TCR Friday Notes

I was being raked over the coals at work earlier this week, so I was never able to give my 2 cents on the Corey Patterson trade and I know you've all been waiting breathlessly for my take. To echo Ruz's statements, ìVaya con Dios, Coreylitoî. You wrote your Cubs tombstone the day you decided that you didnít want to play winter ball. Just another data point to verify the history of your arrogance. I do wish him luck with the O's and if he becomes the 30/30 guy we were all hoping for one day, don't worry, it would have never happened while he was in a Cubs uniform. I did find this quote from Korey regarding all the advice given to him highly amusing.
"Everyone has good intentions, but you have to know yourself and what parts to take in and leave out. I was listening to so many people. I wasn't being myself."
Here's some handy clip and save advice for you Korey, cut it out, put it into your wallet and refer to it the next time your on an 0 for 30 streak with 25 Kís:
Don't Swing at fastballs over my head.
As for the prospects we got in return, Carlos Perez will be lucky to have a career as good as the other Carlos Perez, and that's not saying much. Spears has tons of potential, just like the guy we traded him for once did, just in lesser amounts. He does have the upside of only being 20 and not being an arrogant idiot. There's a lot of comparisons to David Eckstein because of his frame and scrappiness. We can only hope he turns out that well. He played last year for the O's Advanced-A team, so he'll either get the bump up to AA or hang back in Daytona. -- For those looking for answers this weekend at the Cubs Convention, Cubs beat writer Bruce Miles and the Trib's Dave van Dyck have pre-emptively given the canned answers that you should expect. Miles further reinforces why he's my favorite Cubs beat writer, with his tongue-in-cheek responses . Van Dyck tries to fabricate some responses based on previous responses given by Dusty on Thursday (I assume during the Cubs Caravan). Weird article. -- Sammy Sosa to the Nationals?, Sammy Sosa at RFK, Sammy Sosa and Frank Robinson, Sammy Sosa and Jose Guillen. The potential for comedy is off the charts. -- GO BEARS!!! I'll be over at Windy City Gridiron discussing the game.


not exactly breaking news but.... Cubs GM Jim Hendry indicated yesterday that Jerome Williams was behind Glendon Rusch in the rotation and that the Cubs may go without a fifth starter when possible in April. So, even if Kerry Wood does have to spend the first month of the season on the DL, Williams may only get two or three starts before being sent to the pen or to the minors. Obviously, we believe Williams, who has a career ERA of 3.92 in 63 starts and two relief appearances, should have the permanent spot over Rusch. Rusch has had a better ERA than Williams' career mark once in nine major league seasons (2004) and he split time between the rotation and the pen that year. Source: Daily Southtown

Is Spears white? Because the media aren't allowed to call someone scrappy unless he's white. And short.

Here's to a Monsignor Martinez reference!

the spears/eck comparisons are mostly about his D. he kinda gets more outta his glove/arm than he really should based on his hustle. that and he's a little itty bitty chunk of ballplayer who could stand to gain a double-digit upgrade in body mass. he's got more pop than eck.

btw, that's gleened info..ive never seen the kid.

i couldn't agree with you more on Bruce Miles...his article today is outstanding

Spears is white and 5'11 155 lbs.

"Is Spears white? Because the media aren't allowed to call someone scrappy unless he's white. And short." Both Neifi and Macias are scrappy players (by any size/hustle/low-power definition). My unscientific testing of Cosmonaut's statement above generally confirms he's right. I did quick google searches for Perez and Macias and Eckstein and most references that include Perez and Macias and "scrappy" are actually talking about other guys - mostly Eckstein, Freel or Augie Ojeda. Eckstein and scrappy are basically a single name in most of the references I saw. Now if you run Neifi and Macias and crappy - you get a lot of Cubs blog hits.

Cosmonaut, The white scapper has been a pet peeve of mine for a long time as well. Talk to a lot of people about Pete Rose and they'll talk about how he didn't have as much talent as most guys but he just worked harder than anyone. I have no doubt he worked hard, like, say, Tony Gwynn? But these asshats act as if a guy with no natural ability and no exceptional hand-eye coordination just rolled up his sleeves then worked and willed himself to 4000 hits. The converse, of course, is the black or Latin player who is billed as having amazing God-given ability and incredible athleticism as if he just rolls out of bed and hits .350.

Prediction: Korey will hit two HRs for the Orioles on Opening Day and will be lauded as a "steal." He will finish the month batting .264 and spiral downward from there.

The O's will teach Corey to recognize the high heat, put him in the 5 or 6 spot in the order and leave him there, he'll bat .290 and steal 50 bases, and we'll all sing the blues. At 155 lbs., "scrappy" is probably the only positive adjective one could find for a profesional ball player. The kid should try B-12 shots. I hear they work wonders.

Re: Where Spears will start. Assuming Cedeno is with the Cubs, Theriot will be the AAA starter. That leaves Rojas or Spears for the AA job. Rojas will most certainly stay in Daytona.

Has anyone heard that Lugo rumor on ESPN 1000 for themselves. I was listening this morning for a 1/2 hour and I have been listening for the last 1/2 hour and no mention of it in the updates. I have heard on that site the report was we would also get a pitcher in the deal too.

Well Baker is saying Walker is his 2nd baseman. This is confirmed in a Chicago Tribune article. Q Speaking of trades, who's your starting second baseman, Neifi Perez or Todd Walker? A Right now Todd Walker is our second baseman. He's here. I've heard a lot of speculation [about a trade], but right now we have about 10 weeks before we start. Let us do our thing and we'll be ready by Opening Day. Nice to hear. Q Last year's team was awful fundamentally. What will you change? A We can't keep beating ourselves up over what happened last year or else it will never leave us. My teams don't play like that. That was one of the poorest fundamental teams I've had in 13 years [of managing]. I'm going to do the same things I've always done. I have to re-stress some other areas. I do know baseball. I have a pretty good idea what we have to do. At this point talk is cheapóyou just have to do it. I don't like to hear that. He admits the team sucked fundamentally but he isn't going to change anything in his approach. Thats just great. The last 3 years Dusty's teams have come out of spring training as patient contact hitting and generally good fundamental teams. But as the season goes on it seems they just forget everything and go back to their old ways. I believe in spring training they have all the coaches in one place and are always teaching and helping, but once the season starts that area of work is thrown out the window. I believe you need to practice the most basic drills everyday to keep sharp, even at the professional level. It just seems Dusty's teams in an effort for him to be "cool" with the other players will just let them do the bare minimum to be prepared as the season goes on. Scott Eyre let onto why he wanted to be part of the Cubs because they wouldn't make him work out as much as he did with the Giants. One thing is for sure they don't stress fundamentals as the season goes on. It is up to each individual player to decide whether he needs to work on that part of his game or not. Maybe Juan Pierre can police up some of these players and make them work harder. One thing Pierre is known for is his tireless effort to squeeze as much at of his ability as he can.

What? Corey is gonna be a .290 hitter and steal 50 bases a year with the Orioles. That is comical. First, Corey is a .250 hitter at the very best. More likely, he will hit closer to .200. Second, he is not a base-stealer. Yes, he is fast but he is one of those guys who cannot translate that into stolen bases. Those acting like we gave up on another Lou Brock are dreaming.

From the Paul Sullivan article where Derrek Lee pretty much confirms it.... Will the Cubs exhibit sounder fundamentals this year? The Cubs made so many mental errorsómissing signs, throwing to the wrong base, pitchers failing to cover firstóthat it reflected poorly on Baker and his coaching staff. An emphasis on fundamentals in spring training won't mean anything if there are concentration lapses during the season. Derrek Lee issued a strong indictment of the team after the final game of the season when the Cubs were trying to keep Houston from winning a wild-card berth. "We played at an intensity level I didn't see all season," Lee said. "We need to find a way to do that on an everyday basis." It's up to Baker and his coaches to make sure the intensity level remains high for 162 games.

The last 3 years Dusty's teams have come out of spring training as patient contact hitting and generally good fundamental teams. But as the season goes on it seems they just forget everything and go back to their old ways. _____________________________ Post of the New Year goes to MikeC He's the perfect manager for team with egomaniacal superstars like Bonds/Sosa, but his sit back, chew toothpick, and observe approach doesn't fit last years team, and I don't think it will for 2006. His 'chill out dude' style leads to just that...teams that chill out.

that article w/ dusty q/a is one of 2 bullcrap articles printed today. it confirms nothing and is just a bit of bad journalism. there was no q/a...those answers are made up. 2 question/answer articles on the same day...both fabricated and based on assumption. its just lazy journalism and unoriginal narative. go chicago media.

Hendry and Baker both got booed when they were introduced at the Convention today. The fans are restless.

Yeah your right Crunch I glanced over this part... For those who can't make the convention this weekend, here is how Baker will answer the tough questions from fans, gleaned from Thursday's gathering: Damn, and I was hoping for some positive news on the Walker front. Thanks Crunch for bringing me back to the Neifi Perez option. I don't know whether to thank you or take a bat to Neifi's knee.

i just find it hard to believe there were 2 of them written basically on the same day. odd narative style...real odd for 2 writers on almost the same day in the same area using the same style. the trib. one takes itself almost dangerously too seriously.

Crunch, From reading the trib story it seems Van Dyke (who wrote the story) was sent out to write a puff piece on the Cub caravan and an impromtu press conference with Baker broke out. All he had with him in all likely hood was a note pad and pen to jot down some quotes from cub personale and fans at the event. So he decided the better story was to give his readers a synopsis of what Baker thinks about the issues surronding the team. It wasn't pie in the sky and he wasn't fabricating quotes. Miles story was just a satire of what to expect from Baker/Hendry tommrrow. It was nice to see him state it how it is and not be a kiss ass like Kiley or to a lesser existent Sullivan. CWTP, Was the Baker/Hendry booing on the same level of the Sosa booing?

you're going out on a limb to justify that piece. its just as likely he took the same approach as his copetitor over at the herald. 2 different stories, 2 different writers, 1 singlular approach, 2 different outcomes. besides...if he's doing his job without the tools of his job with him, he's doing the wrong job.

Crunch, You wouldnt need a tape recorder to get 3 sentances or less quotes. Anyways it seemed from the TV clips of that caravan stuff that alot of people in a sort of small place which would lead too much extra noise on the tape. Also the tape recorder can make some nervous and to interview an average person trying to get a small quote old-fashioned pen and paper is the best choice.

well, these pieces were written yesterday+ while both have dead on points, they're pretty speculative.

From the Trib: "The uncertain future of Baker, who like Hendry received mostly cheers but scattered boos upon their introductions" Is just Sullivan painting the corporate line or were the boobirds really a minority??

Your boos are pushing Dusty into deep depression- Hard to feel sorry for you with your $ 4 million a year contract and keeping Neifi in the lineup.

ARM, 'Yes, he is fast but he is one of those guys who cannot translate that into stolen bases.' There's no need to make things up. You can buy baseball cards, or the Sunday paper, or Sportsweekly or go to dozens of sites on the internet that will tell you CP is a good basestealer. Juan Pierre Career success rate: .74 Lou Brock .75 Corey Patterson . 79 The Cubs traded Brock in his age 25 season. They traded Patterson after his age 25 season. Brock's career average at the time of trade: .257 Patterson .252 Brock's OBP, Slugging and OPS .308 .383 .691 = .047 less than league average OPS Patterson's OBP Slugging and OPS .293 .414 .707 = .067 less than league OPS Brock's career WARP3 at time of trade: 8.7 Patterson's 11.1 They're not identicle, but there's definetly some similarities there.

Good comments from Prior in a Kiley Sun Times article this morning. It's reassuring stuff, even though he sort of had to say most of it. ___ Prior, as usual, refused to court controversy and was even understanding about his name being bounced around in talks about a multiplayer deal with Baltimore that centered on Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada. "From everything I heard, they weren't necessarily dangling me out there and trying to so-called 'get rid of me,''' Prior said. "I can see it from Baltimore's standpoint. Their player wants to be traded, and they need pitching. "Jim wants a shortstop, so it would make sense. [The Orioles] aren't going to want guys in A-ball and Double-A. They want guys ready to pitch. If they are going to request me, and if it's an honest negotiation, that's part of the business. "Now, if they are just trying to trade me, then I would hope somebody would be honest and tell me that. But I don't think that's the case. Fortunately, it wasn't something that was too serious. It was Rumorville. I have never been [ticked] off or anything. If anything was going to be done, I felt somebody would have called and said something.'' Prior gave no credence to media speculation that he could jump ship once he becomes a free agent. "I love playing in Chicago, and I love being here,'' he said. "I have no desire to leave. I was fortunate to fall here out of college [in the amateur draft]. I love watching the Bears and Bulls. It's a great town to play baseball in. I don't think there's any other town as good as Chicago that offers all aspects of life.'' Prior is seeking to put his right-elbow challenges behind him. "I've tried this offseason to correct some habits I fell into because of what happened with my elbow,'' he said. "One thing I have reflected on is how valuable time is when you're healthy. At any moment anything can happen. It's a fragile existence. Prior said filing for salary arbitration this year was simply a matter of business. "It was just kind of a given,'' he said. "It was just part of the deal. It's not like I can opt out and become a free agent. It was nothing where I consciously thought, 'Should I do it or not?' It was just written in the contract.''

Okay, Real Neal, well maybe Corey does not post very high numbers of stolen bases because he almost never gets on base. Maybe that is why is has not been among the leaders in stolen bases the last couple of years. In any event, I am too young to remember but did Brock have the COMPLETE lack of discipline at the plate that Corey has when Brock was Corey's age? Did Brock look like he had no clue at the plate? Dick Brock consistently swing at pitches at eye level and in the dirt? I am being serious. I really do not know. But I tend to doubt that Brock was as clueless as Corey seems to be at the plate. I got very tired of the habit Corey developed in the last couple of years of swinging at bad pitches and then whipping his head around immediately to look at the catcher, who most likely was chuckling. I mean, come on Corey, if you did not feel the ball on your bat, it means you did not touch it and you do not have to see the catcher chuckling to know that you swung and missed yet again. The Cubs did not ruin Corey. Corey has ruined Corey. If and only if Corey decides that he is not a potential 500 home run man, then I agree he possibly can be a .280-.290 hitter. But until Corey accepts that he is not a home run hitter, then Corey will continue to be the .215 hitter he was last year. Corey has hit above .266 only one season in his major league career. To suggest that this guy easily could be a .290 hitter is something I find hard to accept.

I'm not lamenting the trading of Patterson but Real Neal does bring up some interesting points. One more simularity: Both Patterson and Brock strike out A LOT. Brock struck out 1730 times in his career - more than Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle or Harmon Killebrew. In fact, Brock finished only 27 Ks behind K king Bobby Bonds and 86 behind Dave Kingman. Brock was regularly over 100 Ks at a time when even sluggers weren't striking out like they do today.

Corey Patterson will blossom into a good player, he will make the Cubs wished they did not trade him, instead get rid of Dusty. Rumors are that the Cubs are highly interested in Logo. Is this a rumor or is there actually negotiations for this trade on the table.

Somewhat surprising (although not unconditional) Walker love from Dusty, from __ Does Cubs manager Dusty Baker know who will bat second in his lineup? "I don't know yet," Baker said on Friday. "It's probably [Todd] Walker -- if Walker's playing." Which prompts another question -- is Walker still the Cubs starting second baseman? The left-handed hitting infielder is the best hitter among the three second baseman on the roster, but would trail Neifi Perez and Jerry Hairston Jr. if the trio was ranked by its defensive skills. "There's not some second base controversy," Baker said during a session with beat writers prior to the start of the 21st annual Cubs Convention. "I'm not going to say Walk doesn't have the job. He's been doing the job."

To put Brock's whiffing totals in further perspective... Lou Brock struck out over 100 times in a season 9 times. Ernie Banks did it 8 times. Ron Santo 4 times. Babe Ruth never struck out 100 times in a season.

Lets remember that Lou Brock hit leadoff. Something that Corey never wanted to do. Corey is NOT a good base runner or basestealer. He has blazing speed but no savvy. There is a big difference.

from the dept. of woo-and-boo... Team sources said Friday that the Cubs front office has not been in contact recently with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays about a rumored trade for shortstop Julio Lugo. woo! But sources added the Cubs might still get involved with discussions about Lugo before pitchers and catchers report to spring training Feb. 15 in Mesa, Ariz. boo! ...i refuse to be dragged into lugo being a "good" thing since 1- he probally wont be cheap, esp. considering boston is probally in on this, too 2- he's a horrible fielder. he's not even average... i'd take walker at 2nd any day of the week over lugo at SS/2nd...if walker is healthy. its not like getting lugo would kill the club, but aside from some unneeded speed in the #2 slot (jones is already there, gimmie a break) he's just a minor addition via major subtraction given it'd take at least 2 "ready" players to snag him or some higher-end prospects and a ready player.

Chad, 'Corey is NOT a good base runner or basestealer.' Please explain that. Because the way I define 'good base stealer' is by successfully stealing bases. You obviously are using some other definition. In 2004 he was 6th in the league in stolen bases and successful 78% of the time. At the time of the injury in 2003 he was, as I recall 4th in the league in stolen bases. It seems to me you're guilty of an association fallacy here. 'Corey has no strike zone judgement, therefore he is stupid and deficient in all phases of the game'.

for those keeping track.... c.wilson pitt 1yr/3.5m

Why would anyone even consider a trade with TB? It's pretty clear they are nuts. I don't know how I feel about Lugo, but I know that we'd have to give up way too much for whatever small upgrade he might bring.

Everyone seems to be forgetting that Lugo is a wife-beater. Remember that he publicly attacked his wife in the stadium parking lot in Houston, slamming her head into the hood of his car, and the Astros promptly released him. I for one do not want to see the Cubs turn into the Oakland Raiders, going after every player with a history of stupidity/criminal record just because Hendry thinks he can get them cheap. Thank god Billy Beane was suckered into taking Milton Bradley, and we were spared again when the DUI shortstop who, some sources say, also has a amphetamine problem, got a huge contract from a desperate Ned Colleti.

Neal, Have you ever actually watched Corey play? Not just looking at the avatars on espn gametracker? I watch with my own two eyes over 100 games a year. Corey has no savvy. he doesn't have a particularly good idea of a pitcher's move or when to break for second. With his speed, he should be first in stolen bases every year. Even with his OBP. There are guys who are great baserunners. For exapmle both Larry Walker and Scott Rolen are/were considered great baserunners as is Todd Helton. Of course they are very slow. Do you see the difference? Derek Lee is another example. He, last year, was probably the best base runner on the team.

Amazing...the DRays finally make a trade: MLB rumors says...Danys Baez and Lance Carter to LA Dodgers for Edwin Jackson/Chuck Tiffany could Lugo or Huff be far behind the doorway out?

Chad, I'll give you Larry Walker and even Scott Rolen though his success rate at stolen bases is not amazing. And I know there's more to good baserunning than stolen bases but the line must be drawn at Todd Helton with his 33 career steals and 23 career caught stealings. An argument that a guy's even a slow but savvy runner can't be made with that putrid of a success rate when choosing too steal.

this i found interesting...j.jones seems to be a perfect dusty match in the 2 slot, but it doesnt seem like that as of now...perhaps. "It's probably Walker if Walk is playing,'' Baker said about his vacant No. 2 slot. "But I don't know yet. Probably 2, 5 and 8 are the spots in the lineup where it's going to take some time to determine.'' so dusty already has the 1-3/4 slots in his mind filled...we can all pretty much guess who that is. wonder who he's sold on being in the 6/7 slot or if he was just throwing #s out there...

"But I don't know yet. Probably 2, 5 and 8 are the spots in the lineup where it's going to take some time to determine.'' If this isn't an indictment of incompetency with upper management I don't know what is. They have no idea who will be 2,5 and 8....nice. This has the making of an ever evolving lineup of trying to find the right balance...all while we watch someone else run away with the division. This is a real mess. A team with a 90 million + payroll has no idea who will bat 2, FIVE and 8. If you don't know your FIVE hitter you are seriously hurting.... what Cubs ownership always does..reward incompetency and give Hendry and Baker a make it an 8 year contract extension.

damn...its not even spring yet.

I would like to get Lugo. For one thing, Lugo means Neifi is a utility player, as he should be (and he DOES have value in that role). Even the Cubs aren't dumb enough to sit Cedeno for Neifi, Hendry has already come out and said as much. Second, Lugo's numbers are nearly as good as Furcal's, at less than half the money. There's nothing wrong with a 280/350 line, which is what you can expect from Lugo. His defense is not quite as good as Furcal's, but he's not a defensive liability. Third, I love the idea of Lugo hitting behind Pierre, in front of Lee and Ramirez. Between them, Lugo and Pierre could put 100 SBs on the board. Add in Jones, who is a 25 SB guy, and Murton, Lee and Cedeno, each of whom is a 15 to 20 SB guy, when have the Cubs EVER had speed like that? It'd be the Go-Go Cubs, I like it. Last, you're not locked in to a long-term commitment with Lugo, so if you find something better for 2007, you can do so and not lose much sleep over it. Tampa just showed they'd trade someone for a young starting pitcher (Edwin Jackson for Danys Baez), I don't see why Jerome Williams for Julio Lugo couldn't get done either. I'm for it.

*Even the Cubs aren't dumb enough to sit Cedeno for Neifi, Hendry has already come out and said as much.* Surely you remember last year when Hendry would speak from high in the clouds and Dusty would just pretend not to hear?

you guys know dusty has been saying for a few days now in multiple sources that walker's his man if he stays...he hasnt been vague about it. cedeno/murton, also seem to be safe in their starting roles based on the recent past voice of dusty. just passing that along... it seems its up to hendry to decide who gets to play 2nd...either he takes walker away or he leaves him for dustbag to use.

one thing im happy about... hendry hasnt come forth yet, but dusty-o has rang up his view on walker. good or bad, i just wanna know why this dude is mlb kryponite to all these supermen teams...including the team that's trying to trade him. now all that's left is for hendry to come clean on why he wants walker outta chicago...if its for his supposed worth based on his value vs. cost, it seems no one wants him enough to turn it into something the cubs need. at least so far it seems that way...

TBone, Take Helton off the list then. As far as other players go, I can only go off what I hear. I don't always look to stats to tell the tale but 33 for 56 isn't great. But it not horrible either for a mule footed slugger.

Maybe the Cubs are asking for too much in return for Walker? They certainly are not going to give him away. If the Cubs are seriously shopping Walker then they went directly against his wishes which is really a slimy move by the Cubs organization. In a way I kind of want to see Todd Walker traded so he can voice what he really thinks of the Cubs. I am sure he will have some choice words for management.

Chad, I have to admit, you're really on to something here. I think that we should qualify all baseball this way. Corey Patterson is a bad base stealer - considering how fast he is. Albert Pujols is a bad hitter, considering his hand eye coordination and strength, if he were to lay off all those non-strikes he swings at he would hit .370. Greg Maddux is the best pitcher in MLB considering his fastballl tops out at 86 MPH. Corey Patterson is the best power hitter in the big leagues, considering his size and strike-zone discipline. Chad, if you want to be taken seriously the first step is to be able to admit when you're wrong. If you want to say CP is a bad baserunner that's fine, it's your opinion and one shared by many people, but even if it wasn't I don't have any problem with it. But when you tell me that a 75% success rate (Walker) a 70% (Lee) and a 72% (Rolen) are better than 79% CP, you're just wrong. When the decision is made to steal a base (and those other players are more likely allowed to make the decision on their own than Patterson, which should increase their chance of success) Corey Patterson is better at it than they are. There's no amount of denying or backpedalling or changing the argument that will make you correct.

Dude, you just don't watch baseball do you? You just see the baseball in the box score. Watch a game or two. there's more to baserunning than success rate. You think that Rickey Henderson was just fast? Hell know. That guy studied pitchers. He knew before the pitch was thrown if it was going home or a pickoff. He understood baserunning. Corey doesn't. But if you just measure baserunning ability on success rate and SB totals, you're missing half the game.

Oh crap Neal, I just looked up some success rates of 'great' basestealers. And lo and behold but former swipe king Lou Brock had a success rate of 75 percent. Holy crap! CP is a better basestealer than Lou Brock. And at 80 perect, Rickey Henderson is only i tiny bit better than CP.

Well if you can get to 2nd base and be safe 70-80% of the time your a pretty good base stealer. Regardless if your reading the pitcher correctly or doing it on pure talent. Patterson had a few bone head running mistakes but he was generally dependable on the basepaths. He certainly wasn't terrible. If your ranking in order of the worst baserunners on this team Patterson doesn't even crack the top 10.

Chad, "Hell know"? I think it is time to get some sleep. I do agree with you to a certain degree. Patterson is below average running he bases in general. When it comes to stealing a base, I think Corey is definitely cabable of stealing more than 30 bases a season. I also think his percentage is low for his potential -- I can't imaging how he is thrown 7 out of 30 attempts. That is way too high for someone with his speed. With that said, the Cubs have not been a base stealing team for some time. With Baker, we have been below average compared to the rest of the baseball. I can't say whether that has something to do with Patterson's lack of attempts, but we will find out this season and beyond, I suppose.

Hell hath no fury like a Chad scorned. Let's get some things straight. If you watched 100 games last year that's about 50 less than me, unless you count spring training then it's 60 less. The difference between you and I is that when I watch baseball I understand it. I can place what I see into context, internalize things analyze them and come to rational conclusions. You watch baseball, see a player get caught stealing twice in two nights, and decide he's a bad basestealer. You let an emotional reaction to certain situations override you're ability to logic. This is how basestealing works. The more often you do it, the harder it becomes because the oposing pitcher and catcher expect it and guard against it more. Given that circumstance, Brock's success rate is probably more impressive than Corey's. Tim Raines probably was the greatest basestealer of all time, he stole a ton of bases and had a redicously high success rate. But to look at players who steal fewer bases than CP (thus making it easier to steal those bases) and at a lower success rate (this meaning his baseball brain failed him at a higher rate than Corey's) and say that he is a better basestealer... it really throws into doubt your ability to form a logical argument at all. 'Watch a game or two. there's more to baserunning than success rate.' I am talking about base-stealing not baserunning. Saying there is more to base-stealing than success rate and the number of bases you steal is equivalent to saying 'there's more to home run hitting than knocking the ball over the fence'. Admittedly, some caught stealings are not the fault of the runner (in the case of a missed hit and run or a missed balk), and some are easier (back end of a double steal) but I think it's safe to assume that those situations even out over the course of a given player's career.

Comparing Brock at age 25-26 to Corey 40 years later can only be taken so far. While still fundamentally the same game, there have been many changes in the game in 40 years. For example, the mound was lowered after, what was it, the 1968 season as a result of the accomplishments of Brock's teammate, Bob Gibson. Not surprisingly, Brock struck out noticeably less after the mound was lowered. Specifically, from 1970-1979, Brock struck out more than 100 times just twice, though, granted, he had three other seasons with at least 88 whiffs and started getting less at bats his last few seasons. I wish Corey the best in the future. But if I were a betting man, I would be willing to bet that, twenty years from now, Corey Patterson will never be mentioned in the same sentence with Lou Brock when it comes to either batting average or stolen bases.

OK ARM, But quit conusing me with other posters. I didn't say anything about Brock's K's nor about CP hitting .290 Since though you bring up the point of players in different eras let me refer you to a website: Now I don't know how they come up with these numbers and I question them sometimes (like when they say Bond's 70 HR season was better than Ruth's 60 when Ruth hit more HR's than the 2nd and 3rd guy combined), but they attempt to normalize the numbers so they can be compared across the years. Brock played in a 'SB rich' era. According to BP in a neutral SB environment he would have stolen 19 fewer bases and been caught 37 less times. He did not seem to play in a K friendly environment though - he struck out 69 times less over the length of his career than if he had played in a neutral environment. Corey however is playing in an evironment that is both K friendly and represses steals. Again according to BP the era CP plays in has cost him 19 stolen bases and caused him to strike out 38 times more than he would have had his career taken place in 'average' baseball seasons. As to whether the two of them will be compared to eachother 20 years from now, who knows? I suspect that they won't, but given Corey's talent I wouldn't put it outside the realm of possiblity.

interesting stuff about the cubs convention, and what looks like some good news from (i know, i know) 1) hairston was hurt the whole season last year, and only Lee and Walker knew. this is probably one reason why they feel walker is expendable, considering hairston had a pretty good year and he says he was far from 100%. i would still rather have both. if you want to play hairston against lefties, fine. 2) dusty says that walker is his starter, and that when he plays he would probably hit #2. cool 3) it certainly seems that cedeno and murton are starters from everything coming from the head men. i'll take it. the other thing is this ridiculous list of stats: CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs' management is very aware of how bad the 2005 season was. On Saturday at the Cubs Convention, team president Andy MacPhail listed several negative statistics to a small crowd in the Boulevard Room at the Hilton Chicago. You had to wonder how the Cubs won any games at all. MacPhail pointed out that the Cubs led the National League in hits in 2005 but ranked 29th out of 30 teams with runners in scoring position. That seems almost impossible. The Cubs' outfielders ranked 30th in production in the Major Leagues. The leadoff men combined were 29th in on-base percentage. The Cubs' relievers issued the most walks and the most home runs. Kerry Wood, Mark Prior, Aramis Ramirez and Nomar Garciaparra spent 296 days combined on the disabled list. "We had a bad year and I should've done a better job myself," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry told a packed Continental Ballroom crowd during a question-and-answer session with manager Dusty Baker. that really is impossible to believe. tops in hits in the NL but 29th with runners in scoring position? ridiculous. of course the other reason for the failing offense is....a lack of OBP and walks. when you lead the NL in hits but you're 11th in OBP (behind the dbacks, padres, dodgers and brewers), that's terrible patience.

Cubs manager Dusty Baker indicated yesterday that Kerry Wood could return from shoulder surgery as a reliever before going into the rotation. "It just depends on how Woody is," Baker said. "We have Woody slated as a starter, but if his endurance isn't up and he's ready, then that might be another way. That's just an option." A better one is giving Wood as much time as he needs on a rehab assignment and then putting him back into the rotation right away. Jan. 15

Are we really still debating whether Patterson is going to pan out as a good player? Really? The guy will turn 27 this season. He's only a year younger than ARam for God's sake. He has had plenty of time to develop and contribute, but has been unable to do so. Time to cut the cord, guys.

I was at the Cubs Cinvention the entire weekend... - Dusty did say Walker is his man at 2B if he is a Cub. - Baker got a few boos and mostly cheers when introduced at the Opening Ceremonies. - Hendry got mostly boos with a few cheers when he was introduced. - Both Hendry and Bker got a few tough questions at the Q&A, but Hendry got a few more. Anything else, or on a certain topic from the Cubs Convention, let me know and I will try and answer.

This was a constant question at the Convention and I am curious what most fans think: should Hendry and Baker get contract extensions before the season begins? I think I know what the consensus will be, but I'm still curious. My answer is a definitive NO CHANCE IN HELL! I'm not saying they should definitely not be extended at all, but they have to earn it based on what the team does this year. They both started out great, but neither one has gotten the job done for two full years in a row. I say if we have a .500 record or below at the All-Star Break, Dusty should be out on his ass, and if they don't turn it around in the second half, you give Hendry his walking papers too. If they get the job done this year and earn contract extensions, I think they should be rewarded.

I don't think neither Hendry, nor Baker, should be given contract extenstions before the season starts. And only be given them if they make the playoffs. And if they get extenstions, they should be for 2 years only.

CHIMING in on Lugo: I was checking Lugo's stats out again as I was watching the Bears lay an egg (well, "Peanut" Tillman being nationally exposed). Ya know, I feel what we have in any combination is as good or better than what the guy could bring to the table. If Hendry is stressing defense, this is not the guy. He bats right as I recall, also. Lugo steals bases, but I think a healthy Jerry Hairston can do that and his defense is slightly better. If it was me, I'd concentrate on a real starting pitcher at this point that can go deep into games. E