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Talking Out Of Tampa

"How about Chicago? Is it cold there now or not? Talk me out of Tampa" -- Joe Nichols, "Talk Me Out Of Tampa"
Following in the footsteps of Derek Zumsteg's Seattle-based look at Lou Piniella's managerial stylings, I have two links from Tampa Bay Devil Rays bloggers regarding Sweet Lou. It isn't pretty, and the more of this stuff I read the less excited I get about Piniella taking the helm of the Cubs. * "Good Riddance," by Jim Wisninski,, September '05 * "A Devil Ray Perspective On Lou Piniella," by Patrick Kennedy of DRays Bay, posted on Bleed Cubbie Blue last week


Great column by Mike Downey in today's Tribune. electronic version. So much for optimism. Mike, you hit the nails right on the head! Congratulations.

Let's let the guy manage for a bit before we're all over his ass.

Guys, Just cheer up. Lou Piniella is now the manager of the Cubs and will be the manager for the next 3 years, so just move on and talk about potential free agents etc rather than digging history for finding love and hate toward him. In any walk of life be it baseball or not there is incumbency. There are a very few cases where people were unhappy to see their previous government loose the elections or their coach leave the organization. Nothing is more successful than success itself. Joe Girardi has just one year of managerial experience and you guys were ready to accept him as the savior. The fact is even if Girardi was named the manager I am sure there would have been a lot of criticism. I don't know why you guys are trying to dig up stuff to find negativity toward Piniella.Jeez he has a winning record in his managerial career over an enormous sample size. I think we all agree on one thing that its the players that we acquire who are going to make any difference in wins and losses. The job of a manager is to make them play as a cohesive unit, motivate them, make them hustle and make them play the game the right way. I am confident and I am sure most are that Lou doesn't cut slack for any of the B.S that happened under Dusty and his past can be an evidence for this. So lets look at the positives and concentrate on more important things like Potential Free Agents, Coaches under Lou etc etc.... -Cubby78..

"got to love deflecting the blame to coaches" Pinella said on the radio the other day that he delegates his coaches alot of control, and expects them to be accountable. Rothschild said it's best the Cubs go into 2007 not counting on Prior.

I tend to think Lou is more Dusty Baker 2.0 than he is the "Savior," but I'd take anything from a Devil Ray fan with a hefty grain of salt--the Devil Rays and the Cubs are just completely different teams.

The one thing I learned in reading up about managerial candidates from the respective locals is that nobody likes their manager.

Thise blog posts were sort of chilling. My questions: What did he do right to win 116 games in Seattle in 2001? What players will improve in a Piniella regime as compared to a Dusty regime? My guesses would be Murton (especially if Joshua is brought in as hitting coach) and Theriot, and I think Piniella could be a good manager for Michael Barrett (though his defense is hopeless). Maybe Cedeno would improve, but that's a question I'd rather not have answered. Wuertz. Howry (though I'm very afraid of overuse). I think he'll like Ohman and give him more high-leverage innings. What players would suffer under a Piniella regime as compared to a Dusty regime? Ramirez maybe (if he stays), though the he'll-rip-him-a-new-one-once-he-doesn't-run-out-a-grounder angle has already been overplayed. (I envision Piniella downplaying it to the media once they get to Mesa.) Bynum. Pagan. Marmol. Mateo. Prior. He'll loathe Ryan Dempster and Roberto Novoa. Not sure whether he'll like Jacque Jones or not. On one hand, Piniella will dig the fact he's a veteran. On the other, he won't like that Jones isn't fiery.

Yeah, we get it. The Devil Rays didn't win under Lou. I'm not sure but I think I already knew that. Listen, you can dig a story like this up about every manager in the history of baseball if you wanted to. If the Cubs had gotten Girardi there would be an article from some Marlins blogger that I'm sure would also include the statement "Good luck Cubs, you're gonna need it." and another laundry list of why he's the worst in-game manager imaginable. Or Torre, or Macha, or Gonzalez, or Casey Stengel for that matter. A little bit of slack might be good before the guy coaches one game. Me thinks.

I like this bit of logical consistantcy: "Good riddance to the manager who, based on bulldog mentality and raw upside, wanted Seth McClung to start in the majors in 2003 and 2005 despite there being no reason to think that he was ready." "Good riddance to the manager who at the end of 2004 kept giving playing time to Geoff Blum and Damian Rolls at the expense of Jorge Cantu and BJ Upton." Upton still isn't ready to do anything rather than DH, and I am pretty sure Cantu's 2005 season implies that he was handled pretty well at the end of '04... or were the '04 Rays in some playoff chase I forgot about?

Let's hope that the Trib sells the Cubs in the next 2 years so that Hendry and Pinella will be fired at the end of the 2008 season and we might have a good run in the 2010's! GO CUBS!! New slogan... "Wait 'til next decade"

So, he's an old crusty baseball guy. We knew that. It was between the old crusty guy and the young crusty guy. Both conventional baseball guys... oh, and crusty. And yes, firery.

cubsnlinux: Guys, Just cheer up. Lou Piniella is now the manager of the Cubs and will be the manager for the next 3 years, so just move on and talk about potential free agents etc rather than digging history for finding love and hate toward him. A lot of people, especially those in the blogosphere were set on Girardi, so Piniella, at least at first, is going to receive some animosity and resentment by default. Still I think this was not the sentimental or marketable choice, but the "correct" choice. Remember, they're will always be people yelling "the sky is falling".

I think it's just impressive that most of this could have just come from our site and just replace Lou Piniella with Dusty Baker. Aw well, if the team hustles, plays smarter and they practice once in awhile, that would be enough of a change for me.

Cubfitz is right. You want to go game-by-game, move-by-move and you'll pick apart any manager - which brings me to a few posts from my Cub blog from 1930- Good riddance Joe McCarthy for refusing to use Doc Farrell when Footsie Blair hurt his foot in May. Good riddance Joe McCarthy for your bizarre man-love of shortstop Clyde Beck while Ferrell and Bell languished on the bench. Good riddance Joe McCarthy for playing Hack Wilson in centerfield where he muffed that ball in last year's World Series leading to a ten run inning by the A's and our eventual downfall. Whichever team is dumb enough to take Joe McCarthy can have at him. He's a bum and will never be a winning manager. P.S. - Danny Taylor and his .364 OBP are glad to have you gone too. Maybe now he'll get some PT.

lol, that's nice.

Didn't someone (Rob G??) conduct an interview with Lebatard where he openly questioned some of Giardi's moves also? I agree with the post above... like local newspapers, fans of teams usually don't like their manager. The Reds played well over their heads this year but I know their fans still dislike Jerry Narron. Lets calm it down a bit before we see Big Lou in Chicago. He's only been manager for a few days and hopefully the team he has to work with is a little better than the one he was handed in Tampa.

it was Ruz who did the Lebatard interview, fwiw.

A lot of the 'very cool reception for LouPa' bordering on "OMG! Here We Go Again" is perhaps some self-loathing bitterness from those of us (I confess) who were shamefully sucked into the media-hyped "irrational exuberance" when the Dusty Train first came to town. So this is extra inoculation against going through that again. Prepare for the worst, then anything good which happens is just gravy, nice to be wrong. Ahh the philosophical life of the Cub Fan.

is there a blog, or a columnist, or anyone else out there in this world who actually likes their (not some other team's) manager? who thinks they do a good job?

Ya know - I'm not even gonna waste energy reading these posts or disgruntled Tampa Bay Devil Rays "fans". We'll all see how it plays out - and - the scenario from Lou's thing is akin to Leyland's while he was at Colo.

I know no one likes hearing that they go too far, but there's got to be some kind of a moratorium on Piniella bashing--at least until he actually MANAGES a game (for the Cubs)... It seems there's an ongoing desire here to be "right from the start" on every Cubs issue-- from the manager selection, to the line-up, to the free agent possibilities, there seems to be an obsession with being the one who gets to tell everyone else "I told you so." I don't think it's ever gonna stop, but it does get exhausting. Not nearly as bad as listening to the nonsense blabber of the Score or ESPN Radio, but almost. Truly the test of the off-season is how the starting rotation is populated, who will be brought in to upgrade virtually every position on the team and what kind of platoon-able bench will be constructed. It's a very New York Mets-ian type challenge to bring in the established stars to complement young organizational players and win ASAP. I like the conversations that talk about that a whole lot more...

"The one thing I learned in reading up about managerial candidates from the respective locals is that nobody likes their manager." ha. too true. the grass is always less dead as hell via needless neglect on the other side of the fence =p

On a tangent- has a close-up photo of Buckner after the Mookie grounder. He has taken off his glove, to reveal that he was wearing a Cubs batting glove under his first baseman's mitt!

"The one thing I learned in reading up about managerial candidates from the respective locals is that nobody likes their manager" If no one is good at managing, why not just stick Ronnie Woo-Woo in the dugout. He already has the uniform.

I guess the only person who would be welcomed as a manager to most of the people who write for or post on this blog is, wait, no one would satisfy this group. For the love of God, we have a manager who as WON a world championship, has WON 116 games in one season, has WON several division titles and playoff series. What more do you want. Gee, lets whine because his players don't have stat X, Y, or Z. Stats are only good to a point. I would take a team with a low OBP if it won a championship. People have bitched and moaned for the last four years about Dusty Baker. Now, with one of the best managers in the game people are still bitching. I am beginning to wonder why i bother to check this site every day. Lets see what happens when the games begin. Lets see what happens the first time that a player doesn't hustle or a pitcher fails to throw strikes. I am excited about Pinella managing this team and I think it is a move in the right direction. Is Pinella a perfect manager? No, but then again no one is. Every manager will make mistakes, or have some little quirks that will drive some fans nuts. But Pinella, Dusty, LaRussa, and others manage for a long time because there are baseball people who think that they do a good job. If Dusty would have gotten the kind of success in Chicago that he had in San Fran we would have been happy. There is something to be said for the combination of players and manager. In 03, look what Jack McKean (sp?) did with the marlins. Until he took over they were struggling. A manager can make a difference and I think Pinella will make a difference with this club. I just wish some of you would give the guy a chance before you call for his head. sorry for the long post.

re:#26/weaver/etc. as ive been told they used to pre-record a bunch of them at once and that wasnt live, but was a "gag-reel" of weaver just goofing around cuz he was sick of doing it them. not really a protest thing, though some believe it is, but more of a "god, ive already dont 1-2-? of these and im kinda sick it for the day." still, i dunno if it was live or what i was told is true.

that makes a lot of sense crunch, but still damn funny. Got to love that he throws his players under the bus too.

" I would take a team with a low OBP if it won a championship. " I refuse to root for any Cubs team that has an OBP of lower than .347, even if they win back to back titles.

You know, I can't really feel sorry for the Tampa Bay guy being upset about Lou using up the starting pitching. That bullpen really, really sucked. I mean it was really bad. Coincidentally, aside from Eyre and Howry, so does ours. If you want to win the game, gotta get to Eyre. Smells like high pitch counts to me. After all, Herm Edwards said it best. YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME. Ain't a whole lotta winning going on when its Novoa time.

i really like the cubs pen, honestly. howry, eyre, wuertz, ohman, and aardvark i all like. some may not like ohman and/or aardvark. some might not like wuertz, but i dont think that will last long if he's still with the club in 07. dumpster can at least keep the ball in the park...those walks kill me to watch, though. 07 pitching FA relief market is the thinnest i can remember...i can only think of 1 name really worth mentioning that would be an across-the-board good pickup, justin speier.

"I refuse to root for any Cubs team that has an OBP of lower than .347, even if they win back to back titles." This is just immature. Will you be happy if they post an OBP of .350 and still don't win the World Series in the next 50 years??? This game is all about WINNING. No matter how we do it..I am all for winning. This is the reason why I was against any rebuilding. Thanks to the tribune co we have a 100 million dollar payroll and we haven't won a WS in the last zillion years, so the immediate goal is to WIN, WIN and WIN. Just imagine the feeling of a cubs win on a particular day. No matter how bad they pitched or how much their hitting sucked that day if they won the game its a fantastic feeling. Now we should come out of that high and correct our mistakes but we have to keep in mind that winning will cure all evil. Again nothing is more successful than success. Cubby78

I have to stick up for Wuertz. he should never have been sent to AAA this year, he's been pretty consistently reliable since the beginning of '05

Just to be clear here's a list of teams in 2006 sorted by the difference between Team OBP and Team OBP allowed. You'll notice that teams at the top of the list have something in common. The teams in the bottom of the list do too. 0.037 NY Yankees 0.035 Minnesota 0.020 San Diego 0.020 Toronto 0.018 LA Angels 0.018 LA Dodgers 0.016 Chicago Sox 0.014 Cleveland 0.013 Houston 0.011 NY Mets 0.008 Detroit 0.008 Boston 0.008 Philadelphia 0.002 Oakland 0.000 St. Louis -0.001 Cincinnati -0.003 Texas -0.004 Arizona -0.005 Colorado -0.006 Atlanta -0.006 Milwaukee -0.011 Washington -0.012 Seattle -0.013 San Francisco -0.016 Florida -0.018 Baltimore -0.023 Chicago Cubs -0.030 Pittsburgh -0.035 Kansas City -0.044 Tampa Bay

wuertz was in AAA cuz of his control issues. just looking at his #s it doesnt look like he had any judging by the walks, but he makes a living throwing low in the zone. he was having a hell of a time with wild pitches and deep counts...and a few HBP... when you work low in the zone you're working IN the zone and a hanger isnt just something high or eye level, its eatting a nice chunk of the middle of the plate. it was more of a concern of giving hitters too much hit via mistakes rather than being so wild he was walking everyone.

damn, I'd like to think Real Neal was kidding there about the 347 OBP comment....lighten up fellas. You were kidding, right?

"I guess the only person who would be welcomed as a manager to most of the people who write for or post on this blog is, wait, no one would satisfy this group." - This can be expected from people who POST on this blog. We get audiences from different areas, young and old, mature and immature. But I am disappointed that people who write for this blog who are supposed to be ardent fans of the game are starting these threads!! Everyone makes mistakes. A baseball manager is not a God. When someone is named the manager there is no point in digging up history to find some negativity. Before Lou was announced as the manager its understandable that this sort of stuff kept floating around. But he is the manager now, done deal. Lets wait until the next All Star Break before we draw out any swords or we build any statues. -cubby78

He had to be joking, though, right? Obviously, we'd take a World Series even if it meant crappy stats AND blowing up Wrigley Field, wouldn't we?

Yeah that was pretty blatant sarcasm. I get the feeling that Linux get's sick to his stomach when reading "A Modest Proposal". I may, however, prefer Wrigley over 1 World Championship though.

well to each their own cubslinux, but I think it's far more important we "writers" stay as objective as possible and post relevant information even if it's not what we all want to hear. i'm certainly curious what other have to say about Lou who are more familiar with him. I certainly wasn't trying to "dig up stuff", I was honestly curious about Lou the manager and who better than to ask someone who had to follow him on a daily basis. I'd like to think we're smart enough to be able to form our own opinions, but the more information the better. My post 2 days ago that included Derek from USS Mariner I thought was fair. I appreciated Derek's comments but it's not like I think Lou should be shown the door already cause he has some similar traits to Dusty. Some may be skeptical, some may be optimistic, it's our right as fans. It's a blog, it's about opinions, and we're all encouraged to share them.

I'm sure that Real Neal's OBP post was just a longer version of saying "Well DUH!" Folks who are tearing into Piniella may be the same ones who feel burned about feeling good when Baker was hired. Lou's hire puts Hendry's feet to the fire. This is good.

crunch, regarding wuertz, i don't doubt at all what you say is true, but he was given all of 3 appearances before he was sent to AAA (with 2 solo home runs in his 3rd appearance as his only RA, and with 1 walk total). Considering his quiet success in 05 as basically the only reliable reliever aside from Dempster, i still find it strange that he wasn't given a chance to solve his issues at the big league level.

Nate, My memory is fuzzy, but I recall Wuertz looking terrible in spring training. I think at the time there was a lot of doubt that he'd even break camp with the team.

To win the Series, I say nuke the Friendly Confines... It could be like an episode of "24"--Game 7 (away) 2 outs, bottom of the ninth, White Sox have men at 2nd and 3rd, winning run on 2nd, ground ball to A-Rod (just like the ground ball to A-Gonz)...blow it up, Bauer, or he boots the ball... I'm more curious about Lou's willingness to do "research" into the night game-day game thing. Was there ever a conversation here about that (not Lou's research, but the day/night issue)?

Nate, Weurtz was a mess all spring training. It didn't bother me at all that he was sent down. What did bother me is that he was down there for 3 months longer than was necessary. I am not sure who's decision that was, Dusty's or Hendry's or a combination of that 'braintrust', but it was laughably stupid. Only the fact that the Cubs were so bad kept me from bitching about it daily.

Ah, my memory did not deceive me. In Spring Training this year Wuertz put in 8.1 innings over 10 appearances with a 16.20 ERA. In those 8.1 innings, he allowed 6 walks, 18!! hits, and 3 homeruns.

Now that you mention it, I do remember now that Wuertz had a sucky ST. I guess I agree that it's not that he was sent down to AAA but for how long he was sent down that frustrated me. I still would put him 3rd or 4th on the quality list of relievers, after Howry and Eyre and possibly Ohman, and ahead of Dempster, Aardvark and the rest.

What killed us was rotten starting pitching and serious underperformance in April-May-June by guys in contract years. If they get Soriano, is he the automatic lead off man?

Vorare, don't forget that spring training isn't about numbers, but about working to get ready for the regular season. I could care less about 18 hits in 8 innings if it seemed like Wuertz was ready for April - but I concede that he probably wasn't.

yeah Soriano would be the leadoff man, it's a bit of a waste of his home runs, but his OBP seems to be considerably higher out of that spot for his career (if I recall that correctly). Plus he enjoys the role and if your wooing free agents, you cave to their demands. Over time as he develops a relationship you can talk to him about moving him down in the order if necessary. and don't bring up any jacque jones crap, there was no wooing there, that was just desperation on our part.

In a totally unrelated question. Was Hill NL Pitcher of the Month for September?

no, Roy Oswalt would that have been 3 for us? Didn't Maddux and Z win earlier?

If you take that big Homer surge out of Soriano's 2006 numbers, his OBP is still pretty crappy. Sure if he hits 40 HR's a year, you won't notice. I don't expect him to do that, though. I do expect him to be a better option than Pierre in all facets of the game.

A true blue cubs fan should be calling for Pinella to be fired. Why wait 2 1/2 years!!!

That's lame. Hill outpitched Oswalt, I guess they just go by win-loss records though. I know Maddux did, but I don't recall Zambrano. Going by his game log he didn't have a month with really great stats and win-loss.

his walk rate went up to .092 last year, almost doubled his career. It did coincide with 9 more IBB's than he ever had before, but he also saw the most pitches he's ever seen per plate appearance. So there's hope. I'm not willing to bet anything to say he's turned a corner, but there's some good signs there. I'd expect him to kind of settle into a 850 OPS range. I mean if that 3 game series we played against them is any indication, he hit at least 2 balls that would have been gone in any other park that landed on the warning track in RFK. I imagine that happened a lot in games I didn't see, but who really knows, right?

I could be wrong! 4.15 ERA for the month gets the award? Maybe that was good for a NL pitcher with interleague.

"A true blue cubs fan should be calling for Pinella to be fired. Why wait 2 1/2 years!!!" #1

yeah win-loss records Z was 3-1 in May with a 1.90 ERA 3-0 in June with a 1.96 ERA 6-0 in July with a 4.15 ERA his 2nd worst ERA month besides April. Baseball rules.

"I imagine that happened a lot in games I didn't see, but who really knows, right?" Stats Inc knows. But I still think his numbers were FA push numbers. Only time will tell.

I'm not gettin' worked up over some things some D-Rays fans said. Forget them!

Baseball Rules! or those are the "baseball rules" ?

I don't disagree, plus a new league that hadn't figured how to get him out consistently. Sort of like Korey in the AL. But since he has way more power and much less stupidity than Korey, I have some hope for the guy. Scott Koerber tearing up the Hawaii league... 3.00 ERA, 22 K/ 5 BB in 15 IP. Who's excited? Oh you never heard of him? He's a lefty, reliever mostly, but he's been starting in Hawaii. Probably go to Daytona next year. Undrafted FA who was an OF @ Michigan State.

tribe22: If they get Soriano, is he the automatic lead off man? If the goal is to ensure Soriano has the highest number of 1-run home runs in the league, then yes, by all means bat him leadoff. I seriously don't understand this logic. Put simply: The guys that can hit home runs should do so with runners on base, no? I'm not picking on you, tribe22, I read an article on the Foxsports rumor pages about Soriano batting leadoff and it's a pretty damn silly idea, IMO. Personally, with Soriano, I'd use this lineup: Murton, Theriot, Lee, Jones, Ramirez, Soriano, Izzy, Barrett ...but I'm not advocating the Cubs go get Soriano, I think the offense as-is will muster enough runs. I'd rather the Soriano money be spent on yet another starter. If Prior ever comes back healthy you can always trade off a starter.

personally I would have this lineup Granderson Monroe Polanco Ordonez Guillen Rodriguez Gomez Inge Santiago

Soriano is a .252 career hitter with RISP. .286 w/bases empty. Last year: .294, .368 OBP, .588 SLG out of the leadoff spot. Scored 119 runs. Maybe it's not such a bad idea to keep him there.

well let's see, I'd guess about half a players home runs are solo anyway. I'm going to look at the Reds as a test case here. There were middle of the road in OBP, middle of the road in runs scored. Griffey hit 27 ding-dongs all year, 16 solo shots, 11 with men on (60%) Dunn hit 40, 23 solo, 17 with men on (58%) Soriano hit 46 last year, 30 solo, 16 with men on (65% solo) seems closer to 60% in that very, very small sample size. So Soriano maybe hits 2-4 more homers with guys on? Very rudimentary math on my part and hardly a thorough study. There's also of course doubles and such with guys on that bring down his RBI totals. I'd guess it costs Soriano about 20 RBI's or so, but it's not like someone else isn't getting those guys in. There not putting theriot in the middle of the order.

He's fast. He shouldn't be leading off. That's thinking inside the box, Tito.

let's also throw in that Soriano probably gets a lot better pitches to hit in the leadoff spot. Pitchers are drilled not to walk the leadoff guy (and yes I know he only leads off an inning like 1 pt something times a game) and are going to be a bit more aggressive in the strike zone with nobody on base. my thoughts.. he could probably be a bit more effective down in the order, but if you have other middle order guys and he's comfortable there, it won't bother me much. His OBP is 340 in the #1 spot for his career, 344 when leading off an inning. Keep that up and i'm good. (AND YES LOU YOU HAVE TO MAKE ME HAPPY, I WIELD A GREAT POWER!!!) :)

Levine noted today that Hendry's main FA positional player interests center around Soriano and J.Lugo. Wonder if Lou has the same man crush on "toolsy" players like Jimbo. I guess Piniella might have an inside track on Lugo.

Really Lugo? yuck, although it makes sense with Lou here. He batted him a lot in the 1 and 2 spot. I think I'd prefer Durham or a serious run at Marcus Giles (well I know I'd prefer that), but a career 340 OBP with some speed isn't horrible. Imagine his D is passable at 2b.

lugo would be a huge step backwards for solving the 2nd base situation...hopefully a scout will talk him out of it.

ugh, i agree on the anti-lugo front. A lugo/izturis middle infield would be ugly. might as well give Ronny Cedeno the 2B job and save some money if you're going to give it to Lugo instead.

I vote for the b/s angle... not saying it is, just hoping it is speaking of Marcus Giles, the guy was made to be on Lou's team. The guy's nothing but hustle, but so of course is Theriot. E-Pat and Marshall too much? E-Pat and Dempster would make me happier, but Schuerholz seems like a smart guy. (and I think there looking for young starting pitching over relievers)

if lugo could actually field it'd be worth discussing...otherwise you're dealing with a poor hitting DH who happens to own a middle-IF'r glove. his SS is average and his 2nd is just horrid...some people may wanna dismiss things like 'footwork' and how fluid a person is handling the ball, but he's just so awful at both...not to mention not the most accurate arm (though that wont matter much with a healthy dlee as long as he gets it near 1st, anyway).

A lugo/izturis middle infield would be ugly. might as well give Ronny Cedeno the 2B job and save some money if you're going to give it to Lugo instead. well other than lugo has shown some ability to get on-base and hit an xbh once in awhile. Otherwise you couldn't pick them out of a lineup. (resisting wife beating joke here)

yeah, it's an exaggeration of course... but acquiring Lugo would just be a huge, huge bummer (similar to the bummingness of the Maddux-Izturis trade)

Levine's not a name floater so I seriously doubt it's b/ Jimbo reportedly inquired multiple times last off-season in acquiring Lugo. I'd be ok with it if it meant Izturis would be gone and Lugo wasn't going to get $7-8m a year but he likely will and definitely isn't worth that kind of money. TOR seems to be in on him as well so the Cubs can easily get outbid on him if Hendry is indeed seriously intersted.

Nomar's coming back to play third after I-Hop gets moved for A-Rod.

Would Lugo be a precursor to losing Aram to FA? Or a "sign and trade" to the Yanks for Arod? Soriano at leadoff is probably OK. Between the 41 doubles and 41 stolen bases, that puts him in scoring position 82 times, right? The 46 homers technically means 128 times in "scoring position." Nothing wrong with Theriot at 2B batting 2nd behind him either. Pitching pickups are still the thing. We need guys in the rotation who will keep you in the game while eating innings. What's the story with that? Although W/L seems to follow these two stats, the W/L record seems not as important as ERA and IP for a starter. True?

Hopefully Lugo is PLAN F or a precursor to Hendry getting fired, but that's just me. :) I'm not sure I understand your last sentence there Tbone....

Why no T-Bone?

You are Coco.

Rob G you have come up with a hidden gem in Koerber, he maybe on his way to better things and it looks like the last 1/2 of the season in Peoria and in Hawaii he looks to really come on. You never know with those no hit players that have good arms, some of them come on become productive pitchers.

78 of 92: By crunch (October 19, 2006 03:54 PM) lugo would be a huge step backwards for solving the 2nd base situation...hopefully a scout will talk him out of it. Correct me if I'm wrong, please: Weren't many TCR peeps clammoring for Lugo within the last 12 months? I mean c'mon guys - stand up and be counted! Is he THAT bad? What if...Izzy was (ahem - 'Len screams') OUTTA HERE..? I agree I was really o.k. with getting him in exchange for Maddux knowing the year was lost, and knowing Greg was going to a team with a winning record. But, Lugo can hit much better than Izturis I believe.

Another outstanding outing by Rob Dibble Redux (that would be Lincoln Holdzkom) today for your Mesa Solar Sox. 3 IP (threw only about 25 pitches in three innings) 1 H (broken bat opposite field single) 1 R (thanks to throwing error by Jake Fox on SB) 0 ER 0 BB 2 K Strike after strike with a mid-90's heater & nasty slider. Clay Rapada and his side-armin' frisbees looked really good, too (three up/three down, 2 K). And Eric Patterson hit the ball hard three times, and had a single and a double and two runs scored to show for it. UNCLE LOU'S NEW NASTY BOYZ? Lincoln Holdzkom David Aardsma Will Ohman Michael Wuertz Clay Rapada Rocky Cherry

Sorry for the garble. Was wondering if ERA, IP were more important for a starting pitcher than wins and losses.

AZ PHIL: What happened to the other pitcher that came along Holdzkom in the Wellemeyer trade?

#96 of 96: By Carlos (October 19, 2006 06:52 PM) AZ PHIL: What happened to the other pitcher that came along Holdzkom in the Wellemeyer trade? - CARLOS: Zach McCormack? He was hurt in Spring Training, but I don't know if it was TJ surgery or a shoulder tear. He missed all of 2006, and I have not seen him rehabbling at Fitch with The Others (Ransom, Gwaltney, Blasko, Hagerty, Kerry Wood, et al), so I don't know what's up with him. Maybe he quit. He was on the side of a milk carton out here a couple of months ago, though, and I believe he was the subject of an Amber Alert at one point. I'll let you know if I see him. I know Clint Brannon (the LHP the Cubs got from TEX for Jon Leicester) got hurt and then he retired, so maybe McCormack did, too. It's kind of like the squad of Rangers trying to Save Private Ryan. They keep getting killed off, until there are maybe just one or two left alive.

Tribe are you trying to fan flames of a dying ember of a once blazing argument?

Was wondering if ERA, IP were more important for a starting pitcher than wins and losses. yeah I'll take my ERA and then I'll look at K rate and his K:BB rate and then his HR/9 rate and probably about 10 other things all before even peaking at his win/loss record. When pithchers start throwing complete games again, I'll start paying attention again to win/loss records. Otherwise it has as much to do with bullpen and runs support as a pitcher's ability. Here's Chad going to tell you that a single season of win/loss records don't mean much but over a career it does. The board is yours. (actually a point I don't necessarily disagree with either...) Brannon retired huh? hendry and co. are really picking out those hidden gems in these throwaway deals. Crouthers, Brannon already retired.....Ciamaralla and Blackford are probably next, then watch out for those 2 guys from the Padres we got for Williamson.

#99 of 99: By Rob G. (October 19, 2006 07:17 PM) Brannon retired huh? hendry and co. are really picking out those hidden gems in these throwaway deals. Crouthers, Brannon already retired.....Ciamaralla and Blackford are probably next, then watch out for those 2 guys from the Padres we got for Williamson. -- ROB G: You mentioned Todd Blackford, but don't forget Angelo Burrows (the other pitcher the Cubs got from ATL for Hollandsworth). He got released. So did Olivo Astacio (acquired from BOS for Remlinger). And LHP Carlos Perez (one of two players acquired from BAL for Corey Patterson) is a six-year minor league FA (although he could have re-upped with the Cubs for '07, I don't know yet). RHP Justin Berg (acquired from NYY for Matt Lawton) is doing OK, though. Not great, but at least he is progressing through the system.

Hey man, a guy who wins 15 games every year for 15 years is doing something right.

"But, Lugo can hit much better than Izturis I believe." if all he had to do was hit, it wouldnt be much of an issue, really. he's one of the worst regular SS's and his play at 2nd is even worse. he's a very clumbsy fielder and its not just a todd walker "cant handle the DP motions" type knock (even though he shares that with walker).

Jose Ceda, you're are only hope. I read some stuff recently that Carlos Perez was improving as the season went on, whatever that means. I'm guessing they have a spot for him and not like he'll be busting down anyone else's major league door that he should think about going anywhere as is. Someone publish the list already, it was due Oct. 15th

#99 of 99: By Rob G. (October 19, 2006 07:17 PM) Brannon retired huh? hendry and co. are really picking out those hidden gems in these throwaway deals. Crouthers, Brannon already retired.....Ciamaralla and Blackford are probably next, then watch out for those 2 guys from the Padres we got for Williamson.\\ Well, I would think this happens a high-percentage of the time. It seems like when you give up crap, you get crap in return. In these throwaway deals, you're lucky if a couple stick. I suppose Murton might qualify as this? And, according to "Our Man Phil", one of the above young pitchers might make it down the pike one of these days?

well Lugo did say he liked Toronto and the BJays want to keep Aaron Hill at 2b. He's all yours J.P....

"1 R (thanks to throwing error by Jake Fox on SB)" christ...just stick him in RF already... nothing about jake fox says "catcher" to me...he's not the worst/most-inept guy to put on a mask, but i don't even think wishful thinking he might become a barrett will save him now. guess it doesnt hurt at this point, though...much like bj upton playing SS in the minors though he has the infield skills of mo vaughn in a wheelchair. if he's got a corner to turn he needs to find where those streets intersect.

Wow, the Cards look and sound like a mess. What's the deal with LaRussa and Rolen not being on speaking terms? And did you see the look Belliard gave Encarnacion when they almost collided on Valentin's popup? Just think, if they win tonight, could they be the most banged up, tried, jaded World Series team ever? No, just since the Black Sox. =)

I don't expect anything from these guys actually, but I don't expect them to RETIRE as soon as we get them either. I find it amusing. Berg actually has some talent, nice 92ish sinker. Just needs to reign in the control and work on the slide piece. Holdzkom is looking like more and more of a find too, we'll see if it continues.

according to ESPN, two relevant things have happened: 1) Cubs purchased the contract of Matt Harrington from Fort Worth of the American Association (indepentdent) 2) John MacLaren named bench coach of the Mariners. Discuss.

btw...that target he works at...his mom and dad both work there. palmdale... woo...useless info. if you feel the need to explain to 3 people how stupid 3 people can be when 3 people who are working at Target once helped 1 of them talk themselves outta being a millionaire twice and pulling in a 1/4 million once.

yeah yeah, windex, old news... some of us don't live on TCR so give us a break and throw us a bone? :)

seriously...he's been working at target. he's the poster-boy for agents/parent/player greed gone totally wrong with so many chances to learn a lesson, but never actually learning it. he's been drafted for 5 years now...twice refusing to sign for millions, once for a 1/4 million...once flat-out refusing...once being drafted and not offered a contract at all after injuring himself. you kinda feel sorry for him til you realize he had 3 good chances to secure his future.

Seems he just got a fourth...This story sounds familiar, the name just isn't ringing a bell, but I'll look it up. I'm more interested in the MacLaren business, as he was supposedly a lock to bench coach under his friend Fiery Lou.

I do remember this story now, and Crunch, you're right on. You only get so many opportunities in life and you take advantage of them when you can. Harrington is lucky he's getting even another chance now.

CRUNCH: "...seriously...he's been working at target. Did you ever see that SNL skit this past season with the Target check-out lines? The "clerks" while ringing up the customers would go back and get the same item for themselves so they could use their employee discount! It was pretty funny... For you BULLS fans - Tyrus Thomas looks like the real deal! Sorry - I'm surfing back and forth between the NLCS pitcher's duel.

Well, for those of you who were disappointed that Endy Chavez had to sub for C Floyd tonight, he just saved the game so far by stealing back a Rolen HR to left... Amazing catch and then 2bling up Rolen at first. Thing of beauty!

amazing barely begins to cover it... definately a "whatever of the year" catch. and about SNL...i havent seen a lotta SNL in a decade+...i just tend to not catch as much weekend TV as i do weeknight TV.

Chavez may have stole the pennant from STL with that grab. If so, Cards fans will remember Endy Chavez for a long, long time.

Chavez made a great catch, too bad he didn't come through with the bases loaded. How the hell is Michael Tucker still in the league?


i dont even buy into the whole stl vs. chc thing (mostly cuz i live in NC, not southern illinois, and i don't have to deal with it), but damn...STL in the series.

You know, I think the Cubs/Cards "rivalry" is a little different in different parts of the Midwest. It gets pretty heated in eastern Illinois and western Indiana. It's typically split about 50/50 between Cubs and Cards fans. I've been asked to leave bars because of it, actually. Part of that was that I was being a dickhead to Cardinal fans, but facts are facts, man.

*i dont even buy into the whole stl vs. chc thing (mostly cuz i live in NC, not southern illinois, and i don't have to deal with it), but damn...STL in the series.* And of course, these red sacks of puke will beat Detroit too, because this is the year they didn't win 100 games and barely won the division.

oh yeah..ive been made aware that cards/cubs is real, but its localized. its a weird one on me cuz my area is nothing but braves/cubs/yanks/orioles fans. not much to even bitch about, really.

I find those Piniella articles to be an interesting read. I assume that most of the points made are legit. That said, this is a different team, with different expectations, different financial wherewithall and an easier division. I'll reserve judgement, thanks.

"i dont even buy into the whole stl vs. chc thing..." ya gotta live here or near to feel it. Seeing droves of Red people riding the El here when the Cards are here and their, what HORATIO calls, the "Ned Flanders" fans makes me nauseous. You just have to grow up with it to understand. Bears-Packers, same. NC-DUKE I'm sure you can understand this one...

I've always hated the Mets more because they ruined my childhood. The Cubs/Cards thing is for downstaters. I just won't go to a bar or restaurant near Wrigley Field when the rotund Cardinal army descends on Chicago. Lot of really bad looking people with their socks pulled up to their knees ordering Budweiser. Amazing how arrogant people from a second-rate city can be too. You talk to a Cardinal fan and they act like they have to teach you about baseball.

Dusty is on ESPN. He's not too bad. He's a lot less annoying when he's not in a Cubs uni. Also, those articles on LP were disturbing. I'll reserve judgment, but it's not promising.

Tbone, we can't all be as wonderful as you think you are. 1908.

Leave the Cardinal fans alone. Its all they got. For real. Chicago has so much to offer and they have the Cardinals and an arch. Otherwise, not too much.

Yeah, that's all we got. Anyway, back to reality. Try and remember it's not our fault you root for the Cubs, okay? Seriously, try not to be so damn bitter all the time.

To do list... Friday morning Find a "Cuck the Fardinals" or "Albert takes it in the Pujols" shirt ASAP. Sunday evening GO TO THE WORLD SERIES!!!! By the way....what the hell is a Cardinals fan doing reading a Cubs blog on the night the Cardinal clinch the pennant?

By the way....what the hell is a Cardinals fan doing reading a Cubs blog on the night the Cardinal clinch the pennant? He has nothing better to do ... a frequent occurance, no doubt.

well if Yadier Molina and the Cards making the World Series aren't the poster children for playoffs being a crapshoot, I don't know what are.... how the hell does Beltran not swing? look pathetic, probably don't make contact, but you got to do something there. And was an 0-2 yacker all that surprising? Man, $119 million don't buy what it use to. Oh well, sorry Mets fans but you cannot overcome the ex-Cub factor.

then why play it out? Why go to Vegas and play craps? Because it's fun! Oh, and also to make money.

How the hell is Michael Tucker still in the league? -- He played the majority of his season for AAA Norfolk. Wasn't called up to the Mets until Cliff Floyd got hurt in August.

Ruz, we came to similar conclusions over at Goat Riders more than two weeks ago when we wrote this article on Piniella: We interviewed three bloggers, two from the D-Rays and one from the Mariners and asked their opinions on Lou. Although by this point it's just reiterating what everybody knows, it might still be worth a read.

Does anyone not think the Tigers win in 4-5 games? If they could only muster 1 run off Oliver Perez in 6.0 IP, how are they going to score anything off a guy like Verlander? I think I'm going to start referring to the NL as AAAA.

I didn't think the Cards would get past the Padres or Mets, so who knows what's going to happen against the Tigers. If the Cards get a break here or there (Sorry Chad), they could make it competitive. On paper, the Tigers should win pretty easily, but fortunately for the Cardinals, they don't play the games on paper.

You got to love baseless speculation: Hendry could explore Tejada, Suzuki, Crawford, etc. I'm sure the Tejada talk will get AZ Phil all hot and bothered. Offense is nice, but if you can pitch well and execute on defense, you don't need a lot of offense. That's how the '05 Astros made it to the World Series. Plus, if you stack your pitching and find you don't have enough pop, you can always trade off pitching for an offense upgrades. It's a lot tougher to trade the other direction.

"and they have the Cardinals and an arch" Don't forget the bowling hall of fame!! Tigers in 4.

"Don't forget the bowling hall of fame!!" Really?? JACOS, I would have thought that was in Milwaukee. Thanks, didn't know that one.

#74 Nice comment. I don't make the lineup. I'm just suggesting that Soriano batting leadoff maybe isn't that bad considering the success he's had there. It does not mean that his OBP and SLG numbers wouldn't look good lower in the order.

Make your travel plans early- Be sure to shine up your white shoes and matching belt and wear your Budweiser hat made of cans and yarn! I heard the Virtual Earl Anthony ride is awesome.

Hearing the name Michael Tucker reminds of an unpleasant memory. I don't remember what year it was, but the Cubs were still in it and the same day they traded or waivered Gary Mathews Jr. and Miguel Cairo and picked up Michael Tucker and Delino DeShields. At the time I was in shock at the stupidity. That of course was the end of being in contention. And to make matters worse, they kept both of them the following year. Does anyone remember what year that was and what bumbling GM made the moves. I think it was Lynch, but McFail may have been active at the time.

From Sullivan's piece in today's Trib: "Tejada may be back on the market, although it certainly would take more than Prior to land him this time. Carlos Zambrano is considered an untouchable, but when asked to name his untouchables this week, Hendry mentioned only Derrek Lee." Final straw, meet the camel's back. If the Cubs trade Z, I will be looking for a new NL team. GO TIGERS!

The Cardinals bother me more than the Mets, so I oddly found myself pulling for the Mets last night. I grew up in the 70s-80s where the 69 team was still on everyone's mind (who was older), and the Mets were still in our division. Since 84, beating the Mets seemed to be less of the grail chase than beating the Cardinals. Especially since so many of them come up to see the "big city" every year. What's interesting is that the rivalry for them is a fun thing, not really treated as a competition. For us, it's a bigger deal. The Cardinals have won 9 world series, played in 16. The White Sox have won 3 world series, played in 5. The Cubs have won 2 world series, played in 10. What a kick in the nuts.

I still say the Cubs should go after Crawford pretty hard. He is only due $9.25 million over the next 2 years. In a crazy crazy world after looking at that article talking about Tejada, Crawford, and Ichiro you can dream of an OF of Soriano in LF, Crawford in CF, and Ichiro in RF. I just want to dream for a second... Ichiro Crawford Soriano Lee Ramirez Yeahhhhh that would look cool. I think 2/3rds of that could really happen though in Crawford and Soriano. At this point I am not even counting on Jacque Jones and neither should the Cubs. His bat is worse than Murton's and his injury just screams season ending before spring training finishes.

Rob, then why play it out? Because baseball is decided on the field. Hey, the playoffs are fun but when you have 8 teams that are not all that different from each other, playing a game where truly anyone can win on any given day, there's just as much luck involved as skill and it's just magnified by the short series. I mean Jeff Suppan and Yadier Molina were your heroes last night. Hey, I love the playoffs, but teams that can't "win" in the playoffs or whatever is just b.s. You get there and you hope some guys like freaking Yadier Molina and Jeff Suppan get hot or some jerkoff doesn't reach out for a foul ball or your shortstop doesn't make his 11th error of the freaking year at the most crucial point. Let me add, If they made it a 7 game NLDS or went back to 4 team playoffs I'd be a lot happier.

I don't know if Murton's bat is better than Jacque's - yet. His plate discipline certainly is better, but his power still needs to develop. But I agree that counting on him to recover from injury by April is risky.

"But I agree that counting on him to recover from injury by April is risky." Don't worry, its not like the Cubs have ever done that before....nevermind.

So basically what you guys are saying is that we should expect Angel Pagan to be the Opening Day starting RF? Man, if that doesn't make you excited for 2007, I don't know what will...

Come on Manny - you KNOW it's gonna be Freddie Bynum in RF on opening day... heh

what are guys talking about? Jones isn't a pither and has some minor labrum problem that no one thinks needs surgery. He didn't have much problem swinging the bat last year with it, so why would anyone think he's not going to be ready? I'll answer that myself, we're the Cubs.

exactly, rob... also, the way he threw so weakly from the outfield all year long makes me wonder if the labrum problem isn't quite so minor. Although for all I know, his arm is that crappy even when 100% healthy.

I remember Bruce Levine saying back in June that Jones came into ST 2006 with a shoulder ailment. Maybe Hendry can make a deal for Pedro.

beyond the "we're the Cubs and we don't know what we're doing" angle, there's really no reason to think Jones won't be ready for spring training. He's probably ready right now. He had it checked out, no one thinks it needs surgery and they put him on a strengthening program. He probably did have it all of last year (blame Jones or the moron you did his physical) and beyond his throwing, it didn't affect a whole lot. Of course his throwing apparently sucked while he was in Minnesota as well, so I'm not sure the shoulder had much to do with it.

Cubs trainer gets two year extension. Must be on the Hendry plan.

Recent comments

  • crunch (view)

    morel played somewhere besides 3rd and SS...he got 8 innings in CF, 2 putouts and an assist.

  • crunch (view)

    ryan flaherty new cubs bench coach.

  • crunch (view)

    bellinger wins comeback player of the year.  the AL winner was liam hendricks and his 5ip before he got tommy john...setting himself up for a 2025 shot at the award.

  • Bill (view)

    I hope that Perlaza goes on to have a successful career.  On most Cubs teams prior to the current administration, he would have been one of their more highly ranked prospects.  As far as the others are concerned, one or more may well go on to be much better than expected, but unfortunately there is no way to tell which one at the present time.  You can't keep everyone.

  • crunch (view)

    s.gray signs with the cards...3/75m

  • Arizona Phil (view)

    Another one of the nine Cubs post-2023 Rule 9 minor league 6YFA has signed, as RHP Carlos Guzman (acquired from the Tigers for Zack McKinstry at the end of Spring Training) signed a 2024 minor league contract with the Mets. 


    So RHRP Yovanny Cruz (SD), C-INF P. J. Higgins (CIN), and now Carlos Guzman (NYM) have already signed 2024 minor league contracts with new MLB organizations, and OF Yonathan Perlaza is headed for Korea (Hanhwa Eagles).

  • crunch (view)

    ...and back to 3rd for another game.  at this point i'm gonna hang back and when/if he actually plays 1st then i'll find it notable.  i am glad he's playing a good amount of 3rd, though...give the club one more good look at him there.  shrug

  • crunch (view)

    morel played SS last night (no errors)...hit a homer and a double.  he's got 2 of both in 19PA.

  • crunch (view)

    e.escobar was throwing 95-97mph on his fastball in 2023.

  • Arizona Phil (view)

    One more thing about Edwin Escobar. Even though he had accrued less than one year of MLB Service Time prior to signing with Nippon Ham in 2017 (he ended up eventually with Yokohama), he will have Article XIX-A rights by virtue of the seven seasons he spent in Japan. So he will be essentially locked on the 40-man roster (or at least he can't be outrighted without his consent), and he will be a FA whenever his contract expires.