Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Gonfalon Cubs > Discussion
Gonfalon Cubs
— Cubs Baseball for Thinking Fans

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Andere Richtingen Posted: August 04, 2006 at 02:27 PM (#2126805)
The Cubs have a major problem in that they have one star on their roster performing cheaply. Virtually all of the good players, and a few mediocre ones, are being paid retail salaries. The only exception is Michael Barrett, and Murton if he can continue on his recent tear. It's hard for a team on any kind of budget to be successful and have no players performing at a high level for reserve-clause pay. The effect on the Cubs, I think, will be continued reliance on B-list free agents to fill out their roster, which means that they may be able to bring the team into the realm of respectability, but will remain short of actual contention.
   2. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: August 04, 2006 at 03:10 PM (#2126857)
My impression is that a lot of this is media-created, as there is a large segment who has observed Ramirez's contract clause and another large segment who regularly complains about his lack of effort. (DeLuca fits into both categories.)

From what I've read, it seems that Hendry wants Ramirez to stay and Ramirez, for his part, wants to be here as well. Maybe that will change if (and I hope it's "when") the Cubs get rid of Dusty Baker, but I don't see anything that truly makes me think that they won't work something out.

I also believe Hendry and MacPhail when they say that payroll isn't an obstacle for this team -- at least as it pertains to their homegrown guys. The Cubs may not be willing to pay $13mm/yr for a FA, but they are willing to spend that kind of money on a Lee, Ramirez, or Zambrano.

On another note, did you guys catch the Teddy Greenstein piece on Mike Kiley (RR)?
   3. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: August 04, 2006 at 03:12 PM (#2126860)
   4. Jerry Mumphrey Posted: August 04, 2006 at 03:27 PM (#2126875)
I've actually become convinced that Hendry is consulting Dusty on all of this. And knowing Dusty's agenda, he is surely advocating a hard line on the Ramirez extension with the notion that his Neifiness is ready to fill in as a solid, gold-glove, practically MVP-caliber backup plan. Whether Dusty has to spell it out or not, Hendry has gotten the message that Coach thinks they can win without Ramirez. If Ramirez walks, expect to see a lot of auditioning for 2nd base next spring (Fontenot, Theriot, Cedeno), but with a Ramirez extension Neifi starts at 2b and bats 2nd all year. Hendry just can't bring himself to cross the incredibly affable Baker, and at this point it's clear The Dust is going to get whatever he wants. BTW, that includes an Angel in the outfield to play along with a certain Pagan ritual of sprinkling the holy water.
   5. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: August 04, 2006 at 03:45 PM (#2126895)
I don't think either scenario (Ramirez leaving or staying) is particularly tragic or wonderful for the Cubs. Aramis has nothing to lose by trying to wrangle more money out of the Cubs - even if he doesn't want to exercise his option. There was a similar situation with Sosa, as most of you will probably recall.
   6. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: August 04, 2006 at 04:08 PM (#2126931)
From djf's link...

Kiley also wrote for the Tribune during his long career. He filed his last Cubs-related story on July 19, then he was reassigned to cover the Sky.

Ouch. Kiley blew anyway. And sounds like he was a prick. Good riddance.
   7. Dash Carlyle Posted: August 04, 2006 at 04:11 PM (#2126934)
Greenstein:

Mike Kiley... the longtime Cubs beat writer for the Sun-Times is out of a job at the paper, and sources say the cause was expense-account irregularity.

Good.
   8. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: August 04, 2006 at 04:14 PM (#2126935)
The biggest problem is the rotation where they only have one guy they can count on. If Ramirez walks they can fill in with a Hillenbrand for a year or two. And it frees up cash to sign a couple of second-rate starters that would at least stop the seemingly endless parade of Not Ready For Prime Time Pitchers they keep trotting out there 5 days a week.
   9. Dash Carlyle Posted: August 04, 2006 at 04:25 PM (#2126947)
Anyone remember a Cubs story in Harper's magazine from a few years back? They sent someone to follow the Cubs around for a few weeks and write about Sammy. This was late 2002, I think. I don't remember much about the story except this detail. At one point, the Harper's writer approached a couple of Cubs beat writers hoping for some conversation. They literally turned their backs to him, wouldn't talk to him. The Harper's writer didn't name them, but I was certain he was talking about Sullivan and/or Kiley.
   10. KB JBAR (trhn) Posted: August 04, 2006 at 04:37 PM (#2126958)
I enjoy the endless parade of not ready for prime time pitchers. And while agree that at least one, preferably two average or better starters would be nice, I'm not sure where these guys would come from. Maybe I'm alone in this, but I think the Cubs could build a credible back of the rotation out of some combination of Marmol, Hill, Gallagher, Guzman, Mateo, Randy Wells, Williams and Ryu.

Breaking in young pitchers isn't easy. Even top prospects like JEremy Bonderman get cuffed around a bit before finding their stride. My hope is that the Cubs would hire a patient manager who won't cycle through pitchers willy nilly grasping for ones that work.
   11. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: August 04, 2006 at 04:44 PM (#2126968)
They literally turned their backs to him, wouldn't talk to him.

Why would they do this?

I enjoy the endless parade of not ready for prime time pitchers.

Me too; it's why I still watch the team.

Maybe I'm alone in this, but I think the Cubs could build a credible back of the rotation out of some combination of Marmol, Hill, Gallagher, Guzman, Mateo, Randy Wells, Williams and Ryu.

I don't have much confidence in this for 2007. A couple of those guys could really be credible solutions but it would take a lot of time to sift through all the options and the Cubs will be hemorrhaging runs. I think a one year stopgap (who could be pushed aside for a succeeding AAA guy) would be the best solution.

I think Hill should start the year in the rotation because he clearly has nothing left to learn in Iowa.
   12. Dash Carlyle Posted: August 04, 2006 at 04:51 PM (#2126980)
Why would they do this?

Because they're jerks and he wasn't part of the club.
   13. KB JBAR (trhn) Posted: August 04, 2006 at 05:11 PM (#2127008)
I agree with the idea of a stopgap pitcher. I'd see their main role as someone who can prevent the Cubs from having youngsters 2-4 in the rotation if Prior or god forbid Zambrano go down.
   14. Andere Richtingen Posted: August 04, 2006 at 06:12 PM (#2127151)
Anyone remember a Cubs story in Harper's magazine from a few years back? They sent someone to follow the Cubs around for a few weeks and write about Sammy. This was late 2002, I think. I don't remember much about the story except this detail. At one point, the Harper's writer approached a couple of Cubs beat writers hoping for some conversation. They literally turned their backs to him, wouldn't talk to him. The Harper's writer didn't name them, but I was certain he was talking about Sullivan and/or Kiley.

Wasn't Teddy Greenstein the Tribune beat writer for the Cubs then?

Anyway, the part of the story I remember is Sammy Sosa's quote: "It's good to take your big ####". Gets a lot of use around my household.
   15. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: August 04, 2006 at 06:59 PM (#2127229)
Maybe I'm alone in this, but I think the Cubs could build a credible back of the rotation out of some combination of Marmol, Hill, Gallagher, Guzman, Mateo, Randy Wells, Williams and Ryu.


Well, I'm not against the Cubs trying out that scenario and getting their brains beat in in preparation for 2009 like the Tigers did. But the Trib seems so deathly afraid of taking an attendance hit that they won't do such a thing.
   16. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: August 04, 2006 at 07:55 PM (#2127308)
I've actually become convinced that Hendry is consulting Dusty on all of this.


Sad to say, but I agree. Hendry seemed like a knowledgable enough GM early in the going. This season, he's begun to sound a lot like Dusty. There's always the chance the two share the same philosophy on what makes a good player, but I almost remember a time when Hendry seemed to care about stuff like OBP. Suddenly that's not as important as hitting with RISP.

Well, I'm not against the Cubs trying out that scenario and getting their brains beat in in preparation for 2009 like the Tigers did. But the Trib seems so deathly afraid of taking an attendance hit that they won't do such a thing.


The thing is, I think the educated fans - and there are a lot of them - would accept a bad season or two if they knew it was leading to something. I think even the casual fans realize the team's just going in circles when they're well under .500 and are clearly not building anything by starting over-the-hill guys like Nevin, Mabry and Neifi.

As long as you keep guys like Zambrano, Lee, and Ramirez, you'll show the fans you're interested in building a winning team around that core. I think of the Marlins as an extreme example, but they're proof if you have a few great players to build around, it can reap benefits.

The difference between them and the Cubs is the latter surrounds the stars with overpaid vets with little to no upside. I'll take a kid with a lot of upside who's bound to make mistakes over someone like Nevin, whose prime has long since passed.

That's what gives me little hope for the immediate future. The Cubs need a tear-down, but between the Trib's attendence fears and the Hendry/Baker regime's knack for securing marginal players at top dollar, they look as though they're remain a mediocre to terrible team with a huge payroll.
   17. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: August 04, 2006 at 08:08 PM (#2127330)
Hendry seemed like a knowledgable enough GM early in the going. This season, he's begun to sound a lot like Dusty. There's always the chance the two share the same philosophy on what makes a good player, but I almost remember a time when Hendry seemed to care about stuff like OBP. Suddenly that's not as important as hitting with RISP.


Part of me still wants to believe that Hendry knows all this and is only gushing positives about Izturis because he's hoping to trade him again real soon. (ala Gerut and Lawton) He also seemed wise enough to hedge his bets on Pierre by not signing him to an extension after trading for him. And Pierre's at least had a few seasons with OBP's over .350

Then I realize this is the same guy who committed 3 years to Jacque Jones who's never had an OBP that high.
   18. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: August 04, 2006 at 08:30 PM (#2127353)
Well, I'm not against the Cubs trying out that scenario and getting their brains beat in in preparation for 2009 like the Tigers did. But the Trib seems so deathly afraid of taking an attendance hit that they won't do such a thing.


(Hey, I'm quoting myself!)

In addition to this, the Cubs seem reluctant to use young players at any position. They soured on Cedeno quickly (perhaps justifiably), seemed to sour on Murton even sooner (and have since started using him again, but maybe only because Lee is out)... Theriot rides the pine more often than not...

Looking at the offensive production of all their guys who have played middle infield this year, the Cubs best OBP players have been Theriot, Walker,.... and Womack. Walker's gone, Theriot only gets spot starts...

Ugh.
   19. Walt Davis Posted: August 04, 2006 at 09:06 PM (#2127392)
I'm guesstimating Ramirez returns for 3/$39.

I was hoping Ramirez would be our top offseason trading chit. But I didn't know about the out-clause and that makes him untradeable and puts the Cubs completely over a barrel. I'm not even sure the Cubs could get compensation on this sort of FA.

Ramirez is a good hitter but his defense is pretty awful and that simply makes him not worth this kind of money. It's not bad enough to really matter and he's still young enough that there's no reason to be too scared about that 3rd (or maybe he'll even get a 4th) year. But he's not a superstar. And I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him become a scapegoat in the future.

So now we're even more stuck than I thought. Lee, Zambrano, Ramirez, Barrett is a perfectly fine core but the Cubs have very little talent to surround them with right now and the farm isn't promising much help over the next two years. That means we have to fill in on the FA market, but we're not gonna have that much money to spend and there aren't very many good players on the market.

Chances are next year the Cubs will be below-average at 2B, SS, CF, at least one corner OF spot, 2-4 rotation spots and closer. Another team with roughly .500 talent (we hope) hoping to luck into 7-10 extra wins to get the wild card. Not that there's really much they can do to have a bigger upside next year given the situation but that 2007 scenario also takes no steps towards building an actual good team any time before the decade runs out.

So good core or not, I'm starting to think it's time for the Cubs to blow things up.
   20. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: August 04, 2006 at 10:18 PM (#2127468)
So good core or not, I'm starting to think it's time for the Cubs to blow things up.


I've been saying this for a while.
   21. Andere Richtingen Posted: August 05, 2006 at 12:15 AM (#2127683)
So what are the chances that the Cubs are the ones who claimed Andruw Jones off waivers? I'm thinking pretty good, not that it's likely to amount to anything.
   22. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: August 06, 2006 at 08:26 PM (#2129279)
I think it's a very good chance that Chicago put in the claim but I doubt they can work anything out with Atlanta.
   23. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: August 06, 2006 at 08:39 PM (#2129287)
That means we have to fill in on the FA market, but we're not gonna have that much money to spend and there aren't very many good players on the market.

The funny thing to me is that I don't look at it quite that way. In my mind, we have the money to spend, but we don't have the inclination to go after big ticket FAs (and there aren't very many good players on the market anyway). By "big ticket," I don't mean guys like Furcal who were overpriced; rather, I mean true stars of the Vlad, Tejada, ARod, Manny Ramirez variety.
   24. LSR Posted: August 07, 2006 at 09:14 AM (#2129953)
http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/cs-060806cubsbrite,1,141655.story?coll=cs-home-headlines

Paul Sullivan seems to think that the Cubs want to resign Pierre and that he can expect about $10M a year ...

Ugh!

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn)
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Syndicate

Page rendered in 0.3260 seconds
56 querie(s) executed