And Another Thing…

Along with acquiring a middle-of-the-order run producing RF and finding a new home for Corey Patterson, Jim Hendry has at least one other item of importance to accomplish this off-season, or at least sometime prior to Opening Day 2006. And what might that be? No, it's not "Sign Jose Macias to a AAA contract with an invitation to Spring Training as non-roster player" (although I feel confident that will happen). What I had in mind is signing Derrek Lee to a contract extension. I know there a few here at TCR who would not hesitate to trade Derrek Lee for Miguel Tejada or somebody of that stature, but I would imagine most TCR contributors are happy with D-Lee at 1B and hope that he will not be a free-agent after next season. So if you believe (as I do) that it is important for Jim Hendry to sign Derrek Lee to a contract extension, for how long, and for how much? What's it gonna take? My guess is a contract similar to the one Paul Konerko recently signed with the White Sox (5 years/$60m, limited no trade) would be satisfactory to D-Lee, although since he is already signed through 2006 for $9.42m, a 4 year/$50m contract extension for 2007-10 would give D-Lee about what Konerko is getting over the same years. There are a lot similarities between Konerko and D-Lee. Both will be the same age (30) on Opening Day 2006, both play 1B, both are Top-of-the-Line sluggers in mid-career, both are good citizens, good teammates, and good employees, and both are steady, stable players who seem to be genuinely happy and content playing in Chicago. So Konerko's new contract with the Sox would seem to be a good benchmark for what Derrek Lee should expect to get from the Cubs (should they choose to offer an extension, which I believe they absolutely, positively will). And knowing Hendry as we do, you can figure he will probably try and get a vesting option for year five (2010) tied to games played in 2008-09 (in case Lee gets hit by a bus or something), in exchange for a player option to leave after 2007 (same type of contract Aramis Ramirez signed last April). Why Hendry likes that trade-off, I don't know exactly, but it might be that he believes the player is so thrilled to have a chance to play for the Cubs and would be leaving so much money on the table that he probably woouldn't want to leave early (no, really, I think he actually believes that), and that it might give a bit more motivation for the player to do his best, have good years, and stay strong, healthy, and clean (with the new MLB substance abuse policy, staying "clean" takes on far greater significance now than it ever did before) throughout the length of the contract if there is a player option after the first two years and a vesting option based on games played at the end. Like this: CURRENT CONTRACT: 2006: $9.42m (In addition to $300,000 in 2005 performance bionuses for winning the Gold Golove and Silver Slugger awards in 2005, D-Lee's 2006 salary escalated by $750,000 after finishing 3rd in the 2005 N. L. MVP) POSSIBLE EXTENSION: 2007: $12.5m (player option to be FA after 2007) 2008: $12.5m 2009: $12.5m 2010: $12.5m (vesting option tied to games played in 2009-10, or else club option with $3m buy-out)


Now Ken Rosenthal's confirming the Nomar signing. seems that Eric the Great and AG's Rabbi beat him to the punch including the Dodgers potential lineup! How cool is that? Free-agent infielder Nomar Garciaparra has agreed to a one-year contract with the Dodgers, according to the New York Post. The question now is how the Dodgers will resolve their infield logjam once shortstop Cesar Izturis returns from elbow-ligament transplant surgery, probably at mid-season. - reposted from Adam Greenberg's Rabbi... 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.

I'm particularly glad that Nomar isn't an Astro

I just don't get why Hendry has started agreeing to the player option to become a FA mid-contract. All that does is give the player leverage to renegotiate the deal at that point -- if the player CAN become a free agent, he essentially IS a free agent for negotiating purposes. If the player is unable to use the FA opt-out as leverage (because it's unlikely that he would be able to get a better deal elsewhere), that will just mean that he is being paid above market by the Cubs at the time. These are the only two possible scenarios, and neither of them is good for the Cubs. Having said that, I know that each deal is a unique negotiation and it's likely that Hendry gets something in return for this concession (i.e. it may be the final throw-in in order to get the player comfortable with the dollars offered). But this term really has the potential to blow up in Hendry's face.

What the heck are the Dodgers doing? I like Nomar as much as the next guy, and he has one of the most consistent bats in all of MLB, but they are setting themselves up to have one weak-ass infield (with the exception of Mueller). Rafael Furcal and his over-powering (but also very erroneous) arm, Jeff Kent...'nuff said, and now Nomar at first. Wow... As for Lee, I definitely hope they lock him up ASAP. While I don't think he's going to have quite the monster year that he had in '05, I do think it looks like he's adjusted his swing enough to pretty much close up that hole that he had in on the hands (a lot of talk was made about how pitchers went hard on the hands to get him out...didn't work out so well this year:). Combine that with the fact that he's shown improvement at the plate every year for the past few years, and we're not looking at a career .260 hitter anymore; rather, we're looking at a .300 hitter with 35+ homer and 100+ RBI potential...on a yearly basis. If he does have another very good season, he's gonna be worth more than what Konerko makes (I like Pauly, but he's no D-Lee at 1st, and he's gotta be one of the worst baserunners in all of MLB). I say that Hendry busts out the checkbook, 'cuz Lee is money

One addition to my tirade re: the player free agent option in #3 above-- The thing I dislike most about that option is that it's self-defeating. Here's how. We have to assume that Hendry offers the option as a way to secure a salary that's slightly less attractive to the player in some way (amount, years, structure, etc.) than the player might accept without the option. (If that's not true, then the option wouldn't be offered in the first place.) But if the player agrees to a salary that isn't the absolute best he can get, it just makes it that much more likely that the player will be at a below-market salary when the option kicks in, and conswequently able to use the option as renegotiating leverage (as discussed in #3 above). So even if the option "works", it backfires. Again, I dont like it when people criticize deals that I work on when they don't know the full picture, so it's difficult to pick on Hendry without knowing all the nuances of the negotiations. But I just hope he is aware of the consequences of this player FA option (or better yet, I hope there's something about it that I'm not understanding).

Am I the only person who thinks that Cesar Izturis's fate is sealed as a non-Dodger? What are they going to do when he comes back? Move Nomar to LF and play Kent at first? I've got the think Izturis has suddenly become available for acquistion. While 261/295/338 isn't exactly terrific, a career fielding percentage of .980 at SS sure is. I'm not dogging on Neifi/Cedeno, Neifi's pretty good defensively too, but Izturis might be a nice fit in the 2 hole in the lineup. Boy, if only it was 3-4 years ago for Ned Colleti. That lineup would be nasty.

Don't know if this has been posted yet, but the Star Tribune of Minnesota is confirming that the Cubs are still pursuing Jacques Jones: "The Cubs are very interested in signing Twins outfielder Jacque Jones, but they are offering only a two-year contract to the free agent. " Egad.

Does anybody else want to see if Lee can come close to repeating his '05 season before breaking the bank on him? If he reverts to his pre-05 form, he's not worth 12.5+ mil per year. I don't expect another batting title, but if he hits .300/.400./.580 then lets do the new contract.

After looking thought the Free agent market and what Hendry has said he would like to do, 2 names pop up, Reggie Sanders for the out field for a 2 year deal, and Kevin Millwood for a 3 year deal and option on the forth. The take all the money we have left this year to spend and resign Lee to a 5-6 year deal. Any thoughts on this ? the up side , we lose no Minor leaugers, down side sanders is getting old but, he still has pop, and millwood is a very good pitcher to have if one of our starters goes down he can stop a lossing streak, like maddux and prior did last year as well as Zambrano.

So last year Hednry used the Sosa contract excuse as to why we didn't go out and make any big deals. Now this year it will be because we got outbid on our one guy and the free agent market was weak. SCREW THAT!! I am tired of the excuses. Go get Milwood and trade for Huff, DO SOMETHING. Last years team proved they were not a playoff team. Changing only 4 players from last year (2 releivers and 1 bench player) is not enough to make up the 10 games difference. Everyday that goes by get more frustrating knowing 2006 might be a repeat of 2005.

Good article, AZ Phil. But why make Lee a priority for an extension over Zambrano and Prior? I see it more likely to build a championship team without Lee (with Z and Prior long-term) than in winning a championship with Lee and only one of either Z or Prior. Lee is great, but slugging 1B are more common than front-line starters.

Prior and Zabrano are both locked up for 2 more years, giving the Cubs time to lock them up for a long time. And locking pierre up for 4 years before spring training also would be a nice move. The Cubs are 80% done for building a team that could be the best in the centeral or even in the National leauge, we need 2 players RF and one more SP. If that can be done look for the Cubs to win 88-93 this next year, unless they want a jones like player and a fifth starter

Just a note, I see Cedeno as the next Nomar, he has the talant and the eye for hitting, I am not afaird of going into next year with him at SS. Plus Murton at LF, All Hendry has to do is tell Baker to play them every day. Which inturn could mean that the return of Baker is doultful (Thank God for That)

I think Zambrano and Prior should be priority #1 & #2 as far as extensions go. I love D Lee, but it's much harder to find quality pitchers then it is to find firstbasemen.

LQQK1: "All Hendry has to do is tell Baker to play them every day. Which inturn could mean that the return of Baker is doultful (Thank God for That)" If they produce, I am sure they will be everyday starters. If they don't, (like Choi, Hill & Dubois) then they won't. And I surely hope McPhail doesn't give Hendry an extenstion without making sure Baker gets one. They should be tied at the hip. Especially with Epstein out there as a FA GM next year.

I say we jump onto Millwood if we can. He is solid pitcher and would be good as a #3. If we can get him and Huff (although it seems likely that we won't) we could be a competetive team. If it comes to it we could hit Barrett 5th. Also, if Ozzie Guillen can hit Pierzynski 3,5,etc. , I cant see any reason why Barrett, who is a better hitter, could not hit 5th. I mean, look at Dye and the Sox. Dye hit in the .270s and still played a major role. I think that we shouldn't settle for Jones, but if it comes to him there are other people who can step up to take the brunt of it. I really would like to see a slugger in RF, but I doubt hendry will be able to get one. OK, I will stop this "rant", but just by fixing the bullpen and the Lead-off spot, we are set to win at least 5-10 more games (even though that is not saying much). With the addition of another top starter and a RF we could win 88-95 games next year. Just to wrap things up, but you know the cards and stros dont look to good either (pray that Clemens retires!).

Clement met with the Rangers over the weekend, plus his ties with them, could lure him to play for them at lease one year. the Astros have basicly said, we are moving on with out you, thaks for the time.

Was Roger Clemens seen in Arlington with an SOS pad glued to his chin?

"I think Zambrano and Prior should be priority #1 & #2 as far as extensions go. I love D Lee, but it's much harder to find quality pitchers then it is to find firstbasemen." I agree. You build winning teams from pitching at the roots. We have that in Prior and Zambrano. And there's always the Pandora's Box that is Kerry Wood, who is still fairly young. Don't write of Kerry yet. And do you really think DLee will replicate his '05 performance? As solid as Lee is, I highly doubt it. Thats not to say I wouldn't make him a priority, just not as high as Z and Prior.

Everyone is forgetting the simple fact that no matter who Jim Hendry adds to the roster, the Cubs are still managed by Dusty Baker. They have no chance, even with Houston and St. Louis being weaker. If 100 years of losing has taught Cub's fans anything, it's that when the top teams in the division start to fall, it won't be the Cubs who step up, it will be Milwaukee or Pittsburgh. That's what you get when the team is too cheap to fire the worst manager in baseball. Dusty loses at least 10 games a year. This team, if they add a mediocre RF, will not win 80 games. And Ronny Cedeno, I am afraid, will be a big disappointment. His career minor league numbers are awful, with the exception of last year. To suddenly think he has become a .300 hitter with power is insane. His career numbers say that before last year he was a .251 career hitter with a .294 career obp, .356 career slg percentage, and his best season was 6 hr's and 48 rbi. Oh, and despite his speed, Cedeno isn't much of a stolen base threat, in the minors he was thrown out 40% of the time. I like adding Pierre, and trying to improve the bullpen, but I have to be realistic. The Cubs have many issues, the biggest is their manager. Until that is resolved there is no reason to be optimistic.

Jacob: "The Cubs have many issues, the biggest is their manager. Until that is resolved there is no reason to be optimistic." Yeah the Cubs won so many WS this last century without Dusty as manager. :)

Konerko is not equivalent to Derrek Lee unless Lee goes back to hitting like he used to. If Lee's awesome 2005 means that his 2006 will be a step forward from his career norms, then Lee if a far better hitter, defender, and baserunner than Konerko. If 2005 was legit, and not a fluke, then Lee's one of the most valuable commodities in baseball. Want to extend him for four years? *Start* at $14 million. He's that good. And it might take six years at that price. DLee is incredible, Konerko is above average. So what kind of extension is that? a 6 year, 84 million dollar extension. And I think that's where he'll end up. And that's with the hometown discount. On the open market, Dlee's going to cash in to the tune of 6 years, $96 million. Consider this offseason: The Mariners just paid 9.5 for 4 years of Jarrod Washburn. Estaban Loiaza got 7 million. Paul Konerko--as you pointed out--got 12 and 5 years. And Konerko doesn't even have the speed and defense that DLee has, which means that DLee will likely age better. Lee's going to absolutely break the bank. What did Pujols get? 7 yrs, 100 million? Think in that range.

What did Pujols get? 7 yrs, 100 million? Think in that range. Agree with the above with the following exceptions making DLee slightly below Pujols value: Pujols is younger (affects length of contract) Pujols has MVP numbers

Yeah, but Cubster, the market's gone up...WAAAAY up. Magglio Ordonez coming off an injury to his knee got 15 million for 5 years--with incentives. And now DLee has MVP numbers. He's got a power speed combo that ages well. And he plays good defense. And he's not a headcase like Magglio. 6 years, 96 million if he gets to the open market. Less if he takes a hometown discount.

sorry for incomplete post What did Pujols get? 7 yrs, 100 million? Think in that range. Agree with the above with the following exceptions making DLee slightly below Pujols value: Pujols is younger, 25 yrs (DLee is 30) (affects length of contract) Pujols has MVP numbers 5 yrs (2001-2005) DLee has MVP numbers only one yr (2005) DLee is the better defensive first baseman but Pujols has been solid defensively in 3 different positions (3B, OF, 1B) so based on fewer MVP years I'd say DLee will command a $13+ M/yr x 5-6 or about $65-80M; but the low end of that gets pushed up by the cash thrown at Konerko who clearly is not the player Pujols is in any aspect of the game.

and if you go to 7 yrs for DLee... that's at the $95 level (what's $5M here or there)

and one more plus for Derrek... he's an excellent baserunner and a basestealer which is very unusual to be getting that from the 1B position

Your compare Pujols and Lee and the age differants, But remember this Pujols is injury bound, lee is at his prime, Plus he put up better #'s then Pujols last year. Pujols got MVP as a token for the last 3 years. Lee should of won it, because with out him the Cubs would of been lucky to win 65 games. Pujols is good as with Jones, but look at the teams they played on, both teams were good, not the Cubs. Lee would sign a deal for 5 yrs 60 million with a option on the 6th at 13.5 mill. or a 2 million buyout. Lee is the face and Future for the Cubs for the next 5 years.

Good point LQQ1, Lee is in his prime, and if Pujols is really as young as they say he is (25 I think?), his prime will come, but it probably would be good idea to wrap Lee up and get the best of his prime. He is also a classy guy, which is all the more reason to wrap him up for his career. That's not to undermine the need for the team to prioritize Z and Prior.

just watch out for the fashionable offer of 3 yrs at much higher money...if he were to hit the fa market. if Furcal is worth between $39/3 and $50/5 and Konerko got $60/5 DLee is $50-55/3 at least in Toronto, NY and LA this offseason....which will probably translate to $70/5 in beancounting Trib Towerland.

So in summary, we're all saying that Az Phil's $12.5M extensions are realistically low. No wonder the Billy Beane's of the world can do pretty will with some solid number crunching on their targeted pickups with the approach to sell for good prospects just before the market forces take effect on your fully developed players. The high end of the market is WAY out there compared to the non glamorous but statistically solid end. Beane did it and remained competitive (having a productive farm system is the key). Florida does the blow it up and hope for prospect development a few years out...and it's succeeded for them once, so why not twice.

Some interesting moves by the Dodgers. What alot of you don't realize is that the Dodgers were banged up last year and fielded an offense that would have trouble scoring in AA. I think they have done a good job of getting a better offense for that pitching staff. What an interesting concept those Dodgers are trying. I am still waiting on the Cubs to do the same thing. Anyways if the Dodgers are doing good with Nomar at 1b, Kent at 2nd, and Furcal at SS then they keep what they got. Izturis goes to where he belongs. The bench. If they are not doing so well and they feel defense is a problem then Kent moves over to 1b and Izturis takes over at 2nd. Nomar then tries the OF. The Dodgers have flexibility to try different things. The Cubs can't even say that.....

MikeC: "I am still waiting on the Cubs to do the same thing." Hopefully we will only have to wait till after this year when Hendry is not resigned and we get in a new GM. What do you think of Epstein as a possibility? he has won a WS, but with a much bigger payroll then the Trib will ever give him. I think he is worth a shot...

seriously, unless hendry leaves mcphail will not fire him. it just makes very little sense. hendry GAVE mcphail his job...theyve been friends professionally for a long time...theyve managed to tandum up to sqeeze over 40m outta the cubs management in less than a decade to add to the payroll. theyre a team. hell, this isnt even a bad team. big deal that the cubs didnt give furcal 13m a year or any other stupidity of this offseason. damn him for 2 years of least the 2nd year anyway...and why he feels the need for 2 years of neifi, who knows. but long story short, it'll take a lot of pressure to get hendry gone.

It is a bad team for the money we are spending. No way to spin that.

Crunch: "seriously, unless hendry leaves mcphail will not fire him." McPhail would not have to fire him, just not reup with him. So youa er basically saying that as long as McPhail is teh President of teh Cubs Hendry will be the GM? If true, that is example #568,329 why the Cubs have not won a WS in almost a century.

I think everyone or most everyone on here is in agreement that Wood will be either a. In the bullpen most of the year or b. start app 15 games for us next year. If this is true out TOP PRIORITY should be to sign or trade for a starting pitcher at this point. We have Zambrano #1 stuff Prior (2 fluke injuries I bet he starts 25+games) Maddux Another year older can project 13-16 wins high 3 or low 4 era Williams a Big Giant question mark Rusch (A horrible option) I don't care who we get in RF. With a starting staff like this we will need a lineup like the yankees to win. I say go after Millwood, or trade for a #1 starter because this is where we are going to be in trouble. It looks as if (fingers crossed) that the bullpen will be fine so if we have 3 excellent starters maddux and williams I think we will be in great shape. But to depend on wood being healthy, Maddux to throw like a #2 williams to be the next z or rusch to have a sub 4.50 era is foolish.

I like Zito and I think Zito can be had Cheap by the Cubs, That would be a great move or overspend for Millwood.

And I surely hope McPhail doesn't give Hendry an extenstion without making sure Baker gets one. They should be tied at the hip. Why? Hendry gave Dusty a 4 year contract, and he's giving Dusty 4 years to prove his worth, or perhaps the Tribune's telling him that won't eat Dusty's contract. At the end of that contract if Hendry finally makes, or is allowed to make, the decision that should have been made 2 years ago, why should his fate be tied to Dusty's. If Hendry signs off on an extension, that'd be another story. Now whether or not Hendry will deserve another shot at GM after this season is another story altogether, but I'm with Crunch that if McFail stays there is no chance that Hendry is leaving, whether or not he deserves it. McFail and Hendry are the two tied together, and if one goes, I assure you the other one will too.

Bleeding Blue: "why should his fate be tied to Dusty's." Because Hendry too has been given 4 years (actually given OVER 4 years). If Baker's only going to be given 4 years to prove his worth, then why should Hendry be any different, when he has actually even been given more time. I have no problem if they let Baker go, but Hendry should be shown the door too. "McFail and Hendry are the two tied together, and if one goes, I assure you the other one will too." Then a clean sweep of all three (McPhail, Hendry and Baker) would be the answer then. BYE BYE and BYE!!!

Still I was reserve judgment until Spring Training but if the offseason ends up like it's shaking out, then absolutely Trader Jim should go. He has been riding the 03-04 hot streak to oblivion and has major holes in his game. He's a league-average GM. On a team with an unmotivated owner, that spells trouble. Theo Epstein would be awesome. The fact that he admits and tries to correct mistakes alone makes him better than Jim.

Nomar at 1B and Kent at 2B...that should translate to at least 6-8 drag bunt hits for Pierre alone. The Dodgers had to overpay for guys this off-season because they're taking a huge PR hit since the DePodesta firing and basically since the McCourt administration took over. They're in danger of losing even more fans to the Angels so I guess they're doing all they can to put a winner on the field in a totally winable division. With all the injuries toward the end of last season, their lineup was Royalsesque. Mueller was a solid pickup though his avg should drop without the monster. Furcal, Mueller and Nomar are all upgrades over Valenin, Izturis and Choi but i think they'll regret giving Nomar $6m guaranteed. I'm surprised they didn't make a run at B.Molina for insurance in case Navarro flops. Sandy Jr isn't going to cut it.

Ummm Wood should be 100% by the time pitchers and catchers report. Matt Morris had the same type of surgery in December last year. He made his first start of the season around April 14th. Wood had his surgery August 31st. He will have an extra 3 months recovery time. Unless the Cubs are covering up an underlying more serious injury he has more than enough time to be ready for the first day of spring training.

Off topic (and for that matter outside of reality): I recently discovered The sim matchup feature is so much fun! To settle the biggest choke artists in recent Cub history, I decided to pit the 69 Cubs against the 04 Cubs. The result was truly a classic Cubbie matchup. Enjoy! Top 1: '69 Cubs Carlos Zambrano takes the mound. Don Kessinger flies out. Ron Santo flies out. Billy Williams grounds out. '69 Cubs 0 0 0 '04 Cubs 0 0 0 Bottom 1: '04 Cubs Fergie Jenkins takes the mound. Corey Patterson flies out. Nomar Garciaparra strikes out. Sammy Sosa hits a single. [1] Aramis Ramirez pops out to 2B. '69 Cubs 0 0 0 '04 Cubs 0 1 0 Top 2: '69 Cubs Jim Hickman hits a single. [1] Willie Smith hits a home run. Ernie Banks is hit by a pitch. [1] Glenn Beckert hits a groundball single to LF. [12] Randy Hundley hits a home run. Pitching change: Carlos Zambrano is replaced by Kyle Farnsworth. Fergie Jenkins hits a single. [1] Don Kessinger hits into a fielders choice. [1] Ron Santo gets walked. [12] Billy Williams strikes out. Jim Hickman strikes out. '69 Cubs 5 5 0 '04 Cubs 0 1 0 Bottom 2: '04 Cubs Moises Alou strikes out. Derrek Lee grounds out. Michael Barrett strikes out. '69 Cubs 5 5 0 '04 Cubs 0 1 0 Top 3: '69 Cubs Willie Smith flies out. Ernie Banks hits a ground-rule double. [2] Glenn Beckert hits a flyball single to LF. [13] Randy Hundley pops out to 3B. Fergie Jenkins lines out to 3B. '69 Cubs 5 7 0 '04 Cubs 0 1 0 Bottom 3: '04 Cubs Todd Walker hits a single. [1] Kyle Farnsworth bunts a popup to 1B. Corey Patterson hits a bloop single to CF. Walker is thrown out at third. [1] Nomar Garciaparra flies out to shallow CF. '69 Cubs 5 7 0 '04 Cubs 0 3 0 Top 4: '69 Cubs Don Kessinger hits a single. [1] Ron Santo gets walked. [12] Billy Williams hits a line drive single to LF. Kessinger scores from second. [12] Jim Hickman flies out to shallow RF. Willie Smith hits a home run. Pitching change: Kyle Farnsworth is replaced by Francis Beltran. Ernie Banks strikes out. Glenn Beckert grounds out. '69 Cubs 9 10 0 '04 Cubs 0 3 0 Bottom 4: '04 Cubs Sammy Sosa grounds out. Aramis Ramirez strikes out. Moises Alou flies out. '69 Cubs 9 10 0 '04 Cubs 0 3 0 Top 5: '69 Cubs Randy Hundley gets walked. [1] Fergie Jenkins strikes out. Don Kessinger hits a line drive single to RF. [12] Ron Santo hits into a fielders choice. [13] Billy Williams gets walked. [123] Jim Hickman strikes out. '69 Cubs 9 11 0 '04 Cubs 0 3 0 Bottom 5: '04 Cubs Derrek Lee grounds out. Michael Barrett hits a home run. Todd Walker flies out. Francis Beltran grounds out. '69 Cubs 9 11 0 '04 Cubs 1 4 0 Top 6: '69 Cubs Willie Smith hits a home run. Ernie Banks pops out. Glenn Beckert hits a single. [1] Randy Hundley flies out to shallow CF. Fergie Jenkins flies out to shallow CF. '69 Cubs 10 13 0 '04 Cubs 1 4 0 Bottom 6: '04 Cubs Corey Patterson flies out. Nomar Garciaparra hits a single. [1] Sammy Sosa gets walked. [12] Aramis Ramirez hits a home run. Moises Alou flies out. Derrek Lee strikes out. '69 Cubs 10 13 0 '04 Cubs 4 6 0 Top 7: '69 Cubs Don Kessinger grounds out. Ron Santo grounds out. Billy Williams hits a single. [1] Jim Hickman hits a flyball single to LF. [13] Willie Smith flies out to shallow RF. '69 Cubs 10 15 0 '04 Cubs 4 6 0 Bottom 7: '04 Cubs Michael Barrett strikes out. Todd Walker hits a home run. Francis Beltran lines out. Corey Patterson pops out. '69 Cubs 10 15 0 '04 Cubs 5 7 0 Top 8: '69 Cubs Ernie Banks flies out. Glenn Beckert hits a single. [1] Randy Hundley hits into a 5-4-3 double-play. '69 Cubs 10 16 0 '04 Cubs 5 7 0 Bottom 8: '04 Cubs Nomar Garciaparra hits a single. [1] Sammy Sosa hits a home run. Pitching change: Fergie Jenkins is replaced by Phil Regan. Aramis Ramirez flies out. Moises Alou hits a single. [1] Derrek Lee is being pinch-hit for by Todd Hollandsworth. Todd Hollandsworth hits a line drive single to CF. [12] Michael Barrett strikes out. Todd Walker hits a line drive single to CF. [123] Francis Beltran is being pinch hit for by Neifi Perez. Neifi Perez hits a flyball single to shallow RF (-). Hollandsworth scores from second. [12] Corey Patterson strikes out. '69 Cubs 10 16 0 '04 Cubs 9 13 0 Top 9: '69 Cubs Kent Mercker is the new pitcher. Phil Regan flies out. Don Kessinger hits a double to deep left center (-). [2] Ron Santo lines out to 3B. Billy Williams strikes out. '69 Cubs 10 17 0 '04 Cubs 9 13 0 Bottom 9: '04 Cubs Nomar Garciaparra hits a single. [1] Sammy Sosa bunts a groundball to P. Garciaparra advances to second. [2] Aramis Ramirez hits a groundball single to LF. Garciaparra is thrown out at home. [1] Moises Alou hits a flyball single to RF. [13] Todd Hollandsworth hits a groundball single to LF. [13] Pitching change: Phil Regan is replaced by Ted Abernathy. Michael Barrett lines out to SS. '69 Cubs 10 17 0 '04 Cubs 10 17 0 Top 10: '69 Cubs Jim Hickman pops out. Willie Smith gets walked. [1] Ernie Banks is hit by a pitch. [12] Willie Smith is being pinch-run for by Nate Oliver. Glenn Beckert hits a groundball single to 3B. [123] Randy Hundley gets walked. Oliver scores from third. [123] Pitching change: Kent Mercker is replaced by Jon Leicester. Ted Abernathy hits into a fielders choice. Hundley is forced at second, but Ted Abernathy beats the throw to first. Banks scores. [13] Don Kessinger grounds out to 1B. '69 Cubs 12 18 0 '04 Cubs 10 17 0 Bottom 10: '04 Cubs Don Young replaces Oliver in RF. Todd Walker strikes out. Jon Leicester is being pinch hit for by Mark Grudzielanek. Mark Grudzielanek hits a single. [1] Corey Patterson flies out to shallow RF. Nomar Garciaparra hits a home run. Pitching change: Ted Abernathy is replaced by Rich Nye. Sammy Sosa grounds out. '69 Cubs 12 18 0 '04 Cubs 12 19 0 Top 11: '69 Cubs LaTroy Hawkins is the new pitcher. Ron Santo hits a single. [1] Ron Santo is being pinch-run for by Adolfo Phillips. Billy Williams hits into a fielders choice. [1] Jim Hickman strikes out. Don Young hits a line drive single to CF. [13] Ernie Banks flies out to shallow LF. '69 Cubs 12 20 0 '04 Cubs 12 19 0 Bottom 11: '04 Cubs Paul Popovich replaces Phillips at 3B. Aramis Ramirez grounds out. Moises Alou flies out. Todd Hollandsworth hits a single. [1] Michael Barrett flies out to shallow RF. '69 Cubs 12 20 0 '04 Cubs 12 20 0 Top 12: '69 Cubs Glenn Beckert flies out. Randy Hundley hits a single. [1] Rich Nye is being pinch hit for by Jim Qualls. Jim Qualls lines out to 2B. Randy Hundley is being pinch-run for by Oscar Gamble. Don Kessinger gets walked. [12] Paul Popovich hits a flyball single to CF. Gamble scores from second. [13] Pitching change: LaTroy Hawkins is replaced by Michael Wuertz. Billy Williams lines out to 3B. '69 Cubs 13 22 0 '04 Cubs 12 20 0 Bottom 12: '04 Cubs Hank Aguirre is the new pitcher. Ken Rudolph replaces Gamble at catcher. Todd Walker hits a triple. [3] Michael Wuertz is being pinch hit for by Jose Macias. Jose Macias flies out to shallow CF. Corey Patterson pops out to 2B. Ken Rudolph is charged with a passed ball. Walker scores from third. Nomar Garciaparra hits a single. [1] Sammy Sosa flies out to deep LF. '69 Cubs 13 22 0 '04 Cubs 13 22 0 Top 13: '69 Cubs Mike Remlinger is the new pitcher. Jim Hickman hits a groundball to 3B which is misplayed by Aramis Ramirez. Official scorer: E-5. [1] Hickman steals second. [2] Don Young flies out to shallow CF. Ernie Banks strikes out. Glenn Beckert strikes out. '69 Cubs 13 22 0 '04 Cubs 13 22 1 Bottom 13: '04 Cubs Aramis Ramirez flies out. Moises Alou hits a single. [1] Todd Hollandsworth strikes out. Michael Barrett hits a popup single to CF. [13] Todd Walker hits a groundball single to RF. F/13 '69 Cubs 13 22 0 '04 Cubs 14 25 1 The sad part is that, other than Sosa bunting, this is completely realistic ... two teams determined not to win!!! I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did. :)

So some of you guys really think that Hendry should be fired, or at least not re-signed after 2006? Really?

Stop the Theo as GM talk because it is not happening. If the stresses of the job were enough for him to not want to be the GM of his faviorite team why would he want to be GM of another team? I could see him taking a job as Team President and then hiring Cherington or Towers to be the GM. If Mcphail was to fire Hendry (and I agree w/ Crunch it wont happen) here is the top 5 canidates that MCPHAIL would fire to replace Hendry. 1. Dan Evans- Chicago guy and the media here love him it would get them good PR which is what the Trib utimetly cares about. Would be my no.1 choice too. 2. Jim Bowden- Well people complain about Hendry being too passive so there reasoning is people will like him because he is in the mold of Kenny Williams. 3. Andre Dawson- There spin being look how good firing ex-players as GM has been for the Reinsdorf teams. 4. Andy Mcphail- The trib is losing money bad why not pay him to do two jobs. 5. Wayne Krevisky- Worked W/ Mcphail in Minny.

what a fun find WPZ ...and the printout for the box score is a beauty! Good stuff on a cold Chicago December 12 degree outside day. Prior (Cubs 03) just beat Contreras (WSox 05) Final Score Cubs 3 Sox 2 Prior 7IP 5H 2R 117 pitches...seems real enough. HR-Sosa, Iguchi

Yes, but unfortuneately the 2005 White Sox dismantled the 1908 Cubs 4-1 in a best-of-seven. (although we did win Game 2 at the Cell by a 13-1 tally)

Because Hendry too has been given 4 years (actually given OVER 4 years). If Baker's only going to be given 4 years to prove his worth, then why should Hendry be any different, when he has actually even been given more time. First of all, given over 4 years? You aren't really going to give him any credit or blame for 2002 are you? Second, why should it be any different? Because in the past 3 seasons Hendry has put together 2 championship caliber teams and 1 team that should have competed for a playoff birth. We don't yet know what 2006 will bring, but the GM isn't to blame for a team that's failed to live up to its potential the past 2 years (or 3 if you want to count the playoff choke job of 2003). That's what's different.

The Cubs problems are much more than just right field. The solutions start in the front office with Andy McFailure. He lucked out in Minnesota with a young team and suddenly was seen by the Tribune top management as someone who could make the Cubs a winner with modest expenditures. Since then, he has been in and out of the Tribune doghouse but has managed to maintain his position. As long as we continue to attend and support a second rate team and purchase Cub souveniers, we will get what the Tribune wants. A cheap product which generates huge profits.

The Cubs problems are much more than just right field. The solutions start in the front office with Andy McFailure. He lucked out in Minnesota with a young team and suddenly was seen by the Tribune top management as someone who could make the Cubs a winner with modest expenditures. Since then, he has been in and out of the Tribune doghouse but has managed to maintain his position. As long as we continue to attend and support a second rate team and purchase Cub souveniers, we will get what the Tribune wants. A cheap product which generates huge profits.

The Aaron Gleeman article (see link) is why we don't want JAQUE JONES (unless he's coming to platoon with someone). The whole article is an excellent read. I love the word "Hacktastic"...conjures up images of Shawon Dunston and Korey immediately! It sounds like Ron Gardenhire messed Jones up by not platooning him (see below). I'm sure Dusty couldn't sort this kind of player out after trotting out CPat to the bitter end last year. --- Go to the 12-14 writeup on this Twins Aaron site Jones was always an enigma in my eyes. He was clearly a gifted athlete and a very talented player, yet was never able to put all of his tools to great use. He was extremely inconsistent, possessed one of the least reliable outfield arms in all of baseball despite being a very good defender, displayed horrible plate discipline regardless of the situation, and never figured out a way to hold his own against left-handed pitching. Playing for the Twins and having Ron Gardenhire as his manager likely magnified Jones' already sizable flaws. His combination of outstanding athleticism and a hacktastic approach at the plate is in many ways representative of the Twins' organization as a whole, both good and bad. And Gardenhire's refusal to platoon Jones against southpaws did nothing but expose him as an incomplete player while hurting the team. Despite racking up at least 500 plate appearances in each of the past six seasons, Jones never once drew as many as even 40 non-intentional walks in a year. Much was made of his improved patience this season, but the fact is that 12 of his career-high 51 walks came intentionally, leaving him with a measly 39 non-intentional walks in 585 plate appearances. In 3,783 career trips to the plate, Jones has struck out 737 times while drawing a total of 206 non-intentional walks. Jones finishes his Twins career as a .227/.277/.339 hitter against left-handed pitching, a subject that is a sore spot with me. It has been painfully obvious for years now that Jones has no business playing every day, yet thanks to Gardenhire's stubborn refusal to face facts and do something as simple as platoon a left-handed hitter, nearly 30% of Jones' at-bats over the past three seasons came against lefties. None of those flaws kept Jones from being a quality player, but they make him relatively easy to let go.

"It is a bad team for the money we are spending. No way to spin that." kerry wood makes too much money. everyone else you can complain about making too much money you're talking about 500K-1m at most...and there's not a lot of them. kerry wood wouldnt be making too much money if he wasnt a walking bandaid. maddux's 3rd year probally shouldnt have happened, but in order to get him for the 2 years before there had to be a 3rd or gross overpayment. dlee/aram were signed to great contracts. the prior 5-year mlb deal isnt something you just do...that took balls and a plan of action for his development before he even put a uniform on. i guess there's relief pitching to bitch about, but the cubs are far from the only team spending "too much" on it. yes, i do think some people are crying dispair over nothing at all aside from the fact its all some do, period. the sky isnt falling...the team's lineup, pen, and starting are all well above the league average in tallent. no, this isnt a 200m yanks club filled with hired guns or a 20m marlins club filled with promise. this cubs team so far isnt a pile of wasted money and tallentless hacks, either.

2005 team was a pile of wasted money and talentless hacks. We haven't improved much over the 2005 team.

pierre/t.walker/d.lee/aram/??RF??/murton/cedeno/barrett that is NOT trash. even the stat-minded can see some positives outta that...and yeah, that's not a static lineup. esp. when the bench is patterson/mabry/neifi/j.hairston zambrano/prior/wood/maddux/j.williams/rusch also, not trash...not many teams with that kinda selection to put in their rotation...esp. when teams are walking over themselves trying to get the cubs 06 "also-ran" r.hill. you need 5...the cubs got 7+. dumpster/howry/eyre/wuertz/novoa/ohman/williamson that's not bad at all. yeah, im expecting the RF to be a 25+HR power guy that can field...yeah, i know patterson/t.walker/j.williams are being thrown around in trade talks. it will settle out til its done, but this just doesnt look bad to me.

the 05 team was NOT the 05 team. the 05 team missed 3/4 a year of wood and nomar. that's not like missing patterson and rusch. that's a huge huge issue. if you wanna play the "on paper" game then yeah, not much has improved...but in the real world neifi was the SS, patterson killed CF for 1/2 year+, and the bench was a total failure. add in the month+missing walker/aram/prior and you got more troubles. and do i need to mention what happened in LF for 1/2+ of the season? how about the near-30 loss bullpen? the 05 team was not what the 05 team was supposed to be. the 06 team has not only addressed these issues, but its also sporting a stronger bench than the team has shown in years.

I also read the comments on that Aaron discussion on there might be a silver lining twist to his value. The question much different is Jacque Jones than Corey Patterson? JJones might be a good platoon player, KPat isn't. Korey's splits in 2005 are really bad but when you're down so low it's too near the Mendoza line to be sure what it means. Patterson 2005 splits: vs leftys: 169 .203 .305 .508 vs rightys: .231 .272 .363 .635 Patterson 2004 splits: vs Leftys: .289 .328 .491 .819 vs Rightys:.258 .317 .437 .754 so in 2004 KPat was slighty better vs Leftys and not really a platoon candidate. The one thought from the Twins site was the suggestion that Jones would be an ideal platoon partner with Juan Encarnacion (bats right) who will be 30 in March and last yr with the Marlins did this: .287 .349 .447, 16 HR. I discussed the Reggie Sanders/Kenny Lofton platoon concept which helps the bench with a good player who isn't in the lineup. I like this one too, IF (big IF) they strictly enforce the platoon. Can Dusty do that? Dunno. Jones 2005 split vs Rightys .268 OBP.348 SLG.466 OPS.814 Encarnacion 2005 split vs Leftys .309 OBP.398 SLG.468 OPS.866 How expensive would a JJones/JEncarnacion platoon be? Encarnacion made $4.4M last year. Jones is bucking for $ it's pricey but we've got the cash to burn a $9-10M RF. At that price (Brian Giles is at $10M, he's better but really wasn't available unless he got a Furcal deal, which is how Furcal got his deal!)...since it costs the farm system NADA and it completes our bench with pretty good depth, so there is some value added there. The only problem is there is some concern JJones would not be happy in a platoon. Half of the posting anger was directed at Ron Gardenhire (aka Gardentool). but there was some distinct disgust with the player's performance, in a KPat lack of strike zone control kind of way. It definitely reminded me of the TCR opinion on Corey Patterson: The damned tragedy with Jacque is, as so many have commented, he could have been a very effective platoon player that got into 120 games a season and hit with great power against RHP and played more than adequate defense. Gardentool just left him in there vs LHP with the hope that he would improve, or more likely, with the fantasy that if JJ closed his eyes and swung hard he just might connect once in awhile. Bleah. I can't be too nostalgic about the guy's departure. Jacque Jones was the most frustrating twin to watch, and I won't miss him at all. Striking out 3 times a game in the Oakland series. Horrific in the New York series in '03. Inexplicably lobbing the ball to the infield in Game 2 against New York in '04, when a good throw would have nailed Jeter by ten feet and sent the game to more extra innings. And all the strikeouts at balls in the dirt. When the guy was down 0-2, you KNEW he was going to swing at something horrific and stomp his feet as he walked back to the dugout. Jacque at 5 million a year? No thanks. --- Part of the problem with platooning him was his attitude. TK platooned him, and it came out during TK's dust-up with a bunch of young players that Jones was not happy. Gardenhire took over a relatively young Jacque Jones and, I think, was convinced that he would improve against lefties if given the opportunity, since the knock on TK was that he was never letting Jones hit against lefties. However, the problem with Gardy is that it takes him forever to realize when a player is not performing when he likes that player. Gardy probably just kept believing that Jones would hit lefties eventually, he just needed more chances. It was never going to happen.

The Cubs needed to do several things this offseason to help cure what ailed them last year. The roster is filled with players who aren't disciplined enough at the plate, nor fundamentally sound in the field or basepaths. They don't get on base nearly enough anyway but when they do they can't move the baserunner over. So at the top of the list of things to do this offseason was get a leadoff hitter who is going to get on base and score some runs. They whiffed on Furcal but with the Pierre signing they accomplished that goal despite what a lot of people in Cubdom think. Second on the shopping list was getting bullpen help for a pen that was abysmal. The pitching staff, though not as good as we would have hoped, wasn't all that bad last year. With an improved offense and pen the starters would have looked a lot better. Signing Howry and Eyre, regardless of what you think of how much they paid to get them, means they accomplished this goal too. Although as we know signing relievers is a difficult thing to do. With those two things accomplished, the next thing to do is get a right fielder, preferably a left handed one with some power because Pierre has none, and Murton hasn't shown much and can't be expected to provide much this year. So far they have failed miserably in this department for whatever reason because there are guys available. At this point we have to scrap what we wanted to have out of our right fielder and go with the best available because there simply isn't much left. I would love to have Aubrey Huff because he has power, can get on base, and is still young. He didn't have a great year last year but has the track record to indicate that it might have been an aberration. If Pie is ready in '07 (big if) and Murton doesn't pan out, then you can switch him to left. This for whatever reason doesn't look like it is going to get done. So the next best available RF's are Reggie Sanders, Rondell White, Jacque Jones, and Preston Wilson as Free Agents and possibly Kevin Mench and Shawn Greenin a trade. I don't think they will get either Mench or Green, so this probably isn't going to work out like we want but we need someone in right next year and his name can't be Corey Patterson. Although I would like to have another starter I don't seriously think this was ever on Hendry's shopping list and I think he foolishly believes Wood will suddenly morph into the guy we all thought he was going to be. And he isn't willing to pay what Millwood, Washburn, and the rest are getting in the market. I think that what the Cubs have got now is what they are going to start the season with, and as I said before they weren't that bad really. So to recap, they have improved their pen which should give them a few wins. They have improved the leadoff spot a great deal and that should translate to more scoring opportunities. At best its a wash in RF. What this means is that we can expect to be in the 85-89 win range. With the improvement of the Mets and the Braves always being good, this won't get it done. In other words, the Cubs will be home for the playoffs again.

i still dont see how being a wash/even in RF equals a barely improved team. yeah, howry/eyre arent a sexy hiring, but damn, the team needed that. besides...its about scoring runs and keeping the opponents from doing so. the lineups is loaded with .340+ ob% guys, 2-35+ homer guys, 3-4 15-25+ HR guys (assuming RF is the typical 25+HR type). the starting pitching is beyond what most club have...the pen has been overhauled with the best-of kids and 2 solid vets (and dumpster/williamson). now if everyone can stay least at this point this team has some backup with some kinda hitting upside.

Crunch I would totally agree with you but would feel much more comfortable with another starter. I think you are overestimating the quality not quantity of our pitchers.

oh yeah, i totally feel okay with this group of starters. all of this is just how i feel about the team...i dont understand some of the negativity, but its all subjective. i dont feel the cubs are over-the-top 95 game winners, but i dont feel like the cubs took a step backward and in contract helped things along in a positive way. while winning by other's subtraction isnt something you can count on...right now HOU and STL look like pure ass and a shell of what they were. in a head to head i'd take the cubs group of players over hou/stl or any of the central's competition if everyone can stay healthy. there's still time for everyone to improve or "settle"...barely at the 1/2 way point til spring training.

"in contract" = in contrast. har. "Attached is the list of players announced today and the countries and territories for which they have agreed to participate, if selected. The list does not include players agreeing to play for teams competing in the Round 1 Asia Pool (China, Chinese Taipei, Japan and Korea). Those players will be announced at a later date." Perez, Neifi Dominican Republic Macias, Jose Panama (on paper he still is a member of the cubs) Barrett, Michael United States Lee, Derrek United States Blanco, Henry Venezuela Zambrano, Carlos Venezuela

yeah, its oldish, but i dont know if it was brought up.

I am watching this Bear game right now and I think i am sick to my stomach. Kyle Orton is SOOOOOOO BAAAAD it is unbelievable it is amazing he is even in the NFL. He is bad as Hutchinson, Krenzel and the other HORRIBLE QB's of teh past couple years. I don't think Grossman is much better, but I think it is amazing that he is not at least given an oppurtunity now that he is healthy. I think Orton has like a 0 rating today AGAIN. UGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Well at least I bet the under...:)

Yes, it is hard to stomach watching the Bears, but watching them on D compensates for the horrid offense. I believe a little too much blame is being shifted to Orton. I don't know if you caught the stat earlier in the game comparing Orton with the likes of Fouts, P Manning, Elway and others in terms of QB rating and wins in their rookie years. Orton has twice as many wins then all of them. And as Mortensen wisely pointed out...that's all that matters. Also, keep in mind, while Orton has struggled the past couple weeks, the Bears have played some top-notch defenses. The last 3 or 4 teams they've played have all been ranked 8 or better defensively. HOwever, he's nowhere near as bad as Krenzel or Hutchinson.

Here comes Grossman....! About freaking time.

well, here comes Grossman.

HOwever, he's nowhere near as bad as Krenzel or Hutchinson. Sexy Rexy in the game, so we'll see if it's the defense or the weather or both or neither. (that should cover all the bases)

REX!!!!!!!!!!! REX!!!!!!!!!!!!! REX!!!!!!!!!!!!! REX!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Finally...F Orton!!!

a little Bears Parachat?

1st pass to Muhanmmad was better than almost any pass Orton threw in a month.... Nice knowing ya Orton. And Orton did not get those wins teh Defense did.

Bears moving ball passing not running!! Shows that Orton WAS holding offense back. Not offense holding him back.

Easy on KO! He's not as good as Grossman, but he will be an NFL quarterback one day. He has limited skills at this point, but it's not his fault he was playing...

"And Orton did not get those wins teh Defense did." Doesn't change the fact Orton was at least status quo and did not make any mistakes to lose the game until the past 2 weeks. Get off your snide! The Bears are exciting to watch on both sides of the ball now.

Fortunately, the Bears caught a break to wipe out the interception.

"Doesn't change the fact Orton was at least status quo " STATUS QUO??? The worst QB in the NFL is status quo?? HA HA I am not a huge fan of Grossman either, he is injury prone, but he CANNOT be any worse tha Orton right now.

LoL I was just in Parachat and they have a ton of new sounds. God I wish they had some of those to use during last season.

I am a fan of Grossman. He went to high school in Bloomington. I followed him at Florida. I'm just not going to take anything away from Kyle Orton. I mean, if you're gonna complain about a guy (a rookie) who won 9 games in a rookie season that isn't even complete yet, something's not right. Honestly, how are you gonna fault the guy when he won games like he did, regardless of how many of the TDs were attributed to the D.

What kind of idiot drafts a QB who took 90% of his college snaps out of the shotgun, and starts him in an offense that uses the shotgun 0% of the time? Yes, Grossman may be better for this offense, but don't bash Orton for being forced into a "game plan" that refused to "open the playbook" and also refused to implement the offense from a perspective he was comfortable with.

Hey Orton might be the next Joe Montana, i don't knoe, nor do i care right now. I do know that RIGHT NOW he is a horrible QB for this team and Rex Grossman or even Jeff Blake can't do worse than him. And as you saw in teh 2nd half tonight, the team responded and even cheered when Rex came in the game. I am sure they were getting tired of him throwing horrible pass after horrible pass. Muhammad has voiced his opinions on Orton not being ready and I think many others on the team felt the same way. Today, Lovie gave his team a legit shot to make the Super Bowl as they have a chance to actually score points now on offense in the playoffs. Thsi defense is SOOOOO good the BEars need to try and think about winning thsi year and Reex gives them the best chance to win this year. PERIOD!!

"#80 of 80: By thesmitty (December 18, 2005 08:35 PM) What kind of idiot drafts a QB who took 90% of his college snaps out of the shotgun, and starts him in an offense that uses the shotgun 0% of the time?" Speaking of QB's that took 90% of their collegiate snaps out of the gun... hey look it's Rex Grossman. Hooray for the Fun 'n Gun. Even under Zook, he spent a LOT of time throwing from the gun. Mr. Pot, allow me to introduce you a very good friend of mine: this is Mr. Kettle. That's not Orton's problem. The problem is that he loves Jack Daniels so much (can you blame him?) that he can't read defenses for shit. The second part of this article is a little expose on the finacial state of the Redbirds. Very encouraging for a Cuns fan.

That should read 'very encouraging for a Cubs fan.' Typo.

Also, some thoughts on Jacque Jones. Everything I've read from the posts above says that a RF who can hit 25+ HR from the left side would be a great fit. While I'm not advocating some outrageously expensive deal to get him, JJ did hit 23 last year, and 24 the year before that at the Metrodome. Something to be said for that. And while he doesn't mash lefties.. his overall career is still 279/327/455..which is better than a lot of guys on the market to play in a corner. He's not Huff, and he's not Mench, but we also don't have to give up a pitcher to get him. I'm still nervous about trading J-Will. That means Rusch is probably in the rotation to stay for 2006. I think I just threw up in my mouth.

Alot of the Purdue routs are slant and in routes while Florida used more routes are more down the field routes. That was Orton's problem is he simply did not have any touch on passes 10 yards or longer. It took Brees 3 years to devlop into a solid NFL QB and Orton will to once he gets back into rythym of throwing the ball deeper than 5 yards. The Brewers are going to nontender a guy they traded for less than a month ago. I guess the idea is to sign him for less money than they would otherwise have to offer. The kicker? His agent is Scott Boras. Good luck, Milwaukee!

I would be ok with Jones in rf, as long as we're not done. I still want another pitcher. The Sox won with depth in the rotation. The Cubs rotation has the potential to be deep. I don't trust it however. Millwood might be too pricy @ 5 yrs. Weaver might be a good fit. He is somewhat what we had in Clement. A solid 4 that can give you 200ip.

Not to keep comparing to the Sox, but they just won the Ws. So why not?? Lee Iguchi Cedeno > Uribe Ramirez Garcia (If Wood healthy =?) Weaver > Garland Maddux > Vasquez They would match up pretty well with the additions of Jones/Weaver/ and possibly a ss or 2b. Thoughts ?????????

ooops.. that didn't fit.

Lee Iguchi Cedeno > Uribe Ramirez

Lee/Konerko Hairston/Iguchi Cedeno/Uribe Ramirez/Crede Barett/Pierzynski Murton/ Podsednik Pierre/Anderson Jones/ Dye

Zabrano/Burhle Prior/Contreras Wood?/Garcia Weaver/Garland Maddux/Vasquez

If we add Jacque Jones, we better be prepared with a RF to play against LHP. I don't like Jones much at all, but I like him less if he has to hit against LHPs.


X...see posts #52, 57 on JJones. and yes Virginia, he's a bad pickup without a platoon situation. So they'd need a righty OF bat to be on the bench for pinch hitting and bat against leftys. Right now Hairston is that person but I'd like to see them get Mench or Encarnacion to platoon with Jones (unless they can get Ibanez or Huff who wouldn't be platoon RF's)

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  • crunch 3 hours 26 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 7 hours 8 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 12 hours 22 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 18 hours 32 min ago (view)

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


  • azbobbop 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

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


  • tim815 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

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


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 7 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 7 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 7 hours ago (view)

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


  • Hagsag 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    Thanks wrigley rat.


  • Wrigley Rat 1 day 11 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 14 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 19 hours ago (view)

    Phil, tell me about Frank Fernandez.


  • tim815 2 days 2 hours ago (view)

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


  • crunch 3 days 2 hours 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 1 hour 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.