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Hee Seop Choi got the Cubs Derrek Lee. Bobby Hill got the cubs Aramis Ramirez and Kenny Lofton in 2003. If that's the worst things you can bring up, well, I can live with that.
Now Corey Patterson, well, that one hurts.
The GM that figures out that playing in wrigley field and taking walks go hand in hand with winning baseball probably fills the frame. That won't be the current GM.
1984 and 2008 are the only years in my lifetime that the Cubs led the NL in runs. They are also the only years they led the NL in walks. This team is years away from contending again. Castro and Colvin come through the same system that produces hitter after hitter that can't take a walk. And pitcher after pitcher that issues free passes like krispy kreme dishes donuts.
It's a systemic problem.
Cubs.com has stated a couple times that Jeff Samardzija is out of options and this is a make or break spring for him.
Yes to #11. I ain't getting any younger.
And especially #5. Somewhere Rick Wilkins is thinking about 1993 and smiling. Miguel Dilone is pondering 1980..I love those outliers.
The problem with saying not voting someone in on the first ballot isn't a crime is that if every voter did that, all these guys would fall off the ballot while you are waiting for awhile.
This whole steroid argument leaves me no appettite for HOF arguments anymore.
The governor of Pennsylvania was right, we are becoming a nation of wusses. WAAAAAAH HE CHEATED....
Vote the great players from the steroid era, from every era, into the HOF. That's why it is there.
It is a museum of baseball history and whether or not your delicate fragile ego can handle it, the games were played the homeruns were hit, and greatness needs to be honored.
Jeff Bagwell had a HOF worthy career.
Why have a museum of baseball history that selectively re-writes history?
For some reason that painting of Socrates always brings up this movie quote from an underratedly funny movie:
"I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?" "
Not as funny as this quote:
"You know, um, something strange happened to me this morning...
Was it a dream where you see yourself standing in sort of sun-god robes on a pyramid with a thousand naked women screaming and throwing little pickles at you?
Why am I the only one who has that dream? "
Got nothing to say about the astros, seems like a train wreck, but maybe as GM you can get Texans cheerleaders to throw pickles at you.
Will Carroll (Heavy Heart, 10/4)
While this will end his career at baseballprospectus.com, he heads into free agency with not only the value of being an entertaining writer, but the man puts out a near daily column, endless twitter updates and will be missed as much for the value of his content as the amount of it. Change is inevitable, if not always welcome.
Good luck Will, thanks for the knowledge!
Just to jump on the buzzkill bandwagon, Zambrano is also pitching fewer innings per start than he did even in 2009.
Next time could you also talk about Tyler Colvin being at best a fourth outfielder type, and have someone else write up how perfectly acceptable it is that the cubs will raise ticket prices for next season?
I mean I know the horse is dead, but a few more kicks might get a reaction. :-)
I always wondered why this was always about replacing Ron Santo at 3b when the guy that immediately followed him for three years won two batting titles.
Bill Madlock, now there was a guy they couldn't replace. :)
Did I miss a Xavier Nady write-up?
10,000 articles x 5 minutes an article = 50,000 minutes, or 833 hours, or just under 35 days of my life well spent.
Well, just to balance things out, I just re-upped my subscription. Because there really isn't better content out there for free. Thanks for all the hard work!
Who could pass up on the Farrah's?
I guess the fact that Lou Piniella didn't play him enough keeps Aaron Miles' 2009 season out of these types of articles. but he sure sucked hard on a per plate appearance measure. If Oakland doesn't work out, maybe Hoover is hiring?
Happy New Year John. I look forward to Sundays and Wednesdays next year too!
I had no idea who any of the three Oakland guys were, and I like Jake Fox. But getting rid of the guy with the lowest EqA in the majors last year (more than 150PA division)for only the cost of $1million? genius.
It's tough to be -12.8 RARP in only 170 PAs, but Aaron Miles did just that.
First Heilman now Miles, guess Hendry is eliminating last year's mistakes alphabetically by first name.
I don't think anything Milton Bradley said in that interview was suspendable. But it was probably just a tipping point. It's entirely possible that Milton was told to stop talking about the fans the other ten times he was quoted similarly all year, and blatantly disregarded that, again. It's entirely possible that his relationship with the manager is beyond salvage, and Hendry is taking the bullet for his manager. Milton Bradley is not the entire reason this team will score 160+ runs less than last year, but he is part of the reason. Along with Soriano, who also got booed alot but never cried to the media about it. Along with Geovany Soto. And a sinkhole at 2b, until baker was picked up. And Ramirez' injury. The suspension is an obvious overreaction by a team that has a history of it (at least it's a player and not the announcers this time). As a cub fan, it's exhausting to watch this kind of scapegoating, know it's inevitable, and realize that eating milton bradley's contract doesn't make them a better team. Now eating Aaron miles' contract, THAT would be progress.
Joe's right that there's no reason to overreact, but I'm sure that's coming.
Milton Bradley should be brought back. His first half was awful. So was Moises Alou's first half as a cub in 2002, and he was brought back and did better the next two. Way too much is being written/talked about locally about his personality.
There also seems to be a huge trade carlos zambrano uprising in the media.
Hopefully Hendry caves on neither one, because no team gets better by giving talent away freely, or even paying for that talent to play elsewhere.
The cubs had a down year. Soto cratered. Fontenot turned into a pumpkin. Aaron Miles made me long for Neifi Perez' power. Aramis Ramirez missed a ton of time.
Lilly, Dempster, Zambrano and Harden all spent time on the DL. Marmol has been wilder than Nick Nolte's mugshot hair, Gregg served up taters like a prison chef.
Still, I've been a cub fan for a long time, years like this (as recently as 2006) usually ended up with about 95 losses. Hopefully it's progress to have a down year end up with 84 or 85 wins.
And with a new owner in place, hopefully they find someone for the end of the pen, and bring back the rest of the team.
Except Aaron Miles. Please spare me another Aaron Miles at bat.
Personally, I'd like an in depth story about the baseball facilities each team has in the DR/venezuela. How competitive it is to sign the really young players, and how overwhelming what we might think a small signing bonus is to a kid, and how the situation got so bad that baseball people started skimming bonuses, and it became a somewhat common practice.
Maybe this will get me my first negative rating, but reading this and working at the same time I missed the word low in the first parenthetical comment and it really took on a weird meaning.
Ok, maybe it was only funny to me. But laughs are tougher to come by these days.
Looking forward to the chat tomorrow.
Before he was promoted to GM, Hendry was running the minor leagues/development side.
So can you give him some credit for Carlos Zambrano?
He turned Bobby Hill into Aramis Ramirez. Hee Seop Choi into Derrek Lee.
It isn't just developing players, it's turning those prospect chips into players too.
Jim Hendry's track record, like most any GM, is a mixed bag.
I like the guy, even if he was the last guy on the obp bandwagon.
It's really not his fault that alot of hitters are falling well short of his projections. They are well short of PECOTAs projections too. And a lot of other people's projections.
It happens, and it's really up to the players to change it.
It's a little sad that I see that note from Oneri Fleita, and am buoyed by it. The less the cubs try to develop a hitter, the better chance he might have.
Brian McCann has 14 BRAA, Yadier Molina has 1.The reason that WARP has it 3.0 to 2.1 is entirely based on Molina's amazing 22 FRAA to this point, and while I may be a neanderthal about these things, I have a hard time believing that a catcher's defense can have that kind of impact. Molina is certainly the superior defender. I agree in the direction of that measure, I'm just really skeptical about the magnitude.
I have a lot more faith in our ability to measure their offensive performance. And it is really not close. And I'm much more certain of the magnitude of difference in their offensive performances.
So it ended up being Fuld, Hart and a, umm, fortuitous injury to the rule 5 kid.
Kind of a letdown.
But I'm glad Jake Fox stayed up, he's earned that.
"" Yadier Molina isn’t better than Brian McCann by any stretch of the imagination, and his election seems simply to be a case of more votes coming from one precinct than another. It’s not right, but it's OK""
If it's not right, why is it ok?
McCann should be starting, and if the NL were serious about winning, would catch all 9. The dropoff to second best is pretty steep.
I must say I don't have any previous affection for Jeff Baker, but have developed a mild man crush on Jake Fox, so I was wondering if there's really anything Baker can offer with the glove that's more than what I've enjoyed seeing Fox offer with the bat? It seemed odd to make that trade at that time, adding a player with no options to what was already going to be a roster crunch.
I'd like to have the contestants do a Joe Sheehan like column where they give their take on something current and newsworthy, or three things newsworthy.
"""Kevin Gregg, signed as a free agent from the Marlins to replace Kerry Wood as closer, has 0.310 WXRL"""
Just being nitpicky, Gregg wasn't signed as a free agent, the cubs traded Jose Ceda for him.
""including Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Rafael Palmeiro""
Rafael Palmeiro tested positive.
Mark McGwire has a former teammate that says he injected him.
Barry Bonds has BALCO, league of shadows, and a federal perjury indictment.
Sammy Sosa hit a lot of homeruns, and corked his bat. But never tested positive, doesn't have a former trainer either ratting him out or going to jail not to rat him out. There's no book, no former teammate accusing him. There's no company he was associated with that had anything to do with making steroids, as far as we know.
Now he's probably guilty of something, but to say he's been implicated like the other three have is just disingenuous, and it's at least the second time you've done this here.
Really like your writing, but this is off-putting.
"""Either way, the fact that we’re in May, The Cubs are under .500 and we’re already talking about this story one way or another does not bode well for the north side of Chicago."""
And three days later, they are no longer under .500, but have added zambrano to the injury queue.
I think the fact that we are in early may might just be a little too soon to press the panic button, even for us cub fans.
It's not like anyone expected harden to make 30 starts and pitch 200 innings.
I agree that Bradley is obviously not likely to play enough to justify his contract. I\'d have been happier with abreu, or dunn.
He\'s basically replacing edmonds who only had 298 plate appearances in cubbie blue last year, I think it\'s possible/likely he can do that.
Sure, that\'s not how he\'s being paid. But in the end it\'s not going to be how many PAs Bradley gets, it\'s going to matter whether he\'s healthy at the end of the year, in the games that matter. I think the rest of the team is good enough to overcome this mistake.
I just wish they had kept Pie around for the other 350 PAs instead of signing gathright.
As a cub fan it\'s sometimes difficult to understand Jim Hendry\'s thought processes. For every move you think is great, he\'ll make a couple that are head scratchers.
As a cub fan with a share of a partial season ticket package, I fear this day is coming for me too. I started buying the \"night and weekend games\" plan back in 1999. In the ten years the price per ticket has doubled, the number of games has also increased, the total cost has just about tripled.
Now with new owners coming in, I\'m dreading the time when the team decides they can go to their backlog of people waiting for season tickets and end the partial plan. Or sells PSLs. Or some other way they are going to try and soak me out of some more cash.
\"\"\"It seems that every superstar of the last two decades has either been implicated or strongly suspected of using steroids, from Rodriguez to Barry Bonds to Roger Clemens to Mark McGwire to Sammy Sosa.\"\"\"
Ok, strongly suspected is better than implicated when it comes to Sammy Sosa.
I guess my question is whether strongly suspected is going to be enough to keep him out of cooperstown. He\'s the least worthy of the players listed there, but also the least implicated.
I mean if you keep sosa out on mere suspicion, how do you let anybody in? And if you let him in, how do you keep those other guys out? This is the corner the writers are painting themselves into. How do they know who to strongly suspect?
Or is there an SI reporter coming out with a book about Sammy too?
Where has Rick Reilly been since he demanded sammy pee in a cup for him and acted like a petulant child when sosa went off on him?
Oh, he\'s here, as stupid as ever...
I honestly don\'t feel the need to guess who did or didn\'t. It\'s enough for me to know that PED use was prevalent at the time across the league.
I just think that there\'s a significant percentage of mainstream writers that are making the story of this era that the guys who broke homerun records cheated, and will be kept out of Cooperstown.
But they\'re going to vote in a bunch of guys that didn\'t have the audacity or ability to hit that many homeruns.
And these writers have to believe that Sammy Sosa is guilty, even absent any proof, or their big story falls apart.
I don\'t doubt he used. I wouldn\'t be shocked if Sammy Sosa is one of the 103. But until then, there\'s no link, so I\'d prefer my articles not to say there is one.
I need proof to say somebody is linked to steroids. I need the link, and I just don\'t see a credible link like all the others have.
I don\'t need proof to say I think he used. What I think is true is irrelevant.
And a thousand writers saying they think he used isn\'t a link.
I\'m not naive. I\'m just tired of the big boppers taking 99% of the heat for these things being widely used by a pretty large cross section of players.
I know Sammy Sosa was called in front of congress and had the audacity to be represented by counsel in his non-native country. I know he corked a bat. I know he \"looked\" like a guy that used steroids and he hit a lot of homeruns.
But he really hasn\'t been linked to steroid use like Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez and Roger Clemens have.
There\'s no positive test, no trainer talking with the feds, no perjury charge, no teammate saying he injected him.
I guess it just bothers me that he\'s always lumped in with the guilty.
I understand that he has to be guilty for the media story. That nobody hit homeruns in that era without cheating. And I guess I\'ll live with it.
I just want to hold this site to a higher standard than the mainstream media.
Is there some way he was linked to PED usage that I don\'t know about?
Last night during sportscenter, they had a poll about whether you wanted ARod on your team. 70% said yes, last I had looked, carrying every state but the new england area.
In another ESPN.com poll 70+ percent of the people that bothered to answer said they heard enough and just want to move on
As a whole, it seems mlb fans are past this. But yet the media still runs stories like we care.
I for one don\'t care who used PEDs before there was testing and punishment for it.
Certainly a lot of ugliness here.
Given the Eastern teams\' ability to add players, I\'d guess the chance of a wildcard team from the central is pretty low this year, and this pretty much confirms it.
\"\"[i]the Dodgers start the season with questions starting at the top, barely making it to nine or ten solid options, let alone five[/i]\"\"
Am I reading this wrong or should the nine or ten be where the five is?
And when is Billingsley supposed to start pitching? When should he be expected to pitch well? Would you expect him to be under the PECOTA weighted mean of 181 IP?
And Will too.
I\'m glad someone else writes how I feel better than I can articulate it.
4 days until pitchers and catchers.
The problem isn\'t really big market v. small market, it\'s the fact that the yankees are to big-market teams what big-market teams are to small-market teams. They are an outlier. And you can\'t set your business plan up according to one outlier.
Just think if there were no yankees, sabathia might have signed with the brewers, burnett with the braves, teixeira with the nationals. Would baseball really be dying then?
the problem isn\'t that small market teams don\'t have the money, it\'s that there aren\'t any players left now that are worth that money. Because the yankees took them all.
This yankee problem doesn\'t have a good solution.
The other owners should ratchet up the luxury tax penalties for the only team that doesn\'t mind breaking through that barrier.There are 29 of them, they can do it.
But honestly, the only teams that have their playoff path blocked by the Gotham Gluttons are the other AL East teams. Maybe give them a larger chunk(all?) of the luxury tax revenues, so that the yankee excesses actually fund their main competitors with cash to compete.
As an NL fan, I can watch the spending with detached bemusement. It has no effect on my hope and faith.
I\'m a Maddux guy. When he left the Cubs (the first time) it was the only time I seriously questioned my fanhood. I came back, but it\'s a scar. Might be the stupidest baseball decision the cubs ever made, and that\'s not a short list.
I\'m also, thanks to my dad, a Santo guy. It\'s a shame that he was snubbed again, a shame that I think should stick to the HOF. I don\'t think there\'s any real chance the VC of former players will ever elect anybody, so why not just abolish it? I\'m tired of getting my hopes up every two years for a dose of sanity, I\'m sure Santo could do without it too.
Joe\'s right there\'s no real need for the back door anymore, every player that should be considered has been considered.
And the writers are much smarter now, I mean people with Santo-like bbraa stats(hr,rbi,ba) get voted in by writers now. I mean look at Jim Rice, similar numbers, no glove. Soon to be HOFer.
If only Santo was more feared...if only...
Can anyone explain to me the downside of offering Kerry Wood arbitration? Isn\'t one year of Wood at maybe 10 million better than one year of Kevin Gregg at maybe 6? Not to mention losing out on six years of Jose Ceda for the privilege? Or maybe, at worst, getting a couple picks to replace Ceda? Just seems to me that kerry wood\'s Type A status was an asset on the cubs balance sheet that they let expire worthless. Poor business.
I don\'t think Fontenot is a free agent.
A couple things, first I completely agree on the gregg/ceda trade. Completely indefensible for a GM to overvalue the saves stat and give up 6 years of a live arm for 1 year of a not so live arm, just for the saves column.
Second, while I agree that K-rod\'s control problems last year are worrisome, I think it exaggerates Kerry Wood\'s virtues to only show the walk rate and ignore the 7 guys he hit with a pitch in only 66 innings.
mets 5/104 12/29
How did Hank Aaron award winner Aramis Ramirez not even crack the top 15 for MVP? Ok, maybe it\'s just a measure of the intelligence of the electorate.
If the cubs have to make up games in both NY and in Houston on Monday why not make it like spring training and let them play a split squad?
Ok, I kid. But it\'s that or somehow changing the laws of physics or delaying the start of the NLDS.
For some reason I really enjoy the thought of elaborate tie breaker/makeup games going on Monday and Tuesday. I\'d like to see whitesox tigers followed by a whitesox twins playoff.
I\'d like to see the brewers/phillies/mets/astros 3 way tie in some combination.
I figure whatever gives Bud\'s ulcer a reason to flare up is probably good for us baseball fans.
Well I knew there was a reason I paid to read this site and don\'t pay for any other. The hand wringing about the Astros having to play two games in Milwaukee, in front of all those Cubs fans, that the MSM is throwing out as some sob story was making me ill. Thanks for the dose of sanity.
They got 27 outs to be better than the Cubs in 27 outs, and got last ups. As much as we like to believe otherwise, fans don\'t win games.
Just like the brewers managerial switch will be written based on the outcome of the next 12 games, the astros playing in milwaukee is a big story only because they lost both to a better team.
And, yeah, thanks, I gave my space on the ledge to a brewer fan. They need it more.