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Thursday, April 12, 2001

Julian Tavarez pitches seven strong innings as Cubs shut down Expos 4-2

I bet Julian went home to his girlfriend giddy with excitement. His plan of playing for a team “with no chance to win the World Series” is working to perfection.

The Original Gary Posted: April 12, 2001 at 01:46 PM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. scruff Posted: April 12, 2001 at 05:26 PM (#66672)
I think it's funny that Tavarez gets bashed for saying exactly what EVERYONE knows. Don Baylor knows it, Sosa knows it, the bleacher bums know it and everyone reading this knows it. The Cubs don't have a snowball's chance in hell of playing in October.

We always talk about how we hate it when players give the party line and say what they are supposed to without any sincerity. But when someone comes out and is honest, and explains why he made a career move, we hammer him. He wants to be a starter and he's willing to go to a bad team to prove he can handle the role. What's wrong with that? This guy's been in the postseason plenty, now he wants to advance his career, where's the problem?

It's kind of like a premise Bill James explains in the 1982 Abstract, under the Butch Hobson comment. I just got the book last night (thanks Dean!), so it's fresh in my mind. Must read for anyone that came into the Abstract game a little later (I came in at 11 in 1984). He's explaining that baseball is a grind, you don't take risks. EVERY play is NOT important, like it is in football, when there are only 16 games. There's always another game tommorrow. If Paul O'Neill would run out a few less grounders he might pop a few less hamstrings. If I'm a Reds fan and Griffey comes back next week and busts it out down the line on a routine grounder, I'm going to be annoyed.

But we LOVE players that will dive all over the place, run into walls etc. These guys, like Lenny Dykstra, George Brett and Paul Molitor end up missing 40 games a year and/or shortening their careers all too often. The player who is smart and doesn't go diving all over the place to try to make every single play is often shunned. James used Amos Otis as his example. Mike Schmidt would be another one.

Well Tavarez doesn't go diving all over the place (unless Russ Davis is running at him) and saying all the right things. But he's smart about his career. If proves he can pitch for the Cubs, either the Cubs will be better (with Hee Seop Choi and Corey Patterson on the way, it's possible) and he may just help get them to a World Series, or he'll be able to go to a contender and start for them. I don't see anything wrong with that.
   2. scruff Posted: April 12, 2001 at 05:26 PM (#67129)
I think it's funny that Tavarez gets bashed for saying exactly what EVERYONE knows. Don Baylor knows it, Sosa knows it, the bleacher bums know it and everyone reading this knows it. The Cubs don't have a snowball's chance in hell of playing in October.

We always talk about how we hate it when players give the party line and say what they are supposed to without any sincerity. But when someone comes out and is honest, and explains why he made a career move, we hammer him. He wants to be a starter and he's willing to go to a bad team to prove he can handle the role. What's wrong with that? This guy's been in the postseason plenty, now he wants to advance his career, where's the problem?

It's kind of like a premise Bill James explains in the 1982 Abstract, under the Butch Hobson comment. I just got the book last night (thanks Dean!), so it's fresh in my mind. Must read for anyone that came into the Abstract game a little later (I came in at 11 in 1984). He's explaining that baseball is a grind, you don't take risks. EVERY play is NOT important, like it is in football, when there are only 16 games. There's always another game tommorrow. If Paul O'Neill would run out a few less grounders he might pop a few less hamstrings. If I'm a Reds fan and Griffey comes back next week and busts it out down the line on a routine grounder, I'm going to be annoyed.

But we LOVE players that will dive all over the place, run into walls etc. These guys, like Lenny Dykstra, George Brett and Paul Molitor end up missing 40 games a year and/or shortening their careers all too often. The player who is smart and doesn't go diving all over the place to try to make every single play is often shunned. James used Amos Otis as his example. Mike Schmidt would be another one.

Well Tavarez doesn't go diving all over the place (unless Russ Davis is running at him) and saying all the right things. But he's smart about his career. If proves he can pitch for the Cubs, either the Cubs will be better (with Hee Seop Choi and Corey Patterson on the way, it's possible) and he may just help get them to a World Series, or he'll be able to go to a contender and start for them. I don't see anything wrong with that.
   3. scruff Posted: April 12, 2001 at 05:26 PM (#67915)
I think it's funny that Tavarez gets bashed for saying exactly what EVERYONE knows. Don Baylor knows it, Sosa knows it, the bleacher bums know it and everyone reading this knows it. The Cubs don't have a snowball's chance in hell of playing in October.

We always talk about how we hate it when players give the party line and say what they are supposed to without any sincerity. But when someone comes out and is honest, and explains why he made a career move, we hammer him. He wants to be a starter and he's willing to go to a bad team to prove he can handle the role. What's wrong with that? This guy's been in the postseason plenty, now he wants to advance his career, where's the problem?

It's kind of like a premise Bill James explains in the 1982 Abstract, under the Butch Hobson comment. I just got the book last night (thanks Dean!), so it's fresh in my mind. Must read for anyone that came into the Abstract game a little later (I came in at 11 in 1984). He's explaining that baseball is a grind, you don't take risks. EVERY play is NOT important, like it is in football, when there are only 16 games. There's always another game tommorrow. If Paul O'Neill would run out a few less grounders he might pop a few less hamstrings. If I'm a Reds fan and Griffey comes back next week and busts it out down the line on a routine grounder, I'm going to be annoyed.

But we LOVE players that will dive all over the place, run into walls etc. These guys, like Lenny Dykstra, George Brett and Paul Molitor end up missing 40 games a year and/or shortening their careers all too often. The player who is smart and doesn't go diving all over the place to try to make every single play is often shunned. James used Amos Otis as his example. Mike Schmidt would be another one.

Well Tavarez doesn't go diving all over the place (unless Russ Davis is running at him) and saying all the right things. But he's smart about his career. If proves he can pitch for the Cubs, either the Cubs will be better (with Hee Seop Choi and Corey Patterson on the way, it's possible) and he may just help get them to a World Series, or he'll be able to go to a contender and start for them. I don't see anything wrong with that.
   4. The Original Gary Posted: April 12, 2001 at 06:43 PM (#66673)
We all know the Cubs don't have the same chance as the Yankees have to win the World Series. That being said, for a Cub to say "we have no chance" before a single game is played is contrary to what every competitive athlete believes. I have no problem with Tavarez wanting to show he can be a starter. Everyone needs pitching, though. When an athlete says his own team stinks and has no chance, it sends a bad message. It's like he has already given up, and I am sure that DOn Baylor and the rest of the Cubs didn't appreciate the comments.
   5. The Original Gary Posted: April 12, 2001 at 06:43 PM (#67130)
We all know the Cubs don't have the same chance as the Yankees have to win the World Series. That being said, for a Cub to say "we have no chance" before a single game is played is contrary to what every competitive athlete believes. I have no problem with Tavarez wanting to show he can be a starter. Everyone needs pitching, though. When an athlete says his own team stinks and has no chance, it sends a bad message. It's like he has already given up, and I am sure that DOn Baylor and the rest of the Cubs didn't appreciate the comments.
   6. The Original Gary Posted: April 12, 2001 at 06:43 PM (#67916)
We all know the Cubs don't have the same chance as the Yankees have to win the World Series. That being said, for a Cub to say "we have no chance" before a single game is played is contrary to what every competitive athlete believes. I have no problem with Tavarez wanting to show he can be a starter. Everyone needs pitching, though. When an athlete says his own team stinks and has no chance, it sends a bad message. It's like he has already given up, and I am sure that DOn Baylor and the rest of the Cubs didn't appreciate the comments.
   7. scruff Posted: April 12, 2001 at 07:04 PM (#66674)
Prentending you have a chance when you don't is how true problems do not ever get addressed. If enough people in the organization would think like Tavarez they might address some of their problems appropriately instead of signing and playing guys like Ron Coomer and Damon Buford. They'd give give guys like Zuletta and Gload a fair shot, because they'd know they didn't have a chance anyway.

Being a competitive athlete is great, but no one in that organization can think for three seconds that they have a chance the way this team is constructed. That doesn't mean you don't go out and try to win (as stated above, I don't like saying play hard). But when an organization thinks it has a chance and it doesn't, it just makes the rebuilding process that much longer.
   8. scruff Posted: April 12, 2001 at 07:04 PM (#67131)
Prentending you have a chance when you don't is how true problems do not ever get addressed. If enough people in the organization would think like Tavarez they might address some of their problems appropriately instead of signing and playing guys like Ron Coomer and Damon Buford. They'd give give guys like Zuletta and Gload a fair shot, because they'd know they didn't have a chance anyway.

Being a competitive athlete is great, but no one in that organization can think for three seconds that they have a chance the way this team is constructed. That doesn't mean you don't go out and try to win (as stated above, I don't like saying play hard). But when an organization thinks it has a chance and it doesn't, it just makes the rebuilding process that much longer.
   9. scruff Posted: April 12, 2001 at 07:04 PM (#67917)
Prentending you have a chance when you don't is how true problems do not ever get addressed. If enough people in the organization would think like Tavarez they might address some of their problems appropriately instead of signing and playing guys like Ron Coomer and Damon Buford. They'd give give guys like Zuletta and Gload a fair shot, because they'd know they didn't have a chance anyway.

Being a competitive athlete is great, but no one in that organization can think for three seconds that they have a chance the way this team is constructed. That doesn't mean you don't go out and try to win (as stated above, I don't like saying play hard). But when an organization thinks it has a chance and it doesn't, it just makes the rebuilding process that much longer.
   10. Robert Dudek Posted: April 12, 2001 at 10:37 PM (#66675)
I have to disagree slightly with Scruff.

The Cubs do have a chance to win the World Series because making the playoffs is synonomous with having a chance to win the World Series. The rules allow a wild-card team or a team winning a weak division to make the playoffs. If you look at the NL Central, it's not a lock that the winner will win 90 plus games. That said, it is conceivable (though highely unlikely) that a team winning 86 games could make the playoffs.

Breaking it down this way, the question you have to ask is: do the Cubs have any chance to win 86 or more games ? I submit that they do. Although we'd expect them to be a fairly bad team - in the 75 wins range, it's certainly possible that with a lot of luck and the development of some key players, big seasons from the veterans and a helpful trade or two, the Cubs could win 86 games.

That's a lot of ifs, obviously. But when the Cubs made the playoffs in 1998, did they have any more talent than they do now ?

I would say that the chances of the Cubs winning the World Series are extremely small, and if I were them I'd commit the team to a serious re-building program (calling up Patterson in mid-season, trading veterans for whatever kids they can get etc).
   11. Robert Dudek Posted: April 12, 2001 at 10:37 PM (#67132)
I have to disagree slightly with Scruff.

The Cubs do have a chance to win the World Series because making the playoffs is synonomous with having a chance to win the World Series. The rules allow a wild-card team or a team winning a weak division to make the playoffs. If you look at the NL Central, it's not a lock that the winner will win 90 plus games. That said, it is conceivable (though highely unlikely) that a team winning 86 games could make the playoffs.

Breaking it down this way, the question you have to ask is: do the Cubs have any chance to win 86 or more games ? I submit that they do. Although we'd expect them to be a fairly bad team - in the 75 wins range, it's certainly possible that with a lot of luck and the development of some key players, big seasons from the veterans and a helpful trade or two, the Cubs could win 86 games.

That's a lot of ifs, obviously. But when the Cubs made the playoffs in 1998, did they have any more talent than they do now ?

I would say that the chances of the Cubs winning the World Series are extremely small, and if I were them I'd commit the team to a serious re-building program (calling up Patterson in mid-season, trading veterans for whatever kids they can get etc).
   12. Robert Dudek Posted: April 12, 2001 at 10:37 PM (#67918)
I have to disagree slightly with Scruff.

The Cubs do have a chance to win the World Series because making the playoffs is synonomous with having a chance to win the World Series. The rules allow a wild-card team or a team winning a weak division to make the playoffs. If you look at the NL Central, it's not a lock that the winner will win 90 plus games. That said, it is conceivable (though highely unlikely) that a team winning 86 games could make the playoffs.

Breaking it down this way, the question you have to ask is: do the Cubs have any chance to win 86 or more games ? I submit that they do. Although we'd expect them to be a fairly bad team - in the 75 wins range, it's certainly possible that with a lot of luck and the development of some key players, big seasons from the veterans and a helpful trade or two, the Cubs could win 86 games.

That's a lot of ifs, obviously. But when the Cubs made the playoffs in 1998, did they have any more talent than they do now ?

I would say that the chances of the Cubs winning the World Series are extremely small, and if I were them I'd commit the team to a serious re-building program (calling up Patterson in mid-season, trading veterans for whatever kids they can get etc).
   13. Cris E Posted: April 12, 2001 at 10:42 PM (#66676)
There's a difference between "no chance at the World Series" and "no chance at winning at all". He obviously meant no Series, but that's not what he said and you just don't say things like he said them. If you want to say you have no chance at October baseball, say that, but blanket statements of doom are not helpful. The Cubs were looking at a long season already, and talk like this from anyone doesn't help one bit.

It may be refreshing to hear "We aren't going to the playoffs", but "We aren't going to win" is entirely different in my opinion. That's defeatist and spiritless and indicates that the competitiveness you refer to is not burning very brightly. All athletes are not created equal in that regard, and if I were a teammate this would indicate to me that Julian has some proving to do.
   14. Cris E Posted: April 12, 2001 at 10:42 PM (#67133)
There's a difference between "no chance at the World Series" and "no chance at winning at all". He obviously meant no Series, but that's not what he said and you just don't say things like he said them. If you want to say you have no chance at October baseball, say that, but blanket statements of doom are not helpful. The Cubs were looking at a long season already, and talk like this from anyone doesn't help one bit.

It may be refreshing to hear "We aren't going to the playoffs", but "We aren't going to win" is entirely different in my opinion. That's defeatist and spiritless and indicates that the competitiveness you refer to is not burning very brightly. All athletes are not created equal in that regard, and if I were a teammate this would indicate to me that Julian has some proving to do.
   15. Cris E Posted: April 12, 2001 at 10:42 PM (#67919)
There's a difference between "no chance at the World Series" and "no chance at winning at all". He obviously meant no Series, but that's not what he said and you just don't say things like he said them. If you want to say you have no chance at October baseball, say that, but blanket statements of doom are not helpful. The Cubs were looking at a long season already, and talk like this from anyone doesn't help one bit.

It may be refreshing to hear "We aren't going to the playoffs", but "We aren't going to win" is entirely different in my opinion. That's defeatist and spiritless and indicates that the competitiveness you refer to is not burning very brightly. All athletes are not created equal in that regard, and if I were a teammate this would indicate to me that Julian has some proving to do.
   16. scruff Posted: April 13, 2001 at 01:43 AM (#66677)
Robert and Cris you both make good points. Cris I have issue with one of your's though. Say what you want about Julian, by no means is he my favorite player. However, you can't say his, "competitiveness is not burning very brightly." If it wasn't, he'd have stuck with being a well paid middle reliever. Maybe he's competitive for his own personal gain (which I don't have a problem with, because that will still win ballgames), but either way, I think he's competitive as hell. If he wasn't, he wouldn't have pumped the fist at Davis, and he wouldn't have left to prove himself as a starter.
   17. scruff Posted: April 13, 2001 at 01:43 AM (#67134)
Robert and Cris you both make good points. Cris I have issue with one of your's though. Say what you want about Julian, by no means is he my favorite player. However, you can't say his, "competitiveness is not burning very brightly." If it wasn't, he'd have stuck with being a well paid middle reliever. Maybe he's competitive for his own personal gain (which I don't have a problem with, because that will still win ballgames), but either way, I think he's competitive as hell. If he wasn't, he wouldn't have pumped the fist at Davis, and he wouldn't have left to prove himself as a starter.
   18. scruff Posted: April 13, 2001 at 01:43 AM (#67920)
Robert and Cris you both make good points. Cris I have issue with one of your's though. Say what you want about Julian, by no means is he my favorite player. However, you can't say his, "competitiveness is not burning very brightly." If it wasn't, he'd have stuck with being a well paid middle reliever. Maybe he's competitive for his own personal gain (which I don't have a problem with, because that will still win ballgames), but either way, I think he's competitive as hell. If he wasn't, he wouldn't have pumped the fist at Davis, and he wouldn't have left to prove himself as a starter.

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