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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Cubs - Sentenced their Fans to 24 months of The Neifinator.

Chicago Cubs - For some baffling reason, signed SS Neifi Perez to a 2-year contract for no particular reason.

Mr. Oracle, say it’s not true!

It is.  In my role as the chief transactional faith healer, I’ve tried preparing Cubs fans emotionally for this day.  As baseball writers don’t get to prescribe anti-depressants, I can only provide palliative benefits to your fragile emotions.

But, it can’t be all bad!

Sure it can.

But, Neifi only got into the lineup because of Nomar’s injury!  With Rafael Furcal totally coming onto the team, Neifi will just be a backup!

When I was 4, I also thought people on the television could see me.


But surely, after his 2005 season, Dusty will have to give Ronny Cedeno a chance to get as much playing time as possible

Dusty doesn’t have to do a ####### thing.

What about team management?  Surely, if they kept him on, there had to have been some limitations set on Dusty?

The Cubs have never cared about his lack of competence before - why would they start now?

Will Ronny Cedeno get playing time at 2nd?

Sure - he’ll get 2 starts against lefties, go 0-for-3 and enjoy his summer in Iowa.

There has to be something I can do, right?

Well, short of lobbying your senator to have all legal immigrants expelled from the country or to have Dusty’s toothpick declared a weapon of mass destruction, there’s not much you can do.

Well, can you make me feel better?

Sure.  There are 29 other sets of clothing to root for.  If I went to Wendy’s and got a dead rat in my spicy chicken sandwich, I wouldn’t go to Wendy’s anymore.  Just because Jim Hendry wants you take a bit of his big #### sandwich doesn’t mean you have to chomp down and enjoy the defecatory goodness.

Thanks, Dan Szumybowhatever, I appreciated it.

That’ll be $65.

2006 ZiPS Projection - The Neifinator
————————————————————————————-
AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
————————————————————————————-
462 46 125 25 1   6 47 19 43   5 .259 .288 .353

Dan Szymborski Posted: November 08, 2005 at 06:21 PM | 84 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. greenback likes millwall Posted: November 08, 2005 at 06:41 PM (#1723699)
Bwahaha, no playing time footnotes for this ZiPS projection!
   2. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: November 08, 2005 at 06:43 PM (#1723704)
47 RBIs. That's pretty good for a defensive SS.
   3. Fred Garvin is dead and Joe Biden is alive Posted: November 08, 2005 at 06:43 PM (#1723705)
But, Neifi only got into the lineup because of Nomar's injury! With Rafael Furcal totally coming onto the team, Neifi will just be a backup!

--When I was 4, I also thought people on the television could see me.


RDF.
   4. The Artist Posted: November 08, 2005 at 06:46 PM (#1723710)
Bravo. Bravo.
   5. danup Posted: November 08, 2005 at 06:52 PM (#1723739)
Is it bad that I root for other teams to make awful signings so I can read Transcation Oracle afterward?
   6. Gaylord Perry the Platypus (oi!) Posted: November 08, 2005 at 06:54 PM (#1723746)
Well, short of lobbying your senator to have all legal immigrants expelled from the country or to have Dusty's toothpick declared a weapon of mass destruction, there's not much you can do.

That would get Furcal expelled too. Cubs fans, would that be worth it?
   7. Rafael Bellylard: A failure of the waist. Posted: November 08, 2005 at 06:55 PM (#1723748)
ZIPS has Necro-fi at 481 PA's. There must not be a Dusty Factor figured in, or it would be closer to 600.
   8. Dan The Mediocre Posted: November 08, 2005 at 06:56 PM (#1723750)
That would get Furcal expelled too. Cubs fans, would that be worth it?

We'd lose Carlos too, so it's probably about even.
   9. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: November 08, 2005 at 07:02 PM (#1723757)
Excellent work. On the plus side, with two years to try and a manager who wouldn't take him out of the lineup if sniper fire Schiavoed him in the field, Neifi could well have the opportunity to put up one of the worst offensive seasons in major league history.

I know there've been some bad ones before, but a talentless aging shortstop with a coddling, enabling manager has a real shot at the gold. I'm cheering for him to make it. I hope those ZIPS projections are wildly optimistic. If he hits .203/.215/.250, I'll cheer every last double play, ill-timed strikeout, and first pitch popup. It was like rooting for Jose Hernandez to break the strikeout record, or Anthony Young never to win a game. If you're going to suck, go for the gusto.

I do feel bad for Derrek Lee though. 41 HRs and 72 RBIs will be kind of an embarassing stat line at the end of the year. Not a team player like NeifVP.
   10. 100 Years is Nothing Posted: November 08, 2005 at 07:02 PM (#1723758)
I was hopong that was a five year projection...
   11. 1k5v3L Posted: November 08, 2005 at 07:07 PM (#1723765)
Time to sell high on Derrek Lee in my NL only keeper league...
   12. "Catching Dianetics" by Dr. L. Ron Karkovice Posted: November 08, 2005 at 07:08 PM (#1723766)
If Neifi's Game Winning Grand-Slam against the Cardinals had come in Game 7 of the NLCS, I don't think you Cubs fans would be complaining about this signing....Just the opposite, you'ld be cheering it on.....HYPOCRITES!!
   13. 1k5v3L Posted: November 08, 2005 at 07:08 PM (#1723767)
5 stolen bases, people! 5! maybe 12 if he bats leadoff!
   14. jmac66 Posted: November 08, 2005 at 07:13 PM (#1723776)
so is it official? is Neifi now THE official sabr-whipping boy?

carrying on the fine tradition of Ozzie Guillen
   15. 1k5v3L Posted: November 08, 2005 at 07:15 PM (#1723782)
So, my guess is that, if the Cubs do sign Furcal (maybe they'll even let him play SS), they'll move the Neifiator to 2B and trade Walker? They could get a decent return on Walker, and they'll free up at bats for Macias at 2B...
   16. FDR Jones Posted: November 08, 2005 at 07:18 PM (#1723784)
jay merry-yeti:

#### you #######
   17. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 08, 2005 at 07:19 PM (#1723787)
47 RBIs. That's pretty good for a defensive SS..

Batting leadoff.
   18. Repoz Posted: November 08, 2005 at 07:24 PM (#1723793)
carrying on the fine tradition of Ozzie Guillen

Considering that Guillen's career OBP was .287 in 6,686 at battles and Dan has the Neifinator at .288...pretty, pretty close.
   19. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: November 08, 2005 at 07:25 PM (#1723795)
Big deal. Its not like Ronnie Cedeno is any good anyway.
   20. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: November 08, 2005 at 07:26 PM (#1723797)
So, my guess is that, if the Cubs do sign Furcal (maybe they'll even let him play SS), they'll move the Neifiator to 2B and trade Walker?

Yes, that was speculated on happenning the papers before the Cubs even picked up Walker's option.

They could get a decent return on Walker, and they'll free up at bats for Macias at 2B...

Neifi sits for no one.
   21. Dewey, Crackpot and Soupuss Posted: November 08, 2005 at 07:32 PM (#1723807)
carrying on the fine tradition of Ozzie Guillen

Guillen at least had the excuse of playing a lot of his career in a lower-offense era, in a pitchers' park.

Ozzie was also much better defensively than Neifi, at least before his ACL injury slowed him down.

Let's agree that aging, injury-slowed Ozzie = Neifi.
   22. Spahn Insane Posted: November 08, 2005 at 07:34 PM (#1723811)
Big deal. Its not like Ronnie Cedeno is any good anyway.

He's as good as Perez is right now, and has significantly higher upside. He hit well in AA in '04, extremely well in AAA in '05, and has been young for his leagues. Unless, of course, you were just trolling.
   23. 1k5v3L Posted: November 08, 2005 at 07:34 PM (#1723813)
They could get a decent return on Walker, and they'll free up at bats for Macias at 2B...

Neifi sits for no one.


That's when Neifi gets a spot start at SS, so Furcal can rest up...
   24. Fred Garvin is dead and Joe Biden is alive Posted: November 08, 2005 at 07:36 PM (#1723817)
Its not like Ronnie Cedeno is any good anyway.

-- He's as good as Perez is right now . . .


I'll agree that Cedeno has the upside, but I don't think we know enough yet to say that he's better than Neifi now. More importantly, though, with Neifi on the team, we won't be able to find out either.
   25. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 08, 2005 at 07:38 PM (#1723819)
carrying on the fine tradition of Ozzie Guillen

Maybe we can hope that Neifi will manage the Cubs to a World Series in 2014.
   26. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: November 08, 2005 at 07:38 PM (#1723820)
carrying on the fine tradition of Ozzie Guillen

In about 10 years, manager Neifi Perez, third base coach Jose Macias, first base coach Corey Patterson and bench coach Sammy Sosa will sweep the Rangers in the World Series.
   27. 1k5v3L Posted: November 08, 2005 at 07:39 PM (#1723821)
they sentenced me to many years of boredom
for trying to change the cubbies from within
i'm coming now, i'm coming to reward them
first we take chicago, then we get our rings
   28. Spahn Insane Posted: November 08, 2005 at 07:39 PM (#1723823)
I don't think we know enough yet to say that he's better than Neifi now.

A .403 OBP in AAA at 22, with good defense? I'll take my chances.
   29. Spahn Insane Posted: November 08, 2005 at 07:40 PM (#1723828)
Nice Cohen parody, levski. (I see that the original "twenty years of boredom" wasn't quite enough to accurately reflect the state of Cub-dumb.)
   30. 1k5v3L Posted: November 08, 2005 at 07:42 PM (#1723832)
i wrote in "twenty years" first; they thought better...
   31. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 08, 2005 at 07:43 PM (#1723833)
Just because Jim Hendry wants you take a bit of his big #### sandwich doesn't mean you have to chomp down and enjoy the defecatory goodness

Defecatory Goodness. That would be a good name for a band. Or this team.
   32. Fred Garvin is dead and Joe Biden is alive Posted: November 08, 2005 at 07:50 PM (#1723845)
A .403 OBP in AAA at 22, with good defense? I'll take my chances.

In only 265 PAs. This followed 408 PAs in AA ball where his OBP was .328, 401 PAs in A+ ball where his OBP was .257.

Still, I'd like to take a chance -- that's the point.
   33. base ball chick Posted: November 08, 2005 at 08:19 PM (#1723884)
oh what WONderful news!!!!!

here and i was afraid my stros would be fighting with the pirates for the cellar.

i just LLUUUUVVVVVVV the way neifi looks in a cubbie uni!!!

you can't POSSIBLY expect dusty to play a ROOKIE now can you? i mean, with Proven Veterans out there?

tell yall what - ronnie belliard will just be rotting down there in AAA so we'll take him offn your hands for a much needed grade A reliever - zeke astacio. and we'll throw in Proven Veteran Brandon Duckworthless too.

- wicked chuckle

guess this means no furcal and no nomar

- evil chuckle
   34. Dan The Mediocre Posted: November 08, 2005 at 08:19 PM (#1723885)
Defecatory Goodness. That would be a good name for a band. Or this team.

It'll probably be the name of my Hacking Mass team, unless I decide to keep Neifi Perez's monster 2 weeks.
   35. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: November 08, 2005 at 08:26 PM (#1723895)
Is it bad that I root for other teams to make awful signings so I can read Transcation Oracle afterward?

I think every at this site must feel this way. I'm out of here for the day.
   36. phredbird Posted: November 08, 2005 at 08:34 PM (#1723915)
ahem, i think if anyone wants to go back and check the game chatter archive, i more or less predicted this when neife hit that grand salami ... not that it took any great skill or anything ...
   37. 1k5v3L Posted: November 08, 2005 at 08:37 PM (#1723918)
ronnie belliard?
   38. Greg Franklin Posted: November 08, 2005 at 09:11 PM (#1723998)
Just linked this thread to Neifi's page on the BTF Wiki.

The Oracle failed to mention it, but the money part of the deal is $5 million over 2 years. That's richer than what he got from the Giants back in the day.
   39. 1k5v3L Posted: November 08, 2005 at 09:16 PM (#1724010)
Greg, supposedly Neifi got $1m signing bonus as well, to make it $6m total.

No wonder Royce Clayton thinks he should be getting multi-year offers...
   40. Lance Freezeland Posted: November 08, 2005 at 09:20 PM (#1724026)
Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

It's funny enough that the Cubs have idiot Dusty in the dugout, it's becoming increasingly apparent that Hendry is equally to blame for the Cubs' continued suckitude.
   41. 1k5v3L Posted: November 08, 2005 at 09:29 PM (#1724049)
AP doesn't mention a signing bonus

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ap-cubs-perez&prov=ap&type=lgns
   42. SouthSideRyan Posted: November 08, 2005 at 09:52 PM (#1724099)
If I went to Wendy's and got a dead rat in my spicy chicken sandwich, I wouldn't go to Wendy's anymore.

Yet you're still an O's fan?
   43. Spahn Insane Posted: November 08, 2005 at 09:55 PM (#1724106)
It's funny enough that the Cubs have idiot Dusty in the dugout, it's becoming increasingly apparent that Hendry is equally to blame for the Cubs' continued suckitude.

Wow...it took an event of this magnitude to spring you from usenet?
   44. Spahn Insane Posted: November 08, 2005 at 09:58 PM (#1724111)
tell yall what - ronnie belliard will just be rotting down there in AAA

The Cubs should be so lucky. Belliard just had his option picked up by the Tribe.
   45. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: November 08, 2005 at 10:01 PM (#1724115)
Considering that Guillen's career OBP was .287 in 6,686 at battles and Dan has the Neifinator at .288...pretty, pretty close.

Well, let's get some context on their career numbers. Guillen had a .287 OBP in the context of .333, and Neifi has a .301 in the context of .364.

Slight advantage for Ozzie, and Neifi ain't getting better.
   46. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: November 08, 2005 at 10:01 PM (#1724118)
it's becoming increasingly apparent that Hendry is equally to blame for the Cubs' continued suckitude

Yes it is. Prepare for a serious broom job in 12 months. MacPhail on down will be cleaned out after the 78 win season.

Epstein in '07!
   47. Honkie Kong Posted: November 08, 2005 at 10:01 PM (#1724121)
Will you settle for rafael belliard then? :)
   48. Greg Franklin Posted: November 08, 2005 at 10:06 PM (#1724132)
levski, I'm also waiting for confirmation on the signing bonus .. apparently a Dominican paper said it was fact.

From that AP article I was impressed that his base was $1M for 2005, but that he more than doubled it simply by making all those plate appearances. $1.5M for showing up, $1M for bonuses.... the Cubs must be rich! Rich!!
   49. Sweet Posted: November 08, 2005 at 10:07 PM (#1724134)
A quote from Neifi on Cubs.com:

"I played bad in Kansas City because my heart wasn't there," Perez said. "It was tough to play in San Francisco. If you go 1-for-4, you have to go 2-for-2 every day to play in San Francisco. When I was struggling [with the Cubs], I was hitting the ball hard and [Baker] didn't sit me. I think I was 1-for-27 and [Baker] gave me the confidence to get out of that slump."

I can't even speak right now.
   50. base ball chick Posted: November 08, 2005 at 10:12 PM (#1724146)
retro-shiite's ribald bacchanalia Posted: November 08, 2005 at 03:58 PM (#1724111)
tell yall what - ronnie belliard will just be rotting down there in AAA

The Cubs should be so lucky. Belliard just had his option picked up by the Tribe.


- oh yeah

giggle

oops

i meant cedeno
   51. Spahn Insane Posted: November 08, 2005 at 10:16 PM (#1724156)
"I played bad in Kansas City because my heart wasn't there," Perez said. "It was tough to play in San Francisco.

OK. So what explains your continued suckitude in Chicago, Neifi? Or did you just need to be united with Capt. 8-ball to reach your glorious potential of a .300 OBP?
   52. DCW3 Posted: November 08, 2005 at 10:21 PM (#1724174)
Excellent work. On the plus side, with two years to try and a manager who wouldn't take him out of the lineup if sniper fire Schiavoed him in the field, Neifi could well have the opportunity to put up one of the worst offensive seasons in major league history.

You mean like Neifi's 2002 season? A 40 OPS+ in 585 PAs? That'll be tough to top, but I'll be rooting for him.
   53. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: November 08, 2005 at 10:22 PM (#1724179)
Is there a Vegas line for betting on the MLB leader in outs for 2006?
   54. Lance Freezeland Posted: November 08, 2005 at 11:03 PM (#1724293)
Wow...it took an event of this magnitude to spring you from usenet?

Nah, just a slow day perhaps. But Usenet's a far better forum for actually having a discussion IMO.
   55. Bunny Vincennes Posted: November 08, 2005 at 11:06 PM (#1724302)
Sweet, I just puked in my mouth. "Oh, I don't have be good to play in Dusty's clubhouse."
   56. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 08, 2005 at 11:12 PM (#1724314)
Nah, just a slow day perhaps. But Usenet's a far better forum for actually having a discussion IMO.

That "Rob Petrie" is quite the intellectual, eh?
   57. Spahn Insane Posted: November 08, 2005 at 11:24 PM (#1724343)
That "Rob Petrie" is quite the intellectual, eh?

Yes, but he's no Fred Deaton.
   58. Voros M. Posted: November 08, 2005 at 11:26 PM (#1724349)
Neifi's last 5 OPS+ were 77, 61, 65, 40, 70. Still, Mark Belanger from 1970 to 1974 posted a 56, 97, 42, 61, 75, and the O's won 4 division titles, 2 pennants and a World Series.

Of course:

a) I'm not sure Neifi was ever as good a glove man as Belanger.
b) Weaver used Belanger precisely because he knew how to generate offense out of the other 7 spots in the lineup.
c) This assumes Neifi plays shortstop, which it looks like he might not do.

I'm not arguing that this is a good signing. It's a bad one for short money, it's mysteriously bad for millions. But you can still win with a bad player or two.
   59. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: November 08, 2005 at 11:37 PM (#1724373)
But you can still win with a bad player or two.

The offseason has just begun.
   60. alio intuito Posted: November 08, 2005 at 11:43 PM (#1724389)
a) I'm not sure Neifi was ever as good a glove man as Belanger.
b) Weaver used Belanger precisely because he knew how to generate offense out of the other 7 spots in the lineup.
c) This assumes Neifi plays shortstop, which it looks like he might not do.


Also, the Orioles in those years had 10 different 20 win seasons from their starting pitchers (with 8 more in double figures in wins), along with a Hall of Famer in the outfield. If the Cubs had either one of these things going for them they might be better prepared to endure Neifi's lack of offense. I think it safe to say that Dusty Baker is no Earl Weaver when it comes to getting the most out of a roster as well.
   61. nycfan Posted: November 08, 2005 at 11:47 PM (#1724399)
To me Rey Ordonez's 1997 has got to be the worst year ever. Though he only had 356 AB's, he still managed 77 hits, 9 for extra bases, while walking an incredible 18 times. This was good for a .216/.255/.256 line and an OPS+ of of 37.
   62. jmac66 Posted: November 08, 2005 at 11:57 PM (#1724417)
Still, Mark Belanger from 1970 to 1974 posted a 56, 97, 42, 61, 75, and the O's won 4 division titles, 2 pennants and a World Series.

check out Bobby Richardson from 60-64

(plus he was their leadoff man)

oh, and Hal Lanier in 68 was worse than Ordonez in 97
   63. Voros M. Posted: November 09, 2005 at 12:02 AM (#1724424)
Also, the Orioles in those years had 10 different 20 win seasons from their starting pitchers (with 8 more in double figures in wins)

But that really had a lot to do with the team put around them. They had one superstar pitcher (Palmer) and the rest of the starters were average to a little above average guys benefitting from the rare combo of a team with great offense and great defense at the same time. Don't get me wrong, Cuellar and McNally were good pitchers and all, but I don't see how they were superior to guys like Zambrano, Prior and a (healthy) Kerry Wood.

I mean theoretically if the Cubs could fix their outfield (Matt Murton plus ? and ?) and some of their young pitchers improve their command, and the big three stay healthy...

I mean, yeah, things have to go right, but who knows...
   64. Repoz Posted: November 09, 2005 at 12:16 AM (#1724451)
check out Bobby Richardson from 60-64

(plus he was their leadoff man)


I can't stand Bobby Richardson as much as the next kid stuck behind a Yankee Stadium rusted girder...but

1960-Lead off  28 games  (103 in 8th spot)
1961-Lead off 117 games   (42 in 8th spot)
1962-Lead off  41 games  (116 in two hole)
1963-Lead off   0 games  (150 in two hole)
1964-Lead off   1 game   (155 in two hole)
   65. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 09, 2005 at 12:19 AM (#1724457)
While Weaver played Belanger, he at least worked to minimize the damage that Belanger did. When it became apparent that he was never going to have offensive value, he was moved down in the order from 2nd to 8th or 9th - Baker would do the exact opposite. Also, Weaver had no reservations against pinch-hitting for Belanger whenever he felt he needed the offense at any time during the game.
   66. Voros M. Posted: November 09, 2005 at 02:01 AM (#1724558)
Dan, I agree, my point is simply that this is survivable. They just happened to make their task more difficult, that's all.
   67. dcsmyth1 Posted: November 09, 2005 at 02:56 AM (#1724575)
---"Dan, I agree, my point is simply that this is survivable. They just happened to make their task more difficult, that's all."

I've always hated this line of thinking. A bad move is a bad move, regardless of whether the rest of the team is strong enough to win in spite of it....
   68. Voros M. Posted: November 09, 2005 at 03:42 AM (#1724612)
I've always hated this line of thinking. A bad move is a bad move, regardless of whether the rest of the team is strong enough to win in spite of it...

I agree, but the point I'm making is that sometimes people overreact to a bad move being made and then completely lose sight of realistic expectations for the whole club ought to be, simply because management did something poorly.
   69. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: November 09, 2005 at 04:12 AM (#1724622)
I agree, but the point I'm making is that sometimes people overreact to a bad move being made and then completely lose sight of realistic expectations for the whole club ought to be, simply because management did something poorly.

Well I think that what drives some Chicken Little commenting is the idea that the same decision-making process that decided that Perez was a neifty idea (sorry, couldn't resist) will lead to equally bad personnel decisions in the coming months. While you're right that the Cubs can survive 600+ PA from Perez, that's pretty much only if they get above-average offense from the other seven spots. And most (justifiably) are far from convinced that Baker can do that.
   70. Fred Garvin is dead and Joe Biden is alive Posted: November 09, 2005 at 06:58 AM (#1724681)
I agree, but the point I'm making is that sometimes people overreact to a bad move being made and then completely lose sight of realistic expectations for the whole club ought to be, simply because management did something poorly.

Sure, Voros, but much of what you're reading here isn't overreaction to one bad move. We've been through all this before, when we saw the Cubs make a similar decision with Neifi and with Todd Hollandsworth just last year. At the time, we all harbored hope that guys like Cedeno and (at that time) Dubois would get realistic chances . . . mainly because we bought into Hendry's insistence that this would be the case. When Nomar got hurt last April, we believed Hendry and Dusty when they said that Neifi would just be a stopgap while they looked for a longer-term replacement. In short, we recognized that guys like Neifi had limitations, but understood that they also had value if used properly, and trusted the Cubs understood this as well.

Coming off of what we saw last season, this signing makes it quite clear that the Cubs do not understand this. Based on what we saw last year, I think it's entirely realistic to expect that if Neifi came back even for one year, that he will take the field over Ronny Cedeno. To the extent that Hendry says that Cedeno will get significant time (or even a legitimate chance), he's either lying or an idiot.

I suppose there is a worthwhile scenario that could happen -- for the Cubs to sign Furcal, keep Walker, and trade Cedeno (for outfield or pitching help). Under those circumstances, keeping Neifi as a true utility infielder would bring value to the team. Still, without knowing who they might get in a Cedeno deal, the thought of pissing away another prospect in favor of an aging, inadequate veteran isn't all that appealing, particularly when the Cubs don't have a viable SS prospect in the system if Furcal were to get hurt and the Cubs were forced yet again to playing Neifi on a regular basis.

Fool us once, shame on the Cubs. Most of us are unwilling to be fooled twice in two years (and this overlooks our various histories prior to 2004).
   71. Cabbage Posted: November 09, 2005 at 03:33 PM (#1724865)
So, my guess is that, if the Cubs do sign Furcal (maybe they'll even let him play SS), they'll move the Neifiator to 2B and trade Walker?

Those two plus defenders up the middle will help out the Cubs groundball pitchers. That should help out Maddux and Zambrano.

Every silver lining's got a..... touch of grey

.259 /.288/ .353
   72. dcsmyth1 Posted: November 09, 2005 at 03:52 PM (#1724892)
Since Hendry signed Perez to 5 mil over 2 yrs, and since Neifi has publicly stated he wants to start, it seems fair to assume that Hendry promised Neifi a fair shot at a starting job...
   73. Neil M Posted: November 09, 2005 at 04:12 PM (#1724925)
Also, Weaver had no reservations against pinch-hitting for Belanger whenever he felt he needed the offense at any time during the game.

The only time I remember Neifi being lifted was in game #162.

He and Macias being switch-hitters, you can never keep them out of the game and, worse, you can never get them out of the game once they're in.
   74. Sweet Posted: November 09, 2005 at 06:59 PM (#1725160)
Of course the Neifi signing isn't actually the end of the world. I'd be ecstatic if the Cubs trotted this lineup out in April:

Furcal
Murton
Lee
Ramirez
Giles
Walker
Barrett
Patterson

With this bench:

Cedeno
Neifi
Blanco
Sing
Greenberg

They could do this for under $100 million. They won't, of course, meaning that we may well see:

Pierre
Neifi
Lee
Ramirez
Jacque Jones
Walker
Barrett
Murton

Bench:

Cedeno
Hairston
Blanco
Calvin Murray
Scott McClain

At which point I write off the season. The truth is probably somewhere in between, but unless it includes Furcal and a legitimate offensive threat in the outfield (and I'm not holding my breath on the latter), the Neifi signing will have gone a long way from keeping this team out of the playoffs yet again.
   75. Andere Richtingen Posted: November 09, 2005 at 07:24 PM (#1725208)
At which point I write off the season. The truth is probably somewhere in between, but unless it includes Furcal and a legitimate offensive threat in the outfield (and I'm not holding my breath on the latter), the Neifi signing will have gone a long way from keeping this team out of the playoffs yet again.

It will be a significant negative, but I don't think it's necessarily a death knell. The second lineup you listed is probably league average, and with a little luck maybe better. If the pitching comes through, you have something like this year's White Sox/Angels/Astros -- great pitching and mediocre hitting. Plus, it's probably not a bad defensive team.
   76. Sweet Posted: November 09, 2005 at 09:46 PM (#1725473)
Reposting after initial try got devoured . . .

I agree that Neifi getting the starting job at either SS or 2B would not conclusively kill the Cubs' playoff chances. But I wouldn't expect the second lineup I listed to be any better offensively or defensively than what we fielded in 2005; in fact, I'd expect it to be slightly worse. Off the cuff:

2005 --> 2006
-------------
Patterson --> Pierre: moderate off. +, minor def. -, minor + overall
Neifi --> Neifi: minor off. and def. -. moderate - overall
Lee --> Lee: moderate off. -, def. flat, moderate - overall
Ramirez --> Ramirez: off. flat, def. flat, flat overall
Burnitz --> Jones: off. flat, def. flat, flat overall
Walker --> Walker: off. flat, def. flat, flat overall
Barrett --> Barrett: off. flat, def. flat, flat overall
Disaster --> Murton: moderate + off., minor + def., major + overall

That looks like flat to slightly worse overall on an offense that was slightly below average (9th of 16 in runs) in 2005. So yes, it could be league average, but it also could be significantly worse.

I think people (not saying you, Andere) might really be underestimating the degree to which Lee propped up the offense last year. He could have an excellent season in 2006 and still cost the team 3-5 wins off its 2005 total. That's likely more than they'll be able to make up at any single position -- even at SS or LF. Also, Barrett and/or Ramirez are more likely to lose ground than gain it.
   77. Lance Freezeland Posted: November 09, 2005 at 09:47 PM (#1725476)
That "Rob Petrie" is quite the intellectual, eh?

To be sure, Lieberman is a moron, but my comment was directed to the forum itself rather than the number of morons who might inhabit it at any given time. I like the quoting, the interactivity and the "tree" style of Usenet MUCH better than the blog sites.

Besides, Dan, you're everywhere.
   78. Fred Garvin is dead and Joe Biden is alive Posted: November 09, 2005 at 10:30 PM (#1725550)
Since Hendry signed Perez to 5 mil over 2 yrs, and since Neifi has publicly stated he wants to start, it seems fair to assume that Hendry promised Neifi a fair shot at a starting job...

Not exactly. It could be that Hendry made no guarantees or promises about starting, but Neifi was so happy to stay and to get 2-years that he accepted the offer anyway.

Of course, with Dusty managing, he most likely *will* get more than a fair shot at starting, but that's another issue.
   79. Backlasher Posted: August 11, 2009 at 10:16 PM (#3289434)
Is this the thread you were looking for Moses?
   80. Famous Original Joe C Posted: August 11, 2009 at 10:23 PM (#3289441)
What is this, Historical Crappy Hitting Cubs SS day?
   81. JPWF13 Posted: August 11, 2009 at 10:23 PM (#3289442)
Is this torture Cubs Fans Day?
   82. Fear is Moses Taylor's Bacon Bits Posted: August 11, 2009 at 10:28 PM (#3289443)
Is this the thread you were looking for Moses?

No, but it was a fun read. Thanks.
   83. cardsfanboy Posted: August 11, 2009 at 10:33 PM (#3289446)
Is this torture Cubs Fans Day?

usually that's reserved for the playoffs.
   84. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: August 11, 2009 at 10:53 PM (#3289465)
Playoffs? Don't talk about playoffs!

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