Irrational Exuberance

Shawn Green. I don't usually get excited about trade rumors. In fact, I rarely acknowledge them; so many rumors fly around during the off-season that keeping track of them is a fool's errand. I try to wait until a player is solidly linked to the Cubs before I consider how that player will help or hurt the team. But I have to make an exception today. Yes, I know the rumor has only shown up on one site, and that that site's track record regarding Cubs moves has been spotty at best (though calling them out for lack of veracity is one of the funniest things I've read in a while). And yes, I know that even if talks were in progress, the player's no-trade clause makes it very difficult to trade him to the Cubs. And yes, I know that even if they Cubs did get him, it would be costly. He's owed $8M next year, $9.5M in '07, $2M remaining on a signing bonus, and has a $10M nututal option on '08 against a $2M buyout. Plus, we haven't even gotten into what the Diamondbacks would want from the Cubs in return. Let's just say I doubt Corey Patterson would be enough. But still. Shawn Green in right field would be niiiice. He's not the guy who hit 40 homers back-to-back for the Dodgers anymore. but he is a legitimate 20+ homer, 30+ doubles threat, a guy who knows how to walk, hits for power and average, plays a solid right field, and doesn't miss a game. He bats left-handed, too, which would be a nice addition to the Cubs' righty-heavy middle of the lineup. OK, that's enough. I know it isn't going to happen. But leave an old man to his mid-winter, clearing-ice-off-the-sidewalk, imagining-the-Cubs-with-a-real-rightfielder, hot-stove dreams. At least for a few days.


OK, since we're fantasizing here, how's this sound: 1. Pierre - CF 2. Murton - LF 3. Tejada - SS 4. Lee - 1B 5. Ramirez - 3B 6. Green - RF 7. Vidro - 2B 8. Barrett - C Yeah, I know. It'll never happen. But still, wouldn't it be a beautiful thing? Even with a Cedeno/Neifi! platoon at 2B, it would still be pretty damn cool.

Cubs have a better chance of getting ManRam than Green. You only have to look back to Fred McStiff for wishing to get a player who does not want to be traded.

I'd love to see Shawn Green, particularly if Adam Greenberg is backing him up and maybe Kenny Holtzman can be assistant pitching coach now that Rick Kranitz is in Florida. Seven more and they would have enough for a Minyon. Shawn Green, will be 33 next season (Nov birthday) Throws Left; Bats: Left .283 .356 .505; avg 23HR (Career) .286 .355 .477; 22HR (2005)...amazingly close to career numbers! seems to meet all the good criteria--acceptable defense, power, OBP and lefty bat speaking of non credible trade rumors... This Boston area (Gloucester) paper is reporting that if Garciaparra signs with the indians (to play RF, hmmm Jim Hendry take note), the Indians would Coco Crisp to Boston for newly acquired Andy Marte and G Mota. Sounds wacky to me although the Indians do need Mota to replace the loss of Howry.

Now that's an interesting proposal...assuming it was possible, who would you rather have, Manny or Green? While it may sound like a no-brainer, consider that you'd have to give up a proven power hitter (either A-Ram or Lee), as well as a few very high-ceiling prospects (probably Pie, Hill, and either Dopirak or Harvey, at least) to take on the 130+ RBI, $20 million/year headcase (who butchers the basepaths and outfield) that is Ramirez. Green, if he would waive his no-trade and decided he'd like to re-visit IL, wouldn't give you Manny's production, but would cost much, MUCH less, and is a better fielder...Damn...I just gave myself a headache

Yes, I know the rumor has only shown up on one site, and that that siteís track record regarding Cubs moves has been spotty at best Actually I brought up the subject of Shawn Green-to-the-Cubs in the arbitration thread here at TCR ten days ago and there was a lot of positive feedback. On December 7, it was reported in New York papers that Hendry was trying to make two different deals for an outfielder. One was for Pierre, and the other, it was speculated, was for Green. The second deal has been laying on the table quite a while now, which increases the likelihood it's for Green because, of course, Green would have to okay it due to his limited trade contract. And that's not likely. We can hope though.

When you evaluate the needs of the team, the first player you think of is Shawn Green. Its not a whole lot different than wanting Furcal. Furcal would have filled the need at leadoff, the need for D, the need for speed. Green fills the need for Lefthanded power-ideal #5, the need for D, the leadership need and the need for walkers. I know the no trade clause is a huge issue but when you scrutinize AZ's roster, you see their future is 2008. They have tons of young, talented position players. We could give them some pitching to compliment those young position players. Basically, the teams' needs match well. We all know the Cubs desire a two year commitment. Another plus. Perhaps we could sweeten the deal by picking up the third year option? If he performs well in '06 he'll still have market value. Another way of looking at it is to view it as a "signing bonus". Still in all, he'd be a cheaper alternative than Furcal, Damon, Abreu, etc... To spend good money on players like Jacque Jones is a waste. If we sign Jones, we haven't improved the team. His market value is questionable now, what will it be in 2 or 3 years? A bad investment I'd say. One thing I know in life: Everything is negotiable. Pick up that third year and Green most likely won't care as much about the cold weather.

I just hope Rosh Hoshhanah doesnt fall during the playoffs, or any other important game.

I say that because he took the day off last year. Real team player.

Asking a Jew to play on Yom Kippur is like asking a Christian to play on Christmas. And you're talking about a guy who at one point held the active consecutive games played record. Nit pick much?

Borowski4life: "Asking a Jew to play on Yom Kippur is like asking a Christian to play on Christmas." This year there are 2 NFL football games on Christmas Day. So I assume based on your above statement, either there are no Christians on any of the teams (Bears, Packers, Vikings and Ravens) OR all the Christians will not be playing in that game. I am not religious, in fact an atheist, but I can even understand that was a HORRIBLE comparison.

Are you comparing this chump to Ripken? I have no doubt Rip would have played on Christmas, becasue it wouldn't have been Christmas to him, it would have been GAME DAY. Was Green injured? No, yet he decided to take the day off. That's called letting your teammates down. Same thing with Farns when he went off to go watch his kid being born. Its called a camcorder. Meanwhile, we're playing with a 24 man roster. I've got a real high standard for taking days off for two things; the military and the Cubs. What if its an 18 inning affair, and not having an extra man on bench cost you the game? What if you then come in one game behind in the Wildcard race come October? Remember how you were feeling before Neifi! struck in '98? Or after Victor Diaz in 2004? If that's nitpicking, you can pick my ass. So I dont care if Green's a Jew, as long as it doesnt interfere with worshipping at the Church of Baseball, which it OBVIOUSLY does.

Alright, I realized that was a bad comparison as soon as I entered it. Aside from this year's football games, isn't there almost always a college bowl game on Christmas day? So shit comparison, and off the cuff, I hereby take it off the table. Also, I'm not comparing him to Ripken, more like, well, whoever holds the consecutive streak right now, I think is Tejada. Ripken beat, by a pretty signifficant margin, I don't think Green was even 15% of the way there when he took off on Yom Kippur (which always falls on a Monday, so it hadn't come up in a few years prior). But it also falls in September, so it could come on an important game (I think there was one year that it was a double header when he was on the Dodgers and they were in a pennet race? He wound up playing one game of it or something like that). In any case, in an offseason where we have seriously considered bringing Milton Bradley to town, to call Green out for taking a day off when he's fasting seems a little silly. However, I will say your points are valid.

That's supposed to say Ripken beat a supposedly unbeatable streak by a pretty signifficant bad... It's also supposed to say pennant race. It's Saturday, my brain is still in bed.

ripken also played through minor injuries he shouldnt have been playing through for a chunk of time, especially in the 90s. the "iron man" had a bit of murmur about his "stuborn man" reputation change the more this went on and his managers refused to deal with it. but that's not the issue anyway. bonds gets his days off, sosa got least green has a reason to take his days off and its no real secret that part of having him around may mean you're gonna miss a game played on that day.

In 2006, Yom Kippur is on Sunday, Oct 1 (starts at sundown) and Monday Oct 2nd. The Cubs regular season ends Oct 1st, at Wrigley vs the Rockies. Game starts at the usual 1:20 pm. So in 2006 the holiday that is at issue is no issue...unless there is a one game playoff to break a divisional tie.

Lets talk about who we would package for Mr. Green: 1. Cpat? 2. Guzman? 3. Hairston-to be with his brother Scott and allow Counsell to move back to short? 4. Novoa? 5. Jerome? 6. Marshall? 7. Hill? 8. Ryu? How about Novoa, Patterson and Ryu? Second Question. Lets assume KWood is not ready in April and/or May. What are the chances that Rich Hill beats out Williams or Rusch for the 5th spot. If you look at Zambrano's cup o' coffee numbers in his September callup, he was just as bad. Maybe Rich is better than we think. Maybe he's the Barry Zito we've all been hoping for. Maybe I'm drinking too much Kool-Aid?

I wasn't around to get in on yesterday's discussion but for what its worth, I'd have to agree with John Hill regarding Todd Walker. His contract, defense and age tell me that he's more valuable now than he will be a year from now. Also, when we're talking rightfielders, lets not forget that we do NOT have a number 5 hitter on this club. Its almost as important as it was to fill our leadoff spot. 5 is a crucial part of the order. Burnitz was a 6 hitting 5th. We need a 3, 4 or 5-minimum. Without a legit 5, we're toast. Jaque Jones does not fit the bill. Also, Murton is a 2. I've said it a hundred times now. If Nefi hits second, Pierre will be lucky to steal 20 bases. Last but not least, someone suggested Brandon Sing for the rightfield job. If we were the A's or Cardinals, he'd probably get a shot. But we're not those teams. We're Dusty Baker's Cubs. If Dusty doesn't have your baseball card, you don't get a chance.

Hey, Christian. I wouldn't mind Shawn but hitting only 22 HRs in hitter-happy Arizona doesn't bode well for his moving to the more pitcher-friendly Wrigley. I still think the Cubs have a shot at Abreu and would much prefer that upgrade than Green.

Green isn't going anywhere. Get Luis Gonzalez instead.

Let me just say how insulted I am about your callus nature towards the Jewish High Holidays. Don't ever compare Christmas to Yom Kippur. Not only does it show your ignorance towards Judaism but Christianity as well. For Christians, the holiest days of the year are Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Far more important to the Christians that Christmas. I'm not discounting the importance of Christmas but it's no Yom Kippur. And as far a Green sitting out on Yom Kippur, well that's between him and God. I don't blame him at bit. I don't go to work on Yom Kippur either. Do you go to work on Easter?

Some interesting news pieces by Ken Rosenthal... Speaking of trades that didn't happen, the Diamondbacks offered right-handed starter Javier Vazquez and reliever Jose Valverde to the Astros for closer Brad Lidge and second baseman/outfielder Chris Burke. The talks went nowhere.... Hehe. Give A's GM Billy Beane credit for re-signing free-agent reliever Jay Witasick to a two-year, $2.75 million contract before the market for relievers began to soar. Witasick, 33, had a combined 2.84 ERA in 63 1/3 innings last season for the A's and Rockies. The A's locked him up on Nov. 1, early in the free-agent period. That was pretty smart. Witasick is pretty good. For Tejada, the Orioles' asking price might be prohibitive. They rightly view Tejada as one of the game's biggest stars, a player who might command a $90 million deal if he were a free agent this off-season. They aren't interested in a four-for-one deal that combines overpaid veterans and unproven youngsters. They want players comparable to Tejada ó Manny Ramirez, Mark Prior, etc. And Ramirez alone won't be enough. We really have nothing to offer the Orioles. I would flip Derrek Lee right now in an attempt to get him. But that is just me. Still in the extremly long shot category.

#18 of 18: By carmenfanzone (December 17, 2005 11:46 AM) I wasn't around to get in on yesterday's discussion but for what its worth, I'd have to agree with John Hill regarding Todd Walker. His contract, defense and age tell me that he's more valuable now than he will be a year from now. - CARMEN F: If you consider what Mark Grudzielanek just got from the Royals ($4m in 2006, and a $3m vesting option for 2007 based on 550 PA), Walker is REALLY a bargain. If you are the Mariners, why not trade Raul Ibanez for Todd Walker (who could play 2B and hit #2 behind Ichiro) and a couple of decent cheap young pitchers (like maybe Jerome Williams and Roberto Novoa) to replace Gil Meche and Ryan Franklin (who could be either "non-tendered" or traded for middling prospects), and then use the $1.75m in savings from paying Walker $2.5 versus having to pay Ibanez $4.25m and the $5.5m saved from cutting Meche and Franklin to help pay for a veteran DH "bat" (like Frank Thomas or Mike Piazza) to replace Ibanez in the lineup (with recently-signed Carl Everett replacing Ibanez in LF)? And if the Mariners want to trade Joel Pineiro (who will make $6.8m in 2006, including the 2006 portion of his prorated signing bonus) for Corey Patterson (which would probably save the M's another $4m after Pstterson's arbitration case is settled), they could use that $4m in savings and the addition of Corey Patterson to safely exchange Jeremy Reed for Matt Clement, if they would still want to do that. They would then have this lineup: Ichiro, RF Walker, 2B Sexson, 1B Beltre, 3B Everett, LF Thomas or Piazza, DH Jojima, C Patterson, CF Betancourt, SS STARTING ROTATION: Clement Hernandez Washburn Moyer J. Williams BULLPEN: Guardado Mateo Putz Hasegawa Thornton or Sherrill (LOOGY) Soriano, Novoa, or Carvajal (two of the three) By trading Walker, J. Williams, Novoa, and Patterson for Ibanez and Pineiro, the Cubs would be taking on about $6m in additional payroll for 2006. The Cubs could then trade Jerry Hairston, Jr, Todd Wellemeyer, and John Koronka or Russ Rohlicek to Colorado for Ray King and Luis A. Gonazlez (a salary "wash"), with King replacing Novoa in the Cubs bullpen, and Gonzo II (who can play all positions except P & C) serving as the super-sub IF-OF, and the Cubs would still have enough left to sign a FA "4th OF" like Danny Bautista.

Easter always falls on a Sunday, so no, I dont usually work that day. But if I had a job to do, then I would. Does the Israeli army take Yom Kippur off? (I can just see the light bulb going on in some Hezbullah members' head right now) Of course they dont! Its interesting that this trick did work once. George Waahington crossing the Delaware. That was a sneak attack on the British on Christmas. Some say it turned the tide of the Revolutionary War. So anyhow, it becomes an issue of what do you think is more imoprtant, Israeli security, or the Cubs making the playoffs? I'll let you guess which I consider more important. IMO, the fact that a possible 1 game playoff will fall on Yom Kippur this year illustrates my point, not discludes it. But I will admit that after a year in which Nomar missed 350ABs and Wood missed umpteen starts missing one game could seem trivial. But there was no choice involved there.

My feelings as regards Green boil down to this: I wouldn't be willing to guarantee the option for 2008 to get him to waive the no-trade clause. He's 33 now and he's shown little ability of late ('03-'05) to hit well enough ('99, '01-02) to justify forking out an immovable $30m over 3 years on him. If that means he won't come, and it almost certainly does, too bad. Green's a solid bat, certainly far better than the likes of Jeromy Burnitz, Jacque Jones, Preston Wilson, Juan Encarnacion or any internal options we have right now, but he's not that great, and he's probably only going to get worse. That's why the Diamondbacks were able to acquire him so cheaply, and why now, in the hands of a much more sensible General Manager, they'd so love to be shot of him. I am, I have to say, impressed by the jobs that Josh Byrnes (Diamondbacks) and Jon Daniels (Rangers) have been doing so far this winter.

Jewish guys seems hyper-aware of who's Jewish in sports. Is there a way for me to find which athletes were raised Catholic, quit the Church, have a healthy distrust of all organized religion and would like to see them all pay taxes? I could root extra hard for those guys.

#20 of 24: By MikeC (December 17, 2005 12:09 PM) Green isn't going anywhere. Get Luis Gonzalez instead. --- MIKE C: I like Gonzo, too, but where would he play? He is still a dangerous hitter, but his arm is shot, so he needs to either be a DH for an A. L. club (ideally), or MAYBE play LF in a place like Fenway that has a short left field.

Arizona--"If you are the Mariners, why not trade Raul Ibanez for Todd Walker (who could play 2B and hit #2 behind Ichiro) and a couple of decent cheap young pitchers (like maybe Jerome Williams and Roberto Novoa) to replace Gil Meche and Ryan Franklin (who could be either "non-tendered" or traded for middling prospects), and then use the $1.75m in savings from paying Walker $2.5 versus having to pay Ibanez $4.25m and the $5.5m saved from cutting Meche and Franklin to help pay for a veteran DH "bat" (like Frank Thomas or Mike Piazza) to replace Ibanez in the lineup (with recently-signed Carl Everett replacing Ibanez in LF)?"
Perhaps because, if the Cubs' General Manager has a brain, he says "I'm not doing that trade".

I'm with you Ruz. Green totally works for me. Can play RF? check. decent defensively? check. lefty bat? check. Does well in day game? check (.286/.381/.494). Plays well at Wrigley? BIG Check. In 15 games last year he hit .400/.526/.600 I just have no idea what would get it done.

Merely for the record, Shawn Green, a career .283/.356/.505 hitter (6884 PA), has career splits of .287/.363/.519 in day games (2072 PA) and .293/.426/.439 at Wrigley Field (101 PA).

JOHN H: And if you are Jim Hendry, and if what you would consider a "reasonable" offer for Raul Ibanez is declined by the Mariners (as has apparently already happened at least once), and if you can't get Aubrey Huff (or anyone else you might feel is OK) either for the same reason, then you would say "OK, then we'll just sign Jacque Jones"? In other words, you would rather not "overpay" for Ibanez, Huff, Wilkerson (who Dusty would hit 7th because he's too "passive")), or whoever, keep Walker, Williams, and Novoa, and probably Patterson (at least for a while), even if it means you end up with Jacque Jones, Preston Wilson, or Juan Encarnacion playing RF for the next two or three years? Because isn't that what's going to happen? The Cubs are in a bad situation. Eveybody in baseball knows it. They WILL have to overpay to get a decent RF in a trade. But I would rather do that than get stuck with Jacque Jones, Preston Wilson, or Juan Encarnacion for the next two or three years, and that is the "unintended consequence" of not overpaying, if it becomes necessary to do that to get the deal done.

I'm with you Ruz. Green totally works for me. Can play RF? check. decent defensively? check. lefty bat? check. Does well in day game? check (.286/.381/.494). Plays well at Wrigley? BIG Check. In 15 games last year he hit .400/.526/.600. I just have no idea what would get it done. Move the entire city of Phoenix to Chicago? Ummm not checked. That is what it would take.

MIKE C: It would be better to move Chicago here. Half of it's here already, anyway. (The far, far southwest side of Chicago).

Plays well at Wrigley? BIG Check. In 15 games last year he hit .400/.526/.600. actually there is a dark side to that stat... He wouldn't be facing Cub pitching if he waived his no trade clause. (nice Jewish boy waiving a Santa Clause?)

Waiving a Santa Claus... definition: Player who gets traded on Christmas eve by waiving his no trade clause. It could happen.

Half of Dallas, half of Mexico is in Phoenix also.

Not picking up Green because of having to overpay him for one year 3 years from now, shouldn't be the reason NOT to pick him up. At some point Hendry is going to have to go out and make a deal (either trade or FA signing) that might not be a steal or a giood deal for teh Cubs if he wants to go out and win. A trade like the one with PITT in 2003 isn't going to happen every couple months. If he is waiting to get teh perfect deal in a trade or via FA then that is why we will not make many deals and why we will continue to lose every year.

And now a word from Father Phil: "Sometimes in life, people make mistakes that result in having to 'overpay' to get out of the mess. Whether it be a speeding ticket for driving too fast, or a late fee for not making a house payment on time, or a big expensive car repair bill as the result of failing to perform needed basic maintenance on a vehicle, all of these things can result in having to 'overpay' to get out of it. And such is the case with the Cubs vis-a-vis RF. Everybody in baseball knows that the Cubs are in a jam. The Sammy Sosa Fiasco resulted in the signing of Jeromy Burnitz at the last minute, and declining the 2006 option on Burnitz and choosing not to offer him arbitration took us to where we are right now. Shitsville. So, at this point, Jim Hendry can either punt (and sign Jacque Jones or Preston Wilson or some other slug), or go for it on 4th down. Go for it, and you take a big chance. Fail, and you're playing defense deep in your own territory. But succeed, and it can be onward to victory! Personally, I would rather Jim Hendry make a bold (yet admittedly dangerous) move and overpay for Raul Ibanez, than be a wimp and sign a slug. Let us pray..."

i still dont see how the cubs are in a jam with 2 and 1/2 months+ to get something done, 1 possition to fill, and SP+middleIF+kids to burn. yeah, theyre not gonna get a 40+hr, 40 double guy...but theyre gonna most likely get a 25+ homer guy with doubles pop who hopefully has an arm for RF. hell, i'd take shawn green over brian giles for both the money and years involved, but losing 10 homers and 20-30 walks in 1 player vs. another isnt gonna sink the team. the only disaster situation i can see coming outta RF is if they do nothing and let patterson take it just on merit alone with mabry as his backup.

Shawn Green is originally from Des Plaines. Maybe that makes the fantasy a little less far fetched.

It would be nice, yes. And probably the nicest of all options realistic. But I doubt it. And if it does happen, that's probably the rest of the budget, so you can't replace what you trade except off the scrap heap and your hands are tied in July. So you can't give up anything important or irreplacable. Which means it's now not realistic unless Hendry gets a bump in the budget. $10 million more than the White Sox on the field is not enough for what they charge us for tickets.

hendry has appx. 20m to spend...Z is due a raise...that'll eat up a chunk but there's well more than enough to take on almost any contract out there not in the manny/arod area. hendry's got some wide open options. if hendry doesnt end up taking on a bigger contract and ends up taking a 4-6m flyer on the jones/encarcenon/etc. FA route, he may very well use that excess loot to tie up players to longterm he's done in the past.

Da Krone wrote: "Easter always falls on a Sunday, so no, I dont usually work that day. But if I had a job to do, then I would. Does the Israeli army take Yom Kippur off? (I can just see the light bulb going on in some Hezbullah members' head right now) Of course they dont!" You need to read history a bit. This has already been done, in 1973. Yes, it's off-topic, but I didn't want to let it pass. The Israelis were, in fact, caught off-guard, because it was Yom Kippur.

Yes, Green is "originally from Des Plaines." He also moved away at 11 months old and lived his entire life away from Chicago. He only waived the no-trade to Arizona because it's where his wife has family and it's close enough to home. I don't know what would suddenly change that would reverse a mindset that Green has held for years.

--And if it does happen, that's probably the rest of the budget, so you can't replace what you trade except off the scrap heap and your hands are tied in July.-- Getting a little ahead of ourselves aren't we? With this team, the Cubs will not be in a position to be buying at the July 31st deadline, hell they could be 15 games out by then.

I don't believe the Cubs are in as big a jam re: right field as AZ Phil and others. Sosa was traded on Jan 29, 2005 so the Cubs are about six weeks ahead of last year time-wise. They also (I think) have money that they didn't have last year. Last, while the Cubs need a right fielder, how big a splash they need to make there may not be as certain as at least I had assumed. I've argued previously that the Cubs need an All Star quality RF to compete this year (which obviously limits the list of suspects), but that's based on the assumption that Murton would start in left. If the Cubs go acquire a big hitting LF, then they can settle for less in RF. If, in the contacts he's made so far, Hendry feels he's getting hosed on deals for RF's, he may go about it another way. If, instead, he's being asked to throw in an extra B prospect more than he figures he should for the RF he wants, then that's the cost of business. So I don't think Hendry is boxed in to nearly the degree he was last year. YET. If the Cubs make no moves for the next six weeks, then I'll be really anxious.

Harry I do read history a bit. If you were a true historian, maybe your references wouldnt include Wikipedia, which is far from authoritative. It is a lot like this site, where any reader can post whatever they want. There was just a scandal recently involving this. Besides, the fact that it has been done, just illustrates my point, as does the example I gave with George Washington crossing the Delaware. My point is this: if your god puts you in a situation where you have to do something, and it has to be at a certian time ,(like defending your country, playing in a playoff game)then thats kind of like tacit approval by god for you to do it. MOST people should get Labor Day off (to use a nonsecular example) but some people, say hospital worker or police, should be working. At any rate, I bet the Israeli army doesnt get Yom Kippur off any more.

Da you seriously have a problem with Farnsworth taking a game off to be with his wife when his child was born? Do you have children? Players get days off all the time - I have absolutely no problem with Green taking one game off for religious reasons. And I have no problem with any player missing a game to be with their spouse when their child is born. Unbelieveable...

How about Sandy Koufax, Steve Stone took days off for yom kippur. I would too if I were in the MLB. There's alot of things I'd probably do if I were in the MLB but I won't bore you with that here.

First off, let me say that though I'm relatively silent these days, I read quite a few of these threads and am happy to see TCR so vibrant (and think AZ Phil is an awesome addition to the staff). Second, while Da Krone is a troll and would be better served on a Yahoo or message board with a bunch of 12 year olds, I'll take the bait and respond: Your view that as long as a Jew is a baseball player first and a Jew second is equal to the wish that the Jew not be a Jew. There is an orthopraxic element to Judaism. To voice hostility towards Jews who practice comes dangerously close to an endorsement of genocide which in part is described by the CPPCG as "Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part." Any attempt to prevent a Jew from practicing Judaism be it by prejudicial hiring, systemization of antagonism towards Jewish religious practice, or derogation of Jewish practice in school, the workplace, or any public venue would fit this definition. Actively endorsing Jewish assimilation is tantamount to hoping the Jews go away. Speaking of go away, I hope the TCR staff comes to its senses soon and realizes that your kind of vitriol has no place on TCR.

LOL. I'm not a "true historian" and I was plenty aware of the Yom Kippur war. Wikipedia is a fine source considering it should be common knowledge, though I guess he could have linked you to the dusty encyclopedia in the closet. I suppose that'd be a more credible "source" for such "history." Krone made a point about the Israeli army and Yom Kippur and was unaware that it actually took place. But I also don't see the point. I don't understand the relevance of an argument in which you're presuming that "god" sees a baseball game on the level of "hospital worker or police." Or slamming a guy because he took a day off work to see his kids being born. You must be a young kid. Green's also averaged 158 games a year since 1997. I'm not going to whine because it could be 159, or because the reason was religion or having a child and not a blister boo-boo. It's also something that wouldn't be relevant to Green and the 2006 Cubs. Aaaand Green won't waive the no-trade to come here. End of story?

"If you were a true historian, maybe your references wouldnt include Wikipedia, which is far from authoritative." Headline: Wikipedia as accurate as Britannica

Nate: Try using a credible source. Pathetic.

Sparrow, if you followed the link you would see that it is an AP report. I could have linked to multiple different new sites that would have carried the same story, CNN was the quickest to look up. And, I'm reinforcing your point anyway: "Wikipedia is a fine source considering it should be common knowledge, though I guess he could have linked you to the dusty encyclopedia in the closet."

Nate...I believe sparrow was using sarcasm...

If so, I'm sorry I didn't catch it, my sarcasm monitor is way off these days. But a lot of people (myself included) are pretty wary of CNN these days. I just went for the quickest link I could find, I could have linked to the Sacramento Bee if their link to the same story had popped up.

Nate... What Dave said!

Sorry sparrow, i'm definitely not 100% today, lol...

Big L Farns had commitment problems all around. Wrigleyville till 4am when you've got a 1:20 game? It wasnt until about 40 years ago that expectant fathers could even be in the delivery room at all. So it certianly isn't mandatory. When I become a father, I will be there. But I dont have anything better to do. Like defending this country or being a cop in New Orleans after Katrina, or, yes, playing for the Cubs. I've already adressed how 1 batter can change one game can change one season. It is a game of inches. I think that there are some situations where players should be excused, like funerals. But I dont see birthdays or holidays as being in that category. I know not everybody can be Brett Favre.

No worries. I was just playing off Krone's concept of depriving normally accurate sources of their credibility.

Farns had commitment problems all around. Wrigleyville till 4am when you've got a 1:20 game? Sure, but this has nothing to do with him wanting to be with his wife when his child is born. So it certianly isn't mandatory. Curious...who said it was mandatory? Like defending this country or being a cop in New Orleans after Katrina, or, yes, playing for the Cubs. I cannot believe that you are equating defending the country or being a cop with playing for the Cubs. It is a game. Every father should skip their stupid baseball game in order to see their child born. But I dont see birthdays or holidays as being in that category. Its not just a birthday. It is not like Farns skipped the game each year beacuse it was his child's birthday. Curious...why will you be there when your child is born? And what do you do for a living? Why is playing for the Cubs more important than what you do? I cannot believe that we are even having this conversation.

Big L, Whoa, no need to get personal. Im just saying I think its important to play if you say your going to play when you sign that $10m/yr contract or whatever it was. But I'm from the Vince Lombardi School. You apparently are not, and thats just a diffence of opinion. It is probably irrelevant anyway, because by all reports Green will not waive his NTC to come to the Windy City.

I have to say, there is nothing more bothersome than fascism. People should be allowed to worship in whatever fashion the choose. People should be allowed to believe whatever they want whenever they want. Yom Kippur is a very holy day in Judaism! Second of all, attending the birth of ones own child is worthy of missing a Baseball game!

I agree with AZ Phil: The Cubs are desperate and will have to overpay. As for Ibanez, I know his hitting stats are solid but haven't seen enough of him to talk intelligently about his D. Can he play right? Is his arm adequate? How about his baserunning? I've seen Green and if I'm Hendry thats who I would target. As for the Jewish holiday issue-its not. He plays everday and seems to have exceptional chararater. As for Walker, I agree, his 2.5M salary is a real bargain.Thats good news because it increases his market value. I also like that Walker can hit in almost any hole in the lineup. We have to trade from strength, however, and with Hairston, Nefi and Cedeno as other options, I'd say we could move him without regret. I'm sure Hendry is hanging on to Walker in the event he gets stuck with a right hand hitting rf. Then he'll probably be moved. If we're unwilling to listen to offers for Rich Hill, then are we giving him a chance to crack the rotation? You can't just keep stockpiling pitchers when you have such glaring holes. How would you rank Williams, Hill and Guzman? Do you give Hill more value because he's lefthanded? Once you rank them internally, wouldn't you move #3?

I noticed Kansas City cut loose Matt Diaz the other day so they could sign the Alphabet Boyz. What would you think of him on a minor league deal or NRI? He's put up .800+ OPSs at AAA and shown a plus glove in corner OF slots. He's a late bloomer and has been cut loose by two lousy organizations, so something's not adding up here, but it seems like he wouldn't be a bad guy to have around at Iowa.

Karl H I hope you werent thinking of me when bandying about the term 'fascism.' Because Im not trying to say what is or is not acceptable to have people believe. What I am saying is that commitment is something I'd look at if I was trying to build a winning team. If that's the only character problem (as with Green), maybe you look past it. If it's not (as with Farns), I guess you trade him for Roberto Novoa. But I prefer to think that you were refering to the gentleman when seems to be cooking up charges of 'genocide' according to the CPPCG(?). The link below is for that person: It seems to be the considered opinion of this board that Wikipedia is a reliable source, so I decided to eat crow and try it. Sorry for knocking it before I did so.

Arizona--"If you are Jim Hendry, and if what you would consider a "reasonable" offer for Raul Ibanez is declined by the Mariners (as has apparently already happened at least once), and if you can't get Aubrey Huff (or anyone else you might feel is OK) either for the same reason, then you would say "OK, then we'll just sign Jacque Jones"?"In other words, you would rather not "overpay" for Ibanez, Huff, Wilkerson (who Dusty would hit 7th because he's too "passive")), or whoever, keep Walker, Williams, and Novoa, and probably Patterson (at least for a while), even if it means you end up with Jacque Jones, Preston Wilson, or Juan Encarnacion playing RF for the next two or three years? Because isn't that what's going to happen?"The Cubs are in a bad situation. Eveybody in baseball knows it. They WILL have to overpay to get a decent RF in a trade. But I would rather do that than get stuck with Jacque Jones, Preston Wilson, or Juan Encarnacion for the next two or three years, and that is the "unintended consequence" of not overpaying, if it becomes necessary to do that to get the deal done."
You might as well be suggesting with the above that the Cubs are the only team that's in an awkward position. But there isn't a team in baseball that doesn't have holes, that doesn't have pressing needs that everyone's well aware of. The Cubs, as it happens, have a number of players that would fill such pressing needs for other teams, just as other teams have players that would fill our pressing needs. We, for instance, are well stocked in young pitching, a commodity even more valuable than usual given the way that the free agent pitching market has gone. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that it's the most valuable commodity there is right now. As long as there are other teams that need what we're selling enough to be willing to overpay for it, and there's nothing to suggest otherwise, deals that are at worst reasonable if not quite outright steals will always be out there. Think about it. If both teams in a trade are desperate enough to overpay, no one actually ends up overpaying. Instead, all you do is foresake the possibility of underpayment. The recent deals of Cameron, Wilkerson and Bradley confirm that as late as a week or so ago there was great value out there in the outfield. As such, if the situation has since changed and there's no longer the value out there guess who deserves the blame for that? And guess who deserves the blame for lacking the foresight to avoid having such a pressing need in the first place? Actually though, at this stage, besides the fact that some options are off the table, there's actually not a huge amount to suggest that there is no longer the value out there. It definately shouldn't be panic stations yet, we're desperate, overpay, overpay, overpay! You do though need a creative yet disciplined GM, preferably one that knows what he's looking for, what he really needs. Hmm. That's why I'm worried about Jacque Jones etc, not because there's no better deal out there.

Whoa, no need to get personal. Not trying to get personal, just trying to understand your odd stance on Green. I apologize if you took it as anything personal - but you are the one who attacked Green personally, so I was trying to understand that. If that's the only character problem (as with Green), maybe you look past it. So Green missing one game because of his religious beliefs is a character problem? You have an odd understanding of character.

I used Wikipedia because it had a good summary of the war, and was factual. I don't claim to be a "true historian" - I've just read a fair amount of it. Enough to know that many people are amazingly un-aware of events much before the current decade. So I posted a site that would be familiar. Yes, I'm aware of the recent controversy. That doesn't disqualify the many valid entries. Anyway, enough has been said. Somehow I suspect we don't need to worry about Shawn Green playing or not playing on Jewish Holy days.

I have a friend who is a White Sox fan. A couple of years ago they traded two prospects for Bartolo Colon. They traded another prospect for Carl Everett. Then they let both of them walk. Then they traded 2 more young prospects for Freddy Garcia. One of which was their systems' prize, Jeremy Reed. I told my fried that Williams was an idiot. He'd traded away 4 good prospects to get Freddy Garcia. Now the White Sox have the last laugh. Williams rolled the dice and missed. Then he rolled them again and missed. Third time he won the prize. Now he's in better position than ever to spin another one. Why am I saying all this? We need to roll the frickin' dice.

Dave, I would call missing games a problem, especially, as is the case in the coming year, when the holiday in question will fall on what could be a one game season. It's not an injury problem, so I used the umbrella term character. I guess I would use the same term for Furcal and his OWI, even though many people have said he has outstanding character, he just made a mistake ect. Maybe the term 'character' is wrong, maybe 'commitment' or 'drinking' would be better. IMO a GM should consider it, but its only one thing to consider. More important are the $30M hes owed over 3 years and his age by that time(37?). Also, that he apparently doesnt want to be should be considered, if for no other reason than he has a NTC. Also, I never attacked Green personally, I was expressing a concern about him professionally, as a baseball player.

I'm sorry, but the way everyone of value or who has talent have gone west or to washington, with the exception of Perrie. Its time for the Cubs to just build from with in, and wait until late july ,if they are in the running to make some trades. first Let Corey play RF and bat 6th, Let Wood heal, then force him into the pen, he is good for 50 pitches or less, thanks to Baker and Baylor. So here is my line up. 1. Perrie 2. walker 3.Lee 4.Ramerez 5.Murton 6.Patterson 7.Perez 8. Barrett 9. Pitcher With this line up, there is speed and power, and just maybe Corey will hit more for power and SO less. Murton should be good for 15-20 HRs, Lee and Ramerez should be Good for 20-30 each plus 90-110 rbi's each. Barrett and walker should be good for about 10-15 each with about 60 RBI's each, with patterson and perez ahead of them. then Keep Prior at a 90 pitch limit, Maddux a 75-80 picth limit, Williams at 90-95 pitch limit or sixth inning at most, Z-man a 90-100 pitch limit and Rusch 70-80 picth count, and bring Guzman up to feel in for 3-4 innings if needed. with that I beleive the Cubs could stay at about .500 until the Alstar game then let the trades begin. The bonus of this line up is Baker won't be back next year and the Cubs will Have tons of Cash to spend. I'm Just thinking out loud, If we could get Tejada, I would let Z-man go, the chase Zito, and give Marby RF for the mean time. Merry Christmas All

Sorry lQQK, I disagree. There were no such deals to make last July. The parity level in baseball is such that those deals just can't be counted on. As for the lineup, you're asking guys to play above their capablities. Murotn 5th? Cpat 6th? It could work out but it could also be a disaster. What you're really saying is that the Cubs should stand pat. Do you really think thats the answer? As John Hill pointed out, the Cubs have an abundance of pitching prospects. We should be able to spin some young pitching to upgrade our outfield situation. I suggest we take some risks and be willing to trade some of our better prospects for established talent. Given the contract situation for Hendry and Baker, I can't help but think they would be willing to pull the trigger on such a deal. What good does it really do us to go to spring training with 15 major league pitchers and Jacque Jones in rightfield? Worse yet, do you really think Hendry is willing to put his job on the line for Corey Patterson? By the way, you guys ran the Jewish holiday thing into the ground. I'm sure no one wanted to offend anyone, it was just was over analyzed. Last but not least, I say we get Kris Benson. Sound like his wife would be alot of fun to hang with over at Murphys'...

"Last but not least, I say we get Kris Benson. Sound like his wife would be alot of fun to hang with over at Murphys'..." The ONLY reason I would consider taking that pitching bust (bet the Mets are kicking themselves for that contract last off-season) is for his wife...and while we're at it, maybe we can sign Lima and Grudzie for their wives,too...

exactly. Benson may not be a bad idea, if we get Cliff Floyd in the deal. Maybe if the Mets get Manny...

Carmen: "Given the contract situation for Hendry and Baker, I can't help but think they would be willing to pull the trigger on such a deal." By Hendry doing very little overall so far the past year, I am thinking more and more that he has been told they he will get a contract extenstion around Spring Training. It really is the only thing that makes any sense. If not, I have no clue as to why he would not be more agressive. He has tons of money left to spend and tons of talent to trade. So muc for the nonsensical reasoning that Cubs fans should root for the White Sox last year in the WS because then it would put more pressure on the Cubs to go out and make big deals to get better players in here. It made no sense to me then and it is proving even more crazy of an idea now.

Manny: I agree; the newer Cubs regime (well, some members of it, at any rate) are always trying to win...the Sox winning (and doing it with a less-than-stellar-payroll, no less) is not going to impact (and to this point has not impacted) how/how much the Cubs spend. It's not like Hendry and Williams are sitting around the bar with Williams talking trash (unfortunately for me, I live on the South Side, so I never can get away from it at bars).

Manny, I'm not sure I agree. I don't know if he's been made a promise or not but I do know that when people's jobs are on the line, they tend to be more cautious than ever. If we do believe the media, apparently he's made some proposals. If they are like most deals, they'll be counter proposals, etc... I don't think he should wait long, however. Waiting didn't help him last year.

The Cubs are not going to pull off any big deals, because Hendry Loves his young pitching Crop to much and Wood has a No-trade clause. Hell If it Takes Hill, Z-man, Patterson and William to Get Tejada and a Outfielder, I would pull the trigger, right now. Screw flloyd, if any thing get Manny from the reds sox, and a pitcher for Patterson, Walker, Williams and a doulbe a pitching prospect. Plus 6 mill a year for 3 years. But That too won't happen. Now for Hill and Pie and patterson and Williams we could get any one we wanted, including Tajada or manny. but thats a pipe dream, our last minor leauger who was a postion player to win rookie of the year was good for one year then we traded him in 1990, we need new managment and a manager, Baker is a Pitcher killer and hates rookies and white guys. I'm looking to 2007 maybe by then we can form a team.

Think of it this way, Get Zito and Lugo and Green, and then we might be able to contend. and the neat thing about it is it wouldn't cost the Cubs much at all. 3 minors and patterson, Walker and williams and maybe a middle relief pitcher. Then move Woods to the Bull pen. and maybe go after millwood. and put rucsh back in the bull pen. what are your thoughts on those moves?

Hendry's activity,(or lack of it with some players) also puzzles me. He has made some decisions this winter that seem kinda odd. I have to wonder if he, as well as other GMs, suspect several players of juicing and worry about the ramifications of the new steriod testing rules (and penalties). Maybe Hendry is waiting for some baseball to be played and for the results of the spring training tests?

Lets be realistic- Green is not coming. Neifi will be in the starting line up. Wood will make his first start after May 15th. There will be no big trades at the trade deadline because I believe there will be more than a majority of teams who think they are in it like in 2005. (remember Lawton was the biggest deal at the deadline last year.) With the team as is, playing Rf CPat (ugh) this team will be lucky to win 80 games. Hendry will have to blow the dust off his Mr. Wizard hat to make chicken salad out of this chicken crap.

LQQK1: I like your fire and enthusiasm, and in a perfect world, we would have picked up Miggy 2 years ago, but I just can't agree with your logic; how does trading Zambrano (and another high-level prospect or 2) for Tejada make us better? While I appreciate Tejada's ability, and while he is in the upper echelon of MLB players, there is one glaring reason that I will give you as to why the Cubs cannot justify trading Z or Prior for Tejada: Quality starting pitching is VERY hard to come by. When you can develop starting pitching from within, that is a valuable commodity that should only be traded under extreme circumstances; however, when you develop a pitcher such as Prior or Zambrano, there is almost no way to justify trading them--especially when they are making low salaries. If we trade Zambrano, as you are suggesting, who do we get to replace him in the rotation for a similar amount of money? Hell, who do you get to replace him in the rotation that has anywhere near the pitching ability that he has? Same goes for Prior. While Tejada would be an invaluable asset, the Cubs have some options to explore that would allow them to at least have a shot of duplicating Tejada's production. They do not have a chance of duplicating Prior or Zambrano, though. I hear a lot of radio callers to ESPN 1000, and read a lot of bloggers who think the Cubs should, if possible, give up the farm to get a Tejada or Abreu, but that approach is not going to be beneficial, either. While we have not had many successful position players from our farm system in recent years, it is not feasible to give up a few of your top 10 prospects for 1 player, no matter how good that player is. Look at the Yankees over the past few years; dealing away your prospects for proven players does not always (and in fact, hardly ever) translate into a World Series. But, once you deal away that prospect, you better believe that he is gone for a long time. While there are situations where it is better to trade a top-tier prospect, I simply cannot think of ANY player in all of MLB (not even Cabrera or Pujols) that I would give away a few of my best minor leaguers for. If you don't win, all you manage to do is deplete your farm system and increase your payroll...Hope Kenny Williams and the Sox fans are happy if/when they don't make it to the play-offs next year, because they've efficiently raped their farm system over the last 2-3 years, and I'd be willing to bet that all of his whealing and dealing this off-season (even if he gets Tejada) won't amount to another championship.

"Hope Kenny Williams and the Sox fans are happy if/when they don't make it to the play-offs next year" Yes, because they would have gone a whole year without winning the World Series. Williams is playing with house money, even Sox fans could not turn on him for not winning in 2006 especially when he has tried to improve the team. If Hendry won the World Series in 2003, he could of made Neifie the openning day pitcher for 2004 and 2005 and I wouldn't of cared.

Jacos: Maybe so...but as a fan, I'd like to think that I would still want my team to be considered a contender for years to come...who knows, if the Cubs do win the World Series in my lifetime, maybe I'll change my mind and not care how they do. Having said that, does "playing with house money" mean that you destroy your farm system? I'm sorry, but I just don't see the logic in doing that--especially when a team's "winning philosophy" of pitching, defense, fundamentals, and timely hitting translates to Thome (like him, but this is a huge gamble, especially when giving up a Gold Glove calibre CF and two good lefty pitching prospects) and Javier "long ball" Vasquez. With the rumors of Williams wanting to make another "splash" by trading for Tejada, he's going to have to give up at least one more prospect (although I think he's smart enough not to give up Owens), and probably 2 more prospects. If "playing with house money" does mean that fans don't really care about their team's future, then I guess he's gonna be fine no matter what happens...just don't ask Yankee fans how trading away all of their talented prospects to "win now" worked out for them...'cuz it didn't...

Jacos: "Neifi will be in the starting line up." What makes you think this? You think Walker will be traded and Cedeno will be at 2B with neifi at SS? Do you think Walker is staying and Neifi will start over Cedeno? Or are you basing it off the theory that Dusty never plays young guys? Just curious...

I like the farm system we have and no I don't think we need to demanle it. thats why in my first Post, I thought we should stand pat, and pick up a free agrent pitcher and maybe make a small trade for a good RF (not Jones). Let baker Go after next year and use our money wisely, or even bring pie in now for RF, give patterson a new address for a couple minor leaugers and search for a manager that knows how to handle a pitcher. Murton, Pie, Hill and Cendeno with Lee and Ramerez, Prior and Zambrano, Pierre and Barrett. the Cubs in 2 years will team like that of the marlins of 2 years ago. Then we can pick up the missing pieces we need and be a threat for 2-3 years or more like the Braves. But the Cubs first and most important move is to sign Lee to a 5-6 year deal, and if Prior proves he can avoid being knocked out for 2 months sign him to a 4 year deal. We have 80% of the pieces, we just need them to be played, and perez should be nothing more then a back up. But everyone wants the Cubs to win now, we tried that for the last 15 years and we won one disvison and 2 wild card spots 84,89,2003. Alanta has won every year thier divison, by using their farm system and bringing them up. They only paid big bucks for pitching. remember Hill or Guzman will replace Maddux next year, Woods will find out his olny spot left is as a closer or 8th inning pitcher and Zambrano will start to become a complete pitcher. But Baker has to go. Yesterday if possible. I think Murton or ronnie could be Rookie of the Year, then Pie next if not brought up this year, and prior could win a Sy Young, If we develope our own players. remember only Paterson, Prior, Woods and Maddux where picked in the draft by the Cubs, the others came from trades. now Hill and Pie are the other two that were picked in the draft. But only one at this time is a Future Hall of Famer, because of the Braves, useing him the right way. I could see Steve Stone as a great Manager or GM in the not so distant future. But Baker Has to Go.

Sheez, for the last time, enough of the Shawn Green talk. He has a rock-solid NTC to all but four teams, all on the West Coast. He is not coming to the Cubs, Period. Because of Kerry Wood's NTC, we do not have a "marquee" player available to trade, that Hendry would be willing to trade--so no Manny Ramirez, or Miguel Tejada, or Bobby Abreu. Enough of that talk. Focus on REALISTIC solutions, please. Aubrey Huff is realistic, you just have to find the right package that will get Tampa to pull the trigger. Jason Michaels is realistic, though for some reason I've seen no indication Hendry is interested. Termel Sledge is realistic, though to be honest, I'm not as interested in that guy as some seem to be. Mark Kotsay or perhaps Nick Swisher is realistic now that Oakland has signed Milton Bradley.

I cant believe all this Hendry is not making moves talk. Only the Mets, SUX, and Dodgers have been aggrasive so far. The moves the first two teams have made most likely will backfire on them. Minaya did not have to give up Pettit to Delgado, Wagner's arm will fall off in year 3 of that contract, and Loduca is nothing more than a poor man's Mike Piazza. He should have signed Molina and kept Gabby Hernandez. If you want my opinions on the Sux moves go through the comments on the posts from the last few days. Hendry has fixed the two biggest holes on this team. Yes he needs to add one more big bat because as is this is 84 win team. Heck he could get the bat at the trade deadline and we would be fine. This roster needs to patch some holes not an overhaul. WERE FINE. Were the only team in our division to get better.

Chifan: While I don't know that I would consider the Cubs "fine," you are right in saying that we are the only team in our division to be improved over last season. You could make an argument for the Brewers, but I'm not so sure about them (I'm not as sold on Hardy, Weeks, and Fielder as everyone else seems to be...). Even though the Cubs need a new right fielder, I was never a fan of Burnitz (liked his personality, and was surprised by his defense, but too streaky of a hitter), so, even if we get Jones or Encarnacion as a rent-a-player (God, I hope not), we are still better (on paper) than last season, as Murton, Cedeno, Pierre, Eyre, and Howry are better than what we had at the beginning of '05. Having said that, I'd feel much more comfortable with a bona fide stud RF...and a solid pinch-hitter/bench player...and a new manager...and, well, you get the point

Ryan, Good points you made, The Cards when backwards fast as did the Astros. The Reds will what can I say, They have a team of out fielder, and lack a Pitching staff. The Brewers did up grade, but they are not looking at 06 but 08 to contend. and the phillys stayed the same in most reguards. only 4 team really improved, the washinton nationals, the Dodgers, the White Sox and Cubs who I would say tied with the Braves. The Red Sox, Picked up alot of pieces, ut only went side ways. But I do Like what KC did.

Oh Yeah as far as Huff goes, his #'s were almost the same as fucals. The Dodgers did over pay for him.

Hey Chi Fan, are you saying that the Cubs have had a better offseason than the Mets and the Sox? The mets and sox are both improved over where they were last year, substantially. I just don't see how the Cubs are any better than they were last year. They have plugged some holes (bullpen, leadoff), but there are still a few big holes left to fill, and the free agent options aren't very promising. I don't understand why the cubs didn't go hard after Brian Giles, he would have been a perfect fit. He is the left handed bat that can hit between lee and ramirez and get on base base, with his high average, and his off the charts walk rate. I'm sure this has been covered here but, I'll rehash. If you look at the cubs team stats for last year, the cubs were first in hits, they were second in the NL in slugging (.440), behind only the Reds (.446)(who play at a very favorable hitters park). The Cubs were also second in the NL in total bases, home runs, and tied for 2nd in team batting average at .270. Yet they were 9th in runs scored, 11th in On Base Percentage, and dead last in walks. It seems to me that the cubs don't value players who walk nearly as much as they should. They take the old school approach of putting speedy guys who can bunt at the top of the order reguardless of their ability to get on base. I'm sick of hearing rumors about free swingers like Preston Wilson, Jacque Jones, Jeromy Burnitz, and Corey Patterson. Can we get somebody who knows how to take a pitch please? If the cubs prioritized things they could have easily had a lineup of 1. Pierre 2. Walker/Hairston 3. Lee 4. Giles 5. Ramirez 6/7 Murton/Barrett (either way, maybe barrett 6th against lefties because he kills them) 8. Cedeno So basically, I'm saying the cubs should have targeted Giles. Maybe they knew he wasn't going to leave SD, but they had the money to make him a pretty nice offer.

One last point to ponder, Why not offer nomar a 2 year deal for RF?he wants to stay. then Make a Trade for Zito.

Da Krone: But I prefer to think that you were refering to the gentleman when seems to be cooking up charges of 'genocide' according to the CPPCG(?). The link below is for that person: Dear child, While the First ammendment of the constitution of the United States of America does give you the right to speak in hateful, irrational terms, it doesn't force anyone to listen in any private venue. Ergo my plea to the TCR staff to boot you like they did the other inflamatory, hateful, idiots who chose to take time away from squeezing their pimples in the mirror to post on TCR. That your comment was directed at Shawn Green's being Jewish and not Dusty Baker's being black or Aramis Ramirez's being Latino should be of no difference to the TCR staff. It doesn't belong here and I'd really like one of them to act like it matters and a little surprised thusfar that none of them has. And by the way son, I have something for you to read. Enjoy! This is all I have to say on the subject.

by the way LQQK, I would argue that the brewers are looking to contend in 06, and 07 and 08. They are built to be better in 07 and 08 than 06, but they aren't going to be happy if they don't get close to 90 games this year. I see them as one of the biggest threats to the cubs in the division next year. They don't have alot of house hold names, but they are loaded with talent. They are the kind of team that will improve as the year goes on, and as the players develop they could go on a serious run down the stretch, like Oakland always does. That's one of the advantages of having young players, they don't break down as much, and you can see them become better players over the course of one season. The team that finishes in September is a better team than the one that started... Look out for the brewers. They have a solid rotation with Sheets, Capuano, Davis, Ohka and Bush... Quality bullpen with Turnbow, Wise, Capellan, and maybe even Kolb can make a comeback... Price Fielder should be an upgrade over Overbay, and he has sick power. Weeks is on the verge of stud-dom. The outfield of Brady, Jenkins and Carlos Lee can do plenty of damage as they did last year. JJ Hardy and Hall have a ton of upside as well. This is a dangerous team...

From what I understand, Nomar's first choice was to stay in Chicago, even if it meant playing outfield. Hendry's statement was (I'm quoting from memory here) "We love nomar, and wished it could have worked out better..we would have bee very interested in resigning him if we had an opening at 3B, but we didn't want to gamle on him playing in the outfield where he had never played before." Personally, I doubt that for a phenomenal athlete like Nomar with decent speed and a strong arm, if he's willing to do it, there isn't really that much risk of him failing as an outfielder. The real risk is that he will get injured AGAIN, and the Cubs have been on the loosing end of that gamble too many times now. Of course, Hendry didn't want to go out and say that. He likes Nomar, (we all do really), and he wouldn't say anything that would interfere with Nomar getting a good offer somewhere else.

Speaking of Jason Michaels, he is another winner. He was arrested for assualting a police officer. When Philadelphia police officers, who were working a security detail at the club, told him and others to disperse, Michaels raised his fists in a fighting stance, police spokesman Cpl. Jim Pauley said. He then punched Officer Timothy Taylor, wrestled him to the ground, and ripped his shirt. It took four or five police officers to subdue Michaels, Pauley said. Michaels was arrested and charged with aggravated assault of a police officer, simple assault, and recklessly endangering another person. The Philly police department are upset this guy took on 5 cops and all he got was the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program. Typically, if a defendant complies with terms of the program - which in assault cases may include anger management training or community service - charges are dropped and the record is expunged. Now that is messed up.

Whipple, You just had to beat the dead horse, huh? OK. It seems hypocritical to me that you preach about Totalitarianism, then in the same breathe implore censorship. Further, I believe your interpretation of what I said to be way off base. As far as Dusty and Aramis, What?! I guess its an improvement though--it is the closest you've gotten to talking baseball this whole thread.

Dan The Fan, I would say that we have had a better off-season than the Sux. If you look at the Thome trade there are alot of people who think he is done. Also he had a complete no-trade clause and would only waive it for 3 teams. The Cubs and tribe were not interested because of Lee and Hafner, also the tribe did not want to add that much to the payroll. Also when Thome was a FA there doctors said not to sign him to a longer contract than 3 years because his elbow would break down which happened last season. So the White Sox were the only team the Phillies could deal Thome to and KW sees fit to give them 2 top LH starter prospects and a GG CFer. They could have gotten Delgado for that. As for Vazquez if you look at his stats the last 2 years they match what Maddux has done for us in that period. You dont give up a guy like Chris Young for that. That trade was made out of despiration because Reinsdorf is too cheap to lock up Garland long term. As for the Mets I would say they have had a better off-season than us. They are in position to contend for the next 2 years but in 08 those guys will start to get old and if they dont win in 06 or 07 the 05 off-season for them will look like one of the worst.

LQQK1: "Why not offer nomar a 2 year deal for RF?he wants to stay." Nomar was not offered arbitration and can't sign with teh Cubs until after may 1st, so basically there is no way he is going to be a Cub.

Just catching up on the thread, late. Da Krone, you have some serious issues, but I will cut you a break because you sound like a young immature guy without a lot of life experience. We have all been there; you will see the light one day. If you are over 20, however, I can only feel sorry for you and hope to never meet you.

If Thome stays healthy, it's a great deal for the Sox. And you could not have gotten delgado for that. The Marlins wouldn't have taken on Rowands salary. They needed a left handed power bat in the middle of the lineup and they got one of the best in the business. They got Konerko to resign for less than he was offered other places. According to scouts, Brian Anderson can fill the void left by Rowand for the league minimum. As far as vasquez, he's a bit more difficult to evaluate. It's not as simple as saying look at his wins and era over the past 2 years. See! He's mediocre! If you watch him pitch, it's clear that he is a special pitcher. Vasquez is a better pitcher than he looks from some of his numbers the last two years. He has great control, great strikeout numbers, rarely walks batters, and doesn't give up that many hits. What kills him is his propensity to give up the long ball. He was on the verge of becoming a true ace in Montreal. You are talking about a guy who struck out 241 batters in 230 innings. When he joined the Yanks, he was solid for the first half and then tanked in the second half, he was inconsistent last year as well. But if you don't like Vasquez that's fine, but acquiring him for The Maddux comparison is a good one in that he has great command and gives up a lot of home runs, and they have similar numbers over the last 2 years, but he is 10 years younger, has a 94 MPH heater and is not in the twilight years of his career. Vasquez has far more upside going into 2006 than Maddux. More importantly, Acquiring Vazquez for the 65 year old El Duque (who's reliability is iffy at best) Marte, and Chris Young is a solid move, because the cost is reasonably low, and it lays the groudwork for an even better move. I don't know what you mean by a "guy like Chris Young" He's a top prospect, but if he was that great, they would have dealt Anderson. You don't get Vazquez for nothing. The sox now have 6 front of the rotation starters on their roster, (assuming they sign Contreras). A commodity most teams would kill for. They have depth at pitching that puts them in a situation that they can trade for a Tejada an Abreu, or more likely a Blalock or a Teixiera...Reinsdorf isn't too cheap to lock up Garland, he's smart enought to trade him while his value is high. The Sox are better than they were last year. They have more starting pitching, they have a better bench, and they have a better lineup. And they aren't done yet. I'm no Sox fan, believe me, but I'm just telling it like it is. Hendry has made some nice moves, and some suspect ones, but no way has he been more sucessful than Williams. Williams has the Sox poised for another pennant, and the cubs are looking at 3rd place right now.

"Unbelievable. Utterly unbelievable, and inexcusable. When I first heard about this I figured he had permission to leave or that there was more to the story. He certainly shouldn't be paid for that game. If any of us pulled that crap, we'd probably get fired. I'm really sick of the guy. How many more special tacos does he need to eat to die of food poisoning?"

First of all, ruz, before you go critisizing, I believe rumormonger harshly shot down any rumor of Shawn Green coming to the Cubs. He has a no-trade clause pertaining to all teams except West Coast teams. I believe that was stated pretty clearly by rumormonger. Next, if an old man was going to have an orgasm about a right fielder coming to the Cubs, only Alzheimer's patients -that were stuck in the past- would fantasize about a washed-up Shawn Green. Go compare Green's numbers for the last 3 years with the likes of Brian Giles. Hell, if we're gonna dream about shit that ain't gonna happen, let's dream about Ichiro Suzuki or Bad Vlad coming to the Cubs and patrolling right field. Shawn Green? I guess it takes all kinds...whatever, man.

That was about Sammy, circa Oct 2004, from the Archives of this site. Theres plenty more like it. Sammy was pretty widely critised for missing that game for 'personal reasons.' Its true, I'm not old enough to recall the Yom Kippur War, but i do remember Sammy-gate. But it looks like I'm in the minority seeing this as comperable to some of the other situations where guys missed games for personal reasons. So maybe I am wrong, if you can be wrong about a matter of opinion. Its not that important to me to be right though, if I learn something. But Im more likely to be enlightened if approached with logic instead comments about my character, ect. I feel like one of the Salem Witches. I'm just trying to talk Cubs baseball.

Krone, are you quoting somebody there? or are you adding a desire for someone to die along with your wish to supress Judaism? What a productive day for you!

The Joe Yes that was a quote. It wwas from The archives of this site from Oct 2004. It was just the first one I saw the day after Sammy-gate broke. Dont remember the poster. Sorry for the confusion. The poster was refering to Sammy in the Pepsi comercial where Sammy eats a burrito compliment of a guy who turns out to be a Sox fan. I dont wish Sammy any ill will. I hope he mankes it to 600HR. Speaking of quoting, I know you werent quoting me about my 'wishes', because I never said any such thing. I know you're a reliogous scholar because Ive read what you said in previous threads, and enjoyed and agreed with most of it. But I wish you wouldnt put words in my mouth.

Here's the thing: Pointing out what someone else said does not erase what you have said, nor does it make it acceptable. You can't just follow the pack, 'everyone else was doing it'. Secondly, you need to understand how priorities work. Missing a game (or a day of work) because you are lazy, just don't feel like it, etc. is not acceptable. That seems pretty obvious. On the other hand, missing work (or missing ANYTHING) for religious reasons is acceptable. Religion is not a hobby, but a part of a devout person's life that is all-pervasive. For a true follower of God, whether this describes you or not, devotion to God comes before anything else, including family, work, and certainly playing baseball. God does not put a person in a position to play baseball, those are decisions that WE make. Yom Kippur is a holy day in which all work is suspended. You may not accept the day of attonement, but you cannot attack others for observing it. Though I think references to genocide are a bit harsh, you should consider that since Jewish faith requires an observance of Yom Kippur, your wish for it not to be observed IS tantamount to a wish for practicing Jews not to participate in the MLB. I think that this is why people are frustrated with you. Yes, rescue workers work on holidays, but ball players are not rescue workers. Baseball does not save lives. ps. During the Salem witch trials, Christians killed innocent people who they believed to be wicked. The difference here, is that people believe that you are the one doing the attacking.

Yeah, I spoke too soon the first post, I apologize for that.

Da Krone, it seems as though you are trying to start an argument, not trying to talk baseball. All of your posts have been about "free speech", the Yom Kippur War (which you hadn't heard of), wikipedia, (which you hadn't heard of), missing the birth of your child to play a baseball game, and something about a poison taco. For gods sake, if you want to talk baseball, do so by all means. But quit talking about things you don't know about, and trying to piss people off. The whole Shawn Green thng is silly. First of all , he's not getting traded to the Cubs. It's part of his contract. Second of all, even if he were, he has a track record of playing over 99% of the games. Nobody on the cubs does that. Third of all, any practicing Jew, will tell you that you don't work on Yom Kippur. Weather you are a congressman, a Doctor, a Policeman or a baseball player. It just doesn't happen. You can disagree with that if you want, but I guarantee that if you keep saying things like "he missed the game for Yom Kippur, real team guy", you are going to continue to piss people off. But as long as we are on the subject, 2 years ago, Yom Kippur fell right in the middle of a tight playoff chace for the Dodgers. I remember, because the Cubs were also in the middle of a wildcard run. They were playing the Mets in New York, (where I live) and I was torn about weather or not I should go to the game. I lied and told my parents I went to services on eve yom kippur, and the day of yom kippur as well. (Jewish holidays start on sundown and end on the following sundown, so it spans two calendar day) Truth was, (don't tell my mom) that I only went to services for the day of. The night before I went to the game at shea. Rusch was pitching, and the cubs won. It was a great night. Everybody left the game feeling good, the cubs were on their way to the wild card...There were more cub fans there than Mets fans. I ended up having drinks with Dan Roan at a bar after the game...Ah, good times... Yom Kippur was the next day. That was the game on Fox where Prior pitched a gem only to have Latroy blow the save by giving up a 2 run walkoff home run to a call up from Chicago by the name of Victor Diaz. That began the Cubs tragic collapse of '04... But I digress. I remember feeling guilty on the day of yom kippur and thinking, that's dumb, what's the point of that, either you observe the holiday, or you don't, I can't just pick and choose one part because I want to go to at least one cub game. One thing that made me feel a little less guilty was when I saw that Shawn Green chose to play on erev (eve of) yom kippur but not on the day of. So really Shawn Green fudged it. He should have missed two games, because the Dodgers played 2 games during yom kippur, but he only missed one. I'm guessing that like me, Green is a member of a reform synagogue...

Nomar off the board. $6MM/one year deal with the Dodgers. Damn, they're signing EVERYONE this year. Also, rumor on another board about the Cubs offering Angel Guzman and Todd Wellemeyer for Aubrey Huff, I think that sounds pretty good. In fact, it would probably end Hendry's offseason, wouldn't it?

Really Eric? I'm happy for Nomar. So where's he going to play, now that the Dodgers have 3 shortstops? I'm guessing we all picked LA for the free agent frenzy contest... Welly and Guzman for Huff sounds fantastic. Too good to be true. Angel has about as high of a ceiling as any pitching prospect, but labrum issues are a big red flag. The toughest type of injurys to recover from. Welly has a nice live arm but there's no room for him on the roster now that the bullpen is loaded with vets like Dempster Eyre Howry Williamson, Wood (probably) and them Novoa, Wuretz, and Ohman... I love the deal. I worry about Huffs conditioning and his work ethic, but for that price, he's a steal.

Where was the trade rumor posted?

Ah found it, on NSBB, I figured it was one of "those" rumors. A message board poster with "sources" Looks like the story is breaking as posted by Eric. Good work. Last night, the 32-year-old infielder agreed in principle to a one-year deal with the Dodgers worth $6 million in base salary to play first base in L.A. According to a plate-appearance incentive, Garciaparra could earn more than $8 million next year. According to sources, agent Arn Tellem informed the Yankees, Astros and Indians last night that Garciaparra wasn't going to be joining them. Garciaparra's decision to play for L.A., where he has a home and will be reunited with former Red Sox manager Grady Little... Nomah at 1B? Makes Choi available or at least makes his value even less than CPat. When Cesar Izturis returns (to 2B?) then what decision is made wrt Kent vs Nomar? Alot of non- first basemen on that infield. If the impending Dodger signings of Sanders/Lofton are going to happen they have an interesting and very old starting lineup, but it does have some punch if healthy. If also gives them a ton of 4-5th OF's like Jayson Werth, Ricky Ledee and Jose Cruz, but they will need them if they expect more than 100 games each from Lofton/Sanders (which aren't signed yet). Ned Colletti: "We've got a lot of what-ifs. Let's see what happens with Nomar and take it from there," he said. "As circumstances are presented and the season is under way and people recover from injury, we'll make decisions as we have to make them. It's all premature." SS Furcal 28 CF Lofton 39 2B Kent 38 RF Drew 30 1B Nomar 33 LF Sanders 38 3B Mueller 35 C Navarro 21/Alomar 39/Phillips 30 although Bill Mueller may be a nice choice to hit in the 2 slot, it puts Lofton batting maybe Lofton will sign with the Diamondbacks since he will probably get to hit at the top of the lineup and play more (in AZ) especially if Nomar winds up shifting to the OF when Izturis returns.

"clearing ice off his sidewalk" Ruz, don't you live in San Diego still?

Joe Within the last week there was a debate on this site. One guy was saying,'you cant beleive in Statistics and also The Clutch.' And then he gae his reason why they are mutually exclusive. But the other guy said, 'well, I do believe in both.' I beleive you should play unless you are injured or have a funeral to got to. I guess there could be some other circustances I hadnt thought of. I also beleive that whoever can hit a 95mph fastball should be allowed in the game. IMO, it should be irrelevant if youre jewish, islamic, black, white, green, blue, female, or that voodoo guy from 'Major League.' Dan makes an interesting point that he thinks his going out on Yom Kippur affected the Cubs negatively during the Victor Diaz game. I'm superstitiuos in that it seems whenever I dont sing along with the 7th inning stretch, the Cubs seem to lose. If I do sing, it doesnt mean theyll win, but I almost always do sing. I call it mojo. So if a player thought he wanted to take the day off because he'd bring bad mojo to the game, I guess I could buy that. Its a way of looking at it I hadnt thought of before, if nothing else.

Da Krone, Hmm. Well, I guess that's another way to look at it. I'm personally not superstitious, ie I don't think that God will curse the game for a violation of Yom Kippur. But then again, I'm wrong a lot--what does any of us really know about God? It's interesting that you would allow the missing of a game for a funeral. Personally, I believe that religious observance comes before anything else...God comes before people, and thus, religious observance comes before funerals. Anyway, I think we've beaten this thing to death. We clearly just disagree. Again, I apologize for immediately jumping on you; doing that is just mob mentality and is in no way constructive.

That's not what I meant Da Krone, I just said that like Shawn Green, I only observed 1/2 of yom kippur and spent the other half at the ball park. The fact that the Victor Diaz game fell on the day of yom kippur was just an intresting bit of trivia, and had nothing to do with my lack of observance the night before. I like how you are now saying you can understand missing a game for superstitious reasons but not for witnessing the birth of your child or observing the most sacred Jewish holiday. Way to go stud!

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  • crunch 2 hours 24 min ago (view)

    minor league baseball has to provide housing for minor leaguers starting 2022 (paid for by MLB parent clubs).  this is HUGE news and will make it possible for guys to stick around longer without having to quit the game just to earn a basic living.  for minor league players working in expensive housing markets this is a life saver.

    activist players from the OAK and LAA minor league teams as well as minor league player labor advocacy organizations were a huge part of making this happen.  good work.


  • bradsbeard 6 hours 7 min ago (view)

    Did you have any occasion to observe Pedro Ramirez? Not sure if he got into any games or not (now that I think of it, you wrote up at least one game he played in). 


  • Arizona Phil 11 hours 20 min ago (view)

    azbobbop: Certainly LHSPs Drew Gray and Luke Little have emerged as legit significant high-end SP prospects. RHSP Luis Devers has probably displaced Koen Moreno as the top "pitchability" SP prospect in the lower levels of the Cubs system. Tyler Schlaffer (another "pitchability" guy) also had an impressive Instructs, although Devers is a better SP prospect because he has a solid three-pitch mix and knows how to use it, while Schlaffer has just the 92-94 FB & CV (although both are solid offerngs) and isn't as polished as Devers is.


  • Hagsag 17 hours 30 min ago (view)

    This is the first time I have heard about the four month program in November. 


  • azbobbop 1 day 11 min ago (view)

    Phil, now that instructional scare finished, which players impressed you the most and who are disappointments.


  • tim815 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    Cool. Should help his trade value if the bat plays.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    TIM: Peter Matt looks very comfortable at 3B. He is a classic "four-corner" guy (1B-3B-LF-RF). 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    KKvG: I strongly suspect Koen Moreno's outing was more about getting out on the mound and throwing in a game than anything. He did get several swings & misses from his CH (which is a plus-pitch), and he uses his low 90's FB to set-up the CH.

    I didn't see any breaking balls, although it's possible I might have mistaken a CH for one.

    Koen Moreno is what scouts call a "pitchability" guy. Nothing wrong with that, BTW. MLB starting rotations are full of pitchers like that.  


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    Childersb3: Not much bat speed. Just "lug-power." I actually like Matt Mervis better. 


  • Hagsag 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    Thanks wrigley rat.


  • Wrigley Rat 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    HAGSAG - Not Phil, but I think this info was from him in the past:

    RHP/OF (signed as a two-way player - seems to be sticking with hitting for now), R/R, 5'11 180, Age 18, SPAIN


  • Childersb3 1 day 13 hours ago (view)


    Does Bryce Ball have any real bat speed, or is he just a big guy that waves at the ball and makes contact 1of5 times?


  • Hagsag 1 day 17 hours ago (view)

    Phil, tell me about Frank Fernandez.


  • tim815 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

    If Matt is "not horrible" at third, that could be useful.


  • crunch 3 days 1 hour ago (view)

    bonds got a standing-O after being introduced between innings at LAD @ SF.

    as he sat down, dude looked extremely genuinely happy to hear the park errupt in cheers for him again.

    it's not his first time back, nor his first set of cheers, but the park is packed and loud.


  • Cubster 4 days 37 min ago (view)

    Jed's GM search wrapping up, and the winner is: (Athletic write up): 37 yr old "Carter Hawkins, Cleveland assistant general manager, deals with all aspects of baseball operations in a front office admired for its stability, creativity in turning over the roster and ability to keep churning out pitchers.