)

    Yes they did.


  • crunch 3 days 19 hours ago (view)

    welcome to the "big time" st paul saints...they built a nice park, the fans showed up, and they go from indies to AAA (with a bit of $ help from the twins for part ownership).

    billy murray is a part owner of the group that owns the saints, btw.


  • Mike Wellman 3 days 20 hours ago (view)

    Hagsag, the River Bandits made the cut tho, right?


  • Craig A. 3 days 21 hours ago (view)

    Could have an option year remaining.  Bleacher Nation walked it back, per the link above.


  • Hagsag 3 days 21 hours ago (view)

    Living in the Quad Cities area, I look forward to hopefully coming to Des Moines to see the I Cubs a few times this summer.


  • CubbyBlue 3 days 22 hours ago (view)



  • CTSteve 3 days 23 hours ago (view)

    It was time. 


  • Hagsag 4 days 6 hours ago (view)

    Love it Jackstraw.


  • Arizona Phil 4 days 13 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have signed OF Cameron Maybin to a 2021 minor league contract.

    Because he was an Article XX-B MLB free-agent post-2020, he gets the automatic $100K retention bonus and June 1st player opt-out if he is not released or added to the MLB 40-man roster by MLB Opening Day.