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. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: July 16, 2007 at 02:52 PM (#2442512)
To answer my own question, the Cubs should be a worse team than most squads with the best record over a 6-week period. By and large, the team with the best seasonal record in all MLB will be the team most likely to have the best mark over 6 weeks. It's similar to how you should expect someone like Tony Gwynn or Pete Rose to have the most hits over any particular 10 year period.

This is purely the product of selective endpoints. The '07 Cubs are to teams what Mark Grace was to hitters. He had the most hits of anyone from 1990-1999, but move it one year back and Gwynn moves ahead. Go one year forward and Palmerio catches him.

While the Cubs might only be as talented as Mark Grace and the Red Sox and Angels comparable to Gwynn or Rose, that still means the Cubs should be a heckuva team. And in the 2008 NL, a Mark Grace-level talented squad could be all it takes to make the post season.
   2. Neil M Posted: July 16, 2007 at 05:50 PM (#2442654)
“I had to bring Marmol into the game early,” said Piniella. “Sometimes, you got to save a game in the fifth or sixth inning or there’s nothing to save later.”

I liked that comment too. Under the previous regime, we would have seen Gallagher or whoever else was the designated long reliever (Cotts? because he's a major-leaguer and would never be sent down) or our '5th inning guy' in the game and after another tough loss we would hear the usual mystified comments about bad luck, or fate, or tainted Pixie Dust, or whatever.

How good the present team is I don't know, but they are showing a level of competence that I haven't seen in seasons. Lou is a breath of fresh air after the stinking mess that was the Cubs over the last couple of years.
   3. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 16, 2007 at 06:01 PM (#2442662)
How do the Cubs fans feel about the second half probabilities?

BPro's playoff odds gives them a 46% chance of being in the postseason. Even with the recent run I was very surprised to see that.

I still don't know what to make of the Brewers. My gut feeling is that their second half pitching will be better than the first half (even though they have been trending downwards) and I don't know what to predict for that offense.
   4. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 16, 2007 at 06:02 PM (#2442664)
Lou's early season griping clearly had a purpose. I think the team had to adjust to the fact that someone was actually going to hold them accountable for their actions. It's a pretty basic function of any manager, but most shy away from that aspect of the job as it involves some degree of confrontation.

But confrontation has never been an issue for Lou.

Right at this moment the division seems to be almost cliche in how it will be won. Meaning whichever team can get its starting pitching in order will likely have the upper hand. Currently the Cubs have the edge if for nothing else they have Zambrano b*tch-slapping the opponent every fifth day. With Sheets going down with an owie Yost is running out of duct tape trying to patch together an adequate rotation. Should the Brewers offense slip into one of its funks, an annual event these past four years, Milwaukee could easily lose 4-8 games in the standings before you could say "Harry Caray".

And by the time the Crew rights the ship the amount of time available to recover will be highly limited. Sigh.....................
   5. McCoy Posted: July 16, 2007 at 06:07 PM (#2442667)
Except Lou did bring in Eyre which was the conventional bring in the crud early move, did an odd double switch that pulled out Fontenot out all so Marmol could be the first out of the 6th inning instead of the third out, and then have Izturis batting the rest of the way.
   6. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 16, 2007 at 06:09 PM (#2442671)
Pops:

Here is the latest on the Brewers starters:

--Sheets likely to go on the DL with a sprained finger
--Capuano, aka "Cr*puano", is on a VERY short leash having chalked up a 7.71(!) ERA over his last ten starts. If he gacks in his next chance (Arizona) expect him to be replaced.
--Suppan likely gained some breathing room thanks to a solid six innings against Colorado
--Vargas cannot get past the 6th inning no matter what. If not for the other issues he would have been sent to the bullpen by now.
--Dave Bush has an ERA around 3 since June 1st. He's "the guy" right now. Which pretty much sums up the current state of affairs

Gallardo will replace Sheets.
Manny Parra will be called up from Nashville.

If Capuano gacks then Parra takes his place in the rotation. Some think Villanueva but Carlos provides flexibility that is highly valuable.

The rest of the bullpen is ok (Wise, Turnbow, Shoushe, Cordero). If some day goes down or Spurling gets hurt expect Grant Balfour or Joe Thatcher to get the call.

The "best" rotation Milwaukee could send out right NOW is: Bush, Suppan, Gallardo, Parra, Vargas assuming Ben is out of action and Capuano doesn't do a 180 right quick.

So that's one re-tread vet (Suppan), one apprentice (Bush), one filler (Vargas), and two complete newbies (Gallardo/Parra). Yeah, I'm feeling good about the Crew's chances. (sarcasm)
   7. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: July 16, 2007 at 06:10 PM (#2442673)
Piniella obviously hasn't been perfect, but I think a very large chunk of the success belongs to him for doing things Dusty never did. With Dusty it would have been an outfield of Soriano-Jones-Floyd until Floyd got hurt, in which case he'd insert Ward. Izturis and DeRosa would be the middle infield, and we could count on him deciding one bad start was enough to send a youngster back to Iowa.

We've also gotten lucky that Fontenot is hitting well (his walk rate is very low, so he needs the high BA to be useful), but Theriot hasn't hit well. He gets on base at a decent rate, but doesn't have much power. That's not a major problem as long as he's used correctly, and Piniella has apparently been doing so. Marmol and Marshall have booth been good this year, and Guzman was doing well before getting hurt.

I am concerned about how poorly the bullpen has shown it can play, and using Soriano as a leadoff hitter. His OBP over his career is below league average, and I think he would be of more benefit as a slugger more than leadoff. We don't have anyone other than DeRosa who looks to be a good OBP guy, so it's not that big a concern.
   8. Neil M Posted: July 16, 2007 at 06:11 PM (#2442674)
Pops -

I'm seriously contemplating a healthy wager on the Cubs getting to the NLCS this year (I'll get decent odds here in Britain). I see more improvement to come from the Cubs, none of whom has so far appeared to be playing above reasonable expectations.

Although I do admire the Brewers I think some of their guys are playing above themselves and Earth may be beckoning.

There does have to be a real possibility that the WC will come from the Central and that would be good enough.
   9. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 16, 2007 at 06:20 PM (#2442680)
none of whom has so far appeared to be playing above reasonable expectations

Um, Jason Marquis? But otherwise, yeah, I think Chicago's improvement has had a lot to do with leveraging talent. It also looks to me like there has been less stupid baseball but I might be wearing my rose colored glasses.

Although I do admire the Brewers I think some of their guys are playing above themselves and Earth may be beckoning.

Yeah, I have my doubts about Hardy but Prince looks like The Real Ryan Howard to me.

There does have to be a real possibility that the WC will come from the Central and that would be good enough.

I agree with you there. Maybe I'm just fickle but I thought the WC looked very distant two weeks ago. Since then I've changed my mind about the NL West - lots of question marks for all those teams. I believe in the Padres but not the Dodgers or the DBacks.
   10. Neil M Posted: July 16, 2007 at 06:24 PM (#2442683)
Um, Jason Marquis?

Throw in his glut of unearned runs, roughly half of them down to his own errors, and his RA is right around 5.00 and steadily climbing. He's just about where he should be.
   11. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 16, 2007 at 06:30 PM (#2442690)
Pops/Neil:

Hardy has hit around .210 with 3 homers since June 1st. He has been battling back spasms. Milwaukee has a difficult situation on their hands as Hardy CAN be a solid shortstop AND contribute with the bat. But shortstops and back issues don't go well together. Just ask Roy Smalley Jr.

I think the guy who you want to come back to the pack is Ryan Braun. He of the .349/.402/.680 line. And anyone who wants to compare him to Frenchie really doesn't know what he or she is talking about. He will regress but not due to being a wild hacker at the plate. Braun will regress because there are only so many guys named Albert Pujols.
   12. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 16, 2007 at 06:36 PM (#2442695)
Throw in his glut of unearned runs, roughly half of them down to his own errors, and his RA is right around 5.00 and steadily climbing. He's just about where he should be.

I see.

On the other hand, do you see anywhere on the team they would improve? I guess that catcher has been so bad that a dead-cat bounce/Soto could be a big difference. The outfield has been dreadful at times but the demotion of Murton does not bode well for a renaissance.

I think the guy who you want to come back to the pack is Ryan Braun.

I didn't realize he was hitting like that! What's the prognosis on Bill Hall for the second half? A return to form from him would do much to offset regression.
   13. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: July 16, 2007 at 06:40 PM (#2442697)
Just a refresher, here were the comments June 1:

Andere: It's really hard to be an unlikable underdog, but the Cubs are perfecting it.

Once again, we have a team that is clearly more interested in playing grabass than baseball. But look at the standings, the Cubs are not that far back, and the teams ahead of them don't look much better than they are. Maybe today was a bottoming out, and they'll right the ship and be the just over .500 team they are supposed to be, and make a move in the division. The question for me is whether I can stomach rooting for them.


retro: AR summed up my feelings pretty well in post 2. Sure, it's possible the Cubs can right the ship, given the talent on hand (and the talent it's competing against). (Don't think it's real likely, but stranger things have happened.)

The question is--even if they do, will I have lost interest by that time?


McCoy: This all sounds like last year to me. For the first two months people kept saying hey we are not out of it yet. They are one hot streak away, yada yada yada. This team is toast. It was toast last year, it is toast this year.

Kiko:
The problem with Dusty blaming it on fundamentals was that fundamentals are what the coaching staff and manager are supposed to work on. What's frustrating to me is that the new coaching staff hasn't seemed to have had any effect on what has been the Cubs' most glaring weakness for at least three years now.

The Cubs are 2 games ahead of last year's pace. I can't imagine how you could possibly spend $300 million more inefficiently.


Me: I'll just point out, while the iron's hot, that I predicted since 2005 that a managerial change wouldn't likely have a significant effect. Though I didn't expect to be proven right so spectacularly.

Jack Vincennes: I've now watched every one of their games this season (I'm currently watching Saturday afternoon's game). I'm not down on this team yet, all sorts of goofball things have happened. I don't know what to think. All I can do is tune in, watch the games and see how it plays out. If they continue to suck, well I've seen this team do lots of sucking.


What will we be saying September 1?
   14. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 16, 2007 at 06:47 PM (#2442703)
Pops:

Billy says two weeks but who knows with ankles. And even if he does come back, he's still likely going to be feeling some degree of pain which will likely hamper him at the plate as well as in the field. And he was just coming around hitting over .300 with some pop since the beginning of June.

Weeks' wrist has wrecked his season. Right now the team would be better off going with a Counsell/Graffanino platoon at second base. Rickie is so messed up from trying to compensate for the sore wrist he couldn't hit a ball of a tee. His average is down to .220, and I would be SHOCKED if he improved at all this season. Not being negative. Just that his offensive game is predicated on quick wrists. If the foundation of your house is broken how do you expect the walls to hold up?

The Brewers offense rests on Prince continuing to be awesome, Ryan/Corey not driving off a cliff, and Jenkins stepping it up. Geoff is one of the few vets on the team. It would be nice that if in their hour of need the "old-timer" stepped to the fore to show the kids how it can be done.

Hey, we're all dreamers right?
   15. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 16, 2007 at 06:47 PM (#2442704)
What will we be saying September 1?

Something about Rich Hill and Pithcer Abuse Points?
   16. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: July 16, 2007 at 07:10 PM (#2442718)
Harvey -

What in your opinion is up with Capuano?

I'm not seeing anything in his peripherals that anything other than extraordinarily bad luck... His K/BB rate has slipped - definitely regression from 2006, but it's fallen no worse than to 2005 levels (which were hardly awful). His HR rate looks right on track. Is this a hangover from use far above previous levels in 2005/2006 (without seeing PC numbers, I hesitate to say 'overworked').


I think Capuano and Rich Hill will be the two keys to the NL Central (echoing, I guess, what everyone else is saying). I'll bet that whomever finishes with the better ERA+ from here on out -- pitches at least a few weeks into October.
   17. BDC Posted: July 16, 2007 at 07:17 PM (#2442725)
It's a minor philosophical point, but the present moment is never an arbitrary or "selective" endpoint. The hottest team in baseball since X is now playing well; the longer ago X was, the better a team they are.

Now, God forbid, if we look back in October on the Cubs' .450 finish and note that they were the hottest team from 6/3 through 7/16, I agree, who gives a &%*# :)
   18. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 16, 2007 at 07:23 PM (#2442732)
zonk:

As I told Jack over in the lounge left-handers have always baffled me because a good many get hitters out with what I would term "nothing". Meaning they don't throw hard, no bite on the breaking stuff, just throw the ball around the plate (not necessarily OVER the plate) and get guys to not only NOT hit the ball hard but also swing and miss. So when it comes to a guy like Capuano who kind of puzzled me as to the foundation of his success I sure don't understand why he's suddenly driven in the ditch. What I CAN tell you is that his location STINKS. He will be up 0-2 or 1-2 on a guy and then BAM, walk. Or when he gets it over the pitch is thigh high middle in and gets CREAMED. Trust me. This bad streak isn't Bill Hall missing catchable fly balls or Rickie Weeks not positioned correctly. Capuano is getting HAMMERED.

But as I wrote above, the Brewers DO have three options for the rotation. The "Three Caballeros" as I call them.

Yovani Gallardo who is the second best pitcher on the staff right now no matter how you evaluate talent.

Carlos Villanueva who has been the most "valuable" pitcher on the staff thanks to effectiveness and flexibility pitching in a modified long relief role.

Manny Parra he of the perfect game at Triple A, legit 94 mph fastball, and a leftie whose only issue has been a disturbing tendency to get hurt. But now he's healthy and pitching great.

If Capuano pitches poorly against the D-backs he's almost certainly out of the rotation. One of the unnoticed elements of the Brewers season is Ned Yost taking a harder line on letting guys work thru issues. Mench slumped for about two weeks before Ned dropped him for Corey Hart. When Counsell/Graff puttered at third the team inserted Braun and didn't look back. I think the bygone days of giving a Geoff Jenkins 4 months to strike out or hit into double plays is gone. Cap is on a very short leash.

So that is why I don't think your suggestion is apt. Chris could very well be in the bullpen come August, if not sooner.
   19. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: July 16, 2007 at 07:30 PM (#2442739)
I guess that catcher has been so bad that a dead-cat bounce/Soto could be a big difference.

Fun fact: Michael Barrett, nearly a month after the trade, still hasn't drawn a single walk. He has 2 passed balls in 15 games. Offensively, his OPS+ is better than any other other Cubs catchers marks combined, but he looks like he's fallen off a cliff this year.
   20. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: July 16, 2007 at 07:36 PM (#2442742)
The Cubs have now won 6 consecutive one-run games. Remember when they couldn't buy a win in those contests?
   21. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 16, 2007 at 07:42 PM (#2442747)
Where can you find a team's stats by position. The Cubs have gotten what, a .650 OPS out of the catcher spot?
   22. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: July 16, 2007 at 07:50 PM (#2442756)
Pops - go to b-ref. Go to the Cubs 2007 homepage, check batting splits. Or just click here. sOPS+ is their OPS+ at a given split vs. leauge wide numbers for that particular split.

So that sOPS+ of 69 the Cubs have at the catchers' slot is compared only to OPS+s put up by other catches in the NL this year. Brutal, innit?

And their catcher OPS is 594, not 650.
   23. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 16, 2007 at 08:03 PM (#2442770)
And their catcher OPS is 594, not 650.

Wow. I was going to say .600 but I thought that was unreasonably pessimistic.

That's like full time Paul Bako ugly.
   24. Neil M Posted: July 16, 2007 at 08:40 PM (#2442810)
I'd like to see Soto given a decent run at C. He has hit well at AAA since roughly last year's ASB and if his numbers translate at all he should at least be an improvement on the Bowen/Hill combo which, admittedly, won't be hard to do. FWIW I thought he had an excellent game behind the plate yesterday and with better work work from his middle infielders he could have had two CS. One game is no way to judge, I know, but he looked OK to me.

The Cubs could use improvement at SS and RF/CF. Those improvements would have to come through trades though.

Incidentally, Pie has 3 HRs and a 2B in his last two ganes back in Iowa, so he could be back sooner rather than later.
   25. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 16, 2007 at 09:10 PM (#2442845)
As I was saying:

Ben Sheets is now on the 15-day DL. Chris Spurling is on family leave. That means Manny Parra is not only in Milwaukee, he's on the team, and it opens up another spot, which goes to Grant Balfour.
   26. Biscuit_pants Posted: July 16, 2007 at 09:50 PM (#2442876)
I'd like to see Soto given a decent run at C. He has hit well at AAA since roughly last year's ASB and if his numbers translate at all he should at least be an improvement on the Bowen/Hill combo which, admittedly, won't be hard to do. FWIW I thought he had an excellent game behind the plate yesterday and with better work work from his middle infielders he could have had two CS. One game is no way to judge, I know, but he looked OK to me.

The Cubs could use improvement at SS and RF/CF. Those improvements would have to come through trades though.
I would like to see what Soto can do also, I know they want to start him off against lefties but I would also like to see him get assigned to catch a pitcher to make sure he is catching at least once a week.

Do you not think of Cedeno or Murton as viable options anymore?
   27. Neil M Posted: July 16, 2007 at 10:18 PM (#2442893)
Do you not think of Cedeno or Murton as viable options anymore?

I do, but not for here and now. Hendry may not agree. According to some Cubs blogs, radio reports have Hendry and Littlefield engaged in trade talks. Stone reckons the Cubs are angling for Nady or Doumit to play RF. That wouldn't help Murton's cause. OTOH, as Levine has reported that Izturis may be going the other way, then there could be an opening for Cedeno to return.
   28. Neil M Posted: July 16, 2007 at 11:05 PM (#2442929)
Well, Soto is going to get his chance. The Cubs have DFA-ed Bowen.
   29. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 16, 2007 at 11:13 PM (#2442939)
Once again, we have a team that is clearly more interested in playing grabass than baseball. But look at the standings, the Cubs are not that far back, and the teams ahead of them don't look much better than they are. Maybe today was a bottoming out, and they'll right the ship and be the just over .500 team they are supposed to be, and make a move in the division. The question for me is whether I can stomach rooting for them.

Well, I'm stomaching it just fine. The fact that they are no longer making two or three idiotic blunders every game helps a lot.
   30. Neil M Posted: July 17, 2007 at 12:45 AM (#2443118)
Cubs send Bowen and Jeremy Blevins to OAK for Jason Kendall.
   31. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: July 17, 2007 at 02:23 AM (#2443273)
One of the unnoticed elements of the Brewers season is Ned Yost taking a harder line on letting guys work thru issues. Mench slumped for about two weeks before Ned dropped him for Corey Hart. When Counsell/Graff puttered at third the team inserted Braun and didn't look back. I think the bygone days of giving a Geoff Jenkins 4 months to strike out or hit into double plays is gone. Cap is on a very short leash.

Same goes for Weeks. Melvin on the radio today basically said that Rickie's got a week or two to get his #### together before Counsellino starts seeing significant time.
   32. Walt Davis Posted: July 17, 2007 at 08:49 AM (#2443578)
Cubs send Bowen and Jeremy Blevins to OAK for Jason Kendall.

Ugh. Wasn't, oh, Ramon Hernandez available?

Sandy Alomar, Jr? :-)

I guess the A's are throwing in the towel. :-)
   33. McCoy Posted: July 17, 2007 at 05:10 PM (#2443845)
I'm glad I didn't post much back in 2003 or the amount of posts in which I wrote off the Cubs could down a camel. Hopefully the Cubs can continue their success, and we don't have a repeat of 2003 with its ups and downs.
   34. JH (in DC) Posted: July 17, 2007 at 11:08 PM (#2444193)
This stat popped up on ESPN last night.
   35. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 18, 2007 at 12:22 PM (#2444854)
The Cubs suck. They'll be lucky to avoid 100 losses this year. Fire everyone.
   36. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: July 19, 2007 at 03:12 PM (#2446327)
The Cubs suck. They'll be lucky to avoid 100 losses this year. Fire everyone.


Where's the cannon?

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Tuque
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

Syndicate

Page rendered in 0.5435 seconds
35 querie(s) executed